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Liven up Chicken Salad

Inspired by this thread, here's what I made today. (approx measurements). Super yum.

1 c chopped up roast chicken
2 scant tblsp mayo
1 tblsp country Dijon mustard
Couple dashes Worcestershire
Salt & pepper
Half a shallot (I dislike strong raw onion/shallot, so I minced it, soaked in cold water a few minutes, drained & splashed with white wine vinegar)

Mmm on a toasted whole wheat English muffin. Not too creative but it was nice & sharp.

Mar 02, 2013
RBofSF in Home Cooking

Double Sir Gawain cake recipe?

Thx - in case you're curious, I made it for the first time last week. With ollali berries frozen from the summer. Everyone loved it, and sooooo straightforward.

Feb 17, 2013
RBofSF in Home Cooking

La Ciccia [SF]

Vino Rosso and Vega's serve speck regularly.

Feb 12, 2013
RBofSF in San Francisco Bay Area

Meal Prep for the week ideas?

Here are my standbys-- Starting with the grilled meat / vegetables (or roasted veggies for a change ... Cauliflower, bell peppers, zucchini, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, etc.) ...
- wrap in a tortilla, salsa inside or on the side (cheese & black beans a plus)
- in a pita with vinaigrette or greek tzatziki
- with pasta & pesto, or pasta/marinara
- fried rice with soy & rice vinegar
- with a big salad & vinaigrette or Caesar & a roll
- with quinoa or couscous (a bit of vinaigrette or good salsa or pesto to add flavor too)
- lemon aioli on the side to dip (mayo, lemon, garlic, olive oil)

Feb 12, 2013
RBofSF in Home Cooking

Valentine cupcakes for preschool

You could sub one-half whole wheat flour. And/or make them mini. And avoid food coloring.

If you make mini muffins & add frosting & a cute heart candy, little ones are just as delighted.

Feb 11, 2013
RBofSF in Home Cooking

Chicken Pot Pie in The City

I still love the pot pie at Liberty too. New owners have freshened things up but kept the menu true to Liberty's roots & good baking. Side note - outside patio is great.

Feb 11, 2013
RBofSF in San Francisco Bay Area

Does anyone love/prefer tilapia to other common raved-about seafood?

My parents love it (I think bc it's mild, white, not fishy). My mom is Indian, and she does a great version - rub with cumin, coriander, salt, pepper - pan fry. Maybe ginger-garlic paste too. It handles the Indian spices & is light compared to the rest of the Indian meal. Lots of lime on top. Cilantro too.

Or oven bake in parchment or foil, with good pico de gallo or salsa verde.

Feb 10, 2013
RBofSF in Home Cooking

What can I use instead of ground almonds in this recipe?

I recently did a different cake that called for ground almonds - I subbed in 1/2 semolina, 1/2 fine corn meal (polenta flour), per some recommendations I saw online from British who lived through war rationing (!), and it turned out fine. Can't compare to the original though. The texture was a bit coarse, but it worked for that cake.

It could have used a little extra oil/butter, whatever your recipe called for.

Dec 17, 2012
RBofSF in Home Cooking

Basmati Rice help from a seasoned rice maker...

The first poster is right - cook it the way *you* like it!

But the grocer is right in how it is "supposed" to be cooked. Basmati is rinsed/swished in several rounds of water, to get off all the starch. Indians want each grain separate. (So... sticky would be the opposite of their goal.)

Dec 17, 2012
RBofSF in Home Cooking

Stand-outs at Aziza? [SF]

I just wanted to say thx for this review. Visited yesterday and had such a wonderful experience. Surprises at every turn.

We had the tasting menu. Highlights: rice cracker w yogurt & coffee, farro with uni, basteeya, crab w persimmon custard. The cheese course and desserts too. A few combos didn't work for us, but were still interesting and worth tasting. We left delighted.

