Archive for ‘Culinary Outings’

February 17, 2011

Enoteca Adriano: the Burrata and the Pope’s Pillow

Pope's Pillow dessert

I know that we probably cannot rave about this place enough, but Enoteca Adriano, never ceases to amaze; which is why we swooped up the last 7 o’clock reservation on Valentine’s night at this adorably romantic Italian spot. It’s really too bad that the boys were preoccupied that night, but fear not, we just took each other out for the occasion!

Burrata Enoteca

Apparently, we were the only friends who faced this minor dilemma, because everyone else in the entire restaurant was happily coupled, romantically gazing at each other, comfortably positioned hand in hand. It might be an understatement to say that, yep, it was awkward and we sure felt out of place, but the food and service was nothing but the best.

Tonight, we decided to try the Burrata Enoteca as an appetizer, which is my new favorite thing. Basically, it is a big hunk of delicious creamy  fresh mozzarella. It’s more solid on the outside, but when you cut into the center, the consistency is soft and creamy. This hunk of glory was placed on top of a large slice of wonderfully cured prosciutto, accompanied by some roasted heirloom tomatoes and wilted garlic spinach, and tied together with a simple balsamic-olive oil drizzle.

We. nearly. died. It was THAT good.

Then we split the Spaghetti Polpette (translated: spaghetti and meatballs), which was just what we were looking for, after finishing such a rich and decadent appetizer.

Just as we were winding the evening down (and finishing the great bottle of wine we brought along…gotta love no-corkage Monday’s), Chef Franco came out to greet us! After expressing a mutual adoration for the Enoteca and the Little Yellow Kitchen, he came equipped with two glasses of the tastiest dessert wine, Lungarotti, and a much anticipated Pope’s Pillow. This dessert, presentation and flavor profile, is unparalleled. It is big enough to use as a pillow to catch a snooze on…and the mascarpone cream filling would sure be able to provide adequate neck support. YUM.

Needless to say, Enoteca Adriano is such a jewel in Pacific Beach (a place mostly known for its rowdy bars and influx of young college kids), quietly perched a few blocks away from the madness, on Cass Street. If you live in or ever visit San Diego, you must stop by. The amazing Chef Franco will surely greet you with open arms and will send you off with a happy tummy and a “Grazie Mille”. What more could you ask for.

This is the “neck support” I was talking about. That puff pastry square is jam-packed with mascarpone goodness.

This dessert wine brings me back to the time I  spent living in Siena.

Lungarotti, Vino Dolce from the Umbria Region, Italy

I think this is the point we had to stop eating, to prevent immediate food coma… we still had to ride our bikes a few blocks home.

Fresh berries, everywhere!

The End. We got home just in time to pass out to the Bachelor. Perfect.

FYI– Here is:  Enoteca Adriano’s Facebook fan page, and here is From The Little Yellow Kitchen’s Facebook fan page... we are friends you should be too!

 

From the Little Yellow Kitchen

-Chrissy

 

Advertisements
February 1, 2011

Mexican Hot Cocoa for 2

Chris whisked me away to a surprise location this weekend. Which I am surprised remained a surprise, since he can’t keep a surprise very well. Eh hem.  Anyways, this is the first year (out of four) that I haven’t guessed or talked him into telling me what my Christmas and/or birthday gifts are.

On Saturday, we drove down the coast a ways as I kept guessing where we were headed. Then we arrived in Cardiff by the Sea and Chris pointed up the hill and said “That’s where were staying!”.

Picture from cardifflodge.com

A bed and breakfast by the sea: Cardiff by the Sea Lodge. We sat by the fire pit on the rooftop garden terrace sipping wine for three or four hours looking out at the ocean. Clearly he set himself quite a standard to meet next year…

Onward to the food.

Chris took me to a fancy shmancy Italian dinner at Trattoria Positano and we strategically ordered the following tasty dishes:

It was 9pm. We were hungry. The prosciutto and fig salad didn't get a proper photo.

 

GNOCCHI alla BOSCAIOLA
Porcini mushrooms, fresh tomato, onion, sage oil and parmesan cheese. Yes please.

