Elaine Johnson
Curious cook, avid griller, camper, gardener, and mom

Recent Posts By Elaine Johnson

Farmers Market Friday: Winter Squash Guide

Heading to the farmers’ market this weekend? Join me for an occasional series as I ask farmers about the season’s best produce and share Sunset’s favorite ways to cook it.

Top 5 Secrets for Perfect All-Butter Piecrust

It was embarrassing. I loved to make pies—bountiful apple and pumpkin for Thanksgiving, juicy boysenberry-raspberry for my sister’s birthday in July—but if truth be told, my all-butter crusts were like leather. Now, I could make a perfectly acceptable piecrust using vegetable shortening. In my mind, though, a shattering crisp yet tender, deeply flavorful all-butter crust was the pinnacle of pie. […]

Taste Test: Pumpkin Pie Smackdown!

The great pumpkin pie smackdown started with a sign beside the Winter Luxury pumpkin at my Palo Alto, CA farmers’ market. “The best pie pumpkin you’ll ever eat!” it promised. I had to know: Would it make an even better pie than the dense, earthy kabocha I’d fallen in love with while testing the Kabocha Squash Crème Fraîche Pie recipe […]

Buying the King of Chiles at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market

“Chimayó is to chile as Havana is to cigars. After centuries of selective breeding, and irrigation from a particular mountain stream, there’s an unmistakable complexity to the chiles here, a citrus tang, a depth and richness you can’t find elsewhere.”