Birthday Weekend.

Whew. What a birthday weekend. Although I have to admit, it was not my typical birthday weekend, it was more age appropriate I suppose (aka I did not drink like a fish Winking smile.) I started my birthday with a little pampering by getting my nails done and a little window shopping. Even though nothing caught my eye it was a nice morning.

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I wanted to eat at Swan’s for lunch, (best oysters I have ever had,) but the line was too long, so I ended up eating at a little Greek restaurant for lunch called Mykonos. The food was okay, but the best part was reminiscing about the time I went to Mykonos in 2005. Two of my girlfriends and I had a blast, and now I want to go back, as soon as possible!

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I ordered the Falafel plate for lunch which came with pita, hummus, Greek salad, and Greek country potatoes. I probably just should have a had a gyros. I also ordered a Greek beer. I wanted a Mythos, but they didn’t have it. Oh well!

After lunch, I headed down for a little more pampering, it was finally time for me to get my hair done! It had been wayy too long.

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Look at those roots! I wanted something a little more natural and a little darker for Fall.

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Don’t mind the champagne glass, but look past it towards my hair. I love the final outcome! (And the sparkling wine was delicious too!)

For dinner my sister, her fiancé and my mom headed to The Slanted Door down on the Embarcadero. I started my night taking pictures but slowly forgot as soon as we sat at the table.

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I started with a Gin Fizz (pictured above) before moving on too more sparkling wine. I love sparkling wine, and its even better when you are celebrating. The food was awesome, and we ordered enough so that I know that the entire menu is pretty much delicious. I am sad I forgot to take pictures, but we were all enthralled in eating and talking, so you will have to settle for a list:

  • crispy imperial rolls  with shrimp, pork, glass noodles and peanuts 
  • steak tartare  grass-fed tenderloin with mint, thai basil, quail egg and toasted sesame rice cracker
  • mesquite grilled lamb sausage and kusshi oysters  chinese black olive and preserved lemon relish
  • grapefruit and jicama  with red cabbage, pickled carrots and candied pecans
  • grass-fed estancia shaking beef,  cubed filet mignon, watercress, red onions and lime sauce
  • lemongrass grilled petaluma rabbit  with olive oil poached leg, braised fennel, thai basil, chive and lemon
  • cellophane noodles  with green onion and fresh dungeness crab meat
  • chue farm baby bok choy  with baby shiitake mushrooms

I still cannot believe I didn’t take pictures. But everything again was amazing. The dishes are not too big, so you can have a little of each without feeling too full. We definitely still had room for cake!

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After dinner my mom headed home and the rest of us headed out for a drink at a fun little bar up on Filmore. Overall, the night was fun, full of delicious food and family! It has literally been almost ten years since I was with all my family for my birthday! So needless to say, it was long overdue.

On Saturday, it was time for one of my favorite things, wine tasting in Wine Country. Did you know I liked wine? Winking smile My grandpa also lives up in Napa, so it was a chance to visit him as well. We went to several wineries, including:

Ram’s Gate

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Hall Winery

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Grgich Hills Estate

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Rubicon Estate
(owed by Francis Ford Coppola)

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Between wine stops, we grabbed lunch in St Helena at a little café downtown. I ordered a big Cobb Salad to soak up some of the wine. Smile

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Today, was just an easy day which was just what I needed after a long night on Friday and a long day on Saturday. I got some laundry done, went to brunch at B Star (honey lemon iced tea + huevos rancheros,) and meal planned for the upcoming week.

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Now that my birthday is over its time to get back on track, which is exactly what will be happening! After all the planning, moving and birthday celebrating, back on track is what has to happen!

It was a great weekend, with a great final dinner, which I will post about tomorrow! Hope you all enjoyed your weekend too! Good night!

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Together We’re Giant.

