10 November 2011

La La Love You - LA's Bounty

I am in love with California's bounty. No dis on Seattle intended - after all, our homegrown tomatoes and state-grown apples are things of beauty. And the fresh salmon, flown in from Alaska, is heaven, one slab at a time.

It's just that SoCal's produce - much of which grows year-round - is fresh, delicious, plentiful.

Just look at the size of those shallots!

And artichokes!

It's also inexpensive! I really didn't believe farmer's markets were cheaper than (or even equivalent to) what I could get in a top-quality grocery store at home. I've had many a conversation about this, including a discussion with Angela from What's My Deal? But California is a game-changer. A trip to the farmer's market no longer leaves my wallet $30-40 lighter; here, we can fill our bags for under a 20-spot.

An even better deal is free-99. We can stretch our arms into the communal lemon tree in our apartment building's courtyard to pluck a ripe fruit anytime we need some zest. I see a lot of lemon bars in my future. In fact, I'm prepping to make a batch of David Lebovitz's whole-lemon bars this week for our new neighbors.

A current rave that brings this all together: simple salad. In my last post, I raved about the Olive Pit's 18-year balsamic vinegar, so luscious and aged that it drizzles like syrup over a salad. Paired with an equal drizzle of olive oil and a crack of pepper is all I need to top intensely dark green spinach and a harvest orange heirloom tomato for my favorite salad of the moment. (It's pretty great with chunked tuna and garbanzo beans for extra protein, too.)

This picture really doesn't do it justice. The green of that spinach was so dark, it was like a forest at night. I felt healthier just handling it.

This is what's on my table right now. I can't wait to discover new local gems - like the persimmon I've been eyeing at the store. Stay tuned!

26 October 2011

An LA Story - The Next Installment

I've been absent.

The past few weeks have been go, go, go!

In September, we visited LA. In October, we moved to LA.

My last few weeks looked like this:
Rented apartment in Westwood
Nate accepted job
Returned home to Seattle - go time!
Sold furniture
Packed house
Enlisted more help to pack house (Thanks, mom!)
Listed house for rent, found tenants
Continued packing
Said goodbyes
Packed truck
Hit road (at 10/10 - 10 a.m., for those who like numbers)

Our road "trip" took a little over 3 days. We travelled with my mom and stepdad (so thankful for their help!) + our two cats. Our itinerary and highlights along the way:
  • Day 1: to Ashland. Cats were quiet. Lunch @ Oaktree. Dinner in Medford/Denny's.
  • Night 1: in Ashland. Remy-cat kept us up all night, literally bouncing off the hotel walls and yowling.
  • Day 2: to Bakersfield (hint: this is a LONG way from Medford). LaQuinta Inn for breakfast. Lunch at the Olive Pit - yummy, syrupy balsamic vinegar on the Greek salad. More on this soon. It's become a staple on my salads. Dinner at McD's. Those Filet-o-Fish sammies are still quite delicious.
  • Night 2: Remy now drugged on tranquilizers. Felt like our hotel was in the 'hood and fretted about truck in lot - with all of our possessions - all night long.
  • Day 3: LaQuinta again for breakfast + one of those new SBC iced lattes from gas station. Zing!  Arrived in LA to a traffic jam on the 405 + a heatwave - in the high 90s. Unpacked half of truck - helpers Aunt Sharon & Uncle Tom also brought amazing pastries from Porto's. Ate 3 cream-cheese puff pastries with big grains of sugar, unabashedly. Put a moratorium on moving around 4.30. Too. HOT!
  • Night 3: Dinner at Native Foods Cafe - vegan & delicious. Crashed asleep.
  • Day 4: Up at 9 to unpack the 2nd half of truck (all boxes + a few heavy items); all boxes done by 11.30, but it took nearly 2 hrs to get the other items - just 3 heavy pieces - up the stairs. Oh yes, did I forget to mention? We had to haul everything up 30 stairs in this 90+ heat. It should be noted that next time we move, we will hire movers.
Yes, it's been crazy - but thrilling and dare I say fun, too. We're excited for what lies ahead! Now settling! More soon, hopefully with some pictures.

19 September 2011

An LA Story, Part 2

Our next move?
The view from the hilltop Silverlake apartment is sweeping. To the right and down, houses cluster together amid the trees. Off in the distance, mini skyrises form geometric blocks flanked by the famed Hollywood sign rising monolithically in the backdrop. Further afield: a gauzy haze covering what I know to be Santa Monica and the Pacific. Dreamy.

