Sunday, March 10, 2013

My Protein Shake...

The summer before I graduated from San Francisco State University, the reality show, Work Out, premiered on Bravo TV. I loved watching the main character of the show, Jackie Warner, and her adventures as a lesbian living in Los Angeles County and owner of Sky Sport Gym and Spa. At the time, I often contemplated the idea of moving to L.A. after college, and dreamed of what my life could be like in allegedly cheaper Southern California.

Fast forward to now...I'm still living in San Francisco and Work Out was cancelled many years ago. But when the show was on the air, Jackie once shared her favorite protein shake recipe and I still make an adapted version of it to this day.


3/4 Cup Frozen Organic Blueberries (No Sugar Added)
1/4 Cup Frozen Organic Strawberries (No Sugar Added)
1 Scoop Isopure Brand Zero Carb Protein Powder (Creamy Vanilla Flavored)
1/2 Tablespoon Greens Plus Brand Wild Berry Burst Powder
1/2 Tablespoon GNC Brand Certified Organic Flax Seed Oil
2 Tablespoons Optimum Nutrition Brand 2222 Liquid Amino Acid Supplement (Fruit Punch Flavored)
1/2 Cup Hot Water


In a blender, add blueberries, strawberries, protein powder, greens powder, flax seed oil, liquid amino acid and hot water. Wait about 30-60 seconds for hot water to penetrate frozen fruit. Then, blend on high power for about 2 minutes until smooth.

If you would like a creamier, sweeter shake, add 1/2 a fresh banana before blending.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving (Serving Size is One Shake, No Banana):

307 Calories
21g Carbohydrates
8g Fat
37g Protein

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Change...

After playing Tinker Bell beggin' for "likes" on Facebook, I pondered my blog for many days and realized that some aspects definitely needed to be tweaked. As for writing so much about the San Francisco history I was exploring, turns out I wasn't as interested in doing it as I thought I would be. So, the San Francisco Beacon is resurrected as a blog about my day-to-day, inside the life of a long-time San Francisco resident. Hope you enjoy the new direction.

<3 FP :-)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sunrise this AM...

Looking south from San Francisco toward Guadalupe Canyon & San Bruno Mountain...

February 28th, 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wild Fennel...

There's gold in them thar hills. Well, the gold is mostly gone now but the hills of San Francisco are still covered with another prize--wild fennel.

Wild fennel leaves growing on stalks along a San Francisco hillside.

Originating from Southern Europe, wild fennel is believed to have been introduced to California by the Spanish at least 200 years ago. The stems and leaves of this invasive plant are what produces its strong anise scent.

Unlike the commercially grown fennel that you see in supermarkets, wild fennel does not produce a bulging bulb. This herb grows in stalks that can become 6-10 feet tall and is sought after for its spring shoots, feather-like leaves, seeds and flower pollen.

Wild fennel favors the Mediterranean climate of San Francisco, flourishing in a variety of Bay Area places including vacant lots, weedy hillsides, grasslands and pastures as well as within coastal scrub. Open habitats nearby fresh or brackish water sources such as the banks of creeks, estuaries and/or bays might also harbor wild fennel.

The peak of wild fennel plant growth is during the months of July and August but seeds can germinate year round and it is possible for seeds to remain dormant in the soil for years before germinating. 

Seeds remain on a wild fennel stalk.

The zenith of wild fennel seed production is reached during August and September (but seeds will grow from about May until November). The seeds are one way that this perennial herb propagates through the assistance of water, animals, and humans that all act as disbursement agents. New wild fennel plants are also produced from existing root crowns.

Yellow flowers begin to appear on wild fennel plants when they are about one and a half to two years in age with blooms appearing around the month of May through September.

Pollinators will gravitate to yellow flowers on fennel stocks.

If you decide to go foraging for wild fennel when you're in The City, use caution. Although it usually feels great to get something for free, keep in mind that dogs love to mark their territory (urinate) in pretty much all of the various wild fennel habitats and tainted leaves are unlikely to taste good in your salad for instance. Another detriment to harvesting desirable wild fennel is air pollution in the form of car exhaust. So for these reasons especially, try to acquire your wild fennel from remote / lightly-traveled areas and be sure to wash each piece before consumption.

The last time I cooked with fennel was during this past Thanksgiving when I made Martha Stewart's Cherry-Pecan Stuffing. I distinctly remember crushing fennel seeds with my mortar & pestle as that a pleasingly fragrant licorice smell rose up from the result of freshly ground powder. The stuffing tasted so good that I am likely to make the recipe again next year!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Carly Dreibelbis...

The San Francisco Beacon is in full swing! After a week of postings, I now wish to give credit to my sister, Carly Dreibelbis, for the creation of the banner at the top of the blog. The gull portion of this image is utilized for photo representation at social media websites (Facebook & Twitter).
Carly and I grew up together in State College, PA, where she currently resides, working as a graphic designer for Pennsylvania State University. She really impressed me with her talent when I asked her to make the banner because I simply described what I wanted and she did it in practically no time almost exactly as I had envisioned.
In her bio, Carly says, "Photography is where most of my work began as a way for me to document my surroundings and experiences. As I developed my interest, I found inspiration in my day-to-day life. It has ranged from everyday encounters with my eccentric father and his "semi-urban farming," trips into cities and even simple walks in the woods. In a rut, I will relentlessly turn my camera on anyone close to me, shoot rolls of black and white film, or drive through state forests on the outskirts of town."

Carly's dog Dempsey is one inspiration for her photography.

Many clients have solicited her professional services including (product photography) and (food photography). She is available for photography,  illustration and graphic design including web graphics, identity, logos, stationery, business cards etc. If you would like to work with Carly, she can be reached at her freelance email address: 

Carly Dreibelbis