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Favorite Ice Cream 2013

I frequent Iscream on Solano in Berkeley about once a week now. It is my go to for location, quality, and friendly people. Blueberry and Burnt Caramel (which I usually hate elsewhere) are a delight.

Chocolatier Blue on Fourth St in Berkeley has ice cream made with Strauss and what I consider a bargain with large sundaes at 5$. In fact, all the toppings are free. Lots of patio seating to people watch.

I can not get excited about Bi-Rite or Ici. By the time you get through the line you could find a cow, milk it, and set about learning to make ice cream yourself. Nothing would be worth that wait. If I happen to be at Bi Rite when they open, the ice cream line resentment has not built up in me and I find it to be a good enough ice cream for the price. If I have to wait, I find the ice cream has a greasy mouthfeel and it melts into a puddle in short order. Ici has lovely crisp cones but again only worth it if you don't have to wait for it and you have just gotten your IRS refund so don't feel bad about paying a lot for a golf ball sized scoop with flavors that are faint and almost overly natural. It feels very restrained.

The one time we went to Tin Pot Creamery in Palo Alto, it was really very good. Our attention was divided however, by the cupcake store and the bakery in the same complex.

I need to try Sketch today! Are there any good yogurt places in the East Bay? (like Fraiche in Palo Alto?)

Rice salad - I'm being tested by my MIL

THAT is hysterical!

Dec 31, 2012
Tumkers in Home Cooking

Best Bay Area panettone

I love panettone too. I have to resist buying it because I might as well just strap it to my gut because it will just end up lodging itself there permanently once I eat it. I can tell you that I have NOT liked the smaller ones sold by Trader Joe's which I bought in a fit of trying to cut down on my Italian holiday goodies consumption. My sister bakes it each year and I prefer the boxed variety.. I have to make a wide berth around the ones at Costco because they are, of course, twice as large as any other and this year they have an intriguing one wrapped in thick, rustic looking, stamped paper. Has anyone tried this one?

Gingerbread House Tips and Tricks?

I was stunned by how much propping it takes to make the thing stay together long enough to dry. Each year I make the houses smaller and smaller to take out some of the weight. My sister uses a box to build on to and then other items like mason jars to hold it up. Now, I just make the gingerbread guys because I love to eat them and once you make the house-- who is going to eat a masterpieces like that?

Dec 04, 2012
Tumkers in Home Cooking

SodaStream Exchange Carbonators 130L (South Bay / Peninsula)

I saw a woman carrying used Soda Stream cylinders toward the Sur La Table in Town and Country in Palo Alto on Sunday. I feel like Inspector Clouseau on a mission. I did not have my binoculars to see if they were the larger cylinders or not. There is also a SLT in Los Gatos if that is any closer.

SodaStream Exchange Carbonators 130L (South Bay / Peninsula)

That's where we bring ours -- and don't forget to use the coupon!


Bitter +Sweet in Cupertino sells decaf beans. I get them for presents.


Also at Berkeley Bowl West. (the pink pomelo)

Spoon Korean [Berkeley]

The servers are great--- really helpful and friendly! The tofu stew I had was piping hot. Just the thing for a chilly overcast day. My only complaint would be that the stew was really salty. I want to go back and try some of the small dishes with friends as shared "tapas"

Beauty's Bagel Shop - Oakland

Solid they are. Really quite dense. The opposite of fluffy sandwich bread bagels. Not like a New York bagel. I wonder about the yeast in these babies. The place seems like a fun hangout for hipsters.

Little Star Pizza, SF now has a South Bay Campbell location called Blue Line Pizza!

We went last Friday night. After waiting for 50 minutes for the pizza, I flagged the waitress down and asked if she could check on our pizza. She looked miffed and said she was sure it was just about to come out and she turned away and took a drink order from another table. 10 min later the manager came out and said, "Oh dear someone else must have gotten your pizza. If you want to wait 30 min we could make you a new one and comp it." The system sucks. They have a waitress who takes orders --but a runner who brings the food. There is no check back to see what's going on by the waitress. The entirely ridiculous experience may have colored my judgement, but I did not like the pizza. The crust has a somewhat bitter, fermented taste to it of a blechy brand of yeast (but if you are drinking beer with it, it probably does not matter) the toppings were not in any way special. The flavors did not stand out individually. It was hot -- so that was good. It is just not worth my while to ever go back.

visiting manresa

And the tasting menu takes a full three hours.

SJ / Campbell

Upstairs at Sonoma Chicken Coop, Campbell. Full bar. Great for big get togethers. Just call em.

Need a potluck dish for a vegetarian wedding

Thank you everyone for the great ideas. I will start testing and experimenting to see what I can do best!

Aug 03, 2012
Tumkers in Vegetarian & Vegan

Need a potluck dish for a vegetarian wedding

My nephew's big day is coming up in the fall in Northern CA and he and his fiance are vegetarian. I am looking for a main dish that can be made in a big batch and then served at room temperature. It has to also be nut and sesame free. They have dessert covered. I have a few pumpkins and kabocha growing in the garden and they will be ready then. Any ideas??

Aug 01, 2012
Tumkers in Vegetarian & Vegan

Summer Salad Recipes Needed

I make a nut free pesto and put it over any variety of cooked and raw vegetables. We had it with yellow wax beans (steamed), summer squash (roasted), red pepper and purple onion (roasted), cucumbers, and tomatoes.

Aug 01, 2012
Tumkers in Vegetarian & Vegan

Local 123 Airstream @ Flowerland Nursery in Albany

They open the front gate so you can get to the coffee and sit in a little area, but wall off the Flowerland portion on Tuesdays.

name that lipid!

