• Posted by Califia Suntree on December 9th, 2010, 3:25 PM

    I know it’s not “artisanally correct” of me, but I love instant oatmeal. I prefer the texture to quick oats, and while I love Irish steel-cut oatmeal, I don’t have time to wait 45 minutes for a hot breakfast. With instant, you just dump in your boiling water, add some trail mix or granola for texture, and there you go. However, it pains me to buy it — all that wasteful packaging (you can only buy it in those stupid single-serve packets for some reason) and the price is fully three times or more the price of bulk oats. Unless you make your own, of course. Read on… »

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on December 6th, 2010, 11:00 AM

    Q: I had some leftover apples, so I decided to make applesauce. It turned out OK, but I wonder if you have a recipe for it? And any recommendations on the best apples to use? Also, I wanted to avoid added sugar so I used ginger and nutmeg (because I didn’t have cinnamon). Any other ideas on seasoning?

    This is the perfect time of year to make applesauce (or pie, or butter, or cider), as the markets are loaded with apples that aren’t perfect, autumnal, just-picked beauties, but we aren’t yet sick of them as we may be come spring. (For me, when the first berries appear, apples become but a distant memory until September). Also, the wintry months are ideal for all those dishes that naturally go with applesauce: potato pancakes, stuffed pork loin, noodle kugel, goose. Read on… »

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on November 24th, 2010, 8:53 AM

    Happy day-before-Thanksgiving, America’s biggest grocery shopping/travel torture day! We should start calling it Black Wednesday, shouldn’t we? For everyone’s mood? Anyway, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays in part because it’s secular and specific to our country—as a nonreligious person, it’s nice to feel part of something—and in part because it’s all about cooking and eating. (OK, and family and gratitude and la la la.) As everyone heads out to shop for tomorrow’s dinner, here are some tips to keep you from breaking the bank and still feed your loved ones to the point of near coma, like the Pilgrims intended: Read on… »

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on November 9th, 2010, 4:51 PM

    Yes, the food is important at Thanksgiving (or any feast). But so is presentation. In fact, gorgeous dishes makes it more likely that lumpy gravy, dry turkey or (gasp!) canned cranberry sauce will be overlooked. So click on over to the Spooning shop and have a gander at the bountiful harvest of Thanksgiving dishes and accessories just waiting to be snapped up! Then you can relax about the turkey…

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