Showing posts with label San Francisco. Show all posts
Showing posts with label San Francisco. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Vegan Avocado-Tomato Toasts...for #greenslove

Not too long ago, my 5 year old grandson Luca, asked me what my favorite color is...and I answered "green." He immediately answered back, "no, you can't have that for your favorite color; that's my favorite color!"...well, I just laughed about that, which he did not think it was funny, and told him...then we must have the same "likes"...since he would translate "taste" if I would have said that, to FOOD!


"Green is the color of nature, fertility, life. Grass green is the most restful color. Green symbolizes self-respect and well being. Green is the color of balance. It also means learning, growth and harmony. Green is a safe color, if you don't know what color to use anywhere use green.

Green is favored by well balanced people. Green symbolizes the master healer and the life force. It often symbolizes money. It was believed green was healing for the eyes. Egyptians wore green eyeliner. Green eye shades are still used. You should eat raw green foods for good health. Friday is the day of green. Green jade is a sacred stone of Asia."

Oh, yes...FOOD...who would want to turn down glorious fresh, and green vegetables, especially when you have a "hum drum" just everyday kind of dish, wouldn't a nice bright green salad brighten up a dreary, or otherwise too rich of a dish, yearning for something fresh, and green? That's my kind of dish, anytime. a nice dish of fresh baby green spinach salad with red onions, sliced mushrooms and topped with a simple red wine vinaigrette...a side of fresh cucumber salad with cherry tomatoes, and a simple extra virgin olive oil, and fresh lime topping, or fresh green beans, steamed to perfection, still crunchy and to preserve the bright green color, just rinse it in cold water and throw some ice cubes on it!

The list goes on-and-on, and I'm not even mentioning the health benefits of the GREENS. We can probably all hear our mothers saying: "eat your vegetables!"...as boring as it seemed in our childhood days, we all benefited from that in our adulthood...so, may I remind you to EAT YOUR VEGETABLES?...It's so good for you...the fresher, the greener; the better!
I was so inspired by this healthy, simple, and totally delicious vegan open-face sandwich, and after a short trip to my local Whole Foods market I got some specialty items, and a few organic vegetables. I wanted to make a salad with avocado, and organic sprouts, organic tomatoes, but instead, I decided to try this sandwich from the fresh ingredients only because I bought a loaf of their amazing San Francisco Sourdough bread...get this; a whole entire beautiful round loaf of bread for only $3.99. I could not have baked a better loaf of sourdough bread myself. So here's the recipe!

Linking to: #greenslove @ cake duchess
Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Thursday Favorite Things @ Katherines Corner


Vegan Avocado-Tomato Toasts
inspired, and adapted from: WholeLiving.com

4 slices Rustic bread toasted
2 avocados peeled and sliced
1 ripe tomato cut into slices
(I used 2 slices, saved the rest for salad)
a handful of organic sprouts
(I used organic clover sprouts)
1 lime cut into wedges
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt
extra virgin olive oil, for drizzle

Top toasted bread with avocado slices, some sprouts
salt and pepper and squeeze with some lime, and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on it, lightly. Top with the tomato slice and some more salt and pepper, and drizzle some additional extra virgin olive oil on it, and top it with some extra sprouts. Have some extra slices, or wedges of lime!
This is a very satisfying sandwich, high in high in calories, carbs, protein, low in cholesterol, and and you get the "good" fats; also, I did the math with my WW calculator, and it came to a high point: 12

note: not to worry for the high point of a single slice of a very healthy and delicious sandwich, it is very filling, highly satisfying, and is a well accepted Weight Watchers choice,  from my vegan choice addition!

...and now, click over to some more interesting facts, and #greenslove photos...and for the winner of the LENOX candy dish giveaway!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Alaska Surimi Seafood Lettuce Cups



Alaska Surimi Seafood Lettuce Cups, from Taste Pavilion, in San Francisco
With more holidays just around the corner, how does anyone find the time to do all the cooking, baking, Christmas shopping, taking photos, uploading them, and  posting stories, and recipes? As for myself, not easy! I have not baked any cakes, cookies at all for awhile, but did make hearty soups, and seafood dishes, but just did not want to post about them, although they were delicious, and totally my creations...just off the "top of my head" recipes! Sometimes, I get into these moods where I think, "why should I even bother to take photo, try to remember the ingredients used"...why?...who really even cares, other than my family, or friends!?...well, obviously they do/did care, or I would have leftovers! Just not feeling up to "par"...must be the "holiday blues"...when it should be the most joyous occasion!

