All posts filed under: coffee and tea

dessert: lemon and ricotta cheesecake

One of the disadvantages of eating way way way too healthy is avoiding desserts rich in sugar and calories, even butter, for sure processed flour and whatever other ingredients you can think of, not worth packing on the pounds. But in the midst of all the stress of eating right, a girl can’t help but crave dessert here and there. This recipe which I found here, I’d like to believe is border-line okay to eat, in moderation of course (well, in my case, just a spoonful or two) and it is delicious and if done correctly, a good choice to take to a party, where you’ve been asked to bring dessert – and even if you aren’t asked to bring anything. 🙂 Ingredients {you have to click here to get a step-by-step visual} 3 lbs ricotta, fresh or not 1 tablespoon butter, softened 1/4 cup grated or smashed cookie of choice, Jules Detrooper butter waffles are so good 1 teaspoon plus 1 1/2 cups sugar 6 large eggs 1 cup mascarpone 2 teaspoons vanilla extract …

weekly inspirations – weekend preparations

What’s inspired me over the week, set the tone for the weekend? Click on the photo to reach the information behind my inspiration: 

danville california day trip

I do step away from San Francisco mostly in the fall months. I suppose I gravitate to smaller towns, just because I crave during this time of the year the good old-fashioned way of living, which really doesn’t exist in San Francisco.  You know, family friendly neighborhoods,  picket fences, colorful trees, a small half a mile long street considered a down town. No major chain stores and the best part an actual neighborhood bookstore, where you can walk in and quietly look over the shelves for that perfect novel to read. I chose going to Danville over this weekend, because of the Danville Fall Festival and I insisted that mother tag along. She fought me at first, being too tired and all, but I insisted and we went to spend a relaxing day being simply simple in the countryside. I couldn’t ask for a better day.  

san francisco gem: the ferry building

I love it when friends show up in town unannounced and beg to spend a day with you.  I really mean it, I do love it, even though it throws me pleasantly off schedule (If that makes sense). Anyway, I got the word my friends were in town at ten in the morning and asked them to meet me at the end of Market Street at noon for lunch.  When I asked, what they wanted to eat, they mentioned Sandwich shops and fast food and I basically rolled my eyes. I pointed to the Ferry Building and asked if they had been there and they both shook their heads NO and so we ventured into one of our proudest conversion of a historic building into an amazing waterfront hangout.

dark chocolate truffles to take to party at work

Although I am running between jury duty and work this week, I have committed to bake something for my co-workers. It’s been a tradition of mine forever and this year, no matter how hectic this week is, if I am excused from Jury duty before Friday, I will take these dark chocolate truffles to work. Ingredients 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream 1 2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Dark Chocolate Morsels Finely chopped toasted nuts, toasted flaked coconut and/or NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Baking Cocoa for coating truffles Directions LINE baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. HEAT cream to a gentle boil in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate. Stir until mixture is smooth and chocolate is melted. Refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes or until slightly thickened. DROP chocolate mixture by rounded measuring teaspoon onto prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Shape or roll into balls; coat with nuts, coconut or cocoa. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.      

healthy baking: fall cake recipe

I am not a fan of frosted bland layer cakes. I  much prefer bundt cakes made with dried fruits and nuts, maybe some fresh lemon or orange peel shavings (aka rinds), and definitely infused with  cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Since this type of cake is not very popular in the U.S., most restaurants and cafes offer either carrot cake or zucchini bread as an alternative. So I usually order either to give me the fix I need, if and when I crave for a slice of  “robust” cake. I want to state here that I can only tolerate the cream frosting on either cake since it actually and truly compliments the flavors throughout it. Over the weekend, while I searched for a cake to bake for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner, I came across this visually amazing blog and found an interesting recipe for a cake which I wanted to share with everyone who comes across my blog and also make for this year’s Thanksgiving dessert table. Harvest Cake (Makes 1-9inch cake, to make a layered cake …

gilli delight in firenze, italy

It’s amazing how we are drawn to some things in life. Like for instance, when I walked about Florence yesterday on my way to the Uffizi Museum, I was immediately drawn to a corner bakery, Gilli,  simply because of the picture above. I had seen the photograph throughout most of my adult life and wondered where it was taken? I knew it was somewhere in Italy during the 40s or the 50s but wasn’t exactly sure where in Italy. Well, it was apparently taken at the very corner of the street where a delightful cafe, simply referred to as Gilli, is located in Florence or at least that is what I was told. As I sipped on my cappuccino and nibbled on fresh baked  butter cookies at the coffee bar inside, I stared out the window at the corner where the photograph was taken in an attempt to interpret the contents. I wondered was the picture an authentic reaction of a women, while being aggressively propositioned by the men of that era or was it …

miette – a san francisco treat

It is becoming almost impossible to stay cheery and upbeat with the weather we are having in San Francisco (as usual) this Summer. Getting bundled up is really not my favorite part of our Summers here and because of it I am always looking for ways to escape the gray and the cold. Miette came to mind on friday as a pick me up, when I stepped out to lunch from my job. So  I walked over to the Ferry Building at the Market Street and treated myself to my favorite chocolate wafers (pictured above) with a cup of hot coco. Yes, hot coco in the middle of Summer. I must say, even if it was only for thirty minutes in the middle of the day, I felt really warm and fuzzy 🙂 inside. What I love is the fact I discovered they actually have a recipe book here and guess what, I am now a proud owner of a copy from Barnes and Nobles. So, while you are visiting our wonderful city by the …

summer recipe: fresh fig tart

Every summer I cannot resist buying a basket full of figs from my neighborhood farmer’s market. I prefer to eat them freshly washed right out of the basket. But while commuting home last night I contemplated incorporating the figs into a light dessert. Check out what I found here: For crust 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal (not stone-ground) 1 tablespoon sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary 4 to 5 tablespoons ice water For filling 1/3 cup sour cream 1 cup mascarpone cheese (8 oz) 1/4 cup sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest 1/8 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons red-currant jelly 1 tablespoon honey 1 1/2 lb fresh figs Special equipment: an 11 1/4- by 8- by 1-inch rectangular or 10-inch round fluted tart pan (1 inch deep) with a removable bottom preparation Make crust: Pulse together flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add butter and rosemary and pulse until mixture resembles …

single mother’s day celebration – a tea room brunch and a show

Single mother’s have it tougher than those fortunate enough to have caring husbands. So, in reality these amazing wonder women don’t really care for gifts. They prefer to be taken out, if anything, to spend a day with her children. Now, I am going on the notion that most everyone is familiar with or has access to a tea room in their part of the world, but if not, I apologize in advance. However, if you happen to be in a city full of tea rooms, than by all means please consider the option. The experience of having brunch in a tea room is amazing and for sure out of the norm, more so in the U.S. than anywhere else. Since I live in San Francisco, I have included some of my favorites below to consider.  In addition to the nice tea room brunch, take her to a show, that could mean a movie thearte or an actual theatre to see whatever is playing in your town.