6.20.2013

Remembering Spring 2013

It's time for the seasonal change of the blog banner!  Summer 2013 (current blog banner) is a photo I took when T and I went to Sayulita, Mexico back in 2008.  Funny because we are going to Mexico this summer too!

More about that later as this blog post is remembering Spring 2013.  

I loved Spring 2013.  It started with an awesome Spring Break trip to Zion, Bryce, and Vegas.  Then I took a trip with T to Joshua Tree.

Work this year was really difficult for me and I could not wait for the school year to be over.  When Spring started I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and I just started running for it!  I took a trip with Library AC to San Francisco and then T and I headed up to Mammoth to get the Summer started.

I might just be happy that it is summer, but Spring 2013 was packed with some fun adventures and created a perfect spring board (get it?) for summer.

The banner picture for Spring 2013 is from a drinks and appetizer night that the Middle Sister organized so we could use our Grandmother's punch bowl (in the photo on the far right).  Nothing wrong with organizing a social event around a dish, right?

6.19.2013

Surf City Nights Street Fair and Farmers Market in Huntington Beach

Every Tuesday night Huntington Beach closes down Main Street for a street fair and farmer's market.  They call it Surf City Nights.  Over the years I have gone off an on.  I really wanted to go during the school year but had Italian class on Tuesday night and could never make it this past year.  Now that summer is here, I have gone for the last three weeks with the Little Sister.

The Little Sister created a Tres Sorelli (three sisters) calendar and populated it with all kinds of free events.  When looking over the calendar I added Surf City Nights to Tuesdays and it has been fun.

You can read about Surf City Nights here, but basically the city closes down Main Street for three blocks.  Starting from the pier, you have a block of vendors selling different items, then you have some street food options off the first intersection.  Next you have the Farmer's Market section with the no dogs sign that everyone ignores.  It is fairly small but I have gotten amazing strawberries and blueberries there.  Actually, everything I have bought has been pretty good. At the next intersection there is one of those bungy-trampolines and it can be very entertaining to watch!  The last block is more street fair vendors.  Bands or DJ's play at each intersection and change each week.

After the Little Sister and I went the first week, we decided to get a glass of wine at Sandy's on the Beach.  We sat outside, but no one ever came to take our order.  The next week T joined us for Surf City Nights and we gave Sandy's a try again.  We sat inside this time but the service wasn't very good and neither was the wine so we decided to start trying other places.

Last night the Little Sister and I went again and our neighbor Jenn went with us.  The weather was beautiful and the strawberries were just as good.  We decided to go to Zimzala at the Shorebreak Hotel for wine this time.  Our waitress Madeline was awesome and so were the sweet potato tater tots!  Wine was good and we split a steak with green beans.  Also good.  I would for sure go back to Zimzala and want to stay at the Shorebreak Hotel (even though I could ride my bike there from my house).  It is really cool, and very dog friendly if you were wondering.

I am thinking Surf City Nights is going to be a summer staple.  It's a nice local event and keeps me in fresh produce since I eat it none stop during the summer!

What about you?  Any new summer ritual you started?

6.11.2013

A weekend at Hot Creek

This past weekend T, Samson, and I headed up to the Mammoth Lakes area and stayed with our friend at Hot Creek. We arrived late Thursday night and stayed until Monday. T had a goal to fish (big surprise) and I wanted to paint the bedroom.

I am not sure if I have mentioned how lucky we are to have some friends who work in the Mammoth area and have an extra bedroom they have basically given to us to use whenever we want. They even said we could paint it. I spent all winter living with the four walls being a very dark brown and this weekend I got a chance to paint it! (See picture of brown walls).

Months ago I did a paint test (see the hearts on the wall in the photo above) to see what color I wanted to paint the bedroom. I was planning on painting three walls and leaving the wall behind the bed brown and painting it brown and white stripes at an other time.
 

Friday morning I woke up and when T went fishing I got to work. I was on my second wall when he came back. Paint is amazing and instantly brightened up the room. It looked great. We both took naps on Friday, (sometimes the altitude change gets to me) and then had dinner with our friend and we all went to soak in one of the natural hot springs in the area.

Saturday morning was a repeat of Friday with T fishing and me finishing up the paint job. The room looks so much better / brighter now. I really liked it. I went with Lady Fingers by Benjamin Moore. Here is the view of the wall at the foot of the bed. The picture is one of T's of our first trailer that we got for a dollar. We called it "The Blue Light Special" and this is a photo from Blackrock, near Joshua Tree National Park. The Blue Light was fun, but T was too tall for it and needed to tilt his head whenever he was inside. When the opportunity presented itself, we traded The Blue Light for the airstream we have now! But I love that picture.....

