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Baker Beach Celebration

Posted on September 23, 2013

Andrew and I did a bike day together to celebrate his job offer at ElaCarte. A hubby-wife lay off combination is not fun, and so we are VERY relieved. Here’s our route:

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We started at home and went to the Wave Organ, it was a beautiful sunny day, and the America’s Cup was there too, which we did not foresee, but it was still rad. We went at high tide, the optimal time to go!

What an awesome view!

What an awesome view!

After the Organ, we hit up Baker Beach, and man was I huffing. We of course went the most hilly way. Here I am at the top though, it was pretty stunning!

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Baker Beach is the beach that is known by the locals to be the favorite beach in SF. It’s also known as the nude beach-coincidence?? I think it’s mainly a favorite because of the stunning view of the Golden Gate Bridge, and because it’s mostly bay side, and on the West side of the bridge, and very off the beaten path, it’s quieter than the Wharf, um it’s not the Wharf at all, no tourists, not as cold and windy as Ocean Beach, and it’s just beautiful to see SeaCliff to the west, the bridge to the east, and hilly woods to the south. Drew and I meditated to the sound of the ocean:)

The bridge between us

The bridge between us

 

After Baker Beach, we biked to the Sunset and checked out a food co-op there called Other Avenues, and then ate at a raw vegan eatery called Judahlicious. Hehe-pretty great. I forget what I had, but it looked like this:

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It was raw veggies on top of seeded bread, drizzled with cashew sauce, pesto, and a turmeric sauce. I also had a blue green algae shot and a water kefir from the co-op. NOM!

Then we went home, phew! It was nice to do a day together of exploring.

KRAUTIN’

Posted on September 14, 2013

A few months ago I went to the Maker Faire, a big festival where many creatives come together to show off stuff they make. I was hoping it would be a ton of artsy crafty maker booths, which there were some, but most of it was more mechanical mind oriented. They did however have a nice handful of food making companies, and my favorite thing I did was learn how to make sauerkraut from Happy Girl Kitchen Co. I had no idea it was THIS easy! It was really fun making it with others-and the instructor had such a great farm-boy energy.

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Collective krautin’

I have never even really been in to sauerkraut before, I never had it growing up, and I still don’t even really know how to use it in cooking besides adding onto a sandwich or along side a dish. BUT-I do know it’s one of those healthy fermented foods that you can never really get enough of, so of course my interest is peaked.

So this week, I did all the steps to make my first batch on my own:

Ingredients (makes four 16oz jars):

  • 1 large head of cabbage (green or purple, or both and mix it to make bright pink kraut!)
  • 1.5 T Non-iodized salt (they say this is important, iodine will disrupt the fermentation process)
  • Recycled glass jars with lids that can seal (I used 4 old Cultured sauerkraut containers)
  • Any extra veggies or spices that you want to add to the kraut (beets, turnips, onion, garlic, bell pepper, cauliflower, leek, carrot, daikon, fennel, burdock, brussel sprouts, ginger, etc). You can also add fruit like apples, raisins.
  • Large knife for cutting, and large mixing bowl
  1. Chop cabbage and other veggies finely into the big mixing bowl (the more finely you cut it, the more surface area the cabbage will have to soak in the salt and ferment, so it could ferment more quickly or more slowly depending on how finely you chop)
Cabbage has it's own little world going on inside.

Cabbage has it’s own little world going on inside.

2. Sprinkle salt on the cabbage veggie mix.

3. Take your hands and start to mix and massage the mix, making a squeezing motion with each hand like you’re squeezing a stress ball, distributing the sprinkled salt evenly around the cabbage. Do this for several minutes until you start to notice the crunchy dry cabbage breaking down a bit from the salt and pressure of your hands, and transforming into softer and wet cabbage with a shimmer, getting more and more translucent. This means the salt is successfully pulling water out of the veggie mix and breaking down the fiber.

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Making stuff with my hands is my therapy.

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Exercise!

4. Once there is a healthy amount of brine (water salt mixture) at the bottom of the bowl (maybe at least a cup worth). Then you can start packing the kraut into the jars, but leave a half inch space from the top so the kraut can expand if needed. Pack tightly, and try to evenly distribute the brine at the bottom, ideally the brine will reach near the top of the jar, so that all the kraut will ferment evenly.

