February 5th, 2012 >>>

Lucas’s anniversary chocolate stout-braised short ribs

02.05.12

For the second course of our two-part anniversary dinner, Lucas was concocting something special. I’ll narrate my perspective first and he’ll chime in with his side of the story after. We each walked to the produce market separately Saturday afternoon to keep the mystery of each of our dishes alive as long as possible, but bumped into each other in the specialty spice corner. We played it cool and both pretended we were just passing by. As I was finishing up, I called him to see if he was done and wanted to walk home with me, only to discover he hadn’t yet put anything in his cart, and was frustratingly trying to figure out what the heck a leek looked like. Sarah to the rescue.

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Lavender and lemon cupcakes with meringue frosting and candied citrus peels

02.05.12

This post is dedicated to my second duty in the anniversary food extravaganza: dessert. When Bon Appetit recognized Aziza’s pastry chef last year, we hopped on an across-SF bus to try out the confections for ourselves. They weren’t lying, it was THE best dessert I’d ever eaten (and I’ve eaten many many many desserts) – a dessert that always lingers in your memory as you search for something just as tasty. My description won’t do this dessert any justice, but it had: lavender ice cream, lemon curd, mini raspberry meringues, homemade shortbread and granola, and sprinkles of pomegranate seeds. Each bite had such a wide range of flavors that continued surprising your taste buds as you ate. If you live in the Bay Area, get up off your couch and go there – you won’t be disappointed. While planning my secret sweet, my friend Tina recommended I try to replicate this favored dessert. Brilliant.

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Citrus tuna tartare with pear chips

02.05.12

While most people are prepping their finger foods for the Super Bowl, Lucas and I are celebrating our two year anniversary (with food) today. Last year, we mixed up the date of our anniversary and didn’t realize until we were done wining and dining, so this year, we’ve arbitrarily picked today since he leaves for Taiwan tomorrow night. We met here 2 years ago plus or minus 2 days. Earlier this week, Lucas cooked up our plans for the occasion (pun intended): a day of food. He giddily already had a breakfast menu in mind when he suggested he take the morning shift, me the dessert shift, and then we each concoct two separate entrées – all meals as super top-secret surprises. I readily accepted knowing that when Lucas takes on a challenge like this, he doesn’t mess around; for my birthday last year, he spent 6 hours shopping for, prepping, and cooking the most perfect paella. While I fudge a recipe because I just don’t feel like measuring that carefully or I’m missing (or just plain don’t like) ingredient x or y, Lucas is much more careful in his calculations, each move done with purposeful, yet creative, precision. His inventive (and suspenseful) scheme saves us the money we would have spent eating out at a likely expensive restaurant, plus it’s way more fun. AND I get to blog about it.

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