Category Archives: Great Finds

My Favorite Cocktail

My fave Negroni, with a big orange twist.
My fave Negroni, with a big orange twist.

In my household, there is no argument as to what our most favored cocktail is.

But there is disagreement over whose drink of choice it was first.

Let’s just say that I’m convinced I chose the Negroni way before my husband did.

After all, he can’t even tell you why he likes it. But I can. It’s all about that delightful bitter orange taste that does it for me, like that of the prized rind of Seville oranges in marmalade.

So when a review copy of the new “San Francisco Cocktails” (Cider Mill Press) landed on my porch, it was the perfect excuse to make at home the satisfying sip I usually order out.

This fun book is by my friend and colleague Trevor Felch, a Bay Area food and drinks writer who has assembled 100 San Francisco cocktail recipes and the stories behind them. Holy moly, just imagine the tipsy time testing all of those.

Read more

Everything’s Coming Up Roses, Part I: The Roast Chicken

Dried rose petals make this roast chicken extra pretty and even more delicious.
Dried rose petals make this roast chicken extra pretty and even more delicious.

Let me just flat-out say that this dish of “Rosy Harissa Chicken” proved to be the most deeply flavorful chicken I’ve had in a long time.

Part of the reason? The addition of dried rose petals.

I know, I know, you’re squinting your eyes in disbelief, thinking that surely that ingredient would make this roast chicken taste unappetizingly of your mother’s face cream.

Granted, on its own, there is a rather potpourri quality to dried rose petals. But when used judiciously with other complementary ingredients, they make everything all together soar.

I got mine as a sample from Selefina Spices, a new online business by Adagio Teas. It’s a natural extension for the tea company, which already sources from farms all over the world.

Selefina's fragrant dried rose petals.
Selefina’s fragrant dried rose petals.

What’s especially nice is that it sells in small quantities to ensure freshness. So, you can buy just the amount you need. For instance, you can get a 0.07-ounce sample of the dried rose petals for only 75 cents, a 2-ounce pinch for $3, or a 1.5-ounce refill for $6.

Read more

Wild About Wildgrain

Baked-from-frozen croissants from Wildgrain that I scarfed up.
Baked-from-frozen croissants from Wildgrain that I scarfed up.

Pure temptation recently arrived on my doorstep.

It was a big ol’ box of carbs.

Inside were: artisan-made sourdough bread, pastries and pasta — all that just needed to be finished baking or cooking before devouring.

Meet Wildgrain, which bills itself as the first membership box that ships bake-from-frozen products to your home each month.

Think of it like a CSA — but for baked goods.

Made by a small team of bakers in Boston, the contents of the box vary each month. You can suspend or stop anytime you wish. But unfortunately, you can’t necessarily request certain items be included in your box or purchase favorites separately.

Baked-from-frozen blueberry biscuits that arrived in the same box.
Baked-from-frozen blueberry biscuits that arrived in the same box.

Nothing takes more than 25 minutes to prepare, though, you will have to let the bread cool for about half an hour after baking.

Read more

Where I’ve Been Getting Takeout of Late: Tacos Buenrostro

The birria taco from Tacos Buenrostro.
The birria taco from Tacos Buenrostro.

Ever since watching the Netflix series, “Taco Chronicles,” I’ve been a little obsessed with birria tacos.

The Jalisco specialty is typically lamb or goat stewed slowly until tender, then folded into a tortilla that you dunk into an accompanying bowl of the resulting broth.

Yes, think of it as the taco version of a French dip sandwich.

I have friends Nate and Annie to thank for turning me on to Tacos Buenrostro, a taco truck regularly parked at a gas station at 3295 Sierra Road in San Jose. After seeing the Facebook photos of the two of them happily devouring the tacos, I knew I had to pay a visit, too.

While the truck has an extensive menu, we honed in on the beef birria — and only the birria.

Read more

Cookies That Taste Like Marmalade Toast

These creative cookies get rolled in panko and filled with your favorite marmalade.
These creative cookies get rolled in panko and filled with your favorite marmalade.

Like bread popped up from the toaster, all crisp and golden, then immediately slathered with sweet butter and jam.

That’s exactly what these cookies taste like.

Since toast with jam is my go-to breakfast most mornings anyway, I just had to try these fun cookies called “Jam-on-Toast Thumbprints.” They are ingeniously rolled in panko before being filled with sticky marmalade.

This clever recipe is from the “Fabulous Modern Cookies” (The Countryman Press) by Chris Taylor and Paul Arguin.

If you don’t know married couple, Taylor and Arguin, they are a true dynamic duo who are both scientists and bakers. Taylor is an epidemiologist specializing in Alzheimer’s and aging, while Arguin is the retired head of the CDC’s domestic malaria unit. These over-achievers also have won hundreds of amateur baking contests.

Yes, the rest of us can now officially feel like total sloths.

Read more
« Older Entries Recent Entries »