Category — Holiday + Special Occasion Recipes

{recipe} Sweet & Spicy Holiday Nuts

This is one of my favorite holiday snacks – crunchy sugar-coated nuts with balancing hits of salt and spice.

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December 22, 2011   2 Comments

{recipe} Finnish Pancake with Raspberry Red Wine Sauce

And now I am going to tell you what to make for breakfast on Christmas morning. With a mere 5 ingredients, 5 minutes of prep, and 25 minutes in the oven, you can have a rich, custardy, puffy, wonderful breakfast on the table.

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December 20, 2011   21 Comments

{christmas in the future} Gingerbread House on the Moon

Every year a small group of dedicated friends gets together to make an epic gingerbread project that takes a cue from whatever this year’s Christmas party theme happens to be. Two years ago, for a Casbah Christmas, the tradition was born with a Middle Eastern-style courtyard house of gingerbread. Last year, we celebrated Christmas in Summer and put Santa in the pool, surrounded by a beachy scene. This year’s party theme was Christmas in the Future, so we took a few hints from The Jetsons and put Santa on the moon.

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December 18, 2011   7 Comments

{recipes} Southeast Asian Potstickers and Duck a l’Orange Potstickers

(Note: This happened several months ago, but I couldn’t find the recipes I wrote down, so I hadn’t posted about it. I found them wadded up in the bottom of a drawer recently, so here goes.)

My Dad and I have birthdays a week apart, and often do things together to celebrate. When I turned 6 and he turned 40, I asked my parents if we could eat at Windows on the World, the restaurant at the top of the World Trade Center. (We lived in New York at that time.) I guess at that point my parents realized they had a strangely fancy food-obsessed kid on their hands. I don’t remember much about the food, but I do recall going to the bathroom with my sister, who was 10, and being thoroughly confused by the presence of a restroom attendant. When I turned 16 and he 50, we donned our tuxes and prom dresses and got the best seat at Julius’ Castle, a venerated old dining institution with views of San Francisco Bay. Of course neither of those places is still in business, sadly, but we still try to do food-related birthdays together.

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December 14, 2011   No Comments

{recipe, kind of} Rainbow Rice Krispy Treats

It’s gray and dull outside, so I felt like sharing a colorful rainbow today. How about a big plate of rainbow Rice Krispy treats?

I don’t understand why, but if you make rice krispy treats with Fruity Pebbles cereal instead of Rice Krispies, people will act like you are a genius. Kids, adults, whatever- it amazes them that you thought of this. And I think they taste quite a bit more exciting than run-of-the-mill krispy treats!

Here’s how you make them: Make the original, standard Rice Krispy treats recipe, but use Fruity Pebbles instead. That’s it. I stacked these wedding cake-style with parchment rounds in between to make them seem fancy. You can use Cocoa Pebbles if you prefer, or even a mix of Cocoa Pebbles and Rice Krispies, but they won’t have quite the visual wow factor that only a sugary cereal’s neon food dyes can offer!

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November 28, 2011   6 Comments

{top tips} Chef-Tested Methods & Scientific Facts for Perfect Mashed Potatoes

To me, mashed potatoes are like a blank canvas. They can be creamy and pillowy or rich and silky. They can be chunky or smooth. They can have green stuff in them. But most importantly, they can be really really really good or just so blah and boring that they’re not worth the calories.

I always make mashed potatoes a little differently, so I’m not here to share a specific recipe – but rather a group of the most important scientific potato facts and chef tips gleaned from years of experimentation and experience. Armed with this knowledge, you will never need a recipe to make fabulous mashed potatoes under any circumstances.

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November 16, 2011   12 Comments

{recipe} Pumpkin Fudge, Four Ways in One Pan

Are you from a picky family? I am. My Mom won’t touch any nut (besides an almond) with a 10 foot pole, while my Dad thinks that candy without nuts is like a body without a soul. There are lovers and haters of white, milk, and dark chocolate. And don’t even get me started on raisins.

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October 10, 2011   8 Comments

{recipe} Sexy Salted Caramel Brownies, or, The Only Brownies I Will Ever Make Again

Last night I had an esteemed guest for dinner–the mayor of Palo Alto, Sid Espinosa. With his impressive pedigree, I was expecting someone very business-like and maybe even a little straight-laced… but he took one bite of these brownies and started saying utterly obscene things about them. This blog is strictly PG and I want to make sure he comes over for dinner again, so I’m just going to leave it at that.

Another esteemed guest emailed this morning and referred to me as “maker of the most wonderful brownies known to man.”

Simply put, I don’t think I’ll ever make another kind of brownie. I think you’d be hard pressed to find a brownie that tastes better than these!

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June 30, 2011   4 Comments

{how to} Super Duper Rainbow Cakes – in a Jar

By far the most popular article on this blog is the Super Tall Amazing Rainbow Birthday Cake, a tippy, teetery, monstrosity of a cake. Attempting that sky high cake is not for the faint of heart, so I wanted to figure out an easier way to create rainbow cakes. I bring you the latest in rainbow cakery, baked in a jar to show off all the pretty colors.

Cakes in jars are great for a picnic or to bring to someone’s house, since they’re completely sturdy, sealable, and portable. Rainbow cakes in a jar are also the perfect treat for all your unicorn friends.

“What’s that, magical horsie? Oh, you’re very welcome, it was my pleasure. I hope you enjoy your cake.”

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May 14, 2011   76 Comments

{recipe + how to} Super Tall Amazing Rainbow Birthday Cake!

Note: this was the most-searched recipe on my previous blog, so I’m re-posting it here. It’s one of my earliest blog entries–from about 3 years ago–so the pictures are a little less polished than usual! They actually look like they were taken with Hipstamatic, which wasn’t invented yet, which is kind of weird. The cake is still a hit, though. -KM


When my older sister was about 9, my mom made her this legendary multi-tiered cake that was all white on the outside but with each layer of the cake being a different color of the rainbow, arranged, natch, in rainbow order. I re-created a similar cake about 4 years ago when my niece Leila turned 5, with a chocolate outside and a strong structural resemblance to the leaning tower of Pisa. Yesterday my other niece Mitra turned 5, and got her very own rainbow cake, thanks to the combined efforts of my sister and I. [Read more →]

February 14, 2011   8 Comments