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Sunday, March 11, 2012

White Chocolate Macadamia Cranberry Dreams

makes 18 cookies
recipe adapted from
prep time: 20 min / cook time: 10-12 min

1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4c + 2 tbsp sugar
1/2 c light brown sugar, packed
1/2 c butter, softened
1 egg, room temperature and slightly beaten
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c vanilla baking chips
* I chopped up white chocolate
1/2 c macadamia nuts, chopped
1/2 c dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
• In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
• In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the sugars and butter.
• Beat in the slightly beaten egg and vanilla extract.
• Add flour mixture until just mixed.
• With a spatula, stir in the vanilla chips, macadamia nuts and dried cranberries.
• Scoop our batter with a small cookie scooper and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
• Bake for 10-12 minutes or until set. Remove from oven and let cool.
* Cookies will sink slightly.



Wednesday, March 07, 2012


There are a few evocatively-named foods that can get your mouth watering by just hearing its name. Krispy Kremes and salted caramel always does that for me. And Maverick’s Butter Burger can get you there in that same kind of way. It just sounds rich, smooth, indulgent. You totally know what you’re in for.

For awhile, Maverick only served these burgers on Tuesdays (and only 17 per day), but recently added them to their Saturday brunch menu. Here’s how it breaks down: 70% ground beef, 20% butter, and 10% bacon make up the patty that is cooked sous vide in more butter, and then pan-seared to a juicy perfection.

Add to that bacon-pepper marmalade, jalapeno aioli, gruyere, a purposefully runny egg (for an extra $1.50), and an onion ring all on a yummy Acme bun. At $18 it’s not exactly cheap, but according to MFM, it's totally worth it.

But knowing that I could steal a bite or two from MFM (it was delicious!), I opted to try the duck confit hash, which our server claimed was his favorite thing on the menu.

Just as an aside, I have to say I have a thing for duck, and feel inclined to order it whenever I see it on a menu, (except for the time I dined at Incanto and discovered duck “fries” weren’t really fries).

And while most of the duck brunch offerings I've had bombed, I actually liked Maverick's rendition, which included nettles, harissa, figs and over-easy eggs was a nice combination of sweet, savory & spicy flavors.

Other friends gave a thumbs up for the crab benedict (which offered generous portions of crab meat) and the baked eggs served with butter beans and chorizo. I was also impressed by their soft & blissful housemade doughnuts and their "bloody Maverick" - which was made with sake, housemade bloody mary mix, and if that weren't enough, was topped with sprinkle of black sea salt and a curl of candied bacon.

Ah, candied bacon. That's another one of those words that gets me going too.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ramen Parlor

So last month, in a moment I should file under "what was I thinking," I made a new year's resolution to eat less carbs. It lasted all of 2 1/2, maybe 3 weeks, until I heard about about Ramen Parlor, the newest member of the uber-popular ramen family that includes the crazy crowd-drawing Santa Ramen and Ramen Dojo.

Driving up to the busy San Mateo spot for lunch, I liked it better already, since RD already had a line about 25 people deep. RP is located just down the block and while it was bustling, the wait wasn’t nearly as long.

The menu is a bit limited at lunchtime, especially for our friends with kids who weren’t able to order dinner-only items like miso soup (come on, really?) or chicken karage. But I guess that's what happens when you're very, very focused. Ramen is definitely the draw here, boasting rich, complex broths and chewy, toothsome noodles. Oh, and did I mention lobster oil?

At RP you have your choice of three broths: miso, pork or soy. Each bowl comes standard with roast pork, diced onion, shrimp, a quail egg, mushrooms, lettuce and ground chicken, as well as a generous drizzle of lobster oil.

I choose the regular ramen with the soy sauce-flavored broth, which was a salty, savory and unctuous (without feeling heavy) delight. The noodles were flavorful and chewy, and the lobster oil added a subtle seafood-y luxuriousness (plus, it just sounds super fancy!)

There were a few specials that day, including a spicy tan men that included soft shell crab which MFM raved about, while others at our table added a variety of the extra toppings, which included corn, mushrooms, and spicy cod roe.

If I compare it to its siblings, I have to say I liked it more than RD (which was wasted on me since I couldn't handle the spicy, "stamina" style ramen) but slightly less than SR, which to me is a bit simpler and purer (plus they have that yummy stewed pork belly).

But I'd have to go back at least once or twice to be sure. At least.


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