Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Favorite: A Small Urban Garden

Such a pretty garden! I walk by it every day and hold onto hope that some day I'll have enough space (and time!) for a serious garden of my own!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Favorite: Sangria and Girls!

Such a simple and beautiful thing. Good friends. Sun. Sangria. Ahhh. Perfect Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I recently read this post about salt and whether or not people had special containers for salt. It caught my attention because I am one of those people. Not only do I have a container for salt, I have many. But I never really thought about it.

When I took the time to think about it, I realized. I had five. There’s the kosher salt in the small round ceramic dish—which was once a cheese dish. It's kind of my go-to salt dish when I'm at the stove cooking.

There’s the “Salt Lady”, which I inherited from a college roommate. I’m not really sure the history or story behind the “Salt Lady”, but I love her. She (filled with regular table salt, not kosher) gives my little stove top area some character.

Then there’s the Brooklyn salt and pepper shaker that I picked up Fish’s Eddy—the New York dish store that an old crush first told me about (you can see behind them, there are a few other item in my kitchen from Fish's Eddy!) There’s the little woven ‘basket’ that I use for my sea salt crystals. Believe this was originally a take home from some event or another that I went to. Long after the event, and long after I can even remember where I got this from, it still sits on my counter and is something I look at every day.

My newest edition? These beautiful small containers for salt and pepper. They’re now sitting on my table ready for dinner guest. Don’t you just love these little spoons?

When I do stop and think about salt, something else comes to mind. I think of my friend’s Serene and Mark’s wedding and to something the priest said during their ceremony.

“It’s hard to keep a house without salt. It adds flavor and taste to just about every dish.

But if you run out of toothpaste, you can brush with a mixture of soda and salt because of salt’s cleansing quali­ties.

If you develop a sore throat, you can gargle with salt because of its healing properties.

If you’re hungry, you can cure a ham or other meat with salt because of its preserving qualities.

You can use salt to melt the ice that builds up in the winter cold; salt can also be used to put out fires that flare up.

So if you’ll bring to the marriage the qualities found in salt — the cleansing quality, the healing quality, the preserving quality —

If you use it to enhance the flavor of your life together; to melt the ice that will build up and put out the fires that will occasionally flare up between you; and, of course, if you take everything with a grain of it, you will have a long and happy life together.”

The night of the wedding, my date (also someone in the food world) and I talked about that verse. I think it stuck with us because of our love for all things food related. Almost a year later, I still think about that verse. My friend Serene still tells me that aside from she and Mark, we’re probably the only people that were at the wedding that remembers that verse. I guess some things just strike a chord and stay with you.

Monday, May 17, 2010


I recently became the proud owner of a small strawberry plant. Strawberries are one of my favorite fruits, so I'm especially excited to see if I could keep it alive and eventually, taste my own home grown strawberry!

Below you'll see two pictures. The one on the left? My humble little plant. Sitting on my window sill, with a teeny tiny berry popping out!

The photo on the right? Umm. Yea. That's how the professionals do it. Taken recently from a trip to Blue House Farm, check out how great their strawberry looks!

So yea. Let's see how my little plant does. I would be so happy if in a few more weeks I had a ripe red sweet berry growing in my home!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Favorite: A Pretty Display

Such a beautiful display--anyone know where this can be found? One of my favorite spots in the city...although I wish I could have this display in my home!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Attempted: Seasonal Fruit Desserts

I was honored to be asked to participate in a blog cookbook spotlight to highlight Deborah Madison's new cookbook, Seasonal Fruit Desserts. I was THRILLED when the book arrived. Couldn't wait to flip through it. Read it cover to cover. And already thought about which recipes I wanted to make.

So I was SO excited to get started. I had loads and loads of fresh strawberries, and was ALL ready to tackle the Berry Galette. It sounded just perfect. And that was when it happened.

My oven broke. I had all of the ingredients out, and was all ready to make the pastry dough, when I went to turn on the oven to pre-heat it, I realized it didn't work. The clock was still on. And the timer button worked. But as I went to go touch the bake and broil buttons? Nada. The oven was broken. No Berry Galette for me.

