Thursday, October 30, 2008

Election Night Partying: How Are You Rocking Your Vote?

I have to admit that I'm getting twitchier by the day anticipating walking into my polling place and then into the booth, ballot in hand. It could be one of the most momentous elections of my generation and I'm so anxious that it goes off without a hitch and, of course, the way I want it!

So, watching the results Tuesday evening is going to be a huge deal. It's going to require some hand holding, some camaraderie and, if all goes well, it will become a wonderful memory of where I was and who I was with at that historic moment. And, of course, it requires a great meal.

In anticipation of being on KPBS radio's These Days on Tuesday morning at 10, when San Diego Citysearch editor Erin Chambers and I will talk about election night food and events, I'm compiling a list of places to go, places to pick up election-themed foods and web sites/blogs where foodies are touting their election-themed recipes. If you have anything to contribute to these before Tuesday morning, please add your comments or send me an email.

So, here is what I have so far:

San Diego Events:

Official Political Parties:

  • W Hotel, Magnet Lounge: SD County Young Democrats Election Night Party at 7 p.m. (Columbia and W. "B" St.) Happy hour prices all night, 3 flat-screen TVs w/results. Bring friends (if Obama supporters).
  • Progressive Post Election Night Party. At the Halls, 1591 Dawson Dr., Vista 92081. 8 p.m. Watch the election returns on a giant screen, meet great local progressives. The Progressive Post will provide a main dish. Please bring your favorite dish to share. RSVP.
  • North County Democratic Unity Office, 135 E. Grand Ave., Escondido. 8 p.m. Food and drinks provided. Donations appreciated. RSVP: 760-690-4015, ext. 11 or
  • Eagles Lodge: San Diego County Dems can be found here at 3848 Centre St. in San Diego.
  • E Street Cafe: More Dems at this Encinitas restaurant. 128 W. "E" St.

No event listed on SD Young Republicans web site.

San Diego Hotels:

  • Grant Grill and VeeV throwing a Poll Party featuring their election selection menu of cocktails and appetizers named for the candidates. 6-8 p.m. Bring your “I Voted” sticker to receive complimentary VeeV cocktail.

  • Omni Hotels lobby and lounge: 6 to 10 p.m. multiple large-screen TV, poll-sliders miniburgers (cheese, grilled onions, pickle, tomatoes, fries), red recovery cocktails (citrus vodka and triple sec with cranberry juice and Sprite), Pull the Lever loaded up nachos (red-and-blue corn tortilla chips w/chiles, jalapenos, chicken, avocado, tomatoes, cheese and sour cream), All-American Patriot Apple Pie a la mode. At 675 L. St.
  • Ivy Hotel: Starting at 5 p.m. for San Diego's urban young professionals in the Ultra Lounge of Envy Nightclub. Featuring multiple large flat-screen TVs; red, white and blue decor and Obama and McCain drink specials for $5. 600 "F" St. in the Gaslamp.

San Diego Universities:

  • UCSD’s Eleanor Roosevelt College, free, all-campus event from 7 p.m. TVs to watch returns, panelists and student speakers, election prediction contest, free food and drinks

  • USD Hahn University Center Forum: 4 to 11. Free. Snacks and drinks served.

San Diego Restaurants and Bars:

  • Urban Solace: Featuring two special drinks on election night: the Barackatini and the McCain Wallbanger. The (red, white and blue) Barackatini includes: citron shaken with sour, pomegranate seeds, and a float of Blue Curacao. The McCain Wallbanger includes: Greygoose and Galliano In addition, they will be keeping a tally of drink order “votes” from patrons, and they will put up large board with a big map featuring the constant updates from the real election. 3823 30th St. in North Park.

  • Tango Wine: Election Night Wine and Cheer; 2161 India St., from 2 to 10 p.m.

