vegan cooking class for pause & shine

February 27, 2013
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Pause & Shine hosted a vegan and gluten-free cooking class with Chef Linda Tay Esposito via Kitchit for a small group of women about a week ago. I, personally, was delighted that although the menu was completely vegan, it was also completely nut-free (I'm allergic and most vegan versions of dishes use nuts as substitutes).

Chef Linda created a delectable pan-Asian menu which we then prepared and cooked before eating together at a long, candle-lit table. An ideal Thursday evening in my book.

Find recipes from the evening here and see more photos from the event here.


February 20, 2013
Having spent the better part of the last four days in bed (read: asleep and/or unable to move from fever or general sickness), I'm anxious to be outside again. I miss the sun and crisp air and the ocean. To me, few things are more calming yet evocative as the ocean.

These photos are from a short trip to Sutro with my nephew, who's recently decided to pick up photography. I'm no pro by a long shot, but I love taking him to my favorite places and teaching him what I know.


thumbprint valentines (and potatoes)

February 14, 2013
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Happy Valentine's Day, blogland! Have a cookie. Or a potato.

Thumbprint Valentines
adapted from Simply Recipes

1 cup of butter, room temperature
1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla
pinch of salt
2 cups of flour
your favorite jam

Cream butter and sugar together until incorporated. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, vanilla, and salt. Mix in the flour until just combined. Roll out the dough and cut out hearts with a cookie cutter. Place cut outs on a greased cookie sheet. Press your thumb into the dough (twice) to make a heart, then fill the heart with jam using a spoon. Bake at 350F until golden, about 15 minutes.

Accidentally eat the entire first batch yourself then repeat recipe to share with friends.

paris in san francisco

February 11, 2013
When I can't jet set off to Paris whenever I want, I can find bits of the charming city here in San Francisco. Crissy and I had breakfast at the Hayes Valley La Boulange and sipped cafe au laits from bowls in a quiet, sunny corner of an otherwise busy boulangerie. The soft light and vibrant storefront get me every time. Special thanks to Crissy for being the prettiest model and sweetest friend.

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vive la tarte

February 6, 2013
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I teamed up with my pal Ashley to shoot these delectable pies from Vive La Tarte. Arnaud and Julie were delightful to work with-- it was wonderful to hear how they still use traditional family recipes and make all of their tartes based on seasonally available ingredients. I can personally vouch for the creme brûlée, lemon meringue, and beet-apple-goat-cheese (not pictured) tartes. The flavors and textures are divine and I'd be happy to eat the majority of my meals on that crust.

I might be getting carried away. Or not.

mama's frittata

February 4, 2013
mama's frittata
Today is my beautiful mama's birthday. She is strong, clever, and gorgeous beyond words. For her birthday, I'd like to share one of my favorite recipes from her. She's made it for as long as I can remember and I can't think of a better breakfast than a slice of her frittata with warm, buttered pan de sal.

It's simple and easy to make with whatever you have in the kitchen, but I like it with onions and potatoes best.

Mama's Frittata
(thanks, mom)

a pat of butter
an onion, sliced
one potato, peeled and sliced like french fries
three eggs
a few tablespoons of milk or water
fresh pepper

Caramelize the onions in butter over low/medium heat in a skillet. Add the potatoes. While the potatoes are cooking, whisk the eggs in a bowl and add the milk and/or water, salt and fresh pepper. Once the potatoes are soft, add the eggs. Do not stir. As the bottom of the frittata cooks, slightly lift the edges and allow more eggs to run underneath. Once the majority of the frittata is cooked, flip the frittata onto a plate (i.e. the plate goes facedown onto the skillet and then you flip it over so the frittata falls onto the plate). Slide the frittata back onto the skillet with the uncooked side down. After a minute or two, it'll be ready. Serve with warm bread and butter.

wassail for your weekend

February 1, 2013
This wassail is another of Jenna's famous recipes*. It's my favorite warm drink during these cold months-- it's fruity and spicy and perfect topped off with some good whiskey.

Jenna's Wassail
adapted from her aunt

12 oz. apricot nectar
46 oz. orange juice
46 oz. apple juice
46 oz. pineapple juice
1/2 tablespoon whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup red hot candies

Heat all of the ingredients in a large pot.** Keep the pot on low heat to enjoy throughout the day. Spike with whiskey.

*Also see Jenna's Pimm's cups, tuna casserole, and sushi casserole.
** You can keep all the spices in a tea ball if you don't want them floating around.

Happy February!

PS - I've added some new work to my portfolio. Check it out here.