Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking powder. In a separate mixing bowl combine sugar, butter, orange zest and anise seeds using an electric mixer. Mix until creamy (approximately one minute). Add eggs one at a time, mixing well until the batter is smooth.
I have an organic lemon tree in my backyard that yields more lemons than I know what to do with. This recipe adds a hint of ginger for a subtle, yet spicy kick. There is enough sugar in this recipe to keep the lemons tasting tart, but not too sweet. If you like it sweeter, feel free to add more sugar. I also like to dry the lemons out a bit in the oven for a slightly chewy texture.
Candied Lemon and Ginger Slices
1 cup water
½ cup granulated sugar (more if desired)
2 teaspoons grated ginger root
3-4 lemons, cut into thin slices
Powdered sugar, for garnish
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Place water, sugar and ginger in a medium skillet; bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until all sugar is dissolved. Lower heat to medium-low and add lemon slices in 1 layer.
Steep the lemon slices for about 15 minutes, or until the rind is translucent. Carefully remove lemons with tongs and arrange slices in one layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake lemon slices until dried, approximately 30 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar. Store in an airtight container.
Pumpkin Cupcakes Recipe From The Lodge at Torrey Pines
Yields 12 cupcakes
1-4 ounce stick of butter
1 cup sugar
2 whole eggs
1¼ cups all purpose flour
½ cup warm milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon clove
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.
Paddle together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Sift together the dry ingredients. Mix together milk and puree. Add dry and milk mixture to butter alternating, ending with the dry ingredients. Bake at 350° Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes.
Cream Cheese Frosting
16 ounces cream cheese
½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cinnamon
4 ounces white chocolate
In a large mixing bowl, paddle together cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add vanilla extract and cinnamon. (Taste and add more if you have more of a sweet tooth.) Melt white chocolate and slowly add to cream cheese. Once it comes together, stop mixing and frost the pumpkin cupcakes.
Established in 2012, Andrew’s latest venture, ANDREW SPURGIN™, brings his diverse skill sets to consulting work with caterers, chefs, restaurants and hotels. He also creates bespoke events—from concept, styling, menu design and vendor brokering—as well as other related focus areas. Andrew believes in sound community care and often accepts requests to act as host or culinary chair for charitable and gala events. After all, if you live in a community, why not give back to it?
Andrew has designed parties and menus, and overseen the production of events honoring dignitaries and glitterati for the past three decades. He has cooked for three US presidents, Martha Stewart, and at the James Beard House in New York City, among others.
He grew up in London, working in his relative’s restaurant and butcher shop. His aunts introduced him early to the bounty of local purveyors at London’s historic Borough Market, where he also “worked” at a young age. His family moved to San Diego in 1974.
He was chef and baker of one of California’s first handcrafted, on-premise bakery/restaurants. He was director of catering at Southern California’s celebrated Pirets, and at several other respected catering firms. Andrew has consulted and cooked with London’s Mustard Catering Ltd. and has been tutored by the cheesemongers at Neal’s Yard Dairy, also in London.
He has produced and designed menus and events throughout the United States, Canada, England and Mexico.
Andrew regularly lectures to the industry, public and youth audiences too on sustainability, cooking, event design, culinary responsibility and entertaining. His events, interviews and photos have been featured in numerous local and national magazines, radio and TV.
Fondly reflecting back on his English grandparents, Chef Andrew Spurgin remembers wonderful traditional feasts and offers his recipe for Yorkshire Pudding.
1 cup hen eggs
1 cup whole milk, organic
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup all purpose flour, sifted twice
1 teaspoon rosemary, finely chopped
¼ cup turkey or beef drippings, strained (may substitute duck fat, bacon fat, lard, or butter)
2 tablespoons cold water
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs into the milk with the salt. Add flour to custard mixture and combine, stirring gently until smooth (no lumps). Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for 1 hour. Pour through strainer and add rosemary.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Heat a 12-count muffin or pop-over pan in the oven until very hot.
Heat fat, if not liquid. Mix cold water into the custard. Add about a teaspoon of fat into each muffin pan, it should be smoking. Give the custard one quick stir and immediately fill each pan about 1/3 full. Place custard in oven and bake at 425 degrees F. for 15 minutes, then turn down oven to 350 degrees F. for another 10 minutes or until custard is golden brown (do not open oven until fully cooked). Remove from oven and serve immediately with gravy or your favorite jam.
