This post might include affiliate links for your convenience.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008

$1000 Giveaway!

Just a quick reminder to let you know that today is the last day of the $1000 Mother's Day giveaway on Glam Dish. All you have to do to enter is comment on how you would spend the prize on mom. Check it out! So far the comments have run the gamut from funny to sad to very inspiring, worth a read even if you don't enter the contest. I'm posting 4 days a week over at Glam Dish and there are plenty of tantalizing recipes, useful tips and tidbits. Please do stop by and say "hi." The contest is now over, but thanks to everyone for visiting and commenting. And don't forget, there will be another contest in early May....

Ban Bottled Water

There's an old saying, "a good salesperson could sell snow to an Eskimo," which pretty much sums up my feeling about bottled water. To say we don't need bottled water would be an understatement. Most everyone in developed nations actually has water, good water, government tested, high quality, great tasting water. It comes right out of the tap. But companies are always looking for ways to make a buck. Why is bottled water such a bad idea? You could complain about the price, which is often 3 times as much as what we pay for gasoline, and even more in restaurants, or you could consider the fact that sometimes bottled water (such as Aquafina ) is just bottled tap water, but really the main problems are waste and pollution. Bottling and shipping water is a waste of energy and is a source of pollution. Some companies are trying to minimize their impact with carbon offsets . But that still doesn't change the fact that only a percentage of plastic water bottles are eve...
Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Things Cooks Love: Cookbook Review

Last month I was raving about the new Williams-Sonoma Tools & Techniques book. It's the book I wish I had when I was first learning to cook. On the other end of the spectrum, if you are much more confident in your culinary abilities, Things Cooks Love : Implements. Ingredients. Recipes from Sur La Table is the book for you. I already know that I want a paella pan and a couscoussiere, and this is the book that fuels my desires with descriptions, amazing recipes and gorgeous photography. You too may want do a little shopping or at least dust off your pizza stone after perusing it. Having 2 -3 recipes to go with each item is what really helps you justify your purchase of a food mill or clay cooker or tagine or whatever it is that strikes your fancy. Wondering what else you can do with the chefs torch you bought but never used? Forget creme brulee, the book has recipes for Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes with Bubbling Mozzarella and Toasted Goat Cheese, Roasted Beet and Pear S...
Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Passover Crepes: Recipe (gluten free)

Welcome to the third day of Passover! When it comes to this holiday, it takes only a short while before dietary tedium sets in I'm afraid. While I'm not able to keep kosher for Passover this year I am still trying out some new recipes that are kosher for Passover. Typically because you can't use leavening many recipes for baked goods and pasta rely on eggs for texture. I found a recipe for Passover pasta in Gourmet magazine that I am eager to try. Today I modified a Passover crepe recipe with good results. I served it stuffed with mangoes and topped with yogurt for a yummy breakfast. It also happens to be gluten free so it's good for those on a gluten free diet, as I learned from Karina of Gluten Free Goddess . Crepes are also terrific for dinner. I like to fill them with cheese, mushrooms, roast vegetables or chicken. Using crepes is easy because they can be made ahead and even frozen for later use. They are also economical because you can fill them with just abo...
Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Frozen Yogurt Fad Strikes Again!

I'm not sure how it happened, but suddenly frozen yogurt is all the rage again. It appeared out of the blue, much like cupcakes did. The problem is the same as it was back in the late 80's and early 90's during the last frozen yogurt boom, it's being marketed as "healthy." In fact, the chain Pinkberry was just in a lawsuit over whether or not the product was really yogurt at all. Pinkberry is so popular in Los Angeles and New York that people stand in lines and risk parking tickets just to get some, and it has spawned the entrance in the American market of other frozen yogurt chains, including Red Mango , from South Korea. I haven't tried either, but I was curious, so curious that when I saw a sign for Tuttimelon in the Outer Sunset, I had to have some. Notice the similarity between Tuttimelon and Pinkberry ? I had my serving of it plain, which is not the way most people order it. You can get it with all kinds of fruit toppings which looked prett...
Saturday, April 12, 2008

