APRIL 2017


#91 Medford Dog Park

01 April 2017 // Medford, Oregon

As her last act as a Doggy of Oregon, Beignet decided to take a dive into the juiciest mud puddle in the park.

Exactly what I wanted to share the rental truck with – a soggy donut. 🍩

#92 Beignet the Copilot

02 April 2017 // Bakersfield, California

For how much energy this one has, she was a surprisingly good passenger in a fully loaded moving truck.

She ended up making the road down to California a whole lot better. I’m so glad that the bulk of this move is behind us.

I’ve been slacking on good-things posts lately, so here are a few other things making me happy:

The USWNT scored in their push for equal pay, and deservedly so. They shouldn’t need to be the powerhouse team that they are in order to justify being paid equally, but just to make it clear that they are, they cruised to a pretty easy win versus Russia to celebrate.

Also I finished reading the food memoir Life From Scratch– more memoir than food, but the personal story was so strong and unexpected that I plowed right through the book.

#93 Beignet’s New Digs

03 April 2017 // San Diego, California

The moving process must look so weird from a dog's perspective. Then again, what doesn't?

Glad she's settling in to her brave new world.

#94 It’s Only the Himalayas

04 April 2017 // San Diego, California

“Wherever you go, whatever you do, just… don’t do anything stupid."

–S. Bedford

Book No. 13 of 2017

This was a fun read. Nothing fancy. Just a fun, simple travel-logue that I blitzed through in two sittings.

A sense of humor carries throughout the book, and the stories are interesting in their own right. It successfully made me pretty ready to get up and travel somewhere remote.


#95 After Work

05 April 2017 // San Diego, California

The hope was to find a job I loved, that would allow me to come home and keep living a life that I loved.

Achievement unlocked.

#96 Seaport With Beignet

06 April 2017 // San Diego, California

“I am ready for my yearbook photo!!!”

Keep hamming it up, Beignet.

#97 PDX-a-Lot

07 April 2017 // Portland, Oregon

Third trip to/from San Diego and Oregon in the past month.

My wish was to still be able to visit Oregon a LOT after moving out. So far that's come true, though I wouldn't mind these visits spacing themselves out just a bit more.

At least I'm in Portland this weekend for a real good reason.

#98 Jesse & Raquel

08 April 2017 // Canby, Oregon

It was a good weekend for sure.

Congrats Jesse & Raquel – so glad we could be there this weekend. Can't wait for the next time we get to hang out with you two.

#99 PDX Outro

09 April 2017 // Portland, Oregon

It’s probably gonna be a little while before I’m back in Portland.

I’m gonna miss this city, including my favorite airport in the world. To make sure I made the most of my last few fleeting moments, I spent the wait for my flight stocking up on PDX goods and eating some last bites of my favorites for a little while, including:

Trying out the matcha and orange cointreau brulee flavors of Blue Star. That last one was absolutely amazing, and even better than the rum brulee release I’ve had before.

Grabbing a bottle of Som drinking vinegar, because it’ll be a while before I get to stock up.

Picking up a couple jars of Yumm Sauce. They aren’t terribly hard to reverse engineer, but I want to get right to making some Yumm bowls this week.

#100 Silence

10 April 2017 // San Diego, California

“Kichijiró was right in saying that all men are not saints and heroes. How many of our Christians, if only they had been born in another age from this persecution would never have been confronted with the problem of apostasy or martyrdom but would have lived blessed lives of faith until the very hour of death.”

–Shusaku Endo

Book No. 14 of 2017

I want to learn and read so much more of Shusaku Endo right now.

The sad realities of martyrdom and persecution are so real globally and historically, and yet, in my immediate world, I have the hardest time truly grasping what that confrontation is like.

Shusaku Endo’s novel, set in mid-1600’s Japan, explores the religious persecution and the pressure to apostasise put on a group of underground priests. The book goes through a lot of grit and ugliness and is definitely not the sort to just put a pretty bow on things. I loved it and I do have a pretty good interest in seeing the Scorcese adaptation.

⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️

#101 Run & Bloom

11 April 2017 // San Diego, California

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”

–Robert Louis Stevenson

#102 Croque Madame

12 April 2017 // San Diego, California

I've really lapsed on my cooking goals for this year, for a number of life-reasons: moving, lent, etc. - Now that I have my kitchen workstation all set up though, it's time to make up for lost time.

