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Alternatives to Everyday Grocery Shopping: the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

donut muffins and other sweet treats from the Downtown Healdsburg Bakery stand at the Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market in San Francisco.

I hate grocery shopping.

No, really. I hate going to grocery stores, pushing a cart around under the fluorescent lights. Going to smaller markets like Bryan's or the Haight Street Whole Foods is a nice compromise, but it is still going to the grocery store. Which is firmly planted on my no fun list.

Which is why today we did our shopping for the food we'll cook and eat this week at the Ferry Plaza Farmers' Saturday market.

We started out with brunch at the underrated Market Bar, where I had a friend egg, cheese and pork sandwich (with chipotle aioli, avocado tomatillo salsa and plantain chips) that was simply amazing. When it arrived I thought to myself there was no possible way I could eat it all. But I was wrong. I only left a crunchy bit of crust on my plate!

Sufficiently fueled up, we spent an hour scouring the market for ingredient's for the week's dinners. Highlights of what we brought home:

There is just something so inspiring about buying food in the fresh foggy air, often from the people who are growing it. I can't wait to put all our produce and assorted treats to use this week.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork for Tacos

image from

Having received a slow cooker for Christmas, and anxious to try it out, I picked up a nice big pork tenderloin roast at the grocery store this week. I typically roast these in my electric oven, but rarely have the patience to do so for longer than 2 hours. After all, it heats up the apartment and I have to keep an eye on it to ensure it doesn't dry out. Which is why I was excited about the slow cooker.

  • 1 3.5-4 lb pork tenderloin roast
  • 1 bottle beer (I used Red Stripe)
  • 1/2 cup tangerine juice (you can use orange juice if not available)
  • 1 red onion roughly chopped
  • approx 2 TBSP Sriracha sauce

Liberally cover roast with Sriracha sauce, rubbing it all over the meat and place into 3.5 quart slow cooker. Add onions on top. Pour juice and beer over meat.

Cook on high for 6 hours, or low for 11-12 hours. Remove from cooker when done and shred with forks. If meat has cooled by the time you are done shredding, place in a glass dish with 2-3 TBSP of the liquid from the crock pot and heat at 350 until your desired temperatue for juicy shreds or under the broiler until your preferred level of crispness.

Serve with corn tortillas, cheese and sour cream.

Miss Erika's Chicken Pot Pie

image from

After coming across Martha Stewart's  pot pie recipe on an especially gloomy December evening, I got motivated to whip a couple up for dinner. Although mine are not as pretty as hers (I should have trimmed my puff pastry more aggressively), I'm pretty sure I improved upon the tastiness a little bit, in addition to slimming down the recipe to be just enough for two robust pot pies.

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 14 baby carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 zucchini, coarsely chopped
  • 1 leek thinly sliced
  • 2 parsnips, coarsely chopped
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 -3/4 cups half & half
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • 1 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray glass baking dish with 1 TBSP olive oil. Add all vegetables and chicken to dish, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with 1 TBSP olive oil and bake until vegetables are starting to brown. Stir vegetables every 10min to keep from drying out. Should be ready in 45 minutes. Let chicken cool, then chop into bite-size chunks, and add back to dish of vegetables.

Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.

In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in chicken stock and half & half, cooking until liquid comes to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce; season with salt and pepper. Add to bowl with chicken and vegetables; toss to combine. Divide mixture evenly between 2 round baking dishes (approx 12 oz).
Cut puff pastry into two 8-inch circles and place on top of each of the baking dishes, crimping edges. Cut slits in the center of each piece of puff pastry to allow steam to escape; brush push pastry with beaten egg if desired. Place baking dishes on a baking sheet and bake until puff pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbling, approximately 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


Miss Erika's Holiday Bread Pudding

our tiny bread pudding for Christmas Eve dessert

It's becoming a holiday tradition for me to make my bread pudding for bringing to our Sonoma Christmas dinner with L's family.

  • 1 loaf of Challah, stale, torn into bite-size chunks (approx 9 cups)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 quart milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup bourbon (I used Knob Creek)
  • 1 package chocolate chips

Preheat oen to 325 degrees.

Beat eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg and bourbon together. Add bread chunks, stirring them into the egg mixture. Let sit for 30 minutes to allow bread to soak up the egg mixture. Pour into buttered 2 quart baking dish. Add chocolate chips and gently toss with bread chunks.

Bake 45 minutes or until set.

The Makings of Christmas Eve Dinner

looks like Santa has already visited our Christmas stockings...

I don't usually head out to the market on Christmas Eve. But this year, with it falling on a Monday, and our week's grocery shopping having been done the prior Wednesday, it just hadn't felt right to buy everything that far in advance. And thus, I ended up on the 1 California bus, along with a few dozen senior citizens and 4 parents schlepping their brood of children off to somewhere closer to downtown from our end of the Avenues.

My destination? Bryan's. A small fancy neighborhood market in Laurel Village, about  two miles from my place. When I first moved out here, Bryan's used to have a standalone meat shop in the same block as their grocery store. It was a wonderous place-- with every conceivable cut of meat for which you might ever read a recipe. A few years back, they consolidated the butcher shop into the store, but it's still the first place I think of in my neighborhood when I want to go find a nice cut of meat to build a dinner around.

Although the place was packed with last minute shoppers like myself, it had a happy hum. Neighbors we're exchanging Merry Chistmases and hugs in the dairy aisle. Strangers were smiling at each other and giving unsolicited advice on produce. I even got into a conversation with a stranger while waitng to check out, which pretty much never happens at any other grocery store.

I'd entered with the thought of making lamb, but the whole pork tenderloins just looked so amazing I went with that instead.I'll roast it in a peach marinade I picked up there, and serve with roasted yukon gold potatoes and apples, and fancy greenbeans (with bacon+onions.) And we'll have a teeny bread pudding as a preview of the one we're bringing to christmas dinner tomorrow. Inspired by the pork rillettes and spanish chorizo, I'm doing a charcuterie and cheese plate as our starter. And it will all be accompanied by champagne, naturally.

Recipes and photos of the final dishes to come!