Let me just start by saying, I love me some baseball. And I love the Giants! Even though most of you “met” me when I was living on the East Coast, I am a Californian and spent the majority of my life in this great state. I grew up on the Central Coast, went to undergrad in Los Angeles and grad school in Monterey. So yes, I am a Californian thank you very much. (Not that any of you were doubting me!) Growing up in Central California most people chose the Giants or the As. I naturally went with the best baseball team in Northern California, the Giants. 😉

So when I heard that I had the opportunely to go to last night’s Giants’ game I was so excited! Even though the playoffs aren’t an option, it was still fun to go to the game and watch them beat the Rockies! (Who are apparently following me since I just saw them play in Denver last week!)

It was gorgeous out last night which also made it that much better of a game. Baseball games to me are the epitome of summer, and since San Francisco’s Indian Summer is in full swing, it felt good to be home and at the game.

My mom and I got to the game pretty early. We figured we grab some food and just enjoy the nice weather since we weren’t sure how long it’d take to get the park. My mom lives across town basically, so she decided to drive. We found parking about 1/2 mile away, so I got in another mile for the day of a nice walk which was good after the dog walking incident that happened earlier in the day.

I knew exactly what I wanted for dinner. I know you all know how much I love seafood. Well at the Giants’ games they have a crab sandwich that I recalled being to die for. It’s expensive, but worth every bite.

Crab + tomato grilled on sourdough. If that isn’t a San Francisco sandwich, I don’t know what is. Totally delicious, and worth every calorie. I paired my sandwich with a beer and called it dinner.

As we got to our seats the game was about to start and the sky was gorgeous, and I was a happy camper. Not to mention, a one Tony Bennett was there, and who doesn’t love Tony.

Oh hi, Tony!

My mom and I had a great time at the game! And it was a win for the Giants’, and a win is a win, right? Playoffs or not 🙂

I am already looking forward to next season! Hopefully now that I’m living in the city, I can go to lots of games! Anyone want to join?!

This morning I got up and was craving fruit. I think it was the idea of it being about 80 degrees in the city today! I decided on a simple breakfast of a whole wheat bagel thin, a little reduced fat cream cheese and a big bowl of fruit. Oh plus a nice cup of coffee on the side with fat free milk.

The big bowl of fruit was a little too big though, so I am sure it will be part of my lunch! I’m off to enjoy this beautiful day! Be back later, alligators!

First Weekend in San Francisco.

Hello, hello + Happy Monday! And a gorgeous Monday at that in San Francisco! My first weekend in San Francisco went off without a hitch. After driving for 5 days, I needed a little weekend fun, but not too over the top fun – I was still exhausted!

Friday night I just decided it was best to stay in, drink some wine + watched a funny movie with my mom. We ended up watching Bridesmaids, which was pretty funny.

There were definitely a few laugh out load moments + overall, it was an entertaining flick. I really love Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph. They are both hilarious.

Saturday brought two of my favorite things: Brunch + shopping. I love brunch. I think I have mentioned this before, but brunch is my favorite meal to go out for. It usually involves champagne or a Bloody Mary + can be savory or sweet depending on your mood. My mom, sister and I went to The Magic Flute on Sacramento and Spruce in Presidio Heights (according to Google…I’m still a SF newbie, what can I say?)

The restaurant is very cute with a bit of a French feel. It always has a nice outdoor area, but I was a little cold. What can I say, I am adjusting to the cooler, California weather!

I decided on a Bellini with the Wild Salmon Scramble (eggs, asparagus, sour cream, green onions, tomatoes, potatoes + fresh fruit,) although the entire menu looked delicious.

My mom additionally order us an order of the Cinnamon + Sugar Beignets
with fresh lemon curd, sweeted whipped cream for a brunch starter. Appetizer at brunch are always fun. Especially if they involve beignets.

 Everything was excellent. The salmon was great. I have never had eggs with salmon before, but it was delicious – especially with the asparagus and green onions. It really made it taste fresh. And of course the beignets were amazing. I had a few bites which absolutely satisfied my sweet tooth.

