Strawberry Bread

Fresh Strawberry Bread

It’s summer time again!  That means that strawberries are in season, and most likely on sale.  I got some large ripe packages of strawberries at the local supermarket for $4.99 per box… not too bad. But there are only so many strawberries a person can eat… so to use them up before they went bad, [...]

Yellow Squash & Pistachio Lemon Cake

Yellow Squash & Pistachio Lemon Cake

Have you ever had one of those moments when you’re staring at a single squash, wondering, “What am I going to do with you?”  (Yeah…  Probably not.)  But that was me tonight, and I had no plan.  It was time to clean out the refrigerator – and I had one yellow squash, one lemon, a [...]

Chocolate Matcha Zebra Cake

Chocolate Matcha Zebra Cake

A year ago, I posted my efforts to make a Chocolate Matcha Marble Cake, inspired by a Bakerella recipe that I read the year before.  While the resulting cake was delicious, I wasn’t quite happy with the way it looked visually.  I think the problem was that instead of using the Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder [...]

Japanese Strawberry Cake (a.k.a. Chinese Birthday Cake)

Strawberry Whipped Cream Cake, A.K.A. the Chinese or Japanese Birthday Cake

My favorite cake of all time is the Japanese Strawberry Cake.  I have wonderful memories of visiting Little Tokyo in Downtown LA as a child, and getting a slice of this insanely delicious, light, and delicate cake from the Japanese bakery.  The year I got my very first real job (2000), I decided to buy [...]

Kaffir Lime & Lemongrass Leaf Cupcakes with Coconut frosting

Kaffir Lime & Lemongrass Leaf Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting

So, I USED to have a ton of lemongrass growing in the backyard.  It’s a long story, but basically, I was standing there watering my beloved lemongrass plants when I noticed a snake slithering out of the thicket.  Triangular shaped head, rattle on the tail, diamond shaped markings.  Yup… a young Western Diamondback Rattlesnake had [...]

Pork Tamales in July


I love tamales.  I remember my first taste of a tamale was in the 5th grade, when a classmate shared her lunch with me.  Since then, I’ve always looked forward to eating tamales around Christmas time when all the local Mexican restaurants have them available for bulk purchase. Frozen tamales from the supermarket just don’t [...]

Brown Derby Grapefruit Cupcakes

Grapefruit Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

The Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood was famous for a variety of reasons: it was the “it” hangout for celebrities back in the day (Clark Gable, Lucille Ball…), the iconic dome shaped architecture that resembled a man’s Derby hat, the supposed birthplace of the Cobb salad… and last (but not least) the origin of the legendary Brown [...]

Flower shaped Mini Lemon Curd Tarts

lemon curd tart

I am currently in the process of making Limoncello… which takes 80 days.   After zesting about 15 lemons for that recipe (check back in 80 days for results), I had 15 lemons worth of juice.  My husband got sick of drinking lemon drop martinis, so I made lemon curd with the remaining juice.  Now I [...]

Homemade Corn Tortillas

corn tortillas

So how can I live in San Diego (or Southern California for that matter) without learning how to make fresh corn tortillas?  They are so EASY to make, and the taste of freshly made tortillas is to die for… perfect for soft tacos!  (I’ve been making grilled shrimp tacos using lime-coconut marmalade as a marinade, [...]

Blood Orange Loaf Cake

blood orange cake

Blood oranges are amazing fruits… orange colored peel, with red/orange vesicles within the endocarp.  I received a generous gift of some lovely homegrown blood oranges, and immediately thought they would be perfect for an adaptation of Ina Garten’s amazing Lemon Yogurt Cake. This cake did not disappoint, and makes a wonderful gift.  You can divide one recipe [...]