Saturday, July 30, 2005

the cheeseboard...

On Thursday I saw Julie (bestest friend from high school) and her husband. Yes, I have married friends. This is what happens when your friends move to *Minnesota* but I digress. As one of her wedding gifts I had given her the Cheeseboard Collective cookbook and she really wanted to try the pizza.

The last time I had cheeseboard pizza was in high school. I was introduced to it by a boyfriend who had told me I was mediocre and later broke my heart so I've pretty much harbored negative associations with it, as well as certain Counting Crows songs and all things Harvard.

When I started working at UCSF, people kept raving about the pizza and baked goods at Arizmendi, a few blocks down on 9th ave. So I went one day and had the most amazing pizza - I don't even remember what was on it, but if you want an idea of what kind of stuff they have, go here. I also tried a banana chocolate chip scone that nearly made me cry, it was so moist and yummy. Turns out, the co-op members of the Cheeseboard trained the members of Arizmendi so many of the recipes and offerings are similar.

Much of my desire to bake stuff is thanks to Julie's influence. On your birthday she would make this amazing fudge that didn't make your teeth hurt. That's right, I have sensitive teeth. But I think some people make fudge that is so sickly sweet and almost has a weird dry consistency that it has the potential to make your teeth hurt. Not Julie's fudge. It's a work of art. She also made butterscotch brownies that I could probably eat five of in an one sitting. Anyways, the scones and muffins I have had at Arizmendi have brought me much joy over the past few years so I wanted to pass along the joy to her.

We showed up at 6pm on Thursday. That is apparently the best time to go, because by the time we sat down at a table, there was a line out the door. The pizza of the day was bell pepper and mushroom. Sounds completely normal, but it was amazing. I don't know if they do this with all their pizzas, but the toppings were sliced really thin, almost shaved, so that they completely blended into the cheese. Therefore, you weren't eating a piece of cheese pizza with stuff on top, you were eating a slice of coherent pizza, where everything just seemed to go with each other, like the bell pepper was specifically grown for this very pizza, and so on. Make sense? Probably not. Anyways, I guess all I'm trying to say is...go to the Cheeseboard! Even if you associate it with painful high school memories. It's worth it. Really.

Monday, July 25, 2005

a problem....

I live with two other people.
They are wonderful roommates and I love living with them, but the problem is our fridge and freezer. It's full. Everywhere. And I like to cook. A lot. Usually recipes that can't be scaled down to one serving.
Last night I made a curry, which although I was happy with it, I don't want to eat for lunch and dinner the next two days. Tonight I want to try a salmon dish which will give me leftovers. Tomorrow I have a tri-tip that is over 2 pounds so I will have lots of leftovers from that too.

Any suggestions from other people out there? What do you do when you have no freezer space for leftovers, but want to try out recipes you just can't scale down to one serving and you don't feel like eating okra curry five nights in a row??

It's not like I can just feed everybody all the time either. First of all, my roommates and I all have different schedules and also, I just can't afford to feed everybody. And I no longer have a big tall boyfriend to feed, so I find myself with more leftovers than usual. Is there a simple solution to this that I'm missing? And don't tell me to stop cooking, because that's just not possible :)

Friday, July 22, 2005

why did i not buy more of these?????

My Mamie Nova yogurts (melon, fig, and pistachio) are long gone, and today I decided to crack open the La Fermiere. My family has been raving about the honey flavor they bought, but I bought plain so that I could satisfy my craving for something tangy but add something if I needed a sweet fix. I just ate one with strawberry jam and homemade biscuits. Wow. I have to keep reminding myself that these guys are $2.50 each and that's why I can't afford to buy enough to eat one every day. I guess the Total with honey is not looking as expensive now...
I am also in love with petits suisse. Such the perfect size for an after-dinner snack. So yummy and creamy. So cute. Food is more fun to eat when it's cute. Unless it's too cute and you don't want to ruin it. Nothing more sad than biting into cookie monster's head and not enjoying its cupcakey goodness because, well, it's cookie monster.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

chez nous

Fillmore street is walking distance to where I live. Every time I've walked up there I've passed a place called Chez Nous that looks intriguing - full of people and a menu full of things I'd like to try. Last night I finally ventured in, for dessert. And I have to say I ate one of the top three creme brulees of my life. I've decided I can't decide on the best, because you really can't compare vanilla and rose petal and chocolate.
This one was full of vanilla bean flecks and even had raspberries under the sugar crust. It came with a cookie that reminded me of my childhood, although I can't exactly place my finger on why. But I'll definitely make an attempt to go back - I think it's a place my family would love. And lately I've been appreciating more how your companions can make your dining experience more enjoyable. Seriously! Try going out to restaurant with a picky or close-minded eater. It can really sour your evening...

