Tag Archives: Pizza

The Phood of January

18 Mar

The rumors are true.  I actually phell off the phace of the Earth.  It was quite an experience, but thanks to these new gravity boots, I’m doing quite well. (That was for you, Dainty…)

So it’s 2012, and the blogging will continue until morale improves…  but with a phew changes.

  • #1- I plan to post weekly, because the whole every day concept was simply ludicrous.  Unless y’all want to pay me to blog.  If so, let’s talk.  I am MORE than willing to be as ludicrous as you’d like if there’s actual cash involved.  Or a book deal.  I could handle that, too.  Or phood.  Well, really just pizza and wings.
  • #2- I am tired of carrying my big phancy camera around (not that I don’t absolutely adore my amazing camera- one of The Phella’s best gift ideas!) but it gets to be too much at times, epecially when pholks start to stare and become convinced I am a restaurant critic… (if I was, wouldn’t I be a bit more stealthy, I’d hope?).  So moral of that story- I am testing out an iPhone photo only approach.  I have downloaded the Camera+ app, which thus phar, I am rather pleased with, and we’ll see how it goes.
  • #3- I have some major catching up to do, but now that I’ve got a phabulous new computer, the process should lack the trials and tribulations I grew accustomed to with the old (and now suicidal) dinosaur of a laptop that I had.

So here’s January.  It was a busy month…

We got back from a phabulous 10 day cruise, and coming back to reality was lame to say the least.

The Ducks won the Rose Bowl (The Phella was VERY excited about this, while I could not have cared less.  You see, as much as I love him, I am a Beaver… and anyone who knows anything about college sports and the state of Oregon, we are destined to hate one another for life.  Ah well, keeps it interesting!)

We both attempted the two week long Special K Challenge.  No real positive effects for either of us (not to mention I phound it pretty impossible to stick to, as I’m such a social eater.)

We gained a new pooch, Clover, a spirited and slobbery English Bulldog who will make her debut in phuture posts…

I went to San Francisco and then San Diego to celebrate Dainty’s 30th birthday.  Like the phirst ant at a picnic, we’re all taking the plunge this year… so I’ll say it right now.  Don’t judge me for what I eat in May when I start to eat my pheelings.

I learned that baking bread in a toaster oven was not the best idea I’d ever had.  I also learned that if you simply cut off the part of the loaf that caught on phire, nobody will complain.

Oh, and both of my parents came to visit on separate occasions, hence the justification for the ridiculously gluttonous meals at The Press Bistro and The Mustard Seed… and Monticello Seasonal Cuisine… twice.  So not my phault!

WordPress Phreaking Hates Me

30 Nov

So, this would be attempt number phour to post this post.  WordPress has decided to delete my past three attempts over the last phew days.  So excuse me for my terseness and possible typos (and yes, I know not proofreading is an editor’s cardinal sin, and I am an editor, so this isn’t cool)… although I am so darn behind, I suppose it serves me right somehow.

Long, long ago in a phar away land called Davis (actually it was October 22), we had a Pham reunion.  Paper Bag was already in town, Boot drove in from SF and Dainty, a mere seven or so hours delayed, arrived via plane.  The day started with  more of my homemade tomatoe jam.

After breakfast, Paper Bag, Phooey and I took a long walk around the entire UC Davis campus.  It well justified my leftovers salad I made for lunch, potatoe salad topping and all!

It also justified us going to a bar in the middle of the day and eating pizza, right?  Right.  I knew you’d agree.

This particular bar, housed in one of the Best Westerns in Davis, boasts a phamed drink called the Wicky Wacky Woo.  They had to be ordered, right?  Right.  The 151 they pour into the straw was notable, as was the drink’s ability to magically transport me back to the pheeling of being 19 again.

Thank you, college town, thank you.

Once The Pham (minus Snow White) was reunited, we headed out for dinner at Sophia’s Thai Kitchen, with Boot as our designated driver since she announced that she is preggers once we all got together!  Hooray for a new addition to The Pham!!!  I was too excited by the aforementioned phact to pay attention to what we ate…

Upon return from dining and drinking, we decided to watch UP, the incomparable Disney Pixar collaboration and one of the most beautiful love stories I know.  Paper Bag had never seen it, so we stocked up on tissues and hunkered down… I subbed potatoe salad for tissue.  It needed to be done, right?  Right.  I’m so glad we are on the same page!

Paper Bag did not shed a single tear during the movie, confirming previous suspicions that she may or may not have a soul.  Maybe I should change her nickname to Soulless Wonder?  Just kidding, phriend!  We know you have a soul, it’s just hidden behind layer upon layer of ice and stone, of course. 😉

The next morning, we tried out Delta of Venus, a delightfully odd vegetarian haven littered with grad students and those that embrace counter-culture as a phat kid does cake.  Loved everything about it, and the Adam’s Special (I think I have the name right) was serrano-tastic!

P.S.  If you visit deltaofvenus.com, you get an experience having very little to do with breakfast or vegetarians.  Just sayin’… I phound that out very accidentally.  Oh, the things you learn when you blog…

We met The Phella for post-breakfast phro yo at Sugar Plum.  I went with pumpkin this time (I must say, while I have only sampled three of the eleventy billion phrozen yogurt establishments in this tiny town, I think this place’s phlavors really kick ass… just like unicorns).  The stale marshmallows were not exceptionally enjoyable, but they can’t all be winners, kid.

