Friday, November 18, 2011

Moving On

Today was a big day.

Today, we sold our house:

It's a relief we no longer own property on the opposite side of the country from where we live.  It's pretty nice we are no longer paying a mortgage AND rent.

But we will miss that house and our wonderful neighbors.  Good thing we still have the great memories we made there!





And we have lots of reasons to go back to visit.

The day we left to move West.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

San Francisco Trolley Tour

This past weekend, we went on a trolley tour of the city (part of a work function, but also good for new tourist-residents like ourselves.)
Starting in the financial district, we looped around the city for about 90 minutes.  Here's the tour in photos:

Our Trolley

Union Square
Fancy shops surround Union Square
The entrance to Chinatown

Catholic Church in North Beach (Little Italy)
The garlic restaurant. I need to go here:

Did you know that the title of this blog was going to be Garlic Breath, until I realized that name was already taken?! It delayed my blogging by at least a month. True story!

Lombard Street: the most crooked street in the world!
Fisherman's Wharf
An old favorite of my parents'--romantic story...

Gotta come back here for samples!

Alcatraz Island in the distance.  Presidio buildings in the foreground.

This is a surf break: Fort Point.  There was a clueless bodysurfer out that day.

I think I could give a pretty decent tour of this city to some visitors...

How long until we are no longer tourist-residents and we are just locals?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fall Sky

Setting the clocks back for daylight saving time is throwing me for a loop!

Pretty sky, even though it's barely past 5 o'clock...

Words of Wisdom

I saw this sign in a store window this past weekend.  

I can get on board this message!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Resolution Recipes: Weeks 44 and 45

Weeks 44 and 45 brought two more new recipes for my NY resolution.

Week 44: Ginger Beef Stir Fry

Last week Asian food sounded good, and so I figured I track down a new recipe I could use for my resolution project.  I ended up combining a few stir fry recipes, and decided to use beef, inspired by this recipe by one one of my favorite cooking blogs, Simply Recipes.

Inspiration, from Simply Recipes
I loaded this recipe up with a ton of vegetables: bok choy, broccoli, carrots, garlic, ginger, bell peppers, and mushrooms.  No picture, but it was colorful, and a hit.

Week 45: Chicken Marsala

This meal was inspired by this recipe (found via Pinterest, of course!) and was simple to make.  The recipe called for Marsala wine, which got added to the grocery list.

Chicken Marsala

Once in Trader Joe's, though, I was faced with the decision between sweet and dry varieties, and I froze.  But a quick food network website search confirmed sweet was the way to go.
It wasn't the way to go: too sweet for my taste.  Mr. Sous Chef thought it was just fine, though, and rated it a 4!  I guess I lucked out on that one...

A bit sweet, but worth trying again with dry Marsala wine!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thanksgiving Feast Inspiration

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays due to the celebration of food and family (in no particular order) Just kidding, Mom, of course it's because of family!

Anyway, I love the chill in the air, the memories of the big extended-family Thanksgivings we used to have, playing and watching football, the Thanksgiving day turkey trots, and the awesome food.

Festive : This would be so simple to write on a pumpkin

This year, we'll be spending Thanksgiving back in North Carolina with wonderful family and my precious, brand-new nephew.  The downside is that we're going to a restaurant for Thanksgiving instead of cooking our own feast.  I'm sure the food will be good, but I will miss the planning, cooking, "taste-testing" (to make sure nothing's poisonous), and the relaxing together while the whole house smells edible and anticipation builds.

So, I've pinned some mouth-watering Thanksgiving recipes (and decorations) that I hope to sprinkle into the menus of the weeks surrounding the holiday.

Here's what I have my eyes on:

Pretty Table
Place Cards

A turkey that looks like this

Williams-Sonoma makes this incredibly tasty wet rub for the turkey.  My sister gifted it to me two years ago, and it was incredible.  Then last year our local store did not sell it, and I could not find it on their website.  But W-S is great, because they listened to my begging their customers, and it's back.
This rub MAKES the turkey.  (In fact, the jar provided enough "paste" for the Thanksgiving turkey as well as two other chickens I later roasted.)

I finally found it online.  Who knew it was a paste not a rub?

Mushroom and Walnut Stuffing
Autumn Salad : I'd add pomegranate seeds or craisins

Healthier Mashed Potatoes

Garlic Roasted Green Beans
Brussels Sprouts

For pie, I can never decide between pecan pie and traditional pumpkin.  I wonder if this combo would solve my problem!

Pecan Pumpkin Pie

Here's what we'd prepare the day after:
Turkey Paninis
That gooey cheese, alone, beats the typical deli tray.

Here are two of my tried-and-true Thanksgiving favorites, which will be making reappearances this year:

Pumpkin Bread

And my favorite:
Pilgrim Hats!

So let me know if you need someone to come over to cook your Thanksgiving dinner :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Haunted Halloween Done Right

I'm a bit late to the game, seeing as how Halloween was 2 days ago, but I am just now getting around to posting these photos.  I didn't realize what a big deal this holiday was until I saw so many fancy houses get (professionally) done up with decorations!

Here are some of my favorites I have come across during my walks or runs around town:

This dude was 6 feet tall (and anatomically correct?)

These huge spiders were all the rage here this year
Rough Night? 

Now this entryway wasn't necessarily decorated for Halloween, but I found it equally "festive"!

A fish tank on your stairway??

Well, it's a couple days past Halloween, so I assume these decorations will disappear soon--likely replaced with equally ornate Christmas decorations.  I have already seen the prep begin.
(Note: I took the picture below in early October.  I guess these companies get booked up way in advance!)

"How else do you expect me to decorate my 3rd story windows with lights??"

I'll keep you posted on the crazy Christmas decorations.