Archive for April, 2008

Asparagus and Sweet Valley High

Asparagus and Sweet Valley High

| April 12, 2008 | 4 Comments

Because I was such a picky eater as a kid and gagged over nearly everything, I can always recall precisely when my feelings toward certain foods took a turn for the better. Not only that, but I clearly remember how the food was prepared, and I know exactly what I read that piqued my interest […]

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Harira: Moroccan Soul Food

Harira: Moroccan Soul Food

| April 11, 2008 | 5 Comments

When I spent time in Morocco a couple of years ago, I found harira on nearly every menu. Traditionally, it is the food that breaks the month-long, daylight fasting of Ramadan, but I was told by more than one old geezer that it was also referred to as “Smoker’s Soup” because it helped purify the […]

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Resist the Box Redux: Homemade Chocolate Pudding

Resist the Box Redux: Homemade Chocolate Pudding

| April 10, 2008 | 6 Comments

I’ve been having deep thoughts about pudding lately. It all started when I was watching Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with my daughters. Twice in the movie, Luna Lovegood refers to eating pudding at a Hogwart’s feast. Every time I heard the word “pudding,” my mouth watered and I knew I had […]

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Celebrate The Sweet Life

Celebrate The Sweet Life

| April 9, 2008 | 2 Comments

A chilly Spring has me longing for a tropical vacation. One way to get a little taste of the islands in our own backyard is to dine at Roy’s. Chef Roy Yamaguchi is one of the most influential and well-respected Hawaiian chefs. His style of fusion cuisine combines Asian, French and Hawaiian ingredients and techniques. […]

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Bar Jules: Delight in Hayes Valley

Bar Jules: Delight in Hayes Valley

| April 8, 2008 | 2 Comments

“The chestnut soup was good, but not Bar Jules good,” a friend told me the other day. She was referring to a delicious chestnut and farro soup that we’d eaten at Bar Jules a couple of months back. In the time since Bar Jules opened in December, it has quickly become a place that I […]

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Culinary Laboratory: Cooking by Chemistry

Culinary Laboratory: Cooking by Chemistry

| April 7, 2008 | 1 Comment

Blueberries and oysters? Chocolate and cauliflower? Blue cheese and rhubarb and pineapple? If taste buds could cringe, then mine were recoiled into a wincing mess when I first learned about these flavor pairings. For those of you who have been eating at El Bulli or The Fat Duck or Alinea, this is all old news. […]

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Hidden Villa

Hidden Villa

I usually try to buy local and organic foods, but am not always successful. Choosing to buy locally is often inconvenient, while buying organic can be expensive. Most grocery stores do not stock local foods, so I need to go to the farmer’s market to purchase it, which eats up a Saturday morning. Organic food […]

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Where the Blackberry is Never in Season

Where the Blackberry is Never in Season

| April 4, 2008 | 11 Comments

Dear Miss Manners, “When dining, does one place one’s Blackberry to the right of the plate, or to the left, near the salad fork?” The answer to this unsent question is, of course, never. I don’t care if you’re the Pope. Of course, popes don’t use Blackberries. They use people who use Blackberries. Hey there, […]

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Two Artisan Distillers

Two Artisan Distillers

| April 3, 2008 | 1 Comment

If you know me, you know I have a taste for whisky. My palate is slowly (ever so slowly and with much repetitive training) being refined and, more and more, I’m learning what I like and what I don’t like. I have an affinity for Scotch, particularly two distilleries from the lowlands (Glenkinchie and Auchentoshan) […]

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More Chocolate Cookbooks & Double Chocolate-Hazelnut Biscotti Recipe

More Chocolate Cookbooks & Double Chocolate-Hazelnut Biscotti Recipe

| April 2, 2008 | 2 Comments

We can’t ever have too many chocolate recipes, can we? Since the quality of chocolate available in the supermarket has dramatically improved over the past twenty years or so, it’s great to have a few more cookbooks that focus on using the most widely available products including chocolate bars, cocoa powder and chocolate chips. Here […]

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Spring at the Farmers Market: Fava Beans

Spring at the Farmers Market: Fava Beans

| April 1, 2008 | 1 Comment

The return of fava beans, the dinosaur-looking, rather ugly shelling bean, to the market is a sure sign of spring. Fava bean season is ridiculously short, and during fava bean season you will find me in front of the television doing the tedious work to clean the beans as often as I can. Unlike some […]

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