Monday, January 30, 2012

fort funston

On Saturday, Daniel and I drove down to San Carlos to have lunch at the Refuge and after ingesting an almost obscene quantity of pastrami, we decided to go for a walk over by Fort Funston.

{lake Merced}

{Oski & friends}


It was gorgeous out and I couldn't believe how many dogs there were all over- on the hiking trails, down on the beach- it was great. Oski thoroughly enjoyed himself, and so did I. I'd never been out to Fort Funston before and after seeing how lovely it is over there, I couldn't believe I hadn't thought to go before. It seriously made me want to get a dog, even though that is most certainly not in the cards right now. Oh well. It made for an excellent Saturday afternoon, even if I couldn't take any of the doggies home with me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012


On Friday, we drove up to Tahoe.

{view from cabin}

It rained for most of the drive up and then continued to rain throughout the evening. But at some point during the wee hours of the morning, it started to snow.

{duck boots}

And it kept snowing. 


We didn't end up going snowboarding, but we did spend some time walking around the neighborhood and playing in the snow. I mostly just took pictures and ran away from snowballs, but it was glorious to be outside, surrounded by snowy trees and cabins.

{snow angels}

Here's hoping the snow sticks- I'd love to go up to Tahoe again sometime in the near future and get in a bit of skiing. San Francisco is cold and soggy at the moment and I'm wishing I were still up in the mountains.

Friday, January 20, 2012

weekend away

To be honest, every day this week has felt like Friday to me so now that it's finally here, it feels a bit late coming. Later today, we're driving up to Tahoe to enjoy a little bit of snow and break from the city with a few friends. I can hardly wait- Tahoe is one of my very favorite close-by vacation spots because it's gloriously beautiful in both the winter and summer. We're going to snowboard and build fires and drink apple brandy and cook big family-style dinners. It's going to be fabulous.

Anyway, here are some links to begin the weekend. Happy Friday!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

a january weekend

I already wrote about Sunday, but I thought I'd just add a few more photos from the weekend. 

{Brown sugar ginger caramel ice cream at Bi-Rite}

{put a bird on it!}

{cara cara orange}


{Sunday supper- mushroom & gruyere tart}

This weekend was really perfect. From Friday Happy Hour drinks at the biergarten in Hayes Valley to Saturday afternoon ice cream at Bi-Rite, to a relaxing Sunday of reading a windy stroll around the neighborhood, it was all pretty much of a delight. 


Earlier this week, I bumped into my friend/neighbor Ashley in the street outside my apartment and we hatched a plan to go out for breakfast at Plow. Ashley and her husband Josh just got back from their honeymoon in Costa Rica and Guatemala so I was looking forward to a chance to catch up over scrambled eggs and fried potatoes.

{breakfast @ Plow}

{me & Ashley}

{lemon ricotta pancakes}

Even at 9:30 the wait was over an hour. Usually waiting that long to be seated at a restaurant makes me madder than a wet hen- I am wildly impatient, especially when it comes to breakfast.  But thankfully, there was a coffee shop just down the street and we were able to wait there comfortably. When we finally got into Plow, the food- especially the lemon ricotta pancakes- was worth the wait.

After brunch, we made it a fully rounded yuppie experience by going and browsing through a furniture store in SOMA and then stopping by the farmer's market. All very nice, and now that I'm off to scrub the bathroom (New Year's resolution: clean weekly), I can do it cheerfully.

Hope everyone had a delightful weekend!

1299 18th St.
SF CA 94107

Thursday, January 12, 2012

thursday with m

On Thursday I took the day off of work to spend some time with my mom while she was in town and take advantage of the freakishly perfect weather we've been having in San Francisco. We started off with coffee at Blue Bottle, followed by more coffee at Ritual Coffee, followed by shopping in Hayes Valley, followed by lunch near Jackson Square.

{lunch @ Cotogna}

{pappardelle with rabbit sugo}

{post-lunch double espresso}

{somewhat blurry view from parents' hotel room}

Lunch was fabulous- my dad was able to slip away from his meetings long enough to join us and we feasted on fried tripe with arrabiata, crostini with mushrooms and creamiest, most unctuous ricotta imaginable, and various decadent pasta dishes. I do eat awfully well when my parents are in town.

