Category Archives: Fruit

Three Gourmet Gifts For Friends, Family — Or Yourself

Rice crackers and cheese puffs are among the treats inside this Bokksu box.

Rice crackers and cheese puffs are among the treats inside this Bokksu box.

Elevated Snack Attack

Founder Danny Taing has elevated the snack box — big time — with his Bokksu subscription service.

Every month, he curates a selection of premium Japanese snacks, which — yes — can include such coveted treats as the newest Japanese Kit Kat flavor — that are mailed directly to you from Japan.

Recently, I had a chance to try a sample box. They come in two sizes, the $25 “Tasting” size and the larger $39 “Classic” size, which is the one I had sent to me.

Each month, there is a different theme for each box. For the November one, it was “Tea Story,” which meant everything inside — about 20 items — married well with Japanese tea. With every month’s box, there is always tea included, too.

Everything is tucked inside a custom box.

Everything is tucked inside a custom box.

Voila!

Voila!

The snacks arrived in a sturdy, custom logo box, which is a nice touch if you’re giving it as a gift. Inside, there’s a pamphlet with a primer on tea (apparently, it originated in Japan in the 9th century by Buddhist monks as a religious practice), as well as descriptions of the items inside. That’s a handy guide, too, since much of the information on the actual packages is in Japanese. It even identifies possible allergens in the various products.

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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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Dinner on the Farm — In Sunnyvale

A friendly scarecrow stands watch at the Santa Clara Unified School District Farm.

A friendly scarecrow stands watch at the Santa Clara Unified School District Farm.

 

With new condos and tech buildings going up at a dizzying pace in Silicon Valley, it’s hard to believe that in the midst all this concrete and glass, one can actually still enjoy the bucolic experience of a dinner on a farm here.

But you can — right here in Sunnyvale at 1055 Dunford Way. At an 11-acre organic oasis owned by the Santa Clara Unified School District.

After taking over the property last year from Full Circle Farm, the district hired farmer Dave Tuttle to over see it. And how fruitful the SCUSD Farm has become. This season, 1,500 pounds of tomatoes were harvested and turned into sauce for use in lunches at the district’s 28 schools. In fact, every day, there is something featured from the farm on school menus, most notably in the salad bars.

Pumpkins galore.

Pumpkins galore.

Persimmons ripening on the tree.

Persimmons ripening on the tree.

Twenty tons of pumpkins were grown, along with 3,000 pounds of watermelon. There are persimmon, avocado, pomegranate and lemon trees thriving. Rows of fava beans, Persian cucumbers, and kabocha squash were planted. There are nine laying hens, and beehives, too.

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Jammin with Jam

A variation on the usual thumbprint cookies, and made with Jamnation jams.

A variation on the usual thumbprint cookies, and made with Jamnation jams.

 

As a Stanford University economics major, Gillian Reynolds was only too familiar with the law of supply and demand.

Now, she’s living it — supplying delicious jams that aficionados are demanding more and more of with gusto.

Reynolds is the founder of San Francisco’s Jamnation. With her brother Christopher, a trained chef, they make jam with local organic fruit, surprising flavorings and a big dose of wittiness.

Just get a load of some of the jam names: “Plum and Get It” (pluot with honeysuckle essence), “Midnight in Pearis,” (Bosc pear butter with vanilla and nutmeg), and “Cardamom Knows Zest” (Seville orange marmalade with cardamom).

Gotta love the cute names -- as well as the deliciousness inside.

Gotta love the cute names — as well as the deliciousness inside.

I had a chance to try a couple samples recently: “Rose to the Grindstone” (Arctic Star nectarines with rose essence), and “Sublemonal Message” (Meyer lemon marmalade with ginger).

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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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