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Fun with Food

Fun with Food

Food Romance… Not Porn!

Coming Soon!

Coming Soon!

Filmmaker David Gelb will be the first to say that his critically acclaimed show, Chef’s Table, is NOT food porn… it’s food romance.  The dishes presented in the documentaries are not just sexy (and trust us, they are very sexy!), they actually have an emotional connection to the chef and often represent a pivotal life moment for them.

Atelier Crenn - San Francisco

Atelier Crenn – San Francisco

Inspired by BBC’s Planet Earth, Gelb’s series about chefs across the globe have true cinematic quality.  The film is shot with prime versus zoom lenses which takes more time and is more expensive but gives the images their unique and very intimate feel.

Alinea

Alinea – Chicago

After weeks of research, the crew spends time with each chef featured, filming the ins and outs of their daily lives, whether it be in their restaurant, in the streets of India or in the middle of the Amazon jungle.  It’s not all “glamorous days in sunny kitchens and Michelin-starred tasting menus” and they’ve even eaten their fare share of insects.

Gaggan - Bangkok, Thailand

Gaggan – Bangkok, Thailand

We think the best part is the discovery… of new chefs, who may not necessarily get a lot of American press yet are celebrities in their own countries, and of new culinary techniques which we would never be able to emulate but admire just the same.

Pujol - Mexico City, Mexico

Pujol – Mexico City, Mexico

If you haven’t yet drunk the Chef’s Table Kool Aid champagne, you absolutely should and soon since Season 2 premieres Friday, May 27 on Netflix.  For more insight on the show, we recommend this week’s episode on Food 52’s Burnt Toast podcast – click here to hear Kenzi Wilbur’s interview with Gelb.

D.O.M. -

D.O.M. – Sao Paulo, Brazil

If you’ve seen the show, let us know what you think.  Happy foodie Friday!

chef’s table / atelier crenn / alinea / gaggan / pujol / D.O.M

Fun with Food

The Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks

The 2016 Piglet

The 2016 Piglet

Some would say that our adventure into the Whole30 way of life is March Madness so we thought we’d introduce you to a different kind of competition, one that involves books and not basketballs.  Inspired by The Morning News’ Tournament of Books, the Piglet pits the years’ top 16 cookbooks in a bracket-style face off.  Created by Food52 and judged by notable chefs and taste makers, The 2016 Piglet had some great head to head battles and these two notable books were pitted against each other in the first round.  A Girl and Her Greens (oh boy, can we relate after a month of salads and kale!) by April Bloomfield elevates the humble vegetable into glorious meals with beautiful photographs and charming narrative.

Eat Your Peas!

Eat Your Peas…

Speaking of Peas!

Speaking of Peas!

American Claire Ptak settled down in London where she opened her charming cake shop and The Violet Bakery is a compilation of some of her fans favorite recipes.  We can’t tell how much we’ve missed baked goodies this past month so we know we’ll be spending some time with this book next weekend!

Baked Beauties

Baked Beauties

Yummy Blondies

Yummy Blondies

An honorable mention goes to Seven Spoons, the first book by food blogger Tara O’Brady which features stories and easy crowd-pleasing recipes from her Canadian home.

Seven Spoons and Many Recipes

Seven Spoons and Many Recipes

Only one of these books made to the Final Four which is a lot better than how our alma maters did this year…  One of our schools didn’t make it into the round of 64 while the other didn’t make it past 32!  March Madness is coming to an end this weekend so who will you be cheering for?

the piglet / greens / peas / bakery / brownies / spoons

 

Fun with Food

Spring (Food) Fling

Springtime Table

Springtime Table

Day 23 of the Whole30 regimen we’ve been on and all we can think about is FOOD!  Yes, it’s been enlightening to remove all sugar, grains, dairy, legumes and dare we say, alcohol, from our diets these past three weeks but boy, it’s been HARD and we’re so tempted to cheat.  All we can think about is the food we can’t choose not to eat while we’re on this adventure.  With the promise of endless energy, great sleep, slimmer waists and more positive attitudes, we’re sticking to our meal plans and counting down the days (7, 6, 5 – you get the gist.)  But that doesn’t mean we’re not looking forward to a food fling when we’re done…  We’ll start off by toasting our accomplishments with what else? A spring fling cocktail!

Spring Fling Cocktail

Spring Fling Cocktail

Next, a rich plate of pasta with cream, peas and pancetta with a side of garlic, herb and cheese bread.

