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Bon Appetit Food-Lover’s Cleanse Recap

So the cleanse is OVER and Mike and I made it through the entire 14 days. When the 3 line description of the cleanse made no mention of what you were to get out of it a lightbulb should have gone off in my head but I was determined to start the year right so the claim of flavorful healthy food and no calorie counting was all it took for me to say…sign me up! I had no idea what I was getting myself (and Mike) into.

The cleanse began after I spent hours reviewing the 30-page 1-point-font pdf of recipes so I could prepare my 4-page grocery list. We had to go to 3 stores to find all the items and many I ‘d never heard of (hello, bulger wheat?). The plan provided 3 meals and 2 snacks per day and Rachel Ray was definitely not consulted because there wasn’t a 30 minute meal in the entire 2 weeks! Recipes were very involved… especially dinner. I guess they thought it wouldn’t be “Bon Appetit” worthy if it weren’t. Thank goodness Mike and I have flexible work schedules or we would have quit on day 2. This was not designed for a person with a normal 9-5 job. We never cooked and cleaned so much before in our entire lives. To make matters worse the menus were poorly organized. Many recipes didn’t list serving sizes, days where you needed to make enough food for the next day wasn’t always noted, and they included too many courses at dinner which resulted in tons of left-overs. By week 2 we had to stop making everything they told us because it was not humanly possible to eat that much food. It became obvious that no one at Bon Appetit actually completed the cleanse before promoting it to their readers, which is a shame.

How was the food? We cooked things we would normally never make, and were introduced to cuisines from around the world that had unique flavors and tons of spices. There were a handful of recipes we enjoyed (see list below), a couple we didn’t mind and a bunch that were downright disgusting (Coconut Oat Pilaf). But we had issues with most of the menus because some foods didn’t complement each-other. It was as if the creators just haphazardly chose which recipes to pair together.

The results…how do we feel? I honestly feel the same as when we started. I was hoping for substantial weight loss, a re-energize body and mind, or at the very least vibrant skin. But, alas I didn’t achieve any of those goals. Mike ended up losing 5 pounds and I lost 2 (bitter party of 1 – right here!). Yes, as my mom said that is barely water weight. So would we do this again? No, but we will try and continue to follow the general guidelines.

Final words…Dear Bon Appetit: next time you recommend a cleanse to thousands of people test it out first! Having the creator do the cleanse with us may have sounded like a cool idea but hearing her blog about her daily struggles (many that I have pointed out) just pissed me off. To read how she would modify the cleanse next time really doesn’t help me now that it’s over. I feel like I wasted my time and money on someone’s practice run.

Mike – Sorry for making you do this. You are a trooper…

Here are the few things we will make again:
Vanilla-Date Breakfast Smoothie
Black-Eyed Pea Curry
Almond-Banana Smoothie
Bulgur Pilaf
Kale with Pine Nuts and Currants
Quinoa with Pomegranate, Apple & Scallions
Salmon in a Bengali Mustard Sauce

The cleanse:


We’re doing the Bon Appetit Food-Lover’s Cleanse!

Week 1 Non-perishable items (took 3 stores to find)

Happy New Year! Mike and I are starting the year off right by doing the Bon Appetit Food-Lover’s Cleanse!! Yes, we started a few days late but who starts a cleanse on a holiday weekend?

Today is day 1 so don’t expect many new posts over the next 2 weeks.

We will do a full write-up of our experience when we are done but in the meantime you can follow our daily trials and tribulations on twitter:

Let us know if you are doing it too…

Check out the cleanse here:

Food & Wine Bucket List

I’m forever seeing and/or reading about things/places I want to go and 99.9% of the time it’s food related but then I forget. So I’ve decided to make a list (in no particular order). This will be updated on a regular basis (hopefully crossing some things off the list as well as adding).

  1. French Laundry – Napa
  2. Manresa – Los Gatos
  3. Go to New Orleans and eat up a storm
  4. Eat pizza in Italy
  5. Drink Guinness in a pub in Ireland
  6. Foreign cinema – SF (brunch/dinner)
  7. Chez Panisse – Berkeley
  8. Meadowood – Napa
  9. Tour France wine country
  10. Benu – SF
  11. Wayfare Tavern -SF
  12. Eat tapas in Spain
  13. Morimoto – Napa
  14. Redd – Napa
  15. Cyrus – Healdsburg
  16. Francis Ford Coppola Winery -Geyserville
  17. Little skillet – SF (fried chicken)
  18. farmerbrown -SF
  19. Bi-rite Creamery -SF
  20. Eat a crepe in Paris
  21. Naglee Park garage – SJ
  22. Humphry Slocombe -SF
  23. Long Meadow Ranch Winery /Farmstead – St Helena
  24. Town Hall – SF
  25. Wine Spectator Greystone – St Helena
  26. Pizzeria Mozza – LA
  27. Bakesale Betty – Oakland
  28.  Tony’s Pizza Napoletana -SF
  29. A16 -SF
  30. Pizzeria Delfina -SF
  31. The American Grill cheese kitchen -SF
  32. Flour+Water -SF
  33. NOPA -SF
  34. Momofuko milk bar -NY
  35. Momofuko noodle bar -NY
  36. Hells Kitchen -LA
  37. Umami burger -SF
  38. Dynamo Donuts -SF (maple bacon)
  39. Frontera Grill – Chicago
  40. The girl & the Goat -Chicago
  41. Joe’s Cable Car -SF
  42. Frances -SF
  43. Fish Story -Napa
  44. Table-52 -Chicago
  45. Una Pizza Napoletana -SF
  46. Scream Sorbet – Oakland
  47. Smitten ice cream -SF
  48. Baked – NY (cupcake,PB banana cream pie,brownie)
  49. BABBO -NY
  50. Lobster in Boston
  51. Zuni cafe- SF
  52. Lobster in Maine

Note: if something is crossed out it means I have completed the item listed and if I have written a post about what occurred the item title will have a link.

