February In Review

Here are some scenes from a whirlwind of a chilly February! 

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David and I "celebrated" Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year by being the sickest we've both been in three years. Tamiflu, Sudafed, Mucinex DM, and Tylenol were our best friends for a solid week. Thank you Winter Olympics, for being our sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, fever, best TV you ever got with a cold. Hoku was a trooper and put up with 5 minute walks, which consisted of us stumbling down our street like zombies until he pottied. And he never left my side as I slept three straight days away on the couch, though I suspect it was to make sure I didn't sleep through his mealtimes and forget to feed him.

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After much debate, we decided on this little espresso machine, which ended up being a surprise birthday gift from my mom. Thanks mom! David has been enjoying Americanos and I have been trying (and failing) at making the perfect flat white. Still working on the basics, like getting that perfectly textured milk froth.

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In the garden, our lettuce, baby bak choy and choy sum seedlings are thoroughly enjoying this cooler weather we've been having. These guys even survived a few mornings that dropped well below freezing whereas their garden bed neighbor, our wild tomato plant, did not stand a chance. We wished it luck in our compost bin before uprooting it to make room for carrots, beets and broccoli.

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As a belated Valentine's Day treat after we recovered from the plague, I made molten chocolate cakes from scratch using these sweet, heart-shaped mini cocottes. They paired perfectly with not-made-from-scratch Trader Joe's vanilla ice cream. Should I dare to attempt soufflés next?

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I've decided to set a new goal of baking a fresh loaf of bread every week. This is my go-to recipe because it is seriously so easy and pretty much guarantees a perfect, rustic-looking boule every single time. So many other breads on my list for next month: baguettes, sesame bagels and Hokkaido milk bread!

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At the beginning of the month, we drove into Idyllwild for the first time since this trip back in 2014 for a hike up to the Tahquitz Peak fire lookout and declared it our new favorite short hike. (Sorry Baden-Powell.)

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And finally, I celebrated my 33rd birthday with a 24 hour backpacking trip on Mt. San Gorgonio that ended with a starry morning hike that still feels incredibly surreal. It's hard to believe that one year ago, the thought of spending the night by ourselves, let alone hiking in the dark, on a mountain was all too terrifying. Here's to another year of facing fears and learning new things with my two best guys by my side. 

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