Grain Free Granola

My husband and I commit to the Whole 30 diet twice a year in January and June. After that we try and instill the Whole 30 principles during the week and go buck wild on the weekends (hello pizza and wine!). This granola isn't Whole 30 compliant as there is some honey (just a bit), but it is Paleo friendly. It's also just delicious, regardless if you're on a program or not. 

My son and I had a lot of fun making it (sunflower seeds EVERY WHERE), and it's fantastic with some Greek yogurt, Almond Milk, or just on its on.

Don’t be married to this particular recipe either – as long as you have some honey, coconut milk, and egg white to glue it together, you can add in whatever nuts, fruits, and seeds you have.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED
 1/2 cup dates                                                                                                                                                      2 cups of nuts (I used a mixture of walnuts, cashews, and almonds)                                                        1/2 cup sunflower seeds                                                                                                                                    1/2 cup pumpkin seeds                                                                                                                                  1/2 cup prunes or other dried fruits                                                                                                              1/4 cup hemp hearts                                                                                                                                      1/4 cup honey                                                                                                                                                    3 Tbsp. coconut oil                                                                                                                                            1 tsp. cinnamon                                                                                                                                                1 pinch of Kosher salt                                                                                                                                        1 tsp. vanilla extract                                                                                                                                            1 egg white                                                                                                                                                        1 Tbsp. chia seeds

WHAT YOU’LL DO
Add the dates to a food processor and pulse until they are chopped. Combine nuts and pulse until they are roughly chopped.

Combine all of the other dry ingredients into a bowl.

In a saucepan, add the honey, coconut oil, cinnamon, and salt until it’s easy to pour (1 minute).

Add to the granola mixture and toss to coat.

Whisk the egg white until frothy and add to the granola, toss to coat.

Spread granola onto a sheet pan greased with coconut oil Bake for about 20 minutes at 300 degrees. Stir granola about half-way through the cooking process to ensure even baking.

Allow to cool and sprinkle with chia seeds. Store for up to a week in a sealed container.

 

 

New Listing 1563 48th Ave #1 - Live at the Beach for Under $600K

Welcome to beach living in the Outer Sunset. This 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom condo is just a block from the beach and two blocks from neighborhood spots like Outerlands and Java Beach Cafe. The N-Judah is just 5 minutes by foot which runs all the way to the Financial District in less than an hour.

The home features wood floors throughout the main living areas and crown molding, along with a dishwasher, washer and dryer in unit, and ample closet space. Situated in a three-unit building built in 1992, the property includes a lush backyard for BBQ's, morning coffee, or soaking in the sun. HOA dues are $215 a month, and the unit is equipped with a large parking spot with ample space for storage and plenty of room for surfboards. 

Offers due 6/27 5pm. Contact emily.beaven@compass.com for more information 

Travel to Kauai (with a Toddler)

Saltwater Lagoon at The Grand Hyatt Kauai

Saltwater Lagoon at The Grand Hyatt Kauai

Aloha! Kauai is our family's favorite island - it's quieter, less developed, and oh so tropical (it is dubbed the Garden Isle after all). On our recent trip last month we took our 20 month-old son (eek!) and my husband's mother (thank goodness!). This post will focus on the sunny south shore in Poipu & Koloa. Here are some of our travel tips and takeaways.

Family - The #1 tip is to try and travel with family or friends with children. It's more fun, and everyone can take turns caring for the kids during nap time and early morning wake up calls (our son got up every day at 4:30 am - not fun!). Having my mother-in-law there also meant that we got time on our own to go snorkeling, out for drinks, and stargazing. 

On the Plane

Fly Hawaiian Airlines - Extending the Aloha spirit a little bit longer is a nice way to start and end the trip. The crew are usually from the islands or very familiar with them, so they can offer great local tips (like where to get the best Lilikoi Chiffon Pie on Kauai, which is definitely Hamura's Saimin - thank you flight attendant, Lucy). They are one of the last airlines to offer a meal in coach, and they have a great film that highlights local Hawaiian events, culture, and locations. They are very accommodating to families with kids - HUGE! 

