Tag Archives: San Francisco

Everyday Life: Weeks 12 and 13

Here is a little peek at the last couple weeks.

Everyday Life: Weeks 12 and 13:

Homemade Indian food! Palak paneer, paneer makhani, garlic naan, steamed basmati rice and Punjabi spiced cauliflower.

The next night I experimented with leftovers and turned them into calzones, each stuffed with rice and either palak paneer or leftover paneer makhani.

We drove south to California… Forgot to check the weather for the drive… oops. Snow flurries off and on for the first two hours of driving.

Guess who else got to go on our road trip? (Note all the toys behind her.)

Craig, Silas, Silas’s mom and I went to the Bay Area at the start of Spring Break. First off, our first Golden State Warriors game. It was a lot more fun than I’d anticipated!

We stopped by Lake Merritt in Oakland to walk Percy the next morning.

Craig and I also decided to check out an international aquarium shop we drove past while also on a hunt for a good burrito. This fella caught my eye. And tried to attack my face.

Silas and his mom went to Six Flags so Craig and I ventured into San Francisco for a night.

An unplanned trek up to Coit Tower.

We walked past Liguria Bakery and I instantly thought of Tracy Shutterbean. Though I wanted some raisin focaccia, they were closed. All we found were these perma-dogs on the side of the building.

After walking all over North Beach and Chinatown in the wee morning hours, we stopped by Sam Wo near our hotel for 2AM vegetable chow fun.

The next day we met up with Silas and his mom for lunch at Mi Pueblo, which we discovered a few years ago. I ordered 3 sopes (photo is just one of the three)…little did I know they’d be big enough to leave me with two plates of food. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

After lunch, we decided to venture to the Redwoods near San Geronimo.

Silas amidst the redwoods…

You know who also enjoyed the forest and little streams.


After the redwood adventure we decided to drive on to Tomales Bay. It was rainy, windy and cold when we got there, but c’est la vie. Get me near any body of water and I am happy.

I always enjoy getting back in my own kitchen when we get home. His and Hers dinner sammiches. His: tempeh bacon, tofurky, pepperjack cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado, garlic basil mayonnaise. Hers/MINE: thick cut roasted chicken, muenster cheese, avocado, tomato, lettuce, curry vegenaise. Both on local made buttermilk bread.

I left the room for – literally 1 minute – came back and guess who’d cuddled up with my shirt? Haha

Still cold enough for soup around here… corn chowder with tempeh bacon.

Totally necessary. Puff pastry morning bun experiment.

Reunited after our road trip. They’d both freak out if they were awake, realizing they were touching each other.

I had been craving crab cakes for weeks. Soooo. I made Dungeness crab cakes, curry aioli, pink lady apple salad and a Vitamix whole fruit frozen margarita.

Surprise daffodils from the husband.

A recipe that was surprisingly good! Brown rice, Quorn chik’n skewers (marinated in a garlic ginger soy sauce), and spicy peanut sauce.

Always a staple meal around here, even when/especially when we have surprise extra kids in the house for dinner. EVERY WEEKEND: “Can I have a sleepover with __________ tonight?” Cheese enchiladas, beans, rice. These chips.

When you’re working in the yard, then realize the dog’s gotten awfully quiet for the last half hour…

Organic strawberries were on sale… so, strawberry shortcake tonight. With sweet biscuits, like how my mom would make it when I was a kid.

You’re welcome. (This is how I feel like I look when I sleep, too.)

Hope you’ve had a lovely couple of weeks!

Day to Day Life: Weeks Twenty-Six and Twenty-Seven

Little Blue Chicken!
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

I had a really weird 48 hour bug that included strep throat, a fever and a chill despite 100+ degree weather around here! After 48 hours the only thing that sounded good to eat aside from popsicles was mac and cheese from a box. Ha.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Pie necessity.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

A mama deer trying to camouflage herself next door. (Nice try, mama.)
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Since we got back from a whirlwind trip to the Bay Area, Blue Chicken has been acting somewhat skittish (although I’ve gotten him/her back to sitting on my hand for little amounts of time). The day before our trip, s/he was happy to perch like this.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Salads for 4.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Lunch for one Julie.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Last Saturday we left Ashland around 12:30, booked it down to Santa Clara with the kids to get to the Grateful Dead show. We pulled up, found a free parking space immediately (saving us $70!), got 4 tickets together for half the face-value cost, and made it into the show with only one mishap: I had to throw away my damn purse after emptying the contents into a plastic bag! So I remained purse-less for the remainder of the weekend. Wah-wah.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Crazy stage lighting!
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

And around 8:30pm this incredible rainbow showed up. With just the slightest drizzle of rain.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

