IGE Takes San Francisco!

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I had an oatmeal breakthrough this morning!

I didn’t end up making 3-minute chocolate mousse last night, but still wanted to find a way to eat some of my ricotta cheese. As I was making my morning oatmeal, I thought to myself – hmmmm, I wonder what it would be like in there… So, I scooped some into the pot and hoped for the best. Umm, it was AMAZING! Here’s my Whipped Ricotta Banana Oatmeal! :D

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In the mix:

  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • cinnamon
  • vanilla
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • almond butter

Creamy and dreamy!

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Instead of slicing half of the banana into the pot while the oats cooked and the other half on top, I sliced the whole thing in while it was cooking and whipped, whipped, whipped so it was nice and fluffy.

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Adding the ricotta cheese at the end took whipped to a whole new level! As I stirred it in, you could see it making the whole mixture light as air – like a whipped pudding almost!

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Dripping with almond butter…WoW. This was amazing – you’ve got to try it!!

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Lunch may not be quite as spectacular – but it’s still a winner in my book! Tofu & Veggie Mixed Salad.

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In the mix:

  • Mixed greens
  • Broccoli
  • Baked tofu (mist of olive oil, sprinkle of garlic & onion powder, baked @ 425 for 15 mins)
  • Carrots
  • Dried cranberries

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This.salad.rocks. ‘Nuf said!

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Oh, I found Annie’s Lite Raspberry Vinaigrette at Super Target for a fraction of the price it usually costs at my regular grocery store! I was SO jazzed. :)

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So, yesterday a good friend of mine’s little boy had his first birthday (shout out to Mason!) which got me thinking about what I was doing one year ago. Well, as it turns out, Ben and I were traipsing around San Francisco at this time last year!

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Both Ben and I LOVE California. Like, love, love, love it. If it weren’t for the California economy, housing prices and the San Andreas fault – we might be out there right now! (Not ruling it out in the future!)

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We’re well traveled in Southern Cali – that laid back lifestyle and unbeatable weather has us smitten. Last year, though, we decided to give Northern Cali a chance and headed out to San Francisco for a week! Plus, we had some great friends to visit out there. :)

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During our trip we drove along the coast line to soak up and explore the deserted beaches, cliffs and tide pools dotting the highway.

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We also walked 1 million miles every single day! We stayed right in Fisherman’s Wharf which was a great central location to see all the sights that San Fran has to offer. Here’s the view of curvy Lombard Street from Coit Tower.

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Aaaaand, here’s the view of Coit Tower (top right) from the top of Lombard Street! We were POWER WALKERS, going it least 9+ miles every day. It was awesome. I think you really get to know a city by seeing it on foot!

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San Fran wouldn’t be San Fran without the cable cars (and a peek of Alcatraz Island!)

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The Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory was life changing. ‘NUFF SAID!

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And hiking through the quaint and artsy island of Sausalito was so peaceful.

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It gave us breathtaking views of the bay…and the Golden Gate Bridge!

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Our friends who live out there work under the Gap/Banana Republic/Old Navy umbrella and they took us to see their offices. Don’t worry – THIS IS THE VIEW FROM THEIR ROOF TOP CAFETERIA!!!!!!

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Can you imagine eating at work with this view everyday?! This is the Bay Bridge - the Golden Gate Bridge is off to the left.  

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While in SF, we ate at some incredible resturarants. One of our favorites was the classic Fog City Diner. Retro on the outside, bistro-like on the inside, and I can still taste the Pad Thai Salad that was one of the best I’ve ever had!

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Being the nature lovers that we are, we couldn’t leave town without going to Muir Woods which has the tallest redwood trees in the world. It was a humbling experience.

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Of course we had to have fuel to get there!

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Tree huggers kissers!

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We ended our trip with a quintessential San Francisco activity…

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A trip to Alcatraz Island. 

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I could go on and on about this place – you truly have to go and explore it for yourself though. There’s SO much history and SO much to learn about it. It’s SO cool!

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The prisoners often said the worst thing about Alcatraz was the incredible views of the city and the bay. It just reminded them that they weren’t free to go and explore it.

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This is when we told Ben he would have to spend the night in one of the cells. ;)

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San Francisco was one of the best vacations of our lives – we miss it so much and can’t wait to return one day. Next time, we’ll be sure to visit some of the surrounding wine country!!

