September 3, 2007

Baked Zucchini with Goat Cheese

zucchini bake

i love the edges

Baked Zucchini:

-Sautee one chopped yellow onion in olive oil with garlic. Add about 5-6 sliced zucchinis to the mix and cook til they are semi-transparent. Transfer that to a casserole dish (like the one you see above) mix in a LARGE handful of crumbled goat cheese & stir thoroughly. Top with breadcrumbs, fresh ground pepper & Parmesan cheese. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

***I’ve tried using a mixture of zucchini & yellow squash once and it was fab!***

August 29, 2007

My Go-to Summer meal

When it’s hot as hell outside and I have no motivation to clean a sink full of dishes I make the following dinner:

Sliced heirloom tomatoes with basil and fresh mozzarella:
I usually chop up a bunch basil leaves, mix in sea salt/ pepper and really good olive oil. Dab on the sliced tomato and top it with the mozzarella slice. Sprinkle some sea salt & fresh ground pepper and dig in. It’s really great paired with a toasty piece of french bread.

heirloom tomatoes with mozzarella & basil underneath

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes:
I slice up fingerling potatoes so they are thin. I put them on cookie sheet with lots of olive oil, salt & pepper and sometimes I’ll splash some garlic powder into the mix. That goes in the oven at 425 degrees. It usually takes about 20 minutes total-give or take. I flip them around half way so they don’t get burnt or stick to the pan. I usually save all the crispy ones and devour them, secretly in the kitchen.

We used to fight over the crispiest potato in my family. It’s a habit that I haven’t broke. Sometimes if my husband gets a really crispy one- he puts it on my plate. Now that’s love! To make the potatoes look extra fancy, top with some chopped parsley. I didn’t have any in this picture. Please forgive me.
roasted fingerling potatoes

Grilled Chicken with Lemon: To these two side dishes, I add some grilled chicken. I pound out a couple of chicken breasts, bathe them in olive oil & lemon juice- with a bit of salt & pepper. I occasionally add cayenne if I’m feeling extra spicy. After 15 minutes in the marinade, I grill them on our little b-b-q. Top it off with extra lemon juice & you’ll want seconds.

our typical summer dinner

I usually make a little green salad. This one above is a simple mixed greens with chopped green onions. I add some lemon juice & olive oil to taste. Salt & Pepper that baby up and you are good to go! You could add feta if you’d like. You won’t regret it.

Pair it all up with a Gin & Tonic or a Jack Daniels & Diet Coke with lime (in my case), and it’s a typical summer meal on my back porch.

August 26, 2007

Pear Upside Down Cake

raking in august

i was complaining to my neighbor about all the leaves I have to rake on my front lawn. “It’s August!! Why are there so many leaves??!!” I even convinced myself that there’s something wrong with the tree.  “It’s not healthy.  It’s diseased.  This shouldn’t be happening!”

I woke up yesterday morning to that haze you only get in the Bay Area when it’s Fall. I knew that it was stupid for me to complain.  Fall is coming, and I can’t deny it.  There’s that subtle chill in the air…. It’s not scorching hot anymore…..and Martha Stewart’s Halloween decorations are at Michael’s.

This summer at our house was wonderful. I’ll have to refer back to those days of sitting on the patio drinking coffee & grilling in the evenings in my summer dresses when I’m bundled up on the couch sipping tea in a turtleneck. Goodbye open-toed shoes & skirts…hello turtlenecks & boots!

this past week i:

got a new purse! (i’m really into it so far)

new bag new shoes

reorganized my desk (i got my cards in the mail from lisa congon’s etsy shop!)

my desk in between cleaning

thought a lot about the cupcake tasting I had with Melisser & Whitney on Thursday:

our loot for tonight's sugar rush

made pear upside-down cake from this month’s issue of Sunset Magazine:

pear upside-down cake

the side view...pecans spilling over

Pear Upside-Down Cake- Sunset Magazine September 2007

-3/4cup unsalted butter, plus more for pan
-2 Bosc pears, cored, peeled, and cut into 1/4-in.-thick slices
-1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
-1cup chopped pecans, divided
-1/3cup bourbon
-1 teaspoon salt, divided
-1/2cup firmly packed light brown sugar
-3 eggs
-2teaspoons vanilla
-1 1/2teaspoons baking powder
-1/2teaspoon baking soda
-2cups flour
-3/4 cup plain whole or low-fat yogurt

