Friday, August 26, 2011

Foodie Friday: Nate's Cafe

Fairmount Park is a little neighborhood just southeast of me, but you could have fooled me for Julian when passing this cozy cafe. Nate's Cafe was very homey, it felt like my grandmothers house from the inside and reminded me of the countryside on the outside, covered in plants and knick-knacks and conveniently located next to the cutest nursery I've ever stepped foot in!

I quickly Yelped this place while only a few blocks away, reading that the veggie benedict was the way to go and a quick tip to check out the nursery next door...which is exactly what I did!

The benedict was outstanding, a total twist on the regular ol' ham, egg and muffin with hollandaise sauce. In place of ham was sauteed spinach, mushrooms and onions and topped the whole shebang with avocado. And the side of fruit? Glorious. Quite possibly the best fresh peach I've tasted. I would absolutely recommend this place to anyone looking for a delicious breakfast joint (they also have an abundance of sandwiches).

Location: 3120 Euclid Ave. San Diego, California 92105
Neighborhood: borderline Fairmount Park and City Heights

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

link love v.13

Really cool switcheroo photos.

Hi, who wants to dress up as THIS with me for Halloween?!

I've always wondered but never sought out a way to remove the navigation bar on my blog, Liz shows you how.

Deep dish cookies? Yes, please.

These split family faces are incredible! I want one of my mom and I.

Make your own crayons, what a fun project!

Adorable and easy instagram wall photo display, something I'll definitely be doing for my new place!

Best. Roommate. Ever., super hilarious.

Looking for a slice of pizza in Manhattan? You have quite a few options.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

take five

My apologies for the unintentional break these past two weeks, I've been overwhelmed with working since recovering from my lingering sickness (that is finally dissipating 23 days later) and finding a new apartment.

We can all let out a big, deep breath because I FOUND A STUDIO. After a very long and tireless search and many apartment viewings later, I have found a place for my fancy switchplates and myself to call home.

Follow my daily happenings on Instagram (user: mylittleartichoke)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Foodie Friday: Espresso Brownies

Even though these were a month late (as were my birthday cupcakes), I made espresso brownies for Jon's Birthday. I originally wanted to make a coffee cake, replacing water with coffee, but I had misplaced the particular recipe I wanted to use and it took me this long to get around to finding another one.

What you will need (brownies):

Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons espresso powder
1 (19.8-ounce) box brownie mix


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray.

2. Whisk water, oil, eggs, and espresso powder in a large bowl to blend. Add the brownie mix. Stir until well blended.

3. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 35 minutes.

The recipe also included a glaze to cover the brownies, but I knew Jon would prefer the plain ol' espresso brownie.

What you will need (glaze):

2 teaspoons espresso powder
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter, room temp.


1. Dissolve 2 teaspoons of espresso powder in 2 tablespoons of water in a medium bowl. Whisk in the vanilla.

2. Add powdered sugar and butter and whisk until smooth.

3. Pour the glaze over the brownies (make sure the brownies have completely cooled).

4. Refrigerate until the glaze is set. Cut into bite-size pieces. Arrange the brownies on a platter and serve.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

stunning dinner, for one

The other night I made a fancy pants dinner all for myself. Once in a blue moon I'll have a craving for salmon and wherever I get it from is usually a let down. I'm not exactly sure where in my lifetime I had some amazing salmon, but nothing compares. After watching a newer episode of Master Chef, I had an immense craving for pan seared salmon. Not to pat myself on the back, but this was the best salmon I've eaten to date.

What you will need:

Salmon fillets
Crushed garlic
Fresh basil
Lemon juice
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil


1. Coat skillet with oil and preheat over medium heat for 3 minutes.

2. Place salmon (face down, if the skin is still attached) in skillet and increase heat to high. Cook for about 3 minutes, you should see the sides of the salmon gradually turning a lighter pink.

3. Turn salmon over, spread some garlic and chopped basil over the top. Season with salt and pepper and squirt a bit of lemon juice on top. Cook for about 5 minutes or until browned. Salmon is done when it flakes easily with a fork.

4. Transfer salmon to plate and add a scoop of butter to the top.

As for the artichoke, I boiled this one for 1hr 15min (I started the salmon almost an hour into cooking). For dipping sauce, I melted butter with crushed garlic in the microwave for about 20 seconds.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Foodie Friday: Baked Stuffed Artichokes

What you will need:

Squirt of lemon juice
Crushed cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper
Fresh basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup italian-seasoned breadcrumbs


1. Fill a large pot halfway with salted water and lemon juice, bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat, add artichokes and cover. Simmer until the artichoke bottoms are fork-tender, about 40 minutes.

(Sometimes I get lazy and don't trim the leaves. This is obviously not mandatory, but makes the artichokes look prettier and the leaves won't be pointy and sharp. Do this before boiling.)

2. Once the artichokes are done boiling, drain and set aside.

3. In a skillet, cook crushed cloves garlic and basil in 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-low heat until golden. Stir in 1 cup italian-seasoned breadcrumbs and cook until toasted, season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat, let cool. Here you can opt to stir in 1 cup of shredded gruyère or parmesan cheese (I sadly forgot).