After The Pham went its separate ways, The Phella and I made dinner at home.  It started with a potatoe salad appetizer, which was highly necessary.

We tried roasting a head of elephant garlic and eating that with an assortment of cheese and more of my tomatoe jam.  Note to self- while bigger is actually better in some situations, it is most certainly not when it comes to garlic.  Bad choice…

We grilled up some tasty steaks and smothered them in horseradish and A-1 Sauce.  Sometimes, I am classy like that.  Don’t even get me started on A-1 Bold & Spicy.  Can you tell when I begin to drool while typing?

I wasn’t ready for Monday to come, so phorgot to make breakfast.  I ate Phriday night’s leftovers for lunch.


My neighbors invited me over for a BBQ dinner.  Will I actually be successful in making some new phriends in this town?  Holy awesome, Batman!  …Especially because these ones can cook!

On Tuesday, I rode the wave of social non-ineptness and actually went out to lunch with a coworker (the one who’s the big Giants phan!)  We had salads at Pluto’s (a spot that had been recommended to me by multiple previous Davisites), and it did not disappoint.  Although, I was so excited to have made a phriend, I could have been eating cardboard and not minded a bit.  Wow, that sentence just sealed the phate on my phuture possible coolness, didn’t it.  Ok, who am I kidding?  Being cool was never in the cards for me.  I’ll cry about it later. 🙂

I attempted to serve up some young coconut as a pre-dinner snack, but that was an impulse buy I should have resisted.  So much work, so little (and so slimy) reward.

Romaine and radish salad…

…and chicken and spaghetti squash for dinner.

Wednesday started with pseudo-sausage.

… and a Reese’s peanut butter cup.

My coworkers invited me to Thai Canteen to celebrate one of their birthdays.  I enjoyed some spicy tofu (not bad but Taste of Thai is still my phavorite Thai spot so phar in the area).

I met the phellow I dined with the weekend before (Boot’s baby brother-in-law, actually) at Mikuni in Sacramento for a phish phiesta.  I let him do the ordering, so I don’t really know what we ate, other than it was all splendid (aside from the chocolate cake, which I phorced myself to eat one bite of to be polite- mind you, I am sure any normal person would tell you that cake was delicious, but we have established my lack of normalcy, have we not?)

On Thursday, I tried to keep the doctor away.

But in doing so, phorgot to eat lunch.  The Phella and I ordered take out from Ding How after I got home from work- won ton soup and pork buns to start (in my awesome new soup bowl/plate combo doohickeys that the kind staff of the Gilroy B&B brought me- have I mentioned lately how much I adore them?)

The soup was super, the pork buns were alright and the mushu was a mistake.  Do those look like mushu pancakes to you, or do they look like store-bought tortillas?  Exactly.

Asian burritos, anyone?  I think I’ll pass…

Phriday was a hectic day, as I spent the morning putting together phinal touches for our Halloween costumes (inspired by the movie, UP), so I ran out of time for breakfast and left my lunch sitting on my kitchen counter.  That made for one starving gal when I got home.

Pepper jack and crack to the rescue!

Another romaine and radish salad.  Thrilling, I know…

Homemade carrot ginger coconut soup (recipe courtesy of Joy the Baker, who just announced she’s coming out with a cookbook!).  Excellent and idiot-proof recipe.  We shall all be seeing more of this soup…

We then headed off into the night to attend our phirst of a phew Halloween parties, looking terrifyingly similar to the characters we wished to portray (and equally embarrassing).  If I allowed human phaces on my blog, I’d had to show you a picture, but I don’t, so I won’t.

Phew!  That was close.  I have a reputation to uphold!

Um, wait…

Week Three for Me…

19 Nov

Saturday, October 15th started off with some peas-nuts and a phlurry of cleaning phrenzy, as my mother was coming to visit along with the owners of my phavorite B&B of all time (I know I’ve mentioned this heavenly spot in Gilroy before… you should all be so lucky as to experience the unsurpassed hospitality…)

Once they all arrives, we walked through the Pharmers Market and around downtown until we phound ourselves at Village Pizza & Grill for lunch.  I had their goat cheese salad and really enjoyed it.

I also snagged a piece of their prosciutto pizza which was as delicious as they last time I had it.

After a phun-philled day of catching up and hanging every single piece of art in my new home (seriously how did I get so lucky to have such helpful and awesome pholks in my life??), The Phella joined us, and we showed our guests the delight which is Taste of Thai.

We tried a new item- the crab phried rice- which I would never order again, but everything else was delicious as per usual.

The next day, I was so busy (doing what you ask… I have no clue) I phorgot to eat until late in the afternoon at my sorority’s Phounder’s Day Luncheon in Old Town Sacramento (which sorority you ask… the very best one, of course!).

Phueled by the phun of meeting a group of sisters I’d never met, I stayed in Old Town after the event.  I met up with a phellow I’d had the pleasure of meeting at Boot’s wedding in April for dinner at Ten22.  Needless to say, I phailed MISERABLY with my phirst shot and my attempt to deal with the super low lighting (we sat outside on a patio).

I wizened up and used my phlash when my phig tart arrived.  So phreaking tasty!

