Check out my foodie adventures at Foodspotting and Foodgawker

Friday, October 31, 2008

Pumpkin Madness: Halloween 2008

My friends might say that I am the Queen of Throwing Parties. And,'s true. There is always Easter Sunday Brunch at my place for all my friends who are in town (this is how I came to be hooked on my friend Claire's chocolate croissant bread pudding). The Wine & Cheese affair might be my favorite gathering because I love wine and I certainly love cheese. A house warming party here. A beer and cheese party there. Lots of dinner parties and Supper Clubs in between. And then there's everyone's favorite: the Annual Holiday Dinner and Beer Tasting. This year, for the very first time, I decided to host a Pumpkin Carving party full of pumpkin beer, pumpkin related foodie goodies and, of course, lots of pumpkin carving. I thought it would be fun if everyone just spread out some newspapers, set up a station and got to work in an effort to win the prize for everyone's favorite pumpkin.

My friend Lindsay brought some pumpkin seed cheese and brie & crackers with pumpkin butter. And I made pumpkin seed pesto, but to be honest, it was a little disappointing so I didn't include the recipe.

Chris the Chef made this amazing, smooth and creamy Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Cinnamon Crème Fraîche (accompanied by turkey meatballs):

I made a Pumpkin, Gruyere & Thyme Gratin:

And Penny made Soft Pumpkin Cookies with a Maple Glaze:

We all had a really good time, didn't we! And, as it turns out, my friends can carve up pumpkins like it's their day job!

Smarty Pants (by Chris and Jenn):

Batty (by Heather):

Joe the Plumber (by Lindsay):

Si Se Puede (by Patrick):

What Tom and I Feel For Each Other (by Penny):

A Flapper Stripper named Candy (by Jason and yours truly):

And Matt & Emily carved an amazing spider in its web, but, sadly, the picture didn't come out for some reason...Sorry!

We had so much fun! I think carving pumpkins has the same effect on people as mass quantities of free popcorn-instant happiness and fun. I once learned how to operate one of those fancy popcorn machines and handed out free popcorn to people at a party and you wouldn't believe the amount of instant smiles that produced...

Happy Halloween! :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pear, Brie & Walnut Galette with a Honey-Pepper Glaze

I really adore the idea of brunch, don't you!? In France, you would call it le grand petit déjeuner, which is essentially a big breakfast or, literally translated, a "big little lunch" (which is the best oxymoron of them all if you ask me). I like everything about it, really. The lazy mornings. Maybe you slept in a little too late. Maybe it's almost 11 o'clock and you can't decide whether you should eat a sweet breakfast or charge ahead to a savory lunch. Maybe you just want to curl up with some tea and relax while you munch on something yummy. In any case, I have just the thing for you--a warm, flaky galette. Not too sweet. Not too savory. Just perfect...


* 1 Tbsp. butter, melted
* 3 Tbsp. honey
* 1/4 tsp. freshly cracked pepper


* 1 recipe Classic Yeasted Tart Dough
* 1 pear (I used a star krimson pear for its bright red skin), sliced into thin wedges
* 1 small wedge of brie, cut into small chunks or strips (or blue cheese if you prefer!)
* 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
* 1 tsp. raw/turbinado sugar (optional for crust)
* 1/2 tsp. kosher salt (optional for crust)
* 2 Tbsp. butter, melted


* Flatten out the dough until it is about 1/4 of an inch thick and gently brush some of the melted butter onto the dough (leaving a little bit for the crust edges).
* Starting in the center and leaving about 2 inches of dough on the edges, arrange the pear slices, slightly overlapping.
* Scatter the brie chunks and the walnuts.
* Fold over the edges to just barely cover the edge of the pears and brush the crust with the remaining melted butter.
* Use a pastry brush or spoon to drizzle half of the honey-pepper glaze over the top.
* Optional step: I like to sprinkle some turbinado sugar and kosher salt on the edges of the crust. The dough is not very sweet at all so I like to have a little sweet and salty kick when you bite into it...
* Bake in 400 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until the fruit is carmelized and the crust is golden brown, but check on it every ten minutes and continue to brush or drizzle on more of the glaze until it is all gone.

