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This 12-minute reading is from The Soul of a Chef , on my first experience with a tasting menu. Though I had special consideration at the meal—I was not a paying customer—it is an honest and emotional description of what remains the most important restaurant meal of my life. I thought it apropos, following my previous post addressing recent criticisms in the media of today’s tasting menus. It’s not a polished video—I simply set up a tripod in my kitchen before dinner and read—so please forgive my lack of video production skills! [ For more information on what led up to my unlikely passage from unknown Cleveland-based writer to dinner at The French Laundry and what was to follow, read The Main Dish , a 35-page memoir of becoming an accidental food writer. It was published as a Kindle Single, $1.99, and is available on all devices (iPads, etc.); just download the free Kindle app .] If you liked this post, you might be interested in these links: My first run-in with Tony Bourdain happened to be in print when he reviewed The Soul of a Chef for The New York Times Book Review . My book  The Making of a Chef  had not been published at the time of the meal in question, making my presence there all the more unlikely. One of my assistant Emilia’s favorite tasting menus was had in Switzerland at Chef Phillipe Rochat’s Hotel de Ville. Video: Next versus elBulli : Preparing for the elBulli tasting at Next restaurant in Chicago. Not only Copenhagen’s top restaurant but, some say, the world’s: Noma . © 2013 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2013 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.

Source: ruhlman.com

Yeah, finally I gotten the ramekins that I am looking to buy for long long time. Maybe some of you will wonder why so difficult for me to buy the ramekins, this is because where i living now is only a small town, and i can only get those basic baking tools and equipments. When I first see Shirley ( kokken69 ) tried Ellie (Almost Bourdain) 's Lemon, lime , orange souffle , i immediately bookmarked this recipe. And Shirley 's blue ramekins look just gorgeous! But I'm happy to get this ordinary white ramekin for time being. If I visit to SG next time, I must get some of these blue ramekins. Anyway, I scaled down the original recipe to 1/4 only for a trial. I also twist a bit of the original recipe, as I wanted to try adding lemongrass into baking after i tasted Swee San's special dessert in our recent blogger meet up (she added leomgrass), the lemongrass aroma in her dessert is unforgettable. This is my 1st time tasted souffle, the texture is similar like Chinese's Tau Foo Wah, quite good. The lemongrass aroma was wonderful and unforgetable. Orange and Lemongrass Souffle *make 4 x 3” round ramekin, and 2x 2.5” round ramekin (source: original recipe from Almost Bourdain, with minor changes) Fruit mixture 115ml orange juice 1 stalk lemongrass, white part only 25g caster sugar 1tsp corn flour 1tsp water Egg white mixture 3 egg white (medium), room temperature Pinch of salt 25g sugar 15g butter, softened 20g caster sugar Icing sugar, for dusting Method 1. Blend lemongrass together with orange juice, and strained. Add little bit of lemongrass into orange juice, set aside. 2. Place orange lemongrass puree and sugar in a saucepan over medium flame, stir till sugar dissolve and bring to boil. 3. Mix corn flour with water, reduce heat to low flame, slowly whisk the corn flour paste into fruit puree a little at a time. Continue whisk till puree turn thicken and do not allow mixture to boil again. 4. Remove from heat and set aside till cool completely. 5. Brush the base of ramekin with the butter, then, using upward strokes and brush the sides. Chill in the fridge until set, and then repeat for one more time and chill. 6. Beat egg white with salt to foamy, slowly add in sugar and beat till soft peak. 7. Place the cooked fruit puree in a large bowl, lightly whisk till smooth. Add little of the egg white mixture and whisk to mix well. Gently fold in the remaining egg white mixture. 8. Pre-heated the oven at 180c/350F. 9. Bring out the ramekins from fridge, sprinkle caster sugar to coat the base and sides of ramekins. 10. Use a small spatula, to spread the soufflé mixture around the sides while holding the ramekin at 45-degree angle. Fill the middle and smooth the top. 11. Bake for 12-14mins or until golden and well risen. 12. Dusted with icing sugar and serve immediately. ** Drop me an email if you would like to know where to get this ramekin. Thanks to Swee San for direct me to this shop. Happy Baking !!