I could get used to this.

We're here for two weeks in LA, housesitting for my oldest friend in the world while she and her family gallivant around eastern Europe. For us, the trip is a little bit R&R and a little bit work. We're here to decide whether Los Angeles will be the next move in our game of life.

It got off to a fantastic start. We arrived yesterday morning, and as the wheels bumped down at Bob Hope airport in Burbank, Nate and I exchanged glances. It's Go Time. Decisions ahead. But first, a bit of downtime to settle in.

We crashed into catnaps following the early rise, then were off to a posh Hollywood Hills house (now a working studio for a friend of Nate's) for a BBQ/birthday. If anything will sway our decision, it's the remote chance that we could possibly land a view like this:

Or this:

It's still much too early for a decision, but first impressions mean a lot.

Sept 6 update - Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot!

The temperature on the LA Times website says it's 90 degrees. We're only partially there, headed for 98 degrees tomorrow, then possibly 100. Thank God for air conditioning.

On a related note, I'm going to need to rethink my beverages if we move to LA. My steaming cup of coffee seems wildly inappropriate. At Starbucks yesterday, I tried a lime "Refresher" - a drink being testmarketed here in LA + also in Arizona. It uses green coffee for its base. The barista described it as akin to a mojito, minus the booze. I thought it too limey - it tasted like the tart pith. Nate thought it tasted like hay (what green coffee smells like). I'm not so sure it's a hit. Apparently there also was a passionfruit flavor that was so successful, it's already sold out.

Sept 9 update - Gonna take a trip...
We saw Band of Horses last night at the Wiltern, a historic old theatre similar to the Paramount Seattle. I slagged off this band for their first album (yawn-inducing). A couple of songs on the second album piqued my interest. But the third effort, Infinite Arms, is on regular rotation now. BoH was supposed to be opening for Kings of Leon, but KoL had to cancel the tour while their singer gets himself straightened out. So BoH culled together a short, spotty headlining tour. So happy we are in LA right now to get to this show because they sounded pristine.

Forever ingrained in my mind will be the live rendition of "Laredo." I already love the song, but as they played it live, I felt the goosebumps rise on my arms as I watched from our mezzanine level seats. The band, warmed up and grooving, was clearly at their peak of the night. The swagger, the harmonies, the confidence... I didn't want the moment to end.

Sept 19 update...This is happening
So, it's been 10 days since my last entry. That week and half has been full of questions, answers, and action. First, here are some scenes from coffee shops where we had good talks and made some decisions.

The honey-vanilla latte at Urth Caffe - a thing of beauty:

And the pastries at Intelligentsia (paired with a smooth Gibraltar on the side - a double shot of espresso gently caressed by a topper of cooler-than-normal steamed milk, so that it emulsifies):

Lest you think all of our decisions were made in caffeine frenzies, I present the famed flaming margarita at El Compadre:

So after caffeine and questions (my specialty), we made a decision: We are moving to LA!

We've found a place in Westwood, only partially decided upon due to proximity to the Paris Bakery and its macarons:

We move in just a few weeks.

Honestly, we knew deep in our hearts that we'd end up in LA. It was just a matter of securing a place (done), a job for Nate (done), and a renter for our Seattle house (not done - are you interested?).

It's time for an adventure, new scenery, and some sunshine. More to come in the weeks ahead!

05 August 2011

This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship

Jack, meet Ginger. Ginger, meet Jack.

Jack - this gal Ginger... she's just your type. A little sweet, a little spicy, and she'll keep you warm on a cool night. But she's also just as comfortable on a summer evening. She's refreshing, surprising. Even a little zingy. 

Ginger - let me tell you about Jack. He's strong and rugged. A classic. But he's also sweet. He'll feel like a warm hug enveloping you. And that honey-coated throat. Oh me oh my. He'll have you wrapped around him in no time.

I just know you two would make a nice pair. You should meet, soon. Icebreakers will be no problem. You'll be comfortable in no time. 

Like any good match, remember - both of you bring equal weight to the relationship and complement each other. This one's 50-50.

I think this is the beginning of something beautiful.

Jack and Diane - (c) @amydishes

Jack and Ginger (Sweet and Spicy)

Crush ice and fill a highball glass. Mix equal parts Reed's Extra Ginger beer and Jack Daniel's Honey into the glass.




27 June 2011

Adventures in recreating signature restaurant items

Tonight's was a simple meal: garlic bread and tomato soup. But there was more than met the eye.

