Nduja (en-doo-yah).

FullSizeRenderSo, yeah. Hi!

The other night, Chris asked me how long it’s been since I’d posted. July 2014. Woah. But on occasion, I miss this place. I know I say that every time I disappear for a while, but it’s true. Plus, sometimes I make something that I just need to share. And tonight, that happened.

I still cook the same way. A lot of other things have changed (more on that in a moment), but I still clip recipes from my favorite magazines, and sometimes they sit around for a while, sometimes they get cooked immediately. Nduja (en-doo-yah), a spicy, spreadable pork sausage, is an ingredient I’ve wanted to cook with for a long time. I found a recipe in a recent Bon Appetit magazine that I couldn’t resist – a pasta sauce made with nduja, with small pieces of shrimp nestled within, and squid ink pasta running throughout.


The first step is making a quick and easy shrimp stock. As much as I hate peeling shrimp, when I make shrimp stock I realize that it only takes about 5 minutes to shell a pound of them, and whether or not you need shrimp stock in the recipe at hand, you should always, always make it and freeze it if you don’t need it. In fact, I still have lobster stock in the freezer from who knows when. I really don’t know when…


I’m sure you could buy squid ink (actually, I know you can) and make your own fresh pasta injected with it, but I prefer to just pay someone to do this part. I’m all about a cooking project, but not on a weeknight, and this is a weeknight recipe, no doubt. If you’re in San Francisco, Local Mission Market is the place to go.


The end result is really magnificent. Saucy, spicy amazingness bathing fresh, black pasta with a nubbin of shrimp in every single bite. It reminds me just a tad of paella – and I’m not sure I can explain why, so I’ll just let you decide, if you decide, of course, to whip this up.


Did you see a little furry face in the background above? Go look again – you were probably focused on the pasta. Not judging.

But I’ll back up for a minute. A while ago, I mentioned that we were house-hunting. It takes a long time in San Francisco. Well, 7 months and 7 offers later, it finally happened! We moved late in August last year, and said Adios! to that little ol’ Mission apartment. We now live in a neighborhood called Mission Dolores, right between the Mission and the Castro, and super convenient for practically everything in the city. I haven’t been as good about sharing pictures on social media, but I did upload a few to Flickr, so feel free to take a look.

Now those of you who read here frequently know I was crazy-attached to my Tangerine. It took a lot longer than I previously thought to even consider another cat around here. But shortly after we moved, we were visiting a favorite winery, and they happened to have another litter of kittens (does that sound weird? It’s totally normal, I promise). We found an adorable tiny little blob of fur whose wee little eyes were practically begging us to take her home. But we didn’t. We were both traveling for work the next week, so the timing didn’t add up. We said goodbye, and crossed our fingers that she wouldn’t get eaten by a coyote (kidding, sort of), and the following weekend, we came back and got her. Life with a little kitten has been so much fun. But now she’s giant, it seems, because they always grow so dang fast. But this one – this little Sirah – she is something really special. I can’t believe I already love her so much, and she’s pretty attached to us, too.

So, now we’re all caught up, right? Things have definitely changed, but really, a lot is still the same. And all of it – every last bit – couldn’t be better.


Squid Ink Pasta With Shrimp, Nduja, And Tomato

adapted from Bon Appetit, March 2015; serves 4
time commitment: 45 minutes, most active

printable recipe

1 lb large shell-on shrimp
3 T olive oil, divided
6 garlic cloves, divided, 2 smashed, 4 thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
1 c puréed tomatoes
4 oz nduja
Kosher salt
12 oz squid ink spaghetti
¼ c fresh lemon juice
¼ c chopped fresh parsley, plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper

Peel and devein shrimp, saving shells. Finely chop shrimp; set aside. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high and cook smashed garlic, stirring, until golden, about 1 minute. Add reserved shells and cook, stirring, until bright pink, about 2 minutes. Add bay leaf and 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until stock is slightly reduced and flavorful, 8–10 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; discard solids.

Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add sliced garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat and carefully add tomatoes and 1 cup stock. Return to heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is beginning to thicken, about 3 minutes. Add nduja, using a wooden spoon to work it into the sauce. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors have melded, about 3 minutes. Stir in reserved shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until opaque, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente (fresh-made pasta will only need about 2-4 minutes to cook). Drain pasta, reserving 1½ cups pasta cooking liquid.

Add pasta and 1 cup pasta cooking liquid to sauce and cook, tossing often and adding more cooking liquid to help finish cooking pasta, until pasta is al dente and sauce is thickened (but still saucy) and coats pasta, about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and ¼ cup parsley; toss. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve pasta topped with more parsley.


Mai Tai


Before I get going here, let me just say that I am outrageously happy to have a “search” tool on my blog. I was really on a roll a few years ago in this ol’ space, and apparently have found the time to post, according to my ‘category’ labels, 285 recipes. What?! That essentially means that there are a lot, and that I am bound to forget some of them. So for a moment, I’m going to share some links of my favorites so that YOU can remember:

Alright, I have to stop now before things get crazy. But hopefully, I’ve inspired you to use that good ol’ recipe index I made a long time ago (and just updated! finally! link’s on the left). There really are some gems in there.

Using the ‘search’ tool also helped me realize I’d already posted a classic ‘mole’ recipe a while back. I made a killer mole sauce last night, and I even took pictures! and then I started to think about a post for it, and had a sneaking suspicion that I’d already done it. it’s confirmed – here’s the post – a different recipe, but very very similar to what I did last night.

Finally, I am truly, legitimately, sharing a NEW RECIPE. It’s not something that will have you in the kitchen for hours. Shoot, it isn’t even food. But since it’s been a little toasty here in San Francisco (80!), it seems appropriate to share a summer cocktail.


Meet the MAI TAI. Now, you might be familiar with the more generic mai tai’s – the ones with pineapple juice and all the sugary stuff. That’s not how I roll here. This is a very classic drink, just like what I downed in Hawaii a couple of times back in May. If you do it correctly, you’ll forget the nasty sweet ones, I promise. And this might become your new drink of choice in the summertime. But be careful, one or two will possibly have you down for the count. Not that I’d know from experience, or anything…

The spirits used are important, but you could probably make some substitutes and come out alright (i.e., different types of rum, using just 1 rum). The important ingredient that you might have to search for is the ‘orgeat’, which is essentially a sweetened almond milk syrup. I’ve seen orgeat in California BevMos that’s produced by Small Hand Foods, but I doubt they distribute nationwide. You can order it, though! And you can search around for other brands in your area, as well.

Or! You can just make it yourself. There are many fancy recipes out there to make it from true scratch (like, using almonds and a hi-octane blender), but I found a very simple method that, in my opinion, is pretty damn good. I’ll post it below.

Whatever you do, do NOT try to skip it. And please, report back on your drinking explorations. I miss you. ;)


Mai Tai
makes 2 drinks
time commitment: <5 minutes, if you have your simple syrup and orgeat in hand.

printable version

2 oz amber rum (I used Appleton Estate V/X from Jamaica)
2 oz dark rum  (I used Pyrat XO Reserve from Anguilla)
1 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz Grand Marnier (or other orange liquer like Cointreau or Triple Sec)
1 oz orgeat (recipe below)
1/2 oz simple syrup (recipe below)
mint for garnish
Maraschino cherry for garnish
umbrella and tiki glass. I didn’t have these, but it would be cool if I did

combine all liquids (rum through simple syrup) into a cocktail shaker with ice. shake vigorously for 1 minute. pour into two glasses filled with large ice cubes and garnish.

(an alternative preparation is to combine everything except the dark rum, and to pour, or ‘float’ the dark rum on top. that’s the high roller fancy version!)