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Have you ever been to San Francisco? What did you think?

If money was no option, where would you move to tomorrow?

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Comments

  1. I’ve never been to San Francisco but I’d love to go! I have been to San Diego since I have some family there. I’d love to tour through wine country.

  2. the wicked noodle 03.11.2010

    I MUST try that oatmeal!! YUM – what a great idea! Love your SF pics, too!

  3. Iowa Mom Life 03.11.2010

    Never been to San Francisco. Your pictures were beautiful :)
    I’d love to move to Austin, Texas someday :) Or any place down south where it stays warm year round!!

  4. brandi 03.11.2010

    that dripping almond butter shot is awesome! :)

    Yeah, I LOVE SF, too. So beautiful and there are so many cool places to eat and explore!

    I would just buy a better house here :) I love the mountains here. I’d just like a little more space.

  5. Ashley 03.11.2010

    I’ve never been to San Fran, but it looks like you had an amazing time!

    I would move out west, to either the Western Slopes of Colorado or New Mexico! I fell in love with both of those places when visiting and would love nothing more than to live there!

  6. I freaking LOVED san fran! I’m hoping i can convince the husband to drive out there on a summer road trip… I need a crab sandwich from fisherman’s wharf SOON!

  7. Stephanie 03.11.2010

    sliced bananas whipped into oats is a must for me every morning! i add cream cheese too, makes it so creamy & deelish.

    never been to san fran but love southern california. my boyfriend’s never been to ca and i would LOVE to take him there!

    if i could move anywhere today it would be the eastern coast of mexico, somewhere near cozumel/yucatan. i am in love with the culture, people, food, lifestyle ahhh everything about it :)

  8. emily 03.11.2010

    I went to SF for the first time this year and fell completely in love! However, if $ was no obstacle I would move straight back to NYC.

  9. ThePony 03.11.2010

    I stumbled across your site yesterday and immediately loved it! I’ve never heard of chinese seeds…ordered them! Thought your overnight oats looked interesting…tried them! And, your ham/apricot paninis looked amazing too…bought the ingredients yesterday to make for dinner tonight. Thanks so much for all your new & easy ideas!
    PS the oats where ahhhhmazing! I don’t want to jinx it by saying it…but mine tasted sort of like cookie dough! shhh.

  10. I’ve never been to San Fran, but I think I will be going in September! Yay!

    I would probably either move back to London or to Belgium, I loved living there!

  11. Carrie 03.11.2010

    I went to San Fran when I was about 9 or 10, so I only have foggy memories. Would love to go back!

    And if money (and the language barrier) wasn’t a problem, I’d move to Paris–or anywhere in France, actually.

  12. Jenna 03.11.2010

    Hi Kristin,
    The pictures make San Fran look like a good time! I’ve never been to California, but if I do go I think that will be my destination.

    I was going to comment a couple days ago about Swanson Health Products, but I’m in the middle of projects for college before Spring Break next week and didn’t get the chance. SHP is actually where I work, so I thought it was really cool that they were on one of your posts. I actually found your blog from our blog in the beginning of the year because I’ve written a few of the Daily Tips before, and your site is listed as a link. I don’t want to ramble on here, but e-mail me if you want to chat more about it.

    Have a great day! My Girl Scout Cookies finally arrived this week, so I am not longer envious of yours (which very well may be eaten by now?). The food looks good as always. :)

    Cheers,
    Jenna M.

  13. You just got me EVEN more excited because we are Honeymooning in San Fransisco and Napa in June!! Can’t wait to go!!

  14. That sounds absolutely amazing… I would LOVE to go to SF! I really want to one day. I live in SC and i’ve been all up and down the east coast but never farther west than Tenn.
    I would move to Cali if I could… beautiful weather! BUT only if my family and friends moved with me ;)

  15. Kelly F 03.11.2010

    Basically all of my dads family lives just outside of SF but I still only seem to get to go once every 5 years! (that needs to change!) I was just there in January and it was beautiful! The Berkeley campus is so beautiful, and it’s fun seeing what protests are going on!

