A little cooking, creativity, cocktails and random errata….
- "Well behaved women seldom make history". LT Ulrich
Want to play catch-up?
- 10 in '10 4505 Meats bacon baking beans beef bourbon Bread breakfast budget butter cacao cake chard cheese chicken chile chocolate Christmas citrus cocktails comfort food cookies cooking CSA dessert dining Dinners at Anna's Easter eggs errata events family family memories farmer's market Ferry Building food Food Porn fruit gifts goat cheese good friends Happiness is... healing health healthy herbs holidays knitting lamb leeks leftovers nuts Pasta photos pizza pork potatoes quick cook recipe Recipes seafood Silliness simple pleasures Soup squash stew tomatoes turkey vegetables vegetarian vodka wine winter Wordless Wednesday
Join the fun with me and Anna!
Recipes from Heather in SF:
- Blackberry Cobbler Cocktail
- Brian Means’ Fifth Floor Citrus Bitters
- Brian Means’ Fifth Floor Lemoncello
- Carmen Miranda Sangria – San Francisco Style
- hal’s Negroni
- Meyer Lemon Infused Vodka
- My Word Cocktail
- Negroni Jelly
- Reposado Tequila Old Fashioned
- The Roost’s Lemon Drop
- Tropical Honey Coconut Water Cooler by the NHB
- Cherry Clafoutis
- Chocolate Chip Candied Bacon Cookies
- Coconut Biscotti
- Grandma’s Chocolate Mint Sticks
- Heather’s First Chocolate Custard Ice Cream
- Honey-Lemon Cheesecake Pops by David Guas
- Mom’s Vanilla Custard Ice Cream Base
- Orange Blossom Pecan Bars
- Pear Custard Tart
- Piña Colada Cake
- Roasted Quince
- Spumoni Biscotti
- Tapioca Pudding
- Fish and Seafood
- For Anastasia
- Beef Stew with a Twist
- Better Bacon
- Easy Steak Tacos (with Cherry Tomato Salsa and Guacamole recipes)
- Homemade Deviled Ham Spread
- Honey And Whole Grain Mustard-Glazed Pork Chop by David Guas
- Moroccan Lamb Tagine
- Pig Candy
- Quick Roast Pork Tenderloin
- Red Cooked Mangalitsa Pork Belly
- Slow Braised Pork with Butternut Squash and Orzo
- Must Try Soon
- Pastas, Pizzas, Breads, Sandwiches and Casseroles
- Buttermilk Biscuits by David Guas
- Chicken Parmigiana
- Easy Farro Pilaf
- Ginger Garlic Noodles
- Heather’s Family Club Sandwiches
- Herbivoracious Stuffed and Baked Polenta
- Honey-Candied Bacon and Lettuce Sandwich by David Guas
- mOm’s Memorial Day Baked Beans
- My Mmmmac’n’cheese (with variants)
- Quick Artichoke Marinara with Gnocci
- Red Quinoa Pilaf with Garlicky Greens
- Zucchini Lemon Ricotta Pasta
- Chicken Quinoa with Dried Fruit
- Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon and Artichokes
- Crispy Onion-Baked Tequila-Lime Chicken
- Honey BBQ Pulled Chicken on Buttermilk Biscuits by David Guas
- Julia Child’s Chicken Melon
- Kalofagas’s Crispy Roast Chicken with Tarragon and Lemon Verbena
- Panko Chicken Bites with Sriracha
- Red Cat’s Pan Seared Chicken (with hal’s modifications)
- Roast Truffled Duck
- Speedy Turkey Dinner (includes Brine and Gravy)
- Turkey Pot Pie (includes Buttermilk Biscuits)
- Soups and Sauces
- Asian Inspired Pork, Mushroom and Spinach Soup
- Bechamel Mucho – or White Sauce
- Blackberry-Sage Compote – Sauce for Roast Pork/Fowl
- Brown Sauce
- Chef David Bazirgan’s Fifth Floor Miso Soup (includes Dashi)
- Chicken Soup with Pumpkin and Marsala Wine
- Easy Roast Butternut Squash Sage Soup
- Family Meal Collective Parsnip Soup
- Fondue of Butter – Garlic Butter for Seafood
- HAL’s Pistou
- Heather’s Greek/Thai Fig Vidalia Onion BBQ Sauce
- Heidi’s Neighbor’s Coconut Red Lentil Soup (with HAL modifications)
- Honey BBQ Sauce by David Guas
- Ina’s Wedding Soup with Chicken Meatballs
- Italian Wedding Soup
- Katy’s Lycopene Cream
- Port, Cherry and Prune Sauce for Pork
- SFe Posole
- Vegetables, Salads and Sides
- Anna’s Braised Cabbage
- Boston Baked Beans
- Celeriac a Le Central
- Chive Cream Dressing
- Deborah Madison’s Skillet Potatoes with Sage and Taleggio Cheese
- Fast and Easy Caesar Salad Dressing
- Gigandes Plaki – Greek Baked White Beans
- Granny’s German Potato Salad
- Grape and Almond Salad with Honey Yogurt Dressing by David Guas
- Gratineed Leeks and Chard Stems
- Hands Off Caramelized Onions in the Crockpot
- Melitzanosalata – Greek Eggplant Salad/Dip
- Roasted Fennel Salad with Blackberries and Gorgonzola
- Sunny Stuffed Greek Peppers
- Zucchini Tiger Salad + Shiso Salad Dressing
Monthly Archives: May 2011
It was a soft Saturday morning in the City, the weather seemed unsure whether it was foggy or cloudy but definitely Spring was showing her cold cheek to the world.