Holiday Cookies

image from @sferika on

Baking holiday cookies has been an annual tradition of mine since junior high school. In fact, I've been making my honey cookies, seen above, since then.

image from @sferika on

A few years ago, I added these gorgeous chocolate shortbread cookies to the mix. I love that they are a tiny bite-sized chocolate bomb. I've traditionally always topped them with chopped pistachios, but this year decided to try something new and covered some of them with chopped up See's molasses chips.

image from @sferika on

And back by popular demand, I made the peppermint surprise cookies that were such a hit last year. I had intended to try a new recipe of some sort as well, but the above took me the whole weekend -- an entire day to bake (I did double batches of each) and another day decorating them.

image from @fynralyl

It was all worth it when I took in my goodie bags and cookie tins and shared them with colleagues and friends. It was a nice way to say goodbye to folks, with something sweet in hand.

Cocktails, Crab and Changes


The Whaler cocktail at Prospect, San Francisco.
The Whaler cocktail at Prospect, San Francisco.

That gorgeous cocktail is called The Whaler (Jamaican Rum, Sparkling Wine, Blackberry Honey
Mint, Lime, Egg White), and is obtainable at Prospect here in San Francisco. Not only is it one of my favorite fancy pants cocktails, it was also my beverage of choice for my going away party. It was a lovely gesture -- and it felt good to be surrounded with so much love and so many well-wishes.

But back to the reason for the shindig. That's right -- after 10 nonconsecutive years with my employer, in a variety of roles, I've taken the plunge and accepted a job outside the firm. But first, I have three glorious weeks off, which means I get to lounge around and enjoy the holidays and be a tourist in my own city for a bit, which I so love to do.

It got off to a somewhat comical start however. I had a few appointments booked at Burke-Williams Spa, which is housed in the Westfield San Francisco. And apparently, not too long after I arrived, the hot water went out. For the entire building. And it remained out the entire time I was there. I'm lucky I got the last of the hot water for my jacuzzi bath when I arrived! I would have been bummed to miss out on that as it is one of my favorite splurges (our bathtub was installed in the 1960s and is low to the ground, short, and has glass doors on a track taking up one side so it's not made for a luxurious soak.)

After my spa time was done, I was starving. La Boulange was mobbed, without any place to sit and eat, and I wanted a salad, so I decided to give Nordstrom Cafe another try.There was a short wait for a table, followed by a prompt taking of my order (salad nicoise) from the waitress. And then there was a 20+ minute wait, punctuated by assurances from the waitress that she was looking into what was taking so long. When my salad finally arrived, the waitress was also carrying a bowl of soup with a cheese toast perched on top. "So sorry for the wait! Here's a cup of soup on the house." she said, then ran off before I could ask what was in the soup.

Now, you are probably thinking to yourself, "don't be such a pain! just enjoy the free soup already!" But here's the thing: it's Dungeness Crab season in San Francisco. And despite not seeing a crab soup on the menu, I had a sneaking suspicion that this lovely, tempting bowl of creamy orangey pink colored soup was made from crab. Which I am deathly allergic to (it's the reason I carry an Epi Pen with me everywhere I go.) I was so tempted to just try a spoonful. But I know better than to do that if there is even a chance it might be crab. And when I finally flagged down a waitress to ask what it was? that's right-- it was crab!

Disaster and ER trip averted, I finished lunch and headed to see the Hobbit w/L. Unfortunately, our theater's 3D was the 48 frames per second super fast 3D. It took me most of the film to get used to it. It felt like a cross between HD TV and my old 3D Viewmaster slides. Next time, I'll either opt for the regular speed 3D or 2D. I enjoyed the film despite that distraction, and would like to see it again at home.

My following days have been less eventful, though still very much fun. I've had lunch at Martin Yang's new place M.Y. China, with my fabulous globe-trotting friend Xiaoming. I've also gotten my holiday cards out, and started plotting round 2 of holiday baking which will likely be this weekend, just in advance of Christmas dinner in Sonoma. It'sso  nice to have this break before jumping in to a new position in a new field in January. Lots of things to do between now and then though...

Cheddar Cheese Scones

  image from

Nothing says Thanksgiving appetizer like baked treats loaded with butter and cheese, yes? Thus, my cheddar cheese scones, hot out of the oven and destined for tomorrow's Thanksgiving buffet table...

  • 3 cups flour, self-rising
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 stick butter (8 TBSP)
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar

Butter 2 cookie sheets or spray with cooking spray; set aside. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F (220 c.) Sift dry ingredients together. Add butter, cutting in or thumbing in, until butter is integrated throughout, leaving you with tiny flakey crumbs that clump together if you squeeze them. Slowly pour in buttermilk, stirring in with a knife until just combined. Add cheddar cheese and combine in with your hands. You will have a very sticky dough. You may roll out the dough on a floured board to a 1 cm (1/2 inch) thickness and cut with a 2" pastry cutter into rounds, or use a floured ice cream scoop, or your hands, to make the balls of dough equal sizes and drop onto your cookie sheets. Personally, I prefer the drop scones, as you get some crunchy bits on top.

Bake 12-15 minutes until they are golden on top. makes up to 20 drop scones, 24 rolled scones.

Me and My Disturbing Online Alter Ego

My disturbing online alter ego

I usually confine my talk about gaming to my other blog, Bible of Dreams. But all the mudsligning going on this election season regarding a Maine Senate candidate and her "disturbing alter-ego" got the best of me, so here we are.

I've gotten used to the level of nastiness that shows itself in our political races. I've resigned myself to the fact that candidates seem to not be able to be even vaguely civil to each  other. But I hadn't expected to see a candidate made fun of due to her totally legal, and with 10 million other players of the game world wide, pretty mainstream online gaming hobby.

Can someone explain to me exactly how someone playing an online game makes them unfit to hold office?

Give me a break!

If anything, playing World of Warcraft has connected me to a much wider cross-section of the U.S., including a much wider range of political sentiment and economic ranges than I come into contact with in my daily life. I like to think I understand a lot more about this country I ive in, and the challenges facing its people thanks to having gotten to know so many more of them through my online gaming.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming...

