Perfect Sauce at Sauce


As often as I travel for work, I rarely blog about my eatings during those trips. Seriously. I worked four cities this year so far and this is the first one you’re hearing about. San Fran deserves it though. I simply adore the city and I always know there will be unexpectedly amazing meals coordinated by the local staff. Did you see this other treat in San Fran?
For the past two years we’ve eaten at Sauce, an unassuming little restaurant & bar in the Hayes Valley area. The menu features comfort food in a classy and sophisticated atmosphere. The food is not pretentious…it’s just all done really well.Feeding our large group, in a timely fashion, on a serious budget is no small feat. That’s why I greatly appreciate how generous and accommodating Sauce is.

Probably 90% of the group visited the bar before dinner. There were fantastic cocktails. I had my eye on a lemon-looking one garnished with a sugared lemon slice!

They started us off with the lincoln logs of portabello mushroom fries and fat boy ranch dipping sauce. AMAZING. These are so lightly battered and make you want to play Jenga when you see the tower. Ms. K who doesn’t even like mushrooms was impressed. We also got the meal going with some bruschetta. I loved it and could have enjoyed the appetizers as my whole meal.
Dinner was family style with salad, buttery carrot coins, brussels sprouts, veggie lasagna, and a side of meatballs.

I’m not a huge fan of carrots but these were so delicious. They were thin and warm with the littlest bit of pepper made them this memorable.

The lasagna was so good. It was cheesy and the sauce made it bright and really flavorful without being too acidic. The crispy edges made me swoon.
They served a really delicious chilled red wine. I knew it was coming so I hadn’t hit up the bar. The owner explained it and assured us it was meant to be chilled. Needless to say our table of 6 finished every last drop.

We even got dessert. I also knew this was coming from years past so I kept room. It was delightful cinnamon sugared donut bites with a vanilla burbon dipping sauce. Ooo that sauce! These were the perfect bites to finish the meal.
I love this place and thought we were so well taken care of. The extras like appetizers, wine, and dessert were greatly appreciated. I loved every sauce we ate. The owner introduced himself and told us how happy he was to have us given his connection to the cause as well.



Fish-Fish Tacos

I’m usually on my own for dinner a few nights per week when Mr. J plays hockey. Sometimes I go for leftovers, sometimes it’s an opportunity be lazy (read as: ramen), and sometimes it’s my chance to whip up something I wouldn’t normally make for dinner.  A week ago I made some fish tacos that were amazing. I grilled some mahi-mahi and called in some leftovers to complete it.

Do you remember the movie House Bunny? “Instead of the mahi-mahi can I just get mahi cause I’m not that hungry?” hahaha



2 pieces of marinated mahi mahi
veggie mix (corn, red peppers, or taco veggies of your choice)
1 tsp lime juice or lime salad dressing
1 10” flour tortilla


Marinate and grill mahi mahi
When cooked, fork the fish apart
Mix veggies and drizle with lime juice or lime salad dressing
Warm tortilla and assemble taco

These were really good and especially easy. I get the frozen mahi mahi from Trader Joe’s and swear by it. It’s the best anywhere. Remember I made pepperjack chicken and succotash recently? I saved the leftover succotash and that’s what ended up as my veggies for the tacos. Love it when a little bit of leftover something can make another meal complete!

I think a lime aioli or something creamy with a zing would have made these even better, but for an unplanned dinner, these were awesome. It was the perfect light but interesting dinner. I ate some leftover fish on a spinach salad the next day and loved it just as much.

A Sweet Bite

Just writing about gelato makes me want some…especially in this heat. While I was working in San Francisco recently, my colleagues in the local office shared a super fun treat with all of us: Gelato on a stick!
I just learned that the only difference between gelato and ice cream is the butterfat content. It was a perfect treat while we were working (and enjoying) the sun. I really love San Fran and know that we’ll always be treated fantastic meals.
It is definitely the best Italian dessert. Mr. J and I also just booked our honeymoon to Italy & Spain so I’ll be sure to report back about the gelato in my future. Also you have some other food-on-a-stick to look forward to coming up!

Not Quite Summer Food

During a stint of weather not feeling quite so summery a few weeks ago, I decided I wanted to make deep dish pizza. I haven’t made much pizza with so many calzones lately but I was feelin’ it.


