An old favorite revived

One of the pitfalls of being a food writer is that terrific dishes far too often fall by the wayside while I’m pursuing new flavors and ingredients.

That was the case with this pasta, which combines some of my favorite Mediterranean flavors.  For years, while I was still working in hard news, this was my go-to pasta dish.  I made it for friends and family alike.  The proportions and techniques were so familiar, I could whip it up without referring to the recipe. Continue reading An old favorite revived

Granola blondies hit the trail

The first granola bar I ever tasted came from a natural foods bakery in Oakland.  It was a tempting combination of chewy bar cookie and enough crunchy whole grains to make me feel virtuous about the indulgence.

I bought them whenever I could until the store that carried them went out of business.  I pined for something similar but no other commercial granola bar has even come close.  Most are hard bricks that taste little better than sawdust and are suited only for emergency rations in my book.

Recently, though, I’ve been working on my own recipe, prompted by a hike with a friend who was working very hard to make her calories count.  Not for her the chocolate chip cookies I usually bring along on hikes, even though they’re loaded with oats and granola, too.

For Sara, I came up with something new – a whole wheat blondie packed with as much good granola as possible without losing the moist, chewy foundation. Continue reading Granola blondies hit the trail

Garlic hummus fit for a party

Hummus often is the easiest dish to skip at a party.  It’s that creamy beige dip in a plastic tub that someone picked up at the store on the way to the host’s house.  It’s pleasant enough if the processor hasn’t used too much citric acid as a preservative but hardly worth the calories when there are more exciting choices on the table.

At least that’s what I always thought until I was coaxed into sampling the garlicky hummus offered at a farmers market in Santa Clara.  Who knew that such a silky, seductive dip could come from pureed chickpeas laced with mellow garlic and spices?  I was hooked. Continue reading Garlic hummus fit for a party