just a little weekday picnic

Weather has never been something that I could realistically complain about growing up and living in San Diego.  If it rains, it only means that the next day will be unforgettably beautiful.  The only posed risk of depression happens when the marine layer covers the county and there’s the blaring gray that warns us to put sunscreen on or else.  Wednesday was a beautiful day.  Hungry already at 4 in the afternoon, I decided that I needed to prepare dinner early and take it to-go.

I whipped up a quick salad with mixed greens, cucumber, leeks, tomatoes, and feta cheese.  The salad was to go with a lovely filet mignon for us to share.

Pepper-Bacon wrapped Filet Mignon:

~1 filet mignon

~ freshly cracked pepper & sea salt

~ olive oil

~ balsamic vinegar

~ 1 long strip of pepper-bacon

~ 1 tsp of thyme

Take a room-temperature filet mignon and season with pepper and salt. Drizzle with olive oil and evenly season with thyme. Wrap with the strip of bacon, securing with toothpicks. Drizzle the top with the filet with balsamic vinegar and let sit. Do this before preparing the salad so as you prepare the salad, the seasonings and vinegar gets a chance to soak into the meat.

On a hot oiled skillet (preferably cast-iron), sear the filet on all sides including the bacon sides for approximately 1-2 minutes each. I like my beef mooing so if you don’t turn down the heat and cook longer on each side…obviously. Let the meat rest then slice if like me you plan on taking it to go!

So I packed up the filet, the salad, plates, utensils, baguette, and a small bottle of champagne gifted from last weekend’s wedding. For some reason I felt wooden sake cups were proper.

steak and bubbly

We took the picnic to Balboa Park which is about a 25 minute walk from our place or better yet a 5 minute drive.  😀  Spreading out my loud and obnoxious beach towel, we parked in front of the beautiful botanical garden and pond.  Here’s my significant lover mildly irritated that I’m taking a photo of him eating his delicious meal; the botanical garden is behind him.

stuff yo face

After eating we took a short walk through the park and found the cherry blossoms in bloom in the Japanese Friendship Garden.

japanese garden

They really are beautiful:


So our seemingly healthy meal turned unhealthy when our two overworked and stressed out minds collaborated to convince us that chocolate cake was in order. We ended up at San Diego’s beloved Extraordinary Desserts.   We probably didn’t need to have dessert at all but hey, we were having an impromptu date and we deserved a little chocolate romance, right?  Be prepared; we over indulged.


We chose the last slice of Viking cake (if it’s the last slice that just means it was meant to be!) which is a favorite: Chocolate creme brulee and milk chocolate cremeuse are hidden between chocolate cake layers. Crushed chocolate almond pralines surround this dark and dense torte.  All that chocolate needed something to level it out so of course we got a scoop of house-made brown sugar vanilla ice cream.

brown sugar vanilla

Do I dare even share what else I got?  Le sigh.  I couldn’t pass up a valrhona chocolate mocha.

valrhona Gonna be hitting the gym hard. ;p


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