Chocolate streusel

A fancier chocolate cake This is a more complicated chocolate cake, although considerably simplified from the New York Times recipe I started from. It has a lot of ingredients, but nothing complicated about putting them together, and it cooks pretty fast. What about the frosting? This really, really doesn’t need frosting, especially if you eat […]


Alpha House cheesecake In Ithaca, drug addicts were frequently remanded to a place called Alpha House where they were supposed to be rehabilitated. The addicts were supposed to support themselves during the process, and learn to work a steady job, by baking lots of cheesecakes. Alpha House cheesecake was ubiquitous all over town, and it […]


Something fresh and tasty in winter Coleslaw only takes a few minutes to make, and it’s very good for you, and most people like it. It’s excellent with any kind of fish. How to make coleslaw: Get out the food processor. Cut the tops off two carrots and cut them into quarters. Put them in […]

Spinach soup

Cold day, warm appetizer or lunch It hardly ever snows in Portland anymore, thanks to global warming. But when it does, the kids get really excited and rush out to play in it. Coming from the Northeast, I always think it’s funny when the kids are excited about two inches of snow. How to make […]


Easy, fast, and everybody likes it 🙂 It only takes a few minutes to make terrific guacamole, and it’s way cheaper than buying the premade stuff. Make these terrific crackers too, to eat the guacamole on, or make nachos. How to make guacamole: Cut an avocado in half the long way and throw away the pit in the […]

Cucumber soup

Cucumbers for snack It’s very hot in North Africa in July, and Tunisian women spend most of their time behind the thick high walls of their courtyards, lying down on mats in the shade and fanning each other. The women’s usual snack, all over our village, was cold cucumber sticks, sometimes salted and sometimes plain. […]

Latkes with vegetables

Why use vegetables instead of potatoes? These have a lot more flavor than just potato latkes, and they’re less fattening too. My kids like vegetable latkes so much that I make them even when it’s not Hanukkah. I also often make them for company, when the company involves a lot of allergies and food restrictions, […]

Twice baked potatoes

Cooking for Occupy Portland Last fall when I was cooking for Occupy Portland, we needed to make dinner for about a thousand people a night (no kidding!) with whatever jumble of ingredients people happened to have donated. One winner was these twice baked potatoes – they’re cheap, they’re easy to make, and they’re easy to […]