KQED Food Blog: Bay Area Bites
Bay Area Bites: culinary rants & raves from bay area foodies and professionals
Previous Posts
Bay Area Bites Redesign
Celebrate The Sweet Life
Bar Jules: Delight in Hayes Valley
Culinary Laboratory: Cooking by Chemistry
Hidden Villa
Where the Blackberry is Never in Season
Two Artisan Distillers
More Chocolate Cookbooks & Double Chocolate-Hazeln...
Spring at the Farmers Market: Fava Beans
Corn Art: The Great Tortilla Conspiracy
BAB Guidelines

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008
KQED's food blog, Bay Area Bites had been redesigned and relocated. Please go to http://www.kqed.org/bayareabites to reset your RSS feed.
Celebrate The Sweet Life

A chilly Spring has me longing for a tropical vacation. One way to get a little taste of the islands in our own backyard is to dine at Roy's. Chef Roy Yamaguchi is one of the most influential and well-respected Hawaiian chefs. His style of fusion cuisine combines Asian, French and Hawaiian ingredients and techniques. He is Hawaii's first James Beard award-winner and this year his restaurants are celebrating their 20th year with special dinners.

Tomorrow's 20th anniversary dinner takes place at the San Francisco Roy's, with Roy at the helm. Local and Hawaiian ingredients will be featured with a particular emphasis on sustainable seafood and a portion of proceeds will go to Grow for Good, a national initiative dedicated to supporting local farms and encouraging sustainable agriculture.

amuse buche

Shiro-Shoyu Marinated Kona Kampachi "Nigiri"
sustainable princess conch, tri-color tobiko & Kumamoto oysters
Perrier Jouet Grand Brut

first course

Kona Lobster Ceviche
California avocado and halibut turtle shell, 
organic watermelon radish, Cara Cara oranges

Jacob's Creek Riesling

second course

Organic Sausalito Springs Watercress & Red Kaiware Sprout Salad
goat cheese, Sparrow Lane Napa walnut vinaigrette 
Brancott Sauvignon Blanc

third course

Japanese Wagyu Topped Niman Ranch Top Sirloin
Delta asparagus, red Irish potatoes, Sebastopol mushrooms

Jacob's Creek Reserve Shiraz

fourth course

Hawaiian Vanilla & Rum Infused "Baba"
Berkeley Farms sweet cream
Tawny 20 Year Port

What: Roy's 20th Anniversary Dinner
Cost: Tickets are $100 (excludes tax & gratuity)
When: Thursday April 10th, Seating from 5:00 to 9:30 pm
Where:Roy's is located at 575 Mission Street in San Francisco
More: The evening will also include performance by Hawaiian dancers and Patrick Landeza
How: To make your reservation for this special event, please call 415.777.0277

Another sweet event, literally, is a pairing of wine and chocolate at local chocolate shop, Cocoa Bella.

Head over to Cocoa Bella Chocolates on Union Street for the first Wine and Chocolate Soire. They'll be offering a six-piece tasting of favorite American and European chocolates paired with a 3-glass selection of sparkling and dessert wines. The staff will be on hand to discuss how to match up your favorite bonbons with port, Madeira, and other after-dinner drinks. Each attendee will go home with a 2-piece box of complimentary chocolates chosen from the evening's special selection.

Space is limited, so make your reservations now. Reserved tickets can be paid for at the door. Some additional tickets may be available on the night of the event, but advance reservations are encouraged to ensure your space at this entertaining and informative event.

What: Wine & Chocolate Soiree
Cost: $40 per person
When: Thursday, April 10, 2008, 7 PM - 9 PM
Where: Cocoa Bella Chocolates, 2102 Union St at Webster, San Francisco
More: Includes 6-piece chocolate tasting, 3 glasses of selected wines, and complimentary 2-piece chocolate box
How: For reservations, call (415) 931-6213 or email cocoabellachocolates@yahoo.com
Additional tickets may be available at the door

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Bar Jules: Delight in Hayes Valley

"The chestnut soup was good, but not Bar Jules good," a friend told me the other day. She was referring to a delicious chestnut and farro soup that we'd eaten at Bar Jules a couple of months back.

