Archive for the ‘Travels’ Category

2009 was filled with babies…



and kids…

What a face!

and trips…


Art Institute of Chicago Modern Wing

Long row

and food, lots of food:

Soup Dumplings

$1.04 for the box

Snow Day Lunch4



Grammy Bender's Sand Tarts

Ginger Poached Noodles

and cheese, lots of cheese, mostly homemade ricotta….


Christian and the Cheese

Ricotta, heirloom tomatoes

and celebrations…


and fun times, waiting for sandwiches…

Waiting for sandwiches

2009 wasn’t lacking much…except FOCUS, such a small thing, really. So here’s to a new year of digging in, bringing awareness to the food insecurity in this town, and blogging about it.


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In a Rut

I’ve been in a real rut lately: photo-wise, cooking-wise, meal planning-wise. It’s been bad. The last few weekends have gotten sucked up by being away, or having people stay with us or other commitments. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been all fun stuff but it’s really cut into my weekend routine of meal planning, list making, and shopping for the week. I haven’t been to the farmers’ market in weeks and weeks. This weekend a previous commitment was canceled so I was thrilled to be able to get back in the saddle. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite go the way I expected. Grocery shopping still turned out to be unplanned but I think we’ll be in okay shape for the week. I have a few burgers stashed in the freezer and I roasted a chicken (in this heat, I know) last night so we’ll eat that a couple times. And buying lots of produce usually saves the day. Jersey corn finally! We had some for dinner last night and I also cut some raw off the cob and tossed it with tomatoes, cilantro, olive oil, and lime juice. Easy, light, can be used on a million things. We’ll probably top our tacos with it for dinner tonight. Yum. I’m psyched because my friend Brooke gave me a sweet birthday gift: a tortilla maker, a warmer, and Steven Raichlen’s Healthy Latin Cooking. I’m going to try my hand at making some tortillas today.

Talking about “tortillas” will always remind me of our awesome San Francisco trip we took in June with my parents. After a few days in the city, we headed up to Sonoma County and stayed at this bed and breakfast which was beautiful and a real treat. Caroline and her daughter, Lila were very warm and welcoming. They also had a million great ideas for us, including stopping by Joe Matos’ cheese factory, which is actually more of a farm with a tiny little factory where they make one style of Portuguese cheese.

Portuguese Cheese Farm

We got there and it wasn’t entirely obvious where we were supposed to go to get the cheese. A man was inside a barn shoveling an unidentifiable pile of white stuff. We thought it had something to do with the cheese making process. We found our way inside and asked the little old lady at the counter, as she was hacking off huge chunks of the yummy cheese for us to take with us on our wine tasting.

Portuguese Cheese Lady

It turns out that the pile of white stuff was tortillas that are fed to the cows on the farm. The funny (and cute ) thing was that the little old lady pronounced them “Mexican torteeelas.”

May cheese

So I’m going to try my hand at making some “Mexican torteeelas” today. I’ll report back.

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Sausage at Rosamunde’s in Haight-Ashbury

Zuni chicken
Famous Zuni chicken plus polenta


Eggs at Boulette’s Larder at the Ferry Building Farmers’ Market

Sea beans
Mushrooms, sea beans, fiddlehead ferns at the farmers’ market

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Our food adventures in NYC had its ups and downs. C and I often run into a problem because I like to have a plan and he’s fine with flying by the seat of his pants. I feel like I don’t want to “waste” a meal, ok? So that means research, blog reading, etc on my part which drives him a little crazy, I think.
We ended up having three brunches, dinner at Franks, some snacks and takeout.
On Saturday, we ate brunch at Sarabeth’s which was and (as I understand) is always a crowded proposition. Luckily, it was only us two so we didn’t have to wait too long. I had the Farmer’s omelet which was good, nothing spectacular. I guess that’s what I get for ordering an omelet. C had the club which looked good with real (not lunchmeat) turkey breast. I had pinpointed the Neptune Room as a possible brunch spot but it was closed for renovations.
We also had brunch at Fred’s (their tagline “Come, Sit, Stay” made us think of Good Dog here in Philly)–I ordered the huevos rancheros and was slightly disappointed. The last time I had huevos rancheros was at Ida Mae’s here in Philly and they were by far the best huevos rancheros I had ever had: black beans (not refried), a crispy tortilla, a delicious dollop of sour cream, cilantro, yum, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. I’ll be comparing all future huevos rancheros to the ones at Ida Mae’s.
Our last brunch was at Cafe Lalo. I was entranced! So sunny and pretty inside with a HUGE case of delicious looking pastries, cakes, and other goodies. The menu was enormous, maybe a little too enormous. I had the Greek style breakfast which was Greek yogurt with honey, a twisted olive bread with goat cheese to spread, over top of a delicious salad with mint, pine nuts, olives, and yummy vinaigrette.
Saturday night we had dinner at Franks, I had gnocchi which was a little heavy. Sunday night we had snacks and takeout for the game: Chirping Chicken. Ribs, chicken, fries. I hadn’t had ribs in a long time, I sort of forgot what they were supposed to be like. I had made Sunday Supper reservations at Dovetail which was very close to our hotel but ended up canceling them. I have some regrets about this from a food standpoint but feel better about it from a wallet standpoint. The takeout was considerably cheaper than Dovetail’s Sunday night prix fixe menu…though I guess you get what you pay for.

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