The highlight of the evening, other than the phabulous company, and other than losing my parking ticket and having the attendant give me a gimme, was that I phound $12 on the ground.  Not a bad evening!  When I got home, I enjoyed a sugar-phree phudgesicle as I thumbed through a cookbook I bought as a gift for Paper Bag (it’s ok to admit this, as even though it was intended as a Christmas gift, I got a bit too excited and already gave it to her… not sure if I have even mentioned on the blog how much I LOVE- and pride myself on the ability- to give gifts).

Munday…

Healthy lunch in my cube…

Really not so great “creamed” corn dish I made (I blame Martha Stewart for claiming it would be good… it certainly wasn’t my phault!) while I prepped some eggplant to cook for The Phella.  Moral of the story- trying a recipe that is a healthy version of creamed corn is a phutile endeavor.  Creamed corn is delicious for a reason and attempting to make a skinny version is just not wise.

When I got to The Phella’s house, I had him and this homemade carrot bread waiting for me to sample, courtesy of our new phriend, Phiona.  Yum!

Tooozeday…

Seriously, Nathan’s Phamous Pickles live up to their name.  True story.

I made grilled chicken and lentils for The Phella’s study group.  Sometimes I’m nice like that… sometimes…

If I haven’t mentioned this, my lentils are as phamed and delicious as my Brussels sprouts.  If you beg creatively enough, I might just share the recipe… maybe…

Wedenesday…

Leftovers for breakfast/lunch.

Spaghetti squash & goat cheese for dinner… not very good.

Phollowed up with more lentils… very good.

Therrsday…

Egg carnage.

Leftovers plus some tasterific organic grapes- the kind with the edible seeds in them.  Love.

Homemade tomatoe jam on carmelized onion bread for dinner.  Works for me!

Phriday!

I was so excited that it was Phriday (which meant phriends coming to visit) that I phorgot to eat breakfast and also phorgot to pack a lunch. That meant I didn’t eat until dinner, which was barbecued chicken and assorted accoutrements.  The BBQ marked my phirst official social event held at my new pad (which included Paper Bag, the phellow from Sunday night, The Phella and some additional new phriends who I am sure will pop up in phuture posts…)

“Dessert” consisted of me phorcing everyone to try my tomatoe jam.  Every claimed it was not only edible but delicious… but it was a captive audience.

And then it was Saturday… woohoo!

Week Two > Week One

16 Nov

On Saturday, October 8, I phled reality and joined some old phriends for a long overdue picnic at Tilden Park in Berkeley.

As illustrated in my previous post, I am a phirm believer that phood tastes better when shared.  I also happen to believe that this is increased exponentially when shared out of doors.  Why is this, you ask?  Much like how many licks it takes to get to the middle of a Tootsie Pop, the world may never know

I was having so much phun, I couldn’t help myself from taking a second helping of my Brussels sprouts and pistachio pasta salad.  The ladies loved it as well, and thus, my Brussels sprouts acclaim reigns supreme.

Upon my return to Davis that evening, The Phella and I, being the creatures of habit we tend to be, phound ourselves back at Taste of Thai for dinner.  While we ordered the same dish as always, we mixed it up and tried their appetizer sampler to start.

I had the leftovers for breakfast on Sunday morning straight out of the to-go box. Sometimes I’m phancy like that.

We tried the phamed Redrum Burger for lunch.  They didn’t seem all that busy, but the wait for two burgers and phries seemed to indicate otherwise.  I was impressed by neither the service nor the phood, and this was only exascerbated by the knowledge that In-N-Out was but a stone’s throw away… Additionally, their more interesting menu options have been crossed off, such as their ostrich burgers.  Me thinks this phun looking little joint may be past its prime sadly.

I made dinner at home, starting with a baby romaine salad with goat cheese and avocado.

We grilled some phlank steak and green onions and roasted red potatoes in my toaster oven.

It then dawned on me that Monday was quickly approaching, that little bastard.

And my new life started back up again… with a handful of grapes at my cubicle.

I brought my barley soup into the break room for lunch and made a wonderful discovery- a phellow that works in the row of cubicles across from me is a more diehard Giants phan than I am!  Phriend potential perhaps?

I had another one of the awesome pluots I got from Dave’s Pumpkin Patch in West Sacramento.  They had a great deal on Groupon for an organic produce box… well either it was an unbelievable deal or we were unbelievably phortunate that the day we went to pick up our produce, the girl working at the stand was misinformed and thought we’d purchased half the pharm…

Continuing in my swine saga, I attempted pork tacos for dinner.  Even The Phella, who will eat pretty much anything I make, admitted that this dish wasn’t one that necessarily needed a spot in the recipe rotation.  He was being kind.  They were truly terrible.  The salsa, however, that consisted of a small portion of the glut of produce we had picked up at Dave’s, was not embarrassing.  Not great, mind you, but not nearly at the level of phailure the tacos secured.

Since dinner was so awful, the phrozen yogurt at SugarPlum after dinner was guilt-phree.  I had taro again (this stuff is ridiculously good) and topped it off with some coconut.  Y.U.M.

Yay for Tuesday, or as I like to remember it as the day I proved that I could successfully set my coffee maker timer the night before for a full week.  Coming from the girl who has owned said coffee maker for going on six years or so and having used it all of twice that I can remember, this is a very big deal… an anniversary if you will.  So yay for me… and my Morningstar “sausage”.

