Thursday, July 30, 2009

In honor of 100


I decided for my 100th post on Coeur de La I would invite a guest blogger to share their love for simple goodness. I am honored to have my friend Amanda write about her travels, life and love for yummy delights. Thank you to all of my followers, I write daily because of you. If you have been inspired to travel, cook, take an adventure or relish in life's simple goodness then I am overly content. Thanks again and enjoy a post from my dear friend, Amanda!!! 
See post below!!

Globe Trottin'

What better way to celebrate Caroline’s 100th posting than with travel, food and friends. As an avid traveler, food lover, and a dear friend to Caroline, it only seems natural that I share some of my favorite travel locations, food that makes my heart skip a beat and a few travel stories about Caros. Let’s start down under.

During a deliciously exciting trip to Australia, I became well acquainted with Cowboys; not the kind of Cowboy that shoots at imaginary rabbits- the kind of Cowboy that comes in a shot glass. To recreate this Aussie classic simply pour ½ oz Bailey's® Irish cream over 1/2 oz butterscotch schnapps and giddy-up. FYI: Stop drinking when you begin to see those imaginary rabbits; really stop drinking if you get the inclination to shoot things.

Viva Costa Rica and their fried plantains. I had a trip planned to Costa Rica with my good friend Angie and Caroline’s cousin Ashley. Caros and I have always been a bit protective of Ashley because she is younger and sometimes not up with the program (which is why we love her, by the way). If any Coeur followers have flown into San Jose, CR you know that it can be a overwhelming experience. There are about 100 men to every woman and somehow they all fit in the same 2,000sq. feet that make up the airport. You step off the airplane and immediately are “greeted” by money-hungry, no-teeth, overly hyper Ticos. After assessing the situation, I suddenly believed in God and started praying to her that Ashley didn’t leave the airport. Imagine my horror when I look out of the window and see Ashley’s innocent face among a sea of men; she was smiling and waving like she was in South Beach. I ran outside and scolded her in a motherly fashion. In mid-scold, Caroline jumped out from behind her and surprised me like she was Ed Mcmahon (R.I.P). At first I thought Caros was a ghost. I finally realized that these two prima’s plotted a surprise visit from Caroline. I was so happy that Caroline was there that I forgot about Ashley’s little episode. During the trip we ate a ridiculous amounts of fried plantains. At one point I thought we were going to all start whoo-whooing like monkey’s. For equally good fried plantains, check out Cha Cha Cha in San Francisco. The plantains taste much sweeter when you wash them down with Cha Cha Cha’s famous Sangria.

Nelly ain't got nothin on the real South. Enter Peru, a place where Band-Aids aren’t worn as a fashion statement and your real teeth are valued. There is so much to cherish about Peru. Obviously Machu Picchu is on the list, as well watching pink dolphins swim in the Amazon, swimming with Crocs and taking a boat across Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in the world. What I especially loved about Peru was the healthy, yet tasteful food. My favorite dish was the vegetarian chile relleno. It is made with a sun-kissed bell pepper, cheese from cows that lazily roam the Peruvian mountains, and fresh veggies. Fortunately for me, I live in the Mission District of San Francisco, home to Limon Peruvian Cuisine. Order the Chile Relleno and book your next trip to the land of the Incas. You will not regret it. Pinky-swear.

Congratulations on your 100th posting Caros! Your blog is sweeter than coconut flan. Te quiero.

Harley Farms




Harley Farms was our last stop on our day trip to Pescadero and is a full running goat farm. Sign up for a tour of the farm and you can milk goats, visit the milking station and taste a dozen types of goat cheese. If you love goat cheese then Harley Farms is definitely a place for you. Make sure to book your reservations for a tour in advance. I wasn't able to reserve a time for a tour but I did get a chance to play with some kids (baby goats) and nibble on some tasty goat cheese. My favorite cheese was the goat cheese covered in chives.  I love the picture of the little girl holding the baby goat. At the time, I wasn't able to capture another baby goat nibbling on her hair, she was fearless. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

garden fresh


I can't wait to have space for a garden!! I am looking forward to the day when I can walk outside and pluck a tomato off its vine. There's something to be said about a bright red, ripe tomato.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Calistoga


I will be in Calistoga today for some much needed soaking.  I can't wait to relax, read my book, write and enjoy the company of a good friend. What do you usually bring on your day trips? Oh, and I almost forgot, my camera is a must bring. I thought this photo was fitting for the day. I snapped it in my dad's backyard and it instantly put me in a good mood!! Have a wonderful day filled with simple goodness.

