Holy Cannoli!

I know the title of this post is terrible but I just could not help myself.

The past week has been spent getting into the groove of my new work, study, social life schedule. So far… so good. Luckily I came very close to passing the bar last time so this time I’m targeting the areas where I’m weak and doing a general overview. I feel much more at ease than I did last time because a lot of the information is still relatively fresh in my mind.

Also, I got my hair cut. You like?

I’ve also been pretty good at getting back into my workouts after a slight hiatus over Christmas. I scored a free Soul Cycle class yesterday with David. He kicked my ass all over the studio but I felt great (and sore) afterwards. It’s amazing what a good workout can do you my attitude. I’ve also been doing a good job of eating well, not dining out too much and not over indulging at work (which is a CHALLENGE at Susie Cakes, believe me).

However, last week I got a special treat. My friend Kelly, whom I often dine with at establishments like Plan Check, Geisha House, Tart, Ugo or Umami, invited me over to try her family’s homemade cannoli.

Kelly is Sicilian and her family makes ravioli and cannoli from scratch every Christmas. She brought extra shells and filling back to LA. It was a major treat for me. I love cannoli but rarely order when out. Living in Boston and eating cannoli at Modern Pastry, Mike’s and other shops in the North End spoiled me in college. The cannoli Kelly served me was on par with the best cannoli’s I had while living in Boston.

Her family hand makes the shells, with a deep fryer and everything. She listed the ingredients that are in the shell but I forgot most of them, except wine. Let’s face it: I never forget anything that has wine involved. The shells were crispy and delicious.

She filled the shells with the most delicious filling. The filling has heavy cream, ricotta, orange zest, vanilla, and chocolate chips. There are more ingredients, but they’re escaping me right now. The filling is whipped for a long time and came together soft, rich and delectable. I love a dessert that is made with real ingredients like heavy cream, I love them even more when you can TELL there are delicious real ingredients.

Kelly stuffed the shells with the filling and then dipped the ends in crushed walnuts.

This was so tasty. Despite the fact that it was a week after Christmas all the components tasted fresh. The filling was creamy, thick and rich but not over powering. The shells were still crispy and crunchy. Honestly, this cannolli was at least as good as the ones in Boston’s North End, if not better!

Thanks Kelly for such a special treat!

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Tartine

When I travel I don’t really do much sightseeing. Mostly I like to wander from restaurant to restaurant or bakery to bakery. What can I say? I like food and usually I see some sites along the way.

There is also a growing list of restaurants and bakeries that I cannot enter without losing all restraint. Tartine in San Francisco is definitely on that list. Like when I go to Flour in Boston, the moment I enter Tartine I have the overwhelming compulsion to purchase everything in sight and horde treats for later.

Obviously I told my dad that one of the big things I wanted to do while in San Francisco was go to Tartine. We ended up marching though the mission at 8:30 am on a Sunday morning and then standing in a line before the bakery opened. I’m pretty sure my dad’s internal monologue was something along the lines of “this better not suck” and “why and I in this line for a pastry”. Thankfully Tartine did not disappoint (I knew it wouldn’t!) and we were able to snag a table so we could sit down and enjoy our treats.

I did not get the chocolate hazelnut tart. Next time.

Because I have an utter lack of self control I got a sweet breakfast item, a savory breakfast item and snack for later.

Oh and this latte which was served in a bowl. I love a coffee beverage that is too big to fit into a conventional mug.

The lattes at Tartine are delicious. For me they are up there with Blue Bottle with the rich and smooth flavor. I almost tried to get another to go but I didn’t want to stand in a line which continuously snaked out the front door.

I also got a morning bun fresh out of the oven.

Sweet, orangey, gooey and delicious. I wish I’d ordered 12.

Food porn at its finest.

I made the executive decision that a mere morning bun would not sustain me on the ride to Healdsburg so I also ordered quiche.

It’s been a while because I am woefully behind on my blogging but I believe this quiche had local yellow tomatoes and bacon and some form of cheese. It was delicious. The crust was well cooked and a little less flakey than the quiche crust at Flour but good nonetheless.

Oh, and I got a chocolate chip cookie for the road. Can you blame me?

so here’s the plan stan

Get ready for a bazillion race photos…

Remember a week or so ago when I ran a marathon?

I thought so.

Post race my Mom looked at me and said, “So you’re going to give your body a little rest now?” And you know what. I am.

