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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Spring Onion Kebabs: Recipe

Here is a recipe I created for Dannon: Spring Onion Kebabs Ingredients 1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken (breasts, thighs or combination) 1 bunch of green onions, 6 – 10 total 1/2 tsp. kosher salt 1/8 tsp. fresh ground pepper 1/2 cup Dannon® All Natural Plain Yogurt 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil 4 bamboo skewers Instructions 1. Cut chicken roughly into 1 ½-inch chunks. 2. Chop the bottom 1/3 of the green onions that is white and pale green, to get 1/4 cup. Place the chopped green onions, salt, pepper, yogurt and oil into the blender and blend on high until smooth. 3. Place chicken in a zip lock plastic bag. Pour the marinade over the chicken and marinate for at least 2 hours. Cut the rest of the green onion tops into 1-inch pieces. 4. Meanwhile, soak 4 bamboo skewers in water while chicken is marinating. 5. Preheat broiler. Onto the skewers, thread the chicken, alternating with green onion. Broil chicken 3 inches from heat. Flip the skewers after they have cooked fo...
Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Nopa: Restaurant Review

Do you know someone who has "good ordering karma"? Whenever you go out to eat they unwittingly order the best thing on the menu and you're left with something decidedly less interesting. I'll tell you, I don't have it. It's rare that I end up with the tastiest thing at the table. Frankly, ordering off a menu is more of an ordeal than it ought to be for me. First off, I usually want to try several things and then get anxious over my choice once I make one. So to avoid the curse of ordering poorly, how can one person manage to eat several dishes? It requires the powers of persuasion. You have to persuade others at your table to share what they are ordering and to order all different items. Or you can eat at Nopa and convince your food blogger friends to share no fewer than six small plates with you. Some of them are bound to be good, right? Actually most of them were very good and reasonably priced (about $7-9 each, entrees are $16-19). We had a luscious ...
Monday, May 29, 2006

East West Eats

The deadline for registration has been extended through Tuesday May 30th, so I'm making one last pitch for you to consider attending the East West Eats dinner. Register to attend online . Some delicious new details: There will be demonstrations by chef and food stylist extraordinaire Santos Loo from the Food Network! The roster of chefs has grown! Kirti Pant of Junnoon Khai Duong of Ana Mandara J. Kapur of Maharani Tommy Toy of Tommy Toy In addition to the previously announced: Charles Phan of Slanted Door Robert Lam of Butterfly Hung Le of Three Seasons Peter Pahk of Silverado Kirk Webber of Cafe Kati Anjan and Emily Mitra of Dosa Mutsumi Takhara of Slanted Door Chris Yeo of Straits I'm still amazed that I was asked to be on the on the honorary committee ! I share this honor with: Phil Bronstein, Executive Vice President and Editor, San Francisco Chronicle Nguyen Qui Duc, Host and Producer, KQED's Pacific Time Susan Goldberg, Executive Edito...
Sunday, May 28, 2006

Sometimes I choose posts that have a certain common theme, other times, there is no theme at all. This time the theme is just that I am really overdue for vacation. Each of these posts will transplant you to another time and place... Becks & Posh shares her recipe for Fairy Cakes and her photo is delicious and downright dreamy. Food Migration posts about the ultimate Sushi Spa experience. California roll, anyone? Haddock of Knife's Edge takes us away to where everything is just Beachy Keen . After reading his post, you'll want to go away too. FOOD...

Contest Winners

I thought this was going to be trickier, but I guess you're all too smart or too good at Google-ing. Congratulations to Shane, Occupant One and Michelle who each won a copy of David Burke's New American Classics . The correct answers were: 1. A horseshoe sandwich is the signature dish of which state? Illinois Kentucky Georgia 2. At one time it was against the law to serve this in Kansas: Cheese on apple pie Ice cream on cherry pie 3. The origins of the American hamburger can be traced back to: Mongolia Germany Russia 4. According to the USDA, for every dollar you spend for produce at the supermarket, how much goes to the farmer who grew the produce? 5 cents 10 cents 15 cents 5. In rural American homes in the 19th century, what was a typical breakfast? Pie Stew Eggs FOOD...
Friday, May 26, 2006

