Friday night it was pouring rain and cold.  We all got home at staggered times and I didn't really feel like cooking dinner more than once.  On these occasions, we like to have what our family calls a 'pick-up' dinner.  It basically means you cruise around the kitchen picking-up this and that from the pantry and fridge and throw something together.  Many a tasty creation got it's start as a pick-up dinner! 


An ideal and often underutilized table for casual, no-utensil dining is the coffee table.  It's also a way to enjoy more time in the living room which is typically relegated to holiday and company-only occasions. The kids pulled up a pillow and joined us for a nibble and a rare Friday night all together.  

For the spread, I had the last bits of some Italian cured meats, an aged Gouda, some mixed olives, baguette slices, flatbread crackers and my personal favorite – salt and pepper thick-cut ruffled potato chips.  The one cooked item-  caramelized onion, fig and goat cheese crostini. Super simple.


I took one really big yellow onion, sliced it and slowly sauteed with about a third of a stick of butter + about 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.  A little salt and pepper at the end.


After about 20 minutes they are soft and and slightly sweet.  In the meantime, I sliced rounds of baguette and spread this fig jam (below) on them.  If you have never tried fig jam – I highly suggest you do.  The first time I had it, my next-door neighbor in Seattle (hi Beth!) called over the fence to come over for a glass of wine and she served this jam over gorgonzola with a French rose. I've been hooked since.  

Anyway, a little clump of onions went on top of the jam, followed by a slice of chevre.  I toasted them for a minute just to warm the cheese and crisp the bread.

A quick question for you foodie readers – Has anyone ever made homemade fig newtons?  This jam would be the perfect filling.  I have no idea how to make the cookie part though?


To keep things in the Halloween spirit, I got Geno one of these… 


We were planning on watching a scary movie (not really scary though), but we were all so tired that all we could stay awake for was "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown"!


Today is my birthday, although we celebrated all weekend.  The highlight was dinner on Saturday night at Jardiniere in San Francisco. Absolutely heavenly. I didn't want to be snapping pictures all night, but was in awe of the circular upper level (where we sat) that looked down below at the bar.  It felt like a NYC restaurant.

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend and prolific Halloween! Remember – it's not ok to pilfer all the Almond Joys and Hershey's bars from your kids loot today while they're at school!


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