Wednesday, January 30, 2008 

Simply delicious.....

oh, and his recipes are good, too. Chef Curtis Stone...."Take Home Chef" (oh, may I please!)

Curtis...we've got supermarkets up here in Santa Barbara! You've got me trained to get dressed up to go to the market. Oh, come on up! Surprise us!


Monday, January 28, 2008 

Kristin over at Dine and Dish had a great idea

to pare up "old and moldy" food bloggers like me with "fresh out of the oven" food bloggers.

eet my delicious paring...Amanda who cooks up some delicious entries at "Slow Like Honey" She adds some terrific photos to her posts, too! (I don't think she really needs my help....she's doing great!)

I've been blogging for several years now. I have a couple of for politics, one for environmental things...and this one for food issues and sharing recipes. (Although, sometimes they do collide!) some thoughts/hints on "blogging"......

I've admired many food bloggers who put up some awesome recipes with blog by blow details for their adventures in the kitchen. Sometimes I wish that I could be one of those, but, right now I live with a roommate who is extremely territorial. She's "pissed" out her territory in the household and she's made it known that she doesn't really want me in the kitchen. (How can you really deal with someone who gets so drunk pretty much every night they eat your food and toss food all over the floor at 2:00 a.m.) So...blogging about making dinner at home is out for me.

Sometimes I find that "foodie" blogs tend to be really snotty. You know, the "Oh, what do you mean you don't cook bone marrow every other weekend" types. It's fun reading them for a bit, but I feel more comfortable with someone who blogs about down to earth things and not necessarily all about food. Life isn't just about food...but there are delicious servings of many things. Fashion. Travel. Family. Etc. I think well read blogs tend to touch upon many subjects. However, not necessarily in a single post.

I hate having to register to make a comment. Call me silly, but I have so many passwords to remember as it is.....I don't need one just to put in a "hello...great recipe....or some little comment."

Sometimes your blogging opens up other's a little blurb/recipes that I shared with our local "indy" weekly, "The Santa Barbara Independent"

The Non Partisan Pistachio

In this presidential election year, keep in mind that the person you vote for may be responsible for creating a new national food holiday. True, other levels of government such as state legislatures, governors, and mayors can proclaim special observance days, but you know you’ve hit the big time when the president makes it so.

Sometimes, however, bipartisan agreement can’t decide which day will be the “official” gustatory celebration. Perhaps that is what happened with National Pistachio Day. Is it January 26 or February 26? Many sources name both days. Perhaps they just broke it down along party lines and the “red” dyed pistachios are honored one day and the “au naturel” beige pistachio honored the other.

In my mind, everyday is Pistachio Day, especially Farmers Market days when I can run down and pick up a couple bags from the Santa Barbara Pistachio Company. The Zannon family developed a unique process for roasting and flavoring their incredibly high-quality nuts. But you don’t have to have flavored pistachios to enjoy their exotic little bits of nutty goodness; you can include them in your healthy cooking lifestyle, too.

Pistachio, Cranberry & Rice Pilaf

(Serves 2)

¼ c. finely chopped Vidalia onion
¼ tsp. turmeric
⅛ tsp. ground cardamom
1½ Tbs. unsalted butter
⅓ c. basmati rice
⅔ c. chicken broth
2 Tbs. pistachio nuts, lightly toasted, cooled, and chopped
2 Tbs. dried cranberries
2 Tbs. thinly sliced scallions

In a small heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, cook onion with turmeric and cardamom in one tablespoon of the butter, stirring until the onion is softened. Add rice and cook, stirring until it is coated with the butter. Add the broth, bring the liquid to a boil, and cover and simmer the mixture for 17 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. Stir in the pistachios, cranberries, and scallions and the remaining half tablespoon of butter, and salt and pepper to taste.

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Sunday, January 27, 2008 

Oh..NOOOOO...Say it ain't soooooo!

Coca Cola is trying to buy Honest Tea, one of my favorite organic tea drinks....

The Coca-Cola Co. is looking to bolster its tea business and is considering acquisitions to improve its position, reports Reuters.
"Tea is a priority area," Chief Executive Neville Isdell told Reuters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum. "Tea is one area where we've seen our performance has not been as good as we would like it to be."

He declined to confirm or deny recent reports that Coca-Cola might buy or make an investment in Honest Beverages, the privately held maker of Honest Tea. "The honest answer is we look at everything, and when we decide that we are going to do something, we will let you know," Isdell said. - Gourmet Retailer
Honest Tea's Seth and Barry have a blog. Go visit. Tell them NO on the Coca Cola dealings. Remind them of what Coca Cola is doing to the water in India!

Tens of thousands of people all across India are challenging Coca-Cola for its abuse of water resources. Coca-Cola bottling plants have dramatically affected both the quantity and quality of groundwater resources as a result of its operations, making access to water by communities even more difficult.

