October 6, 2014

San Francisco: 3 months

It's exactly three months to the day since I landed at SFO. I was thinking about my 3 month anniversary this morning and thought it might be a good time to write about my experiences here. The road to San Francisco was not an easy one, and the decisions I've made this year were emotional and complicated. But, I want to talk about it and I want to share my new adventures and experiences. Some of it will be difficult to discuss, some of it will be easy, and none of it will be too serious.

Living in San Francisco was an incredible change, personally, professionally and culturally. I didn't really know when to expect when I was moving here, and I was given the most amazing advice before I left:

Embrace the city, and it will embrace you. 

And that is what I am hoping to do to, and to share with you.

February 25, 2012

Old Fashioned

There's something so wonderful about sipping on a classic cocktail. Drink recipes that are so good that they last generations.

The Old Fashioned is made with Bourbon, a potent whiskey with subtle flavors of carmel. A little simple syrup sweetens up this drink, but the main ingredient really shines through.

Old Fashioned
Serves 1

3 oz Bourbon
1/2 oz simple syrup
3-4 dash bitters
orange peel, to garnish

Combine all of the ingredients above, except for the orange peel, into a shaker. Stir together and pour into a rocks glass filled with ice (preferable with one large ice cube). Garnish with an orange peel and serve.

Large ice cube trays can be found here.

December 7, 2011


A Negroni is one of my favorite cocktails. It's an Italian apéritif that combines Gin, Campari and Sweet Vermouth. I call the Negroni Italian since that's where Campari is made, and the Negroni was allegedly invented in Florence. This perfectly balanced cocktail is a great choice when you're looking for something to sip on while reading a menu, or even while at home catching up on Netflix.

serves 1

Sweet Vermouth
orange twist

The Negroni is equal parts Gin, Campari and Sweet Vermouth. I usually use about 1.5 oz each, depending on how large my glass is. Fill shaker with ice. Add liquors and stir or swirl the shaker until well combined. You can vigorously shake the liquors to mix them together if you want, but I prefer mine stirred. You can also serve this straight-up, but I think it is best served on the rocks.


December 5, 2011

Petal & Pink Giveaway

My friend Erin is a talented jewelry designer and blogger. Her etsy shop is one of my favorite sites to shop and she inspires me to buy handmade (and local!). Some of my favorite items from her shop include the Beaded Cluster Statement Necklace, Red and Turquoise Earrings and the Green Midori Earrings

In the season of giving, Erin has generously offered to ease the gift shopping (or, the shopping for yourself!) of Straight Up with Olives readers by giving away a gorgeous pair of earrings, from a line which will debut in her 2012 collection. I love giving (and receiving!) hand-made, unique gifts, and earrings like this will make someone smile. 

The chic earrings are swarovski pearl (dark  purple, dark green and powder green) on sterling silver chain and earhooks. The length is 2.5 inches. Martini glass not included!

Erin has also generously offered Straight Up with Olives readers a discount code. Any orders placed between today and Thursday, December 22 that use the code "UpWithOlives" will receive a 10% discount to their order. Everyone is a winner in this giveaway!

To win these lovely earrings please comment on this post, telling me what your favorite gift to give is:

For an extra entry, you can:  
~Tweet: I want to win the @petalandpink giveaway hosted by @UpwithOlives 
~Pin a favorite item from Erin's shop to your Pinterest
~Follow @UpwithOlives on Twitter
~Follow @petalandpink on Twitter

Make sure you let me know what you did to gain extra entries!

Giveaway will end Thursday, December 15, 2011 at 11:59pm EST

Good luck!

November 8, 2011

Island Creek Oyster Tour

A fresh oyster, just minutes out of the ocean. I was lucky enough to have more than my fair share on a recent trip down to Island Creek Oyster.

Island Creek has humble beginnings that started in 1992 in Duxbury, Massachusetts.

On the tour, which consisted of getting on a dingy and touring Duxbury Bay and the oyster flats, we learned how Island Creek gets oysters as very small seeds, and they grow, grade, nurse, plant and harvest oysters over the course of 18 months. The entire growing process can be read about here.

Once the oysters are harvested, they are put through a process called dragging, which we were fortunate to witness.

Eventually the boat docked onto a small boat house in the middle of Duxbury Bay. Here, we learned about the Culling, or Quality Control step, of oyster farming. Each oyster is sorted and measured by hand. According to Island Creek, the perfect oyster is one that has a deep, round cup and is about three inches in length. A ring, which is seen in the Island Creek logo, is used to measure the length of the each oyster.

My stomach was grumbling by the time we docked, and it was time to sample the oysters. CJ, our tour guide, expertly shucked oysters faster than I thought was possible.  It's no secret that I love oysters, I order them at whenever I can, so I gratefully accepted each oyster passed my way. 

I've never had a fresher oyster. The taste was amazing, briney and sweet. Washed down with a cold beer, as we bobbed in the middle of the ocean - if only they could always be eaten like that!

It was amazing to learn so much about the oysters I love to eat. To learn, and watch how they get from the farm to the table. To meet the men and women who work tirelessly on a craft they love.

To learn even more about life on an oyster farm, I began reading Shucked, a book based on the blog about life on a New England Oyster Farm. So far, so good!

Island Creek offers tours for groups, if you want to check it out.

September 19, 2011

Ultimate Margarita

To me, the ultimate margarita consists of good tequila, lime juice, salt and ice. Simple and satisfying. For my at-home recipe I add Cointreau, a sweet orange liquor, and a thin slice of jalapeño for a bit more flavor.

Ultimate Margarita
serves 2

4 oz high quality silver or white tequila
2 1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed from 5-6 limes
2 thin slices jalapeño
kosher salt, for rimming the glasses
optional: squeeze of agave nectar

Rim glasses. Fill shaker with ice. Add tequila, Cointreau, lime juice and jalapeño slices. Shake thoroughly, then pour into salt-rimmed glasses.


September 8, 2011

Citrus and Garlic Marinated Olives

This recipe is one of the best to make (no cooking required!) and these olives are a perfect snack, addition to an antipasti platter, or appetizer at a cocktail party.

Citrus and Garlic Marinated Olives
serves: enough for a party

3 c cracked green olives
3 c pitted green olives
1 c kalamata olives
1/2 c caper berries
3 lemons
1 orange
9 cloves garlic (6 whole, 3 crushed)*
2 quart seal-able jar
olive oil
crushed red pepper, rosemary (optional)

Strain olives and caper berries into a colander and rinse thoroughly with water. Soak olives and capers in a bowl of cool water for 10 mins. Meanwhile, peal 9 cloves of garlic. Crush 3 of the cloves and set aside. Thinly slice citrus fruits, saving 1/2 of one of the lemons for juicing. 

Strain olives and capers.

In a 2 quart jar, layer olives, capers, garlic (and spices, if you are using them) and fruit slices alternatively until the jar is almost full. Juice the remaining 1/2 lemon and pour juice into the jar . Fill the jar with olive oil, to the top.

The olives last 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator. Remove from refrigerator for 25-30 mins before serving. 

*use more or less garlic, depending on your taste. I love garlic, and 9 cloves seems to be the perfect amount for me.