30×30: Fortune Cookie Factory

February 22, 2014 By: Jenna Category: Adventures, Food

The first item I crossed off of my 30 Before 30 list was visiting Golden Gate Fortune Cookies in San Francisco’s Chinatown. I spent the afternoon with a friend and we had dim sum in a park, stopped by the cookie factory, and ended our day with a stop by the Tin How Temple. The Golden Gate Fortune Cookie visit took about five minutes, so it’s more of a stop than a destination.

The cookies spin around on the machine in the upper right hand corner, and the fortune cookie former (does she have an official title?) pulled them off and twisted them around a metal rod. I paid 50 cents to take a picture, and ended up buying a bag of “naughty” cookies for our upcoming New Years Eve party. They were really tame adult-style messages, and it was fun to see everyone’s face when they broke open their cookie and were told things like “A kiss is the upper persuasion for the lower invasion.

I had my film camera with me, and after we visited the factory I wanted to take a picture of my friend. Then I asked her if she would take one of me. Hers didn’t turn out (she was mid-blink, bummer), but I really like what she captured of me. The factory is down and to the right from where I’m standing. As you can see it’s not really a road that you will find it on, more like an alley.


30 Before 30

January 06, 2014 By: Jenna Category: Food

Mission: Complete all bolded items before I turn 30
Deadline: April 15, 2015

Chowder in a sourdough bread bowl and crab louie salad at Barbara’s Fish Trap in Half Moon Bay

I thought about going to Boudin and eating on the pier, but it’s a bit of a tourist trap and I have Half Moon Bay on my list of places I’d like to visit. This way I get to eat my sourdough bread bowl while sitting on the beach, though I’ll have to go before mid-summer if I want to eat my crab in-season.

It’s It

I plan to buy an It’s It, Big Daddy, Super Sundae, and Chips It, and then invite some friends over to do a little tasting party with me so we can choose our favorite of the line.

Burrito in the mission district, The Little Chihuahua

I chose The Little Chihuahua because it has the Fried Plantain & Black Bean burrito. That combination of savory and sweet it calling out to me. I plan to bring the kids, get our food to go, and then walk over to the Golden Gate Park playground so T1 can ride down the concrete slides.

Chez Panisse

I’d like to dine in the restaurant on a Monday night, when the menu is more rustic and regional. Or maybe the cafe, which serves similar food but isn’t as pricey.

French Laundry

Saving up all my pennies for this experience (Alinea taught me that it’s not just a meal, it’s a performance).

Oyster farm tour at Hog Island Oyster Company

I fell in love with oysters on my honeymoon, where I was able to eat several from different bays and understand the way the environment affects the taste. For $10 I can visit Hog Island and see how they’re grown, then buy some to-go and shuck them myself.

Jelly Belly factory tour

The website pitching the tour says it takes a week to make a single bean. The tour only takes 40 minutes though. Read more →

Pear and Delicata Soup

November 27, 2013 By: Jenna Category: Recipes

When baby girl saw me set this down to photograph it, she made a beeline for the bowl. I get it, because I can’t get enough of it either. I made it last night and ate so much that I had that stomach-bursting feeling that comes from too much soup. I woke up this morning and photographed it and ate another giant bowl. It’s meant to be for Thanksgiving dinner so I’ll have to slow down a bit if I want to have any left for everyone else.

pear onion delicata squash soup balsamic

- 2 Delicata squash, halved and cored
- 2 ripe pears, halved and cored
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 1/4 cups stock
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 tsp curry
- 1/4 tsp coriander
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- Balsalmic glaze, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Lay Delicata on baking sheet covered with foil or Silpat. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on salt and pepper, roast at 375 with flesh side down. When squash is soft to the touch (about 40 minutes), pull out of oven and turn over and let cool.

3. Lay pears on same baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and roast at 375 with flesh side down. Length of time will depend on ripeness of pears. Don’t overroast or they turn into mush. Pull out of oven when pears are soft to the touch and let cool.

4. Brown butter in large heavy-bottomed pot and add onions. Cook onions, stirring occasionally until they turn golden and start to brown.

5. Scoop flesh out of cooled squash and pears. Add to onion mixture.

6. Add stock, cream, lemon, curry, coriander, and nutmeg. Simmer together for 5-10 minutes. Blend until creamy.

7. Scoop into bowls and garnish with balsalmic glaze.

Brussels Sprouts, Sausage, and Onions with Mustard

November 25, 2013 By: Jenna Category: Recipes

Look at me, acting like some sort of food blogger leading up to Thanksgiving. I can’t decide if this is the best time to post recipes, because people are seeking them out as they plan their menus, or the worst, because everyone is overwhelmed with recipe posts via the blogs they read.