I had set out to recreate two beloved restaurant menu items. One new - the garlic knots from C&O Trattoria in Venice Beach. I've only tasted them once (well, on one occasion. On that on one night, I probably ate half-a-dozen!). And one old - the beguiling Glenwood tomato-cheese soup I ate bowl after bowl of in Eugene.

We'll start with the tomato soup, as this is now my third post about this elusive recipe. Tonight, I inched ever closer to recreating the Glenwood's magic. The soup base wasn't quite right - some herbs and flavors are still missing. (Tonight I tried this recipe, subbing in whole milk for cream, forgetting to add the butter, and tossing in some shredded cheese.)

But tonight I may have unlocked the cheese's secret. Glenwood's cheese never melts - no matter how hot the soup. After mulling the question How? for nearly two decades, I posted here about the quandary. A couple of dear readers have found my post and provided what I now think is exactly the secret: vinegar.

On try #2, I tried cheddar steeped overnight in apple cider vinegar. The texture was right, but the flavor much, much too overpowering.

Tonight, I opted for a mellower combo: approx a cup of shredded mozzarella steeped in a few tablespoons of white wine vinegar; also, I let the two mingle for only four hours vs overnight, and rinsed the cheese before I stirred it into the pot.

Voila! Bouncy, intact shreds of cheese sans vinegar! My husband even commented that he preferred this cheese to Glenwood's. Well, I'll be!

I think we have won part of the battle! If only I could perfect the base... I think the soup needs a bay leaf (or several), maybe a sprinkle of sugar. And... ____. There's a gap. I'll keep working on it.

Next up: the garlic knots, aka "Killer Garlic Knots" from Venice Beach's C&O. My cousin took us out to C&O when we visited LA in April, and I've been drooling over these garlic knots since (I'm probably still breathing their pungent fire, too!) They're a free appetizer at this charming, communal eatery - but they were the highlight of the meal.

Since I don't live close enough to C&O to pop in for a bite - and a two-hour flight seems a bit extreme for a freebie - I decided I need to make these at home. I surfed the net and found a few recipes to start with. This post from Misanthropichostess looked spot-on and well-researched, so I started there.

I followed the recipe to the T, and am beyond thrilled to report these are a-ma-zing. I halved the dough recipe as she suggests (stashing the other half in the freezer) and came out with 22 knots. Only 8 are left - a testament to their sheer deliciousness, as are our stuffed bellies. (For the record, I liked the batch baked for 15 minutes better than the 12-minute batch, and I sprinkled a pinch of salt atop the warm knots for added kick.) These are a sure-fire hit that I will make time and time again.

C&O's - more gloss (it is LA, after all)

Mine (via Misanthropichostess). Even better than the real thing?

The last menu item wasn't from a restaurant, but it's worth documenting because it was so darn easy: Mini pies baked in muffin tins.

I went to a lovely BBQ this weekend, and one of the guests brought a similar treat. I had 2 bags full of fresh Rainer cherries on hand + some frozen pie dough, so I threw together a concoction:

Fill the muffin tin with just enough dough to line it, disregarding perfection ("rustic" is chic). Toss halved cherries with some sugar, flour, lemon juice, and almond extract (not measuring). Fill dough. Cover with leftover dough scraps any which way you like. Bake at 375 for approx 15 minutes. Enjoy! (PS - these can be eaten on the go. They'd fit perfectly in the palm of your hand en route to work, with a steaming mug of coffee on the side. Hello, pie for breakfast.)

So that's it! A resounding round of success in tonight's meals. Leave me a comment if you have any other tips on that Glenwood tomato-cheese soup base!

03 June 2011

Happy Blog Birthday!

Amy Dishes is officially entering the terrible twos- though let's hope they aren't so terrible. It's been two years - 730 days - since my first post. I think I've stuck pretty well to my mission, with a few deviations here and there.

This past year has been a bit slow due to my schoolwork, but I'm getting back on track.

I'm happy to have you all as readers and encouragers and look forward to many more years with you!


PS: Thanks to my friend dj for the red velvet doughnut - in honor of National Doughnut Day (and serving double duty for blog bday)

23 May 2011

An LA Story?

Last month Nate and I took a whirlwind four-day trip to Los Angeles. He was attending a writing conference with Robert McKee (author of Storythe screenwriter's bible). I tagged along to see friends and family.

Everyone warned me about how horrible LA is - the traffic! the prices! the people!

But, you know what? All of that proved to be untrue.

