February 6th, 2010

When I found out that Juan and I would be spending a few days in San Francisco, I was so excited. I’ve always wanted to go there after hearing so many good things about the food and the art… I was not disappointed in either realm… In preparation for our trip, I started asking my fellow foodie friends for advice… after hearing one name in particular… over and over again… I put it first on the list…

On a cool November day… Juan and Ginny arrived at Tartine! They were greeted with a long line snaking out of the cafe… Ginny had a bad case of the hungergrumps, but she waited as patiently as possible for their turn. After pouring over the delicious baked goods, Ginny decided upon the frangipane croissant with a cup of coffee and, impulsively, a brownie for dessert. Juan chose the croque monseiur. Settling down at one of the tables, Ginny impatiently waited while pictures were taken before she took a bite… Oh, my, it was everything she ever wanted in a croissant, reminding her of days spent in Switzerland as a child. Eagerly she looked at Juan’s plate, wondering if she could just stab a piece, but she asked politely (this time) and was given a delicious bite of bread, butter, cheese and ham… How could you go wrong?  The pickled carrot she could do without but Juan seemed to like it.  Stuffed, Ginny saved the brownie for later.  They left holding hands in the November sun… happy… content…

Can you tell that I’ve been studying all day and my brain needs a break? In all honesty, I loved Tartine. I’m very picky when it comes to restaurants and, although I trust all my foodie sources, I’m still one to be critical. So, if you are in San Francisco, you must go. If you aren’t, they do have a really nice cookbook, which appeared on my Christmas list after our November trip. I tried my hand at making brownies tonight. This was my second try. The first time, I did not quite follow the recipe and did not like them. The second time, they were delicious, although I do have beaters to clean now. You can find the recipe (and better photos!) here. I halved the recipe using my cool new dry ingredient scale (Thank you Santa!).

Disclaimer: I was not paid to review this restaurant or cookbook. The cookbook was a present from my sister and we paid for our own brunch.


December 23rd, 2009

Post exams… as I was sitting around brain dead (well, I’m still quite brain dead but recovering)… I started cooking… so get excited… many yummy posts to come… this recipe is my go to feed an army meal… it is easy, delicious, and versatile… Sometimes I add the shrimp… this time I kept things simple and halved the recipe, which was still enough for four people with leftovers.  I served it with some bread and salad.

Linguine with Feta- Tomato Sauce
(adapted from here)
* 1 pound assorted mushrooms, sliced
* 2 pounds tomatoes
* 4 teaspoons dried basil
* 4 teaspoons dried parsley
* 3 garlic cloves, minced
* 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper (optional)
* 1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled
* 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 1 pound linguine

In a frying pan, sprayed with Pam, sauté mushrooms until tender, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, parsley, garlic, and red pepper, if desired; stir until heated through. Mix in both cheeses.

Meanwhile, cook linguine in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Return to pot. Add 1 tablespoon oil; toss to coat. Add mushroom-tomato mixture to pasta; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer linguine to large bowl.

Goodbye to Gourmet…

October 8th, 2009

As busy as I am with school and life, all I want to do is cook and bake. Perhaps it is a way of procrastinating. Or maybe I’m getting sick of my diet of grilled cheese and tomato soup… but I really want some pumpkin bread…

Gourmet just published its final magazine…the blogging community has come out to express its displeasure… I had not seen a Gourmet in awhile until I picked one up the other day at the Dr. Office and was pleasantly surprised with the beautiful food photography… I’m sending this over to Julie at A Mingling of Taste for her event, Let’s Celebrate Gourmet!.  It is pretty good… I made the Pumpkin Cranberry bread… next time, I would add more pumpkin… needed more flavor…

Pumpkin Raisin Bread
(from Gourmet)

* 1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
* 1 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup water
* 2 large eggs
* 1/4 cup vegetable oil
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350° F. and butter a loaf pan, 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 by 2 3/4 inches.

In a large bowl with mix together pumpkin, sugar, water, eggs, and oil. Sift (or if you are Ginny- just dump it in) in flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and spices and stir just until batter is smooth. Stir in raisins and spoon batter into loaf pan, spreading evenly.

Bake bread in middle of oven 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean, and cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes. Turn bread out onto rack and cool completely.