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It’s been too long

Well, I finally blogged again.  I was gone for a long time, huh?

Where do I begin?  I’m sure the suspense is killing everyone of what I’ve been up to.

I had a very aggravating day today.  I promised myself I was going to come home and do Pilates, that would make me feel better.  Now nothing could get my butt up off the couch away from my laptop and words with friends.  Soon I am going to start wrapping presents, and I might even put up some Christmas decorations.  Crazy right? I love Christmas lights, maybe they will help take the sting out of it getting dark at 5:00 now.  HUGE bummer,  somehow I had forgotten how early it gets dark.

Going home to see the family this week and I couldn’t be more excited.  Maybe that’s why work was such a drag today, vacation brain.  My family is the best, we have such a great time.  We have 4 full days of non-stop parties and get togethers planned.  I’m so excited about it!   Come on Friday hurry up!

I can’t post a blog without a photo, so here is the newest cookbook we purchased.  I am going to make crack pie as soon as I get back from my trip, and maybe the million layer pistachio cake after that.




Oh and here are the baby brie’s we made at a birthday party a few weeks ago.  We went to a party that featured a “learn how to make cheese class”.  So here they are, they are really looking good.  They will be ready in 2 or 3 weeks.


Mr. Pollo

We FINALLY made it to Mr. Pollo.   FINALLY.  I have been trying to eat there for a long time now, it was either closed, or full, or some other delicious place would get in the way.  Not today!



Doesn’t this look like an appetizing place you want to eat?



Well, it is my friends.  It’s a tiny hole in the wall in the heart of the Mission, (seats 12 I think) that was recommended by Chris Costentino on The Best Thing I Ever Ate “Best Bang for your Buck” (I think…) edition.  For $20 (show says $15, but I guess it has gone up since) you get a DELICIOUS four course pre-fixe dinner created by the chef from whatever fresh and local ingredients he found that day at the market.  Fun huh?  This was our first course.  I try not to play favorites, but, THIS WAS MY FAVORITE.  Yum.  Delicious.  Under the fruit was tiny delicious nuggets of cheese…. pickled onions I think and edible flowers….



2nd Course.  Fried salmon belly with fresh zucchini and squash, and about a million other beans and sauces and things, I couldn’t really keep up with what the chef was saying.

3rd Course – Devoured it before I could take a photo.  Ok I forgot.  It was good though.  Seared steak, purple potato sauce, mushrooms, purees, fresh tomatoes, lots of other stuff.

4th course – Slow roasted lamb, rice, other stuff (delicious) food dementia was setting in by now.  NO idea what he said about this dish, but it was GOOD.

For dessert we decided to order 2 cheese arepas.  They were outstanding.  Buttery, corny, sweet & cheesy.  I was dreaming of taking a sack of 10 home for later but decided that could not be a good idea.

4 stars.

















Spent Grain Bread

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We have finally found a use for all of the spent grains that are left as a result of brewing our own beer.  Bread.  And a few other things that I have found recipes for – mostly variations of bread.  I’m most excited to try the granola recipe and homemade crackers.  After all we really need something to put under all of the blocks of cheese we have been consuming lately.  Check out this bread, looks delicious eh?


My New Favorite Salad

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I am currently having a love affair with beets.  As a result I have been enjoying this salad from time to time.  I even had a dream about it the other night.  No joke.

Chopped lettuce.

Lots of feta crumbles.

Sliced Almonds.

Roasted beets (put beets in a foil tent for 1 hour with drizzled olive oil, salt and pepper.  Peel after they cool and cube them).

Dressing:  lots of olive oil, some red wine vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper, a bit of mustard, and the oil from the roasted beets)  Shake shake shake!   Enjoy.

My Day as a Trapeze Artist

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For as long as I remember I have wanted to try my hand at the trapeze.  Ever since my days in gymnastics I have always been drawn to and in love with all things acrobatic.  I never imagined that I could actually fulfill this dream.  I always knew there had to be somewhere far away where trapeze training happened, I just figured it was on some sort of circus compound far far away with elephants running around.  I never imagined that there would be a trapeze school 30 minutes from my houses.  Thanks to Groupon, I was thrilled to see a daily deal of a trapeze class. Count me in!

