Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy 2010! Yes, I know that it's been more than a year since my last post, but I'm looking forward to getting back on the blogging wagon this year.

Wishing all of your a happy and prosperous year!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Still Here!

Yep, I'm still here, but with a wedding, a (short) honeymoon, and a move coming up, you can imagine that I don't have much time to post these days. But fear not, once things settle down (which hopefully will happen in the next few weeks), I will return to the world of food blogging once again.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Catching Up...

With the wedding less that two months away, I unfortunately have not had time to post very often. If I were to have some spare cycles, here are a few things about which I would write:

  • A recap of our dinner with Jeremiah and Tesha at Manresa back in March, complete with pictures of course

  • Our short trip to Napa, doing a bit of wine tasting and ending the day with a fabulous dinner on the patio at the newly renovated 25° Brix in Yountville

  • A short congrats to the 2008 Bay Area James Beard Award winners

  • Five Facts for Karen: After I posted my list for Scott, Karen suggested that I have a list with non-food related facts

  • Progress on "The List" - yes, I will share it with everyone some day...
There are more things, but these were the ones that came to the top of my mind. Of course, I will also write more about our wedding: the planning that we did, the vendors that we chose, etc. But all in good time...

I hope that everyone has a restful and relaxing Independence Day! I know that I can use the day off. Don't forgot about your favorite annual eating contest. Let's see if anyone will break the 20000 calorie barrier at Coney Island this year.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Top Chef: The Finale

Well, again life and work has gotten into the way of some quality blogging time. Unfortunately, I missed the live showing of the Top Chef season finale. I finally got around to catching a rerun of the final episode last week. Wow, I guess that I didn't miss much. I don't know about you, but I thought that was perhaps one of the most boring episodes of Top Chef that they've ever broadcast. It would have been a forgetable mid-season episode, but for a season-ender, it was a downright snoozer. I would have almost rather watched an episode of that train wreck on the Food Network. Almost.

If you missed the episode, I suggest that you check out David Dust's summary of the episode for a fictional but far more entertaining version of the finale. Despite the end of the season debacle, I'll still be tuning in for the next season of Top Chef which will be set in the Big Apple.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Five Facts for Scott

Well, I'm in the middle of a five day off-site for work this week up in Napa Valley (I know, rough life), which unfortunately means that I will miss the live season finale of Top Chef. I hope that they upload the episode to Hulu tomorrow evening so I won't be kept in suspense for too long.

However, since I do have some time on my hands this evening, I thought that I would response to the meme for which I was tagged by Scott at One Food Guy.

So, without further ado, here are five facts about me, all food related of course:

  1. For this off-site event, I took full responsibility for making all of the food selections. A few of my co-workers have joked that if the food sucks, they'll let me hear about it on my blog. So far, the feedback has been pretty good, but in case any of my colleagues are reading this, I'll be moderating my blog comments with extreme prejudice. Heh.

  2. While I will pretty much eat nearly any food, one things that I can't stand is cottage cheese. It's pretty much an issue with texture. About the only time that I didn't gag from eating cottage cheese was during a visit to the Cowgirl Creamery, mostly likely due to the fact that this particular sample of the vile cheese was mostly curds with very little whey.

  3. I eat a lot of frozen fruit directly from the freezer, mostly strawberries and blueberries from Trader Joe's.

  4. Like Homer, many of my favorite cuts of meat comes from a wonderful, magical animal.

  5. Karen is amused by the fact that I was happy to find out on our second date that she too enjoys eating that wonderful, magical animal.

So, Jo from Taking Over the World One Bite at a Time, Jen from Eatingplum, Chef John from Food Wishes, Biggie from Lunch in a Box, and Charlotte from her eponymous web, here is your mission, if you choose to undertake it:
  1. Link to your tagger (me in this case) and post these rules.

  2. Share 5 facts about yourself.

  3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post and list their names, linking to them.

  4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Didja Notice...

...that tonight's winner and loser had the strongest and weakest sous chefs, respectively? I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that the whoever has the best assistant next week will be crowned Top Chef.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Final Four

Well, we're now down to the finals of this season's Top Chef. The venue for the last two episodes will move from the Windy City to the warmer climes of Puerto Rico. Had Lisa been eliminated instead of Dale, I believe that the top four of the original sixteen cheftestants would be vying for the title of Top Chef. Who will it be, early favorite Richard or five-time Elimination Challenge winner Stephanie? Or will it be one of the dark horses?

