Friday, January 28, 2011

Gimme Sa-MO-sa!

Last night's early office departure teed up a brilliant opportunity to sate a deep craving for Burma Superstar.  We arrived just before the masses and cozied into a side table, eager for a taste of samusa soup.

The smoothly curried broth counterbalanced the dense and chickpea-textured bites of samusa.  After one bite, I immediately wanted to stick my face into this bowl of soup. Please, please, please give me sa-MO-sa!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Belizean Heat

As I mentioned in my last post, I am obsessed with a new hot sauce, Belizean Heat.  It is a combination of habanero for kick blended with carrots for texture (plus the usual onion/garlic/vinegar additions), and I promise it makes EVERYTHING taste better!  It is particularly good on pizza crust. 

After our trip to Belize, I brought home about eight bottles: seven for me (across a variety of flavor/heat profiles) and one as a gift for my Dad, the original hot sauce lover in the family.

We have both been cranking through our hot sauce and worried about what happens next, but thanks to Dad, we need worry no more!  Check out the Hot Sauce Super Store for all your hot sauce needs ... including the elusive Belizean Heat.  Thanks for the great find, Dad!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Top Ten of 2010

Before I jump headfirst into 2011, I want to take a moment to reflect on the many things that made 2010 a truly special and happy year.  Here are ten of my favorites (not all about food, as you might expect!):

10.  PHILZ COFFEE.  I have vacillated over the years about getting dependent on coffee during the weekdays.  After all, it is such a reliable weekend delight.  This year, however, was a coffee year for sure, with many morning coffee dates at Philz.  I have to say, I am happily hooked! 

9.  BELIZEAN HEAT.  The flavor, texture, and heat of Belizean hot sauce is in my opinion totally unparalleled.  I first tasted the Heat at Deluxe on Haight, served alongside a delicious pizza.  When we planned our short vacation to Belize, I reserved space in my suitcase and brought back over 8 bottles ... and I am already concerned about running out! 

8.  OWLS.  Retreating to my parents' house in Monterey is relaxing for many reasons, but one of my favorites is waking to the soft hooting of owls in the neighborhood in the early morning hours.  Each with their own pitch, it is truly an owl symphony.

7.  PIPELINE WORK.  A weeklong project at work, totally immersed in the opportunity to be creative and redesign they way we approach our roles, was invigorating and gratifying and totally motivating.  I got to work with an amazing group of partners, among the top thinkers in the brand, on the 15th floor of our building in the midst of a rare and breathtaking modern art collection.  Talk about job satisfaction. 

6.  FARM FRESH DELIVERIES.  I love the biweekly arrival of my fresh farm produce, which inspires me to make healthier choices and explore new ingredients, all while supporting local farmers. 

5.  WORLD CUP SOCCER.  Every four years when the World Cup rolls around, I indulge my obsession and watch match after match after match.  This year I made the trip (with ten friends) out to South Africa for a phenomenal adventure.  Watching Messi from the third row in Soccer City, Johannesburg, was one of the most special sporting events of my life.  After I returned, I got to cheer Spain on to victory sporting my awesome souvenir Spain arm warmers!  ARRIBA ESPANA!

4.  TRAVELS.  In South Africa, in addition to being in my personal soccer mecca, I got to follow lions through the wild, meet amazing fans from around the world, taste local wines and food, watch social change in the making in Kliptown Township Soweto, dive with great white sharks in the cold waters off the Cape, all while spending invaluable time with an incredible group of friends.  Love you girls!

3.  WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP.  Though I grew up in the Bay Area, I am nothing like a lifelong Giants fan, having dedicated all my passion and energy for the sport to the Detroit Tigers.  That said, it was a very special season for the SF Giants and amazing to be part of this city as it embraced its oddball, ragtag group of champions.  Plus, they clinched the Series on my birthday ... pretty sweet birthday present!!!

2.  POWDER DAYS.  Nothing tops a powder day, except a whole season of them.  In 2010 I was lucky enough to get about 30 days on the mountain, including a day of powder hijinx in Big Sky Basin at Vail.  This year on my new Lines, I am looking forward to enjoying many more. 

1.  DOLPHINS. One day while out for a run in Carmel, I saw a pod of over 50 dolphins jumping and frolicking in the water.  Intelligent, friendly, and playful, dolphins also augur good luck in Greek mythology.  That day is especially memorable to me but I consider the year 2010 a very lucky one indeed.  I am a happy, happy girl with dolphins in my life.