(FYI, duck confit basteeya was spring roll shaped, and soooo delicious. Very generous portion for a tasting menu. Would have been a full app for me, but I am a light eater.)

Dec 09, 2012
RBofSF in San Francisco Bay Area

Help please - What is your go-to basic waffle recipe?

Mine is from How to Cook Everything (i'm pretty sure). It's a waffle recipe, but I've used the exact same recipe for pancakes too, btw. I like to use 1/2 whole wheat flour, and this recipe has worked best for me.

2 c flour (can be up to 1c cornmeal or whole wheat)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tblsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 3/4 c buttermilk (i usually sour milk w/vinegar & it's fine)
2 eggs separated (i don't separate when lazy)
4 tblsp butter melted
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix dry, mix wet (except egg whites), add wet to dry. Beat egg whites & fold in at the end (which I rarely do but they are better that way for sure.)

I usually do this 1 c whole wheat flour + 1 c white & they're not heavy like other whole wheat recipes & my kids still love. I love the crunch with cornmeal, but my kids don't.

Dec 07, 2012
RBofSF in Home Cooking

San Francisco with my little girl

For dinner - I would suggest Waterbar. It's really good seafood, upscale, that you & the grandmas will enjoy. Plus it's full of these enormous fishtanks that will fascinate your daughter. Best of both worlds :) It's right on the Embarcadero, so it's scenic outside too.

ps +1 on Lovejoy's Tea Room. That's where all the little girls of SF love to have tea.

Nov 23, 2012
RBofSF in San Francisco Bay Area

How to make bread pudding out of failed pumpkin bread

I was just looking for ways to use up leftover birthday cake ... and saw that Bobby Flay posted his recipe for Pumpkin Bread Pudding. He starts with pumpkin bread, dries the cubes in the oven, and then turns it into bread pudding (add some pumpkin puree into the custard mix). So you could do that too! Recipe is on foodnetwork . com

Nov 18, 2012
RBofSF in Home Cooking

best red velvet cake in sf or marin

Noe Valley Bakery (on 24th) has really good red velvet cake.

Nov 15, 2012
RBofSF in San Francisco Bay Area

Finding the right place to eat

Lolo could work, if you order carefully. It's tapas. You could get 2 apiece for about $20 (one that's more of an app, one that's meat or seafood). Two each is always enough for me & my girlfriends but it depends if the guys are big eaters. Maybe your boyfriend could agree to act full and you have ice cream at home after if he's not :)

Nov 15, 2012
RBofSF in San Francisco Bay Area

Thanksgiving menu, what's yours?

Similar idea - carmelize lots of onions ahead of time. Day of, saute the beans & top with the onions & warm through. So yum. And a good contrast to all the creamy dishes.

Nov 12, 2012
RBofSF in Home Cooking

Where to get yellow bean powder?

Hopefully you will get a real answer instead of my half-answer. But fyi - chickpeas are different from chana dal. Indian stores will have chickpea flour, which is called besan flour. It is yellow-ish. In case that happens to be what the burmese use as well ... ?

Nov 07, 2012
RBofSF in General Topics

Recipes for Picky Eater

You're a vegan who eats chicken too! Very healthy. (I wonder if you're lactose intolerant?). Here are a few ideas ... sorry not exact recipes but I usually look them up on epicurious...

*Roasted chicken, with roasted veg on the side (broccoli, cauliflower are my fave's). Chicken could be seasoned with rosemary.
*Skewers - cut chicken, bell peppers, zuchhini, onions into cubes. Marinate. Put on a skewer & roast in oven or grill. (Marinades can be varied to keep it interesting-- oil/vinegar/herbs; oil/orange juice/herbs; soy/vinegar/garlic*/ginger; etc. )
*Ground chicken used in burgers (or have you tried ground turkey)

*My son who seems to have the exact same food likes as you.... suggests .... garlic bread & caesar salad (with or without grilled chicken). He also recently tried making the PF Chang's lettuce wraps at home
and loved them!

