Too Hot to Handle (Cooking)

The hot weather last
week completely KO'd my desire to cook anything. We're on the 4th floor without
AC, so the idea of heating up the house just to prepare dinner was a no-go. Hence
all the eating out and ordering in that went on last week. And whenever I eat
out too much, I rebound with a fury.

This weekend, at
Trader Joe's, I must have piled every attractive looking fruit and vegetable
into my cart. We dove into that treasure trove last night with stir fry
featuring boneless beef short ribs (cooked with a drizzle of honey and some
brown sugar) cut into bite-size chunks, cabbage, broccoli slaw, bell peppers,
carrots, and summer squash over rice. I meant to take a photo of it but it was
too yummy and we were too hungry so it was scarfed down in record time.
Trader Joe's produce
section is an excellent pit stop for pre-sliced veggies for salads or stir frys.
Just knowing that you can skip the chopping and clean up process makes it that
much easier to motivate (and faster) to get a healthy dinner on the
Tonight, thinking
about pan frying chicken breasts and serving them with a red potato and green
bean salad.

P.S. After all my online searching, I just made brownies with my Baker's Edge Brownie Pan
instead of anything fancy.

What to do When Your Garden Runneth Over…

Spotted in the Slow Food SF newsletter:

What to do with extra produce
too much fruit in your home garden? Did that zucchini or arugula get a
bit out of control? Food Runners will be happy to help! They harvest
your excess and donate to local food banks and shelters. There is a
particular need for fresh vegetables and fruits. Please contact: Nancy Hahn, 415 608-0114.

unscheduled hiatus

Thanks to ongoing issues with my DSL provider, Earthlink, I am now DSL-less until my new ISP gets me back up-and-running. This coincided with my workplace blocking all blogs and blogging tools, so I have been scarce. But give me a week or so and I should be back.


Have a Very Happy Thanksgiving

Although this blog has been woefully neglected as of late (yes, you can blame the gaming blog) and the World of Warcraft expansion that came out 2 weeks ago), it is neither abandoned nor forgotten.

I am in back-to-back meetings til 5:00 and am then taking the next 3 days off in celebration of my favorite holiday — Thanksgiving. I have always enjoyed the fact that it is a holiday truly based on conviviality — we gather with friend and family for the purpose of sharing food and wine and conversation. What more can you want form a holiday?

This year, as per the past few years, I am playing the role of guest, rather than co-hostess for dinner. Overall that is fine by me since a big dinner clean up is not one of my favorite things to do. However, I do miss making my own gravy. I’d gotten pretty good at it. I’ll have to make us a very small turkey for New Year’s just to have an excuse for gravy making…

A very happy thanksgiving to all of you U.S. peeps. I hope you get to share some quality time with the people you love.

Broccoli Slaw

I ran in to the Bristol Farms grocery store near my workplace on my lunch hour yesterday, to pick up materials to create a chicken stir fry for dinner. And that is where I found — and purchased– a pre-shredded and bagged broccoli slaw.

Basically, it’s a bag of matchstick-sized slivers of broccoli (minus their floret tops), shredded carrots and some red cabbage. But mostly it’s just the broccoli. I ended up using the slaw, plus red onions, more carrots, and a red bell pepper to make one of my best stir-fries yet.

This is monumental in our household because…I am a broccoli hater. As in I pick it out of food at home and avoid it when eating out. I just never liked the texture if its florets.

But these crunchy little slivers of broccoli without the tops? They were so tasty! And I am now looking forward to finding more ways to incorporate them into dinners. Who woulda thunk it? Certainly not me…

A Delicious Obsession: The Work of M.F.K. Fisher

The Book Club of California celebrates what would have been M.F.K. Fisher’s 100th birthday with "A Delicious Obsession: The Work of M.F.K. Fisher." The exhibition runs September 8 – October 27 with over 50 works on display, including first editions of "The Gastronomical Me" and her translation of Brillat-Savarin’s "The Physiology of Taste" with illustrations by Wayne Thiebaud.

In conjunction with the exhibit, culinary historian Joan Reardon will speak on M.F.K.Fischer on September 8, at 6:30 p.m. Her books on Fisher include M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, and Alice Waters: Celebrating the Pleasures of the Table (1994), Poet of the Appetites: The Life of M. F.K. Fisher (2004), and M.F.K. Fisher among the Pots and Pans (2008).

Exhibit and lecture are free, held at the Book Club of California, 312 Sutter St., Suite 510, San Francisco; (415) 781-7532;

7/11 = Free Slurpee Day

Yup. You heard me. Participating 7/11 stores (the American quick food minimarket for my non-U.S. readers) are giving away free Slurpees tomorrow in honor of the date being 7/11 (7-Eleven Day).

Riding my bike to the local 7-Eleven with my friend Erika to buy a Cola Slurpee with a handful of change was one of my favorite ways to deal with the 100+ degree temperature.  Of course the heatwave here in SF is over now. So watch out for the brain freeze!

10 Kitchen Techniques Everyone Needs to Know…

A lot of very smart people are embarrassed when it comes to asking questions about "things they are supposed to know already." They would rather suffer in silence hand washing dishes than call their mom and ask how their new-fangled apartment’s dishwasher works. You know, modern problems of the until recently citified folk variety.

The SF Chronicle’s food section has an article on kitchen techniques of that ilk. Starting out with how to bread meat and moving through 9 other techniques usually verbed in recipes, it’s a good refresher for the smartypants — or crib sheet for those of us who didn’t have hands-on kitchen training.

Top of the Mark

Top_of_the_markI spent my lunch hour on this uncharacteristically sunny and warm June San Francisco day at Top of the Mark.

I was there for a day of email newsletter usability learning, but the view from our lunch table was the highlight of the day.

Unfortunately, they had a limited lunch menu (pick a prawns wrap or an ahi tuna salad). The salad was fine, but tiny. I’d be most inclined to come back here for drinks… and the killer view.