Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Food Farm San Diego

While doing some research on-line this week I came across this video for Food Farm. Food Farm is a San Diego Food Truck that specializes in local, organic, and sustainable food. They launched this April and are serving up good, clean food to the streets of San Diego.The owners are husband and wife Dave & Kari Rich. Kari Rich is the executive Chef of Food Farm and began her career with a degree and training at Le Cordon Bleu California. Most of her background in cooking is in fine dining which for sure brings her up a notch in the food truck industry. I met her this past Tuesday and she is as sweet and personable as can be.
I followed the Food Farm truck to their Tuesday night location at the San Diego Velodrome which I didn't even know existed. They are there from 7-9pm during the bike race. I got there a little after 7:00 before the rush.

All of Food Farm's sources are from local farms and ranches that practice organic and sustainable methods. The food is beyond fresh and just delicious. You can check out the full menu here.White Cucumber Salad
Lemon Vin, Bell Peppers, Feta Cheese, Walnuts, & Olive Oil
The white cucumbers picked that morning from Suzie's Farm were so crispy and had a mild taste to them. I just loved them. You could really taste how fresh the lettuce was too. The dressing was super light and enhanced the flavors of the vegetables in the salad.
Grass-Fed Beef Sliders
Mustard Carmelized Onions, Blue Cheese, Sweet Buns, Arugula
I loved the mustard carmelized onions. This burger had no sauce and it really didn't need it with the flavor of mustard coming from the onions. I think I would like to see a burger on the menu rather then sliders though. Something about Grass-Fed Burger just sounds better to me then sliders. Maybe I just secretly wanted to taste more of it?
Avocado Melt
Whole Wheat Bread, Swiss Cheese, Arugula Pesto, added Bacon.
Okay this was the winner of the evening for me. I could of had 2 of them all to myself it was so good. Adding bacon was the way to go thanks to Chef Kari's recommendation. The cheese was gooey but not greasy, the avocado was rich and creamy, the bacon was lean, and the arugula pesto was bursting with flavor. Loved.

Sweet Coconut Milk & RiceNow this is a Mexican style dessert known as Arrzo con Coco. This dessert is totally gluten free and Chef Kari was kind enough to share with me what is exactly in this heavenly bowl of love. They cook short grain white rice in water with a little bit of salt until tender. They add coconut milk, agave nectar, brown sugar, cinnamon, toasted coconut shreds and cook to a creamy consistency. If you like rice pudding you will love this dessert. It is not too sweet and such a treat. Kari's husband and partner calls it "life changing" and sneaks a cup every time he works the food truck.

Oh did I mention the total bill was $13.50. Say What? The only thing I think should be added to the menu is the mention of the farms from where products came from. Would be cool to know.

You can check out Food Farm's calendar here to learn their whereabouts around San Diego. You can also contact them and have them come to your business or cater your next event.

I don't know how I am going to be able to stay away from this food truck...but yet I don't need to stay away. Its good, clean, local food that is good for me and the environment. I will follow Food Farm where ever their wheels go.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Showered With Love

Last Sunday I attended my girl friends baby shower and it was such a lovely day. It was held at Morley Field in San Diego and theme was vintage meets Moroccan. It was a beautiful sunny day that turned into a little misty drizzle but that didn't stop the fun. We cuddled together on the floral blankets and pillows under the orange & white canopy and kept the party going. They say when it rains on your wedding day it's good luck and will bring the couple good fortune. Well I'm sure if a rain shower falls on your baby shower the luck is remarkable. I think this couple will have lots of luck with their new baby boy that is on his way. They are already blessed with a stunning little girl and this day was grand.
A couple of my girl friends were in charge of the decor & ambiance and did an amazing job.
I loved these paper eyelet lanterns from The Wholesale Flower Market. Sweet touch.
Lets start with some fresh squeezed lemonade shall we?Blue Hydrangea flowers to represent a baby boy with Baby's Breath and a hint of yellow in mason jars were lined on all the tables.French macaroons and mini cupcakes.A little touch of baby with these alphabet blocks. I wonder what his name will be?I love the animal cookies in these chic leopard print bowls. Lets keep it classy kids. Can we talk about this delightful home made cake? I think it was 4 layers with a butter-cream-cheese-frosting, layered with fresh strawberries, and all I know was it was delicious and a show stopper. Glad I know the lovely lady who made it...hint hint...winkThese mini tomato sandwiches with pesto aioli and basil were scrumptious. The bread soft, the tomato fresh and crunchy, and the aioli creamy. I think I had 3?
Shhhh lets keep that a secret
.I made 3 salads for the guests to enjoy.Pasta Salad with Spinach, Pesto, & PeasTomato Feta Arugula Salad with a Fresh Herb Champagne VinaigretteTarragon Chicken Salad with Grapes, Celery & a dash of fresh Lemon Juice
If you are interested in any of the recipes above don't hesitate to contact me here.
As you can see, it was a lovely day and
I wish Cozette, Gio, and Sofia the best of luck with their new addition coming this October. I am so glad I got to participate in showering them with love.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Main Side Dish

