Ally back in a few days.
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Some might think they're a bit old fashioned, but I love recipe cards. They come in handy for those times when you've hit upon the perfect mixture of ingredients when experimenting in the kitchen or perhaps when your Great-Aunt Millie is drunk at Thanksgiving and you're finally able to get her to divulge the secret recipe for her famous lasagna. I've also seen them given as gifts for brides-to-be at showers...just have your friends each write down their favorite recipe on a card and then them place them in a cute recipe box. Wrap & voila, instant keepsake!

In the past, I've used simple index cards but that may be changing as I've found there are some really cute designs out there. Here's a few that might pique your interest from Etsy  or you could just design your own, they're pretty easy to make :

Damask Spring-Summer

Break Out The Fat Pants


My friend Cate makes this appetizer that's always a hit at her get-togethers and simply requires only two ingredients. Her roasted garlic is so delicious that I once ate two whole heads of garlic by myself while watching an episode of Glee at her house...seriously! Sure, I smelled like an Italian trattoria and had a stomachache the next day...but damn, it was good while I was eating it.

Roasted Garlic

~ Grab a few heads of garlic.
~ Remove the loose skin, keeping the rest intact.
~ Slice off the top of the heads. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, if you wish.
~ Place the garlic on a sheet of aluminum foil.
~ Drizzle generously with your favorite olive oil.
~ Wrap the garlic in foil and place it in on an oven-safe dish.

~ Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour @ 400 degrees, depending on how many heads of garlic you're cooking.

~ Remove from oven and serve.

* Cate usually serves them up with various crackers. You take a small knife or toothpick and pop the clove out of the head (it'll be soft). You can eat the whole clove as is or squeeze out the garlicky deliciousness and spread it on your cracker or sliced baguette.

Photo courtesy of  Noisebot

Williams-Sonoma is currently carrying a line of Star Wars products including pancake molds and cookie cutters for the young (or older) Jedi in your life.

The pancake molds are nonstick steel with handles and include Yoda, Darth Vader and a storm trooper. The cookie cutters are plastic and include Darth Vader, Yoda, Boba Fett and a storm trooper.

Williams-Sonoma - Star Wars Kitchen Gear


Some people may have visions of sugar plums dancing through their heads, but any Sacramentan worth their salt dreams of Kira O'Donnell's pastry perfections. Well, if you miss The Real Pie Company's tasty creations (O'Donnell's brick and mortar shop closed in 2008); you're in's back via the web! For the past few months, O'Donnell has been offering her tasty, handcrafted eats via email order. How do you partake, you ask? It's well, you know....

How to get your own Real Pie Company pie:

1. You can sign up to be on the email list at The Real Pie Company or email Kira directly at kiraodonnell @ to be added.
2. Each Monday you will receive an email detailing what freshly baked pies will be available for that week.
3. You then place your order via email (be sure to include your phone number).
4. In return you are assigned a claim number.
5. On Friday (after 2pm), you can pick up your order at (the East Sac) Corti's front counter with your claim number.

[Place your orders as early as you can as her pies sell out quickly. Prices range from $17-$20 per pie.]

This week's offering is: early-season Poppycock apricots from the local farmer's market coupled with Black Tartarian cherries in an open-faced galette.

* photo from

Perfect for a housewarming gift, these measuring cups from Anthropologie are dishwasher and microwave safe.  $14.95 on sale. 
All of us know a few overzealous Yelp reviewers that review a restaurant like a wolverine ravaging a reindeer when one minute detail goes awry. Well, waitress Jessica Wassill has decided to fight back by taking a humorous, artistic twist on agitated Yelp reviews on her new blog, Yelp Yack. Check it out!

Sometimes when baking, I can distracted by an article in my favorite magazine or an episode of "Nurse Jackie," but the "ping" of the timer brings me back to reality and back into the kitchen. A working timer is a necessity to making sure you don't burn your baked goods in the oven.  These "vintage" kitchen timers are not just adorable but they're practical too (magnetic backs so they don't get lost).