The last year has been an awesome running year for me. In the past year I have raced 73 miles! I ran my first half marathon and two others, including one where I ran it in nearly 2 hours.

I also ran my first marathon!

I’ve been running for less than 2 years and I’ve already accomplished some amazing things and I am very proud of myself. You can read my running story here.

I see running, races and fitness as a lifelong activity. I plan to be doing this for the rest of my life and I’m only 24. I have so many long term goals. I want to get faster. I want to do triathlons. I want to run more marathons. I want to go on yoga retreats and practice more. I want to try other fitness workouts like cardio barre and cross fit. There is plenty of time to get to all of these things and I cannot wait to explore them in the future and share them with you on the blog.

One question I was asked immediately after my marathon was “are you going to do another one??

YES. I promise you that I will be running another marathon!

When? After the Bar Exam. If you’ve been reading for a while you know that I am a third year law student which means that starting in May my life is going to become consumed by something called the bar exam. The exam itself is in late July and then I plan to do nothing for a while in August. While marathon training was an amazing self esteem boosting experience it was also stressful and anxiety provoking in many ways. This is not something I want to deal with while preparing for the bar. I will run another marathon but I’m thinking spring 2013, the LA Marathon.

So what is next in the near future?

Well, I took last week totally off. I was sore through Wednesday, went to San Francisco on Friday, walked all over the city on Saturday and traveled home on Sunday. I ate whatever I wanted but made the decision to go back to regular cleanish eating at noon on Sunday (exactly one week after the marathon). I eat chocolate once a day so it’s not really like my indulgent eating was that different than what I usually do but I knew I needed to give myself a deadline on treating myself.

Treat yo self.

Also, I may have signed up for another 1/2 marathon.

I will be running the Pasadena Rock n Roll 1/2 Marathon! Now that have been around the block a few times with half marathon training I plan to use an intermediate training plan and working in some speed work. I would love to run a sub 2 hour half marathon. Pasadena is hilly but I’m going to give it the old college try.

The race isn’t until February and I don’t plan to start training until December. What will I be doing for the next month and a half? Well, I plan to try and go to yoga once a week, Zumba once to twice a week and run 2 to 3 times a week with runs from 3 to 6 miles. I went to Zumba and loved it! It was only my second class ever but I love the environment of Zumba. It’s very female positive and I love the fact that even though I’m not very skilled I can still have a good time. What I lack in skill I totally make up for with sass. I love any situation where it is socially appropriate to booty pop.

So that is the plan for now! I plan another marathon post or two regarding issues surrounding marathoning like fueling, my playlist, and post marathon reflections. Is there anything else marathoning related you’d like to read about?

San Francisco Treats

Oh kids. Buckle up for an insane post. I have been to the promise land (San Francisco) and the food is good!

Why did I go to San Francisco? Well, normally I wouldn’t go out of town once during a semester let alone twice, two weeks in a row. Last week, after coming back from Chicago, I made the decision to go to SF this weekend. My law school friend Chrissy has been living in SF externing and my college roommate and treat soul mate Carolyn was also going to be in town to run the Nike Women’s 1/2 Marathon. When another friend agreed to carpool it became clear that this trip was meant to be.

I drove up Friday, checked in with friends in Berkeley and went to a pot luck in the city. It was an awesome night and there are no photos.

Except this one:

Saturday, however, I made up for it. Chrissy and Kelly brought me to the San Francisco Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building.

It was love at first sight.

I even tried a new variety of apple: Hawaiian apples! It was sweet and crisp. In addition to the regular farm stand items they also had prepared food and the venders inside the Ferry Building.

Chrissy started me off with what was probably the greatest thing I’d ever eaten (Note that I said that statement a lot yesterday).

The first item we ripped into at 10:30 was this amahzing Porchetta sandwich with arugula from Roli Roti. The three of us split the sandwich and it was far and away the best pork sandwich I’ve ever consumed.

Crunchy, saucy, spicy perfection. We all split it and it was so so so so amazing. I would have this weekly if I lived nearby.

Then we moved to another stand, El Porteno.

First we got an empanada. I chose cheese and caramelized onion and again, we split it.

Again, cheesy perfection. I loved it and couldn’t get enough.

Chrissy they said that the dolce de leche cookie looked really good and maybe we should split it. This is why I’m friends with Chrissy. Obviously.