Monday, July 27, 2009

celebrating




Today I turn 26, and have chosen to celebrate in several different ways. On Saturday, a group of us went surfing in Santa Cruz. I plan on doing this until I am 80, riding waves, enjoying yummy sandwiches and playing on the beach with friends. Afterwards, I went to my Abuelita's house (grandma's house) for an authentic mexican dish, Pozole. Pozole is a traditional soup with pork, hominy, cabbage, hot sauce, onions and radishes. Every year I ask her to make this for me and she does with no hesitation. Pozole takes her all day to make and I appreciate her hard work by eating as much of it as possible. On Sunday, I had brunch with my dad and his fiance at one of our favorite places, Rick and Ann's in Berkeley and then met with my mom, family and friends in Davis for crepes at CrepeVille. So, I've jam packed everyone in there and was able to celebrate with everyone. Today is the day however, that I decided to make my entrance into the world. The plan for today is bike riding with the hubby, breakfast and then off to my favorite city, San Francisco. I love to hear about other ways of celebrating getting wiser so, how do you celebrate?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Happy


I have a little routine I do every morning and it involves several blogs and coffee. I wake up, turn on my computer, sip on my coffee and read several blogs that make me oh so happy. I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend. Here are my blog reads that make me happy:

Daisy Chain- I love coming here to get inspired and swept away

Oh hello- If I feel like waking up in San Francisco, all I have to do is go here and I am smack dab in the city. I love how oh hello is perfectly balanced with wit, humor and fashion!!

Team Boo- If I need a good morning laugh I go here! It's saved as one of my bookmarks as delightful

Kristy Bee- If I need some photographic encouragement and want to get lost in photos that instantly cheer me up I stop here

Lovely Morning- I absolutely love the freshness of this blog, from photos to ideas

Every one of these blogs makes me happy for different reasons, check them out and I hope they make you happy too!!!

Duarte's Tavern





The second stop on our Pescadero day trip was Duarte's Tavern. I was given a tip from my friend Judith that Duarte's has the best artichoke soup, and indeed it does. I would recommend ordering a bowl of the artichoke soup served with fresh sourdough bread. The taste is unreal, creamy, flavorful and warm goodness. I would stick to ordering just a bowl and then walk across the street, there's Arcangeli Grocery Co (Norm's Market) where you can purchase artichoke bread, and a fresh artichokes. If you want something more, stop at the Pescadero Country Store, inside they make fresh wood fired pizzas with the freshest ingredients. I've been craving artichoke soup and plan to head back to Pescadero soon, and if you haven't been what are you waiting for? Go and enjoy Pescadero.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

good things


So, I stumbled upon this link this morning and decided I had to share it with all of you 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-94JhLEiN0

My husband and I are approaching our 1 year anniversary and this little link got me thinking about our wedding day, such a great day!!! I hope this brings a smile to your morning or a laugh to your stomach!!
Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

U-Pick




The Swanton Berry Farm was our first stop on our day trip to Pescadero. Located down Highway 1, Swanton Berry Farm is about 20 minutes from Pescadero. The farm has several U-pick options from blackberries to strawberries depending on the season. You're given green little baskets to carry your berries and for $2.50 a pound you might want to grab a handful of baskets. The strawberries were bright, red and juicy. When I think of summer, there's one fruit that comes to mind and that is the strawberry. The strawberry fields were any strawberry lover's dream. Think of all the ways you can use a strawberry:
in a salad
for jam
with fresh whipped cream
by themselves in all their glory!!

beach house


If I had a beach house it would look like this:
small
purple
flowers in the front yard
and a place to call my own!!! 

What would your beach house look like? 

