Ooh, my favorite!

September 30, 2010, 3:04 pm
Filed under: Clean, Farmer's Market, Food, Green, Health, Movies, Nature

As much as I love and often refer to Food Inc. it was a really heavy movie; all the things I had already suspected were not only confirmed but the stories and images, though not as gruesome I had anticipated, had resonated in a strong way. I was mad and angry and I sort of carried it with me for a while; it wasn’t a terrible thing, just not the kind of feeling I want to handle often.

On the flip side of Food Inc. there’s a new, seemingly more joyful and uplifting movie that’s out called Fresh. My awesome co-worker passed it along yesterday and I’m already trying to see if I can get into a screening next week. I can’t find much more info than what’s listed on their site, but it looks as if it’s been making the rounds at small screenings here and there (since 2009!). It would be great to see it go nation-wide.

My favorite farmer Joel Salatin is back from Food Inc. too!

Tartine Bread
September 27, 2010, 3:17 pm
Filed under: Food

Tartine Afterhours: once a month after the bakery closes chef Samin Nosrat (of Oakland’s Pop-up General Store) takes over and prepares a three-course, family style meal for a small group of lucky foodies that managed to RSVP in the time it takes for Regis to initiate a Fastest Finger question.

Well, I hate to boast, but I have secured two of 30 coveted seats for tomorrow night’s dinner party! On this night in particular, we will be celebrating the release of the Tartine Bread cookbook…and by celebrating I mean that each course will be featuring the bread in all its wondrous glory.

Now that I (at least in my own head) have conquered the art of canning tomatoes, I think I may have a new undertaking to try to master. If you have ever had Tartine’s fresh baked bread, fresh from the oven at 5 PM, you will understand why one would reserve a loaf or two ahead of time (me), and why one would wait in a queue that extends beyond the entrance if they hadn’t had the foresight to reserve (not me). And furthermore, you would also understand why one would venture to learn the art of breadmaking at home in a conventional oven that is probably about 15-degrees in either direction.

In case you haven’t already gathered, this is by far the most wonderful and amazing bread you will ever have, and as I say that to you, you must know that I am not a bread kind of girl. Far from being a carboholic-bread-fiend you’ll usually find me skipping bread altogether (unless there’s a wonderful sauce to be sopped up, and in that case bread makes the best type of vessel). So to say that Tartine’s bread has changed my outlook on bread an understatement, and just so you get an idea of it’s composition, we’re talkin’ about a crust that’s very nearly caramelized that lightly sticks to your teeth in the best kind of way. The inside, on the other hand, is oh-so-chewy and just as you think it can’t get any better, it gently melts in your mouth and you’ve already shoved another piece in. Ahhh.

Oh yes, tomorrow will be a good night. I’ll keep you posted.

[image via Amazon, video via ciao samin!]

Kitchen crush
September 23, 2010, 7:27 am
Filed under: Home

I probably spend most of my time outside of work in the kitchen, and while I’ve gotten settled in my cozy city kitchen that doesn’t mean I can’t lust after beautiful kitchens that are the twice the size of our loft. This one in particular, with it’s modern cottage flair, has set my heart aflutter. Designed by architect G.P. Shafer this is just one example from their gorgeous portfolio. I could do so much damage in here; and what about that dining nook? Sigh.

To see more, check out the spread on desire to inspire. So many beautiful rooms and exteriors.

[via desire to inspire]

Roli Roti’s Porchetta Sandwich
September 22, 2010, 5:41 pm
Filed under: Farmer's Market, Food, San Francisco

Porkloin wrapped around pork belly with a crispy cracklin’ skin. I don’t really need to say any more, but you know I will.

Roli Roti has quite the following here, and if you’ve ever been to the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market on a Saturday you know what I mean. The queue for these guys is really long, I mean, unbelievably long and it’s that way week after week. Really anything that has pork belly on it will be good, so I get why people are willing to wait. I, however, am not patient, especially when it comes to food, so I haven’t bothered to wait in the line that probably averages at least 30 people deep.

A few weeks ago, to my utter delight, I happened to come across a line that had only a handful of people. A rare occurrence for sure, so I took advantage and hopped right in and began drooling right then and there. Just watching the rotisserie spit spinning is positively hypnotizing!

It was a very nice sandwich, and although I know this is not going to be a popular opinion, I must admit that I was a bit disappointed. To be fair I think the hype-machine has once again gotten in the way; nowadays it’s hard for anyone and anything to live up to the the fanatic gushes from hoards of Yelpers and bloggers like me (I am not a Yelper, btw). Don’t get me wrong, it was a lovely lunch and the ingredients were all great (sustainably raised pork and organic produce), but the cracklin’ crust was too hard – like, potential for a chipped tooth kind of hard, and the caramelized onions weren’t very flavorful, but oh how wonderful they looked being slathered onto the roll! And finally, I was left craving an acid (you know me) like a peach chutney or a light vinaigrette for the greens. If all of those things were there it would have been epic for me, and wait-in-line worthy. But as it was, I would say it was nice and satisfying. I don’t want to deter any potential visitors from the queue, especially if you’ve heard cheers from your friends, so I guess you could consider my opinion as a gut-check to all those raves you’ve heard or read.

Night by Night
September 21, 2010, 11:27 am
Filed under: Music, Videos

It doesn’t happen often, but there are occasions where I miss some really cool stuff on TV…like this for example. You may or may not know that new disco makes my heart race, so this right here is everything I love about dance music. Could Chromeo be any more awesome? I think not. Oh how I love the addition of the strings and the Robert Palmer-esque girls. This has me wishing for Friday night.

[Thanks to my awesome bro for sending it and making my day.]

