Tag Archives: san francisco

writing home from last week’s san francisco bacon camp!

dear mommy and daddy,

i am having so much fun at bacon camp! the people here are very nice and there are lots of fun activities. there is no canoeing or archery or s’more making, but instead everyone has made yummy dishes out of bacon to share with each other.  i took some pictures so you could see all the cool things people are doing at camp.

this is a smoked pea soup with bacon bits and truffle oil in a bacon bowl made by steve.

pea-soup-and-bacon-bowl

i think i heard one of the judges say that it looks like baby vomit, but apparently it was pretty delicious.  even though i am only nine years old i already know that truffle oil = automatic tasty.

some people made very pretty and very complicated things, like this deconstructed BLT by simon with bacon foam and tomato chutney.  he also made a bacon old fashioned with bacon infused bourbon.

deconstructed-blt

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happiest breakfast ever

the best way to get out of bed in the morning?

close-up-of-slow-scrambled-eggs-bacon-and-firebrand-bread

backyard fresh slow scrambled eggs, niman ranch applewood smoked bacon from bi-rite, walnut bread from oakland-based firebrand sourdough bakery, and espresso with locally-roasted-right-here-in-the-Mission coffee beans.

happiest-breakfast-ever


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bacon camp recipes, round two: panko encrustifried avocado and bacon sushi with wasabi bacon mayonnaise

three of the most i-could-eat-you-any-time-in-any-form-and-am-totally-head-over-heels-obsessed-with-you foods in my world of edibility: 1. bacon. 2. avocado. 3. sushi.

add them all together. toss in some deep frying action. squiggle on some bacon mayonnaise. OH HOLY CRAP!!!!!

deep-fried-avocado-bacon-sushi-with-wasabi-bacon-mayonnaise

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bacon camp recipes, round one: bacon caliente pockets and extreme sausage action

most likely you have not experienced this yourself, but people give funny reactions when you tell them you are going to bacon camp. they  fall pretty universally along the lines of whether said person happens to be one of the 99.9% who also absolutely adore bacon and want to rub it on their faces (holy shit! i love bacon! i wanna go!) and the .01% of crazies who find bacon revolting and yes those people do exist (bacon camp? ew. i don’t even want to know what that is).

debate raged endlessly within my mind when deciding what to make for bacon camp. the so-high-tech-it’s-scary organizers of the camp  made a wiki where you could write what you were planning to bring and see what other dishes were in the works. noting that a lot of the dishes already online were ones i’ve made before (maple bacon cookies and bacon-infused bourbon), i wanted to make something that would be new and different for me and something that wouldn’t already be there in 14 different variations.

thus spawned the bacon hot pocket. you already know i have a thing for hot pockets. however, i’d like to take the opportunity to publicly state for the record, for those of you noting the hypocrisy between my professed love for hot pockets and my attempted avoidance of all things processed and chemically, that i do not in fact eat hot pockets (anymore). i just revere them as a concept and a pop culture phenomenon and an edible item encased in dough. aside: i once threw a party with the food theme ‘wrapped in dough’. so many different cultures produce a delicious food item wrapped in dough. empanadas! jiao zi! pierogies! pupusas! jamaican beef patties! i’m getting off topic! so anyways, i started testing a bacon hot pocket recipe for a dinner party the night before bacon camp. here’s a money shot of the finished result, mid-bite:

bacon-hot-pocket-closeup

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a night of slow roasted perfection, a grilled cheese winner, and hybrid broccoflower bearcats

if you saw any of the photos from the recent iron chef bacon smackdown, you’d know that my friend kwame is a redonkulously good cook.  he possesses a unique and extremely rewarding combination of an all-consuming love for food, a willingness to experiment, a natural curiosity for processes and flavors, a desire to search for the best ingredients, and the commitment  to wake up at 7am to check on his slow-roasting oxtail when he went to bed drunk at 3am. now that is some serious dedication, and some crazy good luck for those of us fortunate enough to attend the four course dinner extravaganza at his place last night.

i really enjoy kwame’s style of cooking – he’s focused and clearly following a grand plan in his head, but simultaneously manages to be laidback, engaging, and a great host. he’ll have five burners going while he sticks two pans in the oven and juggles a cheese grater and a juicer and dude still looks relaxed.

this lovely bowl of upland cress (the spicier, more pungent cousin of watercress), butter lettuce, mint, and sage sitting in a few inches of water signaled that there would be some delicious fresh ingredients coming our way.

cress-butter-lettuce-and-mint

last week, i went on a shopping trip to the produce heaven berkeley bowl with kwame, jess, and annie. i bet it’s the first time the butcher has had anyone buy him out of oxtail, which is why it is nonstop entertainment to roll with kwame at grocery stores. he turned this ginormous bag o’tail into a phenomenal saffron risotto with slow-roasted oxtail, topped by a sprinkle of pecorino and parmesan cheese. BOOYAH.

saffron-risotto-and-table-setting1

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food porn: good photo, baaaad photo

good photo: pork belly, monterey bay squid, egg salad appetizer from bar tartine. mmmmm.

