Sunday, February 27, 2011

trees around town

Lower Haight


Golden Gate Park

Haight Ashbury

the Panhandle

the Mission

Alamo Square

Bernal Heights

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Green Chile Apple Cobbler

Chile Pie and Ice Cream is a cozy cafe at the corner of Baker and Fulton.  This apple cobbler recipe is inspired by their house specialty pie.  Instead of a sweet apple pie with cinnamon they add the kick of jalapeno pepper as well as some walnuts and cheese.  It makes a tasty lunch.

Green Chile Apple Cobbler

7 apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 cup unbleached flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 Tb liquid honey
pinch of chile powder

Preheat oven to 400.  Put apples in a bowl and toss gently with lime juice and then stir in walnuts and jalapeno.  Place them evenly in a buttered 8x8 baking pan.  In one bowl combine flour and baking powder.  In another bowl combine egg, butter and milk, and then add them to the flour, stirring just until mixed.  Spread evenly over apples and sprinkle the cheese on top.  Bake for 40 minutes.
Cool for a few minutes and then cut in four pieces.  Gently heat honey with chile powder over low heat, stirring constantly, and drizzle on top.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ferry Building

 Chocolate, oysters, cheese, fruit tarts, fish tacos,'s local food galore at the little shops that line the hall of the Ferry Building which opened in 1898 when as many as 50,000 ferry commuters a day would arrive through its doors.  With the construction of the Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge in the mid '30s many people began to make the trip to San Francisco by car and the Ferry Building lost lots of its traffic, so in the '50s the elegant open hall was made into office space and the Embarcadero Freeway was built directly in front of the building.  The freeway was damaged in the 1989 earthquake and was torn down a couple years later and once again the Ferry Building, with its 245 foot clock tower inspired by the 12th century Seville Cathedral in Spain, became the focal point at the foot of Market Street.  Renovations on the building were completed in 2003 and it is now a bastion of local food, as well as a place for passengers to wait for their ferry to Sausalito or Larkspur or Vallejo.

 So what would you like to eat?  Maybe green papaya salad from Out the Door?  Just grab one of the stools at the takeout counter, it's a cheap way to enjoy the cuisine from the Slanted Door which is just next door.  A bite of chocolate from Recchiuti?  They are usually giving out a free sample of something delectable.  Coffee?  You can choose between Peet's or Blue Bottle.  And if you want you can take it outside to enjoy on the wharf, whether the day is bustling and sunny or quiet and gray.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Bernal Heights

 You will think you're in some idyllic small town, strolling along Cortland past the bookshop, the fruit market, the tavern, the cafe...

 ...wandering the steep side streets lined with little wooden houses...

 ...and then all of a sudden- wow- a breathtaking view of San Francisco laid out before you and you're standing there dazed in the middle of the street

This is Bernal Heights, the laidback low-key neighbourhood clinging to the hill with the clump of trees just south of the Mission

 Be sure to stop for a coffee at Progressive Grounds.  Follow the hallway to the back room with the warm gold and burgundy walls, benches with mismatched pillows, Moroccan lanterns dangling from the ceiling, stuffed animals crowding the mantle of the fireplace, sunlight streaming in the patio door...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mission In The Rain

"There's some satisfaction in the San Francisco rain..."

In honour of the 35th anniversary of the release of Jerry Garcia's album Reflections on February 3, 1976 here is the sublime Robert Hunter-penned "Mission In The Rain," recorded live at the Keystone in Berkeley: