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Friday, June 30, 2006

Contest Winner

The object of my affection? What is made from sugar, water, pistachio, hazelnut, almonds, coconut, carrot, and citric acid? Answer: Cezerye also spelled cezeriya Cezerye is a type of lokum or Turkish delight . It is rumored to have aphrodisiac properties but if so, it's only managed to make me fall in love with eating it! Two Turkish bloggers have written about it, check out their posts at Yogurtland and Rustic . Congratulations to the winner, Raedia! FOOD...

Carrot Contest

In Portland I found a very special delicacy that I had never before found in the US. I haven't even been able to find a a reliable recipe for it. At least two bloggers have written about their attempts to make it. Needless to say, I bought myself a box of it. The ingredients are: sugar water pistachio hazelnut almonds coconut carrot citric acid So what the heck is it? Be the first to correctly guess, you must be very specific, spell it correctly in English, include your email in your comment, and you will win a crunchy fruit treat. A second prize, a tasting spoon, will go the first person who can tell me what properties this delicacy is said to possess. I will send the prizes anywhere this time. One guess per person, leave your answer and don't forget to leave your email in the comments section. Good luck! FOOD...
Thursday, June 29, 2006

Still hungry?

READ MORE Over at Cool Hunting is my post on Seasoned Skewers which are now available at Sur la Table stores. FOOD...
Wednesday, June 28, 2006

London Food Trends

Elderflower spritzers served in test tubes Having been to London many times for vacation, I couldn't help but notice things were a bit different this time around. Sure, the recent foodie focus of London has been documented ad nauseum, and restaurants like St John, Moro and Fifteen and celebrity chefs are all the rage, but there were subtle differences I noticed too. I've never really thought of England as the vanguard of health food, but everywhere I went I saw low-fat, low-sugar, sugar-free, organic and plenty of fresh food packaged in convenient ways. Convenience seems to be balanced with health. Chains like Pret A Manger and Wagamama highlight nutritional information associated with their offerings and I was impressed with the food at both places. In addition to healthier food, I saw healthier packaging and wooden utensils, healthier for the environment. Taste. Yes, a focus on taste is clearly a priority! The upscale market Waitrose announced they were going to star...
Monday, June 26, 2006

Happy Birthday to me!

My blog and I share a birthday this week. Cooking with Amy is three years old. Woo hoo! And Amy is well, let's just say she's a little older and wiser. I'll return to blogging on Wednesday. READ MORE Over at the Dannon Kitchen is my final recipe, creamy mango popsicles . ...
Sunday, June 25, 2006

I love reading YogurtLand, it always brings me back to my memories of Turkey. I remember during my first trip to Turkey I ate a lovely salad all the time and it wasn't till I came home that I figured out that it was purslane. Nothing like an out-of-towner to turn you on to a place in your own backyard. Tasting Menu had what sounds like a terrific meal at Blue Plate . I'm adding it to my never-ending list of restaurants to try. David's shorts are too tight! Read all about it and paying taxes and shopping for caramels at David Lebovitz . FOOD...
Friday, June 23, 2006

Meet Ayun Halliday

I discovered the talented not to mention hilarious Ayun Halliday only recently when she added my blog to the list of links on her blog and we traded some emails. On vacation in London or "holiday" as the Brits say, I read her latest book Dirty Sugar Cookies subtitled culinary observations, questionable taste. If you are looking for a book to make you laugh out loud, embarrassing yourself in front of strangers on a plane this is it. Having grown up in the 70's and 80's there was a lot I could relate to in her stories of a well-spent youth. The format of the book is much like the Ruth Reichl trilogy of autobiographies, each chapter concluding with a recipe. Her recipe instructions are a hoot. For example, she begins her recipe for Vietnamese sandwiches by instructing you to: Grate a fat carrot. Sprinkle it with 2 tablespoons of seasoned sushi vinegar and then give it some privacy. Slice half a cucumber movie star thin... It's hard to share how funny the boo...
Thursday, June 22, 2006

Read All About It

Ok, so there's not much to read, just the line "Warm, friendly food musings" still it was awfully nice to be mentioned in an article about the best food blogs in The Guardian . I'm in the company of the usual suspects, Heidi , Pim and Clotilde , etc. Now that I'm back I'll be sharing stories from my trip including a round-up of restaurants in Barcelona, my favorite spots for food shopping and what food trends I saw in London. Stay tuned! FOOD...
Wednesday, June 21, 2006

