Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy almost New Year

I'm still updating and hope to share a little more in 2014. 2013 was an incredible year of growth and opportunity and I feel like this next year will only bring more goodness. hugs and love

Farmshop Marin

 Farmshop is one of my favorite spots in Marin. This place is gorgeous, I've been in a handful of times and I still swoon over the details.

I always swoon over the details at Farm Shop and it just doesn't get old. I just love this place and the food is just as breathtaking.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

building castles in the sky

is one of the sayings I remember most from my short time in Germany and I think of it often

sidewalk garden

I've been rooting succulent starts for the sidewalk garden like the fella in the top picture. I cut a few, put them in rooting hormone and then dirt while others seem to root faster in water. I toted a few over on a little foam tray (we use these as paint trays in art class) and then just keep wedging them in to fill in empty spots. This little garden has hit a growth spurt over the last few months.

entered my first pie contest

I've wanted to enter a pie contest for a few years now and this was the year. Contestants were asked to highlight a seasonal ingredient from the Ferry Building Farmers Market and I decided on plums. That's why I carried home a few pounds about a week earlier. I had a starting recipe and direction I wanted to go, but needing to wake in time for the 10AM Saturday pie entry deadline meant I needed to wake up with the sun to get the crust made, baked, and cooled before filling. I did wake up early and bleary eyed full of excitement and nerves, but too tired to even make coffee. I quickly made the crust and blind baked (first time) it while I prepared the fruit. Again, I was too tired and concerned about time to make coffee so I wasn't really thinking as clearly in the early morning darkness, so still groggy, I found a bruised spot on one of the plums so I cut around it and peeled it which somehow put me on course to peel all of the plums. This was time consuming, tedious, and completely unnecessary which wouldn't have been so bad if it didn't push me right up to the deadline, eep. I charged ahead and baked the..... peeled and halved plums cut side down with fresh grated ginger and a touch of sugar while I whipped up the creme fraiche bottom layer with a touch of honey. After the pie was assembled I realized that I forgot to drizzle it all with the glaze made with the fruit juice left after baking and just had to wrap it up and drive over to the Ferry Building Farmers Market to enter for judging just minutes before it closed, but I did make it. Above it a picture of my pie on the judging table. I snuck this picture and didn't have time to take more pics while making it. I'll keep it short and say that more of my pie was eaten over the others, they said there was a tie for third place, but the had to pick one... and mine wasn't it. My friends are convinced that it was rigged, especially since one of the winning pies didn't highlight a seasonal item. I'll probably enter again next year. It was a fun experience and I learned I'm way more competitive then I'd often like to admit, but I really wanted to win. While most of the pies left at the judging table only had a slice or two taken out and maybe half was gone at best, about a slice and a half was all that remained of my pie. A few friends and I went about the rest of our day until we had to take a pie break and devoured the rest of the pie while sitting on a park bench outside a coffee shop in Noe Valley. This pie was probably the best pie I've ever made, if I do say so myself. I'll make it again for sure, but with a cup of coffee on the table and a little less pressure. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

park picnics

Picnics at the Presidio have quickly become one of my favorite weekend activities. I biked up and over SF hills for the afternoon picnic (above) to catch up with a friend over hot chai, a burger and fries. Below is the same Off the Grid at the Presidio event, but held of an evening with blankets, fire pits, chic white canvas tents and live music along with local food trucks. The adorable fellas at the creme brulee cart knocked it out of the park with this caramel covered gem and pizza from the Del Popolo mobile wood fire pizza truck is always a winner. The picnics are closed for the winter, but they're coming back with warmer temps next year.

rainbows and tourists

 I walk all over San Francisco and it really is the best way to experience any city. The photos above are of a rainbow entryway in the Castro and Ken figures lined up in a home window holding signs for equality. I was taking the photo when this group of tourists spotted me taking a photo and quickly crossed the street before stepping in front of me to catch it too. Below is a glimpse of the color that makes up the Mission district with street art and paper flowers/banners at Casa Bonampak.


a little pumpkin pie break at Tartine and a quick stop at BiRite where I spotted these clever "kitchen bouquets" full of herbs and garlic to make any cook smile. I did pick up the second Tartine cookbook a few weeks back with the hope of making their pumpkin pie soon and I'll keep ya posted. 

persimmons, winter squash, and pie provisions

 I filled a few market bags at the Ferry Building Farmers Market as I brought back more provisions than usual with a pie contest around the corner. Below are the gems carried home up and over SF hills, about five pounds of plums for pie, more quince, paper white bulbs, persimmons, oranges, green juice, and a bottle of rosemary softers.

peace on earth

and so many streets of SF

tile love

I really do love the abundance of tile art here in SF and many of them have so much personality and charm they bring me so much joy

teaching in the Mission

One of my favorite parts about teaching in the Mission district is being able to take a little walk at lunch to discover a few new tile gems. Of course the little students are adorable too and this time I learned a new song plus a few new words in Spanish like "mirando", which means to be an onlooker or to be loafing/lazing about. The watercolor portraits and bean names where almost too cute to handle.

jellyfish clouds

an afternoon spent at the California Academy of Science always leaves me thinking about jellyfish and tropical plants for the next few days. Above is the butterfly garden full of lush tropical plants and then below is a snapshot of the jellyfish tank that always captivates me. The next day I saw the clouds slowly turn into jellyfish shapes as the ocean breeze swirled and stretched them.

photo party

I was lucky enough to attend a party put on by Sony and Photojojo (provided gift bags) at The Chapel where incredible food and drinks just kept coming around all night. I love the crepe paper garland (above), but took more photos of the food... I mean, grilled prosciutto wrapped scallops, endive spears with dried figs and candied walnuts, plus fancy herb infused cocktails and bubbly all under the city night sky.

classic Chinatown

Some parts of Chinatown have managed to keep their original charm and seem to be the same as I imagine them to have been from the first day of business and this is what makes the Eastern Bakery one of my favorite spots.

neighborhood festival

North Beach is known as "little Italy", but over time Chinatown has crossed over and then of course being San Francisco there are many more things happening in this rich corner of the city. Here are a few quick photos from the parade, this year I raced down to catch an hour after cooking instead of city in front of a coffee shop for half the day to see every bit like last year. The sidewalk art below is by Elvis Christ and is such a part of the community culture and beat history that once thrived. HIs masking tape and sharpie notes change pretty regularly and it's a bit like ready the news. 


so many marigolds at the market

winter light

quince, broccoli, and squash feeling moody at the farmers market

like a giant sundial