Join the Food Gal and the Chef of Plaza Garibaldi for a Macy’s Cooking Demo

Wednesday, 22. October 2014 5:26 | Author:

MacysPlazaGaribaldi

On the heels of Hispanic Heritage Month, Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara is proud to present a cooking demo with Plaza Garibaldi in San Jose.

Join me at 6 p.m. Oct. 30, when I’ll be hosting Kenneth Payne, executive chef of this popular, family-owned Mexican restaurant known for its home-made tortillas, mole poblano, fish tacos and other specialties.

Payne, who previously cooked at the Hayes Mansion in San Jose and Hyde Street Bistro in San Francisco, will show you how to make one of his signature dishes.

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, General, More Food Gal -- In Person, Restaurants | Comments (1)



A Spook-A-Licious Halloween with Woodhouse Chocolate

Monday, 20. October 2014 5:26 | Author:

Woodhouse Chocolate says "boo'' in the sweetest way.

Woodhouse Chocolate says “boo” in the sweetest way.

 

Woodhouse Chocolate in St. Helena has long been one of my favorite chocolatiers.

First off, its chocolates are incomparably smooth and creamy.

Second, its shop on Main Street is like the Tiffany’s of chocolates. They are displayed like precious jewels, making enjoying even one bonbon feel like such a special indulgence.

When samples of its Halloween offerings arrived on my doorstep to sample, I couldn’t wait to dig in.

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Category:Chocolate, General, Great Finds, New Products | Comments (2)



LV Mar — A Latin Party in Downtown Redwood City

Friday, 17. October 2014 5:26 | Author:

A party on the plate -- and in the dining room -- at LV Mar.

A party on the plate — and in the dining room — at LV Mar.

 

Most nights, LV Mar in downtown Redwood City, offers up a taste of modern pan-Latin cuisine in small and large plates.

But once a month, Chef Manuel Martinez throws a veritable party — offering a prix fixe dinner themed to a different Latin cuisine, complete with a band, dancers and singers.

A couple weeks ago, I was invited in as a guest of the restaurant to experience October’s showcase on the Caribbean.

Martinez, who has cooked at Left Bank and One Market restaurants, also owns the more casual La Viga in Redwood City. LV Mar is his newer restaurant, which opened in November 2013. He’s been throwing these themed-dinners almost from the get-go.

Chef Manuel Martinez adorned for the occasion.

Chef Manuel Martinez adorned for the occasion.

When you check in at the hostess stand, you’re welcomed with Mardi Gras-like beaded necklaces to wear. All the tables are strewn with colorful star confetti to put you even more in the mood.

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Category:Cheese, General, Restaurants | Comments (1)



Baked Therapy

Wednesday, 15. October 2014 5:26 | Author:

Nothing can keep me from baking a batch of these scones.

Nothing can keep me from baking a batch of these scones.

 

I can be swamped with work…

I can be sleep-deprived…

It can be 100 degrees that day…

But when I feel the urge to bake, I can’t be stopped.

What can I say? It’s my therapy. It’s my relaxation. It’s my treat to myself and others.

So when a review copy of the new “Baked Occasions” (Stewart, Tabori & Chang) landed in my mail, I immediately dropped everything else and started leafing through it.

BakedOccasions

This is the fourth cookbook by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, the owners of the popular Brooklyn baker, Baked. It includes 75 recipes perfect for holidays, special events and just any day that is an occasion of any sort. Find recipes from “Toffee Coffee Cake Surprise” to “Easter Coconut Sheet Cake” to “Peppermint Chocolate Meringues.”

“Chinese Five-Spice Sesame Scones” caught my eye from the start because I love the intoxicating fragrance of five-spice in stir-fries.

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Category:Bakeries, Chefs, General, Recipes (Sweet) | Comments (6)

Cinnamon, Spice & All Things Nice, Plus A Food Gal Giveaway

Monday, 13. October 2014 5:25 | Author:

What's inside?

What’s inside?

 

Why do I love cinnamon? Let me count the ways.

Perhaps it all started as a kid, when my Dad and I would indulge on weekend mornings with cinnamon raisin toast slathered with butter. Truth be told, he often ate it for a late-night snack, too. Crisp, and heady with that warm, sweet, fragrant spice, who could blame him?

When I got older, and started my endless weekend baking bouts, Snickerdoodles were a favorite to make. Of course, rolling them in cinnamon-sugar was the best part.

And when I got older still, there was nothing so intoxicating as a Moroccan chicken scented heavily with cinnamon all over its beautiful bronze skin.

As a result, jars of cinnamon are always on hand in my pantry.

But nothing prepared me quite for the beauty of this container of cinnamon, which I received as a sample.

“Prosperity Cinnamon” is a lovely cinnamon bark box hand-carved with the Asian character for “prosperity.” Inside is 3 ounces of ground Vietnamese sweet cinnamon that is so fragrant, you’ll want to use it the minute you open it up.

It’s one of the many items included in the 2014 World Vision Gift Catalog.

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Category:Enticing Events, General, Great Finds, New Products | Comments (8)