Food and Drink

Kitchen helper

First post of two-thousand sixteen! WHAT.

I purposely did not do a resolutions post or a big here are my goals for 2016 announcement this year. This is mostly because I wanted to put my thoughts into action and commit to my main goal this year. (I guess I am announcing my goal for this year. Um, moving on.)

This year my goal is simple: Stay Present

Present with my thoughts. Present with my intentions. And present with my family. I am putting this into action in various ways and maybe I'll be more specific about it later. But then again, maybe not. 

If you follow me on Instagram, you would know how much Emma loves to cook and clean. Mostly, she just loves being around me and doing what I am doing. The other day I was making calzones and Emma just had to be in on the action. She handed me ingredients and helped me with every step of cooking. It melted my heart. 

Patiently awaiting the fruits of her labor.

Now for your viewing pleasure, here is a little video of Emma's kale help.

I hope she always wants to help us around the house. 

Happy Monday!

Lemon ricotta pancakes

If you have spent any time living in San Francisco, you know about Plow. It's a brunch place in a little neighborhood called Potrero Hill and I am convinced it has the best breakfast platter EVER. Eggs, bacon, potatoes, and the fluffiest lemon ricotta pancakes to ever grace your taste buds. All the ingredients are sourced locally and I'm not the most crunchy person, but you can TELL the difference. If you don't get there before it opens, you're looking at a two hour wait. It's worth it though, I'm telling you.

Any who, I was looking on the interwebz for a copy cat recipe and I found a few (dozen). They are all pretty much the same but let me tell you, I was excited to make 'em. (And eat them.)

I used this recipe but just search "Plow lemon ricotta pancakes" and your life will be changed. I'M TELLING YA'!

Serves 4 peeps, or just one hungry mama. 

1 and 1/3 cups good ricotta
4 eggs, separated
zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (plus more for greasing the pan, but you knew that)
1 cup flour 

In a large bowl, whisk together ricotta, egg yolks, lemon zest, vanilla, salt, and sugar. Then mix in butter and flour.
In a different bowl, whisk egg whites until stiff peaks are formed (I used a hand mixer because ain't nobody got time for hand whisking).
Gently fold in egg whites to ricotta mixture.
Heat a non-stick skillet on medium heat. Using a small pad of butter for each batch, put a large dollop of the batter on the pan and flip when that pancake is all golden (or whenever it feels right or whenever the toddler lets you have your arm back). 
Keep 'em warm on a plate (oven-safe, duh) in the oven at 200 deg F. 

Plate 'em, slap some more butter on 'em, sprinkle that powdered suga on 'em, throw some berries on 'em.


In my opinion, if you can't see that butter pool shine from space, you're doing it wrong. But that's just one butter-addicts opinion. 




I am a big fan of cheese - of the milky and corny varieties.

Last night, we went to a cheesy dinner, enjoyed some beverages and delicious food, and celebrated my graduation from dental school. Wee!

Cheese: the corny variety.

Cheese: the milky (and delicious) variety.

Emma be like, "I've had enough of your shenanigans mother."

Cheese for president!


Garlic spread

My cooking skills are fairly limited to my reading comprehension.

It usually goes thus: 

Read directions.
Try not to burn anything.
Eat all the food.

Occasionally, I'll try my hand at cooking improvisation. Emphasis on occasionally. My sister got the cooking spontaneity gene, I got the measure the ingredients exactly gene. They are on different chromosomes entirely.

But I was feeling a little adventurous yesterday and whipped up a little spread/dip/deliciousness. Basically, anything I can pair with bread and cheese and I'm set.

I did a little post-a-loo to the gram and had a couple recipe requests so here you go!

What you need to blow your mind:

two heads of garlic
a bunch of parsley
extra virgin olive oil


Peel and finely chop two heads of garlic (no really, two full heads). Wash your hands for the next twenty years. Finely chop an equal amount of parsley (seriously, this whole "not measuring it" thing is freaking me out). Drizzle EVOO and stir until you get a slurry (not too runny, not too thick, ya feel me?).

Step final: Eat all the garlic.

I suggest that you and your kissing partner both eat this at the same time to avoid the one-sided garlic kiss that will send your husband running in the other direction. This may or may not be based on real life experience.

While I basically shoveled this down with a baguette for a spoon I think it will go great with fish, cheese, pizza, and charcuterie. 

Eat all the garlic.


Birthday garlic, I mean girl

I love garlic. Love it. LUHVE IT.

(That was a weird way to start a post. Wild Samantha is my name.)

On Monday I turned 26. GASP. Or as my sister would say, "you're closer to 30 than you are to 20 now." Gag. 

Moving on. 

My mom and sister came into town on Sunday for a few days to visit with us (mostly Emma) and to --- DUH DUH DUHHHH -- babysit. Praise the Lord. 

Paul and I were able to enjoy an intimate dinner, just the two of us (we can make it if we try-eye), at The Stinking Rose. "What is that?" you ask, well it is more affectionately known as the garlic restaurant (tag line, we serve food with our garlic, giggle giggle). It's Italian. It's garlicy. It's delicious. It's stinkin' phenomenal. And I still smell like garlic three days later.

It was a terrific way to celebrate. And now, a photo dump.

Obligatory silly selfie session. 

Get down with your alliterative bad self, Samantha. 


We like, we like to party. 

I ordered a humongous Manhattan (extra cherries because I'm a child) and I had their focaccia smothered in fresh garlic/parsley/olive oil. And now I'm weeping again.

I know, the back of my head looks great. And yes, food on my face. Of course. So glamorous. 

Paul got the garlic-crusted baby back ribs and he ate every. single. one. I ordered the 40-clove (!!!) roasted chicken. It was life-changing. And huge. And rosemary-y. And garlic-y. And vampires be warned by my breath.

Heaven is a place on earth with you. 

And yes, I spread those whole roasted cloves all over my bread and maybe straight on my face. 

Four fine servers also sang a happy birthday tune and placed this magnificent gem right on my head. 

I know, hot mama in the city.

Then to top off the evening, I had the BIGGEST scoop of garlic ice cream

I know, you're like WHAT THE EFFF? But seriously, it was some of the best ice cream I have ever had and that's saying a lot because ice cream is my favorite food on this here planet earth. It had this caramel mole sauce on top and I weeped for a third time. 

I shoveled that heaven in a bowl in my mouth like it was my last meal.

I'm going to need twelve more stomachs and next time, I'll skip the spanks so I can eat the entire restaurant.

All in all, it was one for the books. Emma was content as could be with my fam and I ate my weight in garlic goodies.

I am looking forward to all the things this next year will bring. Hopefully it comes served with garlic.