Archive for May, 2009

Gary Paul Nabhan: Renewing America’s Food Traditions

Gary Paul Nabhan: Renewing America’s Food Traditions

| May 19, 2009 | 2 Comments

For about as long as I have been talking about eating food from local farmers, I have been talking about Gary Paul Nabhan. He is the author of a book called Coming Home to Eat which definitively changed my life’s course and really made me focus on talking about eating local food.

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Pregnant Pause: Gin and Tonic

Pregnant Pause: Gin and Tonic

| May 18, 2009 | 4 Comments

I decided to start my mocktail quest off with that simplest of drinks, the gin and tonic. With multiple nuances brought on by using different gins, it’s probably my favorite cocktail — biting, tart, and tinged with bitterness, it reminds me of myself on my best days.

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Grow a Farmer

Grow a Farmer

The Grow a Farmer Campaign needs your help. Put a roof over the heads of some eager farming apprentices, and you’ll be helping to grow the next generation of farmers for California and beyond.

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Wine: Shopping Online & Tasting Notes

Wine: Shopping Online & Tasting Notes

| May 16, 2009 | 0 Comments

In my last post I wrote about the Bay Area’s diverse selection of brick and mortar wine shops. This time, I’m covering online retailers. I’ve also been building up a surplus of tasting notes since I last posted. I will share the most interesting set which comes from a recent tasting I did with Napa Valley’s Tom Eddy.

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I Hate(d) Peas

I Hate(d) Peas

| May 15, 2009 | 2 Comments

Look at me, I’m eating peas. I’m nearly 40 years old and I’m eating peas. Who says middle-aged men don’t have growth spurts?

I never cared for peas as a child. Perhaps that’s too mildly put. I had always hated peas. No, still not enough. I had a terror of peas as a child.

That’s more like it.

I would not touch them, I hated looking at them, and I certainly would never eat them. If I saw them on television, I would either cover my eyes or run from the room, just as I did anytime I saw two people kissing. Peas,for no good reason, caused me acute emotional distress. When it was beef stew night in our household, I thought my mother was making it specifically to torture me.

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Chocolate Birthday Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Chocolate Birthday Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I have tried many chocolate cake recipes over the years, always searching for the perfect one. But as with a search for anything great (say a life-changing novel or the perfect kiss), so much can go wrong. Some had a deep chocolate flavor, but were a little dry, while others just weren’t chocolaty enough. Worst of all were the cakes the barely held together. Like sloppy kisses, they were well meaning, but a little too wet. After many calorie-filled attempts, I have settled on a recipe that I feel is truly the ultimate for chocolate cake.

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Chorizo Sausage Patties

Chorizo Sausage Patties

| May 13, 2009 | 0 Comments

Chorizo Sausage Patties make the ultimate stay-in brunch at home. Make a batch and keep a stash in your freezer for weekends to come.

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Spring Farmers Market Highlights

Spring Farmers Market Highlights

| May 12, 2009 | 4 Comments

It’s an exciting time around the farmers market these days. I hadn’t been to the market for about two weeks, and was amazed at how much the market changed in a short amount of time. There is a promise of summer fruit in the air, and the spring vegetables are in abundance. Here are some of the things I am looking forward to this month.

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Chile Lindo Empanadas

Chile Lindo Empanadas

| May 11, 2009 | 7 Comments

For the past 10 years, Paula Tejeda has been quietly working her own brand of business development and cultural exchange, one empanada at a time, in San Francisco’s Mission District.

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KQED Forum: Ruth Reichl

KQED Forum: Ruth Reichl

| May 11, 2009 | 0 Comments

Ruth Reichl is best known for her work as editor in chief of Gourmet Magazine, but she’s also a best selling author who tackles subjects outside the world of food. Her new book, “Not Becoming My Mother: And Other Things She Taught Me Along the Way” examines her mother’s life as a woman in the early 20th century.

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Family Meals

Family Meals

Family Meals: Creating Traditions in the Kitchen author and chef Maria Helm Sinskey, her husband (acclaimed organic winemakerRobert Sinskey) and their two girls are adorable, the styling is charming, the recipes look both tasty and accessible, and alright, I’ll admit it: by page 50, I was envious (those chickens! that lavender! those sweet dirty carrots!), and by page 260, I was downright suspicious.

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39 Rue de Barbe

39 Rue de Barbe

| May 8, 2009 | 0 Comments

Rhubarb. I have loved it for years. And why not? It’s a tart, refreshing, and completely extraordinary thing when handled properly.

Of course, it is also highly seasonal. It’s one of the first bits of produce to show up in markets when the ground warms up in the spring, it hangs around in the summertime, when the living is supposedly easy, but it has a predictable habit of disappearing when the weather gets rough. It’s a fair weather thing. And, though most commonly lumped together with fruits, it is, in fact a vegetable– a truth I’ve found very difficult to grasp over the past few years.

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Fresh Spring Pea Soup

Fresh Spring Pea Soup

There are a lot of great recipes for peas, but one of my favorites is Fresh Spring Pea Soup. Cooked with caramelized onions, plus a hint of basil and mint, the peas sweet earthy flavors really burst through; plus the soup’s vivid green color is quite pretty.

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Watercress Soup Shots

Watercress Soup Shots

| May 6, 2009 | 4 Comments

Serve this pureed watercress soup in shot glasses for a fun starter. Served warm, this is a soothing and rich teaser. Served chilled, it’s cool, refreshing, and just sings spring.

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