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Yesterday I learned that my Blue Angels will not be performing during this year’s Fleet Week. If you know me at all you know I’m practically a Mrs. Blue Angel. After I heard the news I wanted to curl up under my desk and cry. My poor, poor Blue Angels being used as pawns in the budget cuts battle. Frankly, they can cancel Fleet Week now. No offense to the Canadian Snowbirds, but that’s like being served tofurkey when you ordered the prime rib. Eh?
To add insult to injury, today I discover that my favorite Chinese restaurant, Tai Chi, is closed. It says it’s closed for remodeling, but there’s also a sign of new ownership out front. Does this mean I’ll never see my beloved Ping the delivery boy again? We had such a good thing going. I’d place my order and he’d deliver in under 20 minutes. Sure, it might’ve helped that they’re only 3 blocks away (don’t judge!), but I think Ping and I had something special. Wo xiang ni, Ping. Wo xiang ni.
Writer’s note: Ping’s name may have been changed because I don’t actually know his real name. Additionally, if that’s Ping’s red Porsche parked in front of Tai Chi I will be re-calculating my tipping strategy going forward).
I took a few extra days off last week so I could pick up a dear friend at the airport and, after a few stops and the addition of 2 passengers, eventually make our way to Bodega to ring in another 40th Birthday. Well, one of those impromptu stops was at The Fremont Diner located on the Carneros Highway between Napa and Sonoma. I’ve passed this place hundreds of times and every time think “I have got to stop here one day!” Fearing death by starvation we pulled in around 3:30 for a “light” snack – which worked out well because they were only serving appetizers until Dinner service started at 5. I thought it was going to be a hamburger & fries kind of place, but it’s actually Southern fare. We perused the menu and settled on the Smoked Brisket Nachos. I am telling you I have never tasted anything so heavenly in all my life! Just as heavenly was everyone who worked there…so nice!
I’ve only had one thing off the menu, but everyone else I know seems familiar with this place and had nothing but rave reviews.
Every time I drive by there’s usually a line so be prepared for a bit of a wait. I’m going to try to swing by soon for breakfast (and by that I mean get up incredibly early, drive 40 minutes, and be the 1st in line for shrimp & grits…or sausage biscuit). It’s good to have goals.
I’d been contemplating a major appliance purchase for a while and thanks to my place of employment (and an extra-special discount) I decided to go for it. I purchased a juicer!
I’m not going on a juice only detox program or anything. I wanted it as a way to add more fruits & veggies to my diet and because I toss a good number of fruits and veggies into the trash each week. These are fruits and veggies that somehow never get peeled, chopped, steamed, or sauteed. Instead they rot in my refrigerator until they beg to be composted. I’m probably the only person in SF that doesn’t compost (because I think it’s disgusting to have a compost bin in an apartment) so the poor things end up in what must be comparable to a human’s version of Hell. They end up in the trash. GASP! Since I don’t eat or compost them the only logical solution was to buy a juicer and juice the bejeezus out of them!
I’m having a great time finding recipes with different ingredients so that I get a variety of nutrients. I’ve done three recipes so far, the first one by far being the worst. It looked like swamp water and tasted like it. In hindsight, I didn’t add enough kale. I never would have thought that any recipe needs more kale, but now I know. The next two (Sun-kissed and Celery Cucumber Pear) were downright delicious. I already feel goodness flowing through my body and my skin glowing!
There are a ton of juicing recipes out there, but I found these on the rebootwithjoe website.
And, if you’re a super nerd, you can put the recipes into an Excel spreadsheet. It makes it easy to see what each recipe contains which helps with shopping and selecting a variety of juices during the week.
How on earth have I never been to Buster’s before last weekend? I’ve driven by it a million times and was always tempted by the ridiculous scent of BBQ, but never stopped. After a picturesque drive up-valley with fam, we stopped in Calistoga to shop main street and then headed to Buster’s for lunch. For the record, Calistoga Olive Oil company has an incredible Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO). It’s not cheap, but it’s impossible to taste and leave without buying a bottle. So say the 3 ladies who left with 4 bottles between them.
Anyhow, back to Buster’s. Holy cow. Amazing tri-tip sandwich and baked beans. I’m still dreaming about those beans…so good! If there’s a line don’t be discouraged, it moves fast.
A few pics from our afternoon.
I was visiting Dad and he had a new issue of one of my favorite magazines, AARP! I don’t know what it is about this magazine. Maybe it’s the large font or that I feel more hip than most of the 60-90 somethings featured. (At the very least, I know I still have both my original hips). Actually, it’s probably that I get inspired because I always discover useful tidbits of information. This time I found a recipe for cooking salmon & green beans in tinfoil. What??? No dirty pans! Sign me up. Their recipe called for pesto, but since I don’t even want to use a pan I’m certainly not going to whip up (or even purchase) pesto.