1 ball pizza dough
¾ cup tomato sauce
thick cut bacon
1 Valida onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
¼ cup pesto
2 cups shredded cheese


Cook bacon until crisp then chop. (Have you had thick cut bacon? It is like deli bacon and once you try it you won’t go back. Thanks for the intro Mrs. S!)
Saute onions and peppers until softened but still somewhat crisp
Spread pizza dough into round cake pan and spread pesto over it
layer onion & pepper mixture with cheese and then layer the bacon on top
add more cheese and cover with tomato sauce then sprinkle with oregano or basil if you like
bake at 400-degrees for 30-40 minutes

I liked this one as a slight deviation from the norm. Once I weaseled some feedback out of Mr. J I agreed with him that the onion and bacon can’t stay as crisp as when they top a pizza. True story. I still really liked it. The bacon was substantial and smokey. The peppers made it a touch sweeter and maintained their slight crunch instead of being too soggy.

We often get bacon on pizza because who doesn’t love bacon, and also because I can’t eat red meat so pork or chicken it is!

Once I thought of pizza and bacon I probably should have gone with a regular pizza on my stone. Maybe next time. I really want to do a bacon & egg pizza so that’ll have to be next. Check out some of these awesome looking ones, like this, or this, or this.

Boston “Hahbah” Cruise

One sprinkling Saturday, Mr. J and I went on a brunch cruise in Boston for his bday. It was fun even though we’re from here. The commentary was interesting (with new info!) and it was something different than our usual weekend plans. It was through Boston Harbor Cruises
The brunch specifically was not overly amazing, but we really enjoyed ourselves. I know there were items listed on the menu we each were looking forward to but that weren’t served, and I noticed the menu doesn’t list that it is “subject to change without notice” or “subject to availability”.

Mr. J was interested in cream cheese stuffed french toast and I wish we had crab cake eggs benedict. The brunch served was pretty basic, but OK in terms of a buffet offering.
I was thankful that it wasn’t crowded and that coffee was available right when we stepped onto the boat. Each group had their own table! I think the weather had something to do with that, but it was fine with us.

We started with a little fruit and cheese thinking we shouldn’t go heavy on pastries since the brunch sounded pretty good. One of my cheeses was red pepper and tasted like cheddar…it was amazing! I really loved it and hadn’t had anything like it before. I liked the flavor and the spice.
When the buffet opened we had eggs, french toast sticks (which made me feel like my soon-to-be-nephews were with us), potatoes, sausage, and a veggie medly. I tried it all and didn’t think anything was very special, very good quality, or memorable.
I also grabbed some apple crisp thing which was stellar. I loved it. My mum makes pretty fantastic apple crisp and this was up there.

Dessert was interesting. It was great that everything was bite sized so we shared bites of everything. We are pretty sure that the pumpkin cheesecake had salt instead of sugar. It was fun to see others also experience the same reaction we had.
Had they asked my opinion or on a survey I would have shared my disappointment in the food. I might have felt differently if they set my expectations by not listing what was served. It also wasn’t really brunch. I think brunch is breakfast items and some lunch items.

Being realistic, the brunch is fine. Nobody is there for the food and I really had a great time overall. I’d recommend a fun brunch downtown or enjoying food truck fare on the Rose Kennedy Greenway with the Historic Boston Sightseeing cruise instead.

Fun to Say and Fun to Eat

Succotash is such a fun word and made me really excited to make it since I’d never had it before. Announcing this made Mr. J’s jaw drop which made me even more excited to make this chicken & succotash meal!
Sometimes I dream about when I won’t live in an apartment and I can have a normal kitchen, or when my puppy can have a yard, and especially when I can have a grill! That sometimes might actually be quite frequently. I promise the dog he’ll have his own yard all. the. time.

This dinner is pretty good inside but would be amazing on a grill outside too. The chicken is stuffed with pepperjack cheese and spinach with a zippy spice on the outside. It’s served with succotash too.


2 chicken breasts
6 oz pepperjack cheese, sliced
2 cups baby spinach
2 tbs grilling rub of your preference
1 cup edamame
1 cup red pepper
1 cup corn
1 tomato, chopped
¼ cup lime salad dressing or lime juice and olive oil


Butterfly the chicken breasts and stuff with cheese and spinach, or cut a pocket into the middle and stuff with cheese and spinach.
Season the outside with a rub or spice mix
Grill chicken on a grill pan or panini press for about 10-minutes until all juices are running clear
Meanwhile, saute edamame, red pepper, corn, for about 3 minutes and then add tomato.
Add lime dressing and serve

I got this recipe from The Food Network Magazine awhile back. I use spinach instead of argula like they recommend. I also did edamame instead of lima beans and threw in the red pepper instead of summer squash and thought it made it wayyy better.

Funny story. I always stop by the reduced produce, don’t judge, and I thought I was grabbing a bag of cukes & zuccs. I figured the store employees don’t know the difference. I got home and had lots of cukes but no zucchinis. This is kind of like the time when they didn’t know how to label prosciutto and charged me the bologna price. Score! Anywho,  I also got a steal on red & orange peppers (4 for $1.77!!). The cashier just entered the pepper code and it would have been $5-something if I wasn’t watching. I felt like I was on extreme couponing!!

