11.30.2009

Pear Tarte Tatin- So Good It Hurts



It was so good it hurt. A buttery, flaky crust with a thick sweet caramel coating. Lying in between these two decadent layers were toasty soft pears.

Recently, this blog has really inspired me to spend more time in my own kitchen and cook. I invited some friends over for dinner to enjoy a little Thanksgiving after Thanksgiving. I mean if it was so good the first time why not have it again, right? So that is what we did. There were no leftovers left to enjoy but I was able to whip up a simple Thanksgiving-inspired dinner.

For dinner we enjoyed turkey cutlets simply seasoned and sautéed. To accompany we had maple brown sugar yams and roasted balsamic brussel sprouts. The real star of the meal was the Pear Tarte Tatin for dessert.

You will have to get an early start for this dessert, but it is worth the wait. The end result includes textures and tastes that deceive and surprise you! Between the three of us this 9’ dessert hardly seemed like enough.

Cut.

Share.

Enjoy the sweet pleasure.

11.24.2009

Ode to Joy (the Baker)


I have developed quite a fondness for Joy the Baker. From her sweet and candid stories to her mouth-wateringly beautiful pictures, Joy’s blog runs the gamut of ingredients often inspiring me in the kitchen.

Case in point: what can you do with a bunch of zucchini? Joy knows: make some pancakes. So that is exactly what I did. These zucchini pancakes were surprisingly simple to whip up. They make a great starter dish or a nice light dinner when you are just cooking for yourself.

Need something to tide your Thanksgiving guests over while the turkey is in the oven? Make some zucchini pancakes and your guests will thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving.






11.19.2009

I Left My Heart In San Francisco!



I wish it were Saturday. I wish I were walking around the Ferry Building with Christina and Angela. I want to feel the cool Bay Area breeze. I want to hear the cacophony of the different people enjoying the farmer’s market behind the building. I want to see the bridge in the distance while eating my fresh Taylor pear. I miss San Francisco, but cliché, as it may be I miss Saturday morning in the Ferry Building the most.

There is something grand about the Ferry Building with its high ceilings and perfectly manicured stalls. There is something enthralling about Miette Patisserie and Blue Bottle Coffee the lay within its walls. It is an engrossing place the Ferry Building is. One could spend the morning lost in the riveting produce aisles, oyster bars and wine racks. The perfume of freshly baked bread and fresh wheels of cheese hugging each step through its halls.

Angela (Spinach Tiger), me, and Christina (HotPinkManolos)


tomato varieties I've never even seen before


bright peppers and eggplant


stunning purple pluots


a tangle of grapes


a bunch of blossoms


a sweet basket of baby corn


a treasure trove of jar filled jewels


a tasty treat for R


sweet, juicy, perfect


baked beignet bites



miette confection masterpieces




blue bottle coffee, there is no coffee like this!


It is no wonder so many before me have also fallen in love with San Francisco!



11.15.2009

Last of the Season


There it was, one last basket. I thought I would have to wait another year until I would see them again. I zeroed in on the plump purple glory. There they were at the Los Feliz farmer's market a couple of weeks ago - just one lonely basket of figs sitting among a sea of persimmons and pears. The last basket was mine, and there were officially no more figs at the farmer’s market. They were so soft they needed to be enjoyed that day.

I found the recipe at Food52.com. It was simple and filled the kitchen with sweet aromas. The figs softened in the syrup composed of water, sugar, rum and vanilla bean. The result is an ethereal lightness that collapses when touched.

A dollop of thick, tart vanilla bean Greek yogurt was the perfect compliment to the sweet syrup and figs.

You will have to wait until figs are in season again next year before you can make this recipe, but trust me - it is worth the wait!

1 pound ripe figs

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon rum

½ vanilla bean scored down middle so seeds can release into syrup

Place whole figs in a saucepan. Cut small slits at the top of each fig. Sprinkle sugar over figs in pan. Add a tablespoon of water and a tablespoon of rum (or more as needed). Place vanilla bean in center of the pan.

Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered until sugar dissolves and caramelizes approx. 15 minutes.

11.10.2009

Fun Filled Foodbuzz Festival!

Put two hundred and fifty-plus food fanatical fiends in one room. Fill it with unlimited drinks and mass amounts of delectable delights. What do you get? 48 hours of non-stop eating at First Annual Foodbuzz Food Blogger Festival in San Francisco.

The weekend began with a welcome reception happy hour on the gorgeous Hotel Vitale terrace overlooking the Bay Bridge. It quickly moved on to a frenzied food fair of San Francisco’s finest food trucks all gathered at the historic Ferry Building.

Having enjoyed my share of amazing food truck selections around Los Angeles, I have to say with all humility that LA has nothing on the food trucks of San Francisco. San Francisco’s mobile eateries are innovative, fresh, and nothing short of brilliant.

From pizza to cupcakes, meat pies to oysters, the Taste of SF Street Food Fare had it all.


Mission Minis are gourmet mini cupcakes that are baked fresh daily throughout a number of locations around the San Francisco area. They were presented on a tier of cake heaven with more flavors than the heart could dream of. I of course sampled one of everything. For me the standout flavors were the Strawberry Lemonade and Swiss Almond Coconut. The next day at the Tasting Pavillion I had another sample of each of my favorites.

The Pie Truck offers delicious baked hand held savory pies. My favorite was the Steak and Gruyere. Buttery, flakey dough encapsulating a hot a gooey mix of nutty Gruyere and toothsome steak.

While the cupcakes and meat pies were out of this world fantastic, they did not hold a flame to Roli Roti’s Porchetta Sandwiches. I found myself chanting “I love crispy skin!” after eating one of these impressive sandwiches. Roli Roti is the country’s first mobile rotisserie. They roast pork belly rolled together with pork lion. The fatty drippings glaze yellow potatoes lying below. The pork majestically turns on the metal spit while its skin slowly begins to crispy and harden. The pork is then taken off the spit and placed on the cutting board where the flavors are allowed to mellow and blend before being cut into thick rounds, rubbed with sea salt, and covered in chopped parsley. The meat is crammed between two hearty pieces of ciabatta bread and ready to dive into. I ate this fatty treat in 2.5 seconds, the oil dripping down my chin. When all was said and done I was left to marvel at the flavors. The juicy pork loin, the crunchy crispy pork skin, and the fatty bits squished in between. The flavors were so bright and rich. LA needs a Roli Roti’s!

To be continued…























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