In any case, the Top Chef finale should prove to be some entertaining television, of higher quality than the train-wreck-that-I-can't-stop-watching, The Next Food Network Star. I hope that at the very least, they'll eliminate that chef from planet Vulcan before she drives me nuts with her "cooking education, community outreach, and culinary craft" blather.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

D'oh!

Dear Padma, Ted, and Tom Tony,

I love your show, but you sent the wrong chef packing last night. Lisa's gotta go.

Yours truly,
A Devoted Top Chef Fan

Monday, May 19, 2008

Hawthorne Lane: Take TWO

Last week, I took Karen out to celebrate her birthday. Since it was a "school night", I thought that it would be nice to go somewhere interesting, fun, and low key. So, I decided to take Karen to TWO. Located in the space once occupied by the restaurant Hawthorne Lane, TWO was born out of chef/owner David Gingrass' desire to reinvent his restaurant to have a hipper and more casual atmosphere. We had the opportunity to visit Hawthorne Lane twice before it closed, the last time for its final cooking class.

While Karen had already been to TWO once before for lunch, I had not visited since our cooking class. While there were some differences in the decor, notably the wall panels and the lighting fixtures, the place still seemed to be quite similar to its previous incarnation.

Soon after we were seated, we were pleased to be presented with their starter plate of flatbread and biscuits. The flatbread was deliciously cheesy with a hint of heat and the biscuits were flaky and wonderfully buttery.


After a round of drinks (Karen ordered a mojito and I got a glass of Gloria Ferrer sparkling wine), we were ready to order dinner. We started out with a decadent appetizer, slow-roasted marrow bones served with crusty bread and caramelized onions. There was the perfect amount of marrow in the order: one bone for each of us with enough marrow to spread over the toasted bread. Despite the richness of the marrow, there was just the right amount so that we didn't feel overly sated by the starter before our main courses.


Since we were both pretty hungry, we decided to order a couple of entrées which we split. The first main course was braised beef cheeks with gaufrette potatoes, maple glaze, and horseradish crème fraîche. The beef was really flavorful and fall-apart tender and went very well with the horseradish. The maple glaze was interesting, having a slight hint of port, but was perhaps a touch sweet for my taste. Nevertheless, this was an excellent dish.


Our second main dish was a pan-fried pork cutlet, which could be prepared in two different ways. We could have ordered it with broccoli rabe and lemon, but opted to have it with spicy marinara and aged provolone cheese. The huge cutlet was deliciously tender and not at all greasy. With the marinara and cheese, it was reminiscent of a veal parmesan. It was another fine dish, though given the heaviness of the marrow and beef cheeks, it would have been more prudent to go with the lemon and rabe option.


For our side, we continued with the rich food theme and ordered some truffled macaroni and cheese. I enjoyed the mac and cheese, though the truffled flavor was a bit too strong for Karen's liking. I am curious if they used real truffle oil or something that came out of a laboratory.


Though we were getting quite full, it was, after all, Karen's birthday, so we ended the meal by sharing a decadent dessert, their signature "TWO Chocolates" mousse cake. The dessert consisted of semisweet and milk chocolate mousses, devil’s food cake, and caramel rice krispies. It was wonderfully rich and delicious. Even though I'm not a dessert guy, I'd definitely order it the next time I'm there.


So, there you have it, a fabulous birthday meal. I was a bit disappointed that they didn't do anything special for Karen, as per my OpenTable request, but the food was great and the service was prompt and attentive, so we really can't complain too much.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Six Left Standing

After ten weeks of Top Chef: Chicago, six cheftestants remain going into the Restaurant Wars episode.

With a half-dozen chefs remaining, I'm going to make a prediction for the rest of the season. I predict that the chefs will be eliminated in the following order:

  1. Spike
  2. Lisa
  3. Antonia
  4. Stephanie
  5. Dale
This means I predict that Richard will be named "Top Chef".

Who do you think will be "Top Chef"? Let's hear your predictions!

The Interview

My friends are at it again... another Random Act of Cheetos.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Accidental Proposal

With the multitude of Web 2.0 and social networking tools available today, many companies are turning to viral marketing to help promote their brand awareness. One such campaign was the Orange Underground, a viral marketing effort put on by the makers of Cheetos. The campaign asked fans of the cheesy snack food to film "Random Acts of Cheetos" (RAoC) and upload their videos to an online video hosting site. From the submitted entries, four finalists would be selected, with the winner being chosen through an open vote. The grand prize winner, to be announced in June, will receive $5000 in cash and a year's supply of Cheetos.

A few of my friends got into the act and filmed a couple of RAoCs. Though they didn't make it to the final round, I think that their videos were quite funny. Check it out: