Rah-Rah for Raspberry Almond Bars

Friday, 6. June 2014 5:26 | Author:

My freezer is a repository of odds and ends, a treasure chest packed with the promise of delicious culinary endeavors to come.

Rinds from parmesan wedges saved for hearty vegetable soup pots in the days ahead.

Over-ripe bananas tucked away for spur-of-the-moment banana bread-baking.

Heels of bread for making crumbs to dredge chicken thighs in.

And for this recipe.

“Raspberry Almond Bars” appealed to me because they make use of almond flour (also found copiously tucked away in my freezer) and bread crumbs. In fact, there’s no need to measure out any all-purpose flour because the batter gets its foundation from the former two ingredients, plus a generous amount of eggs. The recipe calls for 6 extra large eggs. Since I only buy large ones, I just upped the number of those to 7 for this recipe. It also calls for superfine sugar. You can just whirl regular granulated in a food processor to make it finer. Or truth be told, I just used the regular granulated as is without a problem.

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Category:Fruit, General, Recipes (Sweet) | Comments (10)



Join the Food Gal and Chef Jose Esparza of Hult’s at Macy’s Valley Fair

Wednesday, 4. June 2014 5:26 | Author:

MacysHults

If you haven’t yet had a chance to check out Hult’s, the farm-to-table restaurant that opened in Los Gatos late last year, here’s your chance to get a first taste.

Hult’s Chef Jose Esparza will be joining me for a cooking demo at 6 p.m. June 12 at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara to cook up one of his specialties.

Hult’s was opened in the old Hobee’s locale in downtown Los Gatos by Alexander Hult, a former professional hockey player in Europe who was once drafted by the San Jose Sharks. He grew up in Sweden, where in between hockey seasons, he would help his mother in the restaurants of the hotel she managed. He created his own restaurant, Hult’s, with his wife, Sarah Chapman-Hult, a native of San Jose who in 2011 was crowned Miss Nevada USA.

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, General, More Food Gal -- In Person | Comments (3)



Kara’s Cupcakes Now to Offer Full-Sized Cakes, La Boulange PRIDE Macarons & More

Monday, 2. June 2014 5:25 | Author:

Kara's "Safari'' cake. (Photo courtesy of Kara's Cupcakes)

Kara’s “Safari” cake. (Photo courtesy of Kara’s Cupcakes)

Kara’s Cupcakes Bakes Up Full-Sized Cakes

If you are a fan of Kara’s Cupcakes, now there’s even more to love — in the form of full-sized cakes.

Six- and nine-inch artisan cakes are now available in Kara’s signature cupcake flavors, as well as two exclusive ones made only in the cake format: Paradise and Chocolate Eclipse.

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Category:Bakeries, Cupcakes, Enticing Events, General | Comments (3)



Pacific Catch Makes A Landing in Mountain View

Friday, 30. May 2014 5:26 | Author:

Korean Barbecue Bowl at Pacific Catch in Mountain View.

Korean Barbecue Bowl at Pacific Catch in Mountain View.

 

San Francisco-based Pacific Catch opened its sixth location at the end of March in Mountain View — and its largest restaurant to date.

Located at The Village at San Antonio Center, it’s a pretty, airy restaurant with plenty of outdoor seating, plus roomy booths in the dining room that’s decorated on theme with fish prints, a cascading water wall and light fixtures that look like they’re fabricated from delicate Japanese paper.

Partners Aaron Noveshen and Keith Cox opened the first Pacific Catch on Chestnut Street in San Francisco in 2003. This spring, they also brought on board David Gingrass as executive chef. Gingrass, who cooked with Wolfgang Puck and once had the lauded Hawthorne Lane restaurant in San Francisco, has streamlined and upgraded operations, according to the general manager. Still to come, Gingrass will be putting his stamp on the menu with some new dishes.

The dining room.

The dining room.

A few weeks ago, I had a chance to check out the current menu when I was invited in as a guest of the restaurant.

The restaurant is proud of its crafted cocktails including the Spicy Pacific ($7), which I tried at the manager’s suggestion. It’s a golden blend of Svedka vodka, passion fruit and Serrano chilies. It starts out fruity and refreshing, then the kick of heat kicks in at the end, warming the throat all the way down. It should come with a warning, as you can’t help but take one sip then reach for another and another.

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Category:Chefs, General, Restaurants, Seafood | Comments (1)

Rutherford’s Round Pond Olive Oils

Wednesday, 28. May 2014 5:26 | Author:

Mini bottles of the 2014 Round Pond olive oil releases.

Mini bottles of the 2014 Round Pond olive oil releases.

 

We’re spoiled in Northern California and we know it.

We often take for granted the abundance at our finger tips, from glorious produce year-round to stellar wines to luscious olive oils.

Rutherford’s Round Pond Estate in the Napa Valley makes the most of all of that, crafting wines from 357 acres of vineyards, vinegars from Cabernet and Merlot grapes, syrups from its orchards of citrus, and oils from imported Mediterranean olive trees.

Recently, I had a chance to try its 2014 estate olive oils pressed in a state-of-the-art mill, one of only two olive oil mills in the Napa Valley.

The Italian Varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made from such varieties as Leccino, Pendolino, Maurino, Frantoio and Coratina. It’s a quite full-bodied oil that really announces itself with abundant richness. It would be wonderful drizzled over a pasta dish to finish it or to give oomph to any green salad.

The Blood Orange Olive Oil, made with organic citrus, is sweetly fragrant. The orange taste is smooth and delicate. I envision baking with it or pouring it over soft-serve.

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Category:General, New Products | Comments (3)