Wednesday, August 27, 2014


What a week! Paul and the kids are heading back to school - and my boy Otis is starting high school today. Summer vacation has come abruptly to an end, and my book was released into the world last Tuesday! I've been excited and nervous, scared and giddy all at the same time. 

You, yes you, have helped welcome this book by greeting it with open kitchens and hungry bellies. I have gotten some of the sweetest notes from friends and even strangers, saying that you are already busy cooking my recipes, sharing them with your families. I'm moved beyond words.

Some of you have shared the book on your own blogs and websites and I'm grateful for the amazing outpouring of support and generosity!

***If you are also cooking from the book already, I'd love to hear about any recipe you've tried!***

5 Second Rule: Hanger Steak with Gremolata
Turntable Kitchen: Sunshine Soup
Edible East Bay: Baked Eggs on a Bed of Roasted Cherry Tomatoes 
Bay Area Bites: Candied Tomatoes
My Darling Lemon Thyme: Simple Almond Torte
Poires Au Chocolat: Golden Millet Crepes 
A Cup of Jo: Breakfast Salad 
365 Cookbooks: Ruby Red Grapefruit Fizz 
The First Mess: Bali Garden Stew
SF Chronicle
Rue Daily 
Cookie + Kate: Baked Eggs on a Bed of Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Brooklyn Supper: Wild Salmon with Dill Butter + Fennel
A Cozy Kitchen: Honeydew Granita

The Kitchn 
Maria Rodale's Farm Country Kitchen
London Bakes via Steller Stories: Simple Almond Torte
The Food Network's Healthy Eats Blog: Quinoa Tabbouleh
Handmade Charlotte: French Toast Sandwiches 
Organic Gardening
My Little Expat Kitchen: Baked Eggs on a Bed of Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
She Eats: Wild Salmon With Dill Butter
Delicious Shots: Ruby Red Grapfruit Fizz
The Little Things: Peach + Rosewater Lassi
Lisa is Cooking: Prawns on Lemongrass Skewers + Pip's Yellow Rice
Authentic Suburban Gourmet: Toasty Pecans 
Two Tarts: Peach + Rosewater Lassi 
Celiac Foundation of Northern California 
Cari Borja
Something Lovely
{510} Families
Fitbie Fresh Picks: Tomatoes
SBS: Kitchen Pharmacy

To mark this big occasion, I wanted to share an easy summery recipe from the book with you. With tomato season in full, juicy swing, I thought you might enjoy this one. xoxoxo


Juicy hot cherry tomatoes pop in your mouth. There’s just a hint of basil for sweetness. When both mingle with creamy baked eggs, it’s an amazing combination of texture and flavor that makes for very happy tastebuds. 
These baked eggs are a hearty meal—even one egg, with its tomato companions, is surprisingly filling. You can easily increase or decrease the recipe depending on how many people you want to serve: Think 1 egg to 3/4 cup tomatoes, and you’re good to go. 

Of course, you can serve these eggs for breakfast or brunch, but I’d eat them for dinner any day. 

I highly recommend serving the eggs with a side of big buttery Croutons or Polenta Fries (both recipes are in the book) to soak up all the juicy goodness. 

  • 3 cups sweet cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Scatter the tomato halves into a medium ceramic baking dish or cast-iron
skillet. Bake the tomatoes in the hot oven for 12 minutes, then take the dish out. (If a lot of liquid has cooked out of the tomatoes, carefully pour off a little liquid now.) Top the tomatoes with the Parmesan, drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle on the 2 tablespoons basil and the salt and pepper. Then crack the eggs gently onto the bed of hot tomatoes. You want to keep the yolks intact, but don’t worry when the egg whites spill down around the sides of the tomatoes. 

Return the baking dish to the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. You’ll know you’re done when the egg whites have set but the yolks are still soft. Sprinkle the cooked eggs with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and the remaining 1 teaspoon basil. 

