More Than A Recipe

More than a recipe from Orange Peel Bakery

As usual – the photo caught my attention – a delicious, mouthwatering baked something or other – This one looks berry, juicy and baked brown nutty … some sort of tart – oh yum!

Berry - Nutty Tart

Curious (and hungry!) –  I checked out the article hoping for a recipe. Lucky me – it was there! Then, I read the accompanying article and got more than a recipe.  The article is a great read and offers a fascinating profile and insight of an interesting baker with an intriguing bakery to investigate – wood fired oven – Martha’s Vineyard…and an honorable mission, as well as.

Orange Peel Bakery is definitely on my list of places to visit– Not just to sample the baked goods which sound (and look)  amazing – but to experience the setting and support the admirable mission of the baker, Juli Vanderhoop.

Read the article  for yourself and learn more of what I am referring to:

Trained by a Medicine Man on Martha’s Vineyard, One Baker Gives Rise to an Honest Community

More than a recipe More than a recipe










More than a recipe

Let me know if you have a chance to visit Orange Peel Bakery – located at 22 State Rd, Aquinnah Martha’s Vineyard, and share your experience with us!

Here is the recipe.  BEWARE:  it is enough for a Bakery production– it makes EIGHT tarts!  Looks easy to reduce. I’ll let you know if I manage it.

Raspberry Bars with Almond Crust

Yield: Recipe is for EIGHT 8" TARTS


  • 2 ½ cups slivered almonds, divided
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups oats
  • 1 tablespoon and one teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups (four sticks) cold butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ cups raspberry jam


  1. 1. Sauté ½ cup of the almonds in a pan until golden brown and set aside.
  2. 2. In a mixing bowl combine the flour, oats, remaining almonds, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. 3. In another bowl combine the butter and brown sugar. Add the almond extract and eggs and blend.
  4. 4. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, and mix until well blended. Press the mixture into eight 8? tart pans, onto the bottom and up the sides, leaving enough room for filling.
  5. 5. Bake the tarts at 360 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove them from oven and when cool, fill the shells with raspberry jam and top with the reserved toasted almonds. Bake the tarts for an additional 25 to 35 minutes, until the crusts are a rich, golden color.
  6. 6. Remove from the oven and let cool. Cut each tart into pieces and serve.



Classic Italian PIZZA


Eat Classic Italian PIZZA

Classic PIZZA

 “Life is too short to eat bad pizza”

This motto of Began’s Classic Italian Pizza in Tempe, Arizona —  is my motto for ALL food! Eating really good food is so much more satisfying than eating poor or even mediocre food. 

Began’s Classic Italian Pizza is a quaint little place tucked into a strip center between two (actually three) of my favorite places: Trader Joe’s and Wildflower Bread Co. (and Changing Hands -a delightful bookstore).

Living in our neighborhood is like living in a ‘story book’ neighborhood — friendly neighbors waving hello, walking their dogs, watering their yards…we see them at the grocery store and in the neighborhood restaurants….

Shortly after moving into our classic neighborhood, we discovered the local pizza place. . . small, tucked into the back corner of an almost empty strip shopping center.  A delightfully intimate little Italian place, offering  hand tossed pizzas and calzones from a wood fired oven.  Also on the menu – my favorite: Tiramisu! Oh Yum!! (Buon Appetito in San Diego’s Little Italy is still #1 but this is the best local option!) I was delighted.

We enjoyed it only a few times before it, too, closed up and left the strip center . We heard rumors this wonderful little place was going to re-open in a new location but months went by…..

Then I saw it:

Classic Italian PizzaAnd waited in eager anticipation for the opening…past April into June (must have been a few delays?)

 Finally it has happened – Hooray!! And the wait was worth it.

Classic Italian Pizza

Still hand-tossed pizzas







Classic Italian Pizza

Still wood-fired:





Classic Italian Pizza

Still Delicious!













And still serving Tiramisu …. but that will have to wait for the next time!

Tuesday’s Tidbits: America’s 50 Greatest (?) Foods – Part Nine

Chew-crunchy, yummy perfection.

10. Chocolate-chip cookies 

Today the name most associated with the killer cookie might be Mrs. Fields, but we actually have Ruth Wakefield, who owned the Toll House Inn, a popular spot for home cooking in 1930s Whitman, Massachusetts, to thank for all spoon-licking love shared through chocolate chip cookies.

