It’s a tough town to get a long with. It may be portrayed as the center of the modern world right now—the idyllic paradise where young CEOs seem to be starting startups straight out of college and dine at Michelin starred restaurants whenever they please.
You’d think I’d be inspired by these seemingly motivated “young kids,” grabbing life by the horns and becoming the future of business. Every time I hear someone say, “Yeah, I started my own app,” I feel like I’m going to vomit.
Kouign Amann and Almond Croissant at B. Patteserie.
Well maybe I’d start my own app too if I had Daddy’s trust fund as a security blanket to keep me warm at night. Perhaps I’m just being bitter. But as someone who moved to what used to be one of the world’s most artistic cities, and to become inspired by its creativity, I have become disappointed by the homogenous, and recklessly materialistic wasteland it has become.
Four Dollar Toast with Strawberry Jam at The Mill.
Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe it’s my fault that I chose not to get a techie job and live a Kate Spade-clad techie lifestyle. Maybe it’s my fault that I hate the Marina. Sorry Lululemon for not spending my life’s savings on your yoga pants. Sorry I don’t frequent the Ferry building farmer’s market to take IG photos, and shell out five bucks for a tiny(although very sweet) peach. What if I don’t want to make a reservation two months in advance just to eat at a decent restaurant?!
“Oh, but don’t you love the great food?” Yes, if I didn’t feel like I was bleeding hoards of money every time I ate out, then yes I’d love it here! I’d never leave this idyllic foodie paradise! (That four-dollar toast is legit doe.)
Yes, it’s my fault that I came to San Francisco to actually find myself and live out my dreams. How foolish of me.
Racks on racks of freshly baked bread at The Mill.
You know, I used to hate Valentine’s Day. This so-called Hallmark holiday fabricated to get people to buy heart-shaped paraphernalia and Valentine cards—I thought it was all rubbish.
At the same time, I had never been in love until I met Mr. Williams. In fact, he was my first Valentine. Now I get what all the hype is about. It’s nice to spend a day celebrating each other’s love for one another. Well actually, I think I like Valentine’s Day more because it gives me an excuse to dress up and go out to a nice dinner. I mean, come on, how many occasions out of the year can I wear my fancy Rachel Roy romper?
This year the world is fortunate enough to have Valentine’s Day fall on a Saturday—meaning the celebration doesn’t have to only begin after work when we’re all tired and feeling gross from sitting in a cubicle all day. I mean, wouldn’t it be nice to wake up to a romantic breakfast in bed? The answer is yes, which is precisely why I came up with these Valentine’s French Toast Breakfast Sandwiches.
For starters, we love breakfast sandwiches. But for Valentine’s day I wanted to crank things up a notch—thus, the French toast. Yes, they are heart-shaped. And yes, you can still make these if you are single. Continue reading
If you have lived in San Francisco for at least two years and have still not been to Yamo…you need to go immediately after reading this post.
Yamo has been an SF institution for like…ever. This place is the very definition of “hole-in-the-wall”. Tightly tucked between a cell phone store and the corner liquor, it’s an 8-seater eatery that dishes out the city’s best Burmese food that you can get for $6 a plate.
I’d heard of this Yamo place many times. Located on the corner of 19th and Mission St., I’d always hurriedly walked past, either on my way to my favorite vegan place, Gracias Madre, located on the opposite corner, or following some hipster foodies to some boujie trendy restaurant on Valencia. Out of all the good eats that SF has to offer, I never felt the urgency to try this hole-in-the-wall place which also didn’t have the best curb appeal.
Well…I know better now.
I am absolutely obsessed with this Hokkaido Milk bread. After making the same recipe repeatedly, I’ve decided to mix things up a little bit. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the raisins are a classic addition. But what’s something else that’s equally as classic? Matcha? Red bean? No no no…there must be something better.
How about Taro Hokkaido Milk bread?…
Yes! Taro swirl, to be exact. My favorite breads and pastries from the Chinese bakeries I frequented every week growing up, always involved some sort of creamy taro filling. As I’m writing this post, I can almost smell the sweet aroma of freshly baked taro buns, warm out of the oven. Even in college, I found every opportunity I could get to make the drive from Westwood all the way to Irvine to get my hands on those famous oh-so-soft taro swirl buns, a cult favorite from 85C Bakery.
Pesto is and will always be my favorite sauce/condiment/flavor in the world. It’s so versatile. From pesto pasta (see recipe below), to pesto pizza, to even using it as a salad dressing, pesto just goes with anything.
If you checked out my blog post last week, where I made a Pumpkin Cilantro Pesto, you know that I’ve been looking for creative ways to amp up my pesto game. And there are so many ways to do it! From using dandelion greens to kale, and from using traditional pine-nuts to almonds, it’s easy to create a gourmet pesto if you follow the right greens to cheese to nuts ratio.
This is why I’ve created my Perfect Pesto Guide to help all you pesto Shefs out there get the right proportions down when it comes to swapping out ingredients to make that signature creative pesto of yours.
