Monday, November 12, 2012

Dog Party!

Our friends D&D - parents of Axl & Rosie the best Brittany Spaniels in the world - recently both had work trips canceled, so we were able to get together for an impromptu Tuesday night dinner party.


On the menu - Steaks, salad, pumpkin soup, and pumpkin bread for dessert. Easy & delicious for a chilly night.

But our real reason for getting together is so the dogs can play - these three LOVE each other and tear around the yard (and house) for hours.

Rosie checks out what's on the menu

Difficult to see but this is all three dogs wrestling on the couch. Oops.

Amazed that we got them to sit still long enough for this picture!

Friday, November 9, 2012


We finally made it out mountain biking last Sunday. Although TD and I both bike a lot in town, we couldn't remember the last time we went mountain biking (probably 5 years?). TD used to be really into it; two big crashes have made me much more cautious but I was still looking forward to it.

One clue that its been awhile since we have been out was the state of our gear - my hydration bladder gave up the ghost while I was filling it and all of our water bottles were leaky and had been given away. But we persevered and were excited to get to the trail head when it was still cool and misty. We joked about being unprepared (no pump or patch kit) but figured our friends could help us out if we needed it.




But about a third of the way into the trail, I unclipped during a particularly tricky uphill section. Except I didn't unclip, the entire sole of my shoe peeled off, while remaining firmly clipped into the pedal. oops.


The remaining ride was interesting to say the least, trying to balance my now sole-less shoe on the very small clipless pedal. It was my dominant foot of course which made getting started all the more interesting. Thankfully TD was beyond patient & I eventually got some of my courage back and figured out how to coordinate starting off the other foot.

The place was beautiful though, and we look forward to going back. But in the meantime, I am trolling ebay for some new cycling shoes.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Rotten Beastie

Prairie the dog is currently on the naughty list.

She has a hotspot between her back toes which she licks incessantly. Admittedly, we should have caught it earlier, but for the last few days we have been applying ointment & wrapping her foot to help it heal. She doesn't love it, but it has been working reasonably well.
Cue last night - At 1 am Pdog jumped in the middle of the bed (resulting in startled yelling from me and shattering both of our sleep); I took her outside to potty and left her to sleep on the couch; barking and scratching on the couch ensued; Tom brought her back to our room where she wandered around the room for the next several hours, intermixed with obsessive licking of her (bandaged) foot; at 4 am I got up to rewrap her foot with a simple sock since the only cause I could think of for her refusing to settle was that her bandage was too tight/twisted/wet; she settled for the next couple of hours and was then whining to get up this morning bright and early as soon as the sun was up. Thankfully sweet TD took over her exercising her this morning.

Fingers crossed that last night was an aberration and her foot heals soon. I don't know how we will ever be able to survive a tiny human one day - I hear they have even less regard for their parents sleep than a 3 year old GSP.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The morning after

So happy and proud of my president and my country.

Relieved that Florida didn't create chaos.

Sick that the total amount that was spent on campaigns was almost equal to the entire annual budget of the National Science Foundation. A whole lot of research could have been done that would have really benefited a lot of folks.

Ready for a lot of hard work and excited about four more years!

Monday, November 5, 2012

A perfect NorCal Day

After living in northern California for five years, I haven't been back since I left, except for a short weekend trip when TD graduated. I have such wonderful memories of that time and place, so during our trip to the Bay area and Sea Ranch I was looking for a quintessential Northern California experience on Sunday, our last travel day. I really wanted to pack in all of that Bay Area - Sonoma - Mendocino goodness into our very short trip.

But what would the quintessential Northern California experience be? Hog Island Oysters at Bodega Bay? Cheeseboard Pizza or Chez Panisse Cafe in Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto? Eating pastries from Tartine while hanging out in Dolores Park? Wandering Golden Gate Park and visiting the de Young Museum?


I wasn't sure, and spent the weekend asking friends what they thought we should do. However, I should have known that the perfect Northern California experience sometimes finds you - sometimes when you are driving down Highway 1 and everyone is feeling either famished or terribly car sick, you might stop at the first sign of civilization and it just might happen to be next to a delightful coffee shop, that just happens to serve chowder and breakfast all day, and it just might be next to the water, and there might be an awesome bluegrass band playing while the fog rolls in. And that, my friends is the quintessential NorCal experience (at least for me).


Friday, November 2, 2012

Gualala Arts Center Reception


Gualala Wedding Reception, a set on Flickr.
After the lovely ceremony, T & M had a magical reception at the Gualala Arts Center, complete with heartfelt toasts, delicious food & wine, and lots and lots of dancing.

The party even continued into the wee hours of the morning but thankfully no pictures were taken at that point.

Healthy Pumpkin Struesel Bread - by popular demand!

I made this delicious pumpkin bread this week during a cold snap. Sadly it was so good, it didn't last more than 24 hours in our house. But, its not too naughty for you given the whole wheat flour and lower sugar.

Healthy Pumpkin Struesel Bread
Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9 in loaf pan.

