Thursday, May 31, 2007
Sorry my posts have been so infrequent the past few days. I've been getting ready for a family reunion that Tyler and I are in charge of planning. I need a little break so I can finish preparations and attend the reunion. I promise to return after next week with some good posts plus I'll share my fun reunion ideas.
Michelle hosted a really great dinner club theme last night that I will catch up on when I return. Finally, I want to continue with my organizing tips and projects starting with Paper Piles Be Gone: Part 3.
I'm off to enjoy some sun and time with family!
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
A few friends gathered for lunch at the Ferry Building today. We all got our food from different places and ate at one of the communal tables in the back. I got my sandwich from Lulu Petite. I opted for the warm ham with fontina and white truffle honey on focaccia. It was so delicious! One of their other sandwiches which was very tempting is tomato and blood orange braised pork.
I've eaten here one other time and enjoyed the food. I think they are somewhat overlooked in favor of Taylor's and Mijita, but the two times I've tried Lulu I thought the food was really good. Next time you are at the Ferry Building give them a try.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
These caramels from Vosges look really beautiful and sound very exciting. Featuring eighteen caramels with two each of very exotic flavors including Hawaiian red sea salt and milk chocolate topped with li hing powder; Rose water, pink peppercorn and dark chocolate topped with rose petals; Argentine dulce de leche, Costa Rican cashew and milk chocolate topped with cashew pieces; and Canadian maple sugar, walnut caramel and dark chocolate topped with maple sugar just to name a few.
Monday, May 21, 2007
I saw these beautiful letterpress gift tags and cards by Olive & Page at a letterpress fair. The website shows the digital version which doesn't quite do justice to the beautiful impressions made on the letterpress, so you will have to imagine them with the subtle smokey ink lightly indented into a thick creamy textured paper.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Looking for something to do this weekend? The first of this season's outdoor films will be showing in Washington Square Park on Saturday. Here's this season's schedule:
Saturday, 5/19,THE GRADUATE @ Washington Sq. Park
Saturday, 6/2, HAIRSPRAY @ Dolores Park
Saturday, 6/30, CASABLANCA @ Union Square
Saturday, 7/21,SIXTEEN CANDLES @ Dolores Park
Saturday, 8/4, ANNIE HALL @ Union Square
Saturday, 8/25,8 1/2 (In Italian w/subtitles) @ Washington Sq. Park
Saturday, 9/15, REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE @ Union Square
Saturday, 10/06, SUNSET BOULEVARD @ Dolores Park
*The movie starts at 8:00 PM
The crowds turn out to watch the movies on huge screens in beautiful outdoor settings. Popcorn, drinks, and candy are available for purchase. It's things like this that remind me of why I live in the city. I guess it's our version of the drive-in.
Click here for more details.
Table Stalker recently added SF to their list of cities. This is a great way to increase your chances of getting into a trendy restaurant or finding your desired reservation on short notice. You select the restaurant, date, time, and # in your party and Table Stalker queries Open Table (a national on-line reservation service) constantly looking for any cancellations or released tables and e-mails you if they find the reservation you want. Pretty fabulous!
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Kim turned me onto Harney & Sons tea. This is what they serve at the St. Regis. I only drink fruit and herbal teas and they have some really good options. You need a bit more equipment for these - a teapot for steeping the teas and a tea strainer, but you'll never go back to the little packet of dried herbs.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
Dinner at Ad Hoc was delicious and reminiscent of a traditional family dinner. Originally, Ad Hoc was supposed to be a temporary establishment while Thomas Keller was developing his concept for a "bottles and burgers" restaurant. In the interim, he started serving a fixed four-course family-style menu for $45 and for walk-ins only. Well, people loved the concept and so it's now a permanent establishment and you can make reservations.
The menu changes everyday, but everyone eats the same 4 courses. They will accommodate you if you just cannot eat something on the menu. For example, one person in our party requested a firm cheese due to her pregnancy. You can call the day of your reservation to find out what you will be eating that night. We were all very full by the end of the meal, but don't be afraid to ask for seconds if you need another taste of something to satisfy your taste buds.
We started with a frisee salad that had the most delicious feta cheese, marinated wild mushrooms, and pickled icicle radishes. The main course was Spanish red peppers stuffed with short ribs on a bed of Israeli couscous. Next was the cheese course- I don't remember the name, but it was a Spanish sheep's milk cheese served with a sweet red onion marmalade. Finally, for dessert we were served creme fraiche parfaits with berries.
The peppers stuffed with short ribs was by far the star of the night. Every bite was an explosion of flavor. The cheese was good, but it didn't wow me and the same goes for the dessert. I suppose that is kind of the point of the restaurant though. They serve traditional family style meals with gourmet twists using incredible ingredients and perfect technique.
If you want the "wow" factor, go to The French Laundry. If you are looking for one of the best "home-cooked" meals you'll ever eat try Ad Hoc.
Here's another sample menu from yesterday:
*Baby Iceberg Wedge w/oven dried tomatoes, bacon lardons and winterlake lodge bleu cheese dressing
*Barbecued Brisket with spicy potato wedges, cole slaw and honey butter corn bread
*Meso Seco w/fruit relish
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Reasons I Love My Mom:
(Just to name a couple)
1 - She makes up funny words when she gets frustrated or mad.
