Sometimes waking up at the crack of dawn in a tent in the middle of the woods can take its toll. Don’t get me wrong, I love camping. In fact, it’s probably my favorite activity, right behind drinking coffee and happy hour! So if you’re like me and happen to need a little extra warmth while you’re out there “roughing it” perhaps try a splash of St. George’s NOLA Coffee Liqueur. If you consider yourself a bit more sophisticated – not really a hair of the dog person? No worries! Maybe try mixing it into your hot chocolate while you’re huddled around the campfire. Or drizzle it over some ice cream for a boozy affogato at your next dinner party! Case in point, this stuff is Magical (yes, with a capital “M”). Unlike other coffee liqueurs you may have tried, it’s not cloying and syrupy. Rather, the perfect amount of sweetness, with a NOLA-sized kick of chicory. Thank you again, St. George, the Dude most certainly abides . . .
Although it rarely happens nowadays, I love getting into the great outdoors. Nothing is more satisfying than coming back to a big camp fire after a long day of hiking and making a hearty meal. Last weekend a few friends and I went camping in Yosemite and we went a little overboard with the food, spending more time cooking and eating than doing anything else. I made this dutch oven chili and cornbread and it was a hit! The spicy and smokey chili soaks into the bottom of the sweet cornbread. Everything goes into one big pot and the only item that needs to be kept on ice is the beef and egg and milk for the cornbread. I used an 8-quart dutch oven for this meal, but if you have a smaller one, you can just cut down the ingredients. The whole point of this dish is for it to be easy. Also, I recommend seeking out chipotle powder if you can. It gives the chili a smokey flavor and a kick of heat!
This is the only time you’ll ever see me condoning the use of boxed cornbread. But really, Jiffy boxed cornbread makes for pretty amazing camp grub.
I’ve been hooked on Compartés chocolate for over a year now, so when I had the chance to shoot some of their newest bars, my tastebuds simply couldn’t resist. Compartés chocolate is not only bursting with flavor, but style. It’s clear that quite a bit of thought goes into to each and every bar. I love seeing Jonathan at the farmer’s market picking out fresh produce for his next creation, like the Spring Awakening – dark chocolate with whole mixed berries on top. Perfection!!
This recipe is so simple I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before. I mean, who wouldn’t love a dessert version of a PB&J sandwich. It’s pretty much my go-to sandwich whenever I’m too lazy to make dinner. The jam ice cream can be made with any jam you like, but I love blackberry jam with the seeds studded in there. You can also make our blackberry bourbon vanilla jam. The gluten-free peanut butter cookies are the most intensely peanut butter cookie you’ll ever have. I’ll admit I was skeptical about the gluten-free part, but they’re really delicious. Resist the temptation to eat them straight out of the oven. Combine the two and you’ve got the ultimate ice cream sandwich that will be the envy of any 1st grader.
Start by preparing the jam ice cream. Scoop vanilla ice cream into loaf pan and place dollops of jam in between the scoops.
Who doesn’t love a good sandwich? No one, that’s who!! That’s why Erica, Karen and I hit the streets these past few weeks in search of not just the good, but the BEST sandwiches in the Bay Area. Tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it. I think we found a little something for everyone, but as always, let us know in the comments if we left out your favorite spot. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to make myself a PB&J!
$$$ – Deli Board, San Francisco
Deli Board changed my (lunch) life. This is why sandwiches are the perfect meal. All of DB’s sandos are worth a try, but like the name says, this one is money. What appears to be heavy and dense is actually light, fluffy, and exploding with flavor!! Extra points for the giant pickles.
The Balls – Southie, Oakland
Niman ranch beef and pork meatballs with provolone and reggiano on fresh baguette. So classic + so good!!
Lobster Roll – Woodhouse Fish Co., San Francisco
We loved Woodhouse Fish Co.’s lobster roll so much, we decided to make our own. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?
I hyperbolize a lot. Especially when it comes to food. I can’t help it, I just get so excited about sharing and talking about food. So when I tell my friends and family that I’ve had “the best [fill in the blank],” they always take it with a grain of salt. But the other day, I truly had the BEST nectarine I’ve ever tasted in my LIFE. Honestly, I’m not exaggerating. The nectarines were from Goldbud Farms and they looked like ordinary nectarines from the outside. But they blew my mind! For starters, they were perfectly ripe. But there was an unusual vanilla perfuminess that filled your nose when you bit into them. I didn’t even know nectarines could taste like that. Words just don’t cut it here– the taste was indescribable. Although technology isn’t quite at a place where I can share the flavor with you, I can share this amazing salad that I made with those nectarines. It’s a fantastic mix of summer’s bounty on one plate. I love the use of nectarines because they’re just a little more sour than peaches. The salad is simply and assembly of ingredients. I kept the ingredients in large chunks so this is more of a fork and knife salad. The one thing I recommend is to use the best ingredients you can find. That means using ripe tomatoes (I’ve used heirloom here), good buffalo mozzarella, quality extra virgin olive oil, and sea salt (I use Maldon). And, of course, unicorn nectarines.
Rinse and dry the leaves of the little gems. You can also use any other lettuce you like, such as butter lettuce.