Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Curbing the Diet Coke addiction

On my list of resolutions for this New Year, I finally decided to drop the daily Diet Coke.

I stopped because something about the way I would hightail it to the soda fountain every day felt, let's just say, not-quite-right.  Something about putting away 16 ounces in mere minutes, and still being thirsty afterward, made me a little uneasy.

I have tried to quit before, but I really think I have broken the habit for good.  There are more effective ways to quench my thirst (water!), more delicious beverage choices (wine?), and more pleasant rituals for a caffeine fix (Philz!).  And in case I waver, here are 8 more reasons to curb the addiction.

It's been nearly two months, although I am actually not really counting.  So long, Diet Coke!

Monday, February 20, 2012


I am getting seriously excited for another dinner at Locanda.  I made my next reservation on my way out of the last one.

Their pastas are seriously off the charts.  I think I am most looking forward to the tortelli with crescenza cheese, hen of the woods mushrooms, pine nuts, and mint.

Give me the dish - what's your favorite there?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Healthy Sunday

It's Sunday afternoon, and after a long run, I think it's time to dish up a healthy snack.  I'm having Greek yogurt, whole wheat flakes, and raspberries.  Totally delicious!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Apple Oat Scones

I don't know what is inspiring this recent interest of mine in baking.  I used to bake a lot as a child, under the gentle encouragement and tutelage of my grandma when she visited.  She never liked to let me eat sweets - "Honey, that will spoil your dinner ..." - but somehow our joint projects were often exempt.  I spent many hours with her in the kitchen, learning the proper way to measure flour, her tips and tricks for a perfect pie crust.  I spend most of my kitchen time now on savory dishes, but have been dabbling again in baked goods.  Maybe it's just that I really miss her.  I was certainly thinking of her while making these scones. 

I saw this recipe for apple and oat scones in Martha Stewart's Living (February issue), and had to give them a shot.  The recipe, while dish-intensive, is pretty straightforward but I did make a few adjustments.  After thoroughly mixing the dry ingredients, I grated in the butter, which is a great technique for dealing with frozen sticks of butter in a pinch.  I added the apples and buttermilk to form the dough, patted it into shape on a floured surface and cut squares with a pizza cutter.  Not being a true baker, I did not have parchment paper on hand, but used ungreased padded cookie sheets with no problem.

The end result was a light and airy breakfast bread (not your dense coffee shop variety).  Not overly sweet and in fact, a little too good an afternoon snack!  I might have just spoiled my dinner... 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Izakaya Sozai

Feeling a little sniffly this evening, I thought I would pick up some take-out ramen from another place I have been dying to check out: Izakaya Sozai, on Irving at 16th Ave.

Well, they serve take-out but they don't serve take-out ramen.  However, it seemed like a reasonable idea to post up at the bar and eat.  I mean, I found parking in the Inner Sunset, so why not!

One bowl of tonkatsu ramen and one plate of tsukune skewers later, I was a happy girl.  It was too much food but I found it impossible to pass over the yakitori section of the menu.  The bite sized tsukune - or chicken meatballs - were grilled and then daintily brushed with a soy glaze. The ramen broth was rich but not overly so, and the noodles nicely chewy.  The kitchen was busy sending out many tempting things I wasn't able to order: bacon wrapped enoki mushrooms, garlic sauteed shishito peppers, sake steamed clams, and agedashi tofu.

I can't wait to go back for another meal at Sozai.  Next time, I'll surely go with a table of friends!