Monday, September 29, 2014

The Last Springsuit Session?

The ocean is taking back all the sand it brought to the beach this summer.
The high, high tides have made one of those sand berms that you'll crumble and fall off of if you walk too closely to its edge.
Some people might have forgotten about the big boulders that live on the beach because they've been covered up.
When I was duck diving next to some guys, I opened my eyes underwater and looked over to see if I could see them, but I couldn't because the waves had mixed up the water too much.
Then some dolphins swam by and I stuck my ears under to hear them, but they were pretty quiet.
October might behave as it usually does and deliver dry days and warm wind and then I may slip back into my springsuit, but until then, it's getting too cold.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Foreign Food Friday: Middle Eastern Vegetable Salad

my leash was caught on the camera tripod 

Yesterday morning I met Leah. She emailed me a few months ago from the contact form on this blog and asked if I'd teach her surfing. At first I was worried I was too busy and that I didn't live anywhere near her home in Seal Beach, but she was persistent and I was persuaded. Of course, I'm so glad. She has a good energy and helped me remember how much fun it is to teach about the beginning phase of surfing. Leah is actually from Vietnam, but fell in love with surfing here in California in April. She told me she had never felt "stoked" before she tried surfing. I love that. 

After my surf session with Leah, I went over to the skatepark for a minute. I met this guy named Mario. He was 53 years old and the first Skateboarding World Champ from Brazil. He could do 50-50s and ollies in the bowl. He told me I need to extend my legs and push my board above me and against the walls more when I'm skating because I'm loosing all my speed. I think it might take me a little while to understand what he meant, but I'm excited when I think about practicing it. It was kinda cool I got to teach and learn in the same morning. 

Lately, I haven't been as excited to cook. I think my tastebuds are getting a little bored with my usual recipes and concoctions and I'm thinking making foods from other parts of the world might be the solution. I should have asked Leah and Mario if they had any recipes from their home countries, but I did find the one above from my Ina Garten cookbook when I got home. It's from the Middle East. Scott and I had it for dinner and I had the leftovers for lunch atop microwaved rice cakes with parmesan cheese and soy sauce. I know, that part's kind of weird, but my taste buds were happy. 

Serves: 3-4 
(Ina says 4-6, but we eat a lot, I guess)

citrus + herbs = new and interesting flavor combinations


10 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced

1 pound ripe cherry tomatoes, diced

1 hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and diced
1 can or jar (12 to 16 ounces) chickpeas,  drained and rinsed
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1/3 cup julienned fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (~4 lemons)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
8 ounces feta cheese, 1/2-inch-diced
Toasted pita bread, for serving


Place the scallions, tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas, parsley, mint, and basil in a large salad bowl and toss to combine.


In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Pour the dressing over the salad, tossing gently to coat all the vegetables. Add the feta, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss gently. Serve the salad with the toasted pita bread.

What makes you excited to cook?
Do you guys have any vegetarian-friendly recipes from other cultures and countries that you could share with me? I'd really appreciate it! I might start making this a regular thing called "Foreign Food Friday" (or something better, if I think of it). Have a good weekend!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Young at Heart (visiting downtown San Diego + Petco Park)

My in-laws, Scott and I broke into a skatepark that hasn't opened yet, but that came after a few other things. 

Scott's mom and dad came down from Ventura Saturday morning and treated us all to a Padres game and a night at the San Diego Hilton. I felt like I packed like a 12 year old, bringing two stuffed animals and a skateboard for one night away, but Scott was the one photo bombing my picture of it all, so I think I can say he's young at heart too. 

Carolyn and I only watched the last two innings of the baseball game because we were talking and catching up, but those were the only two exciting innings according to us anyways. 

After the seventh inning stretch we went exploring for food, only to find each vendor closing up shop. If you plan to go to a game at Petco Park, make sure you eat before they sing "Take me out to the Ball Game".

Here are some of the options I was considering, had they been open:

Cardiff Seaside Market-Famouse BBQ tri-tip + health options. Flatbreads, salads, fruit, fresh juices, craft beer.

