Thursday, November 30, 2006

I left my heart in Ghiradelli

Just came back from San Francisco and a whirlwind of wedding planning, and walking around the City is just what the doctor ordered. It's been so long that even Fisherman's Wharf and chaos of Union Square was delightful.

Even Ghiradelli Square managed to charm me. How did they do it? One, they have a sock store. Yes, a store just for socks of all kinds.

Second, the Ghiradelli store. Normally I am not a particular fan of Ghiradelli chocolate -- I've been more of a Scharffen-Bergen devotee (at least before they were bought up by Hersey). When Ghiradelli gives out free chocolate samples, though, I don't turn them down.

But what really won me over was their new Intense Dark chocolate bars. The Twilight Delight flavor is 72% Cacao dark chocolate ... and it was actually delicious. Forget that milk chocolate business, dark chocolate is the way to go, every time.

The Ghiradelli chocolate shop also has a soft spot in my heart because my sorority sisters bonded over a couple of Earthquakes - massive ice cream sundaes meant to be shared by a table of people.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

And so begins the Great Robot-Human War

It all started out so innocently.

Researchers in Japan recently revealed a robot sommelier. Using an infrared spectrometer, it can identify dozens of different foods in a childlike voice, naming wines and what kind of foods might go well with them, recognizing the kinds of wines its owner prefers, and alerting its owner to possible health issues by warning against fatty or salty products.

Buried in the middle of this fluffy report was this ominous sign:
"When a reporter's hand was placed against the robot's taste sensor, it was identified as prosciutto. A cameraman was mistaken for bacon."

Considering the things that I am willing to do for a taste of bacon, this may be the beginning of end.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Bad taste

Sometimes it isn't a meal, or a dish, or even a flavored coffee, that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Sometimes it's a pair of boots -- boots that have gone horribly, horribly wrong.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

How I justify eating all of the Terra Spiced Sweet Potato chips: Foodgoat doesn't like them.

At least, that's what I tell myself. I don't actually know if he doesn't like them since he didn't get to try them yet. But self-delusion is handy thing.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Quality Control

It's nice being recognized as a regular customer. It's even nicer when you are rewarded as a regular customer by being their beta tester.

That's what happened last week when we stopped by our very favorite pasta stand at the West Side Market, Ohio City Pasta. We've pretty much stuck to fresh pastas since discovering this place: dried pasta can't hold a candle to their herb-flavored gnocchis, raviolis, and pastas.

And with our order, Pasta Lady threw in a new product they have - a roasted vegetable pasta sauce - and told us to give it a try and let them know how they like it.

And -- we like it.

It's a good, basic pasta sauce, not too sweet or acid, not overloaded with other flavors -- just a clean tomato taste. It was yummy on its own, but it would be an excellent basis for more customized pasta dressing. Foodgoat generally modifies his store-bought sauce -- tossing in generous amounts of extra virgin olive oil, more fresh tomatoes, garlic, and whatever herbs and spices he happens to feel like that day. It doesn't take that much longer, and the result is so much better.

Our verdict -- keep the roasted vegetable sauce.

Monday, November 6, 2006

Cake Overdose

Closing out the Halloween week ...

Saturday afternoon - Foodgoat's nephew's 4th birthday party. Featuring not one, not two, but three, count 'em!, THREE!, cakes, one of which was a huge and delicious chocolate mint ice cream cake from Cleveland's own Mitchell's.

Saturday night - Foodgoat's aunt's surprise 60th birthday. Featuring a full dinner of Italian food ... and more cake!

Sunday - Foodgoat's cousin's bridal shower. Featuring a huge brunch buffet ... and then? Cake.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Well, hellllo Blogger, long time no post! It seems I'm not the type to blog her troubles. Or, maybe I'm not the type who can think about food at a time like this.

But finally, we have a date (May 27) and a location (the Presidio) and for now, at least, I can stop getting different stress-caused symptoms (last week was TMJ from grinding my teeth at night, and the week before was insomnia).

And now the fun part begins: creating the menu! We already have a proposal from a catering company to create "Streets of San Francisco" buffet stations that has our mouths watering.

The only thing that I found really calming during the past few weeks was tea (Foodgoat has developed an odd allergy to green tea of all things, but that's a different story). The type of tea wasn't as important as the fact that it was loose: the relaxing part is steeping the tea in hot water, and watching it slowly, inevitably unfurl, turning from tight little balls into gently waves of fragrant, recognizable leaves. All while breathing in the warm, sweet scent, with the cold winter outside.

You see what you miss with tea bags?