People are notorious for under-reporting what they consume — they lie, forget or just guess wrong. For researchers who want to know how much soda we’re drinking, a high-tech analysis technique could help.
The beauty of cooking and baking is altering recipes and making them your own based on the seasons, your taste, and what’s inspiring you at the moment. Now, I haven’t hidden my love for Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain–I’ve baked from it extensively. But today, it’s finally become my own with this “adapted from” recipe that will surely become a permanent part of my repertoire.
After months and months of driving slowly down 4th Street to access the evolving storefront, Arizmendi San Rafael is finally open and already drawing in crowds and attracting a new set of faithful customers. I explored the new location one morning to see what they were doing differently in San Rafael. You’ll see many favorites, from the Cherry Corn Scone to the Wolverine Rolls–and, of course, that pizza. San Francisco and East Bay Arizmendi fans would approve. This is the real deal.
Many of you probably saw 7×7′s recent issue with 100 Things to Eat Before You Die. While I think some of their choices were a bit repetitive this year, it’s a fun issue and always gives me a nudge towards spots I’ve been meaning to try and dishes I need to get my hands on. While studying their inclusions, I noticed a serious omission. For those of you who have had the pleasure of eating the homemade English muffin breakfast sandwich at Mission Beach Café, you know what I’m talking about. This may be up there with my top three favorite things to eat for breakfast in the city–with or without a glossy endorsement.
But there was something else tucked into that crispy tortilla which made my tongue heated up. A lot. He threw in peppers. Scotch Bonnet peppers. Craig and his girlfriend Shannon had just started dating and were trying to out-macho each other on the Scoville scale. As an occasional participant in their bizarre, heat-related courtship ritual, I considered myself a wimp when it came to such things, but I continued to eat. My eyes burned, my nose began to run. After a couple of bites, I was in discomfort; after a couple more, I was in pain.
The gulping of hot tea did nothing to help. The swishing of orange juice around my gums only seemed to spread the heat everywhere. I had never eaten anything so hot in my life. It was horrible, yet oddly delicious. And then something unexpected happened.
Now, San Francisco has its fair share of cupcake spots and most folks have already established their favorites. Whether it’s Kara’s, That Takes the Cake, or the minis over at DeLessio Market and Bakery, a variety of shapes and flavors abound. However, Jennifer Emerson’s new SOMA cupcake shop, Cups and Cakes, is shaking things up a bit.
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.
San Francisco is a brunch town through and through. And I’m always down for a nice eggs benedict or a stack of blueberry pancakes. But everyday can’t be Sunday. Most of us have day jobs and can’t lounge around cafes late into the afternoon hours. So here are a few of my favorite spots for quick, creative, inspiring breakfasts around the city.
I’d never heard of Monkey Bread until a few weeks ago. The name immediately caught my attention. The image of monkeys picking at a loaf of bread as they would nits off each other’s backs came to mind. Charming, I thought. I wanted to know more about it.
Not that there’s much to know.
The etymology is vague. The term “Monkey Bread” has several possible origins: some people believe that the bread resembles the shape of a monkey puzzle tree, but I feel that these people are out of their heads, perhaps having fallen from the top of one the trees themselves. Other people believe that the name derives from the act of pulling the pastry apart with the fingers, much like monkeys might do, if they were presented with such a treat. I have ruled out the theory that this was a bread frequently baked and fan-mailed to the likes of Mickey Dolenz or Davy Jones by swooning teen-aged girls in the 1960′s because the spelling is all wrong. The timing, however, is only a decade away from being correct.
One of the things I love about cooking around the holidays is experimenting with all the ingredients in my refrigerator. Although I have a great time planning our Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year’s feasts, I think I enjoy the impromptu ones even more. Take Christmas breakfast this year: although I had every intention of making cinnamon rolls the night before Christmas so we could have freshly-baked ooey gooey deliciousness in the morning, an ill-timed head cold forced me to bed early. So there we were, Christmas morning with no buns. What we did have, however, was a fridge full of fresh and luxurious holiday ingredients.
But a recipe doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming to be delicious and look great. Case in point: Challah French toast stuffed with cream cheese and jam and topped with berries. Regular French toast is a universal favorite, but with just a little extra effort, you can make it exceptional. Even better, this breakfast couldn’t be easier to make and you can even prepare most of the dish the night before.
Noshing on sticky buns the approximate size of your head is a Midwest breakfast tradition. I came to this realization early in life when, on a trip Up North to a friend’s cabin, we had some relief from the constant yodeling (on the radio, not the parents, though it was the their choice of music for three hours straight) when we stopped at Tobie’s in Hinckley, MN. Halfway between Minneapolis and Duluth, Tobie’s is a famous rest stop/family restaurant where people mostly load up on enormous rolls, sticky with caramel and studded with nuts, while reading all about the famous Hinckley fire on informative place mats.