What makes a better gift than DIY cocktail supplies? This kind of gift is cute, unique, and way more useful than another pair of hand-knit socks. Best of all, it’s surprisingly easy to make the components of one of my favorite cocktails, the Manhattan. Well, all of the components except for the rye whiskey. That one, I’ll leave to the experts.
Archive for December, 2009
According to The Journal of Antiques, Gingerbread has been around for centuries, first appearing when the Medieval Crusaders returned from the Middle East bringing back spices, sugar, and citrus fruits. Then, Catholic monks started adapting the ingredients into themed cakes and carved cookie boards. Today, the ingredients and method are much the same, although the shape and presentation obviously differ. For this post, I visited many of my favorite local bakeries to check in and see how they’ll be adapting the seasonal favorite this year. From the standard to the standout, here are a few treats that I’m pretty sure will warm your spirits in the weeks to come.
The first thing you see when you walk into this self-described modern bistro are the sparkling cases stuffed with rich piles of handmade chocolates and pastries. That decadent display alone would be enough to draw one back to Shokolaat, but I was after quite another attraction: a meatloaf sandwich.
This winter, one of my several drinks of choice is a nod of solidarity with my half-frozen Swedish brothers and sisters– glögg. It’s festive without trying too hard, it’s simple to make in large batches, it’s warm, it’s delicious, and, with the help of a little brandy, it really helps take the edge off the Holidays. And, of course, it’s just plain fun to say. If you’re not quite certain how to pronounce it, just sidle up to a Swede– they’re a friendly lot.
Julie Powell visited KQED’s The Writers’ Block to record a reading from her latest book, Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession. She was open to participating in a video interview and shared her thoughts about the importance of transparency in the process of transforming animals into meat; how the fame she received from Julie and Julia affected her career path and personal life; revealed some themes for her next fiction novel and showed us her tattoo.
I’m not interested in reporting on what in the food-verse Panorama has seen fit to report — though that would be an suitably Internet-y concern. Anyone wanting to know the gritty and succulent details of the food section can just buy the newspaper, or read one of dozens of summaries floating around. What I am actually interested in is how Panorama’s food pages might potentially epitomize a new ideal for the framing of food stories, recipes, and related visual content in print, and how that could possibly trickle down to the under-funded and under-valued realm of real daily newspapers.
I’d been waiting for this day for a few months. I always anticipate Thanksgiving for quite some time, but this year it was the day after Thanksgiving that I was looking forward to the most. Denise, a family friend, was driving up to Marin to teach my sisters and I how to make her infamous toffee, Denise’s Pieces.
Now that you can’t swing a puggle in this town without landing it face-first in someone’s salted-caramel-gingerbread-bacon cupcake, what’s the future of dessert? Four of the city’s most innovative confectionaries got together last week to discuss the current State of Pastry in SF.
This month, I had a reason to make minestrone for the first time. A few days before my mother-in-law flew out for Thanksgiving, I recited the contents of our Mariquita Mystery Box to her over the phone. As soon as she heard we were getting butternut squash, baby leeks, and chard, she told me I should think about making Alice Waters’ fall minestrone from The Art of Simple Food. She even brought me a Ziplock bag of the necessary sage, rosemary, and bay leaf fresh from her Virginia garden.
I have always had this thing for Southern people. I don’t know exactly what it is about them, but I tend to collect them much in the same way I collect Canadians and Edward Gorey first editions. Maybe it was my obsession with Gone with The Wind at age nine, or maybe it was the fact that, at the age of five, I insisted I was a Southerner because I was from Southern California and could argue that Anaheim was at approximately the same latitude as Atlanta, Georgia.. There are lots of reasons, really, but none of them are really very important.
Making trifle shouldn’t be difficult. As much as I love lady fingers drizzled with Anisette, I am rational enough to admit that my good intentions for baking them myself are more idealistic than realistic. I do, however, like to make cake. That said, if you aren’t one to bake anything, don’t let that stop you. Just buy a cake and assemble. The truth of the matter is that trifle can be one of the easiest holiday desserts you can create. In essence, making a trifle should be a trifle (pun intended). Although you can make everything from scratch, you can also simply purchase many of the layered items and then construct your trifle as you see fit.