Monday, May 28, 2007

chez spencer and "chez" tagine

Chez Spencer is a beautiful and very good restaurant tucked in a narrow street in the Mission.Yesterday they celebrated 5 years in business, which these days seems like a triumph in the restaurant world. Meeting a good friend there, we nibbled our way through and admired the architecture and the people and the art on the wall, and on plates, courtesy of a friend's friend the talented Sheri Olson.Vouvray kept us hydrated and the smoked salmon pizzetas with caviar are always a winner.happy 5th !
After checking the plush Wag Hotel where the Dot (myspace/mcpaisley) is working now as a concierge, we headed for diner at Tagine, a cute moroccan place where kasbah music welcomed us and we drank mint tea with kabobs and eggplant /tomato salad. I felt like a casa sandwich, a vegetarian conconction of the above eggplant with french fries stuck in the middle, french fries were also a side.Is this a remnant of french colonialism or pure dada food made in casa blanca ?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

master plan

the divine nature in everything gets me all wide eyed and swooning.the beautiful green of my cats eyes,the perfect pink bud turning into an exquisity shaped fuzzy soft baby peach. perfection !

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

elements of a sandwich

A few years ago, I saw a wonderful cookbook called " the unplugged kitchen": catchy title, good foodie concept. After all, in the 21st century of i-phone and DVR, some of us strain to recapture the travails of our great grand parents: hand cranked coffe grinder anyone ? so ecological and quaint,mortar and pestle it is today. With the beginning of summer ingrdients such as basil and garlic, I had to revisit my arm building tool and whip ( that is a big word for unplugging !) a pesto crudo of basil,a mashed clove of new garlic,salt, delicious italian olive oil, and some aleppo peppers that my friend June brought back from Blue Hill Farms..... that done, it was smeared on a toasted slice of levain bread from Acme, and mixed in with strips of locally jarred roasted peppers for good mesure and taste factor.The sandwich was ready for assembly: bread,smashed (again) sardine,roasted peppers and a scattering of extra basil leaves with a side of romarino tomatoes.......
bon appetit!

Monday, May 21, 2007

sweet honey

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I have always dreamed of going to Greece, but somehow along the way, things have happened to prevent me from going there.So, I try my best to close my eyes, feel the warm breeze, look at the cypresses and olives trres, listen to the sirtaki music, and eat lokoumades and I imagine that I am there.The annual Greek Festival in Oakland is a siren call for me. It has a warm feeling of a community long week end vacation to that busy sunny island of the Aeggean sea.big crowds of all ages mingle, drink , eat and dance.teenaggers sulk en group,young adults flirts and laughs heartily, young men embrace like they do in the old country,kids dance shamelessly to the sounds of the mediterranean beat, and older folk reminisce of the older days.It is such a happy event, amd the loukoumades( puffed fried dough with a hot honey sauce and a dusting of walnuts) feel just right,eating them on a sunspashed terrace overlloking the San Francisco Bay,happy music drifting.I am nearly there !

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Monsieur Bean

In a typical traditionnal French diet, your could find basically two beans: the lentilles du Puy ( winter dishes) and the flageolets ( spring). If you can find them in your grocery store, I recommend them highly. The lentilles du Puy , are after all part of a certain "terroir", smack in the middle of the country where volcanoes once errupted, covering the ground in fertile and eventually tasty ash. I love them in salads, with robust shallot vinaigrette and tons of parsley , side of roquefort slab to continue on the local taste.Lentils have cropped up with fish, which was once a bold pairing . The flageolets are always served as a side to the Easter roasted leg of lamb. The wine reduced meat juices would flavored so tastily the nutty bean, which has a delicate texture as well.Now as a "somewhat" vegetarian, I want to think of ways to eat those pretty soft green beans.Cooking them with bay leaves, bouquet garni and sea salt, they already gain a subtle flavor. I think I will turn them into a spring salad of raw peas, goat cheese, mint ,a green garlic vinaigrette......rose to accompagny the whole bit.

Monday, May 14, 2007

mother's day

A call in the morning to wish me a happy Mother's day. Then a plan was set up: tea, crumpets and art together. books were brought as gift and we set of for Masse's patisserie, where a little tiny bit of France lives. Tea is brought on silver trays with a glass of water, and the special cakes screams decadence, pleasure, creaminess,crunch, color and flawless technique. filled with richness we set off for Live Oak Park with camera and watercolors.The trees shimmered in the sunlight, the brook nicely babbled behind us, we felt far away, in the forest and yet a skip away from whipped cream.a special memory of some sweetness, in the heart and on the tongue.