Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wine Review: TN Verasol

$8 dark berry, light to medium body, short finish, light purple. Ruby color, hints of lavender.

Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Wicked Grounds: Would you like some Kink with your coffee?

I actually looked Rose to see if she could create for me a nifty chef's jacket, something cool, funky and more me. As it turns out, she is capable of that and so much more!

She and her husband are opening San Francisco's first coffee house & kink boutique, right in the Folsom neighborhood! The spot is adorable and perfect for serving Ritual Coffee, Red Blossom Tea, delightful baked goods....and ropes?

Yep! I am actually not going to tell you all about the exciting kink surprises they have in store for you, since I really want you to go and support them! I will however give you one hint: Steampunk Kink, anyone?

Lovely people offering a lovely, much needed service is Wicked Grounds. So enjoy the interview and make sure you stop by and visit my favorite resident:

Wicked Grounds
@Wicked Grounds (Twitter)

Luna's Kitchen Magic airs Saturday & Sunday @ 7 p.m. EST

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Rayun Syrah '08 Chile

The bottle says notes of cherry & blackberry w/vanilla & mocha. I spent $8 @ the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant.

My take: It has a light, floral bouquet, a flavor that compliments spicy lentils and a gently jammy mouthfeel. Medium bodied with a sexy purple color & light tannins. A great bargain! This is one I will certainly pick up again.

Eat Real Fest '09

I for one am very excited about the Eat Real Fest, coming to a place near me (yeah!!) in August. The 28-30th to be exact.

According to the site, there will be a canning exchange, a butchery contest andf some foraging going down. Homebrewers, cupcakes and street food will be playing starring roles.

Oakland really needs this type of event. It will help showcase all the elements that make eating fresh food pleasurable. As I have been learning more about food justice and also forbidden foods, my view of food is taking new turns.

Eat Real and its compatriets are challenging food sterotypes, introducing a whole new crop of people to the fresh, the new, real food. This is an amazing opportunity for Oakland to join together & learn something beneficial for the entire community!

Eat Real Fest

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Foodzie - Taste Something Different

Meet Foodzie, the San Francisco purveyors of Artisan products that would not otherwise have wide distribution.

I had the chance to sit down with Emily Olsen to find out more about the company and its offerings.

You can see my review of Aequare and check out DAS Foods Lollipops who's Ginger Lollipop was a Luna's pick of the day on April 24th.

Foodize is doing a wonderful thing by helping artisans to reach the people who would love to enjoy their products! Check them out and all the wonderful artisans they work with: Foodzie

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Panna Cotta w/Cherries

A few weeks ago I had the overwhelming urge for Panna Cotta. Who better to turn to than the pastry prince himself, David Lebovitz

This recipe is perfect, and the only thing I could think of to change it in anyway wa to add fresh cherry bits, which was insanely delicious! Thanks!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Luna's Pick of the Day: Ravenswood '05 Zinfindel

Juicy mouthfeel, not too fruity, well balanced.

We enjoyed this wine w/bbq chicken sandwhiches and the combo was perfection!

The berry adds a light sweetness that is pleasant. This is one wine I will certainly enjoy again!

Ravenswood Winery

Strawberry Cupcakes!

I was one of the lucky people to asked to participate in the Cupcake Crawl hosted by @TheGourmetGirl! This was a real honor for me, so I went all out. You may laugh, but as a pastry chef, I a cupcake novice, so I have really just gotten started the last few months on creating some.

My choice for the Crawl:

Strawberry Cupcakes w/Strawberry Liqueur Frosting!

The strawberry liqueur was a tester given to me by Lisa over at Loft Liqueurs, which I have been saving for a worthy cupcake.

For the Cupcakes, you will need:

1/2 c soft butter
3/4 c vanilla sugar
3 large eggs
1 c pastry flour (I used Arrowhead Mills)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 c cream
1/2 c chopped or crushed fresh strawberries mixed with 1 tbsp sugar (just to coat)
2 tsp Strawberry Liqueur

Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a cupcake pan with 12 liners.

Cream Butter and sugar until light, add eggs, cream and liqueur. It will look a bit curdled, but its not. Sift your dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in your berries and make sure there is not flour left on the side of the bowl.

