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!
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!
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…
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.
This 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!
Happy, gorgeous Saturday and delicious eats. Doesn’t get much better than that!
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!
I 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.
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.
Already 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.
And 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?!
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..
Ugh sorry sorry sorry I know it’s been forever since we’ve had an invisible internet friend chat… but I’m back now with random things so you can rest easy. I know, you suuuuper missed me. Or something.
This is pretty much going to be one of those photo dump posts… I’ve made and eaten a lot in the last weekish and am feeling a little braindead. Back with a normal recipe post shortly…
Because…. just because. I just think it’s way too good not to share. Agreed?
Just do me a favor and don’t take this out of context… no, my family does not lollop around dressed in early Californiana-esque garments… nor do we secretly own a saloon/tavern/gambling/dancing establishment. Just no. However, we did decide we needed a new family portrait. So that happened.
And then there was Father’s Day! Or rather, Father’s Day happened before all of the vintage photograph shenanigans but it’s family and therefore relatable so MOVING ON. Vati requested something chocolate and spicy, so I made him these!
Salted chocolate, cayenne and ginger ice cream sammies!!
The recipe is from The Artful Desperado, here, and I made a few changes:
1.5 c whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose (obvi)
1/2 c avocado oil instead of canola
3/4 c extra dark chocolate chips+some chunks from a 70% bar
1 c brown sugar+ 1/2 c white***
baked for 13 minutes, yield 15 cookies+ one little baby one
***As you know, I pretty much never ever make things with refined sugar any more (some of the older recipes on the blog do though)… but as Vati specifically requested something sugary and decadent, there you go. It was Father’s Day, after all, and what he says goes.
He looooved them. They are dark and spicy and PERFECT with some good quality vanilla ice cream smashed in the middle. I only caution you if you’re not a fan of spicy things, as these are not particularly for the faint of heart. Especially if you don’t like spicy desserts. If you do, however, I can’t really recommend these enough.
They got annihilated.
Dinner was this spectacular steelhead with potatoes and bacon and red wine sauce. Gastro heaven, thank you Farallon.
Reason number one why I love summer [actually might be one of the only reasons since I hate being hot so much, but regardless]:
SO. MUCH. FRUIT. Can’t stop, won’t stop.
And also chocolate. Because… chocolate.
Oh oh oh!! One last random. HUMPHRY SLOCOMBE [quite possibly the best ice cream ever] opened a shop in the Ferry Building, which means it’s only a short hop away on the Oakland-SF ferry. Winninggggggg. E and I literally ate our way into an ice cream coma last week. Secret Breakfast [bourbon cornflake]+banana beach blanket [with peanuts!!!]+bourbon caramel for me; sea salted chocolate+vanilla honey+bourbon caramel+frosted almonds for him. All hail the ice cream mecca!
Welcome to Random Friday! I have several nice lifeish photos hanging out on my phone and they need a home. And I figured I would accompany them with several hilarious anecdotes about my life, because… well, why not? My blog, my rules. And besides, I’ve heard y’all think I’m funny so I thought I’d brighten up your Friday. Ready… GO!
Purple nails and letters from Avis deVoto and Julia Child. Because I’m awesome. And because this is the pile on my end table: reinforcing my own stereotype or something?!
I love it when my chocolate loves me back!
Somehow yesterday morning I managed to get roughly 1.5 cups of raw (which then became cooked) spinach, half a zucchini, a carrot, a quarter cup of wild blueberries, and a quarter cup of applesauce into my oatmeal. If that isn’t impressive, I don’t know what is… take that, five-a-day! I think this is a new record, even for me…
Of course there was also the obligatory chia seeds, almond butter, shredded unsweetened coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a teeny bit of maple. Maybe a little bee pollen. And yes. There were, in fact, oats in there too. Sadly it was too delicious and I ate it too fast for there to be a picture. Next time..
Mmmm. And it was DELICIOUS. Naturally. I don’t bother starting off my days with undelicious things. Why bother? Life is way too short for that.
And then I added lentils to my go-to quinoa cakes. INSPIRED. Why has this never transpired before?!
AND THEN. I’ve been replacing whole wheat flour with lots of other favorite alternatives lately… but my favorite is sprouted quinoa flour in this banana bread. It’s already my fave bbread recipe, but it gets that.much.better with quinoa flour. Besides, I get rave reviews from several of my gastronomically-inclined peeps so I know it’s not just in my head…
Crystalized ginger is really pretty.
