Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Favorite: My Tagine!

Ever since I made my preserved lemons, I've been wanting to do some more Moroccan cooking! I've been reading up on recipes, cookbooks, etc--but was missing one thing. A tagine. Until now.

Thanks to my good friend Tarlan, I am now equipped with my very own tagine! I can't wait to cook up some yummy Moroccan food in my new tagine.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lonely Day Pie

What do you do when you're down or lonely? I have friends that work out (jealous, wish that was me), and others that clean (also jealous.) Some drink (yea, been there too.) Others? They must sit at home and just sulk (ok, been guilty of that too.)

But me? I have to do something to make my mind off of things. I will often turn to the kitchen and cook or bake. What did I choose to do Sunday when I was feeling lazy and slightly down on a grey Sunday? I chose baking.

Decided to take out one of my new cookbooks and try a new recipe. And since I had some fresh yummy apples from the Farmer's Market, an apple pie sounded as good as anything. Plus I needed practice rolling out dough and making pie crust.

The only problem? When the pie was done, I didn't feel like cutting into it. It seemed so silly and like such a waste to cut a small sliver of pie for just one person. (plus, shhh, but I really don't have that much of a sweet tooth.) Back to the original problem, the whole lonely thing. What's the fun in cooking and baking if there's no one to cook and bake for??

The only saving grace? All of my wonderful friends that while not physically with me, with me on email, text message, Facebook, and Twitter. Thanks for the love and support. Guess I'm only physically alone. Until then? Anyone want some apple pie?

Monday, January 25, 2010

My Turkish Coffee

One look into my empty coffee cup, and even the manager of my new favorite local restaurant, Tuba, could tell. My heart hurt. Those were his exact words. Ouch.

As he, with insane accuracy, told me what the coffee grounds said, I couldn't help but wonder. Will my luck turn around this year? Will there be new love interests? Maybe the next time I get my coffee grounds read, the outcome won't be so gloomy.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Flash Mob: Dining Style

Where was I and what was I doing at exactly 8:00 p.m. last Friday? Here are some hints:

I was at Incanto! It was 7x7 magazine's first ever Flash Mob Friday, and my friend Defne and I wanted to participate. And participate we did. We sent in more than our fair share of pictures for the Flash Mob.

And with each snap, we'd break out into endless giggles. We came up with funny captions for each of our photos and while they may not have been funny to anyone else, we thought we were hilarious.

On top of the great laughs and girl time? We had some amazing food in the newly renovated Incanto (referred to as Incanto 2.0)

The delicious 'Head and Shoulders' (which we referred to as 'Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes, Knees and Toes') was so good! If you ever see that on the menu, you MUST get it. The Boccalone sausage and smoked eel was another hit. As was my old favorite, the spaghettini. We ended the night with the most delicious caramel corn ice cream. SO GOOD!

I can't wait for the next flash mob. Until then, click here on 7x7's website to see the other pictures submitted. Kind of fun to see what was happening in SF restaurant's all around town at the exact same moment in time.

Friday Favorite: My KitchenAid

This little guy was working OVERTIME over the holidays:

One of the best purchases I've ever made. And sadly, for most of the last few years, due to lack of kitchen counter space and outlets, I rarely used it. Now? In my new home? Not only is there space for it on the counter, but also space for it in my cabinets when I conveniently need to hide it. What should I make next?? Maybe something from my new Baking cookbook? I can't wait!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I am a lucky gal. I have an amazing sister and although I didn't grow up with brothers, I've since been given the gift of brothers. My very good friend Matt is like an older brother to me. I've known him for more than 10 years, and have been through a lot of ups and downs with him. We've known each other through boyfriends, through living abroad, through new jobs, through new homes, through his parents' divorce and through my mom's death. He is one of my dearest friends, and I am so thankful to have him in my life.

