Anchorage and Alaska

24 11 2015

I never properly closed out my Alaskan trip. Once we saw the Northern Lights in Fairbanks, we hightailed it back to Anchorage, where we spent the remainder of the time relaxing and mentally preparing for our return home.

We drove out to Potter Marsh and were pleasantly surprised to find a protected sanctuary for swans and a few other wildlife. The marsh is beautiful, especially in autumn. The lovely docks allow pedestrians to journey pretty deep into the marsh, but without disturbing the wildlife.


There were also still a few late salmon trying to make their way home through the marsh. I will have to say that salmon have tough lives. The hardships and travails in my life are no compare to that of a salmon, who spends its life in constant peril of being eaten. After being born, it journeys to the ocean to mature, and if it survives the fishermen, it must then must return home on a treacherous journey where it’s at risk for being bear-food, not to mention that the fresh water slowly intoxicates the salmon and weakens it. And then, once it gets home, it puts all its remaining energy into producing offspring, before dying. What an awful existence. I am never complaining about my life again.


While in Anchorage, we ate at this sushi joint called Sushi&Sushi, not once, but TWICE. The food was really tasty and the space was great for groups. It’s in a strip mall off the highway, but so worth the trek from the downtown area. Anchorage isn’t all that big, and we had fun exploring the little niches of town via food.0912151844And just because we wanted closure, we had to have fish and chips one last time. This time at Glacier BrewHouse, which is packed with tourists. The portions of food were good, and generally the food was tasty. My one complaint is that the style of fish and chips just wasn’t what I wanted… I was expecting something like and airy, the CORRECT way to do it in Alaska – instead, I got this very thick and dense panko breading. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t what I wanted.


I think there’s a slab of fish under there maybe…

This trip to Alaska was pretty unforgettable. The sights and sounds were just too beautiful. Like I’ve probably already said, every bend in the road was postcard-perfect. And no camera lens or cellphone could adequately capture the majesty of the landscape or the dignity of the Alaskan spirit. There is much more here than the caricatured frontiersman or native American. It’s so much more than the oil pipelines or even the cartoonish Sarah Palin. No, there is a beauty and ruggedness here that radiates from within, that bubbles from the streams to the vast ocean, to where the end of the earth meets the corner of the sea and feet of the sky. I’ll be back. I’ll certainly be back.


My packing list here.


Review: Manresa

23 11 2015

David Kinch and the staff at Manresa were recently awarded a third Michelin star as of October 2015. So, of course I had use the hubbie’s November birthday as an excuse to visit this well-known Los Gatos joint. What I’ve always known about Manresa (as through the cookbook and interviews with David Kinch) is that there is a high respect for each and every ingredient on the plate. It’s not so much cooking as presenting, and that really comes out on each dish. And the stars of the dish are most certainly the ‘garden’ items – all grown at Love Apple Farm for the exclusive use of Manresa. It’s a really beautiful collaboration and the results are felt into the dining room. Now to it…

We started off at the bar while waiting for our table, sipping on a delicious pear sour cocktail and a really fantastic (and very exclusive) saison, a result of a collab between Sante Adairius Rustic Ales in Capitola and Chef Kinch. “Mercy Mercy” as its called, is amazing. And since we were bummed we wouldn’t be able to find this at any retailer, we drank one after another.

The meal began with some really special savory petit fours – red pepper pâte de fruit and black olive madeleines. Great flavor in both – the pâte de fruit was sweet and still very peppery, an unexpected though not unpleasant pairing. And the buttery madeleine was delicious – the right level of brine and tang. These nibbles were also presented with a granola crisp – complete with puffed rice, pepita seeds, cashews (I think) and a number of other seeds I can’t remember.


And lastly for the appetizers was a decadent take on the tortilla espanola – twice-fried (in duck fat!) potato and the egg portion of the tortilla was cleverly disguised as the “lemon zest” garnish on top. How incredible! Little bites of heaven – I probably could have had 5 of these morsels.

Our first savory dish was sashimi style sea bream with citrus jelly and sesame. It tasted like the ocean – from the texture to the flavor. Like it was plucked right out of the sea. Not unpleasant, but definitely unexpected.

The signature “into the garden” dish featured a hodgepodge of seasonal greens – there is a dehydrated potato/parsnip/nut concoction to represent dirt. There are raw nasturtium flowers and micro green branches. And under it all there’s a bit of a puree. Lots of earthy tones in this variant of the dish. I also love that it’s presented on a plate of hands – just as though someone had just gone out to the garden and gathered a handful of dirt and greens. So creative!

