Soufflé Pancakes & It’s Finally Autumn!

Hey, everyone! I am trying to get us all caught up before a super busy (and fun) week ahead 🙂 This morning is a three cups of coffee type of day, but I’m resisting considering I have to get up at 4 am tomorrow morning. Wish meh luck…. sometimes I wonder how I did that on a regular basis for over a year. I think we left off right after Thanksgiving!

November 23rd was a day of utter relaxation for DJ and me. I used to love Black Friday shopping, but now that online shopping is available I would much rather do it from my home than fight the masses. I ran a few errands and then we had a Thanksgiving Round 2 with all our leftovers in the evening (you can see those in the Friday Faves post).

November 24th DJ and I woke up early, went to our local Target, and then grabbed some Starbucks. I still have to try their new holidays drinks. Anyone try the Juniper Latte yet?

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After breakfast I enjoyed a nice long run on a my-kind-of-Saturday-morning grey day!! It actually finally feels like Autumn now. Leaves are falling, I repeat- the leaves are falling!

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After working on some school work I was in a mood for a movie. I am never in the mood for a movie at home, but for some reason nothing sounded better that evening. I usually can’t sit still that long, but I was so exhausted after all the festivities, and with the warm Christmas tree up it all sounded perfect. We chose Manchester by the Sea. About twenty minutes into it we turned it off- it was too depressing for the mood we were in. Instead, we tried Crazy Rich Asians, which I had heard raving reviews about. It was a good movie, we enjoyed it- but were sad they portrayed Christians in a such poor light, yet again, through the Hollywood lens :/.

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Sunday morning of the 25th before church we tried out Koja Kitchen. DJ and I have been drooling over pictures of these soufflé pancakes for a couple months. After our experience at Cafe Jacqueline, anything with the word “soufflé” is calling our names! Within this last couple weeks just started selling them at this particular location by our apartment… serendipitous I do say!

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DJ had their mixed berries ones, and there was not a trace left within a couple minutes. Rarely does DJ rave about food in the way I do, but he couldn’t stop talking about how wonderful these were!

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And I concurred. My matcha mascarpone ones were next level fluffy, yummy deliciousness!!! These are crave worthy- the texture & flavor is everything. I don’t know how soufflé pancakes aren’t a staple for all breakfast spots. They are just phenomenal.

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You can see in this video just how fluffy they are when you cut into them…

After church I enjoyed a shorter run soaking up the beautiful day.

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November 26th I went on a nice walk before finishing up my massive paper for the semester. Woohooo!

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On Wednesday November 28th I just continued to truck along with the school work with a run squeezed in between.

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In the evening I posted a whole bunch of stuff on Poshmark and sold a few items. That always feels so satisfying, especially when you sell something that has just been sitting in the closet for a while!

Thursday the 29th was the same ole’, same ole’ for us with school and work, but in the evening I made more of the mac and cheese recipe from Thanksgiving! My goal is to figure out a vegan version of this. But for now- bring on the dairy!

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I classify this as “cry food”: Food so good you get emotional and may even feel the urge to cry tears of joy.

Friday November 30th I went to a new hair salon and had my roots fixed from the fiasco of the last lady now that I’ve nursed it back to health somewhat. I loveeed how it turned out, I paid about half the price as the other place, and definitely spent half the time in the chair. I am so stinkin’ excited about this… y’all know I’ve had a difficult hair journey since moving here, so I’m glad to have found somewhere affordable and high quality! I loved my stylist too- she’s so sweet, fun to chat with & knowledgable.

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We decided to have a formal date night for the first time in a long time! We have been kinda all over the place with work/school/etc. this last few months, so our attempt at a weekly date has fallen to the wayside (although we could consider our weekend breakfast tour a date day I suppose!).

We received a coupon from Steins to try out their new menu. If you’ve been following along for a while this place probably looks familiar. We were excited to try it out!

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I am always skeptical about a soft pretzel since trying the one at Deschutes in Portland. That one was just too good & has ruined every soft pretzel since- nothing ever comes close! However, this one was solid. Not as good still- but close, especially with the dipping sauces of caraway beer mustard, pub cheese, & tomato jam!

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Gotta get those truffle fries!! The lemon aioli they are served with is the most heavenly aioli everrrr.

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We tried their creamed spinach too- and was pleasantly surprised how good this was! Typically steakhouses are the ones with the best creamed spinaches, but this is up there for sure.

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DJ had their chicken tenders with their super spicy hot sauces. Mmm mm! I used some of the hot sauces for dipping too. DJ said these are some top notch tenders.

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I tried their vegan cauliflower & garbanzo bean vegan dish paired with a cold glass of Pinot Grigio (perfect combo). This dish is supposed to serve three people, but when in marathon training….lol.

