Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

A good friend recently told me that I should start a blog documenting all of my "awkward moments." Whether it be dating, working, living, running, yoga-ing, interacting... frankly I don't know where I'd begin.

What can I say? I'm a short girl with an overly-expressive face. are a few mildly-but maybe not-so-interesting things that have happened to me in the past week. Awkward moments, included.

1. My best friend moved back to San Francisco; it's been 3 years. Feels great to have her home. (it's about goddamn time Julie)

2. I almost signed a client email yesterday "XOXO Laura." (fired)

2. I finally made a gluten-free cookie recipe that is worth sharing. Did I mention they are flourless!? (I ate 3 pounds of the raw dough)

3. My friend Katie almost hit a little person while driving back through San Francisco this past Sunday after a bridal shower. (trying to remain politically correct here, but this lady was walking across the street and she had a red light!)

4. Oh! I saw Andy Cohen speak at the Castro Theatre. He was funny, smart, and sassy! Just the way I like my men. (well of course he's gay)

5. I bought tickets to see Florence & The Machine in October! (I officially forgive you Florence for neglecting the bay area on your tour earlier this year)

Regarding number 2, lets discuss further. They've got peanut butter and chocolate chips...I mean, would you expect anything else from me?

Don't answer that. I think I need to work on my ability to be spontaneous and unpredictable.

Not awkward, friends. Just delicious.

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

2.5 cups gluten-free oats (easily found at Trader Joes, can also use Bob's Red Mill brand)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 eggs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2-3 cookie sheets with parchment paper (my preference) or grease them appropriately.

2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, baking soda, and salt.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together (can do by hand or with electric mixer), the butter, vanilla, brown sugar, and eggs. Once thoroughly mixed, add to the dry ingredients.

4. Add in the peanut butter and chocolate chips. Sometimes I find it's easiest to mix, if doing by hand, with a fork. Don't ask. But...this is my favorite part. Obviously.

5. Put the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes to harden. Then, take out of the freezer and plop 1 1/2-inch cookie dough balls onto a cookie sheet. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Enjoy warm. They also freeze well. And if you take them to work, will be gone within 10-minutes. I know this from experience. #trust

Friday, May 18, 2012

Favorite San Francisco Restaurants: May 2012

When I quit my first professional post-college job at a nonprofit, the first thing my boss said was: "But who's going to pick all the restaurants out that I should go to?"

I was oddly...flattered.

Yes, I worked for her for two years and took my job and responsibilities very seriously! And though she was quirky and sweet in her own, German-way, she was also totally that kind of boss that you could just never really impress.

So here are my favorite restaurants and bars to venture to in San Francisco right now. And even though Uta (former boss) would think a few of them are too loud, dark, and 'cavernous' (don't ask), I promise...if you go, you will leave oh so happy.

1. The Beast & The Hare - Oh my goodness. So, I went to this restaurant not knowing what to expect and fell in love with it. It's small, dark, and the menu is meaty and adventurous. If you go, please order the Bone Marrow appetizer and the Rabbit Stew entree. The most tender rabbit, served over this buttery rich polenta...I can still taste both dishes and I am dying to go back!

1. Maven - The folks at this absolutely gorgeous open space in the Lower Haight hood take cocktails very seriously. I love how their menu is set up in order of light cocktails and food pairings to heavier ones. My favorite (thus far) is the Global Warming: aged gin, sake, riesling, lemon absinthe sorbet. I also love the beautiful wood throughout; the three, long communal tables are all made from the same tree. It's a stunning space with a thoughtful menu.

2. Park Tavern - I just keep going back to Park Tavern. It's totally one of those quintessential San Francisco restaurants, like NOPA or Zuni. It's always buzzing, has the trendy communal table, and an eclectic menu. You can try to get a reservation, but really, I think it's fun to put your name on the wait list and wait for your table while downing a few drinks and schmoozin' at the bar.

3. Local Edition - So, this place is kind of hidden in its own way. One could easily pass the entrance with all the craziness of Market Street. The doorman opens the door, and you are led down a curved staircase. And then...suddenly you've entered the 1920s: dark, deep red lighting, tall tables, and bartenders wearing vests. Oh, and some of the most unique cocktails I've seen in a long time. A fun place to go for Happy Hour, a date, and apparently, hit on women in the creepiest way. At least that's what happened to my friend and I...but I don't like to let things get in my way. And I would still go back. For the drinks. Seriously.