Alaska Surimi Seafood Lettuce Cups

12 oz. Alaska Surimi Seafood
1 1/2 cups cooked rice (preferably short grain)
1/2 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup avocado, peeled, and chopped
1 cup Asian style salad dressing, bottled (preferably with ginger and wasabi)
1/4 cup pickled ginger chopped, for garnish
1/2 cup toasted seaweed (nori) for garnish, (optional)
3 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds for garnish
1 head iceberg lettuce

Lettuce cups:
Cut off the bottom third of the lettuce head. Soak lettuce top in ice water for 10 minutes-this will help separate the leaves, one at a time to make the cups. Using scissors, trim each lettuce cup to form circles. A head of iceberg should yield 8 to 10 lettuce cups. Save the lettuce core for chopped lettuce salad.

Salad:
Combine Alaska Surimi Seafood, cooked rice, cucumbers and avocado in a large bowl. Add salad dressing, toss to coat all ingredients. Place lettuce cups on a large plate and fill each with about 1/2 cup of the surimi-rice filling. Garnish with pickled ginger (optional,) nori (optional) and sesame seeds to serve.
Makes 4 servings, ( 8 lettuce cups)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Rosemary, and Olive Knots...and Photo Props


Question! How important is "prop setting" for your food photo?...is it the prop behind the food? ...or is it the importance of the photo of the food! Plating the food is to me, and the presentation of it....is  the most important thing! First of all, the props, the plating, the lights...natural is the best lighting, by the way!
So, really, which angle works best?...and what do you really focus on?...my most amazing knot shaped rolls, filled with sliced Kalamata olives, and chopped fresh rosemary?...or the fresh bunch of rosemary?...what about the beautiful Batik Cloth?...well, that should be and "eyeful,"...so bright, and pretty, the floral designs are absolutely gorgeous, on the background of a soft blue-green color! This was a gift given to me by my dear food blog friend for over one year now, Joanna (Jo)...from ChicGorgeous , whom I finally met in person, at the 3rd Annual Foodbuzz Blogger Festival, and we share nearly one week of fun, and adventure, in San Francisco! She gave me this beautiful cloth, and what did I give her?...what do most American wear the most...all genders...a Baseball Cap!
Yes, an all American Baseball Cap, with of course, Palm Beach, Florida written on it, from yet, another famous 5 star hotel, The Breakers Hotel! (let's just hope Jo will pose with the cap, and takes photo with it to post on her blog)
Rosemary and Olive Knots...warmed up, on the second day; tasted even better!

Before I get to post the actual step-by-step direction, recipe...since now, I forgot the exact recipe from the book, which I didn't even really follow...just needed the idea. By now, I know the basic dough making for the yeast rolls, and I have become more "hands on" with the using of the dry yeast powder. Don't be afraid to use it, just make sure that the date isn't expired, and make sure that you start out with warm water to get the yeast started with.

I, for one, will tell you the source my recipes come from, or at least an idea how it came about, most of the times, unless it's a "hand me down" verbal recipe that I remember from making it over, and over again. It's just a matter of experimenting with various herbs, spices, and different ways of creating, and re-creating a recipe! I got this book called "The Modern Baker" by Nick Malgieri, from my local public library, and I fell in love with the book and all the amazing recipes, for cakes, rolls, and breads. I simply clicked on to my Amazon account, and ordered it online, for an unbeatable cheap price...and NEW! I took the book back to the library, just after I made these rolls, and forgot to copy the recipe, but my book will be arriving in a few days, or so! I just had so much fun with this dough, along with my little grandson, again. (I think he will follow his daddy's and my footsteps)...and he will become a chef, or a baker!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Farewell Brunch...3rd Day!