Signing my rights away in case I plummet to my death mid-swing.

Trapeze Arts has ribbon dancing, trampolining, and all sorts of fun things to learn!

This is what my version of heaven looks like.


What have I gotten myself into?

Seriously, what have I gotten myself into?????

A little practice on ground level before the big climb.

Practicing how to jump off of the platform.

The Big Climb.  No turning back now.  The ladder was not actually a “ladder”  but metal bars.  It hurt REALLY bad just to walk up it.

Even getting off of the net was fun!

Well, I just realized that in order to post video to my blog I would have to upgrade and pay.  Blech!  Sorry folks, I do have videos of my trapezing my heart out, but I cannot imbed them here!  Bummer!

My shoulders and arms are so sore today it was actually painful to put on deodorant this morning.   And, check out the back of my knees – who knew!

The Best Peanut Butter Cookies

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2 sticks butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups peanut butter

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix butter, sugar and peanut butter together. Add eggs, flour, baking soda and vanilla extract. Bake at 350°F for about 12 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 4 dozen cookies


Where are you when I need you the most?

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The Messiest Thing I Ever Ate

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I have officially knocked off one more item on the “best thing I ever ate” of San Francisco. This weekend we went to Penang Garden in Chinatown to experience the bliss of the Singapore Hot & Spicy Crab.  Not only was it delicious but it was quite possibly the messiest thing I have ever eaten.  Exhibit A.

Basically it is an entire dungeness crab, taken apart, cooked in a very chunky hot sauce  and then reassembled back together.  The sauce is entirely covering the entire crab, all over the shells and everything which makes it messy!  Also it comes with these little things (I call them donuts) to mop up all of the excess sauce.  We had to order extra as we soon learned that donuts dipped in Singapore sauce is good!

Exhibit B.

Check out my hand.  Knee deep in Singapore sauce.

Perhaps the funniest part of the evening is the fact that they have giant posters hanging up proudly proclaiming that they were recommended on the Food Network.

Don’t be fooled

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Does it look like we went to some sort of religious shrine to become one with our inner selves?  Not.   Went to the Fox Theatre in Oakland to see the Cold War Kids.  Great Show.  Great Venue.  Can hardly wait to go see Bright Eyes.  Been looking forward to it for quite some time.

In brewing news:  Bottled the Belgian Strong Ale today.  Working on making a Blueberry Stout.


Look at that color people!

Siphoning the first brew.  Preparing for the second rack.  Not mine.  The beer’s.

Brewmaster’s must taste their work.

What a beauty.

Freakin’ sweet huh?  Muir Woods, a photo completely unrelated to the previous pics, one for your enjoyment.  Just sit back and enjoy.

Animal popsicles

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Why the title?  Couldn’t come up with anything better.  I haven’t blogged in a while.  To make up for it I will provide you with a random assortment of colorful pictures of my adventures lately.

Last weekend it was beautiful outside.  So I decided to jog (well half jog, mostly walk) to Delores Park and back.  This is a giant palm tree at the edge of the park and I absolutely love it.  It reminds me of a giant pineapple.

City Hall.  Neat, huh?

Pork Dumplings with black bean sauce at House of Nanking.  You didn’t think I’d have a post without food did you?

My San Francisco family.  Aunt Jane is in town, so we all got together for Brunch at Becca & Barry’s.  How fun!  I love that I have  family here!

Picture time.

Poor Barry.  He is always hammering nails through his finger!

Later we stop by Humfrey Slocombe’s for ice cream.  Ralston gets very excited that he finally gets to try their famous foie grais ice cream sandwich.  Basically this is goose liver pate ice cream.  Meat ice cream people.  Hmm..   Ralston admitted he probably wouldn’t get it again but was thrilled to try it today.  I just can’t stop getting 1 scoop of Vietnamese Coffee with 1 scoop of whatever flavor they have that is related to chocolate drizzled with hot fudge sauce.  So no fois grais for me.  It’s a gorgeous sandwich though eh?