Saturday, February 28, 2009 

Chef Bourdain Rocked the Arlington Last Night

Anthony Bourdain Fan Art
Originally uploaded by sammo371.

Funny. Provocative. Informational. Intelligent. Generous. Vegetarian's worst nightmare.

Best quip of the night: "If you have vegetarian friends, feed them bacon - It's the gateway protein. You know they want it."

Chef Bourdain was very delighted about his dinner at Julienne. (Good that the restaurant is getting well deserved kudos...but bad for getting a reservation now....)

Oh, just don't get him started on the Food Network....

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Thursday, February 26, 2009 

Toyota Venza "Taste of the Market" - March 14

The Toyota Venza Taste of the Market event series comes to Santa Barbara for a single-day event in California at the Farmers Market on Saturday, March 14, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Toyota Venza created this "Taste of the Market" series to celebrate farmers markets in communities across the United States.

Local chefs and farmers will be paired together for a day to highlight our area's fresh, seasonal and varied offerings. The chefs will prepare special tastings showcasing their partner farm’s fresh ingredients, and you will have the opportunity to sample the culinary creations. Toyota Venza is also making a financial donation to the Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market Association.

“There is nothing better than being able to go to the farmers market and hand select heads of lettuce, beets, turnips, whatever I’m looking for,” says Justin West, chef/owner of Julienne. “Handpicking ingredients ensures that the creative vision I have for a menu item shows up on the plate for my guests, and that’s key.”

In addition to the free tastings, you can sign up to receive a month-by-month Taste of the Market Guide to Eating Seasonally in Santa Barbara and will also be invited to pick up complimentary potted herb plant starts at the Mobile Garden Venza. To top off the day, you can enter for a chance to win a unique culinary prize. Toyota will also provide interested market goers with the opportunity to take a ride in a 2009 Venza and take home a John Boos cutting board as a thank you gift.

The Participating Chefs -

Justin West of Julienne Restaurant. Opened in August of 2008, this American Bistro serves local, seasonal cuisine. West’s focus is to create simple, clean flavors using the freshest possible ingredients. His philosophy lends to a seasonal menu that changes regularly and allows him to showcase what’s available at the farmers market. At Julienne, the hope is to promote the idea of eating locally, which goes hand-in-hand with eating seasonally. For more information, visit

Brandon Hughes of Bouchon. Bouchon is about having an authentic fine dining, wine county experience. Hughes sources ingredients using an “as fresh and as local as possible” approach, with fish from the Santa Barbara Channel, produce from the surrounding countryside, and meats and poultry from local micro-ranches. The wine list showcases the spectacular wines of the region. For more information, visit

Bob and Ellie Patterson of Scoop. Since opening Here’s the Scoop almost five years ago, Bob and Ellie Patterson have worked closely with the farmers market to source the highest quality products to use in their gelatos and sorbets. Everything is made daily in-house and sorbets follow the season using fruits and herbs from the local farmers market. One of the most popular sorbets, blood orange, is available through mid-March. For more information, call (805) 969-7020.

Serafin Ruizo of Blue Agave. Originally from Oaxaca, Mexico, Serafin Ruiz has been chef of Blue Agave for over 13 years. Blue Agave features an inventive menu that owner Gabi Barusch-Crosbie describes as “Continental Drift.” Using the finest ingredients from local farms practicing organic sustainable methods, natural free range meats, and fresh seafood, Ruiz creates dishes inspired by the flavors found in the Mediterranean, American Southwest, Mexico, and Pacific Rim. Blue Agave offers over 40 Tequilas and Mescals, and margaritas are made to order with 100% Blue Agave Tequila and fresh squeezed lime juice. For more information, visit

Greg Murphy of Seagrass. Seagrass provides a Santa Barbara Coastal Cuisine fine dining experience for guests, and has a wine list that highlights local gems. Murphy is dedicated to procuring the highest quality ingredients available, using seafood, fish, and shellfish from the Pacific Ocean, and working closely with the farmers market to ensure all produce is of the highest quality, and is local and organic whenever possible. For more information, visit

