Recently in Dining & Travel category:

Way back when, hotelier Leona Helmsley was charged with tax evasion and she became Public Enemy #1. A clever ad campaign lured guests back with the line… “Say what you want, she runs a helluva place!” That’s the way I feel about Los Angeles. I don’t know why, but I used to harbor suspicions about the place, that it was all just a big phony…

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Tiny little heads of cauliflower, no bigger than a dolls-head. These were the most colorful I’d ever seen in magnificent shades of vivid purple and deep orange. Although America is known as the land of HUGE food, these tiny baby carrots are tender and very sweet. My first week as a cook at Chez Panisse, I spent a few hours peeling a case of them…only…

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Sonoma County

Just a short drive across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, Sonoma County is a gorgeous winemaking region about an hour north (unless you’re me and have a horrible sense of direction and get lost…then it will take longer.) But once you arrive, you’ll find that Sonoma boasts world-class cheesemakers like Ig Vella who makes Sonoma Dry Jack, a hard grating cheese whose exterior…

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In case you’d like to read a first person account of my Holiday Chocolate Baking class in Seattle, Gluten-Free Girl came by to visit and posted about it at her site And Sam posted about my class (and proposal) at Becks & Posh in San Francisco as well. Seems like I’m leaving a few broken hearts in my wake!

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Rome, Italy

In Rome, I was happy to relax a bit in my friend’s apartment between eating and sightseeing. I had brought some books to read, but I was thrilled to discover on the bookshelf one book I’ve wanted to sit down and read for some time, but never got around to it…

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The famous Italian “30-Second Breakfast” of a espresso and a pastry, consumed quickly at the counter, before sprinting off on your Vespa, is one of the charms of Italy. The coffee is so good no matter where you go, from small corner caffès to trattorias and pizzerias, the end of a good meal is always punctuated with a shot of espresso. Each time I sip…

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The first time I ever had gelato was about 20 years ago when it seemed to be all the rage in the 80’s, that staggeringly over-the-top era of excess, when we all seemed to be fascinated by Studio 54, record-shopping at the Gap (anyone else remember that?), Bianca Jagger, ultra-suede, and Bill Blass-designed Lincoln Continentals. There was place around the corner from Chez Panisse in…

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