5 Other Must-See Beach Vacation Destinations

Image courtesy of SellingYouParadise.com

Beach Time!

With the United State’s long coastlines on the east, south and west borders and the coasts on the island of Hawaii, there is no shortage of varied and distinct beaches for all tastes. However, there are some beaches that stand out from the crowd and deserve a visit at least once if possible. No matter which coast, everyone will love soaking up the sun at these beaches. While many of you know that the beaches of Cape Cod always are some of Frank’s favorite, including the tip of the Cape, Provincetown. Since he will be posting more of Provincetown later this month, I will share some other beaches of note that are worthy of a mention. (Reader’s note – neither Frank or I am not affiliated with any of the links below listed below, nor do I get funds of any kind for the mention)

As a teaser, remember when Frank helped with this video back a few years ago?

You can read the full post here or search “Provincetown” in the BiteTheRoasearchch box above.

 

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach is the quintessential beach resort of the south Atlantic coast. Its boardwalks are replete with arcades, restaurants, and shops, and the Family Kingdom amusement park and the SkyWheel Ferris Wheel are top attractions. The beaches offer some of the whitest sand on the Atlantic coast, and the golf courses are the best around.

Nantucket

The coasts of Nantucket Island are varied as to the types of beaches. The north shore is calmer and is popular with families. Jetties Beach offers lots of rentals and other amenities, and Children’s Beach features harborside waters and a playground. The south shore is windier, and the beaches have more surf. Those who want more secluded beaches or enjoy surfing will appreciate beaches such as Suftside and Cisco.

Kauna’oa Bay, Hawaii

Kauna’oa Bay is the essence of Hawaii. Beautiful white sand, calm blue water and lots of palm trees are what draws visitors to this crescent-shaped island. Visitors who stay at either the Westin Mauna Kea Beach Hotel or the Westin Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel have complete access to the beaches, and other beachgoers have more limited beach access.

Sanibel Island

Most people think of shelling when they think of Sanibel Island, but there is much more to this beautiful island. Visitors can enjoy miles of walking and kayak trails through the J.N. Darling National Wildlife Refuge. The kayak trails are lined with mangroves for a peaceful paddle, and there are also miles of biking, walking, and driving routes throughout. Visitors can stay at various resorts and other rentals or come for a day trip.

Coronado, California

This beach is situated across the bay from San Diego, California. The surf is gentle, the beaches are wide and the quaint streets and fine hotels offer both families and couples a fun respite from their busy lives. Visitors will enjoy visiting the many shops, gardens and mansions and partaking in activities like kayaking, sailing, and gondola rides. Make a point of visiting the iconic Hotel del Coronado that was built in 1888.

Bone Broth May Be the Next Superfood — Here’s Why

Bone Broth – yeah you have seen it in the stores recently.

But did you know that for thousands of years, humans have relied on bone broth for its nutritive and restorative properties. When our lifestyles moved us away from utilizing the bones and connective tissue of animals to make soups and fulfill other aspects of our diet, we also lost vital nutrients that can be difficult to get in other foods. Read about the “4 Broth Gains” available from adding bone broth into your diet.

Broth Gain 1: Collagen

Did you know that bone broth contains collagen? You might be familiar with the term by now — collagen supplements are all the rage these days for its beautifying properties.

It also offers up hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, and more than a few minerals. These are the building blocks of healthy hair, skin, nails, and joints. Collagen consumption is also said to provide protection against Alzheimer’s disease, help treat heart disease, heal leaky gut syndrome, and ease joint and back pain.

Image credit: Genesis Dermatology

Broth Gain 2: Dental Health

Although there has been a recent revival of this health elixir, few people are aware of the broth’s ability to strengthen teeth and gums. The stellar helpers here are the glycosaminoglycans that the body uses to make collagen.

Since gum tissue and teeth contain collagen, broths provide the building blocks for their repair and maintenance. And the calcium, magnesium, and trace minerals aid in remineralization of the teeth. This is great for prevention and perhaps even resolution of dental caries.

Also, collagen in the bone and connective tissue helps keep teeth set in the jaw. Here, bone broth assists in improving bone density and arresting gum tissue atrophy too.

