Friday, February 28, 2014

Delicata Squash Burgers

Closeup of Burger on Bun with Tomato, Lettuce, and Parsley
Delicata Squash Makes Golden Burgers

Recipe adapted from Allrecipes

In case you haven’t heard, the world’s largest online foodie community,, now publishes a bi-monthly print edition. Recently an article in Allrecipes about in-season winter squash featured this recipe by Kphanie, who says that it makes wonderful ravioli stuffing as well as burgers. Delicata squash has a light flavor and just enough texture to hold a burger together. Though these burgers aren’t “meaty,” they’re agreeably flavored and textured, with sundried tomatoes, shallots, garlic, and Parmesan cheese adding to the delicate squash flavor. An excellent use of my last home-grown squash from 2013’s harvest, especially since my husband isn’t crazy about delicatas as-is.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Pineapple Rum Tortuga Cake

Piece of Pineapple Tortuga Cake showing Almond Topping
Moist & Rich Cake with Ground Almond Topping

Recipe Adapted from Various Sources

This year Pirates Kidnapped the Luau (party), so my usual Aloha-style Ginger Frosted Pineapple Cake—from Cooking By Moonlight—needed some Caribbean-ization. King Arthur’s Flour’s blog and Wuvie from Instructables helped me create a pineapple variation of a Tortuga Rum Cake. The most important detail of this recipe is that it must be made a day or two in advance to allow the rum glaze to mellow and permeate the cake. It’s best when left overnight in the pan before flipping onto the serving plate and enjoying. The flavor and texture are worth the wait!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Persimmon Ginger Sauce for Pancakes

Rolled up Pancakes with persimmon sauce, extra sauce in cruet
Persimmons in (and on) Blankets

Recipe by Robin

Anyone with a persimmon tree will tell you that there is such a thing as too many persimmons, especially Hachiya persimmons, the kind that get squishy as they ripen. Leaving them to the birds and raccoons is an option, unless the trees are near your house or walkway, in which case Mother Nature can create a slippery yet sticky mess. And so it was that my friend Bill gifted me with a large box of persimmons in December, once again. I froze many of these, but had an inspired idea for them last week when the persimmony taste in a persimmon pancake recipe was too subtle. Thus was born a sweet, delicate, spiced sauce to be served with the pancakes that takes 5 minutes or less to prepare.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Persimmon Pancakes with Almonds (or Without)

Stack of Almond Persimmon Pancakes
Great with Maple Syrup or Butter

Recipe adapted from the Missouri Botanical Garden

I love visiting botanical gardens. As members of the UC Botanical Gardens at Berkeley, my family members are graced with free admission to hundreds of botanical gardens throughout the US. This means walking in nature just about anywhere that we travel domestically, including large cities. St. Louis’ Missouri Botanical Garden, which we have not yet explored, provided this recipe in its fascinating Foodology blog. Research specialist (and foodie) Andrew Townesmith created this recipe when he found some wild American persimmons during a late fall camping trip.  Townesmith has tasted over 450 edible wild plants in conjunction with his work at the garden’s William L. Brown Center, which explores the relationship between human cultures and food plants. Nice work if you can get it!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Whole Orange Cake

Closeup of Whole Orange Cake Slice
Sunny Side of Winter

Recipe by Sunset Magazine & Orange County Fair Centennial Cookbook”

There’s something compelling about the idea of a whole orange cake. Ever since a reader suggested it a year ago (last orange season), I’ve wanted to make one. But a complex and rich cake like this, with twice the amount of butter than I typically use required a special occasion. When our first mahjong gathering of the Year of the Horse converged with our first and much-needed rainy days of 2014 last weekend, a whole orange cake was born.