Travel Archive

Thursday, August 23, 2007

smoke-roasted stuffed bell peppers

smoke-roasted stuffed bell peppers

Whoops! I hadn’t meant to abandon you like that, we just didn’t have internet connectivity on our last two days of the trip. It was like 1999 or something. I got the shakes. So, where did we leave off?

After Day One at the wineries and Days Two and Three at the grill, we spent our last day on a barely too brief to mention swing into San Francisco where we wandered the Ferry Market Building and lunched at the Slanted Door with friends before heading up to Berkeley. We had dinner with a gorgeous group of food bloggers that evening at Oliveto in Oakland, and on recommendation from the lovely Shuna, breakfast at Mama’s Royal the next morning. In between these gullet-gutting excursions, we found some time on Monday to wander about the Berkeley campus where we wallowed in nostalgia for our unscheduled college days and once wrinkle-free foreheads (fine, that was just me) before jetting back to the land of late dinners, humidity and the daily grind.

dinerdinerthe gnomes r comingdiner

Continued after the jump »

Monday, August 20, 2007

napa, days two & three

In honor of our long weekend in Napa–you know, the trip that you won for us–I have done the unthinkable and brought the laptop in hopes to share snippets throughout our trip. Should we ever leave California, we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled cooking next week. But I’m not making any promises.

charcoal chimney in napa

Oh people. Come, hither. Sit down, have some wine. Try to summon in your mind the awe-inspiring amount of information one can absorb in twelve hours of applied grilling class, all that direct versus indirect heat, smokers and infrared and Japanese ceramic egg grills, lump charcoal and applewood chips, muscle and protein, brine and sear, marinade and sauce and rub and ignition and meat, my god, so much meat even the pictures give me a meatover.

I’m about 29 heirloom tomatoes and 300 sugar snap peas from returning to my former, non-cavewoman self, and it’s going to be a day or so before I can get to all of the tasty stuff we learned. Until then, don’t let me forget to tell you about our beyond fabulous grilling partner, this meal, that one and the awesomeness to come before we leave on Tuesday, our bags bursting with bottles of Sinskey and jars of homemade gifts. We are hopelessly spoiled. We wish you were here.

[Psst: If you're coming from an RSS reader, you'll have to click through to see the slideshow.]

Saturday, August 18, 2007

napa, day one

In honor of our long weekend in Napa–you know, the trip that you won for us–I have done the unthinkable and brought the laptop in hopes to share snippets throughout our trip. Should we ever leave California, we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled cooking next week. But I’m not making any promises.

grapes from the vine

Day one, we splurged on the Mustang convertible and aside from the whole sunburn issue (duh), it is indeed awesome, and we don’t care if it screams tourist in every single way. I use the term ‘splurged’ loosely, as the full price of this (on special) is still half of one day of a cheapo car in NYC. California, I love you already.

convertible self-portrait

Up since 4 a.m. Eastern, by 2 p.m. Pacific we were so famished, the In-n-Out Burger seemed the only sane solution. I had my first hamburger since I was 12 years old. It was so worth the wait.

in-n-out burger, sodain-n-out burger, burgerin-n-out burger, friesin-n-out burger, ketchup

Continued after the jump »

Monday, April 23, 2007

black bean confetti salad


havana
bar stools
a week's view

Sweet speckled sunshine, that was a good week. Never underestimate the power of blinding sun, square canvas umbrellas, swing barstools and ten thousand renditions of guantanamera to turn your mind back to tabula rasa. What did I do this week? Wish I could tell you, but every time I try to recall stretches of time, they skitter off like pieces of paper in a gusty breeze, just leaving me with small, unconnected bits, like the perfectly round, golf ball sized limes everywhere, sun so bright it demands your undivided attention, long piers that end in shade and a Havana-style eatery built from worn white wood, lounge chairs so comfortable, so well thought out you could lose a day–no a week–in one and not miss it at all. And so we did. And the only thing I cooked was grilled cheese sandwiches.

Continued after the jump »

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

sav’h

oh sun

Every time, and really, it’s never often enough, that I escape the ankle-deep slush and relentless face-paralyzing gusts of wind that New York City is so fond of thrusting at us for warmer climates, I’m always bewildered when I arrive. Wait, it is spring here? It’s usually like this? Did the weatherman just say to take out your winter coat because it’s going to be 50 today? And then, there’s always the great undressing, so much less exciting than it sounds unless you were me on Saturday, stepping outside without a sweater, tights, tall boots, scarf, hat, gloves and thick down jacket for the first time in months, light as a feather, happy as a clam, albeit with the skin cast of someone who had just crawled out from under a rock. Ah sunshine. How we’ve missed thee.

frog
rawr

Continued after the jump »