With Matt, came Adam and Brendan. His brothers. They became my friends too. What I love the most is seeing how different they all are. I love and appreciate each of them for their own uniqueness and for their own traits. I love that they each have their own lives and are happily pursuing their dreams. I love watching them come together and I love being a part of their family. I also love what each of them bring out in me.

I save my small knowledge of pop culture for Matt, and get fashion tips and celebrity gossip from him. He is one of the best traveled people I know and I'm always trying to meet up with him in some exotic location. He is the best person to go shopping with, and is one of the most stylish people I know. I love that I can talk about anything with Matt. I appreciate that I can be myself around Matt. Matt is fiercely loyal and incredibly generous with his loved ones. Matt and I can be in different time zones and a world away and not talk for weeks and then just pick up right where we left off...

Adam is someone I look to for inspiration. Adam inspires me to get out of the city and to spend more time outdoors. I respect Adam's ability to make a difference in the lives of so many people. I love reading about the trips and hikes he takes and goes on with his dad and mom, and I find myself envious of his close relationship with them both. I have utter respect for Adam's incredible independence.

And Brendan. He has the distinction of not just being like a brother to me, but a younger brother. Brendan is who I go to when I need to feel young again. When I want to hear how much my alma mater has changed since I graduated, and the person that makes me dig up old college pictures and memories. He's also who I go to when I want to be someone's big sis. Brendan has been politically charged since he was young, and is going to have a place in politics. Brendan is going to change the world. He is a natural leader and is already rallying his friends and peers, getting them out there and educating people an issues that matter most to him.

I am thankful for Matt, and for his friendship. But I'm also forever indebted to him for sharing his family with me as well. I absolutely cherish my time with this family of mine and hope for many many more good memories with them.

And in the meantime, Happy Birthday Brendan!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Scenes from an Urban Hike

On my recent urban hike through San Francisco, I was surprised by how many different types of architecture there was!

This was practically a palace right out of the Mediterranean

I loved this little earthquake cottage!

GORGEOUS! Almost like a cabin in Lake Tahoe

And one of my favorites? This bush outside of this house--they were the perfect little round balls. Straight out of a Dr. Seuss book

I loved checking out all that SF had to offer. So many different types of homes. I can't wait to explore a different neighborhood on my next urban hike!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Favorite: Pink Pig

I couldn't resist. Christmas Eve--my cousins and sister are at my house. We were making Christmas cookies! My sister had this great set of cookie cutters--Christmas trees, snowmen, gingerbread men, snowflakes, etc. But me? What shape cookies did I want to make? Pig shaped cookies.

I had received this adorable pig cookie cutter and had never had the chance to use it. No time like the present!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Take A Hike!

I am kicking off the New Year with lots of time out doors. And am quite proud of myself. I recently had the opportunity to go on a beautiful hike in Marin, and it was GORGEOUS. Martha and Kevin, two ‘new friends’ of mine that I barely knew, were kind enough to invite me to their housewarming party. Which was a hike and then bbq in their new home afterward. It was perfect!

The hike was a combo of trails, the Miwok trail, Coyote Ridge Trail, and a few other trails that we were on for a short period of time. We weaved through the eucalyptus trees at the start of the hike, went through a narrow portion where we were hiking single file, and then hiked through a more open pasture section. We made our way through the Zen Center, through the gardens there, pass some stables, and then ended up on Muir Beach. It was a bit of a chilly day, but the scenery there was still incredible. The hike back home was a little bit more difficult, with a good portion of the hike being a virtual vertical climb. Ouch.

But all in all? A really nice way to spend a Saturday morning. And here are some of the stunning photos from our hike. I can’t wait to get back out there. Enjoy!

The eucalyptus scent was so fresh!

It was a bit cloudy, but you could see the SF skyline peeking through the clouds

As we hiked down this ridge, we could see the beautiful Zen Garden below us

An amazing field of pretty

We made it to Muir Beach!

The long (and steep) hike back...but with such pretty views of the water!

