last post of 2017! what better way to end this year than with my ladies. man, lady dates are good for the sooouuul! earlier in the week, i went out with my sister and my museum buddy to spend the day downtown. first up was yayoi kusama’s exhibit at the broad. somehow by the luck of the draw we got tickets to this amazing exhibition… 4 months of anticipation and we finally were able to see yayoi’s amazing work.
after the museum we walked over to the grand central market to eat ALL the yummy food. we ate at the sari sari store where courtney and i reconnected with our filipino side. it was the second best adobo i’ve ever had…first being my grandma’s and nothing can ever top that. dessert was served at valerie’s where dana and i shared a coffee crunch cake with honeycomb all over the icing and we nearly died. it was the best last lady date of 2017!
on our way to the grand central market, we stumbled upon the angels flight railway and hopped on. this is where we cried when we had to walk up all the stairs on our way back to our car. good times…good times.
ahhhh girl’s trips…there really is nothing better than a good old fashioned girl’s trip. imagine us out all night, drinking fancy cocktails, walking in uncomfortable shoes and talking about all the crude things that girl’s actually talk about when no guys are around…a real sex and the city vibe you know? cut to us in our hotel room laying in bed, dana passed out and i using the massage tools we bought in chinatown…real ragers we are. in our defense, we had arrived early saturday morning and wasted no time in getting our feet on the ground and our bellies full. two things you should know about dana and myself…. we first bonded over donuts, then dogs…aaannnnd the rest is history.
first on our list (after many hours spent on yelp) was the ferry building marketplace. we walked through all the vendors, pet all the dogs and tasted all the fruit…we also had pie for breakfast. we came up with a couple of different hashtags for the weekend…#carbfest #dogsdogsdogs #kenzieanddanasweekendoffun all of which we only remembered after the weekend was already over but i guess that’s what happens when you are living in the moment…or stuffing your face with all the good food that san fran has to offer. seriously sf…i’m impressed.
after our morning at the ferry building, we started to make our way to the museum of ice cream. you might be thinking, “but kenzie, didn’t you both already go the museum of ice cream in la?!” why yes dear reader…yes we did and my reason for why we had to go see it again in sf is well… because…FOMO…and they had re-released tickets for the saturday we were going to be in town so it was like…. MEANT TO BE. we got these tickets very last minute and it kind of threw a wrench into our food itinerary so we had to rework our schedule a bit but it all worked out…we got the penis cookies in the end (put that on a bumper sticker).
the next morning, we hopped out of bed bright and early and headed to mr. holmes bakehouse. when i say “hopped” i mean that in the most literal sense possible. neither of us brushed our hair, i barely put my pants on but we wanted a cruffin so damn bad… love (food) makes us do crazy things.
stay tuned for more from our trip!
- 1 packet of frozen acai mix
- 1 cup of almond milk
- 2 bananas- 1 for topping
- 2 tablespoons of almond butter
- 2 cups of frozen strawberries, blueberries and kale
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- fresh strawberries, blueberries and blackberries for topping
there really isn’t much to this recipe. run hot water over the frozen acai packet and then squeeze into the blender. add in the frozen berries, kale, banana, almond milk and honey. once blended, i taste to see if it needs more of anything. this time around i added some fresh strawberries to the mix for more sweetness.i think i would skip the blueberry topping next time. it’s not their fault, i just don’t like little balls in my food. it took some time for me to even like the idea of boba….
my love for habanero peach jam all began after i had visited my friend in italy. she had made a batch before i arrived and it’s ALL I COULD EAT while i was there. i had to make this jam when i got back to the states. i attempted the recipe three times before having any success… yeah, it’s THAT good aaaannnddd i’m not a quitter. during one of those attempts i fell asleep (jet lag) while letting the jam sit so i’ll take responsibility for that but the other two attempts i’ll just blame mercury being in retrograde. this time around, i brought in the big guns… my sister and she didn’t disappoint! we made a successful batch of habanero peach jam! you can get the full recipe here.
