QDTG Newsletter
* Coastal Trail
* Forest Bathing
* Blog Posts


Happy Sunday, y'all!  

What a beautiful weekend - such stunning weather, right? On Friday afternoon after I finished work, I drove over to Crissy Field and took the most gorgeous walk because the weather was amazing. Right after I reached the Warming Hut, I climbed up towards the bridge and then under it and then was high above the ocean along a trail until I got to Baker Beach. I turned around there, but I could have kept walking all the way to Ocean Beach. Some parts of the coastal trail are along the road and some are on beautiful paths in the woods and you can walk for several miles along it. I noticed there were some trails heading down towards the water as I was making my way to Baker Beach so the next time I head over there, I am going to check them out. Every time I am over on that side of the city taking a walk, I ask myself why I don't go there more often. It's truly awe inspiring. This is a great time of year to head over there because the wild flowers are in full bloom, and they are EVERYWHERE!

Have you ever heard of forest bathing? It's the Japanese art of going to the woods and walking in nature, and it's called shinrin-yoku. You're not supposed to exert yourself too much - you're just supposed to bathe in the natural beauty of it all. My husband told me about it a few weeks ago when we were walking in Glen Canyon, and I thought it sounded magical. Glen Canyon is a great place to forest bathe because there are certain parts of the trail that are densely wooded, and it's so pretty and quiet there. The Presidio is another great place to soak in the trees. Apparently, there are health benefits like boosting your immune system, improving your mood, lowering your blood pressure and increasing your energy. Today would be a great day to do this, it's going to be another stunner. 

Good news you guys! I have taken most of my newsletters that I've written over the last 18 or so months, and put them into the blog section of my website - I finally got my act together. This is something I've been thinking about doing for a long time but since it involves admin type work, I never want to do it. Now all I have to do every week after I write this is copy, paste & post - so easy.

Have a great week and let me cook for you.

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4/23/17
QDTG Newsletter

Happy Sunday!

I hesitate to start this week's newsletter off negatively, but did anyone get stuck in traffic on Thursday during the 4/20 "celebration" like I did? It was awful, you guys. They closed off whole blocks of streets! I was in the car for three hours so by the time I picked up my daughter at Lake & Arguello streets, I was a monster. Then we had to trek back home and there was still residual traffic. I didn't hear a word she said in the car because I had totally shut down. I need to remember this for next year. I need to cancel anything happening that afternoon / early evening because there is no reason that could possibly be important enough to put myself through that again. I pretty much went straight to bed at 7:30 and told everyone to leave me alone. I'm a real joy to live with, huh?  

I keep seeing recipes & photos on Instagram of the most beautiful buddha bowl meals, which is basically a big bowl full of the healthiest & most colorful foods all put together in a really pretty way. They look so enticing and magical. Like, maybe they could even change your life if you eat them all the time. There's usually a grain on the bottom and then it's topped with all kinds of veggies like shredded purple cabbage, pickled shredded carrots, gorgeous slices of avocado, roasted & spiced chickpeas and shredded kale and a fabulously tasty dressing. I want to start eating more of these, especially on the weekends when I'm burnt out on cooking. There are so many combinations, and I found some great recipes to help inspire me. The trick is having lots of the ingredients on hand so you can easily put them together. Stock the fridge with fresh & crunchy veggies - some of the stuff you could buy at the market already washed & chopped like carrots & cabbage & kale - this would make it super easy. Make a big pot of grains like brown rice or quinoa and just keep it in the fridge all weekend. Have cans of beans in your cabinets so that you can easily add a protein if you don't have any tofu, chicken or salmon. Always have avocado, tomatoes, fresh lemons for dressing, some toasted nuts for the top and maybe some yummy crumbly cheese. You could use your leftover roasted chicken, or flake leftover salmon or fry an egg to put on top of it. The possibilities are endless, and I'm super excited to make one tonight for dinner. If I made a mexican version, everyone in my house would be so happy to eat it. It's springtime, and I feel inspired.

I just found a great way to clean jewelry - not the real kind - the fake kind. Brass jewelry looks so pretty when you first get it, but it tarnishes so quickly and then you never want to wear those cool bangles again because they look dull and not at all shiny.  All you have to do to polish it is drop it in a container full of ketchup. Yup. Ketchup. Smother it in ketchup and within seconds that beautiful brass luster returns. Looks like new, I promise. Apparently, it's a great way to clean silver as well. Here's a link to lots of jewelry cleaning hacks with stuff you can find in your kitchen. 

Have a great week and let me cook for you! 

 

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4/16/17
QDTG Newsletter

Happy Easter!!!!  

I've got a ham in the oven slowly warming up and pretty soon it will be ready to glaze, which let's face it, is the best part of ham. That sweet sticky stuff you brush on top and gets all crackly and caramelized - yum. This past week has been fun - Passover on Monday, which was really festive and delicious and Easter today. I'm super excited for our friends' annual brunch & egg hunt. The food is always terrific, the guests are fun, everyone looks pretty, and I pick jelly beans off of the bunny cake when no one is looking. They're so good because they have cream cheese frosting stuck to them.

