Tuesday, September 29, 2009

beautiful food

last wednesday i had the privilege of shooting for my chef friend, chris. here are some faves.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

san francisco bound

a gift for my friend anna

ginger cookies

humminbird cake

i had heard about this cake for a long time and had to try it. sadly, i didn't love it. i love bananas, i love pecans, i love pineapple and i love cream cheese frosting but sadly didn't fall in love with the sum of their parts. while carrots make carrot cake super moist, the bananas in here just make it kinda mushy. i'd rather have bananas in my granola, pecans in my cookies and cream cheese frosting on my carrot cake. not a perfect recipe and definitely not a fave. but here is a pic anyway.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

homemade chocolate chip doughnuts

woke up early this morning to make a hummingbird cake for my mom who requested it for a party (pics and recipe of that later)
with all the flour and butter and sugar and a big jug of vegetable oil out on the counter, i thought i'd whip up fox some homemade chocolate chip doughnuts. i really really don't have a recipe to share, just threw together flour, buttermilk, butter, baking soda, salt, sugar and egg, let rest, fried, rolled in powdered sugar and voila special breakfast. fox is so food spoiled that then he requested homemade sausage and homemade french fries. call me crazy but i didn't feel like getting out the meat grinder or mandoline at 645 am. those will have to be for another day.

romesco sauce

i love love this sauce. its a spanish sauce typically served with chicken or fish. i love it as a spread or dip. my favorite is on pasta with lots of basil and lots of goat cheese.

i double the recipe and freeze half for another use.

romesco sauce

  • 1 1/2 pounds red bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup roasted almonds
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Char bell peppers over gas flame or under broiler until blackened on all sides. Let cool in closed paper bag for 10 minutes. Peel and seed peppers. Place peppers in processor. Add almonds, 4 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, garlic, tomato paste and cayenne pepper. Process until almonds are finely ground and peppers are almost smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

fresh swordfish salad sandwiches

made these a few nights ago with left over grilled swordfish. just chopped the fish and mixed with lemon juice, red wine vinegar, lots of capers and sundried tomatoes, chopped garlic and onions, olive oil, mayonaise, basil, salt and pepper. served on crusty bread with olive spread on one side and anchovy paste on the other, microgreens on top. really really good. if you want the recipe email me and i can take a stab at the proportions but i really just threw this together.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


fellow foodie, photographer and friend, jen and i went to dinner at luques last night. this was 2 of 3 great dinners in my september of special dinners. i didn't realize until we walked in that i had actually shot an event here a few years ago. its a warm, wonderfully cozy space with exposed brick, a beautiful fireplace and a lovely high ceiling patio. thanks to a woman with offensively strong perfume, we got to experience both the patio and the inside.
the menu is pared down but a perfect selection. we shared heirloom tomato salad with burrata, torn croutons, salsa verde and opal basil and fried squash blossoms with manchego, marcona almonds and green romesco. both were great. my pick was the heirloom tomato salad. i've had such a dish a million times and made it a million more but the perfect tomatoes, amazing croutons, and dressing made this the best one i'd had maybe short of one i still remember from animal. i fell in love with jen's choice. i'm not crazy about battered things but the combination of the delicate blossom, the soft manchego, marcona almonds and romesco was amazing. i kept going back to the plate for the romesco.
for dinner we split the king salmon with sweet corn, quinoa, summer squash and cherry tomatoes. i know, totally the boring choice but salmon is my favorite and jen was getting full and already thinking about dessert. sometimes i think ordering the boring thing is a real test of the restaurant. i could totally make this salmon at home but hers was so so perfect. it was cooked medium rare just like i like it and had beautiful notes of butter. i love butter. it was not boring, simple and perfect. we also had some corn succotash but it was average, either of us could have made better. oooh and the crusty table bread was amazing with a pat of their fresh butter and a sprinkle of the sea salt.
jen had some beignets with blueberries and ice cream which i only took a tiny bite of and wasn't crazy about. i did have some lovely pear brandy which i split with her and still couldn't finish :( such a lightweight!
our dinner took 3 hours. we both noted that under other circumstances we would have been looking by our waiter but with great conversation and perfect food we really didn't need him until it was time to leave and it was a great space to sit in for three hours.
go here!

rosemary's restaurant las vegas

my girlfriends and i went to vegas last weekend for my birthday. as i browsed the usual suspects on opentable.com rosemary's restaurant came up #2 in the best overall list and since i had never heard of it i was intrigued. even more intriguing, its off the strip which i thought might make it a hidden gem.

