Tuesday, July 19

Cat + Cocktail

Lately I've been feeling the need to mix up some cocktails a little more often, since we have all this good booze in the house. With that in mind, I'm aiming to try out new (to me) cocktail recipes a couple times a week. If Josh and I share each one, it's not like we're even drinking that much, right?

I kicked things off the other night with a Kirsch Manhattan and a Basil Sazerac (both recipes courtesy of my esteemed hangar colleagues). The Kirsch Manhattan was yummy, though a bit sweet for us; it features both vanilla simple syrup and sweet vermouth. Next time I'll try it without the simple, just to see how it tastes.

The Basil Sazerac was delicious, plus I got to pick the basil leaves from our own garden.

Harder to tell what Greenie thinks:

Monday, July 18

NOT couch TO 5k, but TWO 5ks!

Yes, I am making the dread double-post today. When really I should have posted this information days ago.

Josh has chronicled a bit of our running adventures, so you know we've become comfy with the 5ks. So a few months back, in a fit of daring, we signed up to run two 5ks in one day. Since we're now working our training runs up to 10k, we figured these two runs would be a good test.

Last Saturday, we successfully ran our first 10k in one day—if separated by 5+ hours (we ran one at noon and one at 6 pm). Here's how we spent our intervening time at the park:


Early in our courtship, Josh and I made a joint New Year's resolution to learn more about wine. Little surprise that said resolution was one of the best kept ones in either of our histories.

One of our first steps was to become "passport holders" in the Santa Cruz Mountains Wine Club. Four times a year, wineries let passport holders in to taste for free. Plus, we get a nifty little passport with a map and separate pages for each winery. Once we get them all stamped we get a MYSTERY PRIZE!!!

You've probably gathered from other posts that both of us are highly motivated by things like: maps, progress logs, and so forth. Those little stamps are bizarrely successful in getting us out to spots we'd otherwise never know about.

We probably have about three more passport days to go before we can claim our prizes. In the meantime, we took a few hours this past Saturday to go visit some Gilroy area wineries.

We tasted some good (and just okay) wine, but only felt motivated to make an actual purchase at one winery (we tasted at four). However, we ALSO spent the afternoon in sunshine, which was somewhat discombobulating, after these past few weeks of extra-greyness in the East Bay.

Tuesday, July 12

Belated 4th

So our July 4th was on the (comparatively) quieter side. Drove up into the foothills to spend the day at my brother's place with parents, siblings, nieces and nephews galore. Since nearly everyone has one or more dogs, we were engulfed in the usual dog melee for much of the day. Witness my nephews in the middle of five dogs:

While spending a day surrounded by dogs always intensifies our own dog-longings, Josh clearly wasn't sure what to think of this particular specimen:

Wednesday, July 6

Cheese Batch #3

Last year I made my first batch of cheese. I'd been fascinated by the whole idea of home cheese-making for months before that, so it was a bit of a letdown when that first batch refused to hold any shape whatsoever. Turns out that there's a whole world of milk politics and practices I knew nothing about. Importantly for cheese-makers, lots of milk out there gets heated to crazy high temperatures, which makes it almost useless for the purposes of cheese.

I undertook my next batch with a different brand of milk and less exuberance, but more success. This time around, I got to make happy cooing sounds over my adorable little cheeses. I did more reading and studying in the world of cheese but largely let the actual making of cheeses go for a bit as I found myself distracted by other endeavors.

Today, I decided it was time to get back to it. After all, with Josh making all those lovely sourdough pizza crusts, we really need some homemade mozzarella to go with. Here's what came into being within the hour:

Presentation-wise, there's plenty of room to grow. Taste-wise, I'm pretty happy with this little "braid" of cheese. However, I then lost 30 minutes of my day scrolling through images from Lair of the White Worm since that's what I kept thinking as I shaped the cheese braid/worm.

Sunday, July 3


Did you know that's how you say "waffles" in Brazilian Portuguese? That's one of the many useful things I learned a million years ago when I was a language major… and I always hear my professor saying it that way in my head whenever I eat waffles.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, this recipe came through my inbox, so I got obsessed with getting a waffle maker. Luckily, BB&B had just sent us a 20% off coupon, so I didn't obsess for long.

Despite having only 45 minutes this morning, I decided to christen the new toy with it's first batch of sourdough waffles because I had a surplus of active starter. After a quick search, here's the recipe I cobbled together:

Sourdough Waffles
1 egg
1/2 c. milk
1 c. sourdough starter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 c sugar
2 tbsp butter, melted

Beat egg in a medium bowl. Add milk and sourdough starter. Stir in vanilla. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Mix well. Stir in melted butter.

Follow your waffle maker's instructions. Mine takes about 1/2 c. of batter at a time, so this recipe made 4 waffles with just a smidge of the batter leftover.

I have to say, my first batch turned out pretty great. The sourdough gave them a nice richness, and after toying with the timing, they turned out crispy with a medium density, which is what I like. 

Speaking of waffle-timing, another interesting tidbit I learned at Stanford (while working in the dining hall): don't give too much credence to the ready light on your waffle maker. Instead, keep an eye on the steam coming out of the sides. When the steam slows down to a trickle, your waffle will be light and tender. When it stops altogether, it'll be crispy. 

Saturday, July 2

Where hipsters go to breed

Young neighbor boy #1: Why are you washing your bike?

Me: Because it's been sitting out all winter and it's full of spiders.

Young neighbor boy #2: My brain is full of spiders.

Me: Yikes.

Young neighbor boy #3: Well, your brain could be full of spiders if you were thinking about them.

Me: You are so right.

Friday, July 1