Real Life SF - The Quest Continues

by Marisa Voorhees

I bought a kettle bell from Craigslist the other day and I had to pick it up from the Outer Sunset neighborhood (near Golden Gate park); a 90-minute walk from my neighborhood but totally worth it for a PINK 10 lb Kettlebell.

This whole adventure started because an awesome new friend said he'd teach me how to do Kettlebell exercises - wait until you see my guns!

So, I made the fun journey by foot and after exchanging the bell for my monies down on the street (I’ve spent enough lazy Saturday afternoons watching Lifetime movies to know going up to someone’s place alone is a bad idea), I started my trek back home.

At this point, I was four miles into my round trip and had about three to go to get home. And, man, was I hungry!

I usually spend my time looking down on the streets of San Francisco (it’s shocking what people dump all over them) but I just happened to be looking up when I caught a sign for Underdog, The Organic Sausage Joint.

Me and my 10 lb Kettlebell couldn’t get in there fast enough. You see, this food-sensitive foodie reasoned that more than likely a joint offering organic sausages would have a gluten-free, dairy-free meaty option.

This was my dog. And it was oh-so-good.

This was my dog. And it was oh-so-good.

But it turned out to be so much more than just the most delicious organic all grass-fed beef dog I’ve ever chomped. GLUTEN-FREE BUNS?! Corn tortilla wraps?! Vegan chili. AND homemade sauerkraut and dill relish? I’d died and gone to gluten-free dog heaven!

One amazingly yummy dog later, I was a nourished and excited FSFoodie. You see, that one delish dog turned into 60-minutes of great conversation with the owner Rizza, and a few exciting and yummy partnership plans between Underdog and me.

{Stay tuned for announcements but here's a little teaser...we’ll be hosting a gluten-free beer tasting at Underdog in September. Beer, brats and football season – hello! Tasting details will be posted soon.}

So that was all awesome and fortuitous and fun but here's where the story really gets SF...

At this point I've been out walking for a few hours, had eaten a dog, and with a 10 lb weight in my bag, and a run scheduled later, I figured I'd better take public transpo home. So I hopped on the Muni train, paid my $2.00 and turned to walk down the aisle to take my seat when...

An old Asian lady pointing at aisle loudly announces, "Poo poo! Poo poo! Lots of poo poo!" 

I looked down and there in the middle of the aisles was some crumbled newspaper covering most if it but not all of what was clearly not doggie do. 

"Look out! Poo poo!"

"Thank you!" I said smiling, and carefully stepped around it holding on tightly to the seats on both sides of the aisle since the Muni lurched forward and I didn't want to be launched into it.

Our kind poo poo police officer made her exit a couple stops later and on the way out said to the conductor, "Poo poo! Lots of poo poo! Look! Poo poo!" 

The train conductor exited his booth, walked up to the crumbled pile and said, "Is that poo? Oh sh*t..." (Yes, you're right. It's both.)

So, this is life in San Francisco. My quest. I’m still on it. Some days are awesome. Some days stink like sh*t. And like any other time you step in it, you wipe it off and keep on going. Because sometimes the next step is golden.


You're On Your Quest, Chica

by Marisa Voorhees

© Ryne Norton

“I recently learned the difference between a journey and a quest. A journey is when you know your end-plan; you’re headed somewhere specific. A quest is when you don’t know what that is.”

My roommate shared this juicy piece of insight with me two nights ago during our daily passing-in-the-hall convo. And then he dropped the wisdom bomb.

“You’re on your quest, Chica.”

And in that moment, I was set free. From the guilt, the fear, and the notion that I “should be” doing anything but what I’m meant to do.

I packed it all up and moved to San Francisco a few months ago. I had no great plan – I just knew in my heart I had to go west; that where I was wasn’t it anymore.

My things are in storage. My cats are crashing with my parents. I’m living life in temporary housing, on roommate-loaned furniture, and everything I currently “own” fits in a giant suitcase.

It is terrifying. It is unsettling. It is so ding dang exciting.

I can make anything I want; yet I already (sort-of) know what that is.

You’d think at this point in my life I’d come to terms with the risk taker in me. That I’d love up the quest-er in me, embrace the fact that I’m the kind of girl who will take my own cheese and chuck it. (I can’t eat it; I might as well move it.) And then start my own adventure to find it.

