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A Press Democrat Blog

Kitchen Talk

Turn up the heat on home cooking

Crock around the clock with pork

For most families in Sonoma County, this week marks back-to-school time.  It seems unfair that our kids have to head back to the classroom just as the weather warms up outdoors, but such is life on the West Coast this summer.  When kids are running from school to soccer practice to homework, it’s always a bit more hectic for mom and dad as well. So busy families who want to eat right may want to plan ahead and throw dinner into the… Read More »

The ultimate Wine Country weekend

 Labor Day Weekend means the end of summer, but  in Wine Country, it also marks a special opportunity for food lovers in search of the ultimate farm-to-table experience. In support of the Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation, chef/owner Thomas Keller will host an over-the-top weekend featuring the meals produced by his three Wine Country restaurants – The French Laundry, Bouchon and Ad Hoc in Yountville. Keller, who is president of the Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation, will kick off the weekend Sept.… Read More »

Love that melon and prosciutto

 A Townie to Market  bike ride, hosted by the ever-effervescent Chef Duskie Estes of Zazu restaurant, rolls through Healdsburg  at 9 a.m. Saturday  as part of the annual Russian River Valley Winegrowers’ Grape to Glass weekend. The casual bike brigade will breeze by the Healdsburg Farmers  Market and make pit stops at The Cheese Shop, Love Farms and Seghesio Winery to pick up fresh produce for a cooking class and lunch afterwards at Relish Culinary Center. Here’s one of the… Read More »

Make the most of a crappy kitchen

I’ve had a cookbook on my desk for the past few months that never fails to elicit a laugh from  passing colleagues. It’s called “Gourmet Meals in Crappy Little Kitchens,” and I think that most people can relate to that oxymoronic title. Author Jennifer Scharertl,started her career as sous chef in a  Crappy Little Restaurant Kitchen  that wasn’t much bigger than a closet, then decided to apply the lessons she learned there to the home kitchen. Her premise is to… Read More »

Student eats on the cheap

As college kids get ready to return to campus this fall, many of them are packing up for their first apartment and brushing up on their cooking skills. Along with the Tupperware and the frying pan, grab  a copy of “$5 A Meal College Cookbook: Good Cheap Food For When You Need To Eat” by Rhonda Lauret Parkinson and B. E. Horton (Adams Media, 2010) The soft-cover cookbook costs just $9.95 and offers more than 300 money-saving meals, plus a… Read More »

Hot days and Frogmore Stew

Here we are in the dog days of summer, “when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, dogs grew mad, and all creatures became languid.” according to Brady’s “Clavis Calendarium.” But where’s the heat?  It’s all been sucked to the Southeast, where one of my best friends, Maria Baldwin, runs Thornhill Farm in McClellanville, S.C., about an hour north Charleston.  It’s been so hot there, Maria and her husband have started talking about moving back to California to the misty Monterey peninsula.… Read More »

Keen on quinoa and lentils

   Have you eaten one too many turkey legs at the fair? Smoked meats are delicious but eventually, the Cro-magnon diet gets a little tiresome.     As an antidote, here’s a healthy, protein-packed salad from Sonoma Homecare owner Genevieve Ladha, who gives  workshops all over Sonoma County on “Food after 50.”  This salad can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner, so it’s perfect for the late summer when you’re trying to make every minute of daylight count.   French… Read More »