Saturday, June 30, 2012

M is for: Montclair {Kakui Sushi Restaurant Review}

For a girl who grew up in the wide open spaces of Montana...I've sure adapted to the compact life of the city pretty well. In Montana, a 20-minute drive might get you 30 miles outside the city. Here, a 20 minute drive might get you to SOMA. And Outer Sunset? That may as well be in Idaho.

So it's not surprising that us San Franciscans cringe at the thought of driving anywhere outside the city limits...especially if you have to cross over a bridge. But recently, my friend and co-worker, Kate, moved to the Oakland Hills. I've been meaning to see her new place and check out her new 'hood forever.

Finally, the conclusion of the Bay Bridge Series provided the perfect opportunity. Her place is amazing! She has a terraced backyard with sweeping views of the bay, and a GARDEN! So jealous. We also checked out nearby Montclair Village, which is bristling with restaurants and shops. We were in the mood for sushi, and Kakui definitely fit the bill.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

M is for: Mission Bowling Club {Restaurant Review}

First of all, I really need you in the right "frame" of mind for this post. (Hehe...See what I did there?) So, before you continue reading, please watch this hilarious video by clicking here.

Don't worry, I'll wait.

Funny/ridiculous, right?!?

Now that you've been thoroughly entertained and reminded that bowling can indeed be a thrilling and exciting group activity, let me tell you about a great new place to knock down pins in San Francisco.

Mission Bowling Club is much more than a spot where you can wear smelly used shoes and drink a beer. Yes, there is bowling. But there is also some fantastic food. I would go there for the burger even if I *wasn't* bowling. It's that good.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

M is for: Mint, English Pea & Fava Bean Salad

Sometimes I make things really difficult on myself. I don't do it on purpose, mind you, but sometimes my ideas get a tad bit ambitious to execute.

Take this salad for example. It's a salad. Salads are supposed to be easy. But for some reason, I decided to pair two of the most time-consuming vegetables to prep: English peas and fava beans.

However, I do not want to scare you off from making this salad, because it's fabulous! Both English peas and fava beans are in season right now, and I love how fresh and bright this salad turned out with the addition of fresh squeezed lemon juice and fresh mint. Since I'm obsessed with sheep's milk feta at the moment, and had some leftover from the lamb sliders, I added some of that, along with some toasted pine nuts and green onions for texture.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

M is for: Marlowe {Restaurant Review}

A quick scan of the windows at Marlowe, and you'll understand why I adore this place. Everyone from James Beard to Miss Piggy is quoted on the dark windows with food affirmations that range from funny to whimsical.

Among some of my faves:

"Great cooking is a lot of time and a lot of butter."

"Great food is like great sex; the more you have, the more you want."

"'Bubbles' is my favorite word."

Monday, June 25, 2012

M is for: 'Merican Flag Fruit Kebab for 4th of July

OK, so I know the title of this post is really pushing the limits as far as my alphabet theme goes, but it had to be done. When asked me to come up with a 4th of July-themed food item for the website, naturally my mind went to red, white and blue. I also needed something easy since I'm in the midst of working 9 days in a row. I remembered the red, white and blue fruit salad my mom likes to make in the summers, and for some reason fruit kebabs popped into my head.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

M is for: Meatloaf Muffins {gluten free} with Turkey, Sriracha & Chia

For a lot of people, meatloaf is one of those comfort foods that elicits warm, fuzzy memories of coming home on a cold winter day to the wonderful smells of mom’s cooking. (Ma…the meatloaf!)

I am not one of those people.  

It’s not to say I don’t like meatloaf, because I do. But for whatever reason, it was just not a staple in our house growing up. 

But the other day I was texting with my cousin Erin and she was telling me about this amazing meatloaf she made that had jack cheese and Durkees French Fried onions in it. While that sounded nothing short of amazing, I’m trying to eat healthier these days, so I decided to concoct my own rendition using ground turkey and veggies. To make it low-carb, I was determined to make it sans breadcrumbs as well. And because, as you know, I love all things mini, I decided to make them in a muffin pan!

