Category Archives: Great Finds

Annieglass Debuts New Spring Collection, Plus A Food Gal Giveaway

https://www.annieglass.com/shop/product/grove-large-plank-cheese-board

A stunning hand-made glass cheese board by Annieglass. (Photo by Annieglass)

 

Looking for a perfect bridal shower gift? Or wedding gift? Or perhaps just something new and pretty for your own entertaining needs?

Annieglass has you covered with its new spring line.

Watsonville designer Annie Morhauser has been handcrafting unique glassware for more than 30 years. Made in her Watsonville studio, her elegant pieces have been featured at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino, and at the Four Seasons resorts. Celebs Jennifer Aniston and John Grisham are reported fans, too.

You’ll find the designs at her store, which opened last year in San Jose’s Santana Row.

Annieglass debuts new collections only twice a year. The new spring collection is all about spring blooms with bowls and glasses with scalloped, petal edges. The pieces range in price from $67 to $240.

The new spring collection by Annieglass. (Photo by Annieglass)

The new spring collection by Annieglass. (Photo by Annieglass)

CONTEST: See that gorgeous Annieglass large Grove Plank Cheese Board at the top of this post? The wood grain and knots were actually textured using wood grain from an actual tree. The 15-by-8-inch hand-made glass board (valued at $113) is durable, chip-resistant and dishwasher-safe. It’s one of Annieglass’ best sellers.

Imagine serving cheese, crackers, fruit or canapes to friends and family from that stunning piece. You can — if you’re the winner of this contest.

One lucky Food Gal reader will receive that glass board. Entries, limited to those on the continental United States, will be accepted through midnight PST April 16. Winner will be announced April 18.

How to win?

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Fill’er Up in Los Angeles

How pretty is this lemon cake from Sycamore Kitchen?

How pretty is this lemon cake from Sycamore Kitchen?

Sycamore Kitchen

Sure, they serve lunch, but I was there for the baked goods. But of course.

Husband and wife owners Quinn and Karen Hatfield cooked for a spell in San Francisco, before departing for Los Angeles to open Hatfield’s. In 2012, they also opened the Sycamore Kitchen, an urban cafe and bakery with a large outdoor patio.

Karen is a long-time pastry chef, so it’s no surprise that the pastries excel here.

How good are they?

Let’s start with the buttercup ($3.50), the renamed version of a kougin-amann. It’s buttery alright. It’s also the closest kouign-amann I’ve found to that of Belinda Leong’s of B. Patisserie in San Francisco and John Shelsta’s of Howie’s Artisan Pizzeria in Redwood City (he trained with Leong). It’s golden and crisp, with airy layers that are just a smidge heavier in texture than Leong’s and Shelsta’s versions. It’s a dream to nibble on.

The buttercup (kouign-amann).

The buttercup (kouign-amann).

Yes, this is a babka.

Yup, this is a babka.

Then there are the cookies. At first glance, they look incredibly flat and thin — almost as if they were a mistake. But take a bite of the rice crispy cookie ($2.50) and the oatmeal toffee cookie ($2.25) and you know they were baked with purpose. The thinness means they are somehow crisp and chewy through and through. Brilliant.

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Pique — Taste the Newest Revolution in Tea

A new way to enjoy tea.

A new way to enjoy tea.

 

Pique will definitely pique your interest and taste buds.

Imagine brewing a cup of tea — without any loose leaves or tea bag involved.

Pique makes it possible with its genius tea crystals.

Simon Cheng, who grew up in Hong Kong and California, founded the San Francisco company. A lifelong tea aficionado, he wanted to find a better, more convenient way to enjoy a cup of tea.

So, he brewed tea, then removed the leaves, before distilling it into crystals that are packed into individual one-cup packets.

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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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