January 2020 was love, family, more love from friends and family. It was delicious food, Sunday lunches with my siblings, Super Bowl, lovely date nights and fabulous Restaurant Week lunch with BFF….January was an ice cream cone, the most delicious almond croissant from the best bakery in the United States according to Bon Appetit and Filipino dishes cooked with love by my sister in law…..
January was reading four books at the same time, solitude at home, quietness of winter…. January was spending one work day with the Golden Gate Bridge towering outside of the window. January was being spared from harm followed by an outpouring of love and caring from Mr Sweetie, my family and friends, a a vase of tulips and a bag of cupcakes from my co-workers to cheer me up. January was a new phone given to me by Mr Sweetie to replace that one that was taken away from me among the many replaceable material things. The end of January shook me to the core but faith, strength and love have been keeping me steady while I slowly found a firm ground to stand on again.
So, that was my January and beginning of the year in a nutshell.
DELICIOUS MOMENTS IN JANUARY
January felt like the longest month as compared to other months of the year. It was cold and felt desolate. I was resolved to embrace it by keeping my space warm and cozy by putting away all the Christmas decors but leaving the winter ones up. Fuzzy socks, furry rugs and blankets, thick mugs made the house homey and warm. There were also many moments with friends and family that are worth remembering. Here they are:
San Francisco Restaurant Week 2020
BFF kicked off January which has been our yearly tradition for over a decade by participating in San Francisco’s Restaurant Week. We chose a winner and I talked about our fabulous lunch at Market Bar on this post.
Lunch with Street Store Sisters at Brenda’s (San Francisco)
I met up and was treated to lunch at Brenda’s French Soul Food in San Francisco by a group of strong, retired women who serve as an inspiration to me. These women are much older than me but they never stop pursuing life! They travel, volunteer, have fabulous lunches, etc. I wish to be like them one day when I reach their age which is quite a long time from now! 🙂 We shared a beignet flight (chocolate, croissant, crawfish and plain beignet) while I had a tofu scramble. I wanted to eat healthier since the holidays had been non-stop eating!
Sunday Lunch With Sister and Nephews at TK Noodles (San Jose)
Our nephew, Matthew, is growing up really fast. He is 16. My sister and I took him to lunch and in an hour or so try to dump wisdom and knowledge that we gained through experience. Now my sister and I have a better understanding of the things that we put our parents through although we were good and easy kids! Matthew is also a good kid and we love him very much. My siblings and I are holding our breath until the kids in the family are grown! Matthew patiently and respectfully listened to his aunties’ lecture on life while we all enjoyed a delicious spread of noodle soups from TK Noodles in San Jose. Baby Jacob who is 4 years old and very active thankfully allowed us to eat in peace!
Lunch at Slingshot Cafe (San Francisco) with Karen
I am happy that I got to have lunch again with Karen. Karen is my mentor and a former boss. She has retired but I really enjoy having lunch dates with her. Our lunch that doubles up as my birthday treat for her is at Slingshot Cafe. Slingshot is a tiny hole-in-a-wall in the Tenderloin neighborhood in San Francisco. Not a destination place unless you are in the area but it serves fresh and delicious bowls of fried potatoes, veggies, chicken and topped with luscious avocado. (This was what I had). We had a wonderful lunch and I will definitely return.
Work Day At The San Francisco Presidio National Park
A work retreat at the Presidio where we were spoiled with catered brunch and lunch using fresh, organic ingredients including edible flowers. We had a delicious Mexican spread where we ate with the Golden Gate Bridge as our backdraft. It was a beautiful day.
Staying In Burger Date Night
With the indulgences of the New Year just a week ago, Mr Sweetie and I stayed in on the second week of January following New Year’s Eve. We were so lazy that we stayed in and ordered via Grubhub from our now becoming favorite burger place — A+ Burgers. I tried the Crispy Onion Burger and it was delicious! It was loaded with a giant fried and batter onion ring! Here is is previous post of our visit to A+ Burger in Oakland during previous date night.
Our first date night of the year was fabulous find at Saucy Oakland. Check out our delicious Asian-inspired meal on this post.
Dessert at Smitten Ice Cream (Oakland)
His sweet tooth attacked right after our dinner at Saucy. We drove few blocks to get ice cream at Smitten where ice cream is made to order and churned in front of you in 90 seconds. Smitten Ice Cream has 5 Bay Area locations including San Francisco. These ice creams are worth for me getting a tummy ache for being lactose intolerant. They are that good!
A delicious food coma Sunday lunch with my family is something I am always very grateful for. I had lunch with my brother and sister in law where my sis in law cooked one of my favorite dishes — monggo or mung bean soup with prawns and crispy pork. She also cooked Fish Sour Soup. My brother caught the fish himself during a fishing trip with his friends.
This was another Fish Sinigang (sour soup) that my sis in law packed for me for lunch the next day.
Solo Football Party At Home
This year’s football season was very exciting for us Niners fans in San Francisco (even though we lost the Superbowl. Booo!) During one of the Sunday games, I intentionally planned to go home early after church (and after I got my hair done) to watch the game. (Mr Sweetie was with his parents and I declined to join them.) I even opened a bottle of bubbly to accompany a Vietnamese snack, banh beo. I had a football party at home, just me and my cat, and I enjoyed it!
Croissants and Coffee at Arsicault (SF)
I took the morning off one weekday to enjoy a quiet coffee moment to get grounded. I went to Arsicault which has been declared by Bon Appetit as the best new bakery in the US in 2019. Lucky for me, Arsicault is in SF and not far from where I work. And the hype is real — those croissants are amazeballs!
WHAT I AM GRATEFUL FOR……
I have so much to be grateful for this first month of 2020. I am very grateful for God’s protection and I am so full of gratitude for the love and caring of my family friends through phonecalls, texts, little presents and flowers. I grateful for family togetherness, worshiping as a family, warm home, food made with love, and meals shared with my friends and loved ones. These are what truly matters.