Image credit: Howard Family Dental

Broth Gain 3: Gut-Brain Connection

Further down our digestive tract, this simmered broth can help repair the endothelial lining of your gut to calm inflammation and aid in the restoration of a healthy balance of bacteria in your GI tract. Amazingly, this rebalancing can calm anxiety, improve thinking and alleviate depression because there really is truth to the idea that the gut is a second brain.

When your GI tract is healthy, it communicates more effectively with the brain, and changes in mental clarity, moods and stress levels are not unusual. Of course, your digestion and bowel function do benefit, but your immune system is also strengthened.

Image Credit: The Indian Superstore

Broth Gain 4: Auto-Immune Conditions

Furthermore, auto-immune diseases link to a damaged gut lining, so anything that helps to restore its integrity again can ease symptoms and even reverse conditions. Challenging ailments like asthma and arthritis can subside with regular consumption of bone broth.

Making soup with the bones and connective tissue of animals releases a store of nutrients and minerals in a form so easy to absorb that it really is a superfood. Choose bones from grass-fed animals, and you’ll get even more hard to get nutrients and minerals.

Image Credit: Chiropractic Beacon

Lots of online recipes exist for ways to make your own bone broth. Here are a few I liked:

Slow Cooker “Better Than Botox” Bone Broth

Beef Bone Broth from The Chew

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Read, read, read. Time to prepare for my summer read list

Read, read, read. Seems like I always have something to read or listen to with me.

Reading tools readFrom the classic paper-based books I still buy, collect and read, to the digital versions on various e-readers that travel so well.

But even with an Amazon Amazon Unlimited  (What is Kindle Unlimited?  Kindle Unlimited is a service that allows you to read up to 10 books at once for one low fee of  $9.99 a month and you can cancel anytime. They offer a “Try it free for 30 days.”) and an account with Scribd which offers a similar plan (but with an $8.99 per month for unlimited reads of from what they have in inventory), and has a great blog at https://literally.scribd.com/ buying books add up.

So I started to give a few of the newsletter membership based book lists a try. The two that I seem to find the most offered from; one is BookBub. with a simple sign up, you get emails every day with reduced and free reads for most of the available e-readers. Members also have access to the BookBub blog which I check out on a regular basis.

The other list I get daily is from The Fussy Librarian which is also based on interest, and provides me with several suggestions that link right into the e-reader of my choice. You can also find out more details on its website thefussylibrarian.com .

Prepping for my vacation read

As I get ready for the annual vacation I always go back and review lasts years post to make sure I am packing the right tools for the trip and multiple e-readers make sense. When out on the bike, I tend to want my smaller Kindle Oasis with its small format and expanded battery. Poolside or on the bear I tend to use it as well. The rest of the time, I use my trusty Ipad Pro 9.7″ which does the job perfectly. Truth be told I also keep an older Ipad mini at my bedside too!

My 2018 Delemia; Read or listen

I have never been a big fan of audiobooks. I find that they end up putting me to sleep (even when driving – so not a good combination for me) but earlier this year I fell back into podcasts with a few new genres that really caught my fancy. Since I tend to be Apple product based. I use its native app for podcast listening but also recently downloaded Stitcher as an app alternative.

Note: Make sure you check your device features and settings – and know when you are streaming and downloading versus already have downloaded it via wifi or you will hit some pretty big data jumps as you get engrossed.

Prepping for vacation meant a search for more creative, provocative, compelling and thought-provoking listens. My tastes range widely which is definitely is reflected in my playlist and why am always on the listen for new ones.

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5 Local Things Not To Miss in San Francisco

Some local things to do in San Francisco

The United States is filled with great cities to visit during your travels, but few of them can top the majestic beauty of San Francisco. Whether you are there for the weekend or much longer, you will always find something fun to do in the city. These are the five things you must not miss during your time in San Francisco.

