This post might include affiliate links for your convenience.
Monday, April 19, 2010

Amy Sherman? Who's she?

Photo credit:Julie Michelle I recently had the chance to participate in a cool photography/portraiture project called I live here SF . As part of the project, I got to tell my "San Francisco story" which is pretty food-focused as you might imagine. I hope you will check it out! Thanks to the ├╝ber talented photographer Julie Michelle for including me. Thanks to BizyMoms and That's so Yummy for featuring me in interviews. Also check out the Fast Recipes Feature: Cooking with Amy . The rest of this week I'll be at the International Association of Culinary Professionals annual conference in Portland, Oregon, so I may not be posting again until I return. I'm sure I'll have lots to report when I do. Hope you have a great week! Amy...
Friday, April 16, 2010

Pillsbury Bake-Off & Baking from Scratch

The Pillsbury Bake-Off represents the American Dream--it doesn't matter who you are, or where you come from, create a great recipe and you could win a million dollars. It's a celebration of creativity and excellence, or at least it should be. If you were to look at past winning entries from the early years of the Pillsbury Bake-Off, you'd find they were baked from scratch using homegrown ingredients. Now with an emphasis on ease of use, and a proliferation of processed food, the finalists and "winning" recipes almost always use a premade mix or refrigerated dough such as biscuit dough, French bread dough, pizza dough, or pie crust. In some cases, because those processed foods have been discontinued, you can't even duplicate the winning recipes from years past. Does creativity come out of a can or a box? I suppose it's possible. But my experience tasting some of the dishes at the 44th Pillsbury Bake-Off was disappointing . The savory dishes were too s...
Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fabulous Foodie Events

I hope you are all checking out my Bay Area Food Events calendar (the Google calendar in the right hand column) from time to time. I focus on fun and affordable events. That said, sometimes there are some fantastic events supporting worthy causes that I do believe you should consider attending. These three range in price from $40 t0 $169 and are coming up soon. Hope to see you there! April 18, 2010 Noon - 4:30 PM Fort Mason Center A Taste of Tamales By The Bay Featuring tamales and premium tequilas. Also tastes of heirloom beans, specialty nuts, coffee and more. Tickets are $40 online . Vendors include Cocina Poblana, my favorite tamal seller, La Espiga de Oro, Rancho Gordo, The Tamal Factory and more! Tickets raise funds for Benchmark Institute, a training and performance development organization dedicated to increasing the quality and quantity of legal services to low-income communities. April 22, 2010 5:00 - 7:00 PM VIP Tasting $169 7:00 - 10:00 PM Grand Tasting (Includ...
Wednesday, April 14, 2010

44th Pillsbury Bake-Off Meet the Winners!

...that would be MY choice of winners! Attending the Pillsbury Bake-Off and watching the competitors was a lot of fun, though I'm sorry I didn't get to try more of their dishes. But just talking to them made me want each and every one to win. All 100 finalists made it past thousands of others so their accomplishment is really something special. Here are four contestants that didn't make it to the final four, so I'm going ahead and awarding them in categories of my own design: Most Resembles their Dish Bridget Uhrich of Doylestown, Pennsylvania Jumbo Burger Cups Only two weeks away from giving birth, ready to pop Bridget bears more than a slight resemblance to her hamburger stuffed biscuit dough buns. Her inspiration was the hamburger pie recipe in a children's cookbook that she used to make for her brothers. She made it once for dinner and submitted the recipe the next day. Prohibited by her doctor from flying, she drove all the way from Pennsylvania to...
Monday, April 12, 2010

Ataulfo Mango Salsa Recipe

I'm participating in something of a mango taste test. First I indulged in Kent mangoes, which are plump, sweet and buttery with lovely tropical notes. This week it's all about the ataulfo. You have probably seen these smallish mangoes with their s-curve and pale orange skin. They have the smallest thinnest pit and virtually no fibrous threads. While their small size makes them perfect for snacking--no half a mango to store in the fridge--the flavor is a bit citrusy I'd say and has a nice bit of acid that makes me think of savory rather than strictly sweet possibilities. Pairing mango with citrus is one of the tricks I learned from my travels in Mexico where street vendors sell chunks of jicama and mango dipped in lime and and showered in chili powder. To recreate that taste sensation I made a salsa with ataulfo mangoes, a splash of lime juice and pasilla chile powder as well as a crunchy bit of jalapeno and cilantro. The flavor brings me right back to Chapultepec Park ...
Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Gastronomica turns 10

Gastronomica is where food meets culture and the arts. It is not a cooking magazine and it might not even make you hungry, but it will certainly feed your brain and your senses. It's deep and provocative, not something mindless to skim through in a waiting room. It's an expensive journal at $13 an issue, but the production values are high and each edition is something you'll most likely keep. Last week there was a program celebrating the 10th anniversary of Gastronomica, featuring introductory remarks from founder and editor-in-chief Darra Goldstein and a conversation between Harold McGee , celebrated author and contributing editor at Gastronomica and University of California Press' Senior Sponsoring Editor, Blake Edgar. Here are some highlights: • In the past people who worked in food science weren't necessarily food lovers. That seems to be changing. As a result, food science today is looking more at taste as opposed to just issues of safety. • He shared d...
Monday, April 05, 2010

Quinoa Stuffed Poblano Pepper Recipe

I've been cooking more vegetarian and even vegan recipes lately. One reason is the Meatless Monday effort sponsored by the John Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Health. The idea is to help reduce meat consumption by 15% in order to improve both the health of individuals and the health of the planet. But it also has a lot to do with challenging myself to try new things. When it comes to cooking, I love a good challenge. Cooking with less meat or none at all inspires me. I do better with fewer ingredients than more ingredients. In a way, it forces you to be creative and think outside the box. Or in this case, the refrigerator. You know the saying, necessity is the mother of invention? It always reminds me of my experiences as a babysitter back when I was a teenager. At some point while babysitting either I, or the kids I was watching would get hungry. It was sometimes a challenge for me to come up with something tasty to eat based on whatever I could find in an unfamiliar kitche...