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Moroccan Minty Beet Salad

There are a few things in my life right now that I am obsessed with.

Most are edible.  What did you expect? Some aren't though. Pour example (yes, I like to insert French into my English occasionally):

1. Edible: Krave Jerky: This is a long-term obsession that isn't going away anytime soon. I eat jerky as a snack and my favorite is their Smokey Grilled Teryaki. Order the sample pack and thank me later. Also sold at Safeway nationwide now. I might follow them on Twitter.  

2. Edible: Dandy Blend: My Nutritionist introduced me to Dandy Blend as an alternative to coffee. It's the perfect medium between coffee and tea...and it's good for you. It doesn't have caffeine, so it's especially good if you'd like to drink it at night. 

3. Not edible: Girls, on HBO: Has anyone else watched this show? It's my life. Except way funnier...but just as awkward. Seriously.

4. Edible: Beets. Red beets. Yellow beets. Tie-die beets. 

At the Farmers Market this past weekend, I went in with a plan, people. I knew I was going to find some beets to roast. I just had a craving for freshly roasted beets, cold. In a salad. Or alone. And all was going according to plan...until I stumbled on some fresh mint. Actually, my nose did. It's my strongest sense! Fact. 

And then, I went home.

And made a perfect new playlist. (With a new-to-me band: Dawes. Thanks Logan!)

And then, I made this perfect new salad.

And all was good in my tiny San Francisco kitchen.

Moroccan Minty Beet Salad
This salad is a perfect salad to bring to a pot-luck, serve at a dinner party, or make for the week ahead as a side to any and every meal you plan to serve. Even if that meal is take-out. You'll still want some salad; it's so refreshing. 

6 small to medium sized beets (2 bunches at the Farmers Market)
1 bunch carrots, peeled and shredded (about 1 1/2 cups shredded)
2 tablespoons grapeseed or olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped finely

1. Thoroughly wash the beets. Fill a large pan with water and put the beets in. Bring the beets to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and keep the lid on. Check on the beets every 15 minutes or so, by piercing with a fork. As soon as the beet is easily penetrated, it's cooked. This ranges based on beet-size, but it took mine about 50 minutes. Once the beets are cooked, remove from heat and run under cold water. Set aside to cool. 

2. While your beets are cooking, prepare your carrots. Wash and peel them. Then, using a clean peeler or grater, grate each carrot into a bowl and set aside.

3. To make the dressing, combine the oil of your choice, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, sea salt, and black pepper. Whisk well! Set aside. Keep your mint separate, for now.

4. When the beets are cooler, peel the skin off; this should be easy. You can peel the skin off easily with your fingers. Chop the beets into bit-size pieces.

5. Combine the carrots, chopped beets, and dressing. Toss gently in a large bowl and sprinkle mint in gradually. 

Serve. And enjoy! I hope you enjoy this so much. It's so flavorful, healthy, and lovely. Especially with a cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

San Francisco Food Bloggers Bake Sale 2012

The San Francisco Food Bloggers Bake Sale was so much fun to be apart of this past weekend! Below are some pictures of all the's okay to drool.

Just like it's okay for you and your roommate to spend your Friday night and Saturday afternoon baking and boozing. Simultaneously. And perhaps not simultaneously at times. But always the latter. I will say though, Kellan and I are gifted at when it comes to double-fisting a glass of Sauvignon Blanc (it was hot outside) and a whisk. Just sayin'...

Who would be interested in us holding a random bake sale...while boozing...outside our apartment...? No? Yes? Perhaps?

Don't worry. I haven't lost it. Yet...

Just a tiny portion of one of the many tables of goodies for sale

 Peanut Butter Chocolate Dream Bars....thanks to the uber-talented Kimmy for designing the lovely cards.

Orange Gumdrop Oatmeal Cookies & Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Bubble Gum and Chocolate Chip Vanilla Marshmallows (homemade)

Gluten-Free Green Tea Granola courtesy of bought this. Lasted the car ride home. Just sayin'

My Roommate's Lemon Cake...with Candied sold fast. Like, really fast.

This San Francisco Bake Sale raised over $1,100 for the Share Our Strength Foundation. I'm still awaiting the total amount raised nation-wide from all the other participating bake sales, but I imagine it's a very lovely-grand total.