I drove south to Oceanside one day to visit my stepsister - made it there and back in under 2 hours each way.

Prices didn't seem so bad; in fact, many of our meals cost LESS than in Seattle.

And everyone we met was so darn friendly.

Maybe these misconceptions represent the LA of old? Or perhaps they're rumors Los Angelenos spread to keep people from moving to their city (much like we always tell people Seattle is grey and rainy 10 months of the year. Oh....wait. That one is true).

In any case, it was a lovely trip. I wish I'd taken my camera out of my (new Coach!) bag more. Here's what we have:

In LA, the streets are lined with palms not pines.

Beautiful grate/window at Griffith Observatory.

You know the phrase "amazeballs"? That is these garlic knots. More to come in a future post!

11 May 2011

I love it when a plan comes together: Three-tomato sauce

Sometimes, things just come together.

I’ve taken what feels like a nearly 9-month long hiatus from cooking. No, not because I was pregnant – but because I’ve been in school. I went back in fall to get a marketing management certificate through UW. Only one course per week, but it’s left me with little brainspace to do much else.

My cooking skills have definitely suffered. We’ve eaten a lot of (gasp) frozen meals. And I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve tried to cook of late, only to get distracted halfway through and flub up a meal.

There are just 12 days left of class (yes, I’m counting). This past weekend, on the eve of my rough-draft presentation for this quarter’s practicum, I felt a lift. I was inspired – actually excited – to get into the kitchen.

I had a general idea of what I wanted to make. We’d picked up some frozen tuna steaks from Trader Joe’s, and I wanted to pair them with a spicy, robust puttanesca-type sauce – based on the one from my favorite vegetarian cookbook. We also had some grape tomatoes on the counter that needed to be used and a new pouch of sundried tomatoes calling to me.

And so, three-tomato sauce was born: A sweet, spicy, chunky sauce bursting with three types of tomatoes + tangy olives and capers. I love the way the grape tomatoes and kalamata olives looked in the saucepan – echoes of each other, one bright red and one dark purple. I wish I had a photo to show you, but I just ate the last bite.

I’m looking forward to what awaits – more free time on the horizon, so close I can almost taste all the deliciousness in my future.

Three-tomato sauce (inspired by puttanesca)

  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 small jar tomato paste
  • 1 c. grape tomatoes
  • ½ c. sundried tomatoes (I left them whole, but next time will cut in half)
  • Approx 20 kalamata olives + some of their brine
  • 2 T. large capers + some of their brine
Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until tender. Add red pepper to taste. Stir in tomato paste, grape tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, kalamatas/brine, and capers/brine. Simmer to let flavors meld, approximately 20 minutes. (Note that at simmer stage, I transferred the sauce from the sauté pan to a covered pot – I needed the pan for my tuna steaks. You could cook it in the sauté pan, though – just cover it to help seal in spatters.)

Can be served as a protein topper (over tuna or chicken) or as a pasta sauce. I bet this would even be good heaped, cold, onto bruschetta.

27 April 2011

The Holy Grail of Soups - Tomato-Cheese, Part 2

The plot thickens, my friends. More than a year ago, I posted about my ongoing quest to find the recipe for the tomato soup served in Eugene, Oregon's Glenwood Cafe.

The soup is tangy and perfectly seasoned, but its mystery lies in its shredded cheese - which never melts, no matter how hot the soup.

Just a few weeks ago, a new comment appeared on that post. Seems someone else was sleuthing for the recipe and found my blog. She had a hot tip to share. Had I tried soaking the cheese in vinegar first? It is known to change the structure (proteins, reportedly) of the cheese and keep it from melting.

And so, I tried. I grated some Tillamook cheddar, put it into a bowl and covered it with apple cider vinegar in the morning. And then I waited. After work, I tasted a few shreds. Bouncier - more like cheese curds. Hmm.

I also wanted to experiment with this recipe for tomato soup, which I'm sure is fabulous if done correctly, but which I proceeded to alter (no chicken stock, no cream) and burn (as I worked on laundry and talked to my friend on the phone. Not a good combo).

But the cheese - it held its shape! I stirred it in to the pot about 10 minutes before serving, cranked the heat to medium (Not for more char taste, but to test the vinegar-cheese theory). And it worked! Even today, after reheating in the microwave for 2 minutes, the shreds stay intact.

This may be the trick. However, the soup tasted very vinegary. I'm not sure if this was due to the vinegar-soaked cheese. Next time I will try sweeter balsamic, as the comment suggested. But I had also stirred a couple Tbsp of balsamic vinegar in to the soup pot to counteract the burned taste...could be the culprit.

