A Look Into Birba's New Pasta Menu

Making pasta by hand is a time honored Italian tradition, one that is lost in most modern day households as it is so readily available and inexpensive to purchase.  In an effort to honor their Italian routes and pay homage to this tradition, Birba launched a new pasta menu a few weeks ago featuring a variety of hand made pasta dishes!  I had the pleasure of going into their kitchen and photographing a little bit of the process of how their ricotta and mint raviolis are made.  I've never been to Italy, but chatting with Joe, Birba's sous chef about life and our roots, as he rolled out the dough and formed each little square by hand, made me feel as if I was in Italy chatting with an old friend around the kitchen table.  You can truly taste the time, love and care that goes into each of these dishes.  For me, knowing that someone took the time to fill each of the raviolis on my plate individually, really made me sit down and not only taste but appreciate each of the components in the dish, out of respect for the food and for the person who made them!  Well?  What are you waiting for!  Head on over to Birba with some friends and try out a few (personally I love the raviolis and the pappardelle but they are all great!) xx sarah

Gingersnaps

I know most of you probably think I'm ludicrous for posting a cookie recipe directly after the holidays, but for those of us who decided to not add, "get in shape," to our list of resolutions this one is a must!  Gingersnaps are one of my favorite cookies!  They are spiced, simple, and are so perfectly dunkable it borders on not humanely ok (my fave is with a cup of coffee.)  So if you are like me and have solemnly sworn to avoid the gym then I invite you to join me in devouring this deliciousness!  And for those of you who are trying your hardest to avoid stuff like this remember life is all about moderation!!!! ;) ;) xx sarah

Yield 50 thin cookies
Ingredients
2oz unsalted butter
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/3 tsp salt
.65 oz ground ginger
1.25 oz fresh ginger
1.5 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp black pepper
1/4-1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4-1/2 tsp cloves
8 oz sugar
1 oz brown sugar
1 1/4 oz molasses
4.8 oz all purpose flour
4 oz pastry flour
1.5 egg whites

Method

1. Place butter, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, fresh ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, nutmeg, cloves, sugar, brown sugar and molasses in mixer, using the paddle attachment cream together.
2. Add all purpose flour and pastry flour and mix again. 
3. Add egg whites and mix one more time. Place in refrigerator and chill over night
4. Roll out the dough using a generous amount of flour on the work surface, roll out to ¼ inch. 
5. Use cookie cutter to make cookies and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
6. Bake at 350 degrees in a standard oven or 325 degrees in a convection oven for 12 minutes.
7. Let cool for 10 minutes and lightly dust top of cookies with an extra fine sugar let cool for another 20 minutes and serve.

No time to make your own? Order a dozen from Cheeky’s for a delicious treat!!!

Salmon Breakfast Cakelets

Happy Weekend ya'll!!  You know what that means, brunch, brunch, brunch and more brunch.  They say that my generation does brunch better then most and I would hole heartedly agree.  If you don't believe me, check out this Time's article here, if it's in the Times then it must be true, right?  There is something about a nice early afternoon eggs benny and a mimosa that really just feels right in the soul.  Whether you tend to make it at home with friends or head to your favorite weekend eatery, these salmon breakfast cakelets are something I whole heartedly encourage you to try.  Salmon, potatoes, DILL, eggs, eat, sleep, brunch, repeat.  Cheers! xo sarah

yield 6 cakelets
Ingredients
1 scallion, chopped
1/2 red onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large potato, baked
1 lb salmon, poached
2 oz dill
1 lemon, zest
salt
pepper
tobasco

Method
Saute, dill, garlic, onion, and scallions over medium low heat.
Lightly mash the baked potato so that it is soft but still has texture.
In a medium size bowl combine potato, scallions, onions, garlic, lemon zest, a few dashes of tabasco, a pinch of salt and pepper. (more to taste if you prefer it spicier!)
Using a fork, gently pull apart poached salmon until it is in chunks.
Add salmon to bowl and mix thoroughly.
Using your hands create small cakelet patties until mixture is finished.
Place patties in a saute pan that has previously been heated with olive oil over medium - high heat.
The olive oil and pan should be hot enough to lightly brown and crisp the cakelet.  Flip over and repeat on other side until both sides are evenly browned.  
*Be careful not to overflip cakelet as they can break apart.
Repeat until all cakelets are cooked.
Top with your favorite kind of eggs and garnish with some hollandaise sauce, a few of the sauteed dill sprigs and some salt and pepper.

*Recipe for hollandaise sauce can be found here!

photography by Sarah Dickenson

Summer Heirloom Gazpacho Recipe - Memorial Day Weekend

Looking for the perfect dish to bring to that Memorial Day bbq?  Look no further!  This gazpacho is so delicious I don't even know where to begin!  It's got great zesty flavors, a little spice, it's pretty darn healthy for ya AND it's chilled!  You can serve it in mini glasses for gazpacho shooter appetizers or in larger bowls for a side dish!

