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Eating Obama

Today is President's Day, and with Barack Obama on a roll for the Democratic nomination, it's a great time to ...  volunteer on a campaign? educate yourself? read up on your history? Nope. Eat chocolate.

Specifically, check out the delicious espresso-cognac nibble imprinted with Obama's mug, made nearby in Oakland by Cosmic Chocolate (which has one of the coolest websites ever). It's part of Cosmic's "Icons" series, which also includes Oprah (raspberry ganache), Madonna (red-hot cinnamon caramel), Bono (limoncello ginger) and, of course, Snoop Dogg (mint grapefruit).


Chocolate for Haters


Be mine: Charles Chocolates Triple
Chocolate Almonds.


I’m not a romantic, at least in the conventional sense. Valentine’s Day? Whatever.

My apathy is a good thing, though. It serves me well when the romantic forecast is cloudy and gray.

I'm similarly indifferent about the two things that come with February 14: red roses and chocolate. Give me dahlias, tulips or ranunculus; coconut, lemon or caramel. I've learned to steer clear of this conversation in the company of other women, though. Just saying no to chocolate is like an affront to the sisterhood.

Top 7 Desserts of ‘07

Since I’ve started working here, I’ve noticed that everything in my life now runs in sevens or multiples of seven, so it’s no surprise that when I sat down to reflect on some of my favorite eats this year (2007—seven, get it?), I came up with… surprise… a list of seven. Here’s the rundown (in no particular order):

1. Strawberry rhubarb crisp at Universal Café—I forgot to take a picture of it before diving in; it was that good.


I'm Your Pusher, Man


Goodie Goodie Gumdrops: a bag of chocolate toffee
from Fiona's Sweet Shoppe

I guess you could say that visions of sugarplums have been dancing in my head. Well, kind of. My head has actually been feeling detached from my body, as I’ve recently been suffering through the flu—but during the long, dreadful bout of illness I found myself craving only two things: hot cocoa and chocolate milk (I guess that’s really one thing, two forms). I like sugar. So sue me.

Another Trick for the Cheater's Handbook

I have a small problem—I frequently dream up these ambitious projects, usually food related, that have a nasty habit of taking over my life. Just last April, for example, I threw a lamb-themed party (in like a lion, out like a lamb…get it?), and wouldn’t rest until I had ordered lamb-shaped chocolates. I stopped short of buying armloads of sheepskins from Ikea…but only because my girlfriend drew the line in the sand.

The Ginger-Barn (Day 2)

Jessica is out of town, lounging around somewhere on the island of Kuai.

Unfortunately, I'm not.

Instead, I'm here to give you an update on the gingerbread barn we're working on at the Palace Hotel (along with chef Russell), for their annual gingerbread competition, which I know you're absolutely dying to hear more about.



Very small photo of Jessica
helping with our very
big gingerbread barn.

Minty Fresh



Friday was the unveiling of Mint Plaza. Being that it was a busy day for me, I almost skipped the ceremony. But, when I heard there was going to be free Blue Bottle coffee, ‘Wichcraft’s peanut-butter sandwiches and a Gavin appearance, I figured I could squeeze in a visit.

This stretch next to the old Mint on Jessie St., off of Fifth St., is a major improvement over the sketchy alley it once was. Now, sparkly chic and artsy, it’ll attract shoppers from the San Francisco Center and offer green space for the residents of the restored commercial buildings that have been turned into lofts.

Animal Instinct

Ah, the life of a food writer. One moment you're dining on lobster and caviar, the next moment you're in a hotel's chilly fluorescent-lit windowless basement pastry room, among racks of lemon meringue petit fours, squinting as you try to make the world's tiniest eyes out of black fondant and attach them to some fondant hybrid of a duck and a chick (a chuck?) that you've come up. A lot of cursing is involved.



Making fondant pigs is harder than it looks.

A Lone Voice of Creamy Dissent

Here’s a sight that epitomizes the San Francisco version of a Saturday night dinner party—dessert at my house last Saturday night.



It doesn’t get much better than five flavors of Bi-Rite Creamery ice cream, plus fresh berries. But let’s talk about those five flavors for a second: Coffee Toffee, Butter Pecan, Mint Chocolate Chip, Cookies ’n’ Cream and Salted Caramel.
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