Homemade Orgeat, the easy way
from Craft Cocktails at Home; makes 1 cup

184 g unsweetened almond milk
88 g sugar
1/8 t almond extract
1/16 t orange blossom water (4 drops if you have a dropper)

combine it all in a jar, and store in the fridge


Simple Syrup
makes 1 cup

1 cup sugar
1 cup water

combine ingredients in saucepan on medium heat. heat until sugar dissolves, and let cool. this can also be done in the microwave. store in fridge.


Hello, world. Is anyone still listening?


As I mentioned a few months ago, I was able to successfully move my blog over to a different site, one that’s free and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. That’s important, since I’m rarely around here. But it’s also important because I like to have the memories – I don’t want this site – all these hours of cooking, taking photos, and writing – to disappear.

Just now, I was perusing the recipe archives for menu ideas this week, and came across a few of my favorite posts – some sad, some hilarious (I mean, dang, sometimes I crack myself up), and some downright weird (like, a month of vegetarianism?! wtf). It reminded me how much value this site used to hold in my heart, how helpful it has been to write my thoughts, for the few who read but mainly, just for my own benefit. It reminded me how much passion I have for food, for photography, and really, just for life.

We lose site of that sometimes, don’t we? Those important things. They are easy to forget in the ebb and flow of other moments.

So here I am.

What’s new? Oh, you know, not much. I guess my last real post here was last September, shortly after my baby kitty (well, of 14 years) died. I did manage to take a photo every day last year, which I shared here, but that really sucked. We’re still living in San Francisco, we’re still in that little ol’ apartment in the Mission (with NO DISHWASHER), and we’re still pretty damn happy and feeling rather lucky, overall.

We spent a really awesome week with Jennifer & Jon in Hawaii last month, we’ve continued hiking around California, and we’re planning to conquer Half Dome in July with Liz & Kevin. I still coax Chris into bike rides on occasion, too. Last weekend we took a ferry over to Angel Island (photo above), and I think he, aside from his knees, enjoyed it.


Sasha, our cat, is more and more loving every day. She’s still her regular skittish self, but she now ‘wears the pants’ in the family and has her way with the both of us. Chris sometimes worries that I’m stealing her away from him, but ultimately, we know she’s daddy’s girl. One day, we’ll get another little kitty, but it still doesn’t quite seem like the right time. I miss my Tangerine every day, and some days when Sasha jumps in the chair beside me, for a split second I think it’s Tange. The chair wobbles the same way, a loud thump and thud as she finds her balance. But that chair was Tange’s chair, and I keep meaning to fix that damn leg so it doesn’t make that same noise, but in a way, I think I like the memory. In a way. Sorta like the way a scar reminds you of something stupid you did – the hurt is still there, but the experience was worth it at the end of the day. Good memories.


I’m currently unemployed. Don’t worry – it is NOT a bad thing. In short, I had a very trying job. And now I get to really think about what I want in life, in my career. Being home alone during the week is sometimes really, really monotonous and boring (yes, that’s redundant; pun intended). But I’ve completed a few kitchen projects, I’ve watched a lot of ‘Parts Unknown’, I’ve gotten out on my bike and I’ve even tackled some trail runs. So far, I only busted my ass once. Also, I’ve eaten a lot of tacos. I do live in the Mission, remember.

We were in the process of house-hunting until May. Unfortunately, people in the Bay Area happen to have hundreds of thousands of dollars lying around, and can often pay cash for condos. We are not those people. In fact, we’ve worked really hard to just save a down payment, of sorts. As such, we’ve lost a few bids on places we really liked. But truthfully, it’s better this way, for the time being. We’ll pick it back up once I figure out my job stuff. Meanwhile, I miss my dining room table, the other half of our couch, and plenty of other items locked away in storage.

But at the end of the day, we have everything we need, and more.

So that’s all for now. I just thought I’d say hi to whoever’s listening. Hi, and I’ll try to show up around here on occasion. I took a few food photos the other day, so maybe I’ll get back into that process again. We shall see.

