Travel

Oakland, CA

I love airplanes. I love the rush when they take off. I love that they get me to the West Coast in twelve hours and nobody dies of dysentery. I love that plane selfies are more acceptable than work selfies. I love being the first one to do the crossword puzzle. But most of all I love when they take me to visit a friend I haven’t seen in years.

 

On the way to my bachelorette party in Napa I stopped to pick up my officiant, Ermentrude, in Oakland. We’ve known each other since high school and we are basically common law married on facebook. She moved to the other side of the country a few years ago so it’s been ages since I’ve seen her in person. But Ermentrude knew exactly how to welcome me to her new home.

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I had a great time exploring her neighborhood and spending quality time with one of my oldest friends. I got to meet her beau and discover exactly how close she now lives to Trader Joe’s. Walking distance, she lives walking distance from the world’s best grocery store. I was so jealous I took this weirdly distorted picture of the sign that can be seen from her street in a mock rage.

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One of the wonderful thing about Richmond is how amazingly tolerant we are as a city. And one of the thing I loved about visiting my friend’s neighborhood in Oakland, CA is realizing that tolerance is everywhere. I saw dozens of signs touting this philosophy and was touched by every one.

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I was also in awe of all the cute homes and their gardens overflowing with gorgeous succulents. There were huge, they were colorful and as odd as it sounds they made the whole neighborhood smell amazing. Although that might have been the pot that was being smoked all over.

 

I just think you should know that I am succulent murderer. I don’t mean for them to die. But they die. I think if I lived in San Francisco and not Richmond I would have less of a murderous past. While I was in San Francisco I also murdered this delicious coffee and toast breakfast from Oliveto’s.

 

Of note when you go to another local shop they have a basket of freshly boiled eggs sitting next to the cashier. Just sitting there. Being adorable. And slightly overcharging you for the luxury of a pre-boiled egg.

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After our morning ramble we went to back to Ermentrude’s quaint cottage and got down to business before heading back to the airport to pick up another couple of ladies and finally head to Napa! Since all my girls has been so kind as to fly all the way in from various parts of the world and country I wanted to make sure I had a lovely little welcome waiting for them. I had spent a considerable amount of time scouring etsy, pinterest and instagram for the perfect gift and eventually settled on gift bag stuffed with travel essentials. Fortunately for me we live in a world with Amazon Prime and I was able to find everything I wanted to include and ship it directly to Ermy’s house for free. I tried to load it down with practical things that would make a girl’s weekend more enjoyable. I settled on a water bottle (glass, so you could drink wine), a scarf and collapsible makeup bag that I filled with smaller treats. In the makeup bag I had two different lip stains that worked great together, oil blotting sheets, a tide stick, fun sunglasses, a sheet mask and of course ferraro rocher!

 

I did order some iron-on decals off Etsy from Chessa Creations. I’ve ordered from her before and would absolutely recommend her to anyone looking for a custom made order! I was very scared about ironing on the decals myself but her instructions were perfect and they turned out great! It was really a lot easier than I thought it would be. I now want to personalize everything!

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All in all my one night in Oakland was definitely the perfect start to my bachelorette festivities! If you have a long time friend you haven’t seen in a while I suggest you make a plan right now to go visit them. In this age of facebook, instagram, snapchat, iMessage, gmail, FaceTime, etc. I feel like we sometimes forget how special it is to actually be with someone. So go take a vacation with your bestie!

Food

Crisper Raid Quiche

Do you hate having to throw away food that you bought and never got around to using before it hit the expiration date or just got plain gross? Me too! I usually end up pulling everything that’s about to go bad out of the fridge and staring at it until I come with a way to throw it all together. Today I was slightly more prepared though and had a couple of pie shells in the freezer so I could make quiche with whatever was left in the crisper. And because pie shells come in pairs I made a second quiche that I could freeze and eat next weekend.

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After today’s crisper raid I had half a red onion, a smallish red bell pepper and a box of sliced mushrooms. Plus some assorted herbs that were on their very last leg; basil, chive, and parsley. I chopped everything up and added it to the pan starting with the onions. I then added the bell pepper, mushrooms, some mince garlic and the herbs. And of course I added the mandatory trifecta of salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Once things were cooked down I added in some chicken sausage that I recently discovered. I like this one because it isn’t maple flavored or apple flavored or some other sweet nonsense. It’s actually a pretty nice replacement to the fattier pork country sausage.

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I chopped up the sausage and added it to the pan and gave it good stir to coat everything and then added it to the waiting pie shells.

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It actually looks pretty good right now. My fiancé, Lloyd, would probably love it if I just turned it into a massive empanada instead of adding the eggs. Except he loves eggs. Lloyd is basically Gaston and eats five dozen eggs everyday and is roughly the size of a barge. Speaking of eggs, I made a quick egg mixture with about 8 eggs, a splash of cream, salt and pepper. My secret ingredient is about a tablespoon of corn starch. It makes the eggs extra light and fluffy when they bake.

The next step is the all important cheese and decorating step. I had a little bit of jack cheese left in the fridge and I mixed that into the filling before I added the eggs and then topped with some cheddar and sliced cherry tomatoes. It made for a pretty pre-bake picture. And an even prettier post-bake shot.

 

Serves: 1-10. Who is to say you can’t eat two whole quiches all by yourself? You do you. I will not shame you with suggested portion sizes.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Ingredients ***the veggies and herbs I used are just a suggestion, feel free to use whatever is in your fridge***

  1. Onion
  2. Bell pepper
  3. Mushrooms
  4. Herbs (chives, parsley, basil)
  5. Minced garlic
  6. Salt, pepper, garlic powder
  7. 8 Eggs
  8. 1 Tbsp Cream (optional)
  9. 1 Tbsp Cornstarch (optional)
  10. Cheese
  11. Cherry tomatoes
  12. Frozen pie shells

Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Dice veggies and chop herbs.
  3. Sautee your veggies starting with hardest and ending with softest. I did onions, bell peppers and then mushrooms.
  4. Add in your garlic, herbs and seasonings. Don’t overcook your veggies mix because it’s going to cook some more in the oven and you don’t want a big soggy mess.
  5. Chop up and add in your sausage if you are going for a non-veg quiche. I used the chicken sausage I mentioned above but you could put in whatever you happen to have in your fridge, including lunch meat you need to use up.
  6. While your veggies/sausage are cooking down you can whip your eggs. Add them to a large bowl and fold in the salt/pepper and your optional cream and cornstarch.
  7. Scoop your mixture into your pie shells and stir in some cheese.
  8. Cover your veggies/sausage with your egg mix and then top with more cheese. I added on the sliced cherry tomatoes for some color.
  9. Bake your pies on a baking sheet for about 45 minutes or until the center doesn’t jiggle and the top has gotten a nice golden brown coloration.