I tried some baked granny smith apple chips that I picked up at the Nugget- pretty tasty and healthy as phar as anything that resembles a chip.

I am quickly learning that phree phood at my new office is the rule more than the exception… and they use pretty solid caterers.  This tasty salad sando combo hailed from Pluto’s, a place I’d been told about prior to moving to Davis.

Of course, they HAD to have oatmeal cookies right next to the salad…  and now that I live hours away from The Most Delicious Cookies in the World, I was powerless to resist.  Ph you, willpower!

Pluot afternoon nibble

I reverted to my soup habit and made egg drop soup for dinner.

Wednesday started with PacMan-esque cheese.

Nectarine mid-morning snack

… and more phree phood for lunch!

Apple chips in the afternoon

In an attempt to lessen the amount of tomatoes in my kitchen (I had ten pounds to phind use for from that produce box), I attempted homemade tomatoe sauce, courtesy of a phood blog I enjoy, Chez Pim.  It was phine, but nothing to write home about.  I am sure it is much tastier when she makes it…

Thursday… Nectarine and “sausage” and coffee in my Sexy Chick mug (originally a cherished gift from my old bowling league buddies that met an untimely demise, only to have The Phella track down a replica for me… maybe that’s why I keep thinking he’s a keeper!).

More. Phree. Phood.  And it was more pizza!

I did everything I could to resist another piece in the afternoon.  Well, I did everything except ACTUALLY resist it.

I made dinner at The Phella’s house using more of our produce box contents.

I’m not quite sure why I decided Coq au Vin was the right choice for a casual weeknight dinner, but whatever.  Eating at almost 9pm made it pheel that much more Phrench!

Phriday! Grapes and nostalgia for breakfast…

The last of the last leftovers of barley soup made itself lunch, along with its yummy plummy phriend.

String cheese to get me through the afternoon…

… And a special Oktoberfest dinner at Little Prague to phinish off week two. (I am happy to report that this was leaps and bounds better than their Eggs Phlorentine I wrote about in my last post.)

The Phella and I topped off our wild and crazy Phriday night with a rousing game of Scrabble (I won, of course… I wouldn’t like the game so much if I didn’t always win!) and a sugar-phree Creamsicle.

Week two > Week one = Michelle + slightly happier

(And people think I can’t do math!)

Surviving My Phirst Week

15 Nov

Phriday, September 30 kicked off my last weekend of phreedom, so I tootled myself across the bay to play with Georgia and Paper Bag.  I grabbed a quick snack of turkey & cheese on a rice cake before we headed out.

We stopped by a liquor store for snacks near Golden Gate Park on our way to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass for an awesome afternoon that pheatured my phavorite crooner, the incomparable Chris Isaak.

P.S. His new album is phabulous beyond belief.  Any aspiring elves out there who want to make my holiday season, consider this a blatant hint… 🙂

After the show, we had dinner in North Beach at Il Pollaio, a local’s phavorite.

Their bean salad tasted just like Gramma used to make!

Their phries were standardly tasty.

The grilled rabbit Paper Bag convinced me to get left a bit to be desired, as it arrived a bit too much on the rare side.  I’d give it a chance again some time though, as it was a very busy night and these things happen…

We had a leisurely morning on October 1 and headed to do some mutual blogging at Caffe Sapore.  I thoroughly enjoyed my smoked salmon bagel and am excited about our successful brainstorming session about the phuture of http://www.phoodfotos.com!

I had a hankering for pizza after I returned to Davis from North Beach, so I threw together a pizza-ish creation of my own at home.

The Phella and I tried Tucos Wine Bar and Cafe for dinner, starting with a shared salad and cheese plate.

Really enjoyed the presentation of the cheese and nibbles (served on a hefty cutting board)…

I had some sort of egg sando for my main course, and the eggs were poached.  Now, most of you phollowers know well how much I normally lust after poached eggs, but on a sando…?  Not so much.  Biting into your meal and having it squirt yolk across the table is a bit, well, inconvenient… especially when dining out.

That being said the maple-glazed sweet potatoes were dreamy enough to make me phorget to care about the sando mess almost entirely.

The Phella slept in on October 2, so I got up and had an English muffin with peanut butter and honey while he snoozed.

We then headed to Little Prague to try out their breakfast offerings.  I went with the Eggs Phlorentine, leading myself into another horribly phailed attempt at phinding a decent breakfast anywhere in Davis.  Ugh!

I went shopping at my new market of choice- Nugget– and the phriendly cheese phellow helped me select an especially luxurious triple cream to start off dinner that night.

I made a mixed baby green salad with the remainder of the watermelon radish I had picked up at the Pharmers Market the weekend prior.

And I tested out a new recipe of pork and peaches for dinner.

Update for inquiring minds who want to know: I am still a miserable phailure when it comes to cooking pork.  I’ve got a long road ahead, it seems…

Ah, reality.  How you persist!  October 3- The day of reckoning…

My phirst day at my new job came WAY earlier than I wanted, my house still drowning in boxes and bags and my nerves spasming phrantically like a phish out of water.  I broke out my phavorite juice glass at breakfast (it was the one my Gramma served me with throughout my childhood) and had a glass of milk along with my spun honey (which also always reminds me of her) and peanut butter on a muffin.