And the obligatory cat-napping photo… Jessie doesn’t want you to disturb her napping human! Alternatively… the napping human is hogging too much of the pillow…
Thanks to Amanda over at Endlessly Creating who nominated me for the Liebster Award! It was definitely a nice surprise, as I usually conveniently forget that I have an audience for this thing, and that it isn’t just my [endearingly] snarky hippie-granola-random anonymous rambles. Invisible internet friends, I love you! Thanks for putting up with me.
The Liebster Award is intended to recognize up-and-coming blogs with fewer than 200 followers (or just ones that you really like with more followers than you, let’s make this easy, shall we?). There are some rules to follow when you get nominated:
Post eleven facts about yourself
Answer the questions posed by your nominator
Pass the award on to eleven new recipients
Post eleven new questions to your recipients
Post a copy of the badge on your blog (Google image search “Liebster Award”)
Notify your nominees and include links to the originating blog as well as the new recipients
*I’ll attempt to follow these as specifically as possible, but there may be some margin for adaptability…
Eleven facts about myself.
Hmm. I’ll try to make these things that aren’t readily apparent on my blog [ie. love of sprinkles] Eeek! Here goes:
1. I always played way more with Barbie food than I did with the Barbies themselves. Like, I would get out allll the food and set up the entire kitchen… and then never actually play with the dolls. Who needs dolls when you can have food instead?! I also redecorated the entire inside of my dollhouse, including copious amounts of clay food, hanging doorway beads on safety pins, and chairs that were suspended from the ceiling (doesn’t everyone want one of those?!).
2. I think my favorite food might be really, really, REALLY good ice cream sandwiches.
3. I’ve had 18 teeth pulled. No really. 18. 4 were wisdom teeth. It’s amazing I even have any more left in my face…but in spite of all that nice people still say I have a big smile :) I like smiling! Smiling’s my favorite.
4. I’ve been skiing for 20 years! Downhill only, please, and preferably on my trusty K2 Shuksanne’s (I’m including a picture because a. I love them beyond all reason and b. I went skiing Sunday so I have a recent picture).
5. This year will be my 11th year at Two Sentinels (which is also half my life)! Camp is where the heart is.
6. I’ve climbed Half Dome. I was in seventh grade and carried a backpack that was actually a semi-largeish percentage of my body weight. No big deal.
7. Even though I love baths and I love reading like no other, I have always disliked reading in the tub. What if I dropped my book in there?! It would get totally soaked and then I’d be really sad.
8. I dressed myself in tights, dresses, and patent leather Mary Jane’s throughout preschool and kindergarten. That is, until I discovered the monkey bars in elementary school, figured out I could hang upside-down, and then refused to wear anything remotely resembling a dress without the requisite bike shorts underneath. Ohhh bike shorts. You are SO nineties. Especially because I wore them in fabulous neon colors. Natch.
9. Nancy Drew will always have a special place in my heart. And on my bookshelves (all 56 of them).
10. I like polishing silver.
11. Shoes are overrated.
Answers to Amanda’s questions:
1. What inspires you? People! All day, every day. I am drawn to those who inspire me, mentor me, and fill me with their wisdom.
2. What’s your favorite book? Oh jeez. That’s a tie in a thousand different directions. The Count of Monte Cristo. The Secret Life of Bees. The Velvet Room. And that’s only three…
3. Biggest pet peeve? People who don’t pick up after themselves.
4. Are you part of any fandoms, and to what extent do you participate? I am not… nor do I. Except for a giggle-inducing obsession with Alan Rickman. Oh. And my camp name is Spock. I suppose that makes me a one-woman fandom for Leonard Nimoy?!
5. Which fictional character would you most like to meet? Captain Katherine Janeway, USS Voyager. Or Spock. Or maybe Idgy from Fried Green Tomatoes, and then we could have a food fight!
6. When you get famous for whatever it is you’re doing, who would you most want to be interviewed by? Um. Good question. I hadn’t thought that far ahead yet…
7. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grow up? A ballerina, quickly followed by an artist. Like Georgia O’Keefe.
8. Favorite/least favorite subjects in school? Fave: anything to do with reading or science. Least fave: math.
9. Why did you start blogging? Because I wanted a creative outlet that also kept my diet interesting. And because I needed a method of being accountable to myself, and a way to measure how far I’d come in my own personal journey.
10. Which is better, the book or the movie? BOOK! Always.
11. If you had a band, what would you name it? Little Magpie and the Sprinkles.
Eleven Questions for my nominees:
1. Favorite workout?
2. What was your favorite toy as a kid?
3. What do you want to be when you grow up? Yes. You read that right: if money and time and experience were no object, what would you do?