Orrechiette with Cream. Peas and Pancetta

Orrechiette with Cream. Peas and Pancetta

Garlic Herb and Cheese Bread

Garlic Herb and Cheese Bread

And to top our meal off, a divine raspberry pistachio cake that will finally satisfy our neglected sweet tooth.

Raspberry Pistachio Cake

Raspberry Pistachio Cake

Full confession – we’ve hidden some bags of Cadbury mini eggs from the boys since we knew they’d be sold out by the time we could eat them.  Given that we’re are sooooo sick of the real ones, we’re hoping this lovely mini egg cake will act as breakfast fare for a day or two or three…

Mini Egg Cake

Mini Egg Cake

Cake for breakfast is a great way to start the day, isn’t it?

table / drinks / pasta / bread / cake / cake

Fun with Food

The Citrus Cure

Lemons, Oranges, Kumquats and More

Lemons, Oranges, Kumquats and More

We’re back from Atlanta and the good news is we had a great show…  The bad news is we returned with big fat colds and will be spending the weekend nursing ourselves back to health.  Fortunately, we came across this recipe for citrus cake on our of our favorite foodie blogs, Cannelle et Vanille.  A few days ago, Aran received a huge box of citrus from a friend in California and when she has lemons, she makes cake!  Just reading this post has helped clear our heads and ease our sore throats.  Nothing like a bit of lemon, honey and a slice of cake for a cold.

Sliced and Diced

Sliced and Diced

Lovely Lemons

Lovely Lemons

Citrus Cake

Citrus Cake

Yum!

Yum!

Citrus Cake and Lemon Curd

Citrus Cake and Lemon Curd

What will you be doing this weekend to add a bit of zest to your life?

P.S. Click on the pictures to get the recipes!

Photos: 1 – 6

 

Fun with Food

Thanksgiving… Artfully Plated

Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh

San Francisco-based artist Hannah Rothstein was probably scolded many times as child when she played with her food…  But little did her parents know that she’d come up with an ingenious series of prints to celebrate Thanksgiving.  She imagined how famous artists would plate their holiday meals and created images that capture their painting style to a T (for turkey, that is!)  Best of all, 10% of the profits of the sale of these prints will be donated to a worthy cause – the SF-Marin Food Bank, whose mission is to end hunger in San Francisco and Marin.  Leftovers never looked so good…

Magritte

Magritte

George Seurat

George Seurat

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

Piet Mondrian

Piet Mondrian

Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso

So while we count our blessings this Thanksgiving Day, let’s keep in mind those who need our help.  Happy Thanksgiving to all!

P.S. And a big thank you to our friend Fay for passing these plates along to us…

Photos: 1 – 6

Fun with Food

Thankful for Cocktails!

Paul's Pass The Turkey

Paul’s Pass The Turkey

In keeping with our Thanksgiving theme this week, we thought we might share with you something that we’re grateful for…  Family and friends who invite us into their homes and to their tables for a festive Thanksgiving meal!  While we love to cook and entertain during the holidays, we actually prefer not having to tackle this huge meal on our own.  We’re really good at lending a hand in someone else’s kitchen and even cleaning up, if need be.  That’s where the cocktails come in!  The more you have, the less onerous the job is of clearing the table and doing the dishes.  Not to mention, Uncle Bob’s stories (which you’ve heard a thousand times) may be more bearable if you have one or two three of these concoctions.  So in the spirit of a happy holiday, here are some of our favorite Thanksgiving drinks (recipes you may want to perfect before the actual day rolls around!)

Ina's Cranberry Cosmopolitan

Ina’s Cranberry Cosmopolitan

Martha's Pear Rosemary Cocktail

Martha’s Pear Rosemary Cocktail

Ryan's Mojo Royale

Ryan’s Mojo Royale

Alaina's Apple Cider Margarita

Alaina’s Apple Cider Margarita

Kimberly's Pumpkin Pie Shooters

Kimberly’s Pumpkin Pie Shooters

P.S. Click on the image above or photo credit below to get the recipes and cheers!

Photos: turkey, cosmo, pear rosemary, mojo, cider and shooters

Fun with Food

Who’s in the Mood for Fall Food?