5. Put the lids on, but not air tight, because the pressure from fermentation will build and need to be released. You may also use a rag and rubber band to secure the top. Bottom line-this living kraut needs to breathe!

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Look at that purple juice!

6. Wait a few hours, open up jar lids and push down the kraut with your hands to get the kraut submerged in the brine. If there’s not enough brine to do this after a few hours, make a salt solution (1 T salt to 1 c water) and fill jars the rest of the way up to the top (still leaving a half inch of space from the top to breathe).

7. After that, secure the lids gently, leaving some air space, label your jars with the date, and let fermentation happen!

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8. Check back every few days if you want to make sure there is no mold or submersion issues with the kraut. Kraut should take 2-4 weeks at 70-75 degrees to fully ferment, and 5-6 weeks at 60 degrees(San Francisco).

9. Taste test it to see if it needs more time or not. If you think it’s ready, secure the lids tight and stick them in the fridge if you want fermentation to slow down-otherwise it will continue to ferment especially in warm climates.

 

 

 

Life is back to Normal-Insanity

Posted on March 16, 2012

As opposed to Insanity-Insanity…which would be this past winter. I took this health test recently and it had a section on stress. If you scored over 300 you were considered highly stressed. Here’s my list:

  • Major family illness or behavior
  • Change of sleeping habits
  • Change of job
  • Change of residence
  • Change of living conditions (remodeling, roommates, pets)
  • Major change in finances
  • Change in responsibilities at work
  • Purchase of major items
  • Long family trip
  • Christmas
  • Being laid off of work
I scored a 319…so I’m highly out-of-my mind stressed.

It all started in December, when we had to start looking for a new place to live by late December…oh you know, holiday time. Shopping for gifts will work its way in there somehow. We didn’t go home, but had a wonderful Christmas with my hubby and Ryan, Drew’s brother. We did some yoga in the morning and went to Om Shan Tea for a Christmas vegan potluck dinner…it was different, just what I like.

Merry ChrisTEAmas!

Merry ChrisTEAmas!

We found an abode to call our own, just in time, and it’s been QUITE an adjustment, for several reasons. I have made a commitment to fixing up the place, making it HOME as opposed to a white walled cube that we inhabit for one year at a time. I’m very thankful to have found a great location in the city that both Drew and I love, it’s right next to Dolores Park, otherwise known as one of the great hipster parks in the city. There are also tons of beautiful men walking beautiful dogs on our street, who can argue with that?

We have a small two bedroom place. It’s taken a lot of fixing up to get it to where I want it to be, which is at the level of FABULOUS. Below are a few before and after pics that I threw together. That is, I threw together the pics-the actual spaces were a lot of work and FUN!

Kitchen:

Sunshine walls!

Kitchen Pantry:

Exposed and accessible

Bathroom:

Going for the modern spa look:)

Master Bedroom Closet:

Elfa component system at work

Here’s what I added to the kitchen today, a TOTALLY fun spice project:

Purdy pigments

I also painted the living room a bright “new lime” color, the hallway a “citrus blast” orange color, and the entrance way a “true blue” sky color…stay tuned for those before and after pics…and the bedroom!

So…here’s the proof of those changes in living conditions and major purchases, thankfully I worked at The Container Store as a seasonal employee for just the right amount of time for me to buy what we wanted at a generous employee discount of 40-50% off. Woo!!

In January, I went home to see my folks. It was a much needed trip, but was difficult timing because we had just moved into our place a few weeks ago. In February, I also started working as a game tester for a fashion game company. It’s totally fun and I love the environment, I’m very grateful to be there. AND I get to dress how I want, no more uniform-laden jobs! I swear I was going to lose my sense of fashion all together if I had to put on another black shirt with khakis for one more work day-EWW.

I find I’m actually very out of practice in getting dressed in the morning. I just stare into my closet, forgetting how many awesome combinations of crazy fun I can adorn myself with. I’m so used to grabbing the same outfit every day, it’s sad. But I’m getting back into the swing of it.

In terms of what I’m doing to help lower my stress levels….um….NOT having major change in every area of my life each month. I’m also cracking down more on eating well and exercise, and getting to bed before midnight, something I have slacked on over the winter since my focus has been so scattered.

In March, our roommate moved in. So yeah…things are starting to settle in now, finally…for a few weeks at least, until we get a kitten!