Friday, June 22, 2012

L is for: Locanda {Restaurant Review}

Locanda's Jewish Style Artichoke is a must-try
I've been dying to try Locanda ever since it opened. So when my friend Kasey announced she was coming to visit, it immediately went on the list of 5 or so restaurants I gave her to choose from. I was feeling pretty good about my advance planning until I got a call at 6PM the night of our 8PM reservation. Apparently there was a power outage on the entire block, forcing them to close down for the evening.

Seriously?!? That's like, the worst luck ever. From there, it was a mad dash to find something for a party of 5 on super late notice. More than anything, I was disappointed about not getting to try the new restaurant from the Delfina peeps.

Fortunately, I got my chance just a couple days later. The restaurant was extremely accommodating in rebooking me, so we took advantage in one of several good-bye dinners for my boyfriend who moved to L.A. last week.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

L is for: Lamb Sliders Stuffed with Feta

After re-creating one of my favorite Scottsdale dishes yesterday, I was inspired to reprise another meal from that trip. If you read all the way to the bottom of my post from Spring Training, you saw a collage from our "wrap party" on our last night in Arizona. That evening, I made lamb sliders stuffed with feta cheese. I thought they turned out really good, so I decided to make them again for "L" week!

These are similar to my Inside Out Bacon Cheeseburgers in that you put the cheese in the middle of the patty. I really love this concept because the cheese gets warm and melty while the meat cooks, giving you a creamy surprise when you bite into one. 

And as you might have noticed by now, I love all things mini, so I decided to make sliders instead of full-sized burgers. (But they would work either way)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

L is for: Leeks {FnB Style, Braised w/ Mozzarella & Dijon Breadcrumbs}

When I was in Arizona for work a couple months ago, I had the pleasure of sampling several restaurants in the Scottsdale area. FnB is one that has continued to stick with me, and when people ask about my favorite restaurant in Scottsdale, it's always in my top 3.

The restaurant was not only named one of the best new spots in the country back in 2010, but their braised leeks were named one of the top ten *dishes* in America by Food and Wine Magazine that year. They even developed their own hash tag, #leekapalooza.

I'm here to tell you they lived up to the hype. Such a simple combination of flavors, yet so good. Like, I've had dreams about these leeks. I decided to recreate them so I scoured the world wide web in hopes of finding a recipe. All I found was this cheesy morning news segment which wasn't very helpful.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

L is for: Lentil Endive Tacos

As much as I love going out to eat and trying new restaurants, nothing beats curling up on the couch with someone you love, ordering a movie and enjoying a home-cooked meal and a nice glass of wine.

So when Britt Bensen over at On Demand Weekly contacted me about coming up with a recipe to coincide with one of their upcoming movie releases, I jumped at the opportunity.

Starting today, Wanderlust is available for On Demand customers. I haven't seen this romantic comedy, so I can't personally vouch for the actual movie itself, but I can guarantee this recipe will help set the scene. Because the movie takes place on a hippie commune, I decided to make a vegetarian dish of spicy lentil tacos and serve them up on endive leaves with a side of chipotle sour cream. Click here to get the step by step instructions!

Friday, June 15, 2012

K is for: Korean & Kimchee {HRD Coffee Shop Restaurant Review}

Today is not a good day in the world of Jaymee. First of all, I spent the entire morning re-uploading dozens of photos into past blog posts. I had to do this because I accidentally deleted a bunch of them from my online picasa album, which I wasn't aware does the web hosting for blogger. So that sucked.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

K is for: Kohlrabi Salad {Shaved} with Nectarines & Chioggia Beets

One of the things I love about having a food blog (particularly an alphabet-themed one) is it inspires me to try things I normally wouldn’t think to make. Take “K week” for example. As I was googling “foods that start with the letter K” (no seriously, I actually do that), the vegetable kohlrabi popped up. I’ve heard of kohlrabi, but I don’t think I’ve actually ever tried it.

Like other root vegetables, you can totally roast this and it would turn out great. But I decided to shave it paper thin and serve it in a salad along with some other fruits and vegetables. Now I wish I could tell you that I dreamed up what turned out to be a vibrant combination of beets, radishes and nectarines all on my own….but it was more the product of accidentally receiving *two* CSA boxes this week. So I literally opened up my fridge and made this salad based on what I had on hand. But I have to say, I was extremely proud and would totally make this combo again on purpose.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

K is for: Kahlua & Bailey's Spiked Donut Holes {for Father's Day}

I have fond memories from my childhood of going to the donut shop with my dad. My sister and I always got so excited because he let us pick *whatever* we wanted, which meant I automatically honed in on the one with the most frosting on top that was stuffed with obscene amounts of sugary jam. But the best part of that memory was sharing it with my dad.