How’ve you been?

country, city

You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you just might find
You get what you need


Hey friends!

I’m sure everyone thought I was LONG GONE. I sort of am, but I was finally able to restore my actual domain name after I moved my blog to the FREE wordpress site. I just needed to sit down for 2 seconds and figure it out.

Aaaannnyyyway, it works! And the recipe links work too! fiiiinnnnallly.

That said, now we’ll just have to see if this means I might blog again. I’ll keep my fingers crossed ;).



Life. 365-Style (12/3-12/31).

I’m probably much more excited about this post that you guys are, but for me, this marks an end to a really long year of reminding myself to take a picture every day. As much as I eventually dreaded this task, I’m proud to say that I only missed 1 day. Hoo-fucking-rah!

We are glad to say goodbye to 2013, and happy to look on to what 2014 might bring. We hope to add to our family this year (and no, I don’t mean kids, I mean we might be ready for another cat!), settle down in a more permanent location (with a dishwasher), and continue our regular quest of backpacking more and enjoying the outdoors on the wonderful West Coast. We hope to see more of our family in 2014, and keep our fingers crossed that they all figure out a way to travel west, since, you know, planes go both ways.

Aside from that, 2014 is wide-open. Maybe you’ll see me more around here, maybe you won’t. I haven’t figured that out yet. So with that, here’s the end of the year in pictures. Amen to that.

337 – We never turn down a chance to meet up with Brook, one of our Chicago buddies. He was out for a business trip and we decided that, rather than unpacking from Seattle, we’d much rather eat pizza with him.

338 – It’s already looking like the holidays in our parts. The Mission is full of lots of colorful lights. Some tasteful, some super tacky. #missionlife

339 – This can’t be good, right? Mini dealership says it’s because of the unseasonably cold weather here. They best be right.

IMG_3586340 – Not a bad start to the day – a nice clean view of City Hall as I make my way to Philz for my Friday coffee treat.

341 – I love wandering around my neighborhood and finding houses I’ve not yet seen. The color schemes on the Victorians are really fun to look at.

342 – I can’t tell if she loves me more lately, or if I love her more. Either way, things have definitely changed now that there’s only 1 cat to love. Sasha certainly doesn’t hurt for attention. Or neediness.

343 – It is really cold here compared to regular NorCal standards. We turned on our heat, which doesn’t do much since there’s only 1 usable unit, and we bundle up.

344 – Think this would look nice in our house?! Just kidding. This is a shot from a random furniture shop in the Mission; I was helping a friend pick out some new furniture.

345 – This is a typical view upwards of a grocery store in our ‘hood. Need a piñata? Look no further than the produce aisle.

346 – A smoked paprika roasted turkey breast and kale salad. Although, turkey breasts last way too long when they’re only feeding 2 people.

347 – The Holiday cards are starting to roll in. Every single one we received this year had a picture on the front – how things have changed!

348 – This day was supposed to be filled with holiday adventures, like ice-skating, but we realized the ice-skating park was really really lame. So we went to a bar instead.

349 – The chocolate part of these cookies turned out great, but the peanut butter filling was way to slimy. Maybe because of the use of natural peanut butter? But don’t worry – they were consumed anyway…

350 – Sutro Tower at night.

351 – Watching highlights of Saturday Night Live. I really have no excuse for not watching that show more often.

352 – This is the stout from my hometown brewery, Mother Earth Brewing. We buy 2 every season. This bottle sat in the cabinet all year, and man, the bourbon barrel aging flavors really came through. Can’t wait for the 2013 version!

353 – SFO has an entire walkway of Japanese art displays, and this one was loaded with dinosaurs! SFO is hands down my favorite airport.

354 – My mom picked me up from the Raleigh airport and I had two demands before heading to her house: Bojangles and Dunkin’ Donuts. I might be running on fumes from the red-eye, but at least I have Dunkin’!