In the time since Bar Jules opened in December, it has quickly become a place that I recommend to friends -- especially for its lovely weekend brunches. Chef Jessica Bonecutter is known around San Francisco, having chefed at Hog Island Oyster Bar and Zuni Cafe.

Bar Jules has a stated commitment to sustainable practices and is buying most of their ingredients from local farmers and sustainable sources.

Entering Bar Jules, you will find several large chalkboards with the day's menu instead of paper menus. The small menu changes on a daily basis and is dependent on seasonal availability. As Sam of Becks and Posh stated, "because of the limited options, this is not the place to take a fussy eater."

If you're not fussy, however, delights will abound. I seriously mourned the day that Desiree, my favorite breakfast location in the Presidio, closed a couple of years ago -- mostly because of their perfectly cooked eggs. The brunch that I had at Bar Jules came close to Desiree's taste -- scrambled eggs with sorrel and parmesan were on the menu the morning I went. While those were delicious, the hit of the table was poached eggs with lamb.

Last week, I returned to Bar Jules for lunch. I loved the "mussels on the grill with paprika, garlic & lemon" ($12). The mussels had a deep roasted flavor. I requested bread to dip into my mussel juices, and was given a perfectly grilled toast which went perfectly with the dish.

Even the drinks at Bar Jules are special. Beer and wine are available, along with a lovely rosebud tea, Blue Bottle Coffee and seasonal juices -- last week I had a delicious pomegranate spritzer.

The Bar Jules menu changes daily, but the staff meticulously updates their web page with the most current menu and prices. Bar Jules does not take reservations.

Common Ground on Bar Jules' sustainability practices

Bar Jules
609 Hayes Street (at Laguna)
San Francisco

Dinner, Tuesday - Saturday
Lunch, Wednesday - Saturday
Brunch, Sundays
Closed Mondays

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Monday, April 07, 2008
Culinary Laboratory: Cooking by Chemistry

Blueberries and oysters? Chocolate and cauliflower? Blue cheese and rhubarb and pineapple?

If taste buds could cringe, then mine were recoiled into a wincing mess when I first learned about these flavor pairings. For those of you who have been eating at El Bulli or The Fat Duck or Alinea, this is all old news. For me, though, it was definitely an invitation to walk on the wild side.

To help wake up my outdated taste buds, my friend, Frankie, linked me up with Food for Design, where chemists and chefs and some overachieving web designers are putting together a provocative, highly entertaining website. With just a few minutes of clicking, creative and courageous cooks can find some very unusual food pairings.

Bernard Lahousse and Lieven De Couvreur in Belgium are the masterminds behind Food for Design. Based on the simple premise that "food combines with each other when they have major flavour components in common," their postings attempt to pair foods according to their physicochemical properties. If two ingredients share common sequences or similar molecules, the thinking goes, then their overlapping flavor compounds will echo each other.

Even the simplest flavors that we perceive depend on hundreds if not thousands of molecules interacting. Heat, time, acid, oil, sun, salt--any number of things can change the bonds and the resulting shapes of these flavor compounds. Structural shifts lead to flavor changes. (Too much information, you say? Just ask any culinary student to summarize the Maillard Reaction to hear more than you ever wanted to know about the science of bread crust.)

Back to the fun stuff: My favorite pages are those with elegant tree diagrams tracing molecular groupings of common ingredients and the links between them that lead to not-so-common pairings. They're perfect illustrations of form and flavor, the culinary equivalent of graphic designers' never-ending debates about form and function. Keep exploring their pages to find such gems as: "Most people and even many engineers would guess that the shape of a raindrop is the familiar teardrop shape. However, the teardrop shape appears only in cartoons and the real shape is closer to the flattened hamburger bun." Hence, the macaroon.

Later this week, I'm going to try making a cauliflower souffle with dark chocolate shavings, serve it to my guests, and see how long it takes them to figure out that they're not eating white chocolate. If all goes well, I may have a recipe for you next week. Or not.