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The dish was… fine. I wouldn’t order it again, probably will go for the fish next time- but it was still satisfying & is a great vegan option for those that are strictly vegan!

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We came home, watched Arrested Development, and crashed.

On the morning of Saturday December 1st (How is it December?!), we had to go back to Koja…… the cravings were REAL.

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This time I tried their Tokyo caramelized banana option! It was tasty, but I still prefer the matcha mascarpone. DJ had the mixed berries again.

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I had a great long run of 16.75 miles after that carb load. I studied the entire time on the treadmill because it was raining outside. I made a solid dent in the books & actually felt better than I thought after the run. In the evening we had all our leftovers, and I spent the rest of the day resting the legs and blogging.

Yesterday, December 2nd, we went to an awesomeeee church service, then I did the first 20 minutes(ish) of this Youtube HITT routine. I ran some errands and then stopped by my friend Sara’s to wish her a happy bday. I worked on school work for a few hours, spent on hour talking to SheIn customer service (do not order from them- it’s not worth it), and last, to round off a nice, lazy, yummy weekend, we watched a couple episodes of Arrested Development.

Today the 3rd, I made a bunch of returns on my Black Friday orders. I ended up keeping two shirts, but it’ll feel good to see that money come back. Right now I’m enjoying this bowl of overnight pumpkin oats with fresh cranberries, a dollop of Fage, & maple syrup. Holy smokes – I might be on a new kick!

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The rest of the day is dedicated 100% to studying. Watch out Research & Stats, I’m coming for ya. We leave tomorrow for Disney, so I’ll probably be MIA till next week! Hope this week is absolutely restful, joy-filled, & lovely for each of you!

Questions for you:

  • If you have been to Disney, which is your favorite park?
  • What are some of your favorite online stores with cheap(ish) clothes that you can trust? There are so many sketchy sites these days, but all of them seem to have such cute clothes until you get something totally different in the mail, lol!!

xo <3

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Our Third Year Anniversary!

Hey everyone 🙂 I am starting grad school tomorrow (Monday), although I’m not entirely sure when this will be published! I am soo very excited, but I’m soaking up this last night to try to catch up with blogging best I can before the craziness ensues.

To pick right up where we left off, on the evening of August 8th, DJ and I made a spontaneous trip to San Pedro square to pre- celebrate our anniversary. How have three years passed already? It has truly been the my favorite three years of my life. Although this past year was the hardest single year of my life, I would not have made it through without DJ nor would I have traded it for the world. It was a year of challenge, growth, but the most reward- it shaped me, shaped us. Year three we grew more as a couple more than our first two years combined, and I just love love love this man more than I could ever have imagined possible. He is my rock. Sorry for the sap, but if any day warrants it it’s an anniversary, yahhhhh? Plus we both missed the obligatory social media post, so making up for it here. Hahah.

This anniversary we didn’t think DJ would be able to do anything the actual day of August 8th with work, but he miraculously was able to leave pretty early. We went to the mall together to pick him up a new phone since his entirely bit the dust then went down the road to dinner.

We had a gift-card we had been saving for a special occasion to district in San Jose, and this seemed like no better time than our anniversary day!

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This place is just so darn snazzy. It was dimly lit so it was hard to get great pictures of the unique bar that went directly through the middle of the restaurant. It also had a lounge area with fun adieus to our favorite classic games- Twister, Darts, Billard’s, etc. It’s a contemporary age type cocktail/tapas bar and a fantastic social environment if you are meeting with friends too!! I would love to come back here with my girlfriends someday.

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I’m working on getting DJ to enjoy oysters like I do, so we ordered some scrumptious ones on the half shell. He said they weren’t bad! Baby steps!

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Then we tried my personal favorite dish- seared squash blossoms. Whatever tomato sauce these were in was magical. I sopped up every bit. Even the waiter came over trying to take the plate and I politely asked if I could keep it to dip a bit longer. He said, “I respect that!”. Lol.

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We then tried a true gastronomical delight (thank you, Linda, for the new addition my lexicon 🙂 ). DJ and I had bone marrow for the first time at Orchard City Kitchen, and we were blown away by it. This was just as savory as we remembered! It just melts right off the bone. Heaven. This was DJ’s favorite.

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We then tried a gnocchi dish that was a close second favorite for both of us. It was very unique compared to what we usually have in terms of gnocchi, but gosh every bite was terrific!

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We were so full in our regular stomachs- but there is always the dessert stomach! DJ had been wanting to try a Pizookie from BJ’s Brewhouse for a while, so I decided to surprise him with a trip to try um’ out! I pulled up the maps app, and guided him to the restaurant. It’s not often that you have the chance to surprise each other in marriage- so this was a fun little spontaneous treat.

