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Pretty Food Tastes Better

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I was really into the Skinnytaste recipe that landed in my inbox yesterday morning. She did a play on sushi in a measuring cup, flipping it onto the plate and creating this beautiful layered tower of spicy shrimp deliciousness. After sweating it out at the gym with my fabulous and stunning trainer, Miss Brit, I ran by my favorite Mexican market for an avocado and a cucumber. But when I finally got into my kitchen around eight – after my hilarious neighbors sufficiently distracted me – I really didn’t feel like waiting for brown rice to cook, especially since it wasn’t even short grain and probably wouldn’t be sticky enough. So naturally, I turned it into a quinoa bowl.

Spicy Shrimp Sushi Quinoa Bowl

  • 1 TB low sodium soy sauce, plus more for drizzle
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • 4-6 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup of dry quinoa
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 an avocado, sliced
  • 1 tsp furikake
  • 2 tsp Sir Kensingtons Sriracha Mayonnaise

Combine soy sauce, sesame oil, lime zest and half of the lime juice in a small dish. Coat the shrimp and marinate for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa: combine with 1/2 cup of water in a small sauce pan, then bring to a boil, simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Fluff and remove from heat but keep covered. Heat a small pan over a medium flame. Cook shrimp for 3 minutes on each side, remove tails, then chop into bite size pieces.

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Now, just because I couldn’t make my dinner into a neat stack sure doesn’t mean I’m not going to make it look pretty, because pretty tastes better. Spoon the quinoa into the bottom of a shallow bowl then top with cucumber, scallions and shrimp. Lay the avocado slices around the edge of the bowl, then top with furikake and drizzles of remaining lime juice, Sriracha Mayonnaise and soy sauce.

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Once you sit down and stop taking photos for Instagram, chop those avocado slices and mix it all together, seasoning as you wish with straight up Sriracha and more soy sauce. Serve with Dry Riesling, Viognier, or Chenin Blanc. I opted for one of my favorites: Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc + Viognier – or, as true fans commonly refer to it as, CB+V.

My San Franfavorites

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This Wednesday, I’ll be packing up my apartment in San Francisco (including 150+ bottles of wine) and moving to the town of Napa. I could not be more excited! I’m going to be doing marketing for Crimson Wine Group, a company that owns and operates six luxury wine brands, including Pine Ridge, Seghesio, Archery Summit and Chamisal. It’s a great company with lots of opportunities for growth, and I am so happy to be a part of it.

Although it’s a little bittersweet leaving behind my beloved San Francisco, I know this is the right move for me. Everyone keeps asking me, “are you going to miss living in SF?” I’m not really going to miss the city as a whole, but there are certainly several things that I am sad to leave behind:

The farm stand on Geary and 4th. It has the cheapest, cleanest, freshest vegetables in the whole city and you can get a weeks worth of produce there for under $10.

B Star Bar. This is my favorite neighborhood restaurant. I could literally eat there four times a week and not get sick of it because the menu is so diverse. Some highlights are tea leaf salad, ochazuke, b sprouts, and miso cod.

The Kabuki. The best place to see a movie in San Francisco. Not only can you bring wine into the theatre with you (purchased from the bar, though I have been known to sneak in a bottle and some plastic glasses), but they also have a great selection of food and gourmet treats. They also play home to the SF International Film Festival every year.

Dim Sum. My favorite hangover cure… crispy shrimp balls, shanghai dumplings, pork buns, garlic noodles! I recently tried Golden River in the Richmond District and was in awe of how cheap it was, coupled with how friendly the service was. I also love Yank Sing, but it’s a bit expensive and always crowded.

The beach. My favorite beach in the city is Baker Beach, and there is a not-so-secret spot in Seacliff at the end of 25th Ave where you can park and walk down the hill to the ocean. Though, there are hardly enough days in the year with weather warm enough to enjoy the SF beaches!

The Ferry BuildingNot only is this one of the most beautiful buildings in Downtown San Francisco, but it has some great little eateries and specialty shops that are perfect for a lunch hour. I particularly love the spring rolls at Out The Door, and the cheese samples at Cowgirl Creamery. On Saturdays they have a great farmers market, and on Wednesdays there is a bevy of food stands outside serving up tasty lunches. My favorite is the ramen bowl from Hapa Ramen!

My amazing friends. I have made the most incredible group of friends in this city over the last seven years. College friends that have transplanted here, people from my old softball team, a group of wine lovers, several different groups of ex-coworkers, the Tuesday Haight Club alumni, and many other people that I am lucky to call my friends. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with everyone, and set time aside to see each person, but I know that they will always be my friends no matter how much time or space we spend apart from each other. And I’ll only be an hour away, so I’m sure I’ll have a lot of visitors 🙂

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