Tag Archives: San Diego

San Diego Patio Garden Makeover

<img alt="Welcome to my Patio"/>

Welcome to our patio garden!

More years ago than I’d like to admit, we began to work on the patio that wraps along the back and one long side of our house.  Our front yard is the size of a postage stamp that the association’s landscapers tend,  so the patio is where I garden — as in plant whatever I’d like to grow in the space we have.  What we lack in planters and a couple of bordered beds I make up for with pots.  I’m a big fan of planting in pots, so think I’ve made the best of this outdoor space.  When we moved in, the patio sported the remnants of a Japanese themed garden complete with a dark, two tiered fountain topped with a geisha of all things.  Azaleas and camellias bloomed in spite of their scraggly appearance, and a Japanese maple filled one of the triangular corner planters.  Jasmine and honeysuckle had formed a tall thatch over one fence, and although lovely when in bloom, was quite a mess otherwise.  When one lives in the most southern corner of the U.S., I wonder about gardens created with plants not suited to a desert environment — one often strapped for water.  Aesthetically, it just didn’t seem to match the south of the border inspired architecture of our house.  Change was inevitable because I wanted to make the most of the space.  I needed a place to lose myself in the simple pleasure that gardening provides as well as a space to eat outside as much as possible, whether with guests, or on our own.

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Cauliflower Soup with Roasted Peppers and Feta

<img alt="Cauliflower Soup with Roasted Pepper and Feta"/>

More than a month has passed since I’ve written here, but that doesn’t mean I’ve left it to sit.  Okay, it appears as if it’s been abandoned.  But I’ve been searching for and learning about many things that will hopefully make it function better than it has in the past. It seems everyone is reading favorite websites on their cell phones and tablets these days and so that makes it necessary to ensure all is functioning properly here.  You may be one to roll eyes and question any sort of change, and I will smile in response, understanding.  I will!  But please know, my 75-year-old mother has to deal with me on a regular basis as I coach her on the most efficient use of her Mac, Kindle, and brand new iPhone probably more than she’d like, but she tolerates me.   Sometimes.  So thank you for your patience as I not only strive to make Sass & Veracity the very best it can be (at a glacial pace), and exercise my brain while I’m in the process.  My work will never be done.

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Easy Mixed Fruit Tarts: San Diego Food Blogger Bake Sale 2012

It’s the first day of spring and perfectly clear outside, the sun making its appearance after a much needed rainy weekend.  I’m feeling the urge to get out on my patio to start clearing away the damp leaves in my planters, trim the new growth from the vines we cut back last year, and get ready to plant the tomato seedlings I bought Sunday, but the air is more chilly than I’d like right now.  Too chilly to be outside digging in wet soil on the shady side of the house this morning.  Not too chilly to be out in the glorious sunshine enjoying a long walk, yet here I sit sifting through old photos and thinking I should get some writing done.  The words in my head aren’t ready to be put down yet, so much wanting to be said all at once crowding my thoughts and making it impossible to begin in any kind of a sensible way.  It’s annoying.

I try to get things going by dawdling around in the kitchen shining counters and finishing dishes that won’t quite fit in the dishwasher.  Making sure I have what I need to make dinner tonight so a last minute trip to the market can be avoided.  Deciding once again to put off the pantry overhaul I’ve been promising myself I’ll do.  But this morning, nothing has worked so now here I am instead, thinking about fresh fruit tarts I made several times last spring when I was trying to decide what I might make for the first ever San Diego Food Blogger Bake Sale.

The event was so successful, that this year we will be holding it again with Marie of Meandering Eats at the helm and are fortunate enough to be hosted by my favorite cookware store, Great News! in Pacific Beach on April 28th from 10-2.  If you’re not familiar with the event, you can read all about it at What’s Gaby Cooking.  Last year, $25,000 was raised nationally and this year, the goal is to reach $50,ooo to help feed hungry kids in America.  We’re hoping to double the amount we raised locally last year as well.