Thursday is our dog Guy's two year anniversary of living with us, his forever family. Guy is 10 pounds of love - half chihuahua and possibly half jack russell - very stubborn, horrible breath and a real lover. Guy is from Muttville, which is the best place from which to adopt a dog - best place ever, ever, ever. We think he's 9 or 10, and this is what we've pieced together from his past. He grew up in a condo with a parking garage. We think this because he goes crazy in parking garages - loves to run around them. And he loves long carpeted hallways. We found this out when we started taking him to my parents house. He knew exactly what to do once we arrived - run like crazy in the garage and then bolt down the hallway to their door. He came from somewhere called Wasco, and luckily he was brought up here to Muttville so he could find us and we could find him. Sometimes his love for me is too much. It's true that you can be loved too much. Guy pierces my soul with his unrelenting stares. He gets jealous all the time, and has been rude to house guests. He doesn't give me any space. He always wants to be near me, on me and paid attention to by me. He's kind of like the boyfriend I always wanted in college, but never had. I love him so much and baby talk to him all the time because he's my doggy baby and it's fun to infantilize him. Unlike a child, I can infantilize him forever.  

Have a great week and let me cook for you.

 

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4/9/17
QDTG Newsletter

Happy Sunday, y'all!

First things first: QDTG is not happening tomorrow (Monday) due to Passover - there's no way I can cook, deliver, primp, cook for Passover and get to Atherton at 5:00 - no way! So I'm switching things up a bit so you still have three dinner options this week - there will be QDTG on Wednesday instead. Fun, right? It's good to change things up here & there, especially when dinner is at stake. 

I just finished listening to S Town yesterday - the new podcast from the Serial team. It was so good. Dare I say a masterpiece? It was beautifully done - almost poetic. I still have a few questions, and I want there to be podcast about the podcast so I can dive even deeper into the story because there are still some questions left unanswered. During the first season of Serial, there were several podcasts about the podcast, which turned me into such a nerd - I listened to them all. I have the same feeling about S Town - I can't get enough. I recently listened to Missing Richard Simmons, which at the beginning was incredibly satisfying and gave me that Serial / S Town feeling. I've also started watching a new tv show - The Americans - it's so good! I'm late to the game, but that just means there are several seasons to binge watch, which is totally delicious. It's so comforting to know there are still so many episodes coming my way.

Have a great week and let me cook for you!

 

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4/2/17
QDTG Newsletter

Good morning & happy Sunday, y'all!  

You know how terrariums are all the rage right now? Like, they are everywhere in every store it seems. I made three yesterday! They are pretty expensive when you buy them already made, but when you make them yourself the price is very reasonable. It all started when I bought a pack of three glass cylinder vases at Ikea. I saw them on the shelf at $17 for the three, and I thought I could do something kind of cool with them. Maybe fill them up with found objects or something. Then I had a better idea, and realized I could turn them into terrariums. Usually when I have ideas about projects, they just remain ideas and it takes so long to turn them into reality. I went from idea to reality in 4 days time because it was very easy to put them together. I watched this video on the Real Simple website, went to the store to buy just a few items and then I was good to go. All you need is some rocks for drainage, some cactus soil, sand & plants. You can buy everything at the garden store, which tends to be kind of expensive, or you can go to a few different stores and shop around your house to save money. I did a little bit of everything. I went to Michael's craft store to buy some pebbles & decorative sand. I bought the cactus soil and real sand at Flowercraft because it's super close to my house. I recycled some succulents and air plants I had around the house that needed a good home. I set up a little work station down in my yard and within an hour, I had three gorgeous terrariums. My daughter used to collect crystals and rocks for a few years so I had a wide variety of fun things to decorate the terrariums with so they are filled with more than just plants. There's some serious crystal energy emanating from them. If you are looking for a crazy and fun place to buy crystals and rocks and air plants at very good prices, head over to The Love of Ganesha on Haight Street. It's mind blowing inside so be prepared. There is so much in there so give yourself plenty of time to soak it all in. The prices are very reasonable, especially for the air plants. The selection is huge. And if you are into dream catchers, this is the place for you. They are everywhere. It's a great place to find magical items for your garden. And it's a must for terrarium creations. You could really impress a friend or loved one by making them a terrarium as a present. Imagine giving them one and they'll ask you where you got it because it's so beautiful, and you'd be like, I made it for you. Imagine the thrill!  

Have a great week and let me cook for you.

 

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3/26/17
QDTG Newsletter

Good morning!

For the past two weekends, we've been going to Fort Funston to walk on the beach. Until recently, we hadn't been there in years and had forgotten about what a special place it is. It's so beautiful and dramatic, and you just feel so healthy when you're there with the salt air, the fine mist off in the distance, the walking in the sand and that trudge up the cliff to get back to your car. It's truly invigorating. We've got a little 10 pound possibly 10 year old dog named Guy who is half chihuahua and maybe jack russel. At home, he doesn't walk much - he just compulsively sniffs & marks up everything within a few block radius of our house, and then wants to come home and stare at me and beg for food all day long (the staring is intense). It takes him forever to walk anywhere from our house. It's torture. Well, we brought him to the beach, and he was like a different dog. He flew like the wind down the beach barely stopping to sniff a thing. We were amazed at his energy & speed, and then kinda felt bad that we were crappy dog owners for not taking him there before. Oh well. Being a parent is very humbling sometimes.

Afterwards we tried to go to Devil's Teeth Baking Co. on Noriega & 46th, but the line was ridiculous and we were starving because it was lunch time, and for some strange reason we hadn't eaten yet. So we went to Yonkers Cafe, which has delicious deli sandwiches and pour over coffee and there was no line and it did not disappoint. It's right across the street from the Devil. It would be great to pick up sandwiches there *before* heading to the beach and then having a sandy messy picnic whilst gazing at the surf. Next to Yonkers, there's the coolest store called EstablishSF and it was so inspiring and stylized and has the best vibe inside. The gal who runs it is a graphic designer by trade, and she has incredible taste. It just feels so good to be inside and look around at everything. She also offers the following services: home styling, color palettes, home decorating, art decor, botanical design, consultations & home organization. Her aesthetic is really inspiring. I can't wait to go back there and buy this gorgeous necklace that I couldn't stop staring at - should I go today???? 