Was Mrs. Wakefield making her Butter Drop Do cookies when, lacking baker’s chocolate, she substituted a cut-up Nestle’s semisweet chocolate bar? Or did the vibrations of a Hobart mixer knock some chocolate bars off a shelf and into her sugar-cookie dough?

However chocolate chips ended up in the batter, a new cookie was born. Andrew Nestle reputedly got the recipe from her — it remains on the package to this day — and Wakefield got a lifetime supply of chocolate chips. Can you feel the serotonin and endorphins releasing?

9. Blueberry cobbler

Also charmingly called slump, grunt, and buckle, cobbler got its start with early oven-less colonists who came up with the no-crust-on-the-bottom fruit dish that could cook in a pan or pot over a fire.

They might have been lofting a mocking revolutionary middle finger at the mother country by making a sloppy American version of the refined British steamed fruit and dough pudding. Cobblers become doubly American when made with blueberries, which are native to North America (Maine practically has a monopoly on them).

We love blueberries for how they sex up practically any crust, dough, or batter, maybe most of all in cobblers and that other all-American favorite, the blueberry muffin.

8. Delmonico’s steak  

If cows weren’t meant to be grilled, why did God make them sizzle so deliciously?

There are steakhouses all over the country but perhaps none so storied — with a universally acclaimed steak named for it no less — as the original Delmonico’s in New York.

The first diner called by the French name restaurant, Delmonico’s opened in 1837 with unheard-of things like printed menus, tablecloths, private dining rooms, and lunch and dinner offerings. Among other firsts, the restaurant served the “Delmonico Steak.” Whatever the excellent cut (the current restaurant uses boneless rib eye), the term Delmonico’s Steak has come to mean the best.

Lightly seasoned with salt, basted with melted butter, and grilled over a live fire, it’s traditionally served with a thin clear gravy and Delmonico’s potatoes, made with cream, white pepper, Parmesan cheese, and nutmeg — a rumored favorite of Abraham Lincoln’s.

7. Chicago-style pizza

Naples gave us the first pizza, but the City of Big Shoulders (and even bigger pizzas) gave us the deep dish. The legend goes that in 1943, a visionary named Ike Sewell opened Uno’s Pizzeria in Chicago with the idea that if you made it hearty enough, pizza, which up till then had been considered a snack, could be eaten as a meal.

Whether he or his original chef Rudy Malnati originated it, one of those patron saints of pizza made it deep and piled it high, filling a tall buttery crust with lots of meat, cheese, tomato chunks, and authentic Italian spices.

Thin-crust pizza made in a brick oven has its place, but if you lust for crust, nothing satisfies quite like Chicago-style.

For snacking perfection, just add salsa and guacamole

6. Nachos

The bane of diets and the boon of happy hours — could there be a more perfect calorie-dense accompaniment to a pitcher of margaritas?

Less rhetorically: why does Piedras Negras, Mexico, just over the border from Eagle Pass, Texas, host The International Nacho Festival and the Biggest Nacho in the World Contest every October?

Because it was there that Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya invented nachos when a gaggle of shopping wives of American soldiers stationed at Fort Duncan arrived at the Victory Club restaurant after closing time.

Maitre d’ Ignacio improvised something for the gals with what he had on hand, christening his melty creation nachos especiales. From thence they have gone forth across the border, the continent and the world.

And finally – Part 10: Philly Cheese Steak, Hot Dogs, Cheeseburgers, Reuban Sandwiches…the Countdown to the #1 Greatest American Food!

Source: America’s 50 greatest foods by Dana Joseph, May 10, 2012, Best of USA Travel

Picazzo’s Organic Italian Kitchen

Eat healthier at Picazzo’s Organic Italian Kitchen and enjoy a gourmet Italian menu of pizzas, pastas, soups and salads all made with local, natural, organic, and preservative-free ingredients! The menu is 90% organic with the rest all natural and includes many Gluten-free items and signature vegetarian pizzas. Even the kid’s menu is organic! The atmosphere is open and friendly in a pleasant ‘artsy’ style with patio dining and a separate bar area.

We started with a simple mixed green salad (a Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing on the side), which we shared – thank goodness! – their salad servings are size LARGE!

All of the Vegetarian Pizza were tempting but we narrowed it down to two:

Pesto and Artichokes (Oganic pesto, sun dried tomatoes, mozzarella, artichoke hearts, roasted garlic, pine nuts and chevre (goat cheese) topped with fresh basil.

