Monday, January 19, 2015

Ai Weiwei @Large

Happy 2015. I realize I'm a little late here but the new year got off to a running start. I went back to school at the start of the month and just as I had recovered from one cold I immediately got sick again, so I've been moving a little slowly. Between a new class schedule, working to finish a paper that's hanging over my head from last quarter, and learning to drive stick shift, I've been fairly occupied but I took a nice break this weekend to spend time with my friend Lena who was visiting from New York. On Saturday, we took the ferry from Pier 33 out to Alcatraz to see the Ai Weiwei exhibit.

We lucked out and the weather was good - a few wispy clouds in the sky but warm. The ferry ride was a treat in and of itself with its wonderful views.

The exhibit was marvelous. We also had access to areas of the island that aren't typically open to visitors - the hospital wing, the model industries building, cell block A.

One of the best parts of visiting Alcatraz is the view from the island, looking out to Marin, to San Francisco and across to the Golden Gate. Really spectacular.

Hope everyone's year is off to a good start. I'll be back soon.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

chocolate dulce de leche tart

As previously mentioned, we're heading to San Juan Bautista for New Year's Eve this year. Our friends Jared and Amy graciously offered to host a few of us at their home for a relaxed celebration. I volunteered to bring dessert and set out to find something suitable for the occasion

One of my favorite cookbooks from this past year was David Lebovitz's My Paris Kitchen. I decided to make his chocolate dulce de leche tart.

The crust was a disaster challenging. After creaming the butter and sugar together and adding the requisite egg yolk, I stirred in the cocoa-flour mixture and was rewarded with a bowl full of what looked like dark sand. There was no chance that this would come together as any sort of crust. So I used a recipe from Saveur, creamed a bit more butter, added a touch more flour and another egg yolk and turned it into a different recipe for a chocolate pie crust, and voila - dough fit to be pressed into a tart pan.

The rest of the recipe came together easily enough - the dulce de leche, the chocolate custard, the sprinkling of sea salt on the top - and baked into something we'll be eating after dinner tonight with a dollop of whipped cream. I'll check in to let you know whether it's a keeper or not. In the meanwhile, happy New Year's Eve - I hope everyone has something planned for this evening that he/she is looking forward to. See you in the new year. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

the year in review

A few years back, I went through old photos and did a sort of "year in review," recapping some of the things I'd done. I looked back at it recently and loved having it as a short record of the year as a whole, so I thought I'd try it again for 2014. Here we go!


In January, we took a trip to Tahoe with Dave and Lindsay (and, of course, Oski). I snow-shoed for the first time and got to watch Oski eat scoops of vanilla ice cream at Burger Me in Truckee. I started in the Environmental Law clinic at Stanford. Later in the month, my parents came for a visit and began looking for an apartment in San Francisco.


We started February in Napa, spending Superbowl Sunday wine tasting. 

We spent Valentine's day in Tahoe, where there was no snow. So we walked on the beach and spent the evenings eating sausages and drinking beer at Mellow Fellow.

My parents found a temporary apartment in the Mission and moved in. 

 Towards the end of the month, I took a trip to Joshua Tree and Palm Springs. We hiked around the desert and stayed in the very colorful Saguaro hotel. I tried a date shake for the first time.

In March, Daniel and I celebrated our anniversary and his birthday.  

We went to the wedding of one of Daniel's best friends from college down in Paicines. Lots of champagne, lots of dancing. Of course.

Then I moved out of the dorms at Stanford and stayed with my parents over spring break at their apartment in the Mission. I chopped off my hair. 


In April, we moved in to a new apartment in San Francisco. I celebrated my birthday right around the corner at Pizzetta.

We went on a tour of the art galleries in Potrero with our friends Ashley and Josh.

We spent Mothers Day in Napa. On Memorial Day, I went to a Giants' Game at AT&T Park with a group of girlfriends. I paid little attention to the game but did buy a hat.

I crammed furiously for finals, took finals, and immediately started my summer job. I travelled to LA for for work training program. Lots of work socializing.

I made a cake to look like the American Flag for the Fourth of July.

I also finally attended a fest at the German Tourist Club, though I didn't wear a dirndl.

I threw a party for Danny in the garden of the Bazaar Cafe to celebrate his graduation from his masters program. Afterwards, we had dinner at Cecilia's and too many drinks at Trad'r Sam's.

I finished work at one law firm and moved over to a different firm in Palo Alto. Daniel went to Scotland. We went camping in Costanoa for a friend's birthday. The Napa earthquake happened.

My friend Kinzie and I spent a long weekend in Santa Fe and I fell in love with the city. We hiked and spa'd and looked at art and ate a lot of terrific food. 

I quickly followed it with another vacation, this time to visit my friend Lena in New York. I had some spectacular meals - dinner at Batard and Perla and two fabulous lunches at La Grenouille and Bouley. I went to MoMA and strolled down 5th. I had drinks with an old friend from my time in Zaragoza. I bought a pair of black strappy sandals. 

After New York, I headed straight to New Orleans with my mother. She bought me a panama hat and we drank French 75s. We took a tour of Frances Parkinson Keyes' home. We also ate quite a lot. It was very hot. 

Then I came home and started my last year of law school.

I braved the heat and went to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. We went wine tasting in Napa.

We watched the Giants win the World Series. My parents moved in to a new apartment in Russian Hill. I studied for the MPRE and watched children trick or treat in Seacliff on Halloween. Daniel was reunited with the duck sweater.

I took the MPRE. My brother visited San Francisco and we all had dinner at Stone's Throw before his move to Madrid. I heard Diane von Furstenberg speak at Stanford. We celebrated an early Thanksgiving in Napa and then the actual day down in La Jolla with my family. 

Major rainstorms in the Bay Area kept everyone inside during the early part of the month. I studied and took finals. We went to a performance of Handel's Messiah at Grace Cathedral. Daniel and I both got colds. 

We attended dinner parties and holiday parties and drank lots of good wine. We had a visit from Daniel's home-stay family from Australia and experimented with gluten-free pizza. We spent Christmas in Napa, eating and drinking and playing with Katie, the family Weimaraner. 

A full year, and one that I hope will lead to good things in 2015. Happy New Year, everyone. 

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