Monday, December 12, 2011

Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Meyer Lemon Sables

The package was coming together nicely, but as I almost finished putting them together, I realized that my lovely little chocolate macarons had started to split. Their cajeta middles were oozing everywhere. It was clear that these wouldn't survive shipping without refrigeration. Baking them was a moment of overambition borne out of our recent trip to Paris. I'd wanted to bake a cookie that was undeniably French. The cookies were baked and filled, but the cajeta filling was just a little too soft at room temperature.

It was the day the cookies were to be shipped. Out went couple of panicked emails to Lindsay and Julie notifying them of the delay and then I had to figure out my Plan B. I still wanted to do something French, but it had to be fast and delicious.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Stress-Free Celebrating: Roy's Restaurant

Growing up, we had big family dinners and my mother can put together an incredible meal for a big group. For the holidays, however, those big family meals were often at a restaurant. When I tell people this, they always cluck in sympathy (or is that pity?), thinking that I've missed out of growing up with big home-cooked celebratory meals.

As a kid, I wondered if I missed out. As an adult, I have to ask... is it that bad? It means not having to deal with dishes or having to clean your house. It means not having to stress over planning and executing the perfect meal. It means not having to feign delight and hoard Pepto Bismol if, for the love of George, people in your family just. can't. cook.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mama's Pie in the Sky: On Missing Great Things

I'm on vacation. I'm fortunate to travel enough for "Meandering Eats" to be a somewhat fitting blog title and this vacation is one of our major ones. When it was in the planning stages, we realized it'd be best to travel in November and end it at Thanksgiving. One of the first things I realized was that I'd miss out on Mama's Pie in the Sky and, as a delivery driver and pie volunteer, it was a major bummer.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Weekend Plans: Sublime Ale House

What are your plans for San Diego Beer Week? If you're looking for something on Thursday (November 10), Sublime Ale House and Green Flash Brewing are having a Hops & Nosh dinner. Details here.

The busy continues at Casa Meandering Eats and, this time, it isn't about applications. We're going an amazing trip. I've tweeted about it, but if you haven't seen the tweets, then stay tuned for a surprise. I will definitely do a photo post on the road and I really hope I can do at least one written post, because my destination is one hell of an inspiration.

I'm leaving as fall sets in. It's time for hearty meals and San Diego Beer Week is upon us. I'm incredibly sad to miss a lot of the festivities, but I had my own fabulous beer + food experience recently and I highly recommend it as a place to put on your must-visit list. If not during Beer Week, then a weekend dinner with friends, perhaps?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Guest Post: Sugar and Spice Apple Chips from The Cilantropist

I'm still plugging away on getting things done, but the pieces are slowly reaching completion. Today's guest post is from a fabulous lady and great friend, Amanda from The Cilantropist. It's a story I've told many times... we met over a trafficky three-hour drive to Los Angeles and haven't stopped talking since. We've bonded over so many things, from photography to our beloved canines. One of the best things about being a part of the blogging community is the great people who have made an impact on my life. Amanda is certainly one of those people and I couldn't imagine life, in and outside of blogging, without her friendship. I'm verklempt at how awesome these photos are and I hope you enjoy this post as much as I do!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

On Sunsets and Old Pups

He reached the end of the leash, the tug on the collar reminding him that six feet was as far as he could go from us. A younger Bear would not have stood for it, straining wildly while one of us hung on tight, the leash wrapped tightly around our hand and wrist. Old Bear, however, accepted the restraint with equanimity. He stood where the leash stopped him and happily barked at the seagulls and sandpipers, looking very pleased with himself when they flew away. We started to trot up and down the beach with him, fully aware that too much running would mean a limping dog later in the evening.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Farewell, Teej: Cucina Urbana and Balboa Park

Whoa... still busy here. Between the applications, the day job, my new gig writing for San Diego CityBeat, and a bunch of other activities, I barely have time to stay caught up on my day job (the thing that pays the bills) and the applications (the thing that I hope will eventually pay the bills). Regardless, I wanted to share a fun afternoon with one of my favorite people at one of my favorite eateries.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Guest Post: Fresh Spinach and Gruyère Flatbread from Life & Food

