Happy Halloween!

We had a fantastic time celebrating with friends over the weekend for a good cause.  Our low-effort “Geek Squad” costumes came in handy for a three-peat appearance.
It was a great honor to be in the company of not one, but two, American icons of fine culinary cuisine…

I love that these guys are brothers, but each had no idea the other was dressing as a food-themed character.  
Well done Ryan & Ron!  (I Never noticed before that Cap’n’s eyebrows are literally on the hat.  What a keen eye for detail, Ron!)
And just for fun…how awesome is this girl’s costume!?  Definitely the best one I spotted this year.  If you were living under a rock this April during the biggest wedding of all time, may I just remind you here.
Hope you all have a great Halloween!

Star Power

Bay Area Michelin Star ratings are in, and you can find them here!
Topping the list (along with Meadowood) is the ever-solid French Laundry…near and dear to my heart, of course, because this happened there…

I must say, I’m not as desperate to try as many of the “fine dining” establishments as I used to be. Some of my experiences have been a little too stale for my taste (La Folie, Fleur de Lys). Although, the food (and company!!) were amazing at both places, I didn’t really dig the general restaurant atmosphere.
I love places that are able to offer a fine dining experience, and yet retain a cozy, comfortable, and “real” atmosphere. I don’t need my server to put on a show. Case in point, Gary Danko. You’d think the place would be super stuffy, but it’s actually kind of bustling from the moment you walk in the door. It just puts you at ease and makes you feel like you can really relax and enjoy your face-stuffing experience. Even at French Laundry, the epitome of fine dining, our waiter put us at such ease, sharing stories about favorite “dive” eats in San Francisco (complete with a story about devouring Memphis Minnies in the car…I kid you not…it was awesome).
The current dining scene in San Francisco (and elsewhere for that matter!) is great because there are so many unbelievable, and yet economical, restaurants at our fingertips. Therefore, I’m still eying many of these Michelin names, but just making my selections a bit more carefully.
Here are the next two we’ll be checking out:
Benu…as it’s literally half a block fom our apartment and has been getting insane reviews.  Chef Corey Lee is certainly making a name for himself as a San Francisco Tastemaker.
Aziza…Chef Mourad Lahlou battled (and won!) Iron Chef in 2009. Early December reso is booked to redeem a gift card (wedding gift) from a dear friend (thanks Ped!)

What do you guys think?  What are you drooling over?

P.S. The “KaraVan” is back today…may I find the strength to resist…

The Truck Stops Here

One perk of working in downtown San Francisco is that amazing food trucks post up right in front of my office building a couple times a week. We’ve had the pleasure of welcoming these guys and these guys.

And today…the holy grail…the spectacular Kara’s Cupcakes “KaraVan”.

How are we supposed to get any work done around here people???

Cookbookery

“Even if you find just one recipe you love in a cookbook, it was worth the purchase.”
        — Bonnie Haave

I can thank my mom for this pearl of wisdom.  Words I’ve taken to heart.  Nowadays, there are way too many amazing cookbooks to choose from…it’s hard to hold back. 

Magazines too…it’s hard to resist new subscriptions, but I’ve managed to narrow it down to my favorites: Bon Appetite, Food & Wine, Saveur, and Food Network Magazine.

When my foodie magazines start to pile up too high, I gather them up, plop myself on the couch, and scour each page to make sure I tear out anything that catches my eye. These tear-outs find a home in plastic sleeves within my recipe binder, and the tattered magazine remains hit the recycle bin.  This is also where I keep cherished recipes I’ve inherited from friends and family. Needless to say, it’s a labor of love. In event of the proverbial house fire, I’d grab my husband, my MacBook, and this…