A Mountain Lion Scare and Food with Flare

****** WARNING: An asinine amount of food pictures to follow. Ya’ll have your snacks ready? Ok, good. Let’s goooo!**********

Woah now, put on the breaks there! Getting ahead of myself..First,  I want to thank TheHangryRunner for the nomination for the Mystery Blogger award. It’s so hard for me to find time to write a post to respond, but the nomination means so much!

Okay, off we go now 🙂

Our Aunt and Uncle on DJ’s side came in town Thursday. My side was here a couple weeks ago! Just in case anyone was momentarily confused. We have been excited to see them as they live in Ohio and the last time we saw them was in April! Fun side note: Our Aunt actually published a humorous, high-energy book series. I know I have a few writers that follow this blog, so I’ve provided the link to her blog page to check them out if interested 🙂 Highly entertaining and relatable!

When they arrived they gave us an incredible gift. This is one of those times that I was reminded that, yes, we live in the twenty-first century where technology is just INSANE. Allow me to present a smart pan called Pantelligent. Yes- you heard me right. A SMART PAN. It has a temperature sensor in the actual pan body and connects to an app on your phone. You tell the app what you are cooking, and it reads the pan, telling you what temperature to set the pan to, when to flip the food, when to turn up the heat or turn it down, etc. Mind blown.

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We had some champagne, toasting to family and new adventures. We showed them around our place and Main Street and noticed it was just about dinner time. Naturally, whenever we have visitors who are sushi fans we have to take them to Yuki. It’s such a hole in the wall place, but the fact that you have to wait so long for a table even on a week night exemplifies this is the best sushi around. Yes- to all my girlfrans who are sushi lovers, come visit me here and we WILL go to this place.

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After dinner, we parted ways for the evening. Around 9:45 we got a knock on the door. I had met our neighbors that just moved in the day before and we did the casual “Come by if you need anything!” I definitely meant it, but was surprised how quickly they took us up on it! Sure enough, 9:45 pm on a Thursday night, stopping by to “borrow” lettuce… when we have a grocery target across the street that’s open till midnight. We happily gave them lettuce, but it was hilarious. Last night they came by for cilantro. We are taking bets on what they are gonna swing by for next!

Now for a wild story. Allow me to tell you about one of the scariest moments in my ENTIRE life…And I thought Halloween was over.

Friday I decided I wanted to run to the top of my favorite trail running mountain. It seemed like a great challenge. It’s about four miles inclined up, and at certain points you can feel pretty isolated, especially in the woods. I have been running on my own since I was like two years old, so I usually don’t usually feel too nervous on tucked away trails. I can certainly be naive… I realize. I trotted happily ? exhaustively ? happily exhaustively taking in the spectacular view, the inviting winding path. My legs burned something fierce trudging up that incline, but I wanted to make it to the top with every ounce of my being.  I was running through the last section of forest and foliage, then the top of the mountain came into view. I felt a renewed energy and pushed to get to the top.

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The beginning of the last stretch
When I was only maybe 100 feet from my destination, I heard the most terrifying noise. A big ole’ angry cat snarl. . The kind of sound you would hear on the Animal Planet. It sounded like the creature was up the hill next to me and close. I didn’t want to look.  I had one of those moments where I just froze. The fright turned to flight, hello sympathetic nervous system! I turned around and booked it down the mountain. (Which is the exact opposite of what you are supposed to do if you encounter a mountain lion, mind you). I have never run so fast in my entire life.

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Another thing about mountain lions is they stalk their prey. So even when I felt I was away from the area I heard the snarl, I still didn’t feel at ease. I was praying incessantly and imaging the headlines in tomorrows paper, “Woman, Only Twenty-Two, became Mountain Lion’s Dinner” “Never run away from a Mountain Lion: Deadly Attack when Woman loses her Common Sense and Her Life”. I would be featured on the TV show 1000 Ways to Die, and I would forever go down on the Wiki page of the handful of recorded mountain lion attacks in North America.

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You guys know I’m one for the dram’, and to be honest none of that was going through my head, besides begging God to get me back to safety and to make my legs go faster. 

A little over a half mile down I saw a woman hiking up the path. Hallelujah, praise Him above. I have never been so relieved to see another human being. I ran up to her out of breath and shaking tremendously. I didn’t realize just how scared I was until I tried to speak and nothing came out. Finally, I calmed down and just repeated, “Mountain lion” over and over and pointed up the hill. First she asked if I actually saw it and I shook my head. Then she calmly explained that she has lived in this area for 47 years and has hiked this trail for 16 without ever seeing a mountain lion. She assured me that it was probably a harmless bobcat.

I explained how I was so frustrated I was that close to the top but just didn’t quite make it. She helped convince me that I had nothing to worry about if I wanted to attempt the mission again. Well now, I certainly didn’t want to call it quits. She continued to assure me that I was safe and that she was right behind me if anything were to happen. I know it’s crazy that I even contemplated going back, but in the moment my pride was blinding me. K? I ran without thinking, to the top, snagged a few pictures, and then descended that mountain quicker than I probably would have in any other situation. I don’t think I will ever do that trail alone again, at least not without some kind of bear spray (works for the lions too).

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Here is proof that the mountain-lion-bob-cat didn’t get me. Also, I never have a good hair and makeup day at the same time. I had to record the anomaly.

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 Since our Aunt and Uncle were still in town on Friday, we planned to have dinner at the GREATEST RESTAURANT in San Francisco. Say Whaa? The best in all of SanFran? What is this place? It is called *dramatic hand twirl* Farallon. Located in Union Square, it’s known for featuring exquisite costal cuisine; aka this pesca’s dream come true. DJ and I (and mama bear) sampled food from Farallon when we went to the Eat Drink SanFran event, and knew this was a place we would have to venture to at some point. I was ecstatic when our Aunt and Uncle suggested it.

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This was easily the most unique and impressively themed restaurant I have ever seen. Like I said, it’s known for it’s seafood, and everything about the restaurant created the illusion that you were in an underwater oasis. There were actual jellyfish fixtures that hung from the ceiling. JELLYFISH CHANDELIERS, GUYS. The seats were designed so you felt like you were sitting in a pink velvet shell. The walls were a marine teal and lined to illustrate coral in certain areas. The restaurant mastered the art of creating a high-end, luxurious and classy underwater sanctuary.

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Our Aunt and Uncle encouraged me to take pictures, I obliged without a fuss, because ya’ll know I like those food pics 😉

First we started with caviar. I have never had it, and neither had DJ (or at least it’s been a while). It was so full of bursting umami flavor and the chives, onions, and light cream sauce just caused a flavor explosion in my mouth. I understand why people revere caviar as such a treat!

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We decided to do the tasting menu because what better way to make your way around the delicacies?!

We started with a local halibut crudo with basil oil, serrano chili & crisp shallots over grilled moon drop grapes. We raved about how the flavors complimented each other perfectly.

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Next we had pan roasted sole with brussel sprouts, beurre rouge & dungeness crab. Holy Moly. This was definitely a crowd favorite for the evening. This dish rode the line between delicate and savory perfectly.

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Next up was the Gnocchi & Cayucos Abalone with rosemary butter, smoked trout roe, & aged balsamic. This. Thissss. I can’t even begin to describe the flavor. I will do it injustice no matter what I say!

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Next we had the Reichardt Farm Duck with cinderella pumpkin & chestnut chai. By this point we were getting pretty full, but had to try it. Even though I don’t eat meat, when something like this is placed in front of me there ain’t no way I’m passing it up. I tried a little bite and decided it tasted like steak. If you like steak, you would love this! My favorite part was the pumpkin. It reminded me of sweet potato puree and the chai butter was the perfect sweet touch.

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What?! There is more? You betchya. Below is a baked pear with vanilla ice cream, pomegranate seeds, and a delicious macadamia nut cookie. Move over Betty Crocker!

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The best part of the night wasn’t even the food. It was the treasured quality time with family and conversation about everything and anything. I send a big thanks to our Aunt and Uncle for allowing me to document this evening, and for making this unforgettable night happen. You guys spoiled us!!! xo

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DJ and I woke up with a craving for two things: Donuts and The Office. We started this Office/Donut tradition back in Indiana in our little townhouse. We would occasionally just spend a morning binging the office and eating delicious donuts from Poppy’s (the ONLY donut shop for miles). Now we have about ten fantastic options within a ten mile radius. Thank you, California. We always get a healthy amount, and I freeze whatever donuts we don’t eat. Not kidding- just throw them in the freezer, then when you get that craving, microwave um’ and they are good as new whenever you want! I like the Maple donuts, DJ likes plain glazed or cinnamon sugar. What are your favorites?