Anyway, it was a wonderful day in a wonderful week. Lucky me!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


{Jerusalem artichoke salad}

My parents are in town all this week, which has, in addition to allowing me to spend all kinds of lovely time with them, given me the chance to mooch some exceptionally nice meals. Last night my father was attending a business dinner, so my mother took my brother and me out to dinner at Commonwealth. Between us, we shared:

Kettle chips with seaweed
Arancini with truffle cheese
Chicken tsukuna
Jerusalem artichoke with chickweed, quinoa, and a quail egg
Beef cheeks with chanterelles, gem lettuces, marble potatoes and bordelaise
Pork loin & belly with brussel sprouts, beech mushrooms and kohlrabi

And everything was delicious. Really, I think it's the best new restaurant I've tried in months. The restaurant itself is small and tastefully decorated, the servers were extremely pleasant and accommodating, and it really ended up being the perfect place for an elegant but low key dinner with family.

2224 Mission St., San Francisco

Friday, January 6, 2012

yotam ottolenghi's eggplant with buttermilk sauce

I'm not a vegetarian, but I love a good vegetable dish. This is why I was so excited to receive Yotam Ottolenghi's cookbook Plenty as a Christmas gift this year. For the past week or so, I've been poring over the pages trying to decide what I should make first. Caramelized fennel with goat cheese? Celeriac and lentils with hazelnut and mint?

I decided to start with a recipe for eggplant with buttermilk sauce.

The recipe was simple enough, though I found my eggplants needed an extra 10 minutes beyond the suggested cooking time. Everything came together quite smoothly and I have to say it looked quite pretty when it was all served up (it is the recipe that is featured on the cover of the book, after all).

Did you know that  sauce made with Greek yogurt, olive oil, buttermilk, and salt tastes just like Ranch Dressing? Because it does.

This isn't exactly a complaint. I don't have fully formed views on Ranch Dressing, since I've had it fewer than five times in my life, and never on eggplant. I don't think I've ever had it on anything other than cheap pizza or those tiny cylindrical baby carrots. Mostly, my mouth just felt confused. But as I ate, the flavors of the dish became strangely addictive.

It's interesting to be surprised by a new taste- or rather, a familiar taste in place you never expected to find it. Try it for yourself and see.

Eggplant with buttermilk sauce from Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty

2 large eggplants
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp lemon thyme leaves, plus a few whole springs to garnish
Sea salt
Black pepper
1 pomegranate
1 tsp za'atar

9 tbsp buttermilk
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, plus a drizzle to finish
1 small garlic clove, crushed
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 400F. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise, cutting straight through the green stalk. Make three or four parallel incisions in the cut side of each eggplant without cutting through to the skin. Then make three or four more cuts at a 45-degree angle from the first cuts to get a diamond-shaped pattern.

Place the eggplant halves cut-side up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush them with oil until all the oil has been absorbed by the flesh. Roast for 35-40 minutes (mine took 50) at which point the flesh should be soft and nicely browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

While the eggplants are in the oven, remove the seeds from the pomegranate and make the buttermilk sauce. Whisk together the ingredients for the sauce and then keep cold until needed.

To serve, spoon the sauce over the eggplant. Sprinkle za'atar and pomegranate seeds and garnish with lemon thyme. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

le croissant du jour

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
                                                                                                                                                        -Michael Pollan

Monday, January 2, 2012

new year's day

On New Year's Eve, Daniel and I went out to dinner with friends at Flour + Water, a decadent boozy experience that stretched into the wee hours, as is correct for New Year's Eve. On New Year's day, my little brother came over for a brunch of bacon, eggs and waffles and then the three of us drove down to Montara Beach.

It was a January morning that made me deeply and profoundly grateful to be living in California. 

Our friends Lindsay and David came to meet us and brought their dog Oski, who at nine months is the size of a smallish lion. We all sat on the beach and reveled in the majesty of living in such a beautiful place. Afterwards, Daniel, Trevor and I drove back up to the city and stopped to pick up a late lunch at Shanghai Dumpling King in the Outer Richmond. Such delicious xiao long bao. We ate watching the Pink Panther back at our apartment and all of us went to sleep early. It was a pretty nice way to start 2012.

Happy New Year. 
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