Category Archives: Cooking advice

Whole30 Menu Ideas

p egg w cake 3I hope my posts about the Whole30 challenge have at least inspired you to visit the website and check it out, or maybe even made you consider doing it yourself.

Don’t worry that you missed a January 2 start date—you can decide to start the challenge at any time, though I recommend sticking with it for the full 30 days so you can really tell whether it’s making a difference in how you feel. Last year, my husband lost 21 pounds on the challenge, so he decided to do it with me again this year.

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Fourth of July Barbecue Ideas

July 4th falls on a Wednesday this year, which is fine for those who can take a week’s vacation, but not so wonderful for people who have just one day off.

For the holiday—and for the upcoming barbecue and picnic season—I thought I’d share some menu ideas using some of the many recipes that we have published on the blog over the past year. Continue reading

Perfect Pesto

Earlier this year I had a fair amount of arugula remaining from an event. Because I also had walnuts in my freezer (I keep them there to prevent them from turning rancid), I decided to make pesto—to be used at a later date. Continue reading

‘Tis the Season

I’ve been busy catering parties for the past couple of weeks, so I thought that instead of posting a recipe today I would simply share some of the photographs I’ve taken at different events. Continue reading

10 Holiday Gift Ideas

Tuesday’s post about preserved lemons got me thinking about holiday gift ideas. Making presents for your friends and family members is a great way to share something of yourself and to give them something they’ll remember—much more so than a gift card or pre-made gift basket.

So, in no particular order, here are 10 ideas for holiday gifts from—or for—the kitchen:

1. If you have active friends who don’t always have time for breakfast, consider making them a batch of Energy Bars. To make it more festive, replace the walnuts with pecans, use cranberries instead of blueberries and add a 1-2 tablespoons of minced crystalized ginger. Wrap them in a gift bag or plastic container, and attach the recipe with a piece of ribbon. Continue reading

A November Wedding

I am not a pastry chef, but I occasionally make cakes for clients and friends for special occasions. When my friend Jessica–who I’ve known through rowing for the past 10 years–got married this November, that qualified as a special occasion.

Jessica and Simon were getting married in Hawaii, but they planned a reception for their friends and family in the Seattle area. For the party at Tulio, she wanted an elegant cake that served 75.

I suggested that Jessica choose a simple cake flavor (chocolate, vanilla or spice) and then select a more personal filling. Continue reading

Get Ready for Thanksgiving Now

Thanksgiving is not until Thursday, I know, but I thought it might be helpful to share some tips now on getting ready for the big day.

Don’t let a still-frozen turkey ruin your meal
If you purchased a frozen turkey, now may be the time to take it out of the freezer and put in the refrigerator to thaw. You should allow 1-3 days to defrost a 4-12 pound bird, 3-4 days for a 12-16 pound bird, and 5-6 days for a 20-24 pound bird. Continue reading