Last night I enjoyed one of the best ice creams I have ever had. It was a Thai peanut ice cream from Eos, that small plates place in Cole Valley. It was dense and creamy, with undertones of spiciness, like peanut butter ice cream on speed. It killed Eos' salted caramel, and their roasted banana as well (though both were excellent). Pints are for sale for $7, with flavors changing daily. The chocolate with candied ginger sounded good too, but there is only so much room in one woman's belly.
I know, I know, by now you're sick of hearing me yammer on about the world's most amazing jam. But maybe you'd like to learn a little something about the men who made it? Read about the trip to Europe and the mind-blowing dessert that started the whole thing over at KQED's Bay Area Bites.
Blah. Blah blah blah blah blah. That's about all I have to say about food these days. I've had a cold most of the week, which means my taste buds have deserted me. I even sat through what I'm sure was a delicious three-course working lunch at a cute little French bistro without being able to taste a thing. (sniff sniff)
Dinners have been equally unexciting -- last night I made myself scrambled eggs after drinks with the work crew. Tonight, however, should provide some fodder for the ole blog in the form of dinner at Quince. I am already salivating over the thought of their ethereal pastas.
The last few weeks have been full of work, including several chef interviews. Joel Huff -- a cutie patootie. Sean O'Brien -- the nicest, most down to Earth chef in San Francisco.
I did luck upon the best cupcake ever ever ever just the other day (chocolate souffle cake with coffee icing from someone I bet you've never heard of!). As soon as I meet with the woman behind the magic, I'll tell you where to find one of your very own.
If I can manage to take some shots at the summer market Saturday, I'll post some eye candy. I know there hasn't been much of that lately.
...is the chicken and caramel sauce in a clay pot at Aux Delices. Who knew you could eat freaking caramel sauce for dinner?! It's the ga kho, with chunks of sauteed chicken bathed in a thin, savory caramel broth. With a glass of Viognier, nothing soothes the week night soul better.
I got a lot of swanky-fun birthday presents this year, but none more original than my very own cocktail. Many of us are currently obsessed with St.-Germain's elderflower liqueur; it is floral, exotic, honeyed, just a touch sweet, and its nose reminds me a lot of Ethiopian tej, or honey wine. The elderflowers grow wild in the foothills of the Alps, and their scent fades so fast, the folks at St.-Germain organize "bohemian gatherers" who deliver the blossoms via specially rigged bicycles. The bottle itself is made of very heavy carved glass, and it resembles an oversized flacon of precious eau de cologne.
(sigh) Isn't it romantic?
After watching two good friends fight over BevMo's last bottle, imagine my surprise when I was the lucky recipient of such a bottle. To think that I have friends selfless enough not to hog all the St.-Germain for themselves is almost too much to comprehend.
Without further ado, here is the utterly divine, dangerously drinkable cocktail created by the blogosphere's favorite mixologist in honor of my 21st* birthday. (Word is her husband was the affable taster.)
"Thomas gave me a beautiful bright red tomato he grew -- nothing better than that. Vegetables you eat grown near you have nutrients you really need. Good!" -- Sara Crawford Towe Wood, my grandmother, in a letter to me dated August 5, 2007
Yesterday I popped into The Candy Store and chatted up the gregarious owner, Diane Campbell. I really didn't intend to walk out with a gigantic bag full of candy -- pinkie swear! -- but when I learned that she makes custom party favors, I was sunk. After all, last night I was hosting a small birthday party (with a little help from Nua) and all my best local girlfriends were in attendance, and I thought what would be cuter than miniature Chinese takeout boxes stuffed with hard to find candy?
Diane gave me tastes of everything to help me decide. In the end, I walked away with: > chocolate olives (see photo) -- white or dark chocolate around a crunchy almond nougatine center > gummi cherries -- chosen for their vivid reds and greens > chocolate toffee caramels -- need I say more? > black licorice chalk -- a sudden and unexpected new addiction, and this from a girl who despises black licorice. 6 out of 7 taste testers agree it rocks. > butter caramels -- "We go together like shama lama lama lama..." > ultimate malt balls -- a triple threat covering of white, dark, and milk chocolate > river rocks -- gorgeous smooth "stones" in all colors and flavors, like chocolate-covered apricots, chocolate-covered almonds, and marzipan
Thanks to Diane for giving me my very own happy birthday party favor, a mixture of chalk and olives and a chocolate bar brimming with caramelized bacon!