Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Wish you were here

Postcard #1: San Francisco

I visited my friend Tina over the weekend. She lives above a bakery and a chocolate shop. I used to live over a flower shop, which was pretty charming. But fresh scones and an endless supply of chocolate has me beat. What fun, what food... Wine tasting, dim sum, farmer's market samosas, a supper club, outstanding ceviche, all with a healthy dose of laughter. Here are some of my favorite food scenes.

Dim sum at Ton Kiang in Richmond. We had too many dishes to list. All wonderful. And we walked out without feeling stuffed. A dim sum miracle.

Leah's supper club, with goat cheese lollies, watercress broccoli soup, fennel and pistachio salad*, chicken pot pie on puff pastry, and chocolate dipped marshmallows with salted caramel.* We ended the night with sangria on the roof.

*not pictured

Lunch at la mar, featuring a cebiche (ceviche) tasting, causa nikei, and arroz norteño. Well prepared seafood and a delightful presentation. And I was with people who like to eat, which always makes a meal more fun.

When I got back, I was treated to a vacation-like day at home. Josh and I had amazing gnocchi at Il Piatto, then coffee and pastries the next morning at Crema, followed by a lazy walk in the park, sidewalk tacos at Por Qué No, a matinée, NY-style pizza w/ ricotta at Apizza Scholls, then topped off the night with a bacon chocolate bar from Tina. I am now a fan of the vacation segue day.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

First, as directed

Once again, the crowd swayed me. I read the Smitten Kitten entry on this basic pasta sauce. Plum tomatoes, a halved onion, butter, and salt. That's it. Could a sauce that plain truly satisfy? Indeed, it could. Like S.K., I made the sauce twice in a week. First, as directed. Second, with a can of crushed tomatoes. Both were smooth and slightly sweet. I tossed Italian sausage meatballs with the pasta the second time around. Oh, comfort food, you treat me so well.

Our weather has been mild and intermittently sunny. The plants are coming forth with gusto. My tulips are up and my lavender columbine is about to flower. I picked some new thyme and decided to make use of this springtime wealth. Since good citrus is still available, I cut into a grapefruit and proceeded to happy hour.

Grapefruit Thyme Martini

Juice of half large grapefruit
One shot vodka
1/2 shot Aperol (or similar apertif/liqueur)
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme (regular or lemon)

Put handful of ice cubes into a martini shaker. Put in the thyme sprigs and muddle by mashing them around in the ice. Pour in your liquids. Cover the shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into a glass and imbibe.

Coming soon: Food postcards from Switzerland, Puerto Rico, and San Francisco!