Sailing with the Shaws

One thing I’ve really wanted to do since we moved to the bay area was go sailing. Every weekend at the dog park we can see groups of sailboats in the distance and it always looks so fun. So I was really excited when Erin and Jason came to visit and we got to go sailing.

Erin’s aunt lives in Point Richmond and has a sailboat. It’s a beautiful older boat that they have been working to restore. She invited us to go out on the bay and I was able to get Mike to watch the baby while I finally got an outing.

Erin and I have been BFFs since we were dorky seventh graders. We used to dress in matching outfits and braid each other’s hair, resulting in crimped afros. We were awesome.

Still awesome after all these years. 

Anyway, sailing was amazing and I would love to learn more about it. I did have to take a Dramamine. The feeling of going over those rolling waves sort of reminded me of morning sickness. Imagine that for six weeks straight – ugh.

But onto better thoughts!

Erin and Jason appreciate good food and beer above all else, so we tried to show them some of our favorite places to eat and drink. We had pork mole, plantains, and guacamole at Talavera in Berkeley.

Saturday morning we headed to SF to show them the Ferry Building market. It was crazy crowded so we didn’t hang around too long.

The perfect image of San Francisco: Ferry Building, streetcar, homeless person’s cart.

Then we walked to North Beach so we could have Tony’s Pizza for lunch.

Banksy, I think.

I didn’t realize Tony’s doesn’t open until noon on Saturdays, but it was a good tactic to get there around 11:50 because we got a table as soon as they opened.

Ohhh, the lillet blanc fries.

Harper learns the merits of excellent pizza.

Later that day we tried to show Erin and Jason the Trappist, a really good Belgian beer bar in Oakland. But we got kicked out because we had Harper with us. Sad face! Instead we got a chance to show them some authentic Chinese food. We got together with our neighbors, Brandy and Kyle, and got a huge table at our favorite Szechuan restaurant.

That way we got to try all sorts of dishes, including eggplant with garlic sauce, short ribs, and spicy pork. And I had to grab a buttercream bun from my favorite bakery on the way out.

I think we showed them a pretty good time and I can’t wait for them to come back!

No. 32 Red Curry with Tofu

I’ve been trying to perfect a veggie curry recipe for a while without success. But I think I finally got it right. Mine is kind of a combination of Heidi Swanson’s weeknight curry recipe and the red curry from the Thai place down the street from our house, which I love and order often.

The Thai restaurant always deep fries their tofu, so it has a texture that stands up to being soaked in sauce. And I like that they add bamboo shoots. Theirs are more like thin sticks, so I took the canned bamboo shoots and cut them in half lengthwise.

The other thing I figured out is that it’s better to use coconut cream instead of coconut milk because the extra water from the veggies and tofu tends to thin out the sauce.

No. 32 Red Curry with Tofu

1 10-ounce package firm tofu, pressed and thinly sliced
Olive oil – enough to cover the bottom of a large skillet
1 red or orange bell pepper, sliced
1 zucchini, sliced
2 cups fresh green beans, ends cut off and snapped in half
1 onion, sliced
1 can coconut cream
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1/2 cup bamboo shoots, sliced in half lengthwise
brown rice for serving

Start by frying the tofu slices. You want to heat enough olive oil in a large skillet to just cover the thin slices, somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 inch.

Fry the slices until golden on one side, then flip them over to cook the other side. When they’re done, drain them on a paper towel. You can use the remaining oil to cook your veggies.

Saute the veggies until they soften and the onions are translucent.

Next mix the curry paste with a couple tablespoons of coconut cream in a bowl.

Add this mixture to your veggies and stir until they’re all coated. Add the tofu and bamboo shoots to the pan and then stir in the rest of the coconut cream.

Let the curry simmer on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. Make sure you taste the curry before you serve it. You may want to add a little salt or more curry paste. I usually end up adding some of both. The curry paste adds more heat, too.

When it’s ready, serve the curry over brown rice. Or, if you’re like us, leftover takeout rice. 🙂