Toys - We try and limit media in our family so no iPad for our son - who is still under 2. We brought a bag of toys that he had not yet seen including: TOOBS - a collection of animal figures with different themes. We also brought a huge stack of his favorite books, and lightweight Waldorf felt toys, colorful silks, and finger puppets. 

Milk - If your toddler is still drinking milk, ask for a carton as soon as you get on so that it'll be room temp when you're ready for it (vs. trying to juggle hot water and a bottle - big mistake on our part). Also, if you're flying late at night, ask for a carton to take off the plane for night time/next morning when you get home. 

Sleeping - Make sure to bring your little one his or her favorite lovey along with a muslin blanket. They are easy to pack, and perfect for extra warmth. When baby is falling asleep, I put it over my head to create a little tent for privacy. Of course, don't forget his or her lovey. These from Angel Dear come in a 3-pack ("A Pair & a Spare") and are super soft. 

Accommodations

Hotel vs. Condo - There are pro's and con's to both, but with a toddler I can't imagine not having a condo. The washer and dryer alone made it. Being able to make breakfast or slice up some fruit for a snack is so much better than ordering expensive room service. Try and get a condo with a pool. It can be a nice break from the beach and is a great activity right before bed. Check out Parrish Collection for condo rentals - they seem to dominate the island. Our condo was fabulous and literally a two minute walk from the beach. We went the last week in May right before the rates jumped up for prime season, which saved a lot!

Grand Hyatt Kauai - We had our honeymoon here and it is a magical, magical place! If you're looking for a hotel, look no further. Exquisite grounds, award-winning restaurants, spa, and Luau...the list goes on! The salt water lagoon is perfect for smaller children with rafts and floats available. For bigger kids, there are water slides, kayaks, snorkeling/scuba lessons, a lazy river, and Camp Hyatt (which we will definitely take advantage of in the future). For grown-ups, there's an adult pool and two hot tubs. Live music is featured every night in the breathtaking lanai off the main lobby. Koi fish feedings happen in the morning outside of the award-winning Tidepools restaurant and the main lobby features an assortment of exotic birds - perfect for kids of all ages.  

Grand Hyatt Kauai's Seaview Terrace - Try the Mahaulepu Mule for a break from all those Mai Tais & Piña Coladas, with Ketel One, ginger beer, lime juice, passion fruit, and candied ginger. Live entertainment nightly from 5-8pm along with a full menu including a keiki (kid's) menu. Sit back and relax with the warm ocean breeze and breathtaking views. 

Grand Hyatt Kauai's Seaview Terrace - Try the Mahaulepu Mule for a break from all those Mai Tais & Piña Coladas, with Ketel One, ginger beer, lime juice, passion fruit, and candied ginger. Live entertainment nightly from 5-8pm along with a full menu including a keiki (kid's) menu. Sit back and relax with the warm ocean breeze and breathtaking views. 

Koi Fish Feeding at Grand Hyatt Kauai 

Koi Fish Feeding at Grand Hyatt Kauai 

Activities & Eats (mostly just good eats)

Beaches - Poipu Beach is perfect for wading, along with Lydgate Beach Park, which is not far from the Lihue Airport. Lydgate also features a playground and lots of picnic tables. Wake up early (surely your kiddos will have no problem with that) and head to Poipu Beach - there's usually a sea turtle or two taking a nap on the beach and a monk seal in the water. Lifeguards are on duty, which is always an extra comfort with kids. Stay close to the rocks and look for fish and black crabs. Directly across from Poipu Beach is Brennecke's Beach Broilera great oceanfront spot for casual fare upstairs and a takeaway deli down, along with Nukumoi Surf Shop for everything sun and swim. 

