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Tasty Side to Life Tours Website

Friday, April 30, 2010

Ahh Spring has Sprung

This dandelion makes me want to go lay down on a big fluffly blanket in a perfectly manicured french park behind the cathedral with a few magazines, french grammar cards and a good book! Maybe later today but for now I'm headed over to a friend from Madrid's flat to make homemade traditional Paella. Can't wait!

I'll post pictures soon. I think I'm driving to Amiens, France this weekend for a quick visit and then trip to the sea. Already missing the SF bay so heading to Normandy to Cayeux sur Mer.

Super excited!! Have a great weekend :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

My Absolute Favorite Restaurants/ Wine Bars in San Francisco

Beautiful San Francisco, California is a city renowned for it's eclectic Victorian architecture, Golden Gate Bridge, steep rolling hills, and chilly fog which rolls in across the bay almost nightly. When in this great city make sure to apprecaite some homey San Francisco hot spots and dive into Californian cuisine!

First stop: Ottimista

Perfect Thursday night spot for great wine and cheese plate + neighborhood ambience for visitors.

I love Ottimista and my friends and I have been going here for years. It's won the Best of the Bay Award for 2 years in a row which I'm not surprised at all about. It's consistently a good no frills meal.

At Ottimista you should def sit outside under the heated patio, bring your doggy and snack on the Artisan cheese plate with seasonal accompaniments and toasted walnut levain which is soo yummy and pairs perfectly with a glass of Prosecco (or any other of their 300 wine selections)! Yumm a few cheeses some honey and grapes is just perfect. If you're hungry try the Organic Little Gem Caesar salad with lemonanchovy dressing, reggiano and house made croutons or one of the Pizza's of the day like Organic mushrooms, asparagus, and basil pesto or the Fresh Pappardelle with braised lamb,red wine and Rosemary.The seating inside is very comfortable and the long wood bar is also a nice little social place to sit and have a glass of vino before a night out or even for a small office happy hour.


Ottimista Enoteca'cafe

- www.ottimistaenoteca.com
1838 Union Street, San Francisco - (415) 674-8400

Note : 3,5 sur 5,0

35 avis, itinéraires, menu autres »

Second stop: Kokkari

I Love, Love, Love Kokkari! It's a locals absolute favorite restaurant in SF. So fresh, beautiful and delicious!

Nothing beats the Grilled Octopus - with lemon, oregano & olive oil and the Melitzanosalata, Taramosalata, Tzatziki, Favosalata or Tirosalata small plates with the amazing housemade grilled pita - for $6.5 each are all incredible. I'm not quite sure how they make their pita but it is perfectly thick and ohhh soo good. You have to try it! I would love to get the recipe to make it. I also seriously could eat the Grilled Lamb Riblets - with lemon & oregano -every single day of my life and I'm not even a lamb fan. I think if a restaurant can take a meat that you normally really don't enjoy and make you a die hard believer I think they are definitely doing something right!!

Third stop: Globe Restaurant

I love Globe! Sit at the bar, have a house made Cosmo from the Bartenders own home stewed cherries and enjoy!!

Globe is up there as one of my favorites in SF. It's a perfect small charming little gem in the financial district. I love to just sit at the bar with one or two friends and enjoy. The bartender really makes the most amazing cosmo's.

 I especially love the salad lardon: frisee with warm bacon vinaigrette and poached chick eggs. It is the perfect salad and the saltiness of the bacon with the softness of the poached eggs is just glorious. Also the macaroni and Tillamook cheese side and Brussel sprouts and capers are incredible. I love the new trend of tart, rustic roasted brussel sprouts and tangy capers. Sounds like an odd combo but its utterly scrumptious! 

Also order the pizza's if you can. I love the wild mushroom and black truffle oil pizza and the sopressata with egg sunnyside up. Egg on pizza is just a must.


Résultats de recherche

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

2 Delicious, Fresh and Bright Salads: Lebanese and French

Both of these salads are soo flavorful and absolutely delicious. I can't begin to tell you how bright and fresh the avocado tastes served with a basic infused lemon olive oil (which is surprisingly super simple to do at home).