pork-belly-squid-appetizer-from-bar-tartine

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making friends, talking food politics, and sharing a meal at the sunday supper eat-in

i went to an absolutely fantastic event called the ‘sunday supper’ eat-in at the yerba buena center gallery space over the weekend. an eat-in, as you can see on the eat-ins website, is a shared group meal, a public potluck, a community food event designed to get people together to share real food and conversation.  in addition, eat-ins are meant to get people talking and thinking about ”good, clean, fair food’ and hopefully using that dialogue as a catalyst for action. there’s so much that needs to be done to make sure it’s a right and not a privilege to have food that is just and healthy and sustainable. it was great to have this event to get people reflecting on all the complex issues inextricably tied to the food we put in our mouths on a daily basis.

about 100 people showed up bearing overflowing bowls of salad, fresh-baked bread and arugula pesto, pie pans full of corn fritters, chocolate bread and olive oil cake, spicy cabbage rice, prosciutto and dates, olive and onion tarts, and even a huge bucket full of sweet hibiscus tea, plus so much more.  there were a lot of regular people interested in food, as well as a number of invited food activists, authors, chef, and organizers who were there to spark conversation around their work. we all sat around the long table like a family reunion, piled our plates high, and chatted with our neighbors about all things food. irene, you would have loved it.

sunday-supper-eat-in

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welcome to the epic eight course battle citrus showcase showdown

i love it when people you know pull off something so skilled and talented it’s like they just tore off their shirts and revealed their superhero status to the masses.  my friends alejandro and jess put on iron chef: battle citrus last weekend as a follow up to the bacon smackdown, and both proved themselves to be seriously excellent, creative, inventive chefs. not only did they come up with delicious, beautifully presented dishes, but the whole shebang had to be…get this…sodium-free. yup. no salt. not only no added salt, but they had to stick to low-sodium foods, which means no cheese. or bacon. or dairy products other than heavy cream. and so many other things.  for most chefs, that’s like asking them to cook with one hand tied behind their back and blindfolded in a sauna while being poked by a room full of agitated monkeys. in a word (or two), fucking hard.

both jess and alejandro have been cooking salt-free for some time now so they at least had a good repertoire of low-sodium foods and tricks to help with the battle, but it was still quite a feat (read jess’s awesome just-started blog for recipes, more info on the sodium-free lifestyle, and what will surely be a fantastic post on battle citrus from inside the action. i’m merely reporting from the sidelines). they both rose to the challenge beautifully, as you’ll see once we break into this insane food porn photo album right now.

to welcome you to the battle citrus showcase showdown, this is what we saw when we first walked into the kitchen:

candied-oranges-beetsand-grapefruit

citrus fruit of all kinds of every conceivable size and color balanced on every available space in the kitchen, the sweet, tangy, and savory smells mixing throughout the room. luckily, it’s the perfect season for california citrus and alejandro and jess had picked up an incredible variety of citrus fruits to use throughout the dishes as (to name just a fraction) seasoning, garnish, butter flavoring, sauce ingredient, soup base, ice cream flavor, and even multiple kinds of bowls. such ingenuity.

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an award-winning chili recipe and a straight-from-the-farmer’s-market salad

i’d like to take the opportunity to share the recipe for the best chili i’ve had the pleasure to taste, as invented by my cousin jeff and his friend jack.

pssssh, you say. everyone thinks they have the best chili recipe.

well, does everyone have a ‘people’s choice’ award from an actual legit chili cookoff?

people’s choice?’ you disdainfully snort. that’s like the loser miss congeniality award for the girl that doesn’t have big enough fake boobs to actually win Miss New Jersey Junior Teen America.

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mission taste tour: pizzeria delfina (aka i’m addicted to food porn)

i am so that girl who takes pictures of her food in restaurants now. i never thought i’d get to this point, even after starting a food blog. i figured i’d mostly take photos of things i cooked at home since i’m not trying to write restaurant reviews or anything (i don’t think anyone would hire me considering the only descriptive words i know are variations of the word AWESOME). but i keep coming across food that’s so un-fucking-believably good that i have to whip out my camera and piss off my roommates by taking photos before they’re allowed to tear apart a fresh-out-of-the oven delfina pizza.

continuing the mission taste tour of so-crazy-good-it’s-unfair places on my block, we went to pizzeria delfina tonight after a wine tasting across the street. for the second night in a row, i embarrassed annie and gina by snapping pictures of our food (at least i turned off the awkwardly loud shutter sound this time). how could i help it when the special ‘purgatorio’ pizza looked like this:

closeup-of-purgatoria-pizza-from-delfina1

oh holy shit. don’t you just want to lick your computer screen? are you not uncontrollably drooling and quietly moaning out of desire for this spicy tomato and eggy goodness slice of perfection? if you remain unmoved, do you even have a soul or does a cold and unforgiving automaton heart beat inside your stomach-free robot body? let’s try this one:

crab-polpette1

well HELLO little deep fried crab polpette friends (italian meatballs). you are so adorably cute and round with your little herb sprinkles that i want to put you in my pocket and take you home to be my friends and then EAT THE SHIT OUT OF YOU. but it would be unfair to you and painful for me to get attached and then consume your delicious fried little selves, so i will just eat you now and spare us both the awkwardness of a short-term relationship that we both know is not going to end well.  at least not for you.

ready for more food porn and bizarre conversations with my dinner? i did mention i just went to a wine tasting, right? this chardonnay/barbera/pinot noir – fueled food porn obsession is getting out of hand but please don’t judge me. addiction is a serious disease.

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