Archive for March, 2010

Dip, Baby, Dip

Dip, Baby, Dip

| March 31, 2010 | 0 Comments

Three dips to satisfy all your BBQ/block party/picnic needs: Radish Cream Cheese Dill Dip, Portuguese Green Olive Anchovy Dip, Guacamole. 69 Boyz Tootsee Roll video included.

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A Tomato Grows on Capp Street

A Tomato Grows on Capp Street

| March 30, 2010 | 1 Comment

In recent years, urban farmers have started seeing their flora and fauna as something more than sustainable, super-local eats. They’re hyper-aware of how their work can impact their surroundings, and intrigued by what larger ripples they might make. Thus, their missions are evolving, moving in inspired directions towards a brand of community-conscious agri-activism.

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Celebrating Spring with Lemon Desserts

Celebrating Spring with Lemon Desserts

| March 29, 2010 | 0 Comments

Spring has sprung in the city! There is asparagus in the markets, flowers popping up at the corner store by my place, and it’s no longer getting dark at 5:30. Hallelujah. For me, that generally means going for runs after work instead of hunkering down, making lots of fresh salads for dinner, and doing a little spring time baking. So here is a lovely recipe for a lemon pudding cake — I made it with lemons from my mom’s tree in Marin and had the other ingredients in the fridge. It’s relatively simple, light, and perfectly tart.

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Passover Baking

Passover Baking

Most Passover recipe features tend to focus almost exclusively on the Big Event of the Seder dinner, forgetting that there are eight days of breakfasts and lunches to get through after the soup and brisket. Since grains, flours, and leavening are the big no-no’s during the holiday, baking Jews like myself must get creative once the charm of the matzoh wears off around day 3.

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SF Food Wars on Food & Wine This Week

SF Food Wars on Food & Wine This Week

| March 28, 2010 | 0 Comments

Leslie Sbrocco is back with Bay Area Bites blogger, Stephanie Rosenbaum and Jeannie Choe, creator of the San Francisco Food Wars — a local competition where seasoned chefs and home cooks alike compete for prizes and the title of SF Food Wars champion. In the latest round…Who can make the ultimate chocolate chip cookie?

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I’ll Have a Shirley Temple… and Make It Black.

I’ll Have a Shirley Temple… and Make It Black.

| March 26, 2010 | 5 Comments

The whole notion of kiddie cocktails centers around their ability to allow children to participate somewhat benignly in adult cocktail culture– preparing them in a sense for their futures as alcohol-swigging grown-ups to whom they look up, both physically and morally.

Maybe they’re not so benign, after all.

The idea of the Shirley Temple Black is entirely upside down. It is a drink that allows me to mix and mingle with the wee ‘uns from time to time without having them point at my Manhattan and ask what’s in it. With an innocent-looking, yet boozy Shirley Temple Black, I can gently tone down those shrieks of bouncy castle delight, or steel myself for the twenty-seventh consecutive screening of Thomas the Tank Engine more or less unnoticed.

At the next children’s party I am obliged to attend, when the host or hostess asks me what I’m having, you know my answer’s going to be:

“I’ll have a Shirley Temple, and make it Black.”

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Asparagus Risotto and Croquettes

Asparagus Risotto and Croquettes

| March 25, 2010 | 1 Comment

So what did I make with my first asparagus purchase of the season? Well, I decided to try something completely different — at least it was unusual for me, but after 2,000 years or more at the dinner table, I am under no illusions that I am the first to make it. I was thinking of making asparagus with pasta, but when I opened the pantry found an unopened box of risotto sitting prominently on the shelf. It had been ages since I made risotto and the idea of buttery rice with the earthy flavor of spring asparagus sounded wonderful to me.

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Cesar Chavez Day at Berkeley Farmers’ Market

Cesar Chavez Day at Berkeley Farmers’ Market

Happy Spring! Yesterday the Berkeley Farmers’ Market was awash in tender greens, including that rock star of spring, asparagus…just in time for Passover dinners and Easter brunch. From now through mid-April, Berkeley’s Ecology Center is honoring the life of Cesar Chavez, whose work as an activist and organizer within the farmworker communities of California (and beyond) made a difference in so many lives.

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An African Dinner in Berkeley

An African Dinner in Berkeley

| March 23, 2010 | 6 Comments

An evening far far away…in Berkeley. An exploration of African flavors: Senegalese-style Mafé, a tomato-based groundnut stew, and Bread Pudding with Malagasy Vanilla Rum Sauce.

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SF Food Wars: The Chocolate Cookie Situation

SF Food Wars: The Chocolate Cookie Situation

Big hair, tight tops, and bakers in Bumpits: Sunday’s edition of SF Food Wars, The Chocolate Cookie Situation, was a glitter-dusted adventure inspired by the cheesy NJ reality show, Jersey Shore.

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Food Photography Workshop with Penny De Los Santos

Food Photography Workshop with Penny De Los Santos

| March 19, 2010 | 6 Comments

Last week I had the opportunity to take Penny de los Santos’ food photography workshop here in San Francisco. Penny started as a documentary photographer, but has recently moved into shooting more food. However, her photos aren’t glistenny, perfectly placed studio shots (although she’s done a few of those, too). Instead, Penny is a magician at lassoing a moment and a sense of place. She takes her background as a documentary photographer and uses it to capture the culture and the stories that take place around the table and in places that people gather.

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Cauliflower Ears

Cauliflower Ears

| March 19, 2010 | 8 Comments

I never thought I had an issue with cauliflower. In fact, I’ve always enjoyed it, whether puréed into a soup, roasted to a nutty brown, or dragged through a bit of ranch dressing that always seems to accompany store-bought party crudité platters. Any time it is put in front of me, there is a good chance I’ll eat it.

And yet I’ve never in my life cooked it. At least, not that I can remember.

I’d see it in the market, buy a head of the stuff and bring it home where it would just rot in my refrigerator, not so much forgotten as avoided.

I’ve gotten as far as placing one on my cutting board, but when I took out my 10″ chef’s knife, I paused, changed my mind at the last moment, and put the thing back into cold storage. For some reason, I just didn’t want to cut up a head of cauliflower. I never gave it much thought until a few months ago.

And then I remembered Ben.

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Fast and Cheap: Cube Steak Sandwiches

Fast and Cheap: Cube Steak Sandwiches

| March 18, 2010 | 1 Comment

Yes, this 1950s staple is my route to affordable steak sandwich success. Made from either the top or bottom round, cube steak undergoes a serious pounding that helps tenderize it into submission. So, although you start off with a chewier piece of meat than the upmarket prime rib roast or tenderloin, you end up with something that works beautifully when pressed into a bun. As a busy mom, I also love that this dish takes less than 10 minutes to make.

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Liquid Irish Luck

Liquid Irish Luck

| March 17, 2010 | 3 Comments

Homemade Irish Cream, revelry galore, and St. Patrick’s Day recipes.

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