Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summertime in San Francisco

Unfortunately it doesn't quite feel like summertime in SF, the temps were in the 80's last week but the last two days have gloomy and raining.  These little suckers are all over the front walkway.
When I was little these same snails (or probably their parents) use to haunt me to the point where I would make my dad carry me from the car to the front door, true story.  But I'm older now and way more mature, so they only kind of freak me out and walk around them ; )

This past Friday we had an absolutely awesome dinner party to celebrate S's 60th birthday!!  There was so much good food and the company was wonderful, I wish S and Elta lived closer so they could come over and join us for dinner more often.  We started the night off with 3 different types of fresh oysters and dipping sauces.  I had never eaten raw oysters so I was a bit nervous about eating them, I have a thing about texture and oysters definitely have a unique texture.  I gave each one a try but I'm still not completely sold on the oyster thing, I'll have to give them another go around before making up my mind.

 The 3 types of oysters we tried were: Brewsters, Shigo Ku, and Kumamoto
 The dipping sauces my sister and I made: spicy smokey Adobo, vinaigrette, horseradish ketchup
Next up was roasted asparagus which we dipped in the remaining sauces.  All these stalks needed was a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and a quick trip in the oven to get delicious.
The next course was an antipasti platter with grilled zucchini and squash, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, and olives.
At this point of the meal, I was already full and would have stopped eating if it wasn't for the beautiful wild salmon steaks that my dad grilled and the potato/sweet potato/green apple gratin that Danielle made.  Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of this course because I was too busy stuffing my face.
For dessert we had grilled peaches with homemade vanilla ice cream topped with almond crunchies.
Pause, now wipe the drool from your mouth.

Grilled peaches or grilled fruit in general are the perfect light summertime dessert!  Give it a try, I promise your guests will love them.  It was the first time I broke out the ice cream maker this year and there was definitely some ice cream fails but in the end one of the flavors worked out really well, check out the recipe below.

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
Ingredients:
-2 cups whole milk
-1 cup heavy cream
-3/4 cup sugar
-1 tbsp vanilla
-1/2 tsp salt

Directions:  In a small sauce pot heat the milk, sugar, and salt until dissolved.  Next add in your heavy cream and vanilla, bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and let cool, follow the instructions according to your machine.  Make sure to insert the mixing paddle, otherwise you will be serving your guests ice cream soup (this might have happened to me)!  The almond crunchies were chopped toasted almonds quickly heated in a pan with a swipe of butter and a pinch of sugar.

We enjoyed some exceptional wines with our dinner thanks to the beautiful Romy but if you are looking for a nice summer beer you must try 21st Amendment's Hell or High Watermelon beer.  This wheat beer is perfect for any summer get together, it undergoes a secondary fermentation with fresh watermelon resulting in a mild and refreshing watermelon flavor.  Added bonus, the artwork on the can is super cool and unique.

So far my first summer in San Francisco has been pretty amazing and there is still so much to come!

What are you favorite summertime eats and drinks?










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