Serving suggestion: I like to serve a slice of the galette next to a nice big handful of mixed greens or arugula simply tossed with some olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Classic Yeasted Tart Dough

There is certainly a soft, buttery little place in my heart for recipes that use frozen puff pastry or filo pastry dough. But sometimes going the extra mile to make some dough from scratch makes all the difference. Plus, it's much cheaper and uses simple ingredients that you will likely already have in your cupboards...

This dough is extremely versatile. I use it to make tarts and little individual quiche cups. But what I really like to use this dough for is making a galette, which is a thin, semi-flaky pastry crust typically filled with various combinations of fruits, nuts, cheeses, and/or vegetables. Galettes are made free form by rolling out the dough, laying out ingredients in the middle and then folding over the edges to create an abstractly shaped "pizza". I find the rustic look so charming...


* 2 tsp. active dry yeast
* 1 tsp. sugar (if you are making a sweet dish, you can add another teaspoon of sugar, but don't over do it because the dough will not rise properly if you give the yeast too much sugar)
* 3/4 cup warm water
* 4 Tbsp. olive oil
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1.75 cups flour


* In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm water with the sugar and yeast. Allow that to sit in a warm place for about 10 minutes until it becomes slightly bubbly.
* Add in the olive oil, flour and salt and gently mix with a fork until almost combined.
* Gently use your fingertips to fold in any flour left and knead the dough for up to 3 minutes till it is soft.
* Place ball of dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise for about 45 minutes until the dough has doubled in size.
* Roll out the dough on a floured surface, carefully transfer it to a cookie sheet and place it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before using it.

Note: You can also freeze the dough and it will thaw out and cook beautifully!

When you want to bake it, I like to keep the oven really hot at about 400 or 425 degrees for a galette (about 35 minutes) or at about 350 or 375 when I am cooking up a quiche (about 45-55 minutes, depending on size of quiche)....

The possibilities are truly endless, but here is a list of some savory and sweet Galette ideas you might want to try:

* Spinach, Carmelized Onions & Fontina Cheese
* Spanish Olives, Manchego Cheese & Arugula
* Tomato, Mozzarella, & Basil
* Fig, Prosciutto & Balsamic Syrup
* Plum with Apricot Preserves
* Potato and Roasted Garlic with Thyme and Rosemary
* Apple & Cinnamon with Marzipan paste
* Pear, Gorgonzola & Honey
* Ricotta and Mint with Meyer Lemon-Honey Glaze
* Pear, Pinenuts & Honey
* Pesto with Sun-dried Tomatoes & Mozzarella
* Sweet potato with Pumpkin-Butter & Pecans

Feel free to share any ideas that you come up with as well! :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Lentil, Walnut & Flax Burgers with Yogurt-Mint Sauce

I have some great friends...incredibly generous and kind friends. For example, I had dinner with two of my good friends, Matt & Emily, and we got to talking about some awesome Trader Joe's products. I confessed that sometimes I like to see what groceries other people buy (read: you can find me being super nosy about what other people put in their carts at the grocery store) and what other people do with certain products because maybe you wouldn't have thought of it yourself...Anyway, Emily mentions that TJ's sells a bag of pre-cooked lentils, which I had seen before but never felt inspired to purchase because I didn't really have any ideas for them...until Emily, kind as she is, says "I bought an extra one--take one home and try it!" So I did...and I used some to make Ethiopian Mushroom Lentil Stew. Lo and behold, I loved the cooked lentils and will now start buying them!

I have also heard lentils du Puy (the little French green lentils) or black Beluga lentils referred to as "poor man's caviar" because you can literally cook them up with some olive oil and serve them with some crostini and have yourself some cheap, tasty and vegetarian "caviar". But, as you may know, lentils are are incredibly hearty and great for making burgers! They have a lovely, earthy flavor and they are the perfect vehicle for taking on other flavors, spices and preparations. There are lots of recipes out there that tend to be dry and crumbly, but this one is perfectly moist with an exceptional delicate, earthy flavor. Oh, and let's not forget that lentils are generally really cheap and fat-free!

