Friday, August 31, 2007

Happy Labor Day Weekend

Sending wishes of a safe holiday weekend... Limit your risks, not your partying! And as I have experienced, the State of California provides a gift for being a good girl...

Recently, on my way home from the wine bar (I was working, not patronizing) I went through a sobriety check point. For flirting with the officer and not driving while under the influence, I was gifted with this parting prize....

Wind him up and watch him go.... He actually moves like he's a bit under the influence himself, but it's the thought that counts.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Wow! I feel like Steven Hawking. And these are the future leaders of our country; kind of like the current leader of our country...

Friday, August 24, 2007


Not only does she desert me at work for a "mini" leave of absence, Tanya defiles my precious property....

God, I love her! Enjoy your time off my friend!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The tasting

I felt like I had just arrived at Disneyland. They gave me a badge and handed me a wine glass… I looked up and all that was there was wine as far as the eye could see. On Monday, Craig and I attended the Family Winemakers of California 2007 Tasting. 2 days and 150 different wineries showcasing their latest vintages… Sunday was opened to the public, but Monday was purely for the wine trade. It was a wine fool’s paradise. Held at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco which sits on the bay across from Alcatraz, it was a gorgeous day. Truly, it was like hitting the wine lottery; making our way up and down the aisles, swirling, sipping, savoring, swallowing, occasionally spitting and ultimately swooning when we had found a wine that bewitched us. I only wished that we had more than one day so we could take our time, break for lunch, a stroll in the city or ride on the bay...but this was a serious undertaking (at least for Craig).

Our friends, Chef Bret and his lively wife Debora meet us at Fort Mason and away we went. For nearly 5 hours, we wound our way around, first drinking Pinot, then Chardonnay, then Cabernet. Around 6, we were half looped and in desperate need of food, so we decided to crash our dinner reservations early.

Debora and Bret had made reservations at La Folie, a charming French restaurant on Polk Street. Known for its Prix Fixe dinner offerings, it is city dining at its best. All the stress I endured that day was due to making menu decisions. First, you can go with a 3, 4 or 5 course meal. Then, there were five to seven choices within each course offering and some chef’s offerings not listed… I seriously thought about asking how much our bill would be if we ordered the entire menu…. I wanted EVERYTHING; we all did.

I finally settled on the five course meal:

Goat Cheese and Fourme D’Ambert Terrine with Baby Pickled Beets, Toasted Walnuts and Frisée Salad

The Seared Day Boat Scallop resting on Celeriac Puree finished with an orange beurre blanc

Baby lobster resting on English pea ravioli finished with a vanilla butter and toasted almonds

Seared Rib Eye with baby Chanterelle and Shitake Mushrooms resting on arugula risotto
finished with shaved black truffle

Peach Melba incased in meringue with an Earl Grey Sabayon.

Craig had an amazing chocolate fondant that incased the most delicious vanilla ice cream.

We also were presented with two Chef’s amuses; one of Duck Soprasetta with a fingerling potato and Frisée salad and the other of “scrambled eggs” with fresh black truffles. They had a fabulous intermezzo of fresh cantaloupe juice and they finished off our meal with a Chef’s offering of sweet bites.

It was a great day and a wonderful way to end our evening. And with our bellies full of amazing food and wine, we made our way home and back to reality.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The lost weekend...

If one spends 5 out of 7 evenings at a bar...does this make you someone with an addiction issue? Actually, I have been spending many of my nights at the wine bar where Craig works. The bar has been expanding their events calendar and has started to offer dinners on selective evenings. Collectively, the staff has little restaurant experience and one of the owners, Bob, was down due to a knee injury. It was decided that I would step in and help them organize the food service aspect of the bar and fill in for Bob. On Thursday, the bar was starting "French Dip Night". Thursday night went smoothly albeit quiet... So, we all decided that I would come in on Friday just in case they needed assistance for the Friday night tasting.

Friday came and I headed over to the bar after work. I was still a little tired from the late evening the night before so I picked up a four shot espresso on the way. THANK GOD!!!!! It was like a "people bomb" exploded in the bar that Friday night. We ran out of chairs, we ran out of glasses, we ran out of crostini, we ran out of patience and we ran out of steam. The worst thing was that we barely had a chance to drink our E.W. (aka employee wine). Sometime around 1:00 in the morning, Craig and I crawled home.

Standing room only...

On Saturday the wine bar was participating in one of those god awful "wine and food tasting" fund raisers where people spend a ridiculous amount of money to receive a "souvenir" wine tasting glass and a plastic plate. Sondra (one of the bar owners) and I were chosen to work the event. Luckily, our table was next to our friend, Bret, owner and chef of the Boulevard Bistro. We were able to swap "war stories" as we passed the time. So, the various restaurants and wineries were all lined up in an event's center to hand out tastings of wine and menu items. It makes you feel like the ugly desperate girl at the high school dance...eagerly waiting for someone to make eye contact so you can sell them on your business and push your product. We actually had it's not too difficult to hand out free wine... The hardest part was "pretending" that we hadn't recognize repeat visitors for the 3rd time. We hid our amusement as they wandered over for another visit as they asked.."Oh, what are you pouring?" It took everything I had to not respond, "At this point, you tell me." Throughout the evening Sondra and I bounced back and forth from drinking wine to drinking Go Girl, a new low calorie energy drink from Tab. To say we were tired was an understatement.

The Wine and Food Tasting Event

Chef Bret

Helping out the wine bar sounded good in theory, but I forgot about the fact that I still have a day job and at 38 years old, double shifts aren't something I do well... Let's face facts, I have become spoiled with my "desk job" and have grown accustomed to an 8 hour work day. It's been a long time since I have worked 15 hours straight and now remember why I walked away from the "hospitality industry" and signed up for civil service. It's hard to paste a smile on your face and ignore the fact that someone has treated you just slightly better than a homeless lush (ok, I may own up to the "lush" part). It can be fun, rewarding ($ and wine), and exhausting. Of course, when asked if I will help answer will be yes. Food and wine and "the business" are addictive and the friends that Craig and I have made, make it worth it in the end.

Fun and friends, Craig and Jeremiah

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I'm Back with Birthday Wishes!!!

August 3rd was Craig's birthday so the dogs and I decided to take pictures and make cards for dad.... It seemed like a great idea and had I had cooperative animals, it would have been a quick process. However, just like their mother, they were reluctant models...

Damn, a Jerry Lee leg is in the background...I could photoshop it out, but I decide to continue.

This shot is NOT going to work. It's not too precious when I am forcing her headshot with my hand...

Finally, Nadine strikes a fierce pose and we get the "cover" shot..... Now, it is time to tackle my most difficult subject-Jerry Lee far, so good. This isn't the BEST shot, but at least he's cooperating....or so I think, so I pray.

He reverts back to his reluctant pose and now I am forced to behave in the worst "stage-mom" fashion...this little "project" is now an hour and 15 minutes in and I am 45 minutes behind in my schedule...

Why look at this, I have caught my darling in mid-sneeze... I will let the picture speak for itself.

And finally, a cover shot is capture and the project is complete. By the way, Dad (aka Craig) loved the birthday cards. I am already starting to think about what we will be doing for Dad for Christmas... Any ideas??