How was your 4th of July weekend? Not long enough? My thoughts exactly ;p
I woke up Sunday morning well rested and popped on over to the Fort Mason Farmers Market for some produce. I ended up with just a few fruits...grapes, peaches, nectarines and a bag of mixed greens. I guess some of the vendors took the weekend off. *sigh*
I grabbed some sweet potatoes and brownie mix at Safeway and got to work on some delicious picnic treats. Plan was to bust out the mandoline and make some baked sweet potato chips. I googled how to bake sweet potato chips and it seemed easy enough...
See how pretty the potatoes were post-mandoline? Gorgeous!
Popped those puppies into the oven at 400 degrees (most of the recipes said 350-450) and set the timer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, I opened the oven door and my taters were black. WTF?! They weren't even black and crispy. They were black and soggy!
Refusing to admit defeat, I tried another batch at 375. Again, FAIL. At this point, I gave up on the sweet potato chips and just packed up my brownie bites for our Stern Grove picnic since I was running out of time. Unfortunately I had a giant bowl of raw sweet potato that I didn't want to waste. In the fridge you go.
By the time we got to Stern Grove, I had forgotten about my kitchen disaster and soaked up the gorgeous weather and scenery. It was a little cloudy as we descended from the parking area to the concert meadow, but I loved how we trekked through this nifty path
It made me forget I was in a city...just for a little bit :)
Then we arrived at the concert meadow:
It was definitely packed when we got there (an hour before showtime!), but we had a sweet picnic table reserved. Hooray for not having to search for grass space!
So Stern Grove (in case you didn't catch it in the pictures) is an outdoor music venue in the middle of the city that offers free concerts in the summer. Our reserved picnic table came with wine, non-alcoholic beverages and some table service. We each brought a selection of goodies to share...cheeses (lots of cheeses), brownies, cookies, bread, chips, dip, you name it. A wonderful afternoon in the sun :) We picnicked to the sounds of the San Francisco Opera for a couple hours and then skipped out to prepare for dinner.
Dinner, a mere 2.5 hours after our massive picnic, was in Cow Hollow (I think?) with phenomenal views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Crissy Field and the Bay. I must admit that I wasn't quite prepared for a San Francisco 4th of July. I brought a hoodie and scarf with me, but apparently that wasn't enough to keep me warm once the sun went down. It got COLD. Cold enough to light a fire and cold enough to light up some heat lamps. Say whaat? SO different from DC.
The chill in the air wasn't the only difference. I had been given a heads up about the fireworks show and the fog. Let's just say it was more of a colorful sky show. No matter, a good time was had by all...also, I'm not a big fireworks fan.
The next morning was pretty rough. I was so tired from staying up past my bedtime (yeah I'm a huge nerd) and from feasting so much the day before. It was one of those days where I actually stopped to buy a coffee while running errands. Woah.
I walked down to Polk Street to grab stuff for a fruit salad and was reminded of this little tidbit I stumbled upon the other week:
You've all seen What Would Brian Boitano Make, right? Well, I never saw the sneak peak video until recently. Um, that's totally my new 'hood...Loving Cup!! and my favorite hardware store! Nerd alert!
I grabbed a kiwi and a champagne mango from the Real Foods in the video and picked up some berries and cereal (can't forget breakfast!) from a favorite of mine that he doesn't visit - Polk Street Produce. I've mentioned this place before and it's become my go-to place for fruits (well, the ones that I don't find at the farmers market) because of its convenience, price and selection. Two thumbs up.
I quickly threw together a fruit salad in a tupperware and headed out to Muir Beach for a hike with friends. We took a super windy drive (so windy, I sorta got a little queasy) to the beach, parked and set off on our hike to Pirate's Cove.
The first 10 minutes or so was quite a steep climb, but the views were totally worth it.
Since we got to our destination faster than planned, we decided to keep walking...hey, it's not like we had to get back to work ;p
On the way back, we climbed up a mini side peak and yep, gorgeous.
The chilly weather and clouds didn't even bother me that much (once we were moving, of course)! I'm sure these views are even better on a sunny day...