Category Archives: Dessert

Lemon Squares – Sweet Thursday

Music: Love Will Tear Us Apart – Broken Social Scene

Maybe it’s the promise of Spring that’s got me thinking about lemons.  My mom made lovely lemon squares growing up and I wanted to replicate them for our post lobster bisque dinner (made from leftover lobsters from Southampton!). I got the recipe from the trusty Tartine cookbook.

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Oh My Lemon Tartlets – Sweet Thursday

Music: Frank, AB – The Rural Alberta Advantage

All I’ve wanted to do since our San Francisco trip is eat Meyer lemons.  Since my local grocery store isn’t fancy at all, I had to settle for regular lemons.  We ate our fair share of lemon tarts in SF and I wanted to try to recreate each special moment at home.  Lo and behold the Tartine Cookbook has their special recipe for their Lemon Cream Tarts. Woo Whoo!  We ended up serving them in Southampton as part of the birthday celebration.  Here’s what I did…

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Filed under cookbooks, Dessert, Recipes, San Francisco, Sweet Thursday

San Francisco – Day 6

First Stop

Tartine Bakery
600 Guerrero Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
415 487 2600

We started the day off with a drive to the Mission. We met our friends Mika and Ryan at, the one, the only Tartine! (I’ve been waiting all week for this).  We shared a Pain au Chocolat (perfectly bittersweet chocolate too) and a Breakfast bun made of orange and honey. We enjoyed our coffees and breakfast outside in the sun before heading out to Muir Woods.  Incidentally, we also took a sweet treat with us for the road…I title the last shot “Still Life with Meyer Lemon Tart in Redwoods”.

Second Stop

798 Redwood Hwy
Mill Valley, CA
(800) 786-1000

We couldn’t come to CA without a visit to this institution.  We ordered cheeseburgers, animal style of course, with fries and chocolate shakes. Did you know you can get the fries animal style too?  A very enthusiastic 12-year old boy informed me of this well after I’d ordered but plan to try it next time. Who knew fast food could be so good?…California did.

Third Stop:

Zuni Café
1658 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 552-2522

And for a real change of pace, we decided to finish our amazing trip with a couple stops.  We started the night off with oysters and martini’s at Zuni.  We were given a mix of:

  • Eld Inlet Kumamotos (WA – win!)
  • Sister’s Point (CA)
  • Pearl Point (CA)
  • Drake’s Bay (CA)
  • Hog Island Pacifics (CA)
  • Little Skookum (WA)

Forth Stop:

Flour + Water
2401 Harrison St. @ 20th St.
San Francisco, CA

I’ve gotten more recommendations for this place than any other in SF, including a random “have you been to flour and water?” from a shop owner in the Haight.  Our reservations were for 10 PM and I wasn’t sure I was going to make it.  But it was packed and lively and very well decorated (both in décor and with hipster doofus’). Don’t miss the bathroom’s curio cabinet (a highlight) filled with old photographs and dried coral.  We started with a glass of Montepulciano at the bar and move to our table.

We ordered a Margherita Pizza (simple enough) to split as a starter (WIN!).  These thin crust Neopolitan pizzas actually competes with NYC. For dinner, I had the fried sunchoke and potato tortellis and James had the seafood stuffed tortellini verde with prosecco, fennel and tarragon. Both were served in simple subtle butter sauces that were very good and not at all rich.  We didn’t get pictures – camera ran out of batteries – but this is certainly a place to come with friends and plan on staying a few hours enjoying good wine and food. It was the perfect finale to a wonderful culinary week.

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Filed under Appetizer, Dessert, Food Anecdotes, Pasta, Review, San Francisco, Travel Spot

San Francisco – Day 2

Rain again…boo hoo…but alas, we didn’t let it ruin the day.

First Stop:

Squat and Gobble Cafe

2263 Chestnut
@ Scott & Pierce

We woke up early to make our way to Squat and Gobble.   Again, this is one of these SF chains that I used to frequent in my old neighborhood (Lower Haight).  This location is a more civilized version of the one on Fillmore (which is probably the more fun of the two).  Known for it’s crepes, it’s a good stop for a quick breakfast bite.  Word of warning,  don’t drink the coffee if you aren’t used to a West Coast brew…I jittered my way around the city for hours afterward.  I had a crepe with chedder, mushrooms, onions and spinach served with crispy rosemary garlic homefries and James ate the Triple Gobble which is 2 eggs any style, two buttermilk pancakes and bacon.

Second Stop:

The Ferry Building

One Ferry Building
San Francisco, California 94111
(415) 983-8000

Dear New York,

I wish you had a Ferry Building.  I also wish you grew things The Ferry Building sells daily (see this map…click on California, then click on New York).

