I’m not sure about the whys and the hows but I’ve never heard of Jill Milan until today (when following a lead for a post I wrote over on Racked SF). These vegan beauties (yep, that alligator is faux) are showing up all over red carpets left and right. And, as you can probably tell from my latest style post, I’m currently all about the clutch. But after my Brian Atwood splurge, one of these $1,000+ bags is certainly not in my near future. Ah, but a girl can dream… and hope that one is in yours! xx
Dress: Forever21 Tropical Floral Cutout Dress | Clutch: Brian Atwood Inlaid Clutch – similar here | Sunnies: Nasty Gal Eyewear – similar here | Shoes: from South Korea – similar here | Jewelry: Nixon, ASOS
I checked out the SF Gilt Warehouse Sale this past Saturday. I arrived 30 minutes after the doors opened, and it was much too late to find anything good. About to leave empty handed, I took one last look at the handbag table and the gleam of this Brian Atwood clutch caught my eye. It was buried under a mess of RED Valentino tweed and leather (the brand’s unfortunate handbag line from 2011). The clutch’s inlaid detailing and sleek design sealed the deal, saving my first Gilt warehouse sale from utter defeat.
This dress also resulted from major digging aka shopping at Forever 21 — there are finds, you just gotta work hard for them. The cutouts and the Hawaiian print are so fun for Spring. And to top it off, the fit is flattering. xx
It’s artichoke season — hooray! Yesterday we found some big, organic beauties at our local Safeway and we decided to throw them onto the BBQ along with strip steaks from 4505 Meats. I usually steam artichokes but since trying this recipe, I definitely think grilling the ‘chokes imparts more flavor (meaning less need for over-saucing).
I used this recipe as a guide and made a variation of the Barefoot Contessa’s aïoli to serve alongside. The hubby mans the grill so while he was outside, I cooked up a bowl full of mussels for a last-minute take on surf and turf.
A gorgeous day that ended with a gorgeous Sunday Supper. xx
Grilled Garlic Artichokes
• 2 large artichokes
• 2 lemons
• 3/4 cup olive oil
• 4 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Trim the tops from the artichokes, then cut in half lengthwise, and place halves into bowl of water with juice of 1/2 lemon.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare BBQ for medium direct heat.
- Add artichokes to boiling water, and cook for about 15 minutes. Drain. Squeeze the remaining lemon into a medium bowl. Stir in the olive oil and garlic, and season with salt and pepper.
- Brush the artichokes with a coating of the garlic dip, and place them on the preheated grill. Grill the artichokes for 5 to 10 minutes, basting with dip and turning frequently, until the tips are a little charred.
Mussels with Garlic Saffron Aïoli (adapted from Barefoot Contessa Foolproof by Ina Garten)
• 1/2 tsp saffron threads
• 2/3 cup good mayonnaise
• 1 tbsp lemon zest
• 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
• 1 tsp Dijon mustard
• 3 tbsp finely chopped garlic
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 3/4 tsp fleur de sel
• 1 1/2 pounds mussels, cleaned
• 1/3 cup dry white wine
For the aïoli: Soak saffron in 1 tbsp hot water in a small bowl for 5 minutes. Whisk in the mayo, zest, juice, mustard, garlic, and salt and pepper (to taste). Refrigerate until ready to use.
For the mussels: combine the fleur de sel and 1/2 tsp pepper and set aside. Heat a 12-inch, dry cast-iron skillet over high heat for 5 minutes, until very hot. Add the mussels in a single layer and cook them for 1 minute (until they start to open). Add the wine and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes, until mussels are fully opened and just cooked. (Discard any that don’t open.) Remove from heat and sprinkle the mussels generously with the salt and pepper mixture.
Where to Buy Ingredients:
For quality meats and accoutrements (chimichurri, truffle butter, etc):
1909 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103
ph: (415) 525-4239
For quality seafood:
Sun Fat Seafood
2687 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110
ph: (415) 282-9339
The first time I tried Burmese cuisine was on a trip to San Francisco in 2008 to visit my bro. I was on a big foodie kick and wanted to try all the hip, budget spots in town. One night he took me to Burma SuperStar!, where — just as for the thousand of palates before mine and the thousands after — the tea leaf salad made my tastebuds dance.