My pantry is taking over my life. Each time I open my pantry doors, I anticipate something to fall out and spill all over my kitchen floor. What will it be this time? The high-mountain green tea my Mom brought me from Taiwan? Or the canister of Greek olive oil from Santorini that I carried with me for a whole month while backpacking through Europe?
I really need to start organizing my life and use up all these ingredients. One thing about being an avid cook is that the ingredients really do pile up. For example, I have a hefty 1 lb bag of pumpkin seeds that’s been sitting in there for quite a while, from which I’ve only used a few cups worth for my 7 Ingredient pumpkin spice granola. Living in a tiny studio apartment, space becomes real precious. Time to use up those pumpkin seeds!
I’ve actually been fiending for pesto lately. But I wanted to make something creative, not just the usual basil and pine nuts combo. Recently, I had an amazing pumpkin seed salsa from my favorite vegan restaurant in San Francisco. The flavor in this thing was pure umami. The salsa was indescribably nutty, deep, slightly smoky, and creamy. I never knew that pumpkin seeds could taste like that! Thus, I was inspired. Rummaging through my fridge I search for what I could use as the green part of the pesto. To my surprise, I find a huge bunch of cilantro that I’d completely forgotten to use for a Spanish Chicken dish I made for supper on Sunday. Don’t you hate when that happens? Luckily, it inspired me to make this Pumpkin Seed Cilantro Pesto. Continue reading
The Tenderloin has a bad rep, yes.
Historically, it’s always been bad here. This part of downtown San Francisco is called the “Tenderloin” because police officers used to get paid more to patrol this nasty area of the city, and were able to afford pricier cuts of meat, such as beef tenderloin.
This is where the homeless call home. It’s where rickety shopping carts packed with a lifetime of belongings crawl the streets squeaking past the makeshift flea markets that line the sidewalk floors. However, once you look past the neon-lit liquor stores located on every corner and the sleazy dive bars that stink of cigarette stained carpet, you’ll find yourself at the corner of Eddy and Larkin, where you will be greeted by the red and gold gateway to Little Saigon—home of the best pho in the city.
Since Thanksgiving, I’ve pretty much been traveling nonstop, only spending a few days here at home. And boy did I choose the right time to travel—smack dab in the middle of the worst storm to hit San Francisco in decades. I don’t usually eat out much on my own, but after a few delayed flights and nearly missing a job interview, I think I deserve a big bowl of steaming hot pho.
With dozens of pho places in Little Saigon alone, how is one supposed to choose? Well I’ve gone ahead and narrowed down the overwhelming selection to include my top 3 pho places. You can thank me later. Continue reading
I feel like my life right now is a cinnamon roll. Within every layer of dough is a sweet filling that makes the cinnamon roll what it is. It’s been nearly two years since I’ve moved here to San Francisco, and after four jobs, I’m still trying to dig through the layers to find that sweet spot.
I’d been eyeing this pumpkin cinnamon roll recipe for quite some time. One year and a few attempts later, I’ve decided to confidently post it here on Shef Sherry. I love this recipe because the dough is nice and yeasty and pillowy soft.
There’s nothing that peeves me more than a hard, dry cinnamon roll. Ew.
The following is a PSA announcement:
DO NOT THROW AWAY THOSE PUMPKIN SEEDS!
Pumpkin season is in full swing. And whether you’re using that pumpkin to make soup, bread, cheesecake, or curry, one thing is for sure, you’ve probably been ending up with lots of seeds than you know what to do with. The answer–Roast them!
Did you know that 1 cup of pumpkin seeds contains about 12 grams of fiber? That’s ridiculous! Not only are these pumpkin seeds tasty, they make a great on-the-go snack when you’re on the run. Pack a bag and carry it in your purse, keep some at your desk and snack on them throughout your day. They’ll curb your hunger and keep you from gravitating towards that tray of holiday cookies that’s been staring at you from the office break room.
It’s been rather chilly here in the Bay recently, and there’s nothing that will warm you up better than a bowl of warm curry. Especially, some spicy red pumpkin curry.
My pumpkin of choice is the Kabocha squash—also known as a Japanese pumpkin. It’s that dark green, squat shaped melon-like thing you’ve been seeing at the grocery store. It’s delicious. It’s flavor is much like a butternut squash, but 10x sweeter and much creamier in texture.
It works magically in this curry recipe because as the curry simmers, the pumpkin sort of melts away and breaks down and thickens the sauce. No cornstarch needed here.
I threw some cauliflower into the mix to add some crunchy texture amidst the rich creaminess of the overall dish. I also threw in a few red jalapenos as well, for a pop of color, and also because I like things to be nice and spicy. This curry is packed with flavor, mostly because I didn’t skimp on the aromatics—ginger, lemongrass, and chili. No I didn’t use the dried stuff, it is pertinent here to use fresh. And although you will end up with more lemongrass stalks than you can think of ways to use, the flavor is incomparable and totally worth it.
By the way, anyone have some lemongrass recipes for me? Continue reading