Food, Travel

The Simple Pleasure of Eating: Food and Drink from My California Vacation

June 20, 2013
Meals from My California Vacation - Sweet and Savoring

Can you ever go wrong with a berry tart for dessert? I think not.

I hope you’ve eaten recently. Or at least if you are a little bit hungry, you have food within easy reach, because this post is going to make you hungry, my friends. It’s already been over a week since my recent trip out to San Francisco, but I still have lots to share with you.

Meals from My California Vacation - Sweet and Savoring

Behold! My friends had a lemon tree in their backyard! Unheard of for this New York girl.

And though I didn’t go out to eat much (due to my limited budget) , there was some memorable food and drink on my trip.

My thoughtful friend Ellen handed me a banana as soon as I got into her car at the airport, which I gratefully devoured. Five minutes later, my mind drifted to what we could whip up together at her place.

One trip to Trader Joe’s later, here’s what we made:

Meals from My California Vacation - Sweet and Savoring

Pasta with tomatoes, olives, cannellini beans, and fresh basil.

What’s that? You want to really get in that bowl with the pasta? Of course you do. Here:

Meals from My California Vacation - Sweet and Savoring

Astonishing how I didn’t inhale everything instantly, but I’ve got morals, and those morals include photographing a beautiful bowl of food, darn it.

Later, we beheld this glorious scene in Delores Park:

Food and Drink on My California Vacation - Sweet and Savoring

This park has sunshine, luxurious grassy hills, tennis courts, an amazing playground, and free public bathrooms. Oh, and PALM TREES!

We lounged and sipped drinks like Campari with club soda and this perfectly titled beer:

Food and Drink from My California Vacation - Sweet and Savoring

I can think of no better setting for such a drink…except maybe the screened-in porch of a stately old home in the Carolinas. Preferably with a rocking chair.

I’ve already talked about the best burrito known to man, found at Taqueria Cancun in the Mission. It’s super cheap, the place is loud and not at all intimate, but holy satisfying meal, Batman:

Food and Drink on My California Vacation - Sweet and Savoring

I will let the deliciousness override the fact that this is such an unflattering photo. Poor misrepresented burrito 🙁 (All about the lighting, I tell you!)

The meal I’ve been dying to share with you guys is our dinner in Marin County with my Aunt April. She’s one of my favorite relatives to just sit and chat with: laid back, an experienced traveler, and she just has the warmest presence (and home).

Aunt April squeezed the limes for the refreshing limeade:

Food and Drink from My California Vacation - Sweet and Savoring

Look at that clever little tool! Also, that limeade (lime juice + sugar water) was SO GOOD.

The Brie and baguette appetizer:

Food and Drink from My California Vacation - Sweet and Savoring

Okay, so you can’t really tell that it’s cheese from this angle, but isn’t it pretty?

Tomatoes I sliced to throw into the pasta:

Food and Drink from My California Vacation - Sweet and Savoring

You just don’t SEE tomatoes this attractive in New York!

And the main course:

Food and Drink from My California Vacation - Sweet and Savoring

Steamy and fresh out of the pot, and then tossed with veggies, feta cheese and pesto 🙂

Our meal was filled with catching up, gazing out at the breathtaking views, and doing a lot of soul searching. I’m so happy that Ellen got to meet Aunt April, and that we were all able to coordinate our schedules for this dinner to happen.

Oh yes, and of course we savored our dessert afterwards, a raspberry tart:

Food and Drink from My California Vacation - Sweet and Savoring

“Schnozzberries! There’s no such thing as schnozzberries!” (name that movie)

I ate one breakfast in San Francisco that was worth photographing, and it was my last morning, just before Ellen and I hugged good-bye.

After wandering around the oceanfront, we hungrily headed into Java Beach Cafe, located, of course, at the beach.  Slightly out of character (because hey, I was on vacation!), I opted for a non-vegetarian meal of an everything bagel with cream cheese, capers, tomato, and lox!

Food and Drink from My California Vacation - Sweet and Savoring

It hit the spot.

Can I just say how much fun it is reliving everything I ate on my trip?? Everything was so tasty, and each food photo is accompanied by such a sweet memory.

May you all have equally sweet meals and lovely people to share them with, whether you’re at home or far, far away 🙂

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  • Deb Rothaug June 21, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Oh, my, YUM!! As always, your pics make me feel like getting a taste of the foods, I wonder if your Aunt made that raspberry tart with berries from her garden? It just sounds like what Auntie April would do! Thanks for sharing all the special-ness of your trip!

    • Christy June 21, 2013 at 10:01 am

      Haha, nope she freely admitted the tart was from Trader Joe’s! Glad you like the pictures 🙂

  • Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat June 21, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Yup, your right…I’m hungry now! 😉 Everything looks amazing! Delores Park is gorgeous and I really want a piece of that raspberry tart!

    • Christy June 21, 2013 at 3:56 pm

      I tried to warn you…

  • Jackie @ Marin mama cooks June 21, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Hey girl! You were out in my neck of the woods! I live in Corte Madera, which is in Marin county! So cool! OK, I totally need to head out to the mission for one of those burritos, your photo does indeed look appetizing, I love all that gooey cheese and those beans! Yum! I so want your friend’s pasta recipe. So please share! So funny that you posted a photo of your aunt’s limeade. I’m going to make up a batch of that tomorrow for our dinner guests! Looks easy enough! Great recap on your SF visit! xoxo, Jackie

    • Christy June 21, 2013 at 4:04 pm

      Oh my goodness- it must be fun to read a post about where you live from an outsider’s perspective. We had dinner a bit further south of you, overlooking Richardson Bay (thanks, Google!). About the burrito photo, thanks 🙂 It really is so nice and fresh tasting- the lime and cilantro and avocado, yum yum yum!
      I’m going to see if I can remember everything we did for the pasta at my friend’s house- you mean the third and fourth photos, right? It was a collaborative ‘let’s throw this in to the pan’ kind of meal. So I’ll get back to you on the one.
      Thanks so much for visiting and all your sweet words!

  • natasha June 25, 2013 at 5:07 am

    WOW – that pasta dish is certainly my dinner for tonight — I am literally very hungry after reading this post. I love food and regardless of your limited budget, you sure eat great looking ( and hopefully) tasty food

    • Christy June 25, 2013 at 8:13 am

      Hi, Natasha, nice to see a new face! I guess I kept my promise if you finished hungry 😉 Thanks for your comment! Off to check out your blog now…

  • Kerry June 25, 2013 at 7:23 am

    Trader Joes!! Oh man, that takes me back. I was born in California and grew up on all this stuff…now in London, I REALLY miss the Cali’s amazing fruit and veg. Especially avocados. Mmmmmm.

    • Christy June 25, 2013 at 8:17 am

      Yes, I loved how the avocados were so cheap in California! We have them in NY, but they’re usually at least $1 each :\ Though of course I’d LOVE to visit London (my husband is English)- one city I haven’t made it to yet!
      Thanks for stopping by, Kerry!

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