Love, Jess and James

This place is so wonderful and it is littered with little stalls full of great pastry, wine and mushrooms.  Yes, mushrooms.  Also, we went back in time to take the above picture. If you ever come to SF I implore you to make an afternoon of it and stop here.  The views of the bay and Bay Bridge are unparalleled and, even on a foggy day, are still pretty incredible.  We basically ate our way through the building, picking up goodies for our Napa picnic,  until we stopped at Hog Island Oyster CO. for a seafood lunch.

Cowgirl Creamery's Artisan Cheese Shop

Boccalone Salumeria

Recchiuti Confections

Far West Fungi

Third Stop

Hog Island Oyster Co.

A few years ago we drove to their farm in Marshall, CA, about an hour and a half north of SF.  We got there about 2 minutes after closing (it sure was a pretty drive though) and didn’t get to eat any of the oysters they pull out of the water for you  – but our plan is to return there on Saturday.  They have a restaurant in the Ferry Building where we ate lunch. They, like Brooklyn Plated, serve off Heath.  We ate a mix of a dozen oysters and finished it with some clam chowder and oyster stew and I listed to James tell me everything he’s been learning about Oysters from this book.

They served us:

  • Hog Island Sweetwaters (CA)
  • Hood Canals (WA)
  • Chelsea Gems (WA)
  • Otter Creeks (WA)
  • Island Creeks (MA)
  • Old Salts (VA)

After Oysters, we needed sweets. So we finished our meal with a stop at Miette.  You might remember Miette from a failed cake I made a while back. Miette provided us with a yellow cupcake with lemon buttercream frosting.  I don’t generally even like buttercream frosting but this is incredible.

Fourth Stop:


1911 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 771-7779

We met Dan and Lexi for dinner for the second night in a row (lucky us!). I made reservations at SPQR, which I’d been wanting to try for some time.  I know it’s changed hands over the last few years and many warned that it couldn’t possibly be what it was but, in all honesty, was one of the most memorable eating experiences I’ve had this year (I know we’re only three months in).  The menu is extensive with lots of offal and other parts (be warned) and the wine list intimidating but the staff is really friendly and helpful.  It’s a cozy space but well decorated with dark woods and marble countertops.  We split four starters and desserts and each had our own meal. Also, I apologize for the moody photos…it was dark in there!


  • Burrata, peperonata, watercress & aged balsamic vinegar
  • Baked ricotta, braised leeks, balsamic brown butter & almonds
  • Pork belly croccante, sundried tomato, olives & gremolata (WIN!)
  • Fried surf clams, cherry pepper salad & agrodolce


  • Buckwheat spaghetti, suckling pig ragu, broccoli rabe & sarvecchio cheese (James) (WIN!)
  • Rabbit & truffle cappelletti ‘en consomme’, california asparagus (Jess)
  • Jones farm rabbit, bacon, gigante beans, savoy cabbage & cranberry (Lexi)
  • Lamb shoulder, chestnuts, mushrooms, parsnip & dandelion leaves (Dan)


  • Goat cheese & ricotta filled crespelle with orange sauce (WIN!)
  • Milk chocolate gelato, buttermilk crumble & candied almonds
  • Brown butter torta, meyer lemon curd & sicilian pistachio
  • Selection of Italian cheeses


Filed under Dessert, Food Anecdotes, San Francisco, Travel Spot

Sweet Thursday – Some Good Ol’ Fashioned Brownies

Music: If Looks Could Kill – Camera Obscura

I can actually say I grew up eating the world’s best brownies.  My father was given this recipe from a friend and my mother made them for every family event.  There is a secret ingredient in them that I would never reveal (since it’s not my recipe) but I thought I would attempt them.  I, of course, changed them entirely and they came out not so great (mostly because I was too lazy to go back to the grocery store to get the right ingredient after having already been there 5 minutes before).  And I learned something this week, something I’m finally able to admit.  I am not a baker.  With that, I bring you the recipe (without the secret ingredient) for the best brownies in the world.  They sure do LOOK good!

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Filed under Chocolate, Dessert, Recipes, Sweet Thursday

Molten Mocha Cakes – Sweet Thursday!

Music: Winter Winds – Mumford & Sons

As part of our Valentine’s Day celebration, I made these sweet little cakes for my parents and James.  Because I forgot to take a final picture of them I had to use the one from Martha Stewart.  They definitely came out looking SOMETHING like this picture (parentals…hush!).

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Tiramisu – Sweet Thursday

Music: Heavy Lifting – Ambulance LTD

To quote Kurt, after being fed this on Sunday, “This is my favorite dessert, I would ask for this as my last meal if I were on death row.  I could die tonight, flip the switch!”

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Filed under Chocolate, cookbooks, Dessert, Recipes, Sweet Thursday