Keep it Covered Wednesday, Nov 28 2012 

I found this by accident when I was in the Crate and Barrel Outlet store a few weeks ago. It was only $1.50 — a great value. I use this microwave cover all the time.  How did I live without it? It saves on plastic wrap that always stuck to the food and it saves on microwave clean up. Every office and home should have a few of these covers.  Office microwaves get a lot of use, and unfortunately not much in the way of clean up. If you have an office microwave you know what I’m talking about. The microwave cover is vented to let steam out, yet protects against splatters, and it is dishwasher safe. You can find it here.

The Pantry Tuesday, Apr 10 2012 

Whether you are moving to your first home or just doing some Spring-cleaning, having a well-stocked pantry can make throwing together a quick meal much easier.  When cleaning out your pantry (which could be one cabinet to a walk-in closet, preferably away from heat and light), take out everything and check for expired items. Dispose of any expired items and donate any items you no longer use (unless the containers are open). Next, put dry goods in airtight containers that are labeled with the date. Then, organize your shelves by like items (oil and vinegar on one shelf, pastas and grains on another, etc.) Below you will find a list for stocking or re-stocking your pantry. You will then be able to create meals on the fly even if your fridge is bare. This will come in handy if there is a natural disaster, as well.

For a well stocked pantry start here, revise and make substitutions based on your dietary needs and tastes:

  • Vinegar (Balsamic, Red Wine, Apple Cider, Rice, White)
  • Oil (Olive, Extra Virgin Olive, Vegetable)
  • Soy Sauce
  • Honey
  • Hot Sauce
  • Hot Chili Oil
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard (Dijon, Grainy)
  • Bread Crumbs
  • Crackers
  • Cereal/Granola/Oatmeal
  • Rice (Jasmine, Long Grain, Brown, Arborio, Basmati, Etc.)
  • Grains (Couscous, Bulgur, Quinoa, Kasha, Etc.)
  • Pasta (Assorted Shapes)
  • Canned/Boxed Broth (Assorted Flavors)
  • Canned/Boxed Tomatoes (Whole Peeled, Crushed, Diced, Pureed)
  • Canned Soups
  • Marinara Sauce
  • Canned Tuna
  • Capers
  • Jam/Preserves (Assorted — if you bake, include Apricot)
  • Nuts (Assorted)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Raisins/Currants
  • Dried and Canned Beans/Lentils
  • Marinated Artichoke Hearts
  • Olives
  • Olive Paste
  • Canned Peppers (Diced Mild Green, Chipotle in Adobo, Roasted Red, Etc.)
  • Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • Dried Porcini Mushrooms
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Fresh Onions
  • Flour (All Purpose, Cake, Whole-Wheat, Etc.)
  • Sugar (Granulated, Brown, Confectioner’s, Etc.)
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Chocolate (Semi-Sweet and Unsweetened)
  • Corn Starch
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Spices (Assorted)

Where To Shop Sunday, Jul 11 2010 

ORGANIC/NATURAL GROCERY & SPECIALTY SHOPPES

  1. Alameda Natural Grocery – Alameda, CA http://www.alamedanaturalgrocery.com/retailer/store_templates/shell_id_1.asp?storeID=AE5AB4DB016748B1BA0E76226F298C63
  2. Arizmendi Bakery (great breads, pizza) – various locations http://www.arizmendibakery.org/
  3. Berkeley Bowl Marketplace – Berkeley, CA http://www.berkeleybowl.com
  4. Bi-Rite Market – San Francisco, CA http://www.biritemarket.com/
  5. Bryan’s Quality Meats – San Francisco, CA http://www.yelp.com/biz/bryans-quality-meats-san-francisco
  6. 4505 Meats — San Francisco, CA http://4505meats.com/4505-meats-butcher-shop
  7. Cheeseboard Collective (great cheese, bread & pizza) – Berkeley, CA http://cheeseboardcollective.coop/index.htm
  8. Beauty’s Bagel Shop — Oakland, CA http://www.beautysbagelshop.com
  9. Diablo Foods — 3615 Mt Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, CA 925-283-0737
  10. Haight Street Market – San Francisco, CA Haight Street Market
  11. Hapuku Fish Shop – Oakland, CA Hapuku Fish Shop
  12. Mill Valley Market, 12 Corte Madera Ave., Mill Valley, CA. 415-388-3222
  13. Monterey Fish Market – Berkeley, CA http://www.montereyfish.com/
  14. Monterey Market (great for produce) – Berkeley, CA http://www.montereymarket.com/
  15. Paradise Foods – Corte Madera, CA http://www.foodsofparadise.com/
  16. Real Food Company (delivery available) – San Francisco, CA http://www.realfoodco.com/retailer/store_templates/shell_id_1.asp?storeID=85CF1454F27047F58B04F3FC719A8669
  17. Woodlands Market – Kentfield, CA Woodlands Market
  18. Western Boat & Tackle for fresh seafood – San Rafael, CA http://www.westernboatshop.com/seafood_market.htm

