Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Stinky Cheese and Aromatic Whites with Hardy Wallace

There's not much I love more than wine and cheese. And laughing. Wine, cheese and laughing. Hardy Wallace and I have all three in this fun video.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Best Darn Pork Sandwich Hardy Wallave and I Ever Had

RoliRoti's pork sandwich is special. Not only does it taste really really great, it's also unique. The juicy rotisserie pork with the crispy chopped pork skin, the perfect roll - crunchy, soft and fresh all at the same time, the bite of the arugula, and last but really not least, the coarse rosemary gray salt. I mean, you'd think the salt choice would be no big deal, but it's not. It's a very big deal, adding another layer of lovely crunch, complexity and taste to this incredible indulgence. Hardy Wallace and I were in for such a treat...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cheese and Wine Pairing with Murphy Goode!

Even though I didn't get the the Murphy Goode lifestyle correspondent job, I've got no hard feelings. First off, it changed my life, making me realize that pursuing my dream of combining food, wine and media wasn't just a choice - it's my path and it's making me happier than I've ever been. Second off, the right person got the job. You couldn't ask for a better guy than Hardy Wallace and he's doing a kick butt job. Third, Hardy is now a buddy of mine, and getting to know and learn from him has been really wonderful.

Check out this Murphy Goode wine and cheese pairing Hardy and I did recently. How great is life?! So good!

Monday, November 30, 2009

OXO Spokesperson!

Check out my video to become the spokesperson for OXO - how cool would that be?!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

More of Rowdy Food's videos with Eli and Kevin from Top Chef

The SF day of eating with Eli and Kevin will go down as one of my favorites! Check out one more video from Rowdy Food of all the food we ate!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tyler Florence at SF Chefs Food Wine

I chatted with Tyler Florence at SF Chefs Food Wine about everything from the projects he's working on in the Bay Area, to Twitter to his son's cooking. Months later, I was so psyched when I walked onto The Food Network's set of Tyler's Ultimate and he remembered me! It was really inspiring to watch him work - he is so good at what he does - and I had a ball at lunch with him afterwards at Barbuto. I never could have imagined four months ago that today I'd be getting career advice from one of the best people in the business!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Incanto with Top Chefs!

What a day I had this week...14 stops on a massive food blitz with Murphy Goode's Hardy Wallace, Matt Richardson, and Top Chef's Eli Kirshtein and Kevin Gillespie. Check out the first of many videos to come that Matt did - this one from an EPIC dinner at Chris Cosentino's Incanto!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sunday Supper

Mike made an amazing pasta dinner last night. I'm from Long Island so I grew up eating like this on Sunday, but this was really impressive! Check out the Cooks Illustrated approach that he used.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wine and Food Pairing at La Ciccia with Nirvino

Thanks to Nirvino - a site for all your wine and cocktail needs! - for having me in one of their wine and food pairing videos, I got to know and love La Ciccia and its lovely owners, Massimiliano and Lorella. La Ciccia is a truly special Sardinian restaurant in outer Noe Valley and if you haven't been you are really missing out.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Cozy Fall Side Dish - Brussels Sprouts, with Gnocchi, Pine Nuts and a Brown Butter Sage Sauce

I’ll tell you what - the memories I have of Brussels sprouts from growing up are so awful that I’m surprised I ever ventured to try them again. My mom is a wonderful cook, so why she would have made me eat those hard, bland, bitter things is beyond me. When cooked properly, these mini cabbages are crisp, interestingly textured and begging to be paired with cozy fall accompaniments, which is just what I did recently when I was inspired to create this rustic dish. I cut the Brussels sprouts in half, boiled them for just 6 minutes then finished them in a warm brown butter and sage sauce, with gnocchi and pine nuts. The end result had me tooting my own horn and wishing I had made more so I could enjoy the leftovers today. Trust me, this is ridiculously easy to make and sure to gets lots of oohs and ahs, though you might love it so much that you end up keeping the dish all to yourself!

