Ginger Cake for a January Evening

January 4, 2015

There’s a January chill in the air and a slow fire in the grate. The Christmas decorations are carefully stowed away at last, leaving the house feeling clean and calm, and blissfully less cluttered. It’s the perfect time for a stolen moment of solitude, the evening paper, and a slice of cake. I usually reserve […]

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A Picnic on the Bluffs of Bodega Head

April 17, 2013

Here’s what I like about cake: it can be as plain or as elegant as the occasion demands. This dense olive oil variety studded with sweet shards of orange zest is no exception.

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Fourth-of-July Pie Pops

July 5, 2012

These fruity, kid-size pies on sticks beat out cake pops any day of the week. Filled with raspberries or blueberries, they make a delicious treat to cap off a Fourth of July barbecue.

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Early Summer Strawberries

June 17, 2012

The kids usually find the first few ripe strawberries in late May, rifling through the leaves of our overgrown patch looking for any sign of the scarlet-colored fruit underneath. It isn’t until mid to late June that our plants begin to show real signs of progress, dropping berries over the side of the planter box […]

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Springtime Carrot Cupcakes

April 9, 2012

The first day of spring break fell on Good Friday this year. These spring-inspired cupcakes seemed a good way to celebrate. The kids made the cakes themselves, using decorations cut from tinted fondant with the tiny cookie cutters we had on hand. They are equally delicious served plain. The combination of grated carrot and golden […]

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Valentine’s Day Sweets

February 10, 2012

Traditional heart-shaped cream scones and chocolate-dipped or jam-filled butter cookies are wonderful treats for Valentines Day.

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Christmas Cottage Cake

December 18, 2011

Most of my friends who bake have their Christmas traditions pretty firmly established by now. Not me! This year I initiated what is likely to become one of my family’s most enduring customs—Christmas Cottage Cake. It’s a dense almond tea cake baked in a cottage-shaped pan. Although the finished cake looks impressive, with the right tools […]

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Pumpkin Bread

November 20, 2011

These dense, sweetly spiced pumpkin loaves have reduced amounts of sugar and oil with no sacrifice to flavor.

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The Last of the Summer Peaches

September 19, 2011

Golden Glory peaches are a new favorite of mine. The trees grow similarly to large truncated bushes, only 5–6 feet when mature, and yield literally bushels of perfect baseball-sized fruits. Best of all, they ripen late in the season, just when summer seems to be coming to a close. Since we’ve had quite a mild summer this […]

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Peach-Blackberry Crisp

October 1, 2010

A crisp and lightly sweet oat topping bakes to a golden brown over ripe summer peaches and blackberries.

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