Made this croque madame tonight, and was pretty pleased. Swiss emmentaler, some fake but convincing tofu-ham, and bechamel in a triple layered toast, topped with the egg and shaved cheese of course.

The one and only thing I would've done differently is try to make the bechamel less salty. But that is it!

#103 She’s Here

13 April 2017 // San Diego, California

Finally! The house is now a home.

As fun as San Diego has been so far, now it really starts to get good.

#104 Good Friday 17

14 April 2017 // San Diego, California

It feels like there's some degree of appropriateness that our move coincided with Lent the way it did- that I was offered the job on Fat Tuesday and that Deanna finally arrived in San Diego on Maundy Thursday.

It's been forty days of waiting, excitement, patience testing, celebrating, missing, hustle, and adjustment, and now, a new life.

Getting to pray through the Stations of the Cross was so appreciated for Good Friday. Thankful for life, in every sense of the word.

#105 Meat Market

15 April 2017 // San Diego, California

The discovery of this meat market and where to get some of the more exotic cuts of meat around town was definitely a high point of the weekend, especially if anyone wants gator burgers. And, it’s totally along my route to work.

Hooray for Siesel’s Meats.

Actually, I’m simply thrilled to know where I can purchase some black pudding. Depending where you live, it’s a pretty elusive food item in the USA.

#106 Easter & Earth

16 April 2017 // San Diego, California

"The tree, which had brought about the fall and the loss of Paradise, shall be the instrument of redemption."

–St. Augustine

Happy Easter everybody.

Feeling so thankful for life. Spiritual life. Physical life. My new life. My love life. The kind of life you extend to others. All kinds of life.

Also, California is a pretty sunny place.

#107 Together

17 April 2017 // San Diego, California

It’s a era of so many new things and I’m loving it.

In the middle of so much excitement, the days have my permission to trickle. To move as slow as they’d like.

To me, a new town feels like a playground. But we’re here for the long haul, so it’s all good to move slow now.

I have my whole crew in town. I have the chance to chase down so many possibilities, but in the process, I don’t want to miss any of it.

#108 Salmon Miso Broth

18 April 2017 // San Diego, California

Mission 10: This idea is one I’ve been sitting on for a little while- making a ginger miso broth infused with salmon and scallion oil that plays a perfect host to udon noodles, mushrooms, and a little cut of salmon.

The results: After putting it off for a few days, I made the soup and this turned out to be one of the best soups I’ve ever made! For how easy it was, it came with a pretty high payoff. The broth had just the right amount of sour and tang to it. This is one I’ll be making again for sure!

#109 Staff Volunteer Day

19 April 2017 // San Diego, California

I have at least a few family members who think I spend my working hours physically planting trees.

Sometimes they're right.

Had an awesome volunteer day getting to visit Coastal Roots Farm. I love what they do!

#110 Pachinko

20 April 2017 // San Diego, California

“A God that did everything we thought was right and good wouldn't be the creator of the universe. He would be our puppet.” 

–Min Jin Lee

Book No. 15 of 2017

Wow, what a beautiful book.

The things I initially heard were comparisons to Cutting For Stone and the Kite Runner- and I kind of get it. Set in complex cultural boundaries, following multiple generations of a family’s story but with enough focus to really flesh out and bond with characters. Plus some deep and truthful themes of family and faith.

I liked the characters. They were honest, sincere, and didn’t fall for the tendency that most contemporary authors have of equating cynicism with authenticity. It was just the sort of book that at the end leaves you with a strong appreciation for family history, strong women, and perseverance.

⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️

#111 Duck Poutine

21 April 2017 // San Diego, California

Mission 11: One of the meals in Eugene that I’ll miss the most will be the poutine at Rye– for less than ten bucks you can get a pretty good size portion of really good duck poutine. Of course they wouldn’t reveal the whole secret recipe, but I did get the waitress once to admit one of the key ingredients. Duck fat. With that knowledge, I sought out to try and recreate it.

The results: I don’t make gravy often so I definitely didn’t quite make it the same as theirs. Also in retrospect, beef broth would have been a good addition. But overall I thought the gravy turned out better than any previous attempt of mine to make gravy, and the fries were satisfyingly done.