Saturday, January 9, 2010


After back to back days of craziness and of running around, this girl, just wants to be alone. And personally? I have found that I am loving my time alone a little bit more and more the older I get. Sure, I crave time with my friends. And I love having friends over for wine, for dinner, or just to hang out. But sometimes? A little time solo? Perfecto.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Favorite: Silver Oak

A delicious bottle of wine I recently had the opportunity to drink. What a treat!

Thanks Jim!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Memorable Meals of 2009

Well. In looking back at all of the meals I’ve had in 2009, I couldn’t help but feel incredibly lucky. And a little bit full. But seriously. I ate amazing meals in two country this year (Hong Kong and the U.S.), and within the U.S., I ate in tons of cities including San Francisco, Miami, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, New York City, Sonoma, Sacramento, Bodega Bay and Pebble Beach.

There were last meals at some favorite restaurants and first meals at some new restaurants. There were lots of old favorites and some old solid stand bys. Many meals at NOPA, Nopalito, Beretta, A16, SPQR, Fish & Farm, OTD Bush Street, Poleng Lounge, midi, Frances, Quince (old and new, thank you very much), Starbelly, Maverick, and Humphy Slocombe (yes, I consider those delicious ice cream cones a meal!)…

And then a delicious meal at Canteen with a dear new friend, seven courses of beef in the Tenderloin, an amazing warm summer night dinner at Park Chalet, and a fun fun FUN meal at El Dorado Kitchen.

Meals in my old SF neighborhood: Rex Café, Pesce, ZA Pizza, Café Meuse, U-Lee, Nick’s Crispy Tacos, Okozu, Polkers…

Meals in my new SF neighborhood: Beretta, Bar Tartine, Range, Monk’s Kettle, Contigo, Incanto…

And of course, some of the best meals were meals had at home! Dad’s home, my home, Tatiana’s many feasts, crabs in Defne’s new home, Sabine and Rohit’s house, many meals at Chad and Grace’s house-especially while Chad was in between gigs, my Michelle’s houses—my sister, Huie and Mah, Jen and Troy’s house, and lots and lots and LOTS of meals at Sarah and Evan’s house. To all of my friends and family that fed me—THANK YOU!

I had great meals in Miami at Sra. Martinez, Area 31, and at my dear friend Jorge’s house. Great meals in Washington, D.C. at Oyamel, Urbana, Tabard Inn, Proof, Circa, and then drinks at Marvin and The Gibson (again, yes, it counts as a meal!)

There were beautiful weddings were we of course indulged in delicious food—Mark and Serene, Nancy and Greg, and Bahram and Kristin.

Special events/meals including the Share Our Strength SF Gala dinner, Pebble Beach Food & Wine festival, Cochon555 and the SF. Chefs. Food. Wine Event.

And New York meals…who could forget the many many MANY New York meals? Blue Ribbon Sushi, Momofuku Saam, Momofuku Noodle Bar, Milk Bar, Boqueria, Harrison, 10 Downing, and The Breslin. There was also the brunch at Spotted Pig where I truly learned the meaning of “it’s a small world.” I can’t forget about my NY liquid dinners—Bobo, Jane Ballroom, Randolph, Whiskey Ward, PDT, Pegu Club, Employees Only and Summit Bar.

There were also some awesome Brooklyn eats: Prime Meats, Diner, Clover Club, Char No 4 and Marlowe and Sons.


If I had to pick my Top 10 Meals of 2009? Oy vey. Not a particularly easy task…but nevertheless. Amongst the many amazing experiences and meals, here are some of my favorites (in chronological order…)

1. One of my last meals in Hong Kong at the very start of 2009 at Tai Woo in Kowloon. (Read about that meal here in this old post.)

2. The special pre-opening meal at midi restaurant in San Francisco with my friend reminded me of why I love the restaurant industry so much. (Read about that meal here in this old post.)

3. My 30th birthday weekend in Sonoma—so many delicious meals over the weekend, but especially my birthday dinner prepared by my dear friend Wendy. (Read about that meal here in this old post.)

