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Friday, April 17, 2015

Heather Hardison's Homegrown Is Basically the Cutest Gardening Book Ever

Posted By on Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 2:00 PM

  • Heather Hardison

Not quite a gardening manual, not really a cookbook, and certainly better illustrated than the Farmers’ Almanac, Heather Hardison’s beautifully designed Homegrown: Illustrated Bites From Your Garden to Your Table is the Berkeley illustrator’s effort at exporting the California obsession with freshness and seasonality to people in the rest of the country who are interested in eating more home-grown produce but who find the execution daunting.

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Ben & Jerry's and New Belgium Brewery Are Making an Ice Cream Beer

Posted By on Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 11:00 AM


Humphry Slocombe has been making beer ice cream for years, including Magnolia beer floats, and Smitten Ice Cream even used their liquid nitrogen to make ice cream with a substantial alcohol content, but until now, the opposite has been hard to find.

Not anymore. Ben & Jerry’s has partnered with New Belgium Brewing to create a Salted Caramel Brownie Brown ale, a special 6.3 ABV brew that’s expected to his shelves sometime this fall. Because both companies are socially minded B Corps, they’ll be using profits from this collaboration to support minimizing carbon pollution and supporting sustainable agriculture.

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Long Live Yeasty Dough at Los Gatos' Manresa Bread

Posted By on Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 8:00 AM

Manresa Bread in Los Gatos - TREVOR FELCH
  • Trevor Felch
  • Manresa Bread in Los Gatos

Thomas Keller branched out from The French Laundry with American comfort food at Ad Hoc and a Parisian bistro via Bouchon. Keller’s former French Laundry chef de cuisine followed the Francophile theme by opening Monsieur Benjamin four years after Benu. Coi’s Daniel Patterson and his DPG group seem to open a new venue or change an existing one every few months (Aster, Plum Bar + Restaurant, Alta CA, etc.). La Folie’s Roland Passot has Left Bank Brasseries around the Bay Area. Joshua Skenes of Saison soon will open Fat Noodle. Quince’s Michael Tusk later opened Cotogna, Acquerello has 1760, Chez Panisse has Chez Panisse Cafe…you get the picture. Prominent Bay Area chefs love opening a casual sequel.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

PETA is Partnering with a Notorious Arizona Sheriff to Reduce Prison Meat Consumption

Posted By on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 4:00 PM

  • Christopher Halloran/Shutterstock

In perhaps the oddest nonprofit synergy since the not-especially-health-conscious 7-Eleven baked pink ribbon-shaped donuts for Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is buddying up with 82-year-old Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio to get the entire US prison system to serve meat-less meals to inmates.

Yes, that would be the same Joe Arpaio who only yesterday lost a racial profiling case that determined that his office disproportionately targets Latinos for traffic stops, the same Joe Arpaio who’s staunch support for the anti-immigrant SB1070 led San Francisco’s city government to boycott of the entire state of Arizona for a time, and the same Joe Arpaio who uses his cruel mistreatment of prisoners to demagogue his way to re-election again and again in law-and-order Phoenix.

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S.F.'s 'Milk Maid' Wants to Help You Make Cheese

Posted By on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 2:00 PM

  • Louella Hill

Louella Hill was on a break from college, working at an agriturismo in Tuscany, when the neighboring farm needed help. It turned out to be a sheep dairy.

"The moment I walked into that milking parlor and saw the muddy backsides of those Sarda sheep, I knew it was destiny," she writes.
Hill, a San Francisco resident who regularly teaches how to make cheese at locations throughout the Bay Area under the moniker the Milk Maid, has now put her knowledge into book form, in Kitchen Creamery: Making Yogurt, Butter & Cheese at Home (Chronicle Books) with photographs by Erin Kunkel.

If you’re the type to ferment your own sauerkraut or brew your own beer, or even if you’re not but have been thinking about trying, making your own dairy products is probably the next step.

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That Sizzler Ad: A Close Reading of the Text

Posted By on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 11:00 AM


When I was eight, nine, and ten years old, I had my birthday dinners at Sizzler, where no one was going to stop me from eating a soft-serve appetizer and canned peaches in heavy syrup as an entrée. Years later, I asked my mother what the hell would possess her to take us to Sizzler.