The next day we drove into San Francisco for the Giants’ game. Some sweet woman walked up and handed us 4 tickets for free!
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Staying in SF meant eating at some of our favorite places… Golden Boy Pizza! A garlic-clam slice and a cheese slice!
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

One of my favorite music shops across the street from the pizza place…
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Also a seized opportunity for cheesiness.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Hello and goodbye, City! (It was a full-packed 48 hours!)
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

On the drive home. Silas calls these “the boob hills.”
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

We made it back to town just in time for Silas’s scrimmage game pre-All Stars tournament.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

My brother posted this photo of my niece. I wish she really was coming to visit Aunty Julie! She’s getting so dang big (3 in August!).
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Dinner for just my hubby and I one evening! Fresh halibut pan seared then topped with a beurre blanc sauce, homemade rice-a-roni and fresh local green beans with lemon zest and garlic. So dang good!
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

And leftovers made a good bad lunch the next day.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Summer Face.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

On the run.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Silas’s All-Star baseball team had their first tournament game yesterday and won 14-9.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Ashland skies on the night of the 4th!
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Weeks 26-27 2015 | iPhonography Photographs Photos

Hope you’ve had a good week!

Day to Day Life: Week Fifty

How is this the 50th week of the year? And the start of winter break around here, coming up this Friday? Christmas next week? 2013, time has come and gone… Seems quicker every single year. We won’t approach my neurotic near-middle age thoughts until 2014. (You’re welcome.) In the meantime, here’s a peek at the last week:

9The Pacific Northwest is simply chock full of pretty this time of year.

1Buttermilk Belgian waffles one morning.

5Things around here have been super snowy, then super icy, then super snowy… Needless to say, I should’ve put these shoes on once I got into the gym rather than before. Baby-steps all the way across the parking lot…

2Snow beasts!

4A tuna melt-on-a-bagel type of post workout late lunch/early dinner.

18Impromptu “Hey, take my picture!” moment.

3I made my first vegetarian chicken pot pie this week. It was delicious. I’ve learned to appreciate leftovers more and more – these leftovers were particularly delicious. Plus salad. And beer.

16Snowy fur babies.

8A delicious pasta mess (my favorite, after pizza… carb whore).

7Ashland puffy sky.

6Late night food cravings… At least Koyo Ramen offers a less guilty option than Top Ramen.

20My husband recently had a story published in Fourteen Hills, San Francisco State University’s literary journal. He was invited to participate in a reading during the book release, so we spent a few days in the city.

12The name of this store next to the gallery my husband’s reading was in cracked me up… Yeah Yeah! Pony Prince.

10Late night pizza at the amazing Golden Boy Pizza in North Beach. I will figure out how to make this pizza… Or at least something passable. We shared a slice of cheese and a slice of their notorious garlic-clam pizza. Then went back the next day for a slice of cheese and a slice of pesto veggie.

24San Francisco offers some gorgeous views, too…

23Holiday evidence in Cafe Trieste.

22Carousel Consignment was a new stop in the Mission… So many excellent goodies…

19When we’re in the city, my husband and I often like to share meals so we can try a larger array of foods without getting overly full. We shared a burrito from Taqueria Cancun then walked around the Mission. Despite the vast number of times we’ve been in the area, we came across the Mission Market Food Mall, which we (stupidly) passed by hundreds of times without scoping out. This time we wandered into the open-air “mall” and came across Antojitos Salvadorenos Aminta – a Salvadorian restaurant. We quickly noticed pupusas on the menu and ordered two jalapeno-cheese pupusas to share. While our order took a bit of time, they were the best pupusas I’ve ever had. The wait was absolutely worth it.

11A quick first breakfast (treat) for two. The pain aux raisins was delicious, but the caramel apple croissant was even better…

14One can never eat enough veggie burritos while traveling in California… (Seriously.)

15Skies and waters. My fascination forever.

13We had to make a quick stop in Fairfax. I loved all the random art around town… including this.

21Heading home.

Day to Day Life: Week Twenty-Seven

Shall we take a peek at the last week? It looked something like this:



Vincent went to an intensive 3 day water polo camp at Stanford. I’m constantly impressed by this young man.


We happened upon the California Avenue Farmer’s Market around lunch time in Palo Alto. My husband and I found Oaxacan Kitchen, promptly ordering the memela, which featured a thick handmade tortilla, black bean puree, mole negro, queso fresco, cabbage, guacamole, and salsa. It was INCREDIBLE. We also ordered a vegetarian empanada, which was filled with squash, mole amarillo, and queso. I could eat both of these things daily, for every meal. SO GOOD.


Obviously California warmth and sunshine makes for difficult mornings.


On our last ride through San Francisco,  we had to stop at Taqueria Cancun in the Mission. Their veggie burritos are to die for.


A collection of Mission graffiti.


