In My Kitchen: February-Asparagus Soup FTW

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This past week I made a really dope chicken shawarma-esque recipe out of the NY Times in an attempt to create my take on Max and my favorite chicken shawarma plates from Al Wazir Chicken in LA.   When Max lived in Hollywood, we used to go there just about every other day!  Aaaand now I’m homesick and craving Al Wazir.

I healthied it up a bit by adding some extra veggies and made a Greek yogurt-garlic-lemon juice-mint sauce.  Anyway, that was fun. Max and I both crave chicken shawarma on the reg, and we are constantly saddened by the total lack of shawarma up here in SF.  If you have any leads on places we should check out that might change our mind and rival our beloved Al Wazir (or even Zankou, if we’re slummin’ it), PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do tell.

Ya know, I try to keep this from becoming a total food blog, because I could do that.  It would be pretty boring, but it could be done. And I have another post (another freakin’ soup post at that) that I plan to create this month, but I absolutely could not not tell you about the asparagus soup I made to go with my chicken shawarma because it is NUTS good.  Like restaurant-good.  And it is ridic healthy and stupid easy and quick to make.  I definitely emailed the recipe to my mom, so you know it’s the best of the best.

So let me just direct you to the recipe, which has approximately 3 steps, but is basically sauté onions in butter, add asparagus and chicken stock, boil, remove from heat, add cream cheese (or Greek yogurt, which I used and works like charm), blend with hand blender.  The end.

Also, you should probably check out Skinnytaste and see what’s up.  I haven’t had a chance to go browsing, but I will when I’m looking for my next meal inspiration for sure.  Looks like a goldmine!

 

Dim Sum & Bordeaux

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Clearly, I’m not pro photographer, but I do have a pretty nice camera and I do sometimes manage to take a decent photo with it.  I want to be so good at photography.  I really do.  I have made a few weak-ass attempts to really learn how to be awesome at it, but I haven’t been able to really commit to anything long-term.  I won’t bore you with the details.  I plan to get to it one day.

In any event, despite my non-professional status, because Max is what we jokingly refer to as “food famous” he was asked to write a blurb about where he enjoys drinking Bordeaux wines for Eater so I got to take some pictures to accompany his writing.

It was cool because it was just an excuse for us to go to Yank Sing and enjoy some dim sum, as we often do on weekends.  We embarrassingly took a bunch of super stagey photos and drank good wine and enjoyed yummy food, so all in all, it was a lovely morning.

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Max enjoys drinking wine with just about everything, hence our new dog named Roulot, and it is pretty trendy these days to pair wine with unexpected, generally low-brow foods for that cool dichotomy effect.  Since Max enjoys almost all Asian cuisine, he was excited to share his musings about pairing a Bordeaux Blanc with our typical dim sum order, particularly har gow and xiaolongbao, rice noodles with pork, shrimp and chive dumplings.

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And yes, I took every single one of those pictures, so I’m a little bit proud.  Power couple! haha.  The photos above are ones Eater didn’t use, save the top photo of Max, so I thought I’d share them here.

If you’d like to check out Max’s writing on Eater you can find it here.

 

Introducing Roulot

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aka Roo.

Look at his sweet face! He is the newest member of our family and joins his sister Smudge, our Maincoon.  We could not be happier with our little adoptee, as he has been nothing but super sweet and docile since we took him home over the weekend.  Personally, I think the best word to describe our little Roo is Unflappable. Nothing fazes this guy!

I had been looking for weeks on Petfinder.com for a pooch to add to our brood.  I’d had a few near hits that ended up being misses for one reason or another, but came across Roo and sent his picture to Max who decided he had a “good face”. I arranged to FaceTime with the fosters of our little buddy because he was living pretty far away in Oakdale, and Max and I wanted more information about him and his personality before we committed to the road trip.  After the FaceTime session, Max and I both agreed that we would drive out there, and if everything that they conveyed to us during the call was true, we would be taking him home with us.

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Our adoption photo.  S/O to The ASTRO Foundation.

Roo is my new partner is San Francisco adventures.  My plan is to be one of those annoying people who can’t seem to go anywhere without their dog.  It will be nice to finally have a friend along for the ride!

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First visit to the P-A-R-K

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First visit to the P-A-R-K

P.S. A quick note about pet adoption.  Do it! Let me tell you, puppies are overrated.  Granted, they are absurdly cute for about 6 months, and then, guess what? they’re dogs.  And even though you get a lot of input into their upbringing, you still never know what you’re getting.  Taking on a puppy is a lot of responsibility and is basically a full-time job.