Quixote Winery: Favorite Things

In the wine country of Napa Valley one can easily find ersatz Italian villas, faux chateaux, and all manner of non-descript modern winery buildings that make little impression at all. And then there is Quixote Winery . Utterly unique, fresh and provocative, the building is a joy to behold. As Alder Yarrow at Vinography says "By all accounts, Carl Doumani has nothing to prove." After selling the incredibly successful Stag's Leap Winery, he created a smaller winery and vineyard right next door. Working with eccentric Austrian Friedensreich Hundertwasser he created a building that, as Doumani puts it, makes you smile. Reminiscent of the organic architecture of Gaudi, there are no straight lines, the roof is topped with grass and trees, there is a golden turret and colored tiles. The overall effect is a whimsical feeling. Yes, if you had achieved much in your career, perhaps the next thing to refocus on would be pleasure and doing things the way you want to, bucking the ...
Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Monet's Palate

One of the highlights of my first trip to France was going to Giverny to visit Monet's home and gardens . It's a nice little country day trip from Paris and a must see for anyone who is a fan of Impressionist painting. Monet's home is a magical place and the colors, the scenery and the light come to life in a way that is familiar and exciting at the same time. Not surprisingly, I was fascinated by the tour of his house and especially his kitchen. Clearly I wasn't the only one because there is even a book devoted to the subject, called Monet's Table . The stunning combination of yellows and blues and Japanese prints transported me to another time and place as much as views of the water lily pond did. If you've been to the house perhaps you experienced the same thing. Or perhaps you've just appreciated his creativity and perpective. Either way, I'm sure you'll be as eager as I am to see the film Monet's Palate , currently showing on PBS. Monet'...
Friday, April 04, 2008

Weekend Update

Just a quick note to let you know I will be up in the North Bay most of next week and the following week I have jury duty, so I may not be blogging here very regularly. If you have any favorite wineries or restaurants in Napa, feel free to post them in the comments! In case you missed it last week, my review of Absinthe is up on SF Station. It's a festive restaurant and the food is really high quality and made with care. It's a nice place to go to catch up with friends or for celebrations. My newsletter will be out, hopefully today. It's a recap of various posts and some links to sites I've discovered. Sign up if you'd like a copy sent to you. You'll still find my posts on Wednesday at Bay Area Bites and most days at Glam Dish ....
Thursday, April 03, 2008

Bay Area Breakfast Pizza

Leftover pizza is what I think of as a default breakfast, the kind of thing you eat when that's what's in the fridge. Freshly made breakfast pizza , on the other hand, is nothing short of divine. Two breakfast pizzas I tried recently were that wonderful combination of both crunchy and chewy, perfect for nibbling on, while chatting away. I guess that means they might be better for weekend brunch than a weekday breakfast-on-the run. I haven't come up with my own version yet, but I thought I'd share the ones I've tried, in the meantime. I'm happy to say I found good ones on both sides of the bay. The first breakfast pizza I had was at Bar Johnny . Bar Johnny is a bit of a dream come true for me. It's right around the corner from my house, serves a variety of delicious and reasonably priced small plates at brunch on the weekend, and for dinner. Still hungry after a night at the ballet? The snackable menu is available until 1 in the morning. Oh Bar Johnny, I ...
Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Interview with Scott Gold & Shameless Carnivore Giveaway

According to Scott Gold, author of The Shameless Carnivore , "lately eating meat has become somewhat déclassé" and yet I can't help but notice, it's the topic of discussion, everywhere I turn. Whether it's the hotly anticipated issue of Meatpaper , dining nose to tail, or the latest e.coli scare it seems we are obsessed with meat. This week is even "Meat Week" over at Chow . Gold is just the most recent to look more closely at our relationship to eating meat but his look is an intelligent and sometimes very funny one. As an avid meat eater, I was especially curious to hear his take on women and all things meaty. Thanks to Scott for taking the time to talk to me about eating meat and how women fit in, among other things. 1) Is eating meat macho? In general, I don't see carnivorism as particularly macho...then again, I think it all depends on what meat one is eating. Chicken salad on wheat toast? Perhaps a little on the "yin" side...