  • Crescent Heights: The newest addition to downtown's eateries is hosting an "Eat, Drink and Be A-merry-can" evening with an all-night happy hour on election night. 655 W. Broadway.
  • Moonstone Lounge: It's the Hard Rock's roof bar and it has election-themed cocktails all night long, including the now ubiquitous "Ciroc Obama" as well as the "Palin Punch." 207 Fifth Ave.
  • Seau's: Those big screen TVs will have election night returns playing on them starting at 8 p.m. At Mission Valley Center.
  • Seaport Village Ben & Jerry's: Both locations are giving away free ice cream cones from 5 to 9 p.m. for those who vote (and even those who don't). Just tell the cashier you voted and you'll get a free cone. Limit one per customer. 849 W. Harbor Dr. at the food court and East Plaza.
  • Sea Rocket Bistro: A free glass of champagne to all guests election night and election returns shown on the restaurant's 10-foot projection screen throughout the evening. 3382 30th St. in North Park.
  • Sicilian Thing: Free cannoli with purchase on Election Day if you bring in your "I Voted" sticker/ballot stub. 4046 30th St. in North Park.
  • Starbucks: Tell them you voted and you'll get a free tall brewed coffee.

San Diego Foodstuff:

  • Venissimo Cheese: Cheese trays for wine and cheese on election night. For those rooting for the blue team, there’s a wide variety of blues in stock (made of all types of milk: cow, goat and sheep). For the red team, there are Red Dragon, Red Hawk and other red-washed rind beauties!

  • BGD Foods at Little Italy Mercato: Burnin’ Barack Obama Salsa for a Change and Kickin’ John McCain Maverick Style Salsa.
  • Cupcakes Squared: Get in the election mood with blueberry cupcakes with donkey flags and raspberry cupcakes with elephant flags. 3772 Voltaire St. in Point Loma.

Web sites:
  • MyRecipes: Election Night Celebration: Mad for McCain Tex-Mex classics like Arizona Tortilla Soup and Margarita Sunrise. Over the Moon for Obama? Wife Michelle says one of his home-cooked favs is a big pot of chili. Also Chicago-style deep dish pizza and Italian beef subs. And a uniter dessert: Chewy Red, White, and Blue Cookies.
  • Maine to California Election Night Casserole and Election Night Stew.
  • Yumsugar: Frosted sugar cookies decorated with your favorite patriotic design.
  • Clever Parties Blog: 2008 Election Night Candidate Favorite Recipes -- John McCain's Arizona Baked Beans, Barack Obama Chili Recipe, Senator Bidens' Favorite Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, and -- what else -- Sarah Palin Moose Stew Recipe.
  • BlogHer: My Twitter friend Kalyn Denny has Barack Obama's Family Chili recipe and John McCain's Rib's recipe up on her BlogHer blog.
  • Karina's Kitchen: Karina has a cozy brown rice casserole that will bake while you watch the returns. Beef, cranberries, black olives. Yum!
  • The Nibble: Election Night Cocktails: Obama-Rama; Obama Poma; McCain Mojito; Red, White and Blue Mojito
  • Dinner Tonight from the Editors of Everyday Food: Election Night (Food) Contenders: Editor and Twitter buddy Deb Puchalia gives a rundown on Martha Stewart's easy starters (cheese balls), mains (Deep Dish PIzza) and sweets (Baked Alaska), as well as her Shortcut Supper of chili. Plus, Deb tags other bloggers's dishes.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Gourmet Club Gets Bloggie

I'm so excited about this show since our guests are familiar as friends not just to me but to most of you food blog lovers and Twitter participants.

First, we're opening with Jeff Jackson, executive chef at The Lodge at Torrey Pines' fabulous restaurant A. R. Valentien. He'll be filling us in on the events at the sixth annual Celebrate the Craft event taking place at The Lodge at Torrey Pines this weekend (Oct. 30 - Nov. 2). I've already posted about the event, which includes the Picnic in the Park on Sat., Nov. 1 and the Picnic on the Arroyo Terrace with a host of food stations featuring local area growers, vintners and suppliers. (I'll be there!). Chef Jackson will give us a preview of who will be participating and what will be happening over the weekend. For tickets and room packages, go online here.

