Google+  with milk and sugar blog: June 2012

Friday, June 29, 2012

Snapshots from the Napa Valley... {w/ travel}

hi friends.

Sorry for giving you the silent treatment this last week. We got away for a few days to celebrate our anniversary. Up the beautiful California coast, making stops at Disneyland, Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Francisco, and Napa.

I took plenty of real photos (i.e. on a camera, not my iPhone), but have been so slammed this week I haven't uploaded them to my computer. So for now, here are a few from Instagram.

A highlight of our trip was spending a day in the beautiful Napa Valley. One of the wineries we visited, Chateau Montelena, was inside a gorgeous 1860s stone castle. In 1976 it won a prestigious French wine award that blew the socks off the hoity French judges and officially put California on the map in the wine world.   

I got this half barrel at one of the wineries. I've seen them at Lowe's for $30. This one was actually used for wine (Merlot) and is awesomely stained on the inside. We picked it up for $15. Score. I will be great on our deck. Time to plant more...

More to come in the next few weeks, including descriptions of some of the amazing meals we had.

Let's just say, Club 33 at Disneyland is incredible.

Friday, June 22, 2012

a mid-summer's day wedding

In celebration of my anniversary week I am also sharing some of the cute details that made our wedding "us".

My wonderful mother-in-law Debbie made these beautiful heart shaped cookies as gifts for the guests.  There were also bride cookies, complete with a pearl necklace. 

Our centerpieces were assorted bright pink flowers in vases with cut limes. 

The cake was nothing short of amazing, this was also made by my mother-in-law. She is so talented and I am so lucky she is teaching me all her tricks. Including this one: the cake was fake. Well most of it anyways. She used styrofoam for the middle layers. You can ice the "fake cake" weeks in advance and serve sheet cake - no one will know the difference. We did use real cake on the bottom so we had something to cut into. 

We had to include some Disney details, considering we got engaged at Disneyland. We decided to name each of the tables instead of using the traditional numbers. We had names like "The Magic Kingdom", "AdventureLand", "FantasyLand", and "ToonTown". This was our way to personalize the day, without committing to an actual theme. 

My hair was pulled back in a soft updo and adorned with an orchid. 

The bridesmaids' bouquets were bright pink with green flower accents. I didn't know much about flowers back then (and still don't), but I knew the color scheme I wanted. I let our florists (who were also friends) just run with it and I could not have been happier. 

I hope you enjoyed some of the details of my wedding. Thanks for stopping by!

{all photos were taken by Flux Photography}

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Four Years Ago Today...

I was a blushing bride.

And blushing I was indeed. I'm not one for being the center of attention. I would much rather be making a fuss about someone else. Truth be told, I was nervous to be the focus of an entire day. Weeks before my wedding just the thought of hundreds of eyes staring at my every move made my stomach tie itself in knots.

But the amazing thing was, all of those nerves disappeared about a week before the big day. God transformed me into a completely peace-filled woman. It was like my heart beat slowed just enough for me to take deep breaths in and out, soaking up every moment of those last days of being a "fiancee", all in preparation for my biggest role to date - wife.

In celebration of my four year anniversary, I thought I'd share some photos of our day. If you haven't noticed, I don't post photos of myself very often. Well, this will make up for that.

We chose a warm hot summer day to exchange vows in front of family and friends and officially begin our lives together. Our ceremony was in a garden area of a golf course. It was surrounded by hedges and tall trees - it felt so private.

I love gazebos and loved the natural wood look of this one. 

We were so blessed to have our closest friends and family stand by our side that day, supporting us every step of the way then... and now.

We were a very lively, goofy bunch.

We had amazingly talented photographers (who are also friends) that made us feel like we belonged in a magazine shoot. 

This last picture basically sums of our relationship. 

always laughing. 

Love, here's to countless more years of laughter.

{all photos in this post were taken by the talented team of Flux Photography}

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Grilled Vegetables and Quinoa {w/ food}

When the temperature rises, the last thing I want to do is turn on my oven and transform my house into a sauna.