Here’s my no thrills (but still yummy) version:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Grab 1 yard of tin foil & fold short sides together
Place a handful of green beans in center of tin foil (rinse & trim beans first)
Place salmon skin side down on green beans (rinse filet first)
Season with salt, pepper, & olive oil as desired
Squeeze half a lemon (or a little less) over filet
Fold tin foil to create a closed pouch, place on baking sheet, and put in oven
Cook for 30 minutes or until filet is cooked through. Let stand for 1 minute before opening so you don’t steam your fingers off.
That’s it! Seriously, a monkey could do it.
Some of my besties are turning 40 this year and we’re each celebrating in our own special way. So far, no big trips or crazy expensive gifts we’re just hanging out with the people we love & enjoy the most. I mean really, what could be better?! Last week a group of friends came to SF because it was my friend Nancy’s turn to ring in the big 4-0! I was pleased as punch when she decided to go to the House of Prime Rib in SF! This was extra great because no one in the group had ever been AND it is one block from my apartment. BINGO. We had a ball! I hosted pre-dinner bubbly at my place for all 6 of us which is my largest hosting gig so far. My studio is so teeny tiny, but it was delightful. The House of Prime Rib was outstanding! I read a bunch of reviews before going and was definitely pleased with the “House Cut” (City Cut is for babies) and the baked potato with “the works”. I think the salad & side (creamed corn or spinach) is for the birds, but it’s part of the meal so no harm, no foul. The creme brulee for dessert might seem like too much, but it’s not…YUM. I think this place is a MUST if you visit SF. And the price tag is not too bad for all you get – $45 per person without drinks.
Note from author: Ladies, order the cosmo while you’re waiting for your table. It’s $10 and they give you the shaker…which, it turns out, is about 3 drinks. Best deal in town! Teehee.
Here’s the reason I did 30 minutes on the treadmill before heading to my Pilates class tonight. That’s right, cheesecake magically appeared at work today. My team and I decided to put one of each on a plate and take a bite. I don’t even love cheesecake, but I managed a teensie weensie bite of most of them. There was coffee cake, turtle, red velvet, turtle, cappuccino, turtle…the TURTLE was goooooooood.
I was perusing the internet this morning and came across a post on The Kitchn about black chicken. I’d never heard of such a thing. Apparently, black chicken (Silkie chicken) is more prominent in Asian cuisine so you’re unlikely to come across one in a regular grocery store. (I think if I saw one I’d call the manager and report a rotten chicken)! I’m going to keep my eyes peeled the next time I’m in Chinatown where there’s always unappetizing fowl hanging about. Although, it’s said that black chicken doesn’t taste much different from regular chicken I just don’t think I could eat it. It does not look good to me.
Here are a few more notes on the Silkie chicken from the internet gospel, Wikepedia:
The Silkie is a breed of chicken named for its atypically fluffy plumage, which is said to feel like silk. The breed has several other unusual qualities, such as dark blue flesh and bones, blue earlobes, and five toes on each foot.
Last Saturday I met up with a couple of friends at the Oxbow Market in Napa. We sat outside and enjoyed a glass of bubbles while catching up. Lovely. An hour and a half later it was already 8:30 and the Oxbow closes at 9. NINE! We walked up First Street and stumbled upon Eiko’s a Japonais influenced restaurant. I forget exactly how they describe their menu so let’s just go with “Japonais influenced”…sounds fancy. We sampled many different dishes from the tapas menu and the food was out of this world. Shrimp tacos, chicken lettuce wrap, beef gyoza, and a super scorpion roll. Not ones to pass up dessert we had s’mores! Sorry the photo is so dark, but the restaurant is a little dark…and loud…but otherwise fantastic. I will definitely go back.
For the record, I’m still dreaming about the shrimp tacos.
No – I have not been in an accident and forgotten my entire life, but miraculously remember how to blog. I went out on a Wednesday night to hear the jazz band Gaucho at the bar Amnesia in the Mission. I KNOW! I honestly haven’t been to the Mission in probably 5 years. Gasp.
A friend of mine who recently split from her longtime BF needed a night out so who does she call? I can’t believe it either, but she called me. Luckily, the band Gaucho started playing at 7:30 so oldsters like me didn’t fall asleep. The band was great and it was fun to hang out and listen to their music. The bar is a quirky little place with a mixed bag of people and a great philosophy: “You’re poor, you’re rich, gay, straight, old, young, we don’t care, but however you come, come with the right attitude. Like the sign on our wall says: “BE NICE OR LEAVE- THIS IS A GROWN FOLKS ESTABLISHMENT”’!
At around 9 we decided to grab a bite to eat so headed around the block to Hog & Rocks. We ordered the Herb Butter Fries, Mussels, BBQ Meatballs w/ Cheese Grits, and a Beets & Bread Salad to round out the meal. Oh wait, we also ordered a bottle of wine…maybe that rounded out the meal? Either way the food was fantastic and everyone was really friendly. I am going to try to make BBQ meatballs at home because they were amazing! (I hope I don’t need an actual BBQ)…