Saturday, March 20, 2010

We interrupt this program.....

Sorry to leave you hanging but we can't seem to keep up with ourselves these days! We are currently making some changes to our regularly scheduled program, but will be back soon. Thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Peter Joachim!

Big birthday hugs and kisses going out to the Monkey today! You may be another year older, but I don't think you've changed a bit! Thanks for making me laugh everyday, and I look forward to many more birthdays together! Here's to the adventure.....xoxo.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Happy Hour

Grabbing a beer at Hopmonk Tavern on another soggy day in the bay. You really can't beat Pliny the Elder on tap, and I recommend the mussels and garlic fries!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

¿Dónde está mi margarita?

We have just returned from a fantastic trip to Cabo San Lucas. There was plenty of sun, a handful of margaritas, great friends, a touch of food poisoning (sorry Peanut!), fantastic accommodations (gracias Rodrigo!), and a good time was had by all. It has been a challenge to get back on the ride, and we have discovered that we can't put our groceries on room 2303. (now I remember the room number!)

Hasta luego Cabo Azul.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Soup

It has been so cold and foggy the past couple of days it feels more like San Francisco summer rather than winter. I know, I know. It's colder almost everywhere else in the world, and I have accepted the fact that I have become soft.

I thought a good way to warm up would be to chef up some soup. I stumbled upon this recipe in the San Francisco Chronicle during my Sucka-free Sunday ritual of reading the paper and thought I would take a stab at it. Not to mention, it gave me an excuse to use my shiny new 6 3/4 quart oval dutch oven that I have only been stalking for 3 years. J'taime Le Creuset! A handful of you asked me for the recipe, and since my new venture in observations of gastronomic proportions: Nielsen-Ratings, is not up and running quite yet (stay tuned on that one), I thought I would post the recipe here.

Bon Appétit!

2 heads cauliflower, cut into small florets (about 12 cups)
8 cloves garlic, peeled
5 Tbsp EVOO (Rachel Ray shout out there. Gag.)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 large shallot, minced
1 large leek, halved lengthwise, rinsed will ad sliced into half moons
1/2 pound baking potato, peeled and diced (about 1 cup; I actually ended up using 1 1/2 cups)
1 tsp minced fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
7 cups chicken broth plus more if needed
1/2 c. heavy cream

Note: the original recipe called for 1 c. heavy cream. I wasn't going to add any at all, because it came out so creamy, but decided to add 1/2 c. as it balanced the chicken broth and made it perfect.


Preheat the oven to 400º. Divide the cauliflower and garlic between two sheet pans. Toss the contents of each pan with 1.5 T of olive oil, and a generous amount of salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until cauliflower is softened and brown in spots. Remove from oven and set aside.

Note: I was able to fit all of this on one pan. No need to fuss with 2 pans. The heads of cauliflower used for the original recipe must have been, big as your head.

Also to note: When the cauliflower comes out of the oven it will be soooo delicious, you will want to eat it all right then. It's amazing this soup was even able to come together.

Cauliflower seasoned and ready for the oven. It is challenging to make cauliflower look exciting with a pop of color. It's just not happening here.

Meanwhile, in a large stockpot, (see aforementioned 6 3/4 quart oval dutch oven. So worth the investment. You won't be disappointed. The hardest decision to make is picking a color. But I digress.....) warm the remaining 2 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and leek, and saute until slightly softened, about 3-4 minutes.

Stir in the potato, thyme, bay leaves and cauliflower mixture. Cover with the chicken broth, bring to a boil, then immediately turn heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Using a blender, puree the soup until completely smooth. Add heavy cream, and if needed, add more broth to thin soup to desired consistency. (More broth was not necessary)

Note: I highly recommend getting a Cuisinart Smart Stick immersion blender. Best $30 bucks I have ever spent. You can blend it right in the pot, you don't have to worry about spilling hot liquid all over the place making a transfer, and it surprisingly gets the job done.

Season generously with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately. The recipe said to top with garlic breadcrumbs, but I made a quick fontina cheese crostini, (which was a knockout with some butternut squash soup we made for Thanksgiving...thanks Giada!) and floated it on the top.