Active time – so short it doesn’t bear mentioning!
Feeds: 3 people when served as a side, though I easily could have gobbled this all up myself or eaten it as an entrée if I were feeling a little bit vegetal
Note: Feel free to double or triple the recipe depending on how many mouths you are feeding and how ravenous you are

1 lb of Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons of salted butter
A hearty handful of fresh sage, about ¼ cup, roughly chopped
1 cup potato gnocchi (though butter nut squash gnocchi would also be lovely) – feel free to use a bit more if the fall air has got you craving a heavier dish
¼ cup of pine nuts (toasted)
Salt and pepper to taste

Simple Steps:
Wash, cut off the stems of the Brussels sprouts, then cut in half. Bring salted water to a boil and place sprouts in boiling water for 6 minutes. Sprouts should be bright green when done. Remove pot from water and drain sprouts. Set them aside.

Boil gnocchi per the instructions on the package, though shave off a minute as they will continue cooking in the sauce afterward. Drain and set aside.

In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat (be careful not to burn the butter). Once the butter is melted and just begins to brown, add the chopped sage to the saucepan letting it get a bit crispy. Add the Brussels sprouts to the pan, and stir until well coated with the brown butter and sage, then add the cooked gnocchi. Gently mix everything together, adding a generous amount of salt and freshly ground pepper. Take the saucepan off the heat and serve hot.

If you’re feeling rather decadent go ahead and add crispy bacon or pancetta and a bit of shaved parmesan on top then send me the pictures so I can swoon over your perfect fall side. You may want to pair it with a vegetable friendly wine like the Austrian Grüner Veltliner, but you’ll find that Brussels sprouts are robust enough to handle a rustic red like Syrah, which is a perfect companion for a chilly fall night.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

At Home Gourmet - Ricotta Meatballs

Check out these ricotta filled meatballs for a dish that will impress your friends, make great leftovers (trust me and my meatball hero filled self!) and is super easy. With the help of the right ingredients, some savvy tricks and your local specialty food shops, making meals with a gourmet twist at home isn't hard to do.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wine Time TV Interview

Despite the fact that I look like crap in the videocam, check out this fun interview Wine Time TV did with me. Jamie Lauren, Thomas Keller, Gary Danko, Gavin Newsom and others who I have filmed with are featured.

Wine Time TV Webisode 6 feat. Tanya Melillo from Wine Time TV on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hot Soup, Chilly Night

I just love white bean soup. One of my favorites is served at 'Ino in NYC's the West Village. Since I can't go there whenever I feel like it, I made my own version, adding sausages to make it a bit heartier. Check it out!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Finishing the Fig Tart

I've been working on my pastry dough skills and savoring all that is fall, so it was the perfect time to make a fig tart. Check out this video of a lovely one I made. I actually made it again this weekend and decided to mix the figs with the honey, lemon and thyme before filling the pastry. It makes for a sweeter, slightly gooier filling, which some people prefer, though I think I preferred it straight up as I did it here.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fig Tart Crust!

I think I was suffering from delusions caused by lack of carbs when I was making this fig tart yesterday. They caused me to make and film it with a post-shower towel on my head. The crust came out awesome though. Very proud of it. More of the tart to come!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My First Interview

I'll admit that when this whole "business on my own thing" gets a little hairy, I day dream about the day when I'll be past the ups and downs of getting a business off the ground and instead cooking on Oprah. This wasn't that, but I did feel a little bit special to do an interview for Wine Time TV. The whole thing cracked me up and I hope it makes you chuckle also...here's part 1, with shout outs to Wente Vineyards, Rocco DiSpirito, Tom Colicchio, eatdrinkordie.com and Murphy Goode's Hardy Wallace!

Wine Time TV Webisode 5 feat. Tanya Melillo from Wine Time TV on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Goodness and Lessons of French Quiche

So that quiche I made on Monday? Man was it good. I may never eat an American quiche again. That hard egg-ness to them is such a waste of calories when instead I could be eating the silky, custardy goodness of a French quiche. I'll admit mine wasn't quite Thomas Keller quality (but really, how many things in this life are?), but for a home cook it was darn tasty. Even better, in the process of wrestling with it (yes, I prodded it gently sometimes, but there were other times when it needed to be wrestled into submission) I learned a few things about how I like to cook. I rarely follow recipes to a tee because I think real life sometimes needs adjustments and I like to be a bit instinctual and experimental when I cook because I have more fun that way. And at the end of a meal, what I care about is that I've felt good making and eating it and that my guests feel great too!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More From Quiche Land

To my amusement, the quiche saga continued yesterday well into the evening. That Thomas Keller is a stickler for the rules, but I found our yesterday that I am not. Check out this video of my preparing an adapted version of TK's quiche.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Loving French Quiche?

I've decided to make a concerted effort to cook everyday both because I love it and because I want to explore what my food "shtick" is. Sure, I love eating with people. But Rachael Ray is "30 Minute Meals" and Giada is "Everyday Italian." What am I? I'm starting with the impeccable Thomas Keller's quiche recipe and my first lesson is I'm anything but impeccable in the kitchen.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Thomas Keller - My Chef Crush

SF Chefs Food Wine was amazing all around, but the highlight for me was chatting with Thomas Keller, one of the best chefs in the world. He's gracious, attentive, intelligent and successful. And he can cook. I mean, he can really cook. Please excuse the fact that the interview itself isn't my best. I was all starry eyed and couldn't concentrate. I mean, it's Thomas Keller.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mike Oregon Bounty Audition

Oregon has caught on to the latest trend of holding user video contests to drum up PR (ahem, remember Murphy Goode?!) and so they're holding an "Oregon Bounty Cuisinternship" contest! I had heard about the chance to chef for a week at Le Pigeon with Chef Rucker, one of Food and Wine's best new chefs this year, and thought Mike would be perfect for it. Check out the video we filmed recently in Southhampton, Long Island (home of excellent lobsters, corn and me!)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Perfect Summer Dinner

Burrata with crostini. It doesn't get any better than that. Unless you add a lovely farmer's market pasta and a cute date. Here's one (the pasta, not the date) with plenty of garlic sauteed in olive oil mixed with cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and some lemon zest and juice thrown in for a little zing.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Three Muskateers of Asian Cooking - Martin Yan, Charles Phan and Arnold Wong

SF Chefs Food Wine was such an exciting event for me! I got to meet and interview such an array of amazing food and wine professionals. One of the highlights was being in the kitchen with three of the country's most renowned Asian chefs - Martin Yan (Yan Can Cook), Arnold Wong (E&O Trading Company) and Charles Phan (The Slanted Door). We laughed and laughed and they fed me!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What Sara Moulton Cooks at Home

I couldn't live without eggs (my favorite comfort food is eggs, white rice and black beans, anytime of the day) and I loved Food Network and PBS' Sara Moulton even more when she said she can't either. Check out Tyler Florence and Sara as they gab about food at home.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The French Laundry's Thomas Keller Talks Success

One of the highlights of SF Chefs Food Wine for me was getting to interview The French Laundry's Thomas Keller, my chef crush. I'll show you that video in the weeks to come, but for now, check out his tips on running a successful restaurant.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tulie Bakery in Salt Lake City

I bought a plane ticket two Saturdays ago for the next day to fly to Salt Lake City. Sure I went for my friends, but I'll admit I also went for the food. Tulie Bakery is nearly worth the trip. Something about their sandwiches are just perfection to me - the crusty bread, with impeccable ingredients, combined with bright acidic flavors. And I'm a sucker for really good ingredients warmed up into a panini (as opposed to those crummy paninis you can get at Tube stations in London...)

Try making my favorite sandwich at Tulie's - Rustic bread, sopressata, provolone, arugula dressed in fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper. Heat it up in the over or in a panini maker. You'll love it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

SF Chefs Food Wine Cook Off Hosted by Michael Chiarello

I'll have a longer video of this amazing event, but for now here's some fun footage from the SF Chefs Food Wine "As Seen on TV" Cook Off. Food Network's Michael Chiarello (and contestant on Bravo's Top Chef Masters) hosted it between Chris Cosentino from Food Network's Next Iron Chef and Jamie Lauren from Bravo's Top Chef. Here's a little bit of their banter on spoons...Tyler Florence, Hubert Keller and Sara Moulton were judges and make guest appearances. Stay tuned for the results! Who do you think won?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Dancing with Hubert Keller From Top Chef Masters

SF Chefs Food Wine could not have been more fun. I'm exhausted, but so happy. More to come on all the amazing people I met and interviewed (like Tyler Florence and Gavin Newsom) but here's a funny video of the most fun chef I met all weekend...Hubert Keller from Top Chef Masters!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Top Chef's Jamie Lauren

I'm really excited about covering SF Chefs. Food. Wine August 6-9. It promises to be an amazing celebration of SF gastronomy. As part of that, I interviewed Top Chef's Jamie Lauren, executive chef of Absinthe. She's feisty, funny and fed me - what more could I ask for?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Amazing July Food

The last week has been a total food orgy. From oysters at Drakes Bay to sashimi from Tokyo Fish Market in Berkeley, to one of the best wine country lunches I've ever had, I was feeling very lucky. Then I decided to hop on a plane to Park City, Utah to join friends for an impromptu Indian BBQ. I've loved every minute of it (except the 6 hours I spent delayed in SFO.)

