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I just returned from a wonderful trip to California. I love exploring on foot taking photos with my iPhone.

This site before arriving at Asilomar State Park took my breath away. I will never ever get over the beauty of the ocean. It just hits me in the gut.

This site before arriving at Asilomar State Park took my breath away. I will never ever get over the beauty of the ocean. It just hits me in the gut.

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Asilomar is a magical spot on the ocean – gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean, sunsets, cypress and deer wandering the property.

And then exploring Pacific Grove – adorable colorful homes and shops.

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I came across a Tibetan meditation center in a residential area. Never would have seen this had I not been on foot.

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An adorable Farmer’s Market on Monday night. The produce was amazing!

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Really enjoyed dinner at Jeninni. The menu was interesting and service was great. I had the crispy octopus, but I think it was not the best choice. Littleneck clams in a broth were fresh and delicious.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/jeninni-kitchen-and-wine-bar-pacific-grove

Maddy on the beach

Maddy on the beach

Golden Retrievals

BY MARK DOTY
Fetch? Balls and sticks capture my attention
seconds at a time. Catch? I don’t think so.
Bunny, tumbling leaf, a squirrel who’s—oh
joy—actually scared. Sniff the wind, then
I’m off again: muck, pond, ditch, residue
of any thrillingly dead thing. And you?
Either you’re sunk in the past, half our walk,
thinking of what you never can bring back,
or else you’re off in some fog concerning
tomorrow, is that what you call it? My work:
to unsnare time’s warp (and woof!), retrieving,
my haze-headed friend, you. This shining bark,
a Zen master’s bronzy gong, calls you here,
entirely, now: bow-wow, bow-wow, bow-wow.
Mark Doty, “Golden Retrievals” from Sweet Machine: Poems
from the Poetry Foundation

Having a great Sunday. Cleared out the vegetable bin and made two kinds of kraut.

The one on the right contains cabbage, carrots, garlic, lemon, salt, dill and pink peppercorns. Itʻs a tiny batch…itʻs better that way. I use the entire lemon in thin slices. The salt will preserve and soften the skin and make it delish. I used my momʻs old Japanese pickle pot for it. The other kraut contains red cabbage, beets, carrots, red onion, garlic, lemon, salt, pink peppercorns and horseradish. Just have to give it four or more days to ferment. I love burping them every day.

In the background, are prints that I just got back from the lab. Itʻs the first time Iʻve printed on metal and love the result. Tomorrow they will be submitted for a juried show at the Honolulu Museum of Art…keeping my fingers crossed that one of them will be accepted.

Yesterdayʻs veg bin, todayʻs kraut

Yesterdayʻs veg bin, todayʻs kraut

I recently had dinner at an amazing restaurant in Maui. If you go there thinking you’re going to have something familiar that you’ve had before, forget. The menu is a great read with super inventive dishes. It was exciting to see such innovation…you could tell that the creators were passionate about the dishes. In addition to the interesting menu, the staff was welcoming and attentive. I thought they thought I was somebody. Ha!

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I was alone and was seated at the tasting table even though I wasn’t doing the tasting menu. The staff was great about explaining the menu and I loved reading it. It had an energy rarely seen…local ingredients, too. I just knew I was gonna love it. I had a great view of every dish coming out of the kitchen and each was beautifully plated.

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A slab of watermelon topped with goat cheese, nuts and micro greens was a perfectly refreshing way to begin.  Visually pleasing and, oh so light!

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The reason I chose dinner here was that there was grilled octopus on the menu…I love its wonderful flavor and texture when grilled. The salad did not disappoint. The pieces of octopus were tender and super yummy. The Secret Sicily goat cheese from Surfing Goat Dairy balanced the bitterness of the frisee and kale. There were bits of grilled bread with a touch of olive oil that added another layer of texture. Throughout was a lemony deliciousness.

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The abalone risotto topped with an onsen egg was delicious. The egg opened up to mix with the rice for a wonderful sauce. The abalone is farm-raised in Kona and there was a generous serving of its chewy goodness in this dish.
Ka’ana Kitchen so good that I brought Kris back the following night…for the same dishes. I guess I’ll have to go back to try more things. Can’t wait!

The location isn’t bad either. Here are two iPhone shots from the beach at the Andaz. It’s so beautiful there.

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