* 3/4 cup toasted walnuts
* 1/3 cup bread cubes or breadcrumbs
* 3 garlic cloves, minced finely
* 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
* 1 tsp. ground cumin
* 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
* 1/4 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
* 1 tsp. ground flax seed
* 3/4 cup cooked lentils
* 1 Tbsp. olive oil for burger PLUS 3 Tbsp. for cooking the burgers
* 1 egg, whisked
* Other burger goodies: burger bun, lettuce, thinly sliced red onions, sprouts, sliced tomato and avocado, etc.


* 1/2 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt
* salt and pepper to taste
* 2 tsp. chopped parsley
* 1 tsp. chopped mint
* fresh juice from 1/2 of a lemon


* Mix all yogurt-mint sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
* In a food processor or blender, combine the walnuts, breadcrumbs, cumin, garlic, parsley, garlic, flax, salt and pepper and blend until fairly smooth.
* Add in the lentils and 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and blend just a little--you still want the lentils to have some chunky texture.
* Put this mixture in a large mixing bowl and combine with the egg.
* Shape into 2 or 3 patties.
* Heat the remaining 3 Tbsp. olive oil in pan over medium low heat and cook the burgers for about 6 or 7 minutes on each side.
* Assemble burger: Toasted bun topped with the yogurt-mint sauce, lentil-walnut patty, lettuce, tomato, red onion, sprouts and avocado....

I am sure you will love this burger! And you will love having ready-to-eat lentils when you need them...

Serving suggestion: For a hearty dinner, serve this burger along side some Baked Sweet Potato Fries. If you wanted a fun appetizer for a party, you could make little mini-patties (the texture is similar to that of falafels), stick a toothpick in them and serve it with the same yogurt-mint sauce!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Creamy Tomato Bisque

I woke up this morning with a chill on my cheeks. My toes went cold the instant they left the snuggly haven of my ridiculously luxurious king-sized down comforter (a birthday present from my lovely brother, Chad). The sky was a pale grayish white and the house was quiet and still in the early morning. I went to turn on the heater, grabbed a cookbook from the shelf, wrapped myself in a robe and climbed back in bed to read a little...

I had just gotten a big bag of eleven or twelve ripe, juicy tomatoes from my local neighborhood produce store for the unbelievably low price of 75 cents (yes, total!) and wanted to make something special to warm up the house. I decided on a creamy tomato bisque, which is essentially a thick, rich soup that pureed, delicately seasoned with cream added just when you were starting to think the soup couldn't get any better...The secret weapon is steeping a beautiful little herb bundle with parsley, basil and thyme right into the soup before you blend it so the liquid is infused with all of the delicate flavors from the herbs.

Warning: It can take a bit of time to make, but you will be able to taste the TLC in the soup! Also, don't be frightened by the orange color--fresh tomatoes, when cooked down with carrot and onion--don't generally have the deep rich red color you typically think of when you see tomato sauce or tomato paste because those products frequently contain artificial color. This soup will taste like fresh tomatoes straight from the garden...


* 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
* 2 Tbsp. olive oil
* 1 large yellow onion, chopped
* 1 small carrot, diced fine
* 9 or 10 ripe tomatoes, peeled and deseeded
* 3 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
* 1 bay leaf
* little bundle of fresh herbs (parsley, basil, thyme)
* 1 cup of bread cubes (I used the fluffy middle from a sourdough breadbowl)
* 3/4 cup heavy cream
* 1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
* some parmesan and extra thyme or basil sprigs for garnish (optional)


* To peel and deseed the tomatoes, drop them whole into a big pot of boiling water for 30 to 40 seconds and then put them in a colander, run them under cool water and then peel off the skins. Then quarter the tomatoes and use your fingers to push out the seeds over a strainer so you save all the juices and collect the tomato fleshy parts. Set aside.
* Heat olive oil and butter in a big pot on medium high heat.
* Add the onion and carrot and cook until tender.
* Add the tomato pieces and juices you saved and stir.
* Add in the stock, bay leaf and herb bundle and bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.
* Remove the bay leaf and herb bundle and turn off the stove heat.
* Add in the bread cubes and let it soak up some of the liquid.
* Puree the mixture in small batches using a food processor or blender (or stick blender if you have one!)
* Return the pureed soup to a simmer and stir in the cream and salt.
* Garnish if you want...

