Thursday, September 9, 2010

Things I Love About SF!

There are certain things you see that just make you love your City. On my evening run, I checked out the new location of Off the Grid, the super cool, grassroots food truck meetup in Upper Haight. . This adorable pink, retro tricycle was parked right out front.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chanel lips, drug store price

The Sephora Ultra Shine Lip Gloss is the best beauty deal around. It's a knock off of the very popular, and very pricey Chanel Glossimer lip gloss. My favorite sun kissed, summer gloss is the #17 Shimmery Golden Beige. And at $14 per tube vs. $27 for the real deal, you can slather it on all summer! Yummy.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What's on repeat

I was transported back to high school when I heard the new Katy Perry album - Teenage Dream. It's what I would have listened to over and over, thinking of my crushes, how hard life is and how much I want to be a grown up.

Fast forward, I am grown up, smelling the cotton candy scented cover and listening on repeat.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Zero Zero

After all the hype of Pizzeria Picco in Larkspur, I was eagerly awaiting the SF outpost, Zero Zero opening up in SOMA in the former Azie space. I'm a thin crust pizza kind of gal, so I usually skip the Little Star or Zachary's type pizza and opt for Delfina or Amicis. Zero Zero sticks to the Neapolitan style in a warm, wood decorated space. The cute mural of Pinocchio upstairs lends a whimsical vibe. From the bar they have a impressive list of classic cocktails using a lot of gin and brown liquors. I stuck to the wine on tap, which was surprisingly smooth and fresh. And I always gravitate to wine that is served in a carafe.

As for the pizzas the clear winner is the King Arthur Supreme of Neapolitan pizza, the Castro which includes Sopressata, House Made Sausage, Tomato Sauce,
Mozzarella, and Basil on a thin slightly burned, brick oven crust. The list of pizzas is concise and includes a few SF neighborhoods like Mission and Geary as well as the classics like Margherita and Marinara.

Even after totally indulging on the pizzas, I couldn't pass up the build your own ice cream sundaes. The waitress presented a mini menu and a golf pencil to pick the following options.
1) Choose an Ice Cream - Straus Creamery
2) Pick a Base - brownies, waffle and more
3) Pile on the Toppings - nuts, pie crumble, caramel, AND MORE

The space is gorgeous and spacious, so drop in with ressies or without. You'll probably get seated without much wait.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

I said Yes!

BFF just got back from a real vacation with her English Beau. Amongst the beauty and bears of Montana he pulled out the little blue bag she knows so well and asked her to marry him. As their biggest fan, I was elated and thankful he'd finally popped the question.
More importantly I was asked a very important question too. Three little words I've waiting 20 years to hear - MAID OF HONOR. For most it evokes images of hideous dresses, midnight runs to Walgreens and looking ugly so that the bride is ensured to look good. However in this case it means, kick ass parties, mood boards and pajama planning session parties. I said YES!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Beyond Calories

Diet loves apples
Originally uploaded by aviana2
In an effort to get in shape for my long weekend on the beach in San Diego, I've been trying out a new "eating plan". So far it's been mind blowing, I don't stick to anything and I've actually been looking forward to each day of meals. The plan consists of 6 small meals a day, which has been life changing. My late afternoon craving, which usually results in a trip to my coworker's candy bowl, is gone. Instead I have a handful of almonds and a Laughing Cow Cheese wedge - happily. Within the 6 meals, food is broken down into 4 groups - Fruit, Veggies, Protein, Catch-all of the above. Each day outlines the 6 meals and which group to eat from for each. You pick and choose the items from the allowed list of foods. It's almost like a food math equation. 4 + 3 = skinny.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hot, hot, hot

I dare you not to laugh after watching this video.

The long awaited pad

The first official hands-on iPad review is out. No surprise that Apple handed the scoop to David Pogue, but they might be regretting it now. His review is not all positive, but he has broken it down into two camps. For the techie and for the fanboy, which is actually a perfect approach. All the negatives - no flash, no camera, no multitasking, large glossy surface prone to smudges and fingerprints, are really things that only a true gadgethound would complain about. The fanboys are going to love the UI - the page corner that moves w/ the speed of your finger, the orientation lock so you can lie in bed without it switching to landscape are all sexy feature. And the no contract, pay as you go data plan is groundbreaking. Bottom line is that it's an over sized iPod touch.
This techie girl won't be camping out at the Apple store, but I can't wait to check it out in the CNET lab and I look forward to what the 2nd gen device will offer. For now, I'm still loving the Nook for an e-reader and my iPhone for apps and web browsing.