Alcatraz Island

The iconic prison that held Al Capone is located on a small island just 1.25 miles off the coast of San Francisco. The excellent audio tour provides a detailed history of the prison as you walk around at your own pace. You will also get to experience some of the best views of the city while taking the ferry to the island. Note: It is important to plan ahead for this one as tickets sell out fast. Visit here for information on tickets and further details

Fisherman’s Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf is a small neighborhood located near the water that is filled with enough attractions to fill the entire day. There is no better place to enjoy a fresh seafood meal than Fisherman’s Wharf. Watching the sea lions on the pier, visiting the shops and enjoying the beautiful environment are a few of the other popular activities in the area. One of the best parts of this visit – is its easy to get to using our SFMTA trolly or bus systems. Visit the SFMTA for details on tickets, maps and more

AT&T Park

If you are visiting San Francisco in the summer, then there is no better way to spend your time than watching the Giants play at AT&T Park. The picturesque stadium was originally constructed in 2000, and it is widely regarded as one of the best spots to watch a baseball game because of its views of the San Francisco Bay.

Asian Art Museum

San Francisco is the home to a lot of award-winning museums, but none of them can surpass the Asian Art Museum. This wonderful museum has more than 2,500 pieces of art on display at all times. Some of the pieces date back more than 6,000 years. In addition to the permanent collection, the museum regularly hosts special exhibits that display rare pieces that are rarely seen out of Asia.

Golden Gate Bridge

This orange suspension bridge dates back to 1933, and it is easily one of the most famous landmarks in the world. Riding a bike across the mile-long bridge is one of the best ways to fully appreciate this architectural marvel. Fog regularly obstructs the view of the bridge, so plan your visit accordingly.

Other great places to plan a visit to while in town include the Academy of Science, The Winchester Mystery House, and the Exploratorium.

These five attractions are just a small reason why San Francisco is considered one of the best cities in the world. Visiting these iconic spots will ensure your trip is a success, but be prepared never to want to leave. You might also want to visit my post on places to eat which I try to update every few months.

 

Sources

San Francisco Tourist Tips | Trip Savvy

Things to do in San Francisco | Avis

San Francisco Travel Tips | Tripadvisor

 

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Macrobiotics: A Holistic Diet Approach to Better Nutrition

When Diets Ruled The World

One of the challenges of being bigger than the nationally accepted BMI scale is that everyone is quick to offer you advice on ways to diet and  “loose” weight. Now the best advice always starts with you talking to your primary, skilled clinician or practitioner. That advice from “Great Aunt Sally” may sound good, may just not hold much “weight”. Get it <grin>.

Unfortunately, because of that, there are many diets that promise easy weight loss and a healthier lifestyle. Those on the menu have includes the Paleo craze, the “group loose” collection from Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem to the more vintage Grapefruit diet, fasting and more. 

Note: I don’t advocate or know enough about all of these to promote. Links are simply shared for your personal reading.

Diet Focus

One that I often heard about but always seemed like way too much work was the Macrobiotic diet. But since I have a pal recently starting it, it was a good reason to look into it more.

What separates the macrobiotic diet from all of these is that the macrobiotic diet promotes whole health improvement, including mental and spiritual improvement as well. This is a very general description of the diet. The macrobiotic diet is a very restrictive diet and takes effort and self-discipline to follow. It is more of a way of life rather than just a change in eating, often promoting a positive energy and a more informed state of mind. To follow a macrobiotic diet is to enlighten one’s life.

So Why Consider a Macrobiotic Diet?

There are several reasons why you might want to consider adopting a macrobiotic diet. Many people choose to start eating healthier after learning that they are at risk of developing a disease. While a macrobiotic diet won’t cure you of disease, it can improve your health and complement a treatment plan a medical professional has prescribed.

So if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease, premenstrual syndrome, or are at risk for breast cancer, then you may want to try the macrobiotic diet. Beyond these benefits, a macrobiotic diet promotes whole-body health. Whether you want to lose weight, eat clean, or have more energy, adopting a macrobiotic diet may be able to help you achieve these goals.

How to Follow the Macrobiotic Diet

Macrobiotic foods include indigenous, local, seasonal foods that have been organically or naturally grown, processed, and stored. Some research indicates that the macrobiotic diet is good for the local economy because one of the biggest rules of the diet is to try to buy locally grown products. Besides buying locally grown products, there are a few other principles that dieters are encouraged to follow:

  • Avoid cooking with electric appliances.
  • Only use natural products such as wood or glass to hold and store foods.
  • Chew each mouthful of food at least 50 times until the food is close to liquified in your mouth.
  • Purify water before drinking it or cooking with it.
  • Only eat and drink when hungry and/or thirsty.