This is Barcelona

So I know what flamenco is and I know what pop is but when the box office told me the show at the Palau de la Musica Catalunya was "flamenco pop" I really didn't know what to expect. Here in a modernista (art nouveau) but positively psychedelic building that is covered in colorful stained glass, glittering mosaic tiles and sculptures of galloping horses, with every possible surface adorned, loud contemporary Spanish music throbbing and lights flashing I can tell you, this is Barcelona. Achingly modern, distinctly Spanish yet unique and most of all, wildly enthusiastic, Spanish diva Rosario, prances across the stage like a Spanish Tina Turner, belting out songs with soul and emotion. So too the chefs of Barcelona seem filled with soul. Whether it's perfectly executed traditional dishes like the tortilla at Cal Pep or taking traditional dishes and giving them a modern twist like Iberian pork belly with lentils braised with calamares ala plancha at Cinc Sentits , so...
Monday, June 05, 2006

There she goes

I'm going on vacation and I'm not going to post anything until I get back. I know, it's shocking, not to mention a first in three years of blogging. I do hope you'll forgive me. I'll be back June 20th and will have lots to share then. In the meantime please feel free to peruse the archives, you never know what you'll find, or try a recipe in the Get Cooking! section. Every Monday there will be a new post from me over at the Dannon Kitchen . If the withdrawal gets to be too much, check out a selection of my daily food bog reads here (please note, this list is not by any means comprehensive of all the food blogs I read and is in no particular order). READ MORE Over at the Dannon Kitchen is my take on Turkish Comfort Food and one of my favorite recipes for a creamy Turkish chicken rice soup. FOOD...

Is Organic As Good As It Gets?

An interesting thing happened when I wrote about Safeway introducing a line of organic products . Not everybody who read the announcement thought it was a good thing. Now Wal-Mart has made plans to introduce a line of organic products, with the goal of selling them at no more than 10% above the price of non-organic products. So, what's wrong with that? It turns out plenty might be wrong with it. Michael Pollan has written a fascinating article in the New York Times called Mass Natural , what becomes increasingly clear is that the issues concerning organic, local, and sustainable food are complicated and interrelated and only get more complicated when major players get involved. For example, Pollan points out that Wal-Mart's version of "cheap organic" may not be sustainable. What exactly is sustainable agriculture? A rather slippery concept, according to CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainability) sustainable agriculture unites stewardship of the land w...
Saturday, June 03, 2006

This week I give you a total of four favorite posts. They have positively nothing to do with one another except that they are each written by talented bloggers who routinely entertain and enlighten me. Albion Cooks takes on a recipe that requires a leap of faith . What is it? How does it turn out? You'll just have to visit to find out. Over at Toast a post about what is quite possibly the national dish of Switzerland (no, it's NOT fondue!) Ever end up with strawberries that are, past their prime? Cookbook 411 has the solution, a fluffy Strawberry Pudding . The techniques involved could come in handy with other over-the-hill fruits... Delicious Days one of the premier food AND travel blogs makes me wish I was also going back to Lisbon on my vacation next week. For now I'll just have to visit "virtually". FOOD...
Friday, June 02, 2006

Sweet and Sour Fish (like you've never seen before)

READ MORE Over at SF Station is my review of Jai Yun a most remarkable Shanghainese restaurant where this dish was served (the date should be June 2 not May 1) FOOD + RESTAURANTS + SAN FRANCISCO...
Thursday, June 01, 2006

Twice as Winey

There are two events I am really sorry to be missing this year. But my vacation is long overdue and so it goes. Both are wine events, benefits for really great causes and are not expensive to attend. Please go and enjoy them in my place. Both of the events also sell out annually so get your tickets soon... The first is A Celebration Marin County Pinot Noir on June 9th and 10th from 5 - 8. I feel particularly attached to this event because I grew up in Marin County. The event takes place at Escalle Winery, tucked away on Magnolia Avenue in Larkspur, which is just walking distance from so many of my childhood haunts. I used to walk past it and feel like I was getting a glimpse into the past. It's rarely open to the public so this is a special opportunity to check it out. It's also a benefit for the Marin Agricultural Land Trust , a member-supported, nonprofit organization created by a coalition of ranchers and environmentalists to permanently preserve Marin County farmland ...