 

Chris gets really excited when a waiter offers fresh parm. The poor chef probably wouldn’t have thought his snow storm of cheese was as funny as I did though.

TRENETTE MISTO MARE
Flat spaghetti pasta with fresh water langostino, catch of the day, sautéed with white truffle butter, cherry tomato, parsley and white wine. Oh my.

The next day, we woke up and sat in the rooftop gardens again to eat breakfast. I miss that rooftop. I think I’ll need one on my house someday, with a plethora of fresh herbs. Yep.

After we left paradise Cardiff by the Sea we spent a fantastic day in La Jolla, until the angry clouds rained on my parade.

The rain called for a Mexican Hot Cocoa served in my newly thrift-ed mug.

I told you it was a great birthday. Maybe 23 won’t be too bad after all 🙂

 

Mexican Hot Cocoa for 2

Whad’ya need?

4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (perhaps more if you really like it chocolatey)
4 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne
Marshmallows to taste 🙂

How To:

Mix together cocoa powder and sugar. Heat milk in a medium saucepan over very low heat with cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne and cocoa mixture. Whisk thoroughly until chocolate has melted and milk begins to simmer. Do not boil. Pour into two mugs and top with marshmallows.

Tell us in the comments: Whats your favorite birthday meal?

From the Little Yellow Kitchen,

Lauren

 

January 30, 2011

A Birthday + Ingredient Challenge

I’ve quite simply had the best weekend ever. A night out for pizza and beer with good friends, a breakfast with my family, a romantic getaway with my man, and finally, cheese fondue, apple crisp and a movie with my best bud. I LOVE birthdays! While 23 seems like a bit of a dreary age with no extra special perks, my friends and family made it otherwise.

IMG_2129 IMG_2132

A delicious cinnamon sugar birthday pizza at Woodstocks

This weekend was also an ingredient challenge weekend. The mystery ingredient is: Dates! I have had some Medjool Dates in the refrigerator for quite some time so this challenge was the perfect way to get me to use them up! Thanks to Jen’s informative post on date truffles I learned they last up to 6 months in the fridge! Who knew?!

IMG_2076

Mix it all up real good. But not too good or it will make your baby date bits tough!

IMG_2068

Place dollops of the dough into your mini muffin bake ware and top it off with chocolate.

IMG_2070

Voila: Pumpkin Date Cake Bites

IMG_2086

Pumpkin Date Cake Bites

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin (let it drain out as much liquid as possible)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup pitted medjool dates, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

How To:

Into a bowl sift together the flour, the baking powder, the cinnamon, the nutmeg, the cloves, and the salt. In another bowl with an electric mixer cream the butter and the sugar, beat in the egg. Mix in pumpkin and the vanilla. In a small bowl toss the dates with 1/4 cup of the flour mixture until they are coated well. Gradually add the remaining flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture, beating slowly, and stir in the date mixture and the pecans, stirring until the batter is combined well. Drop the batter into mini muffin tins and bake in a preheated 350°F. oven for 15-20 minutes.

Check out all the other great Ingredient Challenge Recipes contenders for more spectacular date recipes:

And Love It Too!

Marci Gilbert

Dixie Chik Cooks

Also wishing Nutritionella a speedy recovery so she can participate next week!

From the Little Yellow Kitchen,

Lauren

January 21, 2011

SF: A Culinary Adventure in the City!

Here is the summary of our lovely weekend in sunny San Francisco (but really, it was sunny!).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Let’s just say our best friend, Darci, hit the gym as soon as she sent us off on the BART back to the airport.

Meet the 3 stooges: Cush, Darc-a-larc, C.Mo

We. Ate. Alot.

And this is how we managed to get through all the food and sightseeing.

Yes, many large cups of Joe

Day 1:

Roasted Veggie Omelet, at Cafe DeLucchi

Farmer's market for lunch

They let us taste everything...and we took advantage

The perfect afternoon treat in Dolores Park, featuring ice cream & wine:

Then there was this night…

Little Yellow Note: this is the modge podge mess that happened after someone broke glass into the first round of pasta. But please note, that the top right pot was actually a delicious Butternut Squash Mac n’ Cheese Sauce.