Monday, March 29, 2010

VIDEO: How to Make Deviled Eggs with Jamie Lauren : Don't disgrace this retro dish

If you love deviled eggs, you'll want to to watch this...How to Make Deviled Eggs with Jamie Lauren: Don't disgrace this retro dish
I think I just got busted by the Queen Chef herself! I can't tell you how many times I walk away from a pot of eggs and forget. And who knew you shouldn't use a fork to mash the yolk!? I can't wait to try the food processor for silky, yummy Deviled Egg filling.
On a sadder note, Chef Jamie is leaving Absinthe in June. See the full story here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Zip your lip

I fantasize about bursting out into this song when asked a direct question in a large meeting at work.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cookie Monsters

Being chosen to be 1 of 20 competitors for SF FoodWars had its ups and downs. I basked in the glow of being chosen, but also had to talk myself down from at least 4 mental breakdowns in the process. For once, I felt like I had prepared myself by testing several recipes 2 weeks ahead of time. My choice was solid, and my 'focus group' of testers stroked my confidence. But when push comes to shove - baking 200 cookies and the preparing the correct amount of caramel topping was downright painful.
Starting on Friday night I began the bake-bonanza. The caramel alone took me a day and a half to perfect. I am certain there will soon be a day where I have to look my landlord in the eye and act surprised and horrified that my sink is clogged. Saturday morning I hit the test kitchen to start the cookie dough. I calculated at least 4 batches of dough to yield the right amount of cookies. The dough had to chill in the fridge for 2 hours, so this gave me some time to work on my signage and think about my outfit. 2 hours later and anything w/ sequins on it removed from my closet the dough was ready. To accommodate the NJ shaped cookie cutter I had to roll out the dough to 2 inches thick. 200 cookies later I can barley move my arms and have the strangest case of carpal tunnel known to man. Not to mention the permanent imprint of backwards New Jersey on my palm.
Sequins, blue eyeshadow and extensions in - I was ready to pump fists on over to Mighty to bring the noise and my Throwing Shapes cookies in all their caramel glory. Despite my postage stamp size space, I was proud of the display and the way the cookies were presented. That is, until they let in 250 ravenous cookie monsters who were clawing and fighting to stuff their faces with cookies! It was insane, I don't think people were even swallowing the previous cookie, before shoving mine into their gobs. And at one point, I thought one guy was going to drink directly out of the gallon of milk I had thoughtfully added to my repertoire. In the blink of an eye, my perfect display was destroyed and I was literally throwing tastes at people.
I didn't win. But that was no surprise, I was Team #10 and I'm convinced everyone was too high off the previous competitors to fairly judge my chocolatey, caramely goodness. The best part of the day was sitting down on my sofa, turning on Rescue Me and not having a cookie in sight.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

One sleeve of Thin Mints later...

I'll admit it. I broke serious protocol. I bought Girl Scout Cookies. The food that renders my will-power completely useless. I don't know what it is about them - the single-serve sized boxes, or helping fund the troop trip to Switzerland or just simple economics, supply and demand. Beginning on the first Friday in March, green clad girls strategically place themselves along my commute route. And once they've hooked me on frozen, minty goodness - poof - the girls are gone. Thankfully our friends at have made it easy for us to taste chocolately, coconutty goodness all year round. See the recipes, here.

Three Leaf Clover

We all know things happen in 3's. Like the deaths of Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, and Walter Cronkite. My St. Patrick's Day has been kinda like that, minus a celebrity death.
I've had a difficult time adjusting to the time change, and refuse to change the clock next to my bed in protest. The downside of my solo stand in being that I don't drag myself out of bed till at least 6:30 (really 7:30).
After showering, test driving 3 outfits and pouring a double espresso shot the 3 leaf clover began. While vacillating between the green scarf or the multi-colored green scarf I had zeroed in on shoes and whipped the right side of my closet shut faster than you can say, "severely bruised appendage".
Once the feeling came back to my fingertips, it was pushing 7:30 (8:30) and I had to get to work. What ensued next was a frantic 20 minute search for my keys which included dumping out my purse, searching the pockets of the last five coats I wore and crawling on the carpet looking under my bed. As I started reloading my oversize purse, I looked down and my keys were sitting in the bottom of said purse. Huzzah!
I have now entered the red zone of being really late to work by rolling out of the apartment at 7:50 (8:50) and heading for the bus. From the corner, I can see all the way to the top of Fulton, and can usually spy the next bus. But this morning, there's nothing en route. I sidle up next to the other 10 people wearing green sweaters and wait. And wait. 25 minutes later, a smug overpaid bus driver finally pulls around the corner.
I got off the bus at Market and strolled to my office in my J. Crew boyfriend cardigan, a spring in my step and smiling Irish eyes. 3 leaf clovers aren't so bad afterall.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Situation

The nerves have peaked in anticipation of the Chocolate Cookie Situation on March 21. I've been busy in the test kitchen trying to perfect my foundation, the chocolate cookie.
I'm working with a recipe that calls for both cocoa powder as well as melted semisweet chocolate. The result is a firm, yet cakey cookie with a rich chocolate taste.
The best part? Using the crazy squirrel cookie cutter I got for $1 at the Asian market. They're so cute!