During the rest of the weekend we tried out three restaurants that we hadn’t been to before: Chouchou in Twin Peaks, Flour + Water in the Mission, and the new Bun Mee in the Fillmore. We attended SF Carnival 2011 and even made it to the North Bay to go to the 22nd Annual Larkspur Flower & Food Festival after a 35 mile bike ride up Mt. Tam...gotta earn those calories somehow!
Phew, I’m tired, happy and full just thinking about it! Since it was such a fun food-filled weekendI thought I’d give you a quick run down so you can decide which restaurants or events next year you want to check out yourself...
As promised, it’s time to tell you all about our fabulous dinner we had at the end of our Wine Road Barrel Tasting day up in wine country. Now, if you’re a regular reader you know that I don’t review restaurants very often but when they really blow me away, I feel it’s my foodie obligation to share...and Zazu Restaurant & Farm did just that!
How would I summarize the Zazu philosiphy? Nightly changing menus inspired by American classics, authentic, rustic Italian cuisine and focused on what is local (often their own farm!) and in season. Re-reading that sentence, makes Zazu sound a bit pretentious but in fact it’s quite the opposite their dishes and ambience are comfortable, uncomplicated and perfectly suited for the amazing wine that surrounds their location in every direction. Next time you’re up in Sonoma County give Zazu a try....they’re right off the 101 so a quick and easy detour on your way to or from the wineries, I promise you’ll be back a second and third time!
I stumbled upon this Balsamic chicken recipe (Giada’s) when making a spread for my best friend’s bachelorette party, but it was so yummy that I have a hard time keeping it to chicken drummett appetizers as it calls for and instead have started making it as a regular chicken dinner with either full-size drumsticks or chicken breasts.When it comes to the polenta, Giada’s cheesy polenta is the absolute best, but if you’re trying to be healthy I would suggest you simply make it according to the directions on your polenta package and add a touch of cream/cheese/butter to taste along with some fresh herbs. Lastly, Rapini (or broccoli raab) is our favorite vegetable lately...we usually roast it at high heat with grape tomatoes and olive oil, garlic powder, salt & pepper for about 15 minutes...nutty, a bit crunchy and so delicious!
So after a bit of tinkering this came out quite yummy. Nice and creamy with slightly firmer chunks of squash for great textural differences and flavor. The big shavings of parmesan really added the perfect finishing touch as well (but doesn’t cheese always have a way of doing that?)...very nice warm your soul winter supper!
We've been making this summer soup for years, it's from my favorite soup cookbook, "Soup: Superb Ways with a Classic Dish." Many Italian summer minestrone recipes include pesto to stir in at the end, but this is so flavorful that I don't feel that it's necessary. Helps keep the calorie count down as well so I can dip big chunks of whole grain bread in it instead!