Some people follow the rules strictly, while others choose to be a little more relaxed. The rules are more about adopting a holistic and balanced lifestyle rather than losing weight.

What to Eat on a Macrobiotic Diet

The macrobiotic diet is a very restrictive diet. When describing the definition of macrobiotic foods, natural, wholesome, and nutritious are good words to use. The macrobiotic diet is composed of:

  • 40%-60% whole grains
  • 20%-30% fruits and vegetables
  • 10%-25% bean products

Just as some people are relaxed on the rules, some people are also relaxed on the included food groups. They may include seafood and/or lean meats as well. The foods should be primarily baked, boiled, or steamed when cooking.

The Overall Effect of the Macrobiotic Diet

Although the macrobiotic diet will help with weight loss, that isn’t the main focus of the diet. The diet is designed to help people adopt a more balanced, holistic, natural way of living. Adopting the macrobiotic diet means adopting a new lifestyle and in the process creating a new you.

Feeling inspired? Try these healthy recipes:

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My Guilty Summer Listening Pleasure ; Podcasts from Hillbilly Horror Stories and Bawdy Storytelling

As many of you know, I have a wide range of interests in life and the latest is Podcasts

From my exploits in the kitchen, travel, teaching, and the infamous bookclub adventures. For several months, I have been spending more time walking Dino while Paul was laid up and decided to get on the Podcasts bandwagon. I had done some podcast work during my time in DC in 2016 while on detail to one of the federal agencies who needed some communications support. So was more accustomed to listening to work or political themes shows. But they don’t keep my after-hours attention for long. I needed something that hit close to my own style of storytelling.

So what podcasts am I listening too?

Several podcasts have captured my attention of late. My first opportunity came up because I wanted to catch up with the lovely Dixie and her Bawdy Storytelling series that also has its podcasts and Youtube page. (I recently had the honor to tell one of the stories hosted in San Francisco and truly enjoyed all the work that goes into her shows.)

From time to time we all find innovative and interesting work being done in the arts that need some support. We don’t live in a world where all art forms and content gets access to funds to keep them vibrant. Especially those that are related to the promotion and activism of healthy sexual expression. If you want to help invest some of your monies into keeping sex and art vibrant. Here is another way! Dixie De La Tour‘s Bawdy Storytelling has it’s own Patreon account. For the cost of a few cups of coffee each month – you can help keep storytelling accessible for those who can’t get to a live show!
Patreon is a great way to support the podcasts that you love!

Then a pal from Atlanta turned me on to true crime podcasts and one in particular,  Up and Vanished; a true crime “pod-u-mentary” series set around the cold case of Tara Grinstead from Atlanta. Here is a peek at episode one: Listen

The gravestone which still stands spitting distance where I grew up.

Well, that set the hook in deeper. After finishing it, I was hungry for more podcasts that inspired me to imagine, think, and do more than be just “lectured” at which some of the more news-based shows tended to be. So was searching around for suggestions on some of my other favorite themes such as Horror stories, paranormal, sex, the unexplained and of course one of my old time favorites; The Winchester Mystery House.

One of the suggestions was Hillbilly Horror Stories.

OMG! – after two episodes I was hooked on a new genre of podcasts.

Hillbilly Horror Stories is hosted by comedian Jerry Pauley and his own bright star of a wife, Tracy. Together they bring the perfect balance of sarcasm, intrigue, storytelling and no-nonsense “you are shitting me” humor that I so appreciate myself. Because I can be a bit “linear” I had to start with episode 1, and they have been keeping me company now several times a day since.

I have finally hit the newer 2018 episodes and can see how they really take pride in making content and technical changes based on feedback from viewers and reviews but still stay true to what the vision of the show is. On more than one occasion I have been caught laughing or getting that “chill” at the back of my neck, as I listen with wireless earbuds on- looking like quite the fool myself.