American Food Contest

It's time for another contest! This time, courtesy of Knopf, Cooking with Amy will be awarding three copies of David Burke's New American Classics . You can read my review of the book here . Only one entry per person, so choose carefully! Remember, you MUST include your email to win and your mailing address must be in the United States (unless you want to pay for shipping). Just choose your answers and post them in the comments section. The first three people to correctly answer all the questions will win a copy of the book. Good luck! 1. A horseshoe sandwich is the signature dish of which state? Illinois Kentucky Georgia 2. At one time it was against the law to serve this in Kansas: Cheese on apple pie Ice cream on cherry pie 3. The origins of the American hamburger can be traced back to: Mongolia Germany Russia 4. According to the USDA, for every dollar you spend for produce at the supermarket, how much goes to the farmer who grew the produce? 5 cents 10 cents 15 cents 5. In...
Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Still hungry?

Call it pudding or panna cotta, this was another one of my favorite recipes, made with yogurt, white chocolate and only two tablespoons of cream. I must have been channeling some domestic goddess when I improvised a mold using an individual yogurt container cut down to size. READ MORE Over at the Dannon Kitchen is my take on the Pudding & Panna Cotta including the recipe. FOOD + YOGURT...
Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Cardoon Gratin: Recipe

Have you seen these stalks before? If you haven't, you're not alone. I picked them up while shopping at the Ferry Plaza farmer's market on Saturday with the gang of four . We each gravitated towards something exotic--for me it was fragrant lemon basil and cardoons. Cardoons are so unusual you won't even find a recipe for them on Epicurious.com, in fact, if you want to find a recipe for them, look towards Italy where they are most popular. That weighty tome of Italian cooking, The Silver Spoon has no fewer than six recipes for cardoons. Related to the artichoke, cardoons look more like overgrown celery but with a muted grayish tint. Not the healthiest of vegetables, they are low in calories, high in sodium and provide a fair amount of folic acid and magnesium and a bit of potassium. The main reason to eat cardoons is because they taste great. While they look like celery, they have the distinct flavor of artichoke hearts. I'm afraid the way I know to serve them ...
Monday, May 22, 2006

Last Minute Invite

FOOD...

East West Eats

I don't often make a pitch for charity events, but this one is pretty special. The local chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association is holding it's first hopefully annual East West Eats dinner. Here are my top five reasons you should consider going: 1. The venue, the Ferry Building is quite spectacular for special events 2. The food should also be quite spectacular considering the chefs are: Charles Phan of Slanted Door Robert Lam of Butterfly Hung Le of Three Seasons Peter Pahk of Silverado Kirk Webber of Cafe Kati Anjan and Emily Mitra of Dosa Mutsumi Takhara of Slanted Door Chris Yeo of Straits 3. As Charles Phan said, "It's a good way to sample, you get to see several restaurants at one time " 4. It's a good cause, the association assists Asian Americans in pursuing journalism careers and encourages fair, sensitive and accurate news coverage of Asian American issues 5. I'm on the honorary committee along with: Phil Bronstein, Executive Vi...
Sunday, May 21, 2006

Now that I'm heading to London it should come as no surprise that I'm paying even more attention to London food blogs, this week's feature on Richmond from a Passionate Cook really got me planning ahead. How much do you love spinach? As much as Popeye? If so, you must read Chubby Hubby's post sharing stories and a recipe for Spanikopita . Finally, forgive me for choosing a post from the week before last but I just can't help myself, I'm still laughing over Life's A Picnic's discovery and description of Raclette ! FOOD...
Friday, May 19, 2006

Amy Goes to Europe

I am going to spend a week in London and a week in Barcelona. So now is your big chance to influence my plans: Where should I eat? Where should I shop? What sights should I see? I've been to both places, but not for a while so the more current the recommendations the better. Still not sure if I will be posting while I'm away, but either way I promise to share all the details when I get back. I leave June 5th so let me know your top picks soon. Thanks and muchas gracias! LONDON + BARCELONA...
Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A Taste of Shanghai

