Category Archives: Food for Thought

My crazy and random thoughts about food and all that accompanies it.

Wordless Wednesday: Short Rib Dip

This graced my palate; from Beaumont's in La Jolla (Bird Rock), CA

This graced my palate; from Beaumont’s in La Jolla (Bird Rock), CA

Chatting with Food Network’s Chef Marcela Valladolid

Here in San Diego, locals love to boast about the Mexican food. And one Food Network star, who lives in Chula Vista and grew up in nearby Tijuana, took some time to talk to me this week about the local cuisine, her favorite ingredient to cook with (hint: I’ve used it many times) and much, much more.marcela_valladolid

Chef Marcela Valladolid, whom you may know from Food Network’s “Mexican Made Easy,” recently launched an exclusive new line of foods at Safeway stores that makes it easy for home cooks to bring home a real taste of Mexico. Check out what the native San Diegan is offering up in the interview below and if you live locally, check out her favorite place to eat in town!

Happy Friday, all! (Who’s having Mexican this weekend??)

Wordless Wednesday: Grilled Nectarine Bruschetta

Grilled nectarine and goat cheese bruschetta for 100

Grilled nectarine and goat cheese bruschetta for 100

Thankful Thursday: Charismatic Condiment

I used to only eat chicken if I had mustard to dip it in. It’s a fact that’s somewhat shameful, but I open with this strange anecdote to show you that my love for mustard has deep roots, albeit weird ones.

IMG_6552

I’m not a ketchup (catsup) fan. The stuff is too sweet for me, and just kind of bland and boring. I will give it some credit when Tabasco joins its forces.

Mayonnaise is the bane of my existent. I don’t like it and it only deserves a charismatic title when it’s called aioli.

But mustard…it’s tangy and bright (not to mention very low in calories, compared to its condiment compadres).

I like mustard to dip my fries in, to spread on paninis, to add to a cheese plate, to top off sausages (ok, and maybe still to have with my chicken). And there are all different kinds: yellow, grainy, horseradish, wasabi, truffle, etc. It’s a jack-of-all-trades!

I got to go to a media preview of a new restaurant in San Diego, in the Rancho Bernardo neighborhood, called Avant.

It’s a revamp of an old restaurant at a big golf resort and the food is to die for, the chef (Nicolas Bour) is full of personality and the ambiance is one-of-a-kind. But the coolest part for this foodie? They have mustard. On tap.

You read the correctly. On tap. Draft mustard. It’s a beautiful thing. They import mustards from France (enchante!) and serve ‘em up fresh. You can even buy a ceramic container for refills every time you visit.

Mini Mustard

Mini Mustard

How amazing is that? I got to take home some truffle mustard in that baby above.

Thanks for existing, mustard. Without you, my hot dogs, sandwiches, chicken and even palate would be so boring!

Do you love mustard? Tell me in the comments below what your favorite kind is!

Sneak Peek Sunday: Back in Action

Hi there! Remember me? Goofy, 20-something that has a passion for food and sometimes gets around to writing about it?

I’m back. From a year-long hiatus. Here’s a recap for curious minds.

In July 2012, I was a “guest editor” for Ramona Patch, a hyperlocal news website, owned by AOL. I had worked for Patch for two years at this time and was in the process of being hired for editor of the site, filling in temporarily while they narrowed down their choices.

I got the gig, gained responsibilities, lost time and found out what it means to be a multi-media journalist (hint: it’s tough stuff). Over time, I was given two news websites to completely run by myself, and I fell off the blogging bandwagon, much to my chagrin. Here’s what my weekly schedule looked like (full disclosure: this is my well-warranted excuse for not blogging for a year and a half).

  • Monday: School District Meeting for Site A
  • Tuesday: Water Board Meeting for Site B, City Council Meeting for Site A
  • Wednesday: Event coverage, breaking news, etc.
  • Thursday: Decide between covering Planning Group Meeting or School Board Meeting for Site B
  • Friday: Write three days worth of content so you only have to work 8 hours over the weekend.