Snorkeling - Kauai is home to some amazing snorkeling spots including Poipu and Lydgate Beaches (more for beginners). We've only scratched the surface with these, along with Tunnels and the breathtaking Ke'e Beach in Hanalei. Regardless of where you go, try and get out earlier in the morning before it gets crowded - you'll have a better chance of seeing honu (sea turtles) and you'll beat the harsh sun. Head to Snorkel Bob's (all over the Hawaiian islands), and their friendly staff will hook you up with the best rental gear along with info on day trips, snorkel spots, and weather conditions. 

Mai Tai at Merriman's Fish House (photo: Maui Magazine)

Mai Tai at Merriman's Fish House (photo: Maui Magazine)

Mai Tai - Ahh - the ultimate island beverage (although the drink originates in Oakland at Trader Vic's). My husband and I are always in search of the best and we found our favorite on Kauai at Merriman's Fish House located in the Kukuiula Shops. Merriman's is owned by famed chef Peter Merriman's who's known for being one of the original chefs to develop Hawaiian regional cuisine. His restaurant group is also responsible for the popular Monkeypod in Maui and you can find this Mai Tai there as well. With Lahaina Rum, Orgeat, and Honey-Lilikoi Foam this drink was strong and so refreshing! I also loved the thinly sliced pineapple garnish that slides right into the glass. Happy Hour is from 5:30 - 6:30pm at the bar and this runs $8 - making it a great value. 

Poke Bowls, Acai, and Crossfit? - The Kukuiula Store is a mom and pop market operated by the Kuribayashi family for over 50 years, and it's still reinventing itself with three very on-trend kiosks/businesses. Anake's Juice Bar features local fruit smoothies and juices and amazing acai smoothies and bowls (pictured right). Makai Sushi has the best poke bowls on the island. We had the Ahi poke bowl with sushi rice, shaved dykon, ocean salad, wasabi, aioli, sesame seeds, cucumber and avocado. And in the back of the store is a Crossfit. The store also offers organic products, local foods and desserts, home-made lunches and salad bar, local grass fed beef, fresh-caught seafood, and a variety of vegan and gluten-free foods.

Da Crack - The name is odd (and of course there's a story behind it), but this place is a solid pick for super fresh Mexican. Good luck finding a menu (I should have taken a pic), but trust me - just go and you'll find something delicious. It's also right next door to the Kukuiula Store so you can't miss it. Everything is done in house and they feature fresh seafood daily. Expect a line, so divide and conquer and have someone else do a little shopping next door while you wait.  

Farmer's Market - Every Wednesday the Kauai Culinary Market is hosted at The Shops at Kukuiula from 3:30 to 6 pm. This is the perfect family outing. Live music, locally grown produce, pies, jams, and the most delicious pineapple dessert you'll ever taste! No dairy, no anything, except sweet, frozen Kauai-grown Sugarloaf Loaf pineapple from Paulie's Pineapple Phrosty. Frozen pineapple is put through a commercial Champion juicer right before your eyes. It was AH-mazing! Everyone is friendly, and my son was even given a mini pineapple from one of the farmers. 

Poipu Shopping Village - This is a great outdoor shopping area - perfect for letting little ones run around and chase the local chickens (literally). We hit up a couple spots including the uber hip Kauai Juice Co., along with Anuenue Cafe (get there early for their Banana Pancakes), and Keoki's Paradise. Keoki's is part of the T S Restaurant Group - home to restaurants such as Duke's, Kimo's and Jake's Del Mar. Keoki's features live music every night of the week in their bar area which is better for kids running around and hula dancing. They had the most beautiful copper pineapple rain chains on the lanai - I want them for my house. You can actually find them pretty easily online. 

Keoki's Paradise with Pineapple Water Chains (on the left)

Keoki's Paradise with Pineapple Water Chains (on the left)

Overall we had an amazing trip and were so glad that we were able to bring our son and experience Kauai through his eyes. I can now see why Kauai is such a popular second home market. The median single family price this year at $625K, $301K for condos, and $350K for vacant land. Click here for more market stats. If you're thinking about buying a second home in Kauai, email me. I'd be happy to talk with about your needs and refer you to a great agent in Kauai. Aloha.  

