Life Lately



Guess what. I have five weeks left before I’m donedonedone with grad school and officially a master. Of something. In theory public health but it might actually be a masters in figuring out exactly what I have to do and doing only that…. I kid, I kid.

Only problem is that between now and June 3rd, I have so much crap to do it’s mildly staggering. But! It’s fine, pshhh whatever. I balance my school nonsense with fun life things so it’s all good.

Such as! Semi-annual yoga retreat at Westerbeke was a few weekends ago, which was awesome and restorative and fun as always (though missing two of my besties, waaaah. Good thing we’re going again next May, I can make up the shenanigans in spades).













Let’s see, what else.

THIS. Always this…






New swag for my car!!!


Stuff. Photographic evidence that I still exist despite the massive load of graduate nonsense… Happy Monday!

Photographical Evidence of Life Lately

Of course my tree elves do yoga. This was a question?!
Of course my tree elves do yoga. This was a question?!

I have no new food for you at this point..

Because finals week.


And before that because midterms, round 3. So basically all that is in my fridge at the moment is 4 hardboiled eggs, 2.5 zucchini, some sourdough bread, and salted butter. Oh. And I had a can of wild salmon but I ate that last night… so yeah.



Good thing finals are done this week and then I get holiday time which means baking baking baking! And yoga yoga yoga! And all the good things that apparently come in threes.

And because I realized I hadn’t posted anything since Nov. 12 (Epic. Fail), I decided to send you a snapshot of my ridiculous the last several weeks, which has included a bit of baking, but usually just the old favorites that I can make with my eyes closed…. some jumping around with leaves, and doodles. Because intense studying = intense doodles.



gigantic Straus soft serve mountain at Zero Zero SF. Omg yum.

I will say that these molasses ginger cookie were pretty spectacular. I will post the recipe if I ever have more than five seconds to throw a post together..





You don’t mind cat hairs in your cookies, do you? Of course not.


SO! Happy Holidays and Happy End of Finals (almost) to me and my cohort. Almost…. there!!! Just a few more days.




This last weekend was exactly what I needed, when I needed it! Thank heavens for my semi-annual yoga retreat at Westerbeke Ranch with my yoga fam — laughter, 8 hours of yoga in 2 days, delicious food, beautiful surroundings, and best friends. There is something about the energy of this place that soothes the soul and calms the mind, and I wouldn’t give it up for the world.




This particular retreat came right smack in the middle of my second (of three) rounds of midterms this quarter, and couldn’t have been better timed. To completely disconnect for two days was exactly what I needed, whether I knew I needed it or not. A chance to see old friends who have been gone too long, to laugh with the friends I might have seen only a few weeks ago, and to let my soul fly free in yoga is a beautiful thing – I am so grateful for being given this chance to relax. Photos are often more eloquent than words, so I’ll just leave it to the photos to do the sharing.





















Living a Gastronomical Dream


I’m not even sure I have sufficient brain power to compose a blog post right now, given that all the blood in my body is currently being diverted to my stomach because GARY DANKO and a five course tasting menu + a complimentary birthday dessert + assorted bon bons to finish off the meal and does someone have a wheelbarrow I could borrow to leave the restaurant?! Actually I practically ran up Hyde Street after the dinner because I literally sat and ate for three hours and I needed to MOVE. But what a way to go…. this is a food coma of epic proportion and probably the best food I’ve eaten in at least a year. If not more. Allow me to nerd out for a second about realizing a gastronomical dream to actually eat here…


I actually ordered two desserts tonight. I mean, I shared. But point being, two of my five courses were dessert and then the lovely staff at Gary Danko brought me a birthday dessert! And then a breakfast cake! And then bon bons! This restaurant is gastronomical heaven (I detect angels singing).

And now I’m so full moving is exceptionally optional and I have no need to eat for at least a week. Ha. As if. I will probably get up and eat a ginormous breakfast. And my stomach can just deal because I only turn 25 once, so there, stomach. Don’t be a punk.


I’m going to get all gastro nerd on you for this post because it is just too good to not share. And also probably include some general birthday shennanys.