Don't forget, tonight is our very last Local 622 live music showcase for the season at Birba! The music is from 730-9pm tonight and features the talented Phil Kaylor (he is also the man behind the tasty pastries at Cheeky's if you didn't know!)  So come on by with your friends and hang out with us!  Great tunes, great pizza, fresh cocktails..what could be better?  Cheers! xo sarah

*read on for the recipe!

yield 4-6 people

Ingredients
4 heirloom tomatoes
1 red onion
1 garlic clove
1 serrano chile pepper
1.5 cucumbers
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 green onion, finely chopped
salt 
pepper
 

Method
For Gazpacho
- In a blender combine, 2 heirloom tomatoes, 1/2 cucumber, the center of both peppers, 1/2 onion, 1 garlic clove, and 1/2 serrano chile pepper, red wine vinegar and olive oil.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, starting with a pinch.

For Garnish
- Dice 2 heirloom tomatoes, 1/2 onion, 1/2 serrano pepper, 1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper and 1 cucumber.

To Serve
- Gazpacho can be served immediately, but we prefer it chilled!
- When you are ready to serve combine garnish and gazpacho as you are serving or in pre portioned containers.
- Sprinkle with green onion.

 

Blueberry Mint Mule Recipe

I will admit, this cocktail looks a little Christmasy with the green and pink, but it tastes like pure spring!  It is a bit of a hybrid between a moscow mule and a mojito, two of my absolute favorite boozy beverages.  This recipe includes a simple twist on the moscow mule classic.  By adding blueberries we introduce a seasonal fruit that is oh so delicious and can be used in a multitude of ways around the kitchen!  Did I mention the beautiful color of this cocktail? It can also be attributed to ever amazing blueberry and don't forget the mint, an addition that I think keeps the bevvie light and refreshing!  Hopefully you'll give it a whirl this weekend while you are lounging poolside :)

If you haven't made it into Mr. Lyons yet, the newest addition to the F10 family, call and make a reservation ASAP!  We are super excited to be sharing the space and the delicious food with all of you!  You can check out some photos of the dining salon and get some more information including hours here! xo sarah (read on for the recipe!)

yield 2
Ingredients
5-7 blueberries
5 lime wedges
4-8 mint leaves
3 ounces vodka
soda water (optional)
1 can of ginger beer
 

Method
- In a large shaker muddle blueberries, limes, and mint! **
- Add ice and vodka to shaker and shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds.
- Empty contents of shaker evenly between two cocktail glasses.
- Fill with ice.
- Top with ginger beer and a splash of soda water. **
- Garnish with lime wheel and a mint sprig.

**Notes
- If you love mint, add a bunch (I do!) if you aren't a big fan you can leave it out completely or only add 2 leaves per beverage!
- I like to use a little bit of soda water in my mules to keep them low in calories and super refreshing, too much ginger beer can be overwhelming in my opinion! 

Duck Breakfast Hash!

Is there any better way to start your weekend then with a bomb brunch?  I definitely don't think so!  This duck breakfast hash is an instant winner in my book.  You can serve it with whatever type of egg you prefer, but we think it is best when served with something a little yolky to mix in with the hash, add some cracked pepper, scallions and onions on top and voila! This meal will have you fueled and ready to go the whole day and it's beautiful to boot!  Hope you enjoy! xo sarah

INGREDIENTS - yield 6-8 servings
6 duck legs, blanched
4 large potatoes
1 bunch of leeks, chopped
1 lb cheddar cheese, shredded
1 lb mushrooms, chopped
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
1 tsp cayenne
salt
pepper

- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Place duck legs in large pan and cover in enough oil to evenly coat and cover legs for about 30-40 minutes or until cooked and crispy.
- Place potatoes in a sauce pan and cover with water, heat over medium - high heat.
- Using olive oil, saute leeks and mushrooms over medium heat until soft.
- Once potatoes are soft, mash until chunky.
- Remove cooked duck legs from oven, using a fork scrape meat from bone.  If it doesn't come off easily use a knife and fork!
- Place potatoes, leeks, mushrooms, parsley, cayenne, scallions, cheddar cheese and pulled duck meat into a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Evenly coat a large skillet with olive oil.
- Using your hands, create medium sized patties with contents of mixing bowl.
- Once oil is hot, gently place 2-3 patties in saute pan and cook until under side is brown and crispy.
- Using a spatula gently flip patty and cook the opposite side until brown and crispy.  Try to refrain from over flipping the patties to prevent breakage!
- We used poached eggs on top of our duck breakfast hash, but over easy eggs would taste great too!
- Season with salt and pepper and garnish with scallions and onions!

