Out & About: SF Underground Market

July 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

This weekend I went into the city for the return of the SF Underground Market. It was quite packed, wall to wall people. Everywhere you turn there was delicious food being cooked and samples being handed out and the aroma…I’m like 95% sure that the Underground Market is what heaven smells like. Holy cow.

Anyway, I went more for business than for pleasure. I wanted to scope out the scene, doing a bit of research for a project that I am working on. I did manage to come away with a jar of cherry pickles from The Uncommon Pickle. I quite enjoyed them. I think next time I am going to go for a jar of pickled carrots. I’m already planning on going again for the next market and bringing/meeting friends there.


The Chocolate Chip Cookie

July 24, 2012 § 1 Comment

There are very few things in this world as satisfying or life-affirming as a warm, homemade chocolate chip cookie. You know, after they’ve had a couple of minutes to cool off from the oven, but the chocolate is still a little gooey, and a bite in your mouth just kind of…melts on your tongue. It’s a sacred experience.

Since the age of eleven I have been perfecting my personal recipe. It’s served me well for over a decade, winning me friends and admirers across the land. Chocolate chip cookies are a great American art form, like jazz or television…or Monster Truck shows. The search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe is one of the noblest of all culinary quests.

One of the best breakdowns of chocolate chip cookie science I’ve ever seen came from Baker Bettie earlier this year. I spent a solid three weeks tinkering with my own recipe after I read her post.

I also like to occasionally cruise other recipes for inspiration. Chasing Delicious has a pretty impressive collection of recipes, from the classic cookie to a few unexpected, delicious flavors like chocolate chip with an orange twist and chocolate chip raisin spice cookies. Two Tarts’ has an extremely delicious recipe for Chewy Salty Chocolate Chip Cookies (their Peanut Butter Cookie recipe is also off the charts amazing, FYI). It’s enough to keep you busy for a while. Or at least enough to throw a chocolate chip cookie party, invite all your friends over and go crazy (hmmm…that’s an idea).

My own ideal chocolate chip cookie is a bit on the thin side with just a bit of crunch to it. Everyone else in my family likes softer cookies, so I tend to bake to satisfy popular demand when I am at home, but when I am on my own…watch out! It’s crunchy cookie time. I’m a wild one.

Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup toffee bits

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine sugars, butter, egg, milk, and vanilla until light and creamy. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix until well incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips and the toffee bits with a spatula. Use a tablespoon to scoop out walnut sized balls of dough and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

(All photos taken by me)

Father’s Day Pecan Pies

June 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

I hope you all had a restful weekend. I spent a good part of Father’s Day making Maple Pecan Pies for my father and my grandfathers. Why buy a card when butter and sugar can say “I love you” so much better?

This week is shaping up to be quite busy. I’m hoping I can squeeze in a trip to Berkeley during the week, but I suppose we will just have to see what the week will bring.

Bookmarked: Modern Hepburn

June 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled across Modern Hepburn and, I have to say, I think I’m in love. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to live inside a blog before, it’s so beautifully curated. I’m obsessed.

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home again

May 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

Well, it is officially official, I’m back in California! I arrived late Saturday night to surprise my mother for Mother’s Day (totally worked). Now I’m in the process of getting resettled. I’m glad to be home, but the whole process of moving/settling is always a bit stressful. There are so many things that have to be decided and planned for while getting  acclimated to my new/old surroundings. New York and northern California are two very different places with very different cultures. I wouldn’t call myself a New Yorker, I never earned that title, but I did get used to a certain way of doing things. While I still consider myself to be a delightful and pleasant human being I am a bit…gruffer than I used to be. It’ll take me a minute to remember how to live in California again.

In the meantime I will do my best to remain positive and relieve stress through baking, like I always do. The other night I made delicious S’More Brownies and, the day before that, Peanut Butter, Banana, and Chocolate Chip muffins. It was a bit of an experiment with one of my favorite banana muffin recipes. They turned out beautifully. I think next I will experiment with some kind of pie while trying to perfect my impression of Keri Russel in Waitress, complete a with southern accent and a pillow under my dress (” Dear damn baby…” ). If that doesn’t rid me of all of my stress, I don’t know what will. I’ll keep you posted.

All photographs were taken by me.

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