I do plan to get a puppy for my young children some day because I am only human and cannot resist the thought of baby humans and baby animals hanging out and forming a lifelong bond.  I had that in my childhood with our family dog.  Max had the same.

But truly I’ve had the best experiences adopting our animals.  I’ve had two wonderful, sweet doggies and 1 beautiful, majestic cat and they’ve all been rescues.  And Smudge is a purebred Maincoon, so breed rescues are a thing, and you should check them out if you’re into that sorta thing.

Plus, there is something amazing that happens to your heart when you adopt a pet.  You have this feeling that you have saved a life or at least helped better a life, and in addition, you have a new bff.  All upsides.  They give back tenfold all the love you give to them.  Just sayin’

 

Other People’s Posts: How to Add Greenery to a Space

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A tiny greenhouse in the back garden of General Store in Outer Sunset

It is only within the last two years that I’ve even begun to learn how to keep plants alive.  I’m still only so-so. But plants in home decor is the.thing right now, and I totally love the effect plant life has on a living space.  This extends to restaurants and hotels, etc., by the way.  I’m always so envious when I see it done artfully somewhere.  I want my house to have that look.

So, of course, I was super intrigued when I came across this little piece about using greenery in your design.  I have it bookmarked for when we get a permanent place, and I can make real some investments in our space.

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The back garden of General Store

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My Take on “Blurred Lines”

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Where, exactly, do I get off calling my blog, Instagram, etc. “Rocklawbster”?  Well, let me explain.

I know I’ve mentioned before that I’m an attorney, and that I practice in the intellectual property field (among others), which includes working with patents, trademarks, and copyrights.  For most of my career to date, I’ve specifically worked as a music attorney, with an emphasis on recognizing and pursuing copyright infringement.  So I guess I think I’m being pretty darn witty by working my love of music and law into the name.  And then there’s that B-52’s song “Rock Lobster”, so yeah, homonyms!  Extra witty.

I have a great love of intellectual property law because it requires that the practitioner understand and appreciate the balance that needs to be struck between protecting creative works in order to allow creators to make a living thereby encouraging creativity and overprotecting creative works which can stifle creativity by limiting creators and punishing them for seeking inspiration.  It is a delicate system and I adore the policy arguments that can be made about the merits and demerits of our intellectual property laws.  I’m a big old IP nerd.

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My law school graduation cake!  How cool is that?!

Over the summer, I was fortunate to be asked to co-author an article on the infamous “Blurred Lines” copyright infringement ruling.  When the decision came down in March 2015, people in the legal profession and music biz were up in arms.  The case concerned the Robin Thicke song “Blurred Lines” and its alleged unauthorized and illegal copying of the Marvin Gaye song “Got To Give It Up“.  The jury found that Thicke and his co-writer Pharell Williams did infringe and they were ordered to pay $4 million in damages and $3.37 million in earned profits to Gaye’s heirs.

In the article I authored for Landslide Magazine that was just published, I got to explore the practical implications of this major ruling for the music business and for intellectual property professionals.  In essence, I take the stance that the circumstances of this particular case were pretty unique and thus, so was the outcome, so there probably won’t be much effect on the world of copyright going forward. In other words, “meh”.

Read all about it here.

 

A Coffee Lover’s Walking Tour of San Francisco

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Even though I’ve been in San Francisco for a good 9-1/2 months now, I still feel like I’m just getting to know the city.  I still haven’t ventured into half of the neighborhoods or found my favorite-well, just about anything (though I have found my favorite pizza delivery, Village Pizzeria Restaurant on Van Ness).  I know LA like the back of my hand having lived there for 28 years and miss that familiarity a ton, but I want to know my new city with that same kind of intimacy.

A common thing I’ll do with a free half day is walk to a destination coffee shop in a neighborhood of San Francisco I haven’t explored.  Coffee is a great time suck because (a) it’s freakin’ delicious and (b) it isn’t super costly.  I won’t say the going rate of $4.50 is exactly cheap for a latte, but the way things are in this city, it isn’t on the high end, that’s for sure.  And the walking is a bonus, too, it keeps me feeling active, and I end up getting to see even more of the city by strolling through it.  I’ve discovered the cutest neighborhoods this way, like Presidio Heights and Alamo Square.