*stir-fry using a simple sauce of half soy, half rice vinegar (garlic and/or ginger would add more depth). It could be chicken and any mix of vegetbales. Then turn the leftovers into fried rice.

*different shapes of pasta give variety & hold sauces differently. How about pesto too.

Indian recipes will also give you lots of flavor with just chicken. eg - tandoori chicken, saag chicken (spinach/chicken). Chicken biryani. If any of the recipes have you add cream at the end - just skip it - Indian homecooks don't use it daily. You might also like Indian daal. Look for daal and curries that don't have a tomato base, there are many. Lemon or lime is often used for tartness, but you can skip it if the flavor doesn't suit you.

Nov 07, 2012
RBofSF in Home Cooking

Where to eat near City College [SF]?

The best best subs are at Roxie Food Center. You can walk there from balboa Bart (on San Jose Ave). They are huge! Take it to Balboa Park to eat

On the other side of City College - I love K's Kitchen. On Monterey. Japanese. They have great sushi as well as non- sushi. The lunch bento box is such a deal.

Oct 30, 2012
RBofSF in San Francisco Bay Area

good takeout, informal dine in? travelling with 4 year old and 8 month old

Oh and in the Castro - head to eureka valley playground. Kids can play in sun, while one parent gets takeout from Firewood or the taqueria on the corner at 18th. Or eat in either place. Great way to relax w kiddos after all the adult Castro sightseeing. They both have good, fast, consistent food (to me, a must when I've got my kids)

Ps - moms here breastfeed everywhere!!

Oct 29, 2012
RBofSF in San Francisco Bay Area

good takeout, informal dine in? travelling with 4 year old and 8 month old

Hi- here's what I like with my little kids-

Ferry building / anywhere, but especially Gott's so you can sit and relax

Pier 39 - it's all terrible. But it's wonderfully memorable to pick a spot with crab and sourdough - eat outside or sit - with your kids. Then get a pic with the big crab sign

GG bridge - if you're down below at Crissy field, the warming hut is your place to nosh

Mission- too many great spots. Burritos easy and great w kids. Nice meal / Foreign Cinema has this lovely kids menu - just go very early.

Noe - my fave nice place (no kids) is Firefly.Or try Incanto, you could walk there. La Ciccia (also walk able ) is amazing, I think kids would be ok early, it's not snobby. Lots of casual places on Church or 24th for kids. Toast is an updated diner always w families

Oct 29, 2012
RBofSF in San Francisco Bay Area

Three low/mid-range lunches - narrow down my picks?

BB - to me, a masala dosa is the main dish & it's so filling, at a typical So Indian place I can hardly think of having an appetizer too! Maybe an idli or something like that. But the apps at Dosa are all so good & so interesting, I always order a couple at least, then a masala dosa (or one with a seasonal veg filling) for main. Their sambar (the soup that comes with the dosa) is really really good too, I usually beg for a second bowl even though I'm so stuffed.

Their sliders are potato patties ... I think it's a re-shaping of a classic indian street food ... but haven't tasted them.

Oct 25, 2012
RBofSF in San Francisco Bay Area

Very very easy dessert for large groups

Since it's a tapas menu - I love doing little bites of dessert too.

I've done fresh baked cookies - make the dough(s) ahead & scoop into the right size (I think you can even freeze at that point) - then pop into the oven before serving. The smell alone warms everyone up. If you want to stay simple - maybe do 1 base dough & differentiate with a variety of mix-ins (choc chip, nuts, white choc, cranberries, etc.).

A few cookies apiece plus your chocotorta = happy bellies.

PS - you didn't ask, but ... you could serve the soup in coffee mugs with handles. Very cozy & easy to slurp or spoon as you walk around. I bet you could find a bunch at a dollar-type store (or a craft store).

Oct 24, 2012
RBofSF in Home Cooking

Help! I'm going BANANAS!

