Make this soup!

The weatherpeople in the Bay Area always act as if snow is such an anomaly here that a person is likely to only encounter it once or twice in a lifetime of California living. And while we certainly don’t get more than a light dusting (sorry East Coasters, I feel for you…I can’t even imagine what driving would be like on San Francisco hills in slush and snow), I have seen more than a handful of flakes over the years that I’ve been here to know that yes, we can get weather even in California. It is cooold today, and snow has been spotted around the Bay, which makes me extra grateful to have this soup recipe in my arsenal for this time of year.

Continue Reading »


It’s that time of the year again when people show up to your house a little more frequently than usual and expect you to feed them. Generally I’m thrilled to usher in this season and host friends and family, but for some reason I have trouble with appetizers. I either go crazy and turn it into a fourth course and the most intricate recipe imaginable, or I forget the pre-food food entirely and only realize that I’ve had an oversight when dinner is ten minutes late and people are starting to hover around the  kitchen with their best emaciated faces on. This time, I came across an idea for an hors d’oeuvre that was both pretty, palatable, and prompt. I’m so weird about alliteration sometimes.

Continue Reading »

Turkey Curry

The turkey is mocking me. When all the sandwiches you can eat have been eaten, and you can’t stuff another bite of stuffing in, just what does one do with the seemingly endless supply of bird? This year I was very happy to have temporarily assumed British heritage and turn my portion of leftovers into turkey curry. Flavorful, economical, and atypical. After a weekend of savory sage-ness and buckets of butter I needed something a little off the beaten Thanksgiving path. And of course, since I have developed the requisite ‘too much fun cold’ it was nice to have some food that I could actually taste. Oh curry, how I love thee.

Continue Reading »

Ginger Cashew Green Beans

It’s important at every overindulgent and gluttonous meal to try and have at least one dish that makes you feel like you’re nutritionally balanced and moderately healthy. This is said dish…nevermind the large chunk of butter in the recipe, it doesn’t exist if you melt it.

This recipe came from Epicurious and was originally printed in 2007. Even though you might think the ginger would be too spunky in with a more traditional Thanksgiving meal, it actually ended up being much more savory than I expected. Cashews are just plain awesome, and toasting them for a couple of minutes gave it a really deep flavor. Despite the butter, these beans still tasted fresh and healthy and crisp and were a fantastic addition to the table, on a holiday or any time.

Continue Reading »

Here’s a two for the price of one post. These two dishes were high-ranking in my pre-Thanksgiving extravaganza, I think everyone had seconds and make a couple had thirds. You really can’t go wrong adding cheese or caramelized onions to anything (except maybe ice cream).

Continue Reading »

No-turkey Turkey Dinner

I’m about to write a sentence that I can hardly believe is true. My parents have banished me from the kitchen for Thanksgiving.  I know. I haven’t decided if this is some sort of cruel and unusual punishment or just an earnest desire to maintain traditions and welcome me back into the family holiday fray.  It has been four whole long years since I’ve shared Thanksgiving dinner with my family so I’m excited regardless of the lack of cooking, and I don’t doubt that my mom will whip up a delicious and festive dinner. I’m just…well, bummed. I love fall food. I love to read food magazines and think of all the fall food I could enjoy. I especially love to cook fall food that other people eat, because squash and potatoes are just better when shared. How to reconcile this terrible obstacle I’ve encountered?  Suddenly it occurred to me that I could have a pre-Thanksgiving kick off dinner with friends at my house and have my, er, pear-prosciutto stuffing and eat it too.

Continue Reading »

Most of the time I think mushrooms look rather unappetizing. Fungal. So when I came across these fuzzy guys last week at the mothership (more familiarly, the Ferry Building Farmers Market) I couldn’t resist. Sure, fuzzy can also be interpreted to mean, er, moldy, but here we have pristine white balls of fluff that were just so appealing. The vendor assured me they didn’t even need to be washed.

What do they taste like? Really mild, similar to a butto or regular white mushroom with what I think is a smoother taste; they’re not robust like a crimini or portabello, or super-potent like a shitake. They’re more delicate -you can see how porous and light they are- but can go well in a variety of dishes. This week I’ve used them in both the stuffed acorn squash and a breakfast scramble with spinach and a local sheep’s milk mild cheese.  I have  also heard  some claim that this fungus can actually ward off dementia and stomach ulcers. Brain tonic that tastes good, brilliant!