Can't We All Just Cook And Get Along?

Shared by Miss Heidi, a nice little opinion piece about the backlash against Julie Powell in the wake of the movie release of Julie & Julia: Stop Hating Julie Powell, Please.

I thought this audience might enjoy it!

Posted by rebecca at 12:39 AM


Y'all probably know about this already, but hey, well-written and beautiful food photography!

Posted by leek at 09:40 PM

High Maintenance Gimlets
gimletsmall.jpgYesterday I was charmed when I was skimming Fancy Toast & read the most amusing food blog entry I've seen in some time: High Maintenance Gimlets. It's not just that I love gimlets. Or cucumbers. (Though I do love both. I even like cucumbers in my cocktails.) The writing is excellent - and I keep coming back to that High/Low Maintenance vs. High/Low Quality matrix for another grin. As a solidly Quadrant III girl, I was compelled to mix up up a few of Erielle's cocktails to accompany our movie last night. Amusingly, I didn't read the comments until this morning - and sure enough Kip: I picked Hendrick's off my shelf to accompany the cucumbers. I made a few other amendments to Erielle's formula - I prefer my gimlets a bit more on the tart side, so I upped the lime, and dropped the sugar. So very tasty!

1 cup cucumber water
1 tsp sugar
juice of 3 limes (more like 3 tbsp)
3/4 cup Hendrick's Gin

Shake hard over ice, strain & serve!

Posted by shock at 09:37 AM

For Mko: Beignets aren't just for breakfast

A nice little snippet by Amanda Berne from the Chronicle on the current local popularity of beignets, and how and where to get 'em in SF.

(I also noticed my friend Dabney is writing for the What's New column as well - just had to give her a shout-out!)

Posted by rebecca at 11:16 AM

SFist: Market Breakfast

Photo by melissa nicole.
On Saturday I took my friends Derrick & Melissa to the Alemany Farmers' Market. We tasted peaches, meandered about, bought ingredients ranging from fruit to butter to oysters big & small, and went back to the Wabe to prepare brunch. Derrick writes a weekly column for the SFist - you can read his take on Saturday morning over In The Kitchen.
Posted by shock at 02:38 PM

julie/julia project: book!

It looks like there's a publishing date out for the Julie/Julia project book. (September!)

Julie/Julia Project: the blog.
Our comments, long ago.
Props to Tom at Butterpig for the heads up.

Posted by shock at 08:05 AM

Menu For Hope

If you read more than one or two food blogs, you probably noticed a pretty vase of white flowers followed by a menu, full of links. A group of food bloggers, led by Pim, put together a tasting menu in hopes of raising tsunami relief funds. Each blogger posted the menu and their recipe yesterday, and some information about why each of them hope you will take a little time out and donate a few dollars to UNICEF. If many readers click and give even a few dollars, the results could be staggaring.

Please go enjoy the menu. And if you can? Click through and give a little more today. There are a lot of folks who need your help. (Direct link to the donation site)

Posted by shock at 07:49 AM

wi_germain_6_t.gif A lovely article this week in the Wine Section on the folks who make very favorite brandy - Germain-Robin. Go give it a read! They're definitely On The List for our next trip up to Mendocino. (Photo by Craig Lee, from the Chron.)
Posted by shock at 10:20 AM


I love the SF Chronicle's Rent-A-Grandma project. I posted a bit about the first two installments earlier. They've just updated with the lastest pairing. Go read! It's charming and delicious.

Posted by shock at 08:24 AM


A hearty congratulations out to the folks at Too Many Chefs on the Best Group Food Blog award. It's well-deserved; I enjoy your writing tremendously!

(We're still pretty tickled over here to have made finalist - thanks to everyone who got involved and voted!)

Posted by shock at 08:39 AM

Blog Awards

Two announcements:
One: Kate over at Accidental Hedonist is revealing the Food Blog Awards this week - a few a day. The voting turnout was pretty impressive - thanks to everyone who participated, and congratulations especially to my neighbor Alder, who picked up "Best Food Blog - Wine, beer & other spirits" for Vinography.

Two: Kate, it looks like you were successful at raising awareness - I went to nominate some folks for Bloggies a few minutes ago, and noticed that they've added a category this year - for Best Food Blog. Awesome!

