Summer Fruit Duffins

Disclaimer: I was compensated by DMI Agency for key ingredients in this recipe and for writing the printed column, The Recipe Box,  in Direct Magazine’s August issue.  All opinions are my own.

Branded 2

I am so excited! The August issue of Direct Magazine, which focuses on “Culture, Commerce and Community in Visalia and Tulare”, is out today.  Why is that so exciting?  Because it’s the first issue with my new column, The Recipe Box! Writing and sharing recipes in a local publication is the realization of one of my longtime goals, and I’m beyond happy and grateful for this opportunity.  For Direct readers in my Central Valley community, welcome!  I hope you enjoy the column and visiting here with my online community for even more resources and tips as I share each month’s recipe.


Pomegranates & Saffron Vegetable Kabab Salad

Book Photo
Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, Feride Buyuran was not a cook while she was growing up.  Her mother did all the cooking for their family, actually packing her lunch until she was in her 20’s!  Even so, she was obsessed with food, collecting recipes from radio programs, newspapers and magazines through her growing up years.  After moving to California, her love of the recipes from her home country led her first into the kitchen and then on a cooking odyssey to write Pomegranates & Saffron: A Culinary Journey To Azerbaijan.  I had the pleasure of meeting Feride earlier this year, and was excited to have the chance to hear the whole story of how her beautiful book came to be at an event hosted by Melissa’s Produce.


Clafoutis Class and a Giveaway!

Waiting for Clafoutis 3

Bonjour!  Today is what we in the US call “Bastille Day”, known officially in France as la fête du 14-juillet (the July 14th holiday), and the Fête de la Fédération.  This is not only a celebration of the revolution marked by the storming of the Bastille in 1789 but of the unity of the French people as a whole.  To celebrate, I bring to you a very special edition of Cookbook Corner. I am baking a delicious Cherry Blueberry Clafoutis from Claudine Pepin’s lovely new book, Let’s Cook French ~ A Family Cookbook and I am cooking with a little help ~ it’s my beautiful granddaughter’s first cooking lesson!  One of my earliest memories is in my Gramma Omi’s kitchen on a step stool at the counter, with her hands over mine around a potato masher, making egg salad.  There’s a part of me that’s a little dumbfounded that I am now cooking with my own grandchild – where did the time go?? – and although she may not remember this momentous occasion, my daughter and I will. I hope that eventually, as it is for me, one of Petite Chef’s first memories will be with in the kitchen with Grand-mere.

Whisk Whisk


Pizzas and Coffees and Pastries, Oh My!


There are so many restaurants to choose from on Main Street Downtown ~ it all depends on what you’re in the mood for, and we’ve been having loads of fun trying them all!  If you’re looking for a casually cool spot for coffee and a house-made pastry, muffin or scone while you people watch on the outdoor patio, Tazzaria is the place to park yourself. If you’re hungry for an artisan style pizza baked in a wood-fired oven, accompanied by a glass of Italian wine, look no further than Pizano’s. Both restaurants, only steps apart and owned by the Jessen Restaurant Group, are worlds apart in atmosphere and flavors. In short, if you’re hungry on Main Street, whether it’s morning, noon or night, you’re covered!