The season of endless baked goods has come to an end…*sigh*. I feel sad, but I’m desperately trying to lift my chin and focus on fitting healthy leafy greens into my life here and there. The weather is chilly and calling for dishes with depth and warmth. A mound of melted deep, dark greens is a wonderful accompaniment to so many winter dishes. Whether piled on a pizza, wrapped around fillings, swirled with pasta, or chopped raw in a salad, winter greens bring earthy flavor to our cold weather tables. Here are lots of options I have found across the web, with a few fun things to round it out….just cause.
When it came time to take a family picture for our holiday card this year, I had the thought to pop up the hill and visit the unassuming white house that sits right alongside Joaquin Miller Road. For the longest time I would glance over at the house on my way up or down, unsure of what it was. It wasn’t until recently that I learned that the house was in fact Joaquin Millers home, known as “The Abbey”. Residing in the cottage from 1886 until his death in 1913, the house was built on the large 100-acre estate he purchased in the Oakland Hills, called “The Hights”. Over time Joaquin Miller planted over 75,000 trees over the deforested land. He also built eccentric monuments dedicated to Moses, John C Fremont, and the poets Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Last weekend the kids and I headed over to Grammys house to transform loads of sugar, butter, eggs and flour into yummy holiday treats. Joined by my younger sister Lindsay and our Aunt Pat, when all 4 of us get together rarely do things stay simple. So, when Pat offered to make a gingerbread house for Alex to decorate, how could we say no!
I am wrapping up my “shop local” series with a toast to the wonderful & welcoming wine and bottle shops Oakland has to offer. I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I am ready to cross the last name off my list and shift my focus to the celebrating side of things. From the library warmth of Ordinaire to the sleek warehouse space of Oakland Crush, there is no shortage of inviting shops to pop into to pick up a great bottle of wine, beer or spirits to add to your holiday and New Years celebrations. These are a few of my top picks.
I had hoped to get this wrapped up sooner, but my own holiday craziness got the better of me. So, here it is…a nice long list of great shops, ideas and more to help you cap off your 2015 holiday shopping season in local style. Get out there and enjoy the fun nooks and crannies of our great city! The below is segmented by neighborhood, I am sure I am missing some so if a favorite store of yours isn’t on the list, shoot me a note and I will add it on! Check links below for exact locations and hours.
I’m back with another addition to my shop local series with a great spot I heard about from a few different artisans when I attended the Renegade Craft Fair last month. Collector Art Shop in Jack London Square is the 2nd storefront of this unique and innovative retail approach conceptualized by Christina Begley & Skye Sullivan. With a focus on bringing original art to people of all tastes and budgets, Collector Art Shop is filled to the brim with lovely creations in many forms.
When thinking about the younger generation which occupies so much space on our holiday shopping lists, consider heading out to one of local toy shops our city has to offer. I certainly know how easy it is to sit and persue Amazon for my kids, but I also like to hit the streets and find gifts at any one of our great local toy shops and children’s stores. Here is a list of as many as I can find. Some I have visited, some I have heard of, all of them deserve our business as we try to shop local this holiday season. Please see links supplied for hours, addresses, and more info.
On a recent cold, foggy morning I hit the road early, in search of one of the coolest things I have learned about Oakland in awhile. I was the first visitor to the main gate of Redwood Regional Park; most others were probably still enjoying the warmth of their homes on a chilly Saturday morning. I zipped up my coat, put on my hat, and headed out of the Canyon Meadow Staging Area on the Stream Trail. What I was in search of were big piles of the little red and black bugs that bring us luck when they land on our shoulder. They brought me luck on this morning, I was in for a treat.