I'm a former college writing instructor currently serving as Program Manager for University of California Curriculum Integration. I am passionate about media literacy and technology.
In addition to being an educator, I am also a writer whose work has appeared at Poynter.org, the San Francisco Appeal and SF Public Press. I also write the blog, San Francisco Treats--my tribute to all the best treats you can find in one of the best cities in the world.
I love cooking, baking, reading and hiking...and running up and down the hills of San Francisco. I can be reached via email at s.e.fidelibus [at] gmail [dot] com, and through any of the social media channels you see below. I would love to hear from you.
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Category Archives: Foodstuffs
Asterisk San Francisco contributor Mark Holland and I agree on one thing: The importance of a good editor
The argument that so many chefs are just elitist, talentless hacks is tiresome and old, yet Holland makes it anyway, stating early in his piece that, “Chefs love taking food off the dining tables of the poor, stuffing it with truffles, frying it in duck fat and serving it in the lofty dining rooms of some of the city’s finest restaurants.” The phrasing is a bit over-the-top, calling to mind an image of a white-coated, toque-bedecked culinary school grad ripping a chicken leg out of the hands of a starving child, only to then stud the meat with expensive ingredients that will make this once humble fare no longer affordable to the masses. Granted, in recent years we’ve all seen examples of this trend in which a chef takes what Holland terms, “blue collar staples” and reworks them into a ridiculous (and cost-prohibitive) reincarnation. (Remember the $175 Richard Nouveau burger, featuring an ingredient list that read like a menu and a jewlery catalog? Foie gras, truffles, and even “flakes of gold leaf” topped the burger’s half-pound-plus Kobe beef patty.) Continue reading
I spent this past summer in New York, and one of the things I missed the most about San Francisco was my ready access to fruit from Frog Hollow Farm–their peaches in particular, which are the best peaches I’ve ever had. Their nectarines are also amazing, and I feel I should mention here that when one of my NYC co-workers went to San Francisco on a visit, she brought back to New York a huge bag of Frog Hollow Farm nectarines. When one of my other co-workers tried a slice, he exclaimed, “Oh my God–what is that???”, as he reached for more. A third co-worker answered, “They’re nectarines. That’s what fruit is supposed to taste like.” Continue reading
Unlike many a place hipsters like to flock, Burma Superstar is actually deserving of its reputation. From the savory garlic and wine braised pea shoots to the hearty pork and pumpkin stew, nearly everything at Burma Superstar is fantastic, especially what is probably its most famous dish, the tea leaf salad. Continue reading
The citrus at my farmer’s market right now is downright glorious: the oranges and lemons are at the peak of their season, full of flavor and heavy with juice. So of course, I’m buying a lot of both, as I did today. When I got home and put the fruit into my fruit bowl, I could not resist taking a photo. The colors are so deep and bright, a wonderful counterpoint to the clouds that began gathering outside. Continue reading
I’m not exactly sure why, but there is something irresistible to me about lemons. When they become so abundant that they seem to take over the farmer’s market, I load up on them and make as many lemon desserts as … Continue reading
Since the year began, I have been trying to eat as little processed food as possible. My decision is the result of a variety of concerns–concerns about what processed food could be doing to my health, and concerns over the environmental impact of the production. And truth be told, Michael Pollan’s books The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food went a long way toward convincing me that whole foods are the way to go. Continue reading
I still remember the first thing we ever learned how to make in that kitchen: little “pizzas” assembled from an English muffin split in half and topped with tomato sauce and grated cheese. And I can still clearly recall each of the steps involved and how pleasing they were to my five-year-old self: brushing the muffin halves with olive oil, then sprinkling them with oregano before moving on to smother the crusts in tomato sauce from a jar and finish things off with some grated mozzarella. When the snacks came out of the oven—soft, warm, and melty with cheese—I couldn’t believe we had made these ourselves; they were delicious! Continue reading
One of the experts who wants to help America “eat this, not that” is Joy Bauer, the resident nutritionist on the set of NBC’s Today show. Rail-thin and a bit high-strung (early last week she actually recommended that viewers “learn to become fidgety” in order to burn extra calories throughout the day), Bauer performs various functions, including answering viewer questions and, on two Monday mornings a month, inducting people with weight loss success stories into the Joy Fit Club. Continue reading
For me, that new ritual may very well come in the form of sea salt caramels, a treat I made this past Friday for a holiday gathering of friends that happened on Saturday. When I saw Ina Garten make them on her show a few weeks ago, I thought sacks of the little treats would make great party favors; plus, in a season in which people are receiving plates full of cookies, fudge and fruitcakes from friends and neighbors, this little bag of caramels would be an unexpected treat. What’s more, they last a good long time, much longer than cookies or fudge, and therefore could be put away and enjoyed next month, even, when one is not being offered sugar-laced snacks several times a day.
I was indeed glad I made these. First, they were fun to make, and the kitchen smelled intensely of butter and vanilla long after the caramel mixture was setting in the fridge. In addition–and perhaps more importantly–they taste great: creamy and rich, with buttery, nutty, salty notes; you can tell they were made from scratch. Continue reading
As I mentioned in my most recent post, I’ve been working my way through Nicole Rees’s amazing cookbook, Baking Unplugged. The text celebrates the joys of making things completely by hand–no machines or fancy gadgets required.
So far, every recipe I have tried (five, as of this writing) has been fantastic, from stick-to-your fingers moist chocolate snack cake to breakfast rolls flavored with orange zest and cardamom and dotted with rum-plumped golden raisins. Among these five recipes, the simplest has been the Cranberry Clafouti; it’s also been one of the most enjoyable, with a depth of flavor that I would have never expected from a dessert that is like a custardy puff pancake. Continue reading