Shanghai is in the news. A lot. It's in the financial headlines and seems to come up often in discussions about restaurants and food. Back in March when I went to hear Gourmet magazine editor Ruth Reichl speak she talked about "an obsession with the regional cuisine of China" that is influencing the restaurants of the world and she mentioned Shanghai in particular. I have to admit, that got me thinking. I love Chinese food and am always eager to learn and taste more. So when I got a review copy of Richard Wong's Modern Asian Flavors--A Taste of Shanghai I couldn't wait to meet the author and interview him for Bay Area Bites . Richard Wong grew up in Shanghai and left during the Cultural Revolution. He learned to cook from his mother, aunts and most importantly perhaps, his grandmother. In this country he cooked for his friends and created Chinablue a line of sauces, glazes, oils and dressings based on specific dishes. In turn his friends used the sauces in their...
Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Save the Internet

This blog generally stays out of politics but if everyone stays out of politics this time, all blogs might be at stake.... "allowing broadband carriers to control what people see and do online would fundamentally undermine the principles that have made the Internet such a success." Vincent Cerf, internet pioneer This blog and your ability to access it is a product of a free and open internet. Let's keep it that way and make Net Neutrality law. What is Net Neutrality? It is a protection of access, interconnection and non-discrimination. It is not "regulation". And the big telco's are trying to defeat it because it gets in their way of making more money by charging for and controlling access. That's just not right. Join me and other food bloggers around the net today and visit Save the Internet for more information on this crucial issue. NET NEUTRALITY...
Sunday, May 14, 2006

Pretend for a moment that I am your waitress. You are looking at the menu but clearly need help deciding what to order, let's see if I can help. Are you in the mood for something delicious but slightly taboo ? If so, perhaps a visit to Matt Bites' backyard will do the trick. Feeling nostalgic for old Europe? You can't do better than the Salzburg travelogue from Delicious Days. Finally if you want cutting edge, then you better head to the " apocalypse " (all twenty two courses) to be found in Chicago as described by the Restaurant Whore. Happy Mother's Day everyone! FOOD...
Friday, May 12, 2006

Favorite Things: Beard Papa Cream Puffs

They're here! Beard Papa opened up their first retail location in San Francisco today. For the uninitiated, Beard Papa specializes in cream puffs, but no ordinary cream puffs. These super-fresh, crunchy, creamy and not-too-sweet treats have taken Japan by storm where there are over 240 stores. Beard Papa cream puffs are much larger than typical ones and positively delicious. A special choux pastry shell is made with what they descrbe as an "inner shell" and pie-crust "outer shell". The puff is filled to order in front of your eyes, with a whipped cream custard mixture flecked with the seeds of vanilla beans. The menu is scant, in additon to cream puffs there are cheese cake sticks, fondant au chocolate and eclairs plus beverages. But really, all you're going to want is a cream puff anyway. Soon they will be serving a special flavor of the week that will rotate weekly. I tried the green tea flavor in New York and recommend it. I look forward to tryin...
Thursday, May 11, 2006

Still hungry?

Last year I questioned the Eat Local Challenge with a rather controversial post (check out the comments to see what I mean by controversial). This year, bored to tears after reading a particularly tedious Eat Local post, I began thinking about what makes food dull. (For the record, I don't think ALL Eat Local posts are tedious, just some of 'em. And I'm not anti-Eat Local, it's just not for me.) READ MORE Over at Bay Area Bites is my take on how to take all the fun out of food . FOOD...
Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Never Enough Chocolate

Is there anything sadder than an empty box of chocolates? I'm not sure there is. If your mom is as big a fan of chocolate as my mom is, consider pairing a box of chocolates with something chocolatey that will last a whole lot longer. Like a book about chocolate. Recently there has been a windfall of chocolate books; here is a recap and some suggestions for mom (or any other chocolate lover). Mort Rosenblum's Chocolate: A Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light is an interesting book. It is packed with little gossipy tidbits and stories about the history of chocolate and chocolate business itself. It has been criticized by some as not being a serious piece of journalism, with sloppy attention to detail and conspicuously missing footnotes. But it is a fun read nonetheless and just won the IACP literary food writing award. Chocolate The Sweet History is another stab at looking at the chocolate business. The book begins with a history of chocolate, a detailed timeline, a discussi...
Monday, May 08, 2006

