Category Archives: General

I Think I Can, I Think I Can (Plus A Food Gal Giveaway)

My former nemesis, now my sweet friend.

My former nemesis, now my sweet friend.


For years, I’ve suffered from a malady.

One that I’ve shamefully hidden, glossed over and tried to ignore.

You see, I am a can-o-phobe.

There, I said it.

I am one who has never canned.

Oh sure, I’ve made jam. And I’ve made pickles. But all ones that could be easily stored in the refrigerator or freezer.

Petrified that I’d end up killing friends and family (or at least making them deathly ill), I’d never had the nerve to water process the jars to attempt to make them shelf-stable instead.

Until now.

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Strawberry Tabbouleh — It’s A Thing

Tabbouleh -- with strawberries. And you will love it.

Tabbouleh — with strawberries. And you will love it.

Who put strawberries in my tabbouleh?

Food blogger Sara Forte, that’s who.

And I’m grateful that she did.

I love tabbouleh, but I don’t think I would have ever thought to substitute fresh strawberries for the usual tomatoes in it.

The recipe for “Strawberry Tabbouleh” is from her new cookbook, “The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy.

Forte of Southern California is the creator of the beautiful blog, Sprouted Kitchen, which features photos by her husband, Hugh Forte. Her recipes are all about healthful, wholesome and seasonal.


As the name implies, this book spotlights recipes that are typically served in one bowl such as “Pumpkin Pie Steel-Cut Oats,” “Herby Picnic Potato Salad,” and “Seared Scallops in Thai Broth.”

Her “Strawberry Tabbouleh” can be made with the traditional bulgur or quinoa for a gluten-free version.

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Three Energy Bars to Fuel The Summer

Pure Organic Bars

Pure Organic Bars


During the summer especially, when we’re all hiking, playing tennis, biking, and traveling by car or plane, a healthful snack is a must-have.

It has to be easy to pack. It has to refuel our tired bodies. And it has to taste good, of course.

These three energy bars do the trick.

Pure Organic bars don’t contain gluten, dairy, soy or GMOs. The Fruit and Nut Bars weigh in at 200 calories or less, and contain 5 to 6 grams of protein and 3 to 4 grams of fiber. They are barely sweet and have a dense, chewy, fruitcake-like texture. The Apple Cinnamon one is like a taste of apple pie, only a whole lot less sugary.

Pure’s Organic Ancient Grain Bars have more crunch, thanks to quinoa, amaranth, flax and hemp. These have 150 to 160 calories, and 5 grams of protein and about 9 grams of total fat. Again, these have only a whisper of sweetness. The Chocolate Chunk Nut Bar won’t ever pass for a brownie. But it has the earthy, slightly bitterness of cocoa that makes it a pleasant way to enjoy a little chocolate without verging into dessert territory.

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The Go-To Weeknight Dinner for Carnivores: Maple and Soy Glazed Flank Steak

Yes, you can make this even on a busy weeknight.

Yes, you can make this even on a busy weeknight.


When it comes to weeknight recipes, who doesn’t love easy and versatile?

That’s just what “Maple and Soy Glazed Flank Steak” is all about.

It’s from the new cookbook, “The Great Cook: Essential Techniques and Inspired Flavors to Make Every Dish Better” (Oxmoor House).

The book, of which I received a review copy, is by James Briscione, who has worked as a chef at Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham, AL, and at Restaurant Daniel in New York. He’s now the culinary director at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. You might also recognize him as the first two-time champion of the Food Network’s “Chopped.”

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Bourbon Steak Scores at Levi’s Stadium

The bourbon cart at Bourbon Steak at Levi's Stadium.

The bourbon cart at Bourbon Steak at Levi’s Stadium.


There is no pussyfooting around this.

Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara is not inexpensive. It’s a special-occasion place. It’s where you go when you’re dining on an expense account to sink your teeth into an 8-ounce Snake River Farms rib cap for $110 or a Japanese A-5 Kagoshima rib eye for $34 per ounce (with a 3-ounce minimum required).

It’s not a place you’d head to every night. But then again, you couldn’t anyway. Because the restaurant is situated right on the ground level of the 49ers’ stadium, you can’t get into either Bourbon Steak or Bourbon Pub (the contiguous casual eatery) when the Niners are playing home games — unless you are a game ticket holder. In fact, the whole restaurant and pub becomes the ultimate gourmet tailgating extravaganza on game days — but only for season ticket-holders who pony up $5,000 each for the 10-game season. After the game ends, the restaurant and pub are open to any ticket holder.

Similarly, if One Direction, Taylor Swift or any other concert or special event is holding court at the stadium, you can’t get into the restaurant or pub, either, unless you have a ticket to said event.

Got all that?

I think you can guess whose autograph this is.

I think you can guess whose autograph this is.

How many other famous signatures can you spot?

How many other famous signatures can you spot?

The stadium field.

The stadium field.

When dining there, it pays to call for a reservation or to at least check the Levi’s Web site beforehand to make sure no events are happening the night you want to visit. Be mindful that the restaurant is open only for dinner; the pub is open for lunch and dinner.

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