They can be found at SITE for $12.95
 Wienie Royal

921 V Street, Sacramento, CA 95818.  (916) 447-2264

Upon entering one’s own home in Japan, the standard greeting to announce his or her return is an enthusiastic, “Tadaima!” This translates loosely to, “Hi, I’m home!” Passing through the doorway of June’s Cafe, I had to fight the inclination to call this out because it felt a bit like home. A quick glance at the paper menu stapled to the wall, had me both nostalgic and salivating simultaneously. For most, if asked what their favorite childhood meals are, the answers would range from mac ‘n cheese to spaghetti and meatballs to bacon and eggs. Growing up in a Japanese-American household, my comfort foods would be curry rice, miso soup and pork katsu…exactly what June’s menu was promising me.

June’s Café is nestled in a non-descript building in the vicinity of 9th and V streets, in what used to be Sacramento’s Japantown. A small, inconspicuous wooden sign quietly announces its existence and the pungent aroma of fried onions welcomes you. The interior offers an old school Formica counter complemented by barstools and few small tables for its patrons. The décor somehow alternates between the starkness of a government office and the clutter of a tchotchke shop. Sporting a standard obachan apron and a few bobby pins askew in her bun, June herself is both grillmaster and cashier while her husband mans the front. Under the watchful eye of a dozen waving maneki-nekos, dishes are washed by hand and coffee is promptly refilled, in true diner fashion. Like a Hindu deity, June whips about—pouring, flipping and plating each order in a blur of arms, all the while nodding a greeting to her numerous regulars. Despite the whirlwind of activity, she doesn’t miss a beat nor disappoint her audience at the counter.

The menu itself is a mishmash of Japanese, American and Hawaiian dishes. You won’t find a spicy tuna roll or kahlua pork here; however, what you will find are several good, hearty dishes. Please note there’s no rabbit food or heart-healthy meals here, June’s is all about the grease factor. Try a loco moco (a Hawaiian favorite consisting of white rice topped with a hamburger patty and a fried egg drenched with gravy) or an oyako donburi (egg, chicken, mushrooms and onions simmered together and served over white rice with a splash of soy sauce). Trust me you’ll be waddling away from the counter. On my two visits, I tried the chicken curry rice and the famous wienie royal. The curry rice was spot on…just like mom’s. A nice breaded chicken cutlet smothered with a thick helping of sweet Japanese curry atop of…you guessed it…white rice. Man, the first bite brought back a flood of memories. On my second visit, I decided to throw caution to the wind and opt for the much talked about wienie royal. The wienie royal is a dish that is best known as a carryover from the Japanese-American internment days. This odd but tasty concoction consists of a hefty serving of sliced hot dogs, eggs, onions and soy sauce fried up and served with rice. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed. For the leery, June’s also offers burgers, various teriyaki dishes and a smattering of sandwich choices. There are a few vegetarian friendly dishes but be advised all orders are cooked on the same grill so if you have any qualms about your tofu touching meat, I’d advise skipping June’s. Finally, just to make sure you don’t go away hungry, all “American” dishes come with a generous helping of homemade macaroni salad and the Japanese and Hawaiian dishes come with both macaroni salad and a bowl of piping hot miso soup.

June’s is open for breakfast and lunch. You’ll find it closed on state holidays,weekends and whenever June and the Mr. want to get away for a vacation. On average, the lunch plates run a reasonable six to seven dollars; however, plastic is not accepted so be sure to hit up the ATM before dropping by. Also, be sure to wear your stretchy pants--your gut will thank you.

He smokes, he curses, he gets to eat the best food on the planet and he's coming to Sac. Bourdain's hitting the Memorial on September 17 to promote his new book, "Medium Raw," which is expected to hit the shelves June 8th. Tickets are on sale now via
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