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Friday, February 26, 2010

Sweetest Treats in the Mission

I love the Mission District in San Francisco. Today check out my picks for the Mission's" sweetest eats " on Frommers.com. As soon as Bi-Rite Creamery reopens, I will do another post on all the fabulous ice cream to be found there too. My top picks are Mitchell's, Humphry Slocumbe, Bombay Bazaar and Bi-Rite. What are yours?...
Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cheesemonger A Life on the Wedge

Remember last year I told you about my friend Matthew Amster-Burton's book Hungry Monkey ? I told you it was funny and smart and filled with terrific recipes and that even if like me, you didn't have kids, you would still love it. If you read the book, then you know I didn't steer you wrong. Now I'm going to tell you about another book, by another friend. It's Cheesemonger: A Life on the Wedge by Gordon "Gordonzola" Edgar. And even though it's about cheese, you don't have to love to cheese to enjoy the book. Because I was a big fan of the cheese department at Rainbow Grocery , I interviewed Gordon for KQED several years ago and was surprised to learn we went to the same high school. Since then I've been impressed with how knowledgeable, funny and what a great writer he is, in addition to being a great cheesemonger of course. So I am particularly happy to tell you his first book is just as wonderful as he is. The book combines humor, politi...
Monday, February 22, 2010

Why do YOU cook, Andrea Nguyen?

Photo credit: Penny De Los Santos Andrea Nguyen is a cookbook author who has demystified making Asian dumplings and recreating Vietnamese food in your own kitchen. Woven in between her recipes are stories about family, culture, traditions and faraway places. But aside from being such a talented author, it's great to spend time with Andrea. She exudes enthusiasm and positive energy. She also has a wonderful laugh and can talk about food for hours. Here are the 13 reasons why she cooks. I bet some of her reasons will ring true for you too... My mother started me out cooking when she deemed me old enough to make rice for our family dinner. I was about 8 years old. By then, she and my father had observed that their chubby youngest daughter was an enthusiastic eater. Why not see if she can cook too? After all, it’s part of being a good, well-rounded super woman. My mother, now 75, is not only beautiful, but socially graceful. Her hair is constantly coifed, her nails are perfect...
Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Marinated Lamb Loin Chops Recipe

It's traditional to serve leg of lamb or a crown roast for special occasions, but there are other cuts of lamb that are perfect for any old time, like lamb chops. Lamb loin chops are low in fat and an excellent source of protein, vitamin B12, niacin, zinc and selenium. Best of all, lamb loin chops are super easy to prepare. You can grill them, broil them or cook them in a skillet in just minutes. Sometimes simpler is better. There are recipes loading lamb chops up with ingredients such as herbs, bread crumbs, mustard and blue cheese or smothering them in rich wine sauces studded with dried fruit. But for a weeknight meal, you really can't go wrong with marinated lamb chops. My basic marinade uses balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. I like Worcestershire sauce because it has lots of umami and boosts the mild yet meaty flavor of American lamb. Because they are so tender and succulent, I serve just one 4-5 ounce loin chop per person. The American Lamb Boar...
Thursday, February 11, 2010

Where's Amy?

I am heading to New Orleans for Mardi Gras and won't be back until Fat Tuesday, February, 16th. In the meantime I hope you will check out (and bookmark!) the new site where I am a regular contributor on Frommers.com. It's called Amy & Amy Between Bites and it's all about culinary travel. Right now you will find posts I wrote on Dining in Calistoga, Pintxos in Spain and Sweet Treats in Santa Cruz. You'll also find posts from my ever so talented New York counterpart, Amy Zavatto, on Eating and Drinking in Bordeaux and Key West. While in New Orleans, I feel exceedingly lucky to have the best foodie guide possible, Blake Killian of BlakeMakes , but if you have any recommendations for NOLA feel free to post them in the comments section. For up to the minute updates on everything Mardi Gras, check out the website where I'll be blogging, MyMardiGrasExperience.com or the Twitter feed @mymardigras . Who Dat? Laissez les bon temps rouler & all the jazz, ...
Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Valentine's Day Prize & Ways to Celebrate

Wondering exactly what is in the Valentine's Day prize package? A set of adorable heart measuring cups , 2 heart cookie cutters , 6 Valentine's Day cupcake stencils , 2 Valentine's Day placemats , 3 Crayola size 7 paintbrushes, McCormick red food color , McCormick pure vanilla extract , a set of 50 mini Valentine cupcake papers that can also be used for muffins, candies or nuts plus menus, recipes, tips and craft ideas. Here are some highlights of entries so far.... Tiffany I would love to spend some alone time with my husband. If some chocolate and prosecco happened to be included, I would not mind that in the least. Lori Lynn Fantasy Valentine's Day: Fly to Paris for a long weekend: Breakfast at Laduree, Lunch at Nomiya, Dinner at Le Cinq, take a cooking class, and shop for kitchen wares. Linda I'm thinking pizza with fresh mozarella and prosciutto, orange and fennel salad, and flourless chocolate cookies for dessert - all in front of fire with ...
Monday, February 08, 2010

Valentine's Day Giveaway

Is Valentine's Day a silly holiday? Sure it is, but any excuse for being romantic or showing your love is a good thing. Spending a lot on dinner, flowers, perfume or candy on Valentine's Day is showy, and not very original. I actually prefer something homemade or just a little bit unusual or unique. To me, going out of your way says "special" and really, that's what everyone wants anyway, to feel special. This year I will be out of town for Valentine's Day so while I won't be cooking dinner that night, my honey will enjoy something baked from scratch with love. Would your special someone appreciate strawberry cupcakes , shortbread cookies or brownies ? Feel free to use my recipes or your own. If you are not inclined to cook or bake, I think a customized chocolate bar is a really fun idea. I recently got a chance to try Chocri , which allows you to pick from white, milk or dark chocolate and then add any number of flavors and toppings. I made a milk...
Monday, February 01, 2010

Farro & Winter Vegetables Recipe

I'm finding it hard to drag myself to the farmers market this Winter. It's cold, it's wet, it's sometimes muddy, and let's face it, it's not like I'm going to find luscious peaches, cherries or tomatoes. My haul last weekend consisted of baby cauliflower, Tuscan kale, French radishes, baby carrots, broccolini and sauerkraut. Healthy and delicious, but hardly anything to get excited over. Of course everything I bought was fresher and possibly a bit tastier than what I could have found in the supermarket. The baby carrots I bought were real baby carrots, and not those fake machine rounded carrot nubs you find in little bags. Not quite as sweet as strawberries, but pretty darn tasty when roasted. When I was shopping a dish started to come together in my mind, and the centerpiece was farro. Farro is often mistaken for spelt, it's actually " emmer wheat " and is rich in fiber, protein, and magnesium. Farro is just the Italian name for emmer whea...