This was a delicious buttery cookie with dolce de leche caramel in the middle. It was as good as it looks.

Once inside I made sure to make a pit stop at Blue Bottle Coffee.

I’ve had this place on my radar for a while and, as a coffee aficionado, I couldn’t wait to check it out. The wait was long but I knew I had to try this coffee so I persevered and stayed in line. It was so worth it.

Smoothest latte of my life. Love this and if I lived in San Francisco I would probably quit Starbucks and Coffee Bean cold turkey and only drink this. I know that is an extreme statement but it’s true!

After the Farmer’s Market I said goodbye to Chrissy and Kelly for a while and I went on a walk through San Francisco to meet Carolyn at, where else, a bakery.

When I travel I really like to wander the city I’m, absorb the spirit and stumble upon new things. The walk to the bakery was three miles so I got to see a lot of the city everything from the Mission to city hall to the tenderloin which is famous for crime, drug use, and Hastings law school.

Streetcars.

City Hall. This building reminded me of Milk and made me want to run for office so badly it’s not even funny.

Trees near city hall.

Houses in the Mission.

After a long walk I made it to my destination, Tartine Bakery.

Tartine came heavily recommended from several people and Carolyn had already made one trip there so I knew I was in for some delicious eats.

I hopped in line and salivated at everything in the case.

Carolyn had already warned me about the croque monsieur and I knew that in addition to treats I HAD to order it.

I was not disappointed.

This may be one of the best things I’ve ever had to eat. A bold proclamation but I feel confident making it.

This sandwich is an open face sandwich with béchamel, gruyere, thyme and pepper. I want another right now so badly.

Oh, and it was topped with heirloom tomatoes.

Carolyn soon joined me and we ate our treats.

First I had a chocolate walnut cookie. Obviously, it was delicious.

We also got some delicious macaroons.

How adorable is it?

We decided, however, to take the treat up another notch.

Clearly, Carolyn and I sniffed out soft serve ice cream like a couple of bloodhounds. It was from Bi-Rite creamery across the street from Tartine.

This is good.

But this….

Is even better.

We sat down in Dolores Park, got a second hand weed high and ate our treats.

Pure excitement.

After treats we stumbled upon $2.50 sangria, had a drink and then made our way back to Chrissy and Kelly’s for dinner.

But first we had a friend photo shoot.

I love everything about this.

Then we went to Slanted Door for appetizer and drinks with Chrissy and Kelly…

And Osha for a pre race dinner for Carolyn. We had Thai food. I enjoyed dinner, my friends and was too busy having fun to take pictures. Even though there aren’t words I promise it was delicious. After dinner I said bye to Carolyn, foam rolled my legs.

Chrissy and I took her dog Penny on a long walk through Chinatown to North Beach, areas of the city I hadn’t seen. On the way home we were part of a police chase! You can read about our police chase here. Literally, we were standing on a corner one moment and behind a police line the next!

This morning I woke up and had to leave pretty early. I took one final spin through the Ferry Building this morning. I helped myself to another Blue Bottle Coffee and went to Il Can Rosso for breakfast.

I almost never order eggs but something told me to get the slow scrambled eggs with crescenza, chives, and garlic crostini.

I know, I know I keep saying this but these eggs are the best eggs I’ve ever had. They were drippy, cheesy and chivey plus the bread was fantastically toasted and added a bit of crunch.

Looking at this picture, all I want to do is lick my computer screen.

Don’t you?

I had no problems polishing this off.

And with that my first trip to San Francisco was a wrap! I wish I could have stayed longer and seen more but it was a great first trip to San Francisco. I foresee many more trips north in my future. I’m off to face plant in my bed because I have to go back to school tomorrow. All good things, like all good dishes, have to come to an end.

Chicago Eats

I ate a ton of delicious food while I was home in Chicago last weekend. For the most part I didn’t really blog my eats. I wanted to chill out with my family and not worry about photographing everything I ate. There were some important eats that needed to be documented. I also thought it would be a good idea to put some food on the blog before you start thinking that I’ve completely turned into a running blogger.

First, let me introduce you to cider donuts! I woke up Friday morning prepared to carb load on donuts. Runner’s World told me to.

I have been on the hunt for cider donuts since I moved to LA. What makes this cider donut so special you ask? Well, despite the fact that it just looks like a simple cinnamon sugar donut, in reality it is so much more. Yes, there is cinnamon sugar on the outside but the donut is made with apple cider giving the cake itself a little something extra.

