Category Archives: New Products

Rancho Gordo’s Alubia Bean Salad with Pineapple Vinaigrette

Get to know how good beans can truly be.

Get to know how good beans can truly be.

 

I remember there was a time when I found beans utterly ho-hum.

I couldn’t imagine what could be that exciting about them. I was always more interested in what was with them or around them.

That was until I discovered Napa’s Rancho Gordo beans.

That’s when I realized beans could be comforting, surprising, satisfying and with far more flavor and character than I’d ever imagined.

Founder Steve Sando sources astounding heirloom beans with such evocative names as Christmas Lima Bean, Yellow Indian Woman Bean, and Good Mother Stallard Bean.

At least once a year, I make a purchase of an assortment of his beans, most of which carry me through the chilly winter in numerous dishes. But they’re equally delicious when the weather is still warm, such as in dishes like “Alubia Blanca Bean Salad with Pineapple Vinaigrette.”

RanchoGordoVegetarian

It’s a recipe from his cookbook, “The Rancho Gordo Vegetarian Kitchen,” which he wrote with Julia Newberry last year. As the name implies, it’s filled with meat-less recipes that star all manner of beans.

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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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Signed, Sealed, Delivered, And Yours (Sept. 2019)

Look for my new "East Bay Cooks'' cookbook to join this group in summer 2019.

Look for my new “East Bay Cooks” cookbook to join this group in summer 2019.

 

See that stack of beautiful cookbooks above? Soon to join them will be “East Bay Cooks” — by yours truly.

Yes, that’s what I’ve spent the better part of this year working on. In fact, I just finished the manuscript this month.

The cookbook, which will debut in September 2019, will feature 40 of the top restaurants, bars and bakeries in the East Bay, with their stories and recipes. The photography will be by the incredibly talented Bay Area-based Eva Kolenko.

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It’s Not Too Soon For Pumpkin Spice, Is It? Plus Wine Time

Perfect with coffee or tea, Donsuemor Pumpkin Spice madeleines. (photo by Carolyn Jung)

Perfect with coffee or tea, Donsuemor Pumpkin Spice madeleines. (photo by Carolyn Jung)

Pumpkin Spice Madeleines

Tender, cake-like and full of autumnal spices, Donsuemor’s Pumpkin Spice Madeleines are a sweet treat hard to resist.

Yes, you might not be ready for pumpkin spice season yet. But it is upon us in full force already. So you might as well embrace it wholeheartedly. Especially when it means indulging in cookies like these.

Donsuemor has been baking French madeleines in the East Bay since 1976.

A package of six pumpkin spice ones are about $4. Find them at Raley’s, Mollie Stone’s and other retailers.

You Know You Want A Pumpkin Spice Latte

It is indeed that time already at Starbucks. The frenzy over pumpkin spice lattes has begun.

But why slog over to Starbucks, wait in line, and fork over bucks when you can get your fix by making your own pumpkin spice latte at home for a lot less money.

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Recchiuti Confections New Collection For A Cause, An Afternoon with El Cajon & More

Recchiuti Confections' new Musical Jamboree collection. (photo courtesy of Recchiuti)

Recchiuti Confections’ new Musical Jamboree collection. (photo courtesy of Recchiuti)

Recchiuti Truffles Get Extra Artsy

If there wasn’t ample reason already to love Recchiuti Confections’ burnt caramel truffles, its new limited edition collection offers up yet another one: They are decorated with dazzling art by Creativity Explored, a San Francisco non-profit that gives those with developmental disabilities the opportunity to create and share their work.

This marks the 14th year that the San Francisco chocolatier has partnered with that organization.

The special Musical Jamboree chocolate collection showcases artist Kate Thompson’s whimsical comic book-like illustrations of musicians in full color on top of each truffle. Thompson’s artwork also was featured on Google’s 2015 prototype of self-driving cars.

“I like to tell stories through my artwork and have it convey people doing things whether that is people on a bike, riding a bus, or playing an instrument,” Thompson said in a statement. “I never thought of having my artwork on chocolate, but I’m very excited!”

An 8-piece box is $23, with a portion of all proceeds donated to Creativity Explored.

Saturday, Sept. 8, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Recchiuti’s Ferry Building store will host a celebratory jamboree, where Thompson’s current work will be on display.

El Cajon’s Epicurean Tasting Event

For a quarter of a century, the Bay Area’s El Cajon Project has worked to give at-risk and disadvantaged high school students training in the culinary arts that includes hands-on experience at such notable establishments as Chez T.J. in Mountain View, Evvia in Palo Alto, Alexander’s Patisserie in Mountain View, and the Menlo Grill in the Stanford Park Hotel in Menlo Park.

Sunday, Oct. 21, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., it will host “An Afternoon with El Cajon,” a tasting event at The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse in Palo Alto.

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