We had Lindsay, Nathan, Ivona and Justin over for dinner! We've enjoyed great hospitality from them this year, so it was fun to get to reciprocate.
We served Baked Goat Cheese and Roasted Winter Squash over Garlicky Fettuccine and Mark Bittman's terrific recipe for roasted chickpeas. (Toss chickpeas in oil, garlic and whatever spices you want, and bake in a single layer at 400°F for 20 minutes.)
Dessert was a bit of an experiment... I had a whole bunch of almond paste on my hands (from a foiled attempt to make almond butter), so Scott and I rolled it into little bite-sized balls and coated each one with chocolate (melted chocolate chips). We let them chill on the back patio while we ate dinner, and voila! Almond truffles! The recipe needs some work, to be sure, but it served us in a pinch and got rid of some of our almond paste. (I think I'm going to try to make some kind of energy bar with the rest of it...)
Road trip to Santa Cruz!
I started the day with a training session with a trainer at the CrossFit Santa Cruz gym. I've been doing CrossFit workouts for a few years now, and Santa Cruz is the HQ gym. Working out there felt like completing a pilgrimage. The session was good - I got a lot of expert feedback on my technique, which I'm excited to put to use.
From there, I went to Sibley and Nina's for a little house party. It started raining pretty hard soon after I arrived, so we couldn't visit the treehouse as planned. We did have a very cozy afternoon indoors, complete with homemade, deep-fried apple fritters and a fire in the fireplace.
I spent the night there and slept very soundly for 10 hours. It was wonderful.
I took off around 9 am for Monterey, to visit the famous aquarium. The most beautiful thing I saw was a school of sardines swimming in a circle. There was a lot of other great stuff too - otters, jellies, sharks - but those sardines are what really stunned me.
Two Other Things
First, my favorite cookbook author, Mark Bittman, has started a blog! It's great, and I highly recommend subscribing. http://bitten.blogs.nytimes.com/
Second, I discovered this morning that I can do a pull-up! I've been trying and failing for a few years now, so I'm really excited that I can finally do one.