Category Archives: General

Sacramento’s Grange To Get a Facelift

 

The top-selling zabuton at Grange.

The top-selling zabuton at Grange.

When Sacramento’s Grange reopens tomorrow, it will have a refreshed look.

I’m curious to see how this farm-to-fork downtown restaurant will re-imagine itself, as I had the chance to check it out a month before the redo, when I was invited in as a guest of Grange and the swank Citizen Hotel.

Downtown Sacramento is undergoing its own renaissance, what with the opening of Golden 1 Center, home of the Sacramento Kings, just a stroll away.

With Chef Oliver Ridgeway’s farm-to-table sensibilities and an industrial, masculine setting of concrete columns, soaring windows all around, and black steel pendant lights, the restaurant has long been a popular venue. The bar area in particular gets packed early in the evening whenever there is an event going on at the arena.

Grange's former look.

Grange’s former look.

I started with a Blueberry Shrub ($13), a refreshing sip of gin, lemon, thyme, and Luxardo sour cherry syrup, made extra puckery with Buckeye Creek blueberry rice vinegar. It’s a great way — and a pretty one — to rev the palate up.

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Hooray For Plentiful Dungeness Crabs and A Food Gal Giveaway

Dungeness crab -- how I've missed you.

Dungeness crab — how I’ve missed you.

 

When this year’s Dungeness crab season opened two weeks ago right on schedule, I breathed a sigh of relief.

As I’m sure did so many fishermen and Dungeness aficionados.

After all, last year was truly dismal, thanks to a toxic algae bloom, which resulted in high levels of domoic acid in the crabs, making them unfit for consumption until the very tail end of the season, by which time most people had sworn them off anyway.

This winter is a different story. The crabs are not only safe to eat, but supposedly meatier because they’ve had more time to grow.

I, for one, am happily indulging already. In fact, thanks to Hayward seafood distributor, Pucci Foods, I enjoyed my first Dungeness crab of the season just a couple days after the local commercial season started. Its new direct-to-consumer site, Daily Fresh Fish, delivers fresh, sustainable seafood right to your door.

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Good To The Last Bite — Spiced Apple, Ham, and Raclette Sandwich

My husband eagerly gave this thumbs up. You will, too.

My husband eagerly gave this thumbs up. You will, too.

 

My husband can be brutally honest.

Especially when it comes to food. Which can be a good thing if you want real criticism in order to judge something with complete honesty.

There have been times in which I’ve tried a new dish on him, only to have him swallow hard and say, “Where the heck did you dig up this recipe?”

But there are other times, where he’ll take a bite, and say, “Oh! You should make this more often.”

The latter was his response to “Spiced Apple, Ham, and Raclette Sandwich.”

This sammy, which he loved from the get-go, is from the new cookbook, “Eat In My Kitchen” (Prestel) by Meike Peters, a Berlin-based writer and photographer who created the blog, Eat In My Kitchen.

eatinmykitchen

The cookbook, of which I received a review copy, contains 100 recipes for seasonal food with a laid-back European attitude. In other words, it’s food that isn’t fussy. The lovely photos will make you want to cook and eat everything, too, from “Sauteed Endive with Balsamic Butter and Marjoram” to “Pumpkin Gnocchi with Roquefort Sauce” to “Riesling and Rhubarb Cake.”

Sandwiches are typically not hard to prepare. This one fits that simple mode, but delivers extra big on flavor.

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Kuvee — A New Way To Enjoy Wine At Home (Sponsored Post)

Introducing the Kuvee wine system.

Introducing the Kuvee wine system.

 

You might not guess from looks alone, but those bottles above are actually the equivalent of boxed wines. Only in clever bottle format.

Kuvee is a new wine system that not only allows you to open a bottle of wine and keep its contents stable for up to 30 days without oxidation, but to access information about that wine on a computer screen positioned where the wine label would normally be. You can even rate the wine or order more of it with a touch of the screen.

The wine system was founded by serial entrepreneur Vijay Manwani, who has already raised $60 million in venture capital investment for it.

So how does it work?

For $199, you get a Kuvee bottle with four wines, a mix of reds and whites, or only red or only white, if you like.

It's a system that uses specially designed wine bottles.

It’s a system that uses specially designed wine bottles.

Each wine bottle holds the equivalent of a standard 750ml bottle. But these are no ordinary bottles. They’re not glass, but plastic. A hard valve is inserted in the neck of each bottle, explains Michael Meagher, a Master Sommelier on the Kuvee team. The valve closes when the bottle is upright, sealing it airtight. But when the Kuvee bottle is slipped over the wine bottle, the valve is opened, allowing the wine to pour out. Inside each bottle is a collapsible food-grade film bag that holds the wine. As the wine is poured, the bag collapses, just like it would in a boxed wine. Once empty, the wine bottle can be recycled.

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Thankful For Apple Custard Tart

A tart full of tender apples and delicate custard.

A tart full of tender apples and delicate custard.

 

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Me? I’m grateful for good health, great friends and family, and a writing career, that though a wild roller-coaster ride at times, has brought enormous satisfaction, wonderful opportunities, and a contingent of loyal, supportive readers who are the very best anyone could ever ask for.

And I’m glad for “Apple Custard Tart.” Because it’s equally delicious and appropriate for the Thanksgiving feast or for the lazy, spent morning after.

Don’t rush out to the mall that Friday. Instead, enjoy a slice of this pretty tart with a cup of coffee or tea, and a retelling of the fun, delightful moments that happened during the holiday night before.

buttercelebrates

This straightforward recipe is from “Butter Celebrates! Delicious Recipes For Special Occasions” (Knopf), of which I received a review copy. It’s by Rosie Daykin, owner of Butter Baked Goods in Vancouver.

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