Mmhmm. Typical week for this food lover. Alas, not only did my blog fall between the cracks, but so did my cooking. It was a sad year for me, full of eaten-out meals and coffee-rich diets. I’m still waiting for the jitters to stop…

On Aug. 16, Patch made severe cuts in an order to reach profitability, laying off nearly 500 employees. Unfortunately, I was victim to the cuts. It’s hard not to be bitter (just ask any grapefruit), as I loved my job, despite the time and energy it took. I met lots of neat people, made great connections and learned invaluable skills. I’ve restructured my “Patch” tab to highlight some of my favorite stories and work. Take a look while you wait for that pasta water to boil ;)

So as I regroup, search for my next path and heal my open wounds, For the Love of Food is back. It feels so nice to be home.

Cheers to rebirth!

Cheers to rebirth!

Thankful Thursday: Honey Bees

Ok, minions. Are you ready for this?

I’ve had the overwhelming urge to bee keep lately. And whatever look you just gave the computer, 30 people have given me in the past two or three weeks when I express interest.

But bees are awesome. And they’re crucial to the things that mean the most in my life: food. Without bees, there would be no pollinating (unless you count those NASTY creatures called flies). And I kinda, sorta love them. A lot.

Did you know a lot of farms (especially almond farmers) rent bees during February/March to pollinate their trees? They do! I wrote all about it last year on Coronado Patch. The particular farm I wrote about (Hopkins Ag) has 4,000 hives come in. 4,000.

Courtesy Hopkins Ag

These tiny, fuzzy creatures are responsible for producing yummy almonds, amongst other tasty crops. Kinda crazy. And for some reason, people fear bees? They say it’s because of the stinger, but I’ve met plenty of people who sting much worse than a tiny little bee. Um, and how can you be scared of something that produces honey? I mean, really.

If you need more convincing, go to your Netflix account (and if you don’t have Netflix…well, how else are you getting your Saved By the Bell and Dawson’s Creek fixes?!) and watch the documentary Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?

It’s a look inside the necessity of honey bees, colony collapse disorder and beekeeepers all over the world. It’s well-worth your time and I promise you you’ll fall in love with the cute black-and-yellow guys (Ok, who just started singing Wiz?). And it will definitely make you appreciate your food that much more.

Thank you, honey bees. You are magical and oh-so-necessary for us. Queen of the Sun states that every farm should bee keep on their property. Any farms out there reading this, I’m totally willing to start one up on your farm. Seriously.

Fun Fact: “Melissa” means “honey-bee” in Greek. Hello, fate.

Wordless Wednesday: Sushi and Sake

Taken with an old iPhone, but you get the idea. Psst: that’s bacon sushi on the left

Wordless Wednesday: Vintage Cherries

Don’t you want to pick one off the screen and eat it?

Tasty Tip Tuesday: Putting Out Grease Fires

The kitchen is somewhere where I feel pretty comfortable. But grease fires scare the $#!t out of me.

One of the first things I ever learned in my high school Home Ec class was how to put out a grease fire. And it’s really something everyone should know, not just hotty hot firefighters.

Baking soda is the trick here. You need a lot of it to extinguish big fires, but if you get some of the salty substance on the fire as soon as it starts, you should be fine. Here are some steps to take when encountering a grease fire, which you hopefully will never have to take.

1) Turn off the heat and don’t move the pan around.

2) If you can, cover it up with a lid (basic physics tells us that no oxygen=no fire. Or something like that.)

3) Douse with baking soda.

My tip here is to always keep a large container of baking soda near the stove. Just in case. It’s kind of how like moms keep a first aid kit in their purse, complete with advil, midol, antiseptics, burn ointment, bandaids, cortisone, insulin, antihistamines, umbrellas, goulashes, extra underwear …you know, the whole nine yards. They’re always prepared.

Not as hot as a fireman, but it’ll do

Anyone here actually encounter a grease fire? did you take the appropriate measures and douse with baking soda or salt?

Wordless Wednesday: Blueberries

How do you eat your blueberries?

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