Part 2 of the Bay Series!

Nike

Ferry trip!

Ferry trip!

After the ferry ride from Sausalito back to Pier 1 it was time once again walk the streets of San Francisco back to the Nike store.  On our way we found a few little artists booths. Some of the girls stopped and made a few purchases of interesting photographs of the bay area. We then scurried down to the Nike store.

Fractal Art

Fractal Art

Oh my! How many people can you really fit into one Nike store? One of the girls wanted to exchange a shirt she had purchased and I was looking for an additional one.

Guess what! Amy wanted to exchange her black medium for a black small and there wasn’t a single black shirt left in the store let alone a small and this is a 7 floor Nike store. I searched and searched the racks for the shirt I wanted and found a size medium on the mannequin.  Just as we were going to undress the mannequin, a lady said they had a medium on a different rack. Yep it was the very last one! Lesson here is if you would like to purchase Nike souvenirs get to the store a couple of days before the race not the day before.

Banner on top of the Nike store.

Banner on top of the Nike store.

Back out into the streets of Union Square to find our way back to the hotel. We decided on a different route this time, wandering through China town. I am only 5’4 but feel very tall next to most of the women in China town. We passed a sushi restaurant that looked very interesting. It was a boat floating thru water with a sushi buffet. I believe the name of the restaurant was the Sushi Boat.

Lantern in China town.

Lantern in China town.

IMG_9515

I am not sure if getting back to our room was a good idea. We all were tired and ready to eat and wanted to be to bed early since we had to be at the start by 5:30 AM. We all managed to get a little cleaned up and found an Italian Restaurant close to our hotel.

"Mangia" = Let's Eat!

“Mangia” = Let’s Eat!

When we arrived the host said our wait would only be about 15 minutes. I think he forgot they had a bunch of reservations to come in to be seated too. We sat and sat and sat. If he would have told us when we arrived the wait was an hour we could have made a decision to stay or find another restaurant.

Lesson here is be sure to make a reservation in San Francisco. We finally got a table and it was Mangia time!

I ordered the Pappardelle Bolognese Homemade wide Fettuccine pasta in an Italian tomato beef ragout. The meat sauce was ok but the home-made noodles were to die for. By the time we got our food it was about 8:00 Pacific Time 9:00 home/Mountain Time and I really didn’t feel like eating.

I ate what I could and then ordered the Profiterole – Homemade cream puffs filled with vanilla gelato. 

Home made pasta is the best!

Home made pasta is the best!

Delicious dessert!

Delicious dessert!

After dinner we walked back to the hotel to prepare for race day!

Time till race while waiting for a table.

Time till race while waiting for a table.

Bib, wrist band, shirt, shoes. "Let's do this!"

Stay tuned for “Race Day Re-Cap”!

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If you love microbrews and relaxation Edgewater Tap & Grill is the place for you.

I thought of this quote from “thedeliciousday.com” as I entered the brewery.

“More beer brewed daily (80 varieties) than in any other city in the US + extra thin air to get you drunker – faster” (Denver, CO)

menu

Edgewater Tap and Grill is located at the end of 9th Street. Their motto is “With deep roots in the Grand Junction community and our hearts in Colorado beer, we’ve come to South Downtown to thrive at the edge of the river. The Grand Valley is our playground and Edgewater is your Pub.

photo

Edge 2

If you are familiar with Kannah Creek Brewing Company then you will know the micro brews here. The reason to build Edgewater is to brew,bottle and distribute the microbrews while adding a small comfortable environment for a bite to eat and cold brew.

Beer

Hand Crafted Beers on Tap

Island Mesa Blonde – Light Golden in color with a light hoppy flavor and dry finish.

Highside Hefeweizen – A traditional German style unfiltered wheat beer with unique clove and citrus flavors.

Lands End Amber – Silver Medal 2012 Great American Beer Festival, Gold Medal 2010 World Beer Cup Specialty malts enhance this light-bodied German-style Altbier. Deep copper color, medium hop and crisp finish.

Standing Wave Pale Ale – Rich amber color and complex malty flavor make this award winner memorable. Brewed in traditional English style, its crisp hop balance.

Broken Oar India Pale Ale – Modeled after the traditional British IPA. Light mahogany in color with a subtle malt flavor and strong hop finish.

Pigasus Porter – Dark brown in color with a subtle chocolate flavor and a roasty finish. Add a shot of 3 olives espresso vodka or vanilla vodka for a stronger beer.

Black’s Bridge Stout – This hearty beer has coffee and chocolate flavors followed by a roasty finish.

Seasonal Beer – Ask the server

Ace Hard Cider – This is a light bodied cider, moderately sweet and crisp with a taste of apple cider.

Friends

Edgewater officially opens on Thursday May 9, 2013 11:00 AM. The patio will be a great gathering place when the weather is nice. We were fortunate to attend the pre-opening practice night for the staff.

patio

Now on to the menu:

There are a handful of appetizers offered. The Edgewater staff votes that the fried green beans are the best pick from the app menu. I think the buffalo drummies and the fried cheese curds sound interesting. We did not try any of the appetizers.

The main menu consists of Salads, Burgers, Bratwurst, and Big City Red Hot Dogs finishing with a create your own called “Take it to the Edge”

We shared the “The Rado” burger, BBQ Bacon Burger and Philly Bratz” My personal favorite was the Rado Burger – Bacon, Avocado, tomato, green chilies, chipotle ranch and provolone cheese. Each entrée comes with a side. The side choices are hand cut French fries, tempura beer battered onion rings, BBQ baked beans, Apple curry slaw.

The hand cut fries are small and seasoned nicely, the onion rings are HUGE and the baked beans are bland. The ketchup is chipotle seasoned very delicious and the bbq sauce has a bit of stout in it very good as well.

The atmosphere is very relaxed you won’t find your favorite game on TV in this pub. It’s a place where friends can come together and enjoy a cold beer and great meal.

I loved the added touch in the rest room. Fresh flowers and hand lotion!

Flowers

Lotion

So head on down to  Edgewater Tap & Grill ask for my friend Suzanne and she will take excellent care of you!

Misfit Thanksgiving

Do you know friends who are divorced with no kids or family on the holidays?

That’s what this Thanksgiving was all about. Supporting our friends who needed us on this holiday. My friend Christina and I decided we would make the feast, give the chef a break from cooking and share with our friends who needed support and love.

EAT!

We divided and conquered the menu together.

Menu

Appetizer of Bacon wrapped Elk tenderloin – Chef

Turkey – Christina

Gravy – Chef (Christina bought jar but the chef didn’t like that idea)

Stuffing (German Style) – Christina

Sweet Potato Pie – Christina

Cranberry Sauce traditional – Christina

Serrano Pepper Cranberry Sauce (Mexican) – Christina

French’s Green Bean Casserole – Me

Mashed Potato’s – Me

Chunky Pecan Bars – Me

Pumpkin Pie – Christina

Apple Pie – I donated blood and they gave me a free pie.

DRINK!

Choke Cherry Merlot (Colorado) Vincent Winery

Cesar Bloody Marys’

Ménage Trios – California Red

Ménage Trios – Pinot Noir

Cupcake – Pinot Noir

Be Healthy!

I wanted to burn some calories on Thanksgiving morning so I hit Gold’s gym at 5:00 am with a friend and did combat, back home for a 2 hour nap and then hit my gym for Kick It at 9:00 total of 1,065 calories burned!

If you don’t have a gym open I bet you could find a Turkey Trot 5K to burn some calories. I chose Kick It instead this year because it’s a lot warmer in the gym and I burn more calories than running a 5K.

Let the festivities begin! 

Christina and I started prepping for the big meal the day before. This is probably my favorite part of Thanksgiving. Hanging in the kitchen drinking wine, laughing and catching up with my friend.

Do you peel your celery? Christina does!

We set the table, made stuffing, cut the potatoes, made Serrano cranberry sauce, drank more wine and invited guests over to join us!

Three of us girls in the kitchen laughing, giggling and telling girl stories, only to get quiet when Christina’s misfit walks in. Let the party begin!

The Thanksgiving appetizer just so happened to get eaten the night before Thanksgiving. Very delicious, can’t beat fresh elk tenderloin wrapped in bacon “its a taste of heaven.”  We also had artichoke dip and homemade meatballs and sausage.

Three bottles of the Thanksgiving dinner wine were consumed before the big dinner. I only tasted two of the three because I had to get up at 4:15 in the morning for Combat!