Now don’t get me wrong – the Hillbilly Horror Stories show doesn’t use humor to poke fun at the paranormal. Instead, they use it to give new life to often told stories that many of us had heard before and entice you to look up more on those you never heard before. Do they get it right all the time? Nope. But seems to me, they will be the first one to tell you that and then get an expert on the show to be guest!

Hillbilly Horror Stories can be found on most of the common venues for podcasts, has a great website (and store for those of you fans that like your swag) with older episodes listed as well as a Facebook Group page and Youtube page and can even be found on twitter under Jerry’s @TheRentDaddy profile. Like many other podcasts – they also use a Patreon account as a way to keep fans supporting it and offer lots of great extras to those folks.

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Smart Shopper: Healthiest Foods for Your Family and Your Budget

Eating healthy on a budget is not as difficult as you may think. There are many health-conscious options that provide all the fiber and nutrients your family needs while sticking to a budget. The dietary items that are a part of the five main food groups are all budget friendly, including dairy, grains, protein, fruits, and vegetables. Here are a few ideas on how to shop smart and healthy.

Vegetables

Canned vegetables are manufactured in healthy, safe conditions. Buying canned vegetables in bulk is a budgeted solution that is a great item for the family. Additionally, leafy vegetables often go on sale. You can blanch leafy veggies like kale, spinach, greens, etc., then package them in a freezer bag and store them until you cook them. Frozen vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, etc. are a great source for healthy eating as well. Also, fresh veggies are seasonal, and certain varieties, like corn, can be purchased at bargain prices during the summer. Want to make it even more of a social event for yourself? Check out the local farmer’s markets and when they happen and make an afternoon of it.

Meat Protein

Yes, you can eat meat and be healthy. It’s about how much meat you eat. When cooking lean beef, pork, and poultry, a single serving of these proteins should typically come in at 3 ounces per person. It’s common for American restaurants to serve up extremely large portions of meat. When in reality, we only need to consume a fraction of that amount protein to eat a balanced meal. As a general rule, 3-ounces of meat should take up the same amount of space on your plate as a deck of playing cards.

By portioning out your meals and planning accordingly, adding meat to your diet can be both healthy and affordable. A tip to keep in mind is to shop for sale items and to buy inexpensive cuts of meat and work them into different meals throughout the week. Burritos, casseroles, soups, and stews are all great options for using inexpensive cuts of meat like skirt steak, chuck roast, and chicken thighs. Beyond portioning out your meals, shop smarter by eating local, free-range, and certified organic meat when possible. Like produce, you can also shop for meat when it’s in season and pay attention to sales.

Other Protein

Lentils, beans, peas, and soybeans, are quality protein products, and they carry a long shelf life. Bags of protein are an inexpensive meal that can be turned into soups, stews, and casseroles, which can also be made and frozen for future meals. 

These types of proteins are perfect for balancing a busy schedule and meal times when you partner them with slow cookers and insta-pots!

Hint: before you hit those bulk bins, find out how old the beans are. Sometimes the ones that are bagged may yield a better bean. Don’t put your nose up at canned beans either. More often than not you can open a can or two and add them to a dish last minute without the long slow simmer that dried ones need.

Grains

While you are out shopping, pick up grains like cereal, rice, oatmeal, pasta, and brown rice. Whole grain and refined grain products also carry a long shelf life. When possible, buy these grain products in bulk to save money. Then, keep bags of trail mix, nuts, dried fruit, and whole grain snacks to munch on. Buy large inexpensive bags and break them down into individual bags for everyone to take to school or work. Combining grains and fruit is another great way to layer flavor too! You know one of my favorites remains those protein-rich “eat on the go” blueberry oatcakes that I have shared before.

Fruit

Watermelon Chili with all the fixings

Watermelon and melons are least expensive during summertime and fruits like apples or pears are priced low in the fall. You can also get good deals for fresh fruits at local neighborhood farm stands and outdoor market areas. Don’t be afraid to experiment with them. Taking watermelons and paring it with savory and spices changes enhances its sweetness. One of my favorite ways to use it is as a Watermelon Chili; served cool, with ginger and garlic, the thickened and savory chili is meat-free and allows each eater to custom top it themselves. Canned fruits and frozen fruits contain healthy nutrients that you and the household need. Canned and frozen fruits are available in price specials that are budget conscious, so keep your eye out for promotional deals. Many of them are great to add to doughs for a quick fruit enriched bread.

