My Pinterest Life #2: Cooking and Looking Good

Hey All –

I thought I had it all together. Today’s menu: Butternut Squash Soup – something I’ve made a million times. Should be easy, right? I picked out a recipe on Pinterest that was different from my norm and got to work. Luckily, after studying the picture and reading the narrative, I knew I had all the ingredients on hand: 1 butternut squash, 1 white onion, green apples, and coconut milk. Then I looked at the post: there were no directions or ingredient list. I was going to have to guess.

This is what I was working with:

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Okay then, let’s get to it. First up: coring the apples. I guessed at how many. Four seemed like a good number.

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Next, I poked holes in the squash and microwaved it for 5 minutes to make the skin come off easily. While it cooked, I quartered an onion.

IMG_5438After cubing the squash, I piled everything into the slow cooker the way it looked in the Pinterest photo.

IMG_5440I let the whole thing cook for 4 hours on high (which was probably too long or too high, but whatever, it worked out). When it was done cooking, it looked like this:

IMG_5442At this point, the Colonel declared it disgusting and asked if he could eat yesterday’s Rice Crispy treats instead (because now he loves them – go figure.) I have to admit, it does look gross. But then I dumped in a can of coconut milk and used my immersion blender. The final product:

IMG_5443Without trying it myself, I was able to convince the Colonel to sample it, and he declared the soup excellent! So double win because not only will my meat-eater eat it, but it’s vegan and that means Pudge can eat it too! I only have to cook one meal tonight 😀

So PINTEREST WIN…until I looked at the original post again and found…the ingredient list and directions – lol. So fail because I lack scrolling capabilities. Still, I did pretty well working off just a picture. *Pats self on back*

And I have an outfit today. As my friend, Andrea, said these outfits are all meant for 26-year-old willowy types. Maybe I am determined to reclaim my youth. Who knows? But I felt INSPIRED by this outfit. I would master it, using only clothes I already own, no matter what.

IMG_5448Cute right? I thought so too, until I walked outside and it was 70-degrees (hello, it was 44 this morning!). I immediately went back inside and put on a non-Pinterest approved outfit. So imagine me wearing this:

IMG_5447So, today was a mixed bag. Everything came out fine, but I failed at reading directions and looking at the temperature. I can’t blame those on Pinterest.

Until tomorrow, kittens, when I attempt crafting with the boys while wearing something fabulous and more weather appropriate.

xoxo

~dawn

My Pinterest Life #1: Rice Crispy Nutella Roll-Ups

Hey all –

After a long absence, I’ve been sucked back down into the Pinterest rabbit hole. Back when I lived in San Francisco, I was a chicken-raising, organic homesteader who knit my boys clothes, sewed Halloween costumes, and spent way too much time crafting perfect holiday decor. Pinterest was like crack for me.

Somewhere between Flagstaff, AZ and Virginia, I lost every ounce of domesticity and crafting I possessed.

Until now!

But let me tell you, cooking those lovely Pinterest recipes is nothing like riding a bike. YOU DO FORGET HOW TO DO IT. Or maybe there are cooking fairies who are boycotting my home. Either way, it is now – after four failed cooking attempts – clear that I may never get my cooking skills back.

And yet I persevere. For your viewing pleasure, I present Rice Krispy Nutella Roll-ups. How could this go wrong, you may be asking yourself. Good question. I thought the same. After all, at the very least, I’d end up with a puddle of rice crispys coated in Nutella.

Problem number 1: I excitedly tell the Colonel that we’re going to make special rice crispy treats. He promptly bursts into tears and declares he wants braces. Why braces? Because then he wouldn’t have to eat the evil Rice Crispy treats. In my excitement to craft the hell out of these treats, I forget he hates rice treats. But he likes marshmallows, and I figure if I give him enough it will pacify him. Score: 1 – Mom.

