Dessert First + Alessi: Raspberry Hazelnut Frangipane Tartlets

May 23rd, 2014 · No Comments · Recipes, Tarts

 raspberry frangipane tartlets and petnic
raspberry frangipane tartlets and petnic

It's almost Memorial Day weekend, and I hope you all have picnics and barbecues and welcome-to-summer festivities awaiting you! In honor of the holiday, I thought this new piece from Alessi's spring/summer collection, PetNic, fit the summer theme perfectly.


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A Valentine from Me and Driscoll’s

February 8th, 2013 · 8 Comments · Chocolate, Fruit, Ice Cream, Recipes

Triple Berry Semifreddo on

Three weeks into motherhood and I’ve noticed how time has taken on a particularly elastic quality. I spend literally the entire day at home: I’ll go through several rinse-and-repeat cycles of feeding, changing, and lulling baby to sleep, and yet somehow it’s always a surprise to look outside and see the sky darkening already. Has she already fed that many times today? What did I have for lunch? Did I even eat lunch? Is that a half-written e-mail on my computer from this morning? Or was it from yesterday? What day is it, anyway? (Very fitting that Groundhog Day was a few days ago, as that’s how I feel these days!)


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1 + 1 =

September 10th, 2012 · 34 Comments · Cookies, Personal, Recipes

palmier family 1

Things have slowed down here a bit here lately on the site. The reasons are myriad: summer vacation distractions, working on sated magazine issue #2, but really there’s one main reason I haven’t been able to show up as often as I like. I’ll let Snickers help me make the announcement:


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Prepare to Get Sated

April 30th, 2012 · 174 Comments · Chocolate, Cookies, Recipes, Sated

sated issue1 cover

Dear readers,

It’s been a little while since my last cookbook was published. Some of my friends have been asking me what my next project would be, and I’m so excited to finally be able to announce it to the world:

I have been collaborating with Stephanie of the beautiful Desserts for Breakfast to create a new food magazine! About nine months ago, while sharing thoughts about our personal goals, we started tossing around the idea of producing our own magazine, to reflect our own particular vision of food. The idea evolved over months of late night discussions and lots of hard work, into sated magazine.

Sounds ambitious and a little crazy, right? Yes to both. There were several times when Stephanie and I looked at each other and we weren’t sure when the light at the end of the tunnel would appear. Obviously there’s so much more to creating a publication than writing words and taking photos. But in the end, all the behind-the-scenes work is worth it if you, the audience, can see our words and images presented the way we envisioned them being seen.

What is sated? sated is a quarterly production dedicated to beautiful images and thoughtful writings about food. Each issue will explore a single subject, such as chocolate, flour, or fruit, through recipes, interviews, stories, art, and photography. The end result is an intersection of culinary magazine and coffee table artbook.

sated is intended to be a print publication – although we’re working out an electronic option, we think it’s best appreciated in hardcopy format. Our hope is that sated is the type of magazine you keep on your bookshelf  or leave on your coffee table, not the kind of monthly magazine that gets read once and then recycled. That’s also why we’re starting out quarterly: to give us the time to research and produce the quality of content we want.

Here’s the concept statement I wrote in my notebook: sated is a peek into the notebook of your well-traveled bon vivant friend with a deep appreciation for the past and a streak of whimsy. She is the one who knows the origin of opera cake and finds a way to make a modern twist on it. She is the one who can talk about the differences between ten kinds of butter in a simple and funny way that makes you want to go out and buy all of them. When you open her journal, you’ll find notes on why using a molinillo to froth chocolate works best, a recipe for cinnamon brioche she wrangled from the owner of a fabulous B&B she just visited, a favorite quote from MFK Fisher, a photo of an apple orchard in fall afternoon light. She takes the best of the past and the present and combines it into her own ideal world.

sated is food with intimacy and personality. We want readers to feel like they are being invited into their friend’s home – their friend who is eager to share her enthusiasm for food . There’s so much information on food out there today that people feel overwhelmed with the need to be up to date on everything. sated isn’t looking to be trendy. sated is a leisurely exploration into the sideways and byways of food  – its history, its meaning, and most importantly its beauty.

Our first issue of sated is dedicated to dark chocolate – a fairly easy choice for two dessert lovers! We’ll put the table of contents up on the sated site soon, but we’ve put together some pretty great content I’m proud of: articles about the craft chocolate movement, how-to features, chocolate guides, and, of course, lots of chocolate recipes accompanied by Stephanie’s stunning photography. We are wrapping up production and we’re looking to announce its release within the next couple of weeks. So prepare yourself to get sated.

I’ve been blogging about food for five and a half years now, and I’ve gotten some truly amazing opportunities through my site. I hope I never stop blogging, but as my Facebook profile says, I’m always looking for the next horizon. Having written my own books and for other publications, I wanted to take on a new creative project that would challenge me and help me expand both my existing skills and develop new ones.

