Sunday, May 18, 2014

Green stripes, green thumb

I don't have much of a green thumb and I rely very heavily on my mom for help in the garden which over the past 5 years has gradually descended into complete chaos..  Also, for some mysterious reason, my husband gets an uncontrollable urge to weed whack in the garden any time I've ever done any planting.

This year is actually the first year that I've gone to the store and bought my own plants for the window boxes.  I also planted some annuals and perennials in the beds in front of our house.  After my husband had already gone through with the rototiller, of course.

This is obviously not what I wore while planting.  I changed into this outfit to go for lunch with my husband.  He was busy building raised beds in the backyard for vegetables.  In the past, we've planted in containers but this year, we finally decided to get around to doing things properly.

Outfit details:
Dress: American Eagle (last year,  similar)
Shoes: Steve Madden (similar)
Scarf: from a market in Cambodia
My husband sometimes helps me take photos, and he always says that I never do anything.  I just stand there! So this was my attempt at doing something while showing the back of the dress.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Trip: San Francisco

A few weeks ago, we took a quick trip to San Francisco.  We did the usual touristy trip to Alcatraz, walked around Union Square and rented bikes to ride across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito.

And, we ate.  A lot.

(That's what you're here for, right? The food pics?)

We started out the first day right with a great breakfast and coffee at the Blue Bottle Cafe.  Their website describes them as follows: "We craft delicious drinks, treat our guests with care and respect, and compost scrupulously."  I'm not much of a coffee drinker, but my husband wanted to try their siphon coffee.  I had a grilled cheese sandwich with grainy mustard that I devoured instantly, and Jeff had poached eggs with cornbread, salad and sausage.  All of my favourite things!

Next, we met a friend for lunch at Hakkasan. The pomelo duck salad was scrumptious, but my favourite part of the meal was actually the desserts. I had black sesame and chocolate dumplings with yuzu and ginger tea. Jeff had coconut panna cotta with rum roasted pineapple and pistachio gelato.

As if we weren't already in a food coma, we finished off Day 1 with dinner at Saison.  Bon Appetit named Saison one of the top 10 new restaurants in America last year, but I also read lots of mixed reviews including one particularly memorable review that described the cuisine as "the garbage of the sea."

When I booked the reservation, they asked if we had any dietary restrictions.  I said that we prefer to avoid organ meats and that I don't like lamb.

After we were settled at the table, the server said to us: "I heard that you have an aversion to offal." The server then explained to us that most of the dishes use offal in some form or another.  At this point, I decided to just throw caution to the wind and trust that they would not be serving us awful offal.

20+ courses and five hours later, we had learned three things.

#1: the garbage of the sea can be extremely tasty.  Among other things, we ate (and enjoyed) abalone liver, sauce made from trout bones, vinegar made from fish heads, and sea cucumber skin and ribs.  Each course was carefully and artistically prepared, and the meal is something that we'll remember for the rest of ourl ives.

#2: I still don't really like organ meats.  There was a liver toffee made of milk, bread and beer with white chocolate that was ok.  There was also a cookie made of wood pigeon liver with grilled pecan honey and powdered liver on top that was not.

#3: A small Asian girl who gets drunk after two Long Island iced teas cannot handle the wine pairing.  The sommelier told us that each pairing would just be a splash, but they were actually more like half glasses.  After the fifth course, my head was spinning.  Jeff very gallantly offered to help me.  I'm pretty sure he doesn't remember the last third of the meal.

From top to bottom, left to right: tea with Douglas fir and herbs; white sturgeon caviar with kelp and gelee of the grilled bones; artichoke stuffed with scallop; coal kissed cherry blossom sea bream; some kind of delectable sushi; abalone with sauce of the liver and capers; sea urchin on sesame toast; black cod poached in sea water, rangpur lime and yogurt; asparagus cooked in their juices then grilled; cinnamon cake; kumquat panna cotta; spearmint and lemon tarts; black walnut ice cream and souffle.
Happy to have survived 20+ courses and 20+ "splashes" of really amazing wine
We spent one more day in San Francisco, but did very little eating (not surprisingly).

And there you have it.  San Francisco... we came, we ate, we conquered.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Time flies...

Wow.  I find it so hard to believe it's already May and it's been almost 2 weeks since my last post.

I think I can be forgiven for being lazy.  I'm still in hibernation! It snowed almost 40 centimeters here over the weekend! Hence the wintry outfit in this post.

I have lots of posts in progress.  I went to San Francisco and have lots of food photos to share! And I've been wanting to post an update about my New Year's resolution.  Hopefully, I'll get around to finishing them soon.

Top: Anthropologie, Batiste Cowlneck
Skirt: Le Chateau, old (similar)
Tights: Target
Shoes: Nine West (similar)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Ski Season 2013-2014

Saving this for posterity...

December 15- Black Prince 
December 16- Tryst Lake 
December 28- Red Earth Creek 
December 30- Goat Creek 
January 4- McGill Shoulder 
January 5- Loop Brook
January 19- Glacier Crest
January 22- Sulphur Mountain
January 23- Norquay
January 25- Healy Pass
February 16-21- Fairy Meadows
March 5- Eagle Pass
March 19- Sunshine
March 22- Black Prince
March 27- Lake Louise
March 28- Black Prince
March 31-April 3- Baldface
April 15- Lake Louise
April 19- Storm Mountain
May 4- Pulpit