Recent food finds

I am constantly taking pictures of food that i see and i have fallen so far behind in sharing lately.   Im going to try and do a catch up of the last couple weeks of things that I thought were fun enough to share.  Passionflowers are blooming, figs and squash are in season.   We are like a week or two away from the Southern California summer cornucopia of ridiculous bounty.

My neighbor at the community garden has a full on passionflower wall growing.  I have never had the fruit.   I was planning to trellis one in my backyard this year but a young plant wont survive our july vaca so after we return.

The van nuys german deli is sooo close to my house:


Usually i will get two smoked brats, 2 swiss and 2 neurenberger for the 2 of us and simmer in saurkraut and wine…

Head cheese anyone?


Does everyone know that i love marzipan!   British cadbury chocolate and marzipan enrobed in dark chocolate are two wonderful things. 

Gooseberries!

If you zoom in, you will notice flavors of soy sauce in this chinese whisky

Fresh almonds

Dragonfruit

Banana blossoms


No name whiskey shots for your carry on bag

I thoroughly enjoy stroopwafel and if you have had an am flight on United, you have been gifted with a stroopwafel…not sure of the cocktail i would make with this

Last weekend was a roadtrip to the BH branch of Laduree to get the much coveted Barbie box

And of course view the special promo display dolls

Macaron!!!!!  

Its fig season!   I have some in the fridge waiting to be covered with cheese and balsamic

Its still peach season

Jim is scoping out his fav variety of strawberry



Tomatoes are breaking in.  Next week will be full blown tomato explosion

Look close…bok choi and cress flowers

The aquash in unstoppable now.


So that updates like 2 weeks of non restaurant/non home cooking pics….home tou saw something fun or unique.

Omg….bordeaux cherry balsamic

Holy crap?   My plan was to blog my whole dinner which was yummy but last we we hit the palm springs street fair and i bought the shit!

I previously bought cranberry walnut balsamic from the Farmers Daughter from hemet at the palm springs street fair….that rocked

But the cherry is ridiculous….and wordpress just put the pics in reverse order…..and im to tired to change it

Third street promenade farmers market

We are blessed to have a year round growing season, and we are on the verge of the moment where the most of those riches shine!  Saturday at the santa monica third street promenade farmers market, the following are a prelude to the full summer bounty:

Figs!  I forgot to take a pic before i cut up the ripe ones…it was a nice basket of 1/2 ripe and half ripe in a day or two

My fav farmers market cheese for years…i got the mozzarella and asiago…dont for one minute think its traditional mozza or asiago…they surely have their own style .  Spring hill jersey cheese from nocal.

Lemon cucumbers

Baby red leaf heads

The very first of the tomatoes

Citrus!!!

Cucs abound

Herbs

Its still cherry and peach season

Jim Taylor waits for these puppies all year…high price, small fruit, big taste


One years i will buys these and spend the day shucking them.  Can you imagine fresh garbanzos!?!

So tonight the figs will be sharing a plate with goat cheese and a Bordeaux cherry balsamic ibought in  palm springs

Farm restaurant for dinner, Palm Springs…French inspired fare

While searching on Yelp for someplace for dinner, i came across Farm.  It looked like a great french inspired breakfast brunch place that just started dinner service on fridays and saturdays with a prix frixe menu.  In fact, the website has the owner’s words saying she wants visitors to share the experience of being in the South of France.

Our reservations were at 8 last night on what became a rainy cold palm springs night…i got a confirmation call ensuring that i knew that the night would be cold and they were booked up inside and that i would be dining on the patio.

I wish I would have taken more pics…there is great attention to detail in the patio with french music, colors, flowers, the furniture…it was quite lovely.   We even had Laguiole knives at our place settings, as well as another with my entree.

We started with drinks- the Penicillin and theFrench  Monk–i had two of those! And jim had the Julia Cornell as round two.


While these cocktails were great, i think there is a huge opportunity for an aperitif menu including a Aperol spritz, Campari spritz, Kir, Kir Royale, even some house made aperitifs like the prosecco and blue curacao we had in Paris….

I knew going into it that there would be a prix fixe for the night…and just like in France, we were greeted with a chalkboard with the night’s choices


Being allergic to gluten and sesame…jim was lined up with the beet salad, the salmon with sauce on side, and the glace…while i went straight for the tomato tartar, beef bourguignon, and the crepe.

We received bread with viengar and olive oil after ordering


The small round rolls were perfect!   Crisp on the outside and nice and tender on the inside…i ate them all by myself!

The amuse was a lovely round of asparagus balasamic with feta

Up next were the salads

The salads were both 

wonderful…the beet was more of a carpaccio and I loved the tarragon in the sauce with my tomatoes.

Intermission was a palate cleansing lemon sorbet


Now for the main event:

Boef bourguignon

Salmon with Mandarin Sauce


Both dishes were excellent…the beef was flavorful and fall apart tender with a fork and yummy!

Finally, dessert

Citron crepe

Vanilla ice cream with a shot of chambord

The crepe was perfect…it had these citrus “caviar” flavor bombs (a la molecular gastronomy style) and Jim said that might have been the best vanilla ice cream he has ever had.

Everything we ate was spot on great and the service was impeccable.   My two comments are:

The menu was not what i expected…i was so excited by a southern France experience that I wasnt looking for a curry dish or a teryaki chicken dish…the food and drinks have so much potential to match the space and the atmosphere…i expected pissaladiera, socca, polenta, lapin…

And, if there are only three tables in the patio…really, if you identify yourself as the owner and ask about the experience of one table, it’s glaringly obvious when you dont ask the other two tables.

Overall, we truly enjoyed our food and cocktails…its just wasnt the french experience we expected.

My grill gets korean

I wanted to grill.   I was thinking how we grill kimchi at korean bbq….somehow i didnt get grilled kimchi but i got kimchi, grilled soy things, grilled rice cakes…


I made some sprouts and cucs as sides:


Since my partner is allergic to sesame…i made it with hot chili oil and gochujang and salt


Found this recipe online…quick marinade.  Salt sugar and coconut vinegar and i threw in a few pepper flakes and garlic

The rice cake marinated a bit in kimchi

Soy ginger dressing on the eggplant

Bok choi with hot oil


It all gets grilled



Homemade kimchi on the side



Yum

Santa Monica Farmers Market today

Farmers Market today was rife with new surprises.


First i ran into my favorite white eggplants


The remnants of fig season…guavas


My favorite vendor with a huge array every week


Fresh ginger and even galangal


Kohlrabi


The nearby whole foods had dragonfruit


And my prizes were:


Sunchokes, zuchini blossoms, two kinds of white eggplant, potatoes, kohlrabi, chienese green onions, and baby butternut squash!  Like super baby butternuts!

German deli kinda day

Im deep into projects with a short time horizon so wine simmered kraut with grilled sausage sounded like the trick for this saturday


I bought two each neuremberger brats, swiss brats, and smoked brats

Saurkraut


A riesling to drink


Yummy marzipan


And here goes the kraut:


One bottle of dry white wine, juniper berries, bay leaf, peppercorns, clove….and its off to simmer

And a potato and beet salad


Border Grill Santa Monica

For probaby our final time, we went to Border Grill Santa Monica.  No more day drinking scratch margaritas after a stroll down the farmers market since rhis location is closing after 26 years.
Greeted by the tortilla station:


Having had dinner and apps and drinks before, we made the brunch plunge:


We sampled mimosa and margarita and the great salsa and chips that greet you:

pictured is the cadillac, the blood orange, and a mimosa


And our dishes were:

Jalapeno Home Fries

Carnitas Tacos

Chorizo and Egg Tacos

Yucatan Eggs Benedict Sliders

Peruvian Shrimp and Grits

Waffle with Pork Belly

Oaxacan Pancakes

Chicken Panucho

Steak and Eggs

Churro Tots

We admired the design of the space


And we ate and had good company:

On the plus side…i have a cookbook from Mary Sue and Susan that has several of the recipes from the restaurant…and we can still haul ourselves to the downtown or vegas locations….

Love these margaritas though!  Right at the bar in santa monica…the following are from our stop there two weeks ago

Peruvian Ceviche

Green Corn Tamale


Thats the end. 🙂
#bordergrillsmmemories

El Mirasol–Palm Springs

I think Jim ate here everyday this trip…what can we say?  We love good margaritas and good mexican…and this stuff is pretty darned good!

Make sure tou ask for the spicy salsa in addition to the regular…some nights its so hot we mix the two

Jim loves the strawberry margarita here and i tend to always get the maestro dobel, grande size…and usually drink two especially when the temps are running 110 ish


For a change we started with mini chorizo tacos!  Mmm

One of my favorites–camarones Dona Diabla made with their house dona diabla sauce that they make and sell by the bottle…this is not for those who have a fear of spice

And jims standby—the chicharonnes!  Which are also great!

Literally he at here for dinner wednesday with me, lunch on thirsday and friday while i was at work, and today for lunch with me…we do like it a lot!

Pomme Frites–Palm Springs

Another of our goto places especially on a thursday after walking the street fair in 100 degree heat..so i kicked it off with a Duchesse de Bourgogne for me-our server even asked if i had it before because some people arent fans of the acidic bite…some rose for Jim


For starter–tartare!  Which was very tasty


Entrees–short rib for me and mussles and frites for jim


Another standby for beer number two–Affligem


No dessert for me, but someone got a sampler


The floating cloud and mousse we gluten free but i had to eat the third which was not


We keep coming back.