Have a great week, and let me cook for you.

 

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3/19/17
QDTG Newsletter

Good Morning, y'all!  

Last night I catered a party for some of my favorite friends, Dean & Jeanne, who own FitLocalFit, which comprises of two eco-friendly bespoke gyms - FitBernalFit & FitGlenFit - and a gorgeous yoga studio called Sun Porch Yoga. They held the party at the most fun place ever - Bare Bottle Brewery - right here in Bernal Heights. This place is very cool. They brew several kinds of beer - my favorite is "half samurai" which is a sake wheat ale made with local sake from Sequoia Sake in Bayview. It's crisp & light & refreshing and I'm not sure I'm going to be able to drink another kind of beer there because it's that good. They also brew some non-alcoholic beverages like sun blossom tea kombucha and hibiscus ginger beer, both of which are excellent. They have a rotating schedule of food trucks parked right outside the front door for your dining pleasure. But you can also bring in your own food from home or a restaurant or have me run down the hill and deliver you fabulous catered food. You can bring your kids until 8pm and dogs are always welcome. The place is huge and filled with big picnic tables so there's tons of seating. There's a ping pong table, a skeet ball table and lots of different areas and price points for reserving space there for events. This is a great place to host a party. For instance, FitLocalFit reserved the back lounge for 50 people. There were people who rented a few tables for smaller parties right in the beer hall who brought in pizza and cupcakes. Some people just brought food from home and met up with other families for a casual & easy dinner. You are going to want to host your next party there, or just meet up with friends.

Here's the menu for the party - Dean & Jeanne did an excellent job selecting items that tasted great for several hours AND met the needs of many dietary restrictions (gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, etc!):

tofu satay skewers chicken satay skewers asian turkey burger sliders bruschetta (let people make their own so they stay fresh) tahini dip & crudite orzo salad w/roasted veggies, feta & pine nuts kale salad w/roasted squash, candied walnuts & cranberries

Let me tell you about the turkey burger sliders because these were a  big hit, and gave me lots of ideas for future catering gigs. So Dean was like, can we have turkey burgers sliders and I was like, how about asian turkey burgers sliders with a spicy mayo & pickled cucumbers? And he was like, YES!!!! I ran into a little snafu whilst shopping on Friday afternoon, and I couldn't find slider rolls at either TJ's or Whole Foods. I started to panic, but then I saw mini pita pockets. I never buy these, but they caught my eye - they were so puffy & fresh looking & just the right size. Ok, these are the best slider "rolls" ever because they are not too bready - they are very thin but also sturdy and they never got soggy. They had serious staying power and are the perfect vehicle for mini burgers of any kind because you don't have to slice them all the way through. You snip off a tiny bit of the top and then use kitchen scissors to cut just enough room to slide in the slider fillings. The fillings don't fall out and the top doesn't fall off and you don't need a toothpick to make it stay together. The possibility for fillings are endless - cheeseburgers with shredded lettuce & secret sauce - chili spiced pork burgers with monterey jack & a dollop of guacamole - lentil burgers w/tahini & chopped tomatoes. I'm so excited by pita pocket sliders, and cannot wait to make them again.

Have a great week and let me cook for you.

 

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3/12/17
QDTG Newsletter

Happy Sunday, y'all!  

It's spring ahead, which always messes with everyone's internal clocks. I like it when it's light out early in the morning, which just sort of started happening a few weeks ago, and now we are back to darkness. I used to be able to get up at the crack of dawn no problem, but it's getting harder and I need all the help I can get. Woe is me.  

Big correction from last week via my dad, Jerry Jacobs, bagel connoisseur & purchaser. The bagels that we got for our brunch a few weeks ago came from Bagel Baron in Berkeley, and must be ordered 48 hours in advance and picked up by 10:30am at their Berkeley bakery location. The bagels at that other place I mentioned "mostly suck big time" so don't go there. Bagel Baron bagels have won internal NY Times tasting competitions. I need not say more.  

You guys! Public service announcement! SF Rec & Park has new registration software. You need to create a new account, which is really easy - here's the link. Create this new account before next Saturday because that's the crazy summer camp sign up day when everyone goes mental refreshing all of their devices and/or standing in line trying to get their kids into affordable & fun camps. Also new this year is that you can create a wish list of camps you want by putting them into your cart. This means you might actually have a good chance of getting what you want because all the camps are already chosen and all you have to do is pay for them. Now this is in theory only. We don't know what kind of mayhem awaits us next Saturday at 10am, but we can prepare. Best of luck.

Speaking of luck, the luck of the Irish that is, St. Patty's Day is coming up on Friday. This means that corned beef with cabbage & potatoes & carrots is happening for QDTG on Thursday. Eat it on Thursday or Friday - it doesn't matter - it will taste wonderful either or both days. You'll need to place your order for Thursday's meal, which will cost a little extra at $65 per meal - by Wednesday at 9am. I've actually had a few people ask me if I'm doing it again this year so place your order right away because it's first come first serve.  

Have a great week and let me cook for you.

 

Source: https://mg.mail.yahoo.com/d/folders/29

3/5/17
QDTG Newsletter

Happy Sunday, y'all!  

