Saturday, October 30, 2010

happy halloween!

we love celebrating around here and holidays are the perfect excuse to go all out.

we went to a pumpkin patch on thursday and found the perfect one. if only we could fit him in our studio. we then walked to tennessee valley beach. it was a beautiful fall, for norcal, day. cool, but not windy and just a bit damp.

we carved our jack o lantern that night and are now officially ready for the big, day. now we just need some candy.

Friday, October 29, 2010

julie and julia

i read this book in approximately two days last week. it was amazing. i love female memoirs and she is hilarious and honest and of course a good eater. i am now slightly obsessed with julia child as well. i have a few videos of her cooking and learned how to cut an onion finally. what julie seemed to learn and what i took away is julia's joy for life and desire to share that with others through food.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

fall photos

here are my most recent holgas. my current processor keeps saying that i need to buy a glass lensed camera. thank you, the point is not for them to be crisp. i like my holga! i don't think he gets it. i think they have a very fallish feeling to them.
this is my first try at a double exposure. interesting but not obvious.

the indoor ones are much darker than the actual light in the room. i think i need to hold the shutter down a little longer. i also have no idea how the candle got in this picture but i really like the affect.
*jacob reminded me when he saw this picture that we went to a cafe and i took a picture at the table, i must not have advanced the film. it worked out very well though i think.

this is volksy's engine. i think its very artistic.

if you have any clues for other film developers or access to a dark room let me know.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

fall food

via smitten kitchen
fall cooking is apparently my favorite. the soup goal is going pretty well. black bean improved over time and was very filling and julia child's potato leek was delish but i like a little more flavor personally. i think i might try butternut squash soup next week. i did pick up a butternut squash at the farmer's market on sunday but wanted to go a different route than soup this week. i found a warm salad with tahini sauce and chickpeas recipe from smitten kitchen who got it from another wonderful food blogger orangette and was sold. its amazing, warm but cheery and bright, yet light as well. the perfect autumn dish.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

rangers vs. giants

this is going to be a rough week in san francisco for the furrs. we both have fond memories of texas rangers baseball, me of wandering the stadium with my bff kimberly and he of rooting for them as a kid when nolan ryan was king. but the rangers have never before made it to the world series. they pulled it off beautifully this year though. did you see our pitcher? and are now competing against the giants here in san francisco. if any of you would let jacob watch the game with you on skype i know he would appreciate the company of like minded fans. while we wanted to watch it on the bay in kayaks, there's a splash zone and you can watch on the big screen, we'll hopefully get to watch it upstairs at my work at the least.
go rangers!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


via gamine's photos
i've mentioned gamine before as my dad and i went there for valentine's day. it was delicious and they had pork chops so i knew jacob and i would return. this occurred spontaneously at the suggestion of jacob on wednesday. it was just as wonderful as i remembered. its small, and warm and cozy and very french. its near our studio so we rode our bikes even though we got all dressed up. we looked very good, jacob even wore his tie. i love date night. i tried the french onion soup, a revelation, i am going to attempt this soon. and jacob got the grilled pork chops. they were juicy and tasty on top of brussel sprouts which we bravely tried and loved. what mustard sauce can do....we topped it off with creme brulee, and a crepe suizette, the thing was on fire. it was a beautiful night. i can't believe its been 5 months, tomorrow.i think i can keep this up.

Friday, October 22, 2010

lunch dish

photo via 3191 miles apart
i began a quest this week fueled by the desire to make more accessible lunches and expand the options from sandwiches, combined with a new empanada fixation from work and this quick lunch option here, topped off with a desire to make nigella lawson's lunch dish for some time. culminated in a delicious savory lunch turnover that i want to share for many reasons. not only because its amazing but because this is the third pie crust i've made in the past two weeks and its my favorite,i can imagine it with most anything, its perfectly flaky and it has cream cheese in it,yum, and you have no need for ice water or cold butter or any of the other persnickity crust issues that force you to the store to buy it in a box.

Cream Cheese Pastry
8 tablespoons (1 stick unsalted butter) at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup half and half
1-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

*i would double this next time because i only made four turnovers and had extra filling. and i would suggest throwing some grated cheddar in it and seeing what happens i think it would be an extra kick that would put this dish over the edge.

Mix butter, cream cheese and cream to thoroughly combine. Add flour and salt and mix until combined and a ball forms. Divide the dough into two disks and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.

lunch dish
2-3 (about 12 oz) tomatoes, or same amount of drained, chopped or canned ones
2 small onions
2 eggs hard boiled
4 ounces pitted black olives
2 tablespoons olive oil, not extra virgin
9 ounces ground beef
fat pinch all spice, (i used cinnamon and nutmeg, probably a bit too much cinnamon but it was still varied)
salt and pepper
{i'm thinking about adding a few chopped red bell pepper and maybe some ground chipotle pepper because it was a bit too even keeled for us around here }
serves 6
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cut an x in the bottom of your tomatoes, place in a bowl and cover with boiling water from the kettle and leave for 5 min. drain, run under the cold tap and the skin comes right off,thanks smitten kitchen, cut into quarters and remove seeds and chop roughly. peel and chop the onions, hard boiled egg and olives too.

