Thursday, April 29, 2010

Festa di Pesto at Farina

Last night Gidget and I celebrated at the Festa di Pesto at Farina Foccaccia and Cucina Italiana.  What did we celebrate? 

1- A lovely glass (or two) of Toscana
2- Mandilli di seta al pesto, a Farina specialty (its flavor being the equivalent of sticking your nose deep into a bouquet of the freshest basil)
3- Another great girls night out!

We got a great deal through Bergine, which helps local SF merchants provide great offers and services to people in the area. They post an offer a day as well as a weekly offer.  I jumped at the chance to go back to Farina, which currently holds a post in my top 5 SF restaurants.   Mille grazie a Bergine!

... e Salute a tutti!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Vino, te quiero

Tonight in between stops we paused for a glass of Carmenet Pinot Noir at the Wine Bar on Polk.  The place was surprisingly decorated with what looked like personal nostalgia items ... big plastic sunglasses, "vintage" iPods, wine stoppers, and more.  We had a glass and then "shared a glass" and the amazing $21 worth of wine, smelling herbal but tasting subtlely rounded and provocative like any good pinot, makes this place worth a return visit. 

I think, however, that the bartender spoke a sum total of two words: "It's Nice."

He was right ... the pinot was nice, and the place was nice. I'll try it again.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Dry Creek Passport Weekend

This weekend, taking a rare timeout from Tahoe, I joined some friends in Dry Creek for Passport weekend.  A friend of a friend is the winemaker at Martorana Family Vineyards, and to prepare for the Passport festivities he invited a group of people to volunteer at the winery.  Somehow I was in the right place at the right time, and got a coveted invite to join in on an amazing weekend!

I drove up Saturday evening in time for a home cooked feast and a night of camping in the vineyards.  Sunday, after an early morning walk through the vineyards and an hour or so of reading on the porch swing, I headed to the winery to begin the volunteering.

We showed up at the winery and began quickly setting up for the crowds.  I managed to get a place at the sales table, where I chatted with guests, poured from a selection of 7 wines, and rang sales for the day.  Not only did I have a great time meeting so many new people (both my fellow volunteers as well as a dizzying stream of customers), I also got to sample the array of excellent wines and debate with myself all day which I wanted to bring home.  I ended up with a case of the 2006 Dry Creek Zin as well as an '06 Cab, an '05 Merlot, and a bottle of Olio di Gio ... I plan on cracking open at least two of these bottles tonight when I reunite with my farm box over a home cooked meal.  Don't worry, one will be the olive oil.  Happy, healthy Monday!

Teagan's first slumber party

Saturday morning after waking up to a fresh cup of espresso (doppio, certo!), a big smile and a speed-crawl-to-hug maneuver from Baby Teagan, and some chit-chat with the girls, we walked down to Glen Park for a little breakfast and a dose of fresh air. 

We stopped in Higher Grounds coffee house to enjoy breakfast crepes (mine: pesto, feta, onion with a side of potatoes).  Teags kept fighting off sleep to hang with the big girls.   I am sure she had a BIG nap that day!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Farm Box Part Deux

Tonight after a coed soccer game, I skipped beers and came home for a healthy night in with my Farm box.  I sauteed the red chard in olive oil and garlic, added pine nuts and a squeeze of Eureka lemon, and enjoyed over brown rice pasta. 

It was actually quite tasty, and I have enough leftover for tomorrow's lunch!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Banh Mi

Today for lunch I tried something new near work ... a pork banh mi sandwich from Little Saigon Deli just around the corner.  I have hardly noticed this place, despite countless trips to Perry's, because it is just a windowfront out of which they serve a limited variety of banh mi (pork or fancy pork? chicken or tofu?), green coconut waffles, and spring rolls. 

I ordered the pork banh mi (just straight up pork, not fancy, although I will probably try that combo next time) and enjoyed the crusty roll, sliced pork, marinated carrots, and especially fresh cilantro.  A simple sandwich but oh-so-tasty ... made all that much more enjoyable by a sunny afternoon and time with a friend eating near the waterfront. 

Oh, did I mention it was only $4.50?  I have a new regular lunch spot.

Enjoy the weekend, everyone!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

On a gorgeous spring day

Today at the Farmers' Market, I bought a bouquet of ranunculus to brighten up my day.  I also picked up some Yukon gold potatoes to add to a spring vegetable soup ... my first home cooked concoction with the Farm Fresh ingredients.  After a Dailey Method class, I am excited to get into the kitchen!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Farm Fresh ... to ME!

I just received my first delivery from Farm Fresh to You.  It is a gorgeous assortment of seasonal, organic vegetables and fruits from Capay Farms and their local partners.  I will be receiving these deliveries every other week in the hopes that fresh produce at my fingertips and perhaps exposure to some new ingredients will liven up my attempts at healthy eating.  I also love supporting local farms, sustainable production and consumption, and eating seasonal foods.  I have never been so excited to eat a vegetable in all my life!

- 2 Hass avocadoes
- 2 Navel oranges
- 1/2 lb strawberries
- 1 Eureka Lemon
- Chard
- Green leaf lettuce
- Bunched carrots
- Broccoli
- Spring onion
- Garnet sweet potatoes

Monday, April 5, 2010

Belle's Camp, I like your style...

I like the style of Belle's Camp, at the top of Blue Sky Basin in Vail.

This little lodge offers the usual assortment -- coffee, soda, chips, sandwiches, cookies -- of a mid mountain stop.  Outside, however, they fire up grills for your usage.  Man them yourself.  On a series of chairs on the way out to the Basin, people were talking with excitement about the bratwursts they were packing in. Inside, groups were camped out on picnic tables running in the burgers and dogs from the snowy outside grill area. 

One particular group, featured in the photo, really had their system down.  Not only did they pack in meats to grill, but also checkered table cloths, cheese and crackers, and several bottles of vino! 

(Mind you, this was 10:30 in the morning when I popped in for a brief caffeine break.)

While impressed with their style, I would also like to point out that they were missing some of the best powder I have ever skiied in.  Knee deep in Colorado fresh, I will pass on the vino, thanks!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Book Club goodness

Last week (or maybe it was the week before? Time is flying...) I hosted my book club for dinner, wine, and discussion.  We had selected Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger, in honor of his passing, and hoped to reflect on all that was meaningful to us about his books during our adolescence as well as what continued to be relevant in adulthood.

For dinner I served salmon (baked in a foil packet with Moroccan spices) alongside a salad I adapted from a friend, Ann.  Butter lettuce, red onion, sliced mushrooms, avocado, halved grape tomatoes, and Annie's organic Goddess dressing for the lemon and Tahini flavors.

A couple of the girls brought wine, and Dolores brought dessert, pictured above ... delightfully buttery palmier cookies with some whipped cream and strawberries alongside.  What a beautiful and decadent little treat!