I can't believe it was just a week ago that we were all recovering from Marley's Bat Mitzvah, and getting ready for brunch. I didn't know how I was going to get through hosting 20ish people at our house, but it was so easy and fun because I didn't cook anything. All I did was plate everything up really nicely - fruit, salmon, smoked whitefish salad (from Costco - it's so good!), veggies, cream cheese, butter, jelly, fabulous sliced bagels from Authentic Bagels, plate my mom's wonderful coffee cakes, go up to Martha's and get their boxed coffee gallons, pour some orange juice into a pretty pitcher, line up the leftover pellegrino from the day before and voila, brunch was served! It didn't hurt that the weather was gorgeous so we could set up the drinks outside on the deck and people could eat in the backyard. It was fun to catch up with everyone because I really hadn't the day before.

I won't go through all the details of the big day and instead will give you some recommendations for the vendors we used because they are good to know about - the party planning is the hardest part. It's the part that gives you major anxiety. Way back in June, I catered a party at the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House. My husband was helping me deliver and when we walked in we were like, oh yeah this is the place for Marley's party. It's beautiful, has an incredible view, it's laid back, has party lights & lanterns that are always strung up along the rafters which are so festive & pretty, and it's very affordable. It's such a fabulous party venue with a fun vibe - I can't recommend it enough - and when your party is over the staff breaks everything down for you like the tables, chairs, tablecloths, etc. We also hired the dj and photo booth vendor - Marcus T - from the June catering delivery at PHNH as well (shout out to Daphne M for hiring me for that catering gig!!!!). We loved Marcus right away, and he did not disappoint - so professional, so easy to work with, had all the music we wanted and his prices cannot be beat. For the price of one service, we got two services - an amazing dj and a photo booth. He's the best! For food, we did a taco bar from La Corneta in the Mission. It was delicious, affordable and everyone loved it. Is it the most fancy or gourmet in all of SF? No, but it's very, very good and very, very affordable and they are very generous with their portions. I didn't eat until the end of the party and even when the food was several hours old, it tasted fresh and delicious so I chowed down two plates of rice & beans & chicken & grilled veggies, guacamole & chips! Here's a hint - order a lot less than you need and you will still have lots of leftovers. One of my family's special birthday places is Fenton's Creamery in Oakland. We all love it so much so we had to hire them for the party, and they were amazing. They bring everything for a sundae bar - their own table, cups, spoons & hats, a freezer for the ice cream to keep it at the perfect temperature and staff to scoop and top your sundaes. We had 5 kinds of ice cream, 5 sauces, lots of fun sprinkle things, two kinds of whipped cream and there were cookies if you wanted. Fenton's was such a hit and for what you get, not expensive - another affordable vendor. People ate multiple sundaes and they never ran out of ice cream. As for the decor, my friend/sister/cousin/angel-sent-from-heaven Chloe did the most incredible job of taking Marley's vision - rainbow ombre glitter unicorns - and turning it into a reality. If you'd like more specific details about the Etsy artists she used, just email me and I can forward you their links. Chloe found someone to make glittery rainbow ombre mason jars for the centerpieces and then she went to the flower mart and created gorgeous flower arrangements with glittery unicorns sticking out of them. She also found garlands to hang all over the venue to continue the theme. She sewed together the most fabulous sequined gold back drop for the photo booth that was beyond. Chloe used to do this kind of thing for a living, and she did us a favor by coming out of party planning retirement to help us out. She says she'll be ready to do it again for Marley's wedding - I hope she means it. My friend Jenny & her daughter Phoebe helped us decorate, and we couldn't have done it without them. They were so good and so serious - such strong work ethics.  

I won't go into too many details about the week leading up to the event because it couldn't have been any worse, you guys. The Sunday before Dan was sick in bed and I thought it was just a one day kind of thing. What I didn't know was that he'd end up at the doctor on Tuesday morning with a double eye and double ear infection. What? In 23 years of being together, he's never had that kind of thing happen. I wanted Kaiser to keep him there all week because he was so contagious, but they gave him three kinds of meds and sent him home instead. Oh, and Marley got sick, too. With a fever on Thursday! I was seriously at my limit. I was like, everything is falling apart - everything. But it all came together by Saturday - the veil of sick and horror lifted and magic poured down over us. It was even supposed to rain all weekend, and it didn't. It's a good thing I took that week off because there was no way I could have worked, cared for my ill housemates and put the finishing touches on the party planning. So there you go, it really was one of the best days of my life. This past week I was on the phone with my mom going over it all and she said, let's not stop talking about this, ok? And that's how I feel, too.  

Have a great week and let me cook for you.

 

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2/26/17
QDTG Newsletter

Good morning!  

I know last week I said I'd tell you all about Marley's Bat Mitzvah (which was yesterday), but I don't have time right now. We are having a brunch over here for all the out-of-towners, and we need to get ourselves in gear. It's a simple brunch, but we are all exhausted and moving very slowly. Next week I'll tell you everything, and I have lots of great recommendations as well. Basically, yesterday was one of the best days of my life!!! 

Tomorrow is cancelled because we are going to need a day of rest, but next week will be a full week with all three days of delivery - yay!

Have a great week, and let me cook for you!

 

Source: https://mg.mail.yahoo.com/d/folders/29

2/19/17
QDTG Newsletter

Good morning & happy long weekend!