I dressed up warmly in layers and headed to the farmer’s market with D___. Our goal: caffeine and evil breakfast goodies.
Our first stop – a rich chocolately mocha from Blue Bottle, then an evilly buttery, almond croissant. This kept us from dying of hunger while waiting in the eternally snaking line for Primavera. D__ chose the tacos el pastor while I shook things up from my usual order of chilaquiles and ordered crisp chicken enchiladas with salsa verde. Under all that lettuce was shredded chicken in a green chile tomatillo salsa inside their handmade tortillas, fried until crisp with cojita and sour cream.
While we were chatting post-nosh and gazing at the varying shades of grey in the sky, the Bay and the Bay Bridge I showed off my new socks, oooh so soft and squishy!
We cruised through the market checking out a few stalls here and there. I was on a mission for a few items: Meyer lemon rosemary bread from Trattoria, heritage dried beans from Tierra Farms and pork. My plan was to make posole, or pork and corn stew, and was delighted to find authentic Anasazi beans at the Tierra Farms stall. I also grabbed a sweetly fragrant bag of dried Ancho chiles and was enticed to buy a sachet of smoked onion salt. This is one of my favorite farmers at the market and I love chatting with Lee. She recommended using the smoked onion salt on popcorn, in fact she claims it is so shockingly good that you can’t help yourself from gobbling up an entire bowl. Well! How could I resist, right? D___ tried out their new strawberry chipotle hot sauce, sweetly zingy with a good smokey flavor.
We were planning to hit up Sur la Table but was sidetracked by the bins of richly marbled pasture raised meats of Marin Sun Farms. I spotted a fat pouch of pork stew meat, perfect for my SFe Posole Stew.
The gentleman ringing me up, Gareth Fischer, asked what I planned to do with the pork and we chatted a bit about posole and cooking and blogging when Gareth and I remembered we had met before at a wonderful dinner with his wife Maura, Traca of Seattle Tall Poppy, Luna of La Sirene Noir and Luna’s Kitchen Magic and others at the incomparable Incanto Restaurant. I promised to share my recipe and said our farewells. I will be back next week for a steak as their ribeyes looked incredible.
Onto Sur la Table, a gourmand’s version of Tiffany’s.. We felt like kids in a candy store, mock attacking each other with various implements and inappropriately modeling the goods.
And, for our performance art finale, how to kill a chicken.
Needless to say the store’s visitors and perhaps some of the staff were highly amused by our antics, as were we.
We did a bit of shopping inside the Ferry Building and suddenly the urge for a glass of wine sang its siren song and D__ recalled she had a chilled bottle of Chardonnay in her fridge. Full speed ahead!!
On the way we stopped in the Mission and finally visited the charming Pot + Pantry, a cookware shop. They sell unique new and used unusual cookery equipment and delightful art from Alyson Thomas of drywell art. I already own her San Francisco is for Carnivores print which makes me laugh every time I see it, but her current art show, Meat Market totally cracks me up. Her paintings of cuts of meat with racy captions is brilliant, my favorite is “Let’s Bone”.
But onto wine, watching the sunset from a comfy chair (shades of Monty Python) and a kind offer of ebi nabe for dinner, all graciously accepted.
The heavy clouds finally delivered their payload and back at home I was lulled to sleep by the rain and hail rattling against the windows and the hiss of wet pavement under the cars whizzing by down below the Roost. All in all fun Saturday romp!
Can you believe how big it is? And so so tasty…..
Today my produce CSA was delivered and I always look forward to it. But today an odd thing happened, I do not have a clue of what to do with it.
It is a beautiful selection, Spring brings such variety and flavor. Thank goodness Spring is here at last.
Everything is in amazing condition.
The CSA included apples, oranges, grapefruit and farm eggs. Also in the fridge is green onions, a giant yellow onion, garlic and celery.
Since my fridge is super tiny I decided to peel the fave beans. The plump green pods easily release from their furry pods.
The beans themselves are in a thick jacket that usually needs to be loosened from the bean by a quick turn in boiling water, then shocked in ice water and peeled. When they are this young and fresh though, the beans just pop out after a quick nick of my thumbnail.
I decided to just cut up the berries, sugar them a little, add some Grand Marnier and vanilla paste.