Serve right away in shallow bowls. 

serves 4 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


FRENCH TOAST SANDWICHES with Peaches and Mozzarella
recipe and photo excerpted from Yummy Supper: 100 fresh, luscious & honest recipes from a {gluten-free} omnivore 

Sandwiched between two slices of French toast, peaches get juicy and sweet in the hot oven, and are oh so good with warm, melty mozzarella. Add a drizzle of maple syrup . . . yum! 

While I am partial to the peach and mozz combination, you can make these sandwiches with all sorts of other fillings—baking French toast is an easy way to feed a crowd for breakfast or brunch. In the winter, try sliced pears with mozzarella or even Parmesan. You can also stuff your French toast sandwiches with jam and cream cheese any time of year. 

  • 2 eggs
  • 12 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup, plus more, warm, for serving
  • 12 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Sprinkle of ground cinnamon
  • 8 slices sandwich bread {GF folks: I particularly like Canyon Bakehouse 7 Grain Bread here}
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 3–4 ounces fresh buffalo or cow’s milk mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 1 peach, pitted and sliced into 16 thin wedges 
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Generously coat a large baking sheet with butter. In a wide shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon.

Submerge each slice of bread in the eggy batter for 30 seconds or so. You want to coat the bread but not let it get soggy. Place all 8 slices of battered bread onto your greased baking sheet. Bake in the hot oven for 10 minutes. 
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and flip all the slices of bread. Tuck a nub (teaspoon or so) of butter under each slice of toast before returning the baking sheet to the oven. Top half of the bread slices with a layer of mozzarella and four peach wedges. Continue to bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until all the toast is golden brown and the mozzarella is nice and melty. 

Assemble the sandwiches and generously drizzle warm maple syrup over the top. Serve right away. 

This fall, I'll be roaming the West Coast, and taking a trip to NYC, to talk about food with all of you and to share this book I love. Mark your calendars and please come say hello... I'd be thrilled to see you!  

*Big Launch Party ~ Book Signing and Popsicles in the Edible Schoolyard Garden
Co-hosted by Omnivore Books
Open to the Public. Kids are welcome. Bring a friend. The more the merrier!
September 7th, 2-4 @ The Edible Schoolyard Berkeley, 1781 Rose Street 

*Book Signing and Conversation
With Kimberley Hasselbrink of The Year in Food and Vibrant Food
September 14th, 4pm, Book Passage, Corte Madera 

*Yummy Supper Cooking Class to Benefit the Edible Schoolyard Project 
I'm so honored to have the unique opportunity to teach a class in this renowned space! 
Pair up with one of your favorite kids (your own, a grandchild, niece/nephew, or young buddy) 
and let's cook and eat a few of my favorite recipes in the amazing ESY Kitchen! 
All proceeds benefit The Edible Schoolyard Project. Space limited to 30 participants.
October 10th, 10:30-1:30 @ The Edible Schoolyard Berkeley. Purchase Tickets here. 

*Panel Discussion ~ Contemporary Food Writing and the Future of Culinary Publishing
@ The California Book Club's Symposium, "A Feast for the Eyes: Gastronomy & Fine Print"
With Phyllis Grant, Kimberley Hasselbrink and Celia Sack.
October 24th, 2:30, San Francisco. Tickets and info available here.

*Book Signing
Come to the Ferry Building for the Harvest Festival - I'll be signing books at Stonehouse Olive Oil!
October 25th, 11-1, Stonehouse Olive Oil, San Francisco Ferry Building

*Book Signing + Tasting
November 15th, 7pm Copperfield's Books, Sepastopol. 138 North Main

*Demonstration Class  + Book Signing
September 24th, 6pm, Book Larder. 5252 Fremont Ave, N

*Book Signing + Tasting
September 27th, 8am-1:30 pm. Beaverton Farmers' Market

*Cooking Class
*Book Signing and Tasting
Powell's Books joins Pastaworks for a culinary book signing. 
September 28th, 3-5pm Pastaworks-Hawthorne, 3735 SE Hawthorne 

*Book Signing + Tasting
October 8, 11-1. Union Square Greenmarket

*Book Party
date and details TBD

*Book Signing

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A TASTE OF WHAT'S TO COME {the book + a video + a recipe}

Guess what arrived on our doorstep? My book.

