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.
Fight your fear of pie-ing! Stephanie Rosenbaum takes you through a photographic step-by-step to make Better than Pumpkin Pie, the Thanksgiving classic made with fresh roasted squash. Plus, learn her secret shortcut for a no-fail, splendidly flaky all-butter crust.
BAB goes around the Bay to find out which scoop shop licks the competition for this favorite seasonal flavor.
Looking for spooky inspiration for your Halloween table? Enjoy our holiday round-up of all things pumpkin-y and Halloween-y. They’re scarily delicious!
Nothing quite embodies the spirit of Halloween like the Jack-o’-Lantern does. Creepy or funny, creative or classic, the carved gourd is more than just simple holiday decor. It’s also a symbol of fall harvest and that winter will soon be amongst us. But did you know, the pumpkin was not the original carved vegetable for this time of year–it was the turnip!
I whipped up some Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting (which rocked if I do say so myself), and sandwiched a generous dollop between two of my pumpkin cookie-cakes. A finishing touch of some toffee bits along the edges and I had myself something to whoop about.
I left the costume in the car as I scoured the city of San Francisco for clever Halloween treats that adults can claim as their own. After wading through what seemed like dozens of boring pumpkin cookies and ratcheting my blood sugar up several notches, I came away with three stops serving grown-ups the kind of treats that keep us feeling like big kids.
In the Bay Area, the skeletons and jack o’ lanterns of Halloween are always interwoven with the sugar skulls and marigold-strewn altars of Mexico’s Day of the Dead. So why not use goat as a base for this Halloween stew baked a pumpkin? Goat is a traditional meat for Day of the Dead dishes–and, with their spooky eyes and devilish implications, a perfectly haunting choice for Halloween, too.
These next few weeks, pumpkins will be everywhere you look. Which means everyone you know will be baking their favorite pumpkin quick bread, pumpkin cookies, or pumpkin muffins these days. This yeasted version is a little more unusual. It makes a great base for turkey sandwiches slathered with mayonnaise and cranberry sauce; it’s also wonderful for breakfast toasted and spread with apple butter.
But pumpkin pie can be more than the standard fare of pureed pumpkin mixed with cream, sugar, eggs, and spices in a butter or graham cracker crust. I mean, honestly, do we all need to make the same pie every year? So this holiday, after a lifetime of eating traditional pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, I decided I was in the mood for something a little different.
Sorry, greenies, there’s nothing edible to be done with last night’s scorched jack o’ lantern. But you’re not missing much: the real secret about any pumpkin, even the sweet little ones, is that they’re just not all that tasty. Compared to even that supermarket workhorse, the beige-skinned butternut, even the cutest pumpkin is all bark, no bite.
October is the official start of pumpkin bread season in our house. While other families wait for the December holidays to kick into gear before making this quick bread, our patience is limited. As soon as the pumpkins start appearing on porches for Halloween, everyone in my house knows pumpkin bread isn’t far behind. The smell of baking bread with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg wafting through the house is our clarion call for Fall.