Posted by shock at 07:55 AM

Food Blog Voting

Just a quick post to remind you that voting for a variety of food blog awards is going on right now over at The Accidental Hedonist. Voting closes on the 31st of December, at midnight.

Want to jump straight to the "best group blog"? Here you go. (We're still incredibly flattered to be listed there.)

Posted by shock at 08:12 AM

food blog awards

The Accidental Hedonist has noticed a startling lack of food blog categories in this year's Bloggies... so Kate's thrown open the doors and is running one just for us food bloggers. Neat! Nominations are open until the 19th of this month, and then voting will likely commence. You can place your nominations here.

I was startled and touched to see that Gastronome had been noticed and mentioned in the group blog and recipe categories. Thanks, Tara!

Posted by shock at 08:50 AM

Pim: on Food, SF, and America

Pim wrote a lovely piece about an amazing Halal break-fast meal in a pizza joint in the Tenderloin. At the end, she writes some well-placed commentary on the peace and generosity that can be found in breaking bread together and sharing food. And you know? It's things like that dinner - they start in unlikely places - that spread tolerance, understanding, and a horde of other things I deem really important to living in America.

"Itís a meal like this, in a place like this, that is what makes me happy to be living in San Francisco.†Here, we do not treat Muslims as though they are closeted terrorists.†Here, a Chinese, a Thai, two Jews, and a Christian can sit at table in a Hallal restaurant and be treated like family by observant Muslims, and generously fed the same meal served at their revered mosque.†Here, we are all human beings.†Here, we are all friends."
Read the whole thing. Anyone want to get some couscous?

Posted by shock at 09:28 AM

insert 4 star restaurant

Bruce Cole was brilliant this week. (Swallow your coffee before you start to read.)

Posted by shock at 06:40 PM


Today the SF Chron posted the second installment in their culinary grandma series. It's a neat idea - pair up a young person who has memories of their cultural food and doesn't know how to cook it with an older person who wants to pass on their knowledge. It combines two things I value highly - cooking and making sure we listen to the stories of our elders. They won't be around forever, and they have so much to tell....

The first installment.
Today's installment.
Want to join the fun?

Posted by shock at 12:48 PM

espresso pasta!?

This is just wild. (Yes - it's a NYT article, so you'll need a login - but if you're here, shouldn't you already have one so you can peruse the food section?)

Posted by shock at 10:04 AM


The Julie/Julia project is complete. *sigh*

Posted by shock at 08:47 AM

Mary Anne's challenge

Mary Anne threw down a challenge in her journal entry today. A list of ingredients to start with, plus your own staples... design a lunch menu for four. I think we should all play! Post your menu by 10am tomorrow. (Those waiting on accounts, send me your menu and i'll get your account set up tonight and your menu posted.)

Mary Anne's challenge, for the record:

Choose at least three of the following seven ingredients selected from what I actually have in the fridge and pantry at the moment) and prepare a meal (or rather, the recipes for a meal, though you're encouraged to actually cook it as well and tell us how it comes out.) It should be enough food to feed four for lunch. Post the recipes in your journal by noon Chicago time tomorrow, Friday 6/13/03. Send me a note when you've posted them; I'll post an entry linking to all the journal recipes I get. (If you don't have a journal yourself, but want to play, please wait until I post the entry linking to all the journals, and then add your recipes to the comments for that entry. Thanks!)

You should feel free to use any typical staples you might normally possess, including milk, coconut milk, flour, eggs, rice, spices, oil, butter, onions, scallions, garlic, canned tomatoes, salt, pepper, flavoring agents, nuts, raisins. (If you're not sure if something you use counts as a staple for the purposes of this game, drop me a note and ask.) I'm mostly interested in seeing how different the menus turn out -- I know that when I have certain ingredients in the house, my thoughts tend to go in particular ruts, and it'd be nice to see what others might do with the same ingredients, so that next time, I might try something different.

Detailed commentary on the dishes is encouraged. :-) Bonus points for using at least five ingredients. Bonus points for making at least four dishes using only three ingredients from the following list.

Ingredients (choose 3 or more out of 7):
1 lb. green beans
1 lb. mushrooms
3 poblano peppers
6 large baking potatoes
1 can artichoke hearts
1 can bamboo shoots
2 cans mackerel packed in oil

Posted by shock at 09:19 AM

Nigella Lawson in SF

Domestic goddess does lunch / A Brit with wit finds plenty to covet in Bay Area markets

Heather sent me this article today ... I really agree with Nigella's approach to cooking...


