Thoughtul Gourmet Blog

The happy result of summer’s bumper crop of Amish paste pumpkins is a freezer full of pumpkin paste (purée). I defrosted two pounds of cooked pumpkin with the intent to make pumpkin pancakes. Which I did. I used the remaining pumpkin purée in three ways: 2/3 cup as a substitute for applesauce in a gluten-free […]

As wine and food go, Germany, Switzerland and Austria stand deep in the shadow of their big brother to the west – France – and of their big brother to the south – Italy. For the next eight weeks, this region’s unique cuisine and terroir-driven wines are the showcase at Oakland’s Barrel Room. Here, at […]

Wine should never be taken too seriously. Instead, wine should be a pleasure, an enjoyable addition to a meal of any size. Spin the Bottle Cellarstakes the enjoyment of wine to a clever, new place. Three varietals, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and a Red Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot, the grapes sourced from California’s […]

There’s never a dull moment in Napa. After writing about the emerging truffle industry in wine country, I was invited to participate in a weekend’s worth of tasting and information events about truffles. A few highlights: Eating cockscomb At a truffle lunch at Nickel and Nickel Winery, I learned from chef Carrie Nahabedian of Chicago’s […]

2-Meal Chicken Pot Pie In an effort to make a gluten-free chicken pot pie, I designed a 2-meal plan involving chicken and vegetables. On the first night, make roast chicken and vegetables with the mashed potatoes and parsnips. Then, a day or two later, make the chicken pot pie with the leftover chicken and vegetables, […]

Every now and then, I challenge myself to eat foods I do not enjoy. Mushrooms, for example. As a restaurant critic, I have now eaten the warm mushroom salad at Hawk’s Tavern twice, the first time as a personal challenge, the second because I liked it so much the first time around (and they kept […]

NPR recently wrote about the need for college campuses to accommodate people with food allergies. Because of changes already implemented in its dining program, Dominican University and their food service provider, Bon Appetit Management Company, appears well situated to manage any changes required to their dining program by a ruling such as this. “DOJ’s […]

They may have been raised on organic milk and farmers market veggies, but when students line up at Marin’s high-ed campus cafes, are they still chowing down on the same starch-heavy, overcooked food that their parents most likely remember from their college days? Not quite. While it may not mimic dining at Marin’s local, sustainable […]