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A Press Democrat Blog

Kitchen Talk

Turn up the heat on home cooking

It’s apple time

The  Gravenstein apples  are dropping off the trees quicker than you can say apple pie. And behind them, there’s a whole slew of heirloom apples ready for slicing, dicing and baking through October. Here’s a recipe from Josh Silvers of Syrah Bistro in Santa Rosa for a yummy apple cake that’s a favorite with my family.  We like to top it with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.  The recipe is easy nearly foolproof, and lots easier than baking a… Read More »

Invite “Julia” to dinner

In case you’ve been living in a vacuum, you already know that the long-awaited Nora Ephron film, “Julie & Julia” opens today.   The film has already caused quite a stir in the foodie world. Michael Pollan’s essay last Sunday in the New York Times magazine fired the first salvo across the bow. While some home cooking bloggers, such as The City Cook,  found his assessment of the state of home cooking unduly depressing –  others found it a fascinating… Read More »

Scoop!

For years, Santa Rosa has been missing a key ingredient for its sweet success: a really good, high-end ice cream shop. Sebastopol has Screaming Mimi’s. Healdsburg has the Downtown Bakery. Even sleepy little Sonoma has a Ben & Jerry’s. Now, 38 years after it launched its first three flavors from its home base in the Bronx in New York, a Haagen-Dazs ice cream shop has opened in the former Bud’s Coffee space in the Santa Rosa Plaza. Not only that,… Read More »

A communal can-can

If you want to learn more about canning your own produce – and enjoy giving to those less fortunate than yourself – check out the first-ever Community Canning event at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 11, at the Relish Culinary Center in Healdsburg. The can-athon is organized by the Slow Harvest Gleaning Project, which has already gathered more than 1,000 pounds of fruit and vegetables to donate to Food For Thought Food Bank. Canning queen Alissa Rubin-Mahon of Artisan Preserves in… Read More »

Lemon-licious

  What’s Cooking?   Phew! I just got done making lunch for about 20 former students from Brown University last weekend  with my fellow alumna Lise Ciolino and her husband Vincent, who own and run Montemaggiore Winery in the Dry Creek Valley. To complement Lise’s  big, bold syrahs, we made lamb kebabs with chimichurri sauce, grilled zucchini and peppers with balsamic vinegar and Israeli couscous with cherry tomatoes, olives, Parmesan and pine nuts. We were expecting a heat wave –… Read More »

Where’s the beef?

John Ash, the father of Wine Country cuisine, will be grilling up some zesty  Steak Tacos with Chipotle Lime Sauce at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Windsor Farmers Market with the help of Santa Rosa Junior College Culinary Instructor Mei Ibach. Grass-fed beef rancher Rick Oluf of Oluf’s Ranch in Windsor will talk about the Sonoma County Meat Club, which provides local, humanely raised beef, pork, duck, chicken, lamb and goat at various sites throughout the North Bay. The meat… Read More »

Zucchini gone wild

I finally found a recipe for zucchini and summer squash that my husband will eat rather than push it to the edge of the plate. It’s a tasty way to use up all that zucchini flooding into local farmstands right now. I stumbled upon this dish while interviewing wood-fire oven guru Andrea Mugnaini (www.mugnaini.com) in early July at her Alexander Valley ranch. The businesswoman who imports high-end Italian pizza ovens – and also teaches folks how to use them –… Read More »