(Ed. Note: Since the 2017 Dungeness crab season just opened in the Bay Area on November 15, I thought I’d claw back into my CasaFestiva.com archives and serve up this post from December, 2006. Only minor edits have been to reflect the date of publication.) About Dungeness crab … crabby factoids … buying crab … some potent potable pairings … For many Central and Northern … Continue reading From the Archives: Dive into Dungeness
In all the yummy trips I’ve been lucky enough to make to San Francisco, there were still some glaring omissions in my “been there, done that” list. Until recently. During my last trip, I got to sample some long awaited delights, and I’m happy to say that none of them disappointed. Chez Panisse Yes. I know. Sacrilege that I had never crossed knife and fork … Continue reading Forks in the Road: Some San Francisco Culinary Icons … Finally!
No, I am not bleatin’ kidding you. Sheep’s milk ice cream has some tangible health benefits, and – because it’s not made with cow’s milk — it’s often a viable alternative for people with lactose and milk protein issues. (Lactose intolerance is fodder enough for another post, or more, so here’s the short version. Lactose is a sugar, which is broken down by the cheesemaking … Continue reading Ice Cream That’s Good for Ewe?
I’ve always loved vintage posters. Maybe it’s because they often have to do with food and potent potables. Maybe it’s the Art Deco look or Art Nouveau style of some, or the bold graphics of others. Thanks to a presentation at Studios on the Park in Paso Robles, I have an even deeper appreciation for this genre of art. The gallery recently hosted Elizabeth Norris, … Continue reading Vintage Posters: Against All Odds, A Glimpse into the Past
I hadn’t been to Portland in waaaaay too long, so I combined the excuses of visiting some friends that had recently moved there and using some expiring hotel points to rectify the situation! Ironically, I escaped cold, rainy California and enjoyed three days of sunny, warm Oregon weather. Go figure. Portland more than lived up to its reputation as a great food city – here … Continue reading “Forks in the Road”: Portland
It’s not you, it’s me. I get it. I get that you’re a good substitute for carb-loaded pasta. I thought if I threw enough butter and garlic and herbs on you, I could make it work. But it didn’t. It just tasted like a lot of butter and garlic and herbs on a stringy and often watery vegetable. Yes, I know you’re versatile, that Martha … Continue reading Dear Spaghetti Squash,
Last September, a milestone birthday (not mine – I’m still in some “mid years”) hatched the idea for a fabulous whirlwind adventure through the beautiful West. The secondary goal of the journey was to visit some national parks (Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and Lake Mead thrown in for good measure) in a new trailer. But of course, there was a lot of eating and drinking … Continue reading “Forks in the Road”: 60 Candles, 7 States, 4 National Parks, 3 Weeks
Since we’re in the throes of holiday flavors, let’s talk vanilla. I recently wrote a piece for Edible SLO magazine about the R.R. Lochhead Manufacturing Co. in Paso Robles. (A link to the article is below.) Founded in 1963, this family-owned and –operated vanilla processing company sells its products under the Cook’s Vanilla brand, and it’s likely you have a bottle or two in your … Continue reading Vanilla … Anything But Plain
The turkey had found its way into sandwiches, fajitas, more sandwiches, and soup. The Brussels sprouts had been eaten, and the pumpkin pie was long gone. A lot of the big batch of mashed potatoes remained, so I figured I’d try to make some gnocchi – an Italian pasta akin to a dumpling, typically made with potatoes, flour, and egg. It couldn’t possibly be worse … Continue reading Day 5: The Thanksgiving Leftovers Utilization Project – Gnocchi
There are pears, and there are pears par excellence. A Warren pear is an example of the latter, and lauded by such prized palates as Alice, Martha, and Oprah. Apparently, I was missing out. I’d never heard of this heirloom variety until Susie Kenny of See Canyon Fruit Ranch insisted that I try one. The firm, ripe-and-ready fruit she handed me was chilled from the … Continue reading Pear Excellence