Sunday, October 19, 2014

Block 34

I had a great dining experience last night at Block 34 and want to share it with you. I read about the opening of this new San Mateo restaurant  on Tasting Tables & had to try it. We arrived early for our reservations and was greeted by the proprietor, Alex Anderman who was behind the bar...he had just created his version of crispy fried brussel sprout chips & offered us a sample! I was honored & glad to eat was DELISH! The rest of the meal was just as delish...For appetizers we had Deviled Eggs & Grilled Caesar...My husband had1/2 Pound Niman Block Burger for his entree & I had Roasted Oysters...we were quite full but still wanted dessert so we opted for the Dessert Sampler of carrot cake, block pie & choc block...GOOD, GOOD GOOD! Here's pictures of our food:
DEVILED EGGS, bacon, pickled fresno chile

GRILLED CAESAR,sweet gems, grana padano, boquerones,
radishes, rye croutins, caesar

white cheddar, herbed fries, with fried egg added 

ROASTED OYSTERS, kimchee, gochujang butter, scallions

DESSERT SAMPLER (clockwise):
CHOC BLOCK, hazelnut dacquoise, cornflake praline, chocolate mousse
CARROT CAKE, ginger cream cheese, walnuts, & salted caramel
BLOCK PIE, brown sugar filling, oatmeal crust, whipped creme fraiche
I forgot to mention the wine list, which is extensive & reasonably priced. On my next visit, I'll try their cocktails which looked good also. Overall, I found the restaurant to be pleasant, service good & food nicely presented & very good. I am definitely coming back...Alex is attentive to his patrons & visited most nearly all the tables, which showed his passion for his restaurant to succeed...and I'm sure it well! Here I am with Alex~ 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Isn't this a gorgeous salad?  The good news is it tastes as good as it looks and is totally easy to make.  Everything gets baked in the oven, toss together and that's it.
I did tweek it a little from the original recipe but then I always tend to do that.
Also, since it is becoming Fall, this dish is equally good served hot as a side dish.  Very versatile.
Here is how it's made.

You will need: 3 medium beets
                      2 medium carrots
                      2 parsnips
                      2 zucchini
                      1 cauliflower
                      1 onion (optional)
                       5 cloves of garlic smashed with the flat edge of the knife
cut the cauliflower into florets
cut the zucchini into chunks
peel and cut out the core and chop the parsnips
peel (if desired) and cut carrots into chunks
wrap the beets in foil and roast for about an hour.  after they have cooled remove the skin and chop into chunks
cut onion into chunks also,
To season you will need: 6 Tbsp olive oil, divided
                                      1 tsp salt
                                       1/2 tsp black pepper
                                      3 sprigs thyme
In a large bowl toss together all the chopped vegetables, except the beets. Drizzle with 2Tbsp oil, salt, pepper, 3 garlic cloves and thyme leaves removed from one stem of the sprig. Toss together. In another bowl  add the beets drizzle with 1Tbsp oil, a good pinch (1/8-1/4tsp) salt and pepper,2 remaining garlic cloves.  Toss together.

Drizzle the bottom of an oven proof roasting dish (I used a large baking pan) with the rest of the olive oil, lay 2 sprigs of thyme on the bottom. Arrange the vegetables evenly in the dish.  I put the beets to one side so it didn't turn all the other vegetables  pink, but you don't have to.
Roast in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minute or until the carrots and beets are fork tender ( a fork can easily be stuck into the vegetable).
To serve you will need: smoked paprika
                                    Feta Cheese, crumbled
                                    small bunch of fresh mint, chopped
                                    Balsamic vinegar (optional)
Remove from the oven and cool. Place on a serving platter with a generous sprinkling of smoked paprika, crumbled Feta cheese and fresh chopped mint.  I sprinkled mine with a little Balsamic  vinegar.
Serve at room temperature or cold.