In the meantime, you can try a much simpler dish created by organometallic research chemist-slash-gourmand Martin Lersch: Caramelized Cauliflower and Chocolate Jelly.

Please do share your tasting notes!

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Saturday, April 05, 2008
Hidden Villa

I usually try to buy local and organic foods, but am not always successful. Choosing to buy locally is often inconvenient, while buying organic can be expensive. Most grocery stores do not stock local foods, so I need to go to the farmer's market to purchase it, which eats up a Saturday morning. Organic food is now widely available in grocery stores, but is almost always more costly than non-organic purchases (sometimes more than twice as much). But when I see an article about how pesticides are killing off bird populations, or when there's another recall on beef, I feel that I need to make every effort to buy locally produced and organic foods for my family. As a parent who thinks a lot about the food my family eats and where it comes from, I have often wished to share this type of information with my children in an age-appropriate way. So I was excited when I recently learned about an organization in the Bay Area whose main focus is on teaching children about organic farming and environmental education.

Hidden Villa, which is a working organic and sustainable farm in Los Altos Hills, is dedicated to helping parents and teachers do just this. So when my daughters' classes scheduled a trip to Hidden Villa, I knew I absolutely had to chaperone so I could see their educational program up close.

Hidden Villa was founded in 1924 by Frank and Josephine Duveneck. With a vision of social justice, they turned their farm into a gathering place where people from all over the world could take part in "discussion, reflection, and incubation of social reform." In 1937, they created a hostel to house their guests (the first hostel on the West Coast), and in 1945 created a multiracial summer camp amid protests. A trust for Hidden Villa was created in 1960, when it became a nonprofit organization.

In addition to being an organic farm, Hidden Villa spends much of the school year providing educational programs to elementary school children. The entire second grade for my daughters' school visited Hidden Villa this week, participating in their Farm and Wilderness Exploration program, which provided an open and honest look at real organic farming and food cycles. When we arrived, I was immediately taken with the serenity and beauty of the place, and, after a day's visit, impressed with the depth and diversity of the curriculum as well.

On our tour, we met pigs, cows, goats, sheep, and chickens and learned not only what they eat and how they live, but also what people use them for. When we visited the pig sty, the kids were all able to pet the pigs and see them eat (with a lot of oohing and aahing about how cute they were), but this wasn't just a petting-zoo experience. After we interacted with the pigs, we were directed to a learning center outside the sty where Susan, our guide, led a discussion on the many things people make from pigs. In addition to the obvious chat about ham and pork chops, Susan showed the children a dog chew made out of pig skin, marshmallows made from gelatin (which I hate to admit has pig collagen in it), a fancy hair brush with bristles made of pig hair, and a leather water pouch made of pig skin. She also told the kids that Hidden Villa slaughters some of their pigs and that using the animals is part of what happens on a working farm. The information was straightforward, yet age-appropriate, and the kids accepted it very maturely, and made some thoughtful comments of their own.

Our tour also included an expedition to Hidden Villa's extensive vegetable gardens and green house. In the composting area, the children were given shovels to help a little with the farm work, while we talked about growing seasons and fertilization. We then wandered through the vegetable beds, where Susan pulled sorrel leaves, rhubarb spears, and herbs to make "burritos" of all the vegetables wrapped in lettuce for the kids. Not one child moaned about hating vegetables. Everyone was eager to taste the burritos and exclaimed how much they loved them. One of my daughters has been begging me to grow sorrel since we've returned home.

After our farm visit, we wandered into the wilderness area, which is the largest part of Hidden Villa, for a hike that included discussions on plant communities, food webs, predator and prey relationships, and good stewardship of the land in a friendly and accessible way. Susan taught the kids how to make face paint by rubbing river rocks together and sent each child on a short (and safe) hike alone to reflect on the individual aspects of the forest and the surrounding area. When I asked my daughters and a friend of theirs what they liked the most about the trip to Hidden Villa, they shouted "the hike!" – with all three mentioning the solo walk as the best part of their day.