San Francisco is also home to Musée Mécanique, one of the world’s largest privately owned collections of coin-operated arcade machines. This guy’s one of my favorites.


I made friends with this lovely animal by letting it nibble on my fingers. Hah.


Mt. Shasta in the distance.


When we got home from traveling early in the week, the garden was FILLED with goodies.


Baby girl.




The day before the fourth, I found this bony, chewed up, remarkably friendly boy. He hasn’t been claimed by anyone, so currently he’s living with my mother in law, since our dogs don’t allow us to have kitties…


Patriotic sunsets.


Pop Pop!


I made a tuna melt bar one night. Topping-free-for-all! This was mine. Avocado, jalapenos, micro greens, tomatoes, arugula, baby lettuce.



These scones are coming atcha soon.



The fourth required tequila cocktails.


This friend.


Buttermilk Basil Blueberry waffles! Waffle weekends are the best.

Summer Traveling

We recently went on a family trip to the Bay Area. Long before I met Craig, he and Vincent spent a lot of time around San Francisco. Part of what’s included in those experiences is a vast number of favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurants and food memories. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been exposed to a number of those places through these two Wrights and it’s those places that are often a pertinent part of our travel.

Generally, food is a huge aspect of our travel plans anyway, with or without the kids. We seek out reviews of local family-run places, or well known tiny spots that can’t be beat. I’d rather eat at a restaurant of that nature than somewhere over-priced, overly-fancy, or hoighty-toighty any day.

We didn’t research too much ahead of time for this trip, leaving things flexible and open to the kids’ cravings. However, as it turns out, when you’re traveling with two boys, these two in particular, their dietary cravings go something like this throughout the day: sugary pastry things, pizza, burritos, sugary sweet things, pizza, burritos, pizza… So, save for a few places throughout the four and a half days we were on vacation, that’s what we ate. And by the end of our trip, all I was craving included light greens, dark greens, and a lot of water.

There were a number of places we thoroughly enjoyed. Originally I thought I’d review them, broken down by the days we ate there. However, since there’s a very noticeable running theme in what we consumed, I thought I’d just tell you about them based on food-type.

As is often the case with our family, there is Mexican food. It’s quite the substantial meal for us as well as the style of food we’ll have at least a couple times each week. Once upon a time my husband wrote an article for the local paper, reviewing and rating a number of local taquerias and veggie burritos. His sons are enchilada and veggie burrito connoisseurs. We tried a couple new places, but made sure to include our top favorite, Taqueria Cancun in the Mission District of San Francisco. Neither my husband or myself (nor the kids for that matter) have tried anything there except their veggie burrito. Keep in mind, “vegetarian” is used loosely here, as I’m sure lard is probably used in their beans and tortillas, perhaps the rice as well. But the blend in this burrito is perfectly creamy, tasty, and magical. They’re voted “Best Veggie Burrito” in San Francisco consistently for good reasons.

The last time we were in the Bay Area, we attempted to try Cholita Linda at the Oakland Friday Farmer’s Market, but they weren’t set up soon enough for the time we had available. We visited the Sunday Jack London Square Farmer’s Market in Oakland during this visit, stumbling upon Cholita Linda’s food booth, which miraculously didn’t have a large line. Although we’d heard the fish tacos were dynamite, we opted for tofu tacos. They were incredible! The tofu was cooked similar to fried fish, then topped with a tasty spicy salsa roja, crisp green cabbage, crema, and cilantro. I immediately knew this was going to be a try-at-home recipe ASAP.

Our last day in Berkeley, we opted for eating in town rather than driving out of our way into San Francisco for a Mission burrito. Taqueria La Familia had good reviews on Yelp and was barely a mile away, so we decided to try it. Craig, Silas, and I each got a veggie burrito with black beans. Vincent opted for cheese enchiladas, pinto beans, and rice since we were eating there, rather than in the car. The burritos were tasty, though not really comparable to those we crave in the city. Vincent said his enchiladas were delicious, the sauce perfectly spicy.

The other child-daily-craving: pizza. Being a college town, we knew that there’d be good pizza around us. Bobby G.’s in Berkeley offered a large selection of specialties and signature pizzas, though we opted for a simple New York style pie topped with artichoke hearts and feta cheese. The crust was perfect: chewy, crispy, light, nicely flavored. The sauce was equally flavorful. And on top of that, while I waited for our pie, I had a nice selection of beer to pick from for a pint.

Another night, we opted for Rotten City Pizza in Emeryville. I liked the seemingly no B.S. attitude of this place. All the pies are 18-inches, New York style (or Sicilian when they feel like venturing that way). The ingredients are fresh, locally and sustainably or organically sourced when possible. And although the prices were a little high for our preference, tax is included and the pizza’s well worth it. We quickly decided on their Blanco Verde pie – fresh mozzarella, ricotta, parmigiano, red chili flakes, and arugula pesto. I could’ve eaten the entire 18-inch pizza myself.