Rubios-casual seafood and taco grill with fresh quality, sustainable ingredients and innovative recipes.

Terrace Cafe/ Bayview Grill: Wraps, burgers, grilled tuna sandwiches, veggies burgers.

Friar Fit-fruit cups, California rolls, wraps, salads.
We did make it to the Stone World Bistro for some local beer before the game got going.  

Petco Park also has a gluten free stand as well as vegan hotdogs and veggie burgers, which seems pretty cutting edge for a baseball stadium to me (check out the whole concession stand guide here). 

On Sunday we went for a swim in the hotel pool and watched our fantasy football teams lose, although the Chargers won! After meeting up with Scott's cousin and her boyfriend for lunch we headed back towards home. Some traffic on the 5 caused us to detour right by this newly completed, but not yet opened skatepark so we climbed around the fence to check it out. I hadn't dropped into the bowl there before, so Scott held my hand the first few times while his parents cheered me on and kept a look out. Sure enough, a security guard showed up and escorted us out just after I took my second run, closing the gate tightly behind us. After that I think I can say we're all young at heart. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Stuff We've Been Watching

we haven't exactly had movie watching weather lately, so we just tie the curtains together to keep the sun out
Lately Scott and I have been trying to have a few game nights and a few movie nights each week. Since it's sometimes hard to find movies on Netflix without wasting almost all of your movie watching time, I thought I'd make a list of a few we really liked lately (all on your Netflix instant downloads, or your parent's, in my case). 

-Legends of the Fall (1994): "The Ludlow clan -- father William and brothers Alfred, Tristan and Sam -- splinters when Sam leaves to fight in World War I against his dad's wishes." I put this at the top of the list because I think it was my favorite out of all of these. I don't need to say Brad Pitt is hot either, because everyone knows that. Guys included. 

-Maiden Trip (2013): "This documentary captures 14-year-old Laura Dekker's solo two-year voyage around the world through footage she shot at sea." I've watched this six times. I wish I could give her a fist pump.

-Escape From Alcatraz (1979): "Lifer Frank Morris plans his unauthorized departure from Alcatraz in this thriller based on the penitentiary's only successful jailbreak." One of those movies that had me pacing around the living room (and it's a true story!). I really want to go back and do the tour of Alcatraz again. Scott's never been.

-Far & Away (1992): "Two 19th-century Irish immigrants journey to the United States for very different reasons, finding love amid the hardships they endure." Easy to watch; Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman are really cute in this.

-Mile... Mile & a Half (2013): "A group of artists leave their daily lives behind to hike California's John Muir Trail, the 219-mile stretch from Yosemite to Mount Whitney."

-Fargo (1996): "When a car dealer conspires with dim-bulb criminals to kidnap his wife for a hefty ransom, a folksy -- and pregnant -- police chief is on the case." Pretty violent, but with comic relief, plus I loved the snowy Mid-West setting. I can't believe it's based on a true story!

-Usual Suspects (1995): "When five unacquainted crooks are hauled into a police station to appear in a criminal lineup, they decide to pull off a heist together." I fell asleep, actually, but Scott loved it. I think I was just really, really tired.

-A River Runs Through It (1992): "Director Robert Redford's Oscar-winning, nostalgic meditation about the bonds that unite and divide families is set in Montana in the early 1900s."

-Dogtown and Z Boys (2001): "This documentary focuses on California's Z-Boys, who revolutionized skateboarding in the 1970s when they infused surfing techniques into the sport." Fed my skateboarding obsession perfectly.

-Paper Moon (1973): "A con man and his precocious "daughter" grift their way across depression-era America in director Peter Bogdanovich's nostalgic look at the 1930s." Tatum O'Neal is hilarious playing beside her real-life dad, even though their characters have kinda of messed up values. 

And of course, you can always watch The Office on Netflix. Have you ever seen the outtakes? Season Two // Season Three  (this is is what Scott's laughing at in the picture above).

What have you been watching lately? Got any recommendations for us?

By the way, on the topic of media, I am loving Spotify. It's like free i-tunes! You just have to put up with a few commercials. And, you can follow your friends. Kinda like the new way of sharing CDs.