Fresh Spinach and Gruyere Flatbread Slice

I'm finishing up my secondary applications, which are late, despite being turned in 3-4 months before the due date. Rolling admissions, y'see. While I tear my hair out over those, I'm going to introduce some of my favorite bloggers, who are kind enough to guest post for me. First up is Kristin of Life & Food. She's a San Diego-based blogger with a blog chock-full of pretty photos and great recipes. I came across her blog when I was surfing the interweb one evening. I thought it was a great blog and, lo and behold, a fellow San Diegan! I've had the pleasure of meeting her, too, and she's as awesome as her blog. Without further ado, Kristin brings us a flatbread with some of my favorite things: Gruyère, hard-boiled eggs, and pancetta.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Taking a Break: Chicken Liver Pate

It seems like I woke up this morning and the month of September was over. Where did the month go? It went from hot and sunny to gray and cool and I'm already thinking ahead to the holidays.

I wasn't planning on taking the month off, but it looks like I did. Where have I been? Primarily applying to medical school, but I've also had some good times that I want to share with you all. A good friend finished her doctorate, another had a baby. One moved to England, another to South Africa. I romped through Balboa Park as a pre-South Africa celebration and had a fantastic meal at Ad Hoc with my bestie.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Smashburger: Deliciously Comforting

I've had one of those weeks. One of those annoying weeks that causes nothing but headaches and rants. What makes me feel better is good ol' comfort food and what better for comfort than a burger? Especially one that comes with haystack onions or sweet potato fries.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Fund for Jennie Auction: San Diego Food Bloggers' Basket

Have you been to San Diego?

Whether you live here, you've visited our fair city or you've always wanted to, we're offering a little piece of it for the amazing Bloggers Without Borders and A Fund for Jennie.

The food blogging community has done a mind-boggling job rallying around Jennie and her daughters. Since the passing of her husband, Mikey, there are many considerations that require addressing as they move forward. A Fund for Jennie was established to make that journey easier. After two days of fundraising, #AFundforJennie raised over $14,000!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Big Summer Potluck: On Inspiration and Community

Words of wisdom, of experience, of inspiration. Words that came while we sat in a beautiful darkened barn, with harsh sunlight pouring in from the windows and a brisk breeze blowing out the East Coast humidity.

Words that I took to heart when I returned home and realized my take on the story hadn't quite gelled yet. There was too much going on. Once the plane's wheels touched down in Lindbergh Field and I was in a taxi heading along our stunning harbor, my calendar began to rapidly fill. My primary application for medical school was verified, I had a lot of catching up to do at work, a bunch of friends to see, and my blogging anniversary passed. Instead of rushing this post, I decided to enjoy the people and get the work done.

I've had the opportunity to see, meet, and spend time with some amazing people in the last month. It's fitting that this post is about people and inspiration.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Eat Out, Help Out: Dollar a Dish for Food 4 Kids Backpack Program

Here at Meandering Eats, we like to eat out a lot. So, when an opportunity comes to eat out and benefit a local organization, we're all over it.

The Food 4 Kids Backpack Program was originally started by two of San Diego's own food bloggers, Alice of Alice Q. Foodie and Caron of San Diego Foodstuff. The program raised funds to ensure that children without access to regular meals received a backpack full of food to tide them over during weekends and holidays when school meals were not available.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mikey's Peanut Butter Pie: Celebrating Those We Love

I've never met Mike Perillo, but I do know that we share a love of peanut butter desserts. I find myself at a loss for words, because I can't tell the story of a man I didn't know nor discuss what his family is going through. I'll leave it to Shauna, who knew them, and her beautiful post on love and life cut too short. I was at Big Summer Potluck with Mike's wife, Jennie, but I didn't have the opportunity to say hello. So all I can offer are big, big 8-second hugs and my thoughts and best wishes to her and her daughters.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Guest-Posting at The Cilantropist: Brioche for Busy Schedules

Howdy from Boston! I'm on the other side of the country to beat up some smah-t kids at Hahv.... ok, I couldn't resist. No, I'm not here to kick anyone's butt, but rather to see good friends and family in Boston, then migrate down to Philly for more friends and family, then head to Big Summer Potluck, and then to New Jersey to see more dear friends. I am so very stoked to be here to see people that once lived mere blocks or miles away, but now live on the other side of the continent.

Meanwhile, this post is for another good friend, one who is working hard back home in San Diego on her doctoral dissertation.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Latest Addiction: Cucumber Dill Dip

When we were hanging out with my in-laws in Cayucos, I noticed that they kept a supply of a locally-made dill dip and bags of Wheat Thins Toasted Crisps. It was a very addictive snack, addictive to the point where I was sneaking bites for breakfast.

