Entries tagged with “Good Eats”.

Last weekend a little bit of summer snuck its way into February here in San Francisco. To take best advantage of the sun and the three-day weekend, we set a theme for ourselves: a long walk to a different neighborhood each day where we would get ice cream at one of the city’s many fancy ice cream shops.

We kicked things off on Saturday with a walk down to Dogpatch, a neighborhood just a bit south of the baseball stadium and very much in transition over the last few years. Dogpatch has been one of our favorite areas for longer weekend runs as it’s usually quiet on weekend mornings, plus there are nice views and breezes along the Bay and there are a bunch of cute restaurants and food shops. (more…)

From TheCityGirlsGoHiking attic of posts that never quite made it out into the world; on this bright, sunny spring day, we bring you a lovely rumination on the joys and perils of picking apples in the rain.

Oh, the best-laid plans. The best-laid plans that go awry when the sky opens up and starts dumping ridiculous amounts of rain all along the coast. The best-laid plans for a wander down the coast to a tiny little apple orchard with an outsize number of varietals in neat little rows.

What do you do when the forecast calls for rain on the day you’d set aside for apple picking? Why, you go anyway.


We did our favorite walking tour of the city with our friend Signorina when she came to visit with her boy.


At the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market, we sampled some pork deliciousness in the form of Chicharrones, 4505 Meats’ light-as-air, salty and sweet “pig candy.”


On a visit to the midwest, AM spent a food- and fun-filled day at the Great Minnesota Get-Together, aka the Minnesota State Fair.


Now, depending on who you ask, the fair holds different highlights for different people. But everyone can agree that one of the main reasons to go is the fair food. This is, after all, the (perhaps contested) birthplace of everything fried on a stick that you’ve ever imagined, plus a whole slew of things you never imagined could be battered, cooked up in hot oil, and eaten on a stick.


A wander through the city with a stair climb to Coit Tower

We had family in town who wanted to see some of the city, so we took a walking tour down the Embarcadero and up to Coit Tower.


Now, to get to Coit Tower from the Embarcadero, especially if you want to avoid the craziness of Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 (always a good idea),  you have to go up some stairs. A lot of stairs.


Chocoholics that we are, we were super excited to learn about a chocolate farm tour on Kaua’i. Hawai’i is the only state in the US where cacao is grown, and very few growers of cacao process it into chocolate.

One place that does the whole cycle from bean to bar is Garden Island Chocolate, a sustainably-run fruit farm and small-batch, artisinal chocolate producer.

Before our farm tour, we fortified ourselves with macadamia pancakes with coconut syrup at a place that celebrated one of the island’s most notorious denizens: the chicken.




It was our first morning in Hawai’i. We were up by seven and ready to go explore.

First stop, how about historic Hanapepe town along the western side of the island?

Hanapepe is known for it’s swinging bridge, artist studios, and historic character. The name Hanapepe means “crushed bay,” though whether this refers to landslides in the valley in which it sits or is more of a poetic description of Hanapepe’s location sandwiched between cliffs and the sea is up for speculation.



We started off the month with an apple picking trip down the coast and a lovely day of putting up apples in the form of applesauce and apple butter. Read all about it in part I of our apple adventures.

Later in the month, we took a trip up to Portland and saw our friend TheSailor. She, we found out, has an old-fashioned cider press, and we couldn’t resist more apple fun.

An orchard all to ourselves

TheSailor knew an apple orchard that wasn’t being picked, so we trekked over there one damp morning to pick some apples for cider.

What happens when three girls eager for apple cider have free reign in a largely-unpicked orchard? Why, they fill up the entire back of the station wagon with apples, of course! What you can’t really tell from the photo is that there’s a pile of apples not even in a bucket in the right corner of the trunk there after one of our boxes fell apart when we tried to pick it up. We’re thinking we had about 200 pounds of apples in the car.


Apple picking. Apple sauce. Apple butter. Apple cider. Apple chutney. We’ve had an appletastic month!

We went apple picking at the beginning of the month so we could make our annual batch of applesauce. In past years we’ve gone up to Sebastopol, but the orchard we used to go to changed their u-pick rules this year, so we were in the market for a new apple orchard.

An apple-picking excursion

We drove down the coast towards Santa Cruz and found the Swanton Pacific Ranch’s apple orchard, a tiny teaching/research orchard a bit off Highway 1. They pack 12 varieties of apples into maybe 16 rows of trees. It’s a low-key affair with no one there staffing it: you let yourself in the gate, pick up a small paper bag (unless you plan ahead and bring reusable shopping bags like we did), find a row that has a “Ready to Pick” sign, and when you’re done picking, weigh your apples on their scale and leave your money in a box.


While visiting Minneapolis, we took a little driving adventure around Lake Pepin, sampling chocolate and small town charm as we went.

Now, Lake Pepin isn’t really a lake. Actually, it’s just a section of the Mississippi River. The “lake” was formed by the delta of the Chippewa River as it enters the Mississippi. The Chippewa flows faster than the Mississippi, which is unable to carry away the sediment that the Chippewa deposits as it joins the larger river. The sediment builds up and forms a sort of natural dam, causing the Mississippi to widen above it.

Through this stretch, the Mississippi forms the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin.