Friday, October 31, 2008 

Happy Halloween!

And what's better than scary Halloween food fun from Martha Stewart....BRAIN CUPCAKES!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008 

We were shakin' this morning

who needs an alarm clock when you've got mama nature to toss you outta bed with a dinky 2.8.



California is in big, big dry trouble

This does not bode well for our agriculture....let alone residents.
After two extremely dry years, CBS 5 has learned that California will drastically slash the amount of water it gives to districts statewide.

In what could be the worst crisis in Decades, the California Department of Water Resources tells CBS 5 it will cut supplies to water districts by 85 to 90 percent. -

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Friday, October 24, 2008 

Flickr Foto Friday

Hali'imaile General StoreOriginally uploaded by melmansur.

Happy 20 Years to the Hali'imaile General Store!

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Thursday, October 23, 2008 


Melamine-laced Koala's March cookies, that were supposed to have been recalled, have been found in Connecticut, California, and Alabama.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008 

Tyler Florence - culinary whirling dervish

When does this guy ever sleep?

...Consider what he does when he's not producing segments of "Tyler's Ultimate." Having just completed six holiday special segments for the Food Network, he is promoting two lavish cookbooks that hit the shelves this week.

Plus there's the construction of his latest restaurant, Bar Florence, in San Francisco, set to open in the spring. And readying Tyler Florence wine for wide distribution next year. And adding high-end cutlery to his personal line of culinary gear. And expanding retail operations beyond his flagship store. - San Jose Mercury New

he's the "ultimate" with me! (oh...and his ultimate recipes aren't bad either...)

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Sunday, October 19, 2008 

To My Fellow Californian Foodies....

I encourage you to vote YES on Proposition 2.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008 

The Wine Cask's "Economic Bailout Menu"

Even in Santa Barbara, the "so-called" American Riviera, we are hurting economically. Perhaps sensing that we often seek solace in a well-priced, delicious meal, The Wine Cask is presenting what they are calling "The Economic Bailout Menu", a three course prix fixe meal at $49 per person available Sunday thru Thursday.

First Course
  • Autumn Greens Salad asian pears, candied pecans, endive, cabrales cheese,white balsamic vinaigrette
  • Roasted Eggplant Soup greek yogurt, toybox tomatoes, basil emulsion
  • Eastern Bass cranberry beans, haricot verts, heirloom tomatoes,lemon verbena fumet
  • Organic Chicken Breast caramelized salsify, autumn spice grapes,grana padano risotto, tarragon jus
  • Red Wine Braised Short Rib heirloom tomato salad, potato puree,stilton mousse,sauce bordelaise
  • Coffee Pot de Crème vanilla bean shortbread
  • Daily selection of Sorbets & Gelatos
Oh, yummy! Don't hesitate to book your reservation through OpenTable!

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Monday, October 13, 2008 

CrushCafe is finally open

CrushCafe, the little cafe adjoining Crushcakes Cupcakery ha finally opened its doors for hungry customers. 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m

Some items on their menu:

  • peace, love and granola plain yogurt drizzled with honey, fresh cut seasonal fruit, homemade granola 5.95
  • irish oatmeal spiced infused maple syrup, raisins, steamed milk 5.95
  • hangover helper breakfast sandwich stuffed with eggs, melted cheddar, applewood bacon, tomatoes, toasted sour dough bread or croissant 7.95
  • crushed tomato basil bisque served with homemade biscuit and honey butter 4.95
  • beefed up gone green mixed greens, casino cut roast beef, maytag blue, roasted red onions, tomatoes, homemade vinaigrette 10.95
  • tree hugger roasted portabella, zuccini, roasted red peppers, roasted red onions, goat cheese, house aioli 8.95
  • adults only grilled cheese sharp cheddar, caramelized onions, tomatoes, house aioli 7.95
  • can’t commit half a sandwich and bowl of soup choice of tuna salad, chicken salad or grilled cheese. 7.95 Sub bowl of chili add $2

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Friday, October 10, 2008 

Flickr Foto Friday

Halloweegan RIP Cupcakes
Originally uploaded by River (Wing-it Vegan).

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Thursday, October 09, 2008 

Hell has frozen over. Mother's has shut down.

Circus Cookies
Originally uploaded by Domain Barnyard.

and killed off my favorite Circus Animals; sent them all packing to the big cookie jar in the sky. I'm crying pink and white sprinkled tears.
Mother's Cookies, an Oakland institution for 92 years, has been shuttered, its owner seeking bankruptcy protection for the company.

The ending was abrupt: Workers for the company, which shifted its baking and distribution operations to plants in Ohio and Canada in 2006, told workers Friday that operations would cease and cookies would no longer be made as of Monday.

The company cited rising prices for raw materials and fuel, and on Monday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.- SFGate

Washington Mutual implodes? Times are tough. Lehman Brothers is gone? Time for some belt tightening. But Mother’s Cookies? This, my friends, is a tragedy.- SFFoodie

Guess you'll know who will be stocking up on what.