in a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil. cook the chopped onions until softened and beginning to color, turning the flame down to low if they look as if they're sticking. turn the heat back to medium and add the chopped tomatoes and cook, stirring a minute or so before adding the beef. stir well, breaking up the clumps of meat with wodden spoon as you go, then, when the meat's browned, stir in the chopped eggs and olives and season with the allspice salt and pepper. cook over gentle heat for about 20 minutes, stirring.

remove pastry from fridge and roll out thinly. cut into 5 inch diamater circles. i used the top of a bowl for a guide. place filling in center and fold over pinching into a half circle, turnover shape. place on baking sheet and cook for 25-30 minutes.

wrap and freeze for a quick lunch on the go or we enjoyed them with roasted potatoes last night.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

red door cafe

on the way home from church down busy franklin street i've seen an interesting cafe on a side street. it has a red door and there's always people outside but i've never stopped. jacob made sure we changed that on sunday. we waited outside in the cold and rain but the looks of the food inside and the warm coffee in our hands made it worth it. it was incredible. i've had a lot of french toast people but this was unique with the perfect amount of cinnamon, nuts and egginess. and the presentation was very fun in their warm, eclectic atmosphere. but the best part was jacob's cuban, the amazing flavors came together with pesto in the salsa. it was perfect. i love sunday brunch

Monday, October 18, 2010

san francisco is pretty

we just found this video through npr's picture show blog. its one of our favorites and this shows vividly why i have fallen in love with this city. enjoy!

The Unseen Sea from Simon Christen on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

beef stew with blue cheese

in the same vein as the carrot and sweet potato soup, aided again by sunset magazine
{the recipe is actually submitted by one of my favorite food bloggers molly watson}.
i made beef stew with blue cheese and chives to help with jacob's GRE this past week.
{he aced it by the way and i think we all know why....}
i've been disappointed with stew before, tender meat but flavorless broth, not so with this one. i think its the full bottle of wine, but maybe its the blue cheese, you be the judge.

*i halved the recipe so it serves four technically but after we ate the first batch we were low on broth so i simmered it with leftover chicken stock, approximately a cup, for the second meal.

about 1 tbsp vegetable oil
1.7 lbs of beef chuck, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 1/2 in pieces
2 slices hardwood-smoked bacon, chopped
1 large onion, cut into 1/2 inch wedges
about 1 tsp salt
1/8 cup flour
1/2 tbsp. paprika, it suggests smoked Spanish paprika but this did not come with my spice kit and the plain paprika was great
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 bottle (750 ml ) dry red wine, we bought ours for 2 bucks at trader joe's but i'm sure the better wine the tastier, and of course because it cooks for over an hour the alcohol content is neglible
1 lb yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4s or smaller, they suggest large pieces but some of our potatoes did not cook all the way through initially
1/2 lb baby carrots cut into rounds
1/2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup or more crumbled blue cheese
1/8 cup minced chives or green onions

* its especially important to have all your spices etc measured out before beginning because the pan gets hot and everything starts to move fast or else burn and i was scrambling, just a tip.

Heat a 3-4 qt oven proof pan over medium-high heat. add 1/2 tbsp oil. when its hot, brown a fifth to a quarter of beef at a time, turning meat and adding remaining oil as needed, about 5 min per side, and adjusting heat so meat sizzles but doesn't burn. transfer meat to a bowl.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. add bacon to pan and cook until fat renders{ don't know what that means, it got soft for me } and starts to brown. with a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to bowl with beef. add onions to pan and stir in 1/2 tsp salt. cook, stirring until onions begin to soften, about 2 minutes. transfer onions to bowl with beef. add flour to pan and cook, stirring until it starts to turn golden, about 2 minutes. add paprika and chipotle; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds.

add wine and increase heat to high. scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pan. add reserved beef, bacon and onions. bring mixture to a boil. cover and bake until meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

return pot to stove. {this is where my oven proof pan was not big enough and jacob transferred it to larger pot} add potatoes and bring to a boil. add carrots and return to a boil, then adjust heat to maintain a simmer. cook, uncovered, until veggies are tender, 30 minutes. stir in butter and salt to taste {now that i'm reading this i don't think we did that, but i bet it would be good} serve hot, topped with blue cheese, a few grinds of pepper, and chives.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

boot coffee

jacob roasted 3* lbs of coffee this week at boot coffee consulting. it was pretty awesome. we ate some pie and chatted with jodi and i had a kinda epiphany. we'll see where it goes but i feel i have a little more direction now.

edit: make that 36 lbs of coffee. i was apparently too busy talking.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

the brothers bloom

i don't know how i missed this movie but jacob and i just rented it this week and it was perfect. the story of two con men and their eccentric mark. the movie reveals the importance of the story your life tells with lots of laughs and an incredible 1920s feel.

not to mention that i pick movies by the actors that are in it, i mean rachel weisz, adrien brody and mark ruffalo, it had to be good

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

apple pie with gruyere cheese crust

ever since pushing daisies,the beautiful yet dark tv show about love and pie, came out a couple of years ago, i have wanted to try the pie man's apple pie with gruyere cheese in the crust. as its fall and i'm baking more now i decided to attempt it at last. when i googled this pie a blogger had fortunately already come up with the recipe.
it was amazing. i love anything sweet and savory and this hit the spot. in the future i would slice my apples up thinner, i used a corer and slicer tool, and i used Golden Delicious but really want to try some of the varieties she mentions. also i need a pastry brush because when i poured the egg over the pie crust it fell off the sides and made an overall mess. but a delicious mess in the end, one you should definitely try.