This next dish was probably my favorite – charcoal grilled squid, sliced to resemble udon noddles, floating in a light dashi-like broth. What’s surprising is the squid ink jelly, which was really rich, and the sweet persimmon buried under the “noodles”. It was made this dish unique – and who knew persimmon would pair so well with this udon-style dish. I slurped it all up, until the bowl was dry.

The seared bay scallop dish was also really tasty – just a very light and bright broth of coconut and finger lime.

In this next dish, under all that black truffle is a piece of black cod, a handful of chantarelles, a meaty piece of lobster mushroom, and a lightly foamy sunchoke soubise to wet it all. All this was highlighted by really fragrant chives and what I believe is a special succulent grown in the Love Apple garden.

The abalone and sea urchin dish was delicious – reminded me of a bouillabaisse or Mediterranean seafood stew with the saffron broth and chickpeas. Really tasty.

This next dish was the only terrestrial protein of the night – a juicy aged rib eye served 3 ways: essentially the eye, the ribeye cap, and the fat cap. David’s only complaint about the ribeye was that it lacked smoke… this being a steak after all. But I thought it was technically perfect and served with 5 vegetables, each prepared very differently, with the intent (I think), of providing a very purist enjoyment of the steak. The steak had such great beef flavor and scent. Goodness. If only it had just a hint of smoke, it would have been a Form (in the Plato sense), or that most transcendentally perfect ribeye.

The last savory dish was a great “tamago” or a Japanese omelet – except that being Manresa, there’s a spin. The egg itself is soft and custardy, topped with a crisp fried brioche toast, all sitting in a bit of truffle oil. Really decadent.

We added the optional cheese course, and I unfortunately can’t remember all the types and names, not being a cheese connoisseur. But there’s the very mild camembert at the far right, and followed by some kind of Wisconsin half cow, half sheep’s milk cheese. There’s a goat cheese with the ash grey rind, and lastly some kind of blue. All cheeses were domestic, but I will note that not a single one of them were from California. These were paired with some honeycomb (amazing by the way), and homemade lavashes – plain, rye and honey.

Dessert is always my favorite part, starting off with this lovely citrus tapioca over a layer of yogurt, which had this this creamy texture, reminiscent of pana cotta. It was paired with a fried mochi ball, filled with yuzu curd. This is a really interesting and exciting take on a Vietnamese/Chinese sesame seed mochi ball that’s usually filled with mung or red bean, and found at your local dimsum place. All the yuzu flavors really tied both components of this dessert dish together.

This was followed by David’s birthday cake – a lovely hazelnut mousse cake. Fluffy and decadent and worth every calorie.

The next dessert was presented in unison, so we each had a different dish. We started with the squash cake and crescenza and cream cheese frosting, topped with a vinegar reduction and a pepita ice cream and pepita crumble that we really enjoyed.

The second half of this dessert presentation was a creamy, snowy pile of sorbet over a milk chocolate wafer, then topped with the black walnut cracker you see on top there. Really great and classic flavor combination here, that was livened by the little balls of pickled pear, which added a surprising contrast to the sweet dessert.

And we end just as we began – a set of sweet petit fours, this time with a strawberry pâte de fruit and chocolate madeleines, followed by a selection of macarons (chamomile and honey; coconut; chocolate banana), and some truffles. To take home, we had this delicious pumpkin granola and handmade salted caramel candies.

All in all, this was a fantastic meal. The food alone warrants the 3 Michelin stars, but as this was not our first Michelin rodeo – we found some areas for improvement. Firstly, once you hit a certain price point, impeccable service is expected. There is a certain fluidity and experience that is warranted, and to a certain extent, we were underwhelmed in this area. We repeatedly had to ask for another glass of wine or beer. The way in which the cutlery was placed on the table wasn’t quite as synchronized or harmonious as you would expect. The woman who brushed the crumbs off the table often missed, and worse – brushed them right into my lap. So, negative points for service. I also found some parchment paper stuck to a few of the bread rolls… I took a picture of it here. Additionally, we noticed a handful of flies hovering over our table and along the wall behind us. For this price point and star rating, I think it’s rather unacceptable. I also thought it was a bad choice by not featuring any California cheeses on the cheese cart. I will also note that there were very limited California wine options (if any at all, I don’t seem to recall). As a restaurant that bills itself as a farm-to-table restaurant, as a restaurant that believes in sustainable agricultural practices, as a prominent California establishment, I did wonder if perhaps it was an oversight that it chose to neglect California products? All of its produce come from its California garden, but why not the wines and cheeses? If I remember correctly, even the ribeye was from out of state. No negative points there, but it did make me pause and wonder, as I think the cow farms in Point Reyes are fantastic. Anyway, all these little annoyances don’t really amount to much, as I thought the food and drink were stellar and that its very high on our list of ‘best meals ever’. However, these little details need to be ironed out, I think, if Manresa wants to hold onto its newly earned star.