We'll also catch up with co-host Maureen Clancy and hear about her recent stint in Vienna.

Then we'll have what I expect will be a really fun chat with three of San Diego's premier food bloggers, Alice Robertson (Alice Q. Foodie), Nicole Hamaker (Pinch My Salt) and Amanda Simpson (What We're Eating and We'll find out just how they got into food blogging, what inspires them, how they've each developed such a following and what they think of the San Diego food scene. Have questions for them? Drop a comment below before 9:30 a.m. PT tomorrow, tweet me @carondg or give the show a call at 866.818.6384 while we're on live.

So, tune in for the hour. The Gourmet Club is the tastiest meeting in town. Robert Whitley is off traveling through Spain for the next couple of weeks so join Maureen Clancy and me this Wednesday morning on from 11 a.m. to noon Pacific. You can also podcast the show and listen at your convenience.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Save a Good Blog, Spread the Love

No, I'm not necessarily talking about my blog. Blogger Chuck Westbrook is looking for a collective way to help bloggers with good content but few readers get more exposure. Sign up and be one of the good guys.

Take a look at his challenge. Be a mensch and help a blogger you enjoy get more readers. As he says, end the tragedy of under-appreciated blogs!

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

San Diego Foodstuff Miscellany

I've got all sorts of interesting things to fill you in on.

  • Let's talk about food equality. It's all well and good to be an ardent foodie, but in the San Diego area alone, according to Network for a Healthy California, 480,000 people face the threat of hunger daily, and that includes 181,000 children. Want to help do something about it? A coalition of the San Diego Hilton Family of Hotels has formed a coalition called Hunger at Home and on Friday, Nov. 21, the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines will host the Hunger at Home international tasting gala. The gala will feature over 25 international cuisines. Proceeds will be donated to the San Diego Food Bank with a portion going to The Network for a Healthy California. Hunger at Home is hoping to raise half a million dollars, which would be enough to provide 1.6 million clients with 1.5 million meals, as well as nutrition education for low-income women, single parents with kids under age six and fixed-income seniors. For more information or to buy tickets, go to
  • On a different note, if you're a fan of Saffron, as I am, you love the authentic Thai food that Su-Mei Yu offers. Next month, from Nov. 12 to 16, Saffron will be celebrating the holiday of Loy Krathong, an annual celebration of renewal in Thailand. A special menu of traditional dishes will mark the holiday, including Kanum Gean Geand Ped Gai (spicy red chicken curry with cool rice vermicelli), Kao Tom Mud (boiled rice with coconut cream, black beans and banana wrapped in banana leaves) and Rice Crispy Treats made with palm sugar and freshly harvested, glutinous rice. Saffron is loated at 3737 India St. in Middletown.
  • I love a great kitchen tool and found one at the market recently that will make freezing chicken, fish and other proteins much more palatable. Sure, I'd love to go to the market everyday for that day's meals but it's just not practical. The Ziploc vacuum pump and bags are an inexpensive way to draw air out of the freezer bag, which is what contributes to the deterioration of frozen food. It's easy to use and I'm impressed by how much air gets sucked out. Below is the salmon filet I'll be able to eat next week for dinner.
  • Olive harvesting is just beginning and I'm hurrying to finish my current batch of Temecula Olive Oils so I can get more oils from the new harvest. Today, I made croutons from a sourdough baguette from Bread & Cie. I sliced the baguette and tossed the slices in a bowl with Temecula Olive Oil Company's Roasted Garlic Olive Oil, minced fresh thyme and a little salt. Bake them for about seven minutes at 400 degrees. Watch them to make sure they don't burn. Mine came close!
  • I just bought a fascinating new book called The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. It's a compendium of ingredients and the herbs, spices, condiments and other foods that go with them. This is going to be a great resource for the times when I have something unusual that I've never cooked with and need to figure out what would work with it or to rethink and reconceive familiar ingredients to bring out new flavors.
  • Finally, Rey Knight of Knight Salumi Co. told me that he's setting up shop on Clairemont-Mesa Blvd. near the 163 freeway. Not only will you be able to buy his amazing products but he's going to offer tours to show how his salumi and other products are made. He expects to be opening sometime in mid-November. Stay tuned. Currently, you can find him at the Little Italy, Hillcrest and North Park farmers markets.
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Gourmet Club Has a Really Big Appetite

