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Easy Appetizer: Olive Artichoke Tapenade

Tiny Gualala, California is a gorgeous seaside town perched on the forested cliffs of the windswept Pacific coast, about three hours north of San Francisco (five if you’re motion-sensitive and have to keep stopping along the notoriously curvy highway to lie down on the side of the road, convulsing in a cold sweat while your …

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Dress Up Your Cheese Plate with Pan de Higo (Fig Cake)

Spanish Pan de Higo, or “fig bread,” is a perfect partner for a creamy, salty and sharp blue cheese like bleu d’Auvergne or strong hard cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano or Manchego. Who doesn’t love a good cheese plate? Juliana and I both adore a good cheese plate. Unfortunately the cheese plate’s allure—so easy to throw together …

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Truffled Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower appears, at first glance, to be the humblest of vegetables, too polite even to show off with a hint of color in its tightly bound florets. But a long roast in a hot oven has the same effect on cauliflower as a few cocktails might on a normally shy person. The heat loosens it …

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Addictive Pumpkin Soup

I was at a dinner party last night when the conversation turned to cigarette smoking. All the former smokers were commiserating about how it just got too darn inconvenient—and too socially deviant—to smoke in this country, at least here .in the health-conscious and politically correct Bay Area. Then someone brought up Ardi Rizal, the chain-smoking …

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Coconut Avocado Ice Cream

If you’re a friend of mine, or a former co-worker, or just about any acquaintance I’ve dined with at a pot-luck party, there’s a very good chance you’ve tried my homemade ice cream. And I’m not bragging, but you probably thought I was some sort of dessert genius. Thanks, but the only credit I can …

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Steamed Persimmon Pudding with Lemon Sauce

Persimmon Pudding Cake is rich and sweet. Its flavor comes mostly from Hachiya persimmons, along with a bit of sugar, vanilla, raisins, and pecans. Leafing through my recipe collection the other day, I came across this steamed persimmon pudding. It’s a festive dessert to make during persimmon season. What is persimmon pudding? This persimmon pudding …

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Sweet Potato Casserole with Bourbon and Pecans

My mother’s sister, Janet, was quite possibly sweetest person I’ve ever known. A pretty lady who had a kind word for everyone and always—and I mean that quite literally—had a smile on her face. But my mom used to tell me tales of the feisty and rebellious girl Janet was back in the day.

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Smoked Herring Smörgås

Smörgås are a diverse and adaptable traditional dish that look beautiful and are easy to make—simply pile squares of buttered dark bread with meat, fish, vegetables, cheese, eggs, herbs, or whatever else you fancy. One of our favorite appetizers from The Lazy Gourmet is our version of the Scandinavian open-faced sandwich (smørrebrød, smørbrød, and smörgås …

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