Because it's both a holiday week and the week of my daughter Marley's Bat Mitzvah, I decided to keep things simple and cancel Quick Dish To Go. Sorry about the late notice, y'all. There's so much going on this week, and my husband Dan & I have both fallen ill with colds. All week long Dan was like, I'm fighting it off and my immune system is amazing - I'm strong like a bull. Well, guess who woke up absolutely miserable today? As for me, I have more of a mild cold / allergy thing going on. While I don't feel my best, I'm definitely better than Dan. We have three events planned for today. Our friend Caitlin's birthday brunch this morning followed by popping into my parent's house for my dad's homemade pizza, which will turn into a few hours of obsessing / prepping for the Bat Mitzvah next weekend. Then we were going to meet friends in Marin to see a band tonight. I'm going to be flying solo with Marley all day while Dan stays in bed. I think by tonight I won't want to trek out to Marin to see music, but I'm staying open to the possibility because maybe I'll feel differently.

Remember a month ago my car died while I was out delivering food? This week our fridge started to die (is mercury in retrograde?). It was so scary - worse than the car because the repair guy who came here to assess the situation told us it was going to be $1200 to fix, and that it would take 10 days to get a new main control board to replace the broken one. We tried to stay calm, but we were freaked out. When we remodeled our kitchen several years ago, we bought everything off of Craigslist, which allowed us to buy really nice appliances at greatly reduced prices. Our beloved fridge is one of those built in double door numbers - it's 48" wide - and it makes my catering life so easy. I can fit so much in there, and it would be really hard to replace it right now. Dan can build and fix many things, but he's never ventured into the fridge world. In the spirit of saving us money, time & sanity, he dove deep into an online home fridge repair research vortex, and figured out how to fix it. He called whirlpool and it turned out they had a new control board for our model, which they overnighted to us, and which Dan replaced yesterday before he fell ill. It was a major job though - just getting that fridge out from it's home took him a really long time. Then we decided to clean the heck out of it, and also paint the panel doors since they were looking really old & worn out. They never quite matched with our kitchen, and it always bothered us. So after several hours of repair work, Dan started sanding them down, priming them and then painting them. Now they are looking so good and so new and so fresh - better than ever, actually. Hopefully, after a day in bed Dan will be good as new as well.

We need our health & wellness to return asap because next weekend is going to be nuts. On Friday we decorate the venue for the party the next day, and then head off to services at Temple followed by a dinner on Clement Street for all the out-of-towners. On Saturday - the big day - we will rise early so that we have plenty of time to primp and prep for the Bat Mitzvah - and make it to the Temple by 9:00am to do some pictures beforehand. Then the service lasts almost two hours followed by a bite of bagel and challah before we head over to the party venue. The party will consist of a dj, a photo booth, a taco bar and make-your-own-sundaes and tons of fun. Our cousins & out-of-towners don't want the party to end so my parents are hosting a dinner that night after the Bat Mitzvah. On Sunday morning, we are hosting a brunch here for about 25 people. It's just bagels, fruit, coffee, etc, but it's still a lot of work to get the house ready and entertain, ya know? It doesn't end there though, you guys. Our friend's band - Creeper Lagoon - is making it's triumphant return to the stage next Sunday night at 11pm, which of course we are going to because this is their long awaited two city reunion tour. So that's why I have to take next Monday off as well. I'm barely going to be alive on 2/27. At almost 47,000 years old, that's a lot for me. I need to be fresh to cook for you guys again. Hang in there and enjoy President's Day week. Can't wait to tell you all about the big event next Sunday morning over coffee.  

 

Source: https://mg.mail.yahoo.com/d/folders/29

2/12/17
QDTG Newsletter

Happy Sunny Sunday, y'all!

This weather is making me so happy - it's such a nice break from the rain. I'm celebrating the clear skies & mild temps by cleaning stuff out this weekend like the garage, which has gotten into a very bad place with crap everywhere just thrown all over like we don't care. Then some rain has seeped in here & there, and it was feeling so gross and so damp and so filthy. Every time I went down there, which is basically several times a day, I was feeling depressed at the mess. Well, that's over because we cleaned the heck out of it yesterday and ended the clean up with a trip to the dump to get rid of several cans of old paint & our broken microwave. Did you know that you can drop off old electronics & hazardous materials at Recology for free? Yup, it's true. After the dump we went to the Salvation Army and dropped off everything else. We pretty much got rid of an entire stainless steel 4 rack shelving unit full of stuff, which means that everything that was on the floor is now on that free shelf. We don't have to step over anything to get anything, which has been a life long dream / goal of mine since living here. I hope it lasts. Today we are going to clean our sidewalk, which happens to be really big since we live on a corner. We have the tiniest house, but the longest stretch of sidewalk. There's stuff growing everywhere - even mushrooms (gross!) and so much litter and the ivy over the fence is out of control. I can't wait till it sparkles & shines.

I went to a great place for lunch the other day called Souvla on Valencia Street, that my friends have been raving about recently. There are three SF locations, and it's quick Greek food - like, your order comes out in just a few minutes and it's so good. The menu is simple - three fit spired meats and a fabulous vegetable option that you can put on a salad or in a sandwich. My friend Naomi & I had the vegetarian salad that has roasted sweet poatoes, olives, cheese, pea sprouts, walnuts & pickled onions on top of greens, and then we added the chicken to it - OMG - yummers! Can't wait to go back and have wine with dinner, try the greek fries and enjoy some frozen greek yogurt for dessert with baklava crumbles & honey (there are other options, too). This place is a revelation. I guess the location in Hayes Valley has been around for a few years, but the Mission restaurant is new and is in walking distance from my house, which means I will be dragging my family there very soon. 

It's Valentine's Day on Tuesday, which is a QDTG day - yay! Don't go out! I'm making a yummy oreo cookie style truffle for a special treat, and I've kicked up the menu a little bit to make it more fun and delicious. Stay in and let me cook for you!

 

Source: https://mg.mail.yahoo.com/d/folders/29

2/5/17
Good morning, y'all!  

