Carrot-Pineapple Cake for Dan

Carrot-pineapple cake with cream cheese frosting from the top with flowers

I must admit I don’t particularly care for Valentine’s day and I rarely even acknowledge it’s existence. In theory it’s a great idea. Celebrating love! Yes, I am so in! There isn’t anything more important to celebrate. But Valentine’s day is about romantic love and that means missing out on so much other love worthy of celebration. What about love in a family or between friends? Or the love we have for our communities and our fellow human beings? I want to celebrate all those kinds of love! But all that said, this year I also really wanted to celebrate my awesome partner Dan, just because he is the best, you know? So this year Valentine’s day is all about carrot-pineapple cake.

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Soy-Garlic Glazed Salmon and Scallion Roasted Potatoes

white plate with pile of roasted potatoes and scallions and a fillet of salmon glazed with soy and garlic and topped with kimchi

Here’s a simple and elegant Korea-inspired dinner. I put it together one night from bits we had around the house, most of which are common in Korean cooking. It’s very easy and hands-off. The potatoes do take a while to roast (an unavoidable annoyance of potatoes), but the actual hands-on prep work for this is no more than 5 minutes. So you could definitely do this for a weeknight meal if you get the potatoes going when you walk in the door or if you aren’t ravenous immediately when you get home. It’s a great date meal to impress your partner! The potatoes are creamy and richly buttery with scallion sharpness cutting through, and the salmon is salty and sweet and garlicky and the kimchi adds just a little funk and spice.

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Holiday Gift Idea: Homemade Sour Dill Pickles

jar of pickles under the Xmas tree

One of my favorite holiday traditions in my extended family is for me to make sour dill pickles as gifts for everyone! For many years I have been making them with the “help” of my best friend’s son who has slowly become more and more helpful as he has grown. Sadly this year the biggest pickle lovers in the family have now moved to other cities and you can’t bring a jar of pickles on the plane. So this year I’m hoping some of you will pick up this tradition and make some pickles as gifts for your friends and family!

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Blueberry Crostata

blueberry crostata on a white plate with blue striped dish towel

As a rule, summer is the time for simple foods, cool foods—crisp salads, raw vegetables dipped into creamy cold things, icy glasses that leave condensation marks on your table. Watermelon everything. But there are exceptions: juicy burgers, fluffy baked potatoes, pretty much anything cooked on an open flame outdoors.

There is also the great fruit pie exception. Who doesn’t want a slice of jammy pie at the cookout?! But pie can be intimidating. And I get it. There are rules. It takes time and attention and we don’t want to be disappointed. Enter the crostata. You can fill it with any fruit, but today we’re going to make a juicy blueberry crostata.

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Leanne Brown

Hi, I'm Leanne Brown. I’m a bestselling cookbook author. I want to help you find peace, healing and freedom through cooking.

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