I don't have a problem. Really.

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Return, Cont'd: Yu Me Ya Hillcrest

The thing about being at home for two weeks is that I was dying to spend some time outdoors. Dan suggested a walk through San Diego Zoo in the evening, during their Nighttime Zoo hours. The zoo's only open in the evening during the summer and it's a wonderful walk.

We stayed until the zoo closed, then looked for a late dinner. After some debate, we settled on trying Yu Me Ya Sake House in Hillcrest. We had a lovely dinner and that was further evidenced by the fact that, a week later, Dan suggested we return. That's an endorsement if I've ever heard one, since he usually has to be cajoled into trying new restaurants and usually requires a couple of visits before he warms up to it enough to add it to the rotation.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Doggie Beer Bones Giveaway Winner!

New post in progress, but first things first... the winners of the Doggie Beer Bones giveaway!

And the winners are:

Jun and Stanford
Lil Ms. Sueshine and Eponine

Congrats! I'll be emailing you both to ask for your mailing addresses.

Friday, July 8, 2011

My Return to Humanity: Doggie Beer Bones, the Mercato, and Another Giveaway

Bear, another customer of Doggie Beer Bones, and Flash, the Nermal to Bear's Garfield.

So... for the latter half of June, breathing was overrated.

At least, according to my body. Remember I mentioned catching Dan's cold?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Citrus Chiffon Cake: A (Belated) Ode to Dad

I've been trying to imagine what my father would say about me being late in posting a Father's Day dedication to him. I know he probably wouldn't mind and note that it's the thought that counts. He'd also might snark that, thank goodness, it's him I'm late with and not my mother. Ever the strategist, he might also discuss whether or not I should consider an editorial calendar. Or maybe rethink whatever bad life choices that led me to being too sick to post on time.

Sorry, Dad.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Giveaway Winner and San Diego Food Blogger Roundtables

Happy Father's Day! I'm going to post a more appropriate, non-cold-medicine-influenced ode to my dad soon.

Needless to say, it's been quite a week.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Sleepy Puppy

This week, I didn't forget it is Wednesday. It may be morning here in San Diego, but I already need a nap.

Monday, June 13, 2011

French-Inspired Lunch with Cost Plus World Market and Foodbuzz Tastemakers

In college, I had this poster hanging in my room. Due to space considerations, it ended up over my bed, which galled a lot of people. When Dan and I moved in together, he banished ol' George to the closet and has been really leery of my decorating skills since.

Needless to say, when Foodbuzz came calling with an opportunity to put on a party with supplies from Cost Plus World Market, he came along to ensure that the decor would suit an elegant affair.

Well, with all of the great gear from World Market, it's really hard to go wrong when picking decor for a lovely outdoor party. The email from Foodbuzz popped in my inbox and I instantly knew what kind of party I would have: a leisurely lunch inspired by a friend's story of the French countryside.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Taste of Adams Avenue: A Giveaway!

One of the best photography lessons I've learned thus far is from Diane and Todd of White on Rice Couple. They were giving a presentation and Diane said to stop.

Just stop. Take a moment to look at the light. Don't snap away without considering the light.

I've taken that to heart, always pausing, camera in hand, to take a good long look at the light. Today, unfortunately, the light was not my friend. Flat, gloomy, and moodless. Well, hellooo, June gloom.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Study Saturday: Fresh Berries

I meant for this to be a Wordless Wednesday post and it was ready to go... except I sat blissfully through Wednesday thinking it was Tuesday.

I have a final on Monday. I hope to be in better shape for it by then. We'll call this post Study Saturday.

Sweet berries from our CSA box from Be Wise Ranch. Cute container from Avila Valley Barn.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cayucos: Brown Butter Cookie Company

Yes, go in for a sample. Sample everything, buy a ton, and leave happy. That's my strategy whenever I'm in Cayucos, which is too infrequent for my liking.

When I decided to change the blog's name to Meandering Eats, it was partly because I write about my travels. You know, I'd... meander. Thanks to my stint as a born-again student (about which I'll talk more later), I haven't done much meandering lately.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

National Food Bloggers Bake Sale: The Recap

Yeah, he made all of that. Plus pumpkin bread. I love that man.
Oh, hi there.

It's been far too long since my last post.

