Into 2015 (+ Flourless Sugar Stars)

[The Pacific from the blowhole, Point Reyes National Seashore 2015.]

Happy new year! I hope your holidays were merry and bright and full of delicious bites and warming drinks. We were asleep by 9:30 on new year’s eve – welcome to parenthood of a young child – but up early on the first day of 2015 with plans for a hike in the Point Reyes Seashore. I made cheese and avocado sandwiches, tucked a bar of good dark chocolate into the backpack along with a few mandarin oranges, filled the water bottles, and left Sierra with her grandparents while we drove through the sun along Tomales Bay. Highway 1 was mostly empty except for a few intrepid bikers here and there and our Hardcore espressos fueled us along the trail for 4+ miles out and back. It was warm and clear at the coast and the Farrallons seemed close enough to touch. Mostly what I think when I am here (and what I always did think) was California, you are so good to us. And, thank you.

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For Happy Holidays (+ Naturally Flourless Waffles)

[In the redwoods, Armstrong Woods.]

2014 has been one of those that has passed by in a blur of long-haul flights, a flurry of naturally gluten-free flours, many moments of extreme joy learning how to be a parent, much homesickness, and attempting to adapt to a new culture (just in time to pack up and move yet again but that’s another story to be delved into later) — in short, another year in the life. We’re currently in northern California soaking up sun and rain both, loads of good family time, all the delicious espressos we can stand, and feeling nostalgic as always for our previous life here in the golden state.

Christmas is so soon and for once my small gifts have been wrapped well in advance, the packages mailed, the cards addressed and stamped. There are still some flourless cookies to bake – a project hopefully for this afternoon to be indulged in with Emily and strong cups of tea – but my persimmon cake rests happily on the counter and I’ve been trying to cut small slices to make it last as long as possible. DW made oat flour-wild blueberry pancakes the other morning and I’ve been thinking about waffles, specifically gluten-free waffles. I don’t think I’ll have a chance to make them before Christmas but I wanted to share the recipe here in case you’re still thinking about what to make for your holiday breakfast or brunch spread. Wishing you the happiest and most peaceful of holidays and a gentle slide into the new year ~ xo

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Wrapping Up (+ French Toast)

We’re currently in our last days in San Francisco — this time, the keys will be turned over to my landlord after nearly 8 years in this light-filled, spacious (and, le sigh, affordable thanks to rent control) apartment and the furniture will be moved out; we’ll be gone in less than a week. There will be no returning after a month in Morocco — this is it, and it feels rather big in its finality. But despite the lingering nostalgia I think it’s time. This space has seen me through many transitions, the biggest one of late being it’s the home to which I brought my baby daughter and where’s she’s spent the first weeks of her life. Many hours have been spent snuggling on the couch listening to Kate Rusby, KDFC, and the occasional blast of classic rock, sipping the last of the lovely coffees my beloved neighborhood has to offer, just being in the moment and being together. Of course, she won’t remember this time but to us it has been very sweet. And I hope the reality that she’s a California girl through and through will somehow seep into her waking dreams so she will remember …

Still, adventures await. A new ocean to explore. A large and lovely and equally light-filled house in Casablanca will be where she most likely will take her first steps. She will have her first pain au chocolat at the delectable French bakery cafe located about half-way between our house and downtown and which has amazing pastries always available. We’ll have a garden in our wee yard and will plant spinach and chard and tomatoes (and maybe strawberries, too) and herbs together when she gets a bit older. And who knows? The Western Addition may be our home again one day if the real estate market ever drops again (ha!); I wouldn’t mind that at all. I will miss Golden Gate Park with every bit of me — how many miles have I logged on its trails? — and our little bagel spots, Little Star of course, and good burritos too, among so much else. Hopefully I will develop a liking for couscous in the interim (I, um, rather don’t right now. More on this at a later date.).

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On Enduring Love — for California, for Baked Beans

For fun, I’m running some posts from a few years back because, err, life is a wee bit busy at the moment (also, I’m feeling nostalgic, as I typically tend to in fall).This piece was first published on Nov. 13, 2009.

[Pacific Ocean, Drake’s, March 2009.]

The other day I ran 10 miles down through the park — with a mile along the ocean tucked in for good measure — and then sat for a bit on the sea wall at Ocean Beach to watch a tanker ship sail slowly away out to sea, bound perhaps for Asia or who-knows-where. I imagined it packed carefully with things like perfect apples from Sonoma County or beautiful Brussels sprouts grown in the Salinas Valley, but in truth it was probably full of oil barrels, or computers. (I like my imaginings much better, however.)

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