Thursday, December 3, 2009

All I want for Christmas



...is to see these all over Baltimore...

Friday, November 27, 2009

New York Serenade

Too bad I couldn't have my bike while I was in Brooklyn, because everybody else did. I've never been in the burrough until I went to visit my friend Claire a couple weeks ago. The streets are covered in artwork; whether it's art or "art," this place is a oggler's dream come true!










Brooklyn is beautifully eclectic, but when it's Christmas in Manhattan, how can you resist?


"Feel Free to Contact Me"


(courtesy of Gaping Void)

Hugh MacLeod is a cartoonist and CEO of a company that markets South African wine in the US. His works are done on the back of business cards...cute, huh?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fog Rolling In



(courtesy of Heidi Swanson)

Heidi Swanson doesn't only take uniquely beautiful photos, but she also has unique skills in cooking. Her infamous blog, 101 Cookbooks, is an ode to all-natural foods and frequently caters to a gluten-free audience. Her foodie photos are also very ascetically pleasing, and will quite possibly make you drool at the mouth.

Happy Thanksgiving.

(courtesy of steven beckly)


happy thanksgiving.
remember to be thankful for those who bring peace to your life.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Food for Thought


Thanks, sissy...


Love Sweet Love

(photo courtesy of Le Love)

Painfully Beautiful.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

City Stream



I came across this photo stream by Wayne Bremser, a San Francisco photographer.

Some of the most ordinary images are made extraordinary by his choice of color/black&white/bronzing.

enjoy.





Friday, November 13, 2009

Happy Hour @ The Chameleon

(I love the facade of this restaurant in Baltimore. It's a hidden gem on Harford Road, and sits next to a Safeway parking lot...only giving it that much more of an "odd-man-out" feel.)





(This menu was so mouth-wateringly poetic, it was worth a posting....)


It’s Friday!!!

Happy Hour’s tonight @ The Chameleon featuring $2 off beer & glasses of wine from 5-7pm . Relax, decompress, and enjoy good company!


The Rillettes Sarthoises would be a lovely addition to share as you coif... Chef Jeff Smith (my handsome husband), loves researching and cooking dishes with authentic, old, classic preparations. Rillettes are one of the most traditional recipes in France. Different regions have different styles. The rillettes from Sarthe, are characterized by a rustic preparation with larger chunks of pork, a pale color, and a subtle taste due to long cooking times at a low temperature.


These rillettes began with a Heritage Berkshire pig from the pasture-based Ferguson Family Farm in northern Baltimore County. After breaking down the pig, Chef Smith salted and cooked it slowly for 12 hours. At this point, the meat was extremely tender. He blended it with fat to create a very tasty meat spread, rillettes.


Hope you can make it in!

All the best, Brenda


The Chameleon4341 Harford Rd.
Hours: Tues-Thurs 5-9 Fri + Sat 5-10


Soup PUMPKIN & LEEK 7
Farmer’s Market pumpkin simmered with leeks and vegetable stock, purred, finished with cream

CAULIFLOWER DUCK 8.5
Roasted cauliflower, duck, and duck stock


Appetizers
RILLETTES SARTHOISES 8
Ferguson Family Farms Berkshire pig cooked in the old Sarthe tradition

MUSHROOM & LEEK CUSTARD 8.5
De Puy lentils, roasted root vegetables, baby beet greens, wild mushroom leek custard

ESCARGOT 8
Escargot, puff pastry, and garlic butter

OYSTERS 9
Cornmeal encrusted flash fried oysters, spinach, bacon, Herbsaint, and remoulade

CHEESE PLATE 11
A trio of cheeses with fresh fruit and compote

HOUSE MADE CHARCUTERIE 11
An assortment of house made sausage, pâté and terrine


Salads
BEET & APPLE 8.5
Roasted local beets, Reid's Orchard apples, Cherry Glen Farm goat cheese, toasted pecans, Truck Patch Farm bacon, shallot vinaigrette, and arugula

HOUSE SALAD 7
Mixed greens, sherry vinaigrette, warm goat cheese crouton

GRILLED LETTUCES 8
Grilled romaine, endive, and red leaf lettuces, garlic cream dressing, walnuts and Parmesan cheese
TONGUE SALAD 7
Veal tongue, beet greens, parsley caper vinaigrette, and herb & tasso stuffed egg


Entrees
VEGETARIAN 23
Organic local roasted root vegetables in a shallot velouté, beet greens, Hen's Nest hardboiled egg, mixed organic greens, and pâté brisée

BLACK COD 27
Pan-seared black cod wrapped in bacon, clam oyster vichyssoise

CHICKEN & SHRIMP 27
Roasted Ferguson Family Farms free-range chicken, Marvesta shrimp, brandy and chicken cream sauce

CHOUCROUTE GARNI 24
Housemade sauerkraut, Krakos sausage, braised Truck Patch Farms pork loin, belly, cheeks, and Briedenbaugh potatoes
STEAK 26
Grilled Terres Major, herbed potato gratin, and lyonnaise sauce
LAMB 25
Braised lamb shank, split pea risotto, preserved lemons, and reduction sauce

DUCK 26
Grilled duck breast with braised pork belly, fresh succotash, and solferino sauce

SWEETBREADS 24
Grilled sweetbreads, chicken and vegetable sausage, salsify potato purée
RABBIT 26
Braised rabbit, mushrooms, pearl onions, cognac mustard sauce, and duchess potatoes


*Note: "Sweetbreads" are actually the thymus of a calf. did you know that?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Effortless?


posted this morning by The Sartorialist.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Buildings and Bridesmaids

You know it's a beautiful day when something like this magically occurs while you're waiting for your bus...

sidenote: I absolutely love these navy blue bridesmaid dresses, don't you?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wild Thing


What I love second to food is watching movies. And there is never anything that satiates a movie junkie's palette more than watching previews. I can't get enough of them, mostly because they are like crack (in a very PG way).

TODAY: Friday, October 16th is the release date for "Where the Wild Things Are" and NPR had a wonderful episode this afternoon previewing the film and its ability to mesmerize the young and allow the older crowd to shed some long-withheld tears.

For your viewing pleasure, all things wild...

little wild thing (thanks, Laurel, for sharing this photo!)



wild hugs




wild hair


wild moves

wild view


**Look for a review of this movie (after I see it tonight!!) on my new blog that I am co-authoring: Critique-ly Acclaimed!

Monday, October 12, 2009

shopping around the globe


"Man Shops Globe" is a new show on the Sundance Channel that follows Anthropologie's "personal shopper" Keith Johnson. Basically, this guy gets to explore country after country in order to find all the beautiful prints that are then mass-produced for the store's worldly look. I haven't had the chance to see the show itself (the downside to not owning a television), but the reviews are all positive.

However, if you're like myself and without a cable outlet, you should stop on over to Anthropologie yourself and spend an hour (or so) browsing through their goods. If you don't have the money to spend there, another predicament I currently find myself in, then do as I do and at least treat yourself to some eye candy.

Friday, October 9, 2009

D.C. Bike Chic

Last weekend, we went into DC to see the film, "Amreeka," which is based on the true story of a Palestinian family moving to America. (Very good! I highly recommend it.) After seeing the movie, we strolled around Metro Center a bit and I caught sight of these bicycles! I couldn't help myself from snapping some pictures...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Camera Out of Order!

Sorry posts have been few and far between as of late. My camera doesn't seem to want to cooperate with my computer, so my most recent photos that I've been dying to share are incognito at the moment.

Stay tuned! (also, if anybody is familiar with unusual problems betwixt a macbook and a canon powershot A510, let me know! Thanks!)

Monday, October 5, 2009

West Coast (gluten-free!) Love Revisited


After a long absence from this blog, I am returning at the pleasant surprise of a new follower! With a renewed hope that word will continue to spread, I am taking advantage of my newfound freedom as a recent college graduate to bring back a bit o' beauty.

I began following this delicious blog, Tartlette, after a friend of mine turned me on to baking. Now that my addiction has gotten the best of me and my wallet, I have discovered that cookbooks are a thing of the past and food websites are the poor man's solution to finding delicious, easy-to-follow recipes without spending a penny! Ideally, I would save the money that I don't spend on cookbooks and put it towards more useful things, like rent. However, it always seems to just end up funding my ever-expanding grocery list these days...