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Generously butter a 9-in. cake pan and arrange pear slices in a pattern on the bottom of pan. Set aside.
2. Bring 1 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a 10-in. frying pan (not nonstick) over medium-high heat. Lower heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook, undisturbed, until mixture starts to brown (swirl pan to help mixture brown evenly). When mixture turns a medium amber color, add 1/2 cup pecans and cook until fragrant but not burning, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and slowly stir in bourbon and 1/2 tsp. salt. Pour over pears in buttered pan.

3. Put 3/4 cup butter, the brown sugar, and remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a large bowl. Beat until smooth and a bit fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. Add half of the flour and beat until combined. Then beat in half of the yogurt. Repeat with remaining flour and yogurt. Stir remaining 1/2 cup pecans into batter (it will be thick).

4. Drop spoonfuls of batter over pears and sauce and spread evenly. Bake cake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool on a rack 15 minutes. Run a knife between cake and pan sides and invert cake onto a plate or serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 *** It was delish!  It took forever to make the caramel sauce, though!****

August 22, 2007

commuting blows

I spend about 90 minutes in the car every weekday commuting into the city. I love being in the city…but the commute wipes me out! I do like to drive my own car….. and it’s nice to be able to leave when I need to…. So, in order to cure the boredom & the potential road-rage, I’ve been listening to books on CD I check out from the library.

Even though I’ve read the book: Dress Your Family in Courduroy and Denim, by David Sedaris, it’s nice to listen to him in my mornings & afternoons. His voice makes his words much more entertaining.

Here are some of my favorite parts of my commute:

i love looking at that both the orange and buildings against the American Industrial Center

when I’m wizzing through the 280 underpass the shadows are amazing. It also means I’m about to see the SF skyline soon.

I spend some of the commuting time thinking about the type of person who decides to paint their houses these colors. I appreciate their boldness and then I pick out which color I’d live in.

every now and then i get lucky and see a pedestrian walking across. They have no idea that I’m looking at them. I like watching their dark silhouettes move across the bridges.

It’s these small things that make the commute a little sweeter.

****i was NOT driving while i took these shots.  i’m not that dumb ****

August 21, 2007

One Year Older

hello! On Saturday August 18th, I turned a year older. Whooppeeee. Another year closer to 30!

Casey took me to Jack Falstaff in San Francisco for my birthday dinner! It was SOOOO GOOOD! We decided to get the Farmer’s Market Menu- Tomato was the theme. Get ’em while you can!

Followed by Happy Birthday Donuts at Krispy Kreme in Daly City:

oh YUM. Do they not give free donuts out when you go to Krispy Kreme anymore? The past 3 times they didn’t hand me one while in line. I’m just wondering….It’s not like I NEED that extra donut…. My camera ran out of juice when we sat down. Hence-No pictures of the donuts we ate. This is probably a good thing.

August 17, 2007

my favorite easy/comforting breakfast

i think about eating this all the time (especially while laying in bed). Finally this morning I had a chance to make it!

My favorite quick breakfast consists of:

  • Brown Rice Cakes
  • Chunky Peanut Butter
  • Honey
  • Sliced Bananas

Now pair this with a cup of coffee, a good magazine and sit outside. I guarantee you will enjoy!

August 16, 2007

Olive Oil Gelato


Olive Oil Gelato

From The Babbo Cookbook

Yields 2 pints

6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
-¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream

Combine the egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Use the whip attachment to beat them for 5 min on medium speed, or until the mixture is thick and very pale and forms a ribbon when the whip is lifted. Continue beating and drizzle in the olive oil; beat for 2 more minutes.

Add the milk and cream and continue to beat until all ingredients are combined.

Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

***make sure you use the BEST extra virgin olive oil possible***

I had this at Mario Batali’s Otto Pizzeria!!! I had no idea it would change my life!