April 2009

Rolled & Roasted; Herb Pork Loin with Port Wine Balsamic Sauce

April 28, 2009

Perhaps my timing is not good here. Am I being insensitive posting a Pork recipe during this time of Swine Flu “crisis”? I don’t know…

I made this roast for Easter Sunday dinner, well before all the drama started. I had intended on cooking lamb, but at the butcher they would only sell me a minimum of half a leg which was just too much for 4 people. So, seeing the pork loin, I decided to go with that.


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Beet Salad with Barley, Goat Cheese, Arugula & Mint

April 22, 2009
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A couple of weeks ago when we were at A 16 in San Francisco we had a wonderful “Roasted Beets with Full Belly Farm Farro Salad, roasted cipolline, mint & ricotta salata.” I said at the time, “I’m going to have to make this.”

Fast forward and I’m roaming the sad, pathetic, small Farmer’s Market in my neighborhood and I see some beets and think “now’s the time to make that salad!”
Of course, I forget that I don’t have farro, cipolline or ricotta salata at home. So it’s use-what-you-have time to make a beet salad.

My process:
I have barley. That’s a grain. Ok, it’s not Farro, but it will work.
I have Mint and Arugula (also in the inspiration salad) in my garden so I’ll throw that in along with a few springs of fresh Thyme.
Ricotta Salata? No such luck, but I have …

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Dining in San Francisco; Delfina Restaurant

April 20, 2009
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We had dinner at Delfina on a Tuesday night in early April.

We arrive at Delfina and are seated right away at a table in the main dining room. Like most restaurants we’ve been to in San Francisco, it’s packed. Where is evidence of the recession I ask? Our server takes us through the menu and mentions the daily specials. As with the other places we’ve been, we’re offered water in a carafe, and not asked if we want bottled. On the menu it states, “$1.25 per person will be added to each check to support the San Francisco Healthcare Security Ordinance.”

For an aperitif, we order a bottle of Prosecco di Valdobbiadene ($32) for the table. After that, the server lets us have a couple of tastes of different wines before ordering a bottle. We decide on a really unusual wine, Lacrima di Morro d’Alba Gavigliano ($44) …

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A Tale of Two Lemons; How to Make Fresh Lemonade

April 19, 2009
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Yesterday I came in from the garden to find my husband juicing lemons. He said he was going to make lemonade. “Really?” I said, dubious. Then I proceeded to barge my way in on the whole process in order to turn it into a blog post. We had two different types of lemons and I thought (or was it he thought? No matter, can’t remember…) it would be interesting to compare the two.

dsc_4531a Meyer lemon on left, Eureka lemon on right.

We have an ancient Meyer Lemon tree which just this year gave us a bounty of lemons like we’ve never seen in the 9 years we’ve lived here. Funny what a little extra water will do for a tree.
Meyer lemons have thin skins and a sweet, almost orange-like flavor. These lemons were extra ripe and had been sitting in the bowl for a while so …

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The Ongoing Saga of the Monsters in My Garden

April 18, 2009

I have finally figured out what the “Little Monsters” are in my garden.
The clue was the single footprint on the side wall of one of my raised beds.
Well, the footprint, holes dug into the garden 8″ deep, and plant seedlings tossed about with wild abandon were all clues.
Black pepper and Cayenne sprinkled on the ground around the plants did not deter them so I decided we needed to step up the plant protection. I didn’t want to do anything which might harm them either, despite some of the suggestions I got from people. I also didn’t want an ugly fence which would disturb my view and potentially block sunlight from the plants. So I settled on a compromise solution.

I bought bird netting and bamboo stakes from Home Depot. I did a test on one of the beds, putting the stakes on the inside of the …

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Dining in San Francisco; Hog Island Oysters at the Ferry Building and A 16 Restaurant

April 15, 2009
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Last week while in San Francisco, we visited the Hog Island Oyster Company in the Ferry Building for their Monday night Happy Hour and followed it with a dinner at A 16.

After returning from the Alcatraz tour, we start walking down the Embarcadero toward the Ferry building. The plan is to get to the Hog Island Oyster company in time for their Monday Happy Hour (from 5-7 pm) when they have $1 oysters. Along the way we stop at an artisan chocolate shop called TCHO which is tucked into an old Pier building.

Hog Island Oyster Company

We arrive at the Hog Island Oyster Company around 4:40 and it’s already crowded. In fact, we’re told if we want a table outside the wait could be about an hour. However, there are seats at the bar, four on a corner (2×2) and would we like them? In what is quickly …

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