Everyday Art Gallery — Your Home

home-galleryArt lovers might consider their home as an immediate, enjoyable place to display art and sculpture so they can see it every day.

(Published by the San Jose Mercury-News and its affiliates on October 18, 2014.)

“Art” in many homes means a framed $30 poster, which makes Cathy Kimball sadly shake her head. “When you think that you could be buying a unique work of art by an artist in this community rather than supporting Pottery Barn,” sniffs the petite blonde.

Given the fact that Kimball is the longtime director of the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), her view is understandable. But she insists that putting real art on your wall doesn’t require a last name of Sobrato or Ellison. “Sometimes the price differential isn’t that big,” she says, between a work of art and a mass-produced something-or-other that was purchased to match the upholstery. Continue reading

Delfina’s New Pizzeria Conquers Palo Alto

Delfina pizza sausageThe newest Delfina pizza joint in downtown Palo Alto makes a darn good pie.

(Published by South Bay Accent in October, 2014.)

There’s nothing wrong with haute cuisine — and there’s more of it than ever in the region — but what most attracts Bay Area residents is not dressing up, not spending hours at the table and not taking out a bridge loan to pay the bill. Craig and Anne Stoll of the ever-expanding Delfina empire understand this concept better than anyone and their newest Pizzeria Delfina location on downtown Palo Alto’s sizzling new restaurant row on Emerson Street was mobbed from the day it opened in April. Continue reading

Simple Pasta Dish Featuring Healthy Kale

orchiette with kale and baconThis is a quick pasta dish that addresses the need to consume healthy greens — kale is often listed at the top — while not sacrificing taste. Slender-leaved black kale (cavalo nero) is great in this dish, but any kind of kale, green or red, or other hearty green will also be good. The dish can be made even tastier and prettier with the addition of tomatoes (sun-dried or cherry tomatoes) and other compatible ingredients. Make sure to add lots of grated parmesan, since there’s no “sauce” in this dish. Of the myriad kinds of pasta available, orechiette (“little ears”) is one of my favorites for its toothy texture and the way it holds ingredients. Continue reading

Easy, Delicious French Chicken Recipe

chicken with tarragon and creme fraicheThis simple entree — pan-roasted chicken breast with tarragon creme fraiche sauce — is impeccably French and ever so delicious. I saw it in a food magazine and tweaked it a bit. The most work involved is prepping and cooking the vegetables, so if you’re in a hurry, make just the chicken and sauce and serve with rice. Continue reading

Black Olive Caramel – Simple and Tasty “Sauce”

black olive caramelIt might sound weird, but this combination produces a subtle, exciting sauce that’s particularly great with lamb.

During a recent trip to Seattle, I dined at Mistral Kitchen and had an absolutely delicious entree of lamb loin medallions with black olive caramel. This led to the inevitable task of duplicating the sauce at home, where I discovered just how easy it is to make.  Some have said it’s a Catalan idea, but I’ve seen it accompanying all types of proteins and even dotting some dessert plates. The flavors are deep and interesting; earthy, slightly bitter from the olives and not particularly sweet, actually, although what sweetness is there helps to round out the flavors and add complexity. Continue reading

Stand-Up Paddleboard – Everyman’s Sport

SFThe hottest sport around these days is stand-up paddleboarding, which can be done all over the Bay Area in the ocean, bay, lakes and rivers.

(Published by the San Jose Mercury-News and its affiliates on August 17, 2014.)

When the surf is down, and the winds are slight, it’s time to walk on water — or so say an increasing number of Bay Area residents reveling in one of today’s hottest sports, stand-up paddleboarding. Continue reading

Artificial Turf: Green Lawns in an Era of Drought

dogs in yardWhether it’s enjoyed by the family or the family dogs, today’s artificial turf  is an attractive, realistic-looking option as well as a water-wise replacement for thirsty lawns.

(Published by the San Jose Mercury-News and its affiliates on August 2,  2014.)

It’s long been considered the bad toupee of the landscaping world by people recalling the atrocious-looking fake grass of earlier years or remembering football players who got the equivalent of rug burns when tackled on the stuff. Continue reading