Monday, September 26, 2011

Manic Monday

If I had the closet of my dreams, this is what I would be wearing today...
Technicolor Moscow

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Taste of Greece

The food fest weekend continued today with the Taste of Greece festival at the Annunciation Cathedral on Valencia Street. The Greeks are a lot like the Maltese, they love to eat and dance and today was full of both. Our friend the sun actually came out as well, which lead us to stay outside at the festival for almost 4 hours. The great part was...there was plenty of tables and chairs set up inside and outside for everyone who wanted to sit and enjoy the music and dancing.
The food was incredible, I didn't expect anything less. I had spanakopita, dolmades and roasted potatoes with ice cold Mythos. Tim had pastitsio and souvlaki.
We sat and basked in the warmth of the sunshine and enjoyed every bite. The live music was great as well as the dancing, there were troops of all ages, but I liked the kids the best. Everyone stopped what they were doing and gathered when the kids started dancing.
Here is a sneak peak...

After the dancing and people watching, it was time for dessert (Galaktoboureko, Baklava and Anise Biscotti) and coffee all followed by a bus ride home.

Eat Real

Yesterday late in the afternoon Tim and I went over to Oakland's Jack London Square for the Eat Real Festival. Get more info on Eat Real here. It is an amazing event bringing together local food trucks, local food artisans and lots of food related anything you can think of. There is a DIY stage where you can learn all kinds of culinary tasks from making your own mozzarella to butchering your own beast. Despite the thousands of people and my dislike for large gatherings of people with no room to breathe let alone walk down the sidewalk, it was very fun! We went to the VIP reception (since I work for one of the main sponsors) and got to spend time off the clock with some of my coworkers, which was cool.

Here is a list of the foods we enjoyed - not all of them were photographed as I had to hold my beer in one hand and eat with the other! Please keep in mind, this is a lot of food but not really full size servings as everything was under $5 each!
:: Senor Sisig Truck - Chicken Tacos (his) and Tofu Tostada (hers)
:: Vesta Flat Bread Truck - Mezze side: carrot hazelnut pate, fresh beet salad, labne with sumac & zatar, flatbread triangles (his & hers)
:: Whole Foods Market Truck - Hodo Soy Yuba Kung Pao (hers) and Corn Dog Bites (his)
:: Local Grass Fed Beef Cheeseburger (his)
:: Vegan Corn Dog with locally made mustard (hers)
:: Little Green Cyclo Truck - Chicken Banh Mi Sandwich (his)
:: Beer - can't remember all of them that we tried
My recommendation if you plan on checking this event out in the future, go in the late afternoon or at dinner time. The crowds seem to dissipate leaving more room to actually walk.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Truck Love

Call it what you will but I am obsessed with pickup trucks, I have been since the moment my Uncle Larry pulled up in a big red pickup truck in my parent's drive way when I was a kid. Sitting in it made me feel on top of the world and when I was old enough and had the means, I bought myself a big red pickup truck - see photo here. Now I live in the city and parking would be a big hassle, so until I move up North or out into the burbs all I can do is look and obsess and take pictures of all the cool trucks I see around town (except that huge red one lower left, that was in Michigan). Just thought I would share my love and my collection of photos I put together from my cell phone.
PS - see the beat up white one on the left, 3rd row down? Same as my first red truck! I can spot them anywhere.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Making Pie

I think my favorite thing to bake is pie, I mean I love a good cake and you can't deny the smell of homemade bread but there is something very comforting and reminiscent of home about a pie. My Mom used to bake pies for our neighbors restaurant, how cool is that? So I guess its in my blood.
This weekend I made a cherry pie in a new pie dish I got from my friend Amy for my birthday which made it even more fun. There is something so therapeutic about making the crust, rolling it out and piecing the hand-cut top together. The smell of pastry and fruit in the oven is divine - if I could bottle that smell I'd be a millionaire for sure.
Here she is...sorry no scratch and sniff technology yet...
Tell me, what is your favorite thing to bake?