There is a lot to write about, but I'm going to start with the bake sale. All I can say is wow. Just wow.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Orange Juice: An Ode to Mom

Without Mom's attention to detail, D. and I found ourselves with a mix of regular and blood oranges, making for a reddish-orange and slightly more tart juice.

"Geez, Marie... I'm dying. Do you have any orange juice or a vitamin C supplement?"

My suitemate wanted to make a last-ditch effort to fight a cold that was, from the puffy eyes and runny nose, clearly beating her. I couldn't say no, so I opened the mini-fridge in my dorm room and pulled out a water bottle that was filled with orange juice.

"What's with the Arrowhead bottle?" she asked.

"From my mom. Just drink it."

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Foodbuzz 24x24: Stay Classy, San Diego

I have wanted to submit a proposal to Foodbuzz's 24x24 for the longest time. 24 meals presented by 24 bloggers in 24 hours. I finally submitted a proposal and it was accepted! I am extremely excited to have brought this meal to fruition and to celebrate some of the great food and drink that can be found in my adopted hometown of San Diego.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Brunch

To those celebrating today... Happy Easter!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy 30th Birthday, D.!!

Do you remember that American Express commercial? It featured a serious redheaded boy named Randy. For the life of me, I can't find that commercial online.

(two kids in a convenience store)

"Hey Randy, want to split a Twinkie?"

(shakes head, speaks with gravitas) "No, I'm saving for retirement."

Monday, April 18, 2011

National Food Blogger Bake Sale 2011

Want to meet some of your favorite San Diego food bloggers? Do you love to bake and want to help combat childhood hunger? Want to buy some great grub and shop for cookware at an amazing cookware store?

Come by on May 14, from 10am to 2pm, for the National Food Blogger Bake Sale!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Have Fork, Will Travel: Taste of Hillcrest

"Oh, is this your first year?" he asked around a mouthful of pad Thai. "Mmmhmm," I replied, chewing a big bite of sticky rice with mango. "Newbies! Great! You guys are going to love this," said his friend.

"Remember the place that gave out whole burritos?"

Friday, April 15, 2011

Lucky to Live in San Diego

Ocean Beach Pier
I've been trying to leave San Diego for years.

Aaaand... you're trying to reach into your computer screen and slap me. Leave?, you snap. What is wrong with you? Beaches, temperate weather, beautiful coastline. The food scene's getting better and better and the beer is world-class. So world-class that our craft brews show up in cupcakes. Year-round fresh produce. The privilege of spending November weekends laying out on the beach.

Leave, you huff. Pfffft. Screw you, lady.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Taste of Hillcrest

I took this picture at 7 in the morning. On Sunday. On my way to work.

Sigh. It's been quite a week. The highlight of which was working on the weekend, when I finally caught up on an enormous mountain of paperwork. It's actually quite a relief.

Next weekend, however, I won't be working. I'll be at the Taste of Hillcrest, roaming through the participating restaurants and taking lots of photos. Over fifty restaurants will be offering a variety of tastes. Buy tickets here and join me April 16 from 12pm-4pm.

Thanks to the folks at McFarlane Promotions for the invitation to Taste of Hillcrest!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

PubCakes and Treehouse Coffee

Eeeks... it's been a while since the launch of Meandering Eats and nothing but crickets from me. Truth be told, I haven't felt like posting lately. Life occasionally turns into an avalanche and I do what needs to be done, then wait out the storm. Midterms. Finals (damned 10-week quarters still pass as quickly as I remember). Volunteering. Receiving news that I will have to go through another application cycle. Work. Reminders from friends, family, and even my boss, that my tunnel-vision towards medical school doesn't mean they don't matter. And then there's all that is happening in the world... writing about eating seemed trivial in comparison.

So, I walked away for a little bit and took my time on this post. Lest you think I wasn't enthusiastic about it, it's actually that I'm too crazy about it. The pictures took nearly a week to put together. The writing needed to be good and, at the time, I knew the it wasn't where I wanted it to be.

It's a post about new beginning, of partnership, and of deliciousness. I wanted it to be Meandering Eats' first post. Without further ado... let's talk about three of my favorite things: cupcakes, beer, and coffee.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Say Hello to Meandering Eats!

Cupcakes from the lovely Influx Cafe in San Diego's Golden Hill neighborhood

Well, it's been happening for a while. The changes in layout and color. The new (and intentionally temporary) header. Larger photos, better photography, and hopefully better writing. Last, but certainly not least, a new name.