4. Favorite type of amusement park ride?
5. Most hilarious elementary school memory?
6. Your favorite food to eat in college… or now. But you have to pick only one! Muahaha.
7. If you could time travel and attend any historical event ever, what would it be?
8. What motivated you to start blogging?
9. You have a totally unscheduled, obligation-free day ahead of you. What do you do with it?
10. If you had to pick one cause to champion for the rest of your life, what would it be?
11. If you could be any fictional character for a day, who would it be, and why?
My nominees (some of you have more than 200 followers. Whatevs, I like you!)
Welcome to the ridiculousness that is my random life:
Thursday things! A compilation of totally irrelevant, irreverent, and random things. Because I know that you totally want to know all this stuff. Really, you do.
1. I am utter crap at turning my brain off in savasana. Like, I’ll be laying there going “oooh this is good I’m not thinking! Look at me, being a boss in savasana, like a not thinking boss..” and then I realize that there’s this subconscious little stream of thought going on the whole time about random crap. WTF brain?! Can’t you see I’m savasing?? Sheesh. You’d think my own train of thought could give me a break for all of five minutes.
2. Stupidly obsessed with Mad Men. Why won’t they tell me when it’s coming back?! For that matter, why isn’t it on NOW?
3. I just made cookies. But only two. And all for me. Because I went to Whole Foods in search of a gf/vegan cookie…and. they. FAILED. So I made my own, which were infinitely better and cheaper, as per usual. I think I just made my own day. Besides, I have to power up before bodysculpting class. Duhh. Cookies are clearly an optimal way to do this.
4. I might look like a fool doing the gangnam style dance, but sorry I’m not sorry don’t care! Ridiculously catchy. I’m sure I look especially precious trying to do it in my car at a stoplight…
5. Saturday morning, I will be consuming an egg and english muffin sandwich for breakfast and I. CAN’T. WAIT. The end of the ridiculousness is in sight! Thank god, I don’t think I could take too much more of this, especially since I’m seeing no noticeable differences. Bread and eggs are happening, ideally together, and as soon as possible. That being said, I have developed a newfound appreciation of buckwheat flour.
6. Based on the last few sets of photos I’ve taken, it would appear that I’ve subsisted the last few weeks on cookies. LIES, I promise I’ve eaten some savory stuff… here and there. Oh. And an enormous pile of spaghetti squash.
7. I am now out of cookies. How did this happen?
8. I may be out of cookies, but there are BALLS in my fridge! (hehehe). The recipe is here!
9. My cats are officially adorable.
That’s all.. for now! Muahahha.
Oaty Ginger Cookies
Ever so slightly adapted from Imma Eat That (I freaking love her ideas!). I got 12 cookies. These are excellent with ice cream and peanut butter, juuuust sayin.
1 c + 1 tbsp gluten free oats
1/3 c raw pecans
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
scant 1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c pumpkin puree
2 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp flaxseed+2 tbsp milk bev
2 tbsp chocolate chippies
Preheat oven to 350. Make flaxegg by combining flaxseed and milk bev, and let sit while you throw everything else together.
In a food processor, whizzzzz oats, pecans, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder, and salt, pulsing until combined into a flourlike consistency. Combine pumpkin puree, molasses, and flaxegg in a smallish bowl. Add wet into dry, stirring to combine. Stir in chippies. Form cookie-like shapes and drop onto a cookies sheet (flattening slightly). Bake for 15ish minutes, then cool on a rack!
I apologize for the mega slacking! What with cleaning out my apartment kitchen (nothing that I ate could really be classified as cooking…more like scrounging and improvising), driving home, and… oh yes… GRADUATING (!!!), I’ve been a bit busy.
I’m commenced! Hoorayyy! And there weren’t even any incidents of spectacular comedic falling when I walked across the stage, which is a definite win. AND I wore fluorescent active wear under my robes, which turned out to be an inspired wardrobe choice (and really not surprising after all—it’s me! Let’s be real.), considering it was about a thousand degrees and I was wearing all black. Why is it that I always graduate in a million-degree weather?!
Anyway. This isn’t really a foodie post, but I wanted to post a little something just until I get back into the kitchen. Besides, I’m really very proud of my decorated mortarboard (AND that I graduated officially, of course!). That being said, here’s a little snapshot of what I’ve been up to of late.
Food is coming shortly, promise! I’m back home now, so more culinary adventures await :)