Fall brings with it all the cravings, for cozy sweaters, roasted aromas, plums and grapes and pears and with them, the kind of creamy toasted…..

Something easy, but earthy. Something spectacularly seeming with a secretly low workload behind it. Goat cheese toast delivers on this. Starting with honey chevre, which has a subtle sweetness that makes it palatable to even my four-year-old, you can top it with

To amp up the wow factor, I’ve seasoned my honey chevre with fennel seed, black pepper and maldon, and served it potted like a pate might be on a cheeseboard. Then, I popped a few clusters of grapes into the oven at high heat with salt and pepper and oil and yes, more fennel. It’s surprising how this anise-forward seed brings out the best of fall, and doesn’t overpower the sweet grape but instead, tempers them just a bit, keeping them feeling savory.

Clip with small scissors or pull off individual grapes to top your toasts.

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This summer, we traveled to Italy on a dime (ie. cheap seats)—then ate our way through markets, grazed on thin, crackly-crusted Roman pies and piles of peaches and plums. It was bliss. Almost every meal was exceptional—-well-researched and worth the long treks across town for all the most renowned pastas, pizzas and gelatos (I promise to share my must-do-in-Rome list, soon). But one day, when we’d walked all the way from our charming Air-b-n-b, Monte di Pietà to the Colosseum, carrying my four-year-old son on our backs, passing his limp, jet-lagged body back and forth from parent to parent, we found our way to the restaurant we’d most been wanting to try, a recommendation from my instagram friend, Elvira Zilli, who calls Rome home.

She may have mentioned something about making sure to call first to make sure they were open—it was August in Italy, afterall; many smaller mom-and-pop places close for summer holidays. But I had forgotten that little detail. So I did what any respectable, exhausted mother in Rome would do when she has only five days to conquer all the delicious things —I called a Uber (don’t do it, cabs are much cheaper than Ubers in Rome!) and climbed into the plush leather seats, AC and all. We’d walked for four solid days and it only felt fair, to all of us. I instructed the driver to take us to yet another far-flung corner of the city, crossing my fingers we’d find another gem, when my husband asked, but, where do you eat lunch? He started listing places, as I hurriedly pulled each one up on Google, cross-referencing penciled lists from bloggers and friends who live or lived in Rome, stuffed into my purse. Finally, he mentioned Pizzeria Emma, where he said he had eaten lunch that very day. It didn’t ring a bell, but something in me said to take him up on his offer to drive us straight there.

There were no spots in the sidewalk cafe, but he talked them into giving us a table inside, where we found none of the charm of Sora Margherita, nor the raucous laughter at Da Buffetto (an absolute Rome, must!), nor the date-night glam of Roscioli. It was a little too shiny, too much AC, and our son was definately the youngest diner there. Yet—-yet!

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For Labor Day weekend, you don’t need something fancy, and certainly nothing laborious, that pulls you away from soaking in the last bits of summer, that eeks into your good long chill in a hammock or the chance to catch the way the sun hits your daughter’s pink, freckled nose. No, this weekend you need something easy and—without a doubt—you need something make ahead. Because after all, even summering hard until the back to school bell rings on


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A couple of years ago, around this time of year, we had some of our dear friends over for am impromptu dinner in the backyard. I didn’t have anything planned, so while dinner cooked, I ran out to our prolific rhubarb patch, picked a bunch and sliced and tossed it together with a pint of raspberries I had tucked in the fridge. I pinched together some oats, butter, flour and walnuts—in no particular order, abiding by my grandmother’s pinch of this and dash of that rule (salt, sugar) until it felt just right.


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When I entertain, I like there to be a main event--a centerpiece that speaks of abundance, but also ease: a signal to both me and my guests that there will be plenty here, but we can relax and settle into it without a lot of shuffling about. This main event should be made or purchased ahead, and can look like a giant pork shoulder braised to a juicy, succulent tenderness, or a bountiful wheel of cheese, a no-hold’s bar approach to the cheese platter that we’ve all grown to know and love. There’s no worry of leaving enough for the person to your right or your left, just a welcome mat to heartily enjoy. 

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A Chocolate Chip Cookie, For Modern Times

You’re going out on the limb when you set out to makeover the world’s most iconic cookie, especially one you’ve already somewhat famously madeover before. But, I’ve decided not to take cookie baking so seriously in my next decade of life, and that’s just how these Chocolate Chip Cookies for Modern Times came to be in my new book, Every Day is Saturday. I wanted o have a little fun and make something beautiful, super satisfying, overtly chocolatey while still a smidge toward healthyish on the cookie barometer…


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The other night, I went searching for an old photo of gooseberry pie by using the keyword “PIE” on my iPhone’s photo search bank. Exactly 249 images came up of pies or tarts I’d made between 2012 and today—Chocolate Silk Pies and Triple Berry Pies, Apple Tart Tatins and Huckleberry Galettes, Blueberry Lattice Pies and Sour Cream Apple Tarts, Double Crust Cherry Pies and perfectly custardy Pumpkin.

I know pies. But today, fast and unapologetically unfussy are my calling card. Take a rhubarb galette….


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For four years running, I’ve been hosting a FEED Supper for my community, in Upstate New York. It started simply, as a good excuse to gather friends for FEED foundation’s efforts to end childhood hunger, a cause that’s always been near and dear to my heart—but the FEED Supper campaign has grown to mean so much more to me, and this whole community I now call home. This year, our FEED Supper was photographed and included in this months issue of DOMINO MAGAZINE, my all time favorite! Read on for more details….

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There is so much I love about chocolate cake, starting with the fact that I’m sure it’s the first cake I ever ate, the kind of cake my mom always, always baked on our birthdays as children, and later, carted to us across the country (literally) in her double decker Tupperware cake carrier when we moved far from home.

Too often, I find the kinds of chocolate cakes at birthday parties or events spongy and bland, not chocolaty enough to satisfy, not toothsome in the way I believe a cake absolutely should be. Not so this cake, which comes to us from Odette Williams, from her new book, Simple Cake. Skip on down for the recipe, below.

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Imagine your dreamiest chocolate sweet—the thing you’d eat with abandon if you could do so without consequence—if toothaches and stomach aches and snug waistbands were just the made up things of terrible fairy tales. Mine would be a Flødeboller, these chocolate dreams pictured above—though, I only recently learned that is what they’re called. I knew it in childhood simply as a chocolate-coated marshmallow treat—but not just any marshmallow—it would have to be an pillowy, airy, freshly made marshmallow without even the faintest resemblance to the kind you find in a bag (I’ll skip those all together, thank you). And not just any chocolate coating—the chocolate coating would be thin and snappy, and give to the slightest pressure from the tooth—made with the highest quality dark chocolate you can find (I link to one of my favorites for baking, below).

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There is only one thing, in my opinion, that needs to be made on the week of Valentine’s day, and that is anything containing chocolate (and lots of it). It could be big or small, fancy or simple, but for my taste, it should come as close to an elevated form of a pure chocolate truffle as humanly possible. This tart is one I developed ages ago for my very first book, but it has stood the test of time, and lives up brilliantly to the call. Thanks to its press-in crust (no rolling or pastry mastery required), it couldn’t be simpler. The inside, little more than a glorified ganache, set and baked with an egg, is pure chocolate bliss. You’ll need a tart pan with a removable bottom, and the best chocolate bricks or bars you can find, and the rest is as simple as is gets.

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Guys (or, gals) I’ve been married for ten years. TEN YEARS. And, newsflash, I’m still in love with my husband (most days), and still cooking from the book I wrote about our lives the very first year we were married. Here it is, and I’d be over the moon to sign a copy for a lucky winner like you. Along with it, Chronicle is sharing some of their favorite sweet gifts for lovers. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO is leave a comment below, including one thing you adore about the one you love, one thing that makes them special or irresistible or uniquely yours. (kind + loving only, anything inappropriate will be deleted) . Let’s have some fun, and spread the love. xo

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I always want to give my post a poetic title, like Salad for One (if, you consider that poetic), but conventional internet wisdom tells me you want recipes, and you want to know exactly what is in them. The problem with a long recipe title is the same problem with a long ingredient list—it’s a mouthful, and perhaps at times, off-putting. Don’t let that scare you off. This is a gem, a real killer. I promise.

This isn’t just any salad. This is the kind of salad I skipped Saturday brunch with my family to put down on paper for you. One so good I didn’t even share a single bite with them the day I made it. And that doesn’t happen very often. Sure, I like a good salad. You might even say I love a crisp, bracing plate of veg—but not to the point of greed.

But, when you take the time to make a salad this fresh and good and nourishing—this SATISFYING—you might occasionally reserve the right to enjoy it all for yourself, too. You’ll see why. (Skip below for the recipe).

