West of Pecos : Tex-Mex gem in The Mission

With so many places to eat in San Francisco, I felt that the fact I had been to West of Pecos twice in the last month was reason enough to do a little post up here of it for others to become aware of ( if you weren’t already ) and enjoy!

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First time we went was on a Friday night where we sat at the bar and ordered food. Quick friendly service and fast.bar at west of pecos

We ordered the vegetarian puffy tacos and the artichoke – both amazing!fried artichoke and veg puffy taco

The cocktail options are plentiful … I love a nice mezcal drink but their marg/sangria slushy is a must try… they run out often so ask about it.

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The food is fresh and feels light and healthy while still being authenticly tex-mex… does that even make sense?

Bottom line its DELISH. and bonus if you go on Tuesday they have yummy tacos for 2.50, talk about a deal!

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The shishito peppers were a great app for the table to share!

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Side Note : This is a great spot for dinner if you are going to a show at the Chapel.

I plan to go back many times and often for their amazing combo of cocktails and great food.

A Week in Photos

Lucky for me Firebrand bakery is right next to my office. I am OBSESSED. It is so delicious.

This was a ginger cookie with REAL chunks of ginger! I also purchased a golden raisin and fennel baguette which we paired with Pumpkin goat cheese… and let me tell you it was a real dream.img_0814

Dinner party thrown by my amazingly talented friend. The cheese board started it all!

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Finally tried Brown Sugar Kitchen last weekend. Everyone that worked there was super friendly but I have to say that I wasn’t overly impressed with the food! Maybe it was too hyped up – I still think you should try it, but have realistic expectations.

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Went to a Pumpkin Patch, it is definitely easier to get Pumpkins at the grocery store but much more fun to go to the patch!

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I have been working out at my company’s baby gym and loving it. It is nice not fighting for equipment!

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Loved this Stone Collab.  It is from last year…so if you haven’t tried it yet I highly reccomend you do! img_0867

TRI-rrific weekend in Malibu

I am currently coming down from the high of an amazing weekend!

Two of my best friends were competing in the Nautica Malibu Tri  and being the good friend that I am I decided I would join them to cheer em’ on! Didn’t hurt that it was taking place in a beautiful spot.

We had the fortune of staying in my friends parents airstream at Malibu Beach RV Park. They had the spot booked for months but it seemed that there were many open spots.

The park was very clean ( probably the nicest camp bathroom I have ever seen )  and we met really friendly people!

They have nice hiking trails near the park that we used to hike down to Malibu Seafood as well as the beach and up to a peak for sunset views.

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Here was the Tiny Tin set up! Amazing people and a great view set the backdrop for the best weekend. img_9931

I have been on the side lines of a few Tris before by chance but have never watched any friends compete. It was such a fun experience to walk around to the different areas to wait for your friends to race by! We lucked out and were able to see them compete in every leg of the race.

Here is their section getting ready for the swim! The ocean was super bleak at 8 am.

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Bikes, on bikes on bikes.

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Really awesome sand sculpture.img_0009

We caught them before the race!img_0011

Here they are ready to go! img_0013

Laura got the top box for her age group! It was PRICELESS to witness my best friend do so well. img_9977

What is a race without post race grub?!! Loved Malibu Seafood! It is so fresh and our fav… BYOB!

Fear not the 76 station .5 miles away will have beer if you ran out!img_9988

A WELL deserved post race BREWSKI!img_9993img_9996img_0001img_0004

Also noteworthy but not photographed was Sunlife Organics  – amazing backstory, great products and delicious fresh juices and foods!

Santa Breezy

A little over 24 hours in Santa Barbara and you are left wanting more, trying to find a way to get back to this little slice of coastal heaven. I am no stranger to Santa Barbara as I grew up about two hours North but this was my first rendezvous as a post 21 year old…shameful I know! On this particular weekend the weather was perfect and I had the most amazing guide who showed me the best time, thanks Baby Krause!

We began the day with breakfast downtown and then headed to Montecito for a little hike and beach time!

We lazed on the beach for a while before renting some paddle boards. Gazing up at the coastline and foothills/mountains ( prob foothills – I don’t think they have mountains ) was truly breathtaking and I thought to myself ‘What a lucky life’ moments that are simple but beautiful really make you appreciate what you have and for myself contentment with the life I have created for myself.

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No trip would be complete with out a little brewery hopping and while SB has a ways to go before they are a beer destination ( def more options for winos) I enjoyed sampling what they had to offer while working on my sun burn ( sorry future self! ).

