Whenever I am out of town or away from Bloglines for an extended period of time, as has been the case over the past couple of weeks, I go through a bit of triage reading in order to make sure I check in on my favorite people in the most efficient way. As I am doing this, a lot of the reading involves clicking and skimming to get the general gist of what’s happening in the blog world. But every once in a while, a post stops me in my tracks and I read it carefully, savoring every word. This was the case this week when I read Tea’s post entitled “Panforte, with Memories”. You can be sure that I will be lining up to buy some panforte from Della Fattoria Bakery this week.

I’m not in San Francisco much these days, so unless I want to make panforte on my own I’ll be bringing it to Seattle with me. While I’m curious to try my hand, I fear I would never come up with anything as perfect as the Della Fattoria version (and why bother, when they’ve done all the hard work for me?). If the knights of the crusade were able to carry panforte with them on horseback to the holy lands, mine should have no problem surviving the trip to Seattle. And carry it with me I will, for one taste of this sweet and spicy confection brings back so many memories.

We have a couple of notable new blogs in the Bay Area blogosphere these days. It’s already been established that Todd at Bourbon and Branch is mixing up some of the most delicious cocktails around. And now he has started a blog called Straight Up to keep us apprised of happenings at the bar: “I hope to cover a variety of subjects including; what’s happening at Bourbon & Branch and other bars around town, new cocktails & spirits and what’s coming in the future at Bourbon & Branch.” (via Tablehopper.

Another blog that started up last month is a blog by Nigel Walker, the farmer of Eatwell Farm. Keep an eye on his new site for news about the farm and general input about what it’s like to run a small organic farm in California.

Since the moment I received Heidi Swanson’s new book Super Natural Cooking in the mail, I have been consuming it at every opportunity. It’s already been discussed here, so I won’t go too much into it. It’s a fantastic book, and you should check it out as soon as possible. But if you’d like a preview, check out one of my favorite recipes by Heidi that is also in her new book: Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookies.

This week marks the season beginning of three reality TV shows that focus on food. Top Chef starts this Wednesday, Hell’s Kitchen started last night, and The Next Food Network Star started on Sunday. My money is on Top Chef for being the most entertaining. As luck would have it, Bay Area Bites’ own Stephanie is recapping Hell’s Kitchen and Top Chef for Television without Pity and I look forward to reading a season’s worth of her insights about these shows. Even if you don’t watch the shows, it’s worth reading Stephanie’s recaps for hiliarious insights like this from last night’s episode of Hell’s Kitchen:

Ramsay wildly clutches his head when he discovers that that Vinnie is using water instead of stock in the risotto. Vinnie tries to argues that they ran out of stock, but Ramsay, who samples the risotto water, announces that it tastes like “gnat’s piss.” Awesome. I mean, I didn’t know gnats peed in large enough volumes to allow anyone to sample the flavor, but I defer to Ramsay. Because of the gnat’s piss risotto, Vinnie is sent to wash dishes while Brad takes over his station.

Links Around the Bay 5 June,2007Jennifer Maiser

  • Marc

    On June 14 at 7:30 PM, Heidi Swanson will be talking about her Supernatural book at Mrs. Dalloway’s, an independent bookstore on College Ave. in Berkeley. Details here.

    (Note 1: I have no financial connection to Mrs. Dalloway’s bookstore or Heidi. I just like supporting independent bookstores and bloggers.)

    (Note 2: Mrs. Dalloway’s is just steps away from the Ici ice cream shop.)


Jennifer Maiser

“My passion for food began young.”

I am the editor of the influential website www.EatLocalChallenge.com which encourages readers to support local farmers and producers.

I began my personal website, Life Begins at 30, in 2003.

I have been published in Edible San Francisco and Fine Cooking, write regularly for Bay Area Bites, Serious Eats, and have been quoted in many nationwide publications. Photography is a passion, and I have had photos printed in National Geographic Traveler and Travel + Leisure.

I contributed to a Williams-Sonoma cookbook: Cooking from the Farmers’ Market, which was released in February 2010.

I live in San Francisco, California and can often be found at local farmers markets seeking out the best of what’s in season and chatting with farmers.

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