Then, for the first time in my life, I ate an entire carton of berries, all by myself.
I know, it’s silly but I feel like fruit is a special treat and despite not being raised this way I have felt for years that it’s rare and special and therefore it’s naughty to eat a whole box of berries. Then naughty became “not”ey and then not. I’m trying to correct this wrong thinking, one carton at a time. (A big thank you to A___ for this line of thinking tonight.)
I do know I need to eat a head of these lettuces and at least one piece of fruit each day, and I have more broccoli from two weeks ago which is still in pristine shape. I’m thinking broccoli soup.
So, what do I do with everything else? My creativity is tapped out and I am uninspired. That cupboard is empty and rattling)
If you have ideas for these other vegetables please please let me know. It’s a dilemma.
The first Saturday of May is the Kentucky Derby or “The Run for the Roses”. It is also the ultimate time of the year to drink mint juleps and feast with friends at G___’s house.
Somehow G__ effortlessly hosts 60 people or more in her home with the grace and effusive charm that only a truly gracious Southern lady can muster. Today’s soiree was another perfectly delightful gathering.
G___ is a fantastic cook and hostess and she made a huge number of Southern delicacies for the groaning buffet tables:
• deviled eggs
• pimento cheese
• pepper jam slathered over cream cheese
• bowls and bowls heaped with crackers, nuts and strawberries on the stem
• green salad with cucumbers and grape tomatoes
• fresh berries macerated with orange juice and Grand Marnier
• cornbread with green chile and scallions
• macaroni salad
• carrot slaw with golden raisins
• red cabbage coleslaw with minced broccoli
• crunchy fried chicken
• Carolina-style pulled pork sandwiches
The bar was manned by Xavier the butler who made dozens and dozens of glasses of mint juleps according to precise specifications of the lady of the house and poured endless bottles of champagne and fuzzy water. G___’s charming and refined sons dropped plump strawberries in the champagne glasses for the ladies.
Her boys also stayed up till the wee hours last night smoking the succulent pork shoulders for ten hours, then shredded them by hand. I helped frequently by offering “quality control” sampling. Heh.
I popped over a little early to man the fried chicken station and cooked up ten pounds of juicy, crispy thighs. This was the second time I have done this pleasant task and was quite pleased that the chicken was snapped up before the race started.
Sipping our heady cocktails and simply stuffed we mistily sang “My Old Kentucky Home” and cheered on the trainers, proud owners, fantastic hats, minuscule jockeys and those gorgeous, muscled steeds.
We drew the names of the horse we were to cheer on during the race but this year we also unanimously cheered Pants on Fire with his female jockey who was racing at the Derby for her first time. Girl power!
Sadly Pants on Fire came in 9th place but Animal Kingdom who was ranked 25:1 came zooming up from 6 lengths back to win the race, mane flying and neck stretched, with the jockey just holding on for dear life! What a race, what a horse!
After all that excitement it was time for dessert. Joining G___’s gorgeous cut crystal bowl of macerated fruit many guests loaded the dessert table with chocolates, lemon tart, fruit pies and tarts, hand picked strawberries, platters of pineapple, a splendid pink pudding with a crushed cookie crust and a towering red velvet cake all decked out for the Derby. Somehow I had forgotten that this cake is filled with cream cheese frosting, oh my! We nibbled on thin slices and pretended to complain about the calories.
I guess I have had my fill of mint juleps but in case you haven’t, here is how a true Kentuckian makes them.
REC: A Real Mint Julep
Tall or highball glasses
Fresh mint leaves
Bourbon, preferably Makers Mark
Put a clean disk towel on the counter and heap your ice cubes upon it. Wrap up the ice in the towel and using a mallet or meat tenderizer pound the heck out of the ice until it’s finely crushed. It usually helps to think about April 15th (or the 19th in this case for 2011).
Put a sprig or two of mint in each glass and fill tightly with the crushed ice, smashing the mint up a bit as you do. Add 1 tsp of simple syrup to each glass and fill with bourbon.
You can make these ahead of time (up to an hour) by placing the filled glasses in the freezer.
*** Note: Simple syrup is easy to make. For mint juleps you need 1 cup each sugar and water, a sprig of mint and a clean glass jar or bottle. Put everything into a pot and bring it to a boil. Don’t stir, just wriggle the pit now and again. When the sugar has completely melted and the liquid is cool, set it aside to cool. Store it in the fridge until needed. It will keep for months. You can also use this syrup for mojitos.
Many cocktails use simple syrup, so it’s nice to keep a bottle in the fridge, just leave out the mint for more versatility.
The best part of the afternoon was seeing so many of my dear friends. Despite the miles that separate us and the years that pass so very rapidly we never lose the joy of seeing each other and exchange hugs and kisses, share smiles at seeing their faces and a few tears over those who are no longer with us. Over the decades that I have known these lovely people my life has been so enriched and I feel such gratitude.
Thanks for the lovely party, G___, I look forward to next year!