    Sometimes I wish I was a computer programmer or something of the sort bc that’s where Twitter, facebook, google, ect are all located and it would be easy to find a job!! Haha

  16. ShutupandRun 03.11.2010

    I have been all over Europe and the Middle East, but have never been to CA. And I’m just in CO. No excuses! Your pictures are amazing. San Fran is on my travel list!

    Love the idea of the baked tofu in salad…

  17. Pretty positive I’d be in Hawaii. It’s the world’s most perfect weather!

  18. AP 03.11.2010

    I’m most likely moving at summer’s end to @3.5 hours from San Fran…. sooo scared but so excited!

  19. Your Cali pics looks amazing! It’s my dream to go there some day!

  20. San Francisco is one of my favourite cities! My brother worked there a long while ago (in the 90s) and I got to visit, even getting to see a favourite singer of mine in concert while down there. My husband and I stopped over for a few days on our honeymoon, eating all the seafood we could get our hands on. I can’t wait to go back!

    K

  21. valerie 03.11.2010

    I love this post! Funny I’m heading to SF today.. my family lives out there… It is a GREAT city.

  22. Love the SF pics! And that candy makes me really want to drive to a 7-eleven and stock up!

  23. Wow, so many beautiful photos! The oatmeal AND California!!
    If ££ was no option, I’d move to the US in a flash (afterall, if you have 1mill to spend, they give you a visa :p)
    I’d love to visit San Francisco tho…it’s on my hitlist!

  24. Graze With Me 03.11.2010

    We went to San Fran for our honeymoon in June last year – I went to a lot of the same places that you did! Even Fog City Diner – I had seen it on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives and wrote down the address. We wound up making friends with the bartender and getting a whole meal free since it was our honeymoon!

    We also saw the trees & went to Alcatraz – it’s such a beautiful place, I had expected it to feel more dreary & lonesome but it wasn’t.

  25. Midgetkeeper 03.11.2010

    San Francisco is definitely on the list for future a destination, I love your pictures. Absolutely beautiful.

    If I could move anywhere I’d move back home to Austin, just love that city.

  26. San Andreas fault, haha. CA is the best, especially NorCal : ) Loved looking through your SF pics. It’s such a blast to visit. I could never live in a huge city, but I like to visit it often – so much to do and see. Next time you’re a coming to Cali, I’ll give you a few restaurant suggestions : )

  27. Bridget 03.11.2010

    Great pictures! I have been to SF, just once in high school but a great friend lives there and I plan to go in the fall. My mom drove down Lombard Street and hit the brakes almost 200 times–it was not a smooth ride. The view of the ocean is breathtaking there! If money was no problem then I’d for sure live in Southern CA. I have family there and have been many times. My favorite is Dana Point–a must see!

  28. katie 03.11.2010

    we went to California on our honeymoon and saw San Francisco, Monterey, and wine country. . . it was the best! i really recommend wine country, especially further north into the Russian River Valley. it’s so pretty and relaxing and there is great food (and wine, of course!) everywhere.

  29. Melissa 03.11.2010

    You’re going to hate me but I get to live in San Francisco for work from February to May, on the company’s dime! It’s been great, and I live right in the financial district. Thanks for the recommendation of where to eat. I totally agree about Alcatraz, you need to be there to really take it all in!

  30. Kelly 03.11.2010

    I JUST got back from San Fran myself and looove looove looove it as well!
    I knew the housing prices were astronomical but I didn’t really realize HOW astronomical until an episode of House Hunters on HGTV. 480SF condo in San Fran for the bargain price of $512,000!!!
    OOOOMMMMGGG!!!!!
    Beyond that been to each site you named…have you visited Union Square? That’s some FUN shopping!!! =)

  31. Sara 03.11.2010

    Ricotta in oatmeal? What an interesting idea! I’m going to have to try that. I was in San Fran last weekend! It’s such a fun city to visit.

  32. Karen 03.11.2010

    I live near San Francisco and I love it here. You should definitely try to visit Napa sometime- even though I live so close, I’ve only been there twice and it is amazing!

  33. Hannah 03.11.2010

    I am trying that oatmeal tomorrow morning! Looks so good. And if I could move anywhere it would be right in the center of Paris. It is so beautiful there.. and lots of pastries!