Brunch, at Perry's on the Embarcadero-sponsored by Godiva Coffee...Granola, Yogurt, and Assorted Berries
I'm already nostalgic about posting the last day of the Blogger Festival, but then after everyone else has left, I stayed on, an additional 3 days to stay at another, more economical hotel with Joanna, since she stayed till the end of the week, it made more sense to try to economize.
"Local Farms" Stone Fruit Medley, and Artisan Cheeses...the most amazing cheeses you can imagine! There were of course hot chafing dishes of Fluffy Scrambled eggs, Crispy Bacon. Challah French Toast with 100% Vermont Maple Syrup, Homemade Fennel, and Cranberry Sausage...did not have most of these...therefore, no photos taken. The crowd waiting in line, was "overwhelming!"
No brunch is complete, without the Deviled Eggs Casserole...Yumm!
Plattered Gravalax, on Marbled Rye Toast
I'm not a "breakfast fan"...but brunch is more my style, which in this case worked, because by 10:00am, I'm ready for something good to eat, so I opted for some of these goodies, a nice cup of Godiva Coffee!


A word of advice: If you're planning a trip for next year,
do plan ahead...save your money, it's not so costly as you think it would be, because if you are a Fooddbuzz Publisher, your entry would be only $30.00...compared to $300.++. You get a huge discount for the Grand Hyatt Hotel, and even though the other 2 hotels they recommend are less expensive, but you have to take into consideration, that you have to walk 2 blocks to get back and forth to the Grand Hyatt Hotel, to meet up to take the shuttle bus to other places where the event is being held.

Also, you have to plan with other bloggers to get together, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO JOIN THIS EVENT BY YOURSELF! Do plan ahead, because you would not want to pay nearly $200. per night for the hotel room, get a buddy or bring a family member, or a friend with you. Also, you do have to take a taxi from one event to the other, and it could cost you up to $10. each way, so share the taxi with some friends! Do not venture out too far by yourself...the city is full of "crazy" people that actually approach you, if you make eye contact with them! Also, another advise!

I don't know how to tell you, other than being truthful about other food bloggers...there's a lot of bloggers that think they are "all that"...and trust me, they are NOT! You,...Me, being as friendly and sociable, as I am, had the worst time trying to make friends with others, than my little group of very, very, nice friends. We all just came together, each of us making friends, and brought them to join our table. I noticed the "young food bloggers" (20 something) are not as gracious, and/or friendly...some were totally "unapproachable"...when I actually checked their blog, I nearly fainted that here, I thought my blog was just so, so, and to think I am approaching "royalty" when I tried to make friends with them!...OK, enough said!

Just be who you are...and yes, you will be "snubbed" by some bloggers, but you are there, because you are invited, just as they are, and wouldn't it be nicer, if all of the bloggers could extend their welcome towards each other, instead of just checking out your badge...hanging in your neck on a rope, like a "puppy"...grin, and smile at one another, and say "Hi! it's nice to meet you"...and not just turn their back on you and walk away, because they never heard of your blog...Well, it goes both way, of never hearing of the other person's blog, as well!
I could go on, and on about other incidents, but I just know I had an amazing time, and on most part, almost all the bloggers I met were very nice! More photos, to continue, of the last day of the 3rd Annual Blogger Festival!

Hope to see you next year...do contact one-another, to plan meeting up, ahead. I planned at least 3 months ahead, and as a "thrifter" my plane ticket with Delta, with one stop, cost $348. less $200. with my Amex award points!
A total cost of $148. round trip...I kid you not!...perseverance, pays, by scouting for cheap prices at least 2 months prior!

This trip was from West Palm Beach to Atlanta Georgia...stop over, no waiting, just 45 min. layover, to San Francisco! I even had my seats assigned and just had to pick up my boarding pass, at the airport!...Now isn't that amazing? Why do you think my blog is called, food and thrift (finds)!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I Left My Heart, in San Francisco!


You all remember the song..."I left my heart in San Francisco?"...or I left my heart at the 3rd Annual Blogger Festival, in SAN FRANCISCO//NOV 4-6, 2011... hosted by Foodbuzz!

