Most of the time I eat salad to be healthy/enjoy seasonal vegetables. Sometimes, I eat salad purely as a vehicle for amazing dressing. And that’s okay, because there are some dressings that are worth the extra effort to make from scratch. The perfect example of this is ranch. The difference between homemade ranch and bottled ranch is like day and night. If you aren’t a fan of ranch it’s most likely because you haven’t had good ranch.
You don’t have to be an early riser like me to enjoy a delicious breakfast. Similarly, you don’t have to be a breakfast person to enjoy a delicious bagel. That said, breakfast just happens to be my favorite meal of the day, and I constantly crave a good bagel . . . craaave!! I even took a bagel making class so I could start making my own! You see, I live in North Berkeley, and while we have our fair share of artisan bread (Cheeseboard, Acme, etc), there’s a big fat hole smack dab in the middle of my bagel-loving heart (pun intended). This is where Wise Sons comes into play.
If you aren’t familiar, Wise Sons deli serves up some of the tastiest traditional Jewish comfort food in the entire Bay Area. Any time I’m in the city and I’m lucky enough to get my hands on some Wise Sons, I’m one happy camper. Given my bagel addiction, you can imagine how happy I was to learn that this week Wise Sons opened its newest location, that’s right, a BAGELRY in the heart of Hayes Valley: Wise Sons Bagel and Coffee.
Halloween is my favorite holiday. Hands down. So recently, when Karen, Todd and I were styling a fall inspired cheese platter, we jokingly threw around the idea of making a candy version. I instantly volunteered myself to go to the local candy store to pick out my favorite nostalgic sweets (Sugar Daddys, waxed lips, Bottle Caps and Pop Rocks), as well as some new discoveries (Harry Potter Chocolate Frogs, gummy bug tape and insanely sour hard candies)! What started out as a joke actually proved to be a brilliant idea for any Halloween themed party. Unwrapped candy together, all on a single platter? Mwahahahaaaaa . . .
October may mean saying farewell to all that incredible farmer’s market produce but it also means saying hello to pasta month! This week we’ve teamed up with Buitoni to create our ideal in-between-seasons pasta dish. This recipe was inspired by the Buitoni chefs that created for us a simple, but bold-flavored pasta with just a few fresh ingredients at the San Francisco Ferry Building farmer’s market.
Even though squash are at their peak in summer, you can get squash and zucchini almost year round. And right now, some of my favorite citrus fruits start to make their appearances, like Meyer lemons. This versatile recipe can be made with any Buitoni freshly-made refrigerated pasta, which are all made with GMO-free ingredients. I’ve made this one with Buitoni Three Cheese Tortellini — you honestly can’t go wrong with the combination of olives, lemon, herbs and cheese!
I love when people go bonkers over produce at the start of each season. I understand the excitement; it’s like seeing old friends again– oh hey pumpkins, persimmons and pears! I’ve definitely caught fall-fever and am already dreaming of all the persimmons I’m going to eat. The one fall fruit I really under-utilize in cooking is apples. I rarely bake with them and almost always eat them on their own (it’s really the texture I love, I will almost always prefer something in its raw form if it’s super crunchy). So I thought I’d change things up and add apples in a savory recipe.
Apples are perfect with a sharp and nutty hard cheese, like a sharp cheddar or gruyere. This pizza combines Sierra Beauty apples (although you can use any you like) with shredded mozzarella and gruyere and gets even more flavor from pieces of smoky bacon and bits of rosemary. The combo is perfection and screams fall– hope you enjoy it as much as I did! READ MORE
22. That’s how many hand foraged botanicals go into The Botanist‘s dry gin. 9 classic gin aromatics, like orris root, coriander seed and cassia bark, are delicately augmented by 22 botanicals, hand picked from the shores of the Scottish island of Islay. The elements are then distilled in one of the world’s last surviving Lomond spirit still, in an achingly slow, 17 hour distillation. It’s a thoughtful process, from beginning to end – and when you taste the gin, you’ll understand why.
We were lucky enough to experience this artisanal gin firsthand when The Botanist brought their island heritage to San Francisco last week. Before the celebratory event, we collaborated on a fun little experiment by picking 3 Northern California ingredients to be incorporated into gin cocktails. Sage, figs and pomegranate were the inspiration behind 3 of the 6 cocktails served during the pop-up. In addition to a fun little cocktail crafting workshop, Bay Area chef Melissa King created an incredible three-course menu, combining San Francisco flavor with The Botanist’s Scottish heritage. My favorite was the gin cured salmon, which I can’t wait to try to make myself at home! We hope you’ll give this world-class gin a try – on it’s own or in one of our favorite cocktails, The Sage Spritz. Trust us, you’ll love it. READ MORE