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  1. Thanks to both of you. That's just the info I was looking for.
  2. Hi. I'd appreciate your help on this one. We recently learned that an elderly family member's blood sugar is very high; she'll soon be getting daily insulin injections. She's a bit frail, so we don't want to take any chances with her diet. It seems there may be several Thanksging dessert options: - Serve a seasonal fruit plate (perhaps sliced pears, almonds and gorgonzola or cantal?) - Serve a sugar-free pumpkin pie or cheesecake (using Splenda) - if they're any good. - Skip dessert altogether and make another side dish What are your thoughts? Have you had any luck with sugar-free substitutes for baking? If so, what recipes or sources have have worked for you?
  3. I agree with all of the suggestions the posters have already provided. One more to consider: Cucina (Italian in nearby San Anselmo with an amazing wine list). Have fun! You can't go wrong with anyone's suggestions.
  4. I like a good rub. It adds another dimension to the crispy pulled pork bits, and seems to make the ribs go even better with the sauce. A little chili/paprika/onion power/what-have-you makes pulled pork sing. And a brown sugar concoction makes my the Memphis-style ribs (and my tummy) very happy. The wrong rub, however, can hurt an otherwise great barbeque. I'm probably in the minority here, but the pepper on the famous "Divine Mr. Brown" overhelms it all.
  5. Williams-Sonoma now has an "exclusive" KitchenAid Professional 620 stand mixer, for sale for a mere $899.95. Here's the link: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/e1...m?pkey=celtmxai As far as I can tell, the only things that make it different than the several hundred dollars cheaper Pro 600 versions are: a) a metal "clad" rather than "finish" in copper or nickel alloy, b) possibly (not sure) a new dough hook shape and c) a seriously high price. Same dimensions, capacity, wattage (not that it's a clear indicator), features as the Pro 600. Are people willing to pay double the price for "pretty" or did I miss something?
  6. I love it! Perhaps we serve it up with little spear-like spoons?
  7. A close friend will be celebrating a significant birthday in the next few weeks. Since he's crazy about wild animals, particularly cheetas, panthers and jaguars, his wife has planned a safari for him at a nearby outdoor zoo; a surprise party will follow in other friends' home. The party will have a safari theme. I've been asked to provide some safari appetizers. Ideally, they'll be dishes that can be prepared ahead of time and may not require additional oven time (others may need to use ovens for the rest of the meal and the surprise nature may make the timing questionable). So bring it on! What suggestions do you have? Here are a couple of beginning ideas: - A savory zebra stripe/marble cheesecake (perhaps goat cheese with tapenade swirls?) -"Rainforest tacos": lettuce leaves surrounding a minced chicken or porK filling -dip with cheetah spots (hummus with olives?) -furry food? -finger food on rosemary spikes for tails? I look forward to your suggestions!
  8. Totally serious about the cream of mushroom soup casserole. It's an Iowa classic. You can't go to someone's home without being served a green bean/cream of mushoroom soup/onion ring casserole or "Chinese Casserole" with hamburger, cream of mushroom soup, and soy sauce topped with crunchy chinese noodles that look suspiciously like canned onion rings. I could go on, but you get the picture. And the loose meat/Maid Rite sandwiches, for some reason, really are quite good (maybe it's the memories that come with them). Somehow, they only taste right if you're sitting at a formica countertop at the Maid Rite - you can't duplicate this simple dish at home.
  9. Des Moines: Cream of Mushroom soup/canned onion ring casseroles "Open face beef sandwich": wonder bread, covered with well done slice of roast beef, topped with scoop of mashed potatoes, then gravy "Loose meat sandwiches"
  10. http://www.sfgate.com/food/ , the Chronicle's food review area has lots of listings, including 11 in Sunnyvale. The advanced search feature should give you what you're looking for. Good luck!
  11. I've been enjoying this thread. We recently moved to the North Bay, and have been checking out what Sonoma and other towns have to offer. We recently tried the Girl & the Fig for lunch and had an enjoyable meal on the back patio. Great atmoshere! Last night, we had an exceptional dinner at the General's Daughter. I'm convinced that Sonoma is one of the best kept secrets for restaurants!
  12. We tried Fish last night, based on the recommendations on this thread. It was quite casual (picnic tables and blankets to wrap yourself up; lots of people with dogs) and the food was quite good. The crab rolls were excellent with a generous amount of warmed crab meat no "filler", but they did "something special" : all four of us have been talking about it ever since.
  13. I second Sushi Ran for good sushi! There's also a nice French restaurant, Bistro 330, and a good Mediterranean restaurant, Insalata, both in San Anselmo. Neither are terribly "fancy", but they are consistently very good. Finally, consider going to Kitchen in Novato. It's not ethnic, but it has well-prepared, upscale, unusual food in a nice atmosphere.
  14. What do you think of the Meritage Oyster Bar, just off Sonoma's square? We had appetizers there for the Sonoma Jazz & Wine fest, and were fairly impressed. Is the rest of the meal as good?
  15. Thanks so much for all the information! I've only tried one class so far - Essential Knife Skills at Viking Home Chef - and it was okay, but not one that motivated me to "sign right up" for a 10 class series.I'll check out the options that all of you have mentioned. Has anyone tried the Sur La Table classes? They sound interesting as well.
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