Wednesday, July 18, 2012

San Francisco {part 3}

Final blog about my San Francisco trip.  We visited so many cool sites, eateries, and shops it is hard to remember them all!  Here is a run-down of the goodies I remember:

San Fran Eateries:

San Fran Shops:

{Cako cupcakes}

{Star Wars wallpaper in Super7}

{Ridiculously huge crowd staking out spots for fireworks on the 4th}

{Ghirardelli Square}

{View from Calzone's restaurant}

Sunday, July 15, 2012

San Francisco {part 2}

I have to post again about San Francisco because we did so much!  It can't fit into a single post.  We (my parents and I) spent all day Sunday driving over the Golden Gate bridge, hiking in Muir Woods, and driving along the coastal towns and beaches.  It was foggy but still so beautiful!  I could certainly live in a town like Sausalito.  

{Golden Gate Bridge on a foggy day}

{Muir Woods National Monument}

{A typical dad picture:  He's looking for the Visitor Center... according to the sign it is underground}

{Look off point along Highway 1}

{Stinson Beach, California.  It was frigid.  I put my feet in but they felt like ice cubes.  
And other people were swimming in bikinis!}

{Looking off of the Point Reyes Lighthouse.  
We had to climb down and up enough stairs to equal a 30 story building!  It was worth it.}

{I love this pic.  Mom & dad looking off into the abyss.}

Stay tuned for more updates from the San Francisco trip!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

roasted tomato basil soup

While in San Francisco I had some very tasty tomato soup at Puccini and Pinetti.  Now I've been craving tomato soup nearly every day.  I found this roasted tomato basil soup recipe on Pinterest and made it on Thursday.  I have tomatoes roasting in the oven as I type - making another batch!  It is the BEST tomato soup I've ever had (and I made it... what's up with that!?).  I made quite a few adaptations - my version of the recipe is below.  Original recipe and image via Spoon Fork Bacon.  

Ingredients:
About 8 roma tomatoes, cut lengthwise
extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium onion, diced (optional - the first time I made this I didn't have onion)
minced garlic 
1 tbsp thyme (I didn't have fresh - used dried instead)
1-2 cans crushed tomatoes (I used 1 the first time, 2 this time)
2 cups fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp sugar
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
salt and pepper
2/3 cup heavy cream
feta cheese for garnish

Directions:  (Total time: slightly over 1 hour 30 minutes)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spread tomato halves on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast about 1 hour.
After tomatoes have roasted about 30 minutes, melt butter in a large pot on the stove.
Add onion (if using) and sauté 5 minutes.
Stir in desired amount of garlic as well as thyme and sauté 5 more minutes.
Add canned tomatoes, basils, sugar, salt, and pepper.
Stir mixture, reduce heat, and cover to simmer about 10 minutes.
Pour broth and finished roasted tomatoes into pot.
Add more salt and pepper if desired and cover to simmer about 30 minutes.
Pour soup into a blender and blend until smooth.
Pour soup back into the large pot and add heavy cream, mixing completely.
Simmer a few minutes before serving.
Add feta cheese on top for a tasty garnish!

Now I've got to go finish making my second batch of this delicious stuff!

Friday, July 13, 2012

San Francisco {part 1}

I'm here!  I've been away from my blog to San Francisco and then family was visiting and I was catching up with work.  But I'm back!  

San Francisco was great!  It was nice to be out in 60 degree weather rather than 100 degree weather for a week.  Here is where I was dancing each day: the ODC Dance Commons in the Mission District.

{main entrance}

 {outdoor deck area}

Janice Garrett's dance workshop was mentally challenging, physically intense, and a lot of fun. Her technique classes and choreography are extremely intricate, physical, and musically influenced. It is definitely a style I thoroughly enjoy viewing as well as dancing. We learned excerpts from String Wreck. See an excerpt of a piece I really enjoy, Illustrated Book, here. I wish I could dance 6 hours a day at such an intense level on a regular basis. My dancing would be improving consistently and I'd be in better shape! If only I lived in San Francisco... or Sausalito...
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