Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Well hello there! Its been a while I know. I have been meaning to tell you about one of my new favorite casual dining restaurants. NAPIZZA! Located in Little Italy on India Street this new Italian eatery has been needed for a while. I really was getting down on the selections of salads and pizza take out places. I have dined in and taken out from NAPIZZA and was impressed both times. They are sustainable, believe in slow good food, source local and organic ingredients and on top of it all....It's damn good! 

The pizza is authentic and ingredients are innovative. The pie slices are square, they call them "pizza al taglio" (pizza by the cut) which became famous in Rome before spreading throughout Italy. 

It's all about the dough, which takes 72 hours to evolve to the right consistency, and then cooked over 30 minutes, and delivers a light texture! A couple of my favorite flavors are: 
Parmigiana - Signature tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, eggplant and parmigiano reggiano sprinkled with homemade basil pesto sauce
Truffle Porcini - Porcini mushrooms, decadent truffle cream, sprinkled with fresh mozzarella and garnished with parsley.
Also the salads are wonderful. I love how they add whole grains to most of them. They are large and hardy. Everything here is sharable! A couple of my favorites are: 

Pollo - A tasty arrangement of spring mix, brown rice, savory organic chicken breast, caramelized onions, blue cheese, roasted bell peppers, farm cherry tomatoes and sprouts tossed with a refreshing basil pesto dressing.
Fisherman - A seafood lover’s favorite! seasonal local seasonal catch, quinoa, fresh avocado, wild arugula, balsamic marinated shallots, cannellini beans, homemade garlic croutons, tossed with a refreshing parsley lemon dressing.
Super Food Me - A delicious assortment of spring mix, swiss chard, quinoa, walnuts, organic avocado, blue lake beans, sprouts and apples tossed with our crisp extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. *add organic chicken or salmon
You can see the whole menu here 
1702 India St. San Diego Ca. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Cheese Store of San Diego

I apologize I haven't been posting as much was as I used to lately. Life has become pretty crazy the last couple months. He and I started a business which is taking a lot of my free time away.  We are now working 7 days a week. The hardest I have ever worked in my whole life. The business, The Cheese Store of San Diego. My weekends are filled with selling cheese at farmers markets! Yes selling cheese. I have been exploring food for a few years now and after working a holiday job last winter I fell in love with cheese. I was always interested in it but didn't know if I wanted to pursue a career in it. A little voice always whispering in my mind that I am now listening to and an interest I always had that I am now following. You might ask...why cheese? I love cheese and I love how a really good cheese makes me feel. I love the stories behind each cheese and the makers and relaying them to my customers. I see the excitement on the faces of my customers who try a cheese that hits them in the right spot. Its what I am loving the most about this new business.
It's hard work selling cheese. We have an extensive long list of imported and domestic artisan cheeses to pick from every week. I research them for hours while trying to put my order together and write a newsletter that we distribute once a week.  Once the cheese is delivered the real work begins. We get to taste every wheel after the first cut and that is always an exciting and fun moment. Its amazing how wheels taste different from week to week. The prepping and cutting of the cheese is the hardest work of all. Each cheese is different and has its own personality. Each one needs to be cared for differently from the next as well as cut differently and many of them have a mind of their own and can be super frustrating at times. The hard cheeses that take all my muscle to cut and the soft cheese that are ripening and oozing as I cut them makes it quite difficult to pick up to wrap in cheese paper. The thin paper that needs to be unwrapped from a cheese that gets stuck to the bloomy rind (Leonora) which I have to carefully pick off with a pairing knife and determine if I am picking off paper or the delicate rind. Thank goodness that cheese maker has now decided to wrap Leonora with plastic straws...made a world of a difference the last time I ordered it! I was all mentally prepared and ready to peal away with my pairing knife and I was pleasantly surprised when I easily peeled away straws to unveil a beautiful bloom of a rind!
 We cut, we wrap,  we weigh, we price, we dice samples, and we study everything there is to know about the cheese we are offering that weekend.  We don't know all there is to know about every cheese in the world but we are learning so much every week. I think it would take a life time to learn everything but I am ready to learn it all. 

