Recipes

Spilling the beans

I’ve got a little secret to tell you about cooking beans from scratch. You know that whole “soak beans overnight,” thing that is guaranteed to make you turn the cookbook page? Well, you don’t have to do any such thing. Just check through the beans for stones and then cover them in a good amount…

Padma’s party tip

Interviewed cookbook author, actress and Top Chef host extraordinaire Padma Lakshmi this week. I had a feeling she’d be delightful to talk to and I’m happy to report that I was right. I’ll save the details for my story, which will run later this fall, but I did want to share this one party food…

Congee cure-all

You know how sticking the word “French” in front of things makes them seem ever so much more glamorous and exciting? French kiss, French lavender, French fry …. Well I am sorry to tell you that this does not work for French colds, which is what I brought home with me as a little souvenir…

Parsing parsnips

  Back in the BC era (before children) Mr. Vinecdote and I used to enjoy scouting out locations for cheap eats, especially in Oakland’s Chinatown, and one of our best finds was fried parsnip cake at a place called Happy Noodle. (And if I might digress for a moment, how fun are those Chinatown business names?…

Totally tofu

    If there’s one thing I enjoy it’s watching other people work _ doesn’t matter whether they’re fixing lunch or fixing a pothole. So you can imagine how much I enjoyed a recent visit to the Hodo Soy Beanery in Oakland, a state-of-the-art tofu facility tucked away in what was once a candy factory.…

Cupboard Love

  Did 2010 make you feel like curling up with a plate of something warm and soft? You weren’t alone. Allrecipes.com just released its top recipes for last year and the list includes  such comfort food staples as brownies, twice-baked potatoes and pulled pork. According to Allrecipes, the list was compiled by analyzing data from…

Crab gets cracking

Get out your bibs and your tiny little hammers; Dungeness crab season is under way off the California coast. This is one time of the year when I fully embrace the locavore movement _ love those fresh, meaty little red monsters. Plain, with butter, popped into a traditional cioppino, all good dishes. I have made cioppino…

Pretty Pumpkin

Look what my friend E. made for dinner the other night. It really seems too pretty to eat, doesn’t it? They did, though. This a great dish for fall and is based on a recipe from Dorie Greenspan, author of the fabulous new cookbook, “Around My French Table.” It’s one of those recipes you can play around…

Super Salsa

    Coming up on the end of summer here in Berkeley and, if the last three months are any indication, that should mean a day that starts out with clammy, gray fog and moves on to thin sunshine undercut with a chilly breeze. But not to worry. When Nature won’t cooperate, you can always bring the…

Rosemary roasted potatoes

  Sometimes I feel like my backyard wants me to be a much better cook than I am. The orange and lemon trees have been whispering “marmalade,” to me reproachfully for weeks now. And yesterday the rosemary bush got so insistent that I was forced to abandon plans to warm up a pizza for dinner…