I’m a pretty private (shy) person, which may sound strange for someone who writes about her life weekly on a public blog. I’m still surprised when friends or acquaintances outside the food world come up to me and say they’ve visited my site. I tend not to broadcast my inner thoughts and aspirations too publicly – probably stemming from my twin tendencies to be self-reliant and to fear failure. Easier to share things when they’re all finished and done, and all the rough edges hidden away behind the curtain. So yes, I downplayed this magazine for a while, even to my friends, so I wouldn’t have to answer anyone, “oh, that magazine thing I was working on? Yeah, I have no idea what I’m doing or where it’s going,” or “oh, the magazine project? yeah, that didn’t quite pan out the way I planned.”

But the time for self-doubt is over. So sated is me throwing my windows open to the world, a public statement from me and Stephanie about how we feel about food, so I hope you’ll support us, and tell all your friends about it, and let us know what you think. Visit the website to learn about the magazine – we’ll be posting up more material and updates, and when the magazine is published you’ll be able to purchase it through the site. Also, if you’re interested in contributing to sated, use the e-mail links on the site.  I mentioned that I have a hard time asking for help, but a magazine is not a two-person job, and I have no problem saying that out loud now! To fully realize the vision we have for sated, we’ll need many more talented people on our team. If you’re intrigued by the sated mission, drop us a line!

chocolate sables overhead

To help celebrate the announcement of this magazine, I’m sharing a recipe that I made for the San Francisco Food Bloggers Bake Sale last weekend. Thank you to all of you who came out and supported us, by the way – it was a great event and everyone enjoyed themselves, and we raised quite a bit for Share Our Strength!

I made a duo of cookies, one of which was Chocolate Raspberry Sablés. Sablés are one of my favorite cookies for their dreamy, crumbly texture – butter and sugar meshed into a delicate cohesion, ready to melt at the lightest bite into crisp-tender goodness in your mouth. Two secrets: don’t overwork the dough and don’t overbake. I added some freeze-dried raspberries (chocolate and raspberry are one of my favorite combinations) for a bright burst of contrast. These are wonderfully poppable – and addictive.

Also, we’re running a giveaway to celebrate sated. We are giving away two copies of the premier issue of sated to Dessert First and Desserts for Breakfast readers. There are several chances for you to enter:

1)Leave a comment on this post for one entry.

2) Leave a comment on the Desserts for Breakfast post for one entry.

3) Follow sated on Twitter and tweet about it for one entry (you do not need to post a comment here; we’ll track it through Twitter).

4) Like sated on Facebook and leave a comment on the page for one entry (you do not need to post a separate comment here).

5) Sign up to be on sated’s mailing list for one entry (you do not need to post a separate comment here).

The giveaway will run until May 18, at which point we’ll choose two lucky winners at random to receive the very first issue of sated.


Thanks so much and good luck! Please stay tuned for more updates, including previews of issue one!

chocolate sables

Chocolate Raspberry Sablés

makes about 3 dozen cookies
  • 1 1/4 cups (156 g) all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (29 g) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 11 tablespoons (156 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup freeze dried raspberries
  • Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Beat butter in a stand mixer until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add sugar and cream for another 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Add in egg and beat to combine.
  • Add in flour mixture and beat just until combine and the mixture starts to come together. Do not overmix - it should still be crumbly but if you press it together with your hands it will stick together.
  • Divide dough in half and roll into 1 1/2 inch diameter logs. The dough should hold together; if it does not you can mix it a little more in the mixer but try not to turn it into a completely solid ball of dough.
  • Wrap logs in plastic wrap and chill for a couple hours until firm.
  • Preheat ovens to 325 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Using a sharp knife, slice 1/2" thick rounds from the cookie logs. Place cookies about 2 inches apart on baking sheets.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating halfway through. Remove from oven and let cool on wire racks.

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Raspberry Cocoa Nib Coffee Cake

March 28th, 2011 · 17 Comments · Cakes, Personal, Recipes


Thanks to everyone who entered the Daily Gourmet/NewTree giveaway! The five winners are: Michelle, Jessica, Jessicah89, Debbie, and Kristin! Congrats to you all!

We had company last week: my brother-in-law had the honor of being our first houseguest to use our (finally)properly fitted out second bedroom. (Previous guests enjoyed the luxury of our living room couch while the second bedroom served as our glorified storage closet). The organization of our place has reached a kind of halfway inertia, like the interminable midpoint of a marathon. All our public spaces are perfectly presentable – on most days, at least, while we take advantage of the doors to all our private bedrooms to hide the multitude of home-decorating failures: bare walls, still-unpacked boxes, miscellany and ephemera as yet unsorted. Another roadblock to my dream of a fully-organized home: we need more bookshelves. Currently about 60% of my book collection is homeless, meaning my floor is a constantly-morphing library as I pile and un-pile books over each other. (This is only a pseudo-complaint, though, as I really love my books too much to ever begrudge my lost square footage).



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