Last week was…my birthday week! Yep, I’m one of those people that makes her family and friends to celebrate it for 7 days :) But hey, it’s better than the birthday-month-kind-of-people, right? Thanks to my favorite people, turning 31 wasn’t so bad when bundled with gorgeous flowers, sweet treats, kind messages, and even a night out at America’s Test Kitchen Live! (Fun fact: Did you know that ATK spends 6 weeks to perfect each recipe and spends $500,000 per year on just ingredients?!)
The birthday fun continued into the weekend as the bf whisked me away for a Big Sur birthday weekend. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with spending time outside the city. I’m usually pretty tolerable of city life, especially in SF, but lately the traffic, non-stop construction, and more have just been getting to me. Fortunately, I got the escape I was hoping! We camped, surfed, cooked and more. With no cell service and a real desire to disconnect, I barely had my phone out…well, unless I was taking pictures.
We hit the road bright and early on Saturday morning and arrived at Andrew Molera State Park right in time to snatch up one of the last campsites available. After setting up camp, we ventured down a trail to check out the surf. It was pretty windy out and not ideal surf conditions, so we hopped in the truck and headed north to Carmel Beach. I wish I took photos of the water here! I couldn’t believe how clean and clear the water was compared to other beaches in the Bay Area. I later learned that there’s a decent amount of kelp that keeps the water so pristine. The surf here was really fun, but the waves were still really powerful for my beginner skills. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: surfing is a very humbling sport.
Later that evening, the bf cooked us a tasty dinner over the campfire. He grilled these massive burgers that were probably ~3/4 lb each. They definitely hit the spot after a super active day in the water and around the campsite. I have to say, burgers might just be the perfect camping dinner. They’re filling, easy to prep and pack, and can be dressed up with whatever condiments you like.
And while we’re on the topic of food, no one would hear about my trip to Big Sur without recommending I go to the famous Big Sur Bakery. After packing up our camp the next morning, we drove 15 minutes south to check out brunch at the Bakery. Be sure to check their hours on the website, because the cafe only serves pastries and coffee but the restaurant has a full menu and opens later. I highly recommend getting one of their breakfast pizzas; ours included egg, cheese, green onions, and bacon. They’re made in their wood-fired oven and are big enough to share with another person.
And just when I thought my birthday week had come to an end, I received some great news…I won the Drop Instagram photo contest! Thank you all so much for your votes!
Drop is a kitchen-tech company that sells an iPad-connected kitchen scale along with a recipe app. The contest involved making one of their recipes and sharing a photo of it on Instagram. I decided to make these tasty Quick & Easy Italian Meatballs, and you can find the recipe on their iPad app (you don’t need the scale to get the recipe!) I liked that these meatballs were baked versus cooked in oil, and the addition of ricotta cheese kept the meatballs from drying out. Simple and delicious!
Lucky for me, April will continue to be a fun month filled with travel! I’m heading to Kauai in a few weeks for a family vacation, which means it’s time to get serious about eating healthy. I definitely splurged during my birthday week, so it’s back to being good to my body. Can you say overnight oats and chia seed pudding? Stay tuned for some new healthy recipes this week!