A Press Democrat Blog

Kitchen Talk

Turn up the heat on home cooking

A “Mouth Full” of veggies from “Top Chef” judge Gail Simmons

   Gail Simmons, one of the  judges on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and a long-time writer for Food & Wine magazine, has just released a new cookbook,  “Talking with My Mouth Full: My Life as  Professional Eater.”    You can meet the author on Feb. 28 at the Marin Art & Garden Center in Ross.  The book talk and signing takes place at 7:45 p.m. ($45 includes book) or you can fork over the big bucks ($65) and attend  the VIP … Read More »

A cookbook for apple lovers

   This time of year, I  often grab an  apple or pear  for snacking. The fruits are packed with  flavor and   texture, and through the miracle of cold storage, they taste almost as good as they did last fall.    While the Honeycrisp apples at the farmers market are my go-to apple, I’ve also been biting into a couple of new varieties grown in Washington State.    The Junami  is a Swiss variety that is particularly crisp, tart and thirst-quenching.… Read More »

Volcano Cake erupts with flavor

      What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?   I suspect many of us are probably going to stay home and avoid the extra chaos and calories of dining out during a holiday  To tell you the truth, I would rather  cook a simple meal that provides my sweetie with a few of his favorite foods.     My husband is crazy about cheese and not so crazy about veggies, except for broccoli and cauliflower. So I’m going to roast up his… Read More »

How to woo with food and flattery

Have you ever  wondered why  food and love have always been  connected in an intimate dance of the senses? “The most memorable – and sensuous – times of my life have all been around food,” said John Ash, chef and cookbook author from Santa Rosa. “Friends, lovers and the dining table are all folded in together like some great souffle.” In her little book, “An Alphabet for Gourmets,” M.F. K. Fisher pointed out that gastronomy has always been connected with its sister art… Read More »

A sexy cocktail for sensual sippers on Valentine’s Day

 Amy and Fred Groth of HelloCello in Sonoma have expanded their line of artisanal spirits to include an orange-flavored, organic brandy infused with the exotic Damiana flower. The brandy tastes like a spicy Grand Marnier and as far as anyone knows, it’s the only liqueur in the U.S. that includes Damiana,  a flower used for centuries as  an aphrodisiac. “In Mexico …  it is a ritual for newlyweds to drink a Damiana Tea on their wedding night to promote fertility,”… Read More »

Bake up some beans for a Patriot-ic Super Bowl party

                                                                                                                                                                                 Growing up with two parents from Boston, my brother and I ate our fair share of baked beans as kids. A thrifty yet filling staple of the New England table, the baked beans were always supplemented with fried hot dogs and brown bread.       If you’re rooting for the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl this Sunday, your spread would not be complete with some kind of simple bean dish. Here’s a non-traditional version of baked beans… Read More »