The first of two photo essays for the Meals on Wheels Star Chefs and Vintners Gala fundraiser of 2016.
As usual, AJ and I were stuffed before we even got halfway through the room. We were at the annual Meals on Wheels Star Chefs and Vintner’s Gala event and we were trying our best to pace ourselves. But when you have the best of the best restaurants of the San Francisco Bay Area trying to impress, it’s hard not to indulge. We nibbled, we noshed and we tried to hold back so we could sample everything. It’s a tough job but someone had to do it. Even more important than all the food that I was able to eat was the money that Meals on Wheels raised. Over $3.3 million! So amazing! If you followed me on Snapchat or Instagram you probably saw some of the amazing dishes we encountered. If not, here’s a recap of the appetizer portion of the event. I’ll be putting up the rest of the event (which includes, behind the scenes, the three course meal we had, and desserts) in a later post!
Special thanks to Meals on Wheels San Francisco for providing tickets to the the Star Chefs and Vintner’s Gala. I was not monetarily compensated for this post and all opinions above are my own.
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This not-too-sweet rhubarb coffee cake has blackberries and a big crumb topping for a perfect spring breakfast treat!
“Do you ever get burned out of baking?” asked a friend of mine at brunch. We were huddling together in the patio deck, trying to keep dry as it was raining outside. The overhead awning was huge but condensation kept on dripping down the side of one of the fences onto his back as he shifted slightly uncomfortable. I kind of chuckled and said “That would be a YES.” but then qualified it with a “I’m kind of tired of it now, but I know I will always circle back round to it. It never lasts long.” Which is a good thing because I was heading back home to bake up this rhubarb coffee cake with blackberries and a big crumb topping. (Jump directly to the recipe.)
Spring has sprung here in San Francisco and though this year hasn’t been the insane El Niño that everyone predicted, we have been getting a bit of rain for the past week or so. I guess Spring showers are a thing, though I’ve grown so used to California drought that I used to warm and sunny weather year round. For me, seasons are marked by what sort of produce is available at the store and farmer’s market. Not the weather.
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This special April 1st post features a recipe for Butterscotch Raspberry Pie and a not safe for work story about a giant cartoon penis. (Jump directly to the recipe.)
I peered through the black mesh screen in my costume and felt slightly warm and vaguely claustrophobic. The giant felt and plaster form that enclosed my body wasn’t uncomfortable, just awkward. I had plenty of space to wiggle around inside but the costume designers had forgotten to put in shoulder straps. For me to walk or move, I had to lift the entire form up using the arm holes with my shoulder.
The director yelled “ACTION!” and I shook one of my giant fuzzy hand glove (not unlike a Mickey Mouse hand, but medium beige in color) at the giant penis costume standing right in front of me. It was a mirror of my own penis costume, except a darker shade of brown. I said out loud “You are one amazing penis!” knowing it would be muffled because of the costume, but that’s OK. They’d dub the lines in post-production anyway. The other penis replied back a soft, muffled “Thanks! Let’s do it again sometimes!” Then I turned around, hunching my shoulders up so my giant penis costume wouldn’t drag on the ground and ambled away from the other penis. The director yelled “Cut!” and I went back to the same spot I was at before. It was time to do another take. In the meanwhile, I just thought to myself “I have the best job ever.” [click to continue…]
These Rye Brownies have caramel and sea salt sprinkled on top, giving them a salty crunchy bite. Easy to make and seriously addictive!
“Here it is…” said my friend Felisa as she gave everyone else around her suspicious looks and slyly pulled out a foil wrapper hidden from who knows where. She handed it to my friend Rita and they both giggled. We were into our second night at Lake Tahoe for our annual weekend ski reunion with friends (8 couples and 13 kids) and it had all been a bit of organized chaos throughout the trip. I gave her a curious glance, wondering what sort of contraband substance she had in her hand. Did she sneak some sort of special treat in for just for her and Rita? Was it a “medicinal” edible (highly unlikely but they both did spend some time living in San Francisco so who knows)? Was this sort of an inside joke? No to all that! It was my Rye Brownies with Caramel and Sea Salt that she set aside from the previous day. Felisa and Rita were both scared that they would be all gone by the next day and so they made a pact to store a couple away. Just. In. Case. I guess they were that good! (Jump directly to the recipe.)
Our annual Tahoe happens, well, annually. It’s been ongoing for years now. Several friends make the trek up all the way from Los Angeles, and the rest of the folks come from San Francisco or Davis in Northern California. Even as the years have passed and the couples have had kids, it just meant renting two homes instead of one to make room. We do big communal dinners that have people either bringing up food that they made at home (like bread or my homecured bacon and various brownies and blondies) as well as making massive quantities of food at the house. The madness of herding 13 kids and 18 adults to do anything together is pretty maddening but that’s sort of the fun right?
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