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A Press Democrat Blog

Kitchen Talk

Turn up the heat on home cooking

Beasley’s Argentinean grill heating up

 Argentinia’s  love affair with beef  started with the cowboys who settled in the Pampas, tending their  herds of cattle. Life was simple, and so was the cooking style. Whole racks of beef ribs were stuck onto metal stakes in front of a roaring fire, and the seasoning was limited to salt and a little vinegar. That, in turn, evolved into the country’s  vinegary table sauce, chimichurri. Over time, the rustic “roast” of the gaucho cowboys was appropriated by upscale steakhouses,… Read More »

Relish your pizza with Mugnaini

 It’s the heart of the summer, and Sonoma County’s  gardens are ripening with  all of our favorite   vegetables and fruits.  It’s time to get out and celebrate the season with your neighbors and friends. If you want to take a night off from cooking, Relish Culinary Adventures is hosting a Wine & Pizza Meet-up from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, July 21, featuring wood-fired pizza courtesy of pizza guru Andrea Mugnaini of the Alexander Valley. For just $10, you can… Read More »

The incredible shrinking Mark Stark

 Word is getting around  that Mark Stark, chef/owner of four restaurants in Sonoma County, has dropped  50 pounds in five months by eating a no-carb, high-protein lunch every day at Stark’s Steakhouse in Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square. “Following a modified version of the Caveman Diet, I was able to vary my meals, since the menu is a la carte and features so many protein and green veg options,” Stark explained in an e-mail. “Whether it was grilled prime filet on… Read More »

Happy National French Fries day!

 What’s not to love about French fries?   Despite their name, they have become one of America’s  favorite foods.  The average American eats a whopping 29 pounds of deep-fried potatoes annually.  Since today is National French Fries day, we’re sharing  a healthy recipe for Roasted Potato Wedges from the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa. (pritikin.com). Note to fat fiends: this recipe calls for red wine vinegar instead of oil, so buyer beware.    After living in France, I prefer eating my French fries… Read More »

“Plum Gorgeous” is for fruit lovers

“Plum Gorgeous: Recipes and Memories from the Orchard” by Romney Steele dropped on my desk last week like a perfectly ripe peach. Written by the granddaughter of Bill and Lolly Fassett, creators of Nepenthe Restaurant in Big Sur, “Plum Gorgeous” is a love letter to California’s delicious fruit,  with artful type,  charming photographs,  whimsical drawings and  lots of  fun  recipes. The cookbook was a timely reminder to check on the progress of my own Santa Rosa plum tree, which stands… Read More »

Pucker up for a pisco lime slushy

The Copa America 2011 launched this weekend in Argentina, and as most soccer fans probably know already, both Chile and Colombia emerged  on top  after the first round of games between the South America teams plus Costa Rica and Mexico.  Having just travelled to Chile this spring, we are cheering for the Chilean men in red and planning on watching their next match this Friday night against Uruguay. Here’s a refreshing cocktail made with pisco, is a strong, colorless grape brandy produced in… Read More »