Author Archives: Ella Gummer

Memorial Day Wine and Swine Pairing

wine and swine

Memorial Day is all about loving what you’ve got. It’s an opportunity to step back, slow down, and spend time with the people who make you feel great. It’s a chance to raise a glass to those who have fought for our country and commemorate the freedom with which we are blessed. That being said, Memorial Day is often all about the family and friends feast. This year we wanted to give you some pairing pointers on how eat well and share the love! Our buddy Kelly at PlumpJack Wine and Spirits Noe Valley compiled this lovely list for you:

Pairing with Pork: Six Wines That Go Well With Swine

  1. Unti Syrah – there’s always room for a nice juicy and peppery Syrah at the cook-out table. We can imagine many pairings, but the one that keeps sticking out is juicy, bacon-topped hamburger straight from the grill. 

    real unti

  2. Melville Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir – Cherries are always a nice accompaniment to pork, this time it’s packed in your Pinot. How about a juicy pork chop brined and then thrown on the grill with a nice char and a full flavored Pinot to wash it all down. Succulent pork belly sliders anyone?unti
  3. Ridge Sonoma County Zinfandel – The perfect compliment with a rack of smoky ribs. The robust zinfandel flavor with hints of boysenberry gives the ribs that extra kick.ridge
  4. CADE Cabernet Sauvignon – The blueberry undertones work well with pulled pork sandwiches. 

    cade

  5. Sean Thackrey Sangiovese –  Sip on this with spicy fennel sausages. 

    sean-thackrey

  6. Joseph Swan Cotes du Rhone –  Perfect alongside some teriyaki pork kebabs.swan

 All wines mentioned are available at both PlumpJack Wine and Spirit locations

Homemade Five Spice Balboa Margarita Recipe

margcollage

There’s a new margarita in town! It’s getting warmer in the city and that means the drinks are getting cooler. Prepare yourself for this one: it’s not your average bevy. With a homemade simple syrup made from toasted spices, fresh lime juice and plenty of love, the new Five Spice Balboa Margarita is causing a thirst-quenching stir in the neighborhood. Balboa Cafe’s Assistant GM Lisa Leventhal shares her homemade recipe for our new favorite summer staple.

Homemade Five Spice Balboa Margarita
  • 1 1/2 oz. Double Barrel Reposado Tequila
  • 1/2 oz. Combier
  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 oz. Five-Spice simple syrup (see recipe below)
Homemade Five Spice Simple Syrup
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of Szechuan peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons of cloves
  1. Grind all the spices in a spice grinder.
  2. Toast ground spices in a pan on the stove (the spices
    will start to smoke).
  3. Add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar.
  4. Bring mixture to a boil and then remove from heat.
  5. Strain mixture through cheese cloth.
  6. Store in the fridge, and it’s ready to use when chilled!

Enjoy!

Conversations with Hilary: Actor Jacqueline Toboni

Jacqueline+Toboni

Jacqueline’s story is exactly what dreams are made of, especially for a young college student who read a script on a whim and ended up landing a part in the upcoming series, GRIMM.

I am so excited to have Jacqueline Toboni featured in this month’s Conversations with Hilary. Since February her life has taken an exciting trajectory from college student to a prominent acting role in the new TV series Grimm, where she plays the role of Theresa Rubel — aka “Trubel.”  Aside from being an actor, she also happens to be a San Francisco native and the youngest of 29 cousins in my husband, Geoff’s, very large, charming and impressive family. Make sure and tune into Grimm on NBC, Friday evenings.

What do you believe to be your greatest accomplishment?
It was pretty magical to be able to see myself on television, and graduate from the University of Michigan on the same day!

Do you have a prized possession? What?
My character on GRIMM keeps a black knight chess piece keychain on her backpack. The prop proves to be an important symbol for my character. I asked if I could keep after shooting. So now, on my backpack I have the same black knight. It’s my way of carrying a piece of Trubel, my character, around with me everywhere.

What do you love about yourself? What do you think others love about you?
I love when I make people laugh. I think people like me because I don’t care what they think. I guess I am courageous in that way.

If you could be anything other than what you currently are, what would it be?
I think I would want to be a chef. It would be intensely satisfying to bring people together,  and make them turn off their phones and connect with one another over a delicious meal. Well, hopefully delicious. I’d like to think I’d be a good chef, but if I was bad at least they could bond over the awful food, right?