Cheese is a living thing. Like a person,  or a personality. If its not cared for properly and and paid attention to it wont survive. Some are beautiful in sight and taste. Some are not so beautiful in sight or smell but tastes incredible...hey, don't judge a book by its cover right?!?
 I am enjoying this journey in my life. Its hard work but its worth it. Doing something I love. Finally! 
Come and visit us.
Saturday Golden Hill Farmers Market 9:30am-1:30pm

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I Dig The Pig

Okay I am kind of obsessed with the Carnitas Snack Shack. I have been once and dreaming about going back. I can't be obsessed with a place that has pork on almost every menu item.
1. Its not kosher (aint no thang to me) and 2. it's not so good for my waistline. But its good food. As in slow-food, and real food. And the best thing I have had out in a long time. Lately him and I have not been blown away by whats cooking up in SD kitchens. Some of our best meals are made at home, but at the Carnitas Snack Shack, the food is better then good. It's damn delicious!  And that is good for me. 
The menu changes daily because they use local and family farmers, ranchers, bakers, vineyards and breweries. Pastured beef comes for Niman Ranch and poultry is raised sustainably and ethically at Tzaddik Farm in Alpine. Produce comes from local farmers markets, Suzies Farm and Specialty Produce. The pork comes from Salmon Creek Farms. Family owned and operated with humanely raised and pasture fed pigs. The best of the best! 
You think you are just ordering at a taco stand and then you go around the back to wait for your food its the most beautiful shack I have ever seen. With heat lamps.
The suggestions to order were the Carnitas tacos and the Pork Sandwich. I was blown away by both. So tasty! Even though I cringed at the thought of eating pork in a sandwich cooked 3 different ways, I ate it. And enjoyed every minute of this "good" food. 

Carnitas Tacos (2) $7  salmon creek farm pork carnitas / standard accompaniments

Pork Sandwich $9 pork loin schnitzel/ pulled pork/ bacon/ pepperoncini-pickle relish/ shack aioli

I hope you have a Happy Memorial Day and that its filled with laughter,  love, and good food! 
2632 University Ave. San Diego, Ca.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Brooklyn Girl

This past weekend I got to try the much anticipated new neighborhood eatery in Mission Hills, Brooklyn Girl. I now want to move to Mission Hills or better yet into one of the 61 condos that the casual, sustainable, organic, farm-to-table restaurant sits right below. They will be offering in room dining for some lucky condo owners. Huge perk! I know what your thinking. Another farm-to-table restaurant...yeah yeah have heard that before right? But what makes Brooklyn Girl different is that they truly support small local businesses. I was impressed to see the pantry section being slowly filled with local products that I see being sold at the farmers markets around town. I love that.
The Chef, Tyler Thrasher has created a new American menu using the most local, freshest and sustainable ingredients he can get his hands on. The menu is affordable and simple, which is what is going to make this place a go to restaurant for those who live in Mission Hills. The problem is, I bet they wont have the easiest time getting a table as I have a feeling people will be traveling from all over San Diego to check out a little piece of urban New York right in the land of the sea, sand and surf. 
Brooklyn Girl has a relaxed and inviting feel. It does not have the too-cool-for-school restaurant crowd feel. It felt more like a family restaurant, and it felt even more that way after meeting the owners Michael and Victoria McGeath, owners of the former Trattoria Aqua in La Jolla.
Soon Brooklyn girl will be offering brunch, breakfast and lunch. They will soon open The Pantry section of the restaurant were you can purchase house made charcuterie, salads and prepared food to go, which is my favorite thing about the restaurant.
Okay now on to the food, they had mazto ball soup, potato latkes, whole roasted meats like chicken and duck over roasted vegetables. Below is what we tried. 
Oyster Sliders
This was a favorite at our table. One thing was it could use a little hot sauce or some sort of kick on the side. But that didn't stop all of us from inhaling them. 
Corn Bread
A must every time I go. Loved the natural honey comb that melted into the hot corn bread. Delightful. 
Butter and Bacon Salad 
 Panzanella Salad
 Skirt Steak
First of all can we talk about the marrow on the side. Delicious and rich. The steak was super flavorful with an awesome chimichurri sauce.  It could have been a little hotter in temperature.
Sword Fish
Brick 1/2 Roasted Chicken
This chicken was cooked to perfection and was so moist on the inside and crispy on the outside. 
Wood Fired Cauliflower
  Oh and a certain someone got an array of desserts being that she was the Birthday Girl!
4033 Gold Finch . San Diego, Ca. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Goodbye Egg Whites. Hello Runny Yolks