So when asked me to come up with something for Father's Day this weekend, I immediately thought of donuts. I recently acquired a Babycakes Cake Pop maker from my cousin, which is perfect for making quick donut holes. And since this holiday always coincides with U.S. Open Sunday, I thought a little golf theme was in order as well, so I served them up on golf tees.

Of course, donuts also go hand-in-hand with coffee, which I often drink with Bailey's Irish Creme liquor on the weekends. Fill these bad boys with Kahlua & Bailey's spiked chocolate pudding, and you've got yourself a Father's Day breakfast Dad won't soon forget! To get the step by step instructions, click here. Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Friday, June 8, 2012

J is for: Jalapeño Popper Buffalo Chicken Bundles Wrapped in Bacon

Jalapeno poppers are one of my all-time favorite appetizers. Simple, spicy, perfect. I also happen to love anything with wing sauce. My Buffalo chicken dip is just one example that comes to mind. I decided to combine the two things for a fiery dish that can be made either as an entree or an appetizer. If jalapeno poppers and boneless buffalo wings had a love child, this is what it would look like.

There are different versions of this that have been making the rounds on Pinterest, like bacon-wrapped jalapeno chicken bites or jalapenos stuffed with Buffalo chicken. But to my knowledge, this is the first to combine them in this fashion.

It has all the basics: roasted jalapenos, cream cheese, chicken, wing sauce, *bacon*, and a blue cheese dressing, perfect for dipping. As my friend Tricia would say: "BEST. BITE."

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

J is for: Jello Shots {Watermelon Mint}

Sooooo....this happened.

I'm at the store and for some reason this watermelon catches my eye. It says "Oh hello. Please make a jello shot out of me." Well who am I to argue with a watermelon?

Seriously though, talking watermelons aside, I had no intentions of making jello shots when I walked into the grocery store this morning. But then I remembered it was "J" week...the 6-month anniversary of the first ever jello shot on this blog. Since then, I've concocted 10 jello shots in all.

Sometimes I worry I'm a little out of control with all of the jello shot-making. (Like when I opted for the economy-size box of Knox gelatin at the store recently.) But then I remember how awesome they are and I quickly get over it.

Monday, June 4, 2012

I is for: I Do's, Imo's, & other St. Louis Culinary Treats

My co-workers always joke that I'm a professional wedding guest. It's sort of true. I go to a LOT of weddings. I think a lot of this stems from the age I am and the fact I've lived in a lot of different places. (I have my friends from growing up, college friends, San Diego friends, and now my San Francisco friends).

So while I do find myself traveling often to attend these happy celebrations, I truly do enjoy it. It's a great chance to catch up with old friends, make new ones, and see parts of the country I've never had a chance to experience before.

This past weekend, I was a bridesmaid for the fifth time. (My sixth coming up this fall for my friend Erin in Austin!) My friends Kim and John decided to tie the knot in St. Louis. While I had been there in the past for work, being there with people who know the city really made it a memorable trip.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I is for: Ice Cream with Cherries, Chocolate & Amaretto {guest post}

Apologies, apologies. Behind on the blog big-time. But I have a good excuse. I've been busy being a dutiful bridesmaid for the my friend Kimberly Grubbs. It was a fantastic weekend in St. Louis (more on that to come), and now I'm tired and delayed on my layover and playing catch-up.

Thankfully, the lovely Jullie Anne has whipped up this scrumptious-looking take on Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia (which just happens to be one of my faves). She had far more luck than I did with the new ice cream maker (I'm certain I got a faulty one). I'm anxious to exchange mine so I can get a properly functioning one and make this ice cream, pronto! Thanks again Jullie Anne!
Hello, again! This week, I’m helping Jaymee out in the form of ICE CREAM :) Actually, I wouldn’t have even bought an ice cream maker if it weren’t for her. Jaymee tweeted awhile back that she went into Costco for paper towels, chicken, and beer… but she came out with an ice cream maker instead. 
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