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Go back to sleep, literally. I always set two alarms, so I can take satisfaction in the fact that I have half-an-hour left.

What’s your favorite thing to do on a Friday night?
Usually some sort of outdoor cafe or bar. Maybe some tacos? Maybe some Margs? Who knows where the night will take us.

What do you like most about what you do for a living/career?
I get to see a different perspective every time I play a part. I get to walk in someone else’s shoes and hopefully understand people a little bit more because of it. But I also get to learn more about myself, because in every character I can see myself: the good, the bad, and all the rest.

What were you passionate about when you were a kid?
Making people laugh. I have always been an entertainer of sorts. I had a lot of energy as a kid, and my fuel was laughter.

What are you passionate about now?
I’m passionate about my friends, my family, my relationships, and my work.

What’s your favorite season? Why?
Spring. There is nothing like the end of winter and seeing the sun for the first time. It’s almost like people come out of hibernation with a smile on their face. Everyone’s wearing shorts and high-fiving each other–my type of weather.

If you were a cocktail or drink what would it be?
I’m like a Grady’s Cold Brew. Sometimes you have to water me down, but I always have that kick of spice.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you want to have with you?
Three copies of “The Survivor” boxset, in case two get water damage.

If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?
Langley. I would walk into Langley and inquire why Saul keeps trusting Carrie with all of these classified files.

What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror.”

If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Chris Farley. We might not change the world, but boy would that be a fun lunch.

If your life was made into a movie, what would it be called?
“How Androg(ynous) Charm Took Over the World”

Do you have any regrets?
I regret spending the time I did trying to be someone I’m not.

Define Freedom.
The liberty to decide for yourself.

What are your personal core values?
Be not inhospitable to strangers, lest they be angels in disguise.

Stay connected with Jacqueline on twitter @jtaboner

Conversations with Hilary: The Easter Bunny

bunny

April’s celebrity guest, America’s beloved Easter Bunny, shares what it means to live in the springtime spotlight.

What do you believe to be your greatest accomplishment?
I’d have to say my greatest accomplishment has been getting a chocolate figurine of myself in virtually every grocery store in America.

Do you have a prized possession? What?
A 14-karat gold-filled Cadbury egg. I keep it safe in a well-hidden patch of grass.

What do you love about yourself? What do you think others love about you?
I’m a great cook (famous for my Timothy Hay Sushi rolls and carrot bisque)

If you could be anything other than what you currently are, what would it be?
Santa Claus. That guy’s got everything.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
On Easter, or my birthday as I like to call it, I’ll roll outta bed to enjoy a piping hot pan of hot cross buns and 10-12 cups of coffee. Long day ahead of me!

What’s your favorite thing to do on a Friday night?
Put my feet up with a glass of chard and a box of Peeps.

What do you like most about what you do for a living/career?
I’m pretty much the only rabbit in the hospitality business. I enjoy being a hot commodity.

What were you passionate about when you were a teenager?
Getting tail.

What are you passionate about now?
Fighting overpopulation.

What’s your favorite season? Why?
Springtime. It’s a time of growth and sensory indulgence. My holiday celebrates the end of Lent, so I am all about indulgence. Spring for me is about treating yourself and others to the finer things in life.

If you were a cocktail or drink what would it be?
A chocolate martini, dirty, two jellybeans.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 items would you want to have with you?
My carrot shaped body pillow.

If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?
I’d use it on Easter Eve, so I could hide baskets and go unnoticed- eliminate the shock of seeing a large rabbit sneak into their house. I come in peace! I just have baskets of goodies to give you!

What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
Hip Hop Hooray

If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Hilary Newsom, of course.

Define Freedom.
Cage free eggs.

FARM's Summer Cocktail: Raspberry Rickey

Raspberry Rickey

RASPBERRY RICKEY
Choice of Reyka Vodka or Nolet’s Gin, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Raspberry Syrup,
Lime Juice, Soda Water…14.

An old east coast favorite makes its way to FARM at The Carneros Inn. This thirst-quencher is Washington D.C’s native cocktail. It was created in the 1880’s at a bar called Shoemaker’s, a watering hole for congressmen, senators, judges and every president between 1858 and 1917. It was originally a bourbon cocktail until someone tried it with gin a decade later. The Rickey, named after Democratic lobbyist Colonel Joe Rickey, is simple, summery, and bright: air conditioning in a glass. Patriotic, delicious, and perfect for 4th of July.