Oh Sunday night! You came to fast. It was a jam packed weekend with catering a bridal shower, date night with him which included dinner at my favorite Thai food restaurant in Coronado & the movie The Hunger Games, (which I loved!) a hike on Sunday, a little work on my next endeavor (which I will share soon) and more cooking for passover next Friday.
I am already looking forward to next weekend, which I plan to relax and decompress from the busy week that I have ahead.
I don't know about you but cooking really relaxes me and is somewhat therapeutic. Not so much cooking for a large event where one dish takes 2-3 hours to make and you are constantly looking at the clock to get things done in time. But cooking for fun! A new recipe, with beautiful healthy ingredients, for two.
I was recently turned on to a new blog which I absolutely love. I will share it with you even though I kind of want to keep it all for myself. : )
My New Roots who's tag line is "How to Make Healthy Choices Everyday", is my new favorite.
I have already made two recipes from it and both were fantastic. The writer is a holistic nutritionist, vegetarian chef and writes every post filled with eye opening nutrition informational. I find every post so inspiring, informative, beautiful in sight and taste!
So here is the first recipe I made with my friend who turned me on to My New Roots.
Veggie & Egg Tower of PowerHow eye catching is this dish? We served it with fresh squeezed grapefruit juice. Such a beautiful meal! Its kind of a take on healthy eggs benedict. Sweet potatoes (in place of the bread), spinach, caramelized onions, roasted tomatoes and a poached egg all stacked high. Although we didn't stack it because that just felt too formal to us. All the veggies are cooked with coconut oil.
What I learned about this recipe? I learned about Lecithin.
Lecithin is a nutrient produced by the liver, and is found in both whole and processed foods. Its function in the body is to emulsify fats, and enhance the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, namely vitamin A. The big reason for consuming lecithin however is the fact that nearly 1/3 of your brain is made of the stuff. 30% of your brain's dry matter is lecithin. Lecithin is rather vital to proper brain function, increasing mental activity and enhancing memory. Lecithin also exhibits a calming effect and can be helpful in reducing hyperactivity. Lecithin protects against gallstone formation, high blood pressure, and cholesterol excesses.
Whole food sources of lecithin include egg yolks, rice bran and soy beans. You have to eat the egg yolk runny to obtain lecithin. Lecithin is a very delicate nutrient and is destroyed with heat. You know that when the yolks are hard, as in scrambled eggs or hard-boiled eggs, you've gone too far and the lecithin is no longer viable. Poaching and soft boiling are therefore your best choices for preserving the many health benefits of that precious lecithin. Fried eggs are best avoided because of the problems with fried fats. Egg whites? Hasta La Vista!!! I never liked you anyway.
Get the full recipe here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