HAVE IT DELIVERED — when you can’t get to the farmers market

  1. Eat Well Farm http://www.eatwell.com/
  2. Eat With The Season http://www.eatwiththeseasons.com/
  3. Farm Fresh To You http://www.farmfreshtoyou.com/index.php
  4. Organic Grocery Delivery https://www.spud.com/index.cfm?action=logout&L=1&t=0
  5. Tera Firma Farm http://www.terrafirmafarm.com/

FARMERS MARKETS

East Bay, CA

  1. Alameda Farmers Market  https://www.facebook.com/AlamedaFarmersMarket/
  2. Berkeley Farmers Market http://www.ecologycenter.org/bfm/
  3. El Cerrito Plaza Farmers Market http://farmersmarketonline.com/fm/ElCerritoPlazaFarmersMarket.html
  4. Grand Lake – Oakland Farmer’s Market
  5. Jack London Square Farmers Market – Oakland https://www.fahttps://www.facebook.com/jlsfarmersmarket/
  6. Kensington Farmers Market http://www.aboutkensington.com/farmersmarket.html
  7. Lafayette Farmers Market http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lafayette-CA/Lafayette-Farmers-Market/140191441192
  8. Montclair Village Farmers Market – Oakland http://www.urbanvillageonline.com/markets/montclair.php
  9. Old Oakland Farmers Market http://www.urbanvillageonline.com/markets/oldOakland.php
  10. Orinda Farmers Market http://www.cccfm.org/pages/orinda.htm
  11. Temescal Farmers Market – Oakland http://www.urbanvillageonline.com/markets/temescal.php
  12. Walnut Creek Farmers Market http://www.cccfm.org/pages/wc.htm

Daly City Farmers Market http://www.cafarmersmkts.com/daly-city-farmers-market

Marin, CA

  1. Marin Farmers Market a) Farmer’s Market  b) http://www.marinmagazine.com/Marin-Magazine/About-Marin-County/Marin-Grown/Farmers-Markets/
  2. Marinwood Community Farmers Market http://www.facebook.com/pages/San-Rafael-CA/Marinwood-Community-Farmers-Market/10150150123540311?v=wall
  3. San Rafael Farmers Market http://www.sanrafaelmarket.org/

San Francisco, CA

  1. Alemany Farmers Market http://sfgsa.org/index.aspx?page=1058
  2. Castro Farmers Market https://www.facebook.com/CastroFarmersMarket/
  3. Crocker Galleria http://www.cafarmersmkts.com/san-francisco-farmers-market-at-crocker-galleria
  4. Divisadero Farmers Market https://www.facebook.com/DivisaderoFarmersMarket/
  5. Ferry Plaza Farmers Market  http://www.cuesa.org/markets/
  6. Fillmore Farmers Market https://www.facebook.com/FillmoreFarmersMarket/
  7. Fort Mason Center http://www.cafarmersmkts.com/fort-mason-center-farmers-market
  8. Heart of The City Farmers Market http://heartofthecity-farmersmar.squarespace.com
  9. Inner Sunset Farmers Market https://www.facebook.com/InnerSunsetMarket/
  10. Stonestown Farmers Market https://www.facebook.com/StonestownFarmersMarket/info/

Eat Fresh Sunday, Jul 11 2010 

I love to eat good food. When you cook with fresh, in season ingredients you benefit from flavors at their peak. I like to cook simple dishes where you can really taste the freshness of the ingredients. For instance, in the summer when tomatoes and basil are at their peak I make a pasta dish with fresh tomatoes, basil & garlic. I just barely cook the garlic and tomatoes before adding it to the al dente pasta. Then sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top — simple, easy and delicious. We are lucky to have so many places to buy fresh, locally produced food in the San Francisco Bay Area. I have compiled a list, “Where To Shop,” of places to try – from specialty shops to farmers markets. The List

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