4. Pebble Beach Food & Wine weekend! From a special meal at Peppoli restaurant to the L.A. Michelin stars dinner…it was an amazing weekend, in a beautiful setting and with some good friends. (Read about that meal here in this old post.)

5. My Chinese French Laundry experience at Jai Yun restaurant with good friends, both old and new. That meal completely changed the way I think about Chinese food. (Read about that meal here in this old post.)

6. My Last Supper at Postrio. Delicious. Sad. Happy. Sentimental. Anger. I had so many feelings that night. But at the end of it all? I realized I was one of the lucky ones--I had been part of something special. (Read about that meal here in this old post.)

7. My dear friend Bahram’s wedding—which was not just a one night affair. It included a whole four days of festivities, fun and good food. (Read about that meal here in this old post.)

8. The many, MANY meals at Incanto…from taking two good friends, Seis and Lisa, to Cucina Poverna with good friends on a warm Sunday night, to a last minute Girl’s Night at the Incanto bar, to taking pals Defne and Joe there, to sharing the Leg of the Beast meal with a special 13 year old. I am never disappointed, I always love taking friends in to experience all that Chef Chris and his team have up their sleeves. (Read about that meal here in this old post, and here and here and here.)

9. My TWO Thanksgiving dinners. Because one just isn't enough. And I'm surrounded by people that love me (and good food.) (Read about both of those meals here in this old post.)

10. My TWO Christmas dinners. You can't have just one Christmas dinner after having two Thanksgiving dinners. (Read about both of those meals here in this old post.)

Ok. So that’s maybe a few more than ten meals. But hey, how is a girl suppose to choose from all of those amazing meals? 2010 is already starting off with a bang, and I know it’s going to be just as hard at the end of this year to choose ten amazing meals. But hey, I think I’m ok with that. I’m up for the challenge. In the meantime, thank you to everyone for sharing so many wonderful meals with me. Here’s to many more amazing meals in the new year!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Urban Hike--Liberty Hill

What a great way to kick off the new year. I was suppose to be hiking in Marin with some friends today, but that was canceled due to the recent rains and muddy paths. So instead? I talked two of my good friends into an urban hike instead! And it turned out to be a beautiful morning for it.

Check out these photos from the various parts of our hike on and all around Liberty Hill today:

And to think--all of this, within the SF city limits. I saw SO many cool spots this morning, and all relatively close to my house. There were some intense hills, some stairs, some STEEP downhills, and lots of curves and turns. It was an AWESOME hike. I can't wait to explore more of the local hills, neighborhoods, and sights. Thanks to Jason and Eric for the great company and especially to Eric for leading us on this great hike. When are we going again??

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Mt. Wanda

Some gorgeous photos from my recent Christmas Eve hike on Mt. Wanda. Many of the photos are courtesy of Cycling Teaching Guy, who has a fancy new camera and took many gorgeous pics.

The path...

Great views of the East Bay!

I loved this little barn in the distance and am glad my friend Adam's camera was able to capture this image framed by the pretty trees.

It was sunny and surprisingly not too cold--gotta love living in California!

I LOVED this picture of the leaves up close.

Gorgeous shot as you're approaching the final stretch of the hike. You can see how the trees almost create an awning overhead.

And one of the things I loved the most? This little bench just off of the path. I know I'll be back on this hike, and I have visions of sitting on this bench and contemplating the world with a good friend.

Here's to getting out on more hikes in 2010!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Friday Favorite: A Three Legged Pig

One of the best house warming gifts I received after my big move.

According to the little tag, in the village of Pomaire, Chile, it's believed that little pigs bring good luck, and three legged pigs bring especially good luck.

So my thoughtful friends Sarah and Evan, appropriately, thought of me! Here's hoping this little piggy and new home bring me lots and lots of good luck in the new year! Happy New Year everyone!!