First course: Crispy Farm Egg with Grits, Royal Trumpet Mushrooms, Frisée and Pancetta (far and away my favorite savory)


Second course: Pan Seared Bass with Israeli Couscous, Zucchini, Basil, Meyer Lemon, Tomato Confit and Sauce Maréchal

Third course: Lemon Pepper Duck Breast with Duck Hash, Bacon Braised Endive and Port Glazed Figs


Desserts: Warm Louisiana Butter Cake with Peaches, Huckleberry Compote and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Lemon Soufflé Cake with Crème Fraîche Panna Cotta and Raspberry Sorbet (mom’s. But actually my fave)
Trio of Crème Brûlée with Assorted Cookies (Vanilla, Bourbon, and Chocolate Hazelnut)
Corn Semifreddo with other delicious things that I don’t remember (Dad’s. Also amazing)




Complimentary Birthday Chocolate Mousse Cake!

Bon Bons!


And breakfast cake. Because it’s not like I didn’t already eat enough already…

That was so unbelieveably rich, decadent, and over the top delicious that there are no words. I’m just incredibly grateful to the staff at Gary Danko for an unforgettable birthday evening!



And a few randoms just to round things out:

Drawing challenge, day 3: favorite food! Except now I might have to draw all of the Gary Danko courses because now I have even more favorite foods…


Also, sushi!


A few birthday beach trip snaps from last weekend…





And some birthday tapioca (gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free) because I wanted some dessert on my actual birthday, but my stomach was being a bit of a punk and I knew the above was coming so…. I decided to be smart. Which as I sit here in my food coma, was an extremely smart thing to do…


What a fab birthday! I’m pretty sure 25 is going to be pretty freaking great.


Not dead. Just up to the eyeballs in Biostats…


Ai yi yi.

I promise I’m not dead.


I’m just buried up the eyeballs in medical biostatistics and health informatics and public health and… yeah. I finally got a chance to cut my fingernails last night and you have NO IDEA how good that felt. I seriously have zero free time, thank you summer session, and the infinite wisdom that decided cramming a 10 week quarter into slightly less than 6 weeks was a good idea. I think.. not?!


Oreo is helping by sitting on my biostats homework. My thoughts exactly.

That being said, it’s been enough just to get myself fed, much less make anything interesting. Add to that the small detail of living in several different places at once while I pack, live, go to school, and drive around and we are left with highly portable food that doesn’t require refrigeration. ie…. bananas. Nature’s perfect snack.

Also, let’s just confuse things even further… I flew to Oregon last-last friday (which happened to also be the last day of my first week of school) for a wedding!! Yay!! But also, that meant that about 1/8 of my clothes were with me, 1/4 were where I’m living (hi Cathy! Thanks for letting me crash at your pad for a month :) and 1/2 of my stuff is still at home. And there is maybe 1/32 of it maybe residing at E’s. So yeah. Stuff. EVERYWHERE.


Pictures of some hilarious Salemness — the owls were attacking people during nesting season in Bush Park, so the city put up some genius signs… and THEN Gilgamesh released a brilliant beer.


BUT WAIT! I kind of adulted. I bought an insulated lunchbox today with cute little specially-formated-for-lunchboxes icepacks… because I got mega tired of never taking lunch that needed refrigeration…. AND I had about half a second to myself yesterday, so I made rice pudding. Because upset stomach + stress + no free time = vegan rice pudding sweetened with date paste. I feel much more like a human now that I’ve resurfaced from my books. And it’s FRIDAY. YAY!


That all being said, I have obviously had very little blog time, and probably won’t for the next month-ish. Sad. But at least eventually I will have more free time… maybe. In which case I will attempt to get back into making interesting food. In the meantime, I will post when I can, so that you don’t have to go too long without my sassy commentary, because I KNOW you just miss me in your inbox when I’m absent. I know it.

But to tide you over… the pictures in here are my life from the last two weeks. Ish. Because those last two weeks have felt like four weeks, and it’s ridiculous. But at least I managed to take a few snaps, right?! Right.




PS. It took me three days to finish this blog post. See what I mean?! Because up there I say it’s Friday… but it’s actually Monday. That might be the most tragic thing ever. Ugh. Monday.

But at least this post started and ended with ridiculously sprinkled ice cream sandwiches. That has to count for something in terms of making Monday better, right?!


All kinds of random

IMG_2136This feels like it’s going to be one of those posts that is essentially a snapshotlet [ie a smallish snapshot] of my eatings and goings on for the last several weeks, which have been insanely busy.

I started a new 8-5 office job that will go until I leave for camp/grad school so I am readjusting to having a very consistent schedule. Which is GREAT except totally foreign because all of my jobs ever involved totally random and non-consistent schedules. And also standing. Lots and lots of standing. Which wasn’t my favorite until I began sitting all day, at which point I discovered that standing is pretty great. ANYWAY. Expect to see possibly slightly less on the blog until I can get settled into my schedule. But I shan’t be disappearing entirely… this girl’s gotta eat.

