Happy Halloween!

Cute girls with scary pumpkins.
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Persimmon Picking

In an attempt to go apple picking, we ended up picking persimmons instead. All of the apples at Gabriel’s Farm were already off of the trees since it was late in the season. I happen to love persimmons so we picked away and also bought 12 lbs of “cosmetically off” apples for $1/lb. Unlike our experience in Oregon, u-pick farms in California are not necessarily less expensive than buying the fruit already picked. In this case, it was actually more expensive since they make you buy a year membership for $35 if you want to pick your own fruit.  It was still nice to roam the farm, inspiring future food projects. Persimmon and apple everything for the days to come.

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Año Nuevo State Park Hike

I tend to use my own two feet (or bike) as my main mode of transit in San Francisco. When my parents were visiting from a sprawling car-based place, it was a great excuse to get outdoors and walk/hike everywhere.  I’ve always wanted to go to Año Nuevo State Park (an hour south of San Francisco) to see the elephant seals, so we went on an adventure.  It’s a 4 mile hike round trip to the ridge to see the seals, which didn’t seem too strenuous until we realized half of the hike is through windy sand dunes. Despite the sore and sandy muscles, I think they enjoyed themselves.  I definitely did! It’s not the high season for elephant seals so I will be back in February to hopefully catch site of baby seals!

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Muir Woods National Monument

Muir Woods is just a hop, skip, and a jump north of San Francisco and yet I had never been until now.  It is more like a museum of trees rather than a hike through the forest. An ode to John Muir, which I appreciate, yet vastly different than going for a hike in the neighboring Marin Headlands which on certain trails you might not pass another human.  For those who don’t hike, it’s the perfect place to learn about the natural flora and fauna that John Muir fought to conserve. Most of the celebrity redwoods are thousands of years old. They are beautiful marvels and should be appreciated by all.

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Pumpkin Ice Cream + Triple Ginger Cookies

Pumpkin ice cream + triple ginger cookies = best fall combo ever. I have an ice cream maker but had only used it to make frozen yogurt until my friend sent me this pumpkin ice cream recipe to make for a dinner gathering. I’m always excited this time of year to make my favorite triple ginger cookies which paired dangerously well with the ice cream.  Yum!

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First step. Roast a sugar pie pumpkin and scoop out the pulp.
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Hours later or the next day churn the custard-like mixture to make the ice cream.
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Make the cookies.
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Eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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Musée Mécanique

After walking to the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, I continued my self lead city walk to Musée Mécanique in Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s pretty much the only reason for someone who lives here to go to Fisherman’s Wharf.  Admission is free to see this impressive collection of antique coin operated machines dating back to the turn of the 20th century. Many of the machines were acquired from Playland amusement park on Ocean Beach. Oh how I wish I could have gone to Playland, The Cliff House and Sutro Baths in their heyday! A gal can dream.  Luckily, you can live vicariously through playing the arcade games. Most of them are only a quarter for one play.

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A Ferris Wheel made entirely of toothpicks!
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If only I could be a Radio Artist.
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disproportionate me with three heads.

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Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory

If you find yourself wandering the streets through Chinatown, make a stop at the Golden Gate Cookie Factory. It’s tucked away down a non-descript alley. A hidden street I probably would have never walked down without a destination. I followed the smell of vanilla wafers into the small factory. After watching the process, you can buy a bag of fortune cookies (chocolate, almond, or vanilla) for $1. They ask for $.50 a photo so I only got one! It was worth it. I took my fortune cookies to Aquatic Park, to sit and enjoy the sea.

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Letterpress + Trains

I was lucky enough to take quick trip up to Portland, OR and attend a couple of design week events. My favorite event was the Letterpress Fair held in the Oregon Rail Heritage Museum. They even steamrolled woodcut prints! Two of my passions: printing and trains!

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Date Almond Milk Smoothie

I’ve been making copious amounts of breakfast smoothies ever since I started making almond milk. My latest concoction is a 1 date, 1/2 a frozen banana, 1 tsp. cocoa powder, 1 Tbsp. peanut butter, 1 c. almond milk w/ 1 tsp. of flax meal, chia seeds, and maca powder. It’s pretty much like having dessert for breakfast.

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Golden Raspberry Jam

I will be sad when summer berries and stone fruit disappear from the farmer’s market in the coming weeks so I’m doing all I can to preserve them for the winter months. Golden raspberries are a quick and easy berry to preserve. It gels up in no time. I made a small batch of jam consisting of 2 lbs. golden raspberries, 1 c. sugar, zest of 1 lemon, 2 Tbs. lemon juice. Let’s be honest, it probably won’t last through the winter.

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