Hoped you enjoy this culinary journey, adventure awaits! See you at the next joint we try.


Prioritize Love

18 10 2015

How often do we clock in those extra hours at work, burn the midnight oil, take clients out to dinner, but do not invest nearly the amount of time for love? We throw ourselves into our careers and into our success and into the rat race, but are too afraid to throw ourselves into love in a similar manner – we have clearly deprioritized love! We make decisions to prioritize our kids’ schedules, our partner’s schedule, the volunteering, the extracurriculars, the book club, the parent association, the sports teams, the cycling club, but do not prioritize our love. We make the decision to root ourselves to one place like New York City, but if love happens to be in Seattle or San Francisco, we make a decision to not pursue love. We are actively voting against love. And perhaps worst, sometimes we vote for a list of requirements – status, wealth, looks, progeny – but certainly not love. When did we become a society that deprioritized love?

EggsDespite the Indian summer we are experiencing here in California, my mind is already on autumn. And with autumn comes all the best autumn vegetables. So this meal is an ode to autumn, rich in butter and hearty vegetables; a medley of roasted squash, radish, dark leafy chard, quinoa, and a soft egg to tie it all together. Feel free to add roasted carrots or small purple potatoes or root veggies or other dark leafy greens.

Autumn Vegetable Roast

1 bunch of chard, washed and rib discarded
2 c butternut squash, diced
5 autumn radishes, de-stemmed and washed
1 c quinoa, cooked
1 egg, soft boiled (or per your preference)

Preheat oven to 375*F. Toss butternut squash in olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Bake until soft and golden on the edges, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat.
Toss the whole radishes in melted butter and salt, and place in a small baking dish. Place in the same oven as the butternut squash and bake until soft and golden brown, about 20 minutes. The skins will get all wrinkly and a knife should pierce the radish without any resistance. Remove from heat. Once cool enough to handle, cut in half.
Blanch chard in boiling water for 3 minutes, then immediately remove leaves and place in cold ice water. This will help the leaves stay nice and vibrant. You can shred the leaves into smaller, bite-size pieces, or keep them in larger leaves, up to you.

There is really no need for additional direction other than to toss all the ingredients together, season with salt and pepper, and add maybe a splash of fresh squeezed lemon. The dish is great as is. The egg from our hen is a bit nutty and super creamy. The butternut squash is sweet. The bite from the radish is eased from having been baked in butter. The chard retains its bitterness and texture. Overall – the dish is nutty and earthy and hits all the right autumn notes.

BowlPrioritizing love is no easy feat. But I feel that a large portion of society hasn’t really even given it a fair shot. So how can love thrive when it’s not even nourished? When it’s not given an opportunity to live its potential? When it’s deprioritized?



21 09 2015

We visited Fairbanks with the sole purpose of seeing the Northern Lights. We essentially planned around a clear (no clouds) and dark night (new moon) and obsessively monitored the UoA forecaster. Our planning and timing paid off. At around 11pm, we drove up to Ester Dome and by midnight, we were rewarded with an amazing light show.




It was incredible to see, and the images do not do it any justice. It was awe inspiring and almost a spiritual moment for me. It’s just stunning, and I highly recommend making the effort to see the lights. So worth it.

Where To Stay:
Once we saw the lights, we felt no need to actually stay in Fairbanks any longer. There just isn’t much to do… so we left and drove right on back to Anchorage, checked ourselves into the Sheraton and slept blissfully.