 

About Town: A Guide to San Francisco’s Food Scene with Emily Beaven

Check out my fav food and drink spots featured on Coldwell Banker's California Home Blog:

Bon Appetit hailed the city as “simply one of the best places to eat right now.” Yep, if you’re a die-hard foodie looking for some of the best restaurants in the country with a wide-range of cuisines, styles and dining experiences — you’ll want to head to San Francisco. But where’s the best brunch? Where’s the best place to take a date? Where’s the best bar?

We asked Emily Beaven of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in San Francisco to show us around town. As a trained chef-turned-real-estate-agent and avid lifestyle blogger, Beaven has her pulse on the city’s vibrant culinary scene. In her prior life, Beaven enjoyed a successful career in lifestyle and food & wine marketing communications — which guides the food and wine recommendations she often shares with her clients (who appreciate her epicurean expertise).

“I love that SF’s food scene is so accessible — whatever your budget is, you’ll find something absolutely delicious to eat,” she shares. “For less than $10, you can have an amazing burrito in the Mission at La Taqueria, or an award-winning pastry, kouign amann, and cappuccino from B Patisserie. Wherever you go good food awaits.”

Here’s her current list of favorite hotspots in the city, both new and tried-and-true. Rather than follow our typical format, we’re focusing strictly on food for this column and we’ve broken her picks out by category.

FAVORITE BRUNCH SPOTS

Zazie, Eggs Benedict, Yelp

Zazie, Eggs Benedict, Yelp

“Brunch is taken very serious in S.F., with lines for days,” she tells us. “Luckily, having a toddler gets my husband and I up early and we’re usually able to beat the lines.”

Here are her current top five picks for brunch or breakfast:

Plow (1299 18th St.) – “A Potrero Hill staple, this small spot is known for their dedication to serving food from local purveyors and of course, their Almond Flour Pancakes. Every time I go, I also want to try something different. Yet I always fall back to the classic Plow: Pancakes, Eggs, Potatoes, and Bacon (or sausage). It’s a feast that my son and I love to share.”

Eats (50 Clement St.) – “Found at the end of Clement in the Inner Richmond, Eats is a place we love to go on Sundays after a visit to the Clement Street Farmer’s Market. Eats is a low-key spot — perfect for kids. Their breakfast sandwich is solid, along with their fresh juices and huevos rancheros.”

Zazie (941 Cole St.) – “Located in Cole Valley, this French-inspired spot features everything you’d expect from a great French bistro including an excellent Croque Madame. We always start with their house-made cream cheese coffee cake. And if Eggs Benedict is your jam, they’ve got a robust list, including a Mer de la Saison with butter braised Maine lobster, avocados and green onions.”

Devil’s Teeth Baking Company (3876 Noriega St.) – “When you’re in a grab-and-go mood, head out to the Sunset and order the Special Breakfast: Two eggs scrambled, with pepper jack cheese, applewood smoked bacon, avocado and lemon-garlic aioli on homemade buttermilk biscuit. The biscuit is so flaky and tender and also goes great with their Chicken Curry Salad. This is a must-stop on your way to the beach, Golden Gate Park or the Zoo.”

FAVORITE DATE NIGHT RESTAURANTS

Foreign Cinema, Carpaccio

Foreign Cinema, Carpaccio

“We don’t get out nearly as often as we’d like, but when we do, we love going to Kabuki Theater to catch a movie,” says Beaven. “And since we live in Nob Hill Area, we’re so close to North Beach, we’ve been trying to go to different Italian spots. We actually have a pretty exciting date night planned coming up, which is a an afternoon at the always luxurious Nob Hill Spa and dinner at our fav — Foreign Cinema.”

She’s selected four ideal places for a romantic night out.

