Dana Slatkin

French Apple or Blueberry Pie

French Apple Pie or Blueberry Pie

One of my favorite memories from childhood involves pies. Though my mother cooked from scratch almost every night, we were always on our own for dessert. This usually meant grabbing a piece of fruit or a Popsicle from the freezer. But occasionally, we would make a special trip to the Marie Callendar’s down the street. We would order four different slices of pie, because each of us refused to share. And whenever we traveled, we would search out the local pie shop to compare versions of our favorite pies. Mine was always French Apple, served warm and á la mode, of course. But when I discovered a flat of blueberries from last week’s trip to the farmers market just beginning to wrinkle in the fridge, I decided on this variation. Below … [Read more...]

Blueberry Mint Lemonade

Blueberry Mint Lemonade

Whew, is it hot! Labor Day has come and gone, but here in Lala land, there is no promise of cooler temperatures ahead. No complaints here, but icy beverages are a necessity to beat the heat. This striking violet concoction gets smiles every time I serve it. Making an infused sugar syrup takes virtually no extra time and adds layers of dimension to drinks. Try using blackberries, raspberries or strawberries in place of the blueberries. You can even experiment with different herbs, such as lemon thyme and basil. Spike the lemonade with vodka or your favorite alcohol and I must warn you, it will be dangerous. This recipe makes enough for a small army, but it will last a few weeks in the refrigerator…or not! Be sure to try … [Read more...]

Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler

Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler

This week, I brought home some gorgeous rhubarb stalks from the Beverly Hills Farmers Market. They must have been a foot and a half long each, crimson red with streaks of jade green. Since they won’t be on the stands much longer (here in California, rhubarb season runs from late April until the end of September), I couldn’t resist. This recipe from my book, Summertime Anytime: Recipes from Shutters On The Beach (Clarkson Potter, May 2008), came to mind immediately as a perfect dessert for a Labor Day gathering. My ideal cobbler combines a juicy, bubbly, not-too-sweet filling with a crunchy, golden streusel. And this one hits the right notes every time. But once I had already chopped up the rhubarb, I discovered there was no all-purpose … [Read more...]

Nectarine and Apricot Chutney

Nectarine and Apricot Chutney

Ahhh…the stone fruits of summer. Blushing nectarines, luscious peaches, fleshy apricots, jewel-hued plums — they are irresistible this time of year. So when the first August breeze signals fall’s imminent arrival, I start getting wistful at the thought of soon not seeing them on farmers market stands. Here’s a tasty way to preserve the fruits of summer, if you can manage to set aside enough for a jar or two. As a condiment, this chutney is sweet and tangy, bright and aromatic. The other night, I rubbed it right onto a side of wild salmon, forming a perfect bronzer when placed under the broiler. The fish charred up beautifully, the chutney adding fruity depth and a colorful accompaniment to the dish. This recipe … [Read more...]

Nectarine Butter

Ripe Nectarines

I must confess, this blog does not live on my steam alone. Though I write, research, and test all the recipes myself, there is a wizard behind the scenes who performs all the technical magic. Her name is Cathy, and I call her my blog goddess. In fact, her own blog, Pajamadeen.com, is one of the most popular in all the blogosphere. Lucky for all of us, Cathy is also an avid cook and gardener. She graciously shared this recipe, which she says works well with any kind of stone fruit. Slather it on toast, or serve it with goat cheese and crackers. My daughter likes it with peanut butter and ricotta cheese in a sandwich. In any case, it will remind you of sweet summer days when they are long gone. Savor the flavors of summer with … [Read more...]

Shopping Local in Paris

Produce Stand in Paris, France

It’s late morning and the sun has been streaming in through the crack in the curtains for a while now, trying to coax me out of bed. Horns beep and the floor buzzes as the Metro rushes underneath. The city has already been up for hours. Normally, I would already be speed-walking up the Champs-Elysees by now, following my nose, in search of a warm baguette and a freshly squeezed jus d’orange pressé to start my day. But jet lag has glued me to the pillow, leaving me time to plot my wanderings before hitting the streets. Ahhh…Paris. My dear friend is getting married in Avignon, and before serving as temoin (the curious French translation for my job description, matron of honor), I have come to spend a few days in my … [Read more...]

Pomegranate-Mint Mojitos

Pomegranate-Mint Mojito

This ruby-red elixir was my drink of choice during all three of my pregnancies and is still my favorite virgin beverage — bubbly, thirst quenching, and full of those antioxidants that are so good for us. The combination of pomegranate, lime, and mint is addictive. You can find pomegranate syrup in many supermarkets, specialty stores and online (my favorite gourmet website is Kalustyans). You can also try substituting pomegranate juice, which is not as concentrated in flavor but delicious as well.   Snack on Crispy Parmesan Kale Chips. … [Read more...]