Where To Eat:
Despite not spending much time in Fairbanks, I feel like we gave the food a valiant try. I also feel that because Fairbanks is a college town (and bigger than some of the other places we visited), the food options were a lot better and more varied. We were amazed by the quality of the Thai food at Lemon Grass. It was such a good relief from all the American food we had been eating. The seafood curries feature Alaskan seafood and locally grown vegetables! How incredible is that? And the curries were delicious. My drunken noodles were flavorful and so good.
We also went to Jung Korean for some comforting Korean food – real banchan, bibimbap and galbi with lots of gojuchang. YUM. It made me so happy.

Fairbanks is definitely one of the best places in the entire world to view the Aurora Borealis. However, during the day time, there isn’t much to do except for recharge until it’s dark enough for more sky gazing. We did visit the above-ground section of the Alaska pipeline, and even contemplated driving out to the Chena Hot Springs. But once we caught the lights, there was nothing keeping us there, so we quickly left the next morning.

I’ll be wrapping up this travel series from Anchorage and will include some Alaska travel tips. Stay tuned!

Talkeetna and Denali

17 09 2015

After Seward, we headed into Alaska’s interior, where the landscape changed from coastal marine to lush forests and then eventually tundra. David and I couldn’t stop ooh-ing and aah-ing over the landscape. Every bend in the road, every turn was a postcard perfect landscape.


We did a couple of hikes in and around Denali Park, but to truly explore the interior of the park, you need to take the bus deep into the park. From there you can hop on and off at anytime. We were able to see many grizzly bears, moose, caribou, and ptarmigan on our trip.

View from Mt. Healy Overlook


Rock Creek


Grizzly Bear

The park also employs sled dogs, so we visited the kennels. I SO badly wanted to take one of the pups home, they are just so cute and friendly and intelligent!


And what’s a visit to Denali without actually seeing Mt. Denali? She is coy and elusive and teased us multiple times throughout our visit. Short of flying up to the top, most visitors never get to see Denali. She is shrouded in clouds and fog 70% of the time. But we were so lucky and our patience was rewarded, when on our last day, she revealed herself to us. At first she seemed like a mirage in the distance, but it was confirmed when all the other tourists also stopped to gawk and take pictures. Looming at over 20,000 feet, she is the tallest point in North America – and she is majestic and deserving of praise.

Where To Stay
We stayed a night in Talkeetna to make our drive more manageable at the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge. The grounds here are beautiful, and on a clear day, you can see Mt. Denali from the bar deck. The rooms are large and clean, and the beds and linens are pretty comfortable. It’s definitely one of the better lodging options we had while in Alaska. This lodge is a major stop for a lot of the cruise lines, so don’t be surprised to run into that crowd at the bar. The hotel dining options are also pretty decent, as seen in my half eaten smoked salmon spread (my copycat recipe coming soon!).

We also stayed at the McKinley Chalet, which was about 5 minutes from the Denali park entrance. This spot is actually owned by one of the cruise lines, but you’d be surprised by the quality of the hotel. The lobby looks promising, but the rooms are in need of attention and the hotel restaurants are awful. I had the worst onion soup and David’s reindeer meatloaf was nothing to write home about. It’s a shame, because the property itself is nicely situated, right along the Nenana River and across the street from really great food options (see below).

Where To Eat
In Talkeetna, the Lodge has decent dining options. If you venture into the town center, I highly recommend the Talkeetna Roadhouse. The food is great and the bakery is even better. Definitely get the Frosty cinnamon bun or 2, and pack leftovers as a snack for your hike.


Once in the Denali area, we visited 2 establishments so often, they thought we were locals! For a great bar and a good time, stop by Prospectors Pizzeria and Alehouse. The beer selection is awesome, and despite being the end of the season (and many beers were unavailable), our bartender/waiter walked us through recommendations based on our individual beer preferences. The pizza is also delicious. On one visit, we ordered the Deadliest Catch pizza, which is a 17″ pie topped with 1.5 pounds of Alaskan snow crab. It was stunning. I’ve never liked snow crab until eating it in Alaska – sweet and succulent and so worth the meat to shell ratio.

For breakfast and lunch, we stopped by the Black Bear Coffee House no less than 5 times during our 3 day stay. The coffee is great, the cupcakes are really delicious, and the soup/salad options really hit the spot (a good break from the heavy and fried fish and chips we had been eating). We did have a rather unpleasant apple cake thing, though I will owe the bad taste and texture to the fact that it was vegan/gf<?>.

More photos to come, when we finally catch the Northern Lights! Thanks for reading!