For the crostini:

1/2 baguette, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
2 T chopped fresh thyme leaves (will make the thyme pop in your soup)
1 c. grated fontina cheese
Kosher salt


Preheat oven to 400º. Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with thyme. Sprinkle cheese on top and season with salt, to taste. Bake until the cheese has melted and the bread is light golden, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Final product. Again, not happy with the picture, but you get the idea. Deelish!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

With 2009 coming to a close, here is a brief look back at some highlights for the year. Here's to 2010! We think it will be the crème de la crème.....

Obama wins! Bush street changed to Obama St. in San Francisco

Skiing in Lake Tahoe at Heavenly

Driving north along the coast

A visit from Erika for her Birthday

A weekend with Mom

Colin stops by

Meet the Farmers dinner in Sausalito

Bettys and Buses

Rob and Kelly's Birthday Extravaganza

Midsommar in Russian River

Mill Valley Wine Tasting

Visiting the boys in Hali

Sailing on the 4th of July

Magnus and Johanna get married!

Dinner in Cannes

Wine tasting in Russian River

Bocce season opener

Luncheon at Flowers Winery

Sausalito Chili Fest

2nd Annual Sausalito Pub Crawl

Mom and Peen in Sonoma for my birthday

The Peanut turns 30!

Skiing in Vail on Christmas Day

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Freshmaker

....or what I like to call, the highlight of Thanksgiving. Between the imbibing, the cooking, and being thankful on this most splendid of holidays, Brett decided to showcase his true love and thanks for Diet Coke, by bathing in it with the help of a handful of Mentos. Priceless.

First, the prep....

Contemplating his first move

The first attempt


The Motherlode

Blue Steel

One last sip

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Menu

As most of you know, I have the tendency to go overboard, and Thanksgiving is certainly no exception. We are headed North to Petaluma to indulge in a multitude of culinary wonders with our friends Brett and EP. It will be a collaborative effort that will include the following:

Hog Island Oysters with champagne vinegar mignonette
Stuffed mushrooms with Italian sausage and marscapone

Butternut Squash Soup with fontina cheese crostini
Rosemary sea salt rolls

Herb Roasted Turkey w/ Truffle Butter
Fried Turkey

I know. Two turkeys? Really? We are doing a side by side taste test, not to mention making an attempt to fill our freezers in one shot. I am not even going to tell you how big these suckers are.

Wild mushroom brioche stuffing
Babs' famous cornbread stuffing (because it's that good)

Again...2 kinds of stuffing? Yes. They say variety is the spice of life.

Baked parmesan mashed potatoes w/ pancetta
Candied yams (a must!)
Steamed cranberry beans (I'm told they are a sight to be seen)
Pear, brandy, walnut cranberry sauce
Canned cranberry sauce (just because)

Peen's famous pecan pie
Pumpkin Roulade with ginger buttercream

And of course, there will be wine. Perhaps starting with some cava, or proseco, or maybe some Veuve. Eeps is fully embracing the holiday spirit and digging into the bowels of her wine fridge to bring out the big guns:

Archery Summit Reserve
Rochioli Pinot noir
Jordan Cab

Plus we will be cracking into the 29 year old port that we gave her for her birthday.

Below are a few pics in attempt to showcase it all coming together.

It is no secret that I love food. And nothing beats good food paired with a ridiculously good glass of wine. But most of all, I love sharing it with friends and family. I could not be more thankful for that. Cheers!

First things first....a glass of vino for the chef

Monday, November 9, 2009

4 Years??

Seriously? Time flies when you are having fun! Love you Monkey! Here's to the adventure......

P and T seen doing their best high-paid fashion model poses in Smögen

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Froggie!!!!

Today, Tuesday, November 3 was the Frog's birthday, again. My how time flies. However, the birthday celebrations started already last week with a birthday dinner at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, with our friends Brett & EP, followed by a Sunday brunch at Waterbar with Brett, EP, Rob and Devon.
On the actual birthday we celebrated by eating even more starting with a late lunch at Le Garage in Sausalito and then in the evening with some drinks and more food at Piccolo Teatro.
Thank you to everyone who wrote, called and came out for the vast flora of eating and drinking activities.


The Ultimate Blood Mary at Waterbar is really quite the ultimate

Johnny Cakes

Crab Benedict

The view from the patio at Waterbar

A painting of le garage at Le Garage

Le Garage

Croque Madame....mmmmmmmmm

Another stunning view

Delicious latte

And there were presents too, such a lucky Frog

Thanks EP