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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Pack a Lunch! Cookbooks

It’s back to school and that means bag lunches. Or maybe like me, you don’t have school age kids, but still want to start packing lunch to take to work. It’s easy to get in a rut, but these three cookbooks offer many ways to jazz up your lunchbox.  The Banh Mi Handbook is the latest book from Andrea Nguyen. In the past she has written about Vietnamese food, dumplings and tofu, perhaps convincing you to make your own. But I had to wonder, when I can get a terrific banh mi sandwich for just a couple bucks, would I want to make my own? The answer is YES because Nguyen goes well beyond what you might find at a Vietnamese sandwich shop.  What I absolutely love the most about this book in addition to the versatility is the focus on ease and simplicity. There are lots of shortcuts and no shame if you choose to buy bread or mayonnaise or doctor some liverwurst to make a tasty pate. The book offers the basics and traditional recipes for fixings like carrot and daikon pickles, headchee...
Friday, August 15, 2014

Peach Ketchup Recipe & Ball Brand Giveaway!

I can, can you? Sure you can! Canning is not hard to do at all, especially if you pick a really easy project like canning fruit. This year I received a box of luscious peaches from Washington state. They were perfectly ripe, but a bit crushed in spots due to poor handling in transit. Instead of canning slices or halves, I used the fruit—some perfect and some not so perfect—to make peach ketchup!  Peach ketchup is a lovely peachy color, but it tastes very much like tomato ketchup. Taste it before you can it, and adjust the spices and sugar to suit yourself. Use really great tasting fruit, it should not be brown or overripe, but if it is soft in spots, that's ok. Use the tangy sweet and sour ketchup just as you would regular tomato ketchup. It’s particularly great on potatoes.  As in years past I am proud to be a  “Canbassador” for the Washington State Fruit Commission and to tell you about the Can-It-Forward event, sponsored by Ball Brand.  August 16th, 2014 In...
Friday, August 08, 2014

Highlights from the American Craft Council San Francisco Show

I went to the American Craft Council San Francisco Show to check out the craft food and beer, but I was blown away by the quality of the exhibition this year. There are very inspiring and beautiful things for your kitchen or dining room. This is a great place to look for a gift, a centerpiece, kitchen design element or functional kitchen tool. It runs all weekend, August 9 and 10, 2014 at Fort Mason, San Francisco.  Here are some highlights: I have two terrific  pepper grinders but I would trade them both for one of these stunning ones from  Kermode Woodturnings . Jerry Kermode also makes a companion salt grinder, wood topped cork bottle stoppers and rolling pins.  His bowls of all sizes are also drop dead gorgeous.  I’ve long admired these almost art nouveau or American craft porcelain pieces from  Lynne Meade Porcelain . They are wheel thrown and then hand carved, and are inspired by shapes found in the natural world, often sea forms or plants....