To your fourth question: Banana pancakes. Put sliced banana onto the batter (after you pour it on the griddle). Like you would sprinkle on blueberries. Once you get your cooking time down so that they carmelize just right ... yummmmmm.

Oct 24, 2012
RBofSF in Home Cooking

Cooking strategies for working parents of young children

For me - pasta is the easiest thing to make (that every family member will eat) on a mental-breakdown-night. So..... I keep it in reserve & don't have it in my weekly meal plan. That way it's my pinch-hitter & we don't eat it too often.

I also keep the freezer stocked with frozen proteins (in addition to whatever I planned from fresh for the week). TJ's frozen salmon & other fish defrost pretty fast under running water & cook fast too. So that's another good meal for mental breakdown night. [Ironic since your plan fell apart b/c of rock-solid-frozen meat!] For convenience I like TJ's frozen fish or shrimp or scallops. Like the backup bags of frozen veggies.

I always have prepared pesto in the fridge since it can yum up anything (chicken, fish, pasta).

When I'm really rocking, I make a different salad dressing each week or two & keep in the fridge. The only way I stay interested in salad. (obviously ... because so lazy/busy ... i buy prewashed greens). Another fast meal.

... this doesn't solve the problem of all the unused food you have to cook another day... which is why i keep my expectations of myself so low! ...

Oct 24, 2012
RBofSF in Home Cooking

Regional Italian cuisine

I'm late to the game, sorry. But - La Ciccia is exceptional. Sardinian regional by an excellent chef. I haven't seen that it's broadened its menu (my last visit was a few months back).

Oct 23, 2012
RBofSF in San Francisco Bay Area

The French Laundry or spread the wealth?

oooops. So sorry! I thought I'd read the whole thread. Rebecky: You will have such a great trip and great food. YUM on your choices. (And to contradict my last post & corroborate dropping the reservation - the less-good-experience I had at the french laundry was the time I was worried about the cost - i couldn't relax & isn't that the point of enjoying lovely food?)

Oct 22, 2012
RBofSF in San Francisco Bay Area

The French Laundry or spread the wealth?

Go to the French Laundry!! It is a wonderful experience & well worth it. Food, service, wine, atmosphere. Especially for lunch. Relax, slow down, smile, and enjoy the time there. It is a different experience from all the other creative/interesting/delicious tasting menus I've done at wonderful restaurants. Memories to treasure. (Not bragging rights.) You are so fortunate to have a reservation.

There is lots of wonderful food in napa / sonoma at lower price points to balance out the cost of the french laundry. I would do that in a heartbeat. (The other restaurants you mention are all very pleasurable, but 3-4 meals at those would not match the 1 lovely afternoon at the french laundry.)

Oct 22, 2012
RBofSF in San Francisco Bay Area

A16, Flour + Water, Delfina or family-friendly Italian?

Not on your list - but I would suggest - Vega's in bernal heights (you will have to cab there & back). It is 10000% family friendly, no stink eye allowed. The food is amazing, wonderful, delish. The place is small and cozy. The owners are young, italian, parents, and so warm. They will make anything your 17 month old wants/needs to be happy. You will love the whole menu and the wines. Practically everyone there is a neighborhood foodie & understands that parents want good food too.

Oct 22, 2012
RBofSF in San Francisco Bay Area

Looking for good food at a good price near Canteen

For weekend brunch these days, I like Andalu in the mission - because it takes reservations & the food is always good & they give you beignets - and then you're in the Mission and you're fed and you're in the perfect spot to wander, window shop, and nibble all day. Very good dinners recently with my veg friends - Bar Agricole, Lolo (harder for veg but worth it either way), Dosa on valencia, Firefly. Weekday brunch/lunch - I haven't tried the new reincarnation of Mission Rock - but the view is just great, so relaxing, good review. (sorry none of these are near canteen but they are easy to reach and with 5 days you'll be in all the neighborhoods)

Oct 22, 2012
RBofSF in San Francisco Bay Area