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Everything posted by FrogPrincesse

  1. Host's note: this delicious topic is continued from What Are You Cooking Sous Vide Today? (Part 2) Duck breast, 57C for 90 min, pre and post sous-vide sear. So the texture was not significantly different from what I get with my usual technique, which is grilling over charcoal. But it's more uniformly pink, and there are no slightly overdone spots. I am pleased with the results even though searing in the house means a ton of smoke and duck fat everywhere! (I did it on the stove in a cast iron skillet, next time I will place the skillet in the oven)
  2. Good afternoon everyone! A few days ago I left San Diego for Santa Rosa, on my way to Napa Valley. It’s my first time here (I’ve been to Sonoma two years ago, but never Napa). I thought I’d document my food adventures here!
  3. Coffee is served in the little espresso cups from Heath ceramics. If you study the previous pictures, you will see that they have a very nice assortment of Heath plates. L’addition comes in a vintage cookbook, different each time.
  4. The sandwich of the day was an open-faced braised oxtail with onion confit. The only complaint was that it was on the smaller side. The desserts. Milk chocolate with fennel (I took a picture after it had been already sampled). The fennel flavor was quite pronounced, I liked it but my daughter was not a big fan. Stone fruit (nectarine and cherries) crisp. This is a great way to enjoy summer fruit.
  5. Caesar salad with anchovies that had been tempura-fried. The sister property of Acacia House is located in Mexico, hence the Mexican influences (the Margarita, and the Caesar salad which was invented in Tijuana) I was too in love with my smoked salmon and avocado toast to remember taking a picture (I ordered it with the salmon roe supplement). I did remember however to take a picture of the cutlery. I had never seen this sort of knives, French apparently, Perceval. I liked their design.
  6. Day 4 We had such a nice time at Acacia House, we decided to go back for lunch where they have a reasonably-priced prix fixe menu. I started with their signature Margarita which is topped with what looks like egg white but is actually sea salt foam. Fun idea! The foam is a lot more delicate than a traditional salt rim. Grated lime on top. The cold soup of watermelon and strawberry was really great, served with a dollop of cream with chives and little accents of local olive oil, a touch of heat. Every spoonful was slightly different. I wish I had the recipe as I could eat this every day in summer!
  7. Day 3, continued Back at our bungalow in Calistoga, we were a bit hungry after all this wine so we had some of the charcuterie we had just bought. Jesus (the specialty of Lyon, a very large saucisson) Wild boar salume (Olli which I just realized is based in Oceanside, north of San Diego!) - not bad but slightly disappointing as the boar flavor was not very pronounced Here is the boar salame again on the left, and the delectable lomo iberico de bellota (made from pork loin; nutty, melts in your mouth) on the right A nice hoppy IPA from Sacramento to accompany all this. Notes of citrus peel, grass, resin.
  8. I actually do enjoy the tender texture and slightly gamey quality of a good snail, but it is somewhat of an acquired taste. Also, I remember my grandmother preparing them from scratch and the long process required to put purge and clean them. Very messy!
  9. I am finally able to upload all my pictures (Point Reyes has really poor coverage), so I shall be able to resume my trip report tomorrow!
  10. I am relieved to read that we are not the only French Laundry voyeurs out there. We spent quite a bit of time watching them through the windows as well. I was not expecting part of the kitchen to be visible from the street! Thanks for the info about Etude. I believe they have a winery in Santa Barbara as well? It’s too late for this trip, but I’ve added it to the list for the next one!
  11. That is her and indeed she has grown up quite a lot since you met her!
  12. We saw the areas where the Tubbs fire had been outside of town in the wooded areas, but overall there was less damage than we feared. The tastings fees were around $25 a person (for 4-6 wines depending on the winery), waived if you bought a bottle (or a subscription).
  13. Hahaha. Yes it looks like it’s only the shape (I hope!).
  14. After all these adventures, we headed back north for a wine tasting at Silver Oak. We had a Cabernet flight. Nothing blew us away so we came out empty handed. A little further north we also tried Miner family winery. We bought a bottle of their 2016 viognier.
  15. Atelier Fine Foods - great collection of cheeses, cured meats, French teas, caviar etc. I bought a few goodies to eat later.
  16. A local chocolate store that makes sushi-inspired chocolates
  17. Bouchon French Laundry The vegetable gardens of French laundry, just across the street Pampered chickens
  18. After all this rich and delicious food, it was time for a “promenade digestive” (after-lunch walk) around Yountville. Ah hoc and its annex, addendum Old millstones
  19. Quick view of the inside dining room on our way out Wall art
  20. By some miracle my daughter decided she was still hungry as long as chocolate was involved. So she got the chocolate mousse crème brûlée. The best way to described it is to imagine a classic crème brûlée topped with chocolate pot de crème. It was wonderful. Again it was quite large so I had to help her finish it. It was a tough job... not really! 😉
  21. In a moment of weakness, I decided to get the pruneaux a l'armagnac (prunes soaked in armagnac). Typically it is a smaller dessert and works double duty as a digestif, so it seemed like a reasonable choice. It arrived with a ginormous scoop of ice cream. I think they were happy that someone ordered it, because that dessert is a real sleeper according to our waiter. I did my best to eat all the prunes and retrieve all the juices (a very generous dose of armagnac).
  22. I am doing my best, but I feel that my job won’t be complete until she starts appreciating escargots and foie gras!
  23. I ended up eating a good amount of steak because it was a bit large for my 12-year old daughter. No complaints because it was delicious and I love a good steak, but I fell into a slight food coma after this. Wisely I decided to resist ordering the cheese plate or one of the many digestifs options.
  24. My husband ordered the rabbit which was prepared two-ways (pancetta-wrapped loin and braised leg) with a banquette-style sauce full of morels and peas, and served with fresh pappardelle pasta. My daughter went for the classic steak frites.