Luckily, summer is the perfect time to grill outdoors. I picked up a small eggplant and sweet potato at my local market the other day. You could also easily use a variety of other vegetables including zucchini, portobello mushrooms, or summer squash.

I buy my quinoa at Costco so there is always plenty on hand.

Maybe you've seen or heard about quinoa but don't know what it is. Quinoa  (pronounced keen-wah) is a seed originally from South America. It is packed with nutrients like amino acids, calcium, and iron. It can be substituted for rice or cous cous and because of its high protein content is great for vegetarians, or anyone enjoying a vegetarian meal.

I started by slicing the eggplant and sweet potato into about 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. The eggplant will cook pretty fast on the grill so if it is sliced any thinner it will get too soft. The sweet potato will take longer so I put it on first, but if you'd like them to cook at the same time just cut the potato thinner.

This was my first time using the BBQ by myself. For some reason I've always bought into the social norms and let my husband use the grill. It was a little daunting. But I've learned that using an outdoor grill (BBQ) is nothing to be afraid of (especially if its a gas grill).

I first brushed each piece with a bit of olive oil and sprinkled with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

I put the sweet potatoes on first since I knew they would take longer. I let them cook about 5-7 minutes on each side over a medium high flame. Then I added the eggplant, about 3-5 minutes per side. While it was grilling I minced some fresh garlic and prepared the quinoa.

I used chicken stock to cook my quinoa, but you could easily substitute vegetable stock, or water, to make this a true vegetarian dish.

I tossed the grilled vegetables with the minced garlic. The flavor of garlic changes as it is cooked. Anyone who has ever tried to eat a whole raw garlic clove can tell you that uncooked it is unbearably strong, with a unique spiciness to it. Compared to the sweet flavors of roasted garlic they seem like entirely different food items. I tossed the minced, raw garlic with the freshly grilled vegetables and let the heat slightly cook the garlic to release some of its sweetness to complement the sweet potato.

I placed it atop the quinoa and sprinkled with a bit of parmesan cheese.

What you end up with is a delightful dinner. Packed with natural protein this is a perfect alternative for anyone looking to have a Meatless Monday or just enjoy grilled vegetables and quinoa.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Del Mar Fair - A Fried Food Lovers Paradise {w/ food}

hi friends!

Thought I'd share some pictures of the Del Mar Fair from last weekend. I don't know about your town, but San Diego gets really really into the county fair. We were able to get group ticket rates for a season pass at the same cost as a single ticket. I foresee many day dates of kettle corn and people watching in my future. 

How amazing is kettle corn? Pretty amazing right? And I love how you basically HAVE to get the largest size. We approached the stand confident in our decision to get the medium. We even talked about it ahead of time. 

Steven: What size should we get? 
Me: Medium. Have you seen the large? It's crazy big. 
Steven: Ok medium. You know they'll try to talk us into the large. 
Me: It's ok. We have will power. 

Apparently not as much will power as I thought.  

I love fair food. Fried Twinkies, fried Snickers, fried Kool-Aid, fried Klondike bars. Basically anything you can think of, but fried. 

These are beer battered, fried (big surprise) potato slices drowning in ranch and a cheese-like sauce. Oh so bad for you, but so delicious. 

I promise I normally don't eat like this, but when it comes to the fair, any discretion I have in day to day life goes out the window. Oh well. 

Do you go to the county fair? And if so what is the worst/best thing you've eaten?

{btw, all of these photos were taken via Instagram. You can follow me if you want at fotoKris}

Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer Seafood Feast {w/ food}

This past weekend Steven and I celebrated our good friend Travis’ 30th birthday. Steven and Travis have been friends for nearly 18 years (holy cow!).

Travis’ parents have a love for the finer things in life – stinky cheese, fine wine, and great food. Yum!

To celebrate this momentous occasion Travis’ dad prepared a feast. We had Alaskan King Crab legs, muscles, jumbo shrimp, sausage, potatoes, and corn on the cob. It was all cooked together in a HUGE aluminum bucket pot.