The Farm and Wilderness educational program at Hidden Villa is meant for 2nd – 6th graders, with tours every Tuesday through Friday. They also have farm tours, which are shorter and don't include the wilderness hike, for Pre-K through 1st graders. Weekend tours are available for families. During the summer months, Hidden Villa emphasizes the Duveneck family's commitment for nurturing relationships between people of different cultural, religious, economic and racial backgrounds through their summer camp program. Both day and overnight camps are offered, always with an emphasis on caring for each other and the environment.

If you live on the Peninsula, you're close enough to participate in Hidden Villa's Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, which allows you to purchase a share of the harvest at the beginning of the season, and then receive a basket of vegetables once a week from May until Thanksgiving. Hidden Villa participates in this program so people can get to know the farmers who grow their food and visit the land that produces it.

If you are a teacher or parent interested in teaching your kids about food cycles and organic farming, I highly recommend a visit to Hidden Villa. To learn more about this great resource, visit their web site or call (650) 949-8650.
Friday, April 04, 2008
Where the Blackberry is Never in Season

Dear Miss Manners,

"When dining, does one place one's Blackberry to the right of the plate, or to the left, near the salad fork?"

The answer to this unsent question is, of course, never. I don't care if you're the Pope. Of course, popes don't use Blackberries. They use people who use Blackberries.

Hey there, Mr. Business Guy. Ho there, Little Miss Connectivity. You want to see a hand held device appropriate for restaurant use? Look down and to your right, it's called a table knife.

It looks a lot like the one with which I'll impale your (expletive) PDA if you use it one more time during your meal.

At some point a decade or so ago, P.D.A. went from meaning an improper "public display of affection" to "personal digital assistant." The employment of either P.D.A. is rude at the table, displaying a certain lack of respect for your dining companions. Would you like to watch your mother give good old dad a hand job during the salad course? No? Then what makes you think they want to see you texting friends or fielding phone calls over dessert?

It's not just Blackberries. Last night, I watched as two men ate dinner together. Not such a strange occurrence, except for the fact that one of the men did not take his iPod headphones out of his ears for the entire duration of the meal.

I saw a woman who was so busy texting someone as she walked through our very busy dining room that she hit the chair of a man who was rising from his seat. There was no, "Excuse me, I'm sorry," from her. She didn't even bother to look up. I was tempted to trip her to see what it might take to make her drop her machine.

It's certainly annoying when I have to repeat a litany of specials to guests who are too busy on their phones to pay attention to me, but I take that as part of my job. After describing something a second time (unless there is a genuine communication problem), I consider myself done.

But I'd be happy to text you about today's whole fish, if you like, you self-involved (expletive).

Like I said, it's an annoying aspect of my job, and I deal with that type of rudeness in my own way. What I find so terrible about all this abuse of take-it-with-you technology is the toll I see it taking on the other diners, and on basic human interaction in general.

For example, on Tuesday evening, I waited upon a young woman, her boyfriend, and her mother. The young woman kept her Blackberry on the table to her right. She'd eye it occasionally as her mother or her French boyfriend spoke. When dessert time rolled around and I came over to the table, the boyfriend said they had made their selections. The girl didn't take her cue to order because she was busy texting someone. He gave her a soft, sing-songy "Heeeey!" and waved his hand in front of her face as one does when one is uncertain of another's consciousness. She pulled away like a sulky toddler. I could see the mother squirm. I felt terrible for the boyfriend, but I wanted to smack the girl. Hard.

What's getting me so angry is that no one is doing a god damned thing about it. As a server, it's not my responsibility to teach people lessons in manners. At the restaurant, I will just give you a wan smile if you misbehave, though some days the urge is more difficult to resist than others.

I am not seeing the recipients of this technological rudeness-- the boyfriends, the business clients, the parents-- call these idiots to task about this bad behavior. Maybe it's because they themselves are too polite to say anything. Whatever the case, their silence is sending a very bad sub-text message.

How long has this complacency been going on? Not forever, fortunately...

