Add Some Spice to Your (Cooking) Life

20160925_135636Earlier this week at the KOH Library and Cultural Center in Sacramento I presented a program on herbs and spices in Jewish cuisine. It was a very enjoyable evening, during which I shared the lectern with Heather Wong, an enterprising and knowledgeable young woman who recently opened The Allspicery, a store in downtown Sacramento devoted entirely to selling herbs and spices. I spoke about the trade routes and the Silk Road and how spices were brought to communities across the known world. Continue reading

Sour Cream-Blueberry Crumb Cake

In our recent travels in Maine and Canada’s Maritime Provinces we were greeted by larger-than-life reminders of one of their common popular products.

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It’s blueberry season here, too, and what is in the markets is not only very tasty but often quite reasonably priced. We have them frequently in a first-course fruit salad and at least a few times during the summer in a terrific sour cream cake.

IMG_4095This recipe, adapted from Tish Boyle’s THE CAKE BOOK, was recommended by a member of my Bay Area Bakers Dozen group and has been a favorite in our house from the first time I made it. Continue reading

Passover Banana Coffeecake with Cinnamon Streusel

IMG_4795Here’s a cake that is at once fluffy and crunchy–a little different from the usual  Passover spongecake. While it won’t win any beauty contest, it is great with a cup of coffee or tea any time of day. This dessert is both kosher for Passover and non-dairy if oil is used for preparing the baking dish. Continue reading