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Lauren Keene

Julie Cross: At least we can be ‘healthy-ish’

It’s January, which means the bars are empty, the gyms are full and life is very boring for the cook. While plain steamed vegetables are all very good for you, they don’t offer much scope for culinary creativity. They also don’t offer much in the way of longevity — plain steamed vegetables are not in the […]

Winter treats to keep you warm inside

Next month, I promise, we’ll return to healthier fare: lots of winter greens, legumes, whole grains. For the moment I’m not quite done with party food, and those delicious bites I eat only during the holidays. Why not? It’s cold and dark and wet (yay!) and that’s a very good time to share something nice […]

December 17, 2015 | Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged ,

Give thanks for vegetables

One of the reasons that we love Thanksgiving is a that everything is a little fancy: the guests, the table, the dishes and even the vegetables are all dressed up. The vegetables in particular benefit from that — if your usual veg choices are steamed broccoli and plain green beans, the addition of cream, nuts or […]

November 18, 2015 | Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged ,

Fall: The pumpkin spice of life

Once upon a time, dear readers, there was no such thing as Pumpkin Spice Season. Fall was all apples until you got to Thanksgiving and the brief appearance of pumpkin pie, then it was straight into Christmas with peppermint and eggnog. Once the pumpkin spice latte was invented, it was all over. We now have […]

October 21, 2015 | Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged ,

Look around locally for the good stuff

September is Eat Local month, and this morning, like most mornings over the last 10 years or so, my breakfast was made with local ingredients: bread from Village Bakery, marmalade from D Madison & Daughters, eggs from Vega Farms, coffee from the Pepper Peddler. The butter and milk were from Clover, a little less local but […]

September 16, 2015 | Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged ,

Back-to-school lunches to ease the disappointment

It’s time for kids to head back to school and parents to a more regular routine. While some of us are always super-glad for fall, others are deeply saddened by the end of summer vacation. That sadness reaches a peak at lunchtime, when, instead of lobster rolls, ice cream and beer of some sort, we […]

August 19, 2015 | Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged ,

Relishing the good things

Once upon a time, before baby carrots and hummus and even before spinach dip, we had the relish tray. This bright harbinger of good times was a feature at every really good social event, on a seasonally appropriate platter for indoor events and snugly packed into special Tupperware (now a hot item on eBay) for […]

July 15, 2015 | Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged ,

Side dishes can be the star of your backyard barbecue

Much like Thanksgiving, the best part of summer grilling is the side dishes. I’m not much interested in whether you’re grilling steak or hot dogs: I’m at the side table seeing what’s new. Summer grilling is a great place for very traditional recipes (my Mom’s baked beans, unchanged), traditional recipes updated (a mayo-free carrot raisin […]

Delights from the deep freeze

Regular readers of this column have probably figured out by now that it’s pretty much a glorified food journal — whatever I’m cooking and eating is what you’ll read about the following week. Since I am now the proud owner of a teeny-tiny chest freezer, it stands to reason that this is a column about things […]

June 18, 2015 | Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged ,

Not by bread alone

Left to myself, I’d probably eat a sandwich for every meal. Part of that is my inordinate fondness for good bread, and part, frankly, is that I cook for a living, leaving me slightly less ambitious in the cooking department after work. The majority, however, is that sandwiches done right are the perfect package: grainy […]

May 22, 2015 | Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged ,

Will the drought hit your kitchen?

According to the latest USDA forecast “California Drought 2014-15: Food Prices and Consumers”, food prices aren’t expected to increase more than usual, that is a 2-3 percent increase over last year. (They note, however, that the 2005 drought resulted in a 4-percent increase, and they do update forecasts regularly.) Even a 2-percent increase can seem like a lot […]

April 15, 2015 | Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged ,

Choppin’ broccoli: Get your vegetables

You know you should eat more vegetables. You want to eat more vegetables. Sometimes you even have the vegetables, but don’t eat them. Well, how about a little help from your friends? The Davis Food Co-op hopes to apply the co-op ideal that “we’re stronger together” to the vegetable problem by using a group project […]

March 18, 2015 | Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged ,

Soup’s on for savings

I was delighted to discover that Gabriella Hamilton’s new cookbook, “Prune,” has a chapter, tucked in among those on brunch, desserts and cocktails, titled “Garbage.” From both a fiscal and an environmental perspective, restaurants can’t afford to throw away useful food, so it makes perfect sense for a restaurant-based cookbook to address uses for fish skeletons […]

February 18, 2015 | Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged ,

Cut out the sugar in the morning

Breakfast is a lovely meal. Pancakes, French toast, donuts, cereals of all kinds, muffins, mimosas, mochas — who doesn’t love breakfast treats? The problem is, of course, that they are very very sweet, and we are meant to be eating less sugar. That’s the inclusive “we” – all of us are supposed to limit our added […]

January 21, 2015 | Posted in Food & Drink | Tagged ,
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