- 4 1/2 pint jars
- 1 lb 5 oz peeled and pitted peaches
- 2 habanero peppers
- 1 lb 5 oz sugar
- 1 lemon
peel and slice your peaches over a bowl to catch the juices. weigh the peaches, then weigh the sugar to the same amount. finely mince the habanero peppers, seeds and all. (wear gloves! especially if you wear contacts, i made that mistake the first time, you live and you learn right?!)put the peaches, sugar, habanero peppers and lemon juice in a large heavy bottomed pot. stir to combine everything and mash the peaches a bit with a large wooden spoon or potato masher. let sit for an hour.
bring the mixture to a boil. boil for approximately 20-30 minutes, stirring frequently. it will foam up for most of the time and eventually when the jam is nearly ready, the foam will die down. check to see if jam is ready by dropping a small amount on a very cold plate. when it is ready it will jell as it cools on the plate. when you are satisfied with the jelling, ladle the hot jam into clean jars, almost filling to the top. screw on the lids, but not too tightly and immediately set the jars upside down. let the jars cool and then turn them right side up, refrigerate and enjoy!
sometimes the best plans are the ones you didn’t actually plan for. on sunday a friend asked if i wanted to go to the 14th factory before it leaves los angeles for good. i spend a lot of my weekends in orange county visiting my parents (and their dogs) so she was shocked when i actually said yes. look at me being spontaneous!
on our way to the museum, gps couldn’t get a word in edgewise (we like to talk… a lot) and we passed the museum on our first go but once we turned back around we snagged a spot right in front! the parking gods must have been looking out for us and my excitement about this is 100% warranted because in los angeles, if you find a spot on the street where you don’t have to walk a mile to your destination, that’s considered a blessing. we both took it as a sign that our last minute plans were meant to be…and so began kenzie and dana’s DAY. OF. FUN!
after the museum we went to salazar’s for lunch. our stars really were aligned because we found ANOTHER amazing spot right in front. i’m not kidding, i felt like i needed to test my luck and buy a lottery ticket.
okay. i’ll stop talking about parking now and get to the good stuff…the food. i had the vegetable tacos with grilled cauliflower, carrots, roasted fennel and pickled ramps (my mouth is watering as i write this post) and dana had the chilaquiles. by the end of our meal, we were sat in our chairs trying to collect ourselves after graciously devouring our food. no regrets.
being friends with dana is like a blessing and a curse…most of the time it’s a huge blessing but my god does this woman know her food! if we keep hanging out like this, i’m going to have to join a gym (which she’s been trying to get me to do since we met. sorry, but i don’t like sweating with strangers).
after lunch we went to wanderlust creamery (still debating if this one’s a blessing or a curse). famous for their artisanal flavors (sticky rice and mango, kinder bueno, ube malted crunch), we tasted almost every one they had, they even had flavors inspired by game of thr(c)ones. i couldn’t think of a better way to get me in the mood for sunday’s episode so i had the “dragon’s blood” and “winter is coming”.
it was only in september when i was last in cortona visiting hannah and luca for the first time. fast forward 9 months and i’m back in cortona with my brother for their wedding…their WEDDING! this was cody’s first time in cortona (in italy actually) and i couldn’t wait to show him all the things that made me fall in love with this little town. i didn’t need to do much selling, cortona pretty much sells itself. between the wedding, sight seeing and pasta eating, i think he fell hard for it too.
cody and i flew into rome pretty early and couldn’t check in to our hotel until 2pm soooo we freshened up in the lobby bathroom (thank god for l’ocittane’s verbena refreshing towelettes) and began our first day in rome at 7:00 in the morning! (i think this is what they call making lemonade out of life’s lemons). first up? the spanish steps…cody was eager to run to the top and take in the view… i was eager to run from the sun and keep the awkward jumpsuit tan at bay (spoiler alert, i still got an awkward tan).
after a full day in the city, we were ready to check in to our hotel room and get some rest. with a nice shower and a belly full of pasta (i promise to show all the food pictures), it only took me about 3 seconds to fall asleep. i think i might take this secret back with me to the states and use it as my bed time remedy…
one train ride later aannnddd we made it to cortona! we went out to explore the town before dinner and ran into some familiar faces in the piazza; the bridal party, some wedding guests and even the bride and groom! i love small towns.