The company regularly extracts up to one million liters of water per day in some areas in India. The result has been sharp drops in groundwater levels, resulting in severe water shortages for tens of thousands of people.

Coca-Cola's water use ratio in India is 4 to 1 - that is, 75% of the freshwater it extracts is turned into wastewater. The company has indiscriminately discharged its wastewater into the surrounding fields, severely polluting the scarce remaining groundwater as well as soil. - Common Dreams

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Saturday, January 26, 2008 

Have you ordered up an Edible Community yet?

they still have a special of 3 Edible Community magazines at a special rate of $45 for all three!

And, you may ask, what is an "Edible Community?"....they publish seasonal magazines..and a whole lot more.
Our mission is to transform the way communities shop for, cook, eat, and relate to the food that is grown and produced in their area. We value local, seasonal, authentic foods and culinary traditions. We strive to put a face on every farmer as we tell their stories and champion their efforts toward a more sustainable and safe food system.

Through our printed publications, websites, and events, we connect consumers with local growers, retailers, chefs, and food artisans, enabling those relationships to grow and thrive in a mutually beneficial, healthful, and economically viable way.
My three (for now at least....) Edible Hawaiian Islands, Edible San Francisco and Edible Ojai. All delicious to look browse learn from.

And, of course, they have a blog and provide regional recipes!


Friday, January 25, 2008 

Flickr Photo Friday

Coconut Macaroons Filled with Whipped Ganache
Originally uploaded by Vita Arina.


Thursday, January 24, 2008 

Bag Monster

has a fun blog! (Thanks for stopping by, Bag Monster!)
It's hard to be a Bag Monster in the Age of Bag Bans. My story starts in San Francisco, the "City of Tolerance," where my family was banned. For 30 years we've been free to ride the wind and water currents world-wide and live in safety under kitchen sinks and in drawers. San Francisco’s Anti-Bag Monster agenda is spreading around the world. If your community is Bag Monster friendly, please notify me... Maybe I could stay under your kitchen sink for a while? Just ‘till I get back on my feet.
Although, I believe in the "Anti-Bag Monster propoganda"....

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008 

I don't know if I'm brave enough

to attempt these cookies highlighed in the Daily Herald of the Chicago area.....but they ARE intriguing.....

Peanut Brittle Bacon Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
½ cup smooth peanut butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup peanut brittle, cracked into ½-inch pieces
1½ cups bacon, crisply cooked and cut into ½-inch pieces

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Add peanut butter and mix until incorporated.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients 1 cup at a time to the butter mixture, scraping the bowl as needed. Stir in peanut brittle and bacon.

Roll dough into ½-inch balls and place on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Flatten each cookie with the palm of your hand to about 1 inch in diameter. Bake about 15 minutes, or until the edges begin to lightly brown. Remove to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container up to one week.

Makes about five to six dozen cookies.

But...I shouldn't be so quick to judge as I tasted amazing chocolate down in Sandy Eggo at the Fancy Food Trade Show. It was from Vosges (a Chicago Chocolatier) and was quite unusually delicious.... "Mo's Bacon Bar",

The treat, recently introduced, features crumbles of applewood smoked bacon and flecks of Alder wood smoked salt coated in 41-percent cacao milk chocolate. Think of a what a Nestle Crunch bar might be like if you substituted smoky crispy bacon bits for the puffed rice and gave it a nice little salty kick. - The Stew (A Chicago Tribune blog)
Unusual combinations of bacon with some some other unexpected ingredient....guess it's a "mid-west" thing...but oh, so good!

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008 

Whole Foods Gotta Brand New Bag...

and it isn't the usual "plastic" variety.....

Whole Foods is eliminating single-use plastic bags because they're petroleum-based and can take more than 1,000 years to break down in a landfill, said officials at the Austin, Texas-based company, which last year purchased Boulder's Wild Oats Markets.

Single-use plastic bags will be discontinued.

As part of the effort to cut back plastic use, Whole Foods has added a new 99-cent reusable plastic sack to the repertoire of canvas bags on sale in the store. Decorated with a green apple and a red handle, the bright bag reads "How Re-Freshing" near a pronouncement that it's made from 80-percent recycled plastic bottles. - The Daily Camera

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Monday, January 21, 2008 

Sorry I've been gone so long....

I've been laid low with some sort of walking pneumonia type illness....went down to the Fancy Food Trade Show in San Diego....housesat for my friends and their "meatloaf" kitty...working overtime at work...and dealing with a drunk housemate. So...I'm here. Coughing while typing...but I'm here. And, it's right in the middle of the political season. One cookie company is brave enough to take on the candidates "sweet talk"...

David's Cookies, a leading online provider of fresh baked cookies has released 10 political designs and will predict the presidential winner for 2008 pending total sales before Super Tuesday.