For the last 3 months, I've been planning to join this exciting event, since I missed the 1st and the 2nd event for the last 2 years. It was a sudden decision for me, but once I decided to attend, there was no "backing out." Besides, my food blogger friend Joanna, of ChicGorgeous told me that she is planning to attend, all the way from Malaysia, and asked if I would like to be "roomies" with her to split the cost. After all, the Grand Hyatt Hotel, at a great discount, and split by two people is more affordable, and very luxurious!
The fifth building from the left, on the 17th floor, is where we stayed, overlooking the most beautiful view of the city, and a portion of the Bay, Very elegant, and I must say a perfect room assigned to us with a fabulous view!
Such an amazing place to hold the 3rd Annual Blogger Festival.
So, this is the spectacular view from the Grand Hyatt Hotel, from the 17th floor. You can see a glimpse of the Bay, behind the skyscraper buildings. As for the weather...around 61 degrees F in the daytime, and about 47-51 at night, wind blowing every day. A little "nippy" for this Florida girl! Good thing I packed a warm light jacket, sweater, and the best...my trusty little windbreaker light coat, that really protects you from wind, and rain, which we also experienced, and sunshine, as well!
Another view from our room, through the full length window... one of my favorite stores, Macy's, staring right at me! So far, I'm just showing you the immediate view, as we settled in our hotel...wait till you see all the foods, provided by the Foodbuzz team, Alexia, and Godiva Coffee!
Spacious large room, with 2 Queen size beds, a large flats screen T.V, and the view!...did I mention the view?...of course I did...just cannot get over the magnificent view!
My beautiful friends...Gina from SPCookiequeen, and my roommate, and friend. Joanna from ChicGorgeous
Our first stop was at the Terra Gallery, for the Welcome Reception, to meet up with all the attending foodies, and start out the feast with appetizers, and an open bar. I just stayed with my Chardonnay wine. Such a great turnout for this event!
Endless appetizers, fresh veggie crudities, and dips. This is where people were mingling around! You might recognize a few people in some of these photos!
Here we are having all these fabulous dinners upstairs. This is from the Comfort food station...sponsored by Electrolux. Tuscan Beef Stew, with Honey Cornbread!
Housemade Beet Ravioli, Wild Arugula, Fine Herbs, with Shaved Holly Springs Aged Goat Cheese...Yumm! This was to "die for" delicious!
This is one of my favorite photos...waiters bringing endless food, and some of the bloggers self serving, at the Buffet Station!
This is the "small plates" Action Station, serving Glazed Marin Sun Farms Pork Belly, and Pan-Seared Day Boat Scallops.
Glazed Marin Sun Farms Pork Belly...Broccoli Puree, Wood Roasted Florets, Pickled Shiitakes and  Chile Morita Vinaigrette.
Chefs, plating the small plates with the Glazed Pork Belly!


Jennifer Che (Tiny Urban Kitchen) winner of the 2010 Project Food Blog Competition...with some encouraging words!

This has been part of Day 1...haven't even shown you the dessert station from the Foodbuzz Awards Dinner yet. I will be posting it tomorrow! It's getting very late, I'm still tired from the trip, and the 3hr time difference, which really isn't too much!
All in all, I can't seem to stop talking about my trip, and the Foodbuzz people for making this event so successful, and thanking all the sponsors as well, for their generosity to participate in the 3rd Annual Blogger Festival. Also, I am so sorry for not being able to comment to my food blogger friends, since I was so busy enjoying the festivities and meet up with my food blogger friends, and getting to know new bloggers, as well!
I am so glad to be back in my little S. Florida city...no sky scraper building here...among other strange but interesting things I noticed in San Francisco, which is not food related!
Will catch up with more, in at least 3 parts...Nite, nite!


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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Reese's Peanut Butter Chip Chocolate Cookies


Now that Halloween is  over, and your little ones have their candies sorted out by the parents, just to make sure that there are no unsafe, opened candy or something suspicious in the their "goodie bags." Such a fun time of the year for kids and adults, all alike...except for early snow, as some of you have experienced it.
In the meantime, while the kids are enjoying their Halloween goodies...sparingly, for their health sake, I decide to make a large batch of these wonderful chocolate cookies, made with Hershey's Cocoa Powder, using less sugar, because the Reese's Peanut Butter Chips are just perfectly sweet; made from real peanuts and are so darn addictive, you can just snack on those Reese's chips by themselves, packed with peanutty goodness!
Now, for the big announcement! I will be leaving early...I mean real early morning, on Friday, Nov. 4th flying out, at 5:45am to the Foodbuzz Festival, in San Francisco. This is the 3rd. annual event, and it's my first time that I am attending. It is from Nov. 4th, thru Nov. 6th. I was saving my excitement until now...and now, I can hardly contain it. Finally, I will be meeting up with other food bloggers, and get to know them in person.