This is an easy & casual one that would definitely impress friends with only a few pans OR deviate from the norm of your grilling menus this weekend!

Thirsty in the Bahamas

Don’t worry…this is the end of my Bahamas vacay recap. Our last day in the Bahamas before heading back to the cruise ship seemed like the perfect time to grab a smoothie at the cutest little hut you’ve ever seen.
We soon realized that apparently it was election day. Do you know what Bahamians don’t do on election days? They don’t drink. Liquor isn’t served on election days. How interesting?! We got our smoothies sans liquor and enjoyed them just as much.
I chose mango & sis chose a mixed fruit one. I liked hers better and wondered why I didn’t go with strawberry, a seemingly obvious choice for me. Ohh well. Next time. Ohh, wait, we were in the Bahamas on the last day.

While we’re speaking of drinks on vacation, we took advantage of the 2-for-1 happy hour on the cruise one day. I thought: there are 2 of us, and we’ll pay for 1 drink. Nope. We got 4 drinks and paid for 2. It was fun to tote the 2nd along with us to dinner after a few rounds of skip-bo. I got a traditional mojito and sis got one called something like Strawberry Lava or Strawberry Fiesta or something like that. Half pina colada and half strawberry daiquiri.
Hers was too sweet for me, but it was definitely a fun cruise-y drink garnished with fresh pineapple. Mine had a great amount of mint. It wasn’t super muddled but my straw + ice cubes helped with that.

Blast of Berry Sangria

I was racking my brain to come up with what to bring to a 4th of July weekend with Mr. J’s family at the lake house. There’s always more than enough food and snacks so I went with a drink!
I figured a sweet sangria was the way to go! I made it early in the afternoon and we drank it a few hours later. It was even better the next day. Making the strawberry sangria was huge for the flavor.


1 ½ cups strawberries, sliced
1 cup blueberries
¼ cup sugar
2 tbs honey
¼ cup water
1 packet Raspberry Lemonade Crystal Light
1 bottle Reisling, chilled
1 nip citrus vodka


Bring 1 cup strawberries, ¾ cup blueberries, sugar, and honey to a low boil for 5 minutes. Add  water and remove from heat.
Strain to catch all the pieces, leaving berry syrup.
Prepare lemonade according to directions
Mix in wine, vodka, berry syrup, and remaining berries.
Refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
I’d definitely make this again. I think the berry lemonade was a nice touch to mellow it out a bit. Reisling was a good addition too.

Cruisin’ to Bahamas

On the cruise to the Bahamas, sis and I had some some tasty meals!

I started with chipotle shrimp with tempura zucchini strings. The shrimp had a good smoky flavor. I would have liked it as my whole meal!
Sis started with the onion soup. She thought it was OK but the fried onions on the top lost their crunch.
She had salad for the next course and I had a weird one. I had spicy pineapple salad. It had fresh pineapple, red pepper, and tomatoes.
Next for the main course, I had a pork chop with sweet potato and apple. Sound familiar? It was good, but huge! There were about four green beans hidden underneath.
cruise_pork_290_200Sis got the chef’s special roasted chicken. It makes me want to roast a chicken as a right of passage in the kitchen. This one wasn’t a photogenic as it looked in person.
We both got a chocolate moose dessert. The couple next to us described it as a chocolate peep. It wasn’t good. It was a waste of calories. Didn’t it look good though?

bermuda BAHAMA come on pretty mama

Ohh thank you Beach Boys for such a catchy tune for my vacay. Sis and I returned from our trip in the Bahamas after having a great time. It was beautiful and we loved the cruise and island stay combo.

I usually felt delayed by the slow pace but at meals it was perfect! We wandered towards the shopping and restaurants after spending the day between the pools and beach. After checking out the local fare, we ended up on the porch at After Deck.
Our waitress was adorable! She brought some warm, local, potato bread and butter to us. It may not look like anything fancy but it had great flavor!
We shared eggplant fritters to start. They were good, but I think the eggplant was a bit too thick. As eggplant can be, they were a bit bitter. The garlic yogurt on them was amazing and counteracted the bitterness. I’ve always shredded the eggplant for fritters so it was a nice change.
I got stuffed red snapper with fries. It felt like the perfect beachy meal. It was stuffed with crab and shrimp. I loved it. I ate all of the fish.
Sis got the fisherman’s platter. She asked for no shrimp and to double up on anything else. It included fried conch, conch fritters, and a few other items. The conch is a very popular fish for them so she wanted to try it. I found it a bit chewy when left in big pieces like calamari can be but it was pretty comparable to a tougher scallop.
I really loved my meal and want to cook more fish at home.