Why not serve these two salads with a french inspired gourmet pasta? We took thin angel hair pasta quickly boiled it and made a homemade sauce of tuna, onion, garlic, creme fraiche, tomato, butter and shrimp. It was perfect. I really had never thought of creme fraiche and tuna before but they worked perfectly together.

Of course don't forget to finish the meal with a nice bottle of wine from Bordeaux and a moelleux au chocolat with farm fresh strawberries and french vanilla ice cream. Sounds like a great little Sat or Sunday lunch, right?

Here is the repas in french...

Avocat hache, citron, ail et huile d'olive servis dans son ecorce. Aussi une salade libanese avec tomate, citron, et persile et pates oceane mixte-de ton, onion, creme fraiche et a sauce de tomate, beure, et crevettes....


Avocado salad with lemon olive oil

Make homemade lemon olive oil for the avocado. Use a bright fresh and flavorful extra virgin olive oil if you have it. Zest 1 lemon into the oil and then squeeze a few tablespoons into the mixture. Stir and reserve. Cleanly scoop out the insides of 2 avocados and reserve the shells to serve the salad in. Roughly mix up the avocado in a bowl and add salt and pepper. Add the lemon olive oil to the bowl. Scoop the avocado back into the shell to present and serve. Style with a sprig of fresh dill! Voila...

Lebanese Tomato and Parsley Salad

Chop up a few tomatoes and a handful of parsely. Throw tomatoes and parsley into a bowl and dress with a squeeze of fresh lemon, olive oil, salt + Pepper, and half of clove of fresh finely diced garlic. Serve.

Pasta avec a sauce homemade sauce of tuna, onion, garlic, creme fraiche, tomato, butter and shrimp

Boil some water in a large pot. In a fry pan begin to slowly cook a finely sliced onion with a tablespoon or so of butter. When onions are soft and translucent add the can tuna, then the creme fraiche and small can of tomato puree. Lastly add the shrimp to the pan and cook for 4 minutes making sure the shrimp are cooked (but not tough). Drain the thin angel hair pasta and pour in the sauce pan to coat completely (a good trick to really cover your pasta in sauce). Use a fork to create pretty high rounds of pasta on each plate. Top with some freshly grated Parmesan.

Moelleux au Chocolat

5 eggs
150g dark chocolate (70%)
150g butter (2/3 cup)
65 g flour (1/2 cup)
50 g sugar (1/4 cup)

1. Preheat the oven to 390 F or 200c
2. Melt butter and add sugar and whip together
3. Add eggs
4. Heat chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water until melted thoroughly
5. Add chocolate to bowl of butter and sugar and slowly add flour
6. Grease a large tarte pan with butter and add flour to make sure it doesn't stick. Pour in batter.
7. Bake for 20 mins in the oven. Check it to make sure the middle has not cooked. Remove when the middle is still a bit wiggly and looks pretty raw. Serve immediately with the ice cream or creamy gelato and farm fresh strawberries!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Prosciutto & Fresh Mozzarella Crepe with an Arugula, tomato, avocado salad and a glass of Cidre

So I magically made it back to France after a good 8 days at home in San Francisco. When I first heard about the Volcanic eruption I thought it was a joke. I mean it was quite blockbuster"esk" wasn't it? A volcano erupts and causes the closure of hundreds of airports in Europe due to a cloud of ash?? I mean, really? Well, a joke it was not and due to the Icelandic Eyjafjallajokull volcano disaster I was actually contemplating taking the QE2 ship for 6 days from NY to Southhampton, England. I think it would have been a hilarious and amazing adventure to meet handfuls of other trapped people desperately trying to get back to Europe and have 6 random and glorious days at sea. Only problem was the QE2 was totally booked and I couldn't even get through to them on the phone. So, so much for the QE2..maybe one day though :)

