Sunday, August 28, 2011

Friday Family Dinner and the Big Bad Mood

Vegetarian Recipes For Wolves, Print from Original Textile Art
Vegetarian Recipes For Wolves, Print from Original Textile Art by AntheaArt on Etsy
 Can we be totally honest here? Hubster was in a very baaaad mood tonight. We are talking super-Grump! I don't know why, but anyway here I was, tired after a crazy work week which consisted of a a trip to Sacramento for a continuing ed. course, many meetings and of course, seeing patients. It also consisted of a late-night girl's night out and a nasty bladder infection that coincided with my 2 hour trip (I know, TMI!). So when I arrived home to a familiar fajita dinner, who was I to complain? The dinner conversation was, shall I say, not flowing, but Bella was happy, having just run through the sprinklers, so I started a chain-story. Have you tried this with a 4 year old? It tells you a lot about what is going on in their little mini-brains. Basically you take turns building on the story, making it up as you go along. Bella started the story with a daisy flower who was running away from the Big Bad Wolf (her favorite love-to-hate character).

Yellow Daisy Original Painting
Yellow Daisy Original Painting by DollgrinDesigns on Etsy

By the way, daisies CAN run, they use their roots! Who knew? So the daisy ran and climbed through a little girl's window and cuddled up with her for the night. It was a very suspenseful and action-packed story and in the end, of course the Big Bad Wolf was eaten by a crocodile after he was made to walk the plank of a pirate ship and the flower and the little girl remained best friends forever.

So now you think I'm going to say that hubby was much happier after this fun diversion but sadly, it was not so. At every dinner, our family likes to say 5 things we were grateful for that day. I know, how Oprah of us, right? Usually, after saying (out loud) 5 things you are grateful for, you can't possibly be in a bad mood anymore.Well, Hubby was, Sort-of... Win some, lose some, go to bed and start again tomorrow!

Picture of Chicken Fajitas Recipe


Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence

Prep Time: 20 min
Inactive Prep Time: 8 hr 0 min
Cook Time: 11 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 6 servings (12 fajitas)



  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 pounds skirt or flank steak, trimmed of fat (we had chicken breast instead)
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • Guacamole, recipe follows
  • Salsa Fresca, recipe follows
  • 12 flour tortillas, warm


In a small bowl, whisk together marinade ingredients. Place steak in a shallow container, and pour marinade over it. Refrigerate, covered, 8 hours or overnight to tenderize meat. (We used chicken and just cooked it in this sauce instead of marinating)
Drain the marinade from the meat. Grill the steak in a ridged grill pan over medium-high he
at for 4 minutes each side. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let stand.
In the same pan with the steak juices, add the bell peppers and onions. Saute the mixture for 3 minutes until the vegetables are limp. Thinly slice the steak against the grain on a diagonal.
Spread some guacamole on a tortilla, top with a few slices of steak, peppers and onions and salsa fresca. Roll up the tortilla to enclose the filling.
May also serve with sour cream and shredded cheese

Just to update you on my French Skinny Experiment, today I ate a small bowl of yogurt with honey and blueberries for breakfast. I had a small bowl (a bit larger than a ramikin-size) of rice, beans, salsa and guacamole for lunch with a couple slices of baguette with butter, and 2 bites of a chocolate chip cookie. For dinner, one chicken fajita on a corn tortilla with lots of guacamole, a glass of wine and 5 mini peanut butter cups for dessert. Never hungry. Never felt deprived. I've been holding steady at my high school weight since late May. This is the best trick I've ever learned, I feel fantastic!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Master Baking