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

cruising


I've been looking for a nice vintage cruiser and stumbled upon this pretty lil thing. I can see it now, cruising around town, picking up goodies and enjoying life!!! The only thing it needs is a basket, otherwise it's perfect!!

*photo found on craigslist taken by owner

Day Trip to Pescadero


The next several posts are going to be about a day trip to Pescadero, California. Pescadero is a small town along the central coast between San Francisco and Santa Cruz. The town itself is tiny, but don't be fooled there's much to do!! Here is what our day looked like when visiting Pescadero.

Berry Picking at Swanton Berry Farm where we picked and feasted on strawberries
Worked up an appetite berry picking, so, stopped at Duarte's Tavern for Artichoke Soup
Meandered through the downtown area and realized we should have saved room for Artichoke bread
Went to Harley Farms to visit the goat farm and tasted some tasty goat's cheese

I will be posting about berry picking, artichoke soup at Duarte's, and Harley Farms separately because there's just too much good stuff to write about. For now, to get you into the mood of artichokes, check out a picture I snapped!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Benny and Shrimp


If you're in need of a good beach read, page turner, quick read or want to read a quirky tale, I must recommend Benny and Shrimp, by Katarina Mazetti. This little book found me in a bookshop in Half Moon Bay. I must be honest, I did choose to read it because of the delightful cover!! However, cover alone, I am enjoying the author's witty humor. I won't go into details about what it's about but the author writes this, " two middle aged misfits and a love that should not be as complicated as it seems"....... who wouldn't want to read about love and misfits??!!!

a splash of color


Being that today is Monday, I thought this photo was quite fitting for today!!! My good friend Amanda shot this photo in our home town of Benicia. I fell in love with this picture and even more I loved why she decided to capture it. Amanda noticed the bright flower stood alone in a field of grey. The flower was tiny and could have easily been missed but Amanda has always paid attention to the small things, and was able to capture this beauty!! Often, Monday feels grey to me, a start of a new week, back to the hustle and bustle, but if you find that one bright thing your Monday won't seem so bad!!!! Check out Amanda's blog at http://www.thepigments.com

Thursday, July 16, 2009

capturing summer


Sometimes, I wish I could bottle up summer and drink it whenever and wherever!! I loved this photo my friend Hope captured of Lake Swamish. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

little things


I love this small bouquet of flowers my little cousin Lucas picked for his mom. The flowers are dainty, colorful and pleasing, kids are the best!! 

Have a Peachy Morning


Good Morning all!!! I hope you have a peachy morning whether you are working, taking it easy, adventuring, traveling or enjoying your morning java. Enjoy the cool morning air because if it's anything like yesterday, today might be a hot one!!!! I snapped this photo while on a walk in El Cerrito the other day. I forgot how great it is to take a brisk walk and snap photos to my hearts content. If you have a free morning grab your camera, and venture out and snap, snap, snap away!! Send your pictures along my way and I would love to feature you on Coeur De La!!!! Enjoy your morning!!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates




Last week to my sweet surprise my mom took me to this wonderful chocolate shop, Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates. Right when I entered an aroma of chocolate sailed through the air and swirled around me. I could not believe my eyes, chocolate of all kinds and of every shape and size filled the countertops. My favorite was the lavender caramel chocolate, both the lavender and caramel soothed my palette as well as my stomach!! I may have been carried away but I ended up ordering their Parisian Macaroon Ice Cream Sandwich with homemade berry ice cream. The macaroon was soft and fluffy while the berry ice cream was creamy and fruity, all together tasty! This is one of the most delightful places I have been in Sacramento and if you love chocolate I would definitely recommend stopping here. For more chocolate goodness check out their website at http://www.gingerelizabeth.com/

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Landscape


After a long road trip, it was quite refreshing to roll down my window and stumble upon this landscape, beautiful and simply California.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Beach Bliss



I love the beach!! You can spend the day playing in the surf, snuggling on a blanket, reading a good book or chatting with a good friend, the beach offers it all. One of my favorite places to go is Half Moon Bay's State Beach or Venice Beach up Highway 1. Sometimes, the weather is a little chilly but in summer the weather is perfect. A perfect beach day for me is when the weather is a bit crisp yet the sand is still warm. Pack a tasty lunch, grab some friends and head to the beach, you will definitely have a blissful day.

