Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Favorite: Spaghetii O's

I had a relatively normal childhood (define 'normal' I guess.) But in all seriousness, it was a great childhood. One thing I never really had though? Spaghetti O's. Or really any canned foods for that matter. (Thank you to mom and dad!)

But there is still something about Spaghetti O's that still makes me think of childhood. And so when Chef Jen Biesty told us that she had 'spaghetti o's' on her menu, I had to run over and try them.
These delicious little o's was cooked simply in a pork ragu, and it was one of the best things I've ever had! Who needs canned spaghetti o's when you can have this instead? I am craving these all the time now!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Wishing my dad the best father's day!! The best dad a gal could ask for. He's always been there for me, is incredibly strong and thoughtful, and someone I respect immensely.

And a great big happy father's day to all the other dads out there. Check out this cute luggage tag I spotted one day when walking on the street...super cute! Just perfect for the occasion!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Oink Oink!

I love pork. My favorite meat, hands down. Well, I recently had the chance to attend the Cochon555 event in San Francisco. A pork lover’s dream come true. Basically, in an effort to raise awareness about heritage pigs, five chefs were invited to attend and cook a 100 pound heritage pig. In addition, there were five vineyards pouring wines to pair with the delicious porkiness. Cochon (little pig). Five pigs, five chefs, five vineyards. Is it all coming together?

Some food highlights from the event?

Chef Nate Appleman from A16 and SPQR made a pork skin sushi roll! And umm, porchetta. Chef Ravi Kapur of Boulevard served a trotter cake, a slider, and oh, the best thing ever: a porky bacon rice crispy treat. Chef Ryan Farr had a chicharrone taco and a yummy corn dog! I missed out on the lard cookies (bummer! Think this means I’ve got to get myself out to Humphrey Slocomb soon for the Boccalone lard shortbread cookies!) Chef Stefan Terje from Perbacco made an awesome blood brioche sandwich. So good. There was also pork shoulder with polenta. Winner of the competition was Chef Peter McNee from Poggio. What could beat trotter tots? Oh, maybe his apricot crumble with lard and bacon.

Another highlight from the event?

The piggy decorations and the full pig that was butchered in a demonstration!

All in all, a really fun evening. An evening of swine and wine and lots of good friends.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The End of An Era

Earlier this week, a very special restaurant to me closed. Postrio restaurant in San Francisco, as I know it, closed it's door. It was the end of an era.

The restaurant has been open for more than 20 years, and in that time, some of this city's best chefs (some of this country's best chefs!) went through that kitchen. Not only amazing back of the house staff, but front of the house as well. It's all been said before...from EaterSF, from Michael Bauer himself, MenuPages, and all over the blogosphere. Nothing new I can really add?

But what CAN I say? This place is more than a restaurant to me. It's the place that let me cook. The place I was given a chance in the kitchen. Where I was given the chance to see if I could cut it, and a place where I could learn.

The time I staged there, were some of the best food moments I've had in my life. The experience, the people I met, the things I learned about food, the things I learned about the profession and most importantly, the things I learned about myself, will always be with me.

I thank Jim, Seis, Ian, Patsy, Paul, Mike, Jose, Nino, Tasia, Katie, Seth, Alberto...the list goes on and on. The front of the house, the back of the house...everyone from the servers to the runners to the dishwashers helped me out at one point or another.

I only have one candid snap shot from my time cooking there, and it's not the best photo, but a photo that I cherish. Especially now. That was a special time and a time that can't be recreated.

I know my short stint staging and working the pantry station might not seem like much to those in the profession. The people that do this day in and day out, for 10, 12, 14 hours a day. For 5, 6 or even 7 days a week.

But to me, it was important. And it was an experience I don't take lightly. So excuse me while I sit in my corner and mourn the closing of this restaurant and the end of a special chapter in my life.

Friday Favorite: A Box of Treats

Sometimes, the best things in this world are the things you didn't even know you needed. Here's a nice surprise came to me at work one day, and it felt like it was Christmas!

