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Showing posts from July, 2009

Fun Stuff

In the last week, I made fun little things that looked and/or sounded good. I know they would taste good. So, first, from Smitten Kitchen, I tried the breakfast bars. I used both fresh raspberries and blueberries. They were good, just exactly as I had expected though. I do like the earthy oat flavor, but for some reason, I thought they were a bit too sugary... I also made the fabulous no-knead bread. I was a bit disappointed since I repeat the SAME recipe everytime and the bread is inconsistent: this time it looked great, but did not get the holes.... in the middle (I added 3 oz of beer to the mix for flavor, and that is definitely recommended).
On the other hand, I did some simple Macaroons (I am not sure why, I just happened to be in a coconut mood, and had just bought some flakes for my weekly homemade granola mix - thanks nytimes). So, I did these for the first time, and I was blown away. Simple, elegant, very tasty (healthy too-just egg whites - no milk of any kind, butter or oils…

Say Cheese!

One of the many treats of walking through San Francisco's Ferry Building is stopping by Cowgirl Creamery cheese shop (the actual creamery is located about an hour north of the City). The staff is very helpful and very knowledgeable of the array of cheese, which they bring from over 200 producers in the U.S and Europe (Cowgirl produces just under 10 of their own). They also don't push you to overbuy, and they let you taste anything you want! We last tried a gorgeous Spanish Mahon Reserva and a Greek (of course!) Mt. Vikos feta, which was possibly the best we've ever had. I can't wait to go back and try a few of Cowgirl's signature cheeses- or maybe we'll just take a road trip up to the creamery and see how they make them as well!

With flowers in my hair and great food in my mouth.

I'm sorry for the long long delay since my last post- there were vacations, and moving, and no internet... but all along, the happy food never stopped. I'll begin from my most recent happy foods and slowly work back in time...

Life has taken me to San Francisco. If you mentioned San Francisco to me about 10 years ago, I would think immediately of cable cars and Rice-a-Roni. To my great delight, it has ohh so much more. We settled into an overpriced, and undersized one bedroom right below the Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill. It's a couple blocks to North Beach, and a few more to Chinatown. As you can imagine, there's great food all along the way.

Most people say everyone living in North Beach has their favorite Italian restaurant, and Niko and I, though still trying things out, are already leaning towards Ideale on Grant Street. If you go on a Friday night, you'll probably be seated at the bar for about 20 minutes before getting a table. You won't mind though …

The Taste of MY Chicago: The GCM Annual BBQ in the Park

The annual event was yesterday, and what do you know, I learn something new about the culinary food in my city. I have never been to this and it is the BEST food fest I have EVER attended. I will explain. It is an outdoor bbq of sorts on behalf of Chicago's premier farmers market, the Green City Market which is held Wednesdays and Saturdays in the Park part of Lincoln Park. So, the farmers's famous customers, i.e., the TOP restaurants in the city hold this all out cooking showdown with literally the top restaurants there: rick bayless(above), naha, Vie, spring/custom house, blackbird/avec, Spiaggia, Nomi, 4 seasons, primehouse, Eve, Hot Chocolate, Mado, North Pond, Fox and Obel, and the list goes on (check out he official list here). It is an all-you-can-enjoy evening of elk, goat, beef, turkey (amazing turkey from Paul Virant... WOW), wonderful TROUT, and local cheeses. It is the feast of feasts where everyone walks around with a constant smile on their face and full hands: a b…

Grilled Pizza? Yes, please invite me over when you throw one on

I just saw a recipe from Martha's (something) about making a pizza on the grill. Really simple, it says: 1) get dough and shape it like a pizza, 2) brush both sides with olive oil, 3) throw it on the Weber for 4-5 minutes, flip it, 4) top it with your ingredients, and Voila! We put (like the recipe suggested) fontina cheese, and then when it came out, fresh arugula with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. It was AMAZING. I really liked the charred pieces of dough with the crispy edges, and the elegance of it. Plus, the arugula added a nice bite with its slight bitterness and the muted taste of the fontina. And of course, is there anything better than dough, salt, and cheese, all warm and gooey? No there is not. This is just another way to enjoy pizza that is simple, quick and guaranteed to beat almost all of your local delivery options (add Italian ham on top of the arugula next time).

The STAR in (the) Lone Star STATE? It is the BRISKET!

Yes. It is. According to Wikpedia this is the part of the body that cows lie on, and it is not considered by any means a premium cut of beef (main part of what goes into corned beef). Well, inspired by an article in the latest Saveur magazine devoted to everything Texan, I decided to tackle one of these babies on a medium sized Weber kettle. You see, I have had brisket from the BEST in Texas (Kreuz, Blacks, Smitty's, Cooper's in Llano,...) and so, I know (kind of) what the brisket is supposed to look, feel, and taste like: soft, juicy, really juicy, caramelized on the outside, really lean on the bite, and boy oh so smokey. That is the taste I always remember. The smoke. Well, I did what I am told: prepared a simple rub and laid it gently on an otherwise unattractive flat piece of meat - about 5 lbs of mangled tendon and fat. I started the next morning and followed the recipe verbatum (with major problems trying to contain the heat in the 250 range - it kept cropping to 300).
W…