Sunday, July 17, 2005


i tried to fiddle with my sidebar and now something has gone awry. when i'm back to my own computer i'll fix it. currently i am at melting in lafayette.

Sunday, July 10, 2005


Right now my kitchen is full of yummy smells. Butter and almond and all sorts of yummy goodness.

For the very first time, I went to the Made in France warehouse sale. It was a family event - my brother (who is amazing in the kitchen and is going to be a neurosurgeon, and is single) wanted to tag along and we picked up my mom from work who wanted to come and buy chorizo. And salmon rillettes.
We really had no idea what to expect. We were afraid we might be disappointed. We weren't. There were only two black clouds on our excursion - we couldn't find any amora (I'm so addicted to the stuff I've been eating from a jar with a 2003 expiration date) and the amount of money we spent. I am embarrased to say I spent as much money as my mom did, and her bill was for 3 people!
We stocked up on chocolate (cocoa for me to make truffles, 8 bars of 83% dark for my dad who doesn't like anything less than 70%), vinegar (three kinds) and yogurt up the wazoo. My dad and I love yogurt. So much that I was crazy enough to spend nearly $20 on it! But as I tasted my first $2 tub of melon yogurt, my anxiety melted away from the sheer yumminess. This morning's tub of fig yogurt had the same effect. I also bought some butter that I have renamed "crack butter" because it is so damn good I will pay the $9/lb price tag no matter what.

Inspired by my purchases, I did some baking today. I made the almond cake in Amanda Hesser's book Cooking for Mr. Latte. It's cooling now, and if it tastes half as good as the raw batter! I also made some digestive biscuits (the same recipe Sam of Becks and Posh used) to eat with my petits suisse. I had never tried either before, and I have definitely been missing out. I'm regretting buying only 2 packs of petits suisse (I had seen some other people buy entire crates) but I guess I can always go back...right? I'll just figure out how I can work in a monthly trip into my budget...

Thursday, July 07, 2005


Last week I had a nasty case of food poisoning. I'll spare you the gory details, but I hadn't felt so bad since the great food poisoning incident of '02, when my brother and I ended up in the emergency room of a korean hospital, hours before we were supposed to fly back to SF. Like most people, I don't particularly enjoy throwing up, but the worst thing is, I think I lost the ability to feel hungry.
This makes me very sad. It's awful, eating because you know that if you don't you'll remain weak and easily tired. I miss the ability to feel excited about going home and making dinner, or looking in my fridge and thinking "yum! I haven't had this in a long time!" It reminds me of the part in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, when Francie buys a huge dill pickle on the days when nothing tastes good to her anymore. I wish I had a similar cure.
I think my tastebuds are broken. Rich and I went to Burma Super Star on Clement a couple nights ago. We had passed by this place a couple weeks ago and it was full of people and the menu looked good. We vowed to come back and try it out. We ordered ginger salad, pumpkin pork stew, and beef kebat. The salad was good - I was expecting something spicy but was pleasantly surprised. The only heat came from the ginger and the salad's strength was in its texture - lots of crunchy nuts and seeds. I wouldn't order it if you want a flavor explosion, but if you want, nutty (there's a better word to describe it in korean, I wish english had a comparable one) with a rounder and more satisfying mouthfeel, this is the salad to go to.
I chose the pumpkin pork stew and was disappointed. It looked promising - nice big chunks of stewed squash and lean pieces of pork that easily fell apart in a green sauce. But it didn't taste like anything except salt! Maybe my tastebuds are broken. I thought I detected a hint of cardamom but it was all overpowered by a salty taste. I think it would have been much better if they upped the spices but reduced the salt.
The beef kebat had good flavor but the texture was...blech. It was described as flank steak but the meat was so mushy you had to wonder. I really liked the mint in the dish - but the chili wasn't strong enough. Sure, the dish looked red, but you didn't get that zing on your tastebuds. I think the oiliness detracted a lot - if a dish is going to be that oily, it better damn well have zing. And meat with a strong texture.
So I guess I would go again, but order different dishes. You sit very close to other people and you can see what they order. The catfish curry looked good. As did a stir-fry dish with shrimp, but I think it had mango in it, which I'm allergic to. :(
In the meantime, I hope I regain my hunger. My brother says ice cream sandwiches will do the trick. Hm....