Ménage à Trois

Pinot Noir

http://www.menageatroiswines.com/pinot-noir.php#

 

Fancy a little splendor in the glass? Turn down the lights, turn up the Barry White and uncork the Ménage à Trois Pinot Noir. When it comes to affairs of the palate, we’ve always felt that three was much more fun than one, so we played matchmaker and brought together grapes from three distinctive California wine growing regions known for producing exquisite Pinot Noir. Clarksburg grapes add bright flavors and a lovely perfume, North Coast grapes add silkiness, and Central Coast fruit rounds out the blend with beautiful complexity. Enhanced with French and American oak, our Pinot Noir’s is sure to have you waxing poetic. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

 

This was an ok Pinot not one of my favorites. I probably wouldn’t buy it again. If you like oak you will like this Pinot.

Ménage à Trois

California Red 

Even if red wine is not your speed, give our Ménage à Trois Red a try. This wine exposes the fresh, ripe, jam-like fruit that is the calling card of California wine. Ménage à Trois Red brings together three strange bedfellows.

On top we’ve got Zinfandel, a saucy tease that brings blackberry and raspberry jam to the relationship. Merlot, with its generous mouth feel and red fruits, fits perfectly in the middle. The rich flavors and firm tannins of Cabernet Sauvignon make it the ideal. 

I love this wine! It’s a great inexpensive blend.

I bought the Cupcake Pinot Noir because I love the Cupcake Red Velvet Cake wine.

http://www.cupcakevineyard.com/wines/reds/pinot-noir/#

“Our Pinot Noir has the aroma of cherries that carries through the palate with a touch of red currants and a hint of spice. It’s reminiscent of a cherry cupcake with currant coulis.”

What a fun night with friends! We laughed and laughed and laughed! Definitely a night to remember!

What do you do on the eve of Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving day!

On my way home from the gym I called to see if the bird had made it to the oven after the party the night before. Christina has only cooked a turkey once before. She told me she could only find the neck in the bird and had it cooking on the stove for the gravy. I thought it was strange that there were no giblets in a fresh turkey. Oh well no biggie the neck will make great gravy.

We arrived and started the dinner with Bloody Mary’s. I like mine Cesar style.

Cesar Bloody Mary

Ice

Kettle One Vodka

Salt

Pepper

Dill

Horseradish

Celery seed

Pepperoncini juice

Clamato juice

Tabasco

Garlic

Olives

Celery

Pepperoncini pepper

Yummmmmmm!

The oven timer went off and the bird was ready to come out! Looks magnificent!

When we started cutting into the turkey guess what we found? Yep! The giblets!

Time to Mangia!

Wine with dinner was a Choke Cherry Merlot from a friend of ours vineyard.

Everything was excellent! My favorite sides were the sweet potato pie and the green bean casserole. What is your favorite side?

Chunky Pecan Bars

After a few hours of football we had dessert and then I was stuffed like the turkey!

ATL & Southern Hospitality!

Final ATL experiences!

The next stop for dining was the Atlanta Grill located in the Ritz Carlton of Atlanta on Peach Street. This night we were dining with a colleague of ours, what fun three ladies can have at a beautiful restaurant.

Bask in the stylish comfort and warmth of Atlanta Grill – an exceptional Atlanta steak house in a landmark location. Featuring club-like seating indoors and seasonal outdoor dining on the veranda with views of Peachtree Street, it’s Atlanta Southern dining as never before.

  • Sumptuous menu of grilled steaks, chops and seafood along with Southern-inspired cuisine
  • Convivial atmosphere and impeccable service are hallmarks of this steak house in Atlanta
  • Dynamic murals commissioned for the Atlanta Grill feature rich colors and warm hues that perfectly compliment the restaurant’s décor
  • Atlanta outdoor dining is available on the veranda with wrought-iron railings and flickering gaslight-styled lanterns
  • The Cheater’s Booth accommodates six in a cozy table setting with privacy draperies, but is most popular for an intimate dinner for two

Dinner started with a bottle of Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon a delicious wine and perfect for the evening.

Deep, dense and concentrated, the flavors echo intense aromas of blueberry; bramble and cassis intermingled with cocoa, cinnamon and sweet, toasty oak. Bold, yet supple on the palate, the dark, richly fruity flavors are balanced by a bright acidity and long finish.

 

I started my meal off with the Fire Roasted Tomato Soup made with Georgia Grown Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The soup was an excellent way to start the dining experience.