there was a market in the center of town over the weekend, so we spent our morning browsing all the vendors. with a lot of self convincing (and cody’s reply of “you don’t need that.” to my “but it’s itaaaalian!”) i managed to not buy a thing! it was hard….like really hard. after we walked through the market, we caught the train to florence to check out the uffizi museum and stop for lunch at my favorite sandwich spot. hannah took me to this place last time i visited and i couldn’t wait to take cody. he’s only heard me talk about it every day since we got into italy.
it’s wedding time!!! i’m so happy to have made the journey to witness these two share their love for each other. the ceremony was translated in english and italian and took place overlooking the beautiful province of arezzo. the day couldn’t be any more perfect. salute to the happy couple!
the day after the wedding, we went over to the house where hannah’s family was staying and hung out poolside with the newlyweds. it was the perfect way to spend our last day in cortona.
cody and i left for rome the next morning. this time around, we took a pretty relaxed approach to the city. we spent the time we had left in italy as laid back as we possibly could… wake up. eat pasta. roam the streets (pun intended). eat gelato. roam some more. repeat. we walked through the villa borghese gardens, found a bench and sat there for a couple of hours. there was a light breeze that day, i think i could’ve listened to the trees sway back and forth forever.
last weekend we went up to ojai to get some good old fashion fresh air and vitamin D. only an hour and 15 mins north of los angeles, it made for the perfect weekend getaway. while out exploring the city, courtney and i discovered one of our new favorite shops, it took a lot of convincing from her to stop me from buying every damn thing in sight. as we continued to roam the streets, we were able to really grasp the feel for the community. everything about ojai is focused on its local community and i love it. on saturday we ate at the town’s pizza joint (papa lennon’s pizzeria) and shared a table with a family and their dog. their dog was going from table to table as if he were the owner of the restaurant, checking in on everyone, making sure we were all enjoying our food and having a good time and then he’d lay down wherever he felt comfortable. the next day at the farmer’s market we saw that same family as one of the vendors. i didn’t know them personally (although i felt like i knew their dog) but there was this weird familiarity as if they were my neighbors i’ve known for years “hiya dave, how’s the wife? is little jimmy doing okay?” but i guess that’s ojai- making you feel welcome and part of the community, even when you’re just visiting.
such a beautiful day for a farmer’s market. music, food and friendly faces.
we couldn’t wait to get back and try all of our new goodies. the quinoa bread with the balsamic vinegar olive tapenade went perfectly together. i found out that unlike the rest of the popcorn flavors which you can buy online, you can get the rosemary garlic flavor (my fav) at the farmer’s market. i would drive up to ojai for this popcorn over and over again.
our amazing digs for the weekend! my boss built this place from the ground up and now that it’s in it’s final stages, she offered us to stay there before she puts it up on air bnb – make sure to keep an eye out for this property this summer!
i don’t know what came over me but the minute i saw these chickens i ran outside and wanted to be close to them… i have about 500 pictures to show for it.
last weekend, i went to the museum of ice cream – i have the sprinkles in my pants to prove it. upon our arrival, we were greeted with a bubble gum pink exterior and some bubble gum pink staff (ice cream “experts” as they described online). before we entered, the staff explained a little bit about the art and food inside and what exactly we were getting ourselves into. it felt more like a warning, as if they wanted to tell us what they had seen on the battlefield of ice cream but they couldn’t. they left us with a “HAVE A GOOD TIME!” and then we were off!
do you have any idea how hard it was for me to not sing “hollaback girl” by gwen stefani?this mochi changed my life. yes, i’m being overly dramatic but mint chocolate chip mochi is life changing. the staff gave each of us our mochi and explained how the mint was being grown from a cacao soil which meant that it was essentially being grown from chocolate (straight out of willy wonka or a whole foods store). i don’t think anyone cared that much about the mint process except for me… in that moment. i regret not asking for seconds but we’ve all seen oliver twist.
black cookie dough. it’s a thing and it’s amazing and the dude giving it out was hilarious. he made sure none of us had black in our teeth before heading to the next room. he’s a true friend.
like i said… i’m still finding sprinkles in my clothes.