Comfort. in a bowl. for cold days.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Vegan Lemon-Basil Aioli

I love a good panini. Like any good sandwich, you need something wet to moisten all the dry ingredients and give the sandwich a good "mouth feel". Here is a recipe for simple aioli that I like to use when I make paninis or other sandwiches...


* 1/2 cup Vegenaise (I like the grapeseed oil version)
* 3 Tbsp. olive oil
* 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
* 1 tsp. lemon juice
* 1 garlic clove, minced finely
* sea salt to taste

You can combine all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor for a smoother texture, but I like to bash up the basil in a mortar/pestle with the olive oil and then scoop it into the a bowl with a rest of the ingredients and mix it by hand for a more rustic texture and look. Also, it is vegan because I use Vegenaise not because it is egg free and dairy free, but because I genuinely prefer its creamy taste to commercial mayo (but it's a whole other story if we are talking about homemade mayo, which can be outrageously luxurious)...But you can just use mayo instead if you prefer.

Note: In case, technically an aioli isn't just flavored mayonnaise--traditionally, it is a blend of garlic and olive oil with other additions...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tempura with Creamy Miso-Mayo and Miso Soup with Watercress

Yesterday was one of those lazy Sundays where nothing really "gets done" but I just luxuriously spend all the time indulging myself in naps, walks, cooking something creative and amazing and watching movies. I can't say enough how much I love those days.

Our new neighbors-an adorable married couple and their black and white cat-just moved in a few days ago and, to my complete delight, the husband is a chef! Once inside their apartment, I was so tickled to look through his cookbook selection--I ran my fingers along the over-sized photo books and started contemplating what book I might ask to borrow...This, as it turns out, was an easy choice to make because there--in all of its complicated shining glory--was Nobu Matsuhisa's cookbook for NOBU. I immediately felt a deep craving for the tempura rock shrimp and felt inspired to try my hand at some tempura. Tempura is one of my favorite things to eat, but it can be tricky to really pull off a fantastic tempura batter that is light, airy and crispy without being weighed down by oil. Nonetheless, I was sure I could at least give it a go.

Shrimp, Avocado and Mushroom Tempura with Creamy Miso-Mayo on a bed of Lemony Arugula greens:
However, I am really sorry to report that this kind of "self-teaching" process of cooking doesn't always lend itself to having precise recipes. I'm so sorry. I really wanted you to make it too! In my sheepish attempt to make up for such shortcomings on the tempura batter (which arguably may be the best part), I do have a recipe for the Creamy Miso Mayo and Creamy Miso Soup with Watercress that I created for just such an occasion.


* 1/3 cup mayo
* 1 Tbsp lemon juice
* 1/2 tsp Braggs liquid aminos
* 3 Tbsp white miso paste
* 2 tsp mirin

DIRECTIONS: Whisk together all ingredients (consistency should be fairly thin).


* 2 cups dashi broth
* 3/4 cup soymilk
* 1 bunch watercress
* 2 Tbsp white miso paste
* 1 Tbsp Braggs liquid aminos
* 1 Tbsp Low-sodium soy sauce


* Separate the watercress leaves from the stems.
* Chop the stems and add it to the dashi broth and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
* Blend broth and stems in a blender (be careful about the steam) and then strain out the stems through a mesh colander or a tea steeper or cheesecloth sieve. This step really gives the soup a light, grassy watercress flavor, but you can skip it if you want and avoid blending and straining altogether--just discard the stems.
* Return broth to stove, add soymilk and return to a boil.
* Add miso paste, liquid aminos and soy sauce and simmer for 3-5 more minutes.
* Add in watercress leaves just before you are ready to serve the soup (otherwise the leaves will wilt and turn a pale green color).

Note: This is really just a jazzed up version of the classic soup, but the soymilk and watercress really keep it light and healthy while adding a richness and depth that is really quite delicious (Oishi!)!

