Saturday, April 30, 2011

Beautiful Birthday on the Bay

Saturday was absolutely gorgeous!  Could see out several miles into the Pacific Ocean, plus a clear view past the eastern bay area hills, north past San Francisco, and as far as the eye could see in the south bay area.
A dear friend wished to celebrate her 40th birthday riding a boat on the San Francisco Bay with many friends and her family.  With winning weather, we all had a wish-fulfilled time.
She ended her day with food, drinks and birthday cake at Blu Bungalow on Union Street in San Francisco.  Would guess she felt as good as the new Princess Catherine.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding

Some could stand not to watch the Royal Wedding, however I woke at midnight, unable to sleep.  Giddily began watching the live coverage PST in California at 2:15 a.m.  In past lives have wished to be a wedding coordinator (have done work in this capacity), and fashion designer (have only done personal work in this capacity).  When the engagement of Prince William of Wales to Kate Middleton was announced, immediately my wheels began turning about what she would wear.

Certainly she would not use her usual style for the wedding--this dress will be viewed hundreds of years from now.  Therefore it could not scream 2011.  Thought if she knew about the scope of history, and the part she might play, then she should go back to historical Royal Wedding dresses and modernize to suit her tastes (it could not be 100% her tastes alone).  A month before the wedding I sketched this dress (mixing some of today's fashion elements with vintage R.W. dresses).  Told my husband a few hours before the wedding, thought that Kate would wear ivory/off white (after all, the couple were together nine years before they were married).
When her dress was finally viewed just before 3 a.m., was happily surprised I had some of the elements correct.  Since Princess Grace of Monaco's wedding dress is widely considered the #1 Royal Wedding dress of all time, thought that Kate might try to do it better.  Again, good educated guess.  Catherine Middleton did a good job, and doubt that she could have done better--she looked beautiful.  Believe she is a close second, but did not knock Princess Grace from her #1 spot.

The Royal Wedding cake was pure perfection.  My South African boss said it is tradition to save the top layer of cake for the first-born's baptism, and the second to the top layer for the first wedding anniversary.  Thought those are sweet notions.
Worked Friday after watching the Royal Wedding followed by a couple of hours of sleep (though spent much of the day discussing the royal wedding with coworkers).
Groom's Chocolate Biscuit Cake

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sunset Magazine Tour

Via a charity auction we were lucky enough to visit the Sunset Magazine headquarters in Menlo Park, CA.  The President, Barbara Newton toured a group around the 7 acre grounds (there are 6 additional acres across the street).  She explained that Sunset Magazine began in the very late 1800's, was owned by two generations of the Lane family, and was finally sold to Time Warner.  Sunset encompasses everything great about the Western United States.
Publishing headquarters for Sunset magazine was built in the 1950's, and designed in a one-story Spanish Mission-style.  It is gorgeous!
The above photo was taken in the "test" garden, an area where a lot of photo sites are set-up, torn down and changed often.  Liked the concept of a rock garden with pretty plants interspersed--a good way to spice up our own rock garden.
In the back, back lot we saw the green house.  Liked the view of just how much work and organization goes into plants for the magazine.
For their "one block feast" book and idea, they began raising bees.  Here are the hives, with busy bees buzzing to and from the moated hives.
Here the outdoor kitchen with every imaginable outdoor kitchen want or need.  Under the market umbrella is the "wine counter," named such because the countertop is made of crushed wine bottles and concrete.  This area is featured in their upcoming June 4-5 Sunset Celebration Weekend.
A private wine cellar features reclaimed wood from a Mendocino barn.  Very much enjoyed seeing and hearing about this fantastic magazine.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

NEW CSA Season!

First week of the 2011 Regular Season 4/6/11
Live Earth Farm CSA
What did we do with it?
Fish with fennel, sauteed greens with brown rice
toast, grilled cheese sandwiches
apple snacks
three meals worth of chicken salads (lettuce, beets, onion)

Second week CSA 4/13/11
What are we doing with it?
First night:  CSA broccoli (from last week), CSA onion and CSA mushroom with eggs and egg whites (left over from making creme brulee) frittata; buttered CSA toast and oranges from auntie's backyard.
Plans for a community vegetable soup for this coming Friday.
Some carrots and apples will be enjoyed as snacks.
Will definitely create some salads with the beautiful lettuce.