UC Santa Barbara: My Second Home

The four years I attended college at UC Santa Barbara were the best of my life.

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I can’t tell you on how many different occasions I sat on the patio at the dining commons with friends, or walked the 5 minutes it took to get to the beach, or biked through Isla Vista, looked around, and said, “I can’t believe we live here.Continue reading

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Friday Faves

What a weird week. It was a 3-day weekend for most of us, which was nice! My 3 day weekend was kind of interrupted, but also kind of extended when I had to fly down to Santa Barbara Monday afternoon for work the next day. I got home Tuesday night (after 5 ours of travel each way), and all of a sudden my normal workweek was down to 3 days! It has still felt like a long week, with my new schedule and all, so I am actually seriously saying TGIF today!

Here are some things I enjoyed doing, eating, and watching this week!

1) SoCal Mexican Food

The closer to the border, the better the food. Shortly after landing in Santa Barbara, I went to La Super-Rica with my old housemate & friends. SO GOOD. You choose from a menu of about 20 items all priced under $5, each item comes with a taco “filling” and 2-3 HOMEMADE tortillas. I got 2 — guacamole as well as pinto beans with chorizo & bacon. And I ate it up in all 4 tortillas. For 6 bucks.

P.S. We found out when I checked in on foursquare that the famed restaurant has been on Man vs. Food…but what we didn’t know was apparently French foodie Julia Child loved it too!

2) Breaking Bad

La Tortuga. Nuff said. Workin’ my way through the end of season 2!

3) Breakfast

After I made oatmeal for myself, I then proceeded to make fancy breakfasts the next 3 days. I’m usually not much of a breakfast person — I made whole wheat french toast two days in a row, followed by a  perfectly fried egg on toast for T-Man! (I took the not as perfect one for myself :))

4) The DNC

I get the feeling politics are a little taboo to talk about in Food Blog Land, but I do work in state politics so it’s hard for me to stay away! My roomie (who also works in politics) and I were glued to our computer screens watching Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren, and Bill Clinton speak. I was impressed by and, as someone who also has college loan debts, related to the FLOTUS, but I was really blown away by Bill Clinton’s clear stating of the facts. All self-indulgent off-script rants and raves aside 🙂 I also watched the RNC and was impressed to a certain degree, but I’m overall feeling very good about the Dems.

5) Blind wine tasting

The night I was in SB, we also did a blind wine taste test with bottles of wine ranging from $10-$2 in price! Apparently, blind tastings are actually really hard to do with cheap wines that don’t always taste like they’re supposed to 😛 Greg got all 3 right though! I’m getting another chance this weekend when I go to a friends place in the Central Valley to stomp grapes and do more “white trash” taste tests!

6) Being “healed”

10 weeks after breaking my hand, this is what my bone looks like then vs. now. As you can tell, it isn’t exactly 100% healed. But it’s healed enough that my doctor says I can start wearing my splint less and start rehabbing my wrist and fingers! The bad news is, he thinks my long healing time is indicative of low bone density and wants me to get tested to see if I have osteopenia or osteoporosis. Seriously? I’m not even 24 yet!

Have a great weekend! I hope to not become this lady when I go grape stomping tomorrow:

Farmer Fresh Fiesta Friday

There are so many wonderful things about summer. Sunshine, swimming, bright colors, barbecues, vacation, weddings…just to name a few. But since this is my first summer of living on my own out of college, I’m learning there’s another great thing about summer: all the best produce is fresh, cheap, and bountiful!

This is the weekly Certified Organic Farmer’s Market at Capitol Park next to the State Capitol (and my office). Every other week, I usually stop by and get a few things like fruit and veggies for myself, or almonds and pistachios to share at the office. Pretty much every day of the week, there is at least one Farmer’s Market going on somewhere in Downtown Sacramento!

Normally I only need to stop by every other week, though, because I have another farmer supplying me: my dad! Check out how his garden looked a few weeks ago:

Doesn’t it all look great? I’ve pretty much stopped buying zucchini at the grocery store or farmer’s market because every time I go to my parents’ house, I come back with a zucchini the size of my face. No, seriously:

I have a feeling tomatoes and corn are next!

Check out some of the ways I’ve been using up all my Farmer’s Market finds:

Grilled Veggie Tacos that I showed y’all on my Day of Eats

After my Mexican Pizza recipe, I think you all know that I’m a fan of piling things on a tortilla and calling it a pizza. In lieu of refried beans, I often mash some avocado instead! Above is roasted veggies, below is steamed/sauteed (with my favorite coasters!).

Charred corny goodness.

OK this is not at all Farmers Market fresh, but I just wanted to share this tip I recently tried: add a touch of french vanilla creamer in your plain oatmeal! What?! Amazing!

Fudgey ZUCCHINI cookies from Two Peas and their Pod! The zucchini is perfectly hidden by all the chocolate!

Inspired by Edible Perspective’s Curry Zucchini Roll ups, I tried my hand at Caprese Zucchini Roll ups (they have basil, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella & a bit of avocado stuffed inside!), but kind of majorly failed. They wouldn’t stay together, but at least they tasted good!

Last night’s dinner: a kale salad with cherry tomatoes, avocado, and homemade balsamic vin all over the bowl. Kale isn’t exactly in season right now, but for some reason I keep buying it at the market…

Now, I’ve covered Farmer Fresh… Why the Fiesta in the title?

This week is Fiesta in Santa Barbara! A week of parades, carnivals, parties…….and confetti eggs.

I will use a few photos of my friends and I in 2010 as a demonstration:

They seem unassuming enough, right?

We thought so too…

But then…

…the aftermath!! (p.s. not my hair! Don’t worry, I didn’t turn into a brunette in a matter of minutes ;P)

And even though I don’t live in Santa Barbara anymore, I’m still feelin’ the Fiesta — the law firm I work for has their California headquarters in Santa Barbara, and gives all California employees a half day on “Fiesta Friday”! Ole! Have a great weekend!

Also, I’ll just leave this here.