Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Olallieberry Picking and Highway One Brewing

It's berry season in California, and those of us who grew up in central California are lucky to know about--and LOVE--the rare olallieberry.  A cross between a raspberry, blackberry and dewberry, this varietal is grown almost exclusively on the central California coast.  Certain individuals unfortunate enough to have grown up in southern California (ha--and elsewhere!) had no clue what they were missing until tasting this awesome berry.  

Not only did we taste, we picked them too.  My sister met us one Saturday at Swanton Berry Farm, where we filled up a few flats, sampling as we went, for quality control purposes.

It didn't take us long to fill the flats, so we finished the afternoon relaxing and catching up at Highway One Brewing Company, which we highly recommend.  (We liked all the beers we tasted...the French American War is especially interesting!)

I spent a decent part of Sunday turning the olallieberries into treats that would last us beyond berry season.  We made individual olallieberry pies using a muffin tin, and we froze the extras...

And I made olallieberry jam!

This was my first attempt at jam, and I lucked out.  It was fairly easy, it took me only an hour to make, and it's delicious.

I followed this recipe for the most part, decreasing the sugar a bit and replacing the lemon with lime, which should surprise no one.  (Actually I was out of lemons!)

The pies and jam are both delicious--a nice way to stretch the berry season.  Come visit!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Drake's Brewing Company

It's a good time to be in the craft beer industry (you don't need to remind W of this--he is pretty set on opening our own brewery some day) breweries are popping up left and right, and there is some pretty great quality out there!  In the last several months we have seen a number of our local breweries' beers in the local stores and on tap in San Francisco bars and restaurants--Almanac Brewing Company, for example.

A few months ago we noticed Trader Joe's, which is my go-to store for weekly groceries, began carrying Drake's beers.

Their 1500 dry-hopped pale ale has held the #1 or 2 spot on our list for the past several months now. Drake's Brewing Company brews out in the Oakland area, so a couple weeks ago (actually on Father's Day), we ventured out to the tap room to see what else they had to offer.

Their warehouse brewery had indoor and outdoor seating, with the brewing equipment in the back.

We tried a sampler of several beers and a few pints of our favorites.

For Father's Day, they featured "Son of Dad," a double black imperial IPA, which was incredible.

Son of Dad was the best of the day:

I can't wait to go back, and with my Dad next time!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Los Cabos

At the end of June we slipped away from SF for a very quick, work-related visit to Los Cabos, Mexico.  The only other time I had been to Mexico was a day-trip across the border to Tijuana years and years ago.  

The resort provided a nice backdrop to a lot of relaxation in the suite, by the pools, and on the beach.  

When we arrived the first day, the beach was actually closed to the public because of the high surf.  But the waves were too tempting, and W got in for some excellent bodysurfing while I used my best Spanish to calm the lifeguard that W knew what he was doing.

As with most social events hosted by W's work, the food and entertainment were great, and the event was run extremely smoothly. 

There were a few organized events--a soccer game and an adventurous activity (we chose to swim with dolphins!), and the rest of the time was pretty open to relax.

It was a nice reward for the insane travel and work hours the company employees put in.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wacky Wednesday

The greyhound would like to wish my Mom a very Happy Birthday!

Happy Wednesday to all the rest of you!

Monday, July 22, 2013

VDP: Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

I have an awesome summer recipe for you: chicken tacos with pineapple salsa.

Last month Meredith said summer temperatures were heating up her home town, so we decided to take that theme and run with it by serving a cool and summery recipe at our a virtual dinner party.  

Using this recipe for inspiration, we built our tacos around a refreshing pineapple-avocado salsa with red peppers, red onions, cilantro, lime juice and zest, jalapeno, salt and pepper.  

After putting together the salsa, we let the flavors mix together, while I cooked a marinated chicken breast on the grill pan with some taco seasoning spices, and she cooked a filet of fish.

Some sauteed red onions and red peppers lined the corn tortillas, and then we layered the chicken/fish and pineapple salsa.  This meal was so fresh and delicious!

Drake's dry-hopped 1500 is one of our current favorites (local too!), and it paired perfectly.  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Four Years

Everyday you make me smile this big:

Cheers to four years!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Holga Lens

I've been playing with a new lens on the camera, called a Holga lens, ever since Christmas.
There's a bit of a learning curve, but the pictures are pretty cool.  Here are a few.

Friday, July 12, 2013


Happy Friday!

And a big welcome to M&C who arrive in San Francisco tomorrow!!

Friday, July 5, 2013

RC3: Island Details

The charming Santorini town of Oia is gorgeously colorful.  I'm wrapping up the posts about our Italy and Greece trip with some pretty details from our day wandering Oia.

Until our next Revival Crusade!