My Portland Summer Vacation Notes

Waterfall at Portland's Japanese Gardens

Hot on the heels of an awesome birthday week, which involved much fine dining and an incredibly awesome bowling night, we packed up and headed to Portland for a few days. This was both L's and my first visit to a city many folks had described to me as "a little San Francisco."

We flew in to PDX and picked up a rental car and headed to our hotel, the Ace. My primary criteria for choosing a place to stay in Portland was I wanted a quirky boutique hotel that had a distinctly Portland feel to it. Given the skewering the Ace received in the Portlandia episode The Deuce, I think I chose wisely. I was tempted by the Jupiter Hotel (home to the Doug Fir Lounge), but given my being a light sleeper and every review of the place commenting on the noise, that didn't seem like a wise choice. We'd been hoping to spend at least one night at the Kennedy School, based on my friend Adrienne's rave reviews, but they were booked up. As it turns out, Portland was in the midst of a 90-degree plus heatwave, so we were glad we'd ended up at the Ace, with its arctic blasts of air conditioning.

Before moving on, I should note that all of the rooms at the Ace are decorated individually, with some sort of theme. I was hoping we'd end up in the room with the huge cat mural that I saw on their website. But instead we ended up in Room 420.  It had a funny little poem stenciled across the walls...

Location-wise, I couldn't have done much better either. The hotel was located on the line between downtown and the Pearl districts, and only a short block from Powell's Books. This meant that there were tons of places to eat and shop located within a reasonable walk from our hotel, even with the oppressive heat.

I was actually a little worried about being so close to Powell's. Our tiny San Francisco apartment is overflowing with books already (this is hy I have been trying to make as many of my book purchases as possible these days on the Kindle.) With that in mind, as well as what we could easily find at the fabulous independent bookstores in SF, we focused our attention on the Gold Room, Powell's auditorium-sized Fantasy and SciFi books room. I am honestly not sure how many hours we spent primarily in this room. All I can say is after we were done here, it was time for beer and dinner, in that order. Somehow, we managed to make it out of there with only 4 books, ruling out others as being too heavy to carry around, available for check out at the library and so on. My two books were  The Player of Games (Culture) by Iain M. Banks, and My Favorite Fangs: The Story of the Von Trapp Family Vampires. by Alan Goldsher. Now, don't judge me on the latter-- I wanted some frothy fun vacation reading, and it delivered just that.

Welcome to the Beercation 

Deschutes Brewery Portland Public House Having checked the weather before we left home, and seeing how hot it was going to be, combined with my love for Pacific Northwest microbrewed beers, I informally dubbed this vacation our "Beercation." So where did we have our first sip? At one of my favorite craft brewers, Deschutes. (NOTE: San Francisco peeps you can usually find Deschutes on tap at Toronado.) Both the Chainbreaker White and the Twilight Summer Ales I tried were perfect for a hot Summer day, and went well with the seriously great pub food. And the decor and atmosphere made it hands down one of the most inviting brew pubs I've been in.I highly recommend starting with a plate of the deviled eggs -- you'll thank me later.

Our second brew pub of the trip was Rogue Ales' Distillery and Public House, also downtown and within walking distance of our hotel. We ended up doing sampler sets of 4, which had a creative presentation. I tried Dead guy ale, Cap'n Sig's Northwestern ale (my favorite), Youngers Special Bitter, and American Amber. My big disappointment here was that the Voodoo Donuts Bacon Maple Ale was not available for tasting, though you could buy it--and any other of the many Rogue Ales-- in the bottle to take home with you.

Our third and final brewbup of the trip was McMenamins pub at the Kennedy School. It was a friendly and inviting pub, with good beer and american pub food. What made the trek out there worthwhile was getting to see the Kennedy School itself. It's such an indescribable feeling to be wandering the halls of what quite clearly was a school, and sitting in the cafeteria, drinking beer, at midday. If we'd been staying longer, I would have loved to have tried out even more brewpubs, having received some excellent suggestions from #pdxbeergeeks via twitter.

artisanal cocktail at the bar at Clyde Common in PortlandThings to Do, Places at Which to Eat

WIth my focus on dealing with the hot weather being the overriding theme for this vacation, I didn't make any reservations for this trip. I'll pause here for a moment. That's right, for the first time in years, I didn't make even 1 night's plan for eating out at a foodie destination. I decided instead we should play things a little more by ear. And guess what? It worked out famously. And I still got to eat some truly remarkable meals.

I'd heard great things about Clyde Common, the restaurant directly off our hotel's lobby, and we made sure to sample a few cocktails here over the course of our stay, and enjoy a leisurely long dinner in the upstairs balcony.The cocktail menu is inspired, with a number of spectacular house creations including several barrel-aged cocktails, and a daily punch special. This place gets packed, making a long wait the usual, but the time flies by quickly with one of the cocktails in hand, snacking on the french fries with harissa and crème fraîche.

The meat slicer on the counter in front of the woodfired brick pizza oven at Oven and Shaker in Portland.Although we had a great dinner at Clyde Common, my favorite meal of the vacation was at Oven and Shaker, which had not been on our radar at all. We'd peeked in the windows and perused the menu one afternoon as we'd walked around downtown, and made a note of it in case we found ourselves in the mood for some pizza or cocktails, since both sounded solid from the descriptions. We found our way in here on a day that had been swelteringly hot, and the only seats available in the packed house was at the counter in front of the pizza oven. Despite some trepidation at the thought I might keel over from the added heat, we settled in and started watching the team make pizzas as we looked over the menu. We decided upon the antipasto and a pizza. When the antipasto arrived we were intrigued -- the salami, mozzarella, provolone, iceberg letter and radicchio were roughly shredded and assembled with the chickpeas and dressed with the wild oregano vinaigrette in a stack much like a large bowl of coleslaw upended. It was delicious -- a really fresh take on the antipasto platter. The superstar of the meal however was the pizza. It was wafer-thin, blistered, and topped with just the right amount of goat cheese, leeks, chives, basil, and speck. It was on par with the pizzas at A-16 here in SF. It's going to be the one place I tell everyone I know who plans a trip to Portland to make sure they check out.

