vineyard_jack_london

Spring Abounds At Jack London Park (and a poem)

Growing up in England, most Sunday afternoons—following a gloriously large roast lunch—inevitably involved going out for a walk of some description. As kids, we were mostly coerced into this activity. Wet. Cold. Muddy. Dark. I have to say, my recollections of these post-prandial excursions seem to be limited to the depths of winter.

lichen

No matter. This past weekend I decided that it was high time we adopted this ritual Chez Alice and Monkey. (Yes it was the the Super Bowl, and no, I didn’t watch it.) So after a bitter defeat in basketball, I put Monkey in the car—with what amounted to bodily force, and off we drove to Jack London Park in Glen Ellen, Sonoma Co. > Read more

socca

Socca: Only Provence Could Give Us This Irresistible Healthy Snack

Provence is high on the list of the world’s top food havens, and for me, it deserves that reputation for doing simple fare, exceptionally well. Take the amazing wood-fired Provence-style pizzas you can buy at most farmers’ markets, or the cured meats and olives. Socca, a simple Provencal pancake made from chickpea flour, water and flavored with rosemary, is about as simple as it gets.

Olives_provence_market

Olives and sun-dried tomatoes for sale in Provence

Socca is also made in the Liguria region of Italy where it’s called farinata. One of the reasons that I’m such a fan is that it’s gluten-free, impossible to mess up and a favorite with kids. > Read more

cacao_bark

Cacao Coconut Bark with Almonds and Raspberries

I have a passion for dark chocolate—some might call it an addiction—and during my annual January cleanse, I am always on the look out for “clean” and tasty substitutes. Last year I came across a recipe for a chocolate fridge cake, which I  adapted to create this cacao coconut bark with almonds and raspberries.

It hits all the right notes: chocolate, a touch of sweetness without being highly glycemic, and a nice crunch. The freeze-dried raspberries offer just the right amount of tartness to offset the creamy fudge-y texture of the coconut butter and oil. The chopped almonds and cacao nibs add a little bite. The intensity of the cacao hit can be dialed up or down (apparently I get buzzed easily!), depending on your fancy. Same with the sweetness.

Should you care, these treats are vegan, paleo and raw! Without further ado, here’s the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons of organic coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup of raw organic coconut butter – I like Artisana
  • Up to 1/4 cup of raw cacao powder (use less for a milder flavor) – I like this brand available from Wholefoods
  • 1/4 cup of freeze-dried raspberries – I buy these ones from Trader Joes
  • 2 tablespoons of organic shredded coconut
  • 1-2 tablespoons of raw cacao nibs
  • 1-2 tablespoons of coconut nectar, or maple syrup (adjust for desired sweetness)
  • Two small handfuls of whole organic almonds, skins on, roughly chopped
  • Pinch of sea salt

cacao > Read more

fluffy_pancakes

The Only Pancake Recipe You’ll Ever Need

Back in the good old days, before the interweb took over the world, I would fastidiously tear out recipes from magazines and newspapers and keep them in a binder. The best-loved of those recipes would get torn, splattered with ingredients, but never lost. One of my go-to breakfast recipes is this pancake recipe, which today I gift to you via digital trickery.

It includes a secret ingredient to guarantee the fluffiest, healthiest pancakes you’ve ever tasted. Shhh… don’t tell anyone except your closest million friends.

As I’ve mentioned before, I am not much of a breakfast person, but there’s no need for me to deprive Monkey and visiting friends just because of my predilection. I’ve even taught Monkey how to make this recipe himself—it’s simple, fun and doesn’t require any type of expertise to wow your hungry companions. I’ve made this version gluten-free, but the beauty of it is you can use all sorts of ingredients to make this your very own.

eggsgluten_free_flour

> Read more

mushroom_tartine

Brunch at Petit Crenn: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

With all the hype and media love the Crenn duo of restaurants has been getting, I was excited to plan a brunch at Petit Crenn. We were headed into San Francisco to see Satchmo at the Warldof which is an insanely masterful one-man show about the life of Louis Armstrong. See it.

petit_crenn

Although I couldn’t find a phone number of the web site, and it said brunch reservations weren’t required, I managed to call ahead and make one. The interior is soothingly white with texture and interest created by hexagonal white tiles which adorn the bar (my guess is they’re from Heath) and large white ceramic pieces of art on the wall. I loved these: they are impossibly glossy and spell out french expressions like ‘enfants terrible‘, etc. There is one in dark brown that spells: chocolat. It made me want chocolate.

> Read more

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