Pure Order is a fun spot with games as well as live music and a food truck on a Saturday afternoon. img_9337img_9338

After we spent some time at Pure Order we walked to the Funk Zone and tried Brass Bear. I tried their beers as well as one rotating tap that was really delicious.img_9342

At this point it was high time for some grub so we ordered a meat and cheese plate it was satisfying and helped us make it to dinner time! img_9346

Right across from Brass Bear is Municipal Winemakers tasting Room. Fun decor and great outdoor space. I hear their Rose is amazing but on this fine day it was sold out so we opted for the Bright White – cool, crisp and so refreshing!img_9348img_9349img_9350img_9354

If you haven’t been to Lilly’s Taqueria head there – now – or at the very least make an effort to hit it when you are in Santa Barbara. I am pretty sure all they do is Tacos and they do them really well. img_9392img_9358

No weekend in Santa Barbara would be complete with some wheel action. They have fun little beach boardwalk where you can blade which is my favorite pastime and something I don’t get to do enough since I am living in Oakland… not too many blading trails… img_9363

Finally, to close the weekend we hit up a hybrid bar coffee shop and got the most delish cold brew. Melissa had the smartest idea of doing half/half sweetened cold brew and unsweetened cold brew. Such a genius idea!img_9365img_9366img_9367img_9369

SO sad to leave and can’t wait to go back!

A Review : Wooly’s in Pismo Beach

On a weekday evening my family and I headed to Wooly’s for dinner. In the summer I imagine this place will get packed but for now the crowds aren’t too crazy. 

You can sit wherever you would like and on the patio a waitress will come and get your drink order but you will have to go inside to the counter to order food. 

I order the DBA from Firestone. Yum!

The clam chowder in a bread bowl was really good and extremely filling. 

My Mom ordered the Seafood Roll, pictured below. 

And Penny ordered the Asian shrimp tacos and loved them! 

I ended up eating the salad the next day for lunch and really enjoyed the vinegrette. 

The best part of dinner was the company! 
I will definitely be back to Wooly’s to try some of their different items and soak up that view! 

Eating around Somerville, MA

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Went to Highland Kitchen in Somerville for Brunch on Sunday and it was SO good. They open at 11 am and we arrived around 11:50, had to wait around thirty minutes and then it was go time! They had live blue grass music and bottomless cups of coffee.  I ordered the Fried Chicken biscuit  and it was SOO good. I can’t wait to go back and try them for dinner!IMG_6901

After watching Jungle Book – yes I saw it and it was good – we went for a walk through the park. It was amazing to see all the Tulips in bloom.IMG_6904IMG_6906IMG_6908

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Union Square Donuts – really delicious and fun flavors.

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Flatbread Pizza Company  has some really good pizza and really fun candlepin bowling. Gets really busy on the weekends I reccomend going on a week night if you can.IMG_6944IMG_6945

Redbones BBQ has a great beer selection (the main reason for going ) and I really enjoyed the pulled pork and the baked beans. It does not have great reviews on yelp not sure why I enjoyed my meal… The portions are huge and unless you have a mammoth appetite you can probable share!IMG_6946IMG_6947IMG_6950

Drinks and dinner at Saloon, really crafty cocktails and good food. I tried the Can’t Hardly Wait and I really enjoyed it. I am not a cocktail person but I am trying to branch out a little more from beer and wine and this cocktail really took me by surprise with the great flavor. IMG_6951IMG_6954

Spoke is exciting and delicious. Take your mouth on a culinary adventure here!  IMG_7115

Flatbread with three spreads.IMG_7116

Chikpea Fries – how do they even do this?IMG_7117IMG_7119

Local Burrata – amazing flavors IMG_7120

Duck Meatballs and Asparagus Carbonara. IMG_7121

I might be headed back to California a few pounds heavier but I do not regret it. Just looking at these meals again makes me so happy.

A night in the Mission

Since we are coming up on the weekend now I thought I would give you some recommendations for great places to go in the Mission.

Crafty Fox on Mission Street in SF close to Zeitgeist is a great place to go for a plethora of different beers. We didn’t try any food hear but tried a delicious Almanac Sour and a Mexican Hot Chocolate Stout from Fieldwork in Berkeley.IMG_3238

We headed down the road to Picaro Tapas Restaurant in the mission and had mouthwateringly amazing Spanish food that made me miss Spain and fall in love with it all over again.
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Elixir is so I hear one of the oldest bars in the city. Lively crowd here on a Friday. IMG_3242 IMG_3243

Another place I will go back to is ABV. We didn’t order any food here although it sounded amazing but we did get cocktails that were outta this world good and thats coming from someone who doesn’t drink cocktails. They were so delicious.IMG_3249 IMG_3250
Last but certainly not least ( and no picture taken) is a great place to go at the end of your night when you need to eat one more thing, Panchitas. Delicious Papusas for around $2 a pop which will surely help you wake up feeling better in the morning.

