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Posted by on May 27, 2016 | 0 comments

A Beginner’s Guide to Sushi

A Beginner’s Guide to Sushi

Being stuck inside all last weekend because of the rain was the perfect opportunity to make sushi, something I’ve been wanting to try for a while. I purchased many of the supplies at Streets Market in Del Ray — they have a great selection of Asian ingredients. And to make the sushi even easier to roll, I put the nori on the outside. For sushi all you need is: Nori (roasted seaweed sheets) Sushi rice Filling of your choice A really, really sharp knife For my sushi, I cooked 1 1/2 cups of dry sushi rice (yield 4 cups cooked). While the rice cooked (about 20 minutes) I peeled and sliced half a cucumber, half an avocado and about two ounces of smoked salmon. When the rice the done and cooled, I added about 1 T of rice wine vinegar for added seasoning. To assemble the sushi, I placed one sheet of nori on a cutting board and spread about 3/4 cup cooked rice, leaving about an inch at...

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Posted by on May 25, 2016 | 0 comments

DIY Apéritifs: Homemade Vermouth

DIY Apéritifs: Homemade Vermouth

Today, we welcome Renee Johnson, as our guest blogger, telling us all about her adventures in learning how to make vermouth. My husband, Jeff, and I decided to make vermouth after attending an event at the U.S. Botanical Garden in April. The event, “The Herbal Apéritif: A Tasting Journey of Vermouth,” was hosted by vermouth makers Dwight Grimm and Leigh van Swall, who own Little Alchemist Herb Farm and Distillery in the Catkills, New York. Many notable vermouths are made in France, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom where the tradition of flavoring wine with herbs and fruit evolved into the making of vermouths and apéritif wines (also called aromatized or fortified wines). Apparently, in the 1940s, there were 225 vermouth-makers in the United States, and martinis were made with more vermouth (and less spirits) than they are today. I highly recommend following  Renato Vicario, the author of Italian Liqueurs, History and Art of a Creation. Making vermouth at home is easy using cheap wine and a spirit, such...

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Posted by on Mar 24, 2016 | 2 comments

A Hamantaschen How-To

A Hamantaschen How-To

Growing up, hamantaschen were my favorite cookies. I lived close to Holy Bagel on Masonic and Haight in San Francisco (this fabulous institution no longer exists). On my way to school most mornings, I would pick up one of their giant apricot hamantaschen and a cup of coffee at Holy Bagel. This was such a heavenly combination. Hamantaschen is a popular cookie during Purim, a Jewish holiday. This year, Purim begins Wednesday and ends on Thursday – don’t worry, you still have time to make these delicious treats. My mom usually sends me a box of home made Hamantaschen every year for Purim. This year, I asked her to send me the recipe, so I could learn to make them. I love baking and enjoy adding new cookies to my repertoire. The ingredients are pretty basic. Dry ingredients first: 4 cups of flour 1/2 cup of sugar 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon orange zest 1/2 teaspoon salt Wet ingredients: 4 eggs 1/2 cup of oil 1/4 cup fresh...

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Posted by on Mar 14, 2016 | 1 comment

The Perfect Pour Over

The Perfect Pour Over

When it comes to a great cup of coffee, I prefer to make myself a pour over. A few years ago, I took a class at Swing’s where they taught me how to make a pour over along with other types of manual brew methods. It was a great class. You can get all of the supplies I mention in this post at Swing’s. Here are the supplies you need for a precise pour over: Swan neck kettle Coffee grinder V-60 ceramic coffee dripper Gram scale V-60 filters Coffee beans Mug Here are the supplies you need for a not so precise cup (don’t worry it will still be good): V-60 ceramic coffee dripper V-60 filters Coffee beans Mug You can use a regular kettle, but I love and highly recommend the swan neck kettle. I helps you give a slow and precise pour. Place your coffee dripper over your mug. I start off by rinsing the filter with hot water. You don’t want to taste anything but the...

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Posted by on Feb 18, 2016 | 0 comments

Making an Immune-Boosting Fire Cider Tonic

Making an Immune-Boosting Fire Cider Tonic

To ward off colds and flu during these remaining weeks of winter, I made an immune-boosting tonic with some friends called fire cider. Together, we concocted a terrifically spicy blend known for its healing powers using a mixture of spices, vegetables, and fruits that we bought at our local market. We used fresh horseradish root, turmeric root, ginger root, onion, jalapeno and habanero peppers, oranges, garlic, rosemary, and honey. Although the recipes for the traditional folk recipe vary somewhat, they all say to steep everything in apple cider vinegar. We gathered the ingredients, and then peeled, grated and spent the next hour chopping and dicing everything… This extremely pungent horseradish root packs a mean sinus-clearing punch. And look how bright and orange fresh turmeric is when bought as a root. We put everything into a big pitcher. Eventually, the mixture is strained, so it’s okay to have big chunks floating around in it. We transferred the mixture into jars and then covered them with saran wrap before putting the...

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