Hope you're hungry because we're doing some power eating on The Gourmet Club this week.

Our first guests are Dean Loring and Sky Gornic of Burger Lounge. With three locations -- in La Jolla, Kensington and now Coronado -- Burger Lounge is "the" place to double down on organic, all-natural Tallgrass Beef burgers. Add to that the house-cut fries, onion rings, real ice cream milkshakes and homemade cupcakes and you could get seriously full.

Still have some room? Good, because we'll also have Allessandro Minutella, owner of Chocolat (and Osetra, Graystone and Panevino) with us. Chocolat is an original Milano Creamerie and cafe in the Gaslamp, serving gelato (of course) as well as pastries, crepes, paninis and coffee.

If we can fit it in, I'll be talking about the wonderful Sun Flour Bagel and its marvelous Japanese rolls. And perhaps some recent farmers market finds.

So, tune in for the hour. The Gourmet Club is the tastiest meeting in town. Join Robert Whitley and me this Wednesday morning on from 11 a.m. to noon Pacific. You can also podcast the show and listen at your convenience.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

One Weird Ingredient, A Delicious New Twist on Breakfast

If you're from Wisconsin, cheese curds are all too familiar. But, in San Diego? Well, not so much. You can find them now through Spring Hill Jersey Cheese's Rachel Peter. I was at the Little Italy farmers market last Saturday, where she has a stall, and bought a container of the garlic curds (she also sells plain and "Mike's Firehouse," a blend of jalapenos, red peppers, cilantro and parsley).

Cheese curds, of course, are small chunks of cheese solids, separated from the whey. Usually, they're salted, pressed into molds, aged and eventually become cheese. But, curds can be eaten in youth on their own. They're an unusual texture sensation, though. As people who have eaten them will tell you, they tend to squeak when you bite into them.

There are a host of ways you can use cheese curds. They can be fried, they can be sprinkled fresh on top of a salad. You could simply put them in a bowl and just nosh on them. But, as I discovered, they also melt beautifully.

I had one of those moments of staring into the refrigerator this morning in search of inspiration for breakfast and when I saw the container sitting on the bottom shelf, it occurred to me that I could melt them on slices of sourdough bread from Bread & Cie. I had some beautiful tomatoes, too. So, I brushed two slices of the bread with olive oil and toasted them briefly in the toaster oven so they wouldn't get soggy from the tomato slices. I added the sliced tomatoes, then cut up little pieces of the garlic curds and topped the tomatoes and bread. They went back into the toaster oven on the highest "toaster" temperature. Here's what I got.

The cheese didn't lose its flavor in the cooking, although it obviously lost its squeak. It melts like mozzarella, so it would, of course, be perfect as a pizza topping. I enjoyed this for breakfast, but it would be a great match with a salad or bowl of soup for lunch or dinner. One of those great, easy discoveries when you don't want to fuss much.

Another item to try from Spring Hill is the quark, an unripened cheese originally found in Central Eastern Europe, but with a texture similar to cream cheese or ricotta. Eat it straight up, spread it on bread, use it as a topping on banana bread or a slice of lemon cake. I have a small container of their vanilla bean quark, which I've found is simply wonderful as a dip for sliced apples or pears. It's very tangy and smooth. Rachel also sells lemon and garlic flavors.

