Monday, June 30, 2008

Basket o' Heaven

For all you bacon-lovers out there, hold onto your hats.

At the Alembic bar on Haight Street, we stopped for a Dark n' Stormy and we were pleasantly surprised to find Bacon Cracker Jacks on the menu! We, of course, had to try it.

It was ridiculicious & I call it....Dinner.

And in true Cracker Jack style, there was a prize hidden inside...a little tiny plastic poisonous frog. How sweet.

Olallieberry Picking

Nearby to Costanoa were several U-Pick berry farms. Lucky for us, olallieberries are in season! I called it farmer fantasy camp, and I just loved it!

We probably (accidentally, I swear!) ate 2 berries for every 1 we put in our basket, but I made sure they wouldn't weigh us before and after. Thank goodness.

D got into it too.

We only paid $3 for 2 full pints of berries! It's almost criminal, really.

And lookie what we made with the fruits of our labor: Olallieberry cobbler - ooooh, so good!

S'Mores 101

How to make the perfect s'more a la Sara:

1. Get your Honey Maid graham cracker and Hershey's chocolate squares ready (these brands are can try others, but I find that these produce the most nostalgic deliciousness. Nothing compares.)

2. Roast your marshmallow over the red embers (avoid homemade/posh marshmallows - awesome for you if you make them, but not good for s'mores. Use Jet-puff or similar brands.), turning until it poofs up and starts blistering brown. Check for doneness by wiggling the marshmallow on the skewer back and forth a little to make sure the whole thing moves as one gooey mess. If there's a hard little lump that doesn't move with your 'mallow, back to the embers it goes.

Now, at this point, you can move to the cracker, but if you're me, you'll stick it in the flame one last time for a nice little scorch. I like mine charred a little bit. This probably comes from years of failed browning, so it's just become an acquired taste for me. Plus, it's much easier to like a burned marshmallow, because there's a better chance of burning it than achieving that perfect golden color.

3. Now move your marshmallow (blow it out first, if ablaze) to the graham cracker + chocolate side, use the non-chocolated graham cracker to help secure your marshmallow while you remove the skewer.

4. Squeeze the sandwich a little so it oozes out the sides, lick it off, and go to town. I love how the chocolate stays a little bit hard.

I probably had about 6 s'mores in 2 nights - but when you get them once a year, and this is in your top 5 favorite foods of all time, you just gotta go for it. I was, indeed, a happy camper.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Posh Camping

I think the official term is "glamping," and we did it this week. We went to Costanoa for a little R&R after a 7-day work stretch (for me) and a year-long work stretch for D, who just finished chief residency. Besides being a frigid icy tundra (slight exaggeration) on the California coast, per the usual in the summer, it was quite an awesome experience.

Each tent cabin is outfitted with a queen-sized bed, heated mattress pad, down bedding, towels, reading lights. If this is roughing it too much for you, there are also wooden cabins or a lodge you can stay in. And don't worry about bringing food, because there's a lodge you can dine in. There is hiking, biking, kayaking, and yoga offered at the site too.

The "comfort stations" (aka, bathrooms) have heated concrete floors, hot (free) showers inside and outside, a sauna, and a fire place with adirondack chairs. The groundspeople set up all the logs and the matches so all you have to do is strike a match and light the fire. In 5 minutes, you're stuffing s'mores in your face.

Yes (Jenelle), I know this is not real camping.

Next time, I want to stay in one of these 2 cabins - they were in Sunset Magazine. And when it's as cold as it was, you need all the greenhouse effect in that tent you can get!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Recordable Television, I Love You

I'm not an "animal person," but I can appreciate the feeling of being welcomed home every day, unconditionally....because I feel this way about my DVR. And you know how sometimes kitties leave you "treats" (read: dead mice and birds) on your porch? Well, it's kind of like that when you have a show waiting for you when you get home...except better in so many ways.

I used to DVR Oprah, but this just got too out of hand...backed up shows 'til Kingdom Come. I had to cut that habit, though she was definitely my most loyal of all DVRs.

On my DVR menu (this is where you see that I am both a child and an old lady in one - diverse, I call it):

The Office
So You Think You Can Dance
A couple of sewing/quilting shows
John and Kate + 8 (Team Hannah!)
Hell's Kitchen

I think my list covers my need for good humor, a little voyeurism, education, and strict entertainment. Plus, I like to think of it as Pop Culture homework - and I've always been a great student...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sorry Ladies, He's Taken...

After a 6 hour bus ride from San Luis, look what I come home to...

A lattice-top cherry pie (yes, he made this - crust included - from scratch):

And a panzanella salad:

I was too excited to photograph the grilled flank steak, but trust me, it was delicious. I'm so lucky!

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Is there nothing more satisfying than plucking produce right out of the back yard? (I love how I say "satisfying" as if I did any of the work besides the actual plucking - Mon, it's all you, I realize this.) I'm staying with my sister and she grew these beauties. I'm just so impressed!!

Can't wait for tomato season!

(never mind that I'm in my pajamas...I just woke up from a nap. Lif is hard.)

Saturday, June 07, 2008


Remember this quilt kit I bought last year in Sisters (last year, at band camp...)? I seriously only bought 2 kits, but they are giving me an entire YEAR of projects. (I'm going again in July - Danger!!)

Well anyhow, I was browsing Flickr and found a few awesome brick path-ish quilts. And while I wanted to make one with cool, fun, new fabrics, I just couldn't do it. Not with an entire BIN of perfectly good, coordinating fabrics lying around. So, I did a little stash-n-burn.

This is top is completely made of leftover fabrics from that kit - enough for a whole entire quilt (crib-sized)!! I made a modified version of the brick-path to maximize my scraps. I'm not sure why there was so much excess in the kit...maybe I was supposed to make something else with the kit and I missed it, or maybe the quilt was supposed to be bigger, I don't know.

Anyhow, I feel good about utilizing some of my stash. Now I can just go out and buy MORE! (that is so not green, forget I said that) I think this line of prints has had its season with me.

It's probably cheating to post about this once before and once after it's completed, but that's how I roll. See you in a couple days!

Monday, June 02, 2008

City Chic Baby Blankie

The blankie is done & I love it!

Clearly, I'm a novice, so I don't know if "real" quilters wash their quilts before giving them as gifts (yes? no? anyone?) ...but I think it's the right thing to do, considering how many places a quilt is schlepped and laid out on its way to completion (future recipient, I'm talking places like the living room floor, don't be grossed out!)- especially if for a baby. Plus, I think it looks so much more awesome and lovable once its washed and wrinkly.

Just try to get me to resist polka dots - I dare you!

And I found this awesomely soft (and green!) bamboo-cotton blend print for the backing at PeaPod. I have never been so decisive.

I think I need one of these for myself.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

SCUBA Duba Doo

Remember when I told you I wouldn't post anymore Hawaii photos? Well, you never really believed that was true, did you? I forgot that our SCUBA guide was snapping photos while we were diving.

Here's my attempt at a smile with a regulator in my mouth. At this point, we were inside the hull of a sunken ship - isn't that so cool?!

I'm such a spaz - D is a much more technical diver. He holds his arms folded in front of his body (the right way), and I'm flailing about with my "wings" out in nearly every photo.

Up the mooring line:

The ship in the background:

A little photo session while we wait to surface:

So fun, right?