 

My entrée choice for the evening was the special Grilled Halibut, Brussel Sprouts and a Sweet Potato Mash. Typing this is making my mouth water. The Brussel sprouts were a bit salty; the halibut was cooked to perfection and the sweet potato mash a perfect ending to the palette.

 

The Atlanta Grill is an excellent fine dining experience. I highly recommend visiting the Atlanta Grill just be prepared for a very large check at the end of dinner.

 

The last night in the ATL we decided it was time for some fun! So we headed to the Hard Rock Café.

 Est. November 9, 1992

If the B-52’s song “Love Shack” were to ever find a permanent home, Atlanta’s Hard Rock Cafe would be the place. With its southern charm and renowned hospitality, this location truly gives meaning to our “Love All Serve All” motto. Situated in Atlanta’s Cornerstone Building, our restaurant could be considered a cornerstone of southern rock.  Packed with memorabilia from rock legends with roots south of the Mason-Dixon Line, this cafe serves up delicious delicacies every day.

 

I ordered the Purple Haze cocktail. This specialty cocktail is made with vodka, gin, razz rum, mixed with sweet & sour topped with Sierra Mist and Chambord Black Raspberry liqueur. The two best parts of this $12 drink are one you get to keep the fun hurricane glass and the second is if you want a second drink its $8 and some change.  Lucky for me I had my MARTA one dollar coins to pay for my second drink.

Hard Rock food is Hard Rock food it’s the same at every restaurant I have been to.

I had the Famous Fajitas grilled chicken served with pico de gallo, shredded Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses, fresh guacamole, sour cream, shredded lettuce and hot flour tortillas.

We had fun requesting songs from the DJ. He said he grew up with Kid Rock and knew him very well. (When I started asking him to play Kid Rock songs he didn’t have them and never heard of them.) If you have the Shazam app it works great in the Hard Rock. I found a few songs that night that I liked and have downloaded.

Don’t forget to stop in the memorabilia shop on your way out to pick up your entire Hard Rock garb!

Atlanta is a fun town I would definitely go back to visit.

Coming from the West the South does have some cultural differences that take some getting used to.

However, the Southern Hospitality is true and the ATL did a great job of making me feel welcome!

When you travel what do you look for in a restaurant?

Max Lager’s and McCormick & Schmicks!

I promised I would give a re-cap of my dining experiences in Atlanta. After checking into our room when arriving at the hotel we immediately went to the bar for a drink and a snack. We had been traveling all day and needed to unwind a bit. The 2 hour time change had our bodies thinking it was 8:00 PM instead of 10:00 PM. When we ordered from the bartender we got carded! Woo Hoo! I said “I love Georgia already.”

After I had a full day of class one of our vendors treated us to dinner. We walked down Peach Street to find a nice brewery. We found Max Lager’s what a great place for beer lovers.

I of course had vino. I did have a sample of their peach hard cider. Very tasty! They also have the Beer Periodic table on the wall. This is a place for beer lovers!

 

 

 

On our way to dinner we made a pit stop at Olympic Park. It was a beautiful night and the Olympic rings were spectacular.

The restaurant that was decided on was McCormick & Schmicks! This restaurant specializes in steak and seafood. When the host seated us I had something interesting happen to me. He traded my beige napkin for a black one. I asked him what the thought was and he said dark pants = dark napkin. What a concept. I am not sure if this is a Southern thing or just a McCormicks thing.

We started the meal off with a couple of appetizers. Lump Crab Tower!

It’s avocado mango crab tower with an orange vinaigrette. Yummy! We also shared an order of Calamari. I preferred the tower!  The beverage of choice was a bottle of red wine mixed blend. (Nothing too abnormal)

I ordered the classic shrimp scampi! This was FANTASTIC! 6 jumbo shrimp over a white wine garlic linguini. For dessert we shared an upside down apple pie…Oh my I thought I was going to explode!

This was a fabulous evening and if you are ever in downtown Atlanta I highly recommend both Max Lager’s and McCormick & Schmicks!

Stay tuned……I have many more meals to share!

Staple items!

Certain foods should always have a place on your food pantry. These are called food staples. Our family particularly my mini me and I have a few of items that are a must.

Here is the story of how these items came about.

