San Francisco is for Nom Nom Nom
San Francisco is for Nom Nom Nom

I’d been pretty convinced of New York’s status as the finest food city in the States, but a few experiences last weekend have shaken that conviction a bit. Out in San Francisco, I spent a fast-paced, food-focused weekend hosted by Foodbuzz, an online community of bloggers and food lovers. Most of the activity was based around the Ferry Building, which is like a gastronomic Disneyland, especially on Saturdays when the farmers’ market takes place there.

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Video Treat: Saxelby’s Snazzy Cheese Sandwich
Recipes Video Treat: Saxelby’s Snazzy Cheese Sandwich

This savory little treat is overdue, but tasty nevertheless… and since it’s an ideal choice for New Year’s Eve appetizers, I think now’s the right time to unveil it. Behold! Snazzy grilled cheese as done by Anne Saxelby, charming monger of the Essex Street Market. This video was captured at this year’s NYC International Pickle Festival, back when short sleeved shirts and light summer dresses were appropriate attire. (Oh, how I pine for the sun!

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Recipes Recession-Proof: Bahn Mi Sandwiches

One of the first food adjustments people consider during downmarket days are meats. Like eggs and dairy products, meat is one of those commodities that shows an immediate rate jump. Those Porterhouses and T-bone steaks start looking mighty dear. And you’ll also note that the traditional foods of most cultures tend to embrace “scrap” meat and cheaper cuts. Ground meat, sausages, scrapple, haggis, cured belly bacon, tougher cuts long-stewed to tenderize… these are the foods of the commoners.

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Recipes Spicy Lamb Meatballs with Cool Cucumber Tzatziki

Filled with lots of tangy citrus and yogurt flavors and plenty of cool cucumbers, the foods of the Middle East seem particularly suited for warmer weather. I first encountered spiced ground lamb as a Turkish kabob, but I discovered that the whole operation with the stick seemed like just a bit too much fuss for regular use. Why not just make spiced lamb meatballs? They’re fun to make, not too fussy and are even very nice when munched as cold leftovers for your midnight snacking needs.

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Recipes Recession-Proof Recipes: The Salad/Sandwich

Confessional time: I love sandwiches. Truthfully, I’m rather sandwich crazy. This is probably a personality flaw on my part, but for some reason, everything tastes better when it’s wrapped in some kind of starch. J is generally the opposite. Bread is often too… you know, bready. Having been spoiled by homemade bread and Paris living, he’s a bread nerd who’ll just do without if he can’t get something from the fine local bakers at Sullivan Street, Balthazar or, in a pinch, Le Pain Quotidien.

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Recipes Travel All-American Road Trips: Denver

The Big View Flanked by mountains and ringed with highways, it’s easy to get lost in Denver’s strip malls, chain restaurants and outer-ring developments, but once you find your way to Colfax Avenue, you’re on the road to dining with the locals. I was suffering from a dreadful cold on the trip, so we didn’t get out to the bars at all, but there were a couple of spots that came highly recommended by my buddy Alex (a former Denverite):

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Food Quote Friday: Men at Work

Buying bread from a man in Brussels, he was six foot four and full of muscles. I said, do you speak-a my language? He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich. — Men at Work from Business As Usual

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Recipes Desktop Panini 101

Tired of brown-bagging cold sandwiches? Here’s my method for making hot, crusty paninoteca -style delights in my cubicle with no fuss and no mess. I’ve been doing it all week and I’m hooked. This is so darn simple, it’s really more of a method than a recipe. Desktop Panini 1 roll of aluminum foil 1 George Foreman grill or electric waffle iron electrical socket desk space sandwich of your choice

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The Tomato Sandwich. Simple. Succulent. Summer-y
Recipes The Tomato Sandwich. Simple. Succulent. Summer-y

Anything you’re forced to eat over the sink or off the edge of the deck is a sign of a life well-lived. Case in point: the Summer Tomato Sandwich. My landlord leaves tomatoes and cucumbers on the ledge of my kitchen windowsill. A neighborhood blessing. These very welcome offerings arrive mysteriously, no fanfare, as if on the wings of fairies, so it seems appropriate that they should make their way into my meals in a whimsical, offhand fashion.

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About Me

Miss Ginsu is a nom-nom-nom de plume of Leitha Matz, who worked at Tabla and FreshDirect in NYC, wrote about the food scene from 2004 to 2009 in Brooklyn and presently lives in Berlin. Occasionally seen on TV cooking segments, Leitha has also written for FreshDirect, contributed to Cee Cee Berlin, The Food52 Cookbook and has been interviewed/quoted in The Food Keeper as well as The Washington Times and Salon.

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