Monday, August 30, 2010


Ever have some angry clients at work ruining your day, being stuck in rush hour traffic that takes you 2 hours to get home, or getting into the 10 items or less lane at the grocery store, only to find an old lady there with an entire cart full? Its just one of those days, when all you want to is go home, relax, and pour yourself a glass of wine.

Except....You can't find the darn wine opener.

No fear- someone (in France, of course!) has found a way to prevent utter desperation and depression and get to the wine. Simply use a shoe and a concrete wall to open that wine bottle.

Genius, I say!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Marinated Olives

These are such a quick and easy thing to whip together, and are so zesty and perfect for a warm summer afternoon. Make them ahead of time so they get to marinate, and serve as an appetizer or even just nibble with a glass of wine.

1 jar Green Spanish Olives, drained
1 jar Black Olives, drained
1 jar Kalamata Olives, drained
Dried Herbs (your choice)
Zest of 1/2 Orange
Zest of 1/2 Lemon
1 tsp Minced Garlic
1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp good Classic Olive Oil

After you drain the olives, pat dry on a paper towel to remove excess water and oil. Mix together in a bowl, and add any dried herbs you like (I used oregano, thyme, and sage). Add garlic, fresh zest, and oil and vinegar. Mix well, and refrigerate for up to a day before serving, so that the flavors really infuse. Serve with hummus, or eat them plain! A wonderful, quick appetizer perfect for these long summer days.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Blackboard Eats

Dinner reservations to Camino with dinner at 30% off= UNAVAILABLE


I am no longer in San Francisco. :(

Unless you live in the most fantastic culinary cities in the country (New York, LA, or San Francisco), you can find unbelievable restaurant deals every Wednesday from a great new site called Blackboard Eats. If you live anywhere but here, you can still take advantage of Blackboard Eats* everywhere else by ordering food and drink products right to your door. They also advertise for other great deals around your city, and around the blogosphere. Check them out!

*I do not work for Blackboard Eats, nor do I get paid for this post. I just like their concept and their products.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Scoma's Lazy Man's Cioppino

Here is the recipe from our visit to Scoma's. It can be found on their website as well. Since I live in Florida, my re-creation of this dish would include fresh Tilapia or Snapper in place of the Cod. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

Scoma's Lazy Man's Cioppino
(Serves 4 - 6 people)
Prep time: 30-45 minutes
Cook time: 30-40 minutes

1⁄4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic
1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
2 cups fish stock or clam juice
6 cups of your favorite tomato sauce
1 lb rock cod cut into 1" cubes
1.5 lbs Manila clams
12oz prawns (deveined and peeled)
1 lb cooked crab meat
8oz bay shrimp
12oz scallops
Salt and pepper


  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat and cook garlic for one minute.
  2. Add the onions and let them sweat for two or three minutes.
  3. Turn heat to high and add the wine to deglaze. Cook for 2-3 minutes (or until reduced in half) then reduce heat to medium.
  4. Add fresh oregano and basil.
  5. Add the tomato sauce and bring to a boil.
  6. Slowly add fish, shellfish, and shrimp meat.
  7. Bring the cioppino back to a boil and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until all the seafood is cooked.
  8. Add cooked crab meat.
  9. Thin the cioppino to your liking with fish stock or clam juice.
  10. Adjust the seasoning with salt & pepper.
  11. Serve in a large bowl with fresh sourdough bread and enjoy!

This dish is a natural with most kinds of pasta such as linguine, angel hair, fettuccini or penne.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Napa & San Francisco

We took a little vacation this summer.... an important one, in fact: Our Honeymoon. I know what you're thinking.... we have been married for a year and a half. But the truth of it is, we couldn't go anywhere after our wedding, due to some work training and other friends' weddings. So we decided to take it this summer. We still told people it was a delayed honeymoon, since we got married in January... of LAST year (we left out that minor detail). So off to California we go!

Napa Valley and a little town called Yountville were our first stops. The grapes and vines were in full bloom, and the countryside was so lush.

We went to several vineyards: Silver Oak, Grgich Hills, Merryvale, and Cakebread. All were so beautiful and it was so cool to learn about how they cultivate and age their grapes, and end up with such delicious wines. We tried lots of different types of wines, even though the standard Cabernet Sauvignon is our go-to wine. We may have even come home with some bottles, to open only for special occasions.

Napa Valley is not just about wine though. The food there is equally amazing. We went to Ristorante Tra Vigne, a recommendation from some friends, and I have to say that their fresh mozzarella changed my life! They make it on site, and it had just been pulled out of pasteurization that day. Then they place it in a small bowl with a little fresh olive oil, and warm it up just enough. They bring it to your table and slice it for you, and then you spread it over their freshly baked and toasted sourdough bread. It is HEAVEN! Here's me with what was left of it:

We also went to Mustard's Grill for dinner.... I had their famous Mongolian Pork Chop, which was delicious. However, my husband got the New York Strip, which was even more amazing!! Lets just say, we didn't leave hungry!

Our next stop on our trip was on our way to Monterrey/Carmel. Fifteen years ago, when I was last in California, my family stopped in a little town called Gilroy, the "Garlic Capital of the World", and tried some amazing garlic delicacies. So on our trip this year, we happened to be in time for their Annual Gilroy Garlic Festival. I insisted that we go. While it was ten times as large as any festival we have here in Florida in all its craziness, it was definitely a great experience. I made my husband try Garlic Ice Cream (I have had it before and liked it a lot!), since he is a hugs ice cream lover. Here he is, trying the Praline Pecan Garlic Ice Cream:

It was pretty delicious, but we wish we had ordered it like seasoned festival-goers scooped into half of a cantaloupe. A new idea for summer!!!

After Monterrey/Carmel, we drove up Big Sur and Highway 1 up the coast of California to our last destination: San Francisco. There, we saw the redwoods at Muir Woods, took a tour of Alcatraz, and hung out with the sea lions at Fisherman's Wharf.

There were also so many great restaurants, but here were our favorites:

Bobo's: The Steak, The Crab. This restaurant certainly lives up to its name. We met some of our California friends at their favorite steak joint on Lombard Street. They have a bone-in filet mignon that is out of this world, and with an iron skillet roasted mussels, crab, and shrimp combo to start with, they made the restaurant live up to its name. Their sides are served family style, with amazing pancetta brussel sprouts and a twice baked potato the size of my arm. While it is not the most well-known or popular restaurant in San Francisco, it is definitely one not to miss!

Our last stop before heading home was Scoma's seafood restaurant on the Wharf. While it doesn't have the best view, it does have some of the freshest seafood right off the dock! Order the LazyMan's Cioppino for a real treat (recipe to follow).

Between the wine, restaurants, and amazing sights, our honeymoon was certainly worth the wait!