But, we may be on to something, so stay tuned! And send recipes for tomato-basil soups you think I should try as my base, if you would...Thanks!

21 April 2011

Aloha spirit

Aloha! I've been meaning to document last month's trip to the Big Island of Hawaii for some time now. Seems work and school and life have gotten in the way. But I wanted to share a few images from the trip, and some treasures we brought back from Kona. On our last full day on the island, I posed the question aloud to myself: What will I bring home from this trip? I wasn't thinking about the sand in my suitcase or the tan that quickly faded. Rather, lasting, indelible memories - specifically in the form of tastes and smells.

Papaya is common on a Hawaiian tropical fruit plate. I've never cared for it much, unless a heavy squeeze of lime juice corrects the over-sweet flesh to tone it down. On this trip, though, we discovered a new way to eat, and use, papaya: as a vessel for tangy plain yogurt, covered with a healthy sprinkle of coconut granola. I've made this at home weekly since our return, inspired by the breakfasts at Island Lava Java in Kona.

Smoked mozzarella: Where have you been all my life? Specifically, why have you not been on pizza? For festive occasions, I've sometimes bought a braid of smoked mozz to slice alongside some crackers. Once or twice, I've even grated it atop smoky chili. But I never thought of the joy this smoky, rich flavor would bring to a wood fired pizza. We went back to Kona Brewing Co. twice for their Puna Pie - slices heaped with roasted garlic and smoked-mozzarella perfection.

I eat a salad nearly every day, and have for decades. I look forward to the cool, crisp crunch of greens to end my meal. This trip provided the best lettuce I've ever had on the islands - locally grown, both tender and crisp, and shockingly fresh. In some cases, like at the charming cafe up the hill from King Kamehameha's Royal Grounds, the lettuce was grown mere steps from my plate. In Kona, at Huggo's on the Rocks' outside beach-bar (where I dined with sand in between my toes), I had a Hawaiian version of one of my favorite concoctions: warm protein (preferably fish) atop crunchy greens. Huggo's version came topped with a macadamia-nut crusted whitefish and a side of white rice, which I quickly blended in to my greens. All was topped with a sweet, tangy, gingery dressing and served, delightfully, nestled inside a bamboo steaming basket.

Plumeria is my happy-place scent. Upon arrival to the islands, it is a welcoming custom to be given a lei. Here's mine - pink and white plumeria strung on a simple thread. The heady, sweet scent is intoxicating. The other picture is of the most beautiful plumeria trees I've ever seen - deep pink flowers resting in the foreground to the bright blue ocean. At a gas station. The most unlikely of spots to find beauty.

As our trip came to an end, I knew I couldn't leave without some tangible memories. At the postage stamp of an airport on Kona, I stocked up on all things plumeria: a sticker for my car, a couple of hair accessories, and a bottle of lotion. None are the real deal, but they'll help kickstart memories of a lovely trip. Much like Aloha can mean hello or goodbye, the scent of plumeria, to me, represents a welcome as well as a bon voyage (or, preferably, a "see you soon").


12 March 2011

Brown sugar!

I love my rock n roll, though I've never been a huge Stones fan. But for the past couple of, I haven't been able to get "Brown Sugar" out of my head.

It started when I popped into our local coffee shop, Cafe Javasti, for a sip. Javasti is known for its house-made scones, coffee cakes, and muffins. And I profess they have the best cupcakes in town (move aside, Cupcake Royale and Trophy).

On that morning, Javasti's pastry case had a brown-sugar cupcake with some kind of cream frosting (in my memory, I think it was cream cheese, but it could have been whipped cream or even sour cream and still sound luscious). It was too early in the morning for me to think straight, so I left the shop with only my Americano. I'm kicking myself for not trying one of those cupcakes.

It got me thinking: why don't we use brown sugar as a featured ingredient? It's the only type of sugar I heap, directly from the bag, into my mouth. 

Its moist, sensual molasses flavor and delicate, crumbly texture is screaming for star power.

So, what to concoct?

  • There are the classics, like sugar cookies. 
  • Perhaps I'll work brown sugar into my daytime drinks, stirring it into espresso -- a little heavy-handed so it comes out thick and syrupy. 
  • And maybe there's room for brown sugar in night-time drinks -- like a brown-sugar-based whiskey sour. 
  • There's savory: a spicy brown-sugar glaze for salmon.
  • And semi-sweet: strawberries dipped in sour cream then brown sugar.
  • I also want to take a stab at some of those cupcakes -- visions of swirling brown sugar cakes dance in my head. 

