6.22.2009

California Dreamin', Part II



I've uploaded most of my California photos to Flickr. Check 'em out if you get the chance!

Here are some of the highlights of the trip:
  • Waking up early to go running with Jason (every morning except one!) through wooded trails or along the beach. One morning we discovered a place called Wedding Rock and hiked all the way up to the top. The views were stunning and we even spotted some sea lions swimming through the ocean. Apparently dozens of couples choose to get married there each year - hence the name!
  • Stumbling upon Katy's Smokehouse in Trinidad, purveyor of what is widely considered to be the best smoked salmon (and other kinds of fish) in the country. Trust me - you haven't had smoke salmon until you've had Katy's. Oh, and you can order it online!
  • Rachel and Brennan's wedding, of course! It was small, simple, and beautiful. I really liked the colors they chose: a burnt orange and a subdued olive green. It had kind of a mod, Orla Kiely-esque vibe to it. Oh, and the reception was at a beach house. Literally, a house on the beach. Does it get any better than that? No, it doesn't.
  • Post-wedding brunch at the Historic Samoa Cookhouse in Eureka, which used to serve as a cookhouse for the many lumberjacks working in that part of California, and still serves authentic lumberjack food.
  • A quick jaunt to the fairy tale perfect Mendocino, an idyllic little town and artists' colony situated right on the coast, a few hours north of California. We hiked out to the edge of the bluff overlooking the water, and noshed on organic Neopolitan pizza and ginger ice cream at Frankie's.
  • Unbelievably fresh and delicious oysters with a glass of Pinot Grigio at the Hog Island Oyster Company, located in the amazing Ferry Building Marketplace (a huge indoor market featuring some of the area's best meat, cheese, seafood, produce, chocolate, and flowers...basically a foodie paradise).
  • Superb porchetta sandwiches from Italian deli Boccalone at aforementioned Ferry Building Marketplace.
  • Walking, walking, walking in San Francisco. We walked our way from the Ferry Building Marketplace down the Embarcadero to Ghirardelli Square and then through Telegraph Hill, Chinatown, North Beach, and the Financial District before an absolutely divine sushi dinner at Ozumo, which apparently flies their fish in daily from Japan. It just may be the best sushi I've ever had (and that's saying something!)
  • Private tastings and tours of Madrigal Winery and Sequoia Grove Winery in the Napa area. I'd heard that Napa was gorgeous, but I didn't quite realize just how gorgeous until I saw it for myself. Wow. Great wine + gorgeous scenery = heaven.
  • Driving past Chez Panisse in Berkeley. (I am slightly obsessed with Alice Waters - her cookbooks, her philosophy, her fascinating career - so this was a major thrill.)
  • Visiting SFMoMA before leaving on Saturday. The art was wonderful of course - an incredible Rothko, a great collection of Clyfford Stills, and the show-stopping Khurasan Gate by Frank Stella (one of my favorites), and since I work in an art museum, it's always interesting to see how other museums are doing things.
I'm sure there are more things that I'm not thinking of, but this should give you a good idea! Needless to say, it was absolutely wonderful and I feel like a very lucky girl. A big thanks to the Browns for letting me tag along!

Oh, and in case you can't tell, that first photo is of one of the vineyards we visited, and the second is me and Jason at the beach!

6 comments:

City Girl said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful trip! Be sure to stop by my blog for a blog award :)

Melita said...

fantastic trip!! love the pics!

Ilse B said...

Wow! Sounds incredible. Now I'm craving some delicious food and inspiring scenery.

Lauren said...

Do you have a recommendation for a good place to start with Alice Waters? Also, have you used any of Rick Bayless' cookbooks (I don't know which one to get!) and do you have a recommendation for a good Italian cookbook?

AnalieseMarie said...

For Alice Waters, I would definitely recommend starting with The Art of Simple Food. She also has a series related to her restaurant, Chez Panisse (Chez Panisse Menus, Chez Panisse Vegetables, Chez Panisse Fruits, etc.), but The Art of Simple Food is considered to be her classic work, and covers much of the other stuff anyway.

For Rick Bayless, I would recommend starting with Mexican Everyday, which is a bit more accessible than his others. The recipes are relatively easy and simple for beginners to Mexican cooking. From there, you could move onto his Mexico - One Plate at a Time. Diana Kennedy is also a great one to check out for Mexican cookbooks. The Art of Mexican Cooking would be a good one to start with.

For Italian, if you're looking for traditional, Marcella Hazan is the authority, but for something a bit more contemporary, I would take a look at A16 by Nate Appleman (recipes from his San Francisco restaurant) or Urban Italian by Andrew Carmellini.

On a more general note, I really like Mark Bittman's cookbooks, How to Cook Everything and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. He covers a wide variety of ethnic cuisines and his recipes are simple, easy, and adaptable.

Hope this helps!

Lauren said...

This is *really* helpful! I knew you were the right person to ask! I love Mark Bittman too--I have How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. He's about to release a new one on quick recipes that I want to try out too.

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