True Hollywood story--

In the days when cell phones were called mobile phones and still somewhat of a novelty, John Lovitz, Julianne Moore, Phil Hartman, and two people I did not recognize sat down at a booth in my section of the slick Beverly Hills eatery I worked in while at university. Mr. Hartman entered talking on his phone. When I approached the table, I asked quietly if I should come back when he had finished. Miss Moore nodded. Perhaps, I thought, it was a very important phone call.

After a while, it became quite clear to me that he was just yammering away on his new gadget, rudely ignoring his dining companions, but I stayed away from the table, nevertheless.

After a few more minutes, Miss Moore motioned me over to the table. She quietly asked for a piece of paper and a pen. When she had finished scribbling, she handed the paper back to me with a "thank you" and a sidelong glance at Mr. Hartman. I nodded and excused myself to read the note. On the paper were Mr. Hartman's name, his phone number, and instructions for me to call him.

I marched over to the hostess stand at the front of the restaurant, dialed the number, and held my breath. He answered up my call with an abrupt, "Yeah?"

"Mr. Hartman? This is your waiter, I was just wondering if you'd decided on your order yet..."

Silence greeted me on the other end. Then a loud burst of laughter from both the receiver and the back of the restaurant. When I returned to the booth, Moore beamed, Hartman glowered. Fortunately, Moore picked up the check.

My love for her has never wavered since.

I think what the world needs now is more people like Julianne Moore. I'd suggest putting her at every dinner table in America if I didn't think it would be both exhausting and physically impossible. I'm sure she's busy enough as it is.

My point, of course, is that she got it. And she found a way to correct the bad behavior that was both funny and very effective.

I think that's what we all need to do.

I realize I've done a lot of name-calling this morning. I don't necessarily think the perpetrators are bad people, but their behavior is soul-killing. You want to invest in some great personal connectivity devices? How about turning off your iPhone for two hours and start using some eye contact instead? Face-to-face communication is far more effective than interface-to-interface.

As TennisPeter from Andover, Mass commented at Ask Annie, "Checking your Blackberry 24/7 doesn't make you important. It means you are insecure and lack the confidence to say, 'I'm not working right now.' " I am inclined to agree.

Oh, and while I'm on a rant, take that ridiculous Bluetooth thing out of your ear. It makes you look like some crazy homeless person who happened upon a dumpster filled with business casual clothing in his size. Sometimes, I like to pretend that these devices are hearing aids. I mouth my words with care-- slowly and with volume. And then I tilt my head and smile at the wearer in a way that says, "See? I'm sensitive to your special needs."

Can you hear me now?

I feel much better getting that off my chest. There is, however, one little favor I'd like you to do for me...

The next time you dine with the technology-addicted, kindly remind them that, for at least the duration of the meal, the phone gets locked back in its cell, the "i" retreats to its Pod, and the only blackberries allowed on the table have been baked into a cobbler. Smile when you say it.

If that doesn't work, gently place a ball peen hammer next to you on the table. Every time your tablemate touches his or her device, gently finger your hammer. If they pick up their phone, you pick up your hammer, and so on.

I think that might be one message they're sure not to miss.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008
Two Artisan Distillers

If you know me, you know I have a taste for whisky. My palate is slowly (ever so slowly and with much repetitive training) being refined and, more and more, I'm learning what I like and what I don't like. I have an affinity for Scotch, particularly two distilleries from the lowlands (Glenkinchie and Auchentoshan) and a few Highland and Speyside gems. I haven't, however, quite found my love for American whiskey...yet. But times, they are a-changing (I think there could be flirtatious tendencies buried deep down).

Before I get into that though, I think it's important to make sure we are all on the same page. Whisky or whiskey, however you choose to spell it, includes Scotch, bourbon, rye, and Irish whiskey. It can be made with all kinds of grains, from barley to corn to rye, and aged under a whole variety of different circumstances, but always in wood.

Anything labeled Scotch has to be distilled in Scotland and aged a minimum of 3 years in oak casks. Most single malts are aged 8 to 10 years, which means that you have to guess what the market is going to be doing, and what people are going to be into, 10 years before it actually happens.

