holidays + special events

white chocolate cherry bark

White choco­late, dried cher­ries and salted pecans are a great com­bi­na­tion for the hol­i­days. Coconut adds another bit of depth. Remem­ber, any kind of choco­late, even the stuff that isn’t really choco­late (like “white” choco­late) is bet­ter with salt, hence … more




the gift of food

My birth­day was last month and I received some really lovely gifts. One of my favorites was from my sis­ter, Leigh. She lives in Boise on a huge par­cel of land. She’s been involved with agri­cul­ture her entire life, includ­ing … more




tasty gluten-free Thanksgiving side dishes

Thanks­giv­ing doesn’t have to be a huge carb fest. In addi­tion to the req­ui­site Sweet Potato Casse­role and Dress­ing (bread-based dish baked out­side the bird), load your menu full of veg­gies and inter­est­ing sal­ads. Here’s a few stan­dards that are … more




thanksgiving desserts

The meal after the meal, if we’re being hon­est. I can’t think of another occa­sion when desserts are so heav­ily fea­tured. We love to eat half por­tions of every­thing, so we can taste every pos­si­ble sam­pling. That’s just com­mon sense. … more




tips for surviving the holidays

I love the hol­i­days. LOVE them. I know the house will be clean, the sil­ver pol­ished, the stemware shinny and the food deli­cious. How­ever, for me to truly enjoy the hol­i­days, I always employ a few time tested strate­gies because … more




pan roasted frenched pork rib chops with chutney and cabernet demi-glace

I wanted to develop a really com­plex recipe for frenched pork chops. I love the pre­sen­ta­tion of a frenched chop and the result­ing moist­ness from any cut of meat with the bone left intact. (If you can’t find frenched chops, … more




gluten-free brownie parfait

I don’t know about you, but I’m always look­ing for ways to make food stretch at my house. At any given time, I have between two (the ones I’ve got), and eight kids at my house. An easy dessert is … more




happy v-day

A few good­ies to make for your favorite Valen­tines on this day of splurg­ing. Valen­tine Bon­bons Choco­late Almond Bark Straw­berry Banana Cake Melissa’s Choco­late Peanut Butter Cups     




super bowl sunday

I’m a west coaster who loves San Fran­cisco (the city and the food) so I’m root­ing for the 49ers (even though they trounced San Diego back in 1994 to a tune of 48–26 — ouch). How­ever, liv­ing in D.C. for … more




thanksgiving feasts

Thanks­giv­ing pro­vides my favorite meal dur­ing my favorite time of the year. In South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, Novem­ber has almost as many sunny days at our sun­ni­est month, August. The only dif­fer­ence is a chill in the air and wind that blows … more




keeping the monsters at bay

This post appears cour­tesy of Gen­er­a­tion Res­cue. 7 Tips for Man­ag­ing Your Kid’s Hal­loween Expec­ta­tions Hal­loween, one of everyone’s favorite times of year, is just around the cor­ner. And so are all the can­dies your kids can’t eat. Never fear, … more




valentines sweets for your sweeties

A few ideas for Valentine’s Day…        valen­tine bon­bons choco­late almond bark cos­mopoli­tan cham­pagne cock­tails straw­berry cup­cakes melissa’s choco­late peanut but­ter cups Happy Valentine’s Day!    




turkey stock and soup

We have a post Thanks­giv­ing tra­di­tion that wouldn’t be the same with­out Turkey Soup. It started with my mother-in-law, Anka, and I’m happy to carry the tra­di­tion for­ward. As much a tra­di­tion as Thanks­giv­ing itself, the day after offers a … more




turkey shortcake

I can’t, for the life me, think why my dad called this dish “turkey short­cake.” It’s got to be a weird south­ern thing. Nev­er­the­less, the Thanks­giv­ing left­over I remem­ber most fondly from my child­hood is this oddly named dish con­sist­ing … more




