Category — SECRET CHEF TIPS

{secret chef tips} Here Is All The Thanksgiving Advice I Have to Offer

It probably won’t surprise you to hear that a lot of people ask me for advice about cooking Thanksgiving dinner. But why keep it to my inner circle? Here, in pretty much random order, are the resources, advice, and tips I have to make your Thanksgiving cooking successful!

turkey-meal

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November 18, 2016   4 Comments

{try this} How To Make Labneh

Do you have enough labneh in your life? It really is delightful stuff. In case you’re not familiar with it, labneh is simply strained, full-fat yogurt – thick, creamy, tangy, and good on everything. It’s a staple of the Levant region (Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Israel, and Jordan) and it should always be in your fridge.

How to make homemade labneh

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May 15, 2016   No Comments

{recipe} Easy Homemade Cruffins with Vanilla Custard Filling

You’ve probably heard of cronuts by now, but are you hip to cruffins? Yes, hot on the heels of the hybrid croissant-donut that became the notorious cronut, we now have a custard-filled croissant-muffin mashup called a cruffin. If you’re like me, and don’t fancy standing in a long line to get one, I have good news for you: you can make these beauties at home pretty easily by using frozen croissant dough.

cruffin recipe

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May 12, 2015   1 Comment

{recipe} Easy Caramelized Strawberry Jam

Recently I made a pretty life-changing discovery, which is that I can make incredibly delicious strawberry jam with only 3 ingredients, and it’s super easy to do. Jam consumption in the household has skyrocketed, but since it’s so easy to make, it’s no big deal to turn out another batch.

strawberry jam coconut sugar

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April 17, 2015   4 Comments

{happy birthday} How To Make a Super Cool Thomas the Train Birthday Cake

Let me give you a quick piece of parenting advice that I learned the hard way: do not let an almost-2-year-old browse train birthday cakes on Pinterest. If you do, be aware that he may come to his birthday party with some seriously lofty expectations! This is how we got to this point. Luckily my sister–who, FUN FACT, earned a trophy for cake decorating in the 7th grade–was there with her super steady hands, clear design eye, and patience to help me work this out.

thomas the train birthday cake

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March 21, 2015   3 Comments

{recipe} Buttery Cheese and Asparagus Scones

Sounds weird, right? When have you ever had asparagus in your scones? But once Spring rolls around and asparagus is in season, I try to find ways to put it in everything–even a buttery, flaky scone laced with shredded cheddar cheese. So good!

asparagus scones

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March 2, 2015   No Comments

{sf} 10 Things To Eat in San Francisco Before You Die

I am one of those rare San Francisco natives – that’s right, I popped out at UCSF hospital and grew up in Cole Valley. After a stint in San Diego for college, and a few formative years in Brooklyn, I moved back to the city for good. I tried out the Tenderloin, the Mission, and even (gasp) Oakland before settling into the Castro. So believe me when I tell you that I know my San Francisco treats. Here are 10 things to eat in San Francisco before you die, in no particular order.

la taqueria

Carnitas Burrito “Dorado Style” at La Taqueria

What if you took a perfect, rice-free burrito and then grilled it on a flat-top to give it an extra crunch? That’s what they have been doing at La Taqueria for decades. This is the best burrito out there. I love it so much I constructed an epic gingerbread La Taqueria last Christmas. It’s that good. It was also recently voted best burrito in the U.S. Don’t listen to those carpetbaggers who claim allegiance to Taqueria Cancun or El Farolito. I theorize that those people only eat burritos when they are drunk so their burrito judgment is impaired.

Brutti Ma Buoni Cookies at Dianda’s 
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January 13, 2015   4 Comments

{salty} 5 Things You Should Put Truffle Salt On

A friend recently told me she had received a jar of truffle salt as a gift, but didn’t know what to do with it. She came to the right place, for I have answers! And strong opinions about what you can do with it!

truffle salt

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December 1, 2014   4 Comments

{secret chef tips} 8 Important Things You Should Know About Cooking with Garlic

I love garlic. And apparently, so does everyone else: it’s one of the most ubiquitous seasonings in the world, used by people in every country and thought to have many health benefits and healing properties. Here are 8 important things I think you should know about cooking with garlic, so you can make the most of this fabulous ingredient!

garlic

Top 8 Things You Should Know About Cooking with Garlic 

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January 27, 2014   2 Comments

{how to} Top Ten Diet Hacks I Use Almost Every Day to Eat Healthier – While Still Eating Exactly What I Want

I think this blog could easily be rechristened “The Healthy Hedonist,” because at heart, I am equally interested in eating the best things I can possibly get in my mouth AND maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Enjoy but be smart. Be smart but don’t suffer.

cupcakes

Over the years, I have figured out quite a few diet hacks to achieve both of these goals. Because that whole “no pain, no gain” thing doesn’t really fly with me. You can eat healthy and still be a hedonist. Here are some of my favorite tricks!

Top Ten Diet Hacks I Use Almost Every Day to Eat Healthier 

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June 17, 2013   No Comments