Monday, April 26, 2010

Mission accomplished

Back in February, Fluffycat and I went to Gregoire. The main purpose of this outing was so that she could order the bread pudding. We were thwarted when we were informed that they were out of bread pudding that particular night. Now Gregoire changes their menu monthly and that includes the bread pudding flavor. March was a no because Fluffycat said that she wasn't really into rhubarb. But this month was chocolate.
So let's start at the end of the meal -- the chocolate bread pudding with pear coulis.

Me? I'm actually not a huge chocolate fan. I still have Ghirardelli at home that I bought back in November or so. I like fruit flavored stuff which is why I got the panna cotta with raspberry sauce. And then I made Fluffycat try some of the raspberry sauce on her bread pudding because I've always thought that raspberry and chocolate go together very well.

Dessert is the easiest choice at Gregoire. We both labored over our entree choices for the entire day and didn't really decide until that final moment. OK. One choice was easy.

We both decided to share the grilled artichoke.

I went with the harissa-marinated lamb with a yogurt sauce...

while Fluffycat chose the beef kabobs.

And yes, there were plenty of leftovers. I was able to have two more meals from my leftovers in fact. The other item I had thought of having was the bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin. I don't really have anything already made for dinner tonight. Hmmmm....

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Holding out

My first instinct was to blame Abby for holding out. However, the real cause was my laziness. Abby has been raving about Burma Superstar for years. And all I had to do as click the locations tab on their site to discover that besides the San Francisco location, there are also locations in Oakland and Alameda.

I could really kick myself for this as Burmese is one of my all-time fave foods. Generally when I need a fix, I go to Inya Lake in San Bruno or Nan Yang in Oakland. Both of those are not along my usual path. Fortunately Burma Superstar in Alameda is in an area that I often frequent for lunch during the work week.

I ordered the chicken samusas, chicken dhal and curry eggplant -- to go. It was all fabulous. So yes, I will be returning frequently.

Thanks, Abby!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Not for you. For me.

Since November this dress has been my beacon. The last time I wore it last year during some gin-filled weekend, I could only do so with the aid of a foundation garment. Every time I was ready to give up on the weight loss thing, I pulled this dress out and tried it on as it has always been one of my favorites. A month ago I got the zipper halfway up. And then figured out how I could drop some more weight. For over a month, my weight has been at a constant for the most part. I have not reached what I thought would be my final goal. And then I started noticing that clothes were getting loose. I guess I've been busy exchanging fat for muscle. So a week ago I pulled the dress back out and tried it on. It zipped with absolutely no problem. And then I tried on a bunch of other stuff. Yes, I could get into them but they still don't fit the way they used to so I still have some to lose.

After getting all the yummy food on Sunday, I remembered this dress. I bought it almost two years ago on clearance from The Gap. When it arrived, it didn't fit. But I kept it anyway. And for the first time ever, it actually fits.

Now to get those other dresses to fit. Before summer.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Because I'm still feeling the cholita thing, I thought I'd share this video.

One of my faves from back in the day. I can just imagine cruising to it. Of course, La Nicoya says that Kid Frost is nothing but a punk ass bitch. Whatever. I like the beat. Give it a 79.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A fuera

I guess I should blame my mother. She started it all. I went to her house ednesday night because she had had surgery and needed someone to stay the night at the house. Waiting for me were roasted chicken, tortillas and salsa verde to be turned into enchiladas. My mom had found a new source for tortillas, but more about that later. I'm still kicking myself for not bringing a container of that sauce home. Yes, my mother makes her own sauce. Oh, and there was cotija cheese as well. But the sauce. I think it may have been at least six years since my mother has made the sauce for me. Now if I only get her to make some albondigas. There is more to this tale than food though.

After hitting the Farmville event nearby on Saturday, I found myself sitting in a auto place waiting for the smog test on my car. Tired of playing games on my phone, I decided to do a little web surfing. Earlier in the week, I had learned that La Mission would be opening. And Peter Bratt would be appearing at one of the screenings in San Francisco for a Q&A. So I pulled up the theaters website and purchased a ticket. The movie was fantastic. It was the San Francisco I know and love filled with characters who have crossed my path at various times in my life. It is also the kind of film that makes you think about so many things in our society. I miss going to films that make you think; I miss being a member of the film society.

Today I decided to fully embrace my inner cholita -- because that's what this is really about, my inner cholita -- by heading over to Mi Pueblo. I could have taken the freeway but I decided to cruise down Bancroft instead since it was a nice day out. It's almost like cruising 23rd in Richmond for me.

