• Posted by Califia Suntree on November 28th, 2011, 6:09 AM

    The best part of Thanksgiving is leftovers. (And togetherness and gratitude and blah blah blah. Mostly, it’s pumpkin pie for breakfast.) But there always seems to be way too much cranberry sauce, and very few ways to use it once the leftover turkey is eaten up. When I found myself with both a half-gone can of cranberry sauce and a bowl of persimmons from my dad’s tree ripening forlornly in the fridge, I decided to try and use them both up at once. Et voilà, this slightly sweet tea cake filled with little bites of persimmon, walnuts and bursting cranberries. The cake is dairy-free, extremely low in fat, and particularly good for breakfast (though not as good as pumpkin pie).

    Read on… »

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on November 17th, 2011, 9:08 AM

    Once November rolls around, I find myself looking for as many ways as possible to use cranberry sauce. It’s my favorite part of holiday eating–I consider turkey a cranberry-sauce delivery system, and pile it on accordingly–and I’m always thrilled to come across unexpected uses for the stuff. (Cranberry-sauce margaritas are a tradition of mine–I’ll post that recipe soon–and I’m trying to perfect a cranberry-sauce-based tea cake…) So I was pretty thrilled when, at a recent breakfast at Follow Your Heart in Canoga Park, I was served delightful fresh pumpkin pancakes topped with maple syrup and, yes, cranberry sauce! The pancakes are standard-issue whole wheat, studded with diced, cooked pumpkin. And the sauce is your typical canned variety, all bursting berries and oozy red syrup. But the overall effect was surprising, not too  sweet, and totally comforting. Forget the holiday rigmarole–serve these tasty cakes with some turkey bacon and a persimmon-rosemary bellini, and you’ve got a Thanksgiving brunch!

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on November 24th, 2010, 8:53 AM

    Happy day-before-Thanksgiving, America’s biggest grocery shopping/travel torture day! We should start calling it Black Wednesday, shouldn’t we? For everyone’s mood? Anyway, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays in part because it’s secular and specific to our country—as a nonreligious person, it’s nice to feel part of something—and in part because it’s all about cooking and eating. (OK, and family and gratitude and la la la.) As everyone heads out to shop for tomorrow’s dinner, here are some tips to keep you from breaking the bank and still feed your loved ones to the point of near coma, like the Pilgrims intended: Read on… »

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on November 9th, 2010, 4:51 PM

    Yes, the food is important at Thanksgiving (or any feast). But so is presentation. In fact, gorgeous dishes makes it more likely that lumpy gravy, dry turkey or (gasp!) canned cranberry sauce will be overlooked. So click on over to the Spooning shop and have a gander at the bountiful harvest of Thanksgiving dishes and accessories just waiting to be snapped up! Then you can relax about the turkey…

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