Category — California

{sf} 10 Things To Eat in San Francisco Before You Die

I am one of those rare San Francisco natives – that’s right, I popped out at UCSF hospital and grew up in Cole Valley. After a stint in San Diego for college, and a few formative years in Brooklyn, I moved back to the city for good. I tried out the Tenderloin, the Mission, and even (gasp) Oakland before settling into the Castro. So believe me when I tell you that I know my San Francisco treats. Here are 10 things to eat in San Francisco before you die, in no particular order.

la taqueria

Carnitas Burrito “Dorado Style” at La Taqueria

What if you took a perfect, rice-free burrito and then grilled it on a flat-top to give it an extra crunch? That’s what they have been doing at La Taqueria for decades. This is the best burrito out there. I love it so much I constructed an epic gingerbread La Taqueria last Christmas. It’s that good. It was also recently voted best burrito in the U.S. Don’t listen to those carpetbaggers who claim allegiance to Taqueria Cancun or El Farolito. I theorize that those people only eat burritos when they are drunk so their burrito judgment is impaired.

Brutti Ma Buoni Cookies at Dianda’s 
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January 13, 2015   4 Comments

{recipe} Spiced Green Lentil Coconut Soup

Here in Northern California it’s been raining like crazy and the skies darken so early each afternoon. This kind of weather almost demands you make something nourishing and warm, with just a little bit of spice. This green lentil coconut soup fills the bill perfectly.

lentil coconut soup

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December 8, 2014   1 Comment

{haiku review} Giordano Bros Sandwiches in San Francisco, CA

giordano bros sandwich

Giordano Bros – 2 locations in San Francisco, at 303 Columbus Avenue and 3108 16th Street. 


January 13, 2014   No Comments

{10 second vacation} Winter Weekend in Monterey, California

Monterey is most famous for its fabulous aquarium, but the area boasts lots of other charms. If you can largely avoid the tacky, touristy Cannery Row area you are in for a real treat. A 10 minute drive down the peninsula will put you in the quaint town of Carmel, so it’s really like a two-for-one! Point Lobos State Reserve is one of the absolute gems of the California coastline – and rivals many a national park in beauty and sights. You can spot sea lions, tide pools, and hidden beaches at nearly every turn. 

There are lots of fancy spots to try, and I do enjoy a sunset drink with bagpipes with the upper crust at The Inn at Spanish Bay, but I find myself gravitating more to the down-home dives for meals… like an early morning stop on funky Fisherman’s Wharf to hit up Loulou’s for creme brulee-style oatmeal or enormous pancakes, or chicken shawerma lunch with fluffy pita and garlicky sauce at teeny-tiny Paprika Cafe. To warm up, try a big sourdough bread bowl of creamy clam chowder at Schooner’s right over the water. For more Monterey recommendations, check out this article with tons of great suggestions. 

gibson beach point lobos ca

Gibson Beach

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November 25, 2013   2 Comments

{ask me anything about anywhere} 3 Days in Big Sur and Hearst Castle?

People ask me for travel advice all the time, and sometimes I just don’t get around to blogging about it in advance. Here’s your chance to ask me anything about anywhere! If I have any good intel–I’ll gladly share it with you.

The question: My husband and I are taking a 3 night trip to celebrate my 40th birthday – and leaving our 3 kids at home with Grandma! We want to go somewhere driveable from the San Francisco Bay Area. Where should we go, and what should we do once we get there?


big sur

November 5, 2013   1 Comment

{photojournal} America the Beautiful – Favorite Photos of the USA

Since it’s the 4th of July, I thought I’d share some of my favorite photos of different parts of America. We have some stunning, interesting, and unique spots in the USA! Happy 4th of July, everyone.

hearst castle

Hearst Castle, San Simeon, California

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July 4, 2013   No Comments

{pretty} San Francisco from Above

I’m heading out to Mexico tomorrow, but before I go, I wanted to share these photos. On a trip to Park City last month, I found I was in a prime position to capture some incredible views from my little airplane window on both the outbound and inbound flights. I have flown in and out of SFO probably hundreds of times, but the approach on my return flight is one I have literally never experienced, and made for some neat photos of my favorite city. We flew in from the northeast, over Marin or Sonoma county, then looped back down on the western (Pacific Ocean) side of the Golden Gate Bridge. It made for some stunning views of all of the major bridges and a clear outline of the city’s distinctive 49 mile peninsula.


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May 22, 2013   No Comments

{recipe} Brown Butter Berry Shortcakes

We have been getting the most gorgeous strawberries from a local farm stand out near Petaluma. In fact, we bought a 3-pack on Sunday morning and they were gone within a few hours. We stopped back at the stand for a full flat that afternoon, and after eating, sharing, and cooking pounds and pounds of strawberries for 24 hours – by Monday night they had all somehow disappeared.

One of the best things to come out of this strawberry extravaganza was these brown butter shortcakes. With the strawberries baked right into the fluffy, slightly sweet biscuits, all you need is a little ice cream or whipped cream and you’re good to go.

brown butter shortcakes

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May 3, 2013   No Comments

{breathe} Autumn in Sonoma

I had grandiose plans to do a Thanksgiving round-up talking all about my favorite pie recipes and so forth, but I have been totally slammed from all sides so that is not going to happen. But I think I can offer you something else: about 20 seconds’ worth of fall photos to de-stress you. Just looking at them makes me feel like I have a force-field protecting me from any worries or negativity that might try to encroach.

I mean, sure, I should be making grocery lists, doing the laundry, packing my suitcase, and printing out recipes. But instead, I will look at this multi-hued vineyard. Ahhhhh.

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November 20, 2012   No Comments

{recipe} Palm Springs Date Shake

Have I mentioned that one of my favorite places in the entire world is Palm Springs, California? I love it so much, I got married there. Not only does it offer breathtaking desert landscapes and mid-century modern marvels, it’s also home to a very specific regional culinary delight: the date shake.

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February 24, 2012   15 Comments