Archive for November, 2009

Our Very Own Stuffing Smackdown

Our Very Own Stuffing Smackdown

| November 30, 2009 | 4 Comments

This post was supposed to end much differently. You see, we did something special at my house for Thanksgiving this year. I challenged my mom to a “Stuffing Smackdown.” Now I’m one of those people that likes to do virtually everything homemade–and my mom does too, for the most part. But she likes bagged stuffing. In my unofficial stuffing research, I discovered that most people think adding their own combination of ingredients to Pepperidge Farm bags of stuffing counts as homemade. I don’t. The challenge was on.

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Growing Greens

Growing Greens

| November 29, 2009 | 0 Comments

After a few days of turkey sandwiches, the remains of the stuffing and pumpkin pie for breakfast, what I was craving was greens: tough, raincoat-textured winter greens, steamed to tenderness and tossed with lemon and garlic and hot pepper flakes, bright with B vitamins and minerals with just an edge of bitterness.

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‘Burb Burps: Howie’s Artisan Pizza

‘Burb Burps: Howie’s Artisan Pizza

| November 28, 2009 | 0 Comments

For the past year, it has been my fondest desire to find pizza on the Peninsula that made up for the loss of my favorites in the city. Piccino, Pizzetta 211, and Pizzeria Delfina set the curve for me in terms of crust and inventive toppings, and it was going to be really hard to, uh, top them.

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Turkey Hash: A Black Friday Breakfast

Turkey Hash: A Black Friday Breakfast

| November 27, 2009 | 0 Comments

To someone like me, who may have the bad fortune of having holes in his pockets, but the good fortune of having nothing burning anywhere near them, it makes sense to spend the Friday after Thanksgiving holed up in order to recover from the orgy of food, wine, friends, and family.

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Your Quick Guide to Holiday Volunteering in the Bay Area

Your Quick Guide to Holiday Volunteering in the Bay Area

| November 26, 2009 | 3 Comments

So if you’re looking for a way to give back to your community this holiday season, or all year, here are some local volunteer opportunities at organizations offering food to those in need. If you know of a great program not listed here, please include it in the comments section.

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Butternut Squash Risotto

Butternut Squash Risotto

| November 25, 2009 | 0 Comments

This Butternut Squash Risotto is meant to be shared and enjoyed with those near and dear to you. It is warm and comforting, creamy and rich, and taste like home. The perfect addition to your Thanksgiving table.

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Morel of a Story

Morel of a Story

| November 24, 2009 | 1 Comment

Exempting those that kill you or make you crazy for six hours, wild mushrooms can, as most readers are very aware, be extremely delicious. Chanterelles are buttery and subtle; fresh porcini are robust and nutty, excellent roasted, or in salads with Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings and pine nuts; lion’s mane mushrooms are furry and high-strung, delicate, with a mild, almost seafood-like taste — especially nice folded into an omelette. The possibilities are nearly limitless, and most dedicated eaters and chefs prize their special qualities and bountiful culinary applications.

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Tasty Tattoos and the Chefs Who Sport Them

Tasty Tattoos and the Chefs Who Sport Them

| November 23, 2009 | 5 Comments

Locally, the Bay Area could host a similar show. A great many chefs have tattoos, and interestingly (although not surprisingly)–many are food related. I set out to take a closer look and found that, while tattoos in general are often thought of as the ultimate form of self-expression, the following food personalities are proving that their alimentary tats are more than that. Part immortalizing a favorite dish, part business inspiration and contract, part celebrating personal success–they all prove that they’re in it for the long run.

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Calling the Pie Therapist

Calling the Pie Therapist

| November 22, 2009 | 3 Comments

I’m here to tell you: there is NO magic about making pie crust. It takes four ingredients, about 20 minutes or less of hands-on time, and the results are so flaky, so buttery, so sublime, you will amaze your loved ones (and yourself) for life.

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Nora Ephron and Mashed Potatoes

Nora Ephron and Mashed Potatoes

| November 21, 2009 | 4 Comments

So, I’m reading Nora Ephron’s 1983 novel Heartburn — I think I’m the last person in America to realize that Ephron was a foodie long before Julie & Julia, Ephron was a foodie — and the book is filled with love and longing and heartbreak and food. Lots of food.

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Cesare’s Salad: Tossing My Own.

Cesare’s Salad: Tossing My Own.

| November 20, 2009 | 0 Comments

I’m a sucker for a great Caesar salad. Call me old school, but there are few things that can beat it in my book. Garlicky, lemony, cheesy, and anchovy-y, if there is such a word. If there isn’t, there should be.

Sadly, a great restaurant Caesar salad has eluded me in this city of ours.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake with a Pecan Shortbread Crust

Pumpkin Cheesecake with a Pecan Shortbread Crust

| November 19, 2009 | 8 Comments

But pumpkin pie can be more than the standard fare of pureed pumpkin mixed with cream, sugar, eggs, and spices in a butter or graham cracker crust. I mean, honestly, do we all need to make the same pie every year? So this holiday, after a lifetime of eating traditional pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, I decided I was in the mood for something a little different.

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Vietnamese Coffee: In Pursuit of the Perfect Cup

Vietnamese Coffee: In Pursuit of the Perfect Cup

| November 18, 2009 | 3 Comments

Like espresso, Vietnamese coffee is deep and rich, and a little goes a long way. What makes it really stand out though is its incredible buttery aroma and flavor. Add a generous drizzle of sweetened condensed milk and you have a habit that will be hard to shake.

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Chilaquiles in the Mission District

Chilaquiles in the Mission District

| November 17, 2009 | 1 Comment

Sometimes, the homiest dishes — foods without pretense or artifice — are most revealing about the cultures from which they spring, and inspire the most debate amongst their devotees. However, from countless regional Mexican renditions — like white sauces in Sinaloa and Guadalajara’s polenta-like cazuela cook-downs — to American adaptations that echo Tex-Mex migas, all chilaquiles aim to soothe — regardless of a particular variation’s provenance and claims to authenticity.

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