Also, the Braggs liquid aminos is similar to soy sauce I suppose if you want to substitute it, but liquid aminos has a pretty unique flavor--and it has 4 times LESS sodium than low-sodium soy sauce (can you believe that?!) so it is much healthier. You can find it in almost any health food store or even some grocery stores. I put mine in a spray bottle and use a squirt or two in soups, sauces, gravy, salad dressings or even just on an avocado (yes, it's yummy!).

I took a tasting portion over to my neighbors to thank them for lending me the NOBU book...Then, I immediately sat down to eat this amazing food and tried to ignore the elephant in the room furiously waving a neon sign that said "You should have gone to culinary school instead of law school".

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Hemp Protein Shake

I somehow acquired this Vanilla Spice Hemp Protein mix at San Francisco's Green Festival--where I also tried all sorts of hemp products like hemp seed brownies, hemp butter and, yes, hemp milk! I wasn't really a fan of the hemp milk, but I am a dedicated fan of shelled hemp seeds and I add those to cereal, oatmeal, and breads (or anything else that you want to lend a nutty flavor to while adding protein)...

This shake mix contains 12g of dietary fiber, 13g of protein and a very high amount of magnesium, iron, potassium and calcium! I whizzed mine up with some frozen bananas (for a creamy texture) and vanilla soy milk and topped it off with some whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar...

Note: I have to admit that it did have a bit of a gritty texture...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ethiopian Mushroom Lentil Stew

Hello again.

Thank you for being so patient while I was gone on my roadtrip to Seattle and Portland...and would you believe that we did so much in the span of one week that I came home and needed a week vacation from that vacation?! I'm sure you know how that feels.

I still haven't uploaded my photos yet (but I will!), but I wanted to mention a cute little Ethiopian restaurant in Portland called Queen of Sheba (recommended by the nice man at Powell's City of Books) that literally saved us from starving as we got into the city late and didn't know where to go to fill up our empty bellies...If you aren't familiar with Ethiopian food, remember that it tends to be quite spicy (lots of jalapenos and other peppers are used)...order the vegetarian sampler platter and you will get a huge platter with 8 or 9 dollops of their various vegetarian dishes over layers of that distinctively sour Inerja crepe-like bread (no utensils are on the table so you roll up your sleeves and use the inerja to scoop up the food!). Do a google image search for ethiopian food and you will see some awesome stuff! The food and presentation really is lovely and the flavors vary from restaurant to restaurant so it's always fun to try new places. For the record, Portland's Queen of Sheba was DELICIOUS (the Inerja was outstanding!) and I highly recommend it if you get the chance!

I live right across the street from Axum in San Francisco and I adore their vegetarian platter. I have gone with a big group of 6 friends and we can get a HUGE platter of food to feed us all for $45!!

Most Ethiopian dishes are made with a traditional spice blend called Berbere. Since I am generally not a fan of spicy food, I've decided to take up cooking some Ethiopian dishes at home (and then just run across to Axum and buy some Inerja) so that I can control the amount of spice! Berbere blends can be either a dry mix or a wet paste and vary greatly from region to region (or restaurant to restaurant), but here is one that I use:


* 2 tsp ground cumin
* 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
* 1/4 tsp turmeric
* 1 tsp ground fenugreek
* 1 Tbsp paprika
* 1/2 tsp dried thyme
* 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
* 1/8 tsp cloves
* 1/4 tsp ground coriander
* 1/8 tsp allspice
* 1/8 tsp cinnamon
* 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (omit if you don't like it spicy!)
* 1/2 teaspoon salt

So, with all this talk of Ethiopian food, I thought I would leave you with a very special recipe I created for Ethiopian Mushroom Lentil Stew. It's the least I can do. I walked right across the street to Axum and bought some Inerja for this meal (because from what I can tell by reading recipes, it is not very easy to make).