List started (in my head): July 1, 2009

Have any suggestions on things I MUST do? Leave a comment!

Two Year Blogaversary

An ebelskiver not a meatball

It’s been 2 years since I started this blog. Time has really flown by. ’09 was a truly filling year (I have the tight jeans to prove it!). To celebrate I broke out our ebelskiver pan and the new chocolate pancake mix from WS.

2010 should be a tasty year on Bay Area Foodie since Mike and I are heading to Spain and France this summer!!! Keep an eye out for that. If this is your first visit or your 100th — THANKS for stopping by!

See the chocolate ebelskiver post here.

Top Chef Season 5 DVD Giveaway!


Hey Everybody!

A&E Home Entertainment has sent me a copy of the “TOP CHEF: NEW YORK – Season 5”  DVD collection (which was just released yesterday) to give away to one of my fine readers. Jam-packed with enticing extras including never-before-aired Stew Room footage, extended interviews, cooking demonstrations and more — TOP CHEF: NEW YORK will satisfy the appetite of any fan, foodie or cook.

To win this tasty set all you have to do is leave a comment on this post that answers this question… which cheftestant (any season) would you like to cook you a meal?

As Padma would say “Readers… you have 10 days to enter. Your time starts NOW — Good luck!”

Continue reading

CookBook Signing

I wrote about a new cookbook, Cooking Dinner: Simple Italian Family Recipes Everyone Can Make a couple weeks ago. Well, the authors are on a big book signing tour all over the Bay Area so go out and see them. It would make a great holiday gift.

More about the book and authors Claudia Pruett & Rima Barkett:

September signing dates (they have food too!):

September 30th
Barnes & Noble
10 am – 12 pm
Westgate Mall
1600 Saratoga Ave
San Jose,  CA

September 30th
3 pm – 5 pm
Old Town/Los Gatos
50 University Ave.
Los Gatos,  CA

Dates for the rest of the year can be found here

Buy the book: Cooking Dinner: Simple Italian Family Recipes Everyone Can Make

New Orleans Vacation Wrap-up

Mike and I just returned from our trip to the big easy. We had a blast eating our way around NOLA. When people said it’s hot in August I figured I could handle it since I went to school in Arizona but this was a heat that I had never experienced. I could only make it one block before the sweat began drippin’ everywhere. Since we new it was going to be steamy we planned to keep our adventures casual and fun. Here was our itinerary:

Day 1 (Sat): Dinner at Mother’s, walk down Bourbon Street

Day 2 (Sun): Brunch at Dante’s Kitchen, Ride the St. Charles Streetcar, French Quarter Culinary history tour and tasting

Day 3 (Mon): Air-boat Swamp tour, Dinner at NOLA, walk around French Quarter

Day 4 (Tue): Breakfast at Cafe du Monde, Lunch at Cochon Butcher, Cupcakes at the Kupcake Factory, Vampire tour

Day 5 (Wed): Cooking class, Check out farmers market, dinner at Luke, Music on Frenchmen St.

Day 6 (Thur): Muffuletta sandwich from Central Grocery

*I will write a separate post for each of the restaurant reviews over the next few days.

Non-Foodie Highlights:

SWAMP TOUR – We went on an air-boat tour of the Louisiana swamps. It was fast and furious. This is not a nature tour, this is a high speed excursion through the swamps on a search for alligators… and there were plenty! Check it out:


MUSIC – Walking back to our hotel on Monday we ran into a 7 piece brass band on the corner of Canal & Bourbon St. in front of the Foot Locker. They were fantastic and they played for a couple hours for tips. What made it even more entertaining is that people would just start dancing in the street. It was hilarious to see some battle as if they were on “So you think you can dance”. This location seems to be where many groups come to play because we saw a 10 piece band on Wednesday night but they were not as good. Here is a sample of the boys from Monday:

vamp tour

Start of Vamp tour - St Louis Cathedral (check out that full moon)

VAMPIRE TOUR – Interesting tour about the history of vampires in New Orleans. We also saw some of the sites from the movie “Interview with the Vampire”. I gatta be honest it kinda creeped me out. Tip: wear your bug repellent. We didn’t and we have many bites all over (weird… no other night did we even see mosquito’s…)


PEOPLE – everyone from the tour guides, to the taxi drivers to the hotel staff were really friendly. Very polite folks.


BOURBON ST – We had no idea that Bourbon Street was just a string of bars blaring cheesy karaoke type music, strip clubs, daiquiri/pizza joints and more strip clubs. It’s Vegas to the 10th power. Don’t expect cool jazz clubs cause you won’t find them here – go to Frenchmen St!

We did everything we wanted to do except eat a peanut butter bacon burger at Yo-mama’s bar. We just couldn’t get ourselves to do it. Maybe next time.

Tip: if you’re going make sure you have a tourist guide mailed to your home before you go. You can get one here. This was the first city I’ve been to that didn’t have millions of “things to do” kiosks and flyers/brochures all over the airport. The place was a ghost town.

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