Fall Flavors

Fall Flavors

We are!  The air has definitely taken on a chill with evening temperatures now way below 60…  perhaps it’s time to put away the grill and fire up some fabulous fall food.  Sweet Paul makes it very easy for us to plan a cozy candlelit dinner filled with all the yummy goodness fall has to offer – earthy mushrooms, peppery kale, tangy apples and juicy pears.  Soup to start, followed by a fresh salad and a beautiful roast, and, of course, dessert.  While we’re huge fans of a crisp rosé in the summer, this is a meal best paired with a hearty red like a Bordeaux or Barolo.  So pull up a chair and join us for a fall feast…  As Paul would say, “here’s to chasing the sweet things in life” and eating them, too!

Portuguese Kale and Chorizo Soup

Portuguese Kale and Chorizo Soup

Black Salad with Wild Rice, Blackberries & Goat Cheese

Black Salad with Wild Rice, Blackberries & Goat Cheese

Candy Pork with Apples & Pears

Candy Pork with Apples & Pears

Roasted Broccolini with Winey Mushrooms

Roasted Broccolini with Winey Mushrooms

Marzipan Baked Apples

Marzipan Baked Apples

P.S.  Is your mouth watering yet?  All the recipes are linked below in the photo credits.

Photo: magazine, soup, salad, roast, vegetables and apples

Fun with Food

Thinking Outside the Basket

Lunch in a Box

Lunch in a Box

This last week in August makes us want to fully enjoy the precious moments of a fleeting summer so we’re hoping to squeeze in a picnic or two.  In the yard or on the beach, this meal eaten en plein air or al fresco typically involves a basket filled with goodies and the menu does not have to consist of sandwiches, potato salad and brownies.  Here’s a sampling of some picnics with international flair that have us thinking outside the basket…

Swedish Smorgasbord

Swedish Smorgasbord

Italian Panini

Italian Panini

Icelandic Spread

Icelandic Spread

"Pique Nique" de Provence

“Pique Nique” de Provence

Jamon y Queso

Jamon y Queso

How are you celebrating the last days of August?

Photos: boxed lunch, smorgasbord, baguette panini, Icelandic spread, pique nique, and Spanish sandwich

Fun with Food

Le Moulin de Mougins Revisited

Mougins, France

Mougins, France

Have you ever had a meal in a restaurant that is so wonderfully delicious that the memory lives on for years or even decades?  We had one such experience in our college days at Le Moulin de Mougins and one of us is about to repeat it – the one who is on vacation, that is!

Outdoor Dining

Outdoor Dining

Nestled in the small hilltop village of Mougins, known for its art (Pablo Picasso lived there for twelve years) and for it’s food (an international gastronomic event takes place there annually), this captivating hotel was home to a fabulous restaurant opened by Roger Vergé, one of France’s most illustrious chefs.  Though we knew we couldn’t afford the luxurious accommodations of the hotel during our trip to France, we saved our pennies so that we could dine at the restaurant.

Rubik's Cube

Rubik’s Cube

Our meal, served in an enchanting garden, was beyond fabulous and we relished every sip of wine and every bite of foie gras, lobster and farm fresh produce (Roger was a locavore before it was even a foodie movement!) And the best part of the evening was when Roger Vergé himself appeared at our table with glasses of champagne, having heard he had twenty-something twin fans oohing and aahing over his food.

Seafood Salad

Seafood Salad

Roger has moved on and there’s a new chef in town so we’ll let you know if the meal stands up to the memories!

Shortcake de Fraises

Shortcake de Fraises

P.S.  Please forgive the erratic posting this week – the twin who stayed home has a lot on her plate…  and it’s not even edible!

Poached Perfection

Poached Perfection

Photos: view, restaurant, food

Fun with Food

Happy Birthday to Us!

Fabulous Fruit

Fancy Fruit Cake

It’s our birthday today and since our age doesn’t end with a big ‘0″, we see no need to make a big fuss…  We’d rather plan a dinner out with our families at a fabulous restaurant (hint to our husbands) where we can eat and drink what we want (and not count calories!)  And that includes dessert.  The hardest part will be deciding between something fruity,

Fabulous Fruit Tarts

Fabulous Fruit Tarts

something cup-cakey,

Scrumptious Cupcakes

Scrumptious Cupcakes

Gorgeous Grapefruit Cupcakes

Gorgeous Grapefruit Cupcakes

or something unexpected.

Charming Cake Pops

Charming Cake Pops

Marvelous Macarons

Marvelous Macarons

Regardless of what we choose, we know it will be delightful and delicious…

Happy Friday and have a yummy weekend!

Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6