A Press Democrat Blog

Kitchen Talk

Turn up the heat on home cooking

Tempting apples, squash and pomegranates

   Pomegranates and hard  squash are both flooding into the farmers markets right now. I like to think of them as the utility players of autumn, alternately providing our dining tables with vibrant colors and shapes while  lending their  flavor and texture to fall feasts.    Last weekend, I bought three kinds of  squash at Mike’s Truck Garden on River Road. As a nostalgic nod to New England, I chose the sturdy  Blue Hubbard squash that  my grandmother always baked  these… Read More »

Warm up to fall with an Asian soup

 There’s nothing like a steaming bowl of soup at the end of the day, especially if your family, like mine, has been feeling a bit under the weather. Santa Rosa chef Mei Ibach demonstrated this recipe at the Windsor Certified Farmers Market a few weeks ago, then doctored up the leftovers  by adding mung bean noodles for protein. You could also add tofu, shrimp or seasonal vegetables such as tomatoes.  For more recipes from Mei, who sells her own line of Malaysian sauces… Read More »

Relishing your green tomatoes

Summer is making its last stand against the inevitable onslaught of fall.  The late summer tomatoes are either bloated with water or hang green on the vine, stragglers  in the race for ripeness. But that doesn’t mean the cook’s job is done.  Watery tomatoes can be oven-dried, covered with olive oil and stored in the refrigerator for a few weeks, to be sprinkled on pasta or pizza, or thrown into soups and curries. . Meanwhile, you can give the hard,… Read More »

An obsession with kitchen gadgets

     Are you a kitchen gadget geek? I don’t think of myself that way, but over the years, I have accumulated quite a few  kitchen utensils, old and new, useful and not-so useful. After a while,  my drawers and cupboards become  so crammed with stuff that I need a crowbar just to open them. I blame it on my family’s pack-rat tendencies, but to avoid the hoarder label, I try to get rid of  the excess every few years.          If… Read More »

Celebrate! from Where Women Cook

      Where Women Cook magazine profiles creative home cooks, popular bloggers and other entertaining women as they plan baby showers, Halloween parties and other celebrations of the season.      Just in time for the holiday season,   the editor-and-chief and co-founder of the magazine, Jo Packer, has written and released  “Where Women Cook Celebrate! Extraordinary Women and Their Signature Recipes.” (Sterling, $24.95)      From food blogger and restaurateur Molly Wizenberg of New York City to Farm Chick Serena Thompson of Spokane,… Read More »

Got tomatoes? Make tomato sauce

If you’re a home gardener – or happen to know one – chances are you’ve got a big box of ripe tomatoes sitting around right now, waiting to be turned into sauce. Here’s a couple of super simple recipe from Italian-born chef Marcella Hazan, who helped spread the gospel of pure, Italian cooking in the U.S. My canning friend, Pam Wilsey, who shared these recipes, suggested freezing the sauce in portions appropriate to your family. Then just defrost in the… Read More »