Category Archives: Great Finds

Hammy Holidays, Plus A Snake River Farms Giveaway

A bone-in ham to put all others to shame. From Snake River Farms.

A bone-in ham to put all others to shame. From Snake River Farms.

 

I often keep old Christmas cards, and sometimes the gently-used ribbons and bows, too.

But one thing I make a point never to discard is something all together different.

Bones.

From the Thanksgiving turkey. From the Christmas ham.

They are always wrapped carefully with aluminum foil, then tucked inside a heavy-duty plastic bag in a safe place in my freezer.

Until January.

That’s when I take them out for their intended purpose, one that I look forward to every year after the holiday season.

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Forget Black Friday; Make It A Brown One (As In Chocolate) Instead

Yes, this is pretty much how I ate this fantastic spread.

Yes, this is pretty much how I ate this fantastic spread.

 

See that hazelnut spread above?

I’d like to tell you that I came up with all sorts of inventive ways to use it in baking. But the truth is that I ate that entire jar of Nuubia Hazelnut Spread simply by the languid spoonful, day after day, until it was emptied.

I’m not ashamed. Because it was that irresistible.

So forget braving the malls today. Just do yourself a favor and go Nuubia’s online site to order a jar instead — for yourself or your chocoholic friends. Or take a trip to the Nuubia store/cafe, which just opened this year in the lobby of the Twitter building in San Francisco, or to its Pleasanton headquarters that has an artisan kitchen.

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Join the Food Gal and Lisa Murphy of Sosu Sauces For A Macy’s Demo

MacysSosuSauces

You’re in for a spicy, scrumptious time at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara when Lisa Murphy, founder of the Bay Area’s Sosu Sauces joins me for a cooking demo at 6 p.m. Nov. 19.

Sosu Sauces makes my favorite sriracha sauce. The artisan sauce is hand-made in small batches, then aged in whiskey barrels to give it great complexity and a hint of smokiness.

Learn how Murphy gave up a career in banking and high-tech to spread the gospel of sriracha and Srirachup (that’s her mashup of her sriracha with ketchup).

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Salivating for Artisan Sopressata

Take a taste of Sopressata Calabrese.

Take a taste of Sopressata Calabrese.

 

Brothers Steven and Eric are the fourth generation of Bavas to hand-craft a spicy Italian dry salami specialty known as sopressata Calabrese.

Their grandfather brought the recipe to America after immigrating to Chicago from the small mountain town of Simbario in Calabria, Italy. Every winter following Christmas, the whole family gathered to whip up a batch, which would then be served at every special family occasion throughout the year.

Now, the brothers are making that same cured sausage in small batches in Los Angeles and selling it via a small select group of retail stores.

Recently, I had a chance to try Bavas Brothers Sopressata Calabrese.

Deep ruby red, the squat sausage is firm and chewy. It’s full of sweet porkiness, along with a good jolt of peppery spice that builds the more you chew.

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Trokay — A Fine-Dining Surprise in Truckee

Kauai shrimp sizzling away on searingly hot granite at Trokay.

Kauai shrimp sizzling away on searingly hot granite at Trokay.

 

TRUCKEE, CA — In my youth, trips to Lake Tahoe didn’t involve sophisticated fare. Instead, it was all about burgers, pastas and Mexican food — hearty and inexpensive eats that filled you up after a hard day on the slopes.

But truth be told, it was also because those simple dishes were all that could be found then.

Not anymore.

Imagine my delight to find Trokay in Truckee, a fine-dining establishment versed in molecular gastronomy and true attention to detail that would be right at home in San Francisco or New York.

In fact, owners John and Nyna Weatherson are from New York. She was the head cheesemonger of the landmark Murray’s Cheese in the West Village. He is a Culinary Institute of America graduate, who was the top-ranked student in his class, and went on to be chef de partie at Restaurant Daniel.

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