I am sure most of you know that I am not a cook. In 2008 the Chef took a job that had him out of the home for 6 weeks for training then off to work for 20-30 days at one time. For me this was a huge eye opener in more ways than one. Not only did I have to take the trash out, I had to grocery shop and figure out what my mini me was going to eat for each meal of the day.

I remember one day for lunch she wanted “Life” cereal. We packed up her cereal, in a to-go bowl for school and she ordered milk from the lunch lady, it just happened to be chocolate milk. A friend of my just happened to be having lunch at school that day and commented how dad must still be out-of-town if mom is sending cereal to school for lunch.

This brings me to the first staple item in our home. Cereal! I love cereal. I remember growing up and eating cereal all the time. When my mom worked we feed ourselves and it was cereal. When the Chef was out-of-town working, my mini me and I would eat dry cereal on Sunday afternoons while watching movies together. I like dry fruit loops and frosted mini wheat’s.

The next favorite item is Totino’s Pizza! Who doesn’t love a great Totino’s frozen pizza. I remember we would heat up a Totino’s after swim practice once a week. What an in-expensive staple item this is. My mini me and I love the meat combination pizza.

Last but not least the last item is something that I cook and we can eat for a few days. My mini me loves it!

Pasta Fagioli

3 cans of beans (Kidney, Northern, Pinto) – whatever kinds you prefer

1-2 C. Dilanti Pasta

2-3 cans of vegetable broth

Drizzle of EVOO

3 garlic cloves

½ yellow onion

3 carrots

3 celery stalks

8-12 brussel sprouts

Sea Salt

Pepper

Italian Seasoning

Mozzarella cheese

Build your soup from the bottom up. Drizzle the bottom of your soup pot with EVOO. Cut your onion, garlic, carrots and celery place in the soup pot on med heat. While these items are cooking cut up your brussel sprouts then place into the soup pot. Season with S&P and Italian seasoning. Cook the pasta in a separate pot. Once the all the vegetables are somewhat soft add your beans and one can of vegetable broth. Re-season; when the pasta is al-dente  add it to the pot depending on how think you like your soup you may need to add more vegetable broth or water and from the pasta. Taste and determine if you need more seasonings.  Simmer until beans are soft and serve with mozzarella cheese.

Put your twist on this great soup. Add some Italian tomato’s and take out the brussel sprouts.

This is an easy low-calorie healthy soup. It has become a joke in our home today when mom’s cooking we are having Pasta Fagioli. Be sure to keep beans, vegetable broth, onions, garlic, celery and carrots on hand for this fabulous staple item.

Girls Night!

The school year has come to an end and I decided it would be fun to have my friends and my daughter’s friends over for a fun Mary Kay Party!

I worked harder preparing for the party than I do at my day job. LOL! I did manage to get in a killer “KICK IT” workout in.

Off to the grocery store and the liquor store to gather supplies for the fun night planned.

I had a Mexican food theme in mind. The menu was simple and fun. I wasn’t consistent in my picture-taking. I think I got all caught up making the food and forgot to take pictures. So the photos will be random.

Mini Bean Tostadas!

Flour Tortillas

Vegetarian Refried Beans

Fiesta Cheese

Lettuce

I made a Pico for the topping of the mini torts.

Tomato

Onion

Garlic

Cilantro

S&P

Coriander

I used a cookie cutter and cut the tortillas. Then baked in the oven at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes. Then add the refried beans and cheese pop back into the oven for 5 mins top with the pico.

       

Chips & Salsa and a white cheese sauce and the “Chef” made guacamole.

Cheated on this store-bought!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The dessert is my personal favorite and personal specialty

Mini Brownies with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup in the middle!

Box of brownie mix

Reese’s

Pink Chocolate

     

When the brownies are about half way done insert the Reese’s in and finish baking. When cooled remove from pan and drizzle your color of chocolate on top. I choose Pink today for Mary Kay! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last but not least the beverage of the night!

Margarita’s!

Fresh squeezed Key Limes

Tequila Blanco

Agave Nectar

In a shaker add lots of crushed ice

2 oz Tequilla

1 oz Fresh squeezed lime juice

1 oz Agave Nectar

Salt a glass and pour over ice!

You only need ONE! 

For the kids and non-drinkers I served Raspberry Ice Tea.

I hope you will enjoy these fun recipes. I have book club in June offering wine and dessert. Any suggestions?