Oh well. This is really about me wanting to be able to bookmark this recipe on my Make It Again board. I might post another one tomorrow too, the pear and squash soup I’m bringing as our contribution to Thanksgiving dinner (along with the dish below). Each time I remember to look at that board I spot old favorites perfect for the particular season I’m experiencing. Like this coconut curry lentil dish with spinach that I plan on making once I’ve recovered from my post-Thanksgiving food coma.

The thing I love most about this dish is the combination of flavors. The aspect I love second-best is that you can prep your ingredients as you go, roasting your Brussels sprouts while dicing your onion, chopping your sausage while browning your onions.

mustsard side dish thanksgiving brussels sprouts mustard

-1 lb brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 2 tsp bacon fat
-1 sweet onion, diced
- 1/4 lb sausage links, chopped
- 2 tbsp honey mustard
- 2 tbsp white wine
-1 tbsp balsamic glaze
- Hard cheese, like Parmesan
- salt and pepper

*Butter can be substituted for the bacon fat. Water or stock can be substituted for the white wine.

1. Preheat over to 375 degrees. Prep brussels sprouts while oven warms.
2. Drizzle brussels sprouts with 1 tsp melted bacon fat, salt, pepper and put in oven to roast.
3. Melt remaining teaspoon bacon fat in pan while chopping the onion. Add onion to pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and let carmelize.
4. Chop sausage. Pull brussels sprouts out of oven when outside leaves are a very dark brown ( set those off to the side and eat them like chips, they’re addictive!). Add sprouts to onion mixture when onion is turning soft and golden.
5. Cook onion and sprouts mixture for about 10 minutes more, then add sausage.
6. Cook until sausage starts to brown, then add honey mustard, wine, and balsamic. Cook down for 3-5 minutes. Grate cheese over the top, salt and pepper to taste, and stir it all together. Delicious hot and also just before it reaches room temperature.

Sausage and Vegetable Soup

November 25, 2013 By: Jenna Category: Cooking, Recipes

I made this at my friend’s house in Houston, based on an old recipe that had a list of ingredients and sparse directions. I improvised a bit, and the result is a staple I plan on making again and again until spring. I wanted to post it now because this soup is good the day of, but great the day after. Which means you could make it on Wednesday and eat it as part of your Thanksgiving meal (or while you’re making your Thanksgiving buffet).

If you’re hosting a Thanksgivvukah celebration this is obviously not a kosher option :).

sausage carrot onion celery leek kale potato soup

- 1 lb ground pork
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast*
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 white or sweet onion, diced
- 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 bunch celery, chopped
- 3 leeks, diced
- 4 cups stock
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups milk
- 5 tbsp Braggs liquid aminos
- 1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire
- Juice of 1/2 lemon

-salt, pepper, and italian seasoning, to taste


- 1 bunch kale, strip leaves from stems and julienne
- potatoes, chopped (add these when you put the carrots in)
- Use italian sausage instead of ground pork and nutritional yeast
- Substitute soy sauce for liquid aminos, taste after each tablespoon to gauge amount needed


1. Brown pork. Cook until just done (don’t get it really brown, it will be overdone in the soup if you do) and then sprinkle salt, pepper, italian seasonings, and nutritional yeast over pork.
2. Melt butter in large pot. Add in onions and cook until they start to turn golden. Add in carrots and let brown for a few minutes, then add celery and leeks and do the same.
3. After 10-15 minutes of cooking all the vegetables together with no liquid, add the stock, water, and milk. Add Braggs liquid aminos and Worcestershire.
4. Once carrots are soft, add in the cooked pork and the juice from the lemon. Add kale at this point if you are using it.
5. Simmer together for a few minutes until kale is softened. Enjoy!

*Don’t stress if you don’t have any nutritional yeast. This soup will be good without it, but the nutritional yeast gives it a hint of cheesiness that I love.

      I'm a farm-raised almost-crunchy stroller-pushing picture-taking lifestyle-blog-writing gastronomy-obsessed divine-seeking thrift-store-combing cheese-inhaling pavement-pounding laughter-sprinkling lover of individuality and taking chances.
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