a glimpse of summer




Summer is incredibly sweet!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

delights


I stumbled upon this picture today while looking through my brother's photos. I asked him who had taken this shot and was surprised to find out it was my dad's!!! I loved that my dad decided to capture these fluffy white flowers, it's quite easy to take pictures of bright colorful flowers and shots like these easily get missed. Good eye dad, keep on capturing life's delights!
Photo taken by J.E

mmmm coffee


Sitting in a cafe with a good book in hand is one of my favorite things.  I can sit for hours like this!! I especially love when I order a latte and notice there's a sweet design in the foam. While in Seattle, I was able to sit at a rustic wood table and sip this tasty little latte created by Cafe Solstice. I say created because I feel that making a good latte with a clever design is artwork. Where is your favorite place to grab coffee?  If you happen to have a free day, grab a book, head down to your favorite coffee shop and relax with a latte, you will surely enjoy yourself.

Monday, July 6, 2009

La Boulange



La Boulange is one of my favorite bakeries. The cafe has a french countryside feel and as soon as you enter, the smell of fresh pastries fills the air. When you go, you must try the chai latte!! Order a large and you will have your very own bowl of chai latte. I have yet to taste a better chai!! For lunch, try the open faced goat cheese sandwich with a cup of tomato soup, incredible. La Boulange is located in several spots in the city, but my personal favorite is located on Union Street. If you get a craving for fresh pastries and want a warm place to grab a latte, check out La Boulange you will surely be whisked away to France with every bite!!!

local freshness




After a fun filled adventure at our local farmer's market and spending under 30 dollars, I was able to purchase all of my fruits and veggies for the week!!! I would strongly encourage everyone to give it a try. I was amazed with some of the steals I came across, for example, fresh flowers for 2.50, carrots for 2$ and purple potatoes for 2$. My husband and I had so much fun going from stand to stand, feasting our tummies on sweetness. If you have a chance to shop locally this week give it a whirl and let me know how it goes, I would love to swap farmer's market stories!! Check out the local freshness we came across!
fresh flowers
carrots
purple potatoes
bell peppers
zuchini
squash
mixed greens
white nectarines
cucumbers
chili lime almonds 
pomegranate juice
lemons
onions

Saturday, July 4, 2009

merriment


I hope everyone enjoys their weekend!!! Remember, eat, drink and be merry!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Adventurer of the Month: Eric


Eric has been traveling since the end of February, starting in North Carolina where he worked at an inn in Hot Springs North Carolina, hopping over to Europe visiting and working on his family's farm in France, then solo traveling to Paris and the South of France. He will find himself back in North Carolina for a bit, and will dabble in Maine, returning just in time to bring on 2010. Eric was compelled to travel after graduating from UC Santa Cruz and decided to fly by the seat of his pants when it comes to returning. His carefree attitude and free spirit has him enjoying life, playing music and inspiring those who cross his path and is always open to something new, especially while traveling. When I asked him why he decided to travel, he said that he wanted to immerse himself in the french culture by enjoying the food, music and language, and also wanted to delve into playing more guitar. The one item he can not travel without is his guitar. One is never alone while playing music!! As the French would say, Bon Voyage!!

something new


This weekend I am determined to go to two local farmer's markets and purchase all of my produce!!! Normally, I go to several places to buy my fruits and veggies but this weekend I am going to try and shop as local as possible. If you're into reading and trying something new try reading "The Omnivores Dilemma". You may not agree with everything in the book but if you get a little piece that helps promote a small change then that small change may turn into a life change and who knows you could trade rack of lamb for peas and carrots, better yet a balance of both!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Julyyyyyy


I thought this picture was quite fitting in welcoming July!! July means picnics, warm nights, camping, hiking, fireworks, barbeque's, lazy beach days and spending time with those you love. Try something new this month whether it's a new book, restaurant or hobby, get outside and enjoy JULY!