SavoryGirl’s Strawberry Shortcake

Ok, full disclosure...I re-post this every year now...but it's so yummy and the strawberries at the Farmer's Market are so amazing at this time of year that I just can't help myself. I don't want any of you to miss out on this delicious, easy homemade summer dessert!  I also just made it for my quarterly team meeting this week and it got gobbled up by all 20+ of them so quickly that it reminded me of what a crowd pleaser it is...easy breezy for a picnic. Nothing says summer like strawberry shortcake! I grew up eating those little sponge cakes you buy at the store with cool whip but over the years I've developed a completely homemade strawberry shortcake recipe that I absolutely adore. It's super easy and well worth the tiny bit of extra effort over store brought. My recipe below makes enough for about 8 servings...and once you try it, you'll never go back to the store bought version again!

Berries: 3 baskets of fresh, ripe strawberries 2 tsp. sugar

Quarter strawberries into a medium sized bowl...if they're larger strawberries cut into sixths or eighths. Sprinkle with sugar, stir, cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes. This is called macerating...the sugar softens the berries and pulls the juices out of the berries so that you get a nice natural sauce along with your berries.  Add a bit of good balsamic vinegar and/or thinly sliced basil if you're feeling playful.
Weekly Menu: July 27 – August 2, 2014
Sunday: Pan Seared Scallops with Ginger-Orange Spinach
Monday: Work Event at Epic Roasthouse
Tuesday: Taco Night!
Wednesday: Leftovers: Tacos
Thursday: SOCAP Event at Skates on the Bay & Drinks at Noir Lounge
Friday: Dinner out and then Tainted Love at Bimbo's!
Saturday: Camping!
Cooking up some delicious scallops this Sunday after a day of hiking and BBQing in the sun with some friends. Figured lunch may be a little meat heavy so keeping it light and summery for dinner makes sense.  It's been absolutley gorgeous here this weekend so I'm looking forward to enjoying this Sunday supper on my patio! Perfect end to a great weekend.  I never got around to making tacos last week since my soup stretched further than I expected so that will round out the rest of this week in between a few work social events.  Then after a fun Friday night seeing my favorite 80s cover band, I'm heading out on an impromptu camping trip.  Summer is in full swing!

As always, if you need a few more recipes  visit my menu archives and recipes to find other meals to round out your week.  Happy cooking...
Ligurian Pesto & Pasta Making Night!

Ligurian Pesto & Pasta Night

While I haven't been cooking as much as I like to lately, when I do have time to cook I'm trying to make the most of it. There is nothing I enjoy more than opening a bottle of wine, putting on some music and making homemade pasta. And that's exactly what I did last weekend!

It makes me feel connected to my Italian roots and think back to the amazing two trips I've taken to Italy. I'm fortunate enough to have actually visited the Ligurian region of Italy and enjoy truly authentic Ligurian Pesto while there...so I'm excited to bring a taste of that amazing vacation back home with this recipe! Since heirloom tomatoes are in season right now (along with all of that basil I needed for the pesto!) I tossed some chopped tomatoes into this dish to brighten it up a bit. Sometimes pesto can feel a bit indulgent with all of that olive oil and cheese. Add a glass of Pinot Grigio and you have a happy Italian SavoryGirl!

The pesto recipe that I used can be found here.  I typically use the pasta recipe right in my Kitchen Aid manual, but this is a pretty similar recipe.  Mangia!
Weekly Menu: July 20-26, 2014
Sunday: Take me to the Kasbah Chicken & Couscous Soup
Monday: Salsa Class! Leftover Soup
Tuesday: Taco Night!
Wednesday: Leftovers: Soup
Thursday: Drinks/Dinner Out
Friday: Leftovers: Tacos
Saturday: Dinner Out
So my Sunday cooking adventure this week is a soup that I just made two months ago, but it was so good and I still have some golden raisins on hand so I'm making it again!  It's been alternating between being amazingly gorgeous and typical SF foggy summer weather here so soup is perfect for those foggy days.  Then I'll be having my own little Taco Tuesday, which you know is a SavoryGirl favorite, and then leftovers will round out the rest of the week between a couple of dinners out.menu archives and recipes to find other meals to round out your week.  Happy cooking...
Weekly Menu: July 13-19, 2014
Sunday: St. Vincent Farm Dinner at Bloomfield Farms!
Monday: Salsa Class! Leftovers
Tuesday: Ligurian Pesto with Handmade Spaghetti
Wednesday: Chicken with Grilled Corn and Nectarine & Blue Cheese Salad
Thursday: Board Meeting Leftovers: Chicken, Corn & Salad
Friday: Leftovers: Chicken, Corn & Salad
Saturday:  Dinner Out
My dedicated cooking adventure this week?  Homemade pasta and pesto!  Although I have to admit...I cheated and already made it on Friday because I got invited to an amazing farm dinner hosted by a local beer/wine merchant for Sunday!  Super excited about that...don't worry I'll share the experience here soon.  So while my menu shows the Pasta and Pesto being made on Tuesday to provide you with the link I'll really be eating leftovers of the already made pasta on that night.   Easy breezy!  Later in the week I'm grilling up some great looking corn that I got at the farmer's market and making a delicious Nectarine & Blue Cheese Salad that I made last year.  Seeing the amazing nectarines at the Farmer's Market made me think of it...love getting dinner inspiration from the best seasonal ingredients on hand!  The salad also uses seasonal, fresh plums in the dressing, but I likely won't do that because if I'm remembering correctly I didn't think the dressing was good enough for the extra effort of making it.

As always, if you need a few more recipes  visit my menu archives and recipes to find other meals to round out your week.  Happy cooking...
Homemade Pasta

Homemade Pasta

It's been years since I've bought dried pasta.  That may sound impressive, but when you try to make it yourself once and see how easy and delicious it is I promise that you'll be making your own pasta too.  The trick is that you need a pasta roller...it can be a hand roller or an attachment to a fancy kitchen aid.  In my opinion, the latter is well worth the investment.  Back to the pasta...the great thing about pasta is you pretty much always have the ingredients you need to make it in the house.  Flour, eggs and water.  That's pretty much it!  Give it a quick mix and knead and then roll it out and your ready to cook.  We often make double batches of the dough and freeze it in single serving sizes so we can quickly thaw and roll it out with even less work for future dinners.  The difference between dried pasta and fresh pasta is amazing...try it yourself, you'll see!

Weekly Menu: July 6-12, 2014
Sunday: Salmon Panzanella
Monday: Salsa Class! Leftovers: Salmon 
Tuesday: Dinner at La Urbana
Wednesday: Leftovers: Salmon Panzanella
Thursday: Drinks & Dinner Plans
Friday: Dinner Plans
Saturday: Taco Night!
I have to say...I am loving my newly single life.  So many fun things to do with so many fun people all the time that I'm finding it hard to find enough days in the week!  That also means I'm continuing to find it hard to make time to  invest in my passion of cooking.  Eating?  Not so much!  Man I've been eating well these days.  But my new strategy is to make the most of it when I am able to cook.  Meaning cooking something more elaborate or something I really love when I do have the time to cook which hopefully will often be on Sundays since I love the tradition of a big/special Sunday meal and find cooking a cathartic way to wind down my weekend and get myself in a good place to start off the new week.

  So this week I'm cooking one of my all-time favorite Summer meals...Salmon Panzanella.  A simple, healthy but utterly delicious grilled bread salad with heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, capers and onion topped off with grilled salmon.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.  Add a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and a seat on my patio and you have a perfect summer evening!

As always, if you need a few more recipes  visit my menu archives and recipes to find other meals to round out your week.  Happy cooking...
SavoryGirl Video: Off the Grid Fort Mason

After this amazingly beautiful weekend in the Bay Area it is clear that summer is here...and that means Food Truck season is in its prime! So I'm re-posting this May 2012 video and post to inspire you to get out there and start sampling all of the amazing Food Trucks that the Bay Area has to offer!

May 3, 2012

Street food is one of my absolute favorite things about traveling abroad.  It's the fabric of a culture...what ties communities and generations together while allowing locals to make a living and share their authentic food with those who come to visit.  Eating street food is like drinking locally grown wine...it allows you to taste and get a sense of place.  Terroir, if you will.

The relatively recent swell of food trucks in our own country brings this glorious tradition to our own backyard...but even a die-hard foodie like me found it hard to keep up with all of the different trucks and be where they happened to be just at the right time.  So for the first couple of years when food trucks were all the rage, I kind of missed out which was frustrating!  But who has time to chase trucks all over town just to show up right when they're running out?  So when Matt Cohen founded Off the Grid, which brings food trucks from all over the Bay Area together into centralized locations I was thrilled!  Finally, an efficient way to sample from many food trucks and support my local food scene.  It's like I'm traveling & eating all around the world right in here in San Francisco.

This short video takes you on a tour of the Fort Mason Off the Grid market...take a quick look and then swing by on a Friday and check it out yourself!