Archive for June, 2009

Ferry Plaza Farmers Market: June Report

Ferry Plaza Farmers Market: June Report

| June 16, 2009 | 0 Comments

Saturday morning at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market was classically representative of the way I shop the market. My plan was to get in and out in about an hour and go home to start my day. But all the vendors had stories, and I ran into friends and two and a half hours later, I was trudging home, my arms laden with lots of delicious goodies for the week.

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The Great American Food & Music Festival

The Great American Food & Music Festival

| June 15, 2009 | 21 Comments

If you made it to the Great American Food & Music Festival this weekend, you may still be grumbling, “You mean the not so great American no-Food Festival”…

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Inner Sunset Farmers Market, San Francisco

Inner Sunset Farmers Market, San Francisco

| June 14, 2009 | 35 Comments

Last Sunday, a brand-new farmers market opened in one of my favorite San Francisco neighborhoods: The Inner Sunset. The market, in the parking lot at Ninth and Irving streets, is run by the Pacific Coast Farmers Markets Association and will run from June through November.

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Recipe: Apricot Jam

Recipe: Apricot Jam

Just as quince gets described as apple’s tough, weird older sister, so apricots are often just a placeholder for peach-lovers, something sweet and orange with a pit that will do until the real goodies come along.

But apricots are good for cooking in a way that peaches aren’t, their flavor intensifying into an ineffable tangy sweetness that leans just right against a crumbly, buttery crust or a piece of whole-grain toast. And ask any home jam-maker what apricot they prefer, and you’re bound to hear paens of praise for a little, freckly, squishy, short-season fruit that, when ripe, practically turns to jam all by itself.

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Feeling Feverish for Fever-Tree Ginger Beer

Feeling Feverish for Fever-Tree Ginger Beer

| June 12, 2009 | 2 Comments

I really only have one requirement for ginger beer. I have to feel it.

To wit: “…the ginger beer has to sting, burn, and fire up the back of your throat. You have to feel it in your nose and down your gullet.”

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Fresh Peach Ice Pops and Creamsicles

Fresh Peach Ice Pops and Creamsicles

I love all summer fruits, but peaches are close to the top of my list of favorites. There’s nothing tastier than eating a plump fresh peach, juices bursting. But after eating my fill of peaches, I crave more. I still want all that sweet and fragrant peachiness, but in another format. This is where peach pies and tarts come in, not to mention grilled peaches and peach jam. My new favorite peach recipe, however, may be the simplest of them all: peach ice pops and creamsicles.

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The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie

The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie

| June 10, 2009 | 6 Comments

The chocolate chip cookie. A classic. An American icon. A comfort so versatile, it is as satisfying raw as it is baked. What’s the secret to the ULTIMATE chocolate chip cookie? Find out…

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Hungry for Change: FOOD, INC.

Hungry for Change: FOOD, INC.

| June 9, 2009 | 2 Comments

Last month, Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez, an outspoken leader on food safety and animal rights, hosted a special screening of the documentary, FOOD, INC. for a roomful of legislators in Sacramento. Thanks to a friend who works at the capitol, I was able to sneak in.

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Sunset Celebration Weekend

Sunset Celebration Weekend

| June 8, 2009 | 1 Comment

Sunset magazine has long been the go-to source for “how to live in the West” especially when it comes to travel, gardening, home improvement and of course, food and wine. Since the centennial of the magazine in 1998, Sunset has been hosting an annual open house called the Sunset Celebration Weekend.

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Strawberry Jam

Strawberry Jam

No matter what you do, fruit+sugar=sweet fruity goodness. And just like homemade pie, homemade jam is better than anything you can buy, even from a fancy place. Why? Because anywhere this side of Smuckers, you’re using more fruit and less sugar when you make your jam at home.

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The curtain goes up on an Oliveto apprenticeship

The curtain goes up on an Oliveto apprenticeship

| June 6, 2009 | 4 Comments

For the last two months, I’ve been part of this dinner troupe, as a stagehand — a chef apprentice. Starting in April, I took a leave from my job as an editorial writer and columnist for The Sacramento Bee to intern at Oliveto, an Italian restaurant in Rockridge.

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Bismarcks: At the Gates of Paris

Bismarcks: At the Gates of Paris

| June 5, 2009 | 0 Comments

I’ve currently got Paris on the brain. I’m about to invade that city for a week of eating and drinking and wandering and thinking.

So, naturally, the first thing to pop into my head for today’s post was, “I should do something German.”

Because that’s how my mind works.

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Kicking the Kids’ Menu Habit

Kicking the Kids’ Menu Habit

It seems that the idea of the limited and inexpensive kid menu has been adopted by not only by the chains, but also small independent places and even some high-end restaurants. And although some of these places offer decent dining options for children, most kid menus are limited to chicken fingers, mac and cheese (from a box), grilled cheese, and frozen pizza. It’s tempting to order one of these options when the price of an entrée is often two to three times more than that slice of kid pizza the boy at the next table is eating. As tempting as it may be to just order a couple of kid plates for my daughters, however, I try to resist. I am not advocating purchasing $20 entrées for your kids (unless you don’t mind paying that much and your kids will eat them). Rather I suggest exploring some other ways to get your children to eat “real” food when dining out.

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Desperately Seeking Dim Sum

Desperately Seeking Dim Sum

| June 3, 2009 | 9 Comments

In a perfect world, I would find the ultimate dim sum spot where the food is exceptional, the wait not frightening, and the prices so low they incur giggles of disbelief and delight at the end of the meal.

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