Manic Monday

If I had the closet of my dreams, this is what I would be wearing today...
Central Park

Monday, September 12, 2011

Manic Monday

If I had the closet of my dreams, this is what I would be wearing today...
Red, White and Blue
This outfit was created in red, white and blue to honor those who lost and risked their lives on 9/11/01.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things

I have not done a post like this in a while, so I thought I would create a random list of favorite things to share. Basically, things I love as of late and feel life is a little better when they are a part of it. Who knows, maybe one of them will become one of your favorite things.
1. Olay Total Effects Acne Control Cream Cleanser - because I am not getting any younger, but my skin still acts like its a teenager in certain areas.
3. Tokyo Milk Paper & Cotton No. 17 Perfume - so nice, a little spicy and woodsy and I love it!
4. Sephora Ultra Shine Lip Gloss No. 20 Shiny Perfect Nude - natural and makes me feel like I have something going on, even when I don't.
5. OPI Nail Polish - Samoan Sand - I stopped biting my nails and like to keep them painted a natural color to keep them protected.
6. Orly Sec N' Dry (combo top coat and quick dry) - I love painting my nails but hate waiting for them to dry and this seems to save some time.
7. Post-it® Flag+ Combination Highlighter and Pen - seriously, a triple threat in a pen...finally!
8. Organic Carrot Juice - no link, homemade, makes me feel so good each day.
9. Ricola Honey Lemon with Echinacea - great for meetings and situations where you tend to get a dry throat, never mind I have had a cough for 2 months now, so it helps!
10. Ciao Bella Blood Orange Sorbet - that cough mentioned above has done a number on my throat and this hits the spot!
11. Pirate Brand, Original Tings - I have loved these for years and can finish a bag in a day, hey, I am not proud of that but these Tings are amazing. Like cheetos minus the cheese; vegan, corny, salty and crunchy, yes please!

Everyone has things that help make their life more manageable and fun.
What are your favorite things at this time in your life?

Monday, September 05, 2011

Tomato Crazy

I have been buried in tomatoes this past week thanks to my CSA box so I thought I'd share what I have been doing with them besides making a sauce, which was my go in the past.

I super love tomatoes on sprouted wheat bagels or sprouted protein bread with tofutti cream cheese, this is stand by this time of year for breakfast at my house and its so delicious (add red onion slices if you have them for even more flavor).
I have been making pizza at least once a week since the tomatoes have been so abundant and I love roasting/drying them and using them instead of sauce on my pizzas.
Here's how:
:: Preheat oven to 250.
:: Prepare cooling racks (spray them with cooking spray so the tomatoes don't stick or brush them with olive oil). Place racks over baking sheets lined with a silicon mat or parchment paper (easy clean up).
:: Slice tomatoes and place on cooking racks, sprinkle with salt (you are trying to draw the moisture out). I also topped mine with a dash of oregano and very light drizzle of olive oil.
:: Place in oven on center racks and bake for 30 minutes, switch shelves and bake for 30-45
more minutes depending on the thickness of your slices and the variety of your tomatoes (some take longer than others).
:: Remove from the oven when tomatoes are a bit shriveled and dried.
:: Use immediately or place in an airtight container to use within a couple days.
Looking for a good pizza crust? I have been using the following and love it!
:: 1 paket of instant yeast
:: 2 tsp sugar
:: 1 Cup warm water
:: 1/4 Cup vegetable shortening (I use Earth Balance)
- mix the 4 above ingredients together with whisk attachment of mixer, once incorporated (note, the shortening doesn't really mix in well, sort of breaks up, this is normal), change to dough hook and add the following:
:: 3 Cups Flour
:: 2 tsp Salt
- mix with dough hook for a few minutes until dough curls itself around the hook clinging on
for dear life and cleaning the sides of the mixing bowl.
- remove from hook and add to an oiled bowl, turning over once so the top has been oiled.
- cover with plastic wrap and a towel and forget about it for an hour. I let my rise on the stove top, it seems to work well there.
- after one hour, dough should be doubled, punch it down, kneed about 5-10 times on a board and let rest for 15 minutes while you prepare your toppings.
- preheat oven to 500 degrees - screamin' hot
- brush your pan with olive oil
- toss dough to fit your pan and lay it down
- cover with toppings
- bake 10 minutes then rotate in oven, bake 5-10 more until done to your liking. I like a crispy
bottom so I check the bottom with a pancake turner (usually bake about 20 minutes total for a toasty golden bottom, but ovens vary so please keep checking as no one wants a burnt pizza).
- remove from oven, let cool about 5-7 minutes, slice and enjoy - preferably with an ice cold Peroni.

Manic Monday

If I had the closet of my dreams, this is what I would be wearing today...
Jump and Jive


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