Recipe adapted from Chef Jimmy Boswell- Taste of Home blog
Chef Jimmy Boswell

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Veggie of the Year to be announced
 I received this press release for the Food Literacy Center, please support this great program.
Our goal at Food Literacy Center is to teach children from low-income families about cooking, nutrition, fruit and vegetable appreciation, financial literacy through budgeting, and more using our approachable curriculum.
SACRAMENTO – As part of Food Literacy Month in September, local residents can attend the free Food Literacy Fair from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sept. 14 at Southside Park across from California’s largest certified farmers market. The fair, hosted by Food Literacy Center and Assemblymember Roger Dickinson in partnership with Southside Park Neighborhood Association, will include live music from The Hoots, live cooking demonstrations featuring local kids and chefs, crafts, kids games, free food samples, veggie costumes, face painting, a photo booth, awards and the announcement of the Veggie of the Year.
Assemblymember Roger Dickinson authored ACR-161, a resolution sponsored by Food Literacy Center, to declare September Food Literacy Month in California and to raise awareness about food literacy on the state level. This year’s Food Literacy Month will include the Food Literacy Book Club kickoff, free Food Literacy Fair and Veggie of the Year voting and activities. For more information, visit
Food Literacy Center was established in July 2011 to educate and inspire low-income children to eat healthy food. Students learn fruit and vegetable appreciation, how to read nutrition labels, basic cooking skills and environmental impacts of their food choices. The nonprofit also runs the Food Literacy Academy, which trains community members as food literacy advocates. To date, the nonprofit has 70 active volunteers and serves 2,400 kids annually. After just three months of food literacy education, 70 percent of students request the foods they have tasted in class, including broccoli, celery and oranges. Ninety-one percent of all students say healthy food tastes good, and 88 percent of children understand how to read a nutrition label. To make a donation:


Thursday, July 10, 2014

BBQ Dijon and Sage Pork Fillet

I know, I've been lazy and not blogged much lately (again) but now I have a new inspiration.  My friend Kay discovered Chef Jimmy Boswell's Facebook page and kept posting all the wonderful pictures of the food he made. Most of the pictures she posted were of meat dishes, here this woman doesn't even eat meat and she's telling me how good everything looks.  I decided to check it out and he does make some incredible looking food plus he just published an e-cookbook called Eating Savory which is gluten-free and paleo recipes.  I down loaded the recipes and decided to blog some of the recipes that I try.  I thought this would be both healthy and a new inspiration for the blog.
Here is a recipe from Chef Boswell's Eating Savory e-cookbook.

BBQ Dijon and Sage Pork Fillet

Serves 2-4

1 Free Farmed whole pork fillet
2 heaping Tbsp gluten free Dijon mustard
2 heaped tsp of ground sage
1 clove garlic minced
3 Tbsp Olive or coconut oil
A splash of white wine vinegar about 2 Tbsp
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the Dijon mustard,ground sage,salt,pepper,garlic and the white wine vinegar.  Once these are combined whisk in the oil.  In a suitable dish(or a Ziploc bag) cover all the pork with the mixture, cover and let pork marinate for at least an hour or as in my case over night.
here is the pork fillet after marinating, ready for the grill
Heat the BBQ and once hot place the pork on the grill on direct heat.  Cook on high (or over the coals) for about 4 minutes before flipping. Flip the pork fillet and turn heat down to medium,or move off the direct heat. Continue to cook turning occasionally until fillet is cooked to your desired taste ( for medium rare grill about 20 -25 minutes). 

 When cooked to your desired doneness, cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes

 While the fillet was resting I sliced zucchini , seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder and basil.
Place the zucchini slices on the grill and grill to desired doneness, turning once.

 Here is the fillet, perfectly medium rare and grilled zucchini.  The verdict...Delicious!

What I particularly like about his recipes is that they are easy to make and usually serves 2-4 people, which is great for us since there is only the two of us so the recipes are easy to cut down .

Check out  Chef Jimmy Boswell's Facebook page and also his blog 

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