Hi everyone! I'm back from my birthday trip and ready to be blogging again! In case you missed the previous posts, I've been on a trip with my husband to San Francisco and then Seattle to visit my sister for my 30th birthday. That's three flights in one week. Let me say that again so it can really sink in. That's three flights in one week. This girl hates, hates, hates to fly so this is really saying something.
While we were in San Francisco we ate at a vegan restaurant named Millennium twice. Don't roll your eyes. This place was so, so good. Everything they made was incredibly gourmet and I would have never known anything was vegan if we hadn't asked. One of the dishes we ordered were the crispy oven fries with herb aioli that tasted like it was from the heavens. We asked the bartender about them and she let us know they used silken tofu as the aioli base and everything on the menu was completely vegan. We were both shocked. It was the best aioli I've ever eaten. The restaurant only advertises itself as "vegetarian" so they don't scare people off since their food is so delicious no matter what your diet usually consists of. We were so impressed by everything we ate that we ended up buying the restaurants cookbook and I cracked that baby open right after we got home and whipped up their egg nog.
Again, I was really impressed. I don't love traditional egg nog to begin with but I have always wanted to. I 'm not too crazy about the richness or that funky noggy taste. The elements I love are many: the cinnamon, the creaminess, the nutmeg and froth, (the bourbon *wink*) and then inevitably, you remember the main thing in egg nog...the calories! This version is much lighter than the regular, yet still thick with all the great flavor and froth with a fraction of the guilt. A whole cup is only 159 calories with 6 grams of protein to boot. Get ready for a tall, creamy glass. You know your going to make it. :) But first...
Let me show you around San Francisco! Seattle needs it's own post entirely, so we'll just start here with the first leg of our trip.
Our hotel, the Westin St. Francis in Union Square
View from our room
In front of the tree in Union Square
True story: We ate fresh dungeness crab for 2 1/2 hours straight one day at Fisherman's Wharf. Here's Jeremy with one of our plates. He's laughing because a sea gull had just crapped on the forehead of the guy behind us who was on the phone and seemed to not really care. I don't think he knew how bad it was.
Around The Wharf
Alcatraz is in the background behind the boat
We went to this cute place named Cafe De La Presse three out of the four mornings while in SF. They had the best chocolate croissants I have ever had. Delicious!
We drove up to Napa one day to eat at Thomas Keller's Bouchon and Ad Hoc. We were hoping someone would cancel their reservation at The French Laundry that night because we were first on the wait list for a reservation, but as our Hertz rent-a-car guy told us "no one cancels at The French Laundry. If people's flights get canceled they rent cars and drive to their reservations". Probably kind of true. We didn't get in. But we did get a picture in front of it!
Ad Hoc- It was just good. Not great.
I know this is along post for one day, but stick with me just a wee bit more. I wrote the following on the plane ride from San Francisco to Seattle:
Two-scary ass plane flights later and totally worth it. I am flying right now, actually. I'm blogging in an effort to take my mind off of free falling out of the sky. Up till now, every time the jets would slow and become more quiet; every time my stomach would sense the slightest sea-sicky movement, I was fully alert and conscious and sure we were going down. However, thanks to my blessed friend Mary, (first name: bloody) it is easier to get through. My first flight from Denver to San Francisco I was a nervous wreck. I refused to drink as it was a morning-ish flight and I was afraid I'd be too tired for all the "partying" I was sure was ahead of me that night. Turns out we went to a vegan restaurant, I had one glass of wine, watched a half an episode of "Last Man Standing" and was in bed by 8:15pm. Sadly, I'm not kidding.
Crap. The jets just slowed, my stomach dropped and I am certain death is imminent. I am such a pansy. Anyway, this flight I am taking a much better approach to coping with my fear. I am armed with Ann Voskamp's book "One Thousand Gifts" as my guide for truth, and hard alcohol for my nerves.
I am excited that when we land in twenty minutes my sister will be there, smiling with that beautiful face of hers, and when the first words out of my mouth are "Kaylee, I'm drunk" there will be no judgement.
We are gearing up for landing now and I just opened up my window (no thanks to my pilot who forgot to mention we were flying by it) and saw this!
Mount Ranier in all it's glory! WOW! I read somewhere that this volcano would explode someday and kill everyone in Seattle. Of course I read that. Majestic non-the-less huh? Well, this is it. This leg of my journey had come to an end. Here's to alcohol and conquered fear!
Speaking of alcohol, this egg nog would be fantastic spiked. Just sayin'.
Vegan Egg Nog
adapted from The Artful Vegan by Eric Tucker with Bruce Enloe
Makes 4 cups
12 ounces silken tofu
1 very ripe banana
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, plus more for garnish
1 cup almond milk, or soy milk, or rice milk (for nut-free)
1 cup rice milk
1 1/2 cups soy milk
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth and frothy. Ladle into cups and sprinkle nutmeg over each serving. Store refrigerated for up to 2 days.
I used half unsweetened vanilla almond milk and half soy milk for this recipe because I didn't have rice milk around. I'm sure the different milks give a more complex flavor. I don't recommend using just one. If you used all soy milk for example, it would taste pretty soy forward- which is not bad, but not optimal.
Stay tuned for part two of my trip. Seattle!