After lunch we headed out to hike to Crystal Lake. T is four months out after knee surgery so I found a moderate hike that looked like fun. This hike is out of the Mammoth Lakes basin with the trail head at Lake George. Here is some more information and you can even find it on YELP.
 

It took about an hour to get to Crystal Lake and T rocked the hike. The only reason I could tell that he was recovering from knee surgery is because I could keep up with him (for the most part), usually he is way ahead of me. There was some snow patches on the trail and that slowed him down a bit but overall he did great. We spent about an hour at Crystal Lake and T fished and I might have napped..... The hike back is almost all downhill so the heart rate was not as high as it was on the way up. I enjoyed the hike to Crystal Lake and and was happy to see T did too!

Sunday morning T went fishing and I went for a bike ride. The weather had been fabulous (mid 80's) for our trip and I set out early to enjoy the day. T had said he would be back at 10 and wanted to go to Rock Creek Lake to try to get some Pie in the Sky. Rock Creek Lake is south of Mammoth and a place my Nana Sally always talked about. I had never visited it when she was still alive, but stop by a lot now. There is great hiking there and the infamous Pie in the Sky cafe. Last summer the Little Sister and I stopped by and had a slice of pie there but T has never gotten there when they still had pie. This Sunday, he was going to change that.

We arrived at Pie in the Sky for lunch and T immediately ordered the Boysenberry Pie to have as dessert after we had our bacon burgers. I ended up ordering the Lemon Cream Pie. Both were good but I think the Boysenberry one was better.

After lunch we hiked to Long Lake and this time T left me in the dust on the way back. He said his knee was feeling great and he was excited about our hiking. He did some fishing at Long Lake and we took a lot of pictures on the hike. On the way back we stopped by Pie in the Sky to see if they had any pie left, but they were out. That's okay. Two pieces of pie were probably enough for the day.
Starting out the hike.

T feeling good near Heart Lake.
T fishing Long Lake. You can see him on the right.
A better picture of Heart Lake on the way back.
No Pie for You! Sold out of pie at Pie in the Sky.

That night we BBQed with our friend and ate outside. Then T went fishing (like every night) and I enjoyed the warm evening breeze. It was a great weekend and I am looking forward to coming back at the end of the month to hike, bike, and see what other adventures present themselves. T is talking about bringing the canoe up and that could be fun!
Until next time Eastern Sierra......

 

6.03.2013

Paleo June

I love the month of June! It starts off summer, has the longest daylight hours all year, and is usually the month I travel (now that I start work in mid-August). Sometimes we get "June gloom" in SoCal, but I am hoping it doesn't show up too much this month. Fingers crossed!
June is the month I officially start my self imposed summer schedule and I have my first hot yoga class Monday at 5:30am! I start week 2 of Ripped in 30 Monday and the month of June is going to be all about eating paleo. T and the Little Sister are on board for Paleo June and we are off to a good start.

I thought I might tell you about a few of my favorite paleo recipes during this month. I love the citrus carnitas from the Well Fed cookbook! I just made a batch today. Lucky for you, the author has a blog and she (Melissa) posted the recipe for you here! I just noticed she has a pressure cooker note at the bottom and think T and I will need to try this as they do take a while to cook.....
On a side note: I LOVE Melissa's book Well Fed. I highly recommend it. It is a paleo cookbook by a person who loves to eat and who understands food flavor levels. My copy has multiple recipes tagged and I love that the book came with a PDF version I use on my iPad. She also has tons of recipes on her blog!

Eating paleo is not hard for me because I love meat, fruits, and vegetables. Even bread isn't that hard to live without but I do have a bit of a sweet tooth and sometimes that can be hard. My sweet tooth is more like a chocolate tooth, and I every once in a while give in to my cravings for semi sweet chocolate chips..... I won't be having any in June, but I will be having some Paleo Chocolate Mousse! Thank you Pinterest for bring me this recipe. As with any dessert, I will be eating this in moderation, but I was so happy to find this recipe and have tested it out and really liked it.
The Little Sister made some paleo sloppy joe's (I will try to get her recipe) and then put it inside an acorn squash and baked it! So good.

T and I will be eating lots of steak (remember I Love Meat) and I love having some chimichurri sauce with it. This is an other Well Fed staple. As is the Cauliflower Rice Pilaf. This recipe from her blog is close to the one in the book. I make a big batch and have it for breakfast in the morning!
My mouth is watering just thinking of all the things I am going to eat this month. What about you? Any favorite summer foods?