Despite the anxiety of how I was getting back to France I loved my impromptu trip to beautiful, sunny California. It's crazy how much you really appreciate a city after you're gone for 8 months. I can't even begin to tell you how great my trip back was. I mean who can complain about seeing all their best friends, having nights of girl talk, laying on sandy beaches after a hike and drinking glasses and glasses of wine at home, at ottimista on Union in San Francisco http://www.ottimistasf.com/and having a going away dinner at Kokkari-the best restaurant in town. I also thoroughly enjoyed sailing in the bay with friends at sunset on a Friday and relaxing when the wind cooled to eat baguette, fresh oozy, creamy and ooh so good creme infused burratta from AG Ferrarri http://www.agferrari.com/and a sheep, cow, goat blend with olives, California sparkling wine and Chardonnay. In my 10 days home I went sailing, hiking and did a plethora of exercise classes (Daily Method, yoga, pilates, etc) and came back to France feeling thoroughly refreshed and healthy.

The 2nd night back in France after not crawling out of bed until noonish I somehow made it on a 3 km walk to a Thursday local market. I was feeling inspired to make Michael Mina's scallops 3 ways and purchased almost all the ingredients before I heard that Reza wouldn't be back from class til 8. So, I decided to scrap my cooking idea and just relax and read a french book.

By 9ish I realized I probably needed to eat and decided to whip something up quickly. This is literally of those meals that you can make without going to the grocery store and although cooking a crepe might seem quite daunting it really isn't and I urge you to give it a try! Once you do you'll be making them all the time.

The ingredients for the crepe are very basic and you can fill it with anything you have available. Eggs and cheese, cheese and ham, smoked salmon, dill and creme fraiche, turkey and pesto, chicken and artichoke hearts, etc. I had prosciutto and mozzarella handy and had to make a quick dinner in less than 20 minutes so I decided to go with a light crepe and fresh salad. The proscuitto and mozzerella are the perfect combination and the saltness of the proscuitto perfectly compliments the creamy soft mozzerella. I garnished the crepe with a few finely diced tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil and salt. For the salad I simply washed the arugula, diced some avocado and tomato and then dressed the salad just with a squeeze of lemon, good quality french olive oil and salt. I then broke off a piece of fresh baguette which I bought warm at the local boulangerie. I paired the meal with my recent obsession Cornouaille Cidre or Cider from Beaubourg France. With the left over crepe i melted some 70% chocolate + creme de nosiettes au miel or hazelnut spread similar to nutella! I topped the dessert crepe with a dollop of creme and a few raspberries.

Bon Appetite!

Basic Quick and Easy Crepe Recipe

1 cup flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
pinch salt
2 Tbls melted butter


In a large skillet melt the butter. After it's melted pout into a large mixing bowl and whisk together the butter, flour and eggs. Gradually add in milk, water and salt and beat well until smooth. Heat the skillet which should already be lightly oiled from the melted butter earlier. Over high heat pour the batter into the griddle making sure to quickly swirl the pan and lift it up off the heat so the crepe is an even thin circle. You barely want the crepe batter to cover the pan so be careful not to pour in too much! Really, the thinner the better here (but make sure there aren't any holes). Cook the crepe for a few minutes and then lean the pan to the far edge and flip the crepe over. Add the prosciutto in a big piece and broken up pieces of the mozzarella. Add some fresh rosemary if you feel like it to add some extra flavor. Fold the crepe and flip one more time. Serve the plate still warm and fold one last time so it's a small triangle. Rebutter each time you start a new crepe until the batter is gone! Make sure to leave some batter for a few desserts crepes after you finish your meal. For dessert simply add butter and sugar or honey and kiwis or peaches and marmalade or chocolate, nutella and bananas and strawberries.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Lucian Freud l'atelier

Two weekends ago for my birthday I went to the Lucian Freud exhibit at the Pompidou, Paris. I was lucky enough to have a friend in from Australia and meandering around the exhibit was a great little Saturday! I could have probably spent all day wondering around the Pompidou because there is soooo much to see but we got tired after a few well spent hours.

Lucian is British and is Sigmund Freud's grandson. His portraits consists of nudes with exposed flesh layered in thick paint. It was pretty cool. Check it out.

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