Sunday, February 26, 2012


I love these valentines starbucks cups. We never had these when I worked there. I love these more than the red christmas cups.

Sorry I haven't really blogged lately. Things have been crazy. I finished up my internship and said goodbye to San Francisco...again. I take San Francisco for granted and I never truly appreciate it as much as I should.

Now as for a crazy kind of night, last Thursday, the caltrain I was on hit someone, and he died. I was surprised to hear that his actually happens quite often. It was between California Avenue and San Antonio station in Palo Alto/Mountain View. Whether the guy just crossed the track by accident or was out there to commit suicide, we'll probably never know. Strangely enough, a few minutes before this, our train was stopped at California station because there was a car stuck on the track. After about 20 minutes, the police got the car towed and then less than 3 minutes later, the train conductor announced that we had hit someone. My dad was supposed to pick me up from the station, so I ended calling him and telling him to come back later because we could not leave the train for 2 hours. The police had to come, they called the coroner, and we had to wait until the scene was released before we were allowed to get off and get onto another train that pulled up alongside us. Crazy right? RIP mystery man.

I'm currently in Florida where my sister ran the Disneyworld Half Marathon this morning. It was nuts, there were supposedly about 30,000 runners. and they all wore costumes. I'll be at Disneyworld for the next couple of days where I am going to ride tons of rides and then its back to school in Boston.

Peace out cub scouts.

Monday, February 20, 2012

philzZz coffee

As some (or maybe most) of you know, I worked for Starbucks for quite some time, which means my favorite kind of coffee is free coffee! During training, they used to make us sniff coffee and taste this and that and try to differentiate the dark roasts from the light roasts etc. I never really quite figured it out. They all seemed the same to me. I did, however, think that Gold Coast (aka GoCo) smelled like tequila, but I may have been hungover at the time and just smelling the tequila emanating from my pores. As you can see, I'm not picky when it comes to coffee. If it's coffee, I'll drink it! In fact, I swear the best tasting coffee I ever had was from a Burger King at a rest stop on the Maine Turnpike. Then again, I may have been delirious from lack of sleep and it may have been 3am.

All that being said, I just paid $3.50 for a 16oz coffee, and it is for sure the BEST COFFEE I have ever had. And its most definitely worth the money I paid for it. Sorry Burger King, you've been de-throned by Philz!

Philz Coffee is a small Bay Area chain that originated in the Mission District in San Francisco. And apparently there's a real guy named Phil! I've been frequenting the SoMa location, which is right around the corner from the Caltrain.

So far I've tried the following blends: Tesora, Ambrosia Coffee of God, and Philtered Soul. Philtered Soul is my favorite so far, but I plan on trying a few more blends before I leave San Francisco. Now why is the coffee so good? I can't describe it. It's complex. It's like each sip has several layers with different flavors -  something i've never experienced when it comes to coffee. Each cup is individually ground and brewed (or should I say hand poured because they don't use coffee machines!).

They have beans too! I may have to bring some back to Boston with me.

Philz Coffee: I love you. I'm going to miss you when I leave San Francisco.

Monday, February 13, 2012

roasted corn and edamame salad

aka summertime recipe in the midst of winter

It's really gloomy out today. San Francisco, this doesn't happen too often, but you are failing me today. It's foggy, it's grey, it's kinda drizzling, and I am starting to sound really whiny.

So to take my mind off something called winter (ugh), I present to you: a roasted corn and edamame salad! This recipe was taken from Self Magazine (2007) and it is the BEST corn salad I have EVER eaten!* Unfortunately, there are no pictures to prove it to you. Sorry about that.

This dish is great for BBQ's, potlucks, beach days, etc. You know, all those fun summer activities that we can't do right now because it's w i n t e r.

Also, I bet it tastes even better with avocado.

Roasted Corn and Edamame Salad
(makes 8 servings - I doubled the recipe for parties!)

4 ears fresh corn, unhusked, or 1 1/4 cups frozen corn kernals
1 cup shelled edamame
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped or grated ginger
salt and pepper to taste

Soak fresh corn in cold water about 30 minutes. Heat grill on high. Grill corn in husk, 10 to 15 minutes, turning once. Let cool. Remove husks. Cut corn from cob into a bowl.

Or alternatively (which is what I did because not only do we not have a grill (the joys of city life), but I am also extremely lazy):
Defrost the bag of frozen corn.

Combine with remaining ingredients.