Summer Mango Salsa - Perfect for Coachella!

COACHELLLLAAAAAA!!! It has finally arrived folks!  I went grocery shopping yesterday in town and you can definitely tell that there are SO many more people out and about!  This summer mango salsa is perfect for your Coachella weekend.  It's light, fresh and filling and goes great with all sorts of Coachella food essentials.  Grilled chicken, tacos, with chips, you name it!  You can have it poolside with tortilla chips and even put it on your eggs to help cure any hangover you may or may not have! I hope everyone has an amazingly fun weekend and don't forget to be safe!  There is an uber camp set up at the Polo Fields, so there is absolutely no reason to drink and drive!! I also want to give a huge shoutout to two of our local bands, Alchemy and Little Red Spiders, best of luck performing tonight, you will kill it!!!  See you all at weekend two! xx sarah

INGREDIENTS
2 mangos, peeled and cubed
1/2 red onion, diced
1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
2 small tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
1/2 carrot, grated
1/2 red cabbage, thinly sliced
1 lime, juiced
salt
pepper

- Mix all ingredients well in a medium sized bowl!
- Enjoy with tortilla chips, tacos, nachos or more!
 

We prefer using mahi mahi or a nice cod for our fish tacos, shrimp would be great too!

Fluffy Corn Buttermilk Pancakes Recipe - Happy Friday!

Yay! It's Friday!  Cheers to a few days of frivolity, freedom, friends and pancakes!!!!  No matter what your plans are this weekend I imagine at some point you will be eating breakfast and when you do you should make these pancakes!!  They are super easy to whip up, incredibly fluffy and so delicious!  If you've never made pancakes with real buttermilk you should definitely try it and and then share the results with your friends!  I hope everyone has something amazing planned to do this weekend, whether it is enjoying some much needed down time or sipping cocktails on a boat dressed in your finest 70's attire listening to the Dazed and Confused soundtrack with your bests, which is where you'll be able to find me!  Cheers! xo sarah

INGREDIENTS
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk (plus an extra tablespoon or so if batter is too thick)
2 large eggs, separated
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 cup fresh cooked corn or blueberries

Method
- Mix dry ingredients in medium bowl.  
- Pour buttermilk and milk into 2-cup pyrex measuring cup.  
- Whisk in egg white, mix yolk with melted butter, then stir into milk mixture.  
- Dump wet ingredients into dry ingredients all at once; whisk until just mixed.
- Meanwhile, heat griddle or large skillet over strong medium-high heat.
- Brush griddle generously with oil.
- When water splashed on surface confidently sizzles, pour batter, about 1/2 cup at once, onto griddle, making sure not to overcrowd.
- When pancake bottoms are brown and top surface starts to bubble (2-3 minutes) evenly distribute corn or blueberries, flip cakes and cook until remaining side has browned, (1-2 minutes longer).
- Re-oil skillet and repeat for the next batch of pancakes.
- Serve with fresh fruit and maple syrup!

Cheeky's Coconut Cake!

You know what the weekend calls for?  Cake.  And not just any cake, but coconut cake.  This cake is beyond delicious!!! If you've had it at Cheeky's then you know what I'm talking about.  For the rest of you who make it at home the first time, you are SO welcome, this cake will be in your life for a long time!  I topped mine off with some fresh berries to add a little bit of tartness and color to it!  Happy weekend friends!!! xo sarah

Ingredients
Batter
3/4 cup cake flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/3 cup water
2 TBSP vegetable oil
4 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar

Pastry Cream
3 cups milk
1 split vanilla bean
1/3 cup sugar
3 TBSP flour
4 egg yolks
1 cup coconut flakes

Whipped Cream
3TBSP sugar

Method
Sift together cake flour, 1/3 cup sugar, salt, and baking powder and set aside.
Combine egg, water, and oil, add to sifted ingredients.  Mix batter until smooth.
In a separate bowl, whip egg whites with cream of tartar.
Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar and continue to whip to form a stiff meringue.
Fold batter into meringue and mix thoroughly.
Pour into an un-greased 9 inch round cake pan and bake for 30 minutes.
Invert cake onto a rack and cool.

To make pastry cream: Scrape vanilla bean seeds into milk and bring to a boil over medium heat. (Add vanilla bean pod to milk as well).
Combine sugar, flour, egg yolks and whip until light yellow.
Slowly pour 1/3 of the hot milk into the egg mixture to temper it.
Add milk-yolk mixture back into remaining milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick.
Remove bean pod and strain, set aside to chill.

Cut cooled cake into three layers.  Stir 3/4 cup of coconut flakes into pastry cream.
Spread cream between layers of cake.
Frost top and sides of cake with remaining whipped cream and sprinkle with remaining coconut flakes.