Strawberry Basil Gin Fizz

I started to get a complex about my love of whiskey,  mostly because it is a manly drink and it is also a hearty, smokey, dead of winter drink. I had been curious about trying other types of fancy cocktails but it is just so easy to order what you know and love – which is whiskey these days. But I recently discovered this amazing “bottle” shop here in Oakland called Alchemy Bottle Shop that is everything a liquor store should be – curated, well designed and best of all friendly and helpful. I thought this is the perfect place to explore. First up gin –  and I am hooked. Consider me a gin drinker if I can always have gin in the form of a strawberry basil gin fizz. It is the perfect cocktail for summer.
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Good Eggs

It seems like every day there is a new hip tech start-up founded here in the Bay Area. This area is an incubator for all sorts of great and crazy ideas. Some stick around, some fade away and some change the world.  Good Eggs, a food-tech start-up, is one of those startups that is going to change the way we shop for groceries…and the world. Just you wait. Founded by two Google alums, Good Eggs connects small local farms and artisanal food producers with customers.  With operations in SF, LA, New Orleans and New York, their ultimate goal is to help grow and sustain local food worldwide by connecting suppliers with customers like you and me. The idea behind it is that if you support local food, you are not only getting great food but you are helping the people behind the food, the environment and animal welfare.  It is a lofty goal, but someone needs to do it.

I met my first Good Eggs employee back in January. A fellow blogger,  we were on the same flight from San Francisco to Salt Lake City for a blogging conference. I noticed immediately that she was wearing a Good Eggs necklace. She was wearing the name of the company she worked for around her neck…on her free time! I was shocked (because no offense to my current or past employers, I don’t think I would ever wear their name around my neck unless they paid me, and then still…!?). But she was really proud that she worked there and wanted to tell people about it, which is really special and pretty rare.  So when Good Eggs invited me to lunch at their headquarters a couple weeks ago – I had to see what this was all about. After a tour of the facility and an amazing lunch, let me tell you, if they had given me a necklace when I left, I would be wearing it now too. I have a serious crush on this company.
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Nectarine and Tomato Salad

Last week I had the chance to check out a dinner at 18 reasons. 18 reasons is a great organization which has cooking classes and generally supports the food movement happening here in the Bay Area. The reason I went though was to enjoy a feast by two amazing bloggers/cooks/artists – Kimberly Hasselbrink from The Year in Food and Erin Gleeson from The Forest Feast. They both have beautiful blogs and have come out with cookbooks recently.  They joined forces in creating a “Vibrant Feast” – 4 courses of fresh, delicious, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes. The menu included an amazing roasted red pepper soup, as well a zucchini pasta dish with green goddess dressing and finished with a perfect summer fruit crisp.  But the one dish I am still dreaming about is Erin’s nectarine and tomato salad.
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My Food Philosophy

So I have been thinking about this post for a while. Mostly because I find that people have such strong food views, especially in the land of online media. Maybe that is why food is so powerful – people have such passion for it.  Blogs and websites are created specifically to focus on vegan, gluten-free, paleo, raw food-  the list seems to go on forever. I have struggled to outright say that I have a firm food belief on here. Because I do and I don’t. I should be gluten-free but I can’t resist a freshly baked loaf of bread. I should cut out dairy and eggs but I don’t (I am pretty good about the eggs since I am literally allergic to them). I work in a test kitchen so I am around food all day long and there are things I can pass up pretty easily while others I can’t resist. All of this is to say I believe in moderation and when I can, try to eat fresh, seasonal, simple food.  So there you have it – there is my food philosophy.  I know this is a boring food philosophy and a little wishy washy, but it works for me. At the end of the day I want this site to be a celebration of food that is fresh, seasonal, delicious, sometimes healthy and sometimes out of control decadent. That to me is a life well lived.
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Dark Paint Colors in a Bedroom

So I have this crazy thought, maybe we should paint our bedroom a dark paint color. Not a dark greige or tan, but like a deep dark blue or dare I say it black (gasp!).  I know, I sound like I am goth and all but I kind of love it. Our new bedroom gets a ton of natural light  - we have big beautiful windows that face the Oakland Hills. They are awesome but this is also facing where the sun rises in the morning. Since we have all this natural light (I am not complaining), I wanted to make the room cozy and I think it could handle it. I have absolutely no reason to believe this, but I just feel it. So here are some inspirational pics of dark bedrooms. Am I crazy or could dark paint colors in a bedroom be cool?
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Food for Thought

I have a confession – I love all of the cheesy motivational sayings that you find on Pinterest. They really make me happy for some reason. Not sure why but I love them and have started a board with all the ones I have found. The cheesier the better in my opinion. So in honor of Friday and the fact that the weekend is so close I am can almost feel it, here are some of my favorite food for thought quotes to get you through the day.
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S’mores Cupcakes

I have to admit, I don’t really like camping. I am sorry, I know, I know but it is not really my jam. I can go glamping, but camping without running water, electricity or bathrooms isn’t really how I like to spend my time off. We did go fake camping last summer and it was amazing but there were fire pits, bathrooms and I brought a well stocked cooler that included watermelon margaritas and artisanal hot dogs. Is that even considered camping?  But you know what i do love about camping – s’mores. Ooey goey s’mores. Nothing beats those suckers. But since I am not going to find myself camping anytime soon or in front of a fire pit, I decided I need to be able to get that taste and those flavors all year-long.  What is the perfect vehicle for these? Cupcakes. So the next time you want all those delicious camping flavors but can’t bring yourself to go camping make these s’mores cupcakes and it will be just like the real thing.
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Scenes from a long holiday weekend

How was your long weekend? Was it amazing? Mine sure was and I whole heartedly wish it was still going on. We usually tend to travel over three-day weekends – mostly because we feel like we need to make the most of it. But this past long weekend we stayed in the Bay Area and it was perfection. We did a lot of exploring of Oakland which made me really happy. I recently picked up this great book, This is Oakland and basically followed it to a tee. I am totally digging Oakland (if you can’t tell) between the sunshine and great food, it is quickly becoming my happy place.  Here are some scenes from a long holiday weekend.
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