355 – I found Clayton’s new-ish brewery when in NC this past September, and had to take Chris for a visit. Always nice to have a local watering hole.

356 – Rayleigh sure loved some Chris. Such a cutie!

357 – I was helping my mom clean out some boxes, and I found a folder from my study abroad trip to Italy in 2001, which is where Chris and I officially met. This is the roster of the group – so fun to have those memories!

358 – We’ve since left my family and headed to Greensboro, where my brother-in-law, Matt, is making a gigantic pot of chili for the night. It was perfect since it finally got cold; we had 70-degree weather at my mom’s house the day before!

359 – Santa was busy this year!

360 – Sadly, I had to catch a super-early flight back to SF the day after Christmas to get to work, but I had a great trip nonetheless. I love the different colors of water near SFO, which I think is the Cargill Salt Ponds – all naturally colored water!

361 – We have a good set-up with our neighbors in terms of cat-care. I took care of Laz after I got home and he likes to come over and hang out with Sasha and me. I don’t think they like each other, but strangely enough, they don’t hiss or fight – they just follow each other around.

IMG_3682362 – Chris doesn’t come home until late Sunday night, so I’m a single lady this weekend. Which ultimately means that I talk to Sasha and take lots of pictures of her. But we’ve certainly enjoyed each other’s company!

363 – A nice Sunday walk up to Bernal Hill with clear views all the way around. Sutro Tower on the left, in the middle background is Mt Tam, and if you look closely in front of Mt Tam is a small view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

364 – Pizza + kale salad.

IMG_3707365 – I made it to the end! But Chris didn’t make it all the way to midnight without a little nappy nap. We took advantage of the situation, just like we would have at a high school slumber party. Maybe 2014 will be a year of maturing. But probably not…


Life. 365-Style (10/22-12/2).

Welcome to the new digs, folks. I’m still getting the actual chiknpastry.com site moved, but will be posting here from now on. It’s cheaper ;).

Below are a good months+ worth of shots. I’m ready for the year to be over so I can stop having to take a picture every day. It’s a lot of work. ha!

295 – Chris was mid-dance here. Lumberjack-style, no less.

296 – I had to lecture to a group of genetic counseling students at Stanford. It felt nice to be back! But sad, too.

297 – Sunset over Dolores Heights. These after work runs are harder with the sunset being earlier and earlier.

298 – a much-needed Friday happy hour!

299 – pumpkin carving at Liz+Kevin’s house. my first time, if you can believe it. Not sure how I’ve never carved a pumpkin before….

300 – caramel chicken. this was good stuff.

301 – Sasha continues her quest to lick all plastic in the house.

302 – waiting for the bus in The Mission.

303 – boots. (and yes, I forgot to take a picture so I just snapped the first thing I saw before I went to bed.)

304 – I’d never seen this movie before. Now, I know why.

305 – I think this was an 80’s flick like Breakfast Club. I can’t remember…but when I took the picture I thought it was really cool.

306 – hangin’ at Liz/Kevin’s. For the first time in ages, I totally rocked it at Hearts. #cardshark

307 – Sasha loves the stairs in our entryway. Every time we open the door, she runs out and up and down the stairs.

308 – the view from orientation. Not bad on a clear day, except I was only allowed outside for a few minutes.

309 – You’re jealous, aren’t you, ladies?!

310 – the first of many Korean-spiced pork burgers. I made a batch of 30 and froze individual patties. Tell me that’s not a smart idea!

311 – grilled cheese and tomato soup – the ultimate in comfort food.

312 – A Friday dinner at a new spot in town called TBD – this was their wood stock. It was nice, but not nice enough to get proposed at over dinner. That totally happened to the girl beside me. Her husband was lame, but her ring was gigantic. If only that balanced out…

13 – Chris getting excited about a bottle of wine from Deerfield.

