A little bit of news….we are moving to LA. Holy sh@!#$$t.
We move in a couple days and I don’t think it has quite hit me yet. It is all a very long story that I won’t bore you with, but we are making the move south from the Bay Area to LA. And I am both excited and nervous. Excited to live in a new city and explore new places and try new things but nervous because I have been to LA a total of three times, one of those times was when I was 13 years old. So there is that. (For the record 13 yr old Amanda quite enjoyed it though)
So what does that mean? Well for one thing it means I am going freelance. I am going to be doing some recipe development and food media content creation and spending a whole lot more time in this space. I have some tricks up my sleeve to make this little corner of the web a little better so stay tuned for that. Also you will be hearing a lot of more about places to eat and visit in LA. The only thing I am worried about is spending my days in my pjs and the only person/creature I talk to is Chumley (not that that is a bad thing) Day three as a freelancer is underway and I am proud to report that I at least brushed my teeth today.
Everyone has been asking me whether I am sad to leave San Francisco. The short answer is yes, very much so. I moved to SF 9 1/2 years ago. Almost a decade of my life has been in the Bay Area and for that I am truly grateful. You know that saying – I left my heart in SF – it is a saying because it is true – there is no other Bay Area around and I will always have a place in my heart for it.
I am sad for the memories and nostalgia that lives in SF and other corners of the Bay Area. Every neighborhood brings up a memory and that is what I am going to miss. The ability to know an area and have it feel like home with all of those sweet memories dancing along in your past. So yes I am going to miss San Francisco because it is filled with amazing memories and people I love.
That is what I am going to miss the most -the friends that we have made over the years that live in the Bay Area. I know that we will make more friends in LA, (hopefully) but we have been so fortunate to have had such a great groups of friends that have become like family. When you live so far away from your real family, you make your friends your family. Case in point, Friendsgivng.
I am also going to miss Oakland. Like real bad. I have totally fallen in love with this area – between the food and the general feel of this place, I found my people. Oakland has so much to offer and I am so fortunate that I at least got to spend a couple years here exploring and realizing there is an ever better life on the right side of the bay. Oh and I am going to miss my gorgeous kitchen I renovated in Oakland. That too. My vintage stove!!
But I am excited. I am excited for the possibilities that LA can offer. The adventures. The people I am going to meet. The sunshine, palm trees and more time at the beach. Weekend trips to Palm Springs,the wineries on the central coast, Santa Barbara, Ojai and San Diego. All great things.
Stay tuned for this wild ride – I have some recipes coming down the pike while we find a place (and a nice kitchen to cook in) so I am not going to leave you hanging but if you want to check in and see what I am up to real-time, head on over to Instagram or on Snapchat (handle: a_frederickson).
Peace out SF, hello Lalaland.
I love a good margarita. Don’t give me a sugary drink that has sweet and sour mix. No way – that is a one way ticket to a hangover. Give me a simple but delicious margarita made with tequila, lime juice, and simple syrup. Oh and my secret ingredient, elderberry liquor ( St. Germain). Elderberry gives the margarita a sweet fragrant -but no overpowering -floral taste which I am obsessed with. If elderberry is not your thing just replace with cointreau or skip it all together. Here is a little video I created showing you how to create the perfect margarita. Pair it with some guacamole and maybe a taco or two and you have the world’s most perfect meal.
Happy Cinco de Mayo!
You guys, I had one of the coolest afternoons yesterday. Don’t judge me because I am a total dork but I had a meeting at one of the cookbook publishing mecca’s -Ten Speed Press. I know this is so unexciting to you but really exciting to me – I am a huge fan (borderline hoarder) of cookbooks and in all the land, Ten Speed produces some of my favorites. The halls were lined with gorgeous pictures of food and the best part was I got to go into their library where I was literally surrounded wall to wall with every cookbook I could dream of. I died. Honest to goodness heaven for a cookbook hoarder. I could just move in and be surrounded by cookbooks and live happily ever after.
I think in a past life I lived some exotic gorgeous Mediterranean or middle eastern country. I know that sounds crazy, but I am totally drawn to that type of food – food that is loaded with olive oil, chickpeas, yogurt, pomegranate, spices, lemons, dates, tahini – the list could go on. Flavorful and simple food. When I see something with any of these flavors on a menu I automatically order them. I recently had this amazingly delicious chicken dish at a California/Mediterranean restaurant in San Francisco and I had an epiphany, the secret to juicy chicken is yogurt.
A lot of the Middle Eastern/Mediterranean cuisines marinates their meat (especially chicken and lamb) in yogurt and it transforms it into juicy and tender goodness. To me chicken can be so boring and tasteless. It is the easiest thing over cook and there is nothing worse than an overcooked piece of chicken that is dry and stringy. But yogurt changes all of that so I decided to create my own easy and simple version of yogurt marinated chicken.
Full confession, I love hippie food. The crazier concoction the better. If it looks like twigs and berries and promises that it is good for me I am sold. I think this fascination with natural foods comes from walking the aisles of a natural food store growing up. I can still smell that store – with its carob chips pretending to be chocolate chips and patchouli soap (I still love both for the record). My fascination continues since we live so close to Berkeley’s famous Berkley Bowl, where it seems cool to be into natural food stores. (I think I found my people!)
I spent this past weekend in LA. I love LA… I think. Or maybe strongly like. I used to overlook it as a town filled with nothing but movie star hopefuls but the more time I spend there, the more I am drawn to it. Although for the record I do not love the traffic. It is a whole different beast compared to the Bay Area. However I do love the food world there. There is some really interesting stuff happening with food and I was excited to get a glimpse of it this past weekend. I was in town for a food conference (IACP) which is a food industry conference that focused a lot on social media, blogs and video this year. It was really interesting to see what people are doing in this space. It is almost like the Wild West in that the possibilities are endless, especially in online food video/YouTube. Really inspiring. So if I can just get over looking at myself on camera I am going to put out some YouTube videos (there are already some of me for Williams-Sonoma floating around which you can view here. Eeks! )
But while I get more conformable seeing my face and hearing my voice on a computer I have started making quick “how to” videos for Instagram and I am in love. I have always been drawn to digital media and the intersection of food and digital media makes me very happy. I posted a video last night of how to make this cake – check it out, it is pretty fun.
I feel like I have been running around like a crazy person lately. Not sure why but life is just busy right now. Busy and a little bit in flux but I guess that is life, right?
It was Luke’s birthday this week so we have been doing a little celebrating. This past weekend I hosted a little get together for friends. Our house isn’t that huge but I love having everyone over to celebrate – so much easier than trying to coordinate a restaurant. So we just pile everyone in and they sit and eat wherever they can find a spot. Plus we are so lucky, we have too many friends to fit in a restaurant. The dinner was totally easy and casual – the hardest part was cleaning up our back. After all the rain the Bay Area has had over the past few months, our backyard looked like a jungle. Our backyard is one of my favorite parts of this house. It is small but there is a table, an outdoor fire pit and some string lights – all you need for a party. We have had pretty epic nights back there. On my list is to really make it nice with plants and landscaping but one thing at a time right?
After the little birthday dinner we woke up Sunday morning and drove down to Carmel. We are so fortunate to live in a place that has the best weekend trips. We usually go north to wine country or out to the coast but lately we have been gravitating to Carmel lately. We stayed at the Carmel Valley Ranch and it was spectacular. (Side note to California residents – they give a huge discount to California residents on Sunday nights). We drove down to Big Sur Bakery for dinner which for the record is one of my favorite restaurants. It is literally right next to a gas station but has the most delicious fresh, California inspired food that I love (I also adore their cookbook, it is one of my favorites).