Garlic? Well, why not. And, here's a recipe for a savory Quark Spatzle with Cheese I found on It comes originally from East of Paris: The New Cuisines of Austria and the Danube by David Bouley, Mario Lohninger and Melissa Clark. The spatzle itself is made with quark. It calls for plain, but I would think garlic or even lemon would add a wonderful layer of flavor.

Want to make your own quark? It looks pretty easy, according to a recipe on Sally's Place.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blatant Self Promotion 2: Jam Sessions

My story on preserves is in today's San Diego Union-Tribune food section. I was so inspired by the work June Taylor and Jackie Anderson are doing.

June's preserves can be found at San Francisco's Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, along with a number of shops and on her web site. I'm hoping to go up to Berkeley someday soon and take one of her classes.

Jackie sells her preserves in San Diego at numerous farmers markets and online. I discovered her at my local market in Tierrasanta.

Both women are making remarkable preserves and enjoy helping others learn how to make their own. Now, it's time for me to try!

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sun Flour Bagel: Where Yiddishkeit Meets the Land of the Rising Sun

I have to say my grandparents would have been startled. A bagel shop owned by a Japanese family who also bake and sell traditional Japanese breads and buns. Unheard of in their day. In ours, just another example of globalism, I guess.

But, that's Sun Flour Bagel in Carlsbad. Owned by Mitsuhiro and Atsuko Numata and their two daughters, Mai and Megumi, Sun Flour Bagel is an unexpectedly marvelous suburban surprise. Cooking teacher and friend Mineko Moreno told me about it at lunch recently, describing the breads and pastries as deeply authentic and, for her, just like home back in Japan. That sounded irresistible, even if I was a little wary of what the bagels would be like.

Mitsuhiro Numata

The Numatas moved to the U.S. about six years ago, first landing in Miami. A management job for Mitsuhiro with Benihana then brought the family to San Diego. However, two-and-a-half years ago he and his family decided to open their own business. Looking around, he found the bagel shop, already in business for 15 years, and bought it, opening Sun Flour Bagel in July 2006. Of course, with a daughter, Megumi, who has been an avid baker since childhood, it made sense to create a shop that would satisfy both American and Japanese taste buds. The family has apparently succeeded. Not only do customers come from as far away as Laguna Beach and Chula Vista, the Numatas were approached by local Japanese markets to bake for their stores. The family declined, believing that the best way to keep the quality of their baked goods is to continue to make them in small quantities.

Atsuko, Mai and Megumi Numata

The Japanese breads actually take up a small part of the shop displays and are only sold on Wednesdays, Saturday and Sundays. Megumi, 20, bakes no more than 20 loaves of the soft, traditional white bread a day--all by hand and with no preservatives. Toast slices lightly and top with preserves or use thick slices for a perfect French toast. There are actually two versions of this bread. The other is studded with raisins, perfect for a comforting cinnamon toast on a chilly day. The loaves can be pre-cut in thick slices or thin slices or left intact. Just know that if you aren't planning on eating it all right away, it should put in the freezer.

Megumi takes slices of the white bread and creates her own interesting sandwich. She does a version of French toast and in between slices, adds a thin spreading of raspberry jam. You can find the "Cream Cheese Toast" in the display case with the buns.

Megumi, who first learned to bake from her mother, has been trained at a Tokyo baking school. She told me she'd like to open her own shop someday and is planning to return to Japan to work in a bakery to get more training in technique. But, these days, along with the breads, she makes about a dozen different kinds of filled buns, both savory and sweet, for the family shop.

One of my favorites was the curry bun. This traditional pastry draws on a Japanese version of Indian curry, also made from scratch by Megumi. The vegetable and beef curry is mild, creamy and flavorful, encased in a wheat flour bun, dipped in panko then fried. It's a rapturous melding of different textures and seasonings and reheats beautifully in the oven (about five minutes at 350 degrees) if you can't eat it in the shop.