SO, let’s see. What randomness can I share today..


I love it when people I love have birthdays, since it means I get to cake it up for them. Here’s the latest: chocolate cake with mocha buttercream.





Jill and I got crazy and made red lentil, coconut milk and walnut ice cream and it was possibly the earthiest, maple-y, walnut-y, weirdest ice cream ever. But also very delicious. And weird. Did I mention lentils?! Because hahahahhahha I am one of the only few who would love lentils in ice cream. Trust me, it works! Recipe here.




I finally got to spend quality slope time with my K2 babies. It was absolutely wonderful and gorgeous and hilarious and exhausting and amazing. And then I had a malt and all was right with the world.





Because, February??! Uhh yeah. It doesn’t make sense to me either but it was sunny and warm and then cloudy and raining but there was delicious bread and scones and cheese and butter and a picnic and Elliott… a perfect day. Capped off by dinner at a kombucha bar/macrobiotic kitchen and then a sundae [whiskey bread pudding ice cream+ caramel+ a fudgy brownie and a metric ton of sprinkles] the size of my face. Because… I’m actually five.




My dessert is massive. Teehee. The pie is E’s. I’m not THAT piggy, sheeeesh.


I know, I know… horrible food photography for this next one but just go with it. FUDGYYYYYYY!


IMG_2153Happy, gorgeous Saturday and delicious eats. Doesn’t get much better than that!

Hello, I’m a stressball and this is what I ate last week


Here we go again with one of those hopefully-not-too-often posts of, “hello, I’ve been super stressed and super busy and have therefore not cooked often enough for my liking but I love my bloglet and invisible internet friends and I can’t abandon them sooooo… here is a post of ‘this that and the other thing’ I’ve eaten recently…”

Just bear with me. I’m still recovering from taking the GRE, which was the test equivalent of something sucking out your soul and dancing on it. Four hours staring at a computer screen, testing. And testing. And testing. Ewww. Good thing I face planted into THIS afterwards.


All I wanted was carbs and cheese. Literally.

Thank you, Zachary’s, for saving my soul. Seriously though, what a horrible thing to make people do. Ugh. Just thinking about it is making me want pizza again from the horrible stressyness of it all. But actually I just love Zachary’s pizza anyway so that’s not too hard of a sell.. mmmkmovingon!

Also this. Oops. But I shared, don’t worry.


And then of course Jill and I had our annual monthly-ish cooking extravaganza. So delicious beet caviar happened {adapted from this recipe here}, like this {our iteration had less garlic, used yogurt, and more lemon juice}:



And then mmmm spaghetti squash with chard and chickpeas {recipe adapted only slightly from here}:


And then we baked. I mean, of course. What else would we do?!

Cookies. Vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free. Like this, and found here:


Note scientific fork division of chocolate chip filled cookies and carob chip filled cookies. It’s SCIENCE.

And then cake. Pumpkin pecan with pumpkin seed crumble. Vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free, but I have to say it’s delicious with ice cream (because really, what isn’t). Recipe was as is, minus the addition of flax, here.


And also apparently my dresser looks like an iSpy page. Which is totally fine with me… it makes hunting for appropriate jewelry so much more fun. No surprise my nickname is Little Magpie….


i spy, anyone??

Love to ya’ll from Texas!


Time for the semi-annual-ish vacay iPhone photo dump!


Oh Texas. I love you, in your ways that are so different than California. Also family! And BBQ. Particularly Goode Company in Houston. Cowboy boots, sombreros, Marble Slab Creamery with its unlimited mix-ins; tex-mex and fresh guac, the tiny town of Matagorda; the gulf, whose waters are startlingly warm to the feet of this northern California girl; giant mosquitos and their evil blood sucking shenanigans; sweet tea and conviviality; bayous and spanish moss; heat lightning and cicadas; the zoo in 90 degree weather with 100% humidity; helicopter rides over the gulf and some wild piggies that take off from a neighbor’s front lawn just because someone knows someone else and everyone is wonderful and friendly and nice; and giant, GIANT swaths of flat, open landscape: everything is bigger in Texas!
















Until next time, my adopted state! I’m so glad I have family there so I have an excuse to go traipsing around and visiting.

Love to ya’ll from Texas!