Dairy


Dairy items can be a health food challenge to keep fresh, but it can be accomplished. Butter, powdered milk, and cans of condensed or evaporated milk have a closet and refrigerated shelf life that is good for a couple of weeks, so those are good options to stock up on.

Yogurt and cheese products provide the body with calcium, potassium, protein, vitamins (A, D, B12), niacin, riboflavin and phosphorous. With growing children, dentists recommend dairy for growing bones and teeth— especially for fighting tooth decay.

Unhealthy meal items fail to provide the nutrients that the human body needs and they tend to be expensive. Nutritious meal options can be prepared quickly, easily, and with the healthiest foods for your family and your budget.

Now that you know how to shop smarter, explore our recipe index so you can start cooking.

 

 

Resources:

 

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From Writing to Reading to Cooking to Hiking…

And the weekend begins…

While it wasn’t intended to be this weekend ended up a full one. With several creative writing activities in the process, including new edits to the TedXProvincetown script due next week, a big meeting on Tuesday to prep for. I also have our monthly book club and trying to get some time to get Paul out and about while the weather was nice.

What to do on a day off?

Part of the reason I like book club is the research behind the books. So for me, a “Food Lab” is an essential part of the reading.  This month’s read was the prompt for a few vintage themed recipes to go with the book “As Meat Loves Salt”.

As a “just in case,” I also figured I would do my take on a parfait with Honey Citrus Ricotta & Marscapone cheeses layered with simmered honey citrus blueberry and strawberries. These would be perfect or as toppings for either of the other two dishes in case the dishes failed or were too dry (and I happened to have the fruit handy), so they were the first to get made so they could set up overnight.

 

In keeping with the Great Britian/16th-century theme,  I found a great cookbook well while at the bookstore over at Fort Mason that had 16th and 17th-century English recipes reinterpreted.

One of several that caught my eye included a Sour Cream Spice cake.  Originally intended for raisins,  I did switch them out for dried cherries but it was the only “change” I made. I found a typo in the recipe that confused cardamon and cinnamon, so I opted with cinnamon.

The Review:

Folks liked it. Super dense and moist, with a subtle spice taste. The batter is thick and must be over the size bundt pan I have so as with some older recipes I already do with. Next time I would only use 2/3 of the batter. It was too full and would have meant a much longer bake and be super dry. As it was this still was a little moister towards the inner ring. On Sunday, I toasted it for breakfast and really liked how that tasted with some salted butter on it.

 

The other dish was an Apple Noodle Pudding aa s backup if the cake was dry or didn’t come out. This version of a “pudding” uses egg noodles, apples, and dried cherries as its base with butter and sugar and flour. Once cooled, all it needed was a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

The Review:

Well, let’s just say – the bowl came back not only empty but CLEAN! I definitely will make this again and experiment with different flavors combinations. I am thinking rosemary and pear next time.

As luck would have it all of them came out quite good but ya gotta love those “Plan B’s” .

Sunday was a casual day with me in my head drafting, so Paul and I took Dino up to walk around Buena Vista Park.

Once we hadn’t done in way too many years before heading home for some downtime and before I grilled up some dinner and was back at it.

 

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Lemon Bars with an extra crunch

As promised;

For the Crust, you will need                 

8-9 graham crackers (each 2 1/2 by 5 inches)                  

1 cup of nuts. I used raw pistachios, which I toasted off first. But Almonds and Pecans also work.

Sugar  

    2 tablespoons regular fine white sugar

    5 tablespoon Turbinado              

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Pinch of salt                  

For the Filling                 

1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, room temperature                  

1  8-ounce container of marscapone cheese (or substitute another 8-ounce package of cream cheese)

3/4 cup sugar fine white sugar                  

2 large eggs                  

Pinch of salt

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon (2 to 3 teaspoons zest and about 3 tablespoons juice). If using Meyer you may need to check for tartness.  This also works for Orange and limes

DIRECTIONS  

Make the crust: Preheat oven to 325  degrees. 

This is the Lemon version with the extra sugar layer crust

This is an orange version with the single step method crust

Note – this crust is made in two parts!

  • Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. You can fold the extra foil over the edges.
    • I don’t recommend using a foil pan for this. They are too thin and bend when moving. You want the solid stability of the hard pan. 
  • In a food processor, blend 5 graham crackers, 1/2 cup of nuts with 2 tablespoons of fine sugar until finely ground; add 2 tablespoons of the butter and pulse until it looks like damp sand.
  • Transfer the first level of crumb mixture to prepared pan, and pat in gently. Bake 6-7 min

Second layer

  • In the same food processor, blend remaining 3 graham crackers with the remaining 1/2 cup of nuts and 4 tablespoons of turbinado sugar until finely ground; add the remaining 1 tablespoon of the butter and pulse until moistened.
  • Add the layer to the prebaked layer.  Pat firm, sprinkle on the remaining 1 tablespoon of turbinado sugar.  Bake until beginning to brown, another 7- 10 minutes. 

While crust is baking, Make the filling:

  • Place the 16 ounces cream cheese in the (wipe processor bowl clean first) food processor; blend until smooth. Add sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice; blend 
  • When ready, remove the crust from the oven and pour the mixture on the top layer over the hot crust in pan; smooth top.
  • Return to oven, and bake until set (filling should jiggle only slightly when the pan is gently shaken), 35-45 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and cool completely in pan.
  • When cool, cover very loosely with plastic wrap; chill until firm, at least 2 hours (and up to 2 days).
  • Use foil overhang to lift cheesecake out of the pan. With metal spatula, lift cheesecake from foil; cut into squares.
  • You can sprinkle confectionary sugar or top with candied lemon peels etc.

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From Fort Mason to Recipe Testing Saturday

Thursday & Friday

On Thursday we had a buddy in town for work so thought we would try out a Bay Area favorite eatery Brenda’s French Soul Food.

The food at Brenda’s rocks. Simply said, as you have seen me write before of my love of the Old Skool Cafe, Brenda’s is going to give them a run for the money for my top favorite. We went with the always standard of fried chicken with greens, smokey Shrimp & Grits. To start the meal we jumped on the garlic shrimp spread. So good it was worth not being kissable for a few hours. While stuffed, we had to try the flight of beignets with its plain, chocolate and apple options along with the special chocolate bread pudding. The food was nicely prepared, fresh and hot. Service was a bit off that night, but I heard they were running short staff. But not being in a hurry, we weren’t stressed about it. They also have a nice selection of jarred condiments and pickles for purchase. The place does get crowded and doesn’t take reservations. So be prepared to wait during prime times.

 

Friday was supposed to be a “me” day, but between getting caught up with errands, groceries, and some paperwork it sure didn’t leave me a lot of time. After running over to the grocery store, we ended up out of time for a movie. So we decided on dinner out at Eric’s for Chinese food. While usually a long wait, we scored that night with no wait.

Saturday

the hot grilled eggplant sandwich at Readers

the hot grilled eggplant sandwich at Readers

In an attempt to avoid Sunday’s annual excuse for stupidity, the Bay To Breakers madness (now its not that I don’t like the event itself, rather the entitlement that it seems to instill in its very white and male partiers) we took a ride over to Fort Mason to check out Readers Bookstore/cafe for some books and lunch with a side stop at Flax before heading home to work in more edits.

This is an orange version with the single step method crust

This is the lemon version with the two-step crust

Then I thought it would be a good time to work up a test batch of the new recipe I have been tinkering with for the Pistachio Crusted Lemon Cream Cheese/Marscapone Crunch Bars.

While the first one was cooling, I worked up another variation as an Orange Creamsicle Bar for Paul.

Of course, the Boss just got comfortable and watched hoping for me to drop something. But sorry, Dino – not today little man.

 

Sunday

Poor Dino, he is getting tired of our walks too. Since I discovered the podcast Up & Vanished, We have been extending our walk time while I listen to episodes. Which is fine except when its meal time. I think he will be glad when Paul is up and active again. 🙂

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