Most of our breakfasts during the trip were ad hoc, including grabbing some toast and coffee at the hotel's breakfast room. But we did have a hearty American breakfast at Kenny & Zuke's in the same block as our hotel. Pop in and grab a bagel and have a nosh.

Our day trips included a drive over the border into Washington to visit the offices of an agency I collaborate with a ton at work (/waves at the aha! peeps), plus significant visits to the Japanese Garden and Multnomah Falls. The Falls you see at the top of this post are one of the waterfalls at the Japanese Gardens. The partially shaded gardens were an ideal place for a long walk (the gardens take up 5.5 acres) even with the heat. Of course it helped that I had a huge sunhat on and L gifted me a handmade paper fan from their artisan shop. The only complaint I had was being bummed that they do not have a tea house, unlike our Japanese Garden in Golden Gate Park.. But the scale and beauty of the gardens mostly made up for that.

Multnomah Falls was another must-see, and involved a 30-minute drive outside of the city. I was one of the slackers who didn't make it much farther than the lower falls viewing area btw -- the trail was a little too steep and vertigo-inducing for me. But L made it to the top, dodging insanely motivated people pushing strollers up the trail of a million (or perhaps only 13) switchbacks.

We also found time to literally chill out over a beer and enjoy the latest Oliver Stone film Savages at Living Room Theater. After the show, we sat in the dining room, with the floor-to-ceiling windows open onto the street, and a jazz trio playing.

Despite the unexpectedly Summery weather for our Pacific Northwest trip, I still got why everyone told me I'd like the place, and why everyone mentions there being "so many trees." I hope to find a good reason for a return visit.

Portland Resources

Ace Hotel Portland
1022 SW Stark St., Portand
 (503) 228-2277

Clyde Common
1014 SW Stark St., Portland
(503) 228-3333
Open daily for dinner and other meals on selected days as noted on their website.

Deschutes Brewery Portland Public House
210 NW 11th Ave., Portland
(503) 296-4906
Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-midnight

Kenny & Zuke's
1038 SW Stark St, Portland
(503) 222-DELI (3354)
Open daily for breakfast and all day eats as noted on their website.

Living Room Theater Portland
341 SW Tenth Avenue, Portland
(971) 222-2010
Hours and showtimes vary but box office opens at 11:30. Seats are assigned first purchased-first pick, so buy your tickerts in advance to ensure a good seat.

McMenamins pub at the Kennedy School
5736 N.E. 33rd Ave., Portland
(503) 249-3983
Daily 7 a.m.-1 a.m.

Multnomah Falls
50000 Historic Columbia River Hwy, Corbett, OR
(503) 695-2376
Daily dawn-dusk

Oven and Shaker
1134 NW Everett St., Portland
(503) 241-1600
Daily 11:30 a.m.-midnight

Not sure what brew pubs should be on your must-visit list? This is the place to find out. Follow the hashtag on twitter, and check out the blog.

Portland Japanese Garden
11 SW Kingston Avenue, Portland
(503) 223-1321
Monday 12-7 p.m.
Tuesday-Sunday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

Powell's City of Books
1005 W Burnside
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 228-4651
Open daily 9:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m.

Rogue Distillery and Public House
1339 NW Flanders
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 222-5910
Sunday-Thursday: 11 a.m.-12 a.m.
Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m.-1 a.m.


Birthday Week: Incoming!

jewelry cat is keeping an eye on you

I always make a point to take my birthday off from work to ensure its chances of awesomeness. The one year that I *did* work on my birthday, I had to manage a PR issue that nearly made me late for my own birthday dinner. Never again!

This year, I'm ratcheting it up a notch and taking off my birthday week AND the following week. The second week will primarily consist of a trip to Portland, a city I've had on my "to visit" list for over a decade. But the first week will be all about getting out and about in San Francisco. Agenda includes:

Now, to just get through this week -- only 5 days standing between me and some serious fun...wish me luck!

Take Me Out to the Ballpark

SF Giants

I made it out to my first SF Giants baseball game of the season on Friday night, thanks to L's Stub Hub browsing. A nice big order of garlic fries was consumed, as was much local beer. And I rounded out my evening finally obtaining a panda hat, which was handy for the long cold bus ride home.

Most years I've gotten to go to 2 or 3 games, often thanks to work-related excursions or folks having additional tickets and taking me along. It's been the only sporting activity I like to watch for well over a decade now. I like the strategy -- and watching the runners on base psyching out the pitcher...adn getting in a nice long hard slide into base on a steal...good stuff. Of course having a gorgeous ballpark with Bay views and yummy food and microbrews also helps.

It's been a pretty quiet Summer so far. Well, other than the train wreck of a Jesus and Mary Chain show we went to a few weeks back. That was noisy and disappointing. Incredibly disappointing. At least I knew all of the words even though a certain someone else seemed to forget a number of the lyircs. Ahem.

Still trying to pin down dates and details for a small trip up to Portland in Mid-August after my birthday. I'd asked for PAX weekend off, but since we didn't get tickets for that after all, I need to revise my request. Plan is to stay at the Ace in downtown Portland since it appears to be an excellent area for walking around. It will be my first visit to Portland -- my only prior Pacific NorthWest experience having been a trip to Seattle a number of years ago for work and a mini vacation. So if you have Portland must-see and must-eat suggestions, leave 'em for me!

Speaking of August, I very briefly toyed with the idea of having a cocktail hour or some such social event for my birthday this year, but then decided against it. I can't fool myself into thinking I'd somehow love a big shindig if it were for me. I truly prefer having the opportunity to have more meaningful one-to-one conversation than is ever possible in a large group. I'm hoping instead for a fancy dinner at Jardiniere with my sweetie, and hopefully a number of individual lunches and post work cocktail hours with friends in addition instead. Yes, Bay Area peeps, THIS MEANS YOU!

And now, back to my Fortnum & Mason Royal Blend tea and playing on Pinterest.