Strawberry Cupcakes: Recipe

I have a cupcake confession. I made a LOT of cupcakes in order to get this recipe right. I ate cupcakes, fed them to Lee and even delivered them to friends. I have my sister to thank for testing the recipe who declared them a success with not only adults but kids. It happily passed the test with cupcake eaters from age 4 to 45 (but I'm fairly certain those over 45 will enjoy them too). What did I learn from my cupcake trials and tribulations? I learned that by adding a little chopped fresh strawberry you get a lot of strawberry flavor. Baking with yogurt allows you to use less sugar and less butter and still get a sweet tender cupcake. It's not the healthiest cupcake in the world, but it's not too bad either. Once a cupcake gets too healthy it's nothing more than a muffin. I also learned that one person can only eat so many cupcakes before screaming "uncle". Cupcakes are fun to make, to share and to eat. Cupcakes are not particularly fun to photograph. Un...
Sunday, May 07, 2006

Did you get it?

Just a quick note to say the monthly email newsletter went out last night. If you didn't get it, feel free to sign up for it and I'll send you a copy. It is a double opt-in system, so after you sign up you'll be asked to confirm your subscription. The newsletter provides links to posts from the prior month along with a preview of what's coming up as well as some links to sites I think you'll like. This month I shared my thoughts about the bounty of Spring and what to expect later this month. Thanks again for visiting and staying in touch....
Saturday, May 06, 2006

I thought I'd find lots of Cinco de Mayo posts this week, but I only found a few. Not surprisingly two recipes were inspired by Rick Bayless. If you are ever in Chicago do yourself a favor and check out his restaurants Frontera Grill or Topolobampo next door. The Mexican food is refined, authentic and simply amazing. I'm not the only person to go to Italy and miss Mexican food. Italian-based blog Porcini Chronicles features a recipe for the delectable sounding Tequila-Drunken Pinto Beans with Cilantro and Bacon . Culinary in the Desert shares a recipe that uses Mexican chocolate. Read the whole post here or skip ahead to the recipe for Mexican Chocolate Pie Bars . Like Joe says, naughty but oh so good! As some of you may know, I subscribe to an organic produce delivery program from Capay Fruits & Vegetables . This week I include a post honoring immigrants from one of the farmers. One other late addition --Elise of Simply Recipes reprises recipes for Guacamole, Tomatillo...
Friday, May 05, 2006

Still hungry?

READ MORE Over at SF Station is my Mother's Day Gift Guide . It only has a few food items, but I think you'll enjoy it anyway! SHOPPING...
Thursday, May 04, 2006

Favorite Things: Langford Petals Shortbread Biscuits

She's defined as "a person who provides the care and affection normally associated with a female parent", in other words mom. And her day is just around the corner. Mother's Day is May 14th. From now until next Sunday I'll be sharing treats and treasures for the occasion. Flowers are traditional for Mother's Day and some blossoms that caught my eye at the Fancy Food Show this year were the offerings from Langford Foods . Langford sells edible flowers and has just begun making petal shortbread from natural ingredients and organically grown flowers. It just seems the perfect thing for a mom--beautiful, a little sweet and totally delicious. Made with care and affection, the Summer Orange shortbread is flavored with orange and has marigold, calendula and nasturtium blossoms embedded in it. Other varieties include Lemony Dew, a lemon flavored shortbread with yellow marigolds, calendula and daisies and Pansy Up with blueberry, pansies, violas and bachelor's but...
Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Still hungry?

READ MORE Over at Bay Area Bites is my interview with local jam maker Carolina Braunschweig of CMB Sweets. FOOD...
Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Read All About It

Welcome new readers! Today I woke up to discover this blog had been mentioned in two places--at Elise's web site Simply Recipes and also at the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle . I have to say, it is awfully nice to be noticed. This blog is almost three years old. Initially it was a way for me to share my thoughts about food, cooking, dining out, etc. But it evolved. I found myself taking extra care when making recipes so that I could post them here. Then I created an archive "Get Cooking!" where you can find links to past recipes. I use this all the time. The recipes are all ones I think are worth repeating. I also write for two other locally focused publications, KQED's food blog, Bay Area Bites and SF Station . At SF Station I primarily write restaurant reviews and over at KQED I write cookbook reviews and do lots of interviews . Finally over at Dannon's web site , you can find more of my posts and original recipes all using yogurt, now through the...