Signed, Sealed, Delivered, And Yours (Sept. 2019)

Look for my new "East Bay Cooks'' cookbook to join this group in summer 2019.

Look for my new “East Bay Cooks” cookbook to join this group in summer 2019.

 

See that stack of beautiful cookbooks above? Soon to join them will be “East Bay Cooks” — by yours truly.

Yes, that’s what I’ve spent the better part of this year working on. In fact, I just finished the manuscript this month.

The cookbook, which will debut in September 2019, will feature 40 of the top restaurants, bars and bakeries in the East Bay, with their stories and recipes. The photography will be by the incredibly talented Bay Area-based Eva Kolenko.

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Pizza Pizza? Nope, Pizza Chicken

A one-pan chicken dish with the taste of a Margherita pizza.

A one-pan chicken dish with the taste of a Margherita pizza.

 

Close your eyes, dig a fork in, and you might just swear you were eating pizza.

But this one-skillet wonder is crust-less and carb-light.

“Pizza Chicken” does indeed have all the flavors of a Margherita pizza — mozzarella, basil and tomatoes, along with briny anchovies, capers and porky pancetta. But it’s chicken that forms its foundation.

This sure-to-be new favorite is from “Dinner: Changing the Game” (Clarkson Potter, 2017) by Melissa Clark, of which I received a review copy. I can’t say enough about this book, which is filled with delicious — and realistic — ways to get dinner on the table with little fuss.

DinnerChangingtheGame

“Pizza Chicken” cooks up in one skillet. The recipe advises to use a 10- or 12-inch one. Either the chicken thighs I bought were larger or who know’s what, but I ended up needing to use a 14-inch oven-safe skillet. So, just be aware that you might need a larger pan than called for.

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It’s Not Too Soon For Pumpkin Spice, Is It? Plus Wine Time

Perfect with coffee or tea, Donsuemor Pumpkin Spice madeleines. (photo by Carolyn Jung)

Perfect with coffee or tea, Donsuemor Pumpkin Spice madeleines. (photo by Carolyn Jung)

Pumpkin Spice Madeleines

Tender, cake-like and full of autumnal spices, Donsuemor’s Pumpkin Spice Madeleines are a sweet treat hard to resist.

Yes, you might not be ready for pumpkin spice season yet. But it is upon us in full force already. So you might as well embrace it wholeheartedly. Especially when it means indulging in cookies like these.

Donsuemor has been baking French madeleines in the East Bay since 1976.

A package of six pumpkin spice ones are about $4. Find them at Raley’s, Mollie Stone’s and other retailers.

You Know You Want A Pumpkin Spice Latte

It is indeed that time already at Starbucks. The frenzy over pumpkin spice lattes has begun.

But why slog over to Starbucks, wait in line, and fork over bucks when you can get your fix by making your own pumpkin spice latte at home for a lot less money.

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#50 Best Talks Plus A Sneak Peak at the New Angler Restaurant

A sea urchin dish at Angler in San Francisco.

A sea urchin dish at Angler in San Francisco.

 

A who’s who of the chef world convened at Dogpatch Studios in San Francisco on Wednesday afternoon for “#50 Best Talks,” organized by — what else — “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.”

If you follow Michelin rankings and are an avid watcher of Netflix’s “Chef’s Table,” you will easily recognize the names on this panel that was all about “Voices for Change”:

  • Gaggan Anand of Gaggan in Bangkok, four-time #1 in “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.”
  • Virgilio Martinez of Central in Lima, voted “Best Restaurant in South America” four times in a row in “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.”
  • Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn in San Francisco, voted “The World’s Best Female Chef 2016” by “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.’
  • Enrique Olvera of Pujol in Mexico City, currently #13 on “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants” list.
  • Daniela Soto-Innes of Cosme in New York City, currently #15 on “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants” and winner of the James Beard Rising Star Award.
  • Lara Gilmore of Osteria Francescana, currently #1 on “The World’s Best 50 Restaurants” list.

50 Best Logo

(Left to Right): William Drew, Gaggan Anand, Dominique Crenn, Lara Gilmore, Daniela Soto-Innes, Enrique Olvera, and Virgilio Martinez.

(Left to Right): William Drew, Gaggan Anand, Dominique Crenn, Lara Gilmore, Daniela Soto-Innes, Enrique Olvera, and Virgilio Martinez.

Afterwards, chefs and attendees headed over to Angler, set to open Sept. 25 on The Embarcadero in San Francisco.

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Neat and Tidy with Ratatouille Tian

Neat as a pin, ratatouille tian.

Neat as a pin, ratatouille tian.

 

I read an amusing article recently about how so many of us love the uncluttered esthetics of open-concept, minimalist home design — yet so few of us can really pull that off because we just have too much darn stuff.

I count myself among those. I readily admit I have countless cookbooks in nearly every room of my house. Though, I’m not as bad as one chef I know, whose wife told me he even has cookbooks stacked underneath the sink. I draw the line at that.

Notebooks teeter in a mountain on my desk. Knickknacks vie for space on living room shelves. My pantry groans with sous vide, pasta, and ice cream maker contraptions. And my kitchen spice cabinet does overflow. So much so, that my husband is sometimes afraid to open it, lest an avalanche of mustard seeds, star anise and za’atar come tumbling down upon him.

As much as I love the look of clean lines, my house will probably never fully achieve that calm, sparse vibe.

So I take comfort where I can, such as in “Ratatouille Tian.”

It’s zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes, sliced into rounds of the same size, then arranged just so in neat rows in a baking pan. It’s so simple yet so striking in its appearance.

It’s an orderly dish for those times when chaos typically rules.

It’s the perfect delicious anecdote.

And it’s from the new cookbook, “In the French Kitchen with Kids” (Penguin Random House) by Mardi Michels, of which I received a review copy.

In The French Kitchen With Kids

Michels is a full-time French teacher to elementary school kids. Twice a week, she gives them cooking lessons, too. She also is the creator of the blog, Eat.Live.Travel.Write.

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