Category Archives: Great Finds

Charles Chocolates’ New Chocolate Subscriptions

Caramel Almond Sticks (front) and Triple Chocolate Coated Almonds are part of the haul in the new Charles Chocolates subscription service.
Caramel Almond Sticks (front) and Triple Chocolate Coated Almonds are part of the haul in the new Charles Chocolates subscription service.

You know that giddy feeling you get when your favorite magazine finally arrives in the mail each month?

Well, imagine how ecstatic you’d feel if instead artisan chocolate arrived in your mailbox every month. Or even every week.

That’s the new irresistible subscription service launched by San Francisco’s Charles Chocolates.

Choose from small, medium or large boxes to be delivered every week, every two weeks, once a month or every two months. Prices range from $25 to $75 per box, with free shipping throughout California or 2-day air shipping for $5 to all other states.

The boxes contain some of Charles Chocolates’ best-selling items, all of them made in small batches. Subscribe for long enough and you’ll also be privy to seasonal specials, as well as new treats not yet released to the general public.

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Summery Creamy Corn Pasta & A Discount Code For A Great Farm Box Delivery

Fresh corn is used two ways in this delicious pasta dish.
Fresh corn is used two ways in this delicious pasta dish.

A tangle of pasta. Dolloped with fresh corn kernels, basil leaves, and soft cheese. All lavished with a naturally sweet corn sauce that’s creamy yet not heavy in the least.

If that dish doesn’t say summer, what does?

And if that doesn’t get your mouth watering, what will?

When the folks behind the Bay Area’s Farm Box company delivered one of their stellar produce boxes over the weekend, it’s no surprise that’s the dish I was inspired to make first.

What this coming weekend's Farm Box contains.
What this coming weekend’s Farm Box contains.

Farm Box is a weekly curated farmers market box that customers can get delivered to their door or pick up at the Ferry Plaza farmers market on Saturdays or the Menlo Park farmers market on Sundays. The company was co-founded by Andreas Winsberg, son of David Winsberg, who owns Happy Quail Farms in East Palo Alto, a premier grower of peppers, including the beloved pimentos de Padron.

Each week, Andreas and his team put together a different Farm Box, made up of peak-produce from small local farmers who sell regularly at the Ferry Building and Menlo Park farmers markets.

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Sigona’s Launches Home Delivery Produce Boxes

The mango and nectarine in my Sigona's Home Delivery produce box inspired me to make this.
The mango and nectarine in my Sigona’s Home Delivery produce box inspired me to make this.

Everyone’s favorite family-owned fresh produce market on the Peninsula has started offering home delivery of its stellar fruits and veggies.

It’s a new service by Sigona, spurred by the decline of its office delivery program due to shelter-in-place.

Sigona’s Farmers Market has brick-and-mortar locations in Redwood City and the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, which offer more extensive offerings through curbside pick-up or Instacart delivery.

But the separate Sigona’s Home Deliveries sure is convenient if you happen to live within its delivery zone. That encompasses: Millbrae, Hillsborough, Burlingame, San Mateo, Foster City, Belmont, San Carlos, Redwood Shores, Emerald Hills, Redwood City, Atherton, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Mountain View, Sunnyvale and Cupertino.

The home delivery boxes range in size, suited to feeding anywhere from 1 to 4 people. Choose boxes that highlight fruits only, veggies only, berries only, dried fruits and nuts, or a combination of fruits and veggies. You can even add on a seasonal berry pie ($17.99) from Pietisserie, Upper Crust Bakery or Gizdich Ranch.

Test driving the new Sigona Home Delivery Fruit & Veggie Box.
Test driving the new Sigona Home Delivery Fruit & Veggie Box.
The contents of last week's box.
The contents of last week’s box.

Delivery is free for orders over $75; for orders under $75, there is a delivery fee of $3. Deliveries are made on Wednesdays and Fridays, and orders must be finalized three days ahead of time.

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Sticky Toffee Lava Cake For The Win

The skinny on these incredible sticky toffee pudding cakes.
The skinny on these incredible sticky toffee pudding cakes.

You don’t need cranky Gordon Ramsay in your kitchen to get your fill of sticky toffee cakes. You just need a trip to Whole Foods to pick up these convenient, ready-made Pots & Co. Sticky Toffee Lava Cakes.

Then, just zap them in the microwave for 40 to 50 seconds to put a big smile on your face.

I had a chance to try samples recently of these individual sticky date sponge cakes with molten centers of butterscotch sauce.

The taste is of molasses spice cake crossed with hot buttered caramel popcorn. And one decadent little cake is all of 380 calories.

Yes, just try to resist that.

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Tantalizing Farro and Tomato Salad with Fish-Sauce Vinaigrette

This is bound to be your new favorite summer salad.
This is bound to be your new favorite summer salad.

If like me, you can’t get enough of nuoc cham — that zesty, indispensable Vietnamese dipping sauce for spring rolls, rice noodle salads, and so much more — you will go bonkers for this summery tomato and grain salad.

“Farro and Tomato Salad with Fish-Sauce Vinaigrette” takes a dressing with a similar profile as nuoc cham — minus the lime juice — to dress a colorful, bountiful mix of chewy, nutty farro grains with fresh heirloom tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, and a lavish amount of fresh parsley and tarragon leaves.

The recipe is from Chef Joshua McFadden of Ava Gene’s in Portland, as published in Bon Appetit magazine.

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