Another lovely and surprising bun is the corn mayo, a flat pastry topped with a dab of mayonnaise and a bed of corn. It's very delicate and thoroughly enjoyable.

From top, clockwise: curry bun, sausage cheese bun, corn mayo

The sausage cheese bun, with dabs of ketchup in and out, could benefit from a better quality hot dog, but it's actually quite good in a pigs-in-a-blanket kind of way. I enjoyed it.

Megumi also makes the equivalent of little sandwiches, the yakisoba and the potato croquette. The yakisoba tastes just like the dish of thin noodles you'd get at a noodle shop, mixed with slivers of vibrant pink pickled ginger and flecks of cabbage, but set into a hot-dog shaped bun. The potato croquette, dipped in panko and fried, is right out of Japanese home-style cooking, down to the tonkatsu sauce (a ketchup and worcestercher-based sauce named for the dish it traditionally accompanies -- a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet).

Transitioning from savory to sweet is the neutral melon bun, named for its shape, not any melon flavor. It's a delicate texture and flavor containing just a hint of lemon. It's topped with sugar that gives it a nice crackle when you bite into it. Wonderful with a cup of tea.

From top, clockwise: chocolate cream bun, melon bun, custard cream bun and green tea cream and red bean bun

The red bean bun and the custard cream bun are very traditional, according to Mineko. While Megumi's red bean paste is smooth in texture, Mineko says that often you'll find whole pieces of red bean in the paste. The custard cream reminds her of the pastries her mother bought her when she was a child, except that the pastry of her youth was shaped like a cone instead of the oval bun that Megumi makes. Then, there was the chocolate cream, a twist on traditional Japanese pastries but upholding the style with its not-so-sugary sweet infusion of chocolate cream in the soft bun.

Of these sweet buns, the standout for me was the green tea cream and red bean bun. Megumi adds a touch of matcha, or powdered green tea, to her homemade custard, which, in turn, envelopes the ball of red bean paste. That was simply heaven to the taste buds.

Come for the Japanese breads, stay for the bagels. When Mitsuhiro learned I'm Jewish, he immediately presented me with a plate of bagel, lox and cream cheese. The bagel, an everything -- and I mean everything -- was open face, piled with cream cheese, capers, a slice of tomato, sliced red onion and topped by thick slices of lox (to be honest, I had grown up putting the tomato and onion on top of the lox but I liked this; the lox held everything below in place, making it much easier to eat).

It could have used just a squirt of lemon juice, but really, it was terrific. When I asked him if he boils his bagels before baking them (this creates the essential bagelness of the roll -- a soft, chewy interior with a crispy crust), he looked at me like I was meshugah. Of course, how else would you make bagels? (I had to tell him of the horror of Einstein Bagels, which doesn't boil their bagels; apparently they test marketed bagels and found that a round soft roll with a hole was more popular... In a word, Oy!)

Mitsuhiro, it turns out, learned how to make bagels in Japan. I thought he was pulling my leg, but he was serious. Apparently, bagels have become very popular in Japan, eaten with cream cheese or used for sandwiches. Sun Flour sells about 21 varieties, including a seasonal "Halloween" bagel, made with swirls of pumpkin-infused dough. I had that for breakfast this morning, toasted with just a slight schmear of cream cheese. Despite my preference for traditional bagels, I have to admit that this was delicious.

Sun Flour Bagel also has a tray filled with small bags of homemade sugar cookies made by Megumi. There are some little hearts, round chocolates and, currently, pumpkins and bats.

If I lived closer to Carlsbad, I'd be at Sun Flour Bagel weekly. As it is, I'm looking forward to my next visit to pick up bagels and to buy some of the pastries and bread. The buns are the perfect accompaniment to a pot of green tea. The little sandwiches make for a wonderful late afternoon snack or small dinner on a night I don't feel like cooking.

