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.
In the mood for something a little lighter and airier, I decided to make steel-cut oat muffins. Much like my oatcakes and oat squares, I started with a base of steel-cut oats, flour and butter. Yet unlike those baked treats, I used a little less butter and instead added in some buttermilk (which is naturally lowfat) for added tangy flavor and to moisten things up a bit. For a burst of sweetness, I nestled some cherry jam into each muffin (being sure to include at least one cherry in each). Hot out of the oven, the muffins smelled and tasted a bit like cherry pie.
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.
Megan Gordon has found the perfect excuse to feel good about eating cake for breakfast: Blueberry Buckle. Even better? Baking them individually in ball jars. An old-fashioned, rustic dessert baked right into a relatively old-fashioned and portable little container. Kiss your box of cereal goodbye.
Perhaps you saw the famed New York Times Olive Oil Granola recipe last year. Or maybe you’ve been noticing more and more folks using olive oil in their baked goods lately (in bakeries and around the web). Well, here’s my version of Olive Oil Granola and a few web links for with inspiring ideas for baking with olive oil.
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.