Now, five years later, I’m living in the Bay and eating more Burmese. In LA, it’s much more about Thai. But I’ve noticed that up here, it’s Burmese.
When we were in Menlo Park, we loved to eat at Rangoon Ruby. But we thought the price point was a bit high. So we’re glad that in our new ‘hood we have Burma Cafe which is a viable take-out option but an equally nice, casual dine-in experience. (Just don’t let the strip mall atmosphere scare you off — it’s totally harmless!)
We like to begin our meals with some Tiger, a Malaysian beer. It really pairs well with the Burmese flavors. Then the tea salad to start, which always comes composed and is mixed at the table. The fermented tea leaves are completely craveworthy (even for someone with a more timid palate like my husband’s).
Another dish we always order is the Nan Gyi Dok, a mild coconut curry served over chicken with rice noodles, eggs, and fried onions. I equate it to the pad thai of Burmese food — that noodle dish, crowd pleaser.
And on this particular visit, we also ordered the green beans and shrimp, the Burmese empanadas, and the coconut rice. The rice was lovely and the shrimp was fresh but the empanadas were a greasy miss.
Overall, really delicious food that isn’t served with a side of hype. xx
63 St Francis Square, Daly City, CA 94015
ph: (650) 992-6363
Using Thursday as an excuse to throw it way back to 2006 (read: this blog’s photographer was in Mexico for his day job and we didn’t shoot anything this week besides puppy photos).
A little shoot around NYC (mostly in the Meatpacking District) for a project that never fully left the ground. What a pain to be a surfer in NYC. When I lived there, I would escape to New Jersey or Long Island on the weekends but at least I had my truck. Hats off to you New Yorkers who lug boards onto the subways and trains out to Rockaway for dawn patrols on weekdays.
Looking back, my style was very relaxed and casual: a tee with shorts or a breezy dress. It was definitely influenced by surfing and parking lot changing. Now my style is composed of a few more elements, a product of so many lives already lived.
It’s always fun to take a look into the archive and see a little blast from the past just to see where you’ve been and where you’re going. xx
Bleached, L to R: Current/Elliott The Stiletto Jeans in Crazy Wash | Zara Super-Skinny Bleached Jeans | ASOS Ridley Supersoft High Waisted Ultra Skinny Jeans In Bleach Out Wash
Distressed, L to R: Free People Destroyed Ankle Skinny in Black Cloud | Rag & Bone Distressed Mid-Rise Skinny Capri Jeans | Zara Slim Boyfriend Jeans
Dark Wash, L to R: MOTHER Looker Skinny Jeans | Anine Bing Skinny Jeans Double Zipper – Charcoal | ACNE Skin 5 Pocket Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans
Organizing my pants drawer led to the realization that I actually don’t own very many pairs of jeans (not including colored/patterned denim). Perhaps not too odd for some wardrobes, but I used to be quite vain about my denim collection. Then styles changed and I sold five pairs of 7 For all Mankind jeans and stored two pairs for those rainy days (or for when styles come full circle).
I think it’s about time that I invest in one (or all three) of the current denim trends: bleached, distressed, or dark wash. Zara offers options that run the gamut. I already ordered the ASOS bleached jeans and am mulling over the distressed ones from Free People. It’s high time my denim collection came back up to speed. xx
We brought home Little Miss Penelope Lane on Friday (which solves the mystery as to what we were up to all weekend). Raising Layla taught us so much about the Queensland Heeler puppy raising process. The breed (aka Australian Cattle Dog) is loyal, active, and smart (perhaps too smart). The Cattle Dog puppy needs structure, regular mental stimulation, and exposure to new situations at an early age (to prevent fearfulness).
We made a mistake with Layla: we overprotected. I had a terrible experience as a teen with my adopted black lab puppy who came home from the animal shelter with parvovirus, a fatal disease. Puppies are the most susceptible to parvo because they aren’t fully vaccinated against the disease for a few months (which is transmitted through fecal matter of infected dogs). But because there’s an incubation period of 5-7 days, we had no clue that my black lab had the virus until we brought her home. After extensive vet care, the vet gave the clear to bring her home. I was ecstatic. But a couple hours before picking her up, she made a turn for the worse and passed away.