thanksgiving day feast

I love Thanks­giv­ing — set­ting a beau­ti­ful table and bring­ing out my grandmother’s stemware. I love that my fam­ily comes together and that my hus­band sets his tri­pod up and gets a fam­ily pic­ture each year, in the same spot … more




gluten-free pumpkin banana mousse tart

This is hands down, my son’s favorite recipe “in the world.” Last year for Thanks­giv­ing, he had three small slices and snuck another four, so he con­fessed the next morn­ing. This recipe, orig­i­nally from Ina Garten, is also my favorite now … more




sweet potato casserole

There is no other meal I can think of, where we hold tighter to our sacro­sanct tra­di­tions than Thanks­giv­ing. For every per­son who par­takes, I find there are one or two dishes that must be on the table for the … more




halloween delights

Let me just warn you…I love Hal­loween. Not the gory Fred­die Kruger stuff like gross out bloody masks with all man­ner of hard­ware and veins pop­ping out, but a whim­si­cal Hal­loween with lots of carved pump­kins and sea­sonal treats. It’s … more




body parts in goo

My friend San­dra came up with these grue­some crowd pleasers. The kids loved these at our last Hal­loween party. You can use gummy worms or any thing else dis­gust­ing that will delight your chil­dren. Prep time:  30 min­utes Total time: … more




a gluten-free baby shower

Five years after host­ing a wed­ding shower for my niece Erin, I was delighted to be throw­ing her a baby shower. We had 22 guests for a fully gluten-free lun­cheon, com­plete with appe­tiz­ers and drinks, and vanilla straw­berry cup­cakes with … more




hard-boiled egg spiders

If you fol­low a spe­cial diet, be sure to include cal­cium rich foods.  Cal­cium is an impor­tant nutri­ent, espe­cially when you or your child is on a dairy-free (casein-free) diet. Cal­cium is impor­tant for strong bones, as well as sup­port­ing … more




mother’s day brunch

To cel­e­brate your mom, here’s a few brunch choices that are sure to please. I’ve made each and every one of these dishes for Mother’s Day cel­e­bra­tions for my own mom. They work for a small group or large and … more




easter brunch

When I was lit­tle, Easter wasn’t Easter until my mom had made all us girls new dresses. But the fun part was after the church ser­vice at Easter break­fast. The men of our church pre­pared, cooked and served pan­cakes, scram­bled … more




jewish easter

I know. It’s a bit of an oxy­moron. But when best friends don’t share the same faith, reli­gious tra­di­tions take on a whole new slant…our Christ­mukkah cel­e­bra­tion of last year is a case in point. Shar­ing reli­gious tra­di­tions, along with … more




mother-daughter gluten-free tea

The tra­di­tion of hav­ing tea with my daugh­ter started when she was 7. Now at nearly 12, we try to go to our favorite tea house, Aubrey Rose, about every six weeks. With a few days notice, they can pro­vide … more




go greenbay?

Since the Charg­ers, once again, made a great show­ing then fiz­zled in the 11th hour, I am a bit ambiva­lent about who wins the Super­bowl. My friend Mark, a dyed in the wool Steel­ers fan, will once again nearly pop … more




new year’s at home with the kids

As much as I love the idea of a cock­tail party, this year we are walk­ing down the street to our good friend’s home to cel­e­brate east coast style. Yep — 9:00 p.m. San Diego time and all our bells … more




a cocktail party for the new year

Whether or not you’ve packed the hol­i­day dec­o­ra­tions away, on New Year’s Eve, hope­fully you’ll be able to par­take of one last cel­e­bra­tion. There’s some­thing renew­ing about Jan­u­ary 31st. It’s an oppor­tu­nity to be thank­ful for the year you’ve had. … more




champagne cosmopolitan cocktail

I adapted this from an old Bon Appetit recipe from years ago. This is a won­der­ful hol­i­day cock­tail. You can serve it at Thanks­giv­ing, Christ­mas, New Year’s and Valen­tines Day or for any party, really. This is a reg­u­lar fix­ture … more