A nice mid-week treat, an ENORMOUS box of Nancy Boy products. I couldn't wait to get home to dig into it and to try them all out!! Check 'em out and do your part to support a local San Francisco company. They've got some GREAT stuff!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Looking for a Cheer Up

Everyone’s got bad days. Bad weeks. We all need some cheering up sometimes. This was me a few weeks ago. So what did I do? I called upon my amazing friends to help. What did we do?

Let’s see, drinks were involved.

Four Roses small batch whiskey sour and a Bullet bourbon with St Germain and fernet

There was lots of bubbly. Bubbly and friends always makes it better. And to top if off? Seven courses of beef.

So much love to my friends. You sure do know how to take care of a girl. MWAH.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Happily Ever After

Today, I think about love. I want to wish my parents a happy anniversary. Married for 32 years, today would have been their 34th anniversary.

A fire burning in the fireplace of the house I grew up in.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Coming Back

It's been a long time since I've updated my blog. I'm just finding myself in another one of those lulls. In a funk. Having trouble writing.

Hopefully I'll snap out of it soon. In the meantime, I'll try to at least post some pictures and fun things. And continue on my search for some inspiration.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Favorite: Baby Zuccini and Squash

This photo says it all. What more could you need/want than these gorgeous baby zuccini's and squashes?

I took this photo at the Dupont Circle Farmer's Market a few weeks ago when I was in Washington D.C. One of the reasons I was so excited for this photo? Just two nights ago, I had tasted some of the best baby zuccini, cooked up with some sweet corn, serrano peppers, Mexican cream and queso fresco at Oyamel restaurant. YUM.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday Favorite: Porchetta!

I mean really? DELICIOUS! One of my favorite Saturday Farmer's Market favorites! Yumm!

There's always a line--so don't let that deter you. But come on. It's SO worth the wait!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Eye of the Beholder

They say 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder'. I like that saying a lot. Many things are 'in the eye of the beholder' actually. It's what makes us all different. And it's what makes the world go 'round.

I was recently reminded of this. I was walking past the popular shop Lush with a friend. She had to duck in to purchase two gifts really quickly. I perused the shop full of colorful bath 'bombs'. But these two displays stopped me in my tracks.

To me, they didn't look like bath products. To me, it was a scene straight from a French market. There was the wheel of cheese, with a smaller chunk cut up and sitting on top, all ready for me to grab and go. And then there was the macaroons! Doesn't it look like one of those gorgeous, colorful macaroon displays you'd find in some French patisserie?
Just another reminder...things aren't always what they appear to be!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Meal of the Month: May

One of these months, I'm going to totally take it easy. And I'm going to have a 'slow month'. May was not one of those months.

Many of my May meals I've talked about. My sad, but amazingly delicious, last supper at Jack Falstaff, the yummy comfort food at Emmy's Spaghetti Shack and of course the delicious home cooked fried chicken meal.

I also checked out South, had a great lunch at Heaven's Dog, enjoyed a late night burger at Grubsteak, caught up with good friends over a meal at Ponzu (before seeing Wicked, the BEST show out there right now!), and also checked out Bush-Tei Bistro with a friend for her birthday dinner!

There were all of the great meals I had while in Miami: amazing fish at Area 31, cocktails at Sra Martinez, dinner at fratelli Lyon, and the amazing authentic Portuguese style home cooked meal.

There were all of the great meals I had while in Washington DC: Urbana (thanks for the tastings Chad, Nic and Alex!), Oyamel (where Omar brought me my first taste of cricket!), bubbly brunch at Tabard Inn, dinner al fresco at Proof, nibbles at Circa, and drinks at Marvin, Vinoteca, and The Gibson.

There was the wedding meal at my dear friend's Mark and Serene's wedding that was special because of the location (amazing views of Bodega Bay!), company, and of course, occasion.

But none of these were the winning meals. The meal of the month was a super simple home cooked meal. Fresh roasted beet salad with some greens, brown butter asparagus, and a simple pork chop with caramelized onions. Sometimes the best things are the simplest things.