{recipe} Coconut Candied Pecans

I love candied nuts, and make them each year for the holidays. I usually do a sweet, salty, and spicy version. But lately I have discovered a way to make candied nuts that are better than the usual: by adding a generous helping of unsweetened coconut flakes to the mix. It adds a subtle coconut flavor and a welcome chewiness to the mix. I like the Bob’s Red Mill brand because the flakes are paper-thin but big enough to stand up to the nuts.

coconut candied pecans

I have been putting these on all kinds of things. I first made a version with pistachios and slivered almonds and put it on a spinach salad that also had pomegranate seeds and roasted squash on it. That was great, but last night I made them with pecans to top a pumpkin pie with whipped cream.

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November 17, 2015   No Comments

{recipe} Apple Yogurt Crackle Cake

I adapted this cake from a David Rocco recipe and have been tweaking and refining it over a series of delicious weekends. I think it’s now pretty near perfect. It’s buttery, soft, not too sweet, and with a crackly sugar crust I want to put on everything.

apple yogurt cake

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October 28, 2015   2 Comments

{recipe} Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Bars

Chocolate caramel oatmeal bars. Do these really need much more introduction than that? Probably not. What I have shared with you here is a picture of a cross-section of the bars. Gooey caramel, chewy chocolate, and a crumbly oat bar cookie both on the bottom and on the top… I can’t imagine you need much more convincing than that.

chocolate caramel oatmeal bars [

October 1, 2015   No Comments

{recipe} Double Chocolate Buttermilk Muffins

This week, we had a pretty big milestone: my 3-year-old son started preschool. It is a fantastic and sweet little school that we can walk to, and I am genuinely excited for him and for all of us. The only thing that made me do a double-take was when they informed me that he would not be allowed to have anything sweet in his lunch, and no cupcakes or desserts even on birthdays!

chocolate buttermilk muffins

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September 2, 2015   No Comments

{favorites list} Things I’m Loving Right Now

These are some of the things I’m currently enamored with. 


Reminiscing about my summer trip to London, Bruges, Greece, and Turkey

Bacon waffles at the Naked Pig in Santa Rosa

Buying these magnetic closure onesies and sending them to my friends’ new babies – it’s become my go-to baby gift (tip: check the clearance page first so you can afford to send two!)

Bookmarking crazy, over-the-top swimming pools on Pinterest as I make plans to re-do my own pool and backyard

Traveling with my new(ish) Sony RX100 III camera – the photos are about 95% of the quality of my DSLR, but it weighs soooo much less and fits in my pocket

Figuring out a trick to get a walk-in table at State Bird Provisions (the bottom line: go on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday around 8 and you should only have to wait 30 minutes or so)

This Mondrian-inspired water tower in New York

Getting my calcium from these tasty dark chocolates every day

Finding ways to use the best of the summer produce we’re getting in California right now – like blueberries and heirloom tomatoes

These photos of El Seed’s “caligraffiti” street art

The popovers you get when you sit down for dinner at Wayfare Tavern – and the coconut cream cake they serve for dessert

These super-safe swim vests for little kids – they work wonders

L’oreal’s Voluminous Million Lashes mascara – cheap, waterproof, and looks so terrific all day long

Anticipating my upcoming visit to Peter Luger – my favorite restaurant in the whole world!

What are you loving lately? 

August 25, 2015   No Comments

{recipe} Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies

Not to sound like Seinfeld here, but… what’s the deal with all those blueberry items you get that have like 2.5 blueberries total? Pancakes, muffins, you name it… nary a blueberry in sight. And when you do find them, they’re all clumped together. It’s like looking for the bacon in a salad.

Not so with these cookies: they are packed so full of fresh blueberries, you will need an extra napkin when you bite into one, to handle all of the juicy bits.

blueberry oatmeal cookies

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August 17, 2015   No Comments

{itineraries} 3 Days in London – Off the Beaten Path (With or Without Kids!)

Having been to London quite a few times, on a recent trip I decided to try some activities and itineraries that are decidedly off the beaten path. It was so much fun to avoid the crowds of Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus, and Buckingham Palace and get into some spaces and places that were less clogged by tourists yet even more enjoyable.

london off the beaten path cutty

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August 14, 2015   No Comments

{recipe} Mediterranean Summer Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes, Figs, and Feta

I apologize for the long delay between posts – I was traveling for about a month, and since coming back, have been scrambling madly to get caught up on everything I left behind. Part of my travels took me to Greece and Turkey, so I have Mediterranean flavors on my mind and on my palate.

Mediterranean Summer Salad

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August 12, 2015   No Comments

{recipe} Kung Pao Chicken & Broccoli

For the past couple of years, I have noticed that this recipe has become a pretty regular weeknight go-to, especially when I’m pressed for time. It is quick to put together and cooks up in less than 10 minutes, and it’s just what I want from homemade Chinese comfort food: a little sweet, a little spicy, a little salty, with a rich brown sauce. Throw some rice on the stove or into the rice cooker, and you’re good to go.

kung pao chicken

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June 26, 2015   1 Comment

{10 Second Vacation} Quito, Ecuador (Plus a Few Side Trips)

We hit up Quito, the charming capital of Ecuador, last summer before heading to Machu Picchu. It totally exceeded expectations. Everywhere you look, there’s a beautiful view. It’s a lively small city with a lovely colonial center. The people are friendly and there is lots to do. Not only that, it’s a really cheap town – we rented a lovely 2 bedroom apartment for around 70 bucks. A far cry from paying $200 a night for a decent hotel room as you do in many places. Plus, Quito can be a jumping-off point for so many other adventures, like a visit to the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon, or the beach.

quito ecuador

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June 25, 2015   No Comments