I’m BACK!! And camp was FAB! And I pretty much didn’t want to leave, as per usual. Except then when we were TRYING to leave, Mother Nature had a good laugh and dumped half a ton of hail into the lake and garnished that with some epic lightning and thunder. No big deal, especially when there’s no vehicle access to camp and everything gets rowed across the lake…

Nothing like a good solid Sierra storm to round out an incredible session. No words… just pictures. Camp is where the heart is!





IMG_6654I mean, this is a food blog after all…. my super awesome campers made two meals al fresco, using three types of cooking! Box oven [cornbread + pineapple upside-down cake], dutch oven [veggie chili+ roasted veggies], and over the coals [quesadillas + banana boats]. So proud!!



Of COURSE you lick your plate. Or foil, as the case may be… this is camp. Obvs. Leftover meatloaf+roasted veggies + guac all on top of a freshly made quesadilla al fresco. Doesn’t get much better than that.



And then of course, you have your friendly wilderness ‘helpers’. Not. IMG_6701


But gunneling is fun!


And my shoes are ridiculous. This is going on at least three years of those being camp shoes… I’m amazed you can even tell what color they are.

IMG_6696Already missing my camp fam, who I only see twice a year (average).

You have to have at least one place where you laugh till the tears and snot run down your face, your abs hurt and you can’t breathe. Somewhere that the people are there not because they are paid, but because they love it with their soul. A place that gets under your skin in the best possible way. Rejuvenates, refreshes, lightens the soul.




Two Sentinels.



IMG_6750And then sometimes you look like this when you’ve just been caught in a two hour hail storm in running shorts and a tee shirt. Thanks Mother Nature, we love you too! Good thing we’re tough camp types, what’s a little hail?!

And Stuff.


Weekend Stuff!!

Because… it’s summer and I leave for camp in a week (Yay! Only minor packing stresses left to be stressy about now) and I have had NO time to do anything besides stuff my face with the enormous piles of fruit in my house. Seriously. There is an ABSURD amount of fruit around here for three people (sometimes four. E nicely helps out).

Which is fine. Because it’s summer and that means I want ALL THE FRUIT. ALL THE TIME.


Pretty sure all of those are represented in the house at this moment. There is fully not enough time in my day to eat all the fruit. Does someone have an extra stomach I can borrow?? I need two.

But anyway. Weekend things! Besides eating fruit, this was dinner yesterday because I ate it at 4:30 and then I went into an ice cream coma. For reals.






That was in fact a brownie ice cream sundae with butterscotch and banana pudding ice cream+whipped cream+caramel (duh)+toasted pecans.


Ps. Go to the Ice Cream Bar on Cole in SF if you want stupid good retro ice cream. Just do it. Or if you’re one of my invisible internet friends NOT from the aybaybay then come visit and I’ll take you because odds are I want to face plant into something like this and will use you as a convenient excuse. Mmk?!

Also. Hhahahaha mustard. But banana slug!!! But actually… mustard.


And this too!! I told you E helped with the fruit, see?? Peach crispy crumbly thing per deux. It got eaten with frozen bananas-turned-ice cream because we decided to be good for a night. The recipe was essentially this (it’s sooooo complicated. NOT):


Cut up two delicious, organical peaches. Toss them into a cute little cast iron skillet. In a smallish bowl, combine 3/4 c almond meal+1 tbsp runny, raw honey +1/2 tsp cinnamon+ 1 tsp coconut oil+ 1/4 c rolled oats+ 2 tbsp unsalted almond butter+ a pinch of sea salt+ 1 tsp vanilla and stir until the crumbly thing comes together. Drop over the top of the cut peaches and bake for close to 15 minutes, until the crumble is a little browned. Serve with some frozen bananas+vanilla+a splash of almond milk processed or blenderized into ice cream. Simple. Delicious. FRUIT!! Obvi. Gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, whatnot.

No comments please on my baking methods. There is possibly not a single square inch of available counter space in said photo and that is obviously not an issue. I can always go vertical and start stacking things if necessary…


And also!! These were almond butter cookies that I made FOREVER ago but I forgot to share them until now but LOOK at how perfect they are!!! Clearly these might have had a cookie modeling career if they hadn’t ended up in my stomach so fast.

Ew. It’s one of those days where it’s already hot at 6:30 am and I just came back from jazzercise and… ew. Lucky for you you’re my invisible internet friends, not my sitting-right-next-to-my-sweaty-self friends. And on that lovely note..

Bye. I need fruit.