Month: February 2020

Food: How to Substitude Ingredients and This Recipe

I have to admit, I switch up ingredients all the time while preparing a meal. For example – I am allergic to soy, so I use Worcestershire sauce instead. I hate the taste of fish, so I never add fish sauce to any Asian dish. So I was glad to find a list of alternatives here, for ingredients. What have you substituted, and share your experience or other recommendations Here’s a recipe for dinner tonight for the family – spicy eggplant pasta    {featured image source}

Food: How To Use Crushed Tomatoes

Over the weekend, we had breakfast at one of my favorite cafe on Fillmore street in San Francisco. The place is so great, there is always a line and sometimes even a long wait to be served – meaning you stand in line, order your food, pay and then grab a seat and wait, and wait but it’s okay – because the hustle of the bustle of the small restaurant makes it all worth while. I veered from my usual and ordered baked eggs, because I saw someone having the dish and asked her what it was and then ordered it. Which I decided to duplicate at home – since just by looking at the ingredients I was sure it would taste equally amazing at home. Ingredients – two eggs, black beans, crushed tomatoes from a can, and cheddar cheese. four tablespoons of black beans, two tablespoons of crushed tomatoes, mixed together,  break two eggs over them and bake in oven /which I nuked in the microwave for 3 minutes – and stirred for the …

Boutique Hotel Picks – Chalet Hotels – Europe

We haven’t really experienced winter in the bay area – in that, the sun with warm temperatures have been steady since the middle of January. I know you think that is awesome, but I don’t. Because once again we are going to experience drought related issues – mostly the awful California fires. So, naturally I look to most places with a bit of snow or signs of anything winter, after all it is winter until the middle of March and spending a week in a chalet is something that’s bin on my bucket list since my trip to Colorado ten years ago. Yes, we have Tahoe, but I am talking about the cozy experience of a chalet somewhere in Europe –   Have you stayed in a chalet? And where – Do you recommend the destination? {featured image source}

Travel: The Art of Solo Travel

My friend of 20 plus years used to travel alone, through unique road trips she plotted out herself. I couldn’t wait until she returned from one of her excursions so she can whisk me away with her stories, over Mexican dinner and a pitcher of margarita. So today’s collection of articles is in honor of my friend and her solo fascinating trips…     Have you traveled solo? Where to? And do you recommend it? This is something I’m debating for the first time this year – finger’s crossed   {featured image source}

Food: Dinner Tonight – Shepherd’s Pie

Yes, you read it correctly – Shepherd’s Pie is a staple meal in our household and something I haven’t put together in a long while for efforting to cut down on carbs – but tonight, actually at 5 a.m. this morning I was craving Shepherd’s Pie  – except, I wanted to snaz up my recipe consisting of only simple ingredients (ground beef, corn, and mashed potatoes)  into something like this recipe. Ingredients  Filling 1/2 cup French green lentils 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 pound ground beef or lamb (I like using 15 to 20% fat) Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 8 ounces mushrooms, such as shitake, crimini, or button, sliced 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped 2 medium carrots, finely chopped 1 large fennel bulb (stems and fronds included), finely chopped 2 tablespoons chopped thyme leaves 2 tablespoons tomato paste 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1/4 cup dry red wine, optional 2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock 1 cup fresh or frozen peas 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce Topping Kosher salt 1 1/2 pounds (about 4 to 5 medium) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks 1 pound (about 2 to 3 medium) parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks 1/4 cup unsalted butter 1/4 cup whole milk, …

Today’s Articles of Interest – A Great Distraction if You Are Having A Bad Day

There was much shock to my system on Saturday from back to back bad news – to the point I spent the entire night awake, unable to breathe or shake it off, which naturally carried over to Sunday, where I took my routine 3-4 mile walk in a daze. The only thing I want to remember from the weekend, is that sometimes you need a few days to heal before moving on  – looking ahead, and moving forward. It’s all we can do when faced with traumatic events on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. This morning, I decided to actually go into the office, instead of working from home, to assist in the healing process, about a topic I am not yet ready to talk about. {featured image source}

Lifestyle: Do You Ever Ask Yourself?

I bought a book a while ago at a small boutique store in Burlingame, California titled Celebrating You, by M.H. Clark – which by the way is now on sale on Amazon. The book was published in 2012, with the most lovable illustrations by Jill Labieniec .   At the time I really needed someone to tell me that I was okay, that I was appreciated for all the things that I do, and that I am. But I didn’t know that I needed to hear it. It was when I found the book in the store, and thumbed through the witty reminders  on each page, when I recognized the importance of being appreciated.  The book, which helped me through the darkest of days and nights, now sits on the floor-to-ceiling bookshelf,  I use as my headboard, in my studio apartment. It is the closest to my reach, and each night I glance at the cover before turning in. Call me a funny-girl, but this little book is my beacon of hope. This year, I will …

Travel: Would You Stay In An Underwater Hotel?

I do love the water, and I live by the ocean in San Francisco, and throughout all my travels I always include a destination connected to some body of water – but a hotel immersed in water is something I have yet to experience or even consider being submerged,  for fear of tapping into my claustrophobia. But, would you if you could – stay in an underwater hotel?   On another topic – to recline or not to recline- that is the latest question for when flying, especially on a long haul – Here’s what they say.  Do you agree or disagree? Do you recline? I seldom do – too mindful of the travelers around me I suppose.  {featured image source}

Boutique Hotel Pick – JK Place – Capri, Italy

I haven’t been to Capri in 20 years, but I remember it fondly. So last night, my wanderlust had me searching Netflix and Amazon Prime for films based on the Island and naturally all of Italy. Which I found and listed below for your reference. But for the sake of this post, a boutique hotel pick in Capri was all I can think about for the planning stages of a trip this year to this romantic destination, brimming with breath-taking scenery, cuisine and nightlife, and some of the best beaches in the world.  As for me, I crave smaller details and sometimes luxury in accommodations , because I spend a great deal of time in my room, penning from the inspiration I draw by my environment, whether here or the next novel. And this hotel will suit me just fine, while in Capri. Care to join? Here’s a list of films made in or about Capri, but my all time favorite classic – It Started in Naples – but really mostly in Capri  {featured image …