I had been hearing about the store for quite some time but had not found the time to make it over there. It was dinner at my mom's on Wednesday that the impetus. See, she had bought the tortillas at Mi Pueblo's new location in San Rafael. And she's still pissed off that there isn't one in Richmond or San Pablo.

Seeing the chickens grilling in front of the store was a good sign in my book.

The first section one hits upon entering is the panaderia. And I was hungry. And without a list. But of course I had to pick up some tres leches cake. So many flavors. A woman standing next to me at the counter agreed that it would be appropriate to ask for one of each. I simply got the fresa and the cafe. Hmmm. Bet Fluffycat would love the latter.

Then there was the quiet solitude of the produce section in which I found the elusive epazote. I bought in dry form though so that I will never have the epazote crisis again when making sopa de flor de calabaza.

After stopping at the tortilleria section for tortillas fresh out of the machine, I hit their taqueria section. By this point my true cholita had emerged as I spoke to the staff and fellow shoppers in my Spanglish. I wanted the carnitas but they weren't ready yet so I picked up half of a chicken.

And then the tilapia caught my eye so I needed one of those as well. I haven't seen fish cooked like this since the last time I was in Mexico. I discussed this with a fellow customer while we waited for frijoles -- yes, they were out of beans. He said that he found that fish was typically cooked this way. Then I mentioned a la Veracruzana -- one of the dishes my mom loves to prepare -- and he told me about a place on International that makes it that way.

By the time the beans were ready, so were the carnitas.

Lesson learned. Never shop in Mi Pueblo on an empty stomach. Another thing learned? Apparently Latinos are not down with gin. As I scanned the liquor section while at the checkout, I noticed tons of tequilas and rums -- something I completely expected. There were also a few brandys and vodkas thrown in. But not a single bottle of gin. Huh.

And yes, I will be returning to Mi Pueblo. In fact I might be doing the bulk of my shopping there now. And I will be seeing La Mission again. But don't worry. Embracing my inner cholita does not involve Aquanet. That is so last century.

Friday, April 2, 2010

One year

Yesterday started out kind of crappy. On my drive into work, it suddenly hit me that yesterday marked one year since my aunt had her stroke. My cousin and I say that that's when she died but she stayed on life support for two days so tomorrow is technically the anniversary of her death. Yesterday was also the one year anniversary of the day I signed the closing papers for my condo.

I walked into work sure that it was going to be a crappy day. Then my boss called me into his office. My first thought was, "What have I fucked up now?" Not that I regularly fuck things up. Yes, I occasionally make mistakes -- that become huge fuck-ups in my head. Because no one is harder on me than myself. But my boss was calling me in to give me my review and to tell me about my bonus check. Yeah, we still get those around here. Not as lavish as in past years but a check nonetheless. And my boss told me that he wished it could have been more. And that while they don't say it every day, they appreciate my efforts.

So now I am starting to think that this is what each passing year will be -- a mixture of really crappy with really good. I am determined to try to remember the happy instead of the sad. That's what my aunt would want.

The obvious is getting my condo. Truth be told, this is not the end of the road as far as home for me though. I dream of moving in another five years or so. I still want a yard. And another bedroom. But buying the condo has taught me that things that I once thought to be impossible just might be possible.

I have a job at which for the first time in a really long time I am appreciated. I spent years at jobs at which I felt emotionally beat up on a daily basis. This has been a refreshing change. I don't know if I could have survived the past couple of years in other working environments. When I had those days in which I just couldn't get out of bed due to the depression and called in sick, I was told to take care of myself so that I could come back the person they had first gotten to know. I am eternally grateful for having understanding employers during the last couple of years of crazy. In the fall I will hit my three-year anniversary at this employer. I have never worked in any one place for more than three years but I know that I have no intention of leaving here any time soon. I guess this is another example of how I am kind of giving up my wandering, non-committing ways.

I like to think that I am finally learning how to truly take care of myself. I have spent the past year disengaging from dynamics that I just didn't feel were healthy for me. The hardest part is when others don't get it and try to get me to change my mind. "You only have one mother..." Yes, I do but that doesn't mean that she has to be an active part of my everyday life -- especially since she has repeatedly shown no respect for the boundaries that I have tried to set.

It's strange, to me at least. For the first time in years I feel truly happy. I guess that this is what has made the crappy moments bearable -- the knowing that I have come out the other side a better me.