Musings

Favorite Experiences in San Francisco - Michelin Event

One October evening we went to San Francisco to be VIP guests at a Michelin Guide San Francisco release gala. We enjoyed the evening of live music and experienced tasting menus from the best restaurants in the city.

 

Chez TJ  |  Jarad Gallagher

Sweet Potato Terrine with Alba White Truffle, Kale, Walnut and Egg

 

Plumed Horse  |  Peter Armellino

Barley Risotto with Burgundy Truffles & Puffed Beef Tendon

 

State Bird Provisions  |  Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski

CA State Bird with Provisions

 

Favorite Experiences in San Francisco - First Weekend Trip

It was a chilly, breezy, July morning, and the fog hung low. My husband and I started the day at the Dynamo Donuts shack on Yacht Road where we sampled their well-known Maple Bacon doughnut (this later inspired a maple bacon cake, still one of my favorite creations) and a gluten-free Carrot Cake doughnut. We sat by the water and ate, gazing at Alcatraz and the Golden Gate, watched a lazy fisherman, and listened to the waves. I loved it. I loved just sitting there, soaking it all in. 

 

The Spring I Went Vegan {Body-Mind Peace}

Last winter, a little over a year ago, I found myself reading a number of books about food and the five elements. I learned that spring, the wood element, was the time to purge the body of toxins and excess fats after a long winter, before summer bursts in all its fresh, raw glory. As I read, I felt a tug to go vegan for the first six weeks of the upcoming spring. "What? Are you nuts? Give up cheese and yogurt and ice cream? No way." And yet the gentle feeling continued to flow over me, like an ocean wave: go vegan.

Just Care {Thoughts on Conservation}

There are so many people out there trying to make a difference in conservation: preserving animal species, growing healthier food, sustaining resources, recycling, teaching others, raising money...

I'm told that I already help a lot by doing the little things – turning off water and lights, unplugging appliances, recycling what I use, buying local foods. But even then, I feel like I'm doing so little. 

My Food Quilt {Merging of Symbolic Arts]

I call it The Food Quilt.  

It started out as a crazy idea on social media. "I should have a quilt with all my favorite foods on it just so I can carry it around and drool on it!" The fabrics I picked out online, after I sketched some ideas. Then it took a hundred tries of laying out all the fabrics to really decide what look I wanted. I love how it turned out. 

Layer Cakes {My Favorite Thing to Bake}

There's something about me and cakes. I don't know what it is. Pies, tarts, biscuits, cupcakes, brownies, cookies – I'll bake them all. But imagining, baking, assembling, and sharing a layer cake is...special. And I love the idea of everyone taking a piece from one whole cake; it's a very communal, loving, focusing experience. 

Eating Seasonally {Winter Salad}

My favorite (winter) seasonal dish recently: shredded napa cabbage and kale, tangelo orange segments, toasted chopped pecans, all tossed in a cranberry-orange dressing. Mix together and let sit in the fridge for a few hours; the dressing slightly marinates the greens. 

{My cooking style}

I cook what I like to eat, and I like a little bit of everything. I also like to cook what’s in season dependent upon where I live, which means a migratory repertoire. And then there’s my need to eat wheat-free and my preference for mostly-vegetarian. 

I like simple. Simple, simple food. Food can be beautiful by itself. It doesn’t need a full chorus line. A fried egg lightly salted served on buttered garlic toast. Steamed broccoli tossed with a little lemon juice and salt. Rice noodles tossed with olive oil, salt, and grated parmigiano reggiano. 

No Recipes {Food as Interior Knowledge}

I think part of the last century – and the marvelous modernizations that have come with it – has been about losing touch with our food. Now, I could go into a whole shpeal about what I think such distance does to our selves and our relationships, but I'll stick to cooking knowledge for now. In the last ninety years, people have spent less and less time around the land, around growing, around seasons, and around day-to-day food preparation. Such that, now, most of the time people cook solely from recipes.

If I were stuck on a desert island.... {My essential cooking ingredients}

If I were stuck on a desert island and could take along only ten ingredients, this would be my list: 

{Why I am gluten-free}

I've been eating and cooking gluten-free for the last twenty months. And I love it. 

It started out as an experiment. My mum and sister were, at the time, both gluten-intolerant, and my self kept knocking me with the idea that the intolerance could be genetic. For almost a year I let the idea knock around, until I committed to try it the month of the Christmas holidays. Yes. Christmas. I figured if I could survive that time of year gluten-free, I could do it anytime. 

Food: my beginning, my means, my end. {My culinary blood heritage}

My mom, Jean, began cooking when she was sixteen. Everything I learned about food, from young to seventeen years, I learned from her. We still ask for her "secret" recipes for bean enchiladas and spanikopita and chocolate cake. I desperately want her to write a cookbook someday. And if she ever opens her restaurant, I will eat there all the time. 

She tells us stories of her dad, Norm, who loved to grow tomatoes in his garden.

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