Stay tuned for videos from singing (not me, thankfully!) at Wente Vineyards and an interview I did with Jaston Berthold of Michael Mina's RN74.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Kitchen Winemaking

Ever thought about making wine in your kitchen? I met Tammi at The Winemakers audition and she's been doing it for 15 years! Check out her video application for the winemakers (one person with the most views wins a spot on the show!) and see below for my chat with her about kitchen and wine shenanigans!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Winemakers cont...Car Debacle...

After an emotional high from The Winemaker's auditions, I came out to my car having been vandalized! $4,000 worth of damage - seriously. I tried my best to not let it get to me...though you can tell from the video that I'm laughing so I didn't start crying...

The Winemakers Audition

I took a chance and went to auditions for a PBS show called The Winemakers on Monday. While waiting (all day!) for my turn I got to chatting with other contestants...here's what they have to say on wine...

Stay tuned for how the day turned out and cross your fingers for me...I may be heading to France to make wine!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Big Birthday

The last couple of months have been really remarkable for me. I'm not sure exactly where I thought I'd be when I turned 30, though I'm pretty sure it wasn't where I am. Despite that though, I have this strong feeling that I am exactly where I should be - spending time with supporting and wonderful family and friends, following my food and wine dreams, and feeling an invigorating mixture of uncertainty combined with passion. My 30th birthday weekend on Dillon Beach combined all of this for me.

Birthday Oysters

Oysters are a recent love of mine and I spent my birthday doing what I love most. After a short kayaking expedition (uh...not what I love most!) my best friend Kimmy and I went to The Marshall Store for oysters and a picnic. There are lots of places up in Pt Reyes for oysters, but I like this one the best because it's laid back, not so crowded and they shuck the oysters for you. I'd love to to be the kind of gal who can shuck oysters no problem, but as you saw from an earlier video I did in Greenport...I'm just not. And now that I'm 30, one of my goals is to be more accepting of what I don't do well. I throw an epic picnic and I eat oysters really well...shucking, not so much.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Wine Trivia - Que Shiraz, Syrah...

Test your wine smarts with this fun wine trivia game...and see how well my friends and I do after a looooong wine-filled dinner...

Blueberry Cake!

Smitten Kitchen is my new favorite recipe blog, not only for the recipes, but for the writer's sassy style. I needed a bit of cheering up the other day after the Murphy Goode disappointment, so what better to do than visit a local farmer's market and make Smitten's "blueberry boy bait?"

Mission accomplished - my mood was lifted and my friends and family (quite literally) devoured the cake. Note: More data needed to see if it's really boy bait!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

BIg Murphy Goode News

Big news today is that I didn't make the final 10 for Murphy Goode. I'm disappointed of course, but happy that this experience pushed me to do what I love. Keep checking out my site as I promise there is a lot more to come and it's going to be amazing.

Blind Tasting at Nectar Wine Lounge in SF

I know it sounds a little bit cheesy, but I really feel like there is the potential to learn something new with every glass (and bottle!) of wine I drink. Talking with Achim Fehlker, one of the owners of Nectar Wine Lounge in SF, over an unidentified bottle of red wine was like that. If you have never watched someone who is really good at blind tastings - identifying the grape, region and vintage of a wine without seeing the bottle - then bring a mystery bottle to Nectar right away and find Achim. You will be amazed, learn a lot and meet a great guy.

P.S. If you want to know the wine we blind tasted here, let me know! It was delicious.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Wine Trivia - Champagne Glasses!

I'm in love with this game Wine Smarts - it makes for perfect dinner party chatter and you learn something about wine to boot. Do you know the origin of the coupe Champagne glass? Find out here...

Friday, July 3, 2009

Why I Love Wine

I'm in Mexico, drinking lots of margaritas during the day and wine at night (what's better than that?)...and pondering why people love wine. Check it out.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Demystifying Italian Wine - Start at Biondivino

I love everything about Italy, but I'll be honest, the wines confuse me. I'm determined to learn more about them though and I'm starting at biondivino on Green (at Polk St) in SF. The owner Ceri Smith is gracious, funny and passionate about Italian wine. Go right now - I promise you'll love it.