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 t salt
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 t cloves
1/4 t allspice

1 stick butter melted
3/4 c sugar
1 c pumpkin puree
1 T vanilla extract
2 eggs

2 T brown sugar
1/2 t cinnamon

Mix together dry ingredients (flour to allspice) in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl thoroughly combine wet ingredients until smooth (butter to eggs). Fold in and gently mix dry ingredients. Pour into prepared pan (batter will be stiff). Mix together brown sugar and remaining cinnamon and sprinkle on top.

Bake for 50-70 minutes - check for doneness with a cake tester. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes and then remove from pan.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sea Ranch Wedding

Our friends had a beautiful (did I mention NO FOG!) afternoon wedding on the bluff below the Sea Ranch Lodge. They had a beautiful ceremony with two dear friends officiating, and a another friend singing. Lovely and a perfect expression of the two of them.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sea Ranch and the Mendonoma Coast

We had an awesome weekend trip for our dear friends' wedding at Sea Ranch on the Mendocino-Sonoma Coast. We weren't sure what to expect of this planned vacation community about 3 hours north of San Francisco - but it was gorgeous and we had a blast!

We had a long day of plane - train - car travel on Friday which culminated with us hurriedly changing into our rehearsal dinner garb in the parking lot since we were already half an hour late. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of our delicious dinner since we left the camera in the car, but I did have a life changing avocado brulee - avocado with caramelized sugar on top - wow! We also got to chat with lots of grad school friends that we (or at least I) hadn't seen since our wedding, so it was a great reunion. And we even made it to the house that we had rented with our friends J & K, without directions or an address, in time to sit in the hot tub.

On Saturday we were up early to enjoy the beautiful weather (NO FOG!!) with a hike at the regional park. The park is located on the Gualala River, so we got great views of the ocean as well as the river.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I had a great time visiting my friend A two weekends ago in New York. She is the consummate hostess with the mostess and despite being six months pregnant & her husband getting hit by a car (!!!) the day I arrived (he got checked out in the ER but was ok), she was a lovely tour guide per usual. I was only in town for 48 hours, but we packed it in!

The view from her apt - Queensboro Bridge & Roosevelt Island

Taking the ferry to Brooklyn - A beautiful way to travel

Smorgasburg - a food fair in Williamsburg. We enjoyed truffle lumpia (Philippine eggs rolls), Saltenas (bolivian empanada with chicken, hardboiled egg and raisins), People's Pops (plum spearmint popsicle), and iced Blue Bottle Coffee. yum!

We wandered over to the deKalb market and checked out lots of jewelry, crafts and clothes (may have gotten a few birthday gifts here). The market is made entirely of stacked shipping containers - very cool.

After DeKalb we wandered to Flatbush where we stopped at several stores along the way to Franny's pizza. We got there fashionably early and got to sit at the bar. The food was excellent - eggplant agrodolce and squid to start and we split the meatball, buffalo mozzarella pizza - thin chewy, crispy crust, tart sauce, salty cheese. yum!

Gorgeous day on Sunday

Sunday morning French Toast Orgy inspired by Kate's Kitchen in SF - Challah French toast topped with bananas, blueberries, black berries, homemade yogurt and granola

We walked to the oh so cool rooftop installation at the Met - Tomas Saraceno's Cloud City. It reminded me of a spaceship, honey comb, bubbles. You could even climb inside and walk around.

Sadly, the only picture I got of the two of us. 

We also checked out the excellent Modern art collection - Specifically the collections of the New York School (deKooning, Noguchi, Calder, Warhol, Jasper Johns, Pollock). I love how all of these greats are together - less overwhelming than the MoMA.

We weren't really hungry yet, but I had specifically requested Ramen, so we headed to Ippudo. (Our first choice Totto Ramen didn't open til 4 pm)
I got the delicious Tori Ramen (chicken broth) with slices of Pork Loin. 
A chose the special with Squid Ink noodles in spicy broth. 

We had to stop at il labrotorio del gelato - an amazing place that really does look like a laboratory. They have incredible flavors like tomato, olive oil, black pepper, lemon rosemary, etc. I had a scoop of Grapefruit Campari sorbet and a scoop of Red Grape sorbet. The concentration of flavor in both were incredible. They are obviously working some magic back in the lab!

We then wandered over to china town so that I could buy 100 handmade dumplings to bring back home. This time I got pork and chive as well as vegetarian stuffed with bok choy. 

A also did her grocery shopping for the week - very fun to visit some of the huge meat markets and listen to her ask for things in Cantonese.

Too soon it was time to head back to the airport where this awaited me - c'mon JFK can't you get it together? 

These are tarps with garden hoses to drain the water from the gaping holes in the ceiling. Not pictured is the mass of humanity in the Delta terminal resulting from 3 canceled flights and 5 flights leaving from the same gate in the span of an hour. Needless to say, I was just thankful that my flight was not canceled, that I got on the correct plane and that I brought yummy snacks. 

Such a fun weekend  & I can't wait to return next year to meet the Bebe!