Below are a few of the coffee shops that have warranted a walk.

Blue Bottle in Hayes Valley:

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This one is less of a destination than a habit, actually.  The Blue Bottle Kiosk on Linden Street is just a few blocks from my house and in one of my favorite walkable ‘hoods, Hayes Valley.  I took my mom here when she came to visit and it was the start of her love affair with the San Francisco latte.

Honestly, I’m not even sure why the lattes (and probably the coffee, too, but I’m a pussy and like to drown my coffee in milk) are so, so, so much better here than they are in LA.  I want to say it’s the milk, but correct me if I’m wrong here.

Interesting fact-This was the first Blue Bottle location in San Francisco, I believe.  It began as a kiosk run out of a friend’s garage in the Linden Street alley, and is still totally quirky that way.  Click the link above for the full scoop.

The Mill on Divisidero:

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You know I’m not from around here because I say Divisidero and not Divis.

Anyway, right away upon moving here, any women who wanted to make a plan with me always suggested we have our date at The Mill.  However, as is the way of things, none of these well-intentioned plans ever came to fruition, and I found I still hadn’t been to The Mill until two weeks ago.

Like a few other places around town, toast is the jam.  Ha! Toast is the jam.  But, ya know, it’s the thing you go there for.  I thought it was really neat that you can watch them making the fresh bread right there while you wait for your coffee.  And you will wait.  The line is always super long.  When I went in the late afternoon on a Friday, the line was almost out the door.

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I loved the interior, so spacious and airy, but I generally do like coffee shop interiors.  Basic bitch here, all the way.  And speaking of, don’t wear your sweatpants to The Mill, as there is a decent chance you’ll run into someone you know, ‘cus it’s super hip and trendy.  I hardly know anyone up here, and still had the misfortune of not being recognized at first because I “looked different” in my sweatpants than I did when we had dinner together at her house.  hahaha!

Sight Glass in SOMA:

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SOMA is actually an area with which I’m pretty familiar.  Max works there, so I often drive him to work or meet him there for a meal.  And no, I didn’t walk to this one.

On one of my return drives from dropping Max at his restaurant, I fell in love with the exterior of Sight Glass.  I tried to take my mom there when she visited, but we couldn’t find parking and ended up at Jane in the Tenderloin, which is practically my second home here and where you’ll find me just about every Saturday morning.

After being thwarted initially, I made it there by making Max get up early-ish on a day he worked, so we could go for coffee and share a pastry.

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And you can tell he was beyond thrilled to be there in the morning.

This place really reminded me of the LA coffee shops we had in our neighborhood like Bar Nine; very sparse in that cool industrial way.  Excellent use of negative space.

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I mused with Max about how great it would be if I were one of the many people we saw who could do work in a place like this.  I could never do it because I’d want to eat all the goodies and drink coffee constantly, so I would be broke and fat.

And there you have it!  There are a few other places I’d like to mention, so maybe I’ll do another post like this on another day.  But I think I’ve probably inundated this page with enough coffee shops and pictures of coffee shop interiors for a minute.

Good Stuff: Sephora Custom Makeover Gift

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So, here’s a neat thing.  The Sephora Beauty Studio Custom Makeover Gift.  I first learned of this sweet gift card when I received it for Christmas from my brother’s very classically stylish girlfriend.  As a result, she is also currently winning in my book for giving the sickest gifts!

This gift card to Sephora advises you to “Take Your Look To The Next Level” when you redeem your gift card for the selected dollar amount of products from Sephora (dope), AND receive a 45 or 90 minute custom makeover with an expert make-up artist in-store.  Over-the-top coolness!

Here’s why this idea is brilliant: it is the gift of a really special, luxe experience that the recipient may not otherwise feel comfy indulging in (right? It seems extra splurgy).  Or maybe that’s just me.

Immediately, I thought of how useful this will be for weddings.  At those special nuptials, you want to look gorgeous.  Maybe you rent a dress.  You’d probably like to get your makeup done.  This gift card takes care of that for you.  All you have left to do is book it.

And with Sephora locations just about everywhere these days, I’m confident about using it when I attend my friend Laura’s wedding in Joshua Tree this year.  There are 2 locations in near-by Palm Desert!

Bonus: Adding to the cuteness of this small, but epic package-a compact mirror allowing me to see myself much closer up than I ever wanted to. Yikes. You have been warned hehe.