Choosing Wine At a Restaurant

Choosing wine off a list, especially a big one with global representation, can be a little bit daunting. What's a gal to do though if she's thirsty and wants to try something new, but is feeling overwhelmed by a wine list? I tend to just ask those who know more about it than me, i.e., the people who made the list, but I realize others may be more shy about calling over the sommelier. I happened to chat about just this with the sommelier from Absinthe...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Mystery of Decanting

I'll tell you a secret if you promise not to judge me. Decanting has always been a bit of a mystery to me. When, why, how it works...in the past I just nodded and smiled when someone brought a decanter out. I bet I'm not alone, so check out this short video with my friend -and enormous pool of wine knowledge- Vijay that set me straight. Note that as Vijay says, there is some debate in the wine community about when to decant and what to use. Alder Yarrow, one of the biggest wine bloggers out there throws his two cents into the ring here.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Facebook Chefs

I had an amazing day at Facebook with the chefs there. Chef Josef Desimone is incredibly gracious and I felt really inspired to be around someone who loves what he does so much. Big news is we're planning a wine dinner with the Facebook chefs if I get the Murphy Goode job!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Murphy Goode Responds...

Love, love, love the Murphy Goode response to the Martin Sargent drama. Check it out here.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Final 50 for Murphy Goode!

I'm so thankful to be in the final 50 for the Murphy Goode Lifestyle Correspondent job! Here's why I think I'm the right person for the job (and I promise you this is the most you'll ever see me write in one post! I'm a video gal!):

This will not be an essay about Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Digg, VinCellar or the next new “it” social media tool that everyone will soon be using. While these are all critical tools to leverage in a dynamic marketplace, tools which harness a collaborative state of mind and a tech-oriented skill set that I have demonstrated, one’s ability to employ them successfully is not ultimately what differentiates merely goode candidates from the ideal Murphy Goode lifestyle correspondent. Successful social media comes down to the integration of three things – heart, quality content, and first-rate business experience – and I bring the rare combination of all three.

My passion for wine and food is essentially about the ways they foster connections among people. The memories that I have surrounding a shared meal or a memorable wine are precious to me; casual and special food and wine moments – Sunday night Pinot Noir and roast chicken with my friends, barrel tasting at Wente Vineyards, or hugging my grandfather in his kitchen – are when I feel most alive, most myself. This connection, a love affair really, between wine and food and the people in my life, has long fascinated me and shaped my social experiences, and I am now focused on integrating it with my professional goals. Much like face-to-face interactions, absent of heart, social media is insignificant. For a company like Murphy Goode, founded on tradition, family and fun, doing anything without sincere emotion would be unthinkable.

I have extensive experience with wine and food, beginning with a childhood spent in my grandparent’s restaurant, and later working at a winery, enrolling in food and wine classes, living all over the world, and savoring cooking, eating and drinking at every opportunity. This, combined with my contagious energy and drive for excellence, enables me to create high quality, compelling content like the video entry that ultimately led to my co-hosting a cooking show with Rocco DiSpirito out of thousands of entrants. My web content and links to other compelling sources I find make people laugh and want to share similar experiences, a key to effective social media.

Rather than following a direct path to my passion, I’ve had the opportunity to gather a set of diverse business experiences that are integral to achieving Murphy Goode’s goals. Heart and quality content alone may mean that Murphy Goode builds a buzz, but turning buzz into value for the organization requires a strategic perspective and a holistic marketing plan, of which social media is one component. My experience consulting Fortune 500 companies and receiving my MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, home to many of the most important technological and social media innovations, puts me in a unique position. I have direct experience with what drives companies to create value as well as strong connections and a history of experience with social media. I believe merging these elements for Murphy Goode is absolutely essential, not to mention exciting.

I have achieved noteworthy educational and professional goals, but never before have I sought something professionally that engaged my true passion this way. If given the opportunity to work with Murphy Goode, I would bring not only the extensive business experience and penchant for quality content that I have developed and delivered elsewhere, but for this position I would also bring my heart. This opportunity to work in a position where I can combine all three is absolutely thrilling.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Food and Wine Pairings with the Sommelier at Absinthe

I had a great lunch at South Food and Wine with Aaron Wasserman, the sommelier at Absinthe the other day. There's no better way to spend an afternoon than 3.5 hours at lunch, great food and lots of wine talk (and drink!) I dare you to find a cuter, more fun sommelier in SF. Seriously, I dare you and then I want to meet him or her. If you've got a candidate post it in the comments!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fresh Fava Beans - Nothing Better!

