August 29, 2014

finally, friday

First off, just a little #flashbackfriday with a photo of Spouting Horn from the time I was on Kauai.
Happy Labor Day Weekend folks! I'm excited about the long weekend even though I haven't quite decided any of my plans yet, but I'm sure whatever I end up doing will be fun. I'll probably do a little relaxing, a little adventuring, and of course, eating some good food. I'm most excited to be staying in tonight with popcorn and a good documentary. The weather forecast is sunny and nice so be sure to take advantage of the beautiful weather and of course that Monday off!

I love that Alice Waters made a garden at a local school in Berkeley to not only teach kids about where food comes from, but hopefully instill in them a stewardship over the Earth.

I'm a huge fan of Mind of a Chef, but even more a fan of Chef Sean Brock. The first season (with Chef David Chang) is still my favorite thus far, but this second season was great to watch as Sean talked about heritage foods and Chef April Bloomfield discussed respecting animals and using them whole. I totally believe in the same philosophy on food as these two so I was especially intrigued by the season and can't wait for what's in store when season three starts in about a week!

Do something nice for someone this weekend.

I've followed Juley for a while, but it was even more interesting to hear her story on the Everygirl of how she started her own business and followed her dreams, especially during a time where I'm pursuing my own.

Even though it may take years, being able to nominate a marine sanctuary is amazing progress.

These spaces are just the right amount of outdoor/indoor and coziness put together.

August 21, 2014

sourcing dinner

There's something about getting your own food, and working hard for it that makes a meal that much more satisfying. It's about the hunt, getting the right amount of food you need (in this case, I fed lots of people), sustainability, and feeling more connected to what you're eating. I went crabbing this particular weekend with some friends and got a load of red and rock crab (dungeness crab season runs from November-June so we can't take those at the moment) and took it home to make a nice bowl of crab and corn chowder. It was delicious, full of crab meat, and very satisfying.

I first steamed the crab, then cleaned them really, really good (it makes it a ton easier to clean once they're dead, no risk of getting pinched!). These guys had a lot of gunk all over them so they needed a really good deep cleaning. Once they were scrubbed and cleaned the tedious part happened which wouldn't have happened without the help of my dear friends / diners. We all took part in de-shelling 11 wonderful crabs to get the meat out of the shell so we could make a crab stock for the soup. It was a fun activity, and I even got a few cuts from these razor sharp shells (dungeness crab have a less thick shell, so I can't wait to do this when they're in season) which did really sting for a while, but hey, a girl has got to eat!

In the end, everything turned out delicious and I really loved the entire process. I'm all for sourcing your own food, and even though I don't do it very often, I'd love to do it more and am definitely going to start trying! There's a woman I absolutely look up to for this and if you've read my blog before I'm sure you've heard me mention her before. If you haven't, take a look at this woman, she is definitely on a whole other level.

Crab Corn Chowder recipe (5 hefty servings):

11 whole crab (around 1-1.5 lbs. each) de-shelled with meat reserved on the side and shells saved for stock
3 ears of corn (white or yellow)
1 bunch of celery
1 onion
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 tablespoon of peppercorn
4-6 oz. tomato paste
3 yukon gold potatoes
2 bell peppers (red, yellow or orange)
Fresh chopped parsley
8 oz. heavy cream
2 dried Bay leaves

The stock:
Place shells in a large pot (mainly the bodies, cleaned, and some legs if you want) and add enough water just to cover the shells. Add garlic whole with skin on, peppercorns, 2-3 stalks of celery, half the onion with skin on, and tomato paste. Simmer for 45 minutes until dark and crabby in flavor. Strain stock. Add salt as desired.

*You can add any other vegetables to the cooking process that you like, I just used what I had available.

The soup:

Cook corn and cut off the cob, then reserve it to add later. Add remainder of onion (diced) and bell peppers (diced) to large stock pot and brown with olive oil until nice and tender. Add chopped potatoes and brown for a minute or two. Add crab stock and bay leaves, heat until simmering. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add heavy cream, corn, crab meat, and parsley. Stir until combined and turn off heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot and enjoy!

August 08, 2014

finally, friday

Me (left) and friend Monica (right)

Oh you know, just an awkward scuba photo from getting certified this past June. I laugh when I see it because it just shows the struggle and effort it took to lug and wear all the gear. Good times, good times.

I don't know about you, but by 2048 I still want to be eating seafood...

Capturing things in slow motion is really amazing and cool, just like this popcorn popping, this beer bottle trick, or this crazy mouse trap thing...

Such a cool concept for a restaurant now open in San Francisco... I'm definitely checking it out asap!

These ceramics are so gorgeous I'd be afraid to use and possibly break them.

Majorly swooning over this dress even though it looks semi like a picnic tablecloth.

Really wanting to take a short road trip for the weekend to Mendocino and breathe in all it's beauty.

August 06, 2014

grab me a cold one

I have been obsessed with cold-brew coffee lately, especially with learning how easy it is to make... it's almost effortless. I was over at my sister's house one day and she offered me some cold brew coffee and I immediately saw she was taking her own container of coffee out of the refrigerator. I asked "You made it???". She replied yes and that it was easy to make. You measure out coffee grinds, add room temp water, leave it overnight (some say 24 hours) and wa-lah! You've got yourself some cold brewed coffee only needing to be strained from the grinds, poured over ice, and dressed up with the normal additives you like in your cup of joe and then consumed. I actually like to keep mine in the fridge overnight (not sure if it does anything to the 'steeping' process, it seems to work still) so it's cold in the morning and won't melt as much of the ice you pour it over. Oh man it's good. Something about brewing it this way makes it lower in acidity too which makes it super, super smooth. For whatever reason I thought cold-brew coffee was this long, difficult process, but it's actually super easy. The only thing it takes is time, but a majority of the time it takes to make I'm fast asleep dreaming of that cold cup of joe when I wake.

August 01, 2014

finally, friday

This photo was taken at one of my all time favorite places in San Francisco, Land's End Lookout. I often come here to hang out, walk around, catch the sunset, enjoy lunch and the scenery... you name it. Lately though, I've been heading a little farther from Sutro Baths and walking over to the point where you can catch a view of the Golden Gate Bridge. It's far less crowded and much more quiet, a wonderful place to experience golden hour and watch the sun set over the Pacific Ocean all while also viewing that golden light hit the bridge-- absolutely gorgeous. On this particular day I was able to spot some dolphins down below in the water either playing or perhaps feeding. There is so much magic in this spot it's ridiculous.

Ever think about where the fish at pet shops and aquariums come from?

I'm interested in living off the land and hope to one day have a full garden of my own, hunt, and fish so I don't have to depend on grocery stores as much, but this, this seems so extreme and almost-crazy-but-at-the-same-time-cool. You know what show I'll be watching for the next weeks to come.

Okay, so some of these photos might be cheesy, but some of them are so cute they'll make you say "awww" (or at least I did!).

This guy takes some amazing photos, I'm feeling inspired to try and snap some of my own.

Excuse the profanity, but WOW.