Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Camping in the Sierra Foothills

This would count to be our first summer in California in the true sense of the world. Last summer, we were in the moving phase and emotions were raw and memories too fragile to stop calling Minnesota home and settling into the California life. This year besides sightseeing which is plentiful in California, we slowed down our weekends to enjoy a few camping trips.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Vegetarian cooking - Eggplant dishes

For this Friday's foodie talk, I'd like to talk about vegetables; eggplant to be a little more specific.
I know, vegetables aren't looked upon very favorably specially here in America. So I decided to break it up, introduce some eastern spices into the mix and present a few variety of vegetarian eggplant dishes.
1) Eggplant curry: It can be prepared in several different combinations, with potatoes and tomatoes, or bell peppers. Overcooked eggplant provides a good creamy consistency to the gravy and can be a good accompaniment to other vegetables or beans.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Hike to Lassen Peak

Towards the end of summer vacation this year in July, we decided we want to tackle a summit hike and since we didn't have a lot of time to train, Lassen Peak in Lassen Volcanic National Park seemed like a good hike. Its about 2.5 hours drive from Sacramento on I-5 driving north.
You can partake in the experience of our hike through the video at the end.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Rounding up the Figs!

Its Fig season in northern California and there are some good figs starting to appear in the local farmers market. And you know it's been really busy at work lately so haven't had a chance to visit a good eatery last few weeks. Team lunches these days are sandwiches and salads from the corner deli and while its good for sustenance but not worthy of a blog post. So, here I am talking about Figs from the local Farmer's market.  

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Harry Potter World - Universal Studios LA

Last long weekend of summer is just around the corner and even though kids are already back in school, it is hard not to take advantage of the long Labor Day weekend and make one more road trip before Fall weather sets in.
I think I’m still in Minnesota mind set where winter road trips were a major challenge and even though in California, travel is pretty much year round, summer season and summer vacation hold special place in our lives. At the beginning of the summer, we took a road trip to LA to see the new Harry Potter exhibit at Universal. I thought I’d share it here and inspire you to take a trip.
 If you are a Harry Potter fan or have read the books or watched all the movies then you would love this place. If you are on the fence about visiting the park, I’d say give it a try, it is totally worth it.
Here’s a short video of the whole experience to give you a glimpse.

At the entrance of the Harry Potter world is the Hogwarts’s Express locomotive, beautifully staged with loads of luggage, steam/smoke from the chimney and even a conductor/engineer/driver.

Friday, August 26, 2016

First time trying Poke at Fish Face

I was in the middle of an important conversation when my tummy rumbled (it was almost lunch time) and my kind boss suggested we carry the discussion over lunch. She asked what am I in the mood for and I commented anything is good, salads, Japanese food or whatever she might want.

She snapped her fingers and said I have a perfect place for you, lets go for Japanese salad, Poke. I had not tried Poke before but I'm up for trying new food so it was decided that we'll go to Fish Face Poke Bar located at the Warehouse Artist Lofts in Sacramento historic district. Fish Face is a poke restaurant that offers a variety of fresh seafood salads and hand rolls with vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options on the menu.
Love the mural on Wall at WAL
The best part about Fist Face is that they use locally sourced and sustainable ingredients, and use products that are recyclable and compostable.
Wouldn't world be a better place if we only took what we need now and not for the perceived need of the future...
I picked, make your own salad option and it included Ahi Tuna, Octopus, Spicy Kimchi Ponzu, Daikon sprouts, Mango, white and green onions with Hiyashi Wakame Seaweed. They had local beer and Sake on the menu as well but it being a work day I didn't want to drink so I'll have to try that another time. Speaking of Sake, we recently went sake tasting and absolutely loved it, should share that experience soon.

I loved my poke salad, it was simple, fresh and full of flavor. I would definitely go back. My boss had a similar salad to mine and loved her salad, this is her favorite poke place anyways.

With the Sacramento mural festival going on (my previous post) and the pleasant weather this weekend accompanied by Poke salad would be a perfect outing to downtown Sacramento.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Sacramento Mural Festival: Aug 20th thru 27th

I had posted about the beautiful mural of midtown Sacramento a while ago; it had really inspired me to explore the town and sometimes take the back alley way to get to my destinations. So I was really excited to hear about the very first Mural Festival of Sacramento.
The festival features live demonstrations of  mural making featuring twelve different artists. The artists started creating their murals on the 20th and are working at a breathtaking pace to unveil the final master pieces during the Art Jam Party on the 27th August.
Today, my friend and I scouted out a few back and side alleys to observe the works of art being created. It was an incredible experience to see colors taking shape over such a massive scale.
Sharing a few pictures from my phone to give you a glimpse so you can partake in my excitement.

Jake Castro busy creating patterns at Crest Theatre Alley