Lemon Pudding Bundt Cake

Lemon Pudding Bundt Cake

At home, I have this old beat up bundt pan from the 1980′s – it has dents all over, and the inside is really scratched up.  Despite the condition of the pan, it was one of my favorites… mainly because it’s one of the first cake pans I used when I learned how to bake [...]

Steak Diane

Steak Diane

Steak Diane was a popular American dish back in the mid to late 20th century.  This was a pan-fried steak (often prepared tableside) served in a sauce made of pan-juices and flambéed with brandy or cognac.  These days, you don’t see Steak Diane on many restaurant menus… but it remains a delicious way to prepare [...]

Homemade Fresh Guava Jam

Homemade Fresh Guava Jam

Last week, some friends gave us a bag of guavas from their backyard tree.  The guavas were perfectly ripe, and very fragrant… Great timing, as I was planning to make some fall jams and jellies to give away during the holidays! While some guava jam recipes don’t call for added pectin… I think it’s a [...]

Simple Ratatouille (French Provençal Vegetable Stew)

Ratatouille (Mediterranean Vegetable Stew)

Although it is now officially “autumn”, the tomato plants in my garden must not have gotten the memo…. a few days ago, I had a ton of tomatoes sitting on the counter and I wasn’t sure what to do with them.  When my farm box arrived (it’s a once a month service that delivers produce [...]

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte (and Syrup Recipe)


Last week, I saw that Pumpkin Spice Latte season (at Starbucks) officially started!  This is probably my most favorite hot fall beverage, and I look forward to it every year.  But every year, the PSL comes and goes… and we only have a short window of time to enjoy it.  :(  So last year, thinking [...]

Spicy Chicken Corn Chowder

Spicy Chicken Corn Chowder

Here’s a quick weeknight dinner recipe… spicy chicken corn chowder, which can be made (mostly) with pantry ingredients: canned chicken broth, a can of evaporated milk, and a can of Costco chicken breast.  For fresh ingredients, I use 2 ears of corn (you can substitute with frozen corn kernels), an onion, bell pepper, cilantro, and [...]

Zaru Soba (Cold Japanese Buckwheat Noodles)

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Cold soba noodles are a Japanese summer staple… when the weather gets really hot, these buckwheat noodles make a very refreshing and light meal (especially when you don’t feel like eating anything too hot or heavy).  This type of soba is served with various toppings (usually nori and chopped green onion), along with a side [...]

Langostino Scampi and Polenta

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Last time I went to Costco, I found a new item – frozen (cooked) Langostino tails.  What are “langostinos“?  Here in the U.S., “langostinos” refer to the Squat lobster (which is not what we think of as a real “lobster” – it’s actually a species related to hermit crabs).  Do not confuse “langostino” with “langoustes” [...]

Affogato (Italian espresso and ice cream or gelato)


In Italian, “affogato” means “drowned” or “drowned in coffee“…. and refers to an Italian espresso-based beverage (or dessert) in which hot espresso is poured over a scoop of ice cream or gelato. In it’s simplest form, you would just pair a shot of espresso with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to make an Affogato. [...]

Cioppino (Seafood Stew)

Homemade Cioppino

Cioppino is a tomato-based seafood stew which is traditionally made from the catch of the day (typically a combination of Dungeness crab, clam, mussels, shrimp, scallops, squid, and fish).  While many people think of this dish as being Italian, it actually hails from San Francisco, California!  During the late 1800′s, San Francisco fisherman would cook up [...]