Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2016

Andean Rose Geranium Hot Chocolate with Whipped Coconut Cream #FreshTastyValentines #sponsor #giveaway

For my first event post, I published  Love is Dizzying, But Romance Is All About Balance , with a little help from by one of the event sponsors -  UncommonGoods . To go along with my Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake with Rose Peppercorn Salted Cream, that I published in the  UncommonGoods  post, I served tiny mugs of hot chocolate made with Pacari Chocolate .* Andean Rose Geranium Hot Chocolate  with Whipped Coconut Cream Ingredients  serves 4 Hot Chocolate 4 C milk (I made mine dairy-free with my  homemade hazelnut milk ) 1-1/2 C dark chocolate, chopped into pieces 1/2 C Andean Rose Geranium chocolate, chopped into pieces 2-3 T honey, depending on your taste 1 vanilla bean pinch salt (I used a rose peppercorn salt from UncommonGoods) Optional to make it 21+: 1 ounce brandy or tequila Whipped Coconut Cream 1 can coconut milk (must be a full fat version) 1/2 C organic powdered sugar Procedure Whipped Coconut Cream Chill your coconut milk in the

Love is Dizzying, But Romance Is All About Balance #FreshTastyValentines #sponsor #giveaway

This sponsored post is written by me on behalf of  UncommonGoods . All opinions are my own.  Today is the kick-off for a multi-day, multi-blogger event I coordinated called Fresh Tasty Valentines. How do you feel about Valentines' Day? At almost forty-three years old, it's growing on me. Again. When I was a kid, Valentines' Day was exhilarating. One year, in elementary school, I remember making all of my Valentines' cards with my mom, taping bubblegum to the cards on which I had painstakingly written - in bubblegum scented pink ink no less - 'Stuck on You!' Then, in college, I worked as a florist. And my disdain for the holiday was born. I worked at a flower shop because I loved flowers - all those the scents, all those the textures - and I loved creating something beautiful that a fellow flower lover would enjoy.  But on February 14th, directly proportional to the proximity of dinner time, men would line up for a dozen long-stemmed red ros

La Mirada Pop-Up Dinner: Carmel Belle's Love Letter to the Sea

Last night, Carmel Belle   hosted its third pop-up dinner at the   Monterey Museum of Art , La Mirada. And it was, in my estimation, a veritable love letter to the sea. On the walls hung an exhibit of pieces by artist Armin Hansen. Born in San Francisco, Hansen did live in Monterey when it was a budding artist community. I didn't take any photographs - because they were forbidden! - but this one, Nino,  was there as were numerous oils, watercolors, and etchings. The variance in the styles of the pieces was dramatic. Without knowing they were the work of one artist, one might think it was a multi-artist exhibit. But one thing was clear: Hansen loved the sea. Carmel Belle and Chef Kyle Odell sourced the fish from  H&H Fresh Seafood , a sustainable small boat fishery based in Santa Cruz who focuses on a hand-caught, sustainable, one rod-one fish model. Hans Haveman was in attendance and spoke passionately about his mission to sell "w

Tortellini en Brodo à la Heat for the Foodie Reads 2016 Challange

The  Foodie Reads 2016 Challenge  is in full swing and the end of our first month is looming. I had never heard of this book, but it was mentioned during an Italian wine twitter chat; I had to get it.  Heat  by Bill Buford.* On the Page... This coming-of-age-in-the-kitchen is a hodgepodge of high-end restaurant gossip (Will Elisa and Gina have a kitchen cat-fight?), kitchen secrets (Though the short ribs at Babbo are billed as Brasato al Barolo , they are not actually braised in Barolo, but in a cheaper varietal Merlot.), and devoted love letter to the quickly disappearing tradition of homemade food. There's something for everyone. Like melodrama? You'll enjoy the cast of characters in the Babbo kitchen, especially the antics of Marco Pierre White. Like reinvention stories? Us 40 somethings can certainly understand the appeal of reflecting on life and career, not to mention the romance of actually changing course for a new career. Can you say 'mid life crisis

Artisan Pasta Class: Tequila Sunrise Tortellini and Ravioli

Last night at the artisan pasta class I'm taking we made three colors of dough and laminated them together . Then we cut the dough and made tortellini and ravioli. Filling Ingredients  from America's Test Kitchen 3/4 C frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained 2 T butter 1/2 small onion, minced (approximately 1/4 C) kosher salt 1 C ricotta cheese 3/4 C grated parmesan cheese 1 egg yolk Filling Procedure Heat butter in a small skillet. Add onions and cook until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Stir in the spinach. Salt to taste and cook for another minute. Transfer spinach mixture to a medium mixing bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Adjust seasonings to preference. Set aside. Tortellini Procedure Roll the dough to a thinness of 5 of 6 on the pasta machine. Cut out circles and spray with lightly with water. Place a small portion - maybe 1/2 teaspoon if your circle is 2" in diameter - of the filling in the center of the c

Artisan Pasta Class: Laminated Dough

Last night at my artisan pasta class, we made a trio of doughs that looked like a Tequila Sunrise   - a basic dough with a slightly golden hue, a beet dough that was beautifully rosy and pink, and a red pepper dough that was sort of a saffron orange. So gorgeous! Then we laminated them together. Procedure Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and flour it liberally. Cut each dough ball into quarters and wrap the piece you aren't using in plastic. One quarter at a time, roll the dough through the machine. Using the widest setting, form a tongue and press it through the machine. Fold the dough into thirds and run it through again. Fold the dough in thirds one more time and run it through. Lay that on the floured parchment and repeat with the different colors. Before laying the next dough on top of the pile, spritz it with water and gently press the doughs together. At the end, your dough stack will look like this. Trim the uneven edges of the dough an

Artisan Pasta Class: Tequila Sunrise Pasta Doughs

Last night was my second artisan pasta class with Jenn, the Culinary Arts guru at a local high school and friend from college. Remember the first session when we made Hand-Rolled, Hand-Cut Spinach Papardelle ? Yesterday we made 3 different pasta doughs and laminated them together - basic dough, pink beet dough, and red pepper dough. Jenn jokingly called it a 'Tequila Sunrise' dough when we laminated it all together. So pretty! On another note: I am blown away by how quickly you can put a dough together with a food processor. I don't have any space in my cabinets for one, but- wow! - I'm impressed. Basic Pasta Dough adapted from Making Artisan Pasta (my review of that cookbook  here ) Ingredients 350 g pasta flour 3 eggs, room temperature 1 egg yolk 2 to 3 T tepid water Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Dough Ingredients 350 g pasta flour 2 ounces red pepper puree 3 eggs 1 T sweet red paprika Beet Pasta Dough Ingredients 275 g pasta f

Carmel Belle Pop-Up at La Mirada Coming Up!!

If you've been following me for awhile, you know my complete and utter adoration of pop-up dinners. Seriously, take a great chef and host a dinner in a new venue, or at least a different kind of cuisine, and - voilà! - instant fun. We've met new friends, celebrated with old friends, had family date nights, and enjoyed romantic date nights at pop-ups all around the bay. Last February, Jake and I went to the inaugural collaborative pop-up dinner between  Carmel Belle   and  Monterey Museum of Art , La Mirada. It was The Perfect Friday Night . Here's a shot of Chef Kyle Odell serving a dish that evening. Then, last September, Carmel Belle was back at the La Mirada; Jake and I went for their Autumn Pop-up . Here's a shot of the menu from that evening. I still think about that food! I just heard that they are planning a new one and there are only a dozen tickets left. Chef Kyle will be cooking up a seafood dinner inspired by the current exhibit at the La