Cap'n Crunch Coffee Cake

image from

I've been making one variation or another of this coffee cake since I was in high school. For my most recent batch, whipped up to celebrate my friends Sharon and Ian's housewarming party, I decided to try a little something different with the topping. Instead of the usual brown sugar and butter topping, I went with some Cap'n Crunch. And it was delicious!

For the Topping

  • 3 Cups Cap'n Crunch Cereal, smashed by hand so it is partially crumbled
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 1/2 Cup powdered milk
  • 2 TBSP sugar
  • 1 TSP salt

Combine all these ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

For the Coffee Cake

  • 3 Cup flour
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 5 TBSP baking powder
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  • 1/2 Cup butter (room temperature) or shortening
  • 1/2 Cup milk
  • 2 eggs

Preheat oven to 375. Grease your loaf pans or muffin tins (I've even used brioche tins with great success for these.) Mix all the coffee cake ingredients in a large bowl or your mixer until blended together, about 1 minute. Spread batter into pans and sprinkle topping over the  top. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the topping starts to brown. Then cover with foil to resume baking for another 20 minutes. Test with cake tester and remove from oven when cake tester comes out clean. Muffin tin sized cakes usually are ready in about 30 minutes, but larger pans have taken up to an hour in our terrible electric oven.



Moulin Rouge, via Gatsby

I have a terrible confession to make.

You are likely to shake your head in disbelief when I tell you this.

But I've decided to come clean: I just saw the film Moulin Rouge this week.

*ducks for the inevitable pelting with overripe vegetables that follows*

I can explain! 2001 was a tough year for me. And the previews here in the states showed that zippy little number done to the tune of the Can Can. It looked to be far too bouncy and jubilant for me to digest. And thus, I never saw it.

Over the years, as I listened to friends whose taste paralels mine, or at least frequently overlaps when it comes to movies, I would smile and nod when their unbridled love for this movie would come up. "Mmmmhmmm" I would say, before bouncy off on another topic as quickly as possible.

So what made me take the plunge this week? It was the trailer for the new Baz Luhrmann film based on The Great Gatsby, as seen above. Gatsby is one of my all-time favorite books (tho it seems I most unfortunately lent my vintage copy of it out to someone who never brought it back to me.) So knowing that I will defintiely want to go see Gatsby, and having had an evening with movie watching on the agenda and nothing in hand that looked particularly inspiring, we rented Moulin Rouge from the iTunes store...and I positively loved it. Of course.

I'm sorry it took me so long to see the film, but am glad to finally be able to add to the conversation the next time someone brings it up as one of their favorite movies, or an example of Ewan McGregor being positively adorable, etc.

Now, what else do you secretly suspect I've never seen and should add to my queue ASAP?

8 Things People Who Do Not Live in San Francisco Think they Know About the City

Every so often, I am reminded that having lived in this city for almost 2 decades, I have a distinctly different point of view on a number of items related to our fair CIty. And thus, I share with you this list of things people who do not live in San Francisco often are certain they know about San Francisco. Please leave me some of your favorites in the comments!

8 Things That Are Not True About San Francisco But Many People Seem to Think Are

1. It is OK to call us "Frisco" for short.

2. Every place from Marin County to San Jose to Oakland is all San Francisco.

3. When you tell me you're coming to San Francisco and want to meet up, but are actually in San Jose, that's OK because I can just take BART there.

4. Parking is plentiful in the Marina, on a weekend night, so we don't need to pay for parking/valet. We'll just circle the block again...

5. Everyone lives in one of those adorable Victorians.

6. There are no straight guys in the City, so if you move here as a single lady you are on your way to spinsterhood.

7. If you come to visit, be sure to pack shorts, you'll want to be wearing them for your trip to Ocean Beach.

8. Cabs are plentiful and can be flagged down from any street corner throughout the City.

How Pinterest has Changed the Way I Share Links on the Web

I was a latecomer to Pinterest, having fallen in love with the reblogging charm of tumblr . But as you can see from the tumbleweeds rolling through my tumblr page, I've changed course and have pretty much moved over to Pinterest instead for my content sharing.


What prompted this change? Although I love the content being shared on tumblr, I never had the ability to really slice and dice what I was sharing by topic. With Pinterest,not only am I able to do just that, I'm also able to easily visually scan the content I've shared, which is especially handy for the hundreds of recipes I've bookmarked in web browsers and my google Reader RSS feed reader over the years.

For all the foodie content I'd been hoarding, I started up three separate boards: cocktails, cook this, and baked treats. Then for the miscellaneous geekery , I have star wars, hello kitty and geekery boards. I even started one to save all the interesting infographics I inevitably share and can't put my finger on ever again. Then I tackled my travel photo stash, and made a Pinterest board for my travels, focusing just on a photo or two that captures a specific place/moment in time, and one for windows since they are so often a topic for my photography.

I feel bad about having been neglecting my tumblr. Because it was a ton of fun for a number of months. But at this point, it doesn't make sense to me to be keeping up two profiles that basically are focused on the same activity, so you'll be finding me on Pinterest instead. Hope to see you there.

A Perfect San Francisco Weekend

image from
It's one of those rare incredibly sunny and warm weekends we never expct in San Francisco, and I've been taking advantage of it.

Last night, L's mom and stepdad came into the city and we enjoyed a leisurely walk down Geary and a tasty family style dinner at Ton Kiang. My favorite entree was the sweet and sour pork, hands down. It was brought to us sizzly from the frying pan. Almost too hot to eat, even. Which made it that much more delicious. The Kung Pao chicken and the basil beef were also very good, but I was a little less impresssed with the Mongolian Beef. It didn't have quite the kick I was expecting. But it was a good dinner overall anyhow.

Because we are spoiled, L's mom brought us a huge bag of the bounty from their garden. Tons of fresh herbs, butter lettuce, baby red onions, and leeks. There is going to be an amazing salad in our future tonight I assure you. Given that it is 90 degrees in our 4th floor apartment, however, it may have to accompany something we order in. Even the convection oven feels like too much additional heat to add to the house tonight...