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For two decades, I’ve clung to the rules of local and season—aiming to eat citrus, dairy, meats and eventually, grains, too, that came from 100 miles from my home in New York. But when winter hits hard and the CSA box is a repeat of celeriac and red cabbage, when the kids are plowing through more Kleenex than I can count and the nights come at 5 PM, there’s only one thing that can turn this ship around: tropical fruit.

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It is not a mistake that a simple, arresting radish and parmesan salad appears on the front cover of my book FEAST (which came out 5 years ago) and that a radish, kale and citrus salad is headlining my journal today--feeling as fresh and new as ever. Radish salad never goes out of style.

t’s right at home in the middle of winter--starring dense watermelon radishes and shiny pink turnips shaved into wispy rounds, and elevated with juicy, fleshy citrus (above)--and yet it’s absolutely the right thing to do come spring and summer, when delicate easter egg and punchy globe radishes appear.

To master the art…

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A CLEAN START // 3 Simple PATHS to a Healthier YOU

Happy New Year! Hooray, it’s January, we get a fresh start, and we all want to make the best of it. We want to be our best, feel our best, look our best and EAT OUR BEST.

There are a whole lot of programs set up to help you adhere to a healthier lifestyle—most are thoughtful and well planned out (I love Bon Ap’s FEEL GOOD FOOD PLAN) but most are also too much work for me. My approach is more subtle, understated. To Wit: Last year, I vowed to myself to never drive somewhere I could walk to—including either of my kids’ schools—no matter the weather. And with a few exceptions, I stuck to it. It was a simple attainable goal. This year, my manifesto is: MOVE EVERY DAY. I’m not committing to 40 minutes or 20 minutes of running, I haven’t joined a new gym or promised I will make it to yoga three times a week. If I did, I might not keep up. But MOVE EVERY DAY? I can do that—it’s a simple as walk my son to school, and keep walking after he’s all settled in. All I have to do is walk, say, until my head is clear or my legs ache or my lungs feel deeply full of air. Emails can wait 30 more minutes....

I take the same approach to HEALTHIER EATING. It has to be SIMPLE, ATTAINABLE, and SUSTAINABLE (something I can keep up with WAY beyond January!) I’ve boiled my past successes down to the THREE EASY avenues that I suspect could work for any of you.

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I was planning on continuing with GIFT GUIDE here (more coming) but I did an ask me anything on Instagram this week and several of you asked about my new book, which is all the nudge I needed to get this up here, today! This beautiful work, above, which has my heart and soul in it—this work that took 18 months of writing and developing, two months of shooting and way too many weeks of editing to count—has a name, and a face—or a cover to be exact. And I love it: EVERY DAY IS SATURDAY!

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I wasn’t raised to toot my own horn, so sometimes I’m shy about sharing my new work, especially when it’s in the New York Times, which still makes me giddy. It was always my dream to be published there and even after years of publishing my recipes in magazines like Saveur, Food & Wine, Martha Stewart Living and Real Simple, this still feels big to me because I love the way they approach food—it’s smart, fresh, super universal (no culture left behind) and perhaps most importantly, massively vetted, with tried and true recipes you can absolutely trust.

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Every year for Christmas during my childhood, my dad would receive hundreds of holidays gifts from his patients—almost always food— tins of handmade peanut brittle, lush boxes with freshly baked pastry and pies, and cello-wrapped baskets brimming with crackers, cookies, sparkling wine and cheeses galore. It was one of the perks of being a family doctor. For my siblings and I, it was one of the perks of being his kid—those sweet December days when the atrium (where we ate breakfast and dinner every day) ran over with an endless parade of sweets.

I tend to still love food gifts for the holidays—handmade or carefully curated purchased ones—boxes of perfectly ripe pears and tins of caramel popcorn still harken Christmas to me. They speak of love and —even if not perfectly matched to individual taste, thoughtfulness. Maybe you don’t have time to bake this season—I hear you. That’s where this guide comes in. These Eight Practically Handmade goodies can make their way to the houses of your dear ones in just one click. They’re worth every penny.

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I think we all know by now that a cheeseboard (or meat board, or fruit and veg board) is the easiest, fastest way to serve a crowd. It’s the best trick I learned from my own mom back in the 80s, and though the boards have gotten more beautiful (she used carved wooden boards shaped like leaves, with grooves and curves for dips), the concept is the same: fast, easy, filling, beautiful, abundant snacking for all. With the right board, even the simplest spread can ready fancy. Here are my favorite ten (+ accessories) under $100.

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