Foods of March

One of my goals of 2010 is to take pictures on food once a month. In my head this means do the Photographer thing and planning a food photo shoot (maybe cupcakes...) and shooting the food. I was a professional photographer for a number of years and always wanted to be a food photographer or food stylist. Me... I just shot skateboarding stuff. Very cool, but not my dream job.

March is coming to a close and I have yet to plan out the photo shoot I was envisioning. BUT I still have tons of food photos I have taken this month on my phone. Here are some! I really love food...

Breakfast at Eat Chow- Costa Mesa, CA

Donuts at Pike's Place market in Seattle

Blackbird Bakery, Bainbridge Island, WA

Serious Pie, Seattle, WA


Spring in Seattle: a short trip

Recently the sisters and I took a four day trip to the Seattle area to visit my Aunt and Uncle and Cousin. The weather in So Cal had just changed from cool to fabulous and the weather in Seattle predicted nothing but rain. The youngest sister kept saying it didn't rain on us... and this time she was right!

Our family lives on Bainbridge Island, the island across from Seattle, on the side facing the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains. It is gorgeous.

The Middle Sister and I arrived on Saturday and met the Little Sister at SeaTac (we had coordinated flights and outfits apparently because we were all wearing black and grey with blue jeans). The Aunt and Cousin picked us up and we headed to Seattle. Our first stop was my FAVORITE bakery in Pike's Place Market Piroshky Piroshky where I had the Chedder Garlic Onion roll. Think cinnamon roll but with different ingredients. I get it every time I go to Seattle. Then we headed to Serious Pie for lunch and Wandered around Seattle.

The next day the sisters and I explored Bainbride Island with our Aunt. We hit up Blackbird Bakery and the charming downtown area. After a nap, we sat down to feast of enchiladas. The Bainbridge relatives can cook! I lived her for about six months in 2000 and T always tells people this is where he sent me to cooking school.

The third day found the Cousin and us back in Seattle exploring the city and shopping. This time we met Uncle G for lunch at Dahlia Lounge. We were in luck! it was "Dine Around Seattle" week so we got a three course meal for $15. Score!

We had a great time and can't wait to go back...


Review: Heavenly Ski and Ride School

Look for me in the next winter Olympics. I am going to bring home the gold in snowboarding! Well... maybe not, but that is what my instructor kept telling me on the third day of lessons at Heavenly in Tahoe.

I have wanted to learn to snowboard for the last five years and committed to learning how to this year. I wanted to go to a Burton Learn to Ride school and when I went to the website two of those schools were really close to my Uncles' house in Tahoe. Score! But on further investigation it turned out those places didn't offer the Learn to Ride program anymore. I think the Burton site needed to be updated. After a lot of research (mostly on T's part) I decided to go to Heavenly and try their Ski and Ride School. I went with the

1-2-3 Three-day Package Program

Our premier learn-to ski / snowboard program (Levels 1,2 & 3) Meets at the California Lodge, the top of the Gondola or Boulder Base Lodge. Sessions are full day clinics and meet at 10:00 AM. Cost includes three days of lift tickets, three days of ski or snowboard equipment, and three full day sessions which can be taken at any point during the winter season.

Here is my review of the program:
Day one:
Nervous. The Friday of President's Day weekend. I arrive at Heavenly before the school opened and was alone. T and my Uncle had passes to ski at another resort and had dropped me off. I guess I was kind of glad it was just me. I had checked my ego at the door. I knew this would be hard for me. The school office opened and I filled out release forms and got coach and rental vouchers. I asked a few questions and was on my way to rentals. The rental office had a lot of foreign employees. A girl from Argentina helped me with my boots. There was a group of kids learning to ski and I was behind them in rentals, holding my boots, in a very busy space. When I went to get my snowboard the kid (American, better English)asked me if I was "goofy" or "regular". I know what this means in surfing, I didn't know what this meant in snowboarding. I don't know I told him. First day. He asked me a few questions and set me up as "goofy", right foot in front. And I was on my way.

You can read an account of my first two days here, but here are a few things I have noticed in hind site.

I took my first two lessons on a very busy holiday weekend and still had small (8 people) classes. The first two days I had the same instructor but I felt that he was an excellent. He was patient and really concentrated on helping each student at the level they were at. I was extremely lucky with the weather. I took lessons when it was beautiful outside. The only "complaint" I would have was that the food was expensive, but it is a ski resort, of course the food would be expensive.

My third day of lessons was a different experience. First, it was not a holiday weekend. Second, I knew what to expect. I arrived just when the ski school opened and filled out all my paper work. Then I was off to rentals again. This time I had them make my binding "regular" as my first instructor told me I was leading with my left foot when I snowboarded. Then I headed to the bunny slope to get in a little practice before my lesson.

At 10am I was at the ski and ride school. Here is where the holiday weekend thing comes into play. In day one and two of my lessons there were 8 people in both of my classes. There were about 100 people coming for snowboarding lessons. Today there were just six people for snowboarding. Today there was just two people in my group. Me and a girl who worked at Heavenly. An instructor told me that because she was an employee it would be my lesson and she would be tagging along. Whatever... no big deal. My instructor was a mellow guy named Brian. He was great! We started on a new chair lift and I fell getting off this one as well. Somethings don't change I guess. We went down a run called Patsy's (the same run I had crashed down my first two days) and then Brian took us to a place to practice turns. It had a tow rope. A rope (or cable in this case) that pulls you to the top so you don't have to keep hiking up a hill. As a snowboarder you need to go up to the tow rope, have one foot out of your binding and shuffle along to go the same speed as the tow rope and then grab it and hold it next to your body as it tows you up the hill. I fell three times trying to make it up. I know, there is a pattern.

At the top of the hill Brian explained how to turn. Basically you start going down the hill at an angle and when you want to turn you start to move your front foot. For an example. I am going across the hill on a toe side (toes facing the mountain) left leg lead. I want to turn. Most of my weight should be on my front (left) leg. I am on my toes but then I start to do this "lever" or "pedal" move where I slowly bring my heel down on my front (left) leg. If my weight is on the front leg (like it should be) and I bring my heel down slowly the board should turn so I am going down the hill and then I gain speed and keep turning and switch both feet to the heel side. If I turn successfully, I will now be going across the hill on my heel side. It sounds easy enough but sometimes my feet and legs didn't work together so well. BUT I did learn to link turns and spent the rest of the day snowboarding.

Brian was fun and had me follow him down Patsy's so I wouldn't look at my feet a few times. Then he followed me so I wouldn't worry about people coming down the run behind me. My record was making it down the hill and only falling once. I did that about five times. It was pretty awesome.

I highly recommend the Heavenly Ski and Ride School. I was taught the skills I needed to become a successful snowboarder. Everyone was friendly and helpful. Because of this experience I am going to go buy a snowboard and do it for the rest of my life. I just hope I stop falling off chair lifts....