Archive for the 'food' Category

mission cheese

Nolan and I met some friends at Mission Cheese yesterday afternoon. We told cheesemonger Steve a few of our likes and dislikes and he put together a spectacular cheese plate for us. That guy knows his cheese! Crowd favorites were the Barinaga Ranch Baserri and the Rogue River Blue– and half of us claimed to not even like blue cheese. The decor is a great mix of rustic and industrial and the vibe is definitely laid back cool. Plus they serve their tap beers in mason jars. (Love!) Not a bad way to spend a few hours on a drizzly afternoon.

cake coquette

Last week I photographed a few cakes for my friend Gabby of Cake Coquette. She is so insanely talented and her cakes are as delicious as they are beautiful. (She made my birthday cake this year!) See a few more photos I took last week here, and more photos of Gabby’s work here.

gray works

Swooning over the gorgeous wood cutting board/serving platters from Etsy shop Gray Works Design. A great gift idea, especially with a little personalized engraving!

turkey day tablescapes

I’m a little jealous of everyone that’s heading home today to spend Thanksgiving with their families. (But I’m not jealous of those of you stuck in traffic or waiting in long security lines to be groped at the airport.) We’re staying in San Francisco and planning a low-key meal for four at our apartment. But just because it’s going to be small and simple doesn’t mean the table shouldn’t look pretty! These were two tablescapes that caught my eye…

{photos: Leah Verwey via Design*Sponge, Jill Thomas}

recipe: butternut squash bisque

We’re on a bit of a soup kick at my house. Last week it was Deb’s black bean soup with cumin seed crema and this week was a simple, delicious butternut squash bisque from Better Homes and Gardens. (I’m not sure why an issue of BHG was floating around my apartment, seeing as I have neither a house nor a garden…) Deb’s black bean soup was good, but the butternut squash bisque became an instant favorite. If you can’t find smoked Gouda you could probably substitute smoked cheddar, but the Gouda added so much flavor for me. That and the kick of heat from the chipotle peppers, mmmmm! This recipe makes a nice big batch, perfect for leftovers… Guess what I’m having for lunch tomorrow?

Butternut Squash Bisque
from Better Homes and Gardens, October 2009

2½ – 3lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1/4 cup butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large Braeburn or Gala apples, peeled, cored and chopped
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup apple cider or apple juice
2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
3 oz. smoked Gouda, shredded

In a large pot melt butter over medium-high heat. Add squash, onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add apples, broth, cider and chipotle peppers. Bring to boiling, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes or until vegetables and apples are tender. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Puree in pot using an immersion blender (or puree in batches in a blender, returning soup to pot). With heat at medium, blend in sour cream and heat through. Remove from heat; stir in shredded cheese until melted. Top with bacon, celery leaves and/or shredded cheese and serve with a chunk of crusty homemade bread. Enjoy!

makes 8 servings

homemade candy bars

Nom nom nom… Homemade Twix Bars from Not Without Salt and Homemade Almond Joys from Joy the Baker, just in time for Halloween!!

{photo credits: Ashley Rodriguez, Joy the Baker}

recipe: pork potstickers

I’ve been in a major cooking rut lately, cooking the same few meals over and over or ordering takeout. I’m not proud of it. So to snap out of this rut, my plan is to try (at least) one new recipe a week and share it with you. A chance to add some new recipes to my repertoire and to learn to take better pictures of food.

So last week I made potstickers! They are surprisingly easy to make, once you get the hang of pleating. This video was helpful, although I found that pleating from each side to meet in the middle was much easier. My pleats didn’t turn out perfect, but the potstickers held together and tasted pretty darn good.

Pork Potstickers
adapted from Brandi at I made that!

1 lb ground pork
1/2 cup napa cabbage, minced
1/4 cup ginger root, minced
2-3 scallions, thinly sliced
3 T soy sauce
2 T sesame oil
1 T corn starch

4 cups flour
1 1/2 cup warm water

Dipping sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 T red wine vinegar
1/4 t sesame oil
1/4 t chili garlic paste
1/2 t minced ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 t sugar

Combine all filling ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Cover and store in the fridge.

Combine flour and 3/4 cup of water in a bowl and stir with a fork. Slowly add the rest of the water, one tablespoon at a time, stirring until dough is stiff enough to knead. Keep adding water until it is smooth but not sticky (you likely won’t use all of the water). Cover with a damp towel and let sit for 30 minutes to relax the gluten.

Divide dough into small pieces (roughly the size of a buckeye) and roll into 3-4 inch rounds. With a small bowl of water nearby, place a tablespoon or so of filling in center and use your finger to dampen the outer edge of the dough. Bring up opposite sides of the wrapper and pleat the edges to create a crescent-shaped pouch. Repeat until filling and dough run out.

Heat a splash of oil (peanut or canola) in a pan over high heat. Place potstickers in pan and fry until the bottoms are browned. Shielding your face with the lid, pour in half a cup of water and cover immediately. Lower heat to medium low and cook for 6 minutes. Set potstickers aside to cool for a few minutes while you mix the dipping sauce. Enjoy!

Potstickers freeze wonderfully. Leave them on baking pan for an hour to hardern before transferring to a freezer bag or container. When cooking, add 3-4 minutes when steaming to ensure they are cooked through.

serves 4-6

recipes, illustrated

I love this series of illustrated recipes from Claudia Pearson.  Each recipe is simple and seasonal, and includes written directions (which can be found here: sour cherry soup, grilled peaches with ice cream, salad with sweet yogurt dressing, zucchini pasta). Don’t those grilled peaches sound yummy?

{via apartment 34}

the good life

Fun packaging for Swedish food brand ICA Gott liv. I love how they’re promoting a healthy lifestyle (Gott liv means “The Good Life”) with active illustrations – playing soccer with meatballs, climbing a mountain of cereal, playing volleyball with an egg. And it doesn’t hurt that they are adorable.

{Illustrations by Klas Fahlen}

ming makes

Ming makes cupcakes (and cookies and other savory treats). Recipes for everything are on her site, but I wouldn’t click over if you’re hungry. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.