A Press Democrat Blog

Kitchen Talk

Turn up the heat on home cooking

Warm up to Pasta Fazool

   While the rest of the country broils in heat, Northern California’s Wine Country has enjoyed lovely cool mornings and evenings, perfect for cooking up and eating big bowls of   peasant soups.     If you’re trying to stretch your budget – and use up some of those delicious veggies from the farmers market – there’s nothing like a hearty bean soup.     This recipe comes from Carrie Brown of the Jimtown Store in Alexander Valley, who sells a delicious selection… Read More »

It's time for SQUAAASSHH!

 The dog days of summer are upon us, and it’s a great time to spend some of this  relatively quiet time in the kitchen, cooking up the bounty of our farms and gardens.      I’m always on the look-out for new recipes for soups and salads that help me use up the plethora of produce that I am storing in my crisper drawers, from farmstands, our Tierra Vegetables CSA box and my own garden.   Sara Moulton, food editor of ABC-TV’s… Read More »

“Spice Dreams” of ice cream

      In my recent quest to find the best ice creams in Sonoma County, I was happy to discover a new, adventurous spirit  that blends the  savory and the sweet. At last, Americans are catching up to the rest of the world, where ice cream and sorbets are routinely made from    spices like  curry  and cardamom,  vegetables like corn and  offbeat fruits such as avocadoes.       If you’re looking to expand your ice cream repertoire beyond the usual mint chocolate chip, check out… Read More »

We be jammin’!

 If you’re serious about getting into canning and preserving this year, the time is ripe.  Sure, the peach and apricot crops are disappointing, but the strawberries and raspberries are rock stars right now.    If you need a little guidance, pick up a copy of  “Put ‘em Up!” (Storey Publishing) by Sherri Brooks Vinton. The cookbook offers terrific, step-by-step sketches to illustrate all kinds of preserving techniques, from freezing to the more complicated,  boiling-water method. It’s almost as good as… Read More »

This dessert’s just peachy

All over Sonoma County, the farmers markets and farmstands are bursting with  beautiful orbs of stonefruit and berries bursting with juice, all at reasonable prices. This is the time for fruit lovers to bake up some fruity cobblers and crisps for a delicious, summertime dessert.  My favorite crisp recipe comes from  “Season by Season: The Sonoma County Farmers Market cookbook,” which was published way back in 1988, before farmers markets were trendy and chic.    This recipe was contributed by Phillips Farm… Read More »