The pot was filled with chicken stock, water, and old bay seasoning. Easy peasy, right? The result was sublime. I love seafood and this was definitely the best I’ve ever had. The addition of Andouille and sweet sausage perfectly complemented the seafood. And the corn on the cobb? Yeah, it was amazing too. Steven doesn’t even like corn and he had two pieces.

The best part of the meal? No utensils. Everyone used their hands. 

We paired the meal with 2 bottles of  Grand Cru Chardonnay (fancy schmancy). Grand Cru is a regional classification that describes the terrain in which the grapes are grown. One was from 2000, the other 2005. I'm no wine connossieur, but lately have taken an interest in educating myself on viticulture and oenology. It's fascinating really.

It was so fun to be a guest at this dinner and sit back and enjoy all the lovely food. But I was also inspired to throw a fancy dinner party myself... anybody want to join me? 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Gourmet Lunch Trucks {w/ food}

If you haven't already noticed, food trucks are popping up all over the place.

And not your typical run of the mill greasy, fried food serving type of trucks.

More and more frequently they are hand-crafted, fresh, and even gourmet.

Discover SD wrote a post on the top 10 food trucks in San Diego back in February of 2011. On their list is my favorite, Miho Gastrotruck.

I discovered Miho last fall. The 2 Miho trucks drive around San Diego making stops in differents locations on different days of the week. They added Carlsbad to their rotation list and I was hooked. The food is amazing! It is a true farm-to-table experience with most of the fruits and vegetables being grown locally and the prepared products locally sourced.

Here are some of the items on their menu this week:

grass fed beef, farmers market stone fruit chutney, goat cheese, local arugula, jerk aioli, local gourmet bun / 8.25
all natural lamb, harissa aioli, goat cheese, caramelized onion, local arugula, local ciabatta / 9.5
local squash blossom, anaheim chile & citrus salsa, caramelized onion, local arugula, Spring Hill cheddar, cotija, local flour tortilla / 7.75
larb-style all natural Berkshire pork, fresh local mint, local cabbage, fresh red onion, hoisin, whole wheat bun / 8.25
all natural Berkshire pork, hand made guacamole, fire roasted salsa, house pickled red onion, cotija, local corn tortilla / 2 for 7.95
quinoa, farro, beet & carrot patty, havarti, local butter leaf, grilled red onion, herb aioli, local whole wheat / 7.75

I seem to always end up getting some type of hamburger, but coworkers have also raved about the carnitas and these spicy chicken biscuit sammy's they have sometimes. Another amazing item? "The bello". A balsamic marinated portobello sandwich. It makes me believe I could be a vegetarian. But when it's not available I go for the beef hamburger. So maybe I wouldn't be a good vegetarian.

The menu changes fairly frequently, just enough to give a good variety.

Have you tried any great food trucks lately? If not I'd highly recommend it.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Afternoon Snack - Brie Cheese w/ honey and thyme {w/ recipes}

You know that tiredness you get after a long, fun weekend? That “my body aches and my mind is jello” kind of tired?

That is me today.

I spent the weekend in Big Bear - hiking, Alpine sliding, wine walking, kayaking, and soaking up the sun with my best friends. And even though I’m exhausted, it is a great feeling -to be tired for good reason. So I will gladly pay the price for all the fun I had.

Oh how I wish I was still there. Floating on the lake in a kayak, getting rocked by the waves from passing boats.

This afternoon I think I’ll go home, sit on my back deck, and reflect on my fun adventures. Maybe I’ll prepare a little afternoon snack. I think I have some brie cheese in the fridge, and the rest of a baguette from the weekend. I’ll slice the baguette, top it with cheese, and drizzle a little honey over top. I’ll grab some fresh thyme and sprinkle a little on top.

Maybe I’ll toast the bread first so that the cheese melts ever so slightly on top. I may get thirsty, so I’ll grab some sparkling lemonade and add a little lavender syrup to bring out the floral tones of the thyme.

I think I’ll enjoy this snack.  

And what about you my friends? Are you tired from a fun weekend? I sure hope so. 

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