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Like I said, there are tons of highly rated donut shops near us, so we will definitely be making our ROUNDS, because they bring us a HOLE lot of joy. Just a little SPRINKLE of humor for ya.

Saturday night we met with friends from Church to try some authentic Ethiopian food. This place was about as authentic as it gets. I was so giddy when I stepped in and saw this little tikki hut. Anything tikki can put one in a good mood, Amirite?!

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We started with Sambusa, which reminded me of a Samosa from India. I would describe it like a spinach pie with lentils. DELISH, especially with whatever barbecue sauce this was.

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We had our food served to us on a silver platter. Literally. How great is that. We tried the meat and veggie sampler. Ethiopian food is the kind of thing you definitely do NOT want to try on a first date and no- you are NOT given silverware for the main course. They took away our forks. HA! You use the spongy Injera (pancake like substance) to scoop the food.

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We left so stuffed. The food was delicious and like nothing I have ever had. The injera was actually painless to use and scooped the food super easily. I would highly recommend it!

This place just opened up near us and we gave it a go Monday. I was planning on cooking, but I applied for my first nursing job Monday and had a massive headache after slaving over the application for about four hours. DJ suggested we try it out. Conclusion: We will be back!

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After completing that application I felt the need for some Halo Top. My two favorite flavors are the strawberry and birthday cake.. MMM mmm. This stuff has the health factor and taste factor dowwwn- low calorie (280 for the pint), high protein, and low fat. It is probably the best replica out there of real ice cream.

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Tuesday- I did something I have never done before! I made Tacos. Go ahead and laugh. I know it’s pretty unbelievable that I’ve never made them. I basically only cook bizarre things, remember?! I’ve made taco salad, “taco-like” options, and vegetarian wraps but never just plain Jane tacos. No worries, I did garnish it with cilantro to stay true to myself. #TACOTUESDAY, ya’ll. DJ has been craving them and I decided to try my hand at the little guys. I was shocked at how easy they were to make, and they made the house smell delicious. He said I nailed them. If you know me, there are very few compliments you can give me that are better than complimenting my cooking. For my meal, I made a garden salad with tons of veggies, pickled onions, pickled beets, beet hummus, vegan chicken strips, and balsamic vinegar.

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I won’t get all political because I know you guys have enough of that, but I hope you were all able to make it to the polls!

OHHH! Last thing- I finally posted my Healthy French Toast recipe. 🙂

Hope you guys are all doing well! Can’t wait to see my Ohio and Dallas fam in about a month! Counting down!

Wishing you a toasty week,

xo ❤

Mack

57 thoughts on “A Mountain Lion Scare and Food with Flare

    1. Haha, I’ve made things resembling tacos like taco salad, just never the simple taco that the normal person imagines! So crazy. I LOVE that idea though!!! I usually use boca crumbles, but I will definitely try that brand out!!! Thanks for the idea, Heather!

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    1. Thanks, Chelsea!!!!! And ahhhh Ethiopian is sooo good. Now that it’s been a few days since I’ve had it I think I’m getting a craving! I bet they have some good Ethiopian in Dallas (all the food in Dallas is amazing!). Let me know if you try it or find a good spot! I am going to Dallas in a little over a month and I know my parents would love to try it too. ❤

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  1. I have never thought of freezing donuts before! Now I have to make space in my freezer for my next donut binge. Oh and glad you didn’t get carried off by that mountain lion since we wouldn’t have any more amazing food pics 😉

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    1. Ha!!! This made me laugh out loud! No worries- the food pics are gonna be coming in strong 😉 And yes, my husband makes fun of me because I freeze just about anything that can possibly be frozen. My number one google search might be, “Can I freeze ____”. Hate having it go to waste! Hope you are having such a great week. Hugs!!!!! ❤

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  2. Donuts are for sure the 2nd way to my heart, macaroons being numero uno 🙂 I don’t think I clicked on a blog post as fast as this one when I laid eyes on those yummy treats! I’m going to guess your neighbors ask for….spinach next? Seems like they’re going on a green theme there. I couldn’t help but to laugh out loud at lettuce that is the strangest request ever, but completely hysterical. I can totally vouch for Ethiopian food I’ve only ever had it once but it was so splendid, the flavors were so unique and the injeras are in itself such a clever way to pick up food. Loved it! Lastly, SO glad you made it out alive from your hike a part of me would’ve been quite devastated without my MackMarie food posts!

    xo, JJ

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    1. Hahaha yessss! 🍩🍩 🍩 They are definitely something I crave and macaroons are THE BOMB! I actually just tried one for the first time last year and couldn’t handle it! They have the most darling macaroon shop in Palo Alto! Now I may just have to go this weekend! And I’ll add your guess to the list- good choice. I say eggs and DJ says Kale, so stay tuned 😉 I’m so serious- if you and Andrew are ever this way we will make a weekend full of good Ethiopian and macaroons for dessert 🙌🏻 and shucks making me blush lol 😊. No worries food posts will still be coming in strong ! 💕 hope you are having such a good week ! I can’t wait to catch up on your adventures, JJ.

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      1. I was sitting in my apartment wanting to repaint my nails only to realize I didn’t have any more nail polish remover- I was laughing to myself thinking “hmm maybe I should just go ask my neighbors for some” hahah

        A weekend in Cali would be AMAZING, esp since I’ve never been to NorCal yet- if it ever comes around you better believe we’re calling you/meeting you for some good eatery and dining places! Of course, likewise if you two are ever in Boston 🙂

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      2. Oh my goodness that’s too funny. But seriously a little nail polish remover is a bit different than lettuce! I hope you asked them 😉 And Yes yes yes! We’re young, it’lll happen! xo

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  3. What an adventure!!! My life seems so dull compared to yours now, not that I want to be chased by a mountain lion but still. I had a good laugh (because of the way you wrote it, not because o what happened obviously). What a scary experience, glad you’re ok. As far as the restaurant goes, I need to go!

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    1. Haha, Myra, I promise it is not always like this!!! As soon as we get our job situation settled we will definitely be in that hum-hum routine again! If I had to blog my last four years in nursing school ya’ll would probably be bored out of your minds! And truly if you are ever in SF Farallon is such a must. Definitely on the pricier end, but worth the experience and every. delicious. little. morsel. So good to hear from you!!! I hope you are having a good week AND it is almost the weekend- woohoo! I saved your Moroccan meatball recipe to my phone- I want to try my hand at that so soon!

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  4. I enjoyed the asinine amount of food pictures in this post! Getting ready to make breakfast this morning, I’m glad I read this first. I’m going to try your french toast recipe! And you’ve inspired me to attempt to make Ethiopian food for dinner tomorrow. I forgot how amazing it was!

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    1. Oh my goodness woohoo!!!! I hope you loved it ❤ And make Ethiopian?! that's new level!!!! If you do and have any tidbits or tricks for making it let me know 🙂 I would love to hear how it goes. Thanks so much for stopping by, Samantha!!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Lyss!!! And girl, once I get that donut craving there ain’t no turning back. What kind is your favorite? And YES YES YES- try halo top. It is a bit lighter than ice cream in texture but it melts in your mouth just like it and the flavor is fantastic. I would recommend strawberry #1, then birthday cake. Not a huge fan of lemon, but the vanilla is good and a great base for combining with pies or other desserts instead of regular vanilla ice cream! I only buy it on special occasions though because it’s pretty expensive. My go-to on the daily is just some light Dreyers (mint cookie crunch if we wanna get specific). Oh no, you’ve got me starting on the ice cream talk.. I may not stop. Lol. Hope you are having such a good week. Almost the weekend!! I can’t wait to catch up on your posts too! ❤

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  5. omg how did you even have the strength and endurance to run back up the mountain after bumping into that lady? You’re probably Superwoman and don’t even know it.