The sad part is that I have to leave my poor old kitty, Prince, a tall Maine Coon... who is close to 19 years old, and getting frail, otherwise he is still quite alert, and very sweet and caring. He is my "alarm clock" in the morning, and at night reminds me it's late, and makes sure I don't stay up past the 11:00 news...so funny!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Herb Biscuits, and a Giveaway Winner!

These herb biscuits were actually made yesterday morning, for Cookbook Sunday, which I did not post, since my mentor Brenda, from Brenda's Canadian Kitchen is vacationing, and celebrating her birthday, in
Las Vegas.
Brenda  is having the time of her life, in Las Vegas, and keeping us posted with such beautiful and envious photos of the places she visited, and having a glorious time.
But in the meantime, her 8 days are almost over, and she will be back continuing her drool worth cooking, and baking....moving on!


WE HAVE A WINNER for the GIVEAWAY!!!

Congratulations, Carolyn.. from. All Day I Dream About Food.  has such a beautiful light, and balanced food blog, with yummy main dishes, like this recent Lemon Tarragon Chicken  Soup and the unforgettable
Pumpkin Bourbon Cheese Cake with a Spiced Pecan Crust.
You gotta check it out, and browse through all her other delicious recipes.

Carolyn is a gracious and lovely lady, who always visits so many blogs, and leaves such upbeat, and kind comments, you can't help but notice. This is what friendship, and support is all about...and not just...me, me, and only me, and myself. I cannot tell you how it irritates me, when you have a friend request on Foodbuzz, and they answer you back, with "don't forget to visit, and follow my blog, etc. etc., or with a "you're welcome"...and nothing else, or better yet: :DITTO...well, ditto to you too, but I don't want to say it, just keep thinking, Ughhh!...OK. that's enough of that, now I sound like an old Yenta!

You are the winner of the Giveaway cookbook. I left you a comment on your blog, and also where to contact me, so I can mail the book out to you, by tomorrow. I know you will love this book or the person you will be giving it to, as a gift.

Thanks to all of you for participating...and thank you, Carolyn, enjoy the book!

I also would like to let all my friends know that I will be giving away more books, since I have such easy access to them at such a ridiculous small price, no more than $3.00 tops, for a book that is worth at least $30.00, and in new condition. Apparently in this area, either people are just buying them and recycling them, or getting them as gifts and not liking them. At any rate we're the winners for being able to acquire such great books.

Again, I bought this book at yet, another thrift store, that is a huge warehouse, and one entire large section, is loaded with all kinds of books, including great cookbooks. I have a photo of this fabulous book section in my previous post about a month or two ago.

This place is called  World Thrift, and here, you can find everything to your heart's desire. Prices are a little higher than Goodwill, but you have a lot more choices. Books range between $.95 to $3.95 for a recently published book....no kidding. Dressed to Grill, is a hard back cover book, with spiral notebook look, inside. It is inspired for single ladies wanting to please their guy. No photos, just cute drawings, and cute, and silly names for recipes.
For instance, this herb biscuits is called: Hey, I bake biscuits, too! This is a 2002 edition, retails, at $16.95, I paid $.95...now how can you not want to buy a great book for 95 cents?

Recipe, for Herb Biscuits

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 Tbsp. ice cold unsalted butter cut into
small pieces
2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. buttermilk, or plain
yogurt
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil for brushing

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Scatter the butter over the top. With a pastry cutter, or your fingertips, work the butter into the flour until the pieces are no larger than peas. Add the herbs and buttermilk or yogurt, stirring just to blend. (Handle the dough as little as possible to keep the biscuits, tender and light.)

Turn the dough out unto a lightly floured work surface, then, with your fingertips, (I used a rolling pin) press, or roll into a circle about 1/2 in. thick. Cut 3 inch rounds, (I used 2 /12in.) with a biscuit cutter, or the rim of a glass.
Reshape any remaining dough and cut more biscuits. Place the rounds on an ungreased baking sheet. (If making ahead, cover, and refrigerate until ready to pop in the oven.)

Brush the biscuits with olive oil. Bake until golden brown, about 18-20 minutes.
Makes 10 to 12 biscuits. (Incidentally, mine turned out super golden, and flaky.)


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