We make up the marshmallows and butter and pour in the crispies. After covering a pan in wax paper, I dump half the mixture on to the pan and spread it out. I let it cool slightly, before spreading the Nutella all over the concoction.

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Pretty nasty looking, no? And yet I keep on. Next, using the wax paper, I began rolling the whole mess length-wise. I should have known there was a problem when the marshmallows didn’t seem to be holding the crispies together. But nooo…I figured it wasn’t set yet and that it would work better once it was rolled and cooled.

Finally, I had a roll!

IMG_5431At this point, I noticed the Colonel munching on a bag of marshmallows – the second bag I thought we’d added to the mixture. No wonder it was falling apart! Score: Treats – 1; Me – 1.

Next I figured, what the hell, and decided to slice the roll into even pieces. BWAHAHAHAHA. Clearly, this treat was out to get me.

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Looks good, right. Well hold on, kittens, this is what it ended up looking like:

IMG_5434A complete mess! Not one roll stuck together. As soon as we picked them up, they fell to pieces, leaving a mess of nutella and rice crispies everywhere. Score: Treats -2; Me – 1.

So the lesson here is that next time, I won’t rely on the rice crispie treat-hating Colonel to oversee the marshmallows. If we’d used two bags, I’m sure the whole mess would have stuck together.

And that, loves, is my pseudo pinterest fail #4.

San Francisco: One Perfect Day

Last week, my family and I escaped the snow storm that hit Northern Virginia and returned to (strangely) sunny San Francisco. If you’ve ever been to the City, you know it is never sunny or warm. Except for one week in October.

For any of you thinking of visiting San Francisco, here’s my take on One Perfect Day.

9am: Wake up. Bug and I stayed at the Westin St. Francis while our kids stayed across town at our house with their grandparents. No kids = sleeping in 😀

10:30am: Walk through Union Square and down Market to meet up with my in-laws and kids for dim sum at Yank Sing in the Rincon Center. This is, by far, the best dim sum in San Francisco.

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1pm – Walk over the Ferry Building to admire the farmer’s market and delicious inside shops.

2pm – 4pm – Walk. Walk. Walk.

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The second, or third, or maybe forth set of stairs leading up to Coit tower. The stairs can be brutal if you aren’t used to it, but he famous Parrots of Telegraph Hill live in the trees, and it makes it worth it.
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After making it all the way up the hill in the unusual heat, we were rewarded with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

After reaching Coit Tower, we walked down the other side of the hill and into North Beach. Since it was a gorgeous, sunny day, it was packed. If you like Italian food, this is the place to nosh.

North beach

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We didn’t hang out in North Beach because I wanted to get to Chinatown. The two neighborhoods are next to each other and actually bleed into each other in some parts.

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Grant Avenue

Our house in the City is near Clement Street, aka Chinatown West, so I don’t normally venture into this part of town. It’s a little touristy, to be honest. However, there is one reason to visit: UNCLE and Vital Tea Leaf.

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That man in the picture with me is Uncle Gee and he’s almost 83 years old. Seriously. Right before this picture, he was Gangham style dancing with me. He is amazing. He owns a tea shop called Vital Tea Leaf in Chinatown, but you do not just go in and buy tea. Oh, no. You are invited into Uncle’s home. You sit at the tea bar and you are educated about tea – all while being poured glass after glass and being peppered by Uncle’s bawdy stories. His selection of tea is one of the best I’ve ever seen, and for loose leaf, very well priced.

After filling up on tea, make the short walk back to Union Square. From here, you can either shop (my choice), ride the cable car down to Fisherman’s Wharf, or hop on the 38 and head out to the Richmond District (my neighborhood) where you can visit Golden Gate Park or the Presidio. The whole walk, with stops, takes about six hours.

And for fun, here are the restaurants I love:

B*Star on ClementTroya on Clement

Umami on Webster

Roadside BBQ on Geary

Out the Door on Bush

Gordo’s

Pancho’s on Geary at Stanyan

Florio