Category - Adventure

Newest Addition to the Family

This big beast, Tunabee Hufflepig AKA “Tuna”, is one of the many reasons blog posting was put on hiatus. We got her in January and she’s consumed virtually every spare minute since then. We are so completely and utterly obsessed with her.

Tuna is a 3’ish year old American Staffordshire Terrier rescued from Oakland Animal Services. She used to live near an apartment complex in Oakland and beg for scraps. The tenants tried to call the cops for someone to pick her up but they failed to catch her. One day she showed up at the apartment complex all beat up and bleeding with a few dog bite wounds on her legs and face. Animal Services picked her up, fixed her up, and put her up for adoption.

Jason and I showed up two days after she was spayed and instantly fell in love. She has the sweetest demeanor and really just wants to cuddle and get rubs. She loves treats, walks, protecting her home, stalking the neighborhood cat, and rough housing outside with our neighbor’s dog. I love her so much and I can’t imagine life before she entered our hearts.

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Belated Anniversary Finds

Happy Belated Anniversary to us! It’s been a while since I updated, but today I was thinking about our our anniversary trip to the Sonoma Coast. It was a beautiful weekend with gorgeous scenery and a delicious end to the trip — on the way back to Oakland we went to a bread shop called Wild Flour Bakery. They had a backyard garden we walked through and the store itself smelled miraculous.

When we got to the register we decided to get a whole wheat loaf and a rosemary garlic loaf. This turned out to be a wise decision because it made our ride home smell like roasted garlic the whole way. We asked one of the employees where we could find a cheese shop in the area. He responded with “there is a cheese store down the street.” I mean, could it be more perfect?

Not half a mile down the road was Freestone Artisan Cheese. We were greeted by a beaming 13 year old boy who asked if we needed some help. We told him we wanted a soft cheese and a hard cheese and he walked us through different types they had in stock; cows milk, goats milk, aged, creamy, hard, salty, sweet. He was very impressive and seemed very passionate about cheese, so I obviously admired the little guy.

Check out the lovely spread we enjoyed when we got home!

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Vegas Recap + Chicken with Polenta

Our Vegas trip last weekend was outrageous. It was a once in a lifetime chance to see such a historic UFC card and even better to have seen it with our friends Deana and Jimmy from NJ. I couldn’t have imagined a more flawless outcome. We went to the Fan Expo, Old Vegas, the Weigh Ins, and of course, the fights. On top of all that, all of the fighters we wanted to win, won!

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The Weigh Ins Crowd

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Sitting in front of the FOX Table at the Weigh Ins

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Old Vegas

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UFC 189 — “It’s Time”

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Conor McGregor — Interim Featherweight Champion!

July has been unbelievably busy and exciting so far, which has in turn, limited my cooking time. I missed it a lot so it was nice to get in some kitchen time this weekend.

Chicken, Peppers, and Onions with Polenta
Olive oil
4 chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
1 yellow onion, cut in half and sliced
1 yellow pepper
1 orange pepper
1 red pepper
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup water
1 cup polenta
2 cups milk
2 cups water
2 Tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon parsley, chopped

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1. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a dash of olive oil in a heavy bottomed skillet. Brown chicken thighs on both sides then set aside on a plate.

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2. In same skillet, sauté the peppers and onions for about six minutes until they’re almost caramelized then add garlic and cook down. Add the chicken back to the skillet with skin side up and heat for about five minutes.

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3. Add chicken broth and a cup of water to the skillet and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 10 minutes then uncover and cook for another 10 minutes until the liquid is reduced in half.

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4. While the chicken is braising, make the polenta. Bring 2 cups of milk and 2 cups of water to a boil then slowly whisk in the corn meal. Bring back to a boil and continue to whisk. Once the meal starts to thicken, add the butter and reduce heat to low. Stir frequently and add a dash more milk if the polenta starts to harden too much. The polenta should take about 15 minutes to become tender. Add parmesan cheese right before serving.

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… Also, Jason was craving chili and we needed to use leftover ground beef.

Quick Dutch Oven Chili 
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground beef
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 Tablespoon oregano
3 Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
1 6-ounce can of tomato paste
1 6-ounces of hard cider
1 28-ounce can of whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 15-ounce can cannelloni beans
1 15-ounce can kidney beans
1 6-ounce can of green chilis

1. Saute onions, peppers and garlic together. Add beef. Stir in everything else except beans and bring to boil. Add beans and let simmer for 2 hours. Serve with sour cream and cheese.
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Whale Watch Tour

Jason was in New Jersey for a wedding this past weekend. I had a photography class scheduled for Sunday, but no firm plans for Saturday. I randomly decided Friday night that I wanted to go on a Whale Watch Tour. I found one in Moss Landing, only about an hour and a half away from Oakland. It had awesome reviews online and seemed quite promising.

The weather wasn’t going to be ideal and it turned out to be a bit foggy but that didn’t prevent the whales from coming out to show off. It was a great three hour tour, filled with tons of wildlife and beautiful scenery. I can’t wait to go back again to Blue Ocean Whale Watch!

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Wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man on the docks for some reason.

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Seals hanging out at the docks.

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Pelican Island. 

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Whale sighting near shore.

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Seal caught a fish and started shaking it around like a dog trying to break it up into pieces to swallow.

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First Humpback Whale breach!

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Humpback flapping his pectoral fin.

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Still waving away!

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Otter eating some muscles!

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Found a beautiful flower farm on the way home.

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Cherry Picking Day

Cherry picking is so much fun. Jason and I drove about an hour away to Brentwood, California to go cherry picking yesterday. An hour from Oakland in that direction is about 20 degrees warmer and has a completely different landscape. The drought becomes very apparent out there with the rolling tan and yellow hills, covered in dried up tall grass and spotted with black and brown cows. When we made it to our destination we we were greeted by an adorable tortoise and then went about our cherry-picking way. It was such a great adventure, you pick a ladder and the trees that call to you, head all the way to the tippy top and grab the darkest cherries you can find. It was certainly helpful having a husband with a large wingspan to grab the ones no one else could get to yet. It kind of felt like cheating, but oh well! The Pease Farm we went to also has blackberry picking in a few weeks, which we might go back for. There are tons of other farms in the area with apricot, strawberry, and other fruit picking. Before heading home we stopped at a taqueria a few miles away which had some of the greatest fajitas I’ve ever had. It was quite a successful day… and now I have 8 3/4 lbs. of cherries to figure out what to do with 🙂

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