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Sunday, October 05, 2008 

Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing

Did you know that one of the most popular salad dressings originated here in Santa Barbara? Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing.

In the late 50s and early 60s, Steve and Gayle Henson's dude ranch was favored by weekend visitors who wanted to enjoy the natural surroundings.

The ranch menu often included salad with a dressing created by Steve from a dry mix of herbs and spices, mayonnaise and buttermilk. The dressing was so popular it soon became the only dressing served.

When a visitor asked for a batch to take back to Hawaii for a large party he was throwing, Henson knew he was on to something big. A few days later, the guest called wanting more. Everyone had gone wild over it.

...One day, he went down to the nearby Cold Spring Tavern, a popular local hang out, and barged into the kitchen to mix up some of his secret concoction.

He came out with a little white bowl, handed Audrey Ovington the owner, a spoon and asked her to taste it.

She said, “It took off in my mouth like a freight train.” She immediately put it on the menu.

...Steve Henson copyrighted the Hidden Valley name, but never got around to protecting the word “ranch”. You can find Ranch dressing at almost every salad bar next to the French, Italian and Thousand Island but not necessarily made by Hidden Valley. - Free Enterprise Land

In one of my cookbook hauls at the Planned Parenthood booksale, I found a recipe in "Welcome Aboard - Santa Barbara Yacht Club Cookbook for the 90's" that claims to be the "original" Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing. Try it and see what you think!

Original Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing

1 quart mayonnaise
1 quart buttermilk
1 rounded teaspoon Accent
1 rounded teaspoon celery salt (or powder)
1 rounded teaspoon onion salt 9or powder)
1 rounded teaspoon garlic salt (or powder)
1 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper

Mix all ingredients.
(To reduce quantity, mix equal parts mayonnaise and buttermilk and add seasonings to taste.)

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What was that wet stuff falling from the sky?

OMB! It was rain...actual RAIN! Not alot, mind you, but it was RAIN! We really haven't seen that stuff here since about February. And, to those who were wanking about it at the Avocado Festival today, may I remind them, what is good for avocados and agriculture, just might be good for us, too.

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Saturday, October 04, 2008 

Avocado Festival Time

Awards to Avocados
Originally uploaded by santa barbarian.

We here in Santa Barbara LOVE our Avocados in so many ways!

Carpinteria's AvoFest has been going deliciously strong for 22 years!

Well, Santa Barbara County is the third largest avocado producer in North America, with Carpinteria being a major contributor. It seemed like a natural food festival in the making. Why have the Festival the first weekend in October? Oddly enough, statistics show that October is one of the sunniest months of the year with the least amount of rainfall.

And there it began...the California Avocado Festival.

And they have had some terrific posters in the past...pick one for your kitchen wall!

Avocado facts you may not know...
  • Spanish conquistadors discovered that avocado seeds yield a milky fluid that turns red when exposed to air. They used this indelible natural ink in documents that are preserved to this day.
  • Sailors in the early 18th century relied on avocados for "midshipman's butter," spreading the creamy flesh on their otherwise hard biscuits.
  • Bill Maher starred in a movie called "Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death"
The two hot tamales, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger have created special recipes for the California Avocado Commission. Search for their culinary creations here.

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Thursday, October 02, 2008 

Happy 93rd Birthday!

Chuck Williams! (he's the young man in the middle of the photo)

Originally uploaded by czl.

...Returning to the souffle dishes, he explained that in the great houses of ancient France, when a souffle was pulled from the oven, it was quickly wrapped in a collar of pleated starched linen "just like the collars people wore back then" so it was attractive enough to be presented at the table.

That's what inspired makers of the souffle dish as we know it today to give the outside of the dishes a pleated look.

Charles E. Williams should know. After all, he was the one who introduced the American home cook to French kitchen staples such as the souffle dish, the madeleine mold, the bain marie, the saute pan, even the hefty, mighty chef's knife.- SFGate

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008 

Backyard Bowls

And their intriguing - Açaí Bowls.
An acai bowl is some variation on the following: acai blended with strawberries and bananas into a thick smoothie, put in a bowl, topped with granola, various fresh fruits, and honey.
and some eyebrow raising smoothies....
...our smoothies dare to include ingredients such as spinach, nuts, avocado, granolas, broccoli...
are coming VERY soon to 331 Motor Way.

View Larger Map

And the stars are already "going gaga" over the Brazilian breakfast fare....
...Lost stars Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly and Dominic Monaghan have been spotted at Lanikai Juice for their daily açaí bowls.

Oprah lists açaí as one of the top 10 superfoods for age-defying beauty. And pro surfers Rob Machado, Pat O’Connell, Taylor Knox and Luke Egan highly recommend it, calling açaí the greatest energy food ever.

Açaí is an organic berry that grows wild in the Brazilian Amazon. Considered to be one of the top superfoods in the world, açaí is antioxidant rich and tastes like a blend of rich berries with a hint of chocolate. -

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