Foodie Pen Pal Reveal July

This month I received a package from Cindy ; I sent a box of goodies to Shannon.

The foodie pen pal system was set up by Lindsay of The Lean Green Bean.

Here’s what I got from Cindy:

Some really tasty, addictive Pretzel Crisps (deli style, with sesame seeds and poppy seeds), Cashew Crunch, a Kind bar, which were sticky but good. I liked that she sent some dish towels along with the goodies. Also, being from San Francisco, I have had (but can’t get enough) Ghiradelli chocolates. I haven’t tried the Vanilla Chai yet, but I am sure it is great. Thanks, Cindy!

As always, looking forward to next month’s goodies! I can’t believe it’s August already!

What I’m Reading Wednesday

I read a lot of Wikipedia pages in the past week. I know, that’s not something you need to read about. I just like how you can get lost on there for a while linking from one page to another. It’s almost the way my brain works sometimes, jumping from topic to topic. Anyway, on a more interesting note, I learned about a new fruit called a Plapple. It’s a plum-apple. It looks like and has a skin like an apple, but on the inside, it’s all plum-like: reddish-purple and juicy. Sort of sweet-tart tasting. They were brought into work by the produce guy. So random.

Another highlight of my week was learning how to make coffee without a coffee maker. And I learned that having proper coffee filters are truly useful. What I did was steep coffee (about 2 Tbsp.) in about 1-1/3 cup (because that’s what my recipe called for) hot water (I used water from my tea kettle) for about three minutes, and then stirred, and then steeped about three minutes more and then STRAINED. Since I did not have any coffee filters on hand, I used a mini strainer and strained about 5 or 6 times until I saw no more coffee grinds left. A lot of effort, but it works. Next time, definitely buying coffee filters.

As far as reading goes, I actually have not done much of it this past week since it’s been nice out and have spent time doing other things. Some other highlights from this week include:

  1. Hearing the symphony live for free. It was playing in Dolores park in celebration of 100 years.
  2. Watching Brave and Moonlight Kingdom back-to-back. (both good)
  3. Contra dancing. It’s like a cross between swing and square dancing done in a line. Fun but tiring and dizzying the first time.
  4. Meeting my boyfriend’s parents and sister and brother-in-law for the first time.

It has been a fun week. I will try to post more about the above mentioned items. I will definitely be posting pictures of them in my Photo Friday! post this week, so look out for that! Hope your week is going well so far!

Photo Friday!

This week has been interesting, to say the least. Photo-wise, it involved a lot, including: this view. (From Bernal Heights, San Francisco)

These murals; on alleyways off of Mission Street, San Francisco:

We also noticed these flowers:

and made this focaccia:

What did you do this week? What are your weekend plans? Let me know in the comments!

What I’m Reading Wednesday

This week, I am reading about “How To Grocery Shop Like A Pro“, on the Thought Catalog. They have funny blog posts everyday, and are one of those “how did you know what I was thinking?” sites. I like just about everything on there. My blogger friend, Annelies, writes poems on her blog sometimes; this week she wrote about a “rocky road“. Jessica, from How Sweet It Is, writes great/funny posts on her blog; it’s one of my favorites. I realize I have posted about these blogs before, but they are too good; I have to share them again. One blog that I have not mentioned here before, but has been all over the Internet lately, is one called Never Seconds. It is written by a nine-year-old girl, who calls herself VEG, and writes about the school meals she has. It is a cute blog and she has a charity that she donates to that helps feed kids that don’t get a regular school lunch. So inspiring, especially coming from someone so young. (Right now she is on holiday, but the posts are being written by guest bloggers.) That’s what I am reading this week! I really need to spend some time catching up and getting my Google Reader down to less than 100 posts! Does everyone else have this issue? Never caught up on what is in your rss feed? Also, for more about what I’m into, follow me on Pinterest or Twitter!

Photo Friday!

Okay, y’all, (did I just say “y’all”? Who am I?) I missed last week’s Photo Friday (and this week’s What I’m Reading Wednesday), so these pictures are actually from last week. I’m a terrible blogger, I know. Anyway, here’s what happened: there was a birthday barbeque and dinner that I photographed the food from. Here are the highlights (in no particular order):

The tart I decorated: cherries, figs, and apricots, all from the farmer’s market.

The tart Mike decorated with blueberries, strawberries, and figs from the farmer’s market. This one also had black pepper in the pastry cream (the other one was vanilla) but I am not sure you tasted it.

Ceviche at State Bird Provisions. This is where we had dinner. More on that later. This was a highlight for us because it was the first time any of us had this dish. It was, well, meaty and the bread was nice and buttery.

State Bird Provisions menu. Just an idea of what they served there that night. In addition to the menu items, they bring around trays or carts of food, dim sum style (or so I am told; I have not been to a dim sum restaurant, but now I need to go) and you pick what you want.

Did you know that quail is the California state bird? Neither did we. This was as crunchy and tasty as it looks, which is to say, very.

Tomatoes at the farmer’s market. These we bought and used in the food at the barbeque.

So that’s the highlights food-wise last week. Again, sorry I am such a terrible blogger and can’t even keep up with weekly posts. I will try to get back on track for next week.

What I’m Reading Wednesday {Independence Day}

Today’s post is all about the red, white, and blue as we celebrate America’s birthday!

I think by now most have seen the surprise cake with rainbow layers inside. I like this simple, frozen version from Bittersweet. Or, if you like a full flag on the inside of your cake, Cakespy has you covered with this recipe. Or, if you really want simple and traditional, you can go with Smitten Kitchen’s flag cake. I think this dessert is one I would make: boozy red, white, and blueberry shortcakes, made by How Sweet It Is.

I hope you are all enjoying the day! Happy 4th of July!