Apricot Blueberry Crisp

The Napa farmers’ markets are bursting with fresh fruit…and these two gems will disappear in just two weeks!  Apricots have been scare the last two years so I am stocking up on my supply for desserts, sauces and jam.  The very best come from our good friend, Michele Bera, who indulges us at market with her stone fruits from Vacaville.  And if you think blueberries are mild with flavor…then you have not tried Stokes!  In a word: explosive.

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Grapeseed Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you follow this blog, you know what a goof I am for coconut oil.  And recently there have been several posts from other like minded writers who list over 200 ways to use it!  In addition to all its health benefits, coconut oil has a high smoke point and is great for baking.  But there’s another healthy oil to cook with, and this one just so happens to come from my neighborhood – the Napa Valley.  It’s grapeseed oil and it’s made by Salute Santé.

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Turnip Soup with Greens

Every now and then you taste something that knocks you out – in a good way.  Recently at a cooking class with Napa food writer and master gardener, Janet Fletcher, a fresh turnip soup was presented that took my breath away.  Its color was vibrant, its texture silky.  And as we transition from winter to spring, this is just the right dish to satisfy the soul.

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Coconut Cream Pie ala Cafe Gratitude

I had to wait a few days to let the chocolate dissipate from my veins, but now I’m ready to launch into my next favorite indulgence: coconut cream pie!  I hope this is one of your resolutions this year…because no one should deprive themselves of such a decadent health food.  That’s right: it’s good for you.

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Pumpkin Chili

I’m sure this time of year you have an abundance of pumpkin on hand, and whether its fresh or from a can, this recipe is a crowd pleaser.  It is what I call a ‘one-dish wonder’ and can be made in advance, or right alongside the other dishes you’re cooking up this week. Click to continue reading »

The Best Carrot Cake Ever

We all have our own favorite carrot cake recipe, but now you’ll have a new one:)  I made this for a crowd at the St. Helena Farmers’ market and it was a huge hit.  Super moist and rich, yet light.  The recipe comes from Fran Costigan’s “More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts, Naturally which has an abundance of healthful sweets that are not only delicious, but also vegan.

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Smoky Watermelon Salad

I hope I don’t get in trouble for saying this, but we are having an incredible summer.  Unlike 90% of our country, California weather has been mild and mellow.  And while the wine grapes are a few weeks behind with harvest, melons are at their sweet peak right now.

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Sweet Potato Tacos

My latest fave-est are these sweet potato tacos.  I first made them for a class I did for Share Our Strength called “Cooking Matters,” a program for low-income folks who just want to learn how to cook and eat healthy on a budget (which applies to anyone, really.)  The whole class got so excited about this recipe, and since I always have sweet potatoes on hand, it has become a regular entree in our home, too.

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Leek and Fennel Risotto

One of the many advantages to living in Northern California, is having access to a wide variety of produce based on the seasons. I mean, that’s what we’re here for, right?  Farm fresh, flavorful, colorful, and uber nutritious. This past week at the farmers’ market I was hard pressed not to buy everything in sight but I settled on fennel and leeks which made for a lovely risotto.

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