I might be obsessed with this new side dish I have been making which has now turned into a main dish. It's from Trader Joe's and is called the Harvest Grains Blend. You can find it in the rice & grains section. It is a savory blend of Israeli Style Couscous, Orzo, Baby Garbanzo Beans, and Red Quinoa. The directions on the package are simple. You just boil water or broth and add 1 tablespoon of butter, stir in the Harvest Blend, reduce heat, and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Simple. I decided to spice it up a bit and add some vegetables, more Quinoa and kept it on the healthy side and didn't add any butter. It is so easy to do and it is hearty and delicious.

I sauteed diced onions on high heat in a little bit of olive oil. Then added vegetables and season with salt & pepper. I added diced yellow peppers, diced asparagus, and diced zucchini. The vegetable combinations are endless. I have even diced up eggplant before and that was a good one. You don't want to cook the vegetables all the way through because they steam with the grains. Just brown them up a bit.
The next steps are:
Add 1 & 1/3 cups of chicken broth or vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
Add 3/4 of a cup of the Harvest Grains Blend and 1/2 a cup of Quinoa.
Turn heat down and simmer till cooked through. Add salt & pepper to taste at the end along with any fresh herbs you have on hand. Italian parsley, dill, thyme, basil, you name it!I have served it on the side with roasted chicken and used the left overs for breakfast. I put it inside a breakfast wrap with scrambled eggs, arugula, avocado, and salsa and my most recent breakfast was a cup of the left over Harvest Grain Blend heated up in a pan and I served an over easy egg on top.
The yolk really adds a richness to this dish.
I plan to keep stock of the Harvest Grains Blend in my pantry at all times. Easy access so I can make this side dish or better yet main dish when ever the craving sets in.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria

Located in the heart of Encinitas this neighborhood pizzeria is hopping. I tried to go one time before and it was over an hour wait. Being 8:00 at night and starving we opted to leave and come back another night. It was a hard decision to make since I live in central San Diego and it's not just a hop, skip, and a jump to get to Encinitas.
I went back a couple weeks later last Friday night. This time early and ready to wait any amount of time for a table. Let me tell you. It is worth the wait.
Now the only thing this place is lacking is the seating since the restaurant is not the largest in size. But it didn't matter how close we were sitting to our neighbors because the view of what they had on their tables in front of them left us salivating and wanting everything!
Everything on the
menu looked so appealing. It's a simple menu but the ingredients are of the highest of quality, sustainable, organic and local. Pretty much my kind of place.
Some Appetizers include:

Fresh Burrata with EVOO, Sea Salt, and Organic Arugula
Albacore Tuna Crudo with Hass Avocado, Ruby Grapefruit and Lemon Olive Oil
Whipped Laura Chenel Goat Cheese with Brandied Apricots, Pickled Fennel & Toast
I mean really? The list goes on.
We started with the special Appetizer that evening which was highly recommended by our waiter.

Olive Oil Poached White Mexican Prawn Salad with Heirloom Zucchini Ribbons, Cherry Tomatoes, Easter Egg Radish & Sweet Lemon Vinaigrette.

