I stand entirely corrected when it comes to Scandinavian cuisine – I have gone from a total “hater” to someone who LOVES the cuisine. I am always looking for excuses to visit Pläj, one of the best Scandinavian restaurants in San Francisco. I have also (somewhat) successfully converted some my foodie Asian friends who were convinced, like I was, that the cuisine is bland and horrible, by taking them the restaurant. Yes, we suffered from a superiority complex and we were missing out because of it. I suspect eating IKEA’s meatballs had something to do with perpetuating our biases. Real Swedish meatballs are amazing and a dish that you cannot stop eating.
Yes, compared to the food I cook, Scandinavian food is simple. But it isn’t without immense flavor. Scandinavian cooking and ingredients are truly unique and the cuisine is deeply influenced by what nature has “forced” upon the people of the region. Long, dark winters along the Arctic Circle have greatly influenced the cuisine of Scandinavia from Viking times to the current renaissance of “New Nordic” cuisine. Foraging in bountiful times, preserving food for survival during icy winters, a deep connection to the landscape and environment, and a celebration of design, all give an insight into the culture, history and cuisine of the region. And suddenly, all food Scandinavian is receiving it’s rightly deserved global acclaim. Meanwhile, I am obsessed with “The Scandinavian Kitchen” cookbook by Camilla Plum and working my way through it. Perhaps a vacation to a Scandinavian country is next. :)
The mustard sauce below is a bit of a revelation. We taught the recipe at a recent cooking class for high-schoolers. I brought the leftovers home and refused to share them with anyone. It’s a great sauce to have lying around in the refrigerator as it revives even the most boring of dinners. Continue reading
Recently my littlest guy had a birthday and celebrating with his buddies meant figuring our some yummy treats that could be dairy and egg free. We ended up with two tasty desserts for two different celebrations and wanted to share them because it’s always good to have a few extra ideas up your sleeve when it comes to vegan desserts.
We’re so excited that it’s time to start thinking about our A Little Yumminess Around the World summer camp, one of our favorite parts of the year. Registration is now open and we expect slots to fill up fast, so do sign up right away if you’re interested. We are almost half-full already from early registration for returning campers with several campers coming back for the third time!!
We’re bringing back our popular “Cooking Around the World” camp for younger kids during which we’ll visit a different country each day and cook our own snacks and lunch. We’ll also have time for some crafts, kitchen science and other food and culture and community service-related activities. It’s always amazing to see what kids, even this young, can do in the kitchen and how much energy and creativity they bring to the final dishes that we make together. We’re devoting two sessions this summer to a slightly new format for older kids (entering 3rd through 5th). We’ve picked “Great Cities” as our theme and our campers will not only be learning about and cooking food from around the world, they will be planning and executing the menu from start to finish. In addition to hands-on cooking, they’ll have the chance to choose the menu, plan and shop. It’s going to be great fun and we having a blast developing the curriculum.
We’ve put much thought into creating the kind of camp that we’d love to send our own kids to, so we keep our camps small in size (maximum 21 campers) and teach each camp ourselves with the help of our trusted and experienced staff along with a few amazing junior counselors (to find out about our junior counselor program for kids entering 7th grade and up, email us at email@example.com).
Throughout the week we will also have guest presenters including our favorite folks from Bernal Cutlery who will lead a knife skills session and our dear friend, blogger and self-proclaimed curd-nerd Anya Soltero, who will lead a Cheese 101 session.
Here are basic details for all 3 sessions, please click over to our “camps” page for more information. We hope to see your young, budding cooks this summer!
- Time: 9am-3pm (early & extended care are not available)
- Cost: $475 per session ($425 + $50 materials fee, snacks and lunch provided each day)
- Location: Marin Preparatory School (Diamond at 18th Street in San Francisco)
- Session 1: 6/22/15 – 6/26/15 – Entering Grades 3-5, “Great Cities of the World: Paris, Tokyo, Barcelona, Rome, San Francisco” – Click here to register
- Session 2: 7/27/15 – 7/31/15 – Entering Grades 1-4, “Cooking Around the World: Italy, India, Middle East, Mexico, Hawaii” – Click here to register
- Session 3: 8/3/15 – 8/7/15 – Entering Grades 3-5, “Great Cities of the World: Paris, Tokyo, Barcelona, Rome, San Francisco” – Click here to register
If none of the sessions work for you this year – please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be put on our mailing list for next year and other events throughout the year.
