Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Favorite: New Favorite Beer

Such a delicious perfect summer beer! Thanks to the guys at 10 Downing for introducing me to this...I have a feeling I'll be drinking a lot of this all summer.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Favorite: Oysters!

On a sunny spring day...what could be better than bubbles, oysters and good friends??

Thanks Chad for planning such an amazing day!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Happy Picnic Day!

It's Picnic Day! One of my favorite days of the year. This beautiful chocolate 'painting' of cows that I saw back in February made me think of Picnic Day.

Such happy little cows. Happy cows come from Davis! To me, Picnic Day is all about the alumni pancake breakfast, the parade, the wiener dog races, and of course...Battle of the Bands!

Here's one of my favorite photos of my two brothers and I at Picnic Day two years ago:

Go Ags!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Favorite: A Backyard

One of my favorite pics. It makes me really want to have a backyard in San Francisco. I could read outside. Have a little herb garden. Have beautiful summer dinners al fresco. Ahhh. Some day.

You might be wondering how I snapped this shot? Well. Let's just say a run through the neighborhood one Sunday afternoon turned into a "let's pop into any open houses we see along the way..." and this GORGEOUS 3 story Noe Valley condo (complete with not one, but two balconies), also had this lovely backyard. So! Until I get a backyard of my own, I'll keep thinking of this one.

Friday, April 9, 2010

One Year Ago...Pebble Beach

It's hard to believe that it was a year ago this weekend that I made the trek down to the Pebble Beach Food & Wine was such an amazing experience. The best part of it? It was a last minute, spur of the moment trip. Here's to taking last minute chances and to having a sense of adventure!

That seems so long ago...I wonder where I'll be next year at this time.

Friday Favorite: Bouquet of Chilies

A shot from a recent trip to the Ferry Building Farmer's Market:

It was so simple, but this bouquet really caught my eye!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Range of Emotions

I've recently been spending a few nights staging in a restaurant kitchen. I've only been in a few times, but I am hoping to go back. I'm still processing all of my feelings and digesting everything. And there's definitely been an adjustment period. This kitchen and this experience has been very different from my experience in the Postrio kitchen. Amazing and unique in it's own ways, but just different.

After my last shift? Some words came to my mind:

Adrenaline rush
Worn out

But the word I'm holding on to? Determination. I'm determined. Determined to do a good job. Determined to learn. Determined to contribute to the kitchen team and to the restaurant. Determined to be allowed back. And determined to take advantage of this unique experience.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Meal of the Month: March 2010

Well. March was a busy month. And not surprisingly, once again, filled with many amazing meals. There was a dinner at Scala’s (with a soon to be bride and groom), a Sunday brunch at OTD Bush Street with two busy chef friends, nibbles at the bar at Range (with two fun industry friends), checking out the newly opened Marlowe with a friend, nibbles at Cav after a long day of work (and getting to meet Chef Johnny in person after a long Twitter friendship), catching up with an old friend at OTD Bush Street, a pizza Pi date with friends in my neighborhood, and nibbles and drinks with old and new friends at Heaven’s Dog. Let’s not forget a crazy industry party/book launch party (on a Sunday night no less), that started off with drinks and food at Orson, and then lead a smaller group of us to Pizzeria Delfina for an ‘after party’ of sorts.

And there were lots of meals with family (and friends that are like family to me). Dinner in Martinez with my East Bay family, my dad’s birthday dinner at Incanto, a special pizza dinner with a special friend Mo (who is family to me), and then dinner at a very special occasion—my good friend Adam’s wedding. Oh. And speaking of family. There was family meal at Incanto. Twice.

The spread at Mo's table

We can’t forget about the fun nights with two of my closest girlfriends. There was the slightly crazy girls night out (ahem, which some boys crashed), that started at Bean Bag, then progressed to Nopa, Club Waziema, and finally Madrone Lounge…and then the even crazier girls night out which started off with nibbles at Slow Club but then moved onto crashing (kind of crashing) a crazy house party followed by crashing a bachelor party. Oh. And did I mention the seven plus course brunch at the Four Seasons that Defne and I had?? Ummm, yea. Extravagant. And yet oh so delicious.

Crab Cake Eggs Benedict

My Meal of the Month would have to be the Head to Tail dinner at Incanto. Chef Chris Cosentino’s annual dinner, it’s been a tradition of mine to go, and this year was no different. Why was it so special and why was it my Meal of the Month? Some of it? Tradition. A tradition I started a few years ago that I’m able to share with my food crazed friends. Another reason why? It’s a way for me to support my friend Chef Chris Cosentino. Another reason? It’s a meal that’s unlike anything else that I can find anywhere. There are always surprises! And most importantly? Part of the reason this meal is one of my favorites each year? The anticipation of it and then the discovery of all of these new dishes and new flavors. I always know I’m going to have a unique (and delicious) experience.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday Favorite: Moon Mountain

One of my favorite wines...

To be fair, I have to say that it's not only the yummy taste of this wine that I love, but also because it brings back a lot of great memories. In fact, almost exactly a year ago to the date, I was celebrating my birthday in the gorgeous home on the vineyard with some of my closest friends. Since then, this wine has made an appearance at my Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, and other all around fun meals. Here's to the many friends that I've had the pleasure of sharing some Moon Mountain wine with!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Needing To Go Back...

I don't know what took me so long. Maybe I was scared? Maybe I wasn't sure if what I had was a fluke? A one time thing? That it was something so special, I shouldn't even try to recreate it.

What am I talking about? I'm talking about cooking. In a restaurant kitchen.

Although I often think about those days (and long nights) that I had been staging at Postrio, I didn't realize that it had almost been 18 months since I'd worked there. Many of you have read on this blog about my adventures in the kitchen. The trials and errors. The ups and the downs. The rushes. The highs.

I'd been thinking a lot about cooking again recently. And thanks to a friend, I even had the chance to enroll in some classes through the local culinary school. It took about an hour for me to realize. I needed to learn on the job. Not in the classroom. I'd been lucky enough to have spent time in a restaurant kitchen before, and this wasn't going to cut it anymore. I'm not looking to make a career change here, so the classroom stuff? While it was great fundamentals, I missed the adrenaline rush of the kitchen. I missed the energy. The team work. I missed working with, and learning from, serious cooks. It kicked me into high gear.

Now? Now, I'm searching. For a restaurant that will let me come and work. That will welcome the free help, that will be patient with me. Who has cooks that want to, and are able to, teach someone. I'm looking for a kitchen that recognizes that I have something to give. And that I will be dedicated to their kitchen. And continue to give my time, for as long as I'm learning. And having fun.