September 3, 2015

Roaming the Garden {Clematis}

I have this little tree/shrub on the pathway to my front door that is completely dead on one side because it has been taken over by clematis.  Dad and I tried to cut this pesky vine back this spring, but it kept overtaking the tree so I decided to let it go.  This past week, while walking by, I noticed it had two perfect purple flowers that it definitely did not have last year.  Now I can't bear to cut it back, knowing how pretty it is.  I think the clematis is here to stay :)

stephanie marie

September 2, 2015

The Pantry

Sunday morning, Maddie took me to The Pantry for a cooking class as an amazing birthday present.  I've always seen these advertised and heard stories about how awesome they are, but I've never actually pulled the trigger and signed up.  Well, apparently when Maddie saw they were having a Fish Taco class, she knew that was right up my alley and signed us up.  The classes are cool - very small and hands on, so everyone was helping out making something as we followed along with our instructor Laura on how to make all the fixin's for many kinds of fish tacos.  At first I was a little hesitant {what if I didn't cut the tomatillos correctly?!?} but everyone was so friendly and helpful that it was such a fun experience for us all to make this meal together.  Once everything was prepared, we all sat down together for a delicious lunch - made by us! - along with a glass of wine in the most beautiful and rustic kitchen.  I'm already scheming as to which classes I want to sign up for next {if I can get in!} and Maddie and I are insistent that we are going to replicate this meal for our friends one day soon {it really was so easy to make!!}.  Thanks again Mads - what a perfect birthday present!

 homemade tortillas {both flour and corn} are surprisingly easy to make!

 our family style lunch

the finished product!  shrimp in tomatillo sauce, cornmeal crusted calamari, and beer battered cod tacos 

stephanie marie

September 1, 2015

Queen Margherita

This past weekend, Mom and I saw Matilda at the 5th Avenue {so awesome!!  But so dark for a kid's play!  I totally forgot how scary that book is.}.  Afterwards, we headed back to Magnolia during the epic wind and rain storm and decided to take cover at Queen Margherita, a hidden little neopolitan-style pizza place in the village.  Luckily, they were playing the Seahawk preseason game, so we settled in with some glasses of wine and watched the game.  We decided on a few salads and one pizza to share, and it was the perfect amount of food to share while we watched the game.  I love this little spot in Magnolia that you would never think of coming too - it's definitely one of my favorite pizza places I've come across in the city.  Thanks for dinner Mom - and Go Hawks!

 salad mixta and the watermelon salad

 pizza romana with mushrooms

the cutest little place :)

stephanie marie

August 31, 2015

Seahawks Preseason

A few weeks back I had an unexpectedly free weekend, so Nicole offered me her tickets to the Seahawks preseason game.  Since Maddie and I had already talked about going to dinner that night, I instead decided to take her to the game for some beers, weird noodle-dishes, and to cheer on our Hawks.  After the craziest thunder and lightning storm and pouring down rain, and traffic that took hours to get anywhere in the city, we finally made it to the stadium not long after kickoff.  We had a great time laughing, catching up, and cheering on the Hawks before heading up the Hill to play a rousing game of shuffleboard at The Canterbury.  Though the Hawks couldn't pull this one off, I'm confident it's going to be an amazing season - they're just getting the losses out of their system now :)  Go Hawks!

stephanie marie

August 28, 2015

Napa {Day 3}

Sunday morning we woke up a little extra tired, so chilled by the pool for awhile until it was time to go :)

 we once again stopped for breakfast at the sunflower cafe, as i'm pretty sure we all had order envy from the previous morning.  it was exactly what we needed to revive ourselves for the day ahead.

 we stopped off at cline again and they graciously gave us another box to take our wine home in, plus tape to secure all the boxes.  quickly becoming one of my favorite places :)

 we drove into the city and immediately headed up the hillside to take in the breathtaking view

 it wasn't actually too chilly up there, so we stayed and just soaked it in for awhile

 pretty nice, eh?

 obligatory "driving over the bridge" picture

 we decided we needed a beer {and our flight kept getting delayed} so we wandered the streets of san francisco until we found rogue brewing, which totally hit the spot

we then headed over to dolores park {where most of the city seemed to be} to take in the views, relax in the sun, and wait until it was time to head home

this really was such an amazing trip, and i couldn't think of anyone else i'd rather have spent the weekend with than these 5 crazy kids.  love you guys!!

stephanie marie

August 27, 2015

Napa {The French Laundry}

Saturday night was one of those night's I will never forget, as the group and I had dinner at The French Laundry.  It was a bucket list item for John, and something I never thought I would do in my lifetime {mainly due to the pricetag and impossible to get reservations}.  But when the invitation presented itself, I couldn't say no.  We all got dressed up in our best for our 6PM dinner reservations, and after deciding on a few bottles of wine, we all chose the Chef's Tasting Menu.  It had 12+ courses {4 alone just of dessert!}, and each were better than the last. It truly was one of the absolute best meals of my life, something that can probably never be topped.  It still feels surreal to think that we actually had dinner there :)  From the sommelier who treated minion Dave like a guest to giggling like little kids every time something "fancy" would happen, it was such a fabulous experience.  Thank you John for the most incredible and memorable evening - I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!

 "oysters and pearls" 
{'sabayon' of pearl tapioca with island creek oysters and white sturgeon cavier}

 the yummiest bread basket

 "galia melon soup"
{brokaw avocado, celery, coconut and lime 'gastrique'}

 "slow cooked wild king salmon"
{roasted garden eggplant, purslane, sweet onion relish and brentwood corn 'veloute'}

 "chickpea crusted pacific abalone"
{stewed garden squash, roasted lipstick peppers, and fino verde basil}

 amazing wine

 "supreme de canard"
{hibiscus poached sour apples, garden turnips, and sicilian pistachio puree}

 "slow roasted elysian fields farm lamb"
{garden fennel, scarlet grapes, english walnuts and pinor noir reduction}

 "andante dairy 'acapella'"
{marinated garden tomatoes, nicoise olives and extra virgin olive oil jam}

 fig & honeycomb

 marinated strawberries & ice cream

 peanut butter & jelly creme

 pot de creme, macarons, chocolate covered hazelnuts, and mini donuts

 after dinner, we headed back to the hotel for a drink and some fun

 john said he wanted to be in his pj's, so we obliged and had a pj dance party, dj'd by dave! {the party also ended up getting a noise complaint by security and had to be moved at midnight to the lobby.....}

such a wonderful night!

stephanie marie