‘Jerusalem’, more than a type of artichoke

Jerusalem (A Cookbook) by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

Those of us in the realm of food cannot help to have noticed the craze over Jerusalem (published September 6, 2012), written by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. Everywhere you look in the food-osphere there are posts about za’tar, barberries and zhoug. If you’re like me, you sensed the trend and subtly dropped hints to the powers that be (i.e. the husband) that this cookbook might be ‘worth a shot’, ‘an interesting read’ or even ‘useful’. All the while secretly dreaming of flipping through its colourful pages and hunting out its foreign ingredients from dodgy web shops. My particular powers that be have so far ignored my plight, although it is oh so obvious, but seeing others’ posts about recipes from this book has only strengthened my will.

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Folkestone Fish Fest Menu at Googies

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June 22 and 23 was supposed to be the much looked forward to Folkestone Fish Festival. I know my husband and I especially were looking forward to the activities and camaraderie the festival was bringing to the Creative Quarter and to Folkestone as a whole. Everyone was banding together to create a memorable and impressive event that would showcase Folkestone and all it has to offer. Then came the wind and the rain. Once again, plans are foiled by the British summer, but we pressed on and enjoyed an afternoon strolling the Old High Street and looking forward to our fish dinner at Googies later that evening.

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Ramen in Soho: Tonkotsu, London

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Last week we got informed that my husband had won tickets to a ghost tour of Fleet Street in London on Saturday, so we had to make a quick decision whether to go, and accept the cost of travelling up to London, or give the tour a miss. Never ones to pass up a freebie, we decided to jump on the train and make a day of it, even if the tickets and lunch out would cost a lot more than tickets for the tour would have. Oh well!

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Farmer’s Market Challenge Part 2: Main Course and Dessert – Piacere, San Carlos, CA

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Photo courtesy of Miriam Russell-Wadleigh and Piacere Restaurant.

After the viewing success of Part 1, I bet you have been loitering around your computer waiting anxiously for news of Part 2. Well, here it is! This is the second installment of our Farmer’s Market Challenge dinner drama which took place last week. This part will describe the main courses, side dishes and dessert which were just as delectable as the starters featured in Part 1.

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Farmer’s Market Challenge Part 1: Starters – Piacere, San Carlos, CA

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Photo courtesy of Chef Miriam Russell-Wadleigh and Piacere Restaurant.

When’s the last time you went into a restaurant and the chef came out to chat with you? Not once, but multiple times throughout your meal, discussing each dish – where the vegetables were grown, how they were prepared and why. When’s the last time you had some interesting vegetables or herbs that you had grown in your garden or found in a farmer’s market that you didn’t know how – or couldn’t be bothered! – to cook yourself? Did you just take them to the chef of your local restaurant and say, ‘Here, I don’t know what to do with these. Surprise me!’. It’s far from standard restaurant procedure, but it’s what happens every Thursday night throughout the summer at Piacere (Pia-chair-ay) in San Carlos, California.

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Review: Zona Rosa, San Jose, CA

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As soon as we walked into Zona Rosa in San Jose’s Rose Garden neighborhood, I was in love. It is so intimate, so welcoming and full of charm and character. We had called ahead and made a reservation — just in case it was a busy place for weekday lunches, which it proved to be — and the smiling front of house staff knew who we were as soon as we walked in and we were given a choice of where to sit. There can’t be more than eight tables in the small rectangular room, but there is also a lovely patio area with umbrellas to keep you out of the midday sun. As it was nearly 95°F we elected to sit inside and were made very comfortable in a really cute little table for two in the window.

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