Cookie-cake designs include the Republican elephant, the Democratic donkey and top candidates from both parties. Each product page links to the respective candidate's official site in an attempt to educate while keeping things light.

Designs are available online and David's Cookies will keep a running total for each design sold as part of their "Cookie Poll." Each cookie sold counts as one vote and winners will be announced on Wednesday, February 6, 2008. Cookies may be purchased online at Cookies include campaign logos for: Barack Obama, Fred Thompson, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, listed on the site alphabetically by first name.

"We wanted to make an impact while keeping things fun, and this new concept got everyone excited as a great start to 2008," said Luis Florencia, David's Cookies Director of New Business Development.

tucked into the small print is one sentence that piqued my interest...."Samples are available to the media upon request." Hmmmmmm. Bloggers are the "new" media, right? :-)

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Monday, January 07, 2008 

Please stop by our advertiser

Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" on the Travel Channel! If you have not seen his show, I highly recommend a viewing or two...or three...etc. It truly is fun, entertaining, educational and visually delicious. Mark your TIVO's...Monday's at 10:00

And check out Anthony's blog.

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Friday, January 04, 2008 

Flickr Photo Friday

Virginia & Eugenia
Originally uploaded by peephole.

Storm walloped version!

Man...this is alot of rain coming down. I think that the Bay Area got slammed more than we have down on the Central Coast of California, but the first of the three estimated storm fronts is just beginning to calm down after an entire day of gusty winds and torrential rain.

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Thursday, January 03, 2008 

Torrential Rains. Hurricane Force Winds.

"Paralyzing amounts of snow."

It's going to be more than cats and dogs that come down from the skies this weekend in California. It's going to be a super soaker. Mother nature style. Watch the wet come in.
5 - 10 inches of the stuff, projected.

"A storm of historic purportions." Guess it's not the best time to have a convertable.

Reminds me of when I lived up in San Francisco during the horrible storms of 1995 when they laid waste to both the Conservatory of Flowers and the beautiful redwoods Golden Gate Park. some flashlights. Got some good books. Guess I'll plan on taking it easy (and hopefully dry) this weekend.

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008 

January is a delicious month in SLO County!

San Luis Obispo County, that is. 30 dollars. 3 courses. 30 days.

From January 2-31, 2008, participating restaurants will feature three-course prix fixe menus for just $30 per person. Pair your meal with award-winning local wines from the Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo wine country for an additional charge. Reservations recommended.

A sampler menu of the participating restaurants..
For a delightful day trip up to San Luis Obispo, I highly recommend ditching the car and taking the Amtrak up. What's even better, go to or from the station in Santa Barbara, you can save 20% on your Amtrak ticket!
Save 20 percent when you purchase a ticket for travel on the Amtrak® Pacific Surfliner® or the San Joaquin® (plus associated thruway coaches) to/from all nine Amtrak stations in Santa Barbara County: Santa Barbara, Goleta, Carpinteria, Solvang, Buellton, Lompoc, Surf, Guadalupe and Santa Maria! - Santa Barbara Car Free

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The Brits starting a Revolution here in the States?

Apparently some feel that the British "Fresh & Easy" stores will revolutionize America's shopping.
Tesco’s Fresh & Easy stores may be small, but their impact on the American grocery industry probably won’t be. Tesco opened 30 of these 10,000-square-foot supermarkets throughout Southern California and in Las Vegas and Phoenix in November and December. And the company says it will open 20 more by the end of February.

...“This is going to be absolutely huge,” said Phil Lempert, a food industry analyst and the founder of, an industry newsletter. “Eventually, Fresh & Easy could have more of an impact on American health than any other retailer.”

What sets this concept apart is not the fresh, high-quality offerings, which are similar to those of Bristol Farms, Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods Market, sources say. It is the fact that those fresh, high-quality offerings are priced low — a kind of amalgamation of the virtues of Wal-Mart and Whole Foods.

...Tesco has promised to open stores in traditionally underserved areas, such as South Los Angeles, which has lacked affordable, quality grocery stores ever since the destruction of its big supermarkets in the 1992 race riots. - Shopping Centers Today

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008 

Just when you plan to start a diet....

The Girl Scout Cookie Season is set to begin.
In 1917, enterprising Oklahoma Girl Scouts held a bake sale to raise money for a service project. And, although Girl Scouts themselves haven't done the baking since 1936, the Girl Scout Cookie Sale has become an American icon – and empowered millions of girls.

Order taking for the annual fundraiser starts Friday. Eight varieties are offered, including a sugar-free version of the American classic chocolate chip cookie, and the brand-new Lemon Chalet Cremes, with a hint of cinnamon and ginger spice. All of the favorites have returned: Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs, Trefoil shortbreads, Do-Si-Dos and All Abouts. - Nashua Telegraph
Find a troop in your area.

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