Cover and chill in refirigerator until ready to serve.

*Note: I didn't even use roasted corn. I just used bagged frozen corn and it was still the best corn salad I've ever eaten. Now you know it has to be good.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

oh hot damn this is my jam

I thought I'd share my 5k playlist. I think this adds up to over an hour of music so obviously I did not get a chance to listen to all of it during my run. But here we go...

Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen
Deer in the Headlights - Owl City
Gimme Sympathy - Metric
Just the Way You Are - Bruno Mars
Stronger - Kelly Clarkson
Live Like We're Dying - Kris Allen
Party in the U.S.A. - Miley Cyrus
Set Fire to the Rain - Adele
Disturbia - Rihanna
Super Bass - Nicki Minaj
Born This Way - Lady Gaga
Airplanes - B.o.B.
Love the Way You Lie - Eminem & Rihanna
TiK ToK - Ke$ha
I Know You Want Me - Pitbull
Knock You Down - Keri Hilson
I Do Not Hook Up - Kelly Clarkson
Grace Kelly - Mika
Give Me Everything - Pitbull
Long Live - Taylor Swift

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

the san francisco 5k...finally!

We finished the 5k! Woo! As you all know, this was my first road race. I am super psyched because I completed all my goals! I finished, I ran the whole thing, and I ran it in under 36 minutes!

My final time was 33:24 (for 3.2 miles. they had to make it a little longer than a regular 5k so we could end at the same place as the half marathon). And I was running at a 10:46 pace! Overall, I'm super happy with how everything went. I still have a lot of trouble running outside, but I am really happy with my time and pacing. No photos from the actual race because I was too busy trying not to die, but here are a couple of before and after group shots...

Here is us before the race (pictures taken by a random stranger courtesy of Homan's iPhone). It is very early in the morning. Chris made us leave Saratoga at like 5:20 AM.

And...after! All done!

We ate breakfast afterwards at the Beach Chalet. Yum.

Ocean Beach, San Francisco
(another beautiful SF day)

Looking towards the future...
1. I'm running the Ras na hEireann (I can neither pronounce it nor spell it) in Somerville on March 18th. Apparantly it's the "Race of Ireland and the United States of America" and "the most genuine Irish race on this side of the Atlantic." I am running the 5k and then running straight to the bar to do some post race craic-ing. I've interpreted this to mean drink a lot of beers.

2. I probably need to try a 10k in the coming months. Any suggestions?

3. And ultimately...the big goal is: the Philly Half Marathon in November!

Friday, February 3, 2012

oven roasted tomato sauce

So the other night after work, I was throwing together a tomato sauce. And I was actually throwing it together. It was pretty ghetto. I basically chopped up some onion, garlic, and a red bell pepper, sauteed it for a bit, threw some canned tomatoes on top, and simmered for an embarrassingly short period of time.

While I was making this ghetto tomato sauce, my mom commented that her tomato sauce was much better. Which is true. So I've included her recipe below. But it must be made on the weekend because it requires a few hours in the oven. The good news is that it's fairly easy to make because you don't have to keep an eye on it as much as if you simmered it over the stove. Of course feel free to alter this recipe as you wish. For example, I probably wouldn't put my herbs in a sachet. I am lazy so I'd probably just dump them in the sauce, cross my fingers, and hope for the best.

Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 cup minced leeks, white and pale green parts only
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon minced garlic
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 (28 to 21 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes (San Marzano is the recommended kind)
1 sachet (1 bay leaf, 3 thyme sprigs, 10 black peppercorns, 1 peeled and smashed garlic clove - all wrapped in cheesecloth and tied with kitchen twine)
Ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the oil, onion, leeks, fennel, and garlic in a large ovenproof Dutch oven (hello le creuset!) or a baking dish and sprinkle with salt. Put in oven and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the veggies are tender and beginning to caramelize. Stir in the brown sugar and vinegar and return to the oven for another 20 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from oven.

Meanwhile, drain the canned tomatoes and remove the seeds. Coarsely chop half the tomatoes. Puree the other half in a food processor.

Add the tomatoes to the veggies along with the sachet, season with salt and pepper to taste, and return to the oven for 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. The sauce should be thick and have a full rich flavor. Run the side of the spoon through the sauce - if it runs back together immediately, it is too thin. Return it to the oven and cook until thickened.

Discard the sachet and let the sauce cool to room temperature.

Feel free to double or triple the recipe and freeze the sauce!