314 – I searched high and low for all the ingredients for this Indian dish, chaat papdi. It was worth it, though. Like a burrito bowl in India, pretty much.

315 – It feels good to book vacation! Now May needs to hurry up and get here.

316 – banh mi pizza? totally. I’m all into the cross-cultural dishes this week.

317 – another episode of plastic-licking

318 – finally settling in to my new office – with a window!

319 – another Friday happy hour, this time at Rye.

320 – the last backpacking trip of the year. we even packed the heavy sleeping bags, and we certainly needed them!

321 – deer yoga?

322 – I can’t believe it took us almost three years of living here to see Brett Dennen. He’s one cool dude.

23 – rain in SF is like snow in North Carolina – it happens so infrequently that people absolutely can not drive. hence the red traffic lines – worst commuting day so far at my new job, but it still took less time than a good day at my old one!

324 – I finally dug back into the archives and made my version of pad Thai. Such a tasty dish.

325 – Having my old coworker Frannie as a friend means that she calls, I answer. I’m always available for an after-work cocktail, even if I show up in running clothes ;-).

326 – pizza take-out night called for a stop to pick up a bottle of my favorite condiment, ranch dressing. Pizza crusts never tasted so dang good.

327 – not a bad view for an afternoon run, eh? this was taken along the east side of the city, in Mission Bay.

328 – the shortest Stairway Walk of them all, in Sunnyside. This was taken at the conservatory.

329 – Chris’ version of tools.

330 – I took a slightly different running path and ended up seeing a great view of Twin Peaks and Sutro Tower.

331 – We are headed to Seattle for Thanksgiving! My first time ever flying first class (it was just ok). And what you see Chris eating is his worst mistake – a gigantic hotdog the day before a feast. I totally told him so, too.

332 – Cheryl and I made name cards while the adults made dinner. Does Chris’ picture look like a Pilgrim, or Walter White?!

333 – What does a nosey pepper do? Get jalapeño business. And in my beverage. BOOM.

334 – How do 6 of us get around together? Why, we just cram into 1 small car and smile. Plus, we got plenty of nice fresh air while out hiking that day. A little snuggling never hurt anyone!

335 – Luke’s wallet. I think Cheryl bought this for him the first year they started dating. Which was forever ago.

36 – This was my view for my 500th mile in 2013!! I thanked Jennifer for ensuring that Seattle would be sunny that day.

That’s it for now! Only another month of these pictures to go!


Life. 365-Style (9/18-10/21)

Another month has passed, friends. October has really been flying by. We’re out enjoying as much of our warm weather as possible – getting some of our final Stairway Walks wrapped up, squeezing in a hike or backpacking trip, and whatever else we can do to stay outdoors.

In addition to all of that regular stuff, life has been full of changes since August. Some horrible, some not too bad. I had an amazing time in NC with my family, and started a new job right after I got back. We continue to adjust to life without Tange. We had to put mom’s cat down while in NC, and that experience brought back all those all-too-recent memories. But we move on, as is our only choice.

All in all, putting things into perspective, life is still good. Here’s the short summary:


261 – I had no idea I’d have to say goodbye to yet another cat in such a short time. This was mom’s cat, Boo, who was hiding a large tumor from his mommy until he just couldn’t anymore. He didn’t like me at all, and this is the closest I ever got to him.


262 – One perk of my visit to NC was spending lots of time with family, and one extra-special perk was getting to finally go to another NCSU football game. We had some pretty awesome seats, and my Pops and I (along with his drunken friends!) had a pretty good night.


263 – My Sis and I realized the rehab center had this rando bird cage at the entrance. wtf?


264 – sometimes there’s nothing else to do but watch movies. Bridesmaids never disappoints.


265 – Neither does bonding with my sissy. We had a really great time together, even if her feet did stink.


266 – Mom will KILL me for posting this, but I like to think she’ll be ok with it, since I’m commenting on how amazing her hair looked after a good wash and curl – the old-school way!