Matthew Reddy of Elements Restaurant and Bar. This much loved Santa Barbara restaurant is known for excellent world fusion cuisine, a stunning outdoor terrace, a lively happy hour crowd, signature martinis, and an award-winning wine list. For more information, visit

Nat Ely of Los Olivos Cafe. Los Olivos Cafe is located in the picturesque Santa Ynez Valley and is known for serving creative California-Mediterranean style cuisine, having an excellent selection of local wines, and a little movie called Sideways. The warmth of the wisteria-covered patio welcomes guests, and the connection between great wine and impeccable food—handcrafted expertly by Ely from the freshest seasonal ingredients—keep guests coming back. For more information, visit

John Downey of Downey’s. Opened in 1982 and located in the heart of Santa Barbara, the concept is simple—serve the best food available in an inviting setting. Downey changes the menu constantly, showcasing the abundance of local and fresh product available. Downey’s continues to receive enormous local and national acclaim. For more information, visit.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009 

The Tonga Room....Going to the big Tiki Room in the sky?

The Tonga Room
Originally uploaded by Kenn Wilson.! One of my favorite little haunts when I lived in San Francisco looks like it is on its last MaiTai.

Looks like twilight time for the tiki torches in the Fairmont Hotel's famed Tonga Room.

The Nob Hill hotel's owners are looking into a big-time condo conversion in the Fairmont tower, and the Tonga Room - with its tropical decor and Hurricane Bar - isn't included in the plans.

The Tonga Room is one of the nation's oldest tiki palaces, dating back to 1945 when MGM's top set director, Mel Melvin, was brought in to transform the Fairmont's indoor swimming pool into a nautical bar.

The result was a South Seas paradise - with a lagoon and a floating stage for the orchestra, a dance floor built from the remains of an old lumber schooner and even periodic tropical storms, complete with thunder and lightning. -

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009 

Happy Mardi Gras!

Video compliments of NYFoodiedotcom

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Monday, February 23, 2009 

Thinking of New Orleans....

and getting ready to pull out my beads on Tuesday!

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Congrats Rurality!

for being featured and interviewed on the Nature Blog Network!

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Taste of the Nation - Santa Barbara

Tickets are now available online for $55.
Taste of the Nation Santa Barbara
May 31, 2009
Montecito Country Club
920 Summit Road

General Admission 3:00 to 6:00 pm
General ticket price $75.00 at the door.
You save $20 off the regular admission price when you purchase online.

Since 1988, Taste of the Nation has raised more than $70 million. Funds from Taste of the Nation are directly invested in the most successful organizations committed to ending childhood hunger in America.
Give a big thanks to those local restaurants and wineries who are participating.

2009 participating restaurants:
  • Montecito Country Club
  • Square One
  • Cafe Luck
  • Elements Restaurant and Bar
  • Duo Events and Catering
  • Village Modern Foods
  • Epiphany Restaurant and Bar
  • The Four Seasons Biltmore
  • The Bacara Resort and Spa
  • The Ballard Inn
  • Ca'Dario
  • Jessica Foster Confections
  • Blush
  • C'est Cheese
  • Lucas & Lewellen
  • Ethan Wines
  • Beckmen Vineyards
  • Carr Winery
  • Blair Fox Wines
  • Core
  • Kaena Wines
  • Corina Cellars
  • Scott Cellars
  • Consilience/Tre Anelli
  • Dierberg/Star Lane
  • Tres Hermanas
  • Telegraph Brewing

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Sunday, February 22, 2009 

Happy 6 year Blogiversary

to Back of the Cereal Box!

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Fabio will be on Ellen Degeneres this week!

Top Chef (in our hearts) Fabio will be on the Ellen Degeneres show this week...Wednesday, February 25. Gentlereaders...start your TiVos!

He also is teaching some cooking classes through Ventura College Community Education...but, alas...they are full. But watch for more in the very near future!

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R I P Socks

Socks Clinton Front
Originally uploaded by merlinprincesse.

