Hi friends! You MAY have noticed that, aside from blubbering about our California travels, things have been pretty quiet here in our little corner of the internet. I am happy to say that even though that may have SOMETHING to do with the fact that we are planning a wedding in 6 months, we haven’t entirely put our blog on the back burner (pun intended.)
So, you say, what exactly are you doing? Well, I won’t give specifics, but after the holidays, things are going to look a little different around here. We have some fun plans for the blog that are going to take shape over the next year- so get excited! With our energies focused entirely on these new changes, our blog may start collecting a bit of dust during the holidays. Fear not! We will have lots to share when we return
In the meantime, here are a few pictures that our sweet friend Molly over at Capital Confessions took a few weeks ago. What a fun fun day of shooting (thank you Molly!).
I have fond memories of making lemonade when I was younger. Squeezing the juice out of the fresh lemons and mixing it with probably too much sugar. What a refreshing summer drink! I discovered a delicious flavor upgrade when I visited Italy during college. It was on the island of Capri that I experienced the most robust lemon flavored drink concoction imaginable. The lemons grown on that coastal region of Italy are some of the best in the world and I was fortunate enough to enjoy them!
Fast forward a few years; I was visiting California, specifically Los Angeles, for the first time with my family. When my family is deciding where to eat, the best way to describe their preference is “no frills”. I really enjoy planning trips and this trip to California was no different, I researched several places for us to dine on a dime but still enjoy some delicious food. One such place was a little cafeteria style restaurant called “Lemonade”.
I believe I mentioned in a previous post that I could gush about California cuisine for days; Lemonade is emblematic of California cuisine is so many ways. Imagine living in a part of the country where the weather and soil were in such harmony that allowed for bounties of produce to cultivate and harvest. Imagine going to a farmers market where you see variants of fruit and vegetables you have never heard of before. Imagine the options at your disposal when you want to cook a meal. This is what chef Alan Jackson does at his Lemonade restaurant that is now a mini chain around the Los Angeles area. In fact I like everything about this place so much that I ended up purchasing the cookbook as soon as it was released!
As you enter Lemonade, you are inundated with a variety of healthy yet delicious choices. A line forms for the dozen or so deli-style food creations, adjacent is a space to order sandwiches, pot roasts, braises, and other heartier creations. As you snake your way around to the other side of the room a display of bakery items are presented for dessert and of course a station to order their signature lemonades. I dare you to read their recent summer menu without wanting to visit!
Every time I have visited the Los Angeles area, I make a point to eat at Lemonade. It is not a fine dining place by any means; it knows its identity and executes casual Californian cuisine expertly! The food is fresh and distinctly Californian
And we continue in our culinary narrative of the beautiful state of California…
Although we saved it for last, our trip to San Fran would absolutely not have been complete without Tartine. Words are not really going to do the food we ate there any justice, but hopefully the lines will give you some indication. I recently read an NPR piece about foodies waiting in line hours and hours just to taste something that may or may not be outstanding. Tartine was mentioned in the article, and I can say that although we didn’t wait for more than 20 minutes in the early morning, it would have been worth an hour. Bring Sudoku or whatever it is the kids are playing these days! J and I strategized before we got to the counter, looking at everything in the display cases and trying to discern the mix of smells wafting around. In the end here is what we got (don’t judge): One traditional open-faced Croque Monsier and one with mushrooms (me), one chocolate croissant, one lemon tart and one morning bun. The Croque Monsier’s were very delicious, but I have to say that what nearly blew J and I away were the chocolate croissant and the morning bun. I would actually re-name the “Morning Bun” the “Never-Had-A-Better-Bun”. Think croissant dough spun into a cinnamon roll shape with orange zest, doused in butter and covered in cinnamon sugar. I have no more words.
Something that might be important to note for those of you driving down the coast on the PCH—there is a delightful little coffee shop called Crema on Lighthouse Ave. If you are anything like me and took two Dramamine to survive the windy roads you will absolutely NEED the Fog Buster by this time in the journey. It is pretty sweet with honey and cinnamon, just warning those of you with a broken sweet tooth.
C wasn’t really that hungry for lunch, and to be honest I wasn’t starving either, we arrived in Carmel after a beautiful drive through Pebble Beach. Even though it was lunch time we decided to walk around the enchanted “village by the sea”. What a charming little place that was very European and did not feel like a beach town whatsoever, in fact I felt like it was a little town you might find in the Swiss alps. Once it was about time to leave I did want to eat some lunch but nothing heavy. Yelp pointed me in the right direction to Carmel Belle! An unassuming food stand inside a shopping area. I know I just described a food court, but it was ANYTHING BUT a food court. Besides the freshness of the vegetables in my salad were unlike anything else. If there were more casually healthy fresh salad places like this, preferably near me, but around the country then people would not have excuses for not being able to find a healthy choice to eat!
This was my favorite night of our trip. Our midway point and resting stop for the evening was Cayucos Beach. J and I had a picnic packed from our shopping at the Ferry Building the day before and we snagged a little spot on the beach before the sun set. It was perfect and we left that evening ENGAGED! I was very surprised and am so happy to get to call J my fiancé and eventually husband.