Her newest posts refer to San Francisco, the city I simply cannot get enough of ever since I spent this past summer biking across the country from Baltimore, MD to San Fran, CA. The journey was wonderfully epic, to say the least! (You can actually check out my other blog, Have Bicycle, Will Travel, if you want to catch a glimpse of my experiences on the road, along with other bicycle/travel related tid-bits.) One of my teammates was allergic to gluten, so it became a bit of a struggle for her when we were stuck in the middle of nowhere with only some granola bars to keep us company. The recipe on this website is GLUTEN-FREE, though! Another plus.

To sum it up, her combination of delectable desserts and and an even more delectable city is irresistible. I have yet to try the recipe, but as soon as I do, look out for a review.

enjoy!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

SF Nostalgia in Jell-O


(photo courtesy of LizHickock.com)

My friend discovered this unique, San Francisco-based artist. Her name is Liz Hickok and her most recent work involves Jell-O installations of various parts of San Francisco! I've honestly never seen anything like it. You should definitely check out her work and explore some more photos of her jiggly creations. She's also been featured as The Food Network's 2007 Winner of the "Play with Your Food" award! Kinda cool.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

When the Only Way is Up

I am entering week 2 of living in Baltimore as a member of the greater unemployed.

It is unfortunately easy to pity yourself when life has handed you an empty box of chocolates after you've graduated from college with a head filled with hopes and dreams. You've traversed the entire country on a bicycle, utilizing your own physical and mental strength to climb mountains and defeat ungodly temperatures. Then, you enter the real world...and it sucks. Sometimes it seems that people don't give a crap if you've saved a life or saved a thousand lives. Rather, the world is only made up of numbers that decide the course of your life, and that is it. As a self-proclaimed idealist, it's a very harsh perspective to throw out there. Despite all the terrible things that happen in the world, and all the terrible people that let them happen, there are a select few who have the ability to change the world (and have done so).

But we are all human, and even the best of us are put down when the odds seem stacked against us. Coming from a school where med school is a very common anticipation, I have seen people crash and burn from the stress and pressure that such a process wreaks on them. On the 4K, I saw the toughest of people rubbed raw by injuries to the point of screams and tears. I have been reduced to sitting in the bathroom with the door locked and crying my eyes out in an absolute stupor as to why I have filled out trillions of applications and talked to dozens of people, only to end up back at square one.

And then, all these people who, aside from their resilience, have just hit rock bottom, come together and realize they are not alone. And what's more, that they aren't quite stuck to the floor. There's a way out of this mess, but it only comes with accepting the help of others.

So, my advice to any of my unemployed peers out there is this: don't lock yourself in the bathroom. Let someone in (not into the bathroom, per say. That's just strange). Chances are, they've got something they've been itching to get out, too. Before you know it, you've got the energy to keep going. We've come this far. Who is to say that it's over yet? Only you have that capability. It's your life, after all.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Highlight: The Achilles Track Club

I was talking with a good friend of mine from the 4K, Tom, about his mutual job search escapades. Not only did he do the 4K twice (2007 and 2009) but he was also the director this second time around. Anyway, he was telling me about this great organization that he is looking to get involved in, called The Achilles Track Club. He

Friday, August 28, 2009

Recycle your Inner Tubes

(photo courtesy of: Etsy.com)


Bicycle inner tube notebook! Another cute find I saw during my internet excursions amidst apartment hunting and (temporary) unemployment. You can order it at Etsy.com.

...God, I need to start working soon.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The City is Calling

Okay. New plan. Doylestown is out and Baltimore, YOU'RE IN!!

After spending long, drawn out hours contemplating my future (48 hours to be exact) I decided that Doylestown isn't the place for me. As enticing as it would be to pay $0 in rent and save a bucket load of money in no time fast, I'm itching for the city. Financial sacrifices will be made, and I can see myself reverting back to the days of purchasing only generic brands and shopping more often at the thrift stores. However, when you can walk just about any place (or take cheap/free public transportation), have friends at every hour of the day to visit and relax with, or just your choice of museums to sporadically pop into during your downtime, why would you NOT choose the City that Reads?

That being said, I am currently looking for apartments in the Baltimore City/Charles Village area. If you are a relatively clean and personable individual looking for an apartment mate, hit me up!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Highlight: The Sartorialist loves BIKES!