I was honored to have you as our "First Cat"

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Thursday, February 19, 2009 


fabio - top chef
Originally uploaded by fotoboynyc.

Not Fabio!!!!! :-(

Wednesday, February 18, 2009 

The Wine Cask....another local casualty

WIne Cask @ Santa Barbara, California USA
Originally uploaded by mita_sho.

The Wine Cask has apparently shut it's doors for business.

Monday, February 16, 2009 

Joy of Muffins or Muffin Tops?

Seems that the ingedients used in America's favorite cooking tome have changed dramatically over the years.

Restaurants get a bad rap for serving gargantuan portions of food and contributing to Americans' expanding waistlines. But what if something in your home were equally guilty? Something as innocent as . . . "Joy of Cooking"?

The classic cookbook, published since 1931, has done some girth-expanding of its own, a study has found.

Published as a letter Tuesday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the report examined 18 classic recipes found in seven editions of the the book from 1936 to 2006. It found that calorie counts for 14 of the recipes have ballooned by an average of 928 calories, or 44%, per recipe. And serving sizes have grown as well. -

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Sunday, February 15, 2009 

Pamela Sheldon Johns, former Santa Barbarian

(now of Italy) has a new cookbook out. 50 Great Appetizers. She is on a book tour and has a couple local stops.

She will be at the Ojai Culinary Studio on February 28 for a cooking class
Saturday, February 28, 2:00pm
Ojai Culinary Studio
315 N. Montgomery
Ojai, CA 93023
Phone: 805.646.1124
Menu: Flatbread with Potato and Red Onion, Grilled Scallops Wrapped in Pancetta, Mini-Salmon Cakes, Baba Ghanouj with Toasted Pita Triangles, Stuffed Grape Leaves with Dilled Yogurt, Provencal Tomato and Basil Tartlets, Grilled Baby Vegetables

and at the Santa Barbara Winery on March 1 for a Seminar on Olive Oil.
Sunday, March 1, 2:00pm
Santa Barbara Winery
202 Anacapa, St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone: 805.963.3633

Pamela presents an overview of olive oil production, with a discussion of the different regions, varieties of olives, and agricultural and production practices. Olive oil tasting, including Pace da Poggio Etrusco, her own organic extra-virgin oil, produced at her farm in Tuscany. Short cooking demo will include recipes from 50 Great Appetizers.

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Friday, February 13, 2009 

Why it's important to know

where, how and by whom our food is produced. Seems that some in America still prefer the slavery system.

Since the late 1970s, Henry's Turkey Service has been shipping mentally retarded men from Texas to Iowa to work in the West Liberty plant. Henry's has acted as the workers' employer, landlord and caregiver — paying the men a reduced wage for their work at the plant and then
deducting from their pay the cost of room, board and care. Payroll records indicate the men are left with as little as $65 per month in salary. -

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Have a mouth watering

Originally uploaded by --- FOTOMAT --.

Friday the 13th!

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Thursday, February 12, 2009 

Quote of the week....

"I would rather chop the finger off...sear it on the flat top so it don’t bleed anymore and tomorrow I will deal with nine finger.” - Fabio Viviani...who is going to the Top Chef finale in Nawhlins! Whooo hoooo!

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009 

Executive Director of Meetings and Evens

Bacara lobby
Originally uploaded by papertygre.

Needed at the Bacara....although I think they are really looking for a better typist and an Exec Director of Meetings and EVENTS.
Executive Director of Meetings and Evens (Santa Barbara/Goleta). The Executive Director of Meetings and Events is responsible for overseeing the management and operations of the Meetings & Events division which is comprised of Conference Services, Catering and Banquets department totaling about 100 Team Members. Responsible for establishing trusting relations with high-end clients by working along side our support departments & vendors to ensure guest satisfaction while meeting the Resort's financial goals.

Job Requirements: Qualified individual MUST HAVE a Minimum of 8 years experience in Executive Director or comparable senior management role at a luxury Hotel / Resort, strong job stability, impeccable references and have a flexible schedule, available to work weekends, holidays and evenings as needed. Minimum education of a B.A or B.S degree in related field is required. Moreover, candidates must be creative and innovative to service high profile clientele in various events including but not limited to: weddings, seminars, retreats and formal celebrations.

