Sunday, July 29, 2012

R is for: Red's Java House & Primo Patio Cafe {Restaurant Review}

In my ongoing quest to cover both sports and food at the same time, I occasionally like to write about some of my favorite places to eat near AT&T Park. This week, I'm excited to tell you about *two* of my favorite little gems that each have their own distinct charm and character.

I'll start with Red's, the tiny little shack of a place that sits below the Bay Bridge on Pier 30. The thing I love most about Red's Java House is what you see is what you get. What you see is a longstanding San Francisco institution that could best be described as a dive bar. What you get is no-frills food, a back patio that sits on the water and cheap beer. And on a sunny San Francisco day before a baseball game (when I'm not working), there's no place I'd rather be. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Q is for: Quinoa & Ground Turkey Zucchini Boats

So I've sort of just come to terms with the fact that during baseball season, the blog posts are going to be less frequent. Gone are the weeks where I would post 6, 7, maybe even 8 times on a single letter in a single week. These days, I'm lucky to get one or two in a week.

I've also been a little uninspired lately. I guess it happens with everybody, whether it's a blog or a job or a hobby something else. It just means you have to draw inspiration from other places.

Recently, my friend and co-worker Kate Longworth sent me a text with a photo of some stuffed zucchini she made with the vegetables from her garden. My first thought was: I'm jealous I don't have a garden. But my second thought was these would be perfect on the blog! I'm not sure what Kate used, but I decided to use a mixture of quinoa, veggies and some leftover cooked ground turkey I had in the fridge. I thought it turned out to be an easy, healthy high-protein and gluten free meal.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

P is for: Potaje, Pan con Tomate & Plato's Olive Oil {giveaway}

First of all, I know what you're thinking. Yes, I've been a little M.I.A. on the blog this over the last 7 days or so. For some reason, I haven't been cooking as much this week. And even though I had a four-day weekend, I spent much of it trying to catch up with people I haven't seen in awhile, which meant lots of dinners out.

However, to make it up to all of you, today I'm going to share TWO of my very favorite Spanish recipes *and* I'm giving away a bottle of a delicious olive oil for one of my lucky readers! More on that in a minute, but first, let's habla.

As I've mentioned in the past, I spent three wonderful months living in Barcelona during my senior year in college. This is where I met my dear friend Kasey, who I've mentioned several times before on the blog. We were randomly selected to live together in a host home, and our "mom" for 12 weeks was a fantastic lady by the name of Dolores Berga. Whenever I think of Dolores, I smile. She was as warm and welcoming as you could ever hope a host mom to be when you're living in a foreign country. I fondly remember our dinners with Dolores, practicing our Spanish (because she did not speak any English), and sampling some of her home cooking.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

P is for: Park Tavern {Restaurant Review}

There are some restaurants you go to for business, others you save for celebrating a special occasion, and ones you visit just to catch up with a good friend. Park Tavern could easily be filed under all of those categories, but on this particular night, it was the latter.

I first met Jenna Brooks in the newsroom at CSN. She had recently moved to San Francisco from Australia, where she also worked as a television sports reporter. One of my co-workers asked if I had time to speak with her for a few minutes, and even though I was super busy, I agreed to chat with her.

I'd say about 30 seconds into the conversation, I instantly felt a connection with Jenna, and I knew we were going to be fast friends. We again met for lunch about a week later, and have been friends ever since, meeting whenever our schedules allow to catch up and enjoy some of the great restaurants the city has to offer.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

O is for: Outerlands {Restaurant Review}

Tucked away on Judah street in the Outer Sunset, where the fog creeps in early and often stays all day, you’ll find the quaint little hideaway of Outerlands. It’s a refuge from the cool San Francisco air with its welcoming vibe and the basket of cozy blankets at your disposal while you wait outside for your table.

Once seated, the staff is as warm as the atmosphere, and the food and drinks are equally comforting. It was the perfect spot this week to meet up with my friend Kim as we were having one of those frigid July days in San Francisco.