It sure is good to be a kid these days. Amazing summer camps, parents shuttling you from one fun activity to another and now this super-fun cheese-making session with San Francisco’s very own milkmaid – Louella Hill. We recently met Louella at a potluck party and she showed up with some gorgeous cheeses to share, all that she made by herself! They were spectacular and we are in awe of her cheese-making skills. She is offering, what I am sure will be very informative and fun class home cheese-making class, on February 8th at our favorite foodie venue in San Francisco, 18 Reasons. Unfortunately our kiddos cannot make it, but if you are around and available, you must sign your kids up!
In two fun-filled hours, you’ll learn about chemistry and food history as you magically turn milk into curds and whey. While that recipe drains, you’ll have a ball making braids and lassos out of just-stretched mozzarella. Plus you head home with your very own cheese project to complete. Continue reading
Learning how to cook an Italian classic.
This is one of those recipes that is so easy it hardly even needs a recipe. It has a list of 3 ingredients (maybe four, but more on that later) and is just only slightly more complicated than boiling pasta. But despite it’s basic-ness Cacio e Pepe one of the most delicious and satisfying pasta dishes ever dreamed up. In fact, when my husband and I were in Rome this last summer we of course made it a point to eat as much great food as possible (no surprise there). Despite the many absolutely amazing meals we had, the one we returned to on our last night (and we were both in total agreement) was a bowl of Cacio e Pepe, a slow-roasted porchetta sandwich, a simple salad and a glass of wine from a little stand down by the Tevere which was set up as part of a summer festival along the river. Last meal in Rome? No contest. Okay maybe dining al fresco by the light of a full moon, bathed in the special magic of one of our favorite cities had something to do with it, but the food really was perfect. Continue reading
Resolutions be damned. Everyone is at the gym. It is highly annoying and making me grumpy. I am in need of a lifestyle change and the New Year really doesn’t have anything to do with it. :) I just want everyone else to leave the gym, so I can work out in peace and quiet and actually get hold of a machine I want to use. So until the gym clears out, I am going to try and eat healthier meals. And when I can go back to the gym without getting trampled, I will resume my regular diet because I am working out again. Basically other people’s resolutions are messing with my life. But fortunately, resolutions are made to be broken (I have mastered the art), and the gym will soon clear out. I give everyone about 6 weeks.
This tandoori shrimp, is a good recipe whether you are on a “New Year resolution diet” or not. We published it a few months back in the San Jose Mercury and then I forgot all about it. I see it making be big comeback. The family loves it, it is easy to make, plus it is healthy – what else can one ask for? Okay, it is sort of healthy, it is extra delicious with some of my spiced creamed spinach. If you must, you can omit the cream in the spinach, but it does take some of the fun out of life. Served with a side of basmati rice pilaf, it is just what the New Year ordered. Good, wholesome, flavorful, real food! Continue reading
As I am sitting here writing about a wonderful spot to hit for after school snacking – thinking we will go there tomorrow after the school pick-up, I find out that school is out tomorrow! Stacie who is a San Francisco native, said she only remembers schools in the Bay Area being closed for earthquakes, never weather. Apparently there is an epic storm coming and I am a little concerned. More so because I had a big day of work planned, and having the little monkey at home throws a bit of a wrench in my plans to get a lot of work done….
Back to Little Bee Baking on Cortland Avenue in Bernal Hill, and how much we love it for an after-school snack. The owner was a pastry chef at Chez Panisse (instant street cred in the Bay Area) and her goodies prove that she can bake. We LOVE their brownies – almost as good as my friend Vivian makes (even the day-old brownies are amazing). It’s a cozy, warm and welcoming little spot and almost gives you a hug as you walk in. They serve ice cream treats, fruit tarts, cookies, and cakes and also offer take-home and bake cookie and tart doughs, special occasion cakes, cupcakes, candies and tarts. We always end up eating some goodies right there and bringing a batch home for another day. It’s a great stop off before you hit the amazing kids section at the Bernal branch of the San Francisco Public Library. Little Bee Baking + Bernal Library = perfect after-school outing! Continue reading