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Eat + Drink

Taste Catering Bakes Cookies Like Grandma Never Made

The holiday spirit is a powerful thing. It can make the most un-Martha-like people decide to take on the task of baking cookies for everyone they know. But should you experience a moment of reason, spare yourself a hot kitchen and place an order for Taste Catering’s gorgeous box of cookies—courtesy of executive pastry chef Yigit Pura. Beautifully packaged, the transparent box includes stacks of bite-sized riffs on holiday classics—the kind of tiny perfection that only the best caterer can do so well: French macaroons in vanilla, rose and pistachio; pâtes de fruits made with raspberry-fig balsamic and green-apple calvados; walnut biscuits with sea salt; Valrhona-chocolate-and-sour-cherry mudslides; and Russian tea cookies (our personal favorite)

Market Watch: Your Shopping List for Saturday

If anyone has the inside sccop when it comes to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, it's Lulu Meyer, associate director of market operations at CUESA. You'll see her at the market, rain or shine. Every week, she'll give us her short list for the market—just in time for Saturday shopping. Go to cuesa.org for more information about farmers, what's in season and market goings-on.

Lowering the Bar: 5 Places to Drink For Cheap (or Free) This Week

Each week, former sf.myopenbar.com editor Allie Pape brings you her picks for the best places to booze on the cheap in SF. This week: Free drinks bonanza, with deals for the unemployed, Yelpers, singles, and people who like tequila. Have an event coming up? Want to share a tip? E-mail her.

NYT Smuggles Tiki Talk into Rum Discussion

The better part of Wednesday's Dining section in the New York Times was given to their coverage of so-called winter drinks. But instead of toddies and warmers they talked instead about rum, though not the hot and buttered kind that would seem appropriate for this time of year. Rather it was aged rum in a tasting column by E Asimov and an article on the revival of rum-based tiki cocktails puncturing the mustachioed seriousness of the hardcore bartending set.

Make Room on the Shelf: The Best Cookbooks of the Year

Celia Sack, owner of Omnivore Books, gives us her picks for the year's best cookbooks. Order up and get cooking.

Best Thing About December: Afternoon Drinking

I'm so happy it's December 1. Well, I mean, it's true that the year has raced by faster than ever, and I puzzle over where exactly it went. And it's true that we're getting into that hectic crush where end-of-the-year projects collide with holiday shopping only to be buried by an avalanche of social obligations. But we're also in the month that allows us a coping mechanism for the madness: the afternoon drink. Naturally, I'm writing this with a martini in hand (one of my favorite afternoon cocktails -- 2 parts Plymouth, 1 part Noilly-Pratt, lemon twist, stirred). I hope you're reading this with same.

Melissa Perello's Frances Opens

For every restaurant that has closed (and this year, there have been many) another opens in its place. The natural ebb and flow is what makes this a good eating town, constantly in a state of change and renewal. The latest long-awaited addition to the dining scene is Frances, Melissa Perello's first solo venture, which will open it's doors today (3870 17th Street between Noe and Sanchez, 415-621-3870) in the former home of a short-lived Filipino restaurant that Perello (and her father and a team of pros) renovated extensively.

Monk's Kettle Beer Dinners Keep Rolling

Because I love what they're doing so much, I'm going to take this space once again to hype an upcoming beer dinner at the Monk's Kettle. This Wednesday Dec 2, the Monk's Kettle folks have devised yet another really cool beer dinner, this time featuring select beers from Shelton Brothers, one of the most adventurous and fascinating beer importers in the country. Almost as cool as their portfolio, which sports beers from 16 different countries (including Brazil and Japan), is the fact that they're based in the aptly named Belchertown, MA.

Kasa 2 Comes To The Marina

Though the doom-and-gloom restaurant talk is completely warranted, since plenty of great restaurants have closed in the last six months, it's nice to see, occasionally, places that are doing well against the odds—or because of them. Kasa Indian Eatery is one of those places. The first location, on 18th street near the Castro, quickly drew a devoted local following (we included them in our Best Cheap Eats story in August of 2008) and it's easy to see why: wholesome, affordable Indian food is pretty hard to resist.

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