Source: nasilemaklover.blogspot.com

Joao and I went to Sao Paulo’s Mercado Municipal last weekend – the one Anthony Bourdain visited in one episode of “No Reservations” ; btw, I’ve read he said some mean things about the city. I hope he never comes back, thank you very much. Mercado Municipal is a very traditional market, full of lots of types of food and ingredients, but it was my first time there. I went crazy with all the spices, nuts, fruits and veggies, cheese, olives... I got home with several new ingredients to cook and bake with. And an emptier wallet, too. :) My first choice was some delicious dried apples I’d bought there– they were so good I was glad there was a lot more than the amount called for in the recipe. :) I found these bars here and used a different pan to make them. Make sure you use a warm knife to slice the bars, so you won't mess up the topping like I did. Toffee apple shortbreads from Delicious magazine Shortbread base: 110g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing 40g caster sugar 175g all-purpose flour 10g cornstarch Filling/topping: 100g dried ready-to-eat apples, finely sliced 450g firm dulce de leche* 200g dark chocolate, chopped and divided Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Grease and line a square 20cm (8in) baking pan, leaving some paper hanging out of the pan on at least two sides (it will make unmolding easier). To make the shortbread base, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Sift in the flour and cornstarch and, using a rubber spatula, then your hands, work to a dough. Place in the pan and use your fingertips to roll out flat and into the corners – if you have much too warm hands you might try it with the back of a spoon, lightly dusted with flour. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Set aside to cool.Scatter the apples over the cookie base, spread over the dulce de leche and level out. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.Melt 150g of the chocolate in a glass bowl over barely simmering water. Remove the bowl from the pan and quickly wipe the water with a kitchen tower – no water should be in contact with the chocolate. Add the remaining 50g of chocolate and beat well to melt it. Pour the melted chocolate over the caramel and apples, then spread evenly. Set aside to cool at room temperature for about 2 hours or until set. Remove from the pan and cut into squares. * you can warm the dulce de leche into pouring consistency prior to adding it to the cookie base. Makes 16 squares

Source: technicolorkitcheninenglish.blogspot.com

2 lbs pork belly, cut into 2 in cubes (5 cm) 1 lb pork shoulder, cut into 2 in cubes (5cm) 4 cups water 1 bouquet garni (1 sprig flat parsley, 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, 1 bay leaf -all tied with a string so its easy to ret) 1 teaspoon salt 1 pinch black pepper 1 lb pork fat, cut into thin slices 1 Place the pork belly and shoulder in a heavy bottomed pot. Add water and the bouquet garni and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally. 2 After 6 hours, stir in the salt and pepper and remove from the heat. Discard the bouquet garni. 3 Once the meat is cooled enough to handle, transfer it to a mixing bowl, using forks, shred the meat (not mush, SHREDS is the key) 4 Shovel some still warm pork into your mouth -- you know you want to. 5 Divide the mixture among several small containers. Top each portion with a slice or two of pork fat to completely cover it, fold the mixture together a bit then wrap each container in plastic wrap. 6 Place in the refrigerator and let them sit for 3 days before serving. Don't cheat on the 3 days because it just gets better as the flavors marry up!

Source: food.com

6 tablespoons butter 1 onion , thinly sliced 12 ounces button mushrooms , halved 4 cups chicken stock 1 sprig parsley 2 ounces sherry wine salt and pepper 1 Over medium heat, melt two tablespoons of the butter in a saucepan. Toss in the onion and cook until soft but not browned. 2 Toss in the remaining butter and then add the mushrooms. Cook for 8 minutes. 3 Pour in the chicken stock, add the parsley, and bring to a boil. When bubbling, reduce to a simmer and cook for an hour. 4 Pour soup into a blender (you might need to do this in stages), and process until smooth. Return to the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Pour in the sherry, and season with salt and pepper.