merry christmas and happy holidays

No recipe today, or for a few days, as I am tak­ing time with my fam­ily. What­ever hol­i­day you cel­e­brate, I hope this sea­son is a time of peace and joy for you and yours. I know, how­ever, that those … more




quickest ever GFCF peppermint bark

Short of bit­ing into a candy cane while you’ve got a mouth­ful of choco­late chips, this recipe is the eas­i­est way to pro­duce that won­der­ful chocolate-peppermint com­bi­na­tion but GFCF style — with­out the milk. No blocks of choco­late, no lay­er­ing … more




peppermint bark

I love this stuff. It’s totally addict­ing, so I’m glad candy canes are only avail­able at Christ­mas, or I’d be in trou­ble. This is a fun thing to do with friends or with your kids. It’s a lit­tle tricky. Just … more




split pea soup

I make this every Thanks­giv­ing from the left­over ham bone. I cook for quite a crowd — two turkeys and two hams because we love lots of left­overs! This is way to make your hol­i­day ham really stretch, and makes … more




holiday roast turkey with gravy

Thanks­giv­ing is my favorite meal of the entire year — so much so that I repli­cate it for Christ­mas with a few changes. Maybe you can too. As for me, when the house smells like roast­ing turkey and bacon, I … more




dad’s tart

Last week­end, we brought our kids and their two friends to the Veteran’s Day Parade down­town. It started with high school bands march­ing in per­fect time with their shiny instru­ments, wip­ing beads of sweat from their fore­heads. Flag twirlers fol­lowed … more




holiday bread dressing

My lit­tle boy is 7 and a half (as he will tell you) and he just had his first bite of dress­ing, thank you very much to Udi’s Gluten-Free Bread. Thanks­giv­ing din­ner is my absolute favorite din­ner of the entire … more




cranberry relish

This is a sta­ple at any Thanks­giv­ing table, but I make it year ’round. It’s the per­fect top­ping for a slice of brie atop a rice cracker. Many peo­ple like addi­tional fruit (raisins, apples, cur­rants) or nuts (wal­nuts, pecans) in … more




sauteed haricoverts

I feel like I make a thou­sand deci­sions a day. So when I’m stand­ing in front of the pro­duce aisle try­ing to fig­ure out what to pre­pare that night, I wish some­one would just TELL me what to make. It … more




homemade chicken stock

A few nights ago we had a won­der­ful rotis­serie chicken din­ner with our old­est friends, Dan and Deb­bie, and their three dar­ling girls. With Thanks­giv­ing around the cor­ner, I was eying their chicken car­casses. When they told me they were … more




holiday rice pilaf

This pilaf is a won­der­ful com­pli­ment to the No-Fail Roasted Chicken or the Roasted Turkey & Gravy. Stud­ded with orange-infused cran­ber­ries, toasted almonds and fresh scal­lions, it’s per­fect for the hol­i­days, but I serve it year around. The wild rice … more




apple crisp

Like an apple pie but with­out the crust. Good for any time of year, but best in fall, I think, when the apples are per­fectly ripe. I’ve made it a cou­ple dif­fer­ent ways — with almond flour in the top­ping … more




creepy cupcakes

If you’re look­ing for some fun treats for your child’s class party, these cup­cakes offer a bit of whimsy with a slight ick fac­tor. Just use a pack­aged mix — I like Cher­ry­brook Kitchen or Pamela’s Choco­late Cake mixes and … more




roasted turkey breast & gravy

Thanks­giv­ing din­ner is my favorite meal of the year.  It’s not just that I love roast turkey or the smell of apple pie and the the long table my daugh­ter and I set every year. I love Thanks­giv­ing because is … more




roasted carrots

It’s said that we taste first with our eyes. I love the deep rich­ness of roasted car­rots, but their color adds a par­tic­u­lar beauty to any plate. Active time: 5 min­utes Total time: 25 min­utes Yield: 4–6 serv­ings 6 car­rots, cut … more