Just look at those beautiful cherry trees! Seeing the streets of San Francisco awash with these fragrant blossoms will always signify the imminent arrival of Spring. Spring brings promises of awakenings, new beginnings, fresh starts, and rebirths. In that vein, we here at Back Yard Kitchen are eagerly anticipating our new menu launch! We’re revamping our beloved sandwiches and salads to bring them more in line with this upcoming season. What does that mean exactly? Roasted baby asparagus on a sandwich?? Fresh cherries in a salad? Maybe. It’s all very hush-hush and underground for the moment, but like everything else in nature, we’re about to launch into full bloom.
When the weather is frightening, and the thunder and lightning seem to be having their way, as far as I’m concerned it’s a lovely day–for a Foghorn (my apologies, Mr. Berlin)
Something about the cold, foggy San Francisco winter makes me crave hearty, stick-to-your-ribs fare. And, boy, does this sandwich stick with ya! House-made corned beef and tangy sauerkraut are blanketed in rich, cheesy mornay before being bruléed to perfection. Then, everything gets mixed together and piled into a hollowed-out toasted sourdough roll drenched in russian dressing. The resulting sandwich is the magical lovechild of a Philly Cheesesteak and a Reuben, and it’s the culinary equivalent of putting on your favorite sweater and cozying up to a crackling fire, steaming mug of cocoa in hand.
The next time the gloomy San Francisco weather starts to get you down (potentially every day until next September), come by the Back Yard and chase away the fog with my favorite winter warmer-the Foghorn.
Most of you may not know this about me, but once upon a time, your favorite overly-enthusiastic sandwich shop manager had a blog all of her own. I wrote about cookies, and the various calamities that arise from baking a never-before tested batch of said cookies every single day. I still bake, but I haven’t written a word in nearly three years.
Now that I find myself devoting body and soul to the success of this tiny sandwich shop, I’m suddenly inspired to try my hand at this whole blogging thing again. Because I believe in both shameless self-promotion, and occasionally reliving the past, the first musings from the Back Yard Kitchen will be about my favorite topic: my world-famous (What? There’s a girl in London who knows they exist!) chocolate chip cookies.
I’m a baker by trade. I went to culinary school, and I received a big fancy toque and a pretty blue ribbon along with a certificate stating that I’m more than proficient in the pastry arts upon graduation. I’ve spent my time since then working in some of the better bake shops in the city. Even though I’m great with a piping bag, and I can drape fondant and pull sugar with the best of them, I prefer to spend my time creating simple desserts that your grandmother would have given you on a crisp fall afternoon.
Nothing makes someone’s day like giving them a hand-made, freshly-baked, ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookie. When I realized that I could use this rustic little sandwich shop as a platform to bring joy to dozens of people a day, I set out to create the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Now, hundreds, if not thousands of people have attempted this very same thing, and it would be more than hubris to suggest that I have made the best chocolate chip cookie of all time. But I’ve come darn close. Nestlé Tollhouse close. Mrs. Field’s close. Heck, even Specialty’s close.
The first thing you notice when you bite into the cookie is the texture. Your teeth break through the crisp, golden-brown exterior, only to find that the interior lies somewhere in between dough and crumb, giving a perfect toothsome chew. The caramel notes from the brown butter interplay perfectly with freshly toasted spice and brown sugar, lending a delicate warmth to the cookie’s interior. A generous pinch of salt offsets the heady sweetness of the hundreds of tiny chocolate chips generously sprinkled (perhaps even poured?) throughout. Finally, as you swallow the last delicious morsel, an almost sinful essence of bourbon and vanilla linger on your tongue, practically begging you to have just one more. Since I’m a bit of a hedonist, I almost always do.
I bake a dozen of these little beauties every single day. If you follow our twitter feed, you’ll know when they’re fresh out of the oven and cooling on the counter. Come on down and try one out for yourself-I guarantee you’ll love them almost as much as I do.