September 2, 2010

sf street food festival 2010

Summer in San Francisco.  This year, that has meant:  lots of fog, grey mornings, cooler temps than anyone can remember in years and a few days of heat towards the end. 

A few weekends ago, La Cocina put on the 2nd annual SF Street Food Festival in the Mission.  Last year's festival was far more popular than anyone expected and as a result it was packed with people & lots of sold out vendors by the time I decided to stop by on a whim after an afternoon of drinking and saying goodbye to some friends nearby.  I heard a lot of complaints from those who participated last year, some in the form of constructive criticism and more often than not, in the form of a big whine.  Regardless, I was very much looking forward to checking out the festival this year and also decided to support the cause by volunteering for a shift to help out wherever I was needed.

I arrived early on Saturday morning to find things already buzzing and the closed off streets filled with people.  A good indication from the start.  My volunteer shift spanned the late morning to early afternoon.  I was a greeter at one of the main entrances which meant a lot of people watching and smiles for four hours.  By the time my shift ended, I wanted to make my way through the lines and find some good eats!

June 18, 2010

homemade strawberry jam

Strawberry season is one of my favorite times of year.  The berry choices in northern California are superb.  Every farm has different options which feature distinct flavor profiles and all seem to taste best when you sample them right at the market when the sample basket has been in the sunlight for a bit.

May 17, 2010

spring fava bean spread

I started making this spread two spring seasons ago when nearly every stand at every bay area farmer's market was overflowing with these strange (to me) large green bean pods.  I don't know if I had ever eaten a fava bean before then and if I had, I didn't know it.  I often am in the habit of buying an ingredient (usually at a farmer's market) and then figuring out what to do with it.  there is something really fun about this process - like Jeopardy, when you know the answer and have to ask the question.  my brain loves things like this.  Sadly, I don't remember the origin of this recipe, but I have modified and adapted it many times since then.  I give thanks to the food blog universe for getting this into my brain so I can make it from there without any help.

January 28, 2010

braised pork with sweet & tangy barbecue sauce

I am a huge fan of barbecue - or even what I'll call not-really-barbecue-but-close-enough-for me.  For many years I've made a simple pulled pork recipe in the slow cooker with onions and bottled barbecue sauce.  It is very easy and flavorful, but I was thinking of expanding a little and making something that was a little more handmade and hands on this past weekend.

I did a search on Food Gawker for pulled pork recipes and found many that were similar to what I wasn't looking for - slow cooker, fix and forget style.  Not. for. me.  However, then I stumbled on to Kathleen's Gonna Want Seconds blog recipe for Pulled Pork Sandwiches.  This was more what I was looking for - dry rubbed pork shoulder roast, braised in the oven and then topped with barbecue sauce.

January 9, 2010

Spaghetti with Artichokes, Lemon and Ricotta

Happy New Year!  I cannot believe I haven't written any blog posts since the end of November.  Honestly, photographing what I've been cooking has been one of the biggest hurdles since the Bay Area can be rather low on the natural light in which we all love to shoot.  I've been looking around at several solutions for lighting and/or flashes so hopefully I won't go into these low light lulls in the future. 

This dish was my own adapted version of a seasonal spring recipe I found in A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen.  I made a few slight changes and added some of my own ideas and came out with a really delicious, simple dish that was full of flavor.