“It was cheap and you kids liked it,” she said, exhaling from a puff on her Merit Ultra Light 100. (That Sizzler, in Floral Park, New York, finally closed its doors at the nadir of the recession.)

Suddenly, Sizzler's gone viral, and it's not because somebody disregarded the sneeze guard. It's because of an absurd promo that depicts lunch at Sizzler in such a light that it looks almost like a requirement for U.S. citizenship, or a step on the Noble Eight-fold Path to Enlightenment.

Just the idea that people once had the attention span to watch a commercial that lasts almost five full minutes tells you that 1991 was a very different time. It opens with a dog catching a Frisbee somewhere in the Heartland, and goes on to nail all the Morning Again in America tropes that give you all the feels: Women in hardhats holding blueprints, a cowboy and his cowgirl, a sea captain, a little girl hitting a line drive, cusp-of-retirement joggers, a man scratching his dog behind the ears, and a guy in a suit closing the deal on a very large cell phone outside his Mercedes.

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Grow a Living Wall for the Express Purpose of Making Cocktails

Posted By on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 8:00 AM

  • Shawna Coronado

Living walls, the toast of Dwell magazine, have been around for a while now. But more often than not, they’re purely ornamental, the equivalent of throw rugs for your vinyl siding. But now green lifestyle evangelist (and writer-photographer) Shawna Coronado, not content with decorative verticality, is putting these horticultural wonders to work.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Benu the Cookbook is Gorgeous (But Not to Be Cooked From)

Posted By on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 4:00 PM

  • Phaidon

One doesn’t buy a book like Corey Lee’s Benu thinking she’ll actually make something from it. After all, when an ingredient list for a dish simply called “oyster, kimchi, pork belly” calls for sodium hexametaphosphate, low-acyl gellan gum, calcium gluconate, Simplesse, xanthan gum and sodium citrate – and that’s for only one component, the kimchi whip, of an eight-component dish – recreating that in a home kitchen is probably not going to happen, unless the weekend is cleared, and one has access to a vacuum sealer, acetate sheets, a dehydrator, and a Robot Coupe.

No, one buys a book like Benu (Phaidon) to get inside the mind of a chef. And when the mind in question happens to be a chef who NYC's David Chang calls “one of the best chefs on the planet,” and the French Laundry’s Thomas Keller calls “a rare, precocious talent,” well it’s a fascinating look indeed. Lee will be appearing this Monday, April 20 at Omnivore Books to promote it.

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Today is McDonald's 60th Anniversary, Kinda

Posted By on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 2:01 PM

At the oldest extant McDonalds, in Downey, California. - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • At the oldest extant McDonalds, in Downey, California.

Although the McDonald brothers and later Ray Kroc had been serving hamburgers for years already, today is the 60th anniversary of McDonald’s as a franchised corporation. On April 15, 1955, a Mickey D’s opened up a Googie gem in Des Plaines, Illinois, selling cheeseburgers for 19 cents, milk shakes for 20 cents, and fries, coffee, and root beer for a dime each.

While the Golden Arches were already there, McDonald’s in 1955 was still using its original, pre-Ronald McDonald mascot, Speedee. (That Chicagoland location, not far from Hamburger University in Kroc’s hometown of Oak Brook, has since become the McDonald’s #1 Store Museum, which is not to be confused with the Big Mac Museum in Pennsylvania. While the McDonald Brothers’ original San Bernardino restaurant was eventually demolished, the Downey, California location remains the oldest existing store.)

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Get the Experts' Perspective on Food and SF, Courtesy of CUESA

Posted By on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 11:00 AM

Tacolicious Valencia - TACOLICIOUS
  • Tacolicious
  • Tacolicious Valencia

The San Francisco dining universe has always been in flux, but while tastes certainly shifted between the opening of the Tonga Room and the heyday of Jeremiah Tower’s Stars, never before has the restaurant scene been so closely tied to the fortunes and identity of the city itself. From the impact of a living wage on a family restaurant’s bottom line to the total transformation of marginal neighborhoods into dining destinations, food is remaking San Francisco just as much as San Francisco sets trends in food.

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