Friday, January 21, 2011

San Francisco

Last week we went to San Francisco - my first time in California, as well as The Boy's. We both had some time off and good friends there (who graciously gave us their home, home brew, keys, and a hand drawn map of the BART system). I spent most of my time taking in gorgeous views (twin peaks, dolores park, golden gate bridge, any hill I could get to the top of) and contemplating my next meal. 
San Francisco seen from Alcatraz Island
So what all did we eat? 
  • Plantain cakes with cumin sour cream and black beans in the Mission
  • Roti bread with curry dipping sauce Downtown
  • French bread french toast with mascarpone (brilliant!) and berries in the Mission
  • lots and lots of seafood in Monterey
  • pad thai somewhere within view of the Golden Gate Bridge 
  • unbelievable dumplings and hot pot in Chinatown
  • Real Italian Pizza (cracker thin crust! mozzarella di bufalo! heart be still!) and a frutti di bosco-cream tart in North Beach
  • blood orange tiramisu in the Mission
  • build your own garlic bread near the painted ladies
  • vegan split pea soup in the Mission 
  • lots of beverages, everywhere: Trappist in Oakland, Monk's Kettle and Pi Bar in the Mission, mimosas with every breakfast
Do you sense a pattern? Obviously, I stayed in the Mission district. We had great late night burritos and quesadillas, awesome breakfasts, and easy transportation. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Nutella Peanut Butter Brownies

Yes.  You read that correctly.  Nutella.  Peanut butter.  Brownies.  Together.  FINALLY.  And what's that on top?  Why yes, that is a dark chocolate ganache.
I made a batch of these last week and took them to three (!) three separate occasions.  A New Year's Eve game night party (this is our new favorite game), the office, and a fabulous friend's birthday party.  

Why three places, you ask?  Well, it's nothing to do with them not tasting good.  In fact, it's quite the opposite.  It just happens to be one of the richest treats I've made in a long time.  And people, a 9 x 13 dish of these brownies?  Well, look at the photo.  A little goes a looooooong way.

I first made this a few years ago, adapted from the great Deb.  Over time I've perfected my own tweaks and additions.  Such as, um, the Nutella.***  And the sprinkling of sea salt.  And all the dark chocolate.  Good lord I'm hungry again.

PS: J Fierce is in San Francisco, eating at Chez Panisse, finding the origins of Sriracha, and visiting friends.  I'm sure she is going to come back with lots of stories.  I miss my sister!

***Ask me sometime about the origins of Nutella.  I will use my best Italian accent and tell you the story of the only good thing Mussolini ever did, thanks to my best friend Francesca.  Hey Francesca when are you guest-posting, caccolina?!