Tuesday, January 31, 2012

cooking up a storm.

I realized that I hadn't posted yet for the past week, oops. I'm officially at the end of my mid-twenties as of last week - which I feel like is constantly debated - when do you enter your late-twenties? And really does it matter? I am totally fine with getting older, I think I'm an old soul anyway.

Maddy celebrated with me on the actual day and we made an amazing dinner: butternut squash and leek risotto, roasted brussel sprouts and baked, stuff apples. Everything turned out awesome and also spawned a new Monday night cooking idea. Yesterday we made a Miso Sesame Winter Squash dish from 101 cookbooks, my favorite food blog (partially because the author lives in SF). The abundance of leftover miso may just mean Monday's will be miso Monday's. Miso soup? Yes. There has got to be more miso dishes...

Over the weekend I made dinner with a coworker, somewhat of a deconstructed risotto: farro, leeks, mushrooms, and parmesan. It was delish; we were pretty proud of ourselves. On my walk over to her place (in the Panhandle) I noticed a restaurant called Herbivore and made a mental note to return. Well, upon starting my walk back (which was a hour) after dinner, I decided to walk in to see what it was all about and left with a piece of vegan carrot cake. Best decision of the weekend.

Otherwise, I spent much of the weekend just getting some things done that I've been putting off and/or meaning to do. I bought a bookshelf on craigslist for my room (and stupidly brought it up to my apartment solo); caught up with Katy, Lauren and Becky; finished some work and enjoyed the SF winter weather.

That's it for now, I'm le tired. Have a great week!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

back in the bay.

Well, that game was disappointing. I was really looking forward to a possible Patriots/Niners Super Bowl, but alas, the Niners couldn't pull it out in the end. It's great to be back in San Francisco, even though I had such an amazing time in Boston. I wasn't planning to say much about my time there, but it was more than I had hoped for. Here are the highlights:
  • Veggie Galaxy - the second restaurant from Veggie Planet. I'd be looking forward to it opening all last summer and was pumped to go with Candice my first night in town. I ordered my favorite vegetarian "diner" food - vegan reuben. Yum.
  • Of course I went to Clover. I went twice. In one day. My buddy was working so we chatted a bit - I tried to persuade him that migrating to SF was in their best interest. 
  • A new beer bar opened last summer that I'd wanted to try called Meadhall - a ridiculous amount of taps (great beers!) and the food was pretty tasty. Jay and I headed to the closest we could get to Moan and Dove after that - Lord Hobo - for some more beer. Such a great idea. 
  • For a low key Friday night, we met up with some of the boys at Stanza dei Sigari. I'm always down for a cigar and apparently Churchill's is no longer open (a shame). 
  • It's embarrassing that I never went to Petsi Pies the entire time I lived on Green Street because it is blocks away from my old apartment. Great first visit since I had good company, good pie, and a good latte. Pretty sure Kristin and I were the most animated people they'd seen in there in a while. Love ya, Kris. 
  • I'd heard a lot about Ball Square Cafe and was excited to check it out with Jess (and her new apartment!). Solid food and great to hear about Jess' adventures to SF when I wasn't in town, haha. 
  • The highlight dining out experience was by far and away Mad Martha's! The banana fosters french toast? Bomb. Kyree - you rock and I'm so happy for you and your success. Keep on, keeping on
  • Homemade meals also were stellar - vegan mac and cheese with Lena and Kristin; pizza with Lauren L.; and fish prepared by Mike with the UMass crew; and bagels, lox, the fixings and Sarf and Kelsey's Bloody Mary bar with the Cambridge contingent. Amazing. 
  • A little football and an insane melding of various friends also made the long weekend fantastic - thanks for hosting Mike and Paul! 
Clearly I did a lot in Boston. Thank you Candice for the shelter, food, conversation and general merriment. You are one awesome ninja.

This weekend I had another couple of visitors. Friday, Evan was just finishing up a week in town for work so we met up for a beer at Leopold's (I've posted about it previously). Saturday my mom came to visit for my birthday (so sweet of her) and I took her to one of my favorite places downtown - The Plant. Really good, solid food that's fresh. After our late lunch we did something I'd been meaning to do for a while - framed and hung some pictures in my room. Well, first we spent a couple hours going to get the frames, then we began the process after a quick dinner at Lemongrass (I've also posted about this too). As you can see, I'm starting to go back to the same places. Anyway, now have pictures on my walls! One awesome thing about old SF apartments is there is molding around the tops of the walls so you can hang pictures by wire. I love the look and also the general idea behind it. They turned out great (pictured below).

Today I saw my grandma and aunt as well, who came into the city for lunch. Afterwards I headed to the Marina to CC's Cocktails, where CC herself bartended. She was not so thrilled about bartending, but did seem to love the Niners. So hilarious and strange at the same time.

All in all, a great past couple of weeks. Tomorrow is another birthing day and also Chinese New Year - happy new year all!