High Tea....sneak peek

I recently worked on a styled shoot at a beautiful home in San Diego with 6.5 acres of gardens. The theme was High Tea. I made all the High Tea inspired savory eats. There were so many amazing elements and I plan to tell you about all of them soon. Especially about the yummy treats! Here is a little sneak peak of what is yet to come.
Images Copyright Jacqueline and Jonathan/Readyluck
Table Styled By: Carlee Gerardi green with envy events
Fashions Styled By: Michelle Lee Kavieff
Hair & Make Up: Ashley Bendett
Savory Treats By: Marci Flaster To Dine For San Diego
Sweets: Elizabethan Desserts
Tea Provided By: Paromi Tea
Jewelry: Jeweliany by Julie Simpson
Models: Maha Bazzari Cominanos & Julie Simpson

Thursday, March 15, 2012

flour + water

Oh wow! Its been a while since my last post. Daylight savings has came to fast and we are springing forward through 2012. I went to San Francisco in February and had the most amazing time. We ate our way through that city. I mean, what else do you do in San Fran? Its a culinary circus of a city!
The one restaurant I must tell you about was one my cousin took us to in The Mission District.
Its called Flour + Water. Their specialty is pasta but it is not your normal pasta. It is hand cut and made. Most of it is stuffed with the most unusual ingredients and lightly dressed in the most flavorful sauces. The Chef has classical training and before opening Flour + Water he spent some time in a pasta "laboratory" in Bologona Italy, where he honed his skills from only the best pasta artisans. Flour + Water has a staff of pasta makers that come in at 5am to make the pasta fresh every day in the "Dough Room" which turns into a private dinning room for parties of 8-12 people.
We had the pleasure of dining with one of my cousins friends who happens to work in the dough room for private parties. We let her take the drivers seat, and we sat back, relaxed and enjoyed the pasta road trip. We enjoyed everything along the way. Everything tasted as beautiful as it looked. Here is what we had and I apologize if I don't have titles listed for everything. Its been a while.
roasted cauliflower with almonds, preserved meyer lemon & sweet herbs

cured sardine with citrus, puntarella, avocado & shaved radishcrispy pork trotter with slow cooked egg, parsnip & chickweedcitrus & ricotta triangoli with olive & brown buttercelery root cappelletti with golden turnips and brown buttertaleggio scarpinocc with aceto balsamico
I don't remember the name of this but it was topped with Stinging Nettle and was delish.Unknown nametarragon & rutabaga tortelliradiatore with roasted hen, speck & parsnip.
This one tasted like a chicken pot pie. Incredible. garganelli with rabbit sausage & spigarello
squid ink spaghetti with clams, watermelon radish & chili oil
flour + water
san francisco, ca.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Herbed Baked Eggs

Oh wow it has been a while since my last post! You would think after the Holidays, January would be a month to wind down. Not for me. I worked my last day at the downtown San Diego cheese shop Venissimo this past Sunday. I am sad to go but learned so much. I may go back to fill in a shift every now-and-then. But for now my weekends are being devoted to my own endeavors! Fun stuff!
Many requested this recipe below so I wanted to get it up as soon as I can while you are still craving it! It goes perfect with some crusty toasted bread on the side and some fresh greens. I love having salad and eggs for breakfast these days. But the awesome thing about the dish is you can have it for any meal during the day and any time of the year! I bake the eggs in individual ramekin dishes but you can do it in a small pie dish if you don't have individual dishes.
Herbed Baked Eggs
serves 2
4 organic or pasture raised eggs
2 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves chopped fine
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons heavy creme
salt & pepper
It is best to have everything prepped ahead of time to avoid burning the eggs.
Preheat broiler and make sure the oven rack is right under the broiler.
mix the Parmesan, herbs, salt & pepper in a bowl. set aside.
crack eggs into individual bowls to avoid breaking the yolk. set aside.
add 1 table spoon butter & 2 tablespoons creme to each individual ramekin.
place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until melted and bubbly. watch carefully to avoid burning.
remove from oven and place 2 eggs in each dish and divide the herb mixture among both dishes and sprinkle on top of the eggs.put eggs under the broiler for 5-6 minutes until the white part is set. watch carefully to avoid burning.
remove from oven and allow to cool for a couple minutes. serve with bread and greens on the side.
Bon Appetite