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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Delicious Things to Eat

In addition to blogging, copywriting, editing and developing recipes for corporate clients, I am now writing a monthly roundup of top new restaurant and bar openings in San Francisco and the Bay Area for CitySearch . I'm also adding my "tips" for what to eat and where. It's giving me a great excuse to visit and revisit local restaurants. Here are some of the most delicious things I've eaten recently: Pizza at The Forge I'm crazy about pizza and I really liked the one I tried at a press preview of The Forge which is on the watefront at Jack London Square in Oakland, it was puffy and had those love crisp bits plus just the right amount of sauce. The kitchen is also roasting entrees in their pizza ovens and serving some of the best salads around. Pancake at Ssisso I went to Ssisso to try the fried chicken, but it was under seasoned and I didn't like the sauce. Thank goodness I ordered the seafood scallion pancake (Haemul pajeon). It was crisp...
Friday, February 22, 2013

Superfood Cereal Recipe

I love breakfast, but I also find it the easiest meal to skip. I get bored with traditional breakfast foods like eggs and cereal and pancakes day after day. Sometimes I eat leftovers from the previous night's dinner for breakfast but more frequently I just skip it entirely. I know skipping breakfast is not a good idea and so I'm always looking for tasty breakfast solutions, especially ones that take little time to prepare.  My latest weekday breakfast is what I am calling superfood cereal. It's based on a Canadian cereal I tried at the Winter Fancy Food Show called " Holy Crap ." It's made from chia, hemp, buckwheat and some dried fruit and it soaks in milk for 15 minutes before you eat it. It tastes a lot like tapioca pudding with a bit of crunch from the buckwheat, though not quite as sweet as pudding. What's most amazing about it is how little it takes to satisfy. Just a few tablespoons of cereal and a quarter cup of milk and I swear for hours I...
Thursday, February 21, 2013

All About Chia

One of the biggest trends I saw this year at the Winter Fancy Food Show was the explosion in the number of products with chia seeds. I first heard of chia in a "ch-ch-ch-chia, the pottery that grows!" chia pet commercial and maybe you did too.  But now chia is back and being touted as a " superfood ." Chia is showing up in everything from cereal to drinks, snacks, baked goods and even pasta. When soaked in any liquid it creates a gel that can be used in place of eggs, it also has a pleasant pudding like texture that might remind you of tapioca. Unsoaked the seeds are crunchy and find their way into granola, chips and more. Chia seeds are either white or brown and virtually flavorless, but create interesting texture and offer a lot of nutritional benefits. A staple food of the Mayans and Aztecs, just one tablespoon provides 5 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, 6% of the recommended daily allowance of calcium and 4% iron. But it's a real powerhouse wh...
Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Chinese New Year's Banquet in Richmond BC

Many holidays are about friends, family and eating, but make that eating Chinese food and you're pretty much guaranteed a deliciously good time. The ultimate holiday when it comes to these three activities is Chinese New Year, which is like Christmas, Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July all rolled into one. It's THE big holiday in China and pretty much anywhere there are lots of Chinese people. This year I had the great pleasure of celebrating a bit of the holiday with Stacey Chyau from Taiwan and David Lang from Hong Kong both of whom greatly increased my understanding of the holiday.  So here's a little bit of what I learned: The preparation for Chinese New Year is very important, people clean their houses, sweeping away any ill fortune then decorating with plum blossoms and putting red paper decorations on windows and doors depicting themes like wealth, happiness and longevity. Red is a very lucky color! Even wearing it is lucky. Lots of shopping i...
Friday, February 08, 2013

Dan Dan Noodles Recipe

I love Chinese food but I rarely make it at home. I have a few favorite recipes, but I am definitely interested in trying more so I was thrilled to see Fuchsia Dunlop's latest cookbook, Every Grain of Rice which focuses on simple Chinese home cooking. I like the book, my only complaint is that sometimes more explanation of certain ingredients would be helpful; for example in my local Chinese markets I can find lots of different noodles, but some of the recipes just say "wheat noodles" or when I see an ingredient like celery I wonder, should I use conventional celery or Chinese celery?  I made a dish I adore and which is featured on the cover, Dan Dan noodles. While I have certain ingredients like both dark and light soy sauce, Chinkiang vinegar and Shaoxing wine in order to make this particular dish I went ahead and purchased some sweet fermented sauce and embarked on a search for find ya cai. Ok, this is where is gets complicated. I searched high and low at e...
Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Comfort Food Cookbooks

I love exploring the Russian grocery stores out on Geary Street in San Francisco and often purchase luscious sour cream, delicate blini and caviar, sweet cheese pancakes, frozen pelmeni and vareniki dumplings and different varieties of smoked fish. So I was very excited to see that A Taste of Russia by Darra Goldstein was being reprinted on the occasion of it's 30th anniversary. It's filled with all kinds of dishes I want to make such as Piroskhi, Cabbage with Noodles and Poppy Seeds, Radishes in Sour Cream, Cranberry Kvass and Circassian chicken. It's my first Russian cookbook and while lacking photos, it does cover all the basics with recipes that are easy to follow and helpful and enlightening notes from the author who spent time living in the former Soviet Union. I think this Valentine's Day I might make a Russian feast! Another book that recently caught my eye is Breakfast for Dinner . Clearly I'm not the only one to resort to breakfast for dinner on tou...