Saturday, April 14, 2012

March Highlights

- Breaking in my new hiking boots at San Bruno State Park

- Sunbathing in the Dogpatch – magnolia trees were in full bloom!

- Hiking the Fern Canyon Trail in Mendocino. The trail goes through a canyon lush with ferns (it looked like something out of Lost World), redwoods, douglas fir, wildflowers, berry bushes. It runs somewhat along the Little River – I think we crossed at least nine bridges on the trail.

Fern Canyon Trail
The trail led to the Pygmy Forest, an area drastically different from the Fern Canyon. Because of the nutrient-poor, highly acidic topsoil, the trees haven't been able to grow beyond a few feet tall.  There were 60-year old cypress trees that weren't much taller than I was.

Pygmy Forest

- Staying at a lovely bed and breakfast in Mendocino.  Look at this breakfast spread...

- Walking around Glass Beach in Fort Bragg.  From the 1950s to 1960s, that area became a public dump, where people left their old cars, garbage, old liquor bottles...some of which included glass. Fifty-some years later, the waves pounding on that glass have produced and deposited smooth and colorful "pebbles" on the beach.

- Seeing all the incredible plants at Mendocino Botanical Garden.

This is Cape Myrtle.  It looks perpetually underwater.

- Visiting NYC with two of my favorite girls.

- Getting wine and ice cream with two other of my favorite girls.  One is not pictured.

- Napa for Jasmin's we are at lunch:

- The tasting afterward at Silenus Winery.  Things I learned from the very knowledgeable winemaker:  TJ's has some amazing deals; it also has some misses (2 buck chuck anyone?).  In the US, it's not legal to add sugar to wine, but in Europe, it's OK.

- My favorite cafe space opened back up on Valencia :)  I really was deprived of my sunny weekend cafe routines during the remodeling.

Best things I ate this month

- Drunken noodles at Krua Thai, in the Mission. They are essentially stir fried flat rice noodles with eggs, thai basil, and chili.

- Freshly baked corn muffins from Hard Knox Cafe, slightly sweet and slathered with butter.

- This AMAZING crispy phillo-wrapped chicken pocket from Pera in Potrero Hill.  The picture does not do it justice.  Here's the fancy description: "Pera Talaş Böreği Chicken breast smoked with vegetables and wrapped in a phillo dough, baked and served in a coconut curry sauce. Garnished with green apple & currants." Yes.

Deceptively small, but this thing was the size of my face.

Their pumpkin/butternut squash ravioli with mushrooms and chicken apple sausage was just as good.

- Pralines & Cream ice cream from Frankie's in Mendocino.  I wanted the Candy Cap Mushroom flavor but I have this inability to order the same thing twice...

- Grilled clam flatbread from MacCallum House Inn & Restaurant with: Trumpet Royale mushroom duxelles, garlic, Vella dry Jack cheese, house made mozzarella, oregano & chile gremolata.

- Brunch at Tartine in NYC: poached eggs with hollandaise sauce on english muffins with gravlox. This place was French, e.g., tiny and cozy.

- Trader Joe's Organic Creamy Tomato Soup.  It's so good...two bucks for a box. I craved this for a month straight. I stocked up.

- Ryan's signature salmon baked with soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and brown sugar.  The sauce gets sticky and concentrated and slightly burnt in the oven...yum.

- The mushroom piadi from Rosso in Santa Rosa. It's basically flatbread with salad on top. You fold it and you eat it.  Ours came with mushrooms, truffle vinaigrette, and pine nuts. I believe it was topped with whipped mascarpone...

- The whole wheat everything bagel from Brooklyn Bagel.  I got mine toasted with scallion cream cheese...gah so dreamy.

The number of spreads available was unbelievable.  It was like an ice cream store, except with cream cheese instead of ice cream.

It was my one food request while in NYC and it was probably my favorite of all the things I ate there.

Look at the number of their spreads and tell me that's not insane.

- Clay pot chicken with mushrooms from Taishan Cafe in the Inner Richmond. I really enjoy eating the burnt bits of rice from the bottom of the clay pot.

- Warm, soft, crusty bread from Redd in Napa.  Oh, and their fried calamari is really good too...I love the tamarind dressing it came with. You can't really see it in the photo though.

- Macaroons from Bouchon Bakery in Yountville (which I will never learn how to pronounce. Yoontville? Yawntville? Halp)