Kumquat Honeycomb Tartines

Honey softens tart kumquats in this savory-sweet, fancied up toast topped with fromage blanc, olive oil, pistachios, and plenty of flaky salt and pepper. 

Kumquat Honeycomb Tartines

I met Terry, the founder of Urban Bee SF, at a protest rally in Sacramento in early December. I had driven the long road to the state capital alone, spent 20 minutes trying to find the location, then another 10 looking for a parking lot. I’d stopped into a cafe to purchase a sad cup of tea – the water lukewarm and only drawing out a hint of flavor which mixed with honey and cream to look and taste like dishwater. I’d felt emotionally numb in the weeks since the election, filled with a constant, gnawing dread, which is why I found myself in the middle of Sacramento on a Monday morning heading to my first ever protest rally.

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Tomato Baked White Beans with Feta and Lemon Parsley Oil

Creamy white beans baked in a rich tomato sauce with loads of feta and emerald green parsley oil are a twist on the Greek dish Gigantes Plaki, inspired by Kokkari Estiatorio in San Francisco. 

Tomato Baked White Beans with Feta and Lemon Parsley Oil

*South Bay friends! I’ll be at Books Inc. Santa Clara on March 14th (Pi Day) signing copies of Alternative Baker and sharing goodies along with GF bread maven Jane Bonacci, author of The Gluten-Free Bread Machine Cookbook. I hope you’ll come join us!*

A few of weeks ago, I met Emma at Kokkari Estiatorio, a Greek restaurant in San Francisco’s Financial District. Though new to me, it was clear the moment I walked in that Kokkari is a seasoned SF establishment. I felt instantly cozy as I took a seat at the long bar, not just from the large stone fireplace and crackling fire, or the weathered wood table laden with huge loaves of freshly baked bread, or even from the glass of dry red wine handed to me by the cheery bartender; even at 5:30 on a Monday afternoon, the place was packed with friends, families, and couples all of who seemed to feel as lucky as I did to be out of the cold and anticipating a good meal.

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Chestnut Cheese Blintzes with Cranberry Applesauce {gluten-free}

Gluten-free chestnut flour crepes stuffed with fluffy cheese, fried in butter, and slathered in sour cream and cranberry applesauce – what more could you want in life? 

Chestnut Cheese Blintzes with Cranberry Applesauce {gluten-free}

I hope everyone survived Valentine’s Day! Jay and I were all set for a romantic date of Mission tacos and a walk through the city to attend a political activist group, but he woke up feeling under the weather. So instead I got the sweetest ever valentine and the promise of a box of the most delicious plant-based ice cream straight from Seattle. Not too shabby.

Also, there were blintzes.

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Citrus Ricotta Tart with Almond Corn Flour Crust {gluten-free}

Brightly-hued citrus fruits form a rainbow of color across a fluffy baked ricotta filling, all wrapped in a gluten-free almond and corn flour shortbread crust adapted from Alternative Baker.

Gluten-Free Citrus Ricotta Tart with Almond Corn Flour Crust

*Bay Area readers! It’s not an alternative fact that I’ll be at Omnivore Books on Sunday February 12th from 3-4 pm speaking about Alternative Baker and signing books. Come indulge in chocolate treats and pick up a copy for your Valentine (or Galentine). Hope to see you there!*

Speaking of February, January is almost over, and not a moment too soon. The past week has felt like a year. In the words of a friend, we must keep finding creative forms of resistance. I’ve officially had this song stuck in my head for the past five days – it should be driving me bananas, but instead, it’s the only thing keeping me sane.

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Japanese Sweet Potato Oven Fries with Wasabi Aioli

White sweet potatoes seasoned with sesame, nori, togarashi, and scallions make an addictive and easy-peasy snack. 

Japanese Sweet Potato Oven Fries with Wasabi Aioli

After a busy few months, Jay and I were elated to escape the confines of the city last weekend to take a couple of long hikes in the woods. The tall trees, quiet earth, sunshine, and occasional waterfalls were the perfect antidote to the current misery of the world. Strolling through the woods next to a babbling brook was the exact opposite of scrolling my Facebook feed reading the rantings of babbling trolls.

I’m planning to take a lot of hikes in the next four years.

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