This year I thought it would be a good idea to 1) learn French and 2) master the skill of baking.  These goals were inspired by my love of Paris and by all the amazing bakeries around Greece and Turkey.  Kelly and Kendra will confirm that, upon my insistence, we went inside every bakery we passed.  The bread, pastries, baklava, etc. were all so beautifully displayed, and tasted as good as they looked.  My favorite were the old guys who baked hundreds (maybe thousands) of loaves of bread every morning at the bakery around the corner from our hotel in Turkey.  They would load them onto trucks early in the morning and by the evening every loaf was gone.  So back to my baking goal, I decided that I would initially start out to master morning buns and challah, and that these would become my "specialities."  The year started out strong, Barbara and I tried out at least 3 different challah recipes, so far none as good as the loaves for sale at Noe Valley Bakery right down the street from my house.  I started to loose steam, but shifted my focus to morning buns.  Well after reading several baking books, I realized that it's a 3 day process to make a proper morning bun.  Again, I thought of all the bakeries around San Francisco that make wonderful morning buns that can instantly be yours for a small, reasonable fee.  The dream all but died at this point.  Then Barbara found a baking class offered through Groupon.  We signed up for a beginning "starter" class at Victoria bakery in the Mission.  I've made a lot of bread in my lifetime, mostly quick breads, pizza dough, and some yeast breads.  But I'd never made a bread from a starter.  What a fun new process.  We learned to make our own starter and took one home to "feed."  Did you know that starters need to be fed daily!  It's like a Tamagotchi or one of those flour sacks they give you in high school to carry around to teach parenting responsibility.  My starter was born on 8.21.11 and is named Manny.  He'll be ready for his first loaf in about a week.  I'll let you know how it goes.  While Barbara continues to travel every week for work, I'm also babysitting her starter, Penelope.  Wish me luck, this seems like a lot of responsibility.    



I love this lotion! Just thought you might want to know. Not only is it organic, it smells delish, and a little goes a long way! Can you believe it's from Target?

Of course I love how it feels, but you know how you can't smell yourself? Well, I guess it puts off a nice scent while you're wearing it too, because in the time span of two days, I had two comments about how good I smelled! So now I'm sharing it with you.

Dance of the Doilies

This dress needs to be seen! Not only is it absolutely gorgeous but the bride made it herself, embroidering the entire thing by hand! I love a good wedding and a crafty girl, don't you?

 Photo by Gia Caneli Photography

 You can see the entire photo shoot and read more here.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Street Food

Street food is everywhere in San Francisco, Toasty Melts parked in the Financial District during lunch, Off the Grid Friday nights at Fort Mason, Rose Pistola at the Ferry Building Farmers Market, just to name a few.  These are small time compared to the SF Street Food Festival held yesterday in the Mission.  60 food vendors serving up their best creations priced from $3 to $8, covering 10 blocks, and feeding an expected 50,000 people!  My favorites:  Malaysian fried peanut taco, bean and cheese pususas with plantains, chocolate babka (think Seinfeld), and an apple crisp crape.  Already looking forward to next year's event, wish they did this every weekend.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Maxi Dress

I think you need this dress!  It's about 5 inches too long for me, but probably just perfect for you.  I couldn't resist when I saw the drastically reduced price.  I'll bring it this weekend for you to try, hope you love it as much as I do.

Nantucket Find

Finally got my new pendant light rewired and hung.  I love its rustic quality and the splash of color it brings to this corner of the room.

Here's a before shot.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

City by the Bay

Oh Sun!  How I've missed you.

In my mind, I'm here:

In actuality, I'm here:

I swear my hill and my house is up there somewhere.  Did you know that temperatures exceed 75 degrees on average only 28 days a year in San Francisco.  In contrast, Texas just hit its 35th straight day topping 100 degrees.  What's the weather like in your town?

Maybe the sun will be out when I wake up tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Perfect Pegs

Saw this outfit at EmilyStyle and had to share. Not that I'm excited for fall (it feels like summer just began!), but this outfit is really cute! These pegged pants look so much cuter than the ones I wore in high school but they do evoke a bit of nostalgia...
Little sister, you were too young for these the first time around but you could wear this look now with your cool weather! We are still I'm the 90s to 100s. Maybe I could pull this off by pegging cool, flowy linen pants, or even lightweight (thinking JCrew) khakis!
Anyone else pining for pegs?