When our children were very young, I commented to my husband that they must have thought he was pure magic. We’d wave him off every morning with excitement, then go about our day with a predictable routine. His arrival home in the evening was always met with ecstatic enthusiasm, little legs …

While health food enthusiasts sing the praises of kale, transforming the plant into smoothies and chips or adding the greens to casseroles and burgers, there is one medicinal plant that deserves at least as much attention: the dandelion green. As dandelion greens grow anywhere from front law…

When the Downtown Los Altos Farmers’ Market returned Thursday, familiar vendors reappeared, a few were missed in their absence and a few new faces debuted. Menlo Park-based newcomer Little Sky Bakery’s reputation clearly preceded it – the enormous cookies, pull-apart challah rolls and whole-…

The cooking method for my asparagus risotto recipe is not traditional, but even without constant stirring, the result is excellent. Traditional risotto is very creamy, and the rice is firm to the bite. You’ll find the rice continues to absorb liquid as it sits after cooking.

It is undeniably fresh and floral outside as spring breezes cross our backyards and the season awakens. I find myself wanting a glass of fresh and floral, too. Cue the world of German and Austrian white wines, which represent an exciting area of spring sipping for oenophiles not already fami…

Local Jewish families and their friends and neighbors are celebrating a second Passover-at-a-distance this week. The weeklong holiday, which began last Saturday and ends Sunday evening, saw an explosion of delivery innovations this year as people experimented with how to assemble ritual food…

One of the highlights of living in California is our easy access to world-class wine destinations. A weekend spent touring one of our local wine regions sat firmly at the top of my list of favorite ways to celebrate big birthdays and anniversaries, enjoy reunions with friends or entertain ou…

With the pandemic disrupting San Francisco Beer Week this year, the Bay Area Brewers Guild teamed up with six other regional guilds throughout the state to organize California Craft Beer Week from February 12-21. While large gatherings and festivals won’t be happening this year, breweries ar…

As we’ve been living this sheltering-in-place life, love has been front and center. It’s love that has us wearing masks for the sake of protecting not just ourselves, but the more vulnerable in our communities.

While beer, wine and spirits get most of the attention in the world of craft alcoholic beverages, San Diego’s Billy and Suzanna Beltz believe that mead’s time has come. Mead is a beverage made with fermented honey and various adjunct ingredients, and while it is often associated with Renaiss…

For a few years now, I’ve been projecting that craft lagers would be the “next big thing” in the beer world, something to dethrone hazy IPAs from their dominant place on brewery taplists everywhere. It took a global pandemic to make it happen, but lagers seem to have moved into a more promin…

If there is one consistent item that has been missing from supermarket shelves during the lockdown, it’s yeast. People have been buying yeast like never before, and social media has been saturated with home cooks posting warm and fuzzy photos of baguettes, pizzas and banana bread baked from …

As I write this, it’s foggy and autumnal outside. It’s been a week of normal fall days – morning mist giving way to sunny, blue skies. Yet what was once considered run-of-the-mill weather fills me with gratitude. It has been an especially helpless-feeling fire season thus far. Poor air quali…

As the cool fall weather rolls in and restrictions on indoor dining continue to be extended, a beer and a meal outdoors remains one of the simple pleasures still available in 2020. Under state guidelines, breweries and beer bars can only serve beer on premises if it is accompanied by a “bona…

You may have noticed over time that I’m a big fan of Angostura aromatic bitters. Aside from being a mainstay in cocktails like Manhattans, bitters adds an amazing yet subtle flavor dimension to so many foods. It was developed in Trinidad in 1824, and is used widely in foods throughout the Ca…

Since 2010, the Opening Gala in San Francisco has been the traditional kickoff to SF Beer Week, featuring hundreds of beers crafted in the Bay Area. The event typically brings beer lovers from around the Bay Area, sometimes generating long lines to enter, then more lines inside for particula…

If you’re bored with making the same traditional chicken curry, consider trying Chicken Xacuti (“sha-kooti”), an intense curry from Goa, a state in western India. Goa’s long history as a Portuguese colony prior to 1961 is evident in its preserved 17th-century churches and the area’s tropical…

Cafe Vitale has been known as a tiny Italian staple of Los Altos’ Loyola Corners neighborhood for a decade, and when the coronavirus pandemic closed indoor dining, patrons swung by to show their support in orders of pizza, pasta or tiramisu.

Variety is the spice of life, so the saying goes. With the rinse-and-repeat nature of our stay-at-home days, variety can be in short supply. Let’s flip the old adage a bit and use spice to bring variety. A pantry stocked with globe-hopping flavors will help your dinner table become an escape…