It’s time to celebrate . . . British style! As we approach Saturday’s ceremony of Trooping the Colour, in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s official birthday (different from her real birthday) we’ve got a few special treats for you this week from across the pond. Personally, when I think England I think tea. My wife’s family is British, and naturally tea is part of our daily lives. So when I had a chance to pay a visit to Crown & Crumpet Tea Stop Cafe in San Francisco, I didn’t hesitate one second. There’s something special about sitting down for a good cup of tea. Maybe it’s the formality of it all: the tea pot, the cup and saucer, the quaint finger foods and decadent sweets, the vibrant colors and elaborate decor. Crown & Crumpet delivers on all of these aspects and more, like Blue Bottle Coffee and a stunning vintage tea cup clock. I’m also really excited to hear they’re close to finishing a new event space upstairs. Think tea + crafting, oh yeah!!
I’m consistently impressed by how many talented people are out there photographing and writing about food and drinks. Seriously. It’s inspiring to say the least, and it makes Fridays all the more fun for me.
- I’ve come across a few different Girl Scout cookie donut recipes – I know, such a good idea, right? However, this recent recipe for Grain Free Samoa Donuts by Jenni Hulet of The Urban Poser, guest posting for PaleOMG, is probably the most delectable I’ve seen. That coconut caramel sure looks hard to beat.
I recently had the opportunity to visit a working goat farm, just an hour outside of San Francisco, in the quaint coastal town of Pescadero. Harley Farms regularly hosts family-friendly tours that are both fun and informative. And when it comes to the cheese, it’s as fresh and farm-to-table as it gets. One minute you’ll find yourself walking amongst the herd in the middle of a picturesque field, and the next minute you’re inside stuffing your face with a dozen cheeses, trying not to look like you forgot to eat breakfast that morning (okay, maybe that was just me). Did I mention they also host seasonal five-course dinners in their restored Victorian hayloft? A few takeaways for me: First, it was great to see both children and adults learning about their food in a such a tangible way – following the milk all the way from goat to dairy. Second, this was some of the most outrageously delicious cheese I have ever tasted. Honestly, this stuff was magical. I ended up taking home several kinds for dinner that night, and they all disappeared in a matter of minutes. If you live or are traveling to the SF Bay Area I highly recommend checking out the tour, but if not, no need to worry. It turns out you can also purchase their cheese online . . . Yum!
I’m in a bad junk food rut. When my life gets busy, unfortunately the first thing to go is healthy eating habits. So when I finally had a moment of free time, I went to the farmers market and felt so inspired by the fresh greens around me that I decided to do a post from all the items I picked up. This green hummus recipe was inspired by the green hummus from Tender Greens’ vegan salad, one of my favorites. It is packed with spinach and arugula and fresh herbs like cilantro and green onion. It’s a great way to change up the ordinary hummus and perfect for healthy and colorful entertaining!
- 3 1/2 cups of canned garbanzo beans (about 2 15 oz cans)
- 2 cup of spinach, loosely packed
- 1 cup of arugula, loosely packed
- 1/4 cup of cilantro
- 1/4 cup of diced green onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
- Sea salt or kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
If you haven’t realized, I am constantly on the lookout for interesting, unusual cocktail ingredients. Especially those of the seasonal produce variety. I love browsing the farmer’s market and picking out one or two items to use for that evening’s cocktail. Well, it’s June, which means we’ve officially entered fig season here in California. Score! It’s also my birthday month, but I digress.
This year, I’m especially excited for figs, because I’ve been waiting to share this cocktail with you. The Fig Thyme is one of the first cocktails I made out of one of my most treasured cocktail books, The Art of the Bar, by Jeff Hollinger and Rob Schwartz, the gentlemen behind the legendary Absinthe Brasserie and Bar, in San Francisco. Absinthe had an effect on me and my career in many ways, but all stories for another time. Right now it’s time for me to grab my shaker and mix up one of the most deliciously complex, yet easy-to-make cocktails of the season. It’s Fig Thyme . . . I couldn’t resist!
For the cocktail
For the thyme simple syrup
- Add sugar and water to a small saucepan and stir on medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Once dissolved, add thyme and let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove thyme and pour into a heat-safe glass jar. Let cool before using in your cocktail. This can be refrigerated for up to two weeks
For the cocktail
- Add the fig (quartered) and thyme simple syrup to the bottom of your mixing glass. Break up the pieces of fig by muddling lightly. If your fig is nice and ripe you probably won't even need a muddler. I used my barspoon!
- Once muddled, you'll immediately notice the vibrant colors of the fig bleeding into your glass. Next, fill your mixing glass with ice, and add the remaining few ingredients.
- Snap your shaking tin on top of your mixing glass and seal it into place with a firm whack with the palm of your hand. Give it a good shake for a full 10 seconds. Make sure you smile, especially if you're alone at home with your dog (like me)!
- Crack open your shaker and double strain through a fine mesh strainer into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme and half of a fig.
(images by HonestlyYUM)