Tag Archives: Cooking

Eating at the Boulevard is Better than Reading Their Cookbook

Eating my way through San Francisco…luckily The Boulevard is across from a great pathway with a view of the double decker Bay Bridge (Embarcadero), so I could walk up an appetite.

This is the first time I’ve followed a cookbook author to her restaurant and it was so worth the trip. I was so excited (and hungry) I took a bite of my wild salmon before taking a picture. And, of course I had two desserts.



Read the Book and Drink the Chocolat

The Book Club Cookbook offers recipes to accompany their book suggestions.  Chocolat by Joann Harris, of course, has a recipe for hot cocoa , but it seems too bland.  I like the one from the movie better – has that zing.


Mix together 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, pinch of salt. Add 1/2 cup of hot water and bring to a slow boil.  Reduce to simmer, and add 3 cups whole milk.  Simmer for a few minutes to warm; do not boil.  Remove from heat; stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla.  Pour into cups and top with whipped cream and shaved chocolate.

Courage Tart

This recipe from Francine Segan’s Shakespeare’s Kitchen includes ingredients that were considered aphrodisiacs in Elizabethan times…

“Courage” Tart (for lovers)

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups white dessert wine (such as Muscat)
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 3 dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mace
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • 2 large egg whites
  • pie dough
Simmer sweet potato with wine for 10 minutes; add apples and dates and simmer 25 minutes more, or until apples are tender; puree until smooth. Add brown sugar, spices, and butter. Beat egg yolks with rose water and add. Whisk egg whites to stiff peaks and fold gently into the mixture. Pour the filling into a crust-lined pie tin and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until center springs back lightly when pressed.


Green Food for St. Patrick’s Day

Watergate is history, but the cake lives on – and it’s green.  I plan to make my mother’s version today; she used ginger ale to the traditional recipe to give it some kick.

Ginger Watergate Cake

  • 1 package white cake mix
  • 1 package instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup ginger ale
  • 1/2 cup walnuts

Mix all ingredients and bake in small cake pan for about 45 minutes.  Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

And I remember her  Lucky 7 Watergate Salad (7 ingredients):

  • 1 can crushed pineapple, not drained
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 small box of instant pistachio pudding
  • 1 small container of cool whip
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped apples

Mix all ingredients and chill overnight or at least 3 hours.

What Are You Giving Up for Lent?

Sister Redempta, the Depression era nun from Moon Over Manifest might suggest sugar or even flour (not a stretch for you gluten avoiders).  From painful memories of the good sisters in my childhood, I recall getting into major trouble when Sister Mary Kathleen caught me smirking over her suggestions for Lent – giving up chocolate.

The movie Chocolat famously spurred a following for hot chocolate with a zing – cinnamon and chili powder.  My mother had an old Italian recipe called Nun’s Revenge; I once saw a version of it in Bon Appetit.  Here’s my mother’s sweet revenge – suck it up, Sister.

Nun’s Revenge Hot Chocolate

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (not whipping)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 ounces shaved chocolate (best you can find – with high cacao count)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

Make a paste of cornstarch with a little cream.  Warm rest of cream over low to medium heat to almost boiling; add paste and sugar to slightly thicken.  Remove from heat, stir in chocolate until smooth.  Pour into small espresso cups and sprinkle with cardamom.