Day 2:

On Sunday, we woke up at noon and ate a fantastic breakfast a la Darci.

Darc's specialty: Eggs benedict w/lox, minus the hollandaise sauce

After a relaxing day on Haight St. and wandering Golden Gate Park, we went out for Irish Coffees!

The famous Irish Coffee from Buena Vista Cafe at the Fisherman's Wharf

That evening, we went to an amazingly gaudy Italian restaurant called Mona Lisa, where we had the BEST gnocchi EVER.  I had no idea these little dumplings could have such an amazing melt-in-your-mouth creamy texture!

Gorgonzola gnocchi with spinach and walnuts....mmmmmm

Chocolate Praline Cake. Ciro, our server, brought one extra on the house

Day 3:

On Monday, we went to a great breakfast at Perry’s in the marina. Unfortunately for you we were so hungry and the food was so good that by the time we realized we forgot to take pictures, the plates were licked clean. After breakfast we did some site seeing and headed over to China Town.

Pork bun in the City! OMG!

Only $1 each 🙂

sweet porky delight

We also indulged in tea tasting with our Chinese Uncle Gee:

Siberian Rose tea

The last supper, before we embarked on the journey home.

The Original Boudin's Clam Chowder Bread Bowl. Wow...

January 15, 2011

Julian: A Culinary Outing

I had no idea San Diego contained such a range of natural environments until I went to Julian last weekend. It’s gorgeous. In my 4.5 years here, I have only known the beach and boy oh boy have I been missing out. Or maybe I’ve intentionally avoided it because I don’t deal well with extreme cold (or extreme hot for that matter).

Julian is a small mountain town with quite a few little trinket shops and café’s that sell the infamous Julian pies.  You can stroll from end to end of this town in probably 20 minutes if you really wanted to. After browsing the shops I decided to buy my new favorite decoration, a vintage bird cage to hang on that strange hook protruding from the ceiling in my room:

Now I just have to find a submissive bird that doesn’t poop or squawk and is willing to sit inside it 24/7 looking cute. Those little singing birdies in Cinderella would be perfect…

 

We stopped in at the Julian Cider Mill for the best apple cider I’ve ever had, ever. It was the perfect amount of sweetness topped with a dash of cinnamon and it warmed me up from the inside out. Love at first sip.

Chris bought a caramel apple from the Julian Cider Mill that we all partook in, which was a good thing or he may have ended up in a food coma…again. I decided I don’t like caramel very much. The stuck-in-my-teeth-for-a- day feeling just isn’t worth it to me. I did help out with the apple a bit though 🙂

Then there was pie…Apple Berry Mountain Crisp pie from the Julian Pie Company. Every café had a line out the door, except this one (normally I would find this weird and move onto the next place but we really wanted pie). We ordered one slice each a whole pie and no more than 10 seconds after we ordered, the line was out the door! Lucky us, we beat the swarm of crazy pie people.

This picture doesn’t do it justice. Who has time to plate things and make them look pretty and then adjust settings on the camera when there is Apple Berry Mountain Crisp pie to be devoured?  Not I.

As we mozy’d on back towards the highway to explore a little we found snow!! We snuck past a useless no trespassing sign on an unlocked gate and stumbled upon an abandoned military village – estimated by Chris to be from the 1940’s – that the government is about to demo. Probably for the best because it was quite creepy and apparently full of asbestos.

It had been far too long since I had made a snowman. It really gets the creative juices flowing. Just check out Frosty Frank – I may or may not have just named him that.

Then I threw the boy in jail for eating too much pie. The End.

Kidding…I will definitely be visiting this gorgeous area of San Diego again (perhaps when it warms up a bit). Next time we’re bring our sleeping bags and a tent!

P.S. San Francisco is amaaazing. We may never come back! Dun dun duuuuun…

From the Little Yellow Kitchen San Francisco,

Lauren