The Kenai Peninsula

14 09 2015

Our first day in Alaska was spent driving from Anchorage to Seward (pronounced soo-werd), along the Turnagain Arm and through the Kenai Peninsula. This is by far one of the most beautiful coastal drives I have ever done. It might tie with the Amalfi coast drive, but beats the gorgeous Pacific Coast Highway 1 by a hair (being Californian, that’s basically treason). It’s stunning, especially in the early fall when the aspens and alders start to turn color. And if you’re really lucky, you might be able to catch a few beluga whales playing in the high tide.
On the way to Seward, there are several points to stop and take in the scenery. You can also veer a bit off the Seward highway to do some additional exploring. We took a few turns off the main road and stumbled onto 2 mini hikes. The first being the Winner Creek Trail in Girdwood:
DSC_4557We started this trail near the Crow Creek Mine – it provides the shortest distance to the hand tram and avoids all the other tourists from the Alyeska Resort. The cool hand tram swings about 100 feet over Glacier Creek – if you’re lucky, other folks will help pull you across, else you may be stuck (like we were) pulling yourself. The trail also includes a number of lovely bridges and gorges, and was the perfect introduction to the flora and fauna in the area.

We took another turn off the Seward Highway onto the Portage Highway, and our mini hike took us right to the base of several glaciers:

Byron Glacier
DSC_6228Byron Glacier Ice Cave

View from base of Byron Glacier toward Portage Valley

View of Portage Glacier from Portage Lake

These glaciers are enormous in person and the swirls and crevasses are mesmerizing. As it’s still summer and the ambient temperature is somewhat warm, you can see the glaciers melt and form these caves… I would not recommend climbing into the caves, for fear of them collapsing (though I tend to be more paranoid than most), but I did snap a few photos.

Once we arrived in Seward, we went to view Exit Glacier – the same one President Obama visited. This trail has clear markers that show how the glacier has receded in the last century – very tangible evidence of the effects of climate change and global warming on the glaciers. The valley below Exit Glacier is beautiful, and you will likely spot a moose or bear on this short hike. If you are a bit more ambitious and have more time, take the trek to the Harding Icefield, which is the source for all of the glaciers in the area.

Close Up of Exit Glacier

Valley below Exit Glacier

Our remaining days in Seward were spent on a boat, viewing the marine life in and around Resurrection Bay and the Kenai Fjords Park. This was an incredible experience – and we were so lucky to see porpoises, whales, all manner of birds and eagles, and other sea animals. While out at sea, I felt so small midst the vast sea, enormous tidewater glaciers, and the marine animals surrounding us. It was all so stunning and beautiful.

Seward Harbor

DSC_4731Humpback Whale – we might consider a photography career at NatGeo if it wasn’t recently bought by Fox =(
DSC_6118Some seals chilling in front of the Aialik Glacier, as the glacier cracked and creaked

The cutest little otters hanging out in the water

Where To Stay
Being a small town, options are pretty limited. We stayed at the historic Seward Hotel, which is just 5 minutes from the harbor and walking distance to the ‘downtown’ area. While a bit old, the rooms are cute, comfortable and clean.

What To Eat
Seward is famous for its halibut, specifically the halibut fish and chips, so of course we had to try it. And boy, we weren’t disappointed. We stopped by Thorn’s Showcase Lounge and Salmon Bake Restaurant to taste test the halibut – the fish is only lightly coated (as it should be!) and fried to a crisp – the halibut is flaky but still moist and sweet. Another Alaskan specialty is seafood chowder – thick chunks of halibut and salmon and shellfish, suspended in a thick, creamy, roux-based chowder. Thorn’s won in both categories. But at Salmon Bake, we also had the batter friend prawns – quite possibly the best we’ve ever had – crunchy, sweet, succulent pieces of prawns that rivaled lobster meat. Unfortunately, we came back a second time only to find that the prawns were no longer available, as it was the end of the season.

Meal at Thorns: seafood chowder, fish and chips, and steamed mussels. Super tasty.

For dessert, this little gelato and fudge shop called Sweet Darlings, was just down the street from our hotel and was a sweet way to end the night.

Like I said earlier, Seward is a small town, and options are pretty limited. Our general rule is to stay away from the extra touristy places (such as the joints right by the harbor), and try to find the local favorites. TripAdvisor or Yelp are great starting points. And of course, asking the locals (even if they are seasonal temps) always results in good choices.

