Monthly Archives: April 2013

meatless monday: a meatless san francisco roundup

Delfina, SF.

Delfina, SF.

I’m in my favorite U.S. city, hanging out and eating and drinking all kinds of goodies! We’re in the Salad Bowl of the country, people! Who needs meat! Here’s a roundup of some of my favorite meatless meals, a blast from the past when I once called myself (briefly) a San Franciscan…go Giants!

Huevos Rancheros from Boogaloos in the Mission. Perfectly salty beans, runny eggs, warm corn tortillas.

Potato, carrot, mushroom burrito with extra special sauce from Papalote. Add guac duh.

A late-morning cappuccino and saffron vanilla bean Snickerdoodle from Blue Bottle in the Ferry Building.

While we’re at the Ferry Building: a light lunch at Mijita: a salad of jicama, grapefruit, avocado and pumpkin seeds.

A simple spaghetti dinner at Delfina, with seasonal plum tomatoes, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, peperoncini. Sit outside if you can.

Head to the Marina. Pizza Ricotta at A16 is where it’s at: sea salt, ricotta, arugula, olio nuovo. Sit at the counter if you can.

Richmond bound? It’s Aziza for Moroccan. Couscous, fig, eggplant, chickpea, flatbread to die for.

Pretty much need to round out any day with a little somethin’-somethin’ from Bi-Rite Creamery. How about a S’more Ice Cream Pie? A little scoop of toasted coconut ice cream? Add a lemon gingersnap cookie, son.

wednesday wisdom: jabberwocky

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April is National Poetry Month, and since we’re all about the words around here, each Wednesday Wisdom will be a celebration of poetry, the forgotten art. I have a very distinct association of “Jabberwocky” to my fifth grade class at Buckingham Elementary: I had to memorize the whole thing, and was also responsible for interpreting and illustrating a Jubjub bird. Made famous in Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, this is my first introduction into glorious nonsense, and is forever etched into my brain.

Jabberwocky
`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought —
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Lewis Carroll, 1871

meatless monday: cauliflower crust pizza

yum courtesy of Eat-Drink-Smile.com

yum courtesy of Eat-Drink-Smile.com

Here’s one more from my cousin’s Pinterest: cauliflower crust pizza. Have been meaning to make this for ages, and I vow to do just that, next week, in San Francisco, for Round 2 of Cookin’ With My Cuz. A regular feature here on Meatless Monday? One can only hope.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza
via Eat. Drink. Smile.

1 c. cooked, riced cauliflower
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. crushed garlic
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
olive oil (optional)

pizza sauce, shredded cheese, & your choice of meatless toppings* (SL NOTE: fave toppings: cremini mushrooms, sliced green apple, parmesan, a generous squirt of Sriracha, topped with fresh arugula). 

To “Rice” the Cauliflower:
Take 1 large head of fresh cauliflower, remove stems and leaves, chop the florets into chunks. Add to food processor and pulse until it looks like grain. Do not over-do pulse or you will puree it. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can grate the whole head with a cheese grater). Place the riced cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 8 min. (some microwaves are more powerful than others, so you may need to reduce this cooking time). There is no need to add water, as the natural moisture in the cauliflower is enough to cook itself.

One large head should produce approx. 3 c. of riced cauliflower. The remainder can be used to make additional pizza crusts immediately, or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.

To Make the Pizza Crust:
Preheat oven to 450. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 c. cauliflower, egg and mozzarella. Add oregano, crushed garlic and garlic salt, stir. Transfer to the cookie sheet, and using your hands, pat out into a 9″ round. Optional: Brush olive oil over top of mixture to help with browning. Bake for 15 min.

Remove from oven. To the crust, add sauce, toppings and cheese. Place under a broiler at high heat just until cheese is melted (approximately 3-4 min).

*Note that toppings need to be precooked since you are only broiling for a few min.

wednesday wisdom: poem in your pocket day

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April is National Poetry Month. Tomorrow (April 18) is National Poem In Your Pocket Day. Celebrating is easy: pick your favorite poem, put it in your pocket. Share it with your friends, family, co-workers, and fellow wordsmiths throughout the day. Tweet your #pocketpoem. Download a pocket poem  for you and your kidlets. I’m going with this one by Claude McKay, because it reminds me that us New Yorkers are a hodgepodge of displaced peoples from the world over, seeking familiarity, comfort, a good piece of fruit. Will you celebrate with me?

The Tropics of New York
Bananas ripe and green, and ginger root
Cocoa in pods and alligator pears,
And tangerines and mangoes and grape fruit,
Fit for the highest prize at parish fairs,

Sat in the window, bringing memories
of fruit-trees laden by low-singing rills,
And dewy dawns, and mystical skies
In benediction over nun-like hills.

My eyes grow dim, and I could no more gaze;
A wave of longing through my body swept,
And, hungry for the old, familiar ways
I turned aside and bowed my head and wept.