For me, there's nothing that speaks more to seasonal cooking than fresh fava beans. They are a little bit of a pain, but they're absolutely worth it. They're in season now, so go get them at your local farmer's market and try some of these great recipes. My friend Ana made a great fava bean crostini the other night that I'm still thinking about.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Spanish Tapas Night at Ana and Marcelo's

I've been trying to schedule my life less and it paid off as I was free Saturday night when Ana and Marcelo invited my friend Vijay and I over at the last minute for Spanish Tapas Night. Check out the Serrano Ham they just happened to have for the occasion! For more recipes that use Serrano Ham, check out my favorite food blog, Smitten Kitchen (the blog is as great as the name!)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lobsters in Greenport Long Island

So I love to cook...but I don't love to cook lobsters...I had a big glass of Long Island Chardonnay after this...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Vote For Me For Murphy Goode!

This endorsement for my Murphy Goode candidacy for "A Really Goode Job" was filmed at 54 Mint, a lovely new Italian restaurant in SOMA. The pasta was modern but still hearty the way I like it, they were really helpful with the largely Italian wine list, and I got a hug from one of the owners as I left. Loved, loved it.

P.S. Can you name all the languages in the video?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Terroir - A Natural SF Wine Bar

Terroir is the best wine bar I've been to in SF, I think, because it's not like all the other wine bars. It's a combination of cozy and hip, something really hard to pull off, but they do it well. The cute owners (yes, all three of them are crushable) clearly love great wine, focusing only on all natural wines that really shine. I'm an admitted cheese snob and they didn't disappoint there either. There's something about the owner's passion, taste and attention to detail and quality that really makes this place special. If you live in SF and love wine, you're missing out if you haven't checked this place out yet.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I had my first oyster about two years ago and fell in love. I think they are perfect - raw, salty, tasty and they go perfectly with a variety of white wines, beers and crisp afternoons. I usually get my oysters at Hyde Street Seafood and Oyster House in SF, which has a killer happy hour special. And Marshall's Store, up in Pt Reyes is the perfect out of town spot for them.

Last week I was on Long Island with college friends though and we shucked some oysters from their neighbor's oyster farm! Some might say that I was so terrible at shucking that I don't deserve to eat them, but I'll beg for forgiveness and happily pay or plead to have them shucked for me. Does that make me an oyster amateur?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Some people have asked me why I focus on video blogging. For me, I communicate best and really come alive when connecting with other people real time. Video blogging, with the people, food and wine that make me happy and make me laugh makes me feel most myself.

I've got a few really fun videos coming up - oyster shucking on Long Island, a funny lobster dinner, chatting with the owner of a bio dynamic wine bar in SF and a day at Facebook hanging out in the kitchen with the chefs. Be sure to check them out!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Point Reyes Picnic

One of the reasons Northern California is so amazing. A few bottles of wine from Sonoma county, cheese from Cowgirl Creamery and chacuterie from Boccalone. We saddled up to The Marshall Store for oysters and a view and enjoyed the day. It doesn't get much better than this!

Last Night's Dinner: Random Turkey Mix

Random weeknight dinner: Ground turkey with onions, garlic, salt, pepper and ground cilantro. Add a can of black beans with the sauce, then top with a little bit of goat cheese, kalamata olives and fresh cilantro. Serve with white rice (my comfort food) and avocado. Pulled this one out of nowhere, so if you have suggestions be sure to comment!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My Mom's Empanadas! Part I

Add Image

Learn how to make my mom’s empanadas from my mom! For the filling: onions, garlic, green peppers, ground beef, cheddar cheese and olives, in that order. Stay tuned for how to fill and cook the dough!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Greenport Produce

The north fork of Long Island is amazing - vineyards, oysters, amazing produce and a laid-back attitude that's not to miss.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Big Wine!

Had a big tempranillo from Spain the other night. Big wine needs big, rich food!

NY Italian Food - Straightforward and Delicious!