As it turned out, I wasn’t the only new kid on the work block.  The new director’s phirst day was that day as well, so that meant pizza at staff meeting.  Talk about a nice way to get things started!  Who doesn’t love phree phood?  And pizza at that!

There wasn’t much scheduled for me that phirst day, so I went home for lunch and spent it with my main man, Phooey, who was adjusting to day one of his life as a dog who stays home during the day. 😦

I had some pasta salad I’d made the night before with pistachios, Parmesan and Brussels sprouts (which I successfully roasted- in a very small batch- in my toaster oven).

The Phella took the night off from studying, so we could go out to dinner and process my phirst day.  God bless the boy, because I seriously needed it… and the two glasses of wine that went along with it.

Now, this isn’t to say that my phirst day was bad, but here’s the thing:  Phirst days are odd things, and I’ve had very phew of them in my life.  I’m sure there are people who thrive on the newness, the unknown, the clean slate.  I, however, am not one of those people.  I love routine, I love phamiliarity, I love being an expert.  The realization that I had, not just conceptually but actually, walked away from everything and everyone I knew in Monterey hit me like a ton of bricks (or at least what I imagine that sensation would be akin to, as I have never literally experienced being hit by a ton of bricks, thankfully). I could pheel the terror and sadness lurking in the doorway.

But I have phound over the years that a good plate of noodles always seems to lessen those evils just a bit.

And experiencing the heat of a “Thai spicy” dish reminds you that this, too, shall pass…

And when that’s not enough, there’s always phrozen yogurt that matches your manicure. 🙂

October 4: Day two…

After a second night of sleepytime phailure, I got up early with plenty of time to eat breakfast.  Hello, silver lining!

I packed my lunch and enjoyed the novel concept of being allowed to eat at my desk (something verboten by my previous employer).  While the convenience was nice, the lack of anyone to share my lunch with almost brought me to tears.

For those of you who have been phollowing the blog this year, saying that I am a social eater comes as quite the understatement, I’m sure.  Sharing phood with other is quite possibly my most treasured activity in life.  The experience of eating is an opportunity that has the potential to blend nourishment with connection, nostalgia with education and phunction with phun. Because of this, the utilitarianism of dining alone has a tendency to hurt my heart.

Am I crazy?  Maybe so… but I believe that phood tastes better when it’s shared.

Dinner that night consisted of leftover soup from Taste of Thai with a hearty side dish of self-pity.

October 5- Day three…

Started with a Babybel cheese round.

I had a benefits orientation to attend on campus that morning, and since I live so close (and sure can’t afford the cost of a campus parking permit) I walked.  Walking there included getting horribly lost, arriving late and then slipping and phalling in phront of a group of fourty-odd people.  I suppose a benefit of working for such a large employer is the probability that nobody will recognize you as THAT girl after a week or so.

I had more of the leftover Thai for lunch at home with Phooey, who seemed to have adjusted well to his new life already.

That night, needing to entertain myself and having run out of leftovers, I turned to what I know comforts me best- phood- and made broccoli and zucchini soup.

I ate some Yolo County grown pistachios as a snack while I watched a movie that night and unpacked a phew more boxes.

October 6- Day phour…

I took a sliced apple and some cheese to work and ate that for breakfast.

I brought the rest of the soup to eat for lunch as well as a salad.  Too bad I neglected to pack utensils!  I took my lunch to the break room in an attempt to make phriends, but nobody else came in while I ate.  That might have been a blessing, as eating soup and salad with your hands sure ain’t pretty…

The boss brought candy to an afternoon meeting, and while I am not typically a chocolate phan, I was so enamored with the orangeness of the Halloween  Kit Kats, I indulged.

A catered event had leftovers, so I had half a sando during the meeting, too.  Second serving of phree phood in a week!

Moving to Davis meant that, other than The Phella, there was only one other person I knew… a phriend from my beloved book club who relocated a year ago with her husband.  Needing some semblance of social interaction, she came over, with wine in hand, and we caught up over a phew nibbles.

When she left, I made myself busy again and made chicken barley soup.

October 7- The last day of the phirst week…

Started with some Morningstar “sausage” and coffee in one of my phavorite mugs.  Did you know Hermann is the heart of Missouri wine country?  Did you know Missouri has a wine country?  Neither did I, until Cricket and I discovered it last summer when we picked baby Phooey up from the rescue organization he hailed from in St. Louis.  Suffice it to say, it was a phun discovery, but bringing the mug home as a souvenir instead of the wine was an excellent choice.

I came home for lunch, because my washer/dryer was being delivered and ate more of the barley soup.

That night, The Phella resurfaced, and we went to dinner at Seasons again.  I sense this could become a regular haunt of ours… because I can’t seem to stay away from their bread sticks.

I tried their butternut squash soup which wasn’t bad.

I had the chicken chop again, but sadly enjoyed it significantly less than I did during our last visit.  (We came to learn later that the chef had gone on a lengthy vacation, and things got a bit out of whack during his absence.)

We headed home and watched a movie with a big bowl of popcorn con Tapatio.

And so I survived, as so many have before me, and so many more will.

I am sure some of you have read this sob story and been thrown for a loop.  As a general rule, I pride myself on my, although often snarky and self-depricating, ever-present humor, but it seems that I hadn’t yet unpacked that box…

My Phinal Days in Monterey

4 Oct

Sept 12 started with a pear I picked in Pops’ yard.

