Dinner for a Dozen

My lunchtime fuel.

My lunchtime fuel on Saturday to get me through dinner party prep.

Ever since I locked in an apartment for San Francisco, I’d been thinking about hosting a dinner party. And not just any dinner party, but a reunion dinner party. After meeting a ton of wonderful San Francisco people last July in Israel, I knew it would be fun to host a gathering. And when one of my Chicago friends, who also went to Israel, was going to be in town on this particular weekend in January, the date was set. Joining Michael on the journey from Chicago would also be Jason, who we met on the trip and became an immediate fixture in our group.

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Truffles and Ganache Send Me to Chocolate Heaven

Lexi's and my dark chocolate rochers, and Hilary and Megan's smoked white chocolate version.

Lexi’s and my dark chocolate rochers, and Hilary and Megan’s smoked white chocolate version.

Based on the previous post, you’d think Chocolate Week didn’t contain too much chocolate. And you’d be right, as it did get off to a slow start. We did a bit the previous Friday, but outside of the Dandelion field trip, we hadn’t made much chocolate ourselves. That all changed on Thursday morning!

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Double Dandelion and a Taste Workshop

The bacon & egg waffle sandwich that kicked off my week.

The bacon & egg waffle sandwich that kicked off my week.

Week three of pastry school, as I mentioned in the previous post, was Chocolate Week. And what an incredibly interesting and delicious week it was! I’m going to try to squeeze an entire (four-day) week into one post and we’ll see how it goes. Have you had dinner yet? Because it’s time for dessert. (Although in the world of pastry school, it’s time to eat chocolate whenever it’s time to eat chocolate.)

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Chicken Bread, Doughnut Crawl and Other Weekend Glory

Mexican wedding cookies at La Victoria in the Mission, during Sunday's doughnut crawl.

Mexican wedding cookies at La Victoria in the Mission, during Sunday’s doughnut crawl.

Some weekends are low-key. Some weekends, I don’t do or eat anything very exciting. This past weekend – a three-day weekend – was NOT one of those weekends. It was filled with new friends, great food, and fun experiences. As well as a lot of walking and exploring. Let’s dial the way-back machine to Friday and see where things began.

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Meringues and Choux

My little sampling area.

My little sampling area for Wednesday’s “breakfast.” Clockwise from top left: coffee caramel custard, butterscotch pot-de-creme, white wine flan, orange-cardamom flan, creme brûlée.

In the back room of the school, where our lockers are located, there is a table set up along one of the walls. For the past week or so, the individual granolas we made in class sit stacked neatly. In the morning, a few people at least will grab a bowl from the dish station, pour in some granola, and bring it out to the front to nibble on for breakfast as we wait for Chef to begin the day.

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Egg Week Begins

I love this shot of us getting our pho lunch on Monday.

I love this shot of us getting our pho lunch on Monday.

On Sunday night, with my boxes from Chicago in various states of unpacked-ness, I got into bed with one of the stray food books that made its way into a random box. Most of my cookbooks were placed in their own boxes, and I hadn’t unpacked them. But two must have otherwise been forgotten, because they ended up in a box of bowls. I grabbed one of them, a new book I’d received not long before leaving Chicago. It was called Egg, by Michael Ruhlman, and began reading in bed. This book – which I’d heard about on NPR and other places – is all about the majesty of the egg. It can be used in so many ways for so many types of food, and has truly amazing properties. I only got through the first few pages before nodding off.

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Double Brunching

Some of the delectable items for sale at Fillmore Bakeshop.

Some of the delectable items for sale at Fillmore Bakeshop.

For most of the recent past, the whole weekend brunch phenomenon has passed me by. I like making my own breakfast, and by the time most people like going to brunch, I’m close to ready for lunch. But San Francisco is a place full of incredible brunch meals and while planning a Sunday brunch with my long-time friend Mimi, I wasn’t going to turn down an invite on Friday for a Saturday brunch with Ken, a new friend from July’s Israel trip. And so it went:

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