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best blt crop 300x237 You like Tomato; I like Tomahto...

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

Special Fork is on its annual summer hiatus. We will be off until the Monday after Labor Day, September 8.

In the meantime, please check out this week’s Special Fork Pinterest board featuring tomato recipes and tips, to take advantage of the peak tomato season.

From salads to sandwiches, pasta sauces to tomato handling tips, we’ve gathered a great collection of tomato ideas.

Please check back each week until we return for a link to a new Pinterest board of summer recipes. We’ll be posting every Monday. Continue Reading »

Cool Summer Sippers

Summer Sangria 300x225 Cool Summer Sippers

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

Special Fork is on its annual summer hiatus. We will be off until the Monday after Labor Day, September 8.

In the meantime, please check out this week’s Special Fork Pinterest board featuring refreshing drinks for summertime sipping.

We’ve collected a variety of drink recipes to help you chill out. Some are made by the glass and some are made in batches; many feature fresh fruits and herbs. Alcoholic or virgin – they all promise to taste simply delicious!

Please check back each week until we return for a link to a new Pinterest board of summer recipes. We’ll be posting every Monday.

Enjoy the last month of summer!

Special Fork is a recipe website for your smartphone and PC that solves the daily dinnertime dilemma: what to cook now! Check out our recipe database for quick ideas that take no more than 30 minutes of prep time. Follow us on Facebook , Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Vacation Cooking

sloppy joe tacos crop 300x225 Vacation Cooking

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

Instead of a hotel, it’s quite the “in” thing these days to rent an apartment or home while on vacation. Last spring, we used Airbnb  to find apartments in Paris and Provence.

Renting an apartment or home means more space to spread out comfortably beyond the confines of a hotel bedroom. And having a kitchen enables you to experience local farmers’ markets, not just as a sightseer, but as an active participant, as you shop for meals – a great way to immerse yourself in day-to-day life. Cooking at home also is a money-saver, since you don’t have to frequent a restaurant for all your meals (although, of course, you’ll want to dine out, too). Continue Reading »

A Peachy Adventure

Easy Peach Crisp 300x225 A Peachy AdventureBy Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

I suspect U-pick farms are like Tom Sawyer whitewashing the fence. Remember how crafty Tom got his friends to pay for the privilege of doing his chore?

We city dwellers will gladly pay to work as farmhands to pick crops for the pleasure of breathing in fresh country air and getting in touch with nature. Aside from a fun outing, there are other good reasons to pick your own. What could be fresher than fruit plucked right off the trees? And certainly picking your own is substantially cheaper than market prices.

So last week, the whole family piled into two cars and headed to Brentwood in East Contra Costa County, about an hour and a half’s drive from San Francisco, where U-pick farms and roadside stands abound. Having reviewed the Brentwood Harvest Time website, we selected Wolfe Ranch, a well-manicured orchard and home to Elberta peaches, for our farm experience. Continue Reading »

Bahn Mi cropped 300x223 My Favorite Summer Meals

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

I don’t do any serious cooking during the summer. Much as I love my kitchen, I avoid standing over a hot stove when the weather in sweltering.

So what to eat? Here are some easy summer ideas: Continue Reading »

Capturing a Taste of Summer 300x225 Capturing a Taste of SummerBy Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

I know it’s only mid-July, but I can’t help feeling summer slipping away. Like being on vacation, the first half goes slowly, as though the pleasurable days will go on endlessly. But the second half speeds up and before you know it, vacation is over and you’re back to daily routines.

Don’t you wish you could make this summer last a little longer? Warm weather, long days; a bounty of the best produce…?

While we can’t control the weather or prolong the sunset, we can do something about the produce. We can capture a taste of summer by preserving or freezing some of it to enjoy later. Continue Reading »

Teriyaki Burgers Sandy 300x225 It’s Always Time for BurgersBy Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

The Fourth of July may have come and gone, but burgers are on my menu year-round. They’re easy on the budget, quick to fix, and convenient to eat, with meat and veggies tucked in a hand-held bun.

When I travel on business and need room service, I usually choose a burger because it’s consistently good and always reasonably priced. Some of the other menu items may sound enticing but there’s no guarantee the hotel can meet expectations.

If you saw the recent New York Times story, Sam Sifton maintains that the best burgers are not cooked directly on the grill, but in a cast iron pan so the burger cooks in its own fat. Continue Reading »

Durgin Park’s Boston Baked Beans 300x225 Baked Beans and Fourth of July Fixins’

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

Having moved from Hawaii upon graduation from college, my first home on the Mainland was Boston. And for a history buff, celebrating the Fourth of July in the hotbed of the American Revolution was thrilling. It brought textbook tales to life in a way that was unimaginable studying history at Hilo High School.

One of the highlights of that summer was dining at the iconic Durgin-Park, experiencing a traditional New England dinner at communal tables under the bustling service of surly waiters. In addition to a memorable meal, I took away with me the baked beans recipe from the restaurant and I’ve continue to make it for many a Fourth of July cookout since. Continue Reading »

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