Source: food.com

War Remnants museum, is a place to understand how Vietnamese peoples went through during Vietnam war. Photo of " napalm girl ", you can read more here .. Reunification Palace During our visit, there was a Canon's photography exhibition, many awesome photos were display here.. Frankly, nothing much to see inside here actually.. The green surrounding outside has better view  I just wonder how they manage these electric wires.. Ben Thanh market  The main purpose to visit Ben Thanh market was to get some "Fu' and "Hi" chops , you can get these type of chop at the stall where they selling all kind of bakery items.. I feel this shop given more reasonable price if compare to others ... Revisit to Ashima - mushroom hot pot, you may check my old post here Ashima 35A Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Dist 1, HCMC. Tel: 848 3824 1966 Every time I told my daughter and mother how good was this mushroom hotpot, and told them one day I will bring them to try out..This time I keep my promise, bring them to try out.. We went to the old place, but realized that they have actually shifted to somewhere else. Luckily we found their new place..  Many types of mushroom to choose from.. We still prefer to order beef slices to go with mushroom hotpot. My kids and mother were really enjoyed this hotpot. But my husband and I feel the taste somehow not that good anymore.. Anyway, if you have never tasted mushroom hotpot before (I haven't see this type of restaurant here), this is still a place to try out.. Captured this photo when we were on the way to try out Banh Xeo..normal to see this type of scene in Ho Chi Minhwith many peoples on motorcycle.. Banh Xeo 46A 46A D Dinh Cong Trang | District 3 , Ho Chi Minh City , Vietnam  A Banh Xeo place that made famous by Anthony Bourdain (No reservation) , you can watch the video here .. Learnt a tip from here, pour out the excess batter so you can have thin and crispy Banh Xeo.. Dipping sauce and veggie to go with Banh Xeo Ya, their Banh Xeo was really crispy but a bit oily. If I look at my Banh Xeo , i think I have added too much of turmeric powder as its look too yellow.  We also ordered this deep fried soft shell crabs and authentic Vietnamese coffee.. I went to this wet market, but sorry i couldn't recall the name.. French bread is so common here, even you can find it at wet market.. I bought pumpkin flowers from here, to make stuffed pumpkin flowers  My mother bought this Thien Ly Xao Bo (Thousand miles flowers) At the end of the street at this market, turned left and you can find two shops selling bakery ingredients (located at the 1st floor), where you can get the chops here too..at fixed and reasonable price.. Phuong Ha at 58 Ham Nghi St., District 1  Cuc Gach Quan 10 Dang Tat, Ward Tan Dinh, District 1, Saigon Tel: (84.8) 38 48 01 44 // (84) 01 657 10 10 10 - A new discovery of eating place after saw Esther's review.. This restaurant also made famous by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt when they brought their adopted children back to Vietnam as to let them get to know their country where they were born.  kitchen area.. their old collections.. A very thick menu , like a book.. Use kangkong stem (water morning-glory) as a straw, something very new to me. very interesting ^_^ Anyway, the price for a fruit juices like this is almost equal to a plate of dish..rather expensive!! Everything we ordered were very delicious. I will be back to this restaurant if i will re-visit HCM again.. When my mother saw all these broken bowls and plates that they used., she said "Choy Choy, for Chinese only beggar use broken bowls", LOL..I told her that this is new fashion ,hehehe.. End of my update..Thanks for dropping by..

Source: nasilemaklover.blogspot.com

2 lbs pork belly, cut into 2 in cubes (5 cm) 1 lb pork shoulder, cut into 2 in cubes (5cm) 4 cups water 1 bouquet garni (1 sprig flat parsley, 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, 1 bay leaf -all tied with a string so its easy to ret) 1 teaspoon salt 1 pinch black pepper 1 lb pork fat, cut into thin slices 1 Place the pork belly and shoulder in a heavy bottomed pot. Add water and the bouquet garni and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally. 2 After 6 hours, stir in the salt and pepper and remove from the heat. Discard the bouquet garni. 3 Once the meat is cooled enough to handle, transfer it to a mixing bowl, using forks, shred the meat (not mush, SHREDS is the key) 4 Shovel some still warm pork into your mouth -- you know you want to. 5 Divide the mixture among several small containers. Top each portion with a slice or two of pork fat to completely cover it, fold the mixture together a bit then wrap each container in plastic wrap. 6 Place in the refrigerator and let them sit for 3 days before serving. Don't cheat on the 3 days because it just gets better as the flavors marry up!

Source: food.com

6 tablespoons butter 1 onion , thinly sliced 12 ounces button mushrooms , halved 4 cups chicken stock 1 sprig parsley 2 ounces sherry wine salt and pepper 1 Over medium heat, melt two tablespoons of the butter in a saucepan. Toss in the onion and cook until soft but not browned. 2 Toss in the remaining butter and then add the mushrooms. Cook for 8 minutes. 3 Pour in the chicken stock, add the parsley, and bring to a boil. When bubbling, reduce to a simmer and cook for an hour. 4 Pour soup into a blender (you might need to do this in stages), and process until smooth. Return to the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Pour in the sherry, and season with salt and pepper.