Brunch was someplace new for J, L and I, Cafe Bunn Mi on Clement. The place was packed with a line out the door, but luckily for us, it was mostly take-out orders so we were able to quickly claim a table and sit down to enjoy some graet viatnamese sandwiches, thai iced tea, and assorted tasty fried foods. An excellent way to start a Saturday. And will definitely be going back there. This reminds me to note: our nieghborhood needs more sandwich places!

I was able to cool off for a bit and catch up w/an old friend, Beth, who was in town today taking her daughter to a swim meet. I met up with them for ice cream at Joe's up the street, then introduced them to our kitties. Even our bravest kitty, Bolvar, was a little taken aback by the fast moving spirited children. I'd forgotten that this was their first time meeting non-adult people.

It does make me feel a little old to be meeting children of friends who are older than the age at which I met those friends. 


I envision an evening of playing on Pinterest and in SWTOR. Until next time...

xo me


March Mendocino Mini Vacation


Harbor House Inn, Oceansong Cottage, Highway 1, Elk
view from Harbor House Inn, Oceansong Cottage, Elk, March 27, 2012

Living in the City, you easily forget how dark night can be. Driving South on Highway 1, at 10 p.m., blasting the Cure’s Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me album and singing along…and realizing there are no lights other than those from your headlights. Back at the cottage, even standing out on the deck, the ocean is lost in the darkness. But the roar of the waves breaking against the rocks in the cove reminds you it’s there. Temporarily out of sight but still within reach, should you be so foolish as to try and brave the treacherous path down to the black sand beach in the pitch black dark.

The picture window that so perfectly framed the ocean view and the keyhole rock it crashes through is now a mirror. The reflected light from the glowing apple on my laptop illuminates my face as I type type type away.

waterfall next to our cabin in ElkThis is the escape from the every day I needed. No Internet. No television. And not too many people.

Our little cottage at Harbor House Inn, with the amazing view, was $100/night cheaper than its neighbor thanks to a slope to the floor. The ocean is trying to reclaim this patch of land or so it seems. But the pitch isn’t so steep that it’s a bother, so yeah us for getting a good deal. And in case you are wondering, the bed has been adjusted for the slope, so there won’t be any accidental rolling out of bed.

Since we were staying at the Inn during the off season, dinner was not included, thus our first night’s meal was at Ledford House, up Highway one just past the 128 junction. A pleasant ocean-facing dining room, with a piano player. The duck pate starter was very good, as was L’s leg of lamb. And I have no complaints about my steak au poivre with asparagus. About midway through dinner, I thought I heard a familiar pitiful wail. After hearing it a few more times, and determining that yes I was hearing a sorrowful cat lamenting how very hungry it was, I spotted the calico kitty at the door of our dining room. “She thinks she’s an indoor cat,” our waitress remarked after seeing we’d spotted the little beggar, then shooing her out the door. “And she’s not starving, either!” Clearly this was not the first time for these antics.

Exploring Mendocino County

Our first full day in Mendocino County started with complimentary breakfast at the inn (omelet with mushrooms, asparagus, and caramelized onions and a side of bacon), where to our dismay we started seeing raindrops spatter the picture windows. Undeterred by the light rain, however, we headed out to Ross Ranch where we’d reserved a couple of hours of horseback riding through the redwoods. This turn of weather reinforced my purchase of a new rainproof jacket and then some.

I should point out that the horseback riding was L’s idea. Those of you who know me personally IRL know that despite the many years I spent tearing around on my bicycle, I have had horrible balance for the past few years. So the idea of mounting a huge horse and tooling around steep backwoods inclines would not have been the first leisure activity that I would have suggested. Thus I bucked up, signed the waiver that pointed out all the ways in which horseback riding could be very dangerous and possibly maim me, and off we went.

My horse was a pro. What I mean by this is he figured out pretty quickly that he had a first time city slicker rider on his back. And thus, every time he saw some nommable greens—or some branches that were just above his head—he headed for them. After a while, I got the hang of reigning him in and reminding him that I was the dominant one in charge, thank you very much. I was faking it, mind you, but he seemed to buy it and was mostly well behaved. Other than trying to eat my shoe when we stopped for a break at the midway mark.

That’s when the rain started to get a little more aggressive, even within the protective redwood canopy, prompting me to pull up my hood, and we ended up getting back to the ranch a littler earlier than scheduled. Since my jeans were soaked, and I was pushing my luck as far as my ability to stay upright and in charge on this horse, that was OK by me. I should have taken a photo of our horses once we dismounted, but the moment escaped me. And clearly, there wasn’t any opportunity for me to take photos while we were riding.

After changing into dry clothes, we ventured back onto Highway 1, this time headed to Fort Bragg. More specifically, headed to North Coast Brewing Company. Because I definitely deserved some strong beer as a reward for my equestrian efforts. It had been more than a decade since I visited the tasting room, but the food was as tasty as I remembered, though the portions were even more hearty than I remembered. I should have done a tasting set like L (he did 4 tasters), but I wanted an entire goblet of the Brother Thelonious dark Belgian style ale all to myself. I have a real weakness for dark Belgian style beer (hello Maredsous!)

Finally giving in and accepting the fact that the rains were not going to abate, we headed back to the Inn, where we spent the evening drinking wine (picked up from wine tasting on Highway 128 on the way up on Wednesday) and playing Scrabble and Monopoly.

A Trip to Mendocino Proper

image from’s plan was to finally make it into the village of Mendocino. But first, we stopped at the Mendocino Botanical Gardens and spent a few hours walking through the gardens and out to the cliffs overlooking the ocean. Thanks to the persistent light rain, there was only one other couple out on the paths with us, so it felt as though we had the place to ourselves.  One item to note: we never did figure out why there were numbered metal quail all over the property. They weren’t map points or anything obvious. I imagined a secret, members-only audio tour might make use of them.

After the gardens, we drove in to Mendocino, parking in front of Café Beajoulais where we had a leisurely lunch. L had a lovely spring greens salad with a perfect mound of baked Laura Chenel goat cheese, and a burger with white cheddar and avocado. I started off with a duck leg confit, and had a baguette sandwich of brie, bacon, and chicken. Very tasty food, though everything from getting seated to having our orders taken seemed to take much longer than you would expect. Only later in the day did I realize that the somewhat harried state of our waitress was likely due to her acting as hostess, waitress, busperson and cashier for the entire restaurant, which had 8-9 tables active while we were there. Yikes!