Now, we're in the midst of going through warranties, having repair men come and look at the oven, getting parts ordered (expensive parts, might I add), and well. It's a waiting game.

So until the oven's fixed? Torture. Looking through all of the recipes. Mouth watering. I'm anxious to try a lot of the recipes. For example:

Nearly Candied Quince...I can't wait for quince season. Sounds SO good!

Yeasted Sugar Cake...I love simple cakes. And this one with some berries on top sounds perfect for a summer picnic.

Almond Corn Flour Cake...I love almonds. And I love corn. Sounds like the perfect combo to me.I'm guessing this is going to be a favorite in my house.

Ricotta Mousse...Yum!

Persimmon Pudding...We had persimmon trees in the backyard growing up. And although I couldn't really appreciate the persimmon when I was young, my sister and I would rake the large persimmon leaves every fall. So many great memories! Well, now, I've learned to appreciate the delicious presimmon, and can't wait to make this pudding!

Milk and Honey Custard...Custards. I'm a sucker for a good custard. I can't wait to make different versions of this custard, using different honeys!

Pomegranate Gelee...I love gelee. While I don't have that chocolate sweet tooth, I see a gelee put in front of me, and I can't resist.

So readers. Stay tuned. As soon as this oven is fixed. I'm going out, and buying more berries, and trying again. Let's just hope it won't be stone fruit season by the time this oven's done. Well, I guess if that's the case, I'll just have to change plans and go for the Berry and Peach Cobbler instead.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New York City Green Market

I was in New York recently, and had about an hour to duck off to the Green Market in Union Square. It was an interesting experience to see what was in season on the East Coast, and to experience a New York City Farmer's Market.

I immediately noticed a ton of ramps. Ramps ramps ramps. They were beautiful. And there were plenty of them!

Apples! Apples were still around. That was a surprise to me...feels like it's been awhile since I'd seen them out here in San Francisco. But they were beautiful. And made me really want to make an apple pie.

And then asparagus was starting to make it's appearance. What I loved, was this farm's display:

South Jersey Asparagus?? Hmm. Something about that just doesn't feel right to me. I'm use to Cali grown asparagus, thank you very much!

No matter what city I'm in, or what season it is, I like checking out the local Farmer's Market. I love seeing what produce is available, talking to the local customers, meeting the regional farmers, and seeing what local producers are there.

However. After all is said and done, with the exception of maybe the Portland Farmer's Market, I tend to prefer my market here in San Francisco. Partly because I'm comfortable with it, I know the lay-out, I know the vendors, I know who's got the best Meyer lemons, who's got the best strawberries, etc. etc. And I've got all of my food vendors that I'm use to (the Green Market had NO coffee, can you believe that? My SF'ers, I was craving my Blue Bottle!) And on top of it all? My friends. Constantly running into friends, old and new. It's one of my favorite things about the market.

I guess when it's all said and one. There's no place like home!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Flowers for Mom

Thinking of my mom on this Mother's Day. Wishing every single day that I could talk to her again and that I could just see her and hug her. Tulips were my mom's favorite flowers, and each and every time I see some, I can't help but to snap a photo of them, and to pause. And to take a moment to think about my mom. Hoping you're all sending love to your moms on this Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Takin' My Time

I have been a bad blogger. And I know I've said it before and in the past, this type of post has been my recommitment to my blog. Promising lots and lots of posts.

But this time, it's a little different. There's been a lot going on in my life. A great deal of soul searching. A lot of time with good friends. And a lot of realizing what makes me happy. And what doesn't. A lot of good things have been happening. And on top of that? Lots of sun. And lots less computer time. So what does this all mean?

I am going to try and get back to my little blog. But I'm also going to take a little bit of a different spin on it. And try to write about some different things. There'll still be some of my usual posts--hopefully continuing to post a Friday Favorite picture, and yes, don't worry. The ever popular Meal of the Month 'column' will stay.

So, stay tuned. Just give me a little bit of time.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday Favorite: Spring!

Signs of spring are everywhere...and this girl is happy. Happy happy happy.

Here's hoping for more sun and less rain.