Bourbon, rye, and corn whiskey are all American whiskeys. They each have different regulations. Bourbon must be made with a minimum of 51% corn and aged in new American charred oak barrels; rye must be at least 51% rye; and corn whiskey must be made with at least 80% corn mash. As far as I can tell there are no aging regulations, which means that American producers can do some really interesting things, and have a lot more freedom to react to the market. Add that to the fact that there is a less rigid expectation of what American whiskey is anyway, and people here are more open to trying different things (in my Scottish husband's opinion anyway).

Last weekend I had the opportunity to sample the wares of two new artisan distillers: Tuthilltown, based in upstate New York and High West, which is based in up-and-coming Park City, Utah.

Tuthilltown's variety of spirits and beautifully packaged bottles (which look like apothecary bottles that are sealed with a big dollop of wax) beg you to pull one off the shelf. Founded in 2003 by Ralph Erenzo and Brian Lee, the artisan distillery is the first in New York since prohibition.

Their Old Gristmill Corn Whiskey is basically what I would consider moonshine, an unaged bourbon made with 100% corn. The difference is that this has been distilled for flavor rather than strength. This ain't no firewater, it's smooth as a baby's butt, crystal clear and clean with a distinctive corny flavor.

This same corn whiskey is the foundation for Hudson Baby Bourbon which is matured for 4 months in small, charred new American oak barrels (perhaps quarter casks?). The smaller the barrel the more the whiskey comes in contact with the wood, giving it the character of the barrel. This tasted woody, smoky, had more of an edge. Surprisingly, it was not nearly as smooth as the raw whiskey, and had a very deep color, like burnt amber.

My favorite had to be the Hudson Four Grain Bourbon. This one, made with corn, rye, wheat and malted barley, had more depth and character than the Baby Bourbon. It was sweet and smooth.

High West
Ok, yum. I think rye whiskey, and perhaps even more specifically, High West's rye whiskey could be my turning point to actually liking something other than Scotch.

High West is brand-spankin-new. They have one whiskey, the rye, and one vodka. The distillery was started by a Californian named David Perkins, who is actually a chemist by training. The distillery, along with a tasting saloon, is based in historic buildings right on the main street of Park City. So if you're in the chair lift line and the line gets backed up into town, you end up standing right in front of the windows and watching the distillery operate.

Their Rendezvous Rye Whiskey is non-chill filtered, and it's really smooth with a bit of spice and honey. I highly recommend it.

Currently, it's really hard to get either of these brands unless you are in their state of origin. But the folks at Tuthilltown promised that we'd be able to find their gorgeous little bottles at The Jug Shop in San Francisco by mid-summer. And apparently K&L Wine Merchants just picked up High West and will be carrying their wares soon. I'm keeping my eyes out for both of them.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008
More Chocolate Cookbooks & Double Chocolate-Hazelnut Biscotti Recipe
We can't ever have too many chocolate recipes, can we? Since the quality of chocolate available in the supermarket has dramatically improved over the past twenty years or so, it's great to have a few more cookbooks that focus on using the most widely available products including chocolate bars, cocoa powder and chocolate chips. Here are three recent titles.

First up is a book that falls into the "I can't believe I didn't think of that!" category. The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook. Veteran baking expert and pastry chef Elinor Klivans who has written books on cupcakes, cookies and cakes has created a book devoted to chocolate chips and surprisingly there are only 6 cookie recipes in it. The book contains 45 recipes and is divided into chapters starting with Chocolate Chip Cookies and Candies, Chocolate Chip Brownies, Bars, Muffins and a Tea Loaf, Chocolate Chip Pies, tarts and Puddings, Chocolate Chip Cakes without Frosting, Chocolate Chip Cakes with Frosting and/or Filling and finally Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Desserts. There are recommendations for brands of chocolate chips to use, and happily most of the recipes come together very quickly.

One of Klivan's top picks for chocolate chips is Ghirardelli, especially in the bittersweet category. Ghirardelli has their own cookbook, The Ghirardelli Chocolate Book. A hardback book, it has 16 recipes for cookies, though not all of them are chocolate chip cookies. The book contains 80 recipes in all. The chapters are fairly similar to the chapters in the chocolate chip book, but also include Chocolate Breads and Breakfast and Anything-but-Boring Chocolate Drinks. Despite the ice cream parlor at Ghirardelli Square, there are only two ice cream desserts. The book has many classics like chocolate souffles, flourless chocolate torte, and chocolate fudge sauce plus some new ideas such as butter breakfast scones with chocolate chunks and chocolate dipped lemon cookies.

