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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Aloha!

Tomorrow I will be heading to one of my favorite places in the world for a birthday celebration/vacation, Hawaii. It also just happens to be one of my favorite dining destinations. In addition to eating, swimming, exploring and shopping at my favorite island farmer's market , on this trip I am looking forward to attending an Obon festival and finally meeting my favorite Hawaiian food blogger . Since this is my vacation, I will not be blogging from the beach. If you have any hot tips or favorite restaurants on Oahu, please feel free to leave a comment. In the meantime you can check out my Honolulu Dining Guide below. I will surely be adding to it when I return... Until next week, Aloha! Amy...
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Archway Cookies: A Nostalgic Review

When I was growing up we didn't have soda or candy in the house, or junk food like Twinkies, but we did have cookies. Sometimes my mom made cookies from scratch, and sometimes she bought them. The thing is, some cookies need to be fresh and homemade, like chocolate chip cookies or oatmeal cookies. They just don't taste right to me if they aren't. But then there are some commercially produced cookies that are just fine and dandy. When I was growing up I can almost guarantee you would have found pecan sandies, lemon coolers, raisin biscuits, or almond windmills in the cookie jar. Oddly enough most of those cookies are not so easy to find these days. Pecan sandies are a kind of shortbread cookie, flecked with bits of nuts and are the only cookie I still routinely see in the supermarket (though reviews seem to say they aren't as good as they used to be). Lemon coolers were very tangy cookies coated in powdered sugar. Raisin biscuits were affectionately known as " ...
Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Free Healthy Recipes!

How would you like to receive 50 free "brain healthy" recipes? Food bloggers from around the world contributed to a special recipe collection called ThinkFood, put together by Posit Science , a leader in brain training interactive software programs, designed to help users think faster, focus better and remember more. Posit Science takes an integrated approach to brain health that includes brain training and now brain healthy eating. Visit the website to sign up for a recipe of the week . After signing up you'll be able to see the recipe online as well. This week the recipe is for Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies and includes brain healthy ingredients such as chocolate, banana, flax, and walnuts. It's from food blogger Tina Haupert of Carrots 'n Cake and it looks great! On the web site you'll get the recipe, cooking tips, meet the food blogger and learn about brain healthy ingredients. You will also be able to purchase a copy of the hard cover book w...
Monday, June 14, 2010

Asparagus Hot Brown Recipe

When I was in Louisville Kentucky a couple of weeks ago I tried the famous Hot Brown sandwich at the Brown Hotel . It's a rich combination of dreamy Mornay sauce, hearty turkey, a couple of tomato wedges and crisp bacon on top. Broiling the sandwich makes the tomatoes and sauce even tastier. But it's a monster! I really don't know how anyone can finish it. If you go to Louisville, by all means do try it. If you don't have an enormous appetite, you can order a smaller portion of the Hot Brown. It's not on the menu but it is available upon request. All over Kentucky you will find different versions of the Hot Brown. Some have ham instead of turkey or a combination of both, or seafood and no turkey or ham. When I got home I decided I would try my hand at making a slightly lighter version of this delectable sandwich. But I figured why not try it with asparagus? After all, asparagus and cheese sauce is already pretty tasty. While I love Mornay sauce, I rarely have he...
Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mi Pueblo Supermarket

Have I mentioned how much I truly enjoy grocery shopping? I might not even buy anything but no matter where I go, home or away, I am fascinated to see what is on offer. As my friend Joe Kowalke says, "Grocery shopping is my baseball." And I am an equal opportunity shopper. I like everything from fancy shops like Dean & Deluca that carry artisanal products, to Asian, Middle Eastern and Russian grocery stores and even supermarkets. I like discovering spices, produce, cheeses, sausages, prepared foods, baked goods, even packaged food I've never seen before and noticing what people are buying. My latest shopping discovery comes courtesy of my dad, who shares my love of grocery shopping. It's Mi Pueblo, a supermarket that serves the local community in the Canal District of San Rafael. It's the first Latino supermarket I've ever visited and I loved it! There were so many interesting things to see like yards of chorizo, aisles of packaged flan, exotic spiky ...
Thursday, June 03, 2010

Food and Wine Pairing

Wine goes with food. I know this sounds obvious, but not that long ago I got into a disagreement with a wine blogger about this very subject. Her point was that not all wine needs to be paired with food, some people enjoy wine without food. Well not me. If I want something to sip after dinner on it's own, I might choose a luxurious and sweet dessert wine such as Sauternes, Tokaji, Port or Madeira. As an aperitif I prefer something crisp and sparkling, Champagne perhaps. Or a cocktail. There is a segment of the wine drinking public that has taken to drinking wine as if it were a cocktail. They want their wine big, bold, with little acid, plenty of tannin, and don't seem to mind if it's tremendously alcoholic (I mean over 14.5% alcohol). Again, not me. In Old World wine-producing countries there is a culture of drinking wine with meals. But in the New World that isn't always the way everyone is introduced to the pleasures of wine. So some people end up favoring wines ...
Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Slow Roasted Salmon Recipe

Go get yourself some Copper River King salmon. RIGHT NOW. I am not kidding. I don't believe there is a more delicious salmon than Copper River King also known as Chinook and the time to enjoy it is right now. The season begins in the middle of May when the fish are gorgeous orange, rich with healthy fats, including the highest level of prized omega 3 fatty acids. It has a delicate flavor and velvet texture that cannot be beat. The quality of the fish declines as the season progresses so get some at the peak of deliciousness. Like right now. When cooking Copper River King you really want the fish to be the star. It doesn't need much fussing over. I prepared some this past week in various ways and here is what I would suggest, cook it either very quickly under the broiler or very slowly in a low oven. The slow cooking method yields a very creamy almost custardy texture that is super moist and succulent. I first learned about this style of cooking from a Jacques Pepin recipe ...