Source: food.com

4 tablespoons butter 8 leeks , white part only, cleaned and thinly sliced 2 medium potatoes , cut into small cubes 2 cups chicken stock 2 cups heavy cream 4 fresh chives , finely chopped 1 pinch nutmeg salt and fresh pepper 1 I a large, heavy bottom pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. Once butter is melted, add the leeks and sweat for 5 minutes, making sure they do not take on any color. 2 Add potatoes and cook for a minute or two, stirring a few times. 3 Stir in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. 4 Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook on low heat, gently simmering for 35 minutes, or until the leeks and potatoes are very soft. Allow to cool for a few minutes. 5 Slowly, and in SMALL batches, puree the soup at a high speed in the blender. Do this bit by bit, never filling the blender too high. Make sure the benders lid is on, and lean on the top when you turn on. If not the burn you will get is awful, and a most frequent accident in even professional kitchens. 6 Return soup to the cooking pot and whisk in cream and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Return to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook 5 minutes. If you want to thin soup out, add more broth, if needed. 7 Transfer soup to the mixing bowl an chill over the ice bath, stirring occasionally. When soup is at Room temperature, and only at room temperature, cover in plastic wrap and put int the refrigerator to cool. 8 Check seasoning, sprinkle with chives and serve in chilled bowls. 9 This soup DOES get better over time. Keep covered with plastic, not foil in the refrigerator, or it will pick up other tastes.

Source: food.com

How do you cook quinoa? I was recently asked. The answer is simple. Easy. Fast. Rockin'. I cook it in a rice cooker. In fact, quinoa is the easiest no-fuss "grain" you'll ever cook. It's healthy fast food. Cook up a batch ahead of time and you can stir up a fabulous light lunch (like the Lime Quinoa Salad with Mint ) in a New York minute. Well, maybe a Los Angeles minute. No wait. A Venice Beach minute. How to cook quinoa in a rice cooker: 1. Using a fine mesh sieve rinse 1 cup of organic quinoa in cold water. Drain. 2. Dump rinsed quinoa into your rice cooker. 3. Add 2 cups fresh water* see notes. 4. Turn on your rice cooker. That's it. In about fifteen minutes* you'll have hot fluffy quinoa to play with. Quinoa is rather bland on its own and loves flavor spikes. So add herbs etc. My favorite thing to do is stir-fry cooked quinoa with various seasonings- herbs, garlic, spices, onion, etc. I add in fresh veggies and whatever else I might have on hand. Quinoa makes delicious and hearty pilaf, sprightly salads, or a warm and grainy side dish in place of rice. I've even used it to stuff cabbage, acorn squash, peppers and portobello mushroom caps. For those of you without a rice cooker: Add the cup of rinsed organic quinoa to a saucepan add 2 cups fresh water; bring to a boil, lower the heat to low; cover and simmer until cooked. Fluff with a fork. Season while warm and use in salads or stuffing recipes, Store covered, in the fridge, for almost instant meals. Use within three days for best taste. Notes* Start with 2 cups water in a rice cooker. At higher altitudes , use more water-- 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups water. High altitude also requires a longer cooking time, generally. If the quinoa turns out too crunchy or nubby you need to up the ratio of water to grain; start by adding another 1/4 cup liquid. I prefer my quinoa soft and tender, fluffed with a fork. Note- r ed and black quinoa may require extra water- especially if it turns out more crunchy than fluffy. Sometimes I add broth to the liquid to boost the flavor of the quinoa- this works especially well when making a savory pilaf or winter quinoa with hearty flavors- onion, mushrooms, eggplant, etc. I don't use broth in my lighter salad style quinoa dishes- but that's my personal taste. Why you might want to try quinoa... Quinoa is very laid back and not full of itself at all. It's not upper crust or snobby, or ultra-cool and exclusive. I imagine Tony Bourdain hates it (he likes to mock vegetarians, you know, which spurs him to demonstrate just how much by eating blow fish, animal tongues and roasted insects on camera fresh from the writhing snake blood tonic and chewing on various goat parts buried in a pit for two days). If it were a movie, quinoa would star a flip-flop wearing Jeff Bridges and insist you call it Dude. Or Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing. Besides its worth-its-weight-in-gold gluten-free status, quinoa (sounds like: keen-wa) is a superb source of balanced vegetable protein (so important for vegans) that packs a nutty nutritional punch. It contains nine amino acids- making it a complete vegetable protein. Some call it a super grain (I always envision a blazing red Q and a windswept cape when the word super is touted- a testimony to my visual thinking process) but quinoa, I have to tell you is not a cereal grain, Bubela. It's actually a seed from a plant family that includes beets and spinach. That might- technically- make it a Super Faux Grain. Or Faux Super Grain. I know. It doesn't have the same ring. Do we care? Here are some of my favorite quinoa recipes: Kale Salad with Quinoa, Tangerines and Roasted Almonds Lime Quinoa Salad with Mint Quinoa with Fresh Summer Vegetables Quinoa with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Leeks, and Slivered Almonds Quinoa Salad with Blueberries, Strawberries, and Watermelon Quinoa Salad with Pears, Baby Spinach, Chick Peas in Maple Vinaigrette Quinoa Salad with Roasted Beets, Chick Peas + Orange Quinoa Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms Quinoa Mushroom Pilaf Quinoa Taco Salad Red Quinoa with Roasted Butternut Squash + Pecans Stuffed Cabbage with Roasted Sweet Potato and Quinoa Summer Quinoa Salad with Kalamatas and Mint Warm Spinach and Quinoa Salad with Grape Tomatoes Quinoa In Baking: Peanut Butter Quinoa Cookies Quinoa Pumpkin Cookies Quinoa Breakfast Bars with Blueberries Quinoa Breakfast Brownies Quinoa Breakfast Cake Quinoa Chocolate Brownies Quinoa Muffins with Pecans + Dark Chocolate More quinoa recipes from food blogs: At Lydia's Perfect Pantry Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Feta and Parsley Susan's Quinoa Vegetable Paella at FatFree Vegan Kitchen Ilva's Quinoa Apple Cake with Cinnamon and Coconut at Lucullian Delights All images & content are copyright protected, all rights reserved. Please do not use our images or content without prior permission. Thank you.

Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com

Shares 38We’ve always loved the Northern California Bay Area and over the past 20 years, we’ve made many trips back to eat and explore. But this last trip back withΒ Fairmont Hotels and ResortsΒ was a dream because we had the opportunity to discover so many new jewels of the Bay Area in one swoop with guidance and recommendations from area experts.Β  It really helps to have the folks who live in the area to show us their favorite local spots! And in our case, it was three different regions, each with their own unique flavors. It was pretty much like a road trip through the San Francisco Bay area, exploring it with new, open eyes. The amazing team at the 3 Fairmont Hotels and Resorts in the Bay area guided us through our food journey and provided us with world class accommodations at three of their bay area hotels:Β Fairmont Sonoma Mission InnΒ & Spa,Β Claremont Club &Β SpaΒ andΒ Fairmont San Francisco. We ate, photographed, filmed, ate way more than we should have but because we’re truly food obsessed, we considered it food research. We’re good at that. Fall is a gorgeous time of year to visit Sonoma wine country Our trip started with a gorgeous stay at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. This beautiful and serene resort is nestled in the heart of California Wine Country. We visited in late October and it was a beautiful time, with harvest just finishing off and the vines were in their Fall color glory. And they’re already on our favorites list because they’re dog friendly! Lexi and Sierra didn’t get to indulge on this trip and not sure if we’d want to bring them because they’re too many cute squirrels around. They’d be wanting to chase every critter they see. They’re famous for their natural mineral hot springs in Sonoma Valley, whichΒ sets the perfect setting to their Willow Stream Spa which is one of the only luxury spa resorts in the country with its own source of thermal mineral water. They even have their own championship Sonoma Golf Course, which is super cool to be golfing across the street from beautiful and tranquil vineyards. Dreamy wine, cheese and Michelin Star dinner.Β  Dinner was at their signature restaurant, the Michelin award winningΒ SantΓ© Restaurant. Our tasting menu dinner was outstanding and paired with perfect wines from local wineries. The roasted ribeye of free range lamb was one of the best lamb dishes we ever had. Topped with tabbouleh, eggplant, minted yogurt and bordelaise aioli it was hard to not lick the plate clean. And to top off this amazing dinner experience, during out stay we were able to visit Kendall Mini Farm and Linda, who provide the micro greens for SantΓ©. It was amazing to taste, experience and film this whole farm to table experience. You can watch it on Facebook here. Chef Andrew Cain and Linda of Kenwood Mini Farm talk fresh produce Here’s a video of that great day: Benziger Family WineryΒ was another eye-opener visit because it was our first time visiting a biodynamic winery. Jill Benziger led us through an education and tour about their family winery and their passion on making wines that are certified Biodynamic, organic and by using sustainable farming methods. Their quality wines taste even better knowing that they’re being made by folks who care about the land and the sustainable future of wine making. Their super cool wine cave was spectacular for our lunch stop. After a dreamy two days in Sonoma, we hopped in the car and drove to the latest addition to the Fairmont family of hotels and resorts: the historic Claremont Club &Β Spa. Literally nestled between Berkley and Oakland (one portion of the property lies in Oakland, the other in Berkley). The Claremont is full of character and lore. From one of its owners winning the property in a game of checkers to being nearly caught up in the 1991 Oakland fire. Frank Lloyd Wright called the Claremont β€œOne of the few hotels in the world with warmth, character, and charm.” the best view of San Francisco from our room at The Claremont and at their