    I really enjoyed Ethiopian food! I bought teff flour asap but it’s been sitting in my freezer for over half a year now because it’s so intimidating to make injera. How do they make it so soft but strong???

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    1. You are farrrr tooo kind !!! If I haven’t told you already your comments truly make my day. And I think I couldn’t even feel my legs after that point so it was strictly robotic getting back to the top. So much adrenaline! And too funny about the teff flour- story of my life! I always feel optimistic that I’m going to challenge myself with certain ethnic foods, but always feel unsure of even where to begin!!! I have so many Indian ingredients that I haven’t even touched. But with the Ethiopian that was my first thought when I had the Injera- “how in the world do they make this stuff?!” Let me know if you ever get around to making it and if you find any tricks/tips. Have such a good weekend, Afrilly!

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    1. Hehe- thank you Stephanie!!!! And I will certainly be making tacos more often. I plan on trying out a vegetarian recipe this week too! Hope you are having a great start to the weekend!! Woohoo! ❤

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  6. Your posts always guarantee a laugh/smile/pangs of hunger (or all 3!)! Swear I actually feel like I’m next to you half the time! I take my trail running for granted reading about your adventure, the scariest thing you can encounter in England is either an angry pet dog or a bull if you’re going through his field at breeding season.

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    1. Thank you, Stubbsy!!! Wow- this comment brought me a smile!!! Seriously- what kind things to say. Made my day!

      That’s hilarious about the pet dogs and bulls! I’ll keep my eye out for that if I’m ever running in England, lol. I never worried much when I was in Ohio about the creatures, but now they are a real threat. I think I was in denial that anything was actually out there. Now I have learned my lesson. Hope you are having a great start to the weekend. Thanks for stopping by!

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    1. They are pretty similar but the mountain lion is larger and more dangerous!!! Since your from Australia I have to mention we used to own a dingo !!! I loved that dog so much but we had to put her down because she was a risk around other animals! Hope you are having a great weekend!!

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    1. Hi Mary!!!! This comment made me laugh out loud 😂 My philosophy is eat to run and run to eat, heavy on the latter 😉 and that’s too funny about the pan- thank GOOODNESS I didn’t have to be that mountain lion’s dinner! Still feel relieved when I think about the whole situation! Thank you for stopping by!! 💕

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  7. Oh My gosh, the Pantelligent killed me. That is to funny. Hugs I can completely understand about being nervous about animals (and people). I am a runner and a hiker and have on more then on one occasion freaked myself out to only realize it literally was my own shadow. It makes for good stories. And you were right all the food posts! My mouth is watering. I use to work at a restaurant which also had a Cider Mill. One of our specialities were cider donuts. We would freeze the left overs at the bakery and the restaurant would make a desert out of them! I love tacos! Literally a food group in my life! I hope you have a terrific weekend! ❤

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    1. Hey K.!!! Thanks for taking the time to comment! And can you believe there are smart pans now a days?!? Like what will they come out with next?! Thanks for sympathizing 😉 I never know what stories will come out of just a casual run.

      What?!? Cider donuts. That sounds like a dream. Seriously the thought is making my mouth water. And if a real bakery froze them then I must be doing it right, right?! 🍩

      Trust me- the tacos will be a more regular thing!!!! So easy ! I’m gonna try to whip up vegan ones soon too!

      Xo have such a great weekend yourself, dear! 💕

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      1. You are most welcome sweets I enjoyed reading:) I can’t! What will they think of next?
        Hehe I have some interesting ones. It is why running isn’t for the faint of heart 😉
        Yes. We were well known for them. People would come all over to buy them. Haha yes you definitely are! 🙂
        Ooo yummy! I hope it goes well (I am sure it will because it is just substituting the meat and cheese) Please post pics so we can all be envious and have our mouths water. Thanks love, you too! ❤

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  8. We are so going to that Squid Rest the next time we are in town. Great post Kenz and so glad it was ONLY a bobcat. Pat and I used to have “donut Saturday” in Grand Rapids after we’d run us and the dogs. I’d forgotten about that until you mentioned it. Love ya!

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    1. Thanks Aunt Terry 💕💕 I need you to move here so I don’t have to run alone 😜 and yes most definitely are going to this restaurant next time- you guys would love it! Love you!!

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