Inspired by all the colorful varieties of apples in the market right now, we did our own apple tasting this week. There are a lot of lesson plans and educational exercises for apple tasting (google “apple tasting kids” or search on Pinterest — you’ll find a ton). You can make predictions, comparisons, even weave writing and graphing into it if you like. Maybe one day we’ll do a more scientific version of this, but for now we were happy just to keep it simple. We cut up our apples, labeled them A, B, C, D, E and captured a few broadstroke impressions as we sampled and each picked our favorite at the end. The kids absolutely loved it and it sparked some really fun and interesting conversation. My little guy has already asked when we are doing this again. Continue reading
This blog is usually about our adventures with our kids, but today I am (strangely) inspired by what Stacie and I recently created in the kitchen, as she was teaching me how to make pie dough. We had a very “Nigel Slater” moment – though I really shouldn’t compare to him. He is a hugely talented cook and an epic writer, and well, we are just regular people. We opened the fridge – pulled out what we had and came up with this thing of beauty and great taste – a delicata squash tossed in pesto, caramelized onions with thyme, goat cheese and shavings of aged gouda galette. A little kitchen magic, in my humble opinion. And a smile I can’t seem to wipe off my face. Perfect day spent cooking with a good friend. There isn’t much better.
And yeah, pie dough isn’t that hard to make.
These days kitchen playdates and food adventures with our kids are harder and harder to schedule given the demands of school and after school activities. Whenever we have a day off school, Stacie and I try to relive the days when the kids were with us a lot more and we would go explore all things food related. In fact that was the genesis of this blog – the food adventures we shared with our kiddos. We have come a long way since then, but whenever we can spend a day recreating those carefree (and delicious days), we do just that.
This past Monday, we spent the day exploring the Japanese Tea Garden on a San Francisco City Guides walking tour, and then eating some yummy Chinese food at San Tung, checking out multiple other shops and food spots in the Sunset and finally ending the day by making some delicious raspberry bars together. A little ambitious perhaps, but we had a super fun day!
And these raspberry crumble bars are “idiot-proof”, which means even I can make them again without Stacie and the kids helping me. Luca and Ria could probably have made them all by themselves. Matteo, I have decided is my twin (though far more adorable) – he was just hanging around to get his fingers into to everything to get a taste!!
We really love this buckwheat crepe (galette) recipe from the always excellent David Lebovitz — it’s a little less eggy and a bit more crisp and delicate than other crepe recipes we have tried and we love the deep color and the nuttiness from the buckwheat. I’ve made this recipe so, so many times over the years, but realized that I have never shared it here on the blog. Now is the perfect time, with that foggy chill in the air and major cravings for cozy foods like cheese and chocolate setting in. Crepe season is here! Continue reading
We are big fans of Spanish food these days and tapas dinners are becoming more and more frequent at our homes. We made this Spanish tortilla at one of summer camps and the kiddos loved making and eating it. :)
This Spanish tortilla is a fantastic dish to make ahead (on the weekend, perhaps?) and have ready for breakfasts during the week. It’s a simple dish in which the sum of it’s parts is far tastier than the individual components. It is non-traditional to pre-boil the potatoes, but it makes the cooking process even easier. Reheat in the morning and serve with some crusty bread rubbed with a tomato and garlic for a true taste of Spain. I have also been known to stuff a wedge of this tortilla between two slices of bread and call it “school lunch”.
Fall is in the air and basil is on its way out of our farmer’s markets in a blink of an eye, so now’s the time to make that last batch of pesto before it’s going, going, gone!
Most recipes you will find for pesto genovese are no more than a few sentences long. They basically boil down to “throw stuff in a blender and blitz away” (or a mortar and pestle if you want to be traditional) and toss with pasta. There’s also not much difference of opinion when it comes to the ingredients — almost all agree on basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, salt and parmegiano reggiano. While making an average pesto is a fairly simple thing to do, making a sublime pesto — one with perfectly balanced flavors, that keeps it’s amazing color and coats pasta just right — is like some kind of Jedi magic trick (if you’ve had the handkerchief pasta with pesto at Farina in San Francisco, you know what I’m talking about. Watch the video at the bottom of this post and be prepared to drool!)
We attended 18 Reasons’ first Barn Dance a few years ago and had the best time ever – dancing and eating possibly the best burger we had ever eaten. Our little one was asking for months to go back to a barn dance. We did attend the fun but albeit over-crowded Pie Ranch Barn dance, but it was not quite as much fun as the 18 Reasons Barn Dance.
The afternoon will start with games and activities for adults and kids, including farm tours, lasso lessons, face painting, and a lively game of horseshoes. Fatted Calf, Bi Rite, and Primavera Tamales have generously donated dinner, which will be served picnic style and accompanied by fresh lemonade, beer, and wine from Casey Flat Vineyards. Hang out on a hay bale and enjoy a beautiful late summer evening. Continue reading