DO NOT OVERMIX! This is the danger, flat cupcakes. It takes a light hand and like muffins, its okay if the batter is not totally smooth.

I put one scoop of batter into each liner, if you have left over, you can make more cupcakes! Bake about 12 minutes. Wait patiently while the smell floats across your kitchen and makes you salivate. Pop out of oven and cool, while you make your frosting!

I love my mom's frosting. I have never been much of a cake eater as I am really anti-frosting. My mom's is the most basic and simple recipe and I know that there are a million other mom's out there who make the same one, having like minded children.

Strawberry Liqueur Frosting:
1 stick soft butter
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
3 tbsp Loft Organic Strawberry Liqueur

Whisk until you get the desired constistancy. I love it its a bit runny. Spread on your cupcakes, top with a fresh strawberry and enjoy!

Check out Gourmet Girl Magazine!'s Official Blog: Kitchen Rap

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ah, the Picnic

The picnic is a highly underrated way in which to enjoy tasty food and delightful company. Indoors or outdoors, in the park or at the beach, there are a variety of amazing ways to celebrate eating and each other!

From champagne to cheese, this weeks show celebrates the picnic. And in a few weeks I will celebrate by planning an end of summer picnic and posting about here, so you can recreate or emulate it!

Luna's Picnic essentials:

*a good, comfy blanket

*a nice hamper (picnic basket)

*fruit, seasonal that won't go bad

*I love Ravenswood Wine right now, & their reds are great!

*cheese, such as Petite Basque for a hard cheese or Robiola Bosina for a soft

*really good crackers

This is such a perfect way to have a date, whether it be your first or your hundredth!

Luna's Kitchen Magic airs @ 7 p.m. EST, 4 p.m. PST. see you there!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Luna's Pick of the day: Julie & Julia

Julie and Julia

I knew from the first chapter that I was going to love the book. It turns out that Julie & I have quite a few things in common: PCOS, a love of vintage clothes and a man who loves us (and is loved by us) beyond all reason.

Setting out to cook 524 recipes in 365 days is no easy feat. Such a challenge is issued to someone who is clearly mad. Or just really in need of a change.

Julie Powell is funny, charming, a little crazy and always interesting. She may not have intended for their to be a morale to her story, yet there is one: sometimes you have to move past your comfort zone to achieve what you really want.

There are moments when she wants to quit, moments when it all seems to much. Yet there is so much love in this book, as her friends and family rally around Julie’s ‘insane’ project, even when they don’t quite understand it.

From her copious use of the ‘f’ word, to the gimlets, page 1 starts off well and keeps you interested to the very end.

I loved every minute of this book, and if you happen to read this, Julie, you made me actually crave liver for the first time in my life!

I highly recommend this memoir to anyone who loves food, and be sure to catch the movie!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Evolution of a food lover

How does a very fussy eater as a child evolve into a chef and food lover? I know that I cannot be the only picker eater in the world who really loves delicious food. The conversation started like this:

“You know, you are really picky for a chef.”
“Really, cause most of the chef’s I know are picky!”

As a kid I mostly ate fresh fruit and veg to the shock & horror of my mother. As a teen I ate ramen, which by the way, does no good for a teenage girl’s metabolism. Middle teens, cereal. A lot of carrots and cereal.

My friend Lori, is the one introduced me to brie, stuffed mushrooms and decent wine. K taught me how to make the easiest dessert in my repertoire (which caused one of my adopted older brothers to become a dessert convert) and Steve is the reason I tried rabbit and alligator.

As your palate opens, you long to try new things. Now that I have tried them, I cannot imagine never again having really good champagne, truffles or excellent cheese. So essentially, you cannot go forward without leaving a few things behind.

Evolution, in my opinion, is important in food. You can’t just say, ‘oh I love dark chocolate’ with snobbery aimed at anyone who likes white chocolate or milk chocolate. Why? Because each of those types of sweet have something to offer if made well.

And because you like what you like. No, I don’t eat certain brands of chocolate any more, as I find the quality no longer suits my palate. I’m hardly going to make fun of someone who does. So you can call me a picky eater all you want, I’ll wear the title with pride.