Monday, June 1, 2009

A "Love" Ostrich Egg

Check out my ostrich egg chatter with Caitlin from Love Farms. Who knew ostriches only lay about 12 eggs a year?!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Cooking with Rocco

Check out my webisode with Rocco RiSpirito!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cooking Show Flashback

Editing my Murphy Goode video today brought back great memories of filming with Rocco!


Here are some fun shots from that didn't make it into my Murphy Goode application...but I think they'll make you laugh.

Dinner Party Chatter

Some ramblings - do I ramble a lot?! - from my dinner party last week at Toby and Brooke's place. We drank Murphy Goode wines, obviously. The scallops are from Sun Fat Seafood on Mission and 23rd - love the name.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Love Farms in Healdsburg

Some ramblings on a wonderful produce shop from Love Farms - how great is that name? - up in Healdsburg. The produce I've eaten from here is some of the best I've ever had, really. I guess it's because they make them with love...awwwww.....

My mom says there are misspellings on here - uh-oh! I definitely had better handwriting and was a better speller when I was in 5th grade, but I thought my use of a computer and spell check had mitigated it... Just did a spell check though and came up clean - except that it wants me to spell "blonde" as "blond" so I'm glad I still remember some things.

Spring Dinner - Beans

This makes me laugh everytime I watch it. My friend Brooke makes up the peanut gallery!

Big editing day today - stay tuned for lots of great videos!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I have some memories of eating gyros on the water in Oyster Bay, Long Island when I was little, probably 5 ish. Today I was brought back, with one of the freshest gyros I've had in ages. The yogurt sauce was amazing, the lamb was perfect and as a bonus it wasn't difficult to eat (which I was silently thankful for as I chatted with a cute Swedish guy while eating it and it didn't get all over my hands and / or face).

Check out the new Farmer's Market at Yerba Buena and tell the gyro guy I sent you (maybe describe me as the dark haired talkative girl with the talkative blonde girl (Brooke!) who took pictures of him and asked him 100 questions).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I was thinking a light sushi dinner tonight, but somehow ended up at Firefly with my good friend Julio. Though I'm pretty full right now - some would call it a bit uncomfortable - I'm psyched to have found a place that
seems reliably good. The waitress was sweet yet assertive in her recommendations (a combination I love). I enjoyed both wines I had - a Walter Hansel Sauvignon Blanc from Russian River and a Sangiovese from Shenandoah Valley (which I just looked up to find is in West Virgina - who knew?!!) Best of all, Sunday thru Thursday they have a $35 prix fixe on three courses from anything on the menu. It's a great deal for the quality of food in this adorable restaurant (though questionable if you're going to the beach in Mexico in less than a month...)

My shrimp and scallop dumplings were perfect, except that they felt out of place on the menu. Julio's asparagus and goat cheese souffle was really light - surprisingly so - but good. The pork chop was delicious, but I was a little bit jealous of his duck with risotto (which was supposed to have morels, but he swears they were MIA). Dessert was really great, but overwhelming - I'm always a sucker for my birthday strawberry shortcake and Julio, who basically has an only chocolate rule for dessert, had a decadent chocolate and peanut butter boudin. If I hadn't been embarrassed to ask I would have brought the leftover boudin home for Lauren.

Check the place out. Firefly even made Noe Valley creep up in my SF neighborhood ranking.

My winning video for What's Your Med Style! And the first time I noticed my laugh is a little bit loud (you think I'm kidding about it being the first time, but I promise I'm not!) You can check out the other contestants here.

Here's the behind the scenes from my video shoot with Rocco DiSpirito. This is the video my mom loves the best, so I hope you love it too (and that it's not something only a mother could love!)

I’ll admit that though I think SF has some of the best raw food ingredients around, I sometimes think the restaurants here are overrated. Not Chez Panisse Café though – if it were around the corner from me I’d go every week, for real.

Here are a few reasons I love it:

Their food is GOODE…no, it’s great really – check out the squid they cooking in their wood brick oven in an already scorching pan…mixed with chick peas , pepper and a light sauce that had the come-back taste my mom loves

Their wine list is extensive and varied, but still manages to be simple and approachable

Their servers are lovely – they’re not only kind, but it’s obvious they are in love with everything they’re serving

The atmosphere is low key, but special - perfect for a date, dinner with family, or a Tuesday night with a great friend

It’s a steal for what you get – OK, I’m not saying it’s cheap, but there’s nothing I hate more than paying over $20 for an entree and it being mediocre