#112 North County Earth Festival

22 April 2017 // San Diego, California

"I want creation to penetrate you with so much admiration that wherever you go, the least plant may bring you the clear remembrance of the Creator ....One blade of grass or one speck of dust is enough to occupy your entire mind in beholding the art with which it has been made."

–St. Basil the Great

Happy Earth Day!

Fun times repping Plant With Purpose at the Earth Day Festival in Oceanside. Doing it all over again tomorrow in Balboa Park. Come give a shout!

#113 Earth Day 2017

23 April 2017 // San Diego, California

Balboa Park has the largest outdoor Earth Day shindig in the country- and it was so fun to be there on behalf of Plant With Purpose!

So much sun and so many people with so much passion for so many causes I didn't even know existed. Hopefully more people are aware of ours now too.

#114 Grapefruit Macarons

24 April 2017 // San Diego, California

Mission 12: I’ve been on a roll with macarons lately, and feeling a bit more daring, I decided to see if I could start with a totally out-there concept and turn it into a macaron. Grapefruit rosemary is a great combo, I figured, let’s go with that!

The results: Well, my hot streak ended, because these macarons puffed up and got out of hand. I meant to make a whole batch of them but wound up with only six survivors. Fortunately, those six survivors were pretty good.

I still don’t know what went wrong, but the texture just didn’t come out the way it was supposed to. I got the shells to puff up way too much. The redeeming factor was that they all came out tasting pretty great. The grapefruit buttercream filling was refreshing- made from the real deal. If only those shells turned out, these would’ve been even better.

#115 Around the Block

25 April 2017 // San Diego, California

This city is extremely diverse. And I love that. It’s diverse in so many different ways- race, age, politics, walk of life. I definitely missed that living in the Northwest the past few years. It also happens to be one of the most segregated cities I’ve come to know, but I love that it gives me an opportunity to connect people who might not otherwise interact.

Got to spend an afternoon in City Heights to get oriented for a volunteer opportunity. I love this neighborhood in a way many in San Diego miss out on. The diversity. Lots of life. A bit of an edge too, of course, but I need to be connected to that.

#116 Dreaming & Dinner

26 April 2017 // San Diego, California

I love having Chris and Katie over to talk about big dreams we have and the most generous, joyful people we know… and how to help develop more people like them!

No doubt, getting to reconnect has been a big perk of coming back to San Diego.

#117 Salt & Pepper Chips

27 April 2017 // San Diego, California

Mission 13: Homemade chips are far and away better than the packaged stuff. I remember trying homemade chips for the first time as a twelve year old and being totally amazed that chips could actually taste that good. I decided that it wouldn’t be too hard to make a batch.

The results: Salt and pepper are my favorite chip flavors, usually, so I figured I’d keep it simple and go with those, plus just a bit of chopped parsley. I loved the chips and wouldn’t have changed much. They paired perfectly with the Modern Times guava gose we ended up eating them with.

#118 Creative Mornings: Beyond

28 April 2017 // San Diego, California

This was such a fun way to start off a workday– I finally got to attend a Creative Mornings San Diego Meetup, something that’s been on my radar for quite a while.

I had a blast getting to meet all the other creatives working locally over communal coffee and doughnuts, plus Kirstie and I totally got free headshots from Shuttershock/Stacy Keck.

I will definitely keep coming back!

#119 Liberty Market Time

29 April 2017 // San Diego, California

Sinking our teeth into an alfajor at Liberty Public Market’s Paraná and getting all nostalgic for that Argentine life.

One of the most dangerous bits of temptation is a subtle one- it’s to accept life as a casual occurrence instead of a miracle. It’s to eat simply because it’s lunch time, without taking in the flavors. It’s to look at a sunset with a list of chores stuck in your head. It’s to jump into new days without the awareness that each one is a temporary, wonderful gift.

Stay on the lookout for this temptation, and resist it with a few deep breaths and a pause for wonder.

#120 Dog + Nephew + Pool

30 April 2017 // Bakersfield, California

Dog plus nephew plus swimming pool equals a real good time.

It’s not quite summer… but it’s been feeling more and more like it lately, and I’m totally okay with that.

Philippe Lazaro2017