See…

It makes the difference. I promise the sugar and the cider flavor are perfection together. I actually ate two because it’s been two years since I was able to eat cider donuts. Every bite was amahzing.

One more gratuitous photo?

Sure!

After eating donuts (and making a pit stop for cupcakes) my Mom and I finally made it to the expo to pick up my bib and peruse the booths.

First we took care of business: picking up my bib, verifying my d chip and taking pictures.

Then we noshed on gratuitous free things. Lara bars for me and peanut butter for Mom. We also picked up a shirt that has a map of the El train and says “run like El“. Best shirt ever? Hell yes.

After we went to Manny’s Deli for sandwiches and potato pancakes. Manny’s was heavily tweeted about by @mayoremmanuel (the fake Rham Emmanuel twitter account which I followed religiously) and was a fixture of my Mom’s working life when she worked down town. I had a huge corned beef sandwich. It was epic!

The next day we headed back downtown to pick up the little bro! The boats were going to winter storage.

After securing the brother we went to another Chicago classic for breakfast: Lou Mitchells.

Girls get Milk Duds at Lou’s. We also ate unphotographed donuts while waiting in line. They we not cider but they were so delicious: simple little donut holes with a light dusting of powdered sugar.

I decided to order the Katherine Classic breakfast: pancakes with a side of breakfast potatoes.

Holy crap so good! Potatoes were perfection and the pancakes oh the pancakes! These were some of the best pancakes I’ve had in a while. So light and topped with butter and a little bit of syrup. Oh my goodness best breakfast in Chicago!

I also had coffee, obviously.

Carb load complete.

You know what happened the rest of the weekend…

I ran a marathon!

Here is a gratuitous finish line photo…

And with my brother…

And nearing the end…

And this is what it looks like between mile 26 and mile 26.2 when you’re crying and about to finish a marathon. In case you were wondering. I know you were.

Did I mention I ran a marathon last weekend? Ha. Get used to looking at them.

As this post demonstrates, I love eating in other cities.

Guess where I’ll be eating this weekend?

Yep, I’m taking my first trip to San Francisco! In addition to continuing my post marathon victory lap I will be eating with my treat soul mates Carolyn and Chrissy. Should be a fantastic weekend!

Go nuts for fonuts

LA is home to some interesting food trends, like $3 bite sized tarts. When I heard from my friend Danielle that there was a new dessert trend in town I knew we had to check it out. Fonuts is pretty new and located on third street. I love third street so I was all over making the trip. In fact, while in the car I got my daily Tasting Table news letter which actually profiled fonuts. We’re so on trend it hurts.

The outside is super clean cut and cute. I love the yellow bench.

I should probably explain what a fonut is! Fonuts are baked doughnuts. They taste like a light cake and come in numerous different flavors. Some of the flavors are both vegan and gluten free for my GF buddies! Fonuts also serves coffee drinks.

See that delicious chocolatey thing? Yep, its gluten free friends.

The interior of fonuts is pretty minimal which I really liked.

However my favorite touch was the old oven being used as a coffee station.

Am I weird for wanting an old oven over a new oven? I hope not.

Danielle and I decided to celebrate Friday by getting two fonuts each and splitting one each.

I picked cinnamon sugar (for later) and strawberry for Danielle and I to split.

Danielle made the wise decision of taking Hawaiian home and picking maple bacon to split!

We know how much I love bacon.

The bacon fonut was delicious and also twice the size of all the other fonuts. It was cakey and sweet with bacon on top. I would totally order this again.

As I mentioned before, we also shared the strawberry.

The strawberry wasn’t as cakey as the maple bacon but it was still pretty good. It was sweet but not too sweet which, I think, is sometimes an issue with strawberry flavored things. When I got home I had the cinnamon sugar. It was sweet and cakey. Again, like the strawberry, very simple and delicious. I literally inhaled the cinnamon sugar. While it wasn’t a flashy flavor it was so simple and delicious.

I enjoyed an iced latte.

Overall, I really like fonuts. I’m not going to lie, when I heard about fake donuts I raised my eyebrow a little bit but I have to admit I am a convert. I really like the flavor and while it was baked and not fried it still tasted like a treat! This is a good trend I am so down with.

What do you think is the weirdest food trend? I feel like LA is home to food trends like fusion tacos, cupcakes, and tart fro yo.