Our walk through the tourist shops of Mendocino was over fairly quickly – it’s actually a pretty small area. I was tempted, very tempted, to purchase the Jedi’s Path at the bookstore (to better know the enemy since my allegiance goes to the Sith, in SWTOR at least.) But I remembered my vow to stop buying books, so I didn’t pick it up. I’ll wait until I sell a few books back to my local used bookstore and make room on the shelves.

Our final night’s dinner was at the Bridget Dolan's Public House in Elk, just up Highway 1 from the Inn, which was suggested to us by a tasting room person at Navarro. In addition to great service and a nice selection of local brews on tap, they had mini chimichangas on the appetizer menu. Can you imagine? Of course we had to have them and they were delish.

Overall, the rainy weather did but a damper on some of the hiking and exploring we had planned, but we did make the best of it. And I returned home relaxed and recharged and that was definitely the larger point of it all.

Mendocino County Resources


Harbor House Inn
5600 S. Highway One
Elk, CA
(800) 720 7474 

Food & Drink

Bridget Dolan's Pub
5910 S Highway 1
Elk, CA 95432
(707) 877-1820

Cafe Beajoulais
961 Ukiah St
Mendocino, CA 95460
(707) 937-5614

The Ledford House
3000 N. Highway One
Albion, CA 95410
(707) 937.0282

North Coast Brewing Company
55 North Main Street
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
(707) 964-BREW (2739)


Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
18220 North Highway One
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
(707) 964.4352

Ross Ranch Horseback Riding
(707) 877-1834

What I'm Doing During my SF Holiday Staycation

burger and shoestring fries at Zuni Cafe in SF

It's hard to believe I am only halfway through  my holiday staycation! Needless to say, I'm definitely finally feeling relaxed, as one should on a vacation. Even the kitties are cooperating by being good.

So far, this staycation has been a busy one. I kicked off the week with getting all my holiday cards completed, and shipping out a few packages. But Tuesday is what felt like the real kickoff.  I treated myself to a long leisurely lunch at Zuni Cafe, long one of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco. I even splurged on a great glass of pinot noir and saved room for dessert -- the always delicious espresso granita. Despite being a one-top in a sea of larger parties, I was well taken care of, and had a prime seat in the sunny main room, with plenty of people watching.

After lunch, I hopped on the F Market Streetcar and made my way to Macy's Union Square, for my two-hour shift volunteering for the SFSPCA and their holiday windows fundraiser and adoption event. If you're not familiar with the SFSPCA holiday windows, check out the window cams of adorable adoptable kitties and puppies now. Be warned that you may be overloaded with cuteness.

I've volunteered for this annual fundraiser at least a half dozen times over the past 12 years. This year, as with most years, I was on duty to answer questions about the adoptable pets in the windows and the SFSPCA. There was not too much foot traffic, which is not surprising given we were on the O'Farell side of the building, post-lunch and pre-evening crowds. But I still had the opportunity to talk to a number of animal lovers about their pets, which is always one of the nice side effects of this volunteering.

I gathered about $100 in my collection box, and spread the word to dozens of folks. And I think a 4-year-old poodle may have found himself a forever home as a result of our shift too. A rather enjoyable way to spend the afternoon. I highly encourage SF peeps to sign up for a shift. But don't blame me if you end up coming home with a new furry family member...

The rest of this week has been consumed with plowing through the Hunger Games book series (I am 75% of the way through the third book now), and getting started with playing the new Star Wars MMORPG. If you're interested in learning more about that part of my week, peek at the blog I've started that focuses on my SWTOR adventures.

Next week, I am most looking forward to my significant other finally being able to eat solid, chewy food again after 3 weeks of post-surgery recovery, and making a lovely Christmas Eve dinner at home, then heading up to Sonoma for Christmas Day. So nice to have a relaxing holiday season for once, instead of trying to cram in all the to-do's after work in the weeks leading up to the holiday. I hope to have the opportunity to take this time frame off again.

A Cookie Baking Weekend

image from

I spent all of this weekend baking cookies. Chocolate shortbread. Honey Merry Christmas rolled out cookies. Peppermint surprise chocolate cookies. Then I spent the better part of today decorating them. Milk chocolate used as glue for getting smashed candy cane bits to stick to the peppermint surprise or the chocolate shortbread (which also had a set with pistachios on top.)

But the big push was icing and sugaring all the honey cookies. I try to do a wide variation in decorating these cookies-- some with only a little sugar and icing, others with sprinkles, and only a few that go full out with the icing and sugar. For some reason, folks can be a little timid about biting the top off a big sugar coated tree. Which is why I always make so many of those wee stars. I consider them to be the gateway cookies. People take one to be polite and bite in, expecting a dry, flavorless vanilla sugar cookie, and instead are hit with the aromatics and taste of the honey. And *then* the go for the tree.

These honey cookies are pretty much the only holiday tradition I have carried with me from childhood onward. I remember making these cookies with my mother and grandmother as early as 7 years of age. And using some of the same HRM cookie cutters I used today. (As an aside, that snowman is my most favorite cookie cutter ever. I use it sparingly however as it is cracked. I keep hoping to find a set of them in a junk shop.) And just as I did as a child, I make my own colored sugar, using regular old table sugar and food coloring. I've never developed a taste for those bigger pre-colored sugar crystals. For me, the hand colored sugar is what these cookies need to be complete.

The next step of course will be to package up all these treats, then give them away to the folks who have made my life a better, happier place in the past year. I'm planning to put a number of them in the mail and hope they won't be too battered when they arrive. And hope that the folks who open up their mailbox to find a small package of the cookies know that even if I don't always say it, they are most appreciated and greatly missed.

The only fly in the ointment in this cookie euphoria is my SO had oral surgery last week and is on a strict no chew diet. I reserved a couple of the cookies for him, however, to be crunched up into a milkshake. It's not as fabulous as the finished cookies mind you, but it will do in a pinch.

