then & now {concord grape muffins, revisited}

Sometimes even my most favorite recipes get lost in the shuffle. It’s a hazard of the job, let’s just say. I develop on average 200 recipes a year, so it’s no surprise some get buried at the bottom of the pile (or my subconscious). The great thing about sharing some of them here are comments that continue to flow in, reminding me of these forgotten treasures. I’m in awe that these waffles have been pinned more than 24,000 times.

A couple of weeks ago new comments popped up on my recipe for Concord Grape Muffins. The memory of my first taste five years ago is still vivid, pockets of jam bursting with each bite. I decided to give them a little makeover since I’ve been on this dairy-free, whole grain, no refined sugars project. Okay, so maybe it’s not such a little makeover. For starters, there’s no butter, and that changes the technique. The old recipe is what I called my biscuit-making muffin approach. You rub cold bits of butter into the flour mixture with your fingers. This results in a very light crumb, and not what you normally think of when muffins come to mind. Continue reading »

collecting dots vs. connecting dots {honey spice cake}

The day is beginning to wake. The sky a chameleon, slowly morphing from deep navy to soft blue. I love watching this transformation. Years ago, I used to go out running at this early hour. The world went from still and quiet, to the squeaking wheels of trucks making their deliveries for the day. Commuters shuffling about, still wiping the sleep from their eyes, some clutching a canister of coffee for a life raft.

That old life feels so far from reality as I sit on my sofa in Maryland right now. We’ve been in the thick of adjusting to new schools, again. Virginia attends a tiny Montessori school, and hit the ground running. She’s always been my shadow, and while she’d much rather stay home with mama all day, she seems very content in her school environment. Continue reading »

six ways to savor peaches

I’ve a confession to make. Not one jar of peach jam has been put up for the season. I have mixed feelings about this reality. Right now, in the short term, I’m not all that concerned. My priorities have been different than in past summers—settling into a new home, working on a creatively energizing new project, and at the moment, simply enjoying sunshine and the salty sea air on the Cape. That said, I know if I don’t manage to find the time (or peaches) to make a few pots, I’ll settle into a malaise this winter.

If like me you want to hold onto summer (the free spirit part of it, not the humidity, thank you very much), then these easy peach recipes are the perfect way to savor every last bit of the season.

Easy Peach Jam

Maple Syrup Poached Peaches

Easy Peach Preserves {low sugar recipe}

Peach Blueberry Cobbler Cake

Peach Allspice Muffins

Peach Raspberry Tart

For more peachy keen inspiration, take a look at these recipes from Food Network’s #SummerSoiree.
Virtually Homemade: Mixed Summer Fruit Baked Oatmeal
Homemade Delish: Bite-Sized Peach Panini
The Heritage Cook: Grilled Chicken with Peach Chimichurri Sauce (Gluten-Free)
Weelicious: Peach and Ricotta Crostini
Creative Culinary: Fresh Peach and Bourbon Upside Down Cake
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Chocolate Dipped Peaches with Sea Salt
Red or Green: Summer Peach & Tomato Salad
The Mom 100: Sour Cream Peach Cobbler
Domesticate Me: Peach Crumble Smoothie
Daisy at Home: Creamy Peach Popsicles
Healthy Eats: 7 Healthy Ways to Use Peaches in Their Prime
Taste with the Eyes: Grilled Peach Salad, Over-The-Top Maple Bourbon Dressing
Swing Eats: Grilled Peaches with Greek Yogurt, Honey, Lime Zest, and Vanilla
Dishin and Dishes: Bacon Wrapped Grilled Peaches with Goat Cheese and Aged Balsamic
FN Dish: 8 Juicy Ways to Eat Peaches Before They’re Gone

roasted beet greens

I know what you’re thinking. There’s nothing sexy about beet greens. I mean, getting most people to eat beets alone is a tough sell. I didn’t taste my first one until well into my 20s. Beets were not a part of my family’s food comfort zone growing up. Beets are sassy, and in your face. I can relate to beets in this respect. They’re earthiness requires some taming.

And beet greens? Well, they’re a bitter pill to swallow. When I wrote Homemade with Love, I wanted to include a recipe showing that beet greens can be veggie rockstars if coaxed a bit. That recipe is prepared on the stove top; quick and easy enough, but still more time than I had available on one particularly busy day of recipe testing. Continue reading »

seriously delicious ribs

Yes, I know. Those lobster rolls above have nothing at all to do with ribs, but I’m still dreaming of yesterday’s lunch at Arnold’s in Eastham. We’re on the Cape right now, my 20th summer out here, but more on that later. For now, you can follow my follies over on Instagram.

I wanted to share a recipe from the archives since the theme for this week’s Food Network Summer Soiree is BBQ. I created it six years ago in the dead of winter. It was before Brooklyn had its renaissance, and was graced with the likes of a Dinosaur BBQ, now just a half-mile from my old apartment. Back then, if I wanted to satisfy my barbecue craving, and didn’t want to cross a bridge or tunnel, it meant getting to work in my own kitchen. Mikey loved these ribs so much, they were on the menu for his 50th birthday. I hosted a party for 40 people at our house, and cooked fried chicken and ribs while The Who played half-time at the Super Bowl. Continue reading »

crispy vanilla waffles {dairy-free}

Once upon a time there was a guy who loved waffles.