its basically tucked away in a generic strip mall. though they have put a lot of effort into covering up the interior aspects of being in a generic strip mall, unfortunately, it still feels like it. what was immediately outstanding about rosemary's was the service. when any of us returned to the table, a member of the staff speed walked across the room dedicated to beating us to our chair and pulling it out. great service continued through all parts of the service.

the menu was straightforward american with a southern, new orleans angle, featuring a lot of my favorites. we shared the "wilted spinach salad: port wine shallots, goat cheese cake, spiced pecans & sherry mustard dressing" then three of us had the "halibut lindquist: sautéed garlic spinach, buttermilk onion crust & chive muscadet butter sauce." the salad was good but like so many others i've had. the halibut while perfectly cooked and seasoned, was just topped with a giant pile of onion rings - not my version of "crusted" but obviously theirs. i love when the menu description sounds like a 7 and the chef wows me with a 10 interpretation. this was the opposite. the menu descriptions sounded like solid 8 and 9s but the final product was more of a7.

the service, perfectly cooked fish and great friends made is a very enjoyable dinner but with so many restaurants in vegas, i'd skip this one.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

its my birthday!

4, yes 4, layer carrot cake and homemade cinnamon caramel ice cream

recipe here from last year - but double recipe and quadruple frosting :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

chocolate pot de cream

i made this a week ago for friends. i'm way into simple right now and this is a great example of a great straight forward classic. i hadn't made this recipe since we lived in our old house and i forgot how much i loved it! its rich, decadent and feels luxurious but a small portion hits the spot. please do it right and use valhrona or scharfen berger.

Chocolate Pot de Cream

1 ¼ cups half and half

4 ounces high quality 60-70% chocolate, finely chopped

1/3 cup sugar

3 large egg yolks

½ tsp vanilla

1 tbsp cocoa powder

Pinch of salt

1 tbsp liqueur, frangelico or godiva

Caramel sauce homemade or store bought

Freshly whipped and sweetened cream

Preheat oven to 300. bring a kettle of water to a boil and keep warm. Heat half and half just till it begins to simmer. Remove from heat and add chocolate and sugar. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir together yolks, vanilla, cocoa, salt and liqueur in a large bowl. With a fork, stir chocolate mixture until smooth. Gradually stir chocolate mixture into egg mixture. Pour through a fine sieve into a glass measuring cup or bowl. Place four ramekins or other oven safe small dishes, 3 to 4 oz each, in the roasting pan and divide chocolate mixture among them. Pour water into pan so that it reaches half way up each ramekin. Bake until custards are not quite set in center about 30 minutes. They will firm up as they cool. Carefully remove ramekins from water bath and let cool slightly. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or until very chilled. To serve, ladle a generous spoonful of caramel over it then a good plop of whipped cream. Yum.

tamarind turkey burgers and miso broccoli slaw

i like my beef burgers pretty plain with good cheddar or blue cheese but turkey burgers need help and i've got all sorts of ways to do it. this is a new great one. tamarind is a seed and pod. its used a lot in asian and hispanic cooking. these burgers are sour, sweet and tangy.

Tamarind Turkey Burgers


  • 1 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tsp minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup tamarind concentrate* (found in middle eastern markets)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lime juice


  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp tamarind glaze
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 red jalapeño chile with seeds, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground natural turkey
  • Large lettuce leaves for wrapping
  • Garlic/ginger mayonnaise for garnish

For glaze:
Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic and sauté 2 minutes. Add tamarind concentrate, honey, and water and bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer until thick enough to coat spoon and reduced to 1 1/4 cups, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Cool completely (volume will reduce as glaze cools); mix in lime juice.

For burgers:
Stir mayonnaise, ginger, garlic, soy, fish sauce, salt, jalapeño, bl
ack pepper, and 2 tbsp glaze in large bowl to blend; mix in green onions. Add ground turkey; blend gently (do not pack tightly). Shape mixture into patties, I make mine 8 oz. pepper and salt both sides. Make ahead and chill so they stay together better.

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Grill burgers on first side then flip and glaze until cooked through and thermometer inserted into center registers 160°F, about 8 minutes per side. Brush other side with more glaze. Place 1 burger, on a lettuce leave with garlic/ginger mayo, onions and tomatoes. Top each with onion, tomato, lettuce, and roll top. Serve, passing remaining glaze separately.

Miso slaw

Miso dressing:

1/3 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons yellow or red miso
3 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 tsp sugar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger

2 tsp sesame oil

2 tsp soy
1/4 cup olive oil

¼ cup mayonnaise

Mix everything in a blender.

Salad ingredients

1 package trader joes broccoli slaw

½ bunch chopped green onions

4 cups chopped spinach

½ cup finely chopped roasted almonds

Mix dressing and salad ingredients in a large bowl. Garnish with almonds and chill.