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He was stoked when we pulled up! I swore that I was too full to eat a bunch of dessert, but when these came, we equally contributed to the pizookie demolition.

We opted for the flight which and chose cookies n’ cream…

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salted caramel…

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and chocolate chunk…

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We couldn’t decide on a favorite. They were all sooo yummy. They were way better than I ever expected. Considering we have a BJ’s 2 miles away from us this could be dangerous. I think they’ll be something I crave.

The next day DJ and I had our “official” anniversary celebrations, although we both agreed the night before would have sufficed! Since we had reservations and the time set aside already, we went through with the staycation, and boy, am I glad we did.

The restaurant we went to was a big one on my bucket list. I have been PUMPED for the past month to share this with you all. I’m sitting here spazzing out because I don’t even know where to begin.

Cafe Jacqueline is a little, teeny tiny hole-in-the-wall place in SF that serves essentially only soufflés. They do have a french onion soup that is supposed to be unmatched and a couple other little items- but their thing is soufflés!

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It’s super intimate- I think they only have a total of about twelve tables. It is a perfect date and romantic dinner night restaurant. I will warn- it is extremely hard to get a reservation, so we booked about a month and a half in advance for this particular Thursday night. Weekends are rough trying to get a spot. There was hardly anyone there when we arrived, but quickly the place filled up.

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A little more history about this place- Jacqueline herself is a chef from France who started this restaurant in San Francisco. She makes every single soufflé herself to this day. When I went to the bathroom, I had to cross through the kitchen, and there she was soufflé-ing away! She is so cute- she’s in her 80s, tiny, and jovial as can be. She looked up at me with a big smile and said, “Bonjour!”. I hope I am half as cool as she is when I’m her age.

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Everything on the menu was making us salivate. We actually spent the car ride driving into the city trying to figure out what to order, but had no idea what to expect since we had never tried a soufflé before. Each soufflé can serve multiple people (savory ones they say serve 2-3 and dessert serve 3-4). Oh, also, since Jacqueline makes every soufflé to order, it takes about an hour or more for each to come out, so be prepared to wait! We didn’t mind, I treasure time just to spend with DJ with undivided attentive discussion together.

We decided on their white corn ginger garlic one. You. guys.  I cannot find the words to describe how tremendous this was. Seriously one of my favorite- if not MY FAVORITE food item I have ever had. DJ and I kept saying this could not be real- it surpassed every inkling of expectation we may have had- was so light, fluffy, yet full of perfect flavor. It was out of this world. I want to cry thinking about it. Does a food ever make you want to cry? (not talking onions) Like it’s so delicious it just evokes emotion? Just me? Ok

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We ate every little nibble so fast. The authentically amazing french waiter with a handle bar mustache came back and looked at us with wide eyes saying, “We either starved you for too long, or that was really good”. I said, “definitely the latter!”.

For dessert we tried the chocolate soufflé. It was *insert crying sniffle* perfection. Excuse me, I need tissues. I have never felt this way toward a food item before. why. Why did it have to be so good?!?!

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Here is a video of us scooping into it! It is a semi- ok shot, until the end where it all falls off my spoon. Haha. Smoooooth.

We had to walk a looong time to get back to our car but we probably needed it after not leaving a bite of our 3-4 person soufflés. Lol 3-4. No chance!

When getting into our car we had this radiant view of the bridge.

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We stayed at Hotel Vitale for the evening- probably our favorite hotel in SF that we have been to once before. Their theme is lavender. Breathe innnn the relaxation. Even the rooms have lavender coming out of the room numbers.

img_2623The service here is phenomenal. Something I have learned in my twenties is “it doesn’t hurt to ask”. I received a text from the staff a few days before our stay and they said if you have any additional requests please let us know. I asked if it would be possible to have any champagne or anything to celebrate our anniversary (the worst they can say is no, right?).

When we arrived we had this lovely note addressed to us…

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And complimentary champagne and chocolate <3 <3 <3 It was so kind!!!

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They even complimentarily upgraded our room for our anniversary. I was so touched, like what?!?! We went from an interior room to an exterior with a view of the Ferry building and the Bay Bridge.

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After dropping off our luggage, we went up to the roof area. (They have several rooftop areas you can take in stunning views of the city). I was so excited and thought the Bay Bridge was in this picture. When it wasn’t DJ said, “Uh, Kenz, you may want to put your hand the other way.” LOL. Whoops!

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Too funny not to share.

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And here is that lovely bridge..

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It was an unforgettable evening! Truly one of my favorite date nights and anniversaries for all time.

img_2621Alas, this post is so long I will wait to recap our brunch experience in the next post. I can’t wait!!! One of the best! Stay tuned…

Questions for you:

  • Have you ever had a soufflé?
  • What is one life lesson you have had in your twenties if you have one?!

xo <3