And he had a daughter who loved pancakes.

Every Sunday, they’d argue over what would be on the menu for brunch, until Mommy intervened, declaring we’d alternate between the two every week.

You probably guessed who the little girl and the guy were in this true story. Funny how times change, and tastes shift. I often wonder if Isabella’s fondness for waffles now is a way for her to connect with her papa. When M passed away I began drinking my coffee like him, black. It made me feel closer to him, and like I was keeping him alive in some small way. I might be overthinking the waffle thing, but who knows… Continue reading »

ice, ice baby {favorite frozen treats}

I’ve reached that point in the summer where panic sets in; the realization hit me that I didn’t give my ice cream maker nearly enough of a summer workout. I’m also working on some no-churn ice cream recipes. Don’t worry, even if they’re not ready to share before summer’s end, I won’t let that stop me. The great thing about this space is I can do what I want, when I want. No editorial calendars to follow. Last week I gave Mikey’s peanut butter pie a makeover. I made a no-churn salted peanut butter ice cream filling. It was phenomenal, and I can’t wait to share the recipe. But first, I’ve got a lot of loose work ends to tie up, plus packing for our Cape trip in a few days.

Hope the week is being gentle to us all. Much as I get stir-crazy with the kids by this point in summer vacation, I’ll be sad to see school start up again in a few weeks. Be back in a bit, and until then here are some oldies but goodies from the archives to keep cool the rest of this month.


Easy, Raspberry Sorbet

Cantaloupe Sorbet

Minty, S’mores Milkshakes

Roasted Strawberry Basil Frozen Yogurt

Sweet Corn & Lemon Thyme Ice Cream

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Strawberry Banana Ice Milk

For more frosty inspiration, check out these recipes from Food Network’s #SummerSoiree.

The Hungry Traveler Blog: Banana Coconut Paletas

The Lemon Bowl: Chocolate Peanut Butter Magic Shell

Creative Culinary: Strawberry, Lemon and Basil Sherbet

The Heritage Cook: Grilled Plums and Port Parfaits (Gluten-Free)

TasteBook: Triple Chocolate Mousse Pie

Dishin & Dishes: Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

Homemade Delish: Jalapeno and Peach Gelato

Napa Farmhouse 1885: Healthy Chocolate & Greens Fudgsicles

Red or Green: Ice Cream Sandwiches with Frozen Yogurt

The Mom 100: Easy Chocolate Mousse

Weelicious: Fruity Lemonade Ice Pops

Taste with the Eyes: Figs and Sabayon à la Julia Child

Healthy Eats: Puddings, Pops and Pies: 7 Desserts Best Served Cold

In Jennie’s Kitchen: Seven Sensational Frozen Treats

FN Dish: 8 Desserts to Check Off Your Frozen-Treat Bucket List

homemade vegan ricotta cheese

I was in bed, shuffling around to get cozy under the duvet when I realized I forgot to do something important: share this recipe. True story. Writing a blog post isn’t something I should lose sleep over, I know. Time seems to be my nemesis lately, though. I feel like my internal clock fell behind along the way, and I can’t seem to catch up.

I’m hoping our trip to Cape Cod this weekend will rectify things a bit (a lot would be even better!). The salty, sweet air of the bay is already working its magic some 500 miles away, awakening a part of me. This will be my 20th summer out there. Twenty years. It may not sound like a big deal to anyone who grew up with annual vacations, or some sort of family rituals. I didn’t have any of that as a kid, so to have the pleasant predictability and be able to give our girls this consistency means so much.

In the next few days I deliver the first part of a new project I began a few weeks ago. I’m not really sure how much I can share about it, but to answer the pressing question: no, it’s not a new cookbook, not yet. I’ve been working on a proposal for the next book that I’m very excited about. I think this is a book you’ll all want, and one that’s not been done before, at least not with this creative AND useful spin. I’m hoping to address the last round of edits from my agent while on vacation, so this baby can finally get some wings and fly into the inboxes of potential editors. Continue reading »

cherry crapshoot dessert {or mixed berry crisp}

I began a post on my Montreal favorites just after my last trip there in April, and it seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle. Or did I indeed post it, and have forgotten? It seems to be the story of my life these days, you know things being within reach in my mind, but misplaced in reality. Much as I enjoy escaping the routine of school, summer descends and most of my life goes on hold as I become Mommy McPhee. I’m itching a bit to jump into September to get familiar with our new routines, and life. Continue reading »

it’s never too late – {sour cherry jam}

What can I possibly say about sour cherries that hasn’t already been said before? Not much, I’m sure. But, I do have a confession. I’m incredibly late to the game in my love for them. I’ve passed them up year after year, for their sweeter bing cherry cousins. A week or so ago, I took a drive up to Montgomery Place Orchards, one of my favorite farmstands, near Red Hook, NY. Not much was going on due to the cold, prolonged winter we had this year, but they had some green beans, zucchini, onions, blueberries, and cherries. Really, I was hoping for apricots to make a pie for July 4th. Continue reading »