Archive for Dessert First

Christmastime is Here: Totoro Linzer Cookies

Totoro Linzer Cookies grid

Happy holidays! It’s the season of  joy and wonder and wishes come true, and these Totoro linzer cookies might make it just a bit more magical.

I was struggling for Christmas cookie inspiration this year. Rescue came in the form of…

Vanilla Apple Cider Panna Cottas

Vanilla Apple Cider Panna Cottas

Inspired by the beautiful panna cotta I had at the Botanist Gin dinner, I wanted to make a panna cotta dessert for the holidays. Since I had apple cider for Thanksgiving in the house, I used this recipe from Food and…

Dinner with The Botanist Gin

Botanist Citrus Fizz

Although cocktails aren’t my main focus in the kitchen, there’s no time like the holidays to get me to stretch beyond my standard glass of wine. Last month I was invited to a dinner in San Francisco celebrating The Botanist…

Normandy Apple Tart

Normandy Apple Tart

Dorie Greenspan’s Normandy apple tart makes a perfect canvas for some tart crust creativity. Baking confession: although I love making pies and tarts, I haven’t gotten on the elaborate works-of-art crust decorating trend until now! But with a daughter who…

Apple Meringue Crumb Cake


The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting crisper, and fall baking season is fully underway.  I’ve spent the last few weekends baking various things with apples because it just feels so properly autumnal, and also because Isabelle, at four and half,…

{San Francisco}: Farallon Celebrates 20 Years




photo courtesy of Farallon.

Twenty years after its opening, Farallon remains one of San Francisco’s most famous and celebrated restaurants.  Farallon holds a special place in my heart; it’s one of the first “grownup” dining experiences I had after graduating college and starting my…

{San Francisco}: Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival 2017


It’s hard to believe the Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival is in its 22th year! This yearly event turns the famous Ghirardelli Square into a celebration of all things chocolatey. Besides their famous chocolate squares and their ice cream sundaes, the Ghirardelli Chocolate company…

Mango and Lime Frangipane Galette


What I made last week: a mango and lime frangipane galette, a tropical re-imagining of my favorite fall-is-almost-here pastry. The calendar says September but it’s still as sultry as summer, with even a thunderstorm or two. All this humidity is making me feel…

{San Francisco}: Eat Drink SF 2017


photo courtesy of Gamma Nine

Eat Drink SF 2017,  the ultimate celebration of Bay Area food, wine, and spirits, is my favorite way to close out summer. Over 130 Bay Area restaurants, along with over 70 bars, wineries, and distilleries served up…

{Sweet San Francisco}: Coletta Gelato and Chocolate Sorbet


Coletta Gelato, a new ice cream shop in San Francisco’s SOMA district, has gelato so tasty I wish I still lived nearby – a handful of years ago it would have been walking distance from my apartment. In a city…

{Travel}: One Week in Oahu



What to you when you have one week in Oahu? Besides wishing it were two weeks? Our official summer vacation was a return to Hawaii, where I haven’t been since before Isabelle was born, meaning it’s been far too long. This…

Summer at the Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe Lake Club


There’s summer in Lake Tahoe, and there’s summer at the Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe. A few weeks I got to experience a very special slice of heaven at the opening of the Lake Club, the new addition to the hotel…

Summer Snapshots: SF Sweet Spots


Hello dear readers,

It wasn’t quite summer when I wrote my last post, and now we’re almost halfway through. I’ve missed writing here, although the reason behind my absence is a happy one: I’ve been enjoying my summer travels! A combination of…

Dinner at Palo on the Disney Wonder (plus Palo’s Limoncello Tart)


One of the clear highlights of my Alaska cruise was dinner at Palo on the Disney Wonder, the adults-only Italian fine dining restaurant on the ship. I talked about it briefly in my last Alaska post, and now I’m excited…

{Palo Alto}: [esc] at Four Seasons Silicon Valley


Is [esc] at Four Seasons Silicon Valley the perfect escape? [esc], the new cafe/lounge space in the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley is a sleek and welcome addition to the luxury hotel. Chef Eric Keppler, the in-house…