I'm so glad it's February - does anyone else feel that way? January was a tough month, and it's over now - yahoo. On Friday, I dropped off food for a client who was going away for the weekend with her girlfriends, and she put together a lovely menu - Zuni style chicken & farro salad for Friday night and nicoise salmon platter & chopped kale & brussel sprout salad for Saturday - yummy and healthy, right? This is such a good idea. Plan a fun weekend away with your friends and have someone else (me!) do the cooking for you. On Saturday, we went to a beautiful Bat Mitzvah for a family friend and guess what was on the menu at the luncheon? Zuni style chicken, of course, as well as the best farro I've ever had - I think it had braised greens in it - it was so good. They also had salmon, roasted brussel sprouts with smoked brown sugar (omg!!!!!) and crisp lettuce leaves with tomatoes, cucumbers, green goddess dressing with lots of tarragon & sunflower seeds. Oh, and brioche rolls with european butter - I ate two of those - shhhhhhh - don't tell anyone. And the dessert was on the most gorgeous dessert table I've ever seen - everything was pink & gold & yummy and almost too gorgeous to eat. But don't worry, I managed to try everything.

So the menu was perfection and the party gorgeous and fun, but the best part was the service. Ava did an amazing job, and there was a lot of family participation and singing of songs, and I cried pretty much the entire service. What am I going to do in three weeks at Marley's Bat Mitzvah? Am I going to cry the entire time? The answer is probably, most likely & for sure yes. I'm getting prepared. Yesterday was a warm up, if you will. When I'm done writing this newsletter, I have to start writing our parent blessing, which is just a few paragraphs long so it will need to be good. I'll start it and then Dan will finish it off - tighten it up and make sure it's not too sappy. It's not really a speech - more of what you wish for your child. I'm tearing up just thinking about writing it.

And for some comic relief today, enjoy Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer on SNL last night. She's my hero. I love her so much - her physical comedy is amazing. And there's a great cameo with Kate McKinnon as Betsy DeVos.

Here's a great weekend meal idea - french bread pizza! Use whatever bread you want but it's best with something sourdough and super crusty. Not to name drop, but I used it on Tartine country loaf. Slice bread & toast in oven for a few minutes until slightly crisp. I had an enormous bag of baby spinach so I sautéed it with onions, garlic & balsamic. I bought a yummy jar of fancy marinara sauce so that was the first layer - a good schmear of it and then lots of spinach and whatever you cheese you have in the fridge (goat cheese & shredded mozzarella in this case). Then put it back in the oven until the cheese is melted and gooey and you just can't wait any longer so you take it out and devour it. This meal has everything you need. And add whatever you want - meat, pesto, leftover veggies - it doesn't matter.  

Have a great week and let me cook for you!

 

Source: https://mg.mail.yahoo.com/d/folders/29

1/29/17
QDTG Newsletter

Happy Sunny Sunday!!!!

The weather the past few days has been so nice, and I guess we better enjoy it because more rain is forecasted for the end of the week. Yesterday while our daughter was at a friend's bat mitzvah, we took a walk through the Presidio and down Chestnut street and then up the hill into Pac Heights and then back over to Laurel Heights via the Lyon Street Steps. It was so beautiful and relaxing and warm and it was a great way to start the day. 

I'm always food shopping for work & for regular life so I thought I'd share some of my favorite items from Trader Joe's (TJ's) since that's the store I frequent the most. Here are just a few of my faves:

* pink grapefruit marmalade - this is new and oh so delicious - I just love anything grapefruit tasting (or scented for that matter) 

* riced broccoli - we all know how riced cauliflower is all the rage right now but this is better - I mix it with regular rice and then turn it into fried rice and it's very tasty & healthy 

* watercress - this is a fairly recent item that my friend Caitlin told me she was really into and then I bought it and now I add it to everything - it's the new kale because apparently it's even better for you than kale - what??? - try it in a green goddess dressing as an herb substitute or on top of sandwich instead of lettuce or in a salad

* crispy crunchy mochi rice nuggets - i don't know what to say except that they are addictive and if you like crispy crunchy snacks you must try these - they will change your life  

* dukkah - this is not a misspelling - it sounds kinda funny but let's get really honest about dukkah for a minute - it's amazing - it's an Egyptian inspired blend of nuts, seeds & spices - throw it on everything - dips, roasted veggies, grilled chicken, in olive oil for dipping bread - I'm obsessed  

Have a great week and let me cook for you!

 

Source: https://mg.mail.yahoo.com/d/folders/29

1/22/17
QDTG Newsletter

This week had it all. I catered a shiva and a bar mitzvah - a sad occasion & then a happy occasion. There was so much rain - so much water - both literally and figuratively. Friday was was tragic and Saturday was hopeful and uplifting. A lot of symmetry. I'm so glad it ended on a positive note.  

Tomorrow is my 23rd anniversary of being with Dan Steiger. January 23 is our 23. This is how it happened y'all. Dan is my friend Shauna's older brother. Shauna & I went to college together at UMASS Amherst (Dan was there for a little bit of that time but we didn't know each other). Shauna & I studied together in Angers, France for a semester and I saw a photo of Dan, and I was like - wow - he's super cute - I'd love to meet him. This was way back in 1990. We met briefly in the airport upon our arrival back in Boston, but I looked like crap so let's forget that happened. Flash forward to a few months later when Shauna had a super fun party at her house, and Dan & I got to know each other a little better. I liked him right away, and I pretty much never stopped liking him until we all lived together in Cambridge in November of 1993. We were roommates. Both Dan & Shauna were in school and I had a temp job. Shauna was always busy and Dan was around and we became friends, and I had a huge crush. We spent a lot of time together, and my crush was out of control. It made my stomach hurt. Dan was shy and just not going to pull the trigger. So I did. On the B.U. Bridge on January 23rd, 1994. That's where I told him I liked him more than a friend. And that's that. We are going to celebrate on Wednesday night because Mondays are crappy. Where should we have dinner????? I'd love some suggestions.  