The curd is tasted and deemed too sweet; Lawson adds a jolt of lemon juice. The talk among the assembled food journalists turns to recipes. "I'd like to see people discard the tyranny of the recipe and trust their own tastes more," she says. "Total adherence to every detail of a recipe -- unless you are baking -- encourages dependency on others. It's like being infantilized. "

Posted by karine at 09:54 PM

Bauer's Top 100, 2002

Michael Bauer published his Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants list for 2002 this Sunday. I find most of what he has to say right on - and he lavishes the love on Limon again.
My first Limon review.
Bauer's Limon review, Dec 2001.

Posted by shock at 06:17 PM

restaurant slave

The blog of a woman in her late twenties, who works in the webtech industry, is friends with the chef of a well-known, swank Italian restaurant in the city. She has no formal training, but cooks for friends, and wants to know if she should take the plunge and put a career-change leap into her life. So she convinces him to let her work in the kitchen. She does so, 2 nights a week, after work for about a year.

No, she's not me. I sat down and read this through, from the beginning, this weekend. Envious? You bet. A great read - give it a few cups of coffee and an hour or two.

Posted by shock at 03:20 PM

Restaurant Sims!

Woahhh - Russell sent this to me today. I wonder if it will be fun? I'll report back after he buys it for me and we waste several evenings on it.... Beca, are you up for a Saturday day of this?

Restaurant Empire

Posted by shock at 06:31 PM

Bauer on Platanos

Michael Bauer found some time to check out Platanos - my only excuse is that he does this for a living, kids. He gives it the thumbs up, but isn't as rhapsodic as he was about Limon. Still, a damn fine first review from M.B. - and a nice bit about Mission dining that i think is right on, and is one of the reasons i love my 'hood.

Posted by shock at 09:13 PM

wine section redux

I'm still really loving the Chronicle's Wine Section. Today's paper featured a new column on cocktails with a delicious - and informational - description of making the perfect margarita: Presenting the whole margarita. Luckily this column is going to be a regular weekly!

Also interesting was a recipe for Beef and Mushroom Roulade. Ok, I don't eat beef - but I'm a sucker for roulade recipes.

Posted by heather at 11:50 AM

anderson valley wines

This is very cool. The New York Times food section has a great article on my favorite little bit of wine country - the Anderson Valley. My fave wineries all get a mention: Navarro, Greenwood Ridge, & Handley. One of these days i will have to check our Roederer!

Posted by shock at 02:41 PM

foodie quiz

just for fun -- a foodie quiz.

I scored higher than I thought I would, but I read about cooking more than I actually cook, and I'm a bit of a trivia hound as well, so maybe it's not so surprising.


Posted by andrea at 10:05 PM

butter pig

My friend Tom Cooks. Yes, with a capital C. He taught me to make risotto, and buerre blanc, and any number of tasty things. He even showed me how to make a boneless chicken. He has some not-often-updated cooking web pages, and recently started a food log - butter pig. Check it out! (You can see his write-ups of his birthday party this year; i still owe y'all my write up.)

Posted by shock at 08:44 AM

On onions & rhythm

As Jessa of Bookslut said, here's a love letter to James Beard.

Posted by shock at 09:19 PM


The SF Chronicle has a new Wine section. This is going to make my Thursday morning commute much more informative:

Posted by heather at 10:10 AM

happy birthday, Escoffier!

Biography shamelessly stolen from Jessica's Biscuit's e-newsletter:

Escoffier was born on October 28, 1846. At the age of 13, his father took him to Nice where he apprenticed with his uncle's restaurant, thus beginning a culinary career that spanned 62 years.

His culinary career included many of the great restaurants of Paris, including Le Petit Moulin Rouge and the restaurant at the Hotel Ritz. He was involved in both the cuisine and the management end of restaurants at the Savoy Hotel in London and the Carlton in London.

Accomplishments include: researching the development and techniques of canning and preserving foods; revolutionizing and modernizing the restaurant menu, the art of cooking and the organization of the professional kitchen; developing the first a la Carte menu; simplifying the art of cooking by getting rid of ostentatious food displays and reducing the number of courses served; emphasizing the use of fresh, seasonal ingredients and lighter sauces; and publishing many books on the art of French Cuisine. He is also the inventor of a famous French dessert, Peche Melba (Peach Melba), named after a famous Austrian singer.