This was actually my second lunchtime trip to Outerlands, and I already knew I would be having a mug of their hot ginger lemon apple cider. Then our server threw us a delicious curveball: “Would you like to add buffalo trace bourbon to that?” Why yes, yes I would. And while you're at it, I’ll take two.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

O is for: Oklahoma Joe's BBQ & other Kansas City Food Finds

Baseball and Barbecue: two of America’s great traditions. Both came together this week as Major League Baseball’s All Stars gathered in Kansas City. And guess who was smack dab in the middle of it all? Your favorite foodie-sports reporter…ME!

Yes, I was there to work, but you know very well that my free time was spent plotting out my next meal, and in Kansas City, that means BBQ. But I also discovered it doesn’t ALL have to be barbecue. The Midwest city had some surprisingly innovative restaurants as well, much like what you would find in San Francisco. More on that later. First, let’s talk meat.

I detailed the dilemma of which BBQ place to choose in my post on, which you can read by clicking here. Basically, what I found is it’s pretty subjective depending on who you talk to, but I’d say the Top 5 definitely include the famous Arthur Bryant’s, Gates, Jack Stack, LC’s, and Oklahoma Joe’s. After careful research, I went with Joe’s.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

O is for: On Demand {Apple Pie Ice Cream}

Baseball, ice cream and apple pie: it sure doesn't get much more American than that!

As many of you know, I've been in Kansas City for the last couple days covering the MLB All Star Game. (More on all of the rib-sticking food here later this week).

I've also started doing some guest posts for On Demand Weekly to coincide with new movies available for purchase On Demand. Today, it's the release of American Reunion.

I'm sure I don't need to remind you of the infamous scene from the first movie of this popular franchise, American Pie. Let's just say the apple pie in *that* scene...ahem...was less than appetizing. I promise a much different result from this apple pie ice cream. Yup...I said it: Apple. Pie. Ice cream.

Click here to get the All American recipe. Enjoy the movie and the All Star Game tonight, and stay tuned later this week for some mouthwatering Kansas City BBQ.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

N is for: New Jersey & Beyond

When my California friends asked where I was spending the 4th of July and I told them "The Jersey Shore," I'm pretty sure images of fist pumping, GTL, The Situation and Snookie immediately flashed through their heads. No, not *that* part of the Jersey Shore.

Instead, I was incredibly lucky to visit the sparkling gem that is Seven Mile Island, home to Avalon and Stone Harbor. It's lined with beautiful Colonial-style homes, complete with white picket fences and beach cruisers parked to the side of each house. The town of Stone Harbor is bristling with adorable shops and Springers Ice Cream and Hoy's 5 & 10 Store, which have been beloved in the town for as long as anyone can remember.

My boyfriend's family spends an entire week in this magical place every fourth of July, so I was honored to be included in this amazing family tradition this year.

Monday, July 2, 2012

N is for: Nation's Birthday, Top 5 recipes for your 4th of July BBQ's

Some of my favorite memories growing up were from our family trips to Holland Lake in Montana. Every 4th of July and Labor Day, we would pack up the bronco, set off for the lake and rent one of the handful of cabins scattered along the shore.

We hiked to the nearby waterfalls, roasted marshmallows and hot dogs on the campfire, went waterskiing, and fed the family of ducks that lived on the lake. (Yes, that's me on the hike to Holland Falls...check out those bangs!) It's for all of these reasons that Holland Lake is one of my favorite places in the world.

It's also for that reason that I associate the 4th of July with BBQ's and spending time with family. This year, I will be spending the holiday in Stone Harbor, New Jersey with my boyfriend's family, and I'm excited to share in their traditions as well. In the meantime, here are some ideas to help add some fireworks to your Independence Day food table!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

N is for: Nectarine Boozy Bellini Popsicles

Rarely do I ever post what I consider "fails" on the blog. Part of this is because when I'm doing something blog-related, it's usually pretty well-thought out and researched. That was not the case with these boozy bellini pops.

I was in a hurry and trying to get something done before I took off for 12 days so I sort of made this up on the fly, and it came back to bite me. A similar thing happened when I did the Irish Car Bomb jello shots. At the time, those seemed like a fail to me, but they are one of the most popular posts I've ever done. Go figure. 

With a little tweaking, I'm confident these pops would be perfect for a warm summer day at a barbeque or brunch, so I'm posting them anyways with a couple words of caution for my readers. Hopefully yours turn out better than mine.
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