I made a Caesar salad poolside for lunch.

The phamily headed to Carmel Valley Ranch for dinner to celebrate my grandmother’s boyfriend’s 80th birthday.  Pops and I split the charcuterie plate phirst and then I went with the chef’s honey tasting menu.

The salad was sent out compliments of the chef.  Love that guy!

Honey-brined pork chop

Honey drizzled peaches over Belgian waffles

Sept 13 began with some champagne grapes and an orange I brought from my tree in Davis.

I met my mentor for lunch at Salinas City BBQ and indulged in three ribs and a double order of potatoe salad- don’t judge.  Worth every calorie, darn it!

I went over to my phavorite phellow blogger’s house for dinner before trivia at the pub.  We tried Pizza My Heart‘s Phiggy Piggy.

Sadly not as delicious as I had hoped when I heard about it, but I did thoroughly enjoy the name!

I headed back to my old work for the day on Sept 14.  Work BFF and I had lunch at Golden Star Chinese down the street.

I am definitely going to miss this place and their prices.  My lunch was $4… and delicious.

I chose the kung pao chicken lunch special.

I met a new phriend at The Penny Pharthing after work for a late night nibble.  We shared some pretzels and cheese…

… and I struggled through some seen better days sliders.

I headed back to Salinas on the morning of Sept 15 to have breakfast with another wonderful ex-coworker and took the liberty of introducing her to the wonder that is a Phirst Awakeings pancake.

I then met the phriend from the night before and headed on a quick road trip down to Big Sur, intending to have a second breakfast at Deetjen’s.  Sadly we arrived 20 minutes too late to indulge in what I would argue is quite possibly the most wonderful Eggs Benedict on Earth.  So we settled on muffins and sandos from the Big Sur Bakery instead (I’m not complaining!)

We ate the sandos at my phavorite beach while Phooey played in the sand (and by “played in” I really mean that he “ate” the sand.)

Georgia and I grabbed dinner at The Running Iron later that evening.  We shared some jalapeno poppers to start.

I had a small salad before tucking into a Jalapeno Burger.

Sadly, I was phull after the poppers, so I only got through a phew bites of the burger.

Sept 16 started out wonderfully when I shared a peach scone at Happy Girl Kitchen with an old sorority sister and an incredibly small yet handsome man who was dressed as a bear.

I then met my mother for her Meals on Wheels route phollowed by lunch at Thai Bistro II with her and a sweet phriend.

We started with some Mee Krob.  For those of you who don’t know, this stuff is ridiculous in the best way possible.

A little Tom Kha Kai soup…

…and Tom’s Special.  (I love anything with a phried egg on top!)

I met Pops and the Phoositter at the Phorest Theater to watch a production of Annie.  I was in charge of the picnic dinner and had relied on takeout from Chopstix.  Not the best choice I’ve ever made, as despite my requests for a cilantro-phree meal, everything came covered.

So I enjoyed the Avocado Snow boba drink I had picked up as my phirst course.

I then phound some leftover peanuts in my black hole of a purse and made that my entree.

The Phoositter brought cupcakes from Mrs. Delish, so I thoroughly enjoyed a coconut one for dessert.

Not a bad meal, honestly!

Sept 17 was the day of my phinal pharewell party before leaving the Monterey Peninsula for good.  The Original came to town late the night before, so we started the day at Jeffrey’s for the second best Eggs Benedict on the Peninsula (and by second best, I still mean phreaking delicious!).

The pharewell wishers began arriving around the lunch hour, and one very special phriend brought a massive pile of assorted wings from Wing Stop.

Another very wonderful phriend brought her phamous turtles which I polished off quite quickly.

And yet another wonderful gal (LMDB.com) graced the party with homemade red velvet whoopie pies.  SO phabulous!

As the evening wore on, I realized my phood consumption was not keeping up with my “hydrating” and Mrs. Olive Bedlam was beginning to appear.  So the phriends stepped in an had me eat a horribly messy sausage in which I quickly lost interest.

But I phound some potatoe salad in the phridge that hit the spot.

That being said, Mrs. Olive Bedlam still succeeded in making an appearance, and I paid for this quite dearly the next morning…  You play, you pay!

The Phloors Always Win

2 Oct

Sept 6- Sept 11 consisted of me consistently phreaking out over the massive amounts of crap I have accumulated over the years and hold dear for all sorts of illegitimate reasons.  It was also a week of learning that while hardwood phloors are something many desire, they are not just cleverly named… the are, in phact, rather hard, and when you drop your trivial yet treasured tchotchke on said phloors, the phloors always win. But I digress.

On Sept 6, I started the day with the tried and true breakfast o’ champions, a leftover piece of cold pizza.  It phelt very bachelor pad of me as I used a box as a table.

I escaped to my yard for a bit of respite in the afternoon and ate an orange right off my tree.  Not sure how or if the novelty of this will wear off…

The Phella took a study break at night and we tried Sushi Unlimited.  I opted for edamame and Tokyo Poki.

Edamame = undercooked and unsalted 😦

Tokyo Poki = savory and satisfying 🙂

(I apologize for the crappy quality shots- phorgot the camera and had to rely on the iPhone in dim lighting.)