Have a great week and let me cook for you.

 

Source: https://mg.mail.yahoo.com/d/folders/29

1/15/17
QDTG Newsletter

Hey there & happy Sunday!  

One of my nightmares came true this week, y'all. My car died whilst delivering food on Monday! I've thought about this scenario before - I've had anxiety about it - and it actually happened. Luckily, I had finished most of my deliveries by the time it died. I could tell something was wrong on my way over to Todd's house - all the lights on the dashboard were flickering and there was a strange dragging noise on the engine. Normally I park horribly when I deliver - I block driveways (not always yours) or double park on the street (so obnoxious). But since my car was sounding really bad, I pulled into an actual real spot hoping that my car would start up again after I dropped off Todd's food. It didn't, so I panicked and then I called my friend Ashley and she told me she'd pick me up and help me with the rest of the deliveries. Ashley is a saint, and I love her. Her son was in the car and of course I had my dog Guy with me because he's pretty much my assistant / best friend / stalker. We hopped in Ashley's car, which is the same car I have so Guy & I felt very comfortable in it. We actually had lots of fun delivering the rest of the food together, and it brightened my spirits because I was feeling pretty down about the car situation. Ash dropped me & Guy off at the pool to pick up Marley from swim practice, and then I was able to hitch a ride home apres practice with one of the Dad's, Edwin, who is a super duper nice guy. We made it home and ate our vegetarian QDTG cassoulet, and all was ok for the night. The following morning a few miracles occurred. First miracle - my friends Jeremy & Jenny lent me their car for the day so I could do QDTG without a hitch. They are angels sent from heaven, and their generosity made me feel so warm & fuzzy and taken care of in my heart. As you might recall, Tuesday's rain felt kind of biblical. I drove like a grandma, made it back to Bernal in one piece, dropped off the car and walked back home to vegetarian sloppy joe's a la QDTG - another warm & homey meal. The second & third miracles (I sound really religious!) were thus - my husband Dan was somehow able to start up the dead car and drive it to the garage in SOMA. I'm not sure how this one occurred. The third & final one was that it was only the alternator. This was such good news, and we were overjoyed and all is well now in the Steiger home. Shout outs to my friends Annie & Naomi who also offered up their cars to me - more heartwarming feelings!!!! 

 

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1/8/17
QDTG Newsletter

Wow! It's super stormy out this morning and it feels like it's 5am out there, but it's almost 8! This is the kind of day where you don't want to get dressed. The kind of day you binge watch tv shows on Netflix and lounge around luxuriating in your home. This is the kind of day to practice the Danish art of hygge. What is hygge? It's all about getting cozy and you can read about it here in this New Yorker article my friend Michelle, who is totally in the know about so many wonderful things, told me about. It turns out most of us practice hygge, especially in the winter months, and now we have a really cool Danish name for it.  

Here are some ways to enjoy your cozy pajama day at home:

* Binge watch The Crown on Netflix - it's so good  

* Binge watch This Is Us on Hulu or NBC.com - it's a great family drama

* Make your own chai tea latte - I just found a great tea bag that tastes almost as good as a $4 cup from the cafe - Stash Chai Spice - add a little honey or brown sugar, foam up or heat up a little milk and enjoy.  

* Make a pot of yummy roasted tomato soup - take 4-5 pounds of grape tomatoes, drizzle them with olive oil & salt and roast the heck out of them in a 400 degree oven until they are blistered and kind of charred (the longer you roast them and the more color they get, the tastier they are). Meanwhile, using a soup pot, saute a bunch of chopped onions & some minced garlic & dried thyme in olive oil until golden and fragrant. Add some good quality balsamic vinegar and let sit until the tomatoes are done. Add the roasted tomatoes to the soup pot and use an immersion blender and blend until fairly smooth (it will still have some texture to it). Season to taste and add water or broth to thin it out if you want or add just a touch of cream for a richer texture. To serve, shred a little fresh basil on top, add a dollop of greek yogurt or sour cream and voila, a masterpiece. If you really want to impress your family, make grilled cheese croutons by cutting up a grilled cheese sandwich into very small squares. Sit back and get ready for the love to pour in!  

Have a great week, y'all!

 

Source: https://mg.mail.yahoo.com/d/folders/29

1/1/17
QDTG Newsletter

Happy New Year, y'all!  

I hope you all had a lovely holiday season, and are ready for a brand new year to begin. I read this cool thing the other day about making resolutions and how they pretty much set you up for failure because most of them are just too hard to keep for very long because they tend to be extreme. So instead it's better to think of it this way - every day is a chance for a new beginning - to resolve to do things differently if you aren't happy with the way things went the day before. I love this so I'm adopting it as my new mantra. I keep repeating it to the people in my life, and they are probably sick of me saying it already. It really struck a cord with me though because it's very simple and very easy to do. Every day you get a fresh start and a new beginning - how great is that?  

I spent the last day of the year taking good care of myself, which is going to set me up for a great year ahead. I got up super early to do a Facebook live yoga class with this yoga teacher I follow on Instagram who I really love. I cleared the coffee table out of the living room, laid down my mat and did my first ever online exercise class. It was a little klutzy - not so much like practicing in a yoga studio - not at all... But I got to take a class with someone far away whom I admire. Then I went for a long walk. When I came home I made a strong cup of coffee and made a delicious breakfast with Tartine bread, a little mayo, smashed avocado, chopped avocado, salt & a drizzle of olive oil. (This fancy food store in Bernal is selling Tartine bread now, and you can sign up ahead of time to reserve a loaf every week and enjoy it all week long.) After breakfast I went through my closet and gave it a quick cleaning and purging and refolding, which felt great. I always do this at the end of the year - I can't start off the year with my closet in disarray. Then I went to Kabuki Spa and did some pampering treatments for the rest of the day. I came home and made a quick dinner and then hunkered down in front of the tv for the night, which is exactly what I went to do every New Year's Eve. I would have slept through midnight if it wasn't for all the firecrackers going off outside my house so I got to do it all - go to bed early and also be awake at midnight - it was perfect. 

Who is ready for QDTG to start up again? I am! I've had a great week off, and I'm so totally ready to cook for you. Since Monday is a holiday, I'll just be doing Tuesday and Thursday this week. Then next week it will be back to Mondays give or take a few weeks here & there for holidays and such.  

 

Source: https://mg.mail.yahoo.com/d/folders/29

12/18/16
QDTG Newsletter

Good morning!  

Dramatic week last week, y'all.  I had to cancel QDTG on Thursday due to a root canal.  Do you remember when I had one last year?  I do.  And I was so upset when my dentist told me I had to have another one.  I cried a little bit because I'm kind of a baby. I love my dentist - her name is Dr. Jennifer Creelman - and she's super cool and super smart and she knows her stuff.  She also knows the best endodontist - Dr. Darren Machule - and he had one opening for several weeks so instead of cooking I got a root canal.  So I'm making the same meal this Tuesday that I was supposed to make last Thursday.  When I went to the dentist to get my cavity filled last Wednesday, it was all cool - just a routine filling - and I was ok.  I even saw my old friend Chris in the waiting room, which was so much fun because I love him and it had been a long time since we'd seen each other. He just opened his own skin studio in the Castro called Resurface.  His specialty is men's waxing but he also does facials, and I'm going to make an appointment with him and get my skin resurfaced and I can't wait. So it was kind of like a party at Dr. Creelman's - I saw Chris, and then I saw Rich my favorite hygienist, and I was joking with Denise the office manager.  And then the drilling started and the novocain wasn't really working and the X-ray revealed that I needed a root canal, and it really wasn't that fun anymore.  So Denise called Dr. Machule's office, and I just took the appointment the next day because it's Machule or bust. My appointment wasn't until the afternoon so I busied myself all morning long doing all kinds of house chores that I had been blowing off for weeks.  I deep dusted with my dyson vacuum cleaner dusting extension.  I sent long over due emails, did some calendaring and just kept myself busy in a very manic fashion.  Then I popped a valium, called an uber and began my root canal journey.  My Russian driver told me he had 9 root canals, and I nearly lost it.  We talked the whole way to Union Square about russian dentistry.  Let me tell you - by the time I got to the office, I was actually feeling a little grateful.  So they put me in the chair, I told them how nervous I was, and they couldn't have been any nicer.  Dr. Machule and his assistant were amazing and they made me laugh and I only cried just for a second. And then it was over, and I was high on valium and loving life.  Dr. Machule is amazing, and I have a crush on him and I'm not afraid to admit it.  When I got into an uber to go home, I was in a euphoric fog so I started texting friends.  The holiday lights were magical and I was so cozy and it was raining outside, and I just felt so good, you guys.  Here's a doozy I sent Dr. Jennifer Creelman - it went something like this - I love you, I love Dr. Machule and I love valium.  

Dr. Jennifer Creelman - best dentist ever - Creelman Farmer Dentistry - 2191 Market Street - (415)255-0400

Dr. Darren Machule  - best endodontist ever - Union Square Endodontics - (415)398-4964

Mr. Chris Lane - Resurface Skin Studio - right in the heart of the Castro - waxing & facials

Well, this is the last newsletter until Sunday, January 1st, 2017.  Have a beautiful & delicious & fun holiday season.  Thanks for letting me cook for you!

 

Source: https://mg.mail.yahoo.com/d/folders/29

12/11/16
QDTG Newsletter

Good morning!  

It's been another crazy busy week with lots of work, a performance, a team banquet, some school fundraising and trying to get ready for the holidays - 'tis the season, y'all! I'm coming to terms with the fact that my daughter's bat mitzvah is just a few months away. I'm kind of freaking out about it, and I just need to hunker down and start crossing things off my to do list so I feel better. It seems like everything is happening all at once. Thankfully, I'm done with catering for the weekend so I can kinda sorta relax today. My daughter needs to be driven all over SF for various activities so I'm going to try and make the most of it by getting stuff done in the various neighborhoods where I have to wait around. I'm going to get a little holiday shopping done during the first activity, but I'm also going to take a long walk so I'll be exercising and shopping - such a great combo. Then in the next neighborhood I'll take it easy and get a pedicure. I already made an appointment - it's a place I've never been before and it looks great. That's going to feel so good - my feet need some serious pampering. It depresses me when my toes aren't looking pretty during yoga. I need something nice to look at it while I struggle through the poses. Then when we are driving back to Bernal in the late afternoon, I can swing by my client's house and pick up the platters from yesterday's catering event. And I'm not cooking dinner tonight - no way am I turning on the stove. I need to be fresh for a delicious week of QDTG!

 

Source: https://mg.mail.yahoo.com/d/folders/29