Picnic potato salad
September 21, 2010, 6:19 am
Filed under: Food, Recipes

I’m not much of a picnic-er, and as fun and romantic as it is made to look in magazine spreads and movies, I really only like to enjoy my food in comfort, away from dirt and bugs. I think that maybe if my picnic experiences did in fact resemble those found in sexy magazines I would do it more often, but alas that has not really ever been the case. So yes, I am a fair weather eater, but if I was a person fond grassy knoll or park picnic table dining I would most certainly pack this potato salad. So much flavor and no mayo so there’s nothing to spoil.

So while our summer here has only just gotten underway this is another summery dish for you (did you see the succotash from last week?). I could see how this may not be much help to you now that most summers are fading away. To be honest my biological clock is telling me that it’s autumn and to prepare to hibernate for the winter (maybe that’s why I love autumn so much), but since the seasonal calendar here is a bit different I am learning to adapt; after all, isn’t that what all successful animals must do? Regardless of the weather in your neck of the woods, there’s never a bad excuse to make potato salad.

Picnic potato salad

–  2 pounds small white boiling potatoes (my favorite are Yukon Gold potatoes)

–  3 tablespoons Vermouth (can substitute with dry white wine)

–  1/4 cup chicken stock

For the vinaigrette:

I know my measurement for vinaigrettes is off, but I prefer more acid and less oil. Typically it’s 3:1 oil-to-acid, so feel free to adjust to that if you prefer.

–  3 tablespoons champagne vinegar

–  1 tablespoon dijon mustard

–  1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

–  6 tablespoons olive oil

–  2 teaspoons kosher salt

–  1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

–  2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, minced

–  2 tablespoons scallions, finely minced

–  1/2 cup microgreens (optional)

Slice the potatoes into coins about 1/4 inch thick. Drop into a pot of water and turn the heat to med-high. When the water reaches a boil add a few pinches of salt and continue cooking until tender, 15-20 minutes total. Test with a fork and steal a bite to see when it’s reached the texture you like best. Drain the potatoes and place in a large bowl. While they’re still hot and steaming add the vermouth and chicken stock and toss gently; the warm potatoes will absorb the liquid.

While the potatoes are cooking you can assemble the vinaigrette. Whisk together the mustards, vinegar, salt, pepper, and oil. After it becomes thick and forms an emulsion add the parsley and green onion. Add the vinaigrette to the potatoes and toss well. I typically toss in half of the vinaigrette at first, and then wait until the potatoes are slightly cooler to add the rest. Take a bite and check the seasoning. Add more salt or pepper if needed. If serving with microgreens, lightly toss just before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature, but this is also a dish that gets even better the next day. (Perfect accompaniment to salade niçoise, which I did below for a quick weeknight dinner.)

Tomatoes. Canned.
September 20, 2010, 8:19 pm
Filed under: Food, Green, Organic

Early girl and heirloom tomatoes, canned. Bam!

I did it! I dove head-first into canning this past weekend. I sort of half expected that I’d have to write the blog equivalent of a retraction, but happily there’ll be none of that today…and I am freakin’ ecstatic! There were no tears, but plenty of sweat and blood if you count the tomato seeds stuck to the arm (and maybe even a few stuck in the hair). While it was great fun it was a lot of work; I’m getting ready for bed right at this moment. I need a weekend from my weekend, so while I recuperate I’ll share my finished product above.

Hope you all had a great weekend. Monday’s already over, dare I say this week is going to fly by?

Happy Friday!
September 17, 2010, 3:38 pm
Filed under: Personal

Image via DickVanDykeShow on Tumblr

I’m going to be playing a happy homemaker this weekend. Check this out: I will be in the kitchen, knee-deep in 20-pounds of organic tomatoes! That’s right, I’ve taken on the task of canning tomatoes (at the peak of their season), so that I have a plentiful stash throughout the winter while we’re in hibernation mode. I’ll try to capture it all; the blood, the sweat, and hopefully sans any tears. I’ve had my fair share of kitchen meltdowns, but I’ve done my research (reading and YouTube watching) so I hope to avoid any traumatic events.

Hope you all have a great weekend ahead of you, whatever you may be up to. Happy weekend!

Deep sea pictures
September 16, 2010, 7:10 am
Filed under: Nature, Photography

A sea anemone hitching a ride on a crab

National Geographic has some new images of deep sea creatures found on an expedition last month off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. NOAA has partnered with the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries in a multi-year program that will document Indonesia’s sea life and find ways to preserve the natural wildlife and the integrity and health of the water.

Stalked sea lily

Stalked sea lilies used to line the ocean floors, but have become a rare sight according to one of the scientists on the expedition. The good news is that there were many varieties to be seen in Indonesia.

A 10-armed sea star

I didn’t realize this, but most starfish species have five arms. This guy was found at at depth of 880 feet. The textures and the symmetry are fascinating!

A picture of a deep-sea chimaera

Also known as the ghost shark this guy senses changes in the electrical fields of his prey in order to accurately locate his next meal.

Free-floating sea cucumber

This free-roaming sea cucumber was found at 10,515 feet in freezing water temperatures.

[All images via National Geographic]

Whiteout: S/S 11
September 15, 2010, 1:55 pm
Filed under: Fashion

White is clearly the color of spring based on several looks from so many of the designers showing this week.  I’m excited, really excited; but I have to keep telling myself to remain focused on the camels and tans that await just ahead for autumn and winter.

1.Tracy Reese  2.Hervé Léger by Max Azria  3.Badgley Mishka

4.Michael Kors  5.Narcisso Rodriguez  6.Thakoon

[All images via Style.com]

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