Friday, December 23, 2011

Hot Tips on Hot Sauce

Recently I went into Blue Front Cafe on Haight street, and in addition to loving their food (lentil rice and avocado? spicy hummus? yes please!) I absolutely love their wide array of hot sauce choices.

I'm a believer that everything is better with hot sauce!  But not just any hot sauce, people.  Hot sauces have soul mates too.

Here are just a few pairings to get you started:
*Sriracha* mix it with mayo and use as a spread for hamburgers, or a dipping aioli for crabcakes or steamed vegetables.
*Crystal* sprinkle liberally into a salad for a little kick with your dressing.
*Tabasco* top your soup with a sprinkle or two.
*Belizean Heat* dip your pizza crust in this hot mama of hot sauces.  Or if you're really feeling fiesty, use it as a light sauce on a homemade pie.  
*Cholula* when in doubt, apply liberally on just about anything.  Cholula is pretty exceptional on omelets or scrambles.

What are your favorite hot sauce pairings?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Bûche de Noël

It is becoming a lovely personal tradition to wind down the weekend with a close-knit group of friends over a Sunday "family" dinner.  I hosted a week or so ago and one couple brought this bûche de Noël to enjoy for dessert (from Tartine! Deliciousness!).  

The bûche de Noël is a classic French holiday dessert, traditionally styled as a log with mushrooms and moss.  Food publications, food TV, and the blogosphere have erupted this holiday season with profiles of the many ways this dessert is showing up.  From professional pastry shops to gorgeous home attempts, the bûche is becoming a more widely accessible way to participate in a holiday tradition (and far more tasty than the television Yule Log of my childhood).

I loved the idea of incorporating a classic holiday tradition within our budding Sunday practice. What are your favorite holiday traditions this year? 

Friday, December 16, 2011


I know the ramen craze has been happening for a while here in SF, but frankly, I didn't really get it.  I mean, I appreciated a warming broth and chewy noodle as much as the next person, but I didn't truly get the potential of umami in this dish.  Until I went to Katana-Ya, that is.

Even at 10pm on a weeknight, there was a line outside waiting for both tables as well as take-out.  I placed an order for some take-out ramen, hoping to take the edge off a chilly San Francisco night.

I ordered the namesake ramen in a rich miso broth, which in addition to being loaded with noodles, came with a little bit of everything: long slivers of mushroom, dumplings, fried chicken, corn, and meaty slices of chasu.  (Next time I am going straight for the chasu.)  Unlike some spots where I find I run out of noodles quickly and am left with a gaping bowl of broth, I actually could not come even close to finishing this dish.  I bet the leftovers would make a mean breakfast.

Katana-Ya is definitely going to be part of my regular rotation this winter.  It's a good reason to get excited about the next rainy night!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bacon Bacon

Hey folks. Do you like bacon?  (Thought that would get your attention.)

If your answer was yes, then you really need to head out and try the Bacon Bacon truck. Immediately.

Check out this grilled cheese sandwich, loaded with crispy bite-sized bits of bacon ... and lined with a tangy bacon jam, positively the best part.  This sandwich has the sweet / salty thing going on all day long.  I could barely pause to take this picture ... maybe next time I will post one of my post-meal smile.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cocktails in Hong Kong

Decked out in gorgeous white lights for the holidays, the Peninsula Hotel is a clear choice for a swanky cocktail in Hong Kong.   We enjoyed a glass of bubbly in the lobby bar, to the sounds of a live jazz band.   It was quite a festive treat after a few days of meetings (and an action-packed evening of Nathan Road shopping!).  Next time I return, I am hoping to check out their famous take on high tea.