Foreign Cinema

I love chicken – especially when it’s fried and in finger form. I was notorious for ordering chicken fingers every single time we went out to eat when I was little – even on vacation, which meant multiple chicken finger meals a day. I still love it (as you can see here and here) and I love trying it at different places to see their take on it. If you are a fried chicken fan and you have not been to Foreign Cinema – stop what you are doing, go down to the Mission and order it – STAT!

FC4

I had a friend visiting this past week and I had heard a lot of good things about Foreign Cinema so we decided to try it out. For appetizers we got a cheese, a meat and a fish. The cheese was baked goat cheese with lavender and cardamom strawberry relish. It was such a burst of different flavors in your mouth, it was very satisfying. The warm cheese spread over the toasty bread had such an earthy salty taste to it.

FC5

The beef carpaccio was delicious! It was presented in such a unique way too, they spread the meat out paper thin on the plate and you scraped it off with the BBQ flavored chips they served with it.

FC3

My favorite of the appetizers (I think I’m addicted to raw fish) was the sea bass ceviche. It was served on these little tostadas with avocado and crema and it was like a bite of heaven. It was juicy and creamy and salty and citrusy – heaven I say.

For dinner (yes there is more) we split the risotto – not the most photogenic of foods – and the fried chicken, you may have heard me reference it before.

FC6

The risotto was good, I’m partial to my dad’s version but it was pretty tastey.

FC1

Nothing compares to the chicken though. I would venture to say it is the best fried chicken (by it self) that I have ever had, and trust me, I have had a lot of fried chicken. It came plated with a little hummus with spiced baby carrots and honey and sesame seeds. What made this chicken different from all the rest is the subtle sweet curry flavor from the batter. It was not dry, it had amazing flavor and the crunchy outside was perfect.

Ok enough drooling for now – you can’t celebrate seeing an old friend without dessert so we got these two gems – an apricot blackberry turnover with caramel and pistachio dusting on top (mini hand pies with great buttery dough)

FC2

– and the chocolate pot de crème with caramel popcorn. Don’t know about you but I have never had a bad pot de creme. It’s just too good of a combination of things to turn out bad.

FC7

This place is definitely a special occasion spot but it is absolutely worth it! PS. Get the fried chicken…

Macaroon Making Class

IMG_2179

Two things you should know about me –  1.) I’m addicted to sweet things, 2.) I love to bake – they go hand in hand. I like to cook too, but baking is really where it’s at. I like to consider myself as a pretty adventurous and advanced baker but when it came to macaroons I was a little afraid to try it. All of the recipes have such specific temperature and timing rules, and add in  the fact that I don’t have a convection oven (which apparently is where most people go wrong) I just stayed away from them all together.

IMG_2088

So while looking for patisserie school classes (always in the back of my mind) I found this great workshop. Baking Arts is a single class workshop that teaches you how to bake various things. You can choose from so many classes like cake decorating, or pie making or fondant rolling – I chose macaroons, to get over my fear.

IMG_2145

IMG_2140

The class was amazing! Richard, the instructor, took us through all the meticulous steps before we went to do it on our own. The process is very temperature and time sensitive so it requires a lot of attention to detail.

IMG_2141

IMG_2109

IMG_2147

IMG_2115

IMG_2150

The class size is small, there were only six of us so he could walk around and help us with each step and with recognizing when the folding was done or when the temperature and texture were just right.

IMG_2152

IMG_2155

IMG_2156

IMG_2187

IMG_2167

You could fill these things with anything and make so many different colors and flavors. In Paris they literally have every shade of every color in every size and crazy flavor. We filled ours with chocolate, or caramel or coconut or a combination of the three.

IMG_2169

IMG_2175

IMG_2190

IMG_2191

I forgot to mention that they were DELICIOUS too! If you are looking for a fun baking class try one of these, it was so great, I want to go back again! Cheers to a sweet weekend!

IMG_2177

 

Gal-entine’s Day

Every year on February 13th my gal pals and I celebrate a friends valentines day, and we call it – Galentines (apparently this is from Parks and Rec, I need to watch that show). We all gather at an apartment and everyone brings a bottle of wine and something sweet to share. Everyone usually brings a small valentine’s something for the group but this year we went all out.

Homemade wine glass name tags and blood orange flavored champagne, naughty fortune cookies, foam heart and bug valentines

champagnecookies

foamheartvalentiens

For my sweet treat this year, I made these little dudes, not sure really what to call them. Brownie sandwiches with salted caramel filling? Or deliciously decadent gooey chocolatey caramel frosted hearts? You decide – here is the recipe. I followed the recipe for the brownie and caramel part but the frosting was kind of a disaster for me. The caramel and the frosting would not mix together (either the caramel was too hot or the butter and sugar were too cold, nothing worked) so I separated them out and it seemed to have the same effect as salted caramel frosting.

For the caramel (which is easier to make than you think)

020

016

026

032

For the brownies and frosting

046

068

073

082

092

106

115

These are so chocolaty and moist and sticky that they make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside – hope you enjoy!

118