There are lots of ways to get involved even if you’re not a food blogger.  We have nearly 40 San Diego bakers signed up to participate this year, so the easiest thing to do is mark your calendar and plan on a visit to our sale making sure to save some time to shop at Great News! like I do whenever I have the opportunity.  Or you could make a donation which will be credited to San Diego Food Bloggers’ efforts by visiting our bake sale blog and clicking that DONATE button.  We’d like that.  Every little bit counts!  Or you can make a donation on my behalf which will also be credited to the San Diego Food Bloggers’ team efforts.

Now, what to make this year?  I made three different types of tarts last year and although I sold them all, it was a bit of a mad production the day before.  Perhaps if I cut it down to one type of tart but filled them differently.  I’ll have to think about it.  In the meantime, here is one type I baked for last year’s sale.  I’d made them for Mother’s Day and they were a big hit so I knew I could count on them again.

Fresh fruit, an unstructured crust.

So simple and satisfying!

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San Diego Food Blogger Bake Sale!

When you live in San Diego and write a food blog, it doesn’t take long to figure out that you’re only a blip on the radar when compared to those who blog from L.A. and San Francisco.  As much as I have always known (and met) a few San Diego food bloggers and am always looking for more, I was surprised recently to learn of a few I hadn’t discovered, thanks to Marie of Meandering Eats.  She has rallied a number of us to participate as the San Diego branch in the National Food Blogger Bake Sale, the brain child of Gaby of What’s Gaby Cooking? The proceeds from this national event will benefit Share Our Strength, an organization that strives to end childhood hunger in America by 2015 through funds raised from a variety of food-focused events.

This year, San Diego joins the national group and will be meeting on Saturday, May 14th to sell baked goods at Great News! Discount Cookware and Cooking School in the Pacific Plaza shopping center at 1788 Garnet in Pacific Beach from 10-2.

Want to get involved?  You don’t have to be a food blogger to participate.  You can either donate home-baked goods to sell, or stop by and purchase something sweet and delicious on the day of the sale.  If either of those options doesn’t work, then you can also donate directly on behalf of the San Diego Team to the cause here.

If you’re not from San Diego, then by all means, check out Gaby’s information above to find out where in your state or city a bake sale is being held and seize the opportunity to donate some freshly baked goods.

Clearly, I have some decisions to make before that day.  What should I make?  I’ve sifted through my old posts with bake sale on my brain…

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Little Italy Mercato: Fresh Pappardelle with Sausage and a Salad

Farmer's Market Little Italy, San Diego
Mother’s Day weekend found us enjoying a relaxing two days filled with food this year.  Big surprise, right?  To be fair, it all began with a visit to Little Italy’s Mercato — more for a Saturday morning downtown than the possibility of what we might purchase.  And purchase we did.  The sole market bag we brought didn’t quite hold what we ended up with — most of it chosen for either dinner that night, or breakfast the next day.

We don’t often venture downtown, but when we do, we’re left questioning why we don’t go more frequently.  It’s fairly quiet on the weekends, and with more and more residents occupying the high-rise condominiums, the sidewalks are dotted with dog-walkers, those who have stopped to have a latte with the morning paper, and lots of farmer’s market shoppers holding bunches of flowers and bags overflowing with weekend cooking possibilities.

In much the same way we do when traveling, we pause in front of a real estate office and scan the photos of “For Sale” properties in the area, imagining ourselves living there instead of where we currently live.  It’s a pleasant pastime we’ve entertained ourselves with seemingly forever — especially in the years when we could barely afford to dream.  What is it about being able to walk just about everywhere one needs to go in a day’s time?  Could we actually get along with only one car?  Might we adjust to living without much of what we own, trading it in for a spectacular view and convenience?

Maybe — but it’s all a game of wondering that takes second fiddle to the marvelous array of fresh offerings we sampled and purchased that day.  The jacarandas were in bloom, the weather was perfect, so why not relax and enjoy the possibilities.

Pasta and a salad?  Or maybe stuffed French toast.

What about all three?

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