Monday, October 27, 2014

Kokkaris... Need I say more?

For my regular and devoted readers you know I love San Francisco. I love visiting, shopping and working there... commute, not so much. But once I'm nestled in my office and greeting my fellow employees, without hesitation, I release a sign of " I'm home".

A magical place I also call home in San Francisco is a Greek Restaurant named Kokkaris. At first glance the highlight of the restaurant is the bar. Expert Mixologist spin their web of creative cocktails or providing an unrivaled wine lists in the City. The menu is filled with a variety of specials only known to the restaurant or it's name sake the village on Samos Island in Greece.  
Next, the menu. Now I've, unfortunately, have not been to the great isle of Greece, but one bite... just one bite and I'm transported to a place far and away from San Francisco.  Where else can I have on a hot summers day cold firm and sweet watermelon with light fruity olive oil and a sprinkle of fresh feta cheese and freshly cracked pepper. I ask you WHERE? And, that's just the appetizer. The second meal was followed by a freshly caught ocean fish that was grilled on both sides with a crust of fresh herbs.
Surrounded my multicultural people of all ages interested in two things. 1) Conversation and 2) Food and Wine. I was waiting for my dear, sweet friend who I've known for years and she was running late. I didn't mind because I was surrounded by friendly, sociable people. We kept each other company, shared food and conversation so much so the time flew by before she floated in the room.
"No worries', I said, things always happen for a reason and things always work out for the best.
Getting a seat a Kokkaris on a Friday night is ... difficult if you press it. If you relax, enjoy the atmosphere, people and are polite... all good thing come your way.

This particular evening. when my friend arrived the couple I was conversing with was decided to bid us adieu and they gave myself, the charming and handsome gentlemen I was talking to (BTW, I will never forget him...OH-SO Handsome) and one seat for my BFF. We were waited on like the King and Queens of the court. Sharing food, more conversation and laughter.

All things must come to an end, right? However, the memory of the evening will last forever. The young man, Caden, said good night and farewell and left the two women to chatter and sip our Turkish coffee and drool over the one last bite of dessert. Hours later, we requested the bill and to our surprise, Caden had paid for the entire meal for both myself and my friend.

I never heard from Caden again. C'est la vie .... I send him kisses in the wind.
Come to California. Visit San Francisco and be transported to Greece on a vessel known as Kokkaris. .

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fall is on the horizon ....

I took these photos couple of weeks ago when summer in California was coming to a close, but the weather was still warm from sunrise to sunset. It's interesting to me to see the fruits of our labor come to life in some of the most amazing ways. Gourds that look more like geese and pumpkins that are larger than a small child. It's a magical time of the year when the weather cools down and the chill brings family, friends and loved ones closer together. Here's to Fall and the cooking that can come from it.  I haven't been cooking lately...but, that will change soon. More to come from Lady E Cooks.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Aw, Summer...fare thee well.

Aw, sweet summer has come to an end. Or, has it. Today's temperatures in Oakland, California were in the low 70-80s.Clear blue skies and rain averted for another day. Last week at the Farmers Market with an abundance of ripe, sweet, red, delicious tomatoes. Ripe for the taking... or in this case the buying for an assortment of meals, dishes or canning.
My favorite use for large ripe tomatoes? Giada De Laurintis recipe I found years ago that includes puff pastry, pesto and salmon. The juicy sweetness of the tomatoes cuts the richness of the puff pastry and pesto and adding a freshness that only this genuinely versatile fruit can bring. Fruit? Tomatoes are a vegetable, right? I think ... not. According to most science articles the tomatoes is developed from the ovary of the base of a flower, similar to the blueberry. It's confused with a vegetable based on its use in savory dishes rather than sweet. And, plus my Mom said so!
What did I do with his fruit at home. I let them ripen on the counter... For God sake, please do not, I repeat DO NOT put tomatoes in the fridge... its ruins the integrity and they taste yucky! I used them in salads for work. Diced them up for bruschetta and finally in chicken soup on a cool Fall night. Run.... don't walk and stock up on these beauties before the summer is gone.
Cook with love... it makes everything taste better. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

On second thought ...

After I write an article for the blog I typically go through my digital camera and delete photos covered in the article or that are being saved in the “cloud”. Doesn’t the “cloud” sound like an ominous place that we can never retrieve or manage our work again??? Anyway, I digress …. So, while viewing the photos I came across the pixs from the exterior part of the tour known as the Grounds and the Gallery.

Once the initial part of the interior tour is complete the group took a walk outside to tour the grounds.  Outside any kind of barbeque, wood fire or tandoori cooking was done. Since it was well over 90+ degrees outside … all the oven, fire pits and tandoori ovens were off.  Thank God! Heat upon heat…not my kind of party. I fell in love with the food fire pit where they cook pizzas, calzones and flat breads.
Walking further we saw outside patio dining, which looked very lovely amongst the trees. The school was closed and it was after lunch, therefore no crowds to serve.  Walking a little further …yes, the grounds are very large you wind up back inside the school’s front entrance. Inside the Gallery is open to purchase anything under the sun that has to do with the culinary arts.

What caught my eye were the handmade chocolates with melt in your mouth ganache and an intense flavor of raspberry, mango, pistachio or my favorite chocolate-on-chocolate-on chocolate.  On the opposite side was a CafĂ© to order sandwiches, salads and daily special for a casual style meal rather than the formal meal presented by Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant.

I highly recommend the CIA however, Come for the tour, but stay for the food, ambiance and historical landscape.

Thanks for reading… all comments are welcome and appreciated.

Cooking with love makes any recipe taste better.

Lady E


Thursday, October 9, 2014

I've expanded .. . New roads to venture down...

Hello, Lady E Cooks fans ... If you are a fan of Lady E blog and writing, guess what? I have an additional blog called 202020Quest.

The blog is about my venture into how I can improve my life (and in turn others) by stretching, meditating an praying for at least 20 minutes each daily.

I initially started the blog as a measurement of how meditating, praying and stretching during the day can enhance my life. However, the steps have taken me in directions I never imagined. I previously did not share the blog with anyone or on any other social media, but I've come to realize in order to grow, for me, I need to share my vulnerabilities and insights of how my life is improving to more than a limited few. An issue I have long struggled with.

The deepest desire is to become a writer and one day become published and earn income with my thoughts, words and actions. However God wants to manifest that in my life... I'm all IN!  So here we go.... a five year venture to growth, pursuit of joy and sharing what happens on the way.

The quest can be found on

Thank you to my readers on Lady E Cooks blog and somehow finding your way to The Quest blog.

Lady E Cooks will continue .... after all I love to cook.

Monday, October 6, 2014

San Francisco food truck

On the corner of Montgomery and California Street in San Francisco in the heart of the Financial District at approximately 12 noon a funny thing happens. There is a distant humming that occurs. It's faint, but it can be heard with the naked... ear. No, it's not the cars, or the persistent red, green and yellow of lights flashing for cars to yield, stop or go. It's the sound of food trucks around town feeding the many who line up for specialties from Persian to Latin flavors. 
Food Trucks have gained in popularity in the last decade because they are reasonably priced, delicious food and fast. From one corner to another food trucks come and go during the rush hour of lunch. I haven't ventured in this direction yet, but very soon I will try this nouveau cuisine and determine.... Restaurant vs. Food Truck and see which is the best way to go.
I love San Francisco... so much to discover, so many opportunities to explore ...from one corner to the next.
Cooking with love makes any recipe taste better. Let's see if the Food Trucks follow this golden rule.  

Friday, October 3, 2014


Does any one in the world know the name of this type of lounge seat?
Thank you in advance for your support and kindness
Lady Elayne