In San Francisco, Golden Boy Pizza in North Beach is legendary with good reason. The pizza is Sicilian style, meaning the crust is about an inch thick and the slices are rectangular. At Golden Boy, the menu isn’t extensive: cheese, pepperoni or sausage, clam and garlic, pesto vegetarian, or combination. Can a wrong decision be made? Hell no. Although it was only about 11:30 in the morning, Golden Boy was packed with people, a line of about 10 out the door. We decided to get our slices to go. Craig and Silas got a slice of cheese, Vincent opted for the pesto veggie, and I ventured to the clam and garlic. The crust is thick, but divinely crisp and holds up well to the toppings. The garlic clam pizza was coated in chopped clams, loads of garlic, and lots of chopped parsley. To give you an idea of how good this pizza was: Vincent hasn’t touched a bit of seafood in over a decade. He ate a bite of my pizza. On top of that, he’s not one to share food with others, especially something that has previously been chewed… Silas didn’t finish his slice of cheese pizza. In the car, Vincent worked from the side that wasn’t eaten, right up to the parts Silas nibbled. That’s good pizza!

Most of our mornings were filled with sharing various treats from bakeries nearby: blueberry muffins and sticky buns from The Bread Workshop in Berkeley, a cinnamon roll bigger than my husband’s head and an apple fritter nearly of equal size from Dream Fluff Donuts, a pecan roll and frosted cinnamon-raisin danish from The Bread Garden Bakery. One of our favorite bakeries in San Francisco is Golden Gate Bakery  in Chinatown. It’s widely known for their egg tarts; tiny custard-filled goodies that people line up down the block to consume. Personally, I’m a bigger fan of their custard buns – soft, sweet bread that encases a lightly vanilla-flavored egg custard. While I wandered around with the kids before heading to our car, Craig got in line at the bakery for custard tarts. When he got back to the car, he informed us that the custard tarts weren’t available once he got to the front of the line. The woman behind the counter offered him coconut buns that had just come out of the oven instead. Truth be told, I loved these much more than the custard tarts we initially came for. The bread was soft, melt-in-your-mouth delicious, the custard inside was perfectly sweet and coconut flavored. The only disappointment was that we’d only gotten one each!

One of our weekend adventures was a baseball game in AT&T Park, watching the San Francisco Giants play the Cincinnati Reds. We’d decided to pick up lunch from the Whole Foods Market close to our hotel. While the kids and Craig picked out Tofurky sandwiches laden with lettuce, tomato, and cheese, I scoped out the sushi counter. My family later made fun of me for bringing sushi into a baseball game, but the truth is, I’m glad I did! The sushi was provided by Genji Sushi, and I picked out the Vegetable Salad Dressing Roll. It was an inside-out roll made of multi-grain rice (a blend of black rice, millet, corn, brown rice, white sorghum, red beans, buckwheat rice, foxtail millet, black soybean, glutinous rice, job’s tears, white sesame, amaranth, barley, and black sesame), carrots, cucumbers, avocado, and green leaf lettuce, served with ginger miso dressing for dipping. I was very pleasantly surprised! The roll was a great blend of texture and flavor.

Photo By N Cecala in Chicago

Being in Berkeley, especially so close to UC Berkeley and the infamous Telegraph Avenue, home to many ethnic restaurants and food choices, we decided to try something completely different. Much to the surprise of Craig and I, both kids were into the idea of trying Ethiopian food we’d seen close by. We went to Ethiopian Restaurant on Telegraph. (The above photo isn’t from the restaurant; it’s pulled from the inter-webs to give you a better idea of what I’m about to describe.) One of the central elements to Ethiopian cuisine is a spongy sourdough-tasting bread called injera. Ethiopian food is often made up of bread, stews, spices, and grains. The different stews come served on a plate, lined with a large (15-20 inch) round of injera, in different piles. We opted for the 14-combination vegetarian dinner. Not long after ordering, we were brought a huge platter of one unrolled injera, topped with piles of red lentil, split peas, collard greens, cabbage and potato, mushroom stew (AMAZING!), cabbage and potato, bulgur, zucchini and carrots, fava beans, and a cold green salad (some of these were doubled up, thus the “14-combo” not 10), and a basket of rolled up injera. The bread is your utensil through the meal: you rip off pieces of injera and use it to “pinch” up the different stews. This meal was so filling, delicious, satisfying, and fun for all of us.

Overall, this was a fun trip filled with many adventures, food-adventures, and motivation to come back to the Bay soon… If you ever find yourself near any of the above mentioned eats, do yourself a favor and stop in for a delicious treat.