During a recent visit to Normandy, we had lunch in the fishing village of Port-en-Bessin-Huppain at Le 47ème Brasserie. I should have ordered some seafood – the fresh fish market in town is right across the street – but, instead felt like a burger. When it arrived, I was surprised – no bun but, instead, top and bottom layers of hash brown-like potatoes. Not something you could pickup and eat like a normal burger – but it was very delicious nonetheless!
Nearby, just across the bridge, is a beach of sea shells unlike any I’ve ever seen (see below). After lunch, I walked about and did some exploring there.
One of my favorite local spots in Menlo Park is Cafe Borrone. I’m often there early for breakfast and sometimes, with colleagues, for lunch. Great food, great location, beautiful light, art, music. It’s a delight.
Today I headed over to Cafe Borrone for an early lunch – actually breakfast – and, as I was leaving, captured this image of the plaza with my iPhone 5s.
On my way around the corner, I noticed that the new area soon to become Borrone Marketbar was beginning to be revealed – and I snapped this shot below. Looking forward to the launch of the Marketbar! You can read more about the Marketbar here.
Our family celebrates Christmas Eve together – and the whole gang was at our house today for a great dinner and lots of fun singing carols, catching up, and just being together. Our two grand-daughters and Lily had fun and were the center of attention much of the time. As I said last year, family, great food, and sharing – it doesn’t get any better than that!
Earlier this year, I started to get more serious about sharing an online portfolio of what I think of as my best work. You can find it here: photos.sjl.us. Hope you enjoy it!
Note: the image above is from this year’s Christmas tree at Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park.
This photo was shot as a RAW with my Canon 5D Mark II using the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS L lens from about 10 feet away. Photomatix Pro was just for post-processing with some final tweaks being done using Lightroom 3.
As you could probably tell by my somewhat cranky post earlier this week, it’s been an intense week. Fortunately, while I continued to work for a few hours again today, this was also a bit of a recharge day.
The weather here in the San Francisco Bay Area has turned downright balmy for mid-January. Today was one of those days where you just don’t want to be inside – it’s just so good outside.
We took Lily on a walk around the pond – she enjoyed all of the smells and the other dogs. I sat out one of the loops just to sit by the pond and soak it all in. Delightful indeed! Lots of folks had the same idea – let’s get out in the sunshine and fresh (and warm!) air! We could have stayed at the park all afternoon!
So, coming back from the library (truly one of my favorite spots to just concentrate) this afternoon, I stopped at Trader Joes and Andronico’s to pick up the supplies – and we’re about to sit down to dinner. The aroma is amazing – let’s hope it tastes as good as it smells! 😉
I’ve been doing a bit of looking at traffic today – web traffic that is – across both mypersonal and our Glenbrook web sites.
For my personal sites, it’s interesting that my recipes blog, ScottsKitchen.com, has been running about twice the number of page views daily that this blog receives. While I tend to think of sjl.us as my personal “hub” – the web doesn’t. It likes food (and recipes) much better! 😉
In my book, the “gold standard” for a superb recipe site is SimplyRecipes.com run by Elise Bauer. She does a wonderful job – combining great recipes with luscious food photography! The iPhone web app version of her site has come in very handy for me many times!
The photo below I took with my iPhone 4 while just sitting at our outside table at Cafe Borrone – I used the TiltShift Gen application on the iPhone to generate the particular look/blur. It looks a bit “other worldly” – perhaps a scene out of a William Gibson novel?
Today, Chris Gulker and I headed to Village Pub in Woodside for Chef Dmitry Elperin‘s cooking class on “Classic and Contemporary Cooking Techniques for Meat”. Eight of us spent a couple of hours in the Pub’s kitchen with Dmitry as we prepared Roast Chicken, Striped Bass, Leg of Lamb and accompanying vegetables – before sitting down to a wonderful lunch of what we had cooked!
Dmitry started out simply seasoning the Leg of Lamb and getting it into the oven. Next, we prepared roasted eight chickens (Fulton Valley Farms “air chilled” free range, organic, etc.) – stuffed by each of us with different veggies and herbs. We roasted them on a variety of different settings – some veggies, etc.
The striped bass was also stuffed with some fresh veggies and herbs, lightly oiled and seasoned with salt and pepper, positioned on a rack of veggies – with fresh asparagus as an anchor. Dmitry also demonstrated a salt-crusted technique for one of the striped bass – egg whites and LOTS of kosher salt make a paste to seal in the fish for high heat roasting.
We had 3 wines to accompany lunch: Melville Chardonnay from the Santa Rita Hills near Santa Barbara, an Oregon Willamette Valley Pinot Noir from McKinlay, and a Mendoza region Malbec from Tomero. A special chocolate soufflé and an accompanying scoop of vanilla bean ice cream finished us all off!
What a way to spend a Saturday afternoon! Dmitry is a great teacher for these sessions – watching his easy flow as he led us through the prep was a delight. All of it was delicious – but that salt-crusted striped bass was especially great – light, great flavor, surprisingly unsalty – just wonderful! Another great lesson that a wonderful meal is mostly about using high quality ingredients simply prepared.
Upon our arrival the night before, we headed for Portland’s Wildwood Restaurant – one of our mutually favorite spots in this city of great restaurants.
We both spotted an unusual entree on the menu – ham. Curious, we asked our waiter about it. Turns out the ham is house cured at Wildwood – part of their effort to use as much of the “whole hog” as possible.
We both opted to try it – and were delighted with the flavor combination. This wasn’t the usual clove-spiced or honey-glazed ham – far from it! This was just a small stack of sliced pieces of ham on a bed of sautéed spinach and salsify cream with some wild mushrooms on top. Very nice, very tasty.