Chances are you live a stone’s throw away from a Thai restaurant in your neighborhood, and you’ve got a go-to local favorite for pad thai. These days I often find myself traveling north of Berkeley, where there’s quite a few wonderful Thai eateries clustered in Albany, El Cerrito and San Pablo locales.
Archive for December, 2010
As important as growing and selecting produce is to a healthy diet and life, it’s pretty stunning how few of us really know how to pick the best fruits and vegetables when shopping. Sure, we might have heard about certain items we’re supposed to thump or squeeze, and we know to look out for obvious cosmetic flaws, but too much more beyond that is a big mystery for many.
If you’re purchasing a sparkling wine this holiday season, it’s easy to keep it local. After all, some of the finest American choices are produced in our own backyard. Following is a list of my top-ten local sparkling wine choices. Half of these wineries are set in Carneros, an area that covers parts of both Sonoma and Napa Valley that is perfectly suited for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grape growing (the two varietals most commonly used for sparkling wines). The other half are located in other parts of Napa and the Anderson Valleys.
It’s almost New Years Eve, and you know what that means — a lot of folks will be getting their drink on. If you have a gluten sensitivity, it doesn’t mean you need to miss the revelry. A lot of hard alcohol is naturally gluten-free, and for those not into hitting the hard stuff, there are quite a lot of companies making gluten-free beer and cider.
There are a lot of reasons that we love Italy here in San Francisco. The heritage of our city, caught in the hiss of a thousand espresso machines every morning and the beckoning scent of chopped garlic sizzling in olive oil at night, is a melting pot, to be sure, but a fine portion of the pot can be traced back to Genoa and Liguria, Venice and Rome, Sicily and Sardinia.
The way I felt about my Ovaltine ice cream was precisely the way I feel about Christmas– what was initially a simple, delightful, and comforting idea had transformed into something complicated, annoying, and stress-inducing. This little exercise in making a malted ice cream became, in it’s own way, an unexpected gift– I realized that it wasn’t Christmas (or my ice cream, for that matter) that I had grown to loathe, it was all the the other stuff– the irritating marshmallowy fluff– that gets in the way.
Holiday egg strata is my standard stress-free meal for a decadently delicious holiday breakfast. After trying this out a few years ago, I’ve never looked back. I love that I can make this dish the night before, so the only thing I have to do on Christmas morning is stick it in the oven.
Many folks believe that being a vegan during the holidays is a challenge. Au contraire! I look at it as a way to be more creative and celebrate many of the awesome vegan options that abound in the Bay Area. Here is my top twelve list of the best ways for vegans to indulge in some local holiday spirit.
Given the growing interest in small-scale sustainable agriculture and the people who run these farms, it should come as no surprise that books on the subject aren’t far behind. Now comes the home-grown Farm Together Now: A Portrait of People, Places, and Ideas for a New Food Movement by Amy Franceschini and Daniel Tucker. There will be a book release party in San Francisco Tuesday, December 21st.
Today, December 18th is Jacques Pepin’s official birthday. The legendary chef is 75 years old this year and has been celebrating this milestone with his fans, friends and family for a few months now. In October, Jacques was at KQED studios in San Francisco taping his new series Essential Pepin which will air in the fall of 2011. Watch a preview clip from his new series!