Monday, June 27, 2011

It's My Birthday!

Today is my 26th Birthday!

This weekend all my amazing beautiful friends and I headed over to Sam's in Tiburon to celebrate!   The weather was gorgeous and Sam's was packed.  I had such a great birthday and it's continuing tonight with a birthday dinner!  I am so blessed to have such great friends!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Gazpacho with Crunchy Croutons

Summer nights make me think of Gazpacho.  Growing up in Sacramento the summers are so hot and every once in awhile we would make a refreshing Gazpacho.  You definitely have to like raw tomatoes to like this soup.  I love raw tomatoes, so this soup is right up my alley.

I loved the addition of crunchy croutons and the smooth texture of the avocado on top.  Sometimes you will find Gazpacho recipes with bread blended into the soup.  Not mine.  I didn't grow up with that type of Gazpacho, but maybe I'll give it a shot sometime.  For now, the crunchy croutons do the trick!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Allison's Bridal Shower

One of my best friends, Allison, is getting married!  We went to her bridal shower this weekend and now I am that much more excited for her wedding in couple months.  We met in college 7 years ago and were instantly best friends.  I actually met her fiance on the exact same day I met Allison:  On a ski bus to Park City!

Congratulations Allison and Chris, I am bursting with joy for you two!


For lunch, Allison's Mom made Chicken Piccata, Arugula Salad, and Roasted Veggie Orzo Salad.  I will have to steal her recipe for the Orzo Salad because even after two servings I still couldn't get enough!

Dessert included fruit skewers, lemonade, and mini cupcakes.

Check out Niky's
post on Allison's Bridal Shower...

and the host, Stefanie's,
post on Allison's Bridal Shower!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New York City

My college cross-country girlfriends and I met up in NYC (Ali in the blue lives in Brooklyn) for a long weekend!  I thought I would share a couple pictures from the entertainment packed long weekend...

In the picture above we were at a NY Yankees game against the Cleveland Indians.   The seats were fantastic and the padded chairs (yes padded) said the following:  Be alert for bats and/or balls - we were that close!

For one of our meals went to Eataly owned by Mario Batali and other partners.  It's a market, restaurant, deli, bakery, cafe, gelato, and more!

We decided to eat in the pasta/pizza portion of Eataly and loved the atmosphere and the food.

Beer in a wine glass: classy

Shaved asparagus with cheese and olive oil

 Margherita Pizza

Focaccio bread triangles topped with arugula, tomatoes, and cheese

We also went for a run in Central Park, which has always been on my bucket list.  Only 1,999 items to go...

After our run we ate HUGE pastrami sandwiches from Stage Deli.  Delicious and filling.

After our sandos we saw the Broadway Musical: Memphis.  The musical was amazing and I highly recommend seeing the show!

We also went to the Met to see the Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibit.  The exhibit's layout was imaginative and created a timeline of how ideas/influences affected Alexander McQueen's work.  Even though I am not a fashion guru, I still loved and appreciated the exhibit.

The Met's cool new ticket idea.

I hope you are having a great week!  Lets see if I can conjure up a recipe before the week's end...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer Berry Crisp

 Summer is here and yet if you lived in San Francisco you would never know it.  I am never surprised at the very constant weather patterns since I have lived here for three years, however I do long for a hot summer night every once in awhile.  San Francisco has been rainy and cold lately and sometimes summer seems worlds away.

This weekend I am in NYC for a long weekend with my college cross-country girl friends for a fantastic reunion!  Maybe NYC will bring me a hot summer weekend, but the forecast calls for thundershowers so we shall see.

A couple nights ago for dessert I made this Summer Berry Crisp.  Pretty sure I can imagine summer in any weather with this warm and sweet berry crisp paired with French vanilla ice cream. 

Surprisingly simple yet made to impress.   Perhaps even good for breakfast the next morning sans ice cream.  Or perhaps with ice cream…???

Happy Birthday to my two favorite people:  Allison and my Grandma!
I hope you both have a fantastic birthday and a great weekend!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Moroccan Mint Tea

Recently, I was watching a TV show and someone was drinking Moroccan Iced Tea.  I can't remember who or what TV Show, however my television is almost always set to the Food Network Channel, so I probably saw it on one their shows.  I know, I know, an overwhelming amount of details.

I couldn't get the idea of hot minty tea out of my head.  It's fascinating how hot drinks have become a critical and beloved part of most cultures.  I can't even imagine my life without coffee.

Moroccan Mint Tea is basically green tea with sugar and mint.  I followed this recipe and was drinking tea in under 10 minutes.  It was a little on the sweet side for me.  I think I will only add 2 Tbsp of sugar next time instead of 3 Tbsp.

I hope you had a great weekend!  

I saved my leftover tea in an old Prego mason jar.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Israeli Couscous Summer Salad

My girlfriends had a BBQ in their newly refinished backyard last weekend.  Their landlord installed a new deck and planted grass/flowers/bark/etc.  Also, one of my friends, Muffy, was given a barbeque from one of her co-workers.  So you can imagine we were chomping at the bit to hold a BBQ.

We had bacon wrapped hot dogs, chips, grilled veggies, burgers, potato salad and Israeli Couscous Summer Salad.  Plus, we played a little dizzy bat to top it all off.

Israeli Couscous Summer Salad
8 Servings

2 Cups Israeli Couscous
2 - 6 oz Containers of Cherry Tomatoes sliced in half (I used red and yellow)
1 Bunch Basil roughly chopped
8 oz Feta Crumbled
Juice from 2 Lemons
1/4 or more Olive Oil

Cook Israeli Couscous according to package directions.  Let cool to room temperature.  Toss with cherry tomatoes, feta, basil, lemon juice, olive oil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

So easy, right?!

Thought you also might like a photo of a recent San Francisco sunset from my rooftop.