Sept 7 started with a slightly more legitimate breakfast, as I stopped by Trader Joe’s to make my fridge pheel slightly less bachelor-ish.

I bought some mini whole wheat bagels and jalapeno yogurt cheese which paired nicely.

The Phella and I went out to dinner at Bistro 33, a popular local spot which I plan never to return to.  Mind you, this is not because the phood was bad (it wasn’t anything special but it wasn’t terrible by any means), but they do not allow dogs on their outside (and rather expansive) patio.  This is unacceptable to Phooey and myself, so I agreed to go once before Phooey moved to town (he took a two week vacation with Pops while I moved in and went on a phew trips).

Their Baked Hazelnut Crusted Goat Cheese with Andouille Sausage and Rustic Tomatoe Sauce lacked (as phar as I could tell) both hazelnuts and sausage and was really more of a tomatoe dipping sauce with some cheese in it.  Tasty but did not live up to the description in any way.

The Kobe Sliders w/ gouda and phried onions were moist and phlavorful… but cost $13.95 for just two.

The phries were good- I won’t lie.

The Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps had nothing buffalo about them, but the concept was a clever one and the celery salad was the highlight of the meal in my eyes.

After dinner, I indulged The Phella’s penchant for phrozen yogurt and headed to YoloBerry for dessert.  I mixed it up and added rainbow sprinkles this time.  I’m wild and crazy like that.

Sept 8 started with a phamiliar breakfast…  balanced on a box (but notice an EMPTY box… progress!)

I made dinner for The Phella’s study group that night and used a curry mix that Pops brought back from his travels east (that was coriander-phree!)

Simple but not bad if I do say so myself…

Sept 9 called me to San Francisco for a bit of phun in the phog!  Paper Bag’s birthday needed to be celebrated, and what better way to do so than watching a Giants/Dodgers game?

My raspberry breakfast only took me so phar, so we stopped at the Real Phood Company when I arrived in the city and picked up some nibbles.   I went with the chicken salad, although it really should have been called an apple salad with a chicken afterthought if you ask me.

Paper Bag made a great catch at the game!

Keeping with tradition, I indulged in a Giants Dog and some beer.  I have yet to see this defined anywhere in phine print, but I am quite sure it is illegal to watch a baseball game without eating a dog… just sayin’.

Nothing marks the end of a good night (at least in my definition of the world) than a slice of pizza.  Golden Boy in North Beach certainly hit the spot!

Sept 10 was a day of some phantastic phood!

In the morning, Paper Bag and I met phriends for breakfast at Caffe DeLucchi.   The artichoke hash was EXCELLENT.

The Phella and I went out to dinner at Seasons Restaurant in Davis.  I am always skeptical of restaurants that are attached to hotels, because I typically see a lack of motivation to create repeat customers.  I am happy to report that I have phound this place to be an exception to my rule.  Good work, Hallmark Inn!

Their bread sticks, while not quite as tasty at Cantinetta Luca‘s in Carmel, were pretty similar and darn delectable.  I may or may not have had phour.

Very rarely do I clean a plate phaster than The Phella, but I polished off these peaches before he could ask for a bite (or maybe he did ask but I was too engrossed with my edible enjoyment…) Really unphreakingbelievably delicious!

I did manage to snag a bite of The Phella’s wedge salad.  Thumbs up!

But my pickled beets and bean salad was better… 🙂

Unfortunately I was so phreaking phull by the time my Petaluma chicken chop came around, I hardly made a dent.

Dessert was out of the question after that marathon of mastication!

The morning of Sept 11, I had a handful of peanuts as I packed up enough to travel for a week.

The Phella and I picked up sandos at Safeway that were on sale.  Nothing to write home about…

…but the coconut we tackled made for quite an involved lunchtime activity.

I then left The Phella and Davis and headed back home to Carmel Valley to play for the week.  I got a late start so used that as justification to indulge in a tasty drive-thru dinner on my journey.

I really don’t know that I could handle living somewhere where In-N-Out isn’t.

Yeah, pretty sure that’s a definite.

And thus, July is complete!

6 Sep

Super phabulous Pizza Party on the night of the 29th at my phavorite phellow blogger‘s new house.

Breakfast at Grandma’s Kitchen on Saturday with The Phella phollowed by dinner in a parking lot in Santa Cruz with Cricket and LMDB.com (which was then phollowed by Recession Crusher pizzettas at Bittersweet Bistro).

Lunch on Sunday at Campo di Bocce in Los Gatos (had a little phun phamily time) and then dinner with The Phella at one of our phavorite couple’s homes.

And thus, July is complete!

Last Trip to Portland

30 Jul

Phriday morning, June 10, I checked out Point Pinos Grill for breakfast with my phavorite Bistro Babe.

I tried the Eggs Benny (I always order this when trying a new breakfast place because in my book, if you can’t make a great Hollandaise, you shouldn’t be allowed to call yourself a breakfast place…)

Chef Dory Ford, while not quite Jeffrey’s caliber (which I use as my gold standard), did quite a good job- the potatoes were super tasty, too!

Then Pops picked me up and we headed to the airport- for graduation weekend in Corvallis!

We celebrated at SJC with really crappy Bloody Marys and even worse pizza…

A pleasant phlight and an unending traffic line down I-5 later, we arrived in Albany, where we would spend the night.  We met two phriends at Clemenza’s Italian Cafe for a late dinner that started with antipasti.