This humble little piece of the interweb is now Meandering Eats.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Let's Raise Our Glasses...

There is going to be a major change coming to Adventures of an Amateur Foodie. It's going to happen on Wednesday, so heads-up to everyone. I've had a lot of fun writing this blog and thank you, many thank yous to those of you who are reading along.

See you Wednesday.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Double Apple Bundt Cake

I'm swimming in apples.

One of the best things about Southern California is that we have fresh produce year-round. D. and I are members of an amazing CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) with Be Wise Ranch. Our biweekly boxes are filled with gorgeous vegetables, including big and sweet apples. We've had apples up the wazoo, so baking is one of the best ways to use them up quickly.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Duck Fried Rice: Rendering Fat

It's raining here in San Diego. I know, I know, we don't have it badly at all, but rain and gray call for simple, uncomplicated food. One of my favorites is fried rice. To give a basic dish some oomph, I used duck fat. Using pure fat might sound unappetizing to some, amazing to others, but one way or another, the use of some kind of fat is going to enhance the flavors of the dish.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day: A Tribute to D.

Ah, Valentine's Day. D. and I aren't huge fans of it. The expense, the crowds, the horrific jewelry store commercials all add up to something that feels very forced to us. As D. pointed out once upon a time, it's important to cherish each other the other 364 days, too.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Charles Chocolates: For Any Occasion

So... any plans for Valentine's Day?

D'oh, you say? You forgot to buy a treat in celebration? Well, get thee to a Whole Foods and look for Charles Chocolates or, if you're in the San Francisco area, visit their flagship store.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Store-Bought Super Bowl for Two

Between a long and difficult week, an ear infection that leaves me feeling like I'm perpetually riding the spinning teacups at Disneyland, and a last-ditch attempt to plan a party the day before the game meant that a Super Bowl party didn't coalesce at our place. So, D. and I bought snacks for two and settled in to cheer on the Steelers while I hoped the room might steady itself.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Gung Hay Fat Choi!

Gung hay fat choi and happy new year! It's time to ring in the year of the Rabbit.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Cheese and Chive Bread: A Fabulous Appetizer or Side

There are so many posts out there for the Super Bowl. Lots of great ideas for the ultimate party. We're hoping to have a Super Bowl shindig ourselves and it's going to be difficult figuring out what to make! If you're in the same boat, check out these great posts for inspiration:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

El Take It Easy: On Building Community

I keep a low-profile online. Weird, right? I have a blog and, yet, I don't like putting identifying details about myself out there. Until I went to Food Blog Camp, I did not post my name or my picture on AoaAF. I didn't spend time with other bloggers.

At camp, Jaden encouraged us to think of other bloggers as co-workers. Elise encouraged us to play nicely in the sandbox. Matt and David encouraged us to watch each other's backs.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Weekend Walking

Make that almost wordless. It was a gorgeous weekend here in San Diego and, for once, I did not have a lot on my plate. So, we took a walk.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Easy Irish Soda Bread

I'm lucky to have married a man whose nickname is Martha. The man cooks. He cleans. He launders. In the last five years, I have bought him not one, but two vacuums for Christmas. D. is, unabashedly, a domestic god.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Homemade Marshmallows: S'mores and Chocolate Sauce

Marshmallows are one of those things that seem complicated, but are surprisingly easy to make, given the proper tools. Yet, it took years for me to try making them. I first saw them on Barefoot Contessa and I remember my boss marveling at a parent who brought homemade marshmallows to his kid's classroom. "Who the heck makes their own marshmallows?" he asked.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Los Angeles: Dean Sin World

There has been a lot of tweaking with everything I've learned at Food Blog Camp and the site has been freshened up a bit. Hope y'all like the changes and please feel free to leave feedback.

Now that I have a fresh look to the site, I have to share these awesome photos of one of my favorite subjects: dumplings. Dean Sin World is one of those rare and special places where the food is great and the people are warm and friendly. I'm late to jump on the bandwagon, as this place has been a longtime favorite of Tony, Cathy, Wandering Chopsticks, Kirk, and Kirbie. After reading about it and keeping it in my cobwebbed brain, I finally dragged D. and my folks there.

Turns out, my mother liked the place. My father joked that her approval is not to be taken lightly. So, with Mom's stamp of approval, I bring you a little bit of Dean Sin World.