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Oakland , CA, US

Recent Reviews

Re:Tomato, Corn & Cheese Galette with Fresh Basil

I can't believe no one has rated this yet. It's a real crowd pleaser. I've been making it for many years and no one has responded with anything but praise. Nice, classic summery flavors. Rich without being too heavy; the tomatoes and basil lend acidic and herbaceous notes that counterbalance tart crust and cheese. This is also relatively quick to put together. The only regular change i make is to use different cheeses because i'm not too fond of Comte: smoked cheeses go nicely as do semi-soft sheep milk cheeses and cheddar.

Posted: 07:16 pm on June 20th 2010

Re:Fusilli with Fresh Spinach & Ricotta

This pasta basically tastes just like the traditional spinach-ricotta ravioli inside out, and is much faster to make. It seems like it would appeal to children (past the "ick-- green stuff" phase), but has an appealing, comfort food quality for adults with nice fresh ingredients. Following the previous reviewer's advice, I used this amount of sauce for 8 oz. pasta, which made a very tasty but somewhat decadent dish (I wouldn't want to use less spinach, but could definitely get away with less cream/ricotta.) I made two other changes, chopping the spinach (because i dislike stringy, large pieces of cooked spinach), and pureeing the ricotta and half/half with an immersion blender, which made a smoother base than straight up ricotta, which i preferred. The resultant sauce looked more like spinach alfredo than the drier version pictured. I will do all of these things again next time, though i will reduce the ricotta/half and half portion by perhaps a third, and stretching it with pasta water, which I anticipate will be healthier but fairly similar.

Posted: 10:47 pm on June 10th 2010

Re:Orange Poppy Seed Cookies

Light, crispy-airy texture and refreshing flavor. A wonderful change of pace. Everyone who has eaten them has loved them. Easy too. No complaints.

Posted: 11:53 pm on March 6th 2010

Re:Spinach & Herb Risotto

This is an amazingly light and fresh tasting risotto, not like the usual heavy suspects. I use the full amount of pesto for an especially strong 'green' taste, and like to leave it on the more liquid side. Goes down like like risotto, soup, and salad all in one.

Posted: 04:35 am on January 22nd 2010

Re:Squash Ravioli with Sherried Onion Sauce, Walnuts & Cranberries

This has been an intermittent go-to thanksgiving entree in our vegetarian household for at least a decade. I don't know how the other reviewer can say the sauce doesn't have much flavor-- if anything I'd say you have to be careful not to overwhelm the delicate ravioli with too much sauce. The garnishes add welcome textural contrast and lightness (especially chives and cranberries) , and the sherried onion sauce has a deep, rich flavor that I start to crave when the weather turns cold. However, the one downside is that it is quite rich and heavy-- I tend to alternate my squash ravioli between this sauce and a standard sage-brown butter sauce which is much easier and, ironically, tastes quite a bit lighter. Although it is commonplace now, this was the first recipe i saw recommending potstickers for homemade ravioli; they are not only easier, but so thin and light i might prefer them to regular egg pasta, as they don't overwhelm the filling either texturally or in heft.

Posted: 05:05 pm on September 12th 2009

Re:Crunchy Fresh-Herb Breadsticks

I'd give this recipe 4.5 stars. The flavor of the two variations i've tried- herb and spicy cheese- is quite amazing. I prefer the herb and my husband the cheese. The dough is easy enough to make but shaping part is a bit of a nuisance, and the uneven thickness makes it impossible to cook until crispy without burning some of the tips or thin parts- a particular problem with the cheese sticks, which really do turn acrid when overcooked. I find the less cooked portions taste a little stale even when fresh-- and these really don't save very well. Still, the recipe is worth fiddling with for the unique and supertasty product, and I've returned to it often over the past 10 years. Lately, I've taken to baking some as round crackerbreads, and might prefer these thinner rounds to the sticks.

Posted: 07:25 pm on September 2nd 2009

Re:Maple Walnut Granola with Dates

This is our favorite granola-- the crunchy clusters make it as good for snacking out of hand as other uses, and it has a strong, highly aromatic maple flavor. I do tend to vary it a little-- I always add some maple extract and ground vanilla, substitute roasted walnut oil for the canola, and and use a mix of multigrain flakes instead of all oats. My favorite version uses plain puffed brown rice and millet which make the large clusters a little lighter and less hard to bite. On the downside, this recipe is definitely expensive with all that maple, and quite prone to burning -- watch it like a hawk, especially at the end of its time.

Posted: 12:38 am on August 2nd 2009

Re:Corn Soufflé Puddings

A great success I have made many times. This is a perfect dish for entertaining since most of the work can be done a day ahead. It has fairly universal appeal--I love the juxtaposition of rich and light. I usually add some kind of sauce or sauteed vegetables to the gratin dishes as they come out of the oven for a savory brunch dish or light main course. Highly recommended.

Posted: 05:52 pm on July 26th 2009

Re:Lemon Cornmeal Shortbread Bars

These were great-- easy to make with a flavor and texture that was both familiar and a little unusual. A little shortbready, but also lighter and chewier, not as crunchy and a bit more melt-in-the-mouth. The lemon comes through loud and clear; the cornmeal is more in the background. A big hit with my tasters.

Posted: 12:46 am on February 2nd 2009

Re:Recipe: Seared Scallops with Herb-Butter Pan Sauce

The recipe included all the important details and worked perfectly. No complaints.

Posted: 11:29 pm on July 27th 2008