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CSA recommendations for 2012?

Favorite CSAs:

Mariquita Farm - absolutely hands-down. Have been a full-season subscriber for 2+ years and love it. We stopped buying out of season veggies and learned to use the box and get more creative with our cooking. Freshness is guaranteed. Lots of pickup locations and it's easy to try before you buy with their Mystery Box Thursdays - at different restaurant locations every other Thursday in SF. Can't say more great things and I just wrote a check for the off-season pickup at Fatted Calf until the full season begins in March.

Soul Food Farm - if you eat eggs and chicken, this CSA will change your life. You will never eat such flavorful, healthy chickens and eggs. Can't bear to order chicken out or buy commercial eggs we are so spoiled by the quality of Soul Food Farms and the care they have for their farm.

Jan 11, 2012
sassygirl in San Francisco Bay Area

How do you make a batter orange (in a natural way)

I haven't made pancakes in a while but what about heating some of the milk with saffron threads - the strain them out? I doubt it will impart much saffron flavor, especially if you are adding orange zest anyway.

Feb 03, 2009
sassygirl in Home Cooking

Champagne Glasses

I love Juliska but would worry about my tipsy guests crashing them at a very high replacement cost...

Dec 03, 2007
sassygirl in Features

Best Eggnog

I was just served this "nog" at a holiday party whose host had aged it for 1 year in the empty Maker's Mark bottle. While a couple of us were tentative at first, the amount of great alcohol that was used had perfectly preserved this very tasty holiday libation. Yum!

Dec 03, 2007
sassygirl in Recipes

Stop Refilling My Wineglass!

Uh, I drink fast so this is never an issue.

Oct 31, 2007
sassygirl in Features

Where to Take 60 French Winemakers in March

Call Eric Rubin at Tres Agaves - they have a really fun back room that they could set up, you could do a tequila tasting, and come up with a menu (I've done about 5 private dinners there) to pair that is totally reasonable. And it is lively and fun and casual

Oct 25, 2007
sassygirl in San Francisco Bay Area

What is worth taking home Belgian or French chocolate?

Absolutely Paris. Check out Patrick Roger, Jean Charles Rochoux (amazing sculptures but try his bar of the day), Pierre Marcolini, Jean Paul Hevin, DeBauve & Gallais (chocolate makers to the kings), Jacques Genin (doesn't sell to public but might if you stop by and get lucky), and of course Pierre Herme where you must buy the macarons - salt caramel especially! There are many others but these are the very top. Be prepared to pay!

Sep 18, 2007
sassygirl in International Archive

Am I the only one who peeks at the online menu prior to visiting a restaurant?

I do it all the time and often have already picked out what I want before I get to the restaurant. I think it's a disease...

Sep 12, 2007
sassygirl in Not About Food

Saffron Ice Cream (Bastani-e gol-o bolbol)

Mashti Malone's Persian ice cream in LA is delicious when you're in a hurr - and now available at Whole Foods.

Sep 12, 2007
sassygirl in Recipes

How Does Magic Shell Ice Cream Topping Work?

Picco Pizzeria's soft serve ice cream with El Rey chocolate dip freezes perfectly to the ice cream and no chemicals. Well I doubt they would ever use them!

Sep 06, 2007
sassygirl in Features

cookbooks: hidden gems?

The Harry's Bar Cookbook by Harry Cipriani is one of my favorites. It contains the quintessential minestrone recipe.

Diane Seed's Top 100 Pasta Sauces is a go-to as well. Been using her pesto recipe every weekend with basil in season. She also has a Top 100 Rice Dishes which is great. It's the one cookbook with no photos that I actually embrace!

I too love Jamie Oliver's books - his latest is Cook with Jamie: My Guide to Making you a Better Cook - only available on amazon.co.uk right now. Jamie's Italy is a treasure as are his previous books.

Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa books (all of them) are fantastic. The most compliments and the best baby/wedding shower menus have come from her recipes and I just met her in Paris and she is a wonderful person too.

I also love the River Cafe cookbooks, and just having eaten at the restaurant in London again I would say it rivals Chez Panisse in quality, creativity, and service. And easy!

Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

Simple to Spectacular by Jean Georges Vongerichten - great building block recipes

The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz - just went to his book signing at Ici in Oakland and have already made some of the recipes that are to die for! You will be popular if you make ice cream from this book.

Jun 26, 2007
sassygirl in Home Cooking

Problems at Mozza?

While it's important for the chef to be in the restaurant, the food isn't entirely made by them anyway. My first and only experience at Mozza was disappointing. Those are not pizzas really - there is way too much crust and why are the staff pushing these baseball sized fennel sausage pizzas? Grease oozed out of them and it was the worst pizza presentation. Salads were mediocre. Love the quartinos of wine but the food needs improvement.

Jun 26, 2007
sassygirl in Los Angeles Area

Anniversary dinner - under $150

Some quick ideas:

- Upstairs at Bouley - no reservations but get there before 7pm and you are golden! Delicious and inexpensive
- Bellavitae - a bit more wine bar, but delicious food and totally reasonable
- Lupa - what can be more romantic than a happening, casual trattoria??

Also, consider bringing a bottle of your own really special wine and check ahead to see what the corkage fee is - wine is going to be one of your biggest costs...

Jun 26, 2007
sassygirl in Manhattan

Seeking a restaurant in London on its last smoking night with baby

I just got back from London and without knowing what you want to spend, would make the following recommendations:

- The River Cafe (you can email for reservations) - I did not find it smokey at all - none
- Orrery
- Zafferano
- Rasoi Vineet Bhatia
- Harrods - any of the restaurants inside - no smoking allowed and tons to choose from!
- Fifteen

Most of the restaurants in London handle reservations by email and you can put a note in your email to request non-smoking and you have a small child.

Jun 26, 2007
sassygirl in U.K./Ireland

Online Tea Merchants - Who Are You Ordering From And What?

Adagio Tea - www.adagio.com as was recommended by a friend and bought several varieties of Rooibos teas - all delicious and nice, reusable packaging.

Feb 05, 2007
sassygirl in General Topics

Ice Cream at Brattle theatre & Sommerville theatre

Yes- you're right - Toscanini's is in Harvard and Central Squares, just like you remember. But there is also Herrell's (aka Steve's Ice Cream) in Harvard Square too. Just thinking about it makes me really hungry...

Feb 05, 2007
sassygirl in Greater Boston Area

Blue Cheese Dressing

I love the blue cheese dressing at Bix. Just Maytag Blue and olive oil. Divine. Also had a great iceberg wedge with blue cheese dressing at Jar in LA last weekend. Excellent too.

Feb 05, 2007
sassygirl in Recipes

Cooking Class with Joanne Weir on PBS

You can also buy fennel pollen from Zingermans.com. I just bought it from fennelpollen.com - it is grown in California so I was happy it was local.

Feb 01, 2007
sassygirl in Food Media & News

Key Lime Pie

I also like Emily Lucchetti's use of sugar cones instead of graham crackers for the crust in her book "A passion for ICE CREAM". Yum!

Oct 31, 2006
sassygirl in Recipes

Blue Cheese Dressing

I would love to see a blue cheese recipe that DOES NOT use mayonnaise. Thanks!

Oct 31, 2006
sassygirl in Recipes