Overall, I’d give the Magic Flute an A on brunch. Definitely a place to go back to – you know after I try the other 1,234,234 restaurants in San Francisco. 😉

After brunch we headed downtown to shop! I believe I have mentioned that my sister, Katie, is getting married next June, and Saturday was about finding her wedding shoes! We headed to Neiman’s, Bloomie’s, and Nordstrom to name a few before she “settled” aka was beyong excited with a pair that she loved. I won’t out what shoes she choose, but let’s just say, Carrie Bradshaw would be proud. 🙂

I might have also bought this watch I’ve been eyeing for quite some time as an early birthday present to myself.

Hello, Mr. Kors, its lovely to see own you. It was a bit of a splurge. But hey, if will last forever. Or at least for the next few years.

Saturday night included Thai food for dinner (the lighting in the restaurant was terrible,) followed by some wine and fun with a group of my sister’s friends. Nothing fancy, just a get together at an apartment, but sometimes that is all you need. Good dinner + good company.

Sunday morning was cold + rainy, which to me means the perfect morning for pancakes. I had picked up a box of Kodiak Pancake mix at the grocery store after reading about how awesome they were on Carrots ‘n’ Cakes as well as a few other blogs that I love reading.

Well, the were correct. They were awesome + super easy to make. Whole wheat, oats + honey for ingredients + just add water. I added some blueberries to the mix, baked some delicious bacon, and added sliced bananas + pure maple syrup on top. Plus a nice big cup of hot coffee on the side. Yum-o. My sister came over for breakfast, and there was plenty for all.

After breakfast my mom and I headed to Costco to pick up a few things she needed. The best part of staying with my mom until I get settled and find my own place is that I get to go to Costco and shop for “free.” Okay not free, I told her I’d cook until I am out of her hair (fair trade off, right?) but it is always more fun shopping when you aren’t paying.

After Costco we were both ready for lunch so we headed to the first place we saw that was not fast food: Chevy’s. I know its chain Mexican food, but I have always liked this place for some strange reason. Maybe it’s the fact that you get a free Sombrero on your birthday. Maybe.

I decided on the BBQ Chicken Salad and to share a bowl of the Mexican Tortilla soup with madre.

The soup was good, but needed a little salt, but the salad was really good. I love Mexican salads, and the BBQ on the chicken was a fun twist.

When we got home from Costco and lunch I decided to take this guy on a walk.

Oliver.

My mom’s dog Oliver + I both have a few elbees to loose, so I am thinking we will work on it together while I am staying with my mom. He is a lab mix and a big boy! We walked just a bit over a mile. Need to start him off slow. He is just the sweetest though + he makes me want my own dog so bad! Soon, soon!

Dinner was something I have been craving for a while, but since the post is long, I will post all about Sunday night’s dinner in its own post later today! I have free time while I am seeing about a new job, (in person interview next week, so send good vibes out to the universe for me) so expect to hear from me a bit more each day! I have to do something to keep myself from going stir crazy!

Hope you all had an awesome weekend! So far, so good, San Francisco. See you later!

Quit Party 2011

As you probably know, I quit my job yesterday! And boy could I not be more relieved. Quitting is never fun, especially since I do love my boss (I just don’t love my job.)  I tried to get #quitparty2011 trending on Twitter yesterday, as this girl and me both participated in the event, but alas, no such luck. Maybe next time 😉

After work I squeezed in a quick 20 minute run and then headed out to celebrate with some friends. I have been doing wayy to much celebrating lately, but that will die down when I get to San Francisco, so I am not going to focus too much on that. I have a lot going on right now so I’m just focusing on healthy eating during the day and getting my runs in.

But I am getting a head of myself. Let’s start with yesterday’s breakfast. I woke up and was craving a yogurt bowl. Irene left my building with no AC (a huge tree fell on the building’s main AC thingumabob) so I woke up a little warm and craving cool.

In the mix was Honey Nonfat Greek Yogurt, Trader Joe’s Low Fat Granola, half a banana, some cut up strawberries + chia seeds on top. It hit the spot!

For lunch, my friend from work was nice enough to give me some of the lunch he had made himself (he had a LOT!) I was really interested in trying it too because A) I didn’t have a lunch + B) It was made with Tofu Shirataki Noodles which I have been meaning to try! The noodles were made with a homemade Thai-esque sauce with carrots, onions + garlic.

