Month: April 2019

Travel: Paris in Mind But Not the Usual Places

When I was ten I learned that my cousin, who was much older than me, had gone to Paris to study at Le Cordon Bleu. I had no idea what that meant, until years later, upon his return, I tasted the fancy meals he prepared for family gatherings and special occasions where he was hired to cater. When he moved to the states in the early 80’s, he opened a restaurant, but unfortunately for him, not at a time when the bay area was accustomed to trying different cuisines – particularly French.  So he was forced to close his restaurant and work as a chef at another, more steak and potatoes place. He died a few years back, after succumbing to cancer, without learning that San Francisco’s French restaurants have become some of the most famous.   I think of him often – about his style of cooking, and his love of French cuisine and every time I am at a French restaurant in San Francisco, I raise a glass of wine to him. I thought …

Decor: Inspiration Taking Me Back

There was a great aunt on my father’s side of the family – who lived in a mansion by central park in a town somewhere far away – and inside her house, it was almost as if I were walking through a museum with art, and statues, and trinkets from around the world, mostly the middle east, Africa and Europe and Asia. I was a young girl then, and often looked forward to our visits so that I can explore every nook and cranny of her living room – kind of like this one. And bits of this one have a great week everyone!

Friday Wrap – And Disconnect

Normally I have lots to share on weekends, but this weekend, I plan to unplug and try to enjoy time reading, walking and taking photographs and hanging out. And just maybe on Monday I’ll share some of the fun things I stumbled upon while in the central coast, California – in the Springtime. Meanwhile, if you are needing to kill time in between work and play today, here’s what I found to be a good distraction

Food: Dinner Tonight – Cajun Steak

Had a flank steak in the freezer and wanted to try something different then the norm – my own simple spices, garlic, butter, seared in wine and voila dinner is served. Except, tonight I wanted to step-it up a notch – in terms of spices and style of cooking – although as I read this recipe, I realize it is very similar to my usual.  I am siding this dish with a leafy salad tossed with olive oil and lemon juice. Voila! for this nights dinner. INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 pounds beef tenderloin or flank steak, cut into 1 inch cubes 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, plus additional thyme for serving 1 tablespoon smoked paprika 2 teaspoons chili powder 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more or less to taste kosher salt and black pepper 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 3 bell peppers, sliced 4 tablespoons salted butter 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated juice from 1 lemon 3 cups steamed rice, for serving 1 avocado, sliced fresh herbs such as basil, cilantro, and or mint {more} Off topic – I have been debating on selling my photographs – not sure yet, but …

Lifestyle: A Guide to What To See, Read and Eat

This blog title was abbreviated from ‘A Guide to what to see in films, books to read for 2019 and restaurants to try if you haven’t already’ and so begins the suggestions: What Films to See If you are heading to the Tribeca Film Festival 2019 or simply adding films-to-see to your list, then I am going to offer up my top three for your consideration. Georgetown: Here’s what you need to know – Christoph Waltz in his directorial debut as well as main character shares with us the story of a very ambitious military man who marries a much older socialite, played by Venessa Redgrave – and while everyone is pleased by his stature, the daughter of the socialite played by Annette Bening , is more than suspicious of his intentions.       Plus One: “Jack Quaid and Maya Erskine star in this sharp comedy—which is equal parts rom-com and buddy film—about a pair of college pals who, during a summer when they have a wedding to attend almost every weekend, team up …

Just Thoughts For The Week

I realized on my walk about downtown during lunch yesterday that the tourists have arrived. There is nothing more I love then tourists exploring my city – San Francisco. And the second thing I love is when they stop me for directions – I gladly offer up some insight, including recommending for them to venture out to the suburbs and try an off the beaten path restaurant or a pub/bar. In light of this exciting vacation season – and a weather that seems to be turning for the better around the bay area, I cannot help but think about where I want to escape to this year, which then has me thinking about this and that.

Food: Lemon, Coconut (Birthday) Cake In Honor of One of My Favorite Gals

In case you are home today, or are feeling a need for a pick me up – I suggest you bake this cake and then eat a slice with a cup of Jo or Earl Gray, the real kind, not the fabricated flavors some tea makers are using these days – read the label to be sure it is truly Bergamot oils infused tea leaves. Oh and here’s the cake recipe – INGREDIENTS 3/4 cup melted coconut oil, cooled 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt 3 large eggs 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1 cup canned full fat coconut milk 3 cups all purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 tablespoon lemon zest 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut, plus more for layering HONEY LEMON SYRUP 1/4 cup lemon juice 1/3 cup honey WHIPPED VANILLA BUTTERCREAM 3 sticks (1 ½ cups) salted butter, at room temperature 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 1/3 cup honey 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or vanilla bean powder  {more} Happy Birthday My Dear MAL – I heart you every day… {recipe and featured image source}

Boutique Hotel Pick – The Williamsburg Hotel – New York

I am not a fan of standard hotels – which mostly cater to business travelers.  I prefer unique, artsy, small properties with a character bigger than the square feet of the lobby.  And I always start with the bathroom decor, and work my way to the room and views.  So, I think The Williamsburg Hotel New York – fits exactly the type of accommodations I’ve been searching for my trip to New York later this year.  And they are pet friendly 🙂

Fashion: Her Style, My Style

I often wish, while putting on a pair of jeans and a comfortable blouse, that I had a reason to fashion as I did during my corporate career. Where all professionals were required to dress business, not so casual, just business attire – scurrying about the financial district to their professional careers  – kind of like these beautiful ensembles by one of my favorite influencers, who seems to be able to pull off the business and casual look in this jeans-preferred techy city by the bay:  

Sunday Edition – Myth, Facts, and Art

After graduating college, I gladly accepted a free one year subscription to The Wall Street Journal and The New Yorker offered to graduates from the alumni association.  I would thumb through both journals while commuting into work, and later in the day discussed a  few articles with friends over lunch and family – the articles usually written months in advance.  Lots has changed since then, and the variety of approaches to the same topics, is now available to us in real-time. So, with that said, I found the following topics most worthy of indulging and of course sharing and really would love your opinion or take on any of them, no pressure, just a fun interaction would be appreciated. {featured image source}