New traditions, Nana, new traditions.

Sun Flour Bagel is located at 6955 El Camino Real, Suite 105 in Carlsbad. It's about half a mile north of the La Costa Resort.

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

San Diego Foodstuff Miscellany

  • Celebrate the Craft: The Sixth Annual Celebrate the Craft, held at The Lodge at Torrey Pines from Oct. 30 through Nov. 2, brings together chefs, vintners, food producers and artists to celebrate the bounty of California. Celebrate the Chef events include a Picnic in the Park, Reception and Art Auction and Picnic on the Arroyo Terrace. Featured chefs include Jeff Jackson, Daniel Boling, Antonio Friscia, Christian Graves, Amiko Gubbins, Javier Plascencia, Andrew Spurgin and Carl Schroeder. You'll also find Brandt Beef, The Aniata Cheese Co., Bread & Cie, Catalina Offshore Products, Crows Pass Farms, La Milpa Organica Farm and Jack Fischer Confections. Tickets for Celebrate the Craft are $65. Tickets for The Torrey Pines Plein Air Invitational are $125. You can order them online here.
  • Want local beef? Yesterday, when I was on These Days a caller told us that his daughter and other kids who participate in the Future Farmers of America show their cows, pigs and other farm animals at the San Diego County Fair. According to the caller, the meat from animals that are slaughtered is available for purchase. Keep that in mind next summer when the Fair opens.
  • For those who missed Maddie's comment on my Too Many Farmers Markets entry: Hello, From the other side of the fence. We are a small family farm in Alpine Ca. We have an awesome array of fruits and vegetables, herbs and eggs. I am considering having a mailing list of consumers who are interested in getting an email from us, saying what we have this week and letting them have a choice. Right now we have lettuces, tomato, peas, green beans, apples, pears, raspberries, strawberries, gourds, pumpkins, eggs. What do you think? Maddie Ridgeline Farms,
    Certification# 3709CC81
  • The Gourmet Club will be dark next Wednesday. Both Robert and Maureen are out of town. We'll return Wednesday, Oct. 22 with some great guests. Stay tuned!

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Caron on KPBS' These Days on Wednesday Morning

On Wednesday, October 8th, I'll be a guest on These Days on KPBS radio at 10 a.m. Tom Fudge hosts the show and I'll be on with Victor Jimenez, executive chef/owner of Cowboy Star restaurant and butcher shop in the East Village to talk about beef. We'll cover everything from how cattle are fed (grass vs. grain) and different cuts of meat to the best ways to prepare them, favorite recipes and the best places to find great beef--restaurants, butcher shops and markets.

Tune in at 89.5 fm at 10 a.m. Pacific or go to the KPBS website to listen or podcast the show.

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Friday, October 3, 2008

Foodieview's Cupcake Taste Challenge

Last weekend I participated in a sweet experiment: the cupcake taste challenge. About half a dozen of us gathered at site owner Howie Wang's house in South Park, all bearing boxes of cupcakes from dessert shops around San Diego (I brought cupcakes from Michele Coulon and Heaven Sent). The idea was to compare red velvet cupcakes, but not all (including the places I went to) had them. So we did a red velvet cupcake challenge and an overall challenge.

As much fun as it sounds, it wasn't easy. We tasted 10 cupcakes and that can take its toll. But we had a good time and the great thing was that there were some outstanding cupcakes. Howie has just posted the detailed results with photos on his blog. So, go forth and take a look!

And, in case you're curious, my favorite red velvet was from Sprinkles.

I found it was the only one that had that slight chocolate flavor and that the cake and sour cream frosting worked nicely together. Overall, my favorite was Eclipse Chocolat's Chocolate Cupcake with Burnt Caramel Filling. It was moist and rich and I love Will's burnt caramel.

And, the winner is ... Go to Howie's blog to find out!

(Photos from

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