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June 2008
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August 2008

It's the Cheese.

The American Cheese Society's recent competition gave kudos to a number of California cheeses. It's our happy cows, ya know?

Their judging results documentation is enough to make any cheese lover have sweet dreams for weeks. In addition to the judging results, it has a great list of the participating dairies, and how to contact them. The Chronicle tipped me off to the judging, though their article lacks any links to the Society's website or the cheesemakers.

Family Winemakers 2008 San Francisco tasting event

Fw2008 It's time for my favorite San Francisco wine tasting event of the year -- Family Winemakers of California Taste 2008.

Not as overwhelming as the ZAP! zinfandel tasting, and with varietals ranging from marsanne to sangiovese, to viogner and back again. This is the place where I have found all sorts of new lovse -- like the Heidrun sparkling mead at the 2005 tasting.

My only constructive criticism about this event every year is I wish for more non-trade tasting hours. Take a look at the printer-friendly version of the participating wineries list and start planning your limited time now.

Personally, my hit list would include:

Sunday, August 24
12:30-2:00 p.m. open to the trade only
2:00-6:00 p.m. open to the public and the trade
Monday, August 25

1:00-6:00 p.m. open to the trade only
Fort Mason Center
TICKETS: Ticket price is $45 in advance, $40 for groups of 10 or more, $55 day of the event, plus ticket fees.

Margaritas: a Debate

What makes a classic margarita? Salt or no Salt? Grand Marnier or Triple Sec or neither? The SF Chronicle has a piece on the timely debate of what constitutes a margarita. My only quibble is it seems inconceivable that an article in a SF newspaper about margaritas, and tequila, would not include a peep about/from Tommy's. Especially when it does include quotes from other less venerable drinking establishments.

slowfoodnation taste workshops

SO many great sounding events. It's going to be tough to pick just a few...

slow food nation Taste Workshops

Saturday, August 30; 10:00am - 9:00pm | Sunday, August 31; 10:00am - 9:00pm | Cost: $10 - $20 each | Fort Mason Center, Building C

In-depth guided gastronomical and educational experiences led by experts and food producers who share the stories behind the taste.

Each workshop is one-hour long.

Saturday Taste Workshop Schedule

  • 10:00 – 11:00am
    Presidium Coffee Cupping
    Throw a “Slowtail” Party for 6 Friends for Under $60
  • 12:00 – 1:00pm
    The Apple in the Pig’s Mouth
    Rare Flavors of the South
  • 2:00 – 3:00pm
    Tasting California Olive Oil
    American Artisan Cheeses and Microbrews
  • 4:00 – 5:00pm
    Bounty from the Midwest
    Heritage Pork and Sparkling Mead
  • 6:00 – 7:00pm
    Sustainable Stories: Associations of Wine and Food
    Slow Wine & Food Pairings
  • 8:00 – 9:00pm
    Coro Mendocino Wines & Organic Cheeses
    Celebrating American Raw Milk Cheese

Sunday Taste Workshop Schedule

  • 10:00 – 11:00am
    Exploring Coffee and Chocolate Pairings
    Slow Food Meals on a Budget
  • 12:00 – 1:00pm
    Fermented Delicacies
    Northwestern Sips & Morsels
  • 2:00 – 3:00pm
    Mendocino Pinot Noir
    Heirloom Tomatoes with Wines from Lodi
  • 4:00 – 5:00pm
    A Traditional Taste of Southwest Heritage Foods
    Eat It To Save It, Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste
  • 6:00 – 7:00 pm
    Slow Sips & Charcuterie Snacking
    Biodynamic Wines
  • 8:00 – 9:00 pm
    Slow Spirits

mmm Ice Cream

Dean and Deluca is always sending temptation my way. Like this crazy assortment of gourmand ice creams. I *adore* Salty Caramel ice cream (I had an amazing ice cream sandwich with said luscious ice cream flavor, at Rose Pistola a few months ago. And Butterscotch Black Brownie and Strawberry Buttermilk also sound lovely. Thank goodness I lack the deep freezer necessary to accommodate 6 pints at once...

Finanical Districts Eats

This morning, I stopped by La Boulange Bakery on Market Street, a very new replacement for the shuttered  Oh La La. After a little investigating, it appears to be a new location for the Bay Bread folks. Nice to have more than just a once-a-week fix from them (they have a stall at our weekly farmers market.)

In geographically related news, Sellers Markets has updated their seasonal include...southern fried chicken sliders. I am so splurging on some of those next week.

7/11 = Free Slurpee Day

Yup. You heard me. Participating 7/11 stores (the American quick food minimarket for my non-U.S. readers) are giving away free Slurpees tomorrow in honor of the date being 7/11 (7-Eleven Day).

Riding my bike to the local 7-Eleven with my friend Erika to buy a Cola Slurpee with a handful of change was one of my favorite ways to deal with the 100+ degree temperature.  Of course the heatwave here in SF is over now. So watch out for the brain freeze!

10 Kitchen Techniques Everyone Needs to Know...

A lot of very smart people are embarrassed when it comes to asking questions about "things they are supposed to know already." They would rather suffer in silence hand washing dishes than call their mom and ask how their new-fangled apartment's dishwasher works. You know, modern problems of the until recently citified folk variety.

The SF Chronicle's food section has an article on kitchen techniques of that ilk. Starting out with how to bread meat and moving through 9 other techniques usually verbed in recipes, it's a good refresher for the smartypants -- or crib sheet for those of us who didn't have hands-on kitchen training.

The Blueberryist Muffins

BlueberrymuffinI am blessed with working downtown, steps away from a weekly farmers market.

This past week, in addition to the amazing peaches, nectarines, and strawberries that made their way home with me, I bought a pint of blueberries.

These were bursting with flavor, and needed to be used right away. I obliged by whipping up the blueberry muffin recipe I had just seen on the CHOW blog.

I'd seen comments therein about these being a little salty. Lacking any kosher salt, I subbed in some grey sea salt. The results are a few spikes of salt that perfectly offset the sweet berries.

Now I just have to decide what to do with more of these luscious berries this week. Thinking some sort of bread maybe?