restaurant LimewoodΒ  Following the Fairmont’s acquisition of the Claremont and a beautiful remodel, you can add β€œswank” to that description. The visual lines leading from the front door to the lobby pulls you into the hotel, which suddenly opens up like a breath of fresh ocean air. Steer towards the lobby bar with the massive windows with views overlooking both the Bay and Golden Gate bridges and we found ourselves drawn into the Hillary-Tenzing Room. Named and remodeled after explorer Edmund Hillary, his sherpa, Tenzing Norgay, and their adventures, the stunning rich blue room is seeped with mountaineering and Nepalese artifacts. With cocktail in hand, we could spend days on end in that room and never tire of its charm. It’s a great thing that the Claremont’s guests have exclusive access to The Club at the Claremont. With its beautiful lap pools, tennis courts, daily fitness classes, and TechnoGym equipment, we needed some calorie burning activities to help balance all the food we ate while we were there. Meals at bothΒ MeritageΒ andΒ LimewoodΒ restaurantΒ were insanely deliciousΒ  Whether it was the great food, cocktails, and wine at the Limewood Bar and Restaurant, great bites in the Lobby Lounge and Hillary-Tenzing Room, to the meals at Meritage, we found ourselves clearing plate after plate. How can you not? They do a great job sourcing from the exceptional regional cuisine, and prepare the dishes to highlight how good it is. After spendingΒ  a couple days with stunning views of San Francisco from the Claremont, we headed across the bridge into the city itself. Perched atop Nob Hill, the Fairmont San Francisco welcomed us with open arms. For over a century it’s been known for its elegance and impeccable service, and is the perfect launching point for excursions into the city. Step out the door and head down the hill to one of the great food cities in the world. You can even hop on an iconic San Francisco trolley just outside the hotel. The Penthouse Suite and inspired cocktails from theΒ Tonga Room &Β Hurricane Bar Here’s a snippet of our own little Penthouse Suite party: Not that we needed to leave the Fairmont to have a good time. The Fairmont San Francisco may be elegant and grand, but don’t mistake it for stuffy. They love to have a good time. We arrived in perfect time to see their departments’ Jack β€˜o Lantern carving contest entries displayed in the lobby for all to vote, while at the same time in the lobby their annual 2-story gingerbread house was being build brick-by-gingerbread-brick by their culinary team. Head on over to the Tonga Room in the hotel and you’ll find a place Anthony Bourdain declared, β€œIf you have no love in your heart for this place, you are a sick, twisted lonely…” (we’’ll leave it at that but you get the point, it has Bourdain’s love). The Tonga room is the oldest continuously operating tiki bar in North America and shows no signs of slowing down and we could agree more with Bourdain’s sentiment. Within these same hotel walls, if you head up to the The Penthouse Suite, you’ll find 6,000 square feet of luxury. It’s housed royalty to rock stars and has more than a fair share of unforgettable parties and history changing events. There’s even a secret passageway in the suite’s library. This a place with so many stories to tell. It’s certain both JFK and Mick Jagger added to its legendary history. One of the best food tours we had withΒ Foodie ChapΒ and Fairmont San FranciscoΒ  Our experiences across the Fairmont Hotel family in the Bay area was extraordinary. Each location is reflective of the variety of character the region epitomizes. From the relaxed wine country, amazing artisan food producers, elegant and historic settings, spectacular views, an iconic bustling city, it was wonderful to experience the diversity in their character. They were all remarkable in each of their own individual ways. Epic thanks toΒ Fairmont Hotels & ResortsΒ for sponsoring us on this project supporting our love on culture, travel and food discoveries!Β  Shares 38 Get new recipes and updates by email:

Source: hiteonricecouple.com



To better explain the experience, I must first introduce you to Elyse. I know her by way of mutual friends; our paths have crossed a handful of times, but ever since I started listening to her new podcast project, I knew she would be someone I would really enjoy. She has the kind of personality that draws people in - warm, confident, intentional, wise, assertive. She has a crazy story herself, one that could lead you towards darkness, but she exudes light. And consequently has the easiest and best laugh I've ever heard. She's a trained therapist, so you expect some of that, but to experience her is different. An extensive education doesn't compare to someones natural strengths. Like I said, I knew I liked her before I attended her retreat last weekend, but what she is building - creating a space for people to feel vulnerable and seen and to be moved out of their own way - is remarkable.

It was essentially two days, with a group of five other women, while Elyse led us through her curriculum of, as she puts it, "looking at a practical evaluation of your history, and the current repercussions of your experiences and core beliefs." We wrote a letter to our younger selves, broke down a timeline of our own lives, shared stories with each other that near broke us - stories of loss and abuse and silence and shame - each woman had something to share from such different perspectives and circumstance. I left feeling like I had untangled a few things that were leaving callouses on my heart. I left feeling motivated about how to practically move towards what I need - both professionally and personally. One of the exercises had a line that stuck with me: "you are already the woman you want to be." I needed a push out of my head, out of some old stories and self doubt to believe that. Go for it! Do it! Have the conversation. Engage in the conflict instead of always keeping peace. Start the business.

On the heels of the terrible loss of Anthony Bourdain, I feel responsible to point you towards soul food just as much as I do literal food. This past weekend was that for me. In my experience, pulling things out of your head, into the light and looking at them with another perspective, goes a long way towards putting them back under your control rather than the other way around. The internet sells us things all day long; promising things to fix our insecurities. There is quieter messaging about seeking connection, so I'll say this for whomever may need to hear it - invest in the friendships, invite people over, say what you need, spend the money on a therapist, ditch the life sucking boyfriend, take the risk, get down and play.

It's actually pretty difficult to put it all to words honestly, but I'm still riding my high of bringing some power back to me, and I want to give some of that to you. You are enough. You are capable. You are smart and beautiful and worthy.“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.”

― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet BABY KALE SALAD WITH CHERRIES, MARINATED LENTILS + GOAT CHEESE

Serves 2-4

I'm into having a salad special and eating a few days in a row. I prep the components, then it is just ready to throw together with little fuss. In this case, I double up the dressing, cherries pitted and halved, lentils marinated, clean lettuce stocked. Then when it comes to making a salad, it takes 2 minutes instead of starting from scratch.

Swap in peaches for cherries as needed, their seasonal window is short. Grilled salmon or chicken works on here too, otherwise it's great and easy as is.

 INGREDIENTSmaple mustard vinaigrette1 Tbsp. dijon mustard1 Tbsp. maple syrup1 small shallot, minced1/4 cup apple cider vinegar1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil1/2 tsp. sea salt and peppertip of dried herbs - basil, oregano, Italian blend, whatever 1 cup cooked lentils1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar1/3 cup chopped parsley1 garlic clove, mincedsalt and pepper 4 cups/5 oz. baby kale1 cup pitted and halved cherries4 ounces soft goats cheese1/2 cup toasted almonds INSTRUCTIONS

Put all the dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake it all together (I clean out old nut butter and jam jars to store condiments). Set aside.

Mix the lentils, oil, vinegar, parsley, garlic and a generous pinch of salt and pepper together and stir to mix. This can be done a day or two in advance and kept covered in the fridge.

Toss the greens and cherries in desired amount of dressing. Top with a scoop of the lentils, goat cheese and almonds.

Source: sproutedkitchen.com

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