Category Archives: Bread

Sage Biscuits

blog sage
This past weekend, as usual, I was the first one awake and puttering around the house. It was the first really crisp, clear and chilly autumn morning. I went out for my morning jog and on my way back into the house I spied my beautiful sage plant, growing in abundance. I grabbed some sage leaves went into the house and was inspired to make these biscuits. I served them for breakfast with apple butter. They would also be great with some salted butter to accompany any autumn dinner, such as roasted pork or some beef stew, just to get you thinking. This is a really easy biscuit recipe to enjoy anytime!
From by the bay wishing you great food memories morning, noon or night!
blog sage biscuits

Sage Biscuits
Makes 12

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
2/3 cup buttermilk, plus extra to brush top of biscuit
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage leaves
Preheat oven to 450 degree F. Place flour, baking powder, baking soda, sage and salt into a food processor and pulse. Add the butter and pulse until butter is pea size. Add the buttermilk and combine. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and roll or pat dough into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 12 rounds using a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter. Place each round on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Brush each biscuit with some buttermilk. Place into the oven and bake for approximately 10 to 12 minutes. The biscuit should be golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Corn Bread with Cranberries

food cornbread

Corn Bread with Cranberries

Makes 1 loaf

2 cups all purpose flour

1 ½  tablespoons baking powder

¾ teaspoon salt

1½ cup yellow cornmeal

1/3cup granulated sugar

1 ½ cup milk

2 eggs beaten

¾ cup unsalted butter, softened ( 1 ½ sticks)

11/2 cup dried cranberries


Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 8”x8” square baking pan. In a large bowl combine well these dry ingredients: flour, salt, cornmeal, sugar and baking powder. In a separate medium bowl combine and beat milk, eggs and butter. Pour wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir well. Fold in the dried cranberries using a spoon. Pour the batter into the baking pan. Bake for about 35 minutes until the tester comes out clean. Cool on metal rack for 10 minutes. When cool remove bread from pan. Serve at room temperature.

jalapeno fun!

I love spicy food – therefore , I have a burning love for jalapeno peppers. I like to figure out new ways to use these peppers and I am sharing three today! First up, I mixed my Greek background along with my love for jalapeno peppers to create jalapeno hummus. It has subtle heat and is delicious. You can add dish to start any menu. I serve this hummus with either corn chips or pita chips. Next up are my southern biscuits kicked up with cheddar and jalapeno. This is a perfect basic biscuit recipe that is easy to make and very easy to get creative with. Last up or jalapeno rounds dredged in corn meal and fried. I always keep a jar of jalapeno rings in my pantry. These rings fried up make a perfect appetizer for any one with a burning love. They are also great used to kick up the taste of your favorite burger or sandwich. I suggest you work on trying all three of these recipes soon.

From by the bay wishing you the hottest food memories!
blog jalapeno hummus better
Jalapeno Hummus
15.5 ounces Chick Peas / Garbanzos , drained and rinsed
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped jalapeno
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Place all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Serve cold or room temperature with corn chips or pita chips.
blog jalapeno biscuits
Jalapeno Cheddar Cornmeal Biscuits
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour, sifted
1/2 cup cornmeal
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chopped jalapeno pepper, seeded
1/4 cup shortening
1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup whole milk
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a medium bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening with a fork until the mixture is crumbly. Next mix into the bowl the grated cheese and jalapeno. Slowly stir in the milk until you have a dough that can be kneaded in your hands. If you need more milk add a tablespoon at a time until the dough is formed. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead a few times. Roll dough out to a half-inch thickness and cut out biscuits with a biscuit cutter. I use a 2 inch round. Place biscuits on a ungreased baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Jalapeno Rounds
6 ounces jalapeno rings from a jar
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup canola oil
Heat oil in a medium size frying pan. Place cornmeal on a plate and dip each ring all over in the cornmeal. Place rings into the hot oil and fry quickly and turn while frying, no more than a minute is needed to brown the rings. Place onto paper towel to drain. Serve immediately.

Scallion Cheddar Corn Bread with Lime Butter

blog cornbread

Scallion Cheddar Corn Bread with Lime Butter

Serves 8

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

3/4 cup milk

1 egg beaten

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

¼ cup scallions, chopped

¼ cup grated cheddar cheese

½ pound unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1 teaspoon lime zest

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper


Preheat oven to 350F. Butter  2 – 5.75  by 3 inch mini loaf pans. In a large bowl combine well these dry ingredients: flour, salt, cornmeal, sugar and baking powder. In a separate medium bowl combine and beat milk, eggs and butter. Pour wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir well. Fold in the cheese and scallions using a spoon. Pour the batter into the mini loaf pan. Place pans onto baking sheet and bake for about 35 minutes until the tester comes out clean. Cool on metal rack for 10 minutes. When cool remove bread from pan. To make butter, place softened butter , salt , lime zest and cayenne pepper . Combine well. Serve with sliced cornbread.

