Live Fire Pizza – Oxbow Market

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When you’re invited to a pizza party, you say yes! Live Fire Pizza is a new addition to Napa’s Oxbow Public Market where you can enjoy pizza and other side dishes at the bar or outside in the outdoor seating area. I got to attend a media preview (thanks to Emily with Emily Martin Communication & Events), where I was able to try almost every pizza on the menu! Let me just say that every pizza was delicious. By the way, if you’re a wine + pizza type of gal, Live Fire Pizza is a must to visit.

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My all time favorite pizza of the bunch was the calamari pizza. The calamari was perfectly cooked with not an ounce of chewiness. Don’t you hate it when you eat calamari that feels like you’re chewing on rubberbands? Not that I’ve ever chewed on em…

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Live Fire - Oven

Putting pizzas into the oven

Not only are the pizzas fabulous, the sandwiches are good too. They’re all made on a soft sesame roll and each sandwich has a salty component that makes the sandwich enjoyable. Nobody likes a bland sandwich.

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Check out this meatball sandwich though! Such a fun moment to capture the dripping cheese.

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Live Fire Pizza
Oxbow Market
610 1st St, Napa CA

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Matcha Coconut Chia Seed Pudding

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Heeeeeey. Is it mid August already?? Is it crazy that Halloween costumes are already starting to appear in stores? Time is moving way too fast while I’m here wanting to move like an elderly woman. Anyways, I’ve been trying to improve my diet because this summer body never appeared and the summer is practically over. If I start now, maybe it’ll be here by next summer.

For the past month or so, I’ve replaced my morning pastry with a small serving of chia seed pudding. To also give myself some energy, I’ve put matcha into the chia seed pudding. Although I love matcha, I kept the matcha flavor light to let the coconut from the coconut milk shine. I never though I’d actually enjoy a cup of chia seeds, but I must admit, I’ve enjoyed every bit of this matcha coconut chia seed pudding.

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This recipe makes two servings and goes great with any type of berry. I’ve been eating mine with raspberries, blueberries, and/or strawberries topped with slivered almonds. Make the chia seed pudding the night before and top it off the with fruit and slivered almonds when you’re ready to eat.

Matcha Coconut Chia Seed Pudding

3 Tbsp. chia seeds
1 C. light coconut milk
1 tsp. matcha powder
2 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/4 C. any fruit of your choice
slivered almonds

In a small bowl, combine chia seeds, coconut milk, matcha, honey, and vanilla extract. Mix until all ingredients are combined and matcha has been evenly mixed through. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

When ready to eat, divide the chia seed pudding into two small bowls and top with fruit and almonds.

Enjoy!

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Teleferic Barcelona

I honestly can’t believe it took me this long to discover Teleferic Barcelona, a stylish restaurant with sassy dancers, friendly staff, and great bites. I was invited to check this place out and was so happy I did.

Teleferic Barcelona is located in the downtown area of Walnut Creek. Their menu consists of tapas, pintxos, and large plates including a couple out of this world paella.

The pintxos are brought around the dining room on a small cart. Make sure you pick a couple of these up. They’re small, but each bite brings you to flavor town. We chose their version of the deviled egg and a toast that had cheese and smoked salmon.

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We ordered a number of tapas, but I think the croquettas were my fave. Shown here is the porcini mushroom and Valdéon cheese croquettas and Iberian ham and béchemal. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy creamy balls?!

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Monday night’s aren’t always boring – Enjoy Flamenco night on Monday nights. I really enjoyed the dancing and their dancing attire were just beautiful to look at. Sit back, order some drinks and watch their feet go!

Some other highlights were the garlic prawns (gambas al ajillo) and Galician octopus (pulpo trufado). The prawns are served with a couple slices of toast that can me used to sop up all of the sauce. I was thinking of smuggling in an entire baguette the next time I visit.
Now let’s talk about the pulpo. This may have THE BEST pulpo I’ve ever had. It was grilled to perfection, meaty but so tender all at the same time. The perfect amount of salt was sprinkled on top (picture salt bae) and matched perfectly with the truffle potato puree underneath.

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A visit to Teleferic Barcelona is worth it just for these churros alone. They’re freshly made to order and the chocolate sauce it comes with is heavenly. I wanted to drink the sauce, but didn’t want to embarrass my date. As he reached in to get another churro, I secretly shot lasers at his hands in my mind.

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Teleferic Barcelona is truly one of my most memorable dining experiences with the friendliest staff, impeccable food, and the best entertainment.

Thank you for hosting us, Teleferic Barcelona!