Given the wide array of stunning locations to dine in San Diego, it’s nearly impossible to find a new venue tucked away from the typical tourist hotspots. There are many choices in this beautiful city, with whitewater vistas and orange sunsets every day of the week. With a kaleidoscope of cuisines representing most corners of the world, it can be somewhat of a challenge at times to find a simple menu that still provides healthy and fresh choices. Continue reading Caroline’s Seaside Cafe→
Although authentic pizza is available throughout the Little Italy neighborhood, it is rare to find a location that sells by the slice. Opened in 2009, Landini’s has built a strong following for its genuine Sicilian-style pies and other traditional baked meals. Its success can be measured by the lines of patrons patiently waiting along India Street to grab a taste of the hand-tossed thin crust. At least a dozen styles are available in the window for a quick bite, and a little patience will award you with any special-order pie. Choose from the more traditional pepperoni, sausage and meatball or the more adventurous combinations like BBQ chicken, spinach, artichokes and jalapenos. Daily specials include various topping combinations that appeal to any palate. Calzones, stromboli and paninis are prepared with freshly prepared dough or bread. Or opt for a dish of pasta and salad. Local craft beers and wine are also offered.
The Lumberyard in Encinitas is home to many trendy restaurants, and this is one of them. With indoor and outdoor seating for about 100 people, this healthy cafe is dedicated to serving fresh, locally sourced natural food at affordable prices. A comprehensive menu comprises many vegans, vegetarian, strict vegetarian and gluten-free options. Choose from savory and homemade organic soups, salads sandwiches, pasta, vegetarian entrees, fish and chicken entrees, kiddies’ meals, fresh juices, smoothies, shakes, and desserts, even homemade vegan cupcakes. Such items as the Pipe’s Whole Wheat Pita with falafel balls, hummus, and tahini-ginger sauce, and the Swami’s Carrot shake with organic carrot juice, vanilla ice cream, cinnamon, and nutmeg make this place unusual. Lotus Cafe & Juice Bar, 765 S. Coast Hwy. 101, Encinitas, CA 92024; (760) 479-1977; lotuscafeandjuicebar.com; Organic/Health Food; $$.
Monello’s design and decor mirrors a typical Milanese eatery complete with the downtown vibe of the San Diego bay and the familiar Italian neighborhood.
Sophisticated, modern and rustic-chic, Chef Fabrizio Cavallini says it is one of the few Italian restaurants that dares to serve traditional home-cooking in a modern urban setting, similar to a restaurant you would find in Milano, Italy. “We undressed Italian dining of its obsolete and stereotypical look and taste,” he says. “We had a new menu in mind, our tradition is so rich. But we had no room for it at our Bencotto restaurant. So when the space next door became available, our heads were exploding with ideas after Valentina and Guido’s trip to Italy. When they go there, they eat twenty-four-seven and come back with a ton of new ideas.”
Open for five years now in the Kensington area of San Diego, Owner and Chef Ken Irvine says he opened Bleu Bohème because he loves neighborhood restaurants. “When my guests walk through our doors, we want to take them away to a “different place”, he says. “What sets us apart is our stellar service, quality cuisine and a unique ambiance.”
With a passion for French food and cooking with local ingredients, Irvine describes his restaurant as ‘AWESOME’, sourcing products from Catalina Offshore and Specialty Produce. “These places are both the best at what they do in San Diego,” he says.” Partnering with them helps us to be the best that we can be.”
A.R. Valentien: Executive Chef Jeff Jackson and Chef de Cuisine Kelli Crosson offer a temple of flavor in their market-driven cuisine
The Lodge at Torrey Pines is home to A.R. Valentien, one of San Diego’s most notable and refined restaurants. You will certainly feel transported whiling away the hours in a charming dining room with a beautiful view of the Torrey Pines Golf Course and the Pacific Ocean just off the bluffs in the distance.
Classically French-trained, with more than 30 years of experience, Executive Chef Jeff Jackson and Chef de Cuisine Kelli Crosson offer a temple of flavor in their market-driven fare from some of California’s finest organic farms, orchards, and fishermen. The menu revolves around the seasons, assuring superb freshness and taste with every bite.
Chef Jackson feels comfortable and at home at A.R. Valentien, located inside the Lodge at Torrey Pines and wants all his dining guests to feel the same way. “This is not like a hotel to me, it’s more like a large residence. If it’s small, it’s manageable. A monster hotel wouldn’t allow me the freedom I need.”
Dedicated to working directly with local farmers, Chef Jackson changes the menu daily, based on what is fresh and seasonal. “The farmer grows it and the chefs cook it. Whatever produce comes in, we will use. My staff and I play with the food. We taste it and talk about it. We are always thinking about what would be best to eat.”
“Shim” means “New”, and “bashi” means “Bridge” in Japanese. With the desire to provide San Diego with the best Japanese dining experience outside of Japan, Shimbashi Izakaya is based on the Izakaya, or Japanese “pub” – a unique and vital cornerstone of Japanese food culture. It’s often found in cosmopolitan areas for after work relaxation and an opportunity to unwind after a busy day.