Category Archives: General

Three Delicious Things to Do In May

Read “Tofu Takes Time”

May, which is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month, is the perfect time to check out the new sweet little book, “Tofu Takes Time” (Beaming Books), of which I received a copy.

Will charming illustrations by artist Julie Jarema, this children’s book is inspired by author Helen H. Wu’s own childhood spent making tofu alongside her grandmother.

It tells the story of a little girl named Lin who learns how to make tofu from scratch with soybeans from her grandma NaiNai. She learns how bean curd, eaten in China for more than 2,000 years, takes many steps and loads of patience to perfect. And along the way, she realizes the most important lesson of all: that good things come to those who patiently persevere.

Chew on Jelly Belly Gum

Everyone’s favorite jelly bean company, Jelly Belly, now also makes chewing gum.

Launched last year, the sugar-free gum comes in four flavors: Watermelon, Berry Blue, Island Punch and Very Cherry.

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Cornish Game Hen Soup — To Sooth and Satisfy

Cornish game hen in a total comfort dish.
Cornish game hen in a total comfort dish.

Our fickle spring weather may be warm one day, and chilly the next. But this is one recipe to keep handy whenever you need a restorative slurp that’s like a great big hug in a bowl.

“Cornish Game Hen Soup” is all that, and straightforward to make, too.

It’s from the new “Korean American” (Clarkson Potter), of which I received a review copy, by the gifted New York Times staff food writer Eric Kim.

In this wonderful cookbook, Kim tells the story of being born to Korean immigrant parents trying to make a new life in an Atlanta suburb, where there was no Korean grocery to be found. So, his mother, whom he frustratingly says never measures anything nor ever gives out an entire recipe willingly, adapted and made do. The Korean home-cooking he grew up on was not necessarily completely traditional food, but a delicious amalgamation of cultures and countries flavored with unmistakable can-do spirit.

With bright technicolor photos, the book brings to life his bold, playful, and comforting dishes such as “Creamy Butatini with Roasted Seaweed,” “Meatloaf-Glazed Kalbi with Gamja Salad,” “Kimchi Sandwiches,” and “No-Churn Ice Cream with Dalgona Butterscotch Sauce.”

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What I’ve Been Drinking of Late, Part 19

A rosé that delivers on much more than taste.
A rosé that delivers on much more than taste.

2021 Monarch Challenge North Coast Rosé

In 2016, Carlo Mondavi — yes, grandson of Robert Mondavi — created the Monarch Challenge to bring attention to the plight of the beautiful Monarch butterfly, whose population has been devastated since the advent of Roundup.

Every year since then, he and his brother Dante have produced a limited rosé through their RAEN Winery in Sebastopol to bring attention to this environmental calamity befalling this invaluable pollinator, and to inspire other like-minded vintners to do the same.

I had a chance to try a sample of this year’s 2021 Monarch Challenge North Coast Rosé ($30), sales of which will benefit the conservation organization, the Xerces Society, and Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue, dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating sick or orphaned wildlife.

Produced from RAEN Pinot Noir grapes and old-vine Grenache, all farmed organically, this pale salmon wine is an exuberant expression of strawberries and raspberries, with a hint of guava. It is crisp, tangy, and laced with minerality. It’s pure deliciousness.

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A Leaner, Meaner Meatloaf

You can see the grated carrot that gives this quinoa-fortified turkey meatloaf exceptional moistness.
You can see the grated carrot that gives this quinoa-fortified turkey meatloaf exceptional moistness.

When I say “meatloaf,” you go “Yeah, baby!”

When I say “turkey meatloaf,” you go “Uh, okay.”

And when I say “turkey quinoa meatloaf,” do you groan, “Ehhh?!”

If so, you reacted just like my husband when I first proposed making this for dinner.

And like him, you’ll surely be won over from the first moist, flavorful bite.

“Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf” is a recipe from the new “The Art of Pantry Cooking” (Rizzoli), of which I received a review copy. It’s by Ronda Carman, a lifestyle writer and former recipe contributor to Southern Living.

As the name implies, the book’s 100-plus recipes make use of pantry basics that we all do — or should — keep on hand.

What’s more, the chapters are even arranged by ingredient. For instance, got a half-bag of bulgur lying around? Then, make “Lemon-Bulgur Ricotta Pancakes” or “Hearty Tomato Soup with Bulgar.” Hiding a can of chickpeas in the back of a cabinet? Dig it out to use in “Lemon-Parmesan Chickpea Pasta.” Have some leftover panko? Whip up “Sheet-Pan Panko Lamb Meatballs with Walnut Chimichurri Sauce.”

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A Visit to Wild Onion in Palo Alto

Fried chicken at Wild Onion in the Hotel Citrine in Palo Alto.
Fried chicken at Wild Onion in the Hotel Citrine in Palo Alto.

In Silicon Valley, corporate tech campuses proliferate.

But now, there’s also an unusual hotel version of that.

Last year, Palo Alto welcomed the Hotel Citrine and the AC Hotel, both T2 Hospitality properties under the Marriott umbrella, and both located on the same San Antonio Road property.

In fact, the side-by-side hotels share a common driveway and valet parking service.

A communal bar table at Wild Onion.
A communal bar table at Wild Onion.

Though it may seem like a head-scratcher at first, it was designed to offer two different experiences on the same footprint. The AC Hotel is done up in a moody, sophisticated neutral palette, while the Hotel Citrine is all bold colors with a carefree California vibe.

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