Author Archives: foodgal

Sweet On San Francisco’s Artisan Macaron

Prettily boxed French macarons for gift-giving to friends -- or yourself.
Prettily boxed French macarons for gift-giving to friends — or yourself.

Looking for an host/hostess gift this holiday season that’s sure to impress?

San Francisco’s Artisan Macaron has exactly that.

Best yet, these crunchy, cream-filled meringue confections are readily available at Whole Foods and Nugget Markets to pick up on the spur of the moment.

Chef Alex Trouan started apprenticing at a pastry shop in his native France when he was only 15 before going to work for legendary Pierre Herme in Paris. In the 1990s, he moved to California, started baking macarons, and never looked back.

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What I’ve Been Drinking of Late, Part 23

When you're in the mood for sparkling wine -- but not its effects -- grab a bottle of Joyus.
When you’re in the mood for sparkling wine — but not its effects — grab a bottle of Joyus.

Joyous Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Wine

It looks like sparkling wine or Champagne. It’s packaged in an elegant bottle complete with a cork, cage and foil. And it’s beautifully effervescent in a glass.

But Joyous Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Wine is indeed non-alcoholic. It’s made like wine, but with the alcohol removed to become “dealcoholized.”

Launched during the pandemic, it’s the creation of Seattle’s Jessica Selander who proudly has 17 years of sobriety.

This is no cloying Martinelli’s trying to stand in for wine, as I happily found when trying a sample. Instead, this wine is a balanced blend of varietals, mostly Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, French Colombard, Chenin Blanc and other whites, Selander noted in an interview with Sip Magazine.

It even won bronze at the 2021 San Francisco International Wine Competition.

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Give It Up For Pumpkin Spice Latte Cake

The true pumpkin spice latte -- in cake form.
The true pumpkin spice latte — in cake form.

Admittedly, I’ve never understood the hoopla surrounding pumpkin spice latte season, which seems to begin earlier and earlier every year.

Then again, I am a black-coffee drinker all the way.

But put fragrant, autumnal pumpkin spices together with the full-bodied flavor of espresso plus actual bona fide pumpkin in a baked good, and I am so there.

That’s why I jumped all over this recipe for “Pumpkin Spice Latte Cake.”

This clever recipe is from “Half Baked Harvest Every Day” (Clarkson Potter) by Colorado’s Tieghan Gerard, creator of the hit blog, Half Baked Harvest.

It’s a one-pan cake imbued with cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. It gets plenty of richness from coconut oil.

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Bejeweled Pomegranate Rice Pilaf

Presto chango -- basmati rice goes from white to deep fuchsia in this pilaf recipe.
Presto chango — basmati rice goes from white to deep fuchsia in this pilaf recipe.

Light up the holiday table this year with a shot of brilliant fuchsia that’s dazzlingly delicious, too.

That’s just what this “Pomegranate Rice Pilaf” is like.

It’s from the new “Masala” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy.

The collection of 100 recipes is by India-born Anita Jaisinghani, chef-owner of Pondicheri restaurant in Houston and a cooking columnist for the Houston Chronicle.

Spices are integral to Indian cooking, and there’s a whole chapter on them that includes a primer on how to toast and bloom them, the taste profile of the most commonly used ones, their Ayurveda properties, and suggestions on best ways to use them.

The recipes will take you from morning through afternoon to evening in dishes such as “Coconut Pancakes,” “Three Dal Stew,” “Homestyle Butter Chicken,” “Kerala Beef Fry,” and “Saffron Chocolate Bread Pudding.”

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Sponsored Post: Asiago Apple Galette with Pazazz Apples

Pazazz apples, Asiago cheese, thyme, and the most incredible crust make this the apple dessert of your dreams.
Pazazz apples, Asiago cheese, thyme, and the most incredible crust make this the apple dessert of your dreams.

Few things bring a smile in fall and winter like a bountiful slice of fresh-baked apple pie.

With cheddar cheese, though? Not so much.

At least, in my humble opinion.

But add Asiago and a pinch of thyme in its place, and apple pie soars to newfound heights.

New Englanders and Midwesterners may have an affinity for that sharp orange cheese married with apple pie. Yet, I’ve never been keen on the combination because I think it overwhelms the apples.

Instead, reach for Asiago, the Italian cow’s milk cheese full of buttery nuttiness for a true complementary addition in this superlative “Asiago Apple Galette (or Pie).”

That’s exactly what I did when I got my hands on some Pazazz apples.

Beautiful, delicious Pazazz apples are available now through June.
Beautiful, delicious Pazazz apples are available now through June.

This late-season variety sports gorgeous red skin with yellow-green striations. These apples are snappy and full of sweet, tangy juice. Best yet, when baked, they keep their shape, making them ideal to spotlight in pies, crisps, and crumbles, and in savory dishes such as roasted alongside duck, chicken, or pork sausages.

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