We had such a great time in Seward. And as it’s a seasonal town (open only 6 months out of the year), we were really lucky to have the experiences we did. During the summer, the salmon make their run from the ocean up through Seward and the Kenai Peninsula to their nesting grounds. The whale migration is also occurring, as orcas and humpbacks flock to the area to eat and fatten up. The cruise ships come in droves during the summer, but their frequency decreases once September hits. We visited in early September, and things were winding down. The seasonal temp workers were getting ready to head back to Anchorage and other parts of the country. The shops were getting ready to close. Even the animals had mostly left for warmer waters. And yet during our 2.5 day stay in Seward, we were really lucky to hit everything on our bucket list. We did not get a chance to go halibut/salmon fishing as originally planned, but after understanding the pricing structure of fishing, gutting/processing, and shipping – it was probably better that we didn’t. If you get a chance to, I would highly recommend it, as other tourists have praised the catch.

Fish and chips, while delicious, can get old fast. Luckily, there’s a Safeway market in town, so you can prep your own (healthier) meals as needed. I also highly recommend hiking the surrounding area – hitting Caines Head and as many of the glaciers as possible. It’s one of the best ways to get to know the area and see nature up close and at its grandest. Speaking of up close encounters, I saw several kayakers out in Resurrection Bay, and they were able to get really close to the whales. We even saw a whale spray through its blowhole right next to a kayaker. It’s a bit terrifying to me, but if you’re courageous and like the water, perhaps try kayaking to get around.

We’re headed to Denali next, so stay tuned. Thanks for reading!


1 09 2015

I’ve had a fantastic summer so far. It’s been filled with lovely flowers, lots of time spent outdoors, plenty of food with friends and family, and it’s just getting better and better.


I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but this is coming up in a few days for us. I’m SO excited.
From the National Geographic

I can hardly contain myself. In the meantime, I’ll on munch on these.

Herby Polenta Fries
I’ve tried polenta many times, and I have never quite grown fond of it. The same goes for grits – it’s a texture thing for me. Reminds me of the years I volunteered in a nursing home feeding the residents, where all delicious and nutritious foods were pulverized to a pulp to help older folks who couldn’t chew. So to help me get over that, I transformed an otherwise mushy polenta into lovely polenta fries. Everything tastes better when it’s fried – polenta is no exception. It’s cheesy and creamy and salty and crispy – and the herbs add a really nice flavor. Of course, you can bake the polenta fries for a less fatty version (and I’ve included directions below), but where’s the fun in that?

1 c polenta
4 c water
2 tbs butter
1/3 c parmigiano reggiano, finely grated
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried rosemary (you can use whatever herbs you like, I just happen to like oregano + rosemary)
salt + pepper, to taste

In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil on high heat. Add a large pinch of salt. Gradually add the polenta, whisking to break any clumps. Reduce the heat to low and continue to whisk and simmer, until the polenta is thick and tender. Remove from heat. Stir in the butter and the grated cheese, whisking to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed.

Spray a brownie pan (8″x8″) or small baking dish of similar dimensions with cooking spray or olive oil. Pour the cooked polenta into the pan, using a spatula to smooth the top. Chill until set, at least a few hours or I prefer to do it over night. Once the polenta has set, remove the chilled polenta from the pan and cut into ‘fry’ shapes. I had a circular pan, so it’s not quite as ‘fry-like’, but to each their own.


To fry: You could deep fry these bad boys at 370°F submerged in 2″ of canola oil, but I decided just to pan fry a few polenta sticks at a time, turning occasionally to get an even brown on all sides. Either method will give you a lovely crust on the outside. Just make sure to drain on paper towels and keep warm until serving time.


To bake: Brush all sides of each polenta stick with a bit of olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Place under broiler and bake until golden brown. Rotate as needed to get an even browning. Should take 20 minutes total.

Once cooked, top with dried herbs and additional cheese if desired. Serve with a marinara sauce (or ketchup in a pinch). Enjoy.

This is a lovely appetizer or bar snack. I can see this being in heavy rotation as football season kicks off. It hits all the right notes and pairs so well with a cold brewsky.


Thanks for stopping by,

PS. In case you couldn’t guess, we’re headed to Alaska. From Anchorage down the Kenai Peninsula then back up through Denali and Fairbanks. It’s going to be one heck of a trip, and you can be reassured that I’ll be sharing pictures and food and landmarks from our trip. I’ll be posting on my IG account as well, if you’re curious to follow.


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