If only it were possible to bottle summer and store it away. Then, on a whim, you could open it to let sunshine, frozen desserts, and grill smells brighten even the rainiest of days.
When I was a kid, I almost had it figured out. I’d be at my grandmother Noni’s house in late summer — where time was kept in matches of badminton and meals defined by how many grilled scalloped potatoes you ate and I’d run about with a net and jar bottling fireflies. To me, fireflies were the epitome of summer because they’d dance about in the dark and make the room so bright that I could read Nancy Drew by their light. The next day we’d let them go and I’d inevitably be saddened because I’d remember that both the fireflies and summer were fleeting.
Now that I’m older, I take a different approach. Each season, I round up the season’s produce, get crafty in the kitchen, and lock in the flavor at its prime. Over the years I’ve pickled, preserved, candied, and canned all in the name of sealing the season tight in a jar. But this year, I took a different approach and started distilling those sunshine-filled flavors into shrubs.
Continue Reading: Summer, From Concentrate →
To Do List: June 2011 – A surf film, frozen Mexican treats, cookbooks, Coconut Mojitos, wine in the park, and tableside tofu make up this month’s list.
Continue Reading: To Do List: June 2011 →
Road trips are where friends reveal their true colors. Yet after double-digit hours on the road, thousands of miles traveled, and getting to know my friends on a whole new level, I still adore them thoroughly. I may like them even more than when we started, but, we have decidedly different views on things — particularly when it concerns margaritas.
Continue Reading: Road Fuel: The Great Margarita Debate →
There is one less bird in Texas because of me. Technically, I wasn’t driving but I feel guilty just the same. While zooming our Mazda rental through the midst of nowhere Texas, there was a sudden flash of yellow and a thud. We wrote it off as a close call until we went to return the car and noticed the looks on the employees’ faces. Turns out a yellow-breasted bird was lodged firmly into the grill of our car and we unwittingly traveled a few days with it there– suffice it to say I was horrified at our new hood ornament.
Continue Reading: Grill Bird and Other Adventures →
San Francisco’s Mission District and I have a love-hate relationship. In the six years I’ve lived in the city, I’ve frequented it for food, fun, and other adventures, yet have always been a bit annoyed by the prevalence of hipsters, hookers, and other hooligans. Recently, I found myself professing my love for the Mission during a culinary walking tour, so it’s decidedly more love than hate. Truth be told the Mission’s a melting pot of flavors, experiences, and adventures that I’ve come to adore. Here are ten places to check out in the Mission (and a map to tens more that I frequent for everything from gifts to good eats).
Continue Reading: Local Adventure: My Mission →
Strawberry and rhubarb: for me it’s a pitch-perfect pairing trumped for me by only a few other dynamic duos, like chocolate and malt or ginger and rum. But strawberry and rhubarb is the most elusive of the bunch. Growing up on the west coast, there wasn’t a ton of rhubarb around and it is still only around for a handful of weeks each year. Inevitably, what ensues is a strawberry-rhubarb extravaganza where I use it in any form from compote to sundae topper to this sparkler.
Continue Reading: Happy Hour: Spring Revival Cocktail →
Today may be Cinco de Mayo, but I consider it the unofficial National Margarita Day. Though it has become a drinking holiday second only to St. Pat’s and though most people have no clue what they’re celebrating, Cinco has stolen our hearts with all the tequila-induced and guacamole-laced celebration.
Continue Reading: Dos Gardenias Cocktail Recipe →
I was like the Nancy Drew of birthday cakes. When I was younger, my parents would hide my birthday cake and, with my best friend in tow, we’d sleuth about until we found it. Inevitably, we’d swipe some of frosting only to feign innocence when the cake came was found semi-mutilated. As I’ve grown older, I’ve opted for a more calm and quiet celebration and have even come to dislike most birthday cakes. But this year’s a different story.
Continue Reading: Happy Hour: Cake and Cocktails →
I started my day of with drinks when I stopped by Access Hollywood Live this morning to mix up some equal-opportunity Valentine’s Day cocktails (read: for couples and singles alike). All the cocktails are elegant yet very doable, even for cocktail novices, so try your hands at one be it for Valentines or the Grammys.
Continue Reading: Happy Hour: Shaking Up Romance →