I would have waited until he is back on solid foods, but since I am taking vacation time for the two weeks prior to Christmas, this was my only chance to bake cookies to bring in to work.

I haven't had the weeks prior to Christmas off in at least 5 years, probably longer. But this year, since I hadn't taken a 2-week break, and my SO has the time off from his Master's in Library Science studies, I am thrilled to be able to get the time off. I plan to go do some volunteering at the SPCA holiday windows, have a lunch or three with friends I don't get to see often enough, and to trek out to the Valley to see the other Erika.

I'm totally looking forward to my leisurely long holiday break.

How Did My Holiday Wish List Get Overrun with Cookbooks Again?

stack of presents from Christmas 2010

I hadn't done a holiday wish list in years, before starting up again a few years ago at the request of my significant other's mom. Despite our sharing a common interest (loving to cook), since she rarely comes to see us in the City, she thus doesn't know what books and tools I have or do not. I get the impression it allows her to make some more informed gift choices.

I keep the Amazon wish list widget on my bookmarks bar so I can add things from anywhere I am on the web. That way I can tag adorable patterns on etsy or a Malificent pop vinyl doll on a geek news site. But somehow, every year, I end up with a stack of cookbooks in my list. Even though I have long been out of room for even 1 cookbook more on my shelves.

Here are the cookbooks that made my list this year:

  • Everyday Food made the list because of how often I make recipes from the magazine's pages.I love that on a whole, their recipes are always relatively quick and easy, yet do not rely on canned or processed food shortcuts to achieve the speed-to-table.
  • Both Bi-Rite and Cooking My Way Back Home are San Franciscan-authored, and focus on taking advantage of all the amazing seasonal produce and handcrafted food stuffs available to us in the San Francisco Bay Area. I have a feeling these two would give me a ton of new ideas for using up my Farmers' Market bounty.
  • And finally, Mozza. This one made the list due to my admiration of La Brea Bakery founder Nancy Silverton, and the fact that other than my well-worn Marcella Hazan paperbacks, I actually don't have a real Italian cookbook.

What's on your wish list this year?

WTB More Hours in the Day! (a minor lament)

stained glass detail from Glasgow

I am having a slight case of melancholy.

It's probably not fatal, mind you, but it is there all the same.

The days are getting short and colder.

My to do list is never ending -- so many letters I mean to write, friends I would like to catch up with, craft projects to start, books to finish reading, recipes to try.

So many things I want to do and so little time!

Somehow, my workday now stretches from 7:30 until 5:30 or 6:00 each day.

By the time I reach home, it is often a struggle to tackle that ever growing list. I wind down from the day playing an MMORPG, chatting with the folks who are still hanging out on twitter, and then suddenly it's time to make dinner and then POOF! another day has vanished.

How did I used to have the energy to be out at concerts until 2 a.m. on a work night? Or time to even keep up on all the amazing events that were going on (let alone to write about them!)

This is a lament, but only a small one. These are 1st world problems, to be sure.

xo e


almost aioli

I am not one to make mayonnaise from scratch. Thus I give you: an almost aioli that will be close enough for most folks...

In a small ramekin or glass bowl, mix together the following:

  • 2 heaping soup spoons of mayo
  • a splash (1 tsp?) of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated w/a small hand grater
  • juice of half a lemon
  • two twists of pepper from a pepper grinder

Use a fork to blend the ingredients together. Cover w/plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Very tasty on baguettes, as a sandwich spread or for dipping your artichokes leaves in.

Roasted Chicken and Veggie Soup

My significant other is down for the count battling some sort of yucky illness. This clearly calls for my making a gallon or so of my roasted vegetables and chicken soup for dinner. Roasting the veggies is an extra step that adds to the preparation time, but it also adds to the depth of taste, making it well worth it in my opinion.

For Roasting
1 Napa cabbage, cut into wedges
2 cups plum tomatoes chopped or a can of San Marzano tomatoes
15 smallish russian banana fingerling potatoes, chopped
3 small eggplants, chopped into small chunks
1 large red onion, diced
6 medium size red carrots, chopped
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts. seasoned with salt and pepper

For the Soup
1 head of garlic
1 TBSP olive oil
1 can canellini beans
1 64 oz carton vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine

Arrange the veggies and the chicken into as many baking/roasting pans as required to hold them in a single layer (you can roast in batches.) Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, and add some optional chopped up fresh dill (to taste) then pop into 375 degree oven for 30-45 minutes (pull out vegetables when they start to brown, cook chicken until cooked through and skin is golden.)

Brown 5 chopped cloves of garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil. Add all roasted vegetables plus 2 cans of canellini beans, 64 ounces of veggie stock, and one cup of white wine. Bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes. Freezes well.

Potato+Leek+Artichoke Casserole

image from

We had a nice bit of Fall weather in September, before the Indian Summer fell upon us and made the apartment unfit for cooking. While it was still cold enough to use the oven, I did some side dish experimentation, and made this truly delicious casserole to accompany pork chops.

Potato, Leek and Artichoke Bake

  • 1 TBSP olive oil, plus 2 TSP or a mister
  • 3 Leeks (white and light green portion only), thinly sliced into half moons and rinsed of all dirt.
  • 1 14oz can of atichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3.5-4 oz cream cheese
  • 2 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 medium russet potatoes, thinly sliced (via mandolin)
  • salt and pepper to taste

I adapted this from a recipe in Everyday Food. I omitted the celery and changed up the cheese including decreasing its amount, and bumped up the amount of leeks.

Preheat oven to 425. Brush 1 1/2 quart baking dish with olive oil and set aside.

In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat; add leeks. Cook 8-10 minutes until softened. Add artichokes, broth and cheese, and stir until combined. Remove skillet form heat, add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Arrange half the potato slices in overlapping rows to act as the base for your casserole. Season with salt and pepper. Top with the artichoke mixture, making sure to evenly spread it out across the potato slices. Layer with remaining potatoes. Mist with olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake 40-45 minutes until mixture is bubbly and edges of potatoes are crispy and golden in color. Let stand about 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

The leftovers from this made a great addition to my lunch as well. Reheated for 2 minutes in the microwave at work.