2 - She has a deep admiration for clean lines.
3 - She's really emotionally healthy. She gracefully acknowledges when there is an elephant in the room and you can have the tough conservations with her.
4 - She didn't hate me when I was a teenager.
5 - She loves books.
6 - When you look at her childhood pictures, you can tell she is still the same person.
7 - She has a cute Wisconsin accent.
8 - She made me a Barbie cake when I was little.
9 - She "gets" modern art.
10 - She reads my blog everyday.
Happy Mother's Day Mom!
Friday, May 11, 2007
I'm joining friends this weekend for dinner at Ad Hoc, Thomas Keller's newest restaurant. I'll be back with the review on Monday. The rumor in the kitchen is short ribs for tomorrow's mainstay.
I'm going to try to make it to the the Brice Marden exhibit which closes on Sunday. (Don't miss the Picasso exhibit which won't be at SFMOMA much longer either.)
Picture of Brice Marden's Bear Print.
I have a love-hate relationship with IKEA. I love the modern look, but it's outrageously expensive to get the real thing. So sometimes when I go through a really modern phase, IKEA is an inexpensive way to go. On the other hand, if you overdo it you end up with a room of really cheap looking modern furnishings. Plus it's embarrassing to show up at a friend's house only to realize that you share the same taste in furniture and were probably eating a $1 hot dog while they were perusing office furniture.
The solution: Bemz.com was featured in Blueprint Magazine recently. They make slip covers for IKEA furniture. It's a nice way to spruce up your furniture and distinguish yourself from the rest of the universe that shops at IKEA. Plus some of their fabrics are slightly more traditional giving you the cool postmodern look. (p.s. You can buy furniture from IKEA without the slip cover.)
I really need something like this to get me out of bed in the morning. I have grown way to use to the snooze button. This little clock will jump off your night stand and roll around randomly until you get up and turn it off.I love the idea of being a morning person, but I'm just not. Going to bed earlier would probably help, but this seem like more fun!
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Why do good things have to end? I was very shocked and sadden when Tuesday night's preview of the upcoming Gilmore Girls announced that next week will be the series finale. It's good that they put tv shows on dvd now. I'll be living in the past with this one for a while. (And yes, you eventually get used to all the talking and it becomes your favorite thing about the show.)
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Monday, May 07, 2007
Wow, it is warm outside today! San Francisco doesn't see many days approaching 90 degrees or more. Ice cream was made for days like this. Here are some Bay Area favorites (Fenton's and Mitchell's are both open until 11 pm):
St. Francis Fountain (SF)
If you can't make it to one of these locations, I highly recommend Haagan-Dazs Black Raspberry Chip.
Friday, May 04, 2007
North Beach can be pretty touristy, but I still love it. The atmosphere is very energetic and opportunities for people watching abound. You do have to be a little picky about the restaurants if you really want a quality Italian meal.
My favorite is L'Osteria Del Forno. It's pretty tiny and the lines are usually long, but it feels like an authentic European joint. After dinner, I usually head to Stella's for dessert.
A couple years back the Chronicle foodies visited 41 North Beach restaurants over 4 months. (They mentioned L'Osteria as being good, but didn't include them in the test because they don't serve pasta.) Here are the Chronicle food staff's favorite 10:
Albona Ristorante Istriano
Macaroni Sciue Sciue
Washington Square Bar and Grill
I love the idea of a wedding website for friends and family. I wish this option would have existed when I got married. With this company you get your own website for guests and several helpful electronic planning tools like guest list, gift list, seating chart management, etc. There are several templates to choose from which you can customize to your heart's content. Click here for details.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
This makes me feel really old and gentrified to admit, but I love Masterpiece Theater. I guess I'm just a sucker for a good period drama and an English accent. I've seen a couple of duds, but for the most part they are really well produced and interesting. During one of those really annoying telethons, I recently saw a countdown of the viewer voted top 12. You can get all of these on Netflix except for #10. Here they are:
1. Upstairs Downstairs
2. The Forsythe Saga*
3. I, Claudius
4. Bleak House*
5. Prime Suspect*
6. The Jewel in the Crown
8. House of Cards
10. The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders
11. Wives and Daughters*
12. Jeevs & Wooster
*I've seen these. The only one I didn't much care for was Prime Suspect.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
I've had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn't it.
- Groucho Marx
I've posted about this company a couple times, but I love their products so I'm going to put up another one. The Culture Log is a wonderful way to organize all those things you want to do. How many times do you see an event advertisement or hear a restaurant recommendation from a friend that you want to remember, but then when you are trying to think of something to do on the weekend you end up at the same old place or get frustrated because you can't think of anything interesting or new to do?
This little notebook has a section for dining, events, media (movies, books, etc.), activities, and shopping (wants, gifts for yourself and others, etc.) This way you can keep all of you thoughts in one place for easy access and organization.
If you like this idea they have other logs to organize your money, computer, health, ideas, and even your mind.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
For ages I've had hairstylists trying to convince me not to wash my hair everyday. I'm pretty OCD about the squeaky clean feeling, so it's really hard for me. This product helps by absorbing oil. It's kind of expensive and it doesn't last very long, but I have to admit that not having to wash my hair everyday has been very liberating.