What else would you suggest? It's up to us to set the next trendy, hot ingredient. Let's put brown sugar on center stage.

18 February 2011

Breaking news: New Canlis contest!

Looks like those crafty Canlis brothers are at it again. Their chef, Jason Franey, is up for a Food + Wine magazine "Best New Chef" award. They're on the campaign trail, posting daily pictures to their Facebook/Twitter accounts with the guys wearing "vote for Jason" signboards. The black and white photos hark back to presidential campaigns of yore, emitting Don Draper cool.

But, according to a news tip today, there may be more than at first meets the eye. The folks at Eater.com claim there's Morse Code embedded in each photo, leading us to solve a new mystery. Some sort of "pop-up" restaurant headed by Franey. Whoever solves the clue first gets a free dinner.

Looks like it's time to get back in the game!

02 February 2011

Sunny days...

I haven't seen this in quite a while:
It so inspired me that I took a walk, sipped a coffee, sauntered slowly home, then took 10 minutes in the Garden of Neglect to take care of unfinished business. Finally, on this 2nd day of February, my fall, close-up-shop work on last summer's garden is done.

Who wants to be outside in the rain and sleet, tugging out barren roots and breaking down tomato cages anyway?

This weather isn't atypical in Seattle. For at least a few days every February, the sun shines brightly, the clouds part, the blue sky spans, and we smile. Things come to life again.

I'm even planning a list of what to do (and what not to do) during this year's growing season. To start: some intoxicatingly sweet shrubbery outside the bedroom windows. My dream is to throw open the windows wide and let the aromas waft in. I've also got to do something about those raised beds (good idea, but not nearly deep enough). Maybe some hanging baskets?

And thanks to Punxsutawney Phil, it looks like spring is officially coming early. Here's to a new start!

12 January 2011

San Francisco: A Photo Essay

For my 34th birthday last month, Nate and I flew south to my all-time favorite city, San Francisco, for a long weekend. We've taken quite a few short trips to the Bay Area over the years. Now there's less pressure to see all the sights. Instead, we can relax... Hence sleeping in past official breakfast time and dining on soup for breakfast at farm:table.

Broccoli soup & apricot preserves pie for brekkie at farm:table. The lemon oil drizzle woke me up!

Tangy apricot preserves pie and coffee - this girl's best friend

On our walk back to Union Square, we stumbled upon lots of green. Like this ivy-covered building...

The big tree in Union Square. So festive!...
This charmingly retro green streetcar...
Old meets new - I love the retro scene of this traincar with the modern lady in front.

And, lots of other "green" wafting through the air. My my, those San Franciscans sure like to puff tough on their "herbal cigarettes."

One can't take a trip to SF without visiting the Mission for (yes, more) eats. The district swims in taqueries, like the postage-stamp-sized Papalote. The entrees were mediocre. But the specialty salsa - a cream, tangy, spicy concoction - made the BART journey worthwhile. Papalote sells the salsa in glass jars, and had the TSA not banned liquids above 3 oz., I would have stashed several in my carry-on bag to take home.

Papalote's salsa - creamy & spicy. Nate frowns when he realizes we can't bring it home to Seattle.

We'd already planned a visit to the Ferry Building along the water (I'd been so inspired to visit this indoor market since drooling over Lorna Yee's post and pictures). The weekly farmer's market, held on Saturday mornings, was icing. Here are some scenes:

San Francisco = fog. View from the pier.
Oysters in the a.m.? Not so much. But the display sure is lovely.

Streaming sunshine.

Chicken little.
Inside the Ferry Building.

Moving on to dairy.

Queso, queso, queso!

The wheels of the cheese go round and round.

Beta carrot-ene.

Oh, honeyman. Lots of varietals of fresh honey from this farm stand.

Rainbow of peppers.

Blue Bottle coffee!
Heavenly eucalyptus wreaths. Again, I wanted to tote one home but it wouldn't fit in my backpack. Alas, I found a similar version at Trader Joe's upon return to Seattle.

Intoxicating lavender
Welcome to the Port of San Francisco
That's a lot of meat.
From Rose Pistola - a mahi mahi sammie + tangy lentil salad. Perfect to share on a bench outside with the seagulls and sea air and my love.

All in all, it was a lovely trip. And as the song goes, I left my heart...