Only in San Francisco…

…can you end up spending the evening in a pub with two Irishmen and a homeless guy you just met. But more about that in just a moment. I’ll tell you how I ended up there in a bit.

In case you are one of the unaware, I was in San Francisco for the Blogher Food 2009 Conference. I was lucky enough to have Nasoya sponsor me for the trip. I totally appreciated it!  Because of Nasoya I was able to enjoy San Francisco and the Bay Area and have a great time meeting people and learning new photography tips.

Turkish Coffee Ice Cream

When I registered for the conference, I decided I wanted to drive up the coast of California and use the time to reflect and think. I stopped along the way in Santa Barbara for wonderful freshly made ice cream and in San Luis Obispo for a 1/2 sandwich and salad. I also drove by my childhood home and neighborhood in San Jose and my college campus in Santa Clara.sand

All said and done, it took me 12 hours to get to San Francisco.  Near the hotel there was a pub full of people so I went in and ordered a Guinness and some food.  I’ve recently discovered that you can’t be a woman alone at a bar without a man coming up to you no matter how uninterested you look. And I’ve tried to look uninterested, usually by being deeply engrossed in a book.

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After being seranaded  by a guy who wouldn’t leave me alone {that’s another story for another day}, an Irish guy came up to the bar and ordered 3 Guinness {Guinnesses? Guinni? What’s the plural?} and 3 whiskeys. He saw I was alone, said something about me being cute, and invited me to sit with his friend and a homeless guy he found on the street. It sounded fun, so I did. I’m all about new experiences…anyway it turned out to be a fun evening with a great conversation. It was definitely a cool start to a fantastic weekend.

I need to detox from all the good food and drink I consumed over the weekend.  Instead of just Vegan Tuesday, I’m eating vegan all week. Well, all week until Friday night when I’m back in Las Vegas. 😛 I used Nasoya Organic Extra-Firm Tofu to make Mark Bittman’s Braised Tofu and Peas in Curried Coconut Milk from his How To Cook Everything Vegetarian. It was an easy weeknight dinner and reheated well for my work lunch. I ate it over brown basmati rice. YUM!

You can find the recipe HERE.

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toasted goat cheese ravioli with red pepper dip

Next weekend I’m heading to San Francisco to attend the Blogher Food Conference. I’m excited to meet my fellow bloggers, network,  and to visit some of my old haunts. And guess who is the closing speaker? David Lebovitz. Yay!

Thank you to Nasoya–maker of all-natural tofu products, noodles, wonton & egg roll wraps–for sponsoring my attendance at the conference. I’ve been a fan of their tofu, but until now have not tried their other products.

I hosted a dinner party this past Saturday and to start things off I served Toasted Goat Cheese Ravioli with Red Pepper Dip. These are super easy to make, can be assembled ahead of time, and taste outstanding. They are light and a great starter for a heavier dinner.

I found the recipe in the September/October 2009 issue of Clean Eating magazine.

TOASTED GOAT CHEESE RAVIOLI with RED PEPPER DIP

Adapted from Clean Eating magazine
  • Olive Oil Cooking Spray
  • 24 Nasoya wonton wrappers
  • 1/3 cup soft goat cheese with herbs (I like the herb & garlic goat cheese from Trader Joes)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers (from water-packed jar), patted dry & chopped
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F and coat a baking sheet with oil spray.
  2. Arrange wonton wrappers on flat surface. Spoon a bit of the goat cheese slightly off-center onto each wrapper. Using your fingers, wet the edges of the wrappers. Fold wonton over and press to seal.
  3. Place wontons on baking sheet and coat with oil spray. Sprinkle grated cheese over tops.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes until wontons are golden and toasted.
  4. Meanwhile, make red pepper dip: place red peppers and sour cream in blender. Purée until smooth. Transfer dip to bowl and fold in basil. Season with salt and pepper.

The ravioli can be assembed ahead of time and be refrigerated for up to three days or frozen for up to 3 months. Bake them straight from the freezer, just add a couple minutes to the baking time. The red pepper dip can be made 3 days ahead too.

Curried Tofu Scramble


My life is a bit unsettled right now. To help me, I have several items in my toolbox to keep me grounded. One is baking, especially bread. To me, baking bread is earthy and magical at the same time. A little aromatherapy from freshly baked bread also helps.

Another is staying active and filling up my calendar with planned activities. This can backfire a bit as the other day I had a minor meltdown when I discovered I did not have any activities planned for the weekend of August 8th. A friend had to calm me down saying, “you know, you have two weeks…something will come up. You will find something to do”.  I’m happy to report with a week and half to go I now have something written down for that weekend.

A page from my calendar--August

A page from my calendar--August

I have trips planned to Las Vegas (twice in October), a trip to Laughlin (don’t ask), a trip to dive with Jean-Michel Cousteau in Fiji (although I may feel a bit Life Aquatic) in November, and drives to San Diego and up the California Coast to Napa Valley are always on the radar. In September, I’m attending Blogher Food in San Francisco. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and will use any excuse to get up there.  To be fair, I didn’t need to pile on the excuses for this trip.

I’m looking forward to meet lots of bloggers I tweet, blog, facebook with: Engineer Baker, Two Peas and Their Pod, Gourmeted, Food Librarian, etc. And now I am pleased to announce a sponsor for my trip to Blogher Food: Nasoya, Premium Tofu Products.

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Nasoya is the brand of tofu I tend to buy and use because it is organic and natural. I usually buy extra-firm or firm tofu because it is good for stir-fries, tofu ricotta, frittatas, and of course scrambled tofu. Scrambling tofu couldn’t be easier. It makes a quick dinner {yes dinner, I hardly ever eat breakfast food at breakfast time}. All you need to do is sauté some onion and garlic in olive oil, crumble in some tofu, add some spices & vegetables–voilà dinner is served.

The recipe I used comes from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking. You can find the recipe HERE. I served the tofu with some roasted vegetables, avocado, and vegan milk bread toast (made using almond milk & non-hydrogenated vegan  margarine).

And although this post isn’t about the bread, it is the perfect toast bread and has been making the rounds on Twitter and food blogs (originating with Nancy of The Dogs Eat the Crumbs and The Corner Loaf). You can find the original recipe HERE.

Please visit Michele at Veggie Num Nums to see what she cooked up for Vegan Tuesdays.