Napa Memories – Celebrating the Grape Harvest with Food

Blog nappa grapes



It’s end of September and time for the grape harvest and crush. It’s time to celebrate the harvest especially for wine lovers. But there is way to engage those who don’t have a passion for wine and still celebrate the harvest, simply cook with grapes.  I find that outside a fruit salad it’s not often you find grapes in your food. When I was a buyer at Saks Fifth Avenue , I had the good fortune to work in Florence several times a year.  No matter what time of the year I went, I was always looking forward to some seasonal food that would be available. It’s how I would bench mark my trips. Each morning I would walk from the hotel to the buying office. Along the way,  I would pass many pasticceria shops and in the fall they would all have grape schiacciata. Many days when I arrived to the office, I would be asking about how to prepare something from dinner the previous evening or did they have a recipe for something I had just seen in the pasticceria shop. My first recipe is a verison of the grape schiacciata shared with me from one of those trips. Another recipe  is a twist on a another classic dish from Tuscany called salisicca all’ uva – sausage and grapes. Instead of pan frying , I am roasting them in the oven along with onion, rosemary, thyme and balsamic vinegar. Terrific for dinner with mashed potatoes or for breakfast along with some great country bread. Give these recipes a try and celebrate!

From by the bay, wishing you grape filled food memories! Maryann blog grape bread Grape Breakfast Schiacciata

Serves 8



3 ½ cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 package instant yeast

1 tablespoon fine sea salt

1 tablespoon fine sugar, plus extra for topping

1 ¼ cup warm water (110F)

2 tablespoons olive oil,

Cooking oil spray for bowl and baking sheet


1 cup red grapes, halfed

1 tablespoon lemon zest

2 tablespoon olive oil


Mix the flour, yeast and 1 tablespoon salt in a food processor. With motor running add warm water to make a soft dough that forms a ball. If the dough is a little too sticky add a little more flour, too dry add a little water. Process another minute until smooth. Place in an oiled bowl and shape into a ball. Cover with a damp towel leave to rise at room temperature for an hour. The dough should be double in size. Punch the dough down. Take a non stick rimmed cooking sheet 9” x 13”. Spray sheet lightly with cooking oil and spread dough out to the size of the pan. Cover with damp dishtowel and let rise again for 30 minutes. Preheat over to 425 degrees F. Make bread topping by combining all ingredients. Take a brush and spread the oil from fruit mixture all over the top them add the fruit, pressing into the dough. Finally, sprinkle additional sugar on the top of the dough. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and place on a board to serve either hot or at room temperature.

blog roast grape sausage

Roasted Sausages and Grapes  with Herbs Serves 4 1 1/2 pounds sweet sausage 3 cups seedless red seedless grapes 1 bay leave 2 sprigs rosemary 2 sprigs thyme 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar seas salt and freshly ground pepper Directions Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a baking dish add the sausage , grapes and garlic in a a baking dish in a single layer. Add the rosemary, thyme and bay leave , then drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top. Season with salt and pepper. Toss all together and then place in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove baking dish  and turn sausages and place back in the oven for another 15 minutes, until the sausages are browned and cooked and grapes and onions so soft. Remove from oven and serve  with bread or mashed potatoes.

Zucchini Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting

blog zucchini cake

Zucchini Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 1 loaf

1 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 ½ cup light brown sugar

½ cup vegetable oil

2 eggs beaten

3 tablespoons warm water

1 cup grated zucchini

½ teaspoon lime juice

½ cup raisins


Preheat oven to 350F. Spray loaf pan with oil. In a small bowl combine raisins and warm water and let sit for 10 minutes so raisins can get plump. In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients: flour, salt, nutmeg, and baking soda, cinnamon and brown sugar. In a medium bowl combine oil, eggs, grated zucchini and strained raisins, plus 3 tablespoons of the water the raisins were soaking in. Add to the dry ingredients. Mix well and pour into loaf pan. Bake for one hour until the tester comes out clean. Cool on metal rack for 20 minutes. When cool remove bread from pan. Frost the bread with cream cheese frosting right before serving.

Cream Cheese Frosting

4 oz softened cream cheese

4 oz confectionary sugar

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon lime zest


Combine ingredients using an electric mixer until smooth. Use to frost zucchini cake or keep in refrigerator until ready to serve cake and frost just before serving