They had a visiting chef at the restaurant (Chef Matt Morse) that evening, so I tried his tomato soup.

Not half bad with cuter presentation that I had prepped myself to expect from Albany.

The Pasticcio di Polenta or Polenta Lasagna with sausage and mixed mushroom sauce tasted almost as great as it looked.

Very pleasant surprise!

The cheesecake came compliments of the house and was nicely light yet phlavorful.

After dinner, we headed down the street to Vault 244 for drinks.  I didn’t take any fotos of the cocktails (bad lighting for it) but I am still raving about the “Liquid Pearl”, a cocktail of house infused ginger vodka, momokawa pearl sake, lime and simple syrup.  I had two…  and would have gone for at least one more had we not had a wake up call in phive short hours…

Sexy Mexican Awkwardness

28 Jun

Thursday, May 26th, was host to quite possibly one of the most epically awkward nights of my life.

The day started out like any other… I attended an absolutely riveting training  on the intricacies of 2011 HR law and attempted to eat some cheese crisps I had picked up at the store.  Their taste and smell evoked memories of boozy vomit, so they promptly made phriends with the trash can.

The training was held close to home, so I got to enjoy lunch on my couch with my phavorite phurry phriend, Phoo.  I made some brown rice and scrambled eggs for the occasion.

Dinner… well, where does one begin?

I will preface the explanation of the story with the disclaimer that I am aware that all my readers will think I am exaggerating.  I assure you, I am not.  I will also phollow that disclaimer with another admitting that while the evening was nothing short of torturous for me, multiple positive results came from it.

Enough chatter.  Dinner…  Vesuvio in downtown Carmel.  It had just opened, so it seemed the logical spot to try for a phirst dinner with a new phriend in my life.  Normally phellows that come in and out of my life have to earn a nickname on the blog over time.  Not this one, though- he earned his stripes immediately.  And thus, he shall be known as “Sexy Mexican”…

A phew hours before dinner, I learned that a birthday party was taking place at Vesuvio… for my mother.  She and I haven’t seen all that much of each other over the past year and change, so I was phlattered to receive an invite to the dinner.  Awkward moment #1- I had to refuse because I had reservations at the same restaurant at the same time with the aforementioned Sexy Mexican.

I warned Sexy Mexican that he was going to have to deal with a gauntlet of ladies wondering who he was, and that one was, in phact, my mother and that it was her birthday, so I wanted to take her some phlowers.  He was phine with this, so we charged on in with confidence.

After the awkward interchanges between Mother & Co., myself and Sexy Mexican, we learned that our table would not be ready for an additional 20 minutes.  To save ourselves additional awkwardness, we took the hostess up on the offer of enjoying a cocktail on the rooftop.  We headed up there, me leading the way, until I walked out onto the patio and immediately ran into none other than my ex-phella, who I hadn’t really seen or spoken to in over a year.  Amazingly, I resisted the urge to spin around on my heels and retreat directly back downstairs.  (I am not claiming to be brave here, but I think I subconsciously realized that loitering by myself in the stairwell for the next 20 minutes was not a realistic option…)

So we headed to the bar and tried to act nonchalant.  That lasted a good 30 seconds or so (actually a bit more because I had time to order a stiff drink) until the ex-phella saw me and started to make his way over.  In an effort to staunch some of the awkwardness bleeding out of my every pore, I made my way over to him before he could approach us.  Awkward interchange ensued, phollowed by ex-phella deciding to phollow me back to the bar to meet Sexy Mexican.

…or so I thought.  Turns out they knew each other from years ago when they worked together halfway across the state.  Who knew?  How did I react?  Another stiff cocktail, of course.

Imagine my horror when the hostess reappeared in my nightmare and offered an escape route (our table was phinally ready), only to phind that she had seated us literally right next to my mother’s table AND the ex-phella made his way down with us to say hello to Mother & Co.

I must disclaim at this point, that by my third stiff cocktail, the phaces the women at the Mother & Co. birthday table were making at me trying to phigure out the situation were becoming more amusing than devastatingly embarrassing.

I had hit my awkwardness quota sometime back on  the rooftop, so my brain went on autopilot at some point.  This resulted in me ordering the same things I ordered the last time I went to a Pepe restaurant… and then phorgetting to actually eat them.  But burrata to start, it was.

Poor Sexy Mexican put up with the ridiculousness like a champ and then some, hence the instant nickname, and shared a bite of the gnocchi with me (which I distinctly remember thinking tasted like grass).

We ordered a pizza that I had them add sun-dried tomatoes to… I don’t recall if I successfully ate any of it.  I do recall that I successfully ordered a phourth stiff drink.

“Dessert”, if you will, would be the phinal course of awkwardness for the evening, which consisted of the ex-phella coming back to our table (Mother & Co. had since departed, with additional awkward interchanges galore as they headed out) and sat down with me and Sexy Mexican.  What a perfect way to end the evening, right?

  Vesuvio, I must return to your establishment and try more than just phour of something off your signature cocktail list.

Mother & Co., I hope you all enjoyed the phree entertainment my life provided that evening.

Sexy Mexican, you are epic, sir, for putting up with the three-ring circus that was that night.

Ex-phella, you’re lucky you’re so damn cute.

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