"Experience working for independent luxury property in Executive Director role preferred"

In addition to the qualifications mentioned above, applicants must be skilled in the following areas: account management, food & beverage, planning, organization and an effective negotiator

Please note that Luxury hotel/resort experience is required in order to be considered.
Posting found on Craigslist.

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What a Nut Job

A seriously DANGEROUS nut job.

Peanut Co. owner refuses to testify to Congress. Peanut Co. owner takes the fifth, e-mails show owner told workers to ship tainted products. - AP

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009 

Wine Makers aren't whining

Apparently, mother nature gave them a little break last fall.

The amount of the fruit squeezed in the fall is down about 6% from the previous year, a government report says. That should help keep inventories down and reduce pressure to slash prices.

...The state's wine industry, already struggling with slowing sales because of the poor economy, won't be dealing with a glut of grapes from last year's harvest, according to a report released today.

...Though overall tonnage of red-wine grapes harvested dipped 9% to 1.7 million, the popular pinot noir varietal grew by almost 17%. Fredricks said much of that growth was fueled by demand for the wine by restaurants, which have seen wine sales slide. -

Looks like the economy is going a little "Sideways."

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Joseph Schmidt chocolates

delicious chocolatey artwork...soon to be no more...
Joseph Schmidt Confections will stop selling its chocolates after June 30, according to a letter sent to customers by the Hershey Co. subsidiary that operates the San Francisco chocolatemaker. - SFGate

Heck of a job, there, Hershey.

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Monday, February 09, 2009 

Starbucks Value Meals....coming March 3

Signs of the economic hard times.....
Responding to the economic pressures facing its customers, Starbucks Coffee Company will introduce a selection of pairings each for $3.95 beginning March 3.

Tall Handcrafted Caffè Latte paired with:
Starbucks Perfect Oatmeal
, 100% whole grain goodness made-to-order with three conveniently portioned toppings, including dried fruit,
nut medley and brown sugar; or
Reduced-Fat Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake, a moist buttery cake with a cinnamon swirl center topped with a cinnamon crumble.

Tall Fresh Brewed Coffee paired with:
NEW Artisan Bacon Sandwich,
a flavorful bakery-style sandwich made with a parmesan egg frittata, smoked bacon slices, and Gouda cheese on a perfectly-baked hand-shaped artisan roll; or
NEW Artisan Ham Sandwich, a delightful combination made with a parmesan egg frittata, three slices of Black Forest ham, and mild cheddar on a perfectly-baked hand-shaped artisan roll; or
Sausage Breakfast
, a tasty teaming of sausage, egg and mild cheddar on an
English muffin; or Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon Breakfast Sandwich, lighter option featuring reduced-fat turkey bacon, cholesterol-free egg, and reduced-fat aged white cheddar on a multi-grain English muffin. -
Yahoo Finance



Calling all Pinkberry fans.....

Just in time for Valentine's Day and Chocolate Lovers Month (but really...isn't EVERY month chocolate lovers month?!), Pinkberry has announced the arrival of a new topping - white and milk chocolate shavings, a savory match to Pinkberry's deliciously tangy flavor. Made from fine Belgium chocolate, it is a perfect complement to the Original, Pomegranate or Green Tea flavors.

Stop on by 742 State Street...and top some off.

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Sunday, February 08, 2009 

Fabio Viviani

is willing to teach a few of his lessons....and recipes. (Just so long it isn't the "Monkey Butt on Clamshells!") Two Santa Barbara County wineries will be providing the wines.
Local chef Fabio Viviani will host a cooking class, serve a three course gourmet Italian dinner with wines and discuss wine and food pairings from 6 to 9 p.m. Tues., Feb. 10 at Cafe Firenze Italian Restaurant & Martini Lounge, 563 W. Los Angeles Ave., Moorpark. (more info - pdf)

Viviani, a contestant on Bravo's "Top Chef Competition," is a co-owner of the