THE APPLE

Way back when I was a baby (and by baby, I mean in my ’20s, in the ’80s, in Chicago), there was no better post-club cure than a trip to the Lincoln Park Walker Brothers.* My go-to was two eggs (over easy), bacon, hash browns, and rye toast. But for the table, we always got what…

#crumblebrag

Behold, the humble crumble. Not much to look at. Kinda slumpy, really. But this rhubarb-rye dessert’s beauty—warming and comforting and rich and heady with the cool spring’s first harvest—can’t adequately be captured by the camera. For that, you need your nose. And a spoon. Rhubarb-Rye Crumble Sized for two generous portions (with maybe a little…

A Tree Grows in Philly

It’s not a giant tree. I think, actually, it’s a “semi-dwarf” tree. But now, in its seventh full year in soil, it’s cranking out quarts and quarts and quarts of sweet, plump cherries faster than we can pick and eat and process them. Over the past 18 months, the vacant lots behind us have gone from an…

How much Fall can you squeeze into a cake?

Yes, of course I realize baseball season’s behind us by several weeks now—unless you’re in Philadelphia or Chicago, in which case you abandoned hope in, oh, late July. Nevertheless, my resistance to fall flavors (and to puns) is equally futile. This supermoist and only lightly sweet ring cake is so packed with pumpkin, apples, cranberries, nuts, ginger, cinnamon, and…

Honey-Roasted Rhubarb

The fine folks at Greensgrow Farms recently asked me to guest blog for them on how my garden weathered our extreme winter.  I lost four long-established climbing roses, every single perennial herb except some scraggly sage, about half my grapes, and the real heartbreaker: my prolific fig tree. On the bright side, well, my garden’s regained a bright…

Let them eat (parsnip-carrot) cake

  Even those of us who love parsnips and carrots suffered a little root fatigue this winter. The carrots were a little easier to work through—so sweet for snacking (or soup or pancakes)—but the ‘snips required a bit more effort. I do love parsnips, but, right or wrong, they’re typecast for me, relegated to a supporting role…

Squashapalooza 2.0: Butternut Cupcakes

As promised on Thanksgiving, here’s the recipe for those killer butternut-squash cupcakes. Inspired by one of the most beautifully art-directed cookbooks I own, Jamie Oliver’s Jamie at Home, these moist, delicately scented cakelets are reminiscent of carrot cake—and from henceforth are my go-to, bring-along sweet for fall potlucks. Jamie dubs them muffins, but after I sampled a…

Plum-Topped Olive Oil Cake

Saw it in the Times this morning; 90 minutes later, it was cooling on the counter. Happy birthday, Brian and Megan.

Groundcherry-Phyllo Bundles

Swaddled in their own rustic gift paper, groundcherries are actually relatives of tomatillos—not the tree-grown stone fruit they’re named for—and they share some of the citrusy, tropical tang we associate with that green, husked staple of Mexican cuisine. When the CSA shares arrived yesterday, I couldn’t resist tasting a couple straight from the box. Sure…