Clockwise: Mushroom Lentil Stew (recipe below), Shiro Alitcha (slow cooked split peas cooked with turmeric and onions) and Okra Tomato Stew served with Inerja and some salad and a scoop of plain yogurt:



* 2 Tbsp. canola oil
* 1 large yellow onion, diced finely
* 2 cups diced mushrooms (baby bella or cremini have great texture for this dish)
* 1 cup cooked lentils (brown or green)
* Berbere spice mix (see above)
* 4 or 5 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated finely
* 1 can tomato paste
* 1.5 cups vegetable stock


* Heat oil in a deep pan on medium-high heat.
* Sautee onions for 5-7 minutes until they become slightly transluscent.
* Add in diced mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes
* Mix in the minced garlic, grated ginger and spice mix and stir well.
* Add in the lentils and mix together.
* Add tomato paste and stock and stir thoroughly.
* Allow to simmer for 25-35 minutes or until most of the liquid has reduced down (should have the texture of a fairly thick stew).

Assembling a platter of ethiopian food is so much fun! I put a big round piece of Inerja on the biggest plate or platter I can find, scoop the stew or various dishes onto the inerja. Then I like to do something a little less traditional--I put a small heap of lettuce leaves tossed with fresh lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper and then a little dollop of plain yogurt thinned out with fresh lemon juice just to cool things down a bit....

I still don't know much about Ethiopian food and cooking preparations, but do know one thing--it is best when shared with a group of friends. Dive in and get your hands messy!

Medicine: a new-shojin eatstation, San Francisco

When I was living in London (and thenafter Sydney), my friend, tiffany said "you HAVE to go eat at Wagamama". So I did, because Tiffany knows all great spots when it comes to bars, food and bars. Wagamama is a pan-Asian noodle bar of sorts with cafeteria-style seating (Americans generally aren't used to sitting right next to another person with your elbows touching, but it didn't seem to bother anyone in London or Sydney). And oh boy, is it yummy for those days when nothing sounds better than noodles, and lot's of it. Actually, my favorite dishes were Amai Udon (udon noodles with a sweet tamarind sauce, teppan-fried with egg, fried tofu, prawns, red onions, leeks and beansprouts and topped with crushed roasted peanuts and a fresh wedge of lime) and the vegetarian katsu plate, which came with slices of sweet potato, zucchini and butternut squash deep-fried in Japanese panko breadcrumbs and served with a mild curry sauce and sticky white rice. The Amai Udon is sort of like a Japanese version of pad thai and I immediately went home and recreated a recipe for it if you are interested...

Anyway, Tiffany happened to be in town and wanted to meet up for a quick lunch...ah, the office lunch. For me, there are the days where 10 hours pass in the span of what feels like 10 minutes and you suddenly realize that an unacceptable number of hours have passed without eating. There are days that swallow up the lunch hour and I am caught snacking on raisins, walnuts, dried fruit. And, of course, there are days where I sneak away from my desk to eat some good 'ol lunch brought from home (which generally consists of salad or dinner leftovers). But the extra special treat, for me, is when I can escape the office altogether for that precious hour to meet my friends who work near my office and try new restaurants...So I decided to take Tiffany to Medicine because, sadly, San Francisco does not have a Wagamama...

I have now eaten several of their dishes and, while it is no Wagamama, it is certainly unique and yummy (and they also don the cafeterian-style seating). Their signature is a sushi roll made with a purplish-colored 9-grain rice. My favorite appetizer is the Shiitake Croquettes--a mash of Japanese mountain yam, buttery sweet potato and shiitake, breaded and fried in panko breadcrumbs and served with a Tonkatsu-style dipping sauce. The curry udon is a big bowl of udon noodles in mild, creamy curry sauce (which is made from kombu, avocado, apple carrot, roasted soy beans, coconut milk, lemon and a secret spice blend) and they give you a bamboo wooden spoon to help you slurp up the noodles. But I think my favorite is the Miso-marinated tofu bento box (who doesn't love the Bento box with all sorts of yummy unexpected goodies??). It is tofu broiled with a thick, sweet yet salty paste made with pinenuts, pistachios and miso and then put under a broiler until it turns golden brown and sticky...

Oh, and I hope you can forgive me for forgetting my camera...somehow i flew out the door for the Office Lunch with out it...