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Anticipating Japanese Food

IMG 0304 300x225 Anticipating Japanese FoodBy Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

I’m sure there are some poor cooks in Japan. I just haven’t run into them.

This is a huge generalization, having been to just two cities – Tokyo and Kyoto – and just once, for a two-week vacation. But it seems that everywhere we ate, from the exquisite tempura restaurant, to the casual mom and pop eatery, even to the 7-Eleven, the food was consistently good.

I hope I won’t be proven wrong on my second visit to Japan this week.

In anticipation of my trip, I’ve gathered a collection of 30-minute prep Japanese recipes from the Special Fork database for this week’s post, to get us all in the mood. Continue Reading »

Bath Street Inn Blintz 300x225 Recipes from a Santa Barbara B&B

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

There’s a palpable sense of calm and an air of gracious hospitality at the Bath Street Inn in Santa Barbara, California. So it didn’t surprise me to learn that Marie Christensen had worked as a licensed marriage and family counselor, and that Deborah Gentry had been in human resources before they became inn owners. Both are “people” people and it shows in the warmth of their welcome.

The 1890s house has been an inn for the past 33 years, and the current owners celebrated their 15th anniversary as its innkeepers this September. Steve and I were guests at the inn for a long weekend this summer. Continue Reading »

Caramelized Onion Fig and Goat Cheese Tartlets Sandy 300x225 A Tour of a Genetic Library and a Taste of Figs

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

Many of us finally “got” the importance of plant diversity when we tasted our first heirloom tomatoes. Instead of the rock-hard, perfectly shaped and beguilingly red but tasteless supermarket variety, we were shocked to encounter an astounding array of colors and flavors.

These heirlooms came in a multitude of hues – yellow, green, purple, pink, orange, burgundy. Some were big and others were small, some were striped; most were misshapen. They boasted a range of tastes from sweet to tart. We experienced such variety that defied a single description of what a tomato should look like or taste like.

Those tomatoes were in danger of extinction until chefs took up their cause, farmers’ markets became fashionable and supermarkets caught the heirloom trend. Continue Reading »

Discovering Hatch Chiles

Chile Rellenos 300x225 Discovering Hatch Chiles

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

Having returned from Special Fork’s annual summer hiatus, we’re back at work and raring to go! While we enjoyed our time off, all was not play since we were busy gathering material for upcoming blog posts, such as today’s exploration of Hatch Chiles.

My curiosity was piqued when I received a teaser gift package from Molly Stone’s Markets and Melissa’s/World Variety Produce, Inc., announcing a schedule of Hatch Chile roasting days in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Not having cooked with Hatch Chiles myself and spurred by the invitation, I was at Molly Stone’s Pacific Heights market on the appointed roasting day to purchase my chiles at the produce counter. Then it was off to the parking lot to have them roasted in the rotating gas drum until the chiles were blackened and blistered. Packed hot into a plastic bag so they would steam in transit (which made our car smell heavenly), the chiles were ready to peel by the time I returned home. Continue Reading »

Gone fishin’

Summer break 300x300 Gone fishin

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

Special Fork will return from summer hiatus next Monday, September 8, with new recipes, cooking tips and food features.

Please check back with us then. In the meantime, have a great, restful Labor Day!

Sandy and Dave

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.

Grilled Corn Poblano Salad 300x225 Labor Free Labor Day Dishes

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 recipes for Labor Day.

Labor Day is a day to kick back and take a holiday from work. And that means, a holiday from the kitchen, too. So we’ve gathered some low-prep recipes for picnics, parties and backyard barbecues.

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

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.

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