Monday, July 25, 2011

Inspiration Nation

Things I have been into:

Friday Night Lights

It's a rare show that comes along like Friday Night Lights, both genuine and dramatic without a hint of pretentiousness. Granted I am only 1/2 way through the 2nd season but it really catches you with the authentic ebbs and flows of relationships with the backdrop of Texas football. I am fairly new to football (4 years!) so its still captivating to me in that sense and surprisingly doesnt get old. Sexy triangles! Crippling accidents. First kisses, jealousy, being a teenager....what more can you ask for in a network television show? I'm totally hooked and I am taking it slowly to savor it as most of my friends have advised. I want to BE Connie Britton.

China Camp in San Rafael, CA

Our wedding photographer brought us there for part of our engagement shoot. Living in San Francisco there is no shortage of beautiful small spots tucked away on the water to discover. I had never been there but it was a quaint little spot I cant wait to return to. Its perfect with it's old timey buildings, run down boats and apparently warm enough water to swim in. Not too shabby. Photos to come! Thanks so much Sheila!

The Cocktail Menu at Aziza.

I have spent 13 years drinking. The first 4 were mere licks and sips to determine the level of drunkenness that you can pass to be cool at school without crossing the line to "troubled" while also giving you courage to kiss boys at parties. The following 4 were partially (and ironically) spent under the roof of the Wellness Floor at Emerson College where drinking was forbidden not just by the law but by your peers. (I was placed there by accident and they can suck a cheetahs dick except that I found my friends!). I drank alot of Bacardi Limon and Vanilla Vodka. Years 8-11 were merely spent discovering how amazing beer is and from 11-13 its been a delight seeing cocktails mature from your usual vodka soda and cran vodka to something super wild and out there like Arugula Gin Fizz and Almond Margarita. The cocktail menu at Aziza is a revelation!
Here are some samples:

thai chili lemongrass, chartreuse, gin

fennel dill, saffron, black pepper, vodka

tomato harissa, balsamic cherries, tequila

rhubarb vanilla, rose, vodka

Need I say more!?

Anyway! It was a fun weekend. Friday we went to go see Harry Potter and it was great even though I didnt understand alot of it. I think I have alot of Wikipedia reading to do (as opposed to 10,000 pages I would need to read the book....). Then we had some friends over on Saturday for dinner....then Sunday we saw the Brewers take on the Giants and lose. All in all it was fun to be out doing fun things!

I posted a blog earlier this month about this amazing feta/basil and mint mixture I made for a salad and I decided to turn it into an appetizer by cubing watermelon then scooping out the middle and stuffing with the cheese mixture. It got raves that it was refreshing! as well as complex. Super simple prep and also really colorful. I love!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Canning Machine!

It's been quite a few weeks. Is it possible to be so busy and yet so bored at the same time!? I dont mean bored but we've been trying to minimize travel this summer to be able to afford the wedding (thats only 7 weeks away!) so we have been saying no to everything we would usually say yes to! Music festivals, weekends away on the Russian River, Phish shows, etc. We havent really even camped since last year! Beer fest doesnt count, though it was in a tent. So what have we been filling our time with? See below!

......................these are just teaser images before the reveal at our wedding! Shawn and I took on a massive project to can an assortment of jams and jellies and marmalades and spreads for our wedding. 125 to be exact! It was our first canning day last Sunday and we canned for 6 hours straight! It was.............hard. noisy. rewarding. cute. frustrating. fun. domestic. darling. We are halfway through but so far its a success.

In an effort of full disclosure I did not make this salad - Shawn did! And it was the bomb. I cant wait to make it for you guys! If I am wrong about the recipe Shawn will set me straight.

Also, I lost 5 more pounds! Only 15 more to go for a total of 20 lost!

One more thing: have you noticed that there's a saxophone solo in both Katy Perrys TGIF Friday and in The Edge Of Glory by Lady Gaga? SAX IS BACK! and not whack.

Shrimp & Watermelon Summer Salad
1/2 pound of shrimp
3 radishes, sliced thin
3 cups of shredded cabbage
2 cups of cubed watermelon (more or less due to your taste!)
1/2 cup of peanuts
1/2 sliced red onion

1 carrot shredded
diced mint, basil and cilantro (about a tablespoon each!)
Dressing in the blender:
Olive Oil

Lime Juice
Champagne Vinegar

Step One: Devein and poach the shrimp for 4 minutes or until they start to curl up. I set them aside in the fridge to cool as this is a cool salad. Pepper them for flavor if you want before you throw them in the salad later.

Step Two: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss!

Step Three: Toss in a homemade Garlic Lime Olive Oil Vinegrette!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Simple Simon

San Francisco is notorious for a sunless summer but before we even noticed its given us a summer full of Vitamin D. This past week has been incredibly giving in the "seasons" dept. I even found myself wearing sunglasses inside until 8pm. Can you even imagine!?

We spent Friday night grilling at our friend's Adam & Melissa and Adam is a master of grilling. There is no one I know who does it better! Honestly, it chars in the right place, leaks juices in the right places and looks the part. He will love that I pumped him up in this category but the truth is - it's not bragging if its true. We also went and tried out Nopalito which was amazing !

Because we spent so much time trying to save money this weekend (we wish we had been at High Sierra Music Festival) - we watched alot of movies. Or at least I did. reviews coming soon on: Iron Man 2, The Adjustment Bureau, Let Me In and Letters To Juliet.

Anyhow! As you may know I am obsesssssssed with this cafe in SOMA called Darwin. I eat there 3x a week. This salad had inspiration drawn from a salad I have had there often but I took it, twisted it and then gave it a better fruit: Mint & Basil Feta Salad with Plum and Arugula. They usually use Cantaloupe but its nothing spectacular - so I subbed plums.

The real star of this salad is the Mint & Basil feta. It's light and tastes like a garden. I like eating gardens.

a bunch of basil
a bunch of mint
juice of a lemon
1/4 cup Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
(put it in a food processor and pulse til chopped!)
mix it with 1 cup of crumbled Feta.
Pair with a diced plum and arugula.

Serve as a salad!

I like to toss with more lemon juice at the end before serving.