267 – Mom stayed in the rehab center for about 10 days, and then I brought her home. Before that though, I loaded the fridge with a whole cheesecake from this cute lil’ place in downtown Clayton. Super tasty.


268 – Bye, Boo. This was without a doubt the worst day of my visit. It was hard to see mom so upset, after she’d made so much progress, and knowing how excited she was to come home to her cat.


269 – BBQ one last time. I couldn’t get enough! And I’m glad I discovered Charlie’s.


270 – Ok, one more time. With Cheerwine, too!


271 – As much fun as I had in NC and as hard as it was to leave, it felt good to be home to my normal life. Plus, I missed Philz ;).


272 – Mom wouldn’t have liked Pumpkin Curry, but we sure do!


273 – Speaking of my normal life, it felt good to not be unemployed. I had three weeks off from working once I left Stanford, and my new job started on 9/30. I was none-too-excited about this pic, but whatever. I can’t ask for much for an ID, I suppose. And for anyone who’s wondering, my job is going well. It’s very similar to my old one in many ways, but I do miss my Stanford coworkers.


274 – The best part? this dang commute. I bike by City Hall and the Civic Center every day, and lately, it’s been just gorgeous. The hills on the way IN to work? They’ll take some getting used to…


275 – I should just call this post BBQ and be done with it. Not a week later and we met Liz and Kevin at Southpaw. I actually got the fried chicken, but Chris and I split that and his BBQ.


276 – Sometimes Sasha really does think. Just not often. But isn’t she so pretty?!


277 – Another Friday happy hour at Pi.


278 – We got out of SF for a day and picked up some of our wine in Sonoma. We decided to stop at Matanzas Creek, a winery we went to on our first trip to Wine Country when we were still in Chicago. The views there are gorgeous.


279 – We finished a Stairway Walk in the Upper Market area of town, right smack dab in the center of the city.


280 – I love a good fall beer. This is Anchor Steam’s Big Leaf Maple.


281 – Another benefit of my short commute? I’ve figured out how to make my running work into the trip home – a couple of days a week I take the bus to work instead of my bike, and I run home, creating random zig zags along the way to complete my full program. It takes a little planning, but it’s great to get a full run in and still be home by 6:15. This is one of the views from Dolores Park (and yeah, after barely surviving up the hill, sometimes it’s nice to stop and snap a pic!).


282 – weeknight vegetable curry. This one was from the True Food book and just ok, but the leftovers tasted better.


283 – I had a benefits orientation this morning, so of course I managed to squeeze in a trip to The Mill on the way.


284 – Do you see the lil’ one in the back? I can’t tell if he’s scared or excited.


285 – It was a little difficult to backpack what with the government shutdown and all, but we found a smaller state park in the area with a short hike in and enjoyed a leisurely afternoon of napping and reading in the sun.


286 – there’s water back there in the distance. These are the Santa Cruz mountains.


287 – SPRINKLES! need i say more?


288 – It’s hard to capture these moments, but Sasha has a weird infatuation with licking plastic. Remember how I said she wasn’t so smart?!


289 – Pigeons! As Chris would say, #missionlife.


290 – I’m on jury duty this week, and they don’t require potential jurors in court until 9:30. So, I obviously went to Craftsman & Wolves beforehand for a thai curry scone. Duh.


291 – Just barely escaped jury duty after being in court for 2 1/2 days. I had to grab another Friday Pi beer.


292 – This weekend was amazingly beautiful. Chris and I completed 2 Stairway Walks, both on the north side of the city. We even tiptoed around Fisherman’s Wharf for one of them. Tourist count was off the charts, and I think I don’t need to go back there for at least a few more years ;).


293 – After a sad Bears loss, we hit up a nice semi-outdoor late lunch at Namu Gaji, tossed in some soft serve from Bi-Rite, and laid in Dolores Park for a little bit. Cannot complain about that day, despite the loss.



294 – Post-run Bernal fog rolling in.