The food part of this blog has moved to I'll see all you foodies over there!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

DB Challenge - Chocolate Eclairs

This month's Daring Baker challenge: Pierre Herme's Chocolate Eclairs. My first thought was, yeay! This month was hosted by Tony and Meetak, and I'm so glad they chose a fun one. The only requirement of this challenge was that it had to have chocolate in there somewhere. The glaze, filling, or both! I opted for the glaze and found a pastry cream recipe elsewhere. I used a plain vanilla pastry cream, which was very good but didn't make enough for the recipe so my eclairs weren't quite filled as much as I liked. But overall, they turned out great and my kids were ecstatic!
How can I resist making one with sprinkles for my kids?
Made just a few cream puffs with the leftover dough.
And since there wasn't enough filling to fill all of them, and this dough is not the tastiest of things eaten plain, so I fancied them up and they turned out quite good. Can't wait to see what's in store next month!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

SSWC - Part 3

Day 4: Dropped David off at Skyline so he could get a ride in, and we took off to the Farmer's Market in Napa. The market was kinda small, but nearby I found a neat little store that makes their own salami and other meat products, The Fatted Calf. I've been thinking about making my own salami so I had to stop in.

We drove through the downtown area, and Sage spotted a park. Funny how kids have an eye for these things.

Heading north to Calistoga, found a brewery in St. Helena. As we were driving through this town, David says, St. Helena... that sounds like a place that would have a brewery. So we kept our eyes open and found one.

Calistoga Geyser. One of only three in the world that are "faithful" meaning they blow on a regular basis. This one blew every 30-45 minutes, and lasts about 1-2 minutes.

We were feeling goofy and so I took this funny pic. We were laughing pretty hard.

Another brewery stop in Calistoga.
Day 5: The big race

So many people all dressed up ready to have fun.
Here's Scott in his tighty-whites. Looks comfortable, doesn't it?

Vacation was fun, but it's always good to be back home.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

SSWC - Part 2

Day 3:

Headed to Fairfield to the Jelly Belly Factory. Boy, the kids were excited about this one.
Some Jelly Belly Art, takes about 6 months to create.
Some strange flavors... makes you wonder if they've actually eaten the real thing first. And what made them think people would buy this? Satisfying a sick curiosity, I guess...

We had to wear these hats to go through the factory, although we were behind glass the whole time. Unfortunately they wouldn't allow any pictures due to privacy reasons.
The tour was very interesting. Did you know it takes 7-10 days to make a jelly belly, but only a second to eat it?

Afterwards we headed toward San Francisco. Crossing the bay bridge...
As requested by Sage, we went to AT&T stadium, home of the SF Giants. Paid an outrageous $9 for 42 minutes of parking.
Of course, he wanted to check out their gift shop, where he found himself a Giants baseball.
And lucky for him, as we walked out, there were a couple players signing autographs. We don't know who these guys are, so if anyone knows, please tell us!

And Emi wanted to see Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead)'s house in Haight Ashbury. It was a very pretty house.
Next stop was the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. The park was so huge, I wish we had a whole day just to check out the park.

We had planned on riding the cable car to Chinatown, but the line was way too long. It would of been dark by the time we got on one. And then we found an empty one parked on one of the streets so they hopped on for a pic. ^_^
Walked around Fisherman's Wharf and ran into Tiger Woods, Yao Ming, and Lance Armstrong. They must be buddies...

Pier 39 and the seals...
Musee Mechanique on the wharf. A cool retro arcade that had some old-fashioned games. I had heard about this place from a friend as a must-see place, so we squeezed it in. And the kids were glad we did. They probably could of stay here for hours...

Hearing parking was horrible in Chinatown, and the cable car option was gone, we hopped on a bus to Chinatown to find most shops were closed. We did find this cool tea house, who let us taste some different kinds of herbal medicinal tea. It was a neat experience.

A very busy, but fun day. I can't believe we got so much done in one day.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

SSWC - Part 1

The Single Speed World Championships were in Napa last Sunday so we all went up north to see David race and see the freakshow. We headed up Wednesday so we can get in some other fun things. We did so much and took a lot of pics so the blog posts will be split up.
Day 1: Left home at 4 am to begin our 8 hour journey to Monterey...
Along Hwy 1, we saw a crowd of people so we stopped by to see some Elephant Seals hanging out.
Drove through Big Sur which is always a beautiful drive.
And went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Our last visit was pre-Abby, about 8 years ago. They've really made a lot of changes and was really neat.
The jelly fish exhibit was awesome.

How could I not take a picture of this? ^_^ It would of been better if I could of gotten him to stand there, but we were driving and he didn't want to stop. :(
After getting some beer and grub at an English pub, we headed over to the Dennis the Menace Playground where the kids got to run around.

Day 2: Drove north towards the Napa area. The kids had this fascination with the Golden Gate Bridge and really wanted to see it. It was really foggy for the most part and then at then end it was clear and sunny. Very strange...
If there was only one place we could eat at on this trip, David really wanted to go to Russian River Brewery in Santa Rosa. Good food and good beer.