Category Archives: General

Triscuit Sandies

When a cracker turns into a cookie.
When a cracker turns into a cookie.

A tisket, a tasket.

A Triscuit, a…cookie?

Yes, leave it to the zany minds behind Milk Bar to come up with crazy crunchy, brazenly buttery cookies made out of pulverized Triscuits.

“Triscuit Sandies” are just one of dozens and dozens of fabulously fun recipes in the new cookbook, “All About Cookies: A Milk Bar Baking Book” (Clarkson Potter), of which I received a review copy.

In the intro, Milk Bar owner Christina Tosi writes, “For those of you who think a cookie is just a cookie, and all cookie cookbooks are the same, welcome, my friend, to our crazy, amazing love affair with the most unsung hero of pastry. Bake a few batches with me, and I promise, you’ll never look at cookies the same way again.”

Indeed, these recipes are full of novel ingredients and approaches, such as “Cheeze-Grits” (tiny, crunchy, cheesy cookies made with corn grits, sharp cheddar and Pecorino), “Peach Shortcake Cookies” (loaded with dried peaches and real shortcake crumbles), “Lemon Poppy Ribbons” (glazed cookies filled with microwave-made lemon curd), and “Cookie Cake” (using cookie dough with favorite mix-ins to create an 8-inch cake).

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The Last Harrah at Landmark Manresa

Porcini and dry-aged beef served arrestingly at Manresa.
Porcini and dry-aged beef served arrestingly at Manresa.

It’s said that all good things must come to an end.

So apparently, must all great things, too.

When Chef-Owner David Kinch announced that he would be closing his Michelin three-starred Manresa in Los Gatos at the end of this year, it was a seismic jolt felt ’round the culinary world.

But after a glittering 20-year run, including the last three rocked by the turmoil of a global pandemic, he felt the time had come.

Although he will continue with his more casual concepts of Manresa Bread, the Bywater, and Mentone, come 2023 the South Bay will no longer boast a Michelin three-starred establishment. The property is up for sale. While Kinch says he has a few projects in mind to consider next, it’s a good bet that it will be a long time — if ever — that a restaurant exists in these parts that will draw discerning diners from all over the world in numbers like this one has.

I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy several superlative meals at Manresa over the past two decades. While I’ve mostly dined outdoors since the pandemic hit in 2020, I couldn’t pass up the chance to dine indoors there one final time.

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Ina Garten’s Hasselback Kielbasa

Kielbasa gets extra juicy and crispy the hasselback way.
Kielbasa gets extra juicy and crispy the hasselback way.

Sausages always make for a satisfying no-nonsense, no-brainer meal.

But leave it to Ina Garten to spiff them up while still turning them into an easy one-pan supper.

“Hasselback Kielbasa” is from her latest cookbook, “Go-To Dinners: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook” (Clarkson Potter), of which I received a review copy.

In her 13th cookbook, everyone’s favorite East Hampton Food Network star serves up a collection of comfort food geared more toward the novice cook or anyone looking for more streamlined recipes.

Cooks who appreciate plenty of color photos will revel in the fact that all of these one-page recipes include at least one.

Try your hand at everything from “Ravioli en Brodo” (made with ready-made cheese ravioli), “Creamy Eggs with Lobster & Crab,” “Oven Roasted Southern ‘Shrimp Boil’,” and “Dark Chocolate Tart.”

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Dining Outside at Rooh, Palo Alto

The paneer chili roll embellished with Middle Eastern katifi at Rooh in Palo Alto.
The paneer chili roll embellished with Middle Eastern katifi at Rooh in Palo Alto.

When Rooh opened in downtown Palo Alto in January 2020, it announced itself with live-fire, modern Indian fare in splashy surroundings. Thankfully, it not only survived the global calamity that hit a mere two months later, but continues to take Indian cuisine to new heights now.

It even added a parklet for outdoor dining. That’s where I dined recently when I was invited in as a guest of the restaurant on a chilly weeknight. With plenty of heaters, though, as well as thoughtful floral decorations, the parklet was plenty comfortable. Even on a Wednesday, it was filled with diners, as was the dining room.

Husband and wife, Vikram and Anu Bhambri, who got their start in the tech industry, opened their first Rooh in San Francisco in 2016. It, too, is still going strong, along with locations in Columbus, OH, and New Delhi.

The comfortable parklet on University Avenue in downtown Palo Alto.
The comfortable parklet on University Avenue in downtown Palo Alto.

Executive Chef Sujan Sarkar oversees all the Rooh locations (except the Chicago one), with Chef Apurva Panchal in charge of the Palo Alto locale.

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Morimoto-Approved Mochi Donut Kit

Yes, I made these at home -- thanks to Global Grub's Mochi Donut Kit.
Yes, I made these at home — thanks to Global Grub’s Mochi Donut Kit.

Get a sweet taste of Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s cooking in your own home.

You can with this fun, make-it-yourself Mochi Donut Kit ($42.99) that was created in collaboration with Walnut Creek’s Global Grub.

CEO Carly Sheehey’s love for travel inspired her cooking kit company that aims to bring a delicious taste of different countries near and far to home cooks in an easy, approachable manner.

Global Grub now offers eight different DIY cooking kits that feature everything from churros to sushi.

All you have to add is a few ingredients -- and your time -- to make these gluten-free, chewy-licious donuts.
All you have to add is a few ingredients — and your time — to make these gluten-free, chewy-licious donuts.

I had a chance to test-drive the mochi donut kit when I received a sample from the company a few weeks ago.

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