  34. Machelle 03.11.2010

    Just an FYI….I just tried my first ever Larabar..cashew cookie…it was THE LAST Larabar on the shelf at HyVee..so I had no choice of flavors! The first bite was a bit,”Oh..I don’t know about this!” but I kept on eating, and by the end I’ve decided I kind of like it! I definately enjoyed the texture of it! Now I want to try other flavors!

  35. kate 03.11.2010

    i love san fran, too! i agree 100% that the best way to see any city is to get lost and explore on foot.

  36. larissa 03.11.2010

    love san fran!! been there twice once about 6 yrs ago with the family and this past june with my boyfriend! the second time was just as much- if not more- fun!

  37. Krishna Adams 03.11.2010

    I <3 SF! If money was not an issue, that's where we'd live, no doubt. We try to get up there about four times a year. Your pictures were great and did the city justice! I highly recommend wine country! Sonoma Valley and Napa Valley each have their own flare.

  38. Grace 03.11.2010

    I LOVE San Fran!!! I truly left my heart there too. Hope to get back. One of my all time favorite places ever visited :)

  39. Gina 03.11.2010

    I grew up in the San Francisco/Bay Area, and I miss it so much. I moved to the East Coast (for college) a couple years ago, and despite how great it is here, no where can compare to SF!
    One of the greatest things to do there is walk across the Golden Gate Bridge on one of the rare, clear days when the bay isn’t taken over by fog :)

  40. Amy 03.11.2010

    My mom’s side of the family is from the Bay area so I spent many summers out there. I LOVE San Francisco! I’m not really a city girl, but if I had to live in a “big” city it would be SF! I’m hopefully going there this summer to meet up with the family. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. :)

  41. I’ve never been farther west than Colorado. But it looks beautiful.

    If money were not object I’d live in Spain in a heart beat. I love the culture and weather and people. It has my heart from my study abroad trip.

  42. Jill 03.11.2010

    If money weren’t an option I would live in either Santa Barbara, Corona del Mar, CA both amazing beachy towns.

  43. Ricotta is such a great idea! I have an opened container in my fridge…I must try that!

  44. Loli 03.11.2010

    I am from southern Cali so I have been to San Francisco a bunch. It is so eclectic and I love how there are so many different thing to do! My heart belongs somewhere in Cali, but a year ago my husband (at that time he was my fiancé) and I asked each other your second question. We both answered Hawaii and now we are living out our dream. I won’t say it didn’t take some work and sacrifice to get here, but it is all worth it. Life is too short. If u really want to move to Cali then do it!

  45. Christina 03.11.2010

    Wow! I loved this post and it may be because I live in Cali…but seeing it through your eyes make me appreciate it so much more. You definitely seem to know whats up even though you don’t live here. It totally rocks! I could totally see you as a Cali girl…but you may have to say totally more. lol :D

  46. Megan 03.12.2010

    Love your San Fran photos! Napa/Sonoma is a must next time you go. How can you go wrong – amazing wine, great food, spas, beautiful country…I can’t wait to go back!

  47. Melissa S. 03.12.2010

    ohhh…you make me miss home! even though I’m from southern california and not san fran. i love visiting that city though!

  48. Kara 03.12.2010

    Hey! That’s my friend Lea!

  49. maggie 03.12.2010

    I went to UC Berkeley right across the bay from SF and spent considerable time there (a trip to the city was the perfect escape to get our noses out of the books!) Since, I’ve gone back with my bf for vacations and by myself to visit college friends. My bf and I are *this* close to moving there this summer actually. The biggest thing holding us back is the cost of living. Yikes! How much am I willing to pay for quality of life? hmm
    PS I started putting ricotta in oatmeal last summer when I had a container that needed to get used up. You’re right- it TOTALLY makes the oatmeal creamy and delish! Have you ever tried ricotta alone with some honey/agave or some jam?? SO tasty. It’s the perfect little bowl of dessert (until you start sneaking post-dessert spoonfuls;). Try it! SO GOOD

  50. Erica 03.13.2010

    I think of San Francisco as MY city!!! I love it there. Early in our marriage David and I lived there. We loved it. My favorite memory is opening the windows in the evening and letting the fog roll into the house. I know it sounds strange but the way fog moves and feels is just amazing to me. Now we live in SoCal and if our lives weren’t here we would be back in SF in no time. I’m glad to hear you had such a good time there.

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