Okay first of all this salad needs to be permanently on the menu. It was incredible, so fresh and we thought the zucchini ribbons were actually pasta. Simply amazing!
Now for the traditional wood fire artisan Pizza's. I really wish more then two of us were dining that night because we seriously wanted to try every pizza on the menu. We even asked if they could do half of one kind pizza and half of another kind of pizza. Not an option though. I can't wait to go back with more people and try a few different pies. Their dough undergoes a 3 day fermentation process and is fired in a true wood burning oven. The fennel sausage is house-made from sustainable berk-shire pork. Their mozzarella is hand-stretched daily in house.
Some that stood out included.
My Fathers - tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, fennel sausage, pepperoni, red onion
Signature - EVOO, fresh mozzarella, ricotta, lemon zest, red onion & basil
Staffs Favorite - tomato sauce, sausage, heavy creme, parmigiano reggiano, & basil
My mouth is watering! Is yours?
We ordered

The "Red" or "White" Oak - mozzarella, ricotta, la quercia prosciutto & arugula.
We ordered it "Red" with red sauce and it was superior. You could taste how fresh all the ingredients were and the ricotta was soft, smooth, and my favorite topping on this pizza. I even got caught "Red" handed stealing it off other pieces of pizza. I love that they use fresh mozzarella. It makes such a difference and this was for sure a 1St Place Blue Ribbon Pizza.
Another blue ribbon winner was the dessert. The Homemade Butterscotch Pudding served out of a jar with a salted caramel sauce and fresh whipped cream. The scotch goodness was simply delightful. Salty & sweet is my kind of dessert as I am not a huge dessert person but this is one I will have to order every time I go back. No wonder the table of 2 next to us each got their own puddings. Who would ever want to share such a decadent jar of love & sweetness?
Well Blue Ribbon Pizza has won first place in my heart, and I know it will win first place in your heart too. Just be patient....it's worth the wait.
Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria
897 So. Coast Hwy 101 Suite F102
Encinitas, CA. 92024

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Candles & Food Pairing

This week I was at one of favorite stores in North Park called Pigment and I stumbled across the most amazing candles. I am a huge sucker for candles and these are like no other.
So you ask why am I writing about Candles on a food blog? Well here is your answer. These candles were created by Chef James Boyce in collaboration with Voluspa which is one of my favorite candle companies. Seriously the only candles I buy. Chef James launched his career at New York's Le Cirque, and now owns Cotton Row, Pane E Vino, and Commerce Kitchen all in Huntsville Alabama.
He helped create 6 amazing kitchen-inspired fragrances using unique natural and organic ingredients to both compliment the food in your kitchen and to remove cooking odors. The Chef Hat Inspired Kitchen Candle was born! The collection won "Best in Show" in Extracts at the NY International Gift Fair in January 2009. Each hand poured Candle is made with organic apricot wax pioneered by Volupsa.
Scented candles you can burn while you cook? Now this is amazing for cooks who love to entertain with an ambiance. Me being one of them. If you don't know the rule about burning candles while cooking then here it is....they must be unscented! God-for-bid you mess with the scents of the food you are cooking and that will only lead to messing with the pallet of your eager tasters and guests.
Now we can cook with scented candles to enhance the smells of our cuisines! Alriiiiight!
Here are the 6 flavors you can pair with your food.Sommelier
Ruby Port, Mission Fig, & Star AniseHerb Garden
Black Chanterelle & Cardanmon FlowerSpice Market
Cassia, Ginger & Ground CloveChefs Special
Heirloom Tomato, Celery & Fennel BulbVintage
Brut Champagne, Almonds, & OakCalifornia Citrus
Satsuma Tangerine & Meyer Lemon

I smelled all of the candles and all were amazing. I purchased the Herb Garden candle and am burning it in my kitchen as I type. It smells good enough to eat!
Candles aren't the only thing that was created! Check out the Professional Chef Hand Scrub or the Hand Soap & Lotion too.
You can purchase everything here at Voluspa - James Boyce.
Happy Saturday!