There are a ton more places to hit up in the mission but these are some of my recent tries that I would recommend.

Spice it up with some Cauli.

The recipe I am about to share is one that you will make over and over again. I love Cauliflower and enjoy trying out new ways to eat it!

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The following made four servings.  If you were to add this to a bed of greens or grains you could spread it out a little longer.

Spicy Cauliflower Stir-Fry

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Easy peasy lemon squeaseee

Ingredients

  • 2 whole Heads of Cauliflower
  • 2 teaspoons Coconut Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1 whole Lime (or Sub A Splash Of Rice Wine Vinegar)
  • 2 whole Green Onions, Sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha, Or Other Hot Sauce
  • Lime (lemon) Wedges For Serving

Instructions

Break up the cauliflower into large florets, then, using your hands, break into very small florets.

Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high to high heat. Add the oil, then the cauliflower and garlic. Stir the cauliflower around the pan, allowing it to get very brown in some areas. Cook for 3 minutes, then turn heat to low. Add soy sauce, squeeze in the juice of the lime, and add most of the sliced green onion, reserving the rest for serving. Stir and allow to cook for 1 minute, then squeeze the hot sauce over the cauliflower. Stir until the hot sauce has been incorporated. Add a little more hot sauce if you want a deeper color and flavor.

Serve hot in a bowl. Sprinkle extra sliced green onions on top, and serve with a lime wedge.

This can be enjoyed with a tasty Gewurztraminer.  We had this one.

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bon appetit!

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

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This is an amazing tortilla soup, and super easy! What I love about it most is that you can pretty much add in what ever you have in the fridge, convenience at its finest!

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Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

– 1 Medium Onion

– 2 Cloves of Garlic

– 14 ounce can crushed tomatoes

– 1 dried smoked chili pepper or 1 poblano pepper

– 1 avocado

– tortilla chips

– olive oil

– sea salt

– 2 ounces queso fresco or feta cheese (optional)

– 1 handful cilantro

– 1 lime

-14 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

– 32 ounces (4 cups) vegetable stock

– 1 to 2 medium jalapeños (depending on your spice preference)

– 1 teaspoon ground cumin

– 2 to 4 radishes

First, place the large poblano peppers on the rack in a heated oven. (Don’t remember the exact temp) I forgot to set a timer so I think the peppers were in the oven for a couple minutes. (Pic #2)

Next, I rinsed, chopped and minced all veggies. Put oil in a large pot on medium heat until hot.  Then add onion, garlic, jalapeno and poblano peppers. Cook for about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Stir in the cumin, canned tomatoes and vegetable stock. Let cook for 3 minutes and then add the black beans. Continue cooking for 8 to 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened, add seasoning to your likening.

Your ready! Serve the soup into bowls, then add the avocado, radishes, tortilla chips and queso fresco (feta), topping with cilantro and serving with a lime wedge.

Enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust

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Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust

Ingredients:
1 medium/large spaghetti squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg, lightly beaten ( I used flax seed meal)
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon shredded parmesan cheese
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Process:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Carefully cut your spaghetti squash in half with a large, sharp knife. Remove seeds and stringy guts, and brush the cut sides of the squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place spaghetti squash, cut side down, on an aluminum-lined baking sheet and roast until tender, about 45 minutes.

Carefully, take the cooked squash out of the over. Test to see if the squash is done by scraping the flesh with a fork. If the strands come off easily then they are done! Let the cooked spaghetti squash cool for a few minutes, then scrape all the flesh into a pile of spaghetti strands.

Then use several layers of paper towel to squeeze out as much moisture as you can from the spaghetti squash. This took me a few times through. The drier the squash gets the crispier your crust will be!

In a mixing bowl, combine the squash, egg (or flax seed replacement), mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Press squash in a thin, even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and form into an approximate 10-inch circle.

Bake at 400°F for approximately 20 minutes. Remove from oven, carefully flip the crust. This can easily be done by placing a sheet of tin foil on the up facing side and flip over, then cook for another 10 minutes.

Add sauce and toppings and bake for another 10 minutes.

Enjoy!