Monday, October 11, 2010


this week has been a bit crazy with fleet week people taking all our parking and jets zooming overhead and a guy in a golf cart hitting our tandem bike and working more than usual but san francisco redeemed itself somewhat with lit crawl, where we heard readings about the antique object in the very quaint store gypsy honeymoon,

to the miraculous return of my wallet. it apparently fell out of my purse when i was walking home last night, which i didn't realize until our doorbell rang and two guys returned it from the sidewalk with everything in tact. amazing.
i'm just glad i have today off from work to recover from this week. happy columbus day!

Friday, October 8, 2010

carrot and sweet potato soup

i decided that since its fall i'm going to make soup. not the think weak stuff you get off a can but real, hearty, put in the freezer to eat later when you don't have a lot of time and its raining soup. this decision was accompanied by the delivery of a hand me down sunset magazine. in it was a section of soups. so i gave creamy carrot and sweet potato soup a go. it was delicious and very satisfying. i halved it since i didn't want to end up with alot of extra inedible good but i'm giving you the full recipe here, for 5 or 6 servings and i'm going to double it next time for more enjoyment. try it out:

2 tbs butter, divided
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp each cinnnamon and nutmeg, {i didn't have nutmeg but it was delicious with just cinnamon}
4 3/4 cups peeled, cubed sweet potatoes, about 1 1/2 pounds
{i technically bought yams but i am still not sure the difference, i just want to be clear, if anyone else can enlighten me please do}
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 cups chopped carrots about 1 lb
1/4 cup half and half
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

Melt 1 tbsp butter ina 5-6 qt pan over medium heat. add onion and cook until tender, about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. add cinnamon and nutmeg and cook, stirring 1 min. move onion mixture to side of pan and add remaining 2 tbsp butter to open space. increase heat to medium-high and cook until butter begins to brown, about 1 minute. add sweet potatoes, 31/2 cups water, the broth, and carrots. cover pan, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 35 minutes.

puree half of soup at a time in a blender with center piece of blender lid removed to allow steam ot escape and a towel draped over lid opening to avoid splatters. {though complicated sounding, it worked perfectly} pour soup into a large bowl and stir in half and half, salt and pepper. ladle into bowls and top with sour cream and parsley. enjoy!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

save blue like jazz

check out their website and donate to get blue like jazz to production. many people i know including myself were deeply affected by this book and i think that it has alot of potential as a film.

cafe divine

i feel that i am not doing you people who live in sf justice, i did start this blog mostly to share fun things to do in the city and now i seem to only tell you fun things i do after they're accomplished but there are so many more things to do in the city then that shows. so as a hump day pick me up i am introducing you to cafe divine. its in north beach, right off washington square park. its very cozy and quaint. they have music five nights a week, including a first and third monday accordion night. we tried to go after seeing amelie but it closed at ten, the only bummer. we haven't made it back yet but now that i know they have waffles topped with bacon it won't be long. enjoy!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A General Theory of Love

i loved this book. it explained the biology behind love and how emotions are developed. the way the brain developed and reacts now is so intriguing. her argument for love rang true and while it feels sad that the author must explain that love needs time and is essential to human life. its also important sometimes to hear the simple truths and i believe its insights will inform my future interactions.

Friday, October 1, 2010

blog crisis

my blog posts have dropped off a bit and i think i'm having a bit of an existential crisis, if anything to do with blogs can be called that, in regards to why i blog.
is it to log and share my life with people around me? is it to meet new people? is it to have a million followers? is it to showcase my writing style/personality for future employers? is it to try and get sponsors and make money? is it *gasp* to make me seem cool?
so since i am not really certain i don't really know what to write. noticing my stats bar for the first time has added to my problem. because previously when no one commented i just assumed that my parents and a couple friends read it but thought that maybe, secretly there was a crowd of people out there anxiously awaiting my next post with bated breath, why this would inspire me to write i don't know, but now that i know the numbers, they're not that bad just not astronomical, i'm a little disapointed. but do i really want to work to add more readers, by putting it on my facebook or commenting on other bloggers obssesively? a part of me cringes at my need to have more readers, why do i need readers, i should just do what i want!? so we're back to why i blog again. very circular, i know.

well one thing i do know, and if you've read this far i'm grateful and therefore rewarding you, i like blogging about the city and things to do here. this is a big weekend so gear up for Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and LitQuake. These are two huge fall events that showcase the best of SF. Free music in Golden Gate Park and free poetry and lit readings in cafes all over the mission. Fortunately, though the overlap, LitQuake is the 1st-9th so you have time to make it to both. Enjoy!