I'm staggered with gratitude.

It's still another month until the book hits stores, but I need to share some of it with you. I really can't wait any longer!

Over the coming weeks, I thought it would be fun to share little tidbits from the book - a taste of what's to come. Each post, I'll excerpt a recipe from the book, and this time I also wanted to share a little cookbook trailer, made by my friend Mark Kohr. Emit Bloch was kind enough to do the music. Thank you Mark and Emit for your generosity!

Late Saturday night, we got home from Greece, one of our family's favorite spots on earth. The trip didn't disappoint. The Aegean was as vibrant blue as ever, our rocky little beach was still covered with stones of every color, the people were beyond welcoming, and our little island, Folegandros was as sleepy, charming and restorative as it's every been.

succulent lamb chops nestled in fresh fig leaves 
+ lemon cucumber tzatziki

This recipe is inspired as much by smell as by taste. Within minutes of placing the lamb in the hot oven, your kitchen will be filled with the earthy aroma of baking fig leaves. This scent instantly transports me to the Greek islands, where arid hills are dotted with fig trees warmed by the blazing Mediterranean sun. Maybe it’s my Greek heritage, but the wild perfume of roasting fig leaves is magic to me.

Fresh fig leaves may not be the easiest things to find outside of California, but rest assured that this recipe is totally delectable without them. Follow all directions below, and when it comes to finishing the chops in the oven, just place the lamb directly in a baking dish or ovenproof skillet. You may miss out on the scent of baking fig leaves, but you’ll still be rewarded with the taste of succulent chops.

My kids claim that they don’t even like lamb, yet they devour chops prepared this way!

Marinate your lamb, and make your tzatziki, a few hours before you want to cook.

Marinade + Lamb:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds double-thick rib lamb chops (2 ribs per chop)
  • 1⁄2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1⁄2 cup peeled, seeded, and finely chopped cucumber
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
  • 1–2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • A dozen fresh mint leaves or dill fronds, chopped
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
For cooking and serving:
  • 4–6 fresh fig leaves (optional)
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Lemon wedges
At least 2 hours before serving, assemble your marinade by combining the olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary, and garlic. Place the lamb in a glass container and coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate. One hour before cooking, remove lamb from the fridge to allow meat to return to room temp.

Also try to make the tzatziki ahead of time: In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, cucumber, garlic, lemon juice, chopped herbs, and salt and pepper to taste. Let the sauce chill in your fridge. Tzatziki only gets better as the flavors mingle.

When you’re ready to cook your lamb, preheat the oven to 400°F.

Place a large cast-iron skillet on the stove top over medium-high heat. When the pan is nice and hot but not quite smoking, brown all sides of the chops, 4 to 5 minutes per side. (I don’t find it necessary to add any additional oil to the pan for browning, as some oil from the marinade will still be clinging to the chops.) To ensure a good sear, take care not to crowd the meat during this phase; brown the chops in batches if necessary.

Line a shallow baking dish with fig leaves, if you have them. Nestle the seared chops in the leaves. Place the baking dish in the hot oven to finish cooking the lamb. In minutes, your kitchen will be filled with the aroma of roasting fig leaves. Depending on the thickness of your chops, they may be
done after only a few minutes in the oven, and shouldn’t need more than 15 minutes. I have come to rely on touch testing my meat for doneness. There is that feeling of just the right give when meat is medium-rare. If you trust your fingers, go for it. Also feel free to use a meat thermometer: The chops will be juicy medium-rare when the internal temp reads 130° to 135°F. Let the chops rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Season the chops with flaky sea salt and generous grinds from the pepper mill. Serve the lamb in the baking dish with the fig leaves still underneath. Toss some lemon wedges into the dish so that everyone can squeeze the juice over the chops. Pass tzatziki around the table, and feel free to scoop it right onto the chops if you wish.

serves 3 or 4

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