Claude McKay, Jamaican-American writer

love letters to the cities we love

sara little yoga blog nyc dear boston

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Have you ever been to Boston? My first time in the city I was 18, and roadtripping with my dad through the Northeast on a college tour. We landed at Logan and headed downtown to a pub, where Dad drank a Sam Adams and we ate clam chowder at the bar and watched the second half of a Celtics game. This was November of 2000, post-presidential elections. Florida was all over the news and we watched CNN every night in hotels across New England. It was cold. Boston was dark, old-feeling, so extremely historical and American-y for this Oregon child. But it was also lively, loud, and passionate.

I started thinking about personal impressions of Boston yesterday afternoon. I had to first ensure a runner friend was safe (and continue to follow her here). After shock wears off and facts start to surface, we tend to get reflective. We think about how we know a place, as a hometown, favorite vacation, a one-night-stand, a layover. Even NYC declares its love.

What kinds of memories and feelings come up when you put a city into the context of your experiences? Love letters to a place are as authentic and powerful as a love letter to, say, an actual lover. People have been doing this for years, giving thanks for a magical moment, waxing poetic over a wonderful meal with a wonderful new friend, confessing an infuriating challenge about public transit or an overly passionate run-in with a drunken sports fanatic, crying out a tearful goodbye when leaving (by choice or not).

  • Joan Didion famously wrote “Goodbye to All That,” a sort of angry love letter to New York, when she left the city for California: I can remember now, with a clarity that makes the nerves in the back of my neck constrict, when New York began for me, but I cannot lay my  finger upon the moment it ended… 
  • In her “Open Letter to Los Angeles,” artist Stacy Dacheux writes how the empty, gutted carcass of the Capitol Records building mirrored her own distress during long years of toil in the place she is desperate to love. 
  • Mario Batali has the best summer meals of his life in Traverse City, Michigan, and opened his heart to the “midwest’s gem” in a love letter published by Huffington Post. 
  • The Beastie Boys’ post-9/11 tribute, “An Open Letter to NYC,” recalls city childhoods: buying sneakers on Fulton Street and getting kicked out of Bleecker Bob’s. 
  • A visual declaration of love, Doug Aitken’s “MIRROR” at the Seattle Art Museum has airplane hangars and Seattle skyscrapers melting into mountains and forests of the Pacific Northwest.

A little more effort to love our places, and our people, this week. xx

meatless monday: cookin’ with my cuz

My cousin Lindsey was in town last week for work. She’s such a treat. She came bearing gifts of Bay Area beans (house fave Four Barrel, the new Sightglass), Bi-Rite’s honey caramel chocolates with sea salt, a huge jar of Papalote habanero salsa, and a gorgeous handwoven scarf from India. We enjoyed the fab weather (No jackets! No tights!), drank fab wine and whipped up a fab meal together: Gnocchi with Squash & Sweet Corn, inspired (as ever) by Pinterest, adapted by us.

gnocchi goodness.

gnocchi goodness.

We added some Brussels sprouts, sauteed and thrown on top, to add a dash green in this dish. The thing is, you can load this up with tons of veggies and work with a very light potato gnocchi and just a sprinkle of goat cheese. Make veg your base, and gnocchi and cheese more of a garnish. Promise you won’t miss the oodles of pasta at all. Light and springy with a green salad side.

I wish I had taken a photo of beautiful Lins while she was here. Instead, enjoy this little ditty; it always gets in my head when my cuz is in town. Recipe follows. Happy Meatless!

Gnocchi with Squash, Sweet Corn & Brussels Sprouts
adapted from The Kitchn
serves 2 to 4

1 (16 oz.) package vacuum-sealed gnocchi (or fresh gnocchi)
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
1 small zucchini, very thinly sliced
1 small yellow squash, very thinly sliced
1 c. sweet yellow corn kernels
2 c. Brussels sprouts, cut in quarters
2 small cloves garlic, peeled and minced
Squeeze of lemon
2 oz. soft goat cheese
1 tbsp. finely chopped flat leaf parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add gnocchi and cook as directed. Drain and return to the pot. Toss warm gnocchi with 1 tbsp. butter, set aside.

Meanwhile, melt remaining 3 tbsp. of butter in a large, flat-sided sauté pan over medium heat. Cook butter until it begins to bubble and turn light golden brown, about 3 min. Add the zucchini, squash, corn, Brussels and garlic; sauté until warmed through, another 2 – 3 min.

Turn off heat and stir the cooked gnocchi into the vegetables. Add a generous squeeze of lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with small hunks of goat cheese and a sprinkling of chopped parsley.

wednesday wisdom: the iron road

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giovanni pascoli.

April is National Poetry Month, and since we’re all about the words around here, each Wednesday Wisdom will be a celebration of poetry, the forgotten art. Giovanni Pascoli is an Italian poet, and one whose verses I scratched onto notecards and taped to my bathroom mirror: “Il sogno è l’infinita ombra del Vero” (The dream is the infinite shadow of Truth).

The Iron Road

Between embankments, where the cattle graze
in peace, the railroad stretches out in a straight,
dark brown line that glimmers from afar;

in the pearl sky, the telegraph poles create
another line in their aerial plot beside
the tracks, and in shrinking order, disappear.

What sort of rumbling moans and roaring howls
crescendo, then vanish, like a women’s wail?
An immense, resounding harp, from time to time,
these metal lines ring out across the wind.

– Giovanni Pascoli, translated from the Italian by Lawrence Venuti