The slimmest volume of the three books is Viva Chocolate! but it is the most diverse and includes 50 savory as well as sweet recipes. Smokin' Hot Chili and Turkey Mole both caught my eye as did a recipe for champurrado, a Mexican chocolate drink with masa I've been wanting to try for ages. During citrus season, the Chocolate Tangerine Pound Cake with or without the Tangerine Whipped Cream is a great pick as well.

While each of these books are smaller format "gift" types, they are also solid choices for the chocoholic looking for easy recipes to whip up at home.

Double Chocolate-Hazelnut Biscotti

Makes 48 cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa
4 ounces Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate baking bar, finely chopped
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two cookie sheets.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, ground chocolate and semisweet chocolate.

In a separate bowl, combine the eggs and vanilla, and stir until well-blended. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until a dough forms (it should adhere to the beaters), 2 to 3 minutes. Fold in the nuts.

Divide the dough into 4 equal parts. On the prepared cookie sheets, using lightly floured hands, shape each portion into 1 1/4-inch-by-10-inch logs. Place the logs at least 4 inches apart.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the logs are firm to the touch. Let cool on the cookie sheets for 15 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Transfer 1 log to a cutting board and with a serrated knife, cut into twelve 1-inch-wide cookies. Repeat with the remaining 3 logs. Remove 1 oven rack and place the 48 cookies directly on it. Return the rack to the uppermost position in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp. To test for doneness, remove one cookie, let it cool, then check for crispness.

Transfer the cookies from the oven rack to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely. Store at room temperature in a tightly covered container.

Reprinted with permission from The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook Copyright © 2007 by the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company published in 2007 by Ten Speed Press.

