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Baked Therapy

Wednesday, 15. October 2014 5:26

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) | Author:

Cauliflower Salad — The French Way

Wednesday, 8. October 2014 5:26

Plenty of creamy, chopped hard-cooked eggs makes this cauliflower salad creamy and substantial.

Plenty of creamy, chopped hard-cooked eggs makes this cauliflower salad creamy and substantial.

 

I adore hearty salads like this.

The type that can be a meal in and of itself.

Or a side dish.

And can keep well for days in the fridge so you can enjoy it for lunch, dinner or a midnight snack, again and again.

“Cauliflower Salad with Eggs and Anchovies” is from the new cookbook, “French Roots: Two Cooks, Two Countries & The Beautiful Food Along the Way” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy. The book is by Jean-Pierre Moulle and his wife, Denise Lurton Moulle. He was the executive chef of Chez Panisse for more than three decades. She founded Domaine de Bordeaux, a company that distributes Bordeaux wines in the United States and Canada.

The very personal cookbook takes you from their first meeting on a street corner in Berkeley in 1980 to their being married six months later. The book is not full of fancy chef-y recipes. Instead, these are dishes that they cook at home, full of old-world French flavors and sensibilities.

FrenchRoots

Of course as an alumni of Chez Panisse, Jean-Pierre knows his way around vegetables. But this recipe actually comes from his wife. Growing up in Bordeaux with its long winters, her family relied on sturdy vegetables to take them through the harsh season. This salad was a staple her mother served often.

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Category:Chefs, General, Recipes (Savory), Restaurants | Comments (8) | Author:

Tailgating at Levi’s Stadium with Michael Mina and Thomas Keller

Monday, 6. October 2014 5:26

Liquid nitrogen butter pecan ice cream floats at Michael Mina's tailgate at Levi's Stadium.

Liquid nitrogen butter pecan ice cream floats (with an edible chocolate straw) at Michael Mina’s tailgate at Levi’s Stadium.

 

When there’s the likes of lobster pot pie, freshly shucked Kusshi oysters, and made-to-order, liquid-nitrogen butter pecan ice cream being served, you know you’re not at your average tailgate.

When it’s chefs Michael Mina and Thomas Keller in charge of the food, you know you’re truly at no ordinary sports feast.

Such was the case yesterday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, when the San Francisco 49ers socked it to the Kansas City Chiefs.

TailgateSign

Chef Michael Mina presiding over his exclusive tailgate at his Bourbon Steak & Pub.

Chef Michael Mina presiding over his exclusive tailgate at his Bourbon Steak & Pub.

Oh, he's a fan alright.

Oh, he’s a fan alright.

Some young fans enjoying the food.

Some young fans enjoying the food.

At every home game, Mina’s Bourbon Steak & Pub, located right at the stadium, is transformed into the ultimate upscale tailgating party imaginable. For added fun, Mina invites a different guest chef to headline with him. Typically, the guest chef has a connection to the opposing team’s city, such as when Chicago-native Christopher Kostow of the Restaurant at Meadowood was on hand for the Niners-Bears game. Or how when the Niners take on the Washington Redskins on Nov. 23, it’ll be Chef Jose Andres, who has several restaurants in the nation’s capitol.

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, General, Restaurants, Thomas Keller/French Laundry/Et Al | Comments (6) | Author:

Discover the New KitchenTown in San Mateo

Friday, 3. October 2014 5:25

Rediscovering the cookies I loved as a kid.

Rediscovering the cookies I loved as a kid.

 

If you’re a long-time or native San Franciscan like myself, you probably grew up with these Danish butter cookies.

My aunt would bestow a box on our family every Christmas. The box would be lined with rows of five different types of golden-hued cookies. The oatmeal was always my favorite, and the one I reached for first.

When my aunt retired, so did the cookie gift-giving. And I never had them again.

Until now.

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Category:Bakeries, Chefs, General, More Food Gal -- In Other Publications, New Products | Comments (4) | Author:

Fall Into Fall With Jamie Oliver’s Lamb Fricassee

Wednesday, 1. October 2014 5:25

A lemony lamb fricassee that spans the seasons.

A lemony lamb fricassee that spans the seasons.

 

It’s hard to believe it’s fall, isn’t it?

Halloween around the corner? How can it be?

But Jamie Oliver makes the change of seasons easier to swallow with his “Incredible Lamb Fricassee My Way.”

Even in the Bay Area, where the days are still pretty summer-like, a big leg of lamb is not the first thing that pops to mind to sit down to at this time of year.

But Oliver’s lamb dish is a great one for easing into the slightly cooler nights. That’s because it’s made with a big handfuls of lettuce that soften and melt into the yogurt-fortified sauce, lightening the dish so that it doesn’t feel too heavy right now. Fresh dill and a generous amount of lemon juice also give the dish a liveliness. Plus, it cooks on the stove-top, so you don’ t have to turn on your oven for hours just yet.

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Category:Chefs, General, Meat, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (10) | Author: