berries, meringue and cake. a new summer dessert.

Every summer I commit to some kind of fruit dessert. In the last few years there have been summers of cobblers, galettes, clafoutis and panna cottas. Sorbets and ice creams. And pie. So, when I received Ebites from La Cuisine, the sensational cook’s resource, with a recipe for a berry cake with meringue, I had a feeling this would become my 2015 dessert. La Cuisine (in beautiful Old Town Alexandria, Virginia) is the sort of kitchen and cookware store that people like me dream about  – copper pots and carbon steel knives and esoteric tools (spaetzle maker!) and Valrhona chocolate and terrines. Nancy is the very knowledgable shopkeeper and, in the good to know department, she can mail all these wonderful kitchen necessities right to you. While I loved Nancy’s recipe, I […]


thai green curry on marthas vineyard

We’ve just passed the summer solstice. Long days, hours of sunlight and I’m soaking it all up on Marthas Vineyard. If you have never visited this island paradise, put it on your bucket list. I’ve traveled here for the last 25 years and while I’ve enjoyed the island in every season, I love this early summer week best of all. The weather is cool and breezy but the sun is hot and direct and the sky is a blue beyond blue. It’s a great week for roses, hydrangeas and privet hedges. There’s a scurry of landscape crews every day busily fluffing up the already beautiful gardens of Edgartown. The houses have a fresh coat of paint, the window boxes are overflowing and everything smells green. Because we stay in my friend’s home, […]


strawberry festival

Around the mid-Atlantic, strawberries are abundant and delicious right now. I’m a big fan of strawberry jam and have written about it here several times, so rather than start from scratch, it’s throwback strawberry time and links to my favorite strawberry preserves pieces over the years. I kicked off canning season with strawberry preserves (and all the instructions for canning, too.) I sing the praises of first crop strawberries. The strawberry jam cook-along was hilarious and a ton of fun. You’ll find my recipes in the New York Times and the Washington Post. And  this year, on June 2, I’ll be teaching a class on strawberry jam at the Smithsonian (a few spaces are still available). Yeah. I kinda love strawberries. Now that I’ve pointed you in all the right directions for strawberry […]


chive blossom vinegar

I’ve been on the road and came home to a blooming plant and I thought I have to tell EVERYONE to make chive blossom vinegar. Listen up. Make this pretty vinegar today. Today! Because chive blossoms only come once a year and this little jar of goodness will take awhile to develop and you will want it. You will want it on spring garden greens, the tender mesclun, the bright Bibb lettuce heads. All those good greens are coming or are already at your farmers market. For those of us in the mid-Atlantic and further South, the tender greens can’t take the heat, so they’re not around for long. Just like those chive blossoms. With all the travel, I’m feeling a little frazzled and hectic. […]

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BIG BOOK NEWS, traveling to Chicago & Madison and a springtime tortilla

Before I tell you all about my fabulous trip to Chicago and Madison. Before I give you a delicious springtime recipe, I must tell you the wonderful thing my publisher has done. They’ve put the kindle version of my book on sale for $2.99. (They want you to see the book and so do I. And of course we all hope you’ll come back for the hardcover.) CLICK HERE: This sale may end at any time. I’m thrilled it’s just in time for Mother’s Day. When I spend a little time in the midwest there is an interesting sense of familiarity. Dennis agreed. It’s  hard to define what is so familiar, specifically. The sounds of certain words and the unique vowel tones, the landscape and the lake shores and the […]