 TELEFERIC BARCELONA
1500 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Fl.2
Walnut Creek, 95696

Pad See Ew

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Hey ya’ll! This is what I made with whatever I had in the fridge. I had leftover flat rice noodles from when I made pad kee mao and didn’t want to waste the noodles. I happened to have a block of firm tofu and some Chinese broccoli in the fridge and wah-lah, a delicious heaping bowl of pad see ew.

Pad see ew is one of my favorite Thai noodle dishes. It’s simple with minimal ingredients, but still flavorful at the same time. It’s a popular street food in Thailand and is great for a quick meal.

Hope you enjoy.

Pad See Ew
2 large servings

Sauce:
2 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 Tbsp. oyster sauce
1 heaping Tbsp. of granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. less sodium soy sauce

For the Noodles:
Canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 block firm tofu, medium diced
10 oz. fresh flat rice noodles
7 stems of Chinese broccoli (gai lan, cut into 2 inch pieces)
2 eggs, scrambled

Dry tofu out by placing the entire block of tofu in between two paper towels then setting something heavy on top, such as a plate. Let the towels soak in the excess liquid from the tofu for about 10 minutes. Then medium dice the tofu to bite sized pieces. Set aside.

In a small boil, combine sauce ingredients. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and set aside.

In a large heavy skillet or wok, heat about 3 Tbsp of oil over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the tofu and let each side brown. Transfer the tofu from the pan to a bowl and set aside.

Add 2 Tbsp. of oil into the pan and add the Chinese broccoli and garlic. Stir-fry for about two minutes and until the broccoli becomes a bright green. Add the flat rice noodles, tofu, and the entire mixture of sauce.

Let the tofu and noodles absorb some of the sauce and continuously stir for about 3 minutes.

Push the noodles to the side of the pan to create a hole in the middle. Pour the beaten eggs into the hole and stir until the eggs are cooked through. Mix the noodles into the cooked eggs.

Serve immediately.

Scallion and Steak Rice Cakes

Chinese cooking is usually very simple to make with the key ingredients on hand and is cooked in just minutes in a very hot wok. We don’t eat very much beef in our home, but this dish is one that brings me back to my childhood. Several versions of this has been kept in our rotation of regular dishes whether it be scallions and beef with flat rice noodles, over rice, or in this case, with rice cakes. It just takes minutes to prepare and the outcome tastes like Chinese takeout.

I like using rice cakes when I’m feeling extra hungry. They’re more dense and filling than flat rice noodles, and I just really enjoy its bouncy chewy texture! You can find these in the refrigerator section of any Asian market. Sometimes it can also be found fresh wrapped in flat trays – I’ve seen this at my local Korean market.

Anyways, let’s get started cause I’m getting hungry and can’t wait much longer. Good thing the cooking time is under 10 minutes! Have everything already prepared.

Scallion and Beef Rice Cakes
Servings: 4

About 1 lb. sirloin steak, sliced. Don’t use anymore than 1 lb or you’ll have ALOT of beef.
2 tsp. low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. canola oil + more for cooking.
6 scallions, cut into 2-3 inch pieces.
1 half in slice of ginger
1 lb rice cakes (I used the flat oval shaped rice cakes)
2 Tsp. shaoxing wine

Sauce:
1 Tbsp. dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. sambal olek, optional)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Put your thinly sliced steak in a medium sized bowl and add the low sodium soy sauce, corn starch and canola oil. Mix and massage soy sauce, corn starch, and oil into the beef using your fingers or a spoon. Set aside for about 30 minutes.

2. In a separate small bowl, add the ingredients for the sauce and stiry. Set aside.

3. In a wok or a large thick frying pan over high heat, add a couple of tablespoons of oil and heat until the oil is hot. Add the beef and cook until the beef just turns brown, about 1 minute, and set aside in a bowl.

4. Now add the slice of ginger and scallions. Toss and stir in the pan for about a minute.

5. Quickly add the rice cakes and stir fry for another minute. Add the shaoxing wine around the perimeter of the wok or pan. Cover with a lid and cooke for about 1 minute. The rice cakes should now be pliable and is starting to get soft.

6. Add the beef and stir to evenly mix the beef in with the rice cakes. Pour the sauce into the wok or pan and stir fry until all of the rice cakes are covered with sauce. If the rice cakes aren’t chewy at this point, cook for a bit longer until they are.

7. Lastly, find that piece of ginger and remove it! Nobody enjoys biting into a whole piece of ginger!

Serve immediately!

Matcha White Chocolate Rice Crispies – MATCHA GIVEAWAY

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Are you as much of a matcha lover as I am?! Well, you’ve come to the right place! These matcha white chocolate rice crispies aren’t for the matcha noobs (no offense). Purposefully, a good amount of matcha powder is used and the bitterness of the matcha is balanced with the sweet white chocolate chips and a creaminess factor comes from both the matcha and white chocolate chips mixed with the marshmallow.