And yet I fight her pretty often.

“Ok, Marisa, you need to do this, this and this. Because it is safe. Because that’s what ‘grown-ups do. Because you should know what is at the end, you need to know.”

“YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!” Yeah…I tell my own self to stop bossing me around. Do you ever do that?

Why do I love cooking so much? Because half the time (ok, like almost all of the time), I’m not sure what the end result will be. I have an idea – oooh, red pepper, tomatoes, some eggs, canned corn, sweet onion, pickled beets – I can work with that.  (And I did, those were true meal ingredients The Is gave me to cook up recently and they came together deliciously.)

The truth is each recipe is a bit of a risk. Most recipes are a journey – I know what I’m aiming to make. Sometimes, they’re a quest. But...

It always makes sense in the mixing bowl.

Or at least by the time it’s baked. And it’s the same in life. It might not fully make sense while it’s mixing together but there’s that moment when the timer dings and you just know, “Oh yes. This is it.”

When I cook up something new, I'm often asked, "Hey, can I get a recipe for that?" Well, if like me, you're on a journey or quest, or thinking about starting one, here's my recipe for you. 

What You’ll Need:

  • Two scoopfuls of a sense of adventure
  • 1 heaping scoop of faith
  • A couple bunches of love
  • A pinch of tears (they’re inevitable, might as well use them to your advantage)

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Mix together ingredients.
  2. Add in end goal, if known.
  3. Don’t let it rest; get it baking right away.
  4. Test as needed. You’ll know when it’s done.
  5. Celebrate and enjoy!

Cooking Notes:

  • Step three is essential. Don’t delay it. Don’t skip it. Don’t kid yourself into think you have to add more of this or that. Just get it baking already!
  • Good friends, wise words of encouragement and hugs can and should be added to the mix. Add them often.
  • I find I like to pair this recipe with pink bubbly but any drink will do. Hydration is key to a successful quest or journey.
  • Add your own: 

So am I baking something awesome? Yes. Do I know what it is? No. But it certainly is going to be delicious when I finish this quest.

Emails, Recipes & Updates

by Marisa Voorhees

Yesterday started out as a sunny, lazy Sunday in San Francisco. Yes, San Francisco. I said good-bye to Chicago recently. 

View from my neighborhood my first night in the city.

View from my neighborhood my first night in the city.

My time had come and gone in Chicago (so had my acceptance of winter). And I knew I had to go to grow. So off I went to sunshine, year-round farmers markets, old friends, new adventures.  

It's been a wild adventure, from packing up my beloved studio in Chicago, to road-tripping in a 16' Penske with my dad, two cats and two fish (yes, the fish survived.) There are stories. And good eats. And I owe you blogs on them so please stay tuned. 

But, back to my Sunday morning. Sunny, snuggly, lazy, slow-to-wake - all the goodness you want in a Sunday morning. And then "ping"...that ever-faint notice from my Mailbox app telling me I have a new message.

I always used your chipotle crema recipe when making fish tacos, and am having my wife’s parents over for fish tacos for mothers day, and your website has changed around and the recipe is nowhere to be found!! I had it bookmarked but everything is broken links now... Please help!!?

Oh, how this made my heart sing! To know my recipes are used and enjoyed. To know I get bookmarked. And to know he used that nifty "Ask Marisa, Send a Note" button in the footer. Sunday snuggles no more, it was time to share some good eats! And help I did - with a copy of the recipe as quick as possible. 

It's just one of the many features I'm excited about on my new site. I'm building out a recipe box just for you so you can bookmark recipes on the blog or print recipes from my Box file system. 

So, welcome to the new

Chipotle Crema-lover and others, please forgive the old broken links you may have for me. And please bear with me while I rebuild the new pages so I can provide you with better access to recipes and more yummy inspiration.  

Now, if this has got you craving some Chipotle Crema or fish tacos, I've got those recipes PDF'd for you in the recipes section so you can print or save them directly to your computer.  

Enjoy! And the next time you're searching around here, click on the nifty "Ask Marisa" button below - send a hello, a recipe request, or share your food-sensitive foodie story with me. Your notes inspire me to keep cooking up delicious things (and to keep updating this site as quickly as possible).

Delicious wishes! xoxo