(photo courtesy of The Sartorialist)

Okay, so they're not sporting carbon frames and sweet handlebar tape...or helmets for that matter. However, the new series of bicycle photographs on The Sartorialist are too cute to ignore.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Finding Comfort in the Crazy


Author and superathlete, Chris McDougall, has just published his most recent book, Born to Run. I commonly promote books that I have yet to read, however, as I was driving into Princeton today in my endless search for employment, I was listening to Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane on NPR. She was profiling McDougall's new book and talking with him about his adventures off the map. It immediately gave me goosebumps to hear this professional athlete and published author discuss his love for a sport and, for that matter, a culture, that involved absolutely NO competition. Enter the 4K mentality that our team had lived and breathed throughout these past couple months. After recently talking with my friend Raffi, who is now living in California and cycling with category ONE cyclists, we both realized the intensity that is injected into the sport and the culture that has been nurtured by those who are more concerned about sprinting up a hill faster than they did yesterday than noticing the snow-capped mountain right in front of them.

As both a runner (only temporarily out of commission) and a cyclist, I have constantly struggled with the culture to win. With this culture comes a huge industry of methods and gear that promote easier ways to run and bike. For example, as McDougall points out in his interview with Moss-Coane, there is no need for these fancy-schmancy running shoes that hit the shelves every season. Believe it or not, there is a much more natural way of running: barefoot. Despite the intrepid fear of being stabbed by a nail or two lying in the road, barefoot running has been proven as the most natural form of running and is the most successful method of maintaining proper body mechanics while hitting the pavement.

For me, the same issues may be occuring in the cycling world nowadays. Granted, I own a bike with a carbon fork and a specialized woman's seat, but in the way of "road shoes vs. mountain shoes" and CO2 pumps that weigh lighter than a frame pump I could care less. Not to brag, but along with 26 other AMATEUR cyclists, I biked across the entire continent on a less-than-spectacular bicycle (frame pump and clunky mountain shoes included) and I made it to San Francisco. I dunked my damn bike into the Pacific Ocean, for Christ's sake! It still runs to this day (minus a slightly broken bike computer...but who needs that high-tech shit anyways?) and I am not all-that-far behind my Dad, who has been cycling on a $5,000+ Serotta.

My point? People need to get back to the nature and beauty of where a sport originated from. (No, I will not use Lance Armstrong's over-used phrase.) It's not about the competition or the incessant desire for more advanced, light-weight gear. It's not about perfectly-wound handlebar tape, cushiony running sneakers or computers that calculate your time, distance, mph, rpm, heart rate, outside temperature, etc. It's about the love and the ecsatsy that floods your system as soon as you begin to move. When I bike or run, it's my time to think and clear my head. It's that rare hour or three hours where my mind and my body are so in sync that they fuse together in one continuous motion.

This orgasm of sorts is polluted when it's injected with all that excess and the added desire to win. Sure, it's fun to hit 40 mph going down a steep downhill, and it's exhilerating to hit your max speed on an uphill with your more-advanced friend. You suddenly realize how much more capable you are at the thing you love. It's a two-fer. However, when that becomes a constant state of mind, it can be detrimental. You give up the gift of adventure that our modern human bodies are so hesistant to lay before us. You can bike 30 miles a day, every day for the next 5 months, lose a good amount of weight and gain some pretty sexy looking quad muscles. But will you feel like you've transcended space and time? Have you climbed a mountain in every time zone of the country? Have you come upon a hidden tribe in the middle of the Copper Canyons?

It is just my personal preference, but if I had the choice, I would rather experience the unexperienced.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Shout Out Across the Globe


ANNOUNCEMENT: My dear friend (and an avid cyclist!), Sharlene Su, is making her way to the other side of the globe to study Chinese language and acupuncture for the next few months! Best of luck to you, my love.
*If you'd like to check out her blog, click here and keep up with her on her journey.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Imagine This...

Badwater Ultramarathon

Life Afterwards

One word: Boring.

After cycling across the country, my days are never full. Productivity is overrated when I seem to be in the same place I was yesterday. Life is a constant state of lethargy.

Therefore, I've decided that the best solution to this ill existence is to start planning for the next adventure. With my destination unknown, I've decided to travel abroad in January of 2010, return for a brief time, and then make my way to South America for another cycling expedition...grad school will fit in somewhere. Don't call me crazy yet, since none of this is near finalized and I fully acknowledge the fact that money doesn't grow on trees, especially when the reality of college loans is pulling me back to earth. However, something I have learned is that money does exist in unexpected places. Hopefully, with the assistance of grants and yet-to-be discovered funding, I will be able to go places and do work I've been craving after for so long.