Zuni Café (1658 Market) – “Zuni Café is somewhat of an institution in S.F., and it has been our go to celebration spot for promotions, our engagement and big closings. Their roasted chicken is the best in the city and the perfect dish to share with a glass of champagne. It’s served over a bread salad of greens, currants, pine nuts, and scallions with a bright dressing, and it’s simply divine.”

Cotogna (490 Pacific Ave) – “Cotogna is dark, sexy and a perfect date night spot. The roaring fire from the open kitchen helps set the mood for romantic conversation over delicious hand-crafted cocktails and a great wine list. Chef Michael Tusk does rustic Italian right and the obsession runs deep with their Ravioli di Ricotta – a large raviolo filled with ricotta and runny egg yolk drizzled with brown butter – a dish he developed after a trip to Bologna. Cotogna is the more casual outpost of the Three-Michelin-Star Quince, which is next door. They are currently featuring a Sunday Supper for $55, featuring dishes such as Doppio Ravioli with Taleggio and Truffle, Roast Duck with Citrus Sauce and Chicories.”

Foreign Cinema (2534 Mission St.) – “We had our wedding reception for 50 in their private room, so this is the ultimate romantic spot for us. It’s actually a great spot for a couples date night out, as the atmosphere can be lively and fun. The service is top notch, and their menu changes daily. They have an extensive oyster and wine list, and they always feature a version of their famous Fried Chicken – a recent preparation being: Sesame fried chicken, Moroccan spied cauliflower, kale salad, hummus, ras el hanout honey, kishmish.”

Zero Zero ( 0 0 ) (826 Folsom) — “This SOMA spot is great before or after a movie. Zero Zero has some of the best pizza and pasta dishes in town – and we absolutely love sitting at their upstairs bar. Try the Anger Management: Bulleit Bourbon, Grapefruit, Cherry Heering, Laphroaig, Agave. They are known for their “Calipolitan”-style pizzas (Neapolitan pizzas with California ingredients) — so be sure to get at least one, along with their rotating pasta dishes. For dessert, keep it simple with a Strauss ice cream affogato.”

FAVORITE DRINK SPOTS

Comstock Saloon

Comstock Saloon

“I’m a wine gal and my husband loves a good whiskey cocktail,” reveals Beaven. “We try to get out at least once a week, just the two of us and then also with friends. We love to sit at the bar and talk with the bartenders — they always have the best recommendations, and you always get great service.”

Here are the five places she likes to hit up for cocktailing time:

The Riddler (528 Laguna St.) — “A new fun female-run champagne bar in Hayes Valley. Dishes include a tater tot waffle, topped with prosciutto or smoked salmon and caviar. If you’re in the mood for bubbles, this is place to be!”

Comstock Saloon (155 Columbus Ave.) — “Handcrafted-cocktails and great food in a historical setting. Top if off with live jazz every night and you’ve got a winning combination. Comstock is our go-to, since it’s close to where we live and a great option for both my larger mommy night out meet ups and his after work drinks, and our date nights.”

Union Larder (1945 Hyde St.) – Union Larder is a great spot to start your night with house made charcuterie, cheese and a glass of wine. The atmosphere is energetic and spirited.”

Top of the Mark (999 California) – Located in the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel in Nob Hill, Top of the Mark has the most spectacular views! They also boast an extensive martini list. This is a great spot to take friends and family from out of town.”

Bourbon & Branch (501 Jones) – “A modern-day speakeasy, this spot is a throwback to a different era. With house rules (no cell phones), you’re in for more than just a cocktail – it’s an experience. Reservations are required.”

Hungry yet?  If you want to do a taste tour of the city or just want a guide to all of S.F.’s best kept real estate secrets, give Emily Beavena buzz at (415) 730-9759 or email her at emily.beaven@cbnorcal.com.  

6 Design Trends That Will Never Go Out Of Style

Are you suffering from design overload? From Pinterest to design blogs and yearly "hot lists," it can be exhausting and expensive to keep your home "on trend". Stick with these 6 tips to create the framework for a timeless look. And if you're the kind of person that gets bored easily - simply bring in your favorite seasonal items, throw pillows, table top decor, and other accents to keep things interesting. 

