Thursday, August 19, 2010

Getting a taste of the Bay Area at Outside Lands

Chris and I went to the Outside Lands music festival in San Francisco last weekend. We worked up quite an appetite rocking out to groups including Chromeo, Phoenix and Wolfmother.

Luckily, plenty of San Francisco eateries set up shop in Golden Gate Park during the festival. We had our pick from nearly three dozen vendors dishing up everything from organic ice cream and s’mores to crispy mac & cheese and tater tots served with lavender honey mustard.

A couple top tastes:

I tried my first Korean taco, a nice little snack from Namu featuring beef short rib, rice, kimchee remoulade and teriyaki all made portable thanks to toasted seaweed.

Little Skillet’s chicken and waffles—I wish I had some to dig into right now.

Within Outside Lands sat the alluring Wine Lands, a wine tent featuring more than 20 wineries. This place offered a nice diversion from the $8 cups of Newcastle. One-ounce wine tastes went for $2 or $3, or you could purchase a glass for anywhere from $8 to $10.

Tacolicious had a stand at the festival, but we opted to stop in at their Chestnut Street restaurant for a post-concert taco Sunday night. Chris opted for spicy shrimp (their Taco of the Week). I wish I’d ordered not just one but two of the braised beef short rib tacos — great, juicy flavor.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I'm so not missing the produce department these days

I’ve scored a cornucopia’s worth of free produce in the past couple weeks thanks to generous neighbors and coworkers. Nothing says summer like fresh-from-the-garden fruits and vegetables!

First up was the watermelon our photo editor brought back from an assignment. There were a couple melons in the newsroom, just screaming to be eaten, so I carted one of those bad boys home, made a mess of my kitchen while hacking it up, and enjoyed those sweet, pink, juicy chunks with breakfast for about a week.

Carmen, our neighbor across the street, has quite the flourishing tomato plant in her yard. I sliced up a recent delivery and roasted them with breadcrumbs (Tried and liked a Meatless Mondays recipe from the ladies at Big Girls, Small Kitchen).

Yellow squash brought home from the office and sliced into thin chunks tasted zingy after a quick toss in the frying pan with a teaspoon of sambal oelek and a tablespoon each of soy sauce and rice vinegar.

And for dessert, we have peaches from neighbor Patrick. I opted to slice up five or six of these fuzzy delights and baked them into a crumble, using a Jamie Oliver recipe for inspiration.

Peach Crumble
5-6 peaches, washed and sliced
¾ cup flour
¾ cup old-fashioned oats
½ cup butter
1/3 cup plus two tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Layer peach slices in a glass baking dish and sprinkle with two tablespoons brown sugar. Combine all other ingredients in a bowl, using hands to make a crumbly mix. Spread mixture over prepared fruit. Bake at 400 degrees for roughly 30 minutes, until top is golden.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Seeking Sacramento’s best burger

Sometimes you just need a no-frills, good old-fashioned burger.

Somewhere between fast food and white-tablecloth dining rests The Village Drive In, located at 60th Street and 14th Avenue in Sacramento’s Tahoe Park neighborhood. The special man friend and I cruised on over the other afternoon for lunch and walked away satisfied.

A bacon cheeseburger combo (substituting a 16-ounce chocolate shake for soda) and a deluxe burger with cheese was enough to feed the both of us for little more than $10.

I wouldn’t say this was a life-changing burger experience, but it’s nice that this place is so close to home, and I’m sure we’ll re-visit from time to time.

Who do you think makes the best burger in Sacramento? Or anywhere, for that matter?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tuna Melt with Tomatoes

Combine my hankering for something cheesy and a produce drawer full of the neighbor’s homegrown tomatoes and you’ve got a tasty take on the tuna melt, one of my all-time favorite sandwiches.

The pepper jack and chipotle mayonnaise add some sass to this sandwich.

Tuna Melt with Tomatoes
5 ounce can chunk light tuna in water, drained
2 teaspoons mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (I use Cholula Chipotle Hot Sauce)
Two slices whole grain bread
Two slices pepper jack cheese
One medium tomato, sliced thin

Place pepper jack on each slice of bread. Cook in frying pan at medium heat until cheese melts and bread is toasty. Mix tuna, mayonnaise and hot sauce together with a fork and place on one slice of bread, followed with tomato slices. Place second slice of bread, cheese down, on top of tomatoes and allow sandwich to cook for another minute or two more. Slice in half and serve.