4. Arrange the artichokes in a sheet of tin foil on baking sheet and splay the leaves. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture between the layers. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on top and bake at 400° for about 20 minutes.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Farmers Market: Garlic Dip

This dip/sauce/spread/dressing/marinade has got to be the best thing I've ever found at the Farmers Market. I usually have to refrain from buying more each time I visit, but $6 is not a bad price for something so nutritious and delicious! I'm not a hummus fan at all (I know, what kind of vegetarian am I?) so when I came across this stuff made with cloves of garlic (my favorite!) rather than chickpeas I was all over it. I like to eat it with pretzels, but dipping vegetables is just as tasty, too!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Farmers Market

I'm not a big grocery shopping fan and I'm that person who ALWAYS goes on an empty stomach which unfortunately ends with a cart full of junk that I don't actually need. Farmers Markets on the other hand, I LOVE. Fresh, organic, local... and living in San Diego is incredible because there are different (and usually more than one) Farmers Markets every day of the week in all the surrounding suburbs. Ocean Beach and Hillcrest are my favorites and highly recommended if you are ever in San Diego on a Wednesday or Sunday, but look how many options we have!

[hillcrest farmers market taken by matt_paul last weekend]

I go to each Farmers Market with an open mind that whatever I leave with will be eaten within the next 24 hours, but sometimes I don't even make it home before devouring whatever fruits, veggies or pastries I buy.

How often do you visit your local Farmers Market(s)?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Foodie Friday: Veg-N-Out (part 2)

When I started writing this entry I had totally forgot that almost exactly one year ago I wrote this one. I still stand by every word I said and would like to add that I had such a superb salad last week that I had to come back and write a Foodie Friday about this place.

The first day I started feeling sick I went out for a healthy dinner at Veg-N-Out. I got the Fresh Mozzarella Salad with a side of potato wedges. Even though there was a small caterpillar friend on my lettuce that I noticed near the end, I had zero complaints. The mozzarella and tomatoes were fresh, full of flavor, topped with the perfect amount of salt, pepper and homemade berry balsamic dressing. The garlic bread was toasted perfectly with chunks of flavorful garlic and herbs with the most delicious crunch. The potato wedges were fantastic and not a single one was left over!

Location: 3442 30th St. San Diego, California 92104
Neighborhood: between South Park and North Park

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

link love v.12

Since I've been sick in bed with nothing really going on other than movies, soup and scouring the internet, this link love has become a bit lengthy, but I promise it's chock-full of awesomeness!

I would very much like this ink calendar. The ink slowly colors each day of the month as time passes by, incredible.

Yummy vegan pesto recipe.

Hairstyles for hot summer weather. Want. Long. Hair.

Joanna's entry and an article on How to talk to little girls.

Holy cow, DIY cheese kits?! What a creative and fun idea.

Aww, book shelves.

I'm so jealous of Kaelah's "closet".

Following The Nearsighted Owl is so much fun, love her blog! Right now you can hop on over to The Dainty Squid to win FIVE of her adorable animal doodles.

I've been seeing a lot more water marbled nails and it is intriguing me was a very frustrating experience. Maybe yours will be better?

Charming mason jar lights make me yearn for a little house with a yard and wooden fence lined with these babies.

Still on the hunt for a laptop case to house my macbook, Fjall Raven caught my eye, but where are all the 13"??

I love these organic cotton map pillows, how neat!

Cones, cones, pick your favorite ice cream cone! I would like to try pretzel, please.

Why is this darling cat print dress sold already?! Whyyyyy???

Kaylah always has the most amazing nails, but check out this cute and easy triangle nail tutorial.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bronchitis, please leave

The past week has been a rough one. After 5 days of riding out all the stages of flu, allergies, a cold and dry coughing my lungs out, I finally threw in the towel and went to the doctors yesterday. If you know me, you know I hate doctors; getting the runaround, being misdiagnosed in the past, having problems with medication (which I try to stay away from at all costs) and dealing with some serious dumb doctors and nurses, but after losing full nights of sleep, coughing until I couldn't breathe with tears running down my face and not having an appetite or hardly eating for almost a week, it was time.

I was diagnosed with Bronchitis. Doesn't sound all that bad, but when you have allergies and work 7 days a week, it catches up. So here I am, bedridden for who knows how long. The medication I've been put on will more than likely cause a yeast infection, my doctor says, so I've been downing yogurt (my enemy) like there is no tomorrow. I gag at the smell, taste and overall texture of yogurt, so this has been a real feat for me. As for side effects, I've broken my stride of not vomiting in this apartment. Not only have I gone 17 months in this place without (over 2 years total!), my body has managed to pay me back ten fold. Oof.

And let me just say that this new Doctor was nice, but there was a HUGE miscommunication between the hospital and the pharmacy which took SIX calls to each and almost a mental breakdown in order for me to get my prescription, 9 hours later.

Alright back to sleeping, forever.