Picnic season

Thanks to Living in the O for the tip, and for those of you in the East Bay who don't already know, Middle Harbor Shoreline Park in West Oakland is just about the coolest park ever.

It's about 1 1/2 miles from West Oakland BART (or 3 miles from downtown, or a nice 6 mile cruise from my place in the North). Since it's in the Port, access can be a little sketchy during the week with all the semis and such, but the roads are like a ghost town on the weekends and very flat, with the exception of a slight grade at the underpass, making biking a breeze.

Gorgeous views of San Francisco, the bridge, and the bay; grassy fields and a little, sandy beach in the shadow of the cranes; plus trails and an observation tower.

Arsenal v. Fulham: Pie and Mash Party

Ever since he heard Becks mention it, shane has been fascinated with the idea of Pie, Mash, and Liquor. With the Premier League season now underway and his two favorite teams playing each other this past weekend, we decided it was due time for a pie mash party. I modified this recipe for minced beef pie, subbing seitan for beef; using extra mushrooms and carrots, plus some thyme, for additional flavor; and threw in a few new potatoes I had lying around.

We sauteed the onions and mushrooms first, to remove most of the water, then added the rest of the vegetables and seitan and let them cook for a few more minutes before tossing in the garlic and thyme until fragrant. Next came some tomato paste and mustard. Once mixed, I added a couple spoons of flour and stirred it in well and let the starch cook for a moment. Finally, I added some water to form a gravy. The whole mix was simmered for about 15 minutes until the potatoes were tender.

I made a basic pie crust recipe and rolled it out to line the individual pie tins. Each tin received a couple ladels of filling before getting a top crust put on.

They were baked at 350F for about 25 minutes until golden and served with mashed potatoes and parsley liquor.

Along with some root beers (thanks, Neel!), we had the perfect game meal.
Arsenal had a sorry showing and lost to almost-relegated Fulham, 1-0.

To complete our fine meal, Pranjal brought a trifle of sponge cake, strawberry custard and jelly, strawberries, bananas, and whipped cream. It was like 5 delicious desserts rolled into one!

There's rumors of fry ups or fish and chips for next time. We need to put Neel's deep fryer to work!


I've been a bad blogger! I apologize for the lack of posts recently. I hope to have some new recipes up soon.

Meet Hiboux:

She's our new tortie from the East Bay SPCA They're currently having a deal on cat adoption fees, so please check them out if you're looking for a new, furry friend. She's been keeping us very busy!

Also, Melisser's bakery is up and running. Please contact Sugar Beat Sweets if you're in need of some tasty treats in the Bay Area for your special event.

And happy birthday to our comrades Sergio and Lizzi. We had the pleasure of enjoying some awesome vegan food at Sergio and Jo's lovely home this weekend, courtesy of Sergio's mom, and Josh and Emily and their vegan grill. I made a 4-layer, basil-lemongrass cake with tapioca filling and coconut frosting, but unfortunately didn't get any shots of it. I hope everyone enjoyed it!

Hot dogs are murder.

So you don't own a turntable, or care for sneakers, but really want to stand in line for hours for some limited edition gear? Actually, there's no line-standing involved, just some button-pushing.

Buy a t-shirt from
Zu Boutique and help my friend Danny support his life of leisure.

If you make a purchase, be sure to include a note demanding that Danny use this money to adopt a sweet dog in need of a loving home.