Now let’s talk about this matcha giveaway that’s happening. Motion Matcha is hosting this FABULOUS giveaway where you get ONE YEARS worth of matcha. That’s a matcha lovers dream come true. That’s kind of why you’re here right? So.. while you’re munching on these addicting matcha white chocolate rice crispies, go and enter this giveaway!

Before starting, make sure you have ALL ingredients handy as this will all come together in the blink of an eye. You’ll have to move quickly because you want to add everything as soon as the marshmallows melt. I’ve found that the less time you have the marshmallows over heat, the softer the marshmallows stay. Crunchy rice crispies that feel like you’ll crack a tooth while taking a bite is never pleasant.

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Matcha White Chocolate Rice Crispies
Servings: 9 large squares

1/2 C. (1 stick) of unsalted butter
1-10 oz. bag of marshmallows
2 Tbsp. matcha powder
1/2 C. white chocolate chips (I used ghiradelli)
5 C. rice crispy cereal

Things you’ll need:
One large pot
Parchment paper
8″x8″ pan
Wooden spoon or any large spoon

1. Line a 8″x8″ pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. In a large pot, melt the butter. Keep the butter over medium heat constantly stirring until the butter starts to smell nutty and turns into a caramel color. This is now browned butter (YUM).

3. Immediately add the marshmallows into the browned butter and constantly stir until all of the marshmallows have melted.

4. Turn off the stove and quickly add the matcha powder and stir incorporating the matcha powder with the marshmallow. At this stage, your pot of marshmallows should be ninja turtle green.

5. Pour in the white chocolate chips and rice crispy cereal into the pot. Using a wooden spoon, stir everything together until all the cereal is coated with the marshmallow mixture. Some of the white chocolate chips will have melted, but this is totally fine and you actually want that.

6. Pour everything into your lined baking pan and quickly push the mixture evenly into the pan (don’t forget the corners) so that the top is flat.

7. Let rest for at least 30 minutes before cutting into squares.

These can be stored in a sealed tight container for up to three (3) days.

Zero Zero SF

Can we just talk about cheat meals real quick? Whenever I get the chance, I like to end the work week replacing all my sorrows with carbs. Carbs in the form of pizza to be exact. If I really got to choose one food to eat for the rest of my life, it’d be pizza. No joke. I mean, isn’t pizza a food group? OK, maybe just in my dreams. What are some of your cheat meal indulgences?

This time around, I got to eat my sorrows away at Zero Zero SF where they fed me some brussel sprouts (in fried form), hamachi poke, pastas, pizzas, and even some soft serve. Of course a couple salads appeared on the table, but those were cleared away quickly once the ‘heavier’ dishes came along. On a serious note though, Zero Zero’s caesar salad is something to remember.

Anyways, here are some highlights of the night.

Taleggio stuffed arancini with black garlic aioli – tasted like cheesy risotto balls fried to crisp perfection. I could have eaten two orders of these, but I had to share and didn’t want to be greedy…

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We had a number of pastas to choose from including spaghetti amatriciana, which is your classic spaghetti with spicy tomato sauce and pancetta and also gnocchi cooked in a pork belly ragu. I’m not big on red sauce as it can sometimes be too heavy and I’ve always been team white sauce so naturally, my fave of the night was the fettuccini. Look at this bowl of beauty – carbs, dungeness crab, BUTTER, garlic, and lemon.

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Then low and behold, the leaning tower of pizza appeared before my eyes. If you can only see the excitement on my face.

From top to bottom: Castro Pizza (Sopressata, housemate sausage, tomato sauce, mozzarella, and Basil), Seasonal Pizza (reserved lemon panda, roasted garlic, grilled asparagus, broccoli spigarello, mozzarella, and a bunch of other ingredients), Fillmore pizza (mushrooms, leeks, a variety of cheese, garlic, and thyme). The Seasonal Pizza was my fave. The vegetables themselves were perfectly seasoned and had a wonderful grill flavor.

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THEN, as if there wasn’t already enough food, we had some DIY sundaes. Don’t you love it when you get to be hands-on and be creative with your food?

Chocolate and vanilla swirl soft serve with topping choices of warm ricotta doughnuts, flourless chocolate brownie, caramel, hot fudge, chile caramel, and citrus (satsuma mandarins and orange agrumato)
The ricotta doughnuts were amaaaaziinnnggg on their own. Now just imagine the warm sugary doughnuts with the cold soft serve. UGH.
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Big thanks to Emily Martin and Zero Zero for hosting such a delicious event!

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Zero Zero
826 Folsom St.
San Francisco, CA 94107