1) Black & White – This smart contrast has worked throughout the years and continues to be a reliable combo as interior design changes. Black & White also offers homeowners a backdrop for adding in colors and textures to keep things looking fresh throughout the year. 

J. Crew's Jenna Lyon's b&w living room with a pop of color from Domino

J. Crew's Jenna Lyon's b&w living room with a pop of color from Domino

Robin Wright's Penthouse in New York from Pop Sugar

Robin Wright's Penthouse in New York from Pop Sugar

2) Wood Flooring - It's hard to believe that at one time homeowners would cover up their wood floors with carpeting! Wood flooring is back in a big way and is not a trend that's going away anytime soon. It's durable, easy to clean, and doesn't have to be replaced every few years. Today, there are more and more alternatives for hardwood like vinyl and laminate, which can be good options if you're on a tight budget and looking for flooring options in high traffic areas, but at the end of the day, nothing looks and feels quite like real hardwood. For a great primer on all flooring types, check out Armstrong's Flooring Guide

A few tips when picking out hardwood colors:

1) The color of your floor should not be identical to the color of your furniture or walls. Go with colors that contrast and complement each other.

2) Go lighter in smaller rooms or rooms with lower ceilings - darker shades will naturally make the room look smaller.

3) If you're going for a more modern look, darker shades and blacks are a great choice. If you're opting for a more traditional look -- check out natural unstained wood or shades of  chestnut or walnut stains.  

Dark hardwood works here because it contrasts with the white walls and cabinetry, from Armstrong Flooring

Dark hardwood works here because it contrasts with the white walls and cabinetry, from Armstrong Flooring

Amber Interiors - See how the lighter floors just brighten up the whole space? 

Amber Interiors - See how the lighter floors just brighten up the whole space? 

    3) White & Neutral Paint - You don’t see HGTV hosts or designers complaining about white paint - where's the drama in that? Stick with the basics and your home will remain timeless. Whites in particular can be classic or contemporary and complement pretty much any style. There's a reason Benjamin Moore named "Simply White" their 2016 Color of the Year - it's so popular with designers and a go to color I personally recommend for a lot of clients. 

    Check out the before and after photos of this "white" makeover from Decorologist

    Check out the before and after photos of this "white" makeover from Decorologist

    4) Crown Molding - Crown molding has been used since the ancient times of Greeks and Romans. It oozes sophistication and elegance and gives a room dimension and character. Commonly used in more traditional homes, crown molding works just as well in a modern setting like this home by  Bruce Norman Long Design. 

    5) Marble - One of the most popular stone materials you can use to decorate a kitchen or bathroom - it's sophisticated, classic and unique. There's three different varieties of Italian marble, which is considered by many to be the finest: Carrara is grey-white, with smaller fine, feathery veins that run in a linear pattern. Calacatta is more rare, a pure white with larger more dramatic veins. Statuario is an even more exclusive stone with distinct gray and gold veining throughout with a striking pattern. 

    Calacatta Marble from Life in Grace

    Calacatta Marble from Life in Grace

    Statuario Marble from Robel

    Statuario Marble from Robel

    6) Quality vs. Quantity Furnishings - It's important to prioritize your spending when designing your home. Simple always wins, and remember to invest in pieces that you will use the most to get the biggest bang for the buck. If your family loves to cook and enjoy meals together - maybe splurging on a fabulous dining set is most important to you. Or perhaps it's cozying up on a really great sofa.

    When it comes to artwork - yes, there are many affordable options these days, but will you love those prints from West Elm in years to come? Or, does it make more sense to save up to purchase a piece from a local artist you absolutely love?   

    Platner Dining Set from Knoll

    Platner Dining Set from Knoll

    Emily Henderson's Guide to Hanging Art Correctly

    Emily Henderson's Guide to Hanging Art Correctly