Monday, January 9, 2012

flying ninja.

I was barely settling back into San Francisco before I was back to the airport yesterday to leave again, this time for Chicago. The four day week last week was definitely welcomed, especially after coming back from a two week jaunt (I know, poor me). Maddy and I were able to spend some time together on Tuesday, catch up on the holidays and relax - it was good to just chill for the evening. Wednesday I went to get a haircut at a place in the Castro that my coworker recommended called Spunk. It was small and the name of it certainly fit the aesthetic, which I appreciated. The art on the walls actually kept me distracted for most of the haircut, especially one piece in particular. It was a picture of Stevie Nicks, but all of the materials were junk. I asked the stylist about it and she said that the guy who did it was a friend of the owners and does all celebrity junk art. Pretty cool stuff. Anyway, I'm always a nervous wreck when I get my haircut because it's been hacked up so many times but I had a lot of trust in this girl. I told her I wanted bangs again and then afterwards I had the
what was I thinking thoughts racing through my head. It's not the 90s, let alone the 80s. But I've gotten used to it and she actually did a stellar job.

On Thursday, Maddy and I headed to the Mission for dinner so we could spend some time together before I took off for my trip east. We've been talking about Mission Chinese for months, ever since it was featured in Bon Appetite as a top 10 restaurant in the country. Corey was kind enough to give us a gift certificate as a thank you present for housing him last month (so unnecessary, but gifts are always welcomed) and so the meal was super cheap. It's not an expensive place anyway, it just takes forever to get a table, so we got there early (6:15PM) and sat down almost right away. The highlights of the meal were the mussels and salt cod fried rice - so good! Oh and the $3 beer.

My intention was to check out a running club on Saturday morning, but that will have you wait because I overslept by about 30 minutes. Oh well. Instead I took advantage of the beautiful weather and headed out to Golden Gate Park, which I've been meaning to do for a long time. I went on a long run all throughout the park and it was exactly what I needed. The smell of the trees was overpowering and I did some "trail running". It's too bad that the park is so far away from my apartment; it will be a treat whenever I can get myself out there to run because it's really serene.

I met up with Maddy and other Santa Clara folk for a couple of people's birthday celebrations and had a mid-day Bloody Mary (my favorite) at The Lookout in the Castro. The bar itself was uneventful other than the fact that it had an outdoor deck and it was close to 65 degrees outside. Is it really winter? We headed to the Marina to another bar and then I headed home to pack. I've been joking that I can't remember what 45 degree weather feels like and that certainly made packing a struggle. Now I'm in Chicago and it is cold, but I'm glad that I'll get to put some of my cold weather gear to use. I'll be in Boston tomorrow night for a week and am looking forward to all of the shenanigans that will ensue. And of course CLOVER. I'll probably skip next week's post since I'll have no SF news to report, but you better believe I'll be taking full advantage of my stay in Boston. Thanks in advance, Candice, for the bed!

Have a great week, ya'll.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Ciao 2011, Ciao 2012

Happy New Year! I've said that to pretty much every person I've talked to in the past 48 hours - the guy at the grocery store, the security worker at the airport, friends, family, in emails, to dogs (of course). I have a lot to look forward to in 2012 and pretty pumped to be leaving 2011 behind (although there were some good times had, for sure). Inaugural Beer Olympics, to name one.

So it's been a couple of weeks since I last posted, I've been a couple of places (Seattle and Kona), and have only been back in SF for a little more than 24 hours. Therefore, this will be a fairly short post. I spent Christmas in Kona with my family and some family friends. We had a great time and I won't go into any details about the trip, but below are a few of my favorite photos. Oh, and I'll also share my favorite fact that I learned about the big island - there are 11 out of 13 climates on the island of Hawaii. We experienced at least six of them, so cool! I also was obsessed with the different vegetation; half of my pictures are of trees. I felt so lucky to spend time with my parents and brother since it had been three years since all of us had in the same city/place/room. That's pretty pathetic considering it's just the four of us. We all agreed that it wouldn't be another three years before that happened again.

Waipio Valley

Black Sand Beach

One of the many rainbows we saw!

It feels good to be back in the bay, especially when the weather is 60 degrees in January. I had zero food at my apartment when I got back yesterday so went on a walk to the grocery store. Along the way I discovered a small theater called Lumiere that only has three screens. After a little research, I found out that they play mostly independent and foreign films so I'll definitely be keeping tabs on what's playing there. They happen to be playing Drive right now and my brother mentioned how good it was so I went to a showing last night. I'd definitely recommend it!

Today was a good day to just decompress after being gone for so long (no complaints) and I went for a long run down to Marina Green. Finished the day off with a pot of chili - something I haven't made in a long time - it is the perfect winter meal. This week is going to fly by and then will be spending some time back east - watch out Chicago and Boston.

Looking forward to the first week of the new year!