Puttanesca (Organic olive oil and garlic, mozzarella, fresh Roma tomatoes, Kalamata olives, artichoke hearts and French feta topped with fresh basil)

…And settled on a ‘split’ medium-size so we could sample them both – a happy choice!

For Dessert Lovers, another menu with a variety of temptations. You know our affinity for Chocolate Chip Cookies (read Rainy Day Comfort Food) and there it was:  Classic Chocolate Chip (Think of the best chocolate chip cookie you ever tasted…now think bigger! This classic favorite is a rich, thick chocolate chip cookie, slowly baked to melt the delectable chocolate chips, then topped with organic vanilla bean ice cream)

For your Arizona visits only, but check Picazzo’s web site to drool over their menu, learn about their GO (Green/Organic) Movement, and find a location for your next visit to Arizona…and maybe–just maybe — you might encourage them to open a ‘kitchen’ in your community!

Food For Flight?


to arrive the required two hours early, checking your bags, getting through security, arriving at your gate, and THEN you begin to relax, breath normally again and you realize:  it is meal time?

Or it soon will be, and you should get something to eat since no meals are being served on your flight and you’ll be lucky if you even get peanuts!  And if you want to eat at one of the ‘nice’ restaurants, you haven’t arrived with quite enough time for that…can’t risk getting delayed with slow service. So, you give in and walk through the ‘grab it and go’ line for packaged sandwiches or salads that have been prepared who knows how long ago– that look it AND taste it! OR you give in and buy a cinnamon roll (that cinnamon smell is tantalizing but not very nutritious!) or even just a candy bar at the newsstand…YIKES!

Since we have become more focused on healthier nutritious meals, eating at airports is even more of a challenge for us. Some airports’ food service is offering fresh fruit and salads but they are rather pricey and not always fresh looking. To find something substantial to eat that is also quick and somewhat healthy has definitely been a challenge…UNTIL we found ourselves at the Portland Airport.

The food court is inviting and friendly and offers several intriguing options! And it is right there at the ‘front door’ where you walk in after checking your bags, before going through security, so you can even purchase your food and take it to your gate or have it to eat during your flight. Or even better yet – take it to the Atrium…a beautiful area just inside security with a full wall of windows overlooking the runway (for those of us who like to watch the planes landing and taking off) and letting in filtered sunlight (yes, the sun does shine in Portland!) creating a peaceful seating area where semi-private chairs with Internet connections (FREE Wi-Fi!) & outlets for recharging cell phones and computers are placed in a setting of trees and other greenery.   A grand piano sits ‘center stage’ where local musicians entertain for tips and sales of CDs. I didn’t want to leave, and Tommy had to rush me to our gate, arriving just in time to line up for boarding!

OH YES – the FOOD:  PIZZACATO PIZZA!  We had surveyed the establishments at the food court at the Portland  Airport, always looking for a light and fresh, healthy salad option. Not expecting it at a pizza place, Pizzicato Pizza actually offers several choices of delicious sounding salads and other temptations including a Hummus Plate and a Greek Antipasti (fresh tomatoes, cucumber, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, pepperoncini, & red onions with Balsamic Vinaigrette.) along with their equally delicious looking (and smelling) pizzas! We settled on the Spinach Salad with pine nuts, feta cheese, tomatoes, and a Balsamic Vinaigrette (omitting the red onions–I don’t do onions). We have enjoyed this delicious salad twice now while traveling through the Portland Airport (and still haven’t gotten a picture…sorry, I get so focused on eating, sometimes I forget to take pictures!). The first time we ate during our flight, and it was a delicious in-flight meal. The next time, we enjoyed that beautiful serene atrium, and I was so relaxed, we almost missed our flight (thank goodness for those moving walkways!)

We discovered that Pizzicato Pizza is a Portland establishment grown from a ‘tiny hole-in-the-wall to a dependable neighborhood pizzeria” with numerous locations, some are franchises, in and around Portland, even reaching out to Hood River, Lake Oswego, & Bend Oregon, Vancouver, WA, Petaluma CA, and as far away as San Diego and Encinitas CA. Hmmm…. San Diego? I will have to check it out! Meanwhile, for the best airport food yet, YOU should check out Pizzicato Pizza at the Portland Airport or visit any of their other handy locations!