Bicycle Music Festival at Lake Merritt

Hello everyone! I hope you all had fantastic weekends! Mine was… hot. Which is quite funny because I literally just wrote a post on welcoming fall at the end of last week. But yes, I feel like summer in the Bay Area is a bit extended and really doesn’t end until late October so the days have not exactly been getting cooler.  At any rate I’m going to keep pretending autumn is here until it truly arrives in November haha.

So, speaking of hot weather, we decided to get out of our blistering apartment and head over to the Bicycle Music Festival in Oakland on Sunday – which was an absolute blast! Basically we grabbed a spot on the amphitheater lawn, lounged around in the sun next to the lake, and chatted the day away with friends. They also had the most delicious smoothies and ice cream that you made by peddling bicycles with blenders and churners attached. At the end of the day the entire festival (including the performers who hopped onto a pedal powered mini-stage) got on their bikes and paraded down the Oakland streets to the Omni Commons for an indoor concert. So yes, it was a pretty awesome way to spend a Sunday and I’ve made a small gallery for you to share the experience with me!

2015 Bicycle Music Festival poster

Photo Credit: Bicycle Music Festival

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Burning Man Photo Diary

Well, it’s been a whole week since I arrived back from Burning Man and as the crisp fall weather officially starts to settle in I’m really starting to miss the dry heat of Black Rock City. I don’t think there’s any way I could accurately describe the event – an art festival, a counter culture congregation, a giant disco rave in the middle of the desert – all of those describe small facets of the enormity of Burning Man. The real trouble with putting words to my experience is that, well I’d be doing just that – putting words to my own experience. Every person there went to the desert with their own agenda and, to me, the essence of Burning Man is the acceptance of/ working toward every person’s unique burn.

I met some incredible people there, listened to many wonderful stories, and came back a different (and I think better) human being. So I hope with the small bunch of pictures I took, I can convey even an ounce of the greatness that is Burning Man.

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Picnicking at Goat Rock Beach

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https://sketchfab.com/models/4886e968f4bd4beb898bcb1ce9c46b50/embed

1438466435_RICHARDINSPIRE1
by DroneDeploy
on Sketchfab

Thanks to Richard and Eric for the awesome model of one of the boulders they made via drone

ⓛⓞⓥⓔTricia

Rotini Garbanzo Salad

This is by far my absolute favorite type of salad. I can’t exactly remember when my mom started making this, but ever since it’s been my standard food request for birthdays, visits, and really any food oriented event at my parents’ house.  Yesterday, some friends and I went to Goat Rock Beach for climbing and picnicking so of course I jumped on the opportunity to bring this. My love knows no bounds. So I prepped the salad and a mojito watermelon dish (recipe here) the night before because both seemed to be bright, filling pick-me-up dishes – that wouldn’t bog us down or make us sleepy for a day outdoors.

Salad

4 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
2 Cups Barilla Gluten Free Rotini
1 (15-ounce) Can Garbanzo Beans
1 ½ Cups Combination of Grape and Komato Tomatoes (Diced)
¾ Cup Sweet Red Onion (Diced)
½ Cup Fresh Basil (Chopped)
¼ Cup Fresh Mint (Chopped)
¾ Cup Red Wine Vinaigrette
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Depending on whether you’d like the salad to be vegetarian or not, start by bringing the chicken or vegetable broth to a boil on high heat in a large saucepan. Once the broth is boiling add the rotini and cook according to the box instructions for al dente pasta.

2. While the rotini is cooking, dice the onions and tomatoes and add them to a large mixing bowl.2015-07-31 21.15.30

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3. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans under cold water in your sink. Add the cleaned beans to the bowl of onions and tomatoes.

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4. Chop the herbs and add to the bowl as well.

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5. Once the rotini is finished cooking, drain off the vegetable broth and add the rotini to the bowl with the rest of the salad ingredients.

6. Toss the salad with the red wine vinaigrette until well combined and place in a covered container. Chill for at least 20 minutes before serving.

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Red Wine Vinaigrette

1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ Cup Red Wine Vinegar
¼ Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
4 Teaspoons Honey
Salt and Pepper to taste

Add the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and honey to a medium mixing bowl. Using a whisk, blend the ingredients until fully incorporated together and the vinaigrette comes to a smooth consistency. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper to taste.

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The recipe is inspired by Giada De Laurentiis Orzo Salad – enjoy! (PS more pictures of Goat Rock Beach coming in the next post)

ⓛⓞⓥⓔTricia

Day Trip to Robert Mondavi Winery

So finally, finally after a FULL year of living in California I’ve ventured out into the wild and visited Napa Valley! Arenia and I went to Robert Mondavi Winery’s To Kalon Vineyard on Tuesday for their signature tour and tasting. And it was INCREDIBLE! Honestly I was excited to begin with, but the whole experience completely exceeded my expectations. We learned about the entire process of wine making (or at least how it’s done at Robert Mondavi) from the plants themselves to fermenting, aging, and bottling. Not sure why, but I really love learning about the processes of things. Eric and I toured the Celestial Seasonings plant on our trip out to SF and it was the HIGHLIGHT of my time in Boulder. Okay maybe not the Rockies were pretty unbeatable… but still it was a close second! Does anyone else really love learning things like that? Like seeing the way their favorite stuff is made?

Probably… just me… *sigh*

But I digress, the tour ended with a lesson in expertly tasting Mondavi’s fantastic wines. Which, I’m ashamed to say I’ve been doing wrong my whole life. Not worry though, now I know – and knowing is half the battle. The second half is obviously retrying every wine I’ve ever tasted.

What a crying shame.

So whilst I start to correct years of bad wine habits, please enjoy this huge picture dump of the tour!

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ⓛⓞⓥⓔTricia