Go around to the back of the store before trash day.

Anyone familiar with New Jersey area? Need culinary ideas

If you are sending dried fruit, you are sending last year's crop. Even *if* the fresh fruit has some different qualities from the fruit that is available in New Jersey, once it is shipped and sits in some truck, it will not have the flavor it once had.

The Chinese grocery stores may not be as well stocked in Jersey as here. If they like fun drinks you could package up some boba, boba straws and drink mixes like taro or matcha. How about a cookbook from one of the famous chefs in the area? Rancho Gordo beans and the Rancho Gordo cookbook plus a clay beanpot. Dagoba makes a great hot chocolate mix with chili in it. How about a bunch of international teas and a nice teapot from the tea lounge in SF http://shop.samovarlife.com/ or one of those grow your own mushroom kits from Far West Funghi. Oh! Olive oils-- there's a shop in DowntownCampbell where you can taste any number of different oils from all over the world and then bottle as much as you like.

Hodo Soy Beanery - tofu sold in Bulk at a few Costco: Mtn View, Richmond

The firm tofu is more firm than you can imagine tofu getting. I needed to cook with it as a pressed tofu-- like marinating and broiling it.

Taiwanese lunch today in Cupertino... help me choose between....

What did you try?? I have been to Southland and Mama Liang's exactly once so did not feel right endorsing or disparaging either.

Southbay getting a trickle of East Bay and SF treats

Philz coffee is coming to Cupertino on Stevens Creek near DeAnza

Scream Sorbet (along with Roli Roti) is at the Saratoga Farmer's Market on Saturdays. I had the grapefruit and tasted the beet flavor. The cup is quite tiny for $3.

Movable Feast Food Trucks will be at the Alameda Funeral Home (?!) on Saratoga Sunnyvale Road in Saratoga on the last Saturday of each month from 4-8 PM.

Ideas for kid-friendly Monday lunch options in South Bay?

Well, a quick Google maps search shows a Morrocan place-- Menara, a bowling alley with an Hawaiian Diner attached-- 4th St Bowl, The Island Grill with sweet potato fries, Chez Souvan --Cambodian, and Izakaya-- pricey sushi all with good reviews. If you go slightly early-- say 11:30 then you will not run into many of the business crowd. https://maps.google.com/maps?q=restau...

When (and where) will watermelons start appearing around the Bay Area?

We've already eaten through 3 full size watermelons from various Costco's (Mtn View, Sunnyvale) and two weekends ago had the minis from Lucky's and all of them have been good.

In search of caramel sauce for ice cream sundaes in Berkeley

We buy the carmel sauce from Fenton's or Trader Joes and make it at home. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

south bay bbq?

We tried a lot of places and were horrified (ie Famous Dave's, Armadillo Willy's) but then found Sam's and settled into it. It is a little far, but the kid's ribs plate is ridiculously delicious. Blue Rock has good sides and very friendly workers. We recently tried the chain, Dickey's, in Saratoga Westgate West and were pleasantly surprised-- ie they fried our okra and onion strings to order, the meat was good, the prices were not bad.

Pizza dough - Favorite recipe? "00" dough?

http://recipes.robbiehaf.com/T/272.htm Try this thin crust recipe--- it is the best I have ever tried.

Mar 14, 2012
Tumkers in Home Cooking

Unusual SouthBay goodies for my Wicked Aunts Tour?

I love the idea of a Wicked Aunts tour! I have lots of little favorites around the area and will have to try yours.

At the Korean Food court at 3561 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, Snowice, has huge bowls of shaved ice with gelato, fruit , nuts and syrups, We like the "Eat Your Greens" one that is dusted with Matcha powder.

At Bitter+Sweet cafe in Cupertino on Sunnyvale-Saratoga Rd they have a great affogato with many, many flavors of Humphrey Slocumbe ice cream available. In the same plaza, Kee Wah has baked roast pork buns with honey, in case you need a savory break.

At Imhara Produce on Stevens Creek in Cupertino, you can get Shuei-do mochi/manju at the checkout counter, in case you don't make it to Japantown. The L'Epi D'or bakery a few doors down has great pineapple cakes -- squares of chewy filling covered by buttery cookie. They only have them occasionally, but if you are there anyway, it's worth it to check.

I love Dolce Spazio in Los Gatos for Gelato and the German Chocolate Cake. They have other cakes that look good, but I can never bring myself to change from the German Chocolate.

Kara's cupcakes http://karascupcakes.com/locations.html in Santana Row and Palo Alto. I advise getting an assortment and then cutting them up so you can all get a taste of each flavor.

In the grocery store category, Trader Joes has Almond Horns that come in a clear, brittle, square plastic container. They are sooo chewy and covered in almonds. Half of the horn is dipped in chocolate, but, and I rarely say this, the chocolate takes away from the lovely flavor. They also carry frozen chocolate croissants that you let defrost and rise overnight and then bake in the morning. Croissants are wonderful, hot from the oven while the dark chocolate is still melty.

Where to buy Key limes in South Bay area

I got a bag two weeks ago at the Safeway in Saratoga.

Calling all fennel and baby bok choy lovers

It grows well here in Northern California during the winter. My daughter will lean over the plant and just graze on some of the greenery that tastes like licorice! We also love the flowers that give you a little pow of anise flavor. The stuff from the store or even the farmer's market really doesn't come close to what you get out of your own garden.

Jan 24, 2012
Tumkers in Home Cooking