Until then, I'm here in Pennsylvania. I know I tend to make somewhat sweeping generalizations when I talk about my hometown, particularly the fact that I feel I can narrow the population down to mostly white, upper class teenagers and young adults who are living off of their parents while they skate through life as part-time baristas. (Again, a sweeping generalization...although, my accuracy at times amazes me.) Therefore, while I spend the next few months in limbo, I'm relying on my future to get me through the present, and of course a bit o' cycling.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Photo Essay: California Cuisine

Besides the golden hills that scatter the northeastern landscape, another mouth-gaping California characteristic is the rich color and freshness that their foods exude. Riding into Stockton, CA, we came upon a farm stand with fresh, locally grown fruit. Even riding along the road, there were screaming-red tomatoes littered along the gravel. These proved to be more enjoyable than annoying as we tried to squish as many as possible with our bikes, splashing juice all over our legs. Even Rob was giggling like a little girl as he competed with Nicole to smush the fallen fruit along the way.

E-A and I couldn't help but laugh at the "Cyclist Special" in one of Mill Valley's many local cafes...

...This is much more like it. C'mon! You've got to pack in those necessary 5,000 calories somehow.

During my stay in San Francisco, I could not get enough baked goods and local cuisine. California (and the Bay area in particular) is renowned for its focus on locally-grown foods and healthy options. That isn't to say that there wasn't a substantial amount of sweet goodies to fulfill the remnants of my 4K appetite...
A Russian bakery nearby had these delicious almond horns. Similar to an Italian cannoli, they are a cylindrical pastry with a cream filling. However, the outside is an almond-based crust. To top it all off, the shell is dipped in a thick, dark chocolate at both ends, leaving you wanting more at the last bite.


(above) Almond Horn


While exploring Berkeley, we came upon this sign and couldn't help cracking up.

Thanks to my friend Juhee's strong suggestion (and subsequent gift certificate) we had a tres fancy dinner at Chez Panisse, a restaurant that is famous for its ever-changing menu based on the day's available local produce and its upscale following. Reservations are usually made 2 months in advance and customers are "conveniently placed" throughout the restaurant based on their attire. The upstairs cafe is more casual in comparison to the downstairs dining room, which requires men to wear a jacket and tie. However, the service was impeccable and the food was noticeably the freshest I've ever had the opportunity to indulge in. Alice Waters, the restaurant owner, is careful to make sure EVERYTHING is local and 100% organic, to the extent that she picks the vegetables from her own garden! Even the dinnerware is made nearby in Sausalito, CA.



(above) Fig, Walnut and Goat Cheese Salad. This is definitely something to try and doesn't take a whole lot of talent to make.

While we were waiting to be seated, a woman walked in and asked for a seat. The host had to graciously decline her request, explaining that all the tables were taken. At the moment, most tables were actually uninhabited, but would fill up quickly in the next 15 minutes with reserved parties. After several minutes, the woman gave up and proceeded to walk over to the bar to order a glass of champagne. She then tipped the bottom of the glass heavenward and took a huge gulp, emptying the glass and then slamming it onto the bar.

(above) Fruit Tart and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream


(above) Mulberry Sherbert and Biscotti



(above) wood fire oven at Chez Panisse



On our final day in San Francisco, we wanted to live it up and gorge on as much as possible...so that's exactly what we did. For brunch we went to Dottie's True Blue Cafe. Another famous spot reviewed on the Food Network, Dottie's is a pretty small space located a few blocks away from Union Square. We waited in a line that snaked out the door and down the block. It was well worth it. Unlike other restaurants whose owners have made a name for themselves on big name TV networks, the owner of Dottie's was working the grill and filling orders while we were there!




iSpy a teacup and teapot chandelier.

(above) The owner working the grill...the one in the red shirt

(above) Our breakfast smorgasbord....note the dish in the far left: eggs, onions, tomatoes and peppers SMOTHERED in fresh avocado. When all the plates arrived we said, "Oh no. We're going to have so many leftovers." After damages, we took home one pancake and a quarter of the eggs.


I spotted this wine in BevMo and since I had no money left at the end of this trip, I just took a picture. Wine and bikes...what more could you ask for?