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Food Books
The Moosewood Cookbook
by Mollie Katzen
Baking: From My Home to Yours
by Dorie Greenspan
Grand Livre de Cuisine: Alain Ducasse's Desserts and Pastries
by Alain Ducasse, Frederic Robertmison
The Big Book of Outdoor Cooking and Entertaining
by Cheryl Alters Jamison, Bill Jamison
Tasty: Get Great Food on the Table Every Day
by Roy Finamore
Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way
by Lorna Sass
The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa
by Marcus Samuelsson
Michael Mina: The Cookbook
by Michael Mina, Photographer: Karl Petzktle
What to Eat
by Marion Nestle
The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
by Michael Pollan
Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate
by John Scharffenberger, Robert Steinberg
Romancing the Vine: Life, Love, and Transformation in the Vineyards of Barolo
by Alan Tardi
What to Drink with What You Eat: The Definitive Guide to Pairing Food with Wine, Beer, Spirits, Coffee, Tea -- Even Water -- Based on Expert Advice from America's Best Sommeliers
by Andrew Dornenburg, Karen Page, Michael Sofronski
The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook: Stories and Recipes for Southerners and Would-be Southerners
by Matt Lee, Ted Lee
Bread Matters: The State of Modern Bread and a Definitive Guide to Baking Your Own
by Andrew Whitley
Coloring the Seasons: A Cook's Guide
by Allegra McEvedy
All-new Complete Cooking Light Cookbook
by Anne C. Cain
Modern Garde Manger
by Robert B. Garlough
The Spice and Herb Bible
by Ian Hemphill, Kate Hemphill
The Improvisational Cook
by Sally Schneider
Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children
by Ann Cooper, Lisa M. Holmes
Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia
by James Oseland
My Life in France
by Julia Child, Alex Prud'Homme
A Passion for Ice Cream: 95 Recipes for Fabulous Desserts
by Emily Luchett, Sheri Giblin (photographer)
Au Pied De Cochon -- The Album
by Martin Picard
Memories of Philippine Kitchens
by Amy Besa, Romy Dorotan
Simple Chinese Cooking
by Kylie Kwong
An Invitation to Indian Cooking
by Madhur Jaffrey
Hungry Planet
by Peter Menzel, Faith D'Aluisio
Sunday Suppers at Lucques : Seasonal Recipes from Market to Table
by Suzanne Goin, Teri Gelber
Simple Soirees: Seasonal Menus for Sensational Dinner Parties
by Peggy Knickerbocker, Christopher Hirsheimer (Photographer)
The Cook's Book
by Jill Norman
Molto Italiano : 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home
by Mario Batali
Nobu Now
by Nobuyuki Matsuhisa
Cheese : A Connoisseur's Guide to the World's Best
by Max Mccalman, David Gibbons
Bones : Recipes, History, and Lore
by Jennifer McLagan
Whiskey : The Definitive World Guide
by Michael Jackson
The New American Cooking
by Joan Nathan
by Lisa Yockelson
Easy Entertaining: Everything You Need to Know About Having Parties at Home
by Darina Allen
Cooking at De Gustibus: Celebrating 25 Years of Culinary Innovation
by Arlene Feltman Sailhac
Dough: Simple Contemporary Breads
by Richard Bertinet
Chocolate Obsession: Confections and Treats to Create and Savor
by Michael Recchiuti, Fran Gage, Maren Caruso
The Food Substitutions Bible: More Than 5,000 Substitutions for Ingredients, Equipment And Techniques
by David Joachim
Recipes: A Collection for the Modern Cook
by Susan Spungen
Spices of Life: Simple and Delicious Recipes for Great Health
by Nina Simonds
Mangoes & Curry Leaves: Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent
by Jeffrey Alford, Naomi Duguid
Chocolate: A Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light
by Mort Rosenblum
Vegetable Love: A Book for Cooks
by Barbara Kafka, Christopher Styler
A History of Wine in America: From Prohibition to the Present
by Thomas Pinney
Fonda San Miguel: Thirty Years Of Food And Art
by Tom Gilliland, Miguel Ravago, Virginia B. Wood
Matzoh Ball Gumbo: Culinary Tales of the Jewish South
by Marcie Cohen Ferris
Washoku: Recipes From The Japanese Home Kitchen
by Elizabeth Andoh, Leigh Beisch
Weir Cooking in the City: More than 125 Recipes and Inspiring Ideas for Relaxed Entertaining
by Joanne Weir
Rick Stein's Complete Seafood
by Rick Stein
The Great Scandinavian Baking Book
by Beatrice A. Ojakangas
Serena, Food & Stories: Feeding Friends Every Hour of the Day
by Serena Bass
John Ash: Cooking One on One: Private Lessons in Simple, Contemporary Food from a Master Teacher
by John Ash
The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook: Eating Well for Better Health
by Donald Hensrud, M.D., Jennifer Nelson, R.D. & Mayo Clinic Staff
Foods of the Americas: Native Recipes and Traditions
by Fernando and Marlene Divina
The Provence Cookbook
by Patricia Wells
Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World
by Gil Marks
Last Chance to Eat: The Fate of Taste in a Fast Food World
by Gina Mallet
by Thomas Keller
A Blessing of Bread: The Many Rich Traditions of Jewish Bread Baking Around the World
by Maggie Glezer
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
by Molly Stevens
On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen
by Harold McGee
Entertaining: Inspired Menus For Cooking with Family and Friends
by George Dolese
The Breath of a Wok: Unlocking the Spirit of Chinese Wok Cooking Through Recipes and Lore
by Grace Young, Alan Richardson
Cooking New American: How to Cook the Food You Love to Eat
by Fine Cooking Magazine
The Japanese Kitchen: A Book of Essential Ingredients with 200 Authentic Recipes
by Kimiko Barber
Arthur Schwartz's New York City Food: An Opinionated History and More Than 100 Legendary Recipes
by Arthur Schwartz
Poet of the Appetites: The Lives and Loves of M.F.K. Fisher
by Joan Reardon
Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes
by Jeffrey Hamelman
Everyday Dining with Wine
by Andrea Immer
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