Throughout his career, Escoffier wrote a number of books, many of which continue to be considered important today. Some of his best-known works include "Le Guide Culinaire" (1903), "Le Livre des Menus" (1912) and "Ma Cuisine" (1934).

During his long and illustrious career, Escoffier was bestowed with many honors from the French government and many other private and public organizations. The honors due Escoffier can be summed up by a quote from Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II when he told Escoffier, "I am the Emperor of Germany, but you are the emperor of chefs."

Posted by shock at 08:15 PM


Heather gave me a copy of The Fourth Star this September. I reviewed it over on litwank. Someday i hope to review a meal at the restaurant itself - Rosencrans over at The Morning News has done just that. He tells a great story, complete with chef-look-alike-mixups and actually getting to meet our man Daniel himself. Go check it out.

Posted by shock at 12:13 PM

donut words

I just happened to reread this fabulous interview from our local weekly paper
up here in see-yattle. this might be one of my favorite bits of writing (or
talking, I guess) about food, period. The woman being interviewed works
for a place that makes what they call "hand-forged" donuts.

Sabrina the Donut Diva
Top Pot, 609 Summit Ave E, 323-7841

What do you think of Krispy Kreme?

"Listen, I'm from the South. It's hard to understand this doughnut-starved culture driving all the way out to Issaquah for, well... a co-worker drove out there, waited in line, and brought me back a doughnut that was, uh, okay. A little too sweet. Ho-hum. In Houston, we have Shipley's. They make these raised doughnuts, served hot, that melt in your mouth. You can't even taste flour--it's all grease and sugar. Folks in the South have a different take on frying things, you know; they're not afraid of a little fat."

You also make crullers--where are those from?

"Crullers are more East Coast-style--I think the first time I heard about a cruller was in a John Cheever novel. They have a crisper outside--a little crunch in your doughnut."

Do you find doughnuts sexy, like I do?

"I think of them more as sophisticated, understated, 'classy'--they look good, and they know it. A quiet confidence--if that is sexy."

What brought you to doughnuts?

"I went to pastry school and worked as a baker, which I loved. Then, in a panic, I took a 'real' job at a software company, and was real economically stable for four years--but I knew exactly what would happen every day for the rest of my life, so I left. I'd never made doughnuts before, but I have a deep affection for them, an understanding."

How do you make doughnuts? Is it an automated machine with a conveyer belt?

"Oh, no! Everything is done by hand: I fill up the extruder with mixed batter (it's wet, like cake batter) at just the right temperature: 78 degrees--"

--wait. The EXTRUDER?

"Yes, fun to say and fun to do: I put different fixtures on it to form different styles, crank its arm, and it plops the batter out into the hot grease, doughnut-shaped. I fry the doughnuts for a minute on each side, flipping them over and scooping them out by hand. We drain them, and when they're cooled, I dip them by hand."

You have my dream job: You get to work with a giant, shiny deep fryer, and you make many people very, very happy.

"Oh, yeah? I work midnight to six a.m."


"[Once,] I was walking home from a long night at work when a silver Mercedes drove past, slowed down, and backed up. The tinted window rolled down and this older man, obviously a well-to-do, high-class dude, said to me, 'You make the doughnuts, don't you?!' in this kind of awed voice. 'You do very good work,' he said solemnly, and drove off."

Interview by Rachel Kessler


Posted by leek at 12:43 PM

leek likes anthropomorphized vegetables

I read part of mko's recommended "julie/julia project" and was vastly
amused by the following lines:

"Then I attacked the artichokes. The artichokes fought back, but the
benefits of evolution could not save these specimens."

I don't know what it is about fighting artichokes that I so adore, but
there it is. Hi everyone... and I'll try to get culinary on your asses soon.

Posted by leek at 11:15 PM

the julie/julia project

Wow. This girl is nuts. She has set herself the goal of cooking every recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking I in a single year. 536 recipes in 365 days. She writes well, and is honest about her mistakes, successes, and failures - it's a pleasure to read. I'm certainly going to be keeping an eye on her for the next 10 months.

Posted by shock at 03:39 PM