While the noodles were a little slimy, they were really tasty and took the flavor of the sauce. Plus at 40 calories for an ENTIRE package that is something I can get on board with. Shirataki cooking experiments to come!

I also had a mediocre peach for an afternoon snack. It was not ripe enough!

Now where was I before, oh right, I headed out with friends to celebrate. We headed to my favorite local bar in DC and had a celebratory beer to start. A Yeungling to be exact. I’ve never seen this out west, so I figured while still in Rome…

Afterwards we went to a friends’ apartment for a delicious dinner + a glass or two of wine. First up was a Spanish meat and cheese plate for us. So good. I love meat + cheese. What can I say? I hardly ever eat stuff like this, so I had a few pieces which were awesome.

The lighting in the apartment is terrible. Just a warning! The next picture, of our main course is worse, but its worth sharing so you have some sort of visual on the concoction that was dinner.

Veal chop with cheese AND bacon on top, puccini noodles + sauteed spinach with carrots in a paprika sauce. Holy yum. I probably only ate a third of my plate (soo much food!) but it was really good and tasty! And actually, despite the cheese and bacon and sauces etc, the chef claimed that he really tried to make it as healthy as possible. We shall see what the scale says 😉

I love when someone cooks a homemade meal for me. It seems like I am always the one that does the cooking!

Do you cook mostly at home or does someone cook for you?

Hurriquake’s a Comin’.

In case you live in a hole and didn’t know, Hurriquake Hurricane Irene is headed up the East Coast and impending doom is upon us.

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Okay, maybe not impending doom, but lots of rain, lots of wind + a hole bunch of scary things that come with those two things. I have water, candles, a flashlight and enough peanut butter food to last me for a while, so I think I should be okay. But if I am not posting this weekend, you know why!

I’ve received a ton of emails about being prepared, which is always something that you should be before a hurricane. I personally saw first hand the effects a hurricane can have on an area when I volunteered in New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina. So when in doubt, play it safe and be smart! I don’t think this hurricane will be quite as bad, but you never know!

In New Orleans volunteering post-Katrina.

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Last nights dinner came courtesy (well, I paid but…) of one of my favorite local bars. I headed there after work with a co-worker, and one two beers later I was starving and needed subsistence. I got a side salad and we shared a cheese steak with lots of onions and peppers with provolone cheese. Not the best dinner, but at least the salad helped balance it out a bit. (I took a picture but the lighting was horrible, so you will just need to use your imagination.)

I haven’t been doing so great with eating all around healthy dinners this week. Grocery shopping was a bust which resulted in eating out way too much. I have a feeling this may be the case until I leave with trying to squeeze in last visits,etc., but at least if I can have a salad at each meal (with healthy dressing) at least there is that.

Since my dinners haven’t been super healthy, I have been trying to at least keep my breakfasts + lunches in check. Since I still was out of food today,  I stopped at Starbucks on my way into work and picked up an Iced Soy Misto and a cup of their Perfect Oatmeal.

I got all three toppings they offer (nuts, dried fruit + brown sugar) and used about half of each except for the brown sugar, I used about one-third. It hit the spot. I love me some oatmeal, and Starbucks, I do believe this is perfect (at least for on the go!)

Lunchtime rolled around and I headed to the supermarket to pick up a few hurricane supplies. I decided to multi-task and get a sandwich from the deli counter. I ordered a whole thinking I could save the other half for lunch this weekend. Well I certainly have lunch for this weekend and then some because this is the biggest sandwich I’ve probably ever seen.

I ordered the Italian Sub with lots of lettuce, onions, peppers, pickles, etc., with a splash of olive oil and vinegar. Ginormous is the only word I can use to describe this. I had one forth to myself and had a big bite out of another forth before giving that to a co-worker that went with me to the store. I basically have more than another whole sandwich left and the whole thing only cost me $6. Yes, six bucks! Insanity.

I am off for the night, heading into DC to get dinner and probably get into a little trouble! 😉 Have a great weekend + be safe all you East Coasters!!