Scenes From “Taste of Yosemite” November 2018

A giant sequoia in Yosemite National Park that will have you in awe.

A giant sequoia in Yosemite National Park that will have you in awe.

 

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CA — If you didn’t make it to the grand “Taste of Yosemite” event last week — actually held twice this year — you definitely missed out, because the next one won’t take place until January 2020.

The popular winter-time extravaganza that draws a host of celebrated chefs to host cooking demos and cook multi-course gala dinners at The Majestic Yosemite Hotel, normally takes place every January for nearly the entire month. But it will be on hiatus January 2019, as the hotel’s kitchen gets renovated.

So mark your calendar for January 2020 for its return.

Meantime, to rev your appetite and interest, I happily serve up morsels from last week’s event, in which I served as moderator for two sessions.

Thrilled to moderate this session that featured Cowgirl Creamery, Peter Armellino of the Plumed Horse, and Adam Mali of The Battery.

Thrilled to moderate this session that featured Cowgirl Creamery, Peter Armellino of the Plumed Horse, and Adam Mali of The Battery.

It was actually the second “Taste of Yosemite” of 2018, with the first one occurring in January of this year. Organizers decided to do another shortened bonus “Taste of Yosemite” this month.

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Dorie Greenspan’s Miso-Maple-Jammed Sweet Potatoes

Mashed, roasted sweet potatoes get enlivened with miso, ponzu and maple syrup.

Mashed, roasted sweet potatoes get enlivened with miso, ponzu and maple syrup.

 

Dorie.

Like Madonna and Bono, you know exactly whom I’m talking about just by that first name.

Dorie Greenspan — the incomparable James Beard Award-winning cookbook writer whose fans are legion.

We always want recipes that won’t fail, that can be counted on, that won’t disappoint. But perhaps no more so than during the holidays when we just can’t afford to have a dish fall flat when we’re entertaining big time.

Greenspan’s recipes meet that criteria. And in her newest cookbook, “Everyday Dorie” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), of which I received a review copy, she delivers a slew of recipes for the food she makes most often at home, whether it be in Paris, New York or Connecticut.

EverydayDorie

These are dishes that she considers basic, meaning they’re uncomplicated to make, but still pack on a real depth of flavor. Best yet, for most every recipe, she gives suggestions on ways to riff on it.

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Holiday Cranberry Crumble Pie

Wouldn't this be a beauty for your Thanksgiving table?

Wouldn’t this be a beauty for your Thanksgiving table?

 

What would Thanksgiving be without a perfect pie to end the meal?

Just lacking, plain and simple.

I know people who would gladly bypass the turkey and fixings, just to lunge for the finale of pie, pie and more pie.

Because I’m one of those people who actually doesn’t like pumpkin pie, I’m always on the hunt for an alternative that’s just as homey, festive, and — in my mind — far more delicious.

I found it in “Cranberry Crumble Pie.”

Sister Pie Book

It’s from the new “Sister Pie: The Recipes & Stories of A Big-Hearted Bakery in Detroit” (Lorena Jones Books), of which I received a review copy.

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The Thanksgiving Feast Is A Breeze With Luke’s Local

Thanksgiving is served -- in a jiffy, thanks to Luke's Local.

Thanksgiving is served — in a jiffy, thanks to Luke’s Local.

 

Did Thanksgiving sneak up on you? Are you little prepared? Dog-tired? Rather leave the cooking to someone else?

Look no further than Luke’s Local.

The San Francisco-based business not only has a market in Cole Valley, but also offers catering and delivery of not only prepared foods but flowers, bread, cheese and produce from local purveyors.

For Thanksgiving, Luke’s offers a range of prepared sides; wines; house-smoked turkeys or fresh birds from Branigan’s Turkey Farm, Mary’s and Willie Bird; and desserts from Black Jet Baking Company, Mission Pie, and Starter Bakery.

In short, it’s everything you’d need for a fuss-free feast, where the only heavy-lifting you probably need to do is carry everything to the dining room table and enjoy.

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Get To Know Spokane Part II: Best Brunch, A Philanthropic Fried Chicken Joint & More

A tasting size of the fried chicken and waffles at Bruncheonette.

A tasting size of the fried chicken and waffles at Bruncheonette.

SPOKANE, WA — On a recent trip in which I was invited by Visit Spokane to be a guest in its fair city, I had a chance to discover the many charms of this Northwest city.

Did you know it’s the home of Bing Crosby and even sports a Bing Crosby House Museum?

Or that there’s a giant-sized Radio Flyer downtown that you can climb on, then slide down?

Or that it boasts a 1909 historic hand-carved wooden carousel, where you can climb aboard a horse, giraffe, tiger or Chinese dragon chair for a spin?

Not your average red wagon.

Not your average red wagon.

Of course, it’s also home to some incredible restaurants not to be missed. Take a taste.

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