The experience was traumatizing. So when we brought home Layla (just over two years ago), we barely let her leave our property until she was fully vaccinated. Although we kept her healthy, she missed out on experiencing the world at large from a very young age.
Cue the puppy bjorn by Kyjen. By wearing Penelope in the carrier, we can keep her safe from the diseases on the ground while keeping Layla happy and active. And for Penny’s potty needs while out and about, we cart sod around in the back of the car — yes, we really are that kind of people. xx
(Sorry for a dose of sadness in this post but I wasn’t hip to parvo until I experienced it, and I hope to bring more awareness and prevention to this awful disease.)
Mother’s Day 2013 was yesterday, and between Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, this year was next level in terms of folks honoring the lovely mother-figures in their lives. Brendan and I have four ladies we call Mom (or something close to it). I wanted to do something for these awesome women in addition to the little gifts we sent their ways. As a kid, drawing and painting was my jam. But with surfing, riding, school, etc., I was pulled in a million directions and the art fell to the wayside. It was actually Layla that inspired me to start drawing again. My muse, if you will. So she (and Penelope, our new puppy) graced the DIY Mother’s Day cards I made for the special occasion.
To show a little of my process, I started with some general shapes based off of a photograph and then filled in the details as I went, bit by bit:
The original photo that I used for this portrait:
My Mother’s Day gift from my girls was a new sketchbook (and colored pencils) for more drawings. Maybe next time, they’ll be in color. xx
If allowed only one S.F. restaurant to eat at for the rest of time (and out of my own wallet), I’d choose Beretta in the Mission, which serves Italian small plates and pizzas with inventive cocktails and well curated wines. It may not be on the highest level in the city, but it consistently puts out delicious, seasonal dishes with high quality, farmers market produce in a darkly lit, hipster-friendly setting. And all this at a great price point, making it one of the best food values in San Francisco.
On a recent visit, my parents, my hubs, my bro, and I ordered (L to R, Top to Bottom):
- Deep fried crab arancini served with a calabrese aioli $10
- Eggplant caponatina $6
- Gnocchi with porcini & smoked pancetta $9
- Mussels al guazzetto $9
- Broccolini with peperoncino & garlic $6
- Saffron risotto with osso buco $16
- Pizza w/ prosciutto di parma, tomato, arugula & mozzarella $15 (w/ anchovy +$2)
- Budino di cioccolato $8
- Tiramisù with rum-mascarpone $7
All were delicious, nothing was a miss — although the desserts are the weak link. Some portions were awkward to divide amongst our party of five. But no portion was too small to leave anyone hanging.
And a couple of our favorite cocktails (not pictured):
- Paper Tiger: bourbon, cocchi americano, amaro, bitters $10
- Nuestra Paloma: tequila, elderflower, cointreau, grapefruit, bitters $10
To top our evening off, we quaffed a bottle of Chappellet Pritchard Hill 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon (packed in my father’s suitcase from L.A., coming full circle back to NorCal). Wine Enthusiast Magazine describes it as “a sweet, delicious Cabernet that’s a touch warm in alcohol, but lush and refined.” Lush and refined it was — the best wine the hubs and I have had in a long time. xx
1199 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
ph: (415) 695-1199
*only accepts reservations for parties of 6+
Today, I guest blogged over at The Coyote Thistle, a very cool L.A. lifestyle blog. So head on over there to find out my beginner-friendly tips for surfing my homebreak El Porto — plus, where to find this leg-baring Spring suit wetsuit.
Editing photos for the guest post led me down memory lane to the beginnings of the 9’4″ single fin longboard, shaped by the amazing Tim Stamps. It all began with a shirt I saw while browsing through a department store (Bloomie’s? Nordstrom’s? Can’t remember). I fell for the sorbet colors — not to wear but for a surfboard.
I texted the fabric swatch to Tim, and he brought the art to life in the shape of the noseriding log of my dreams. The long point rides scored on this board — from Noosa to Fiji to Malibu — convinced me that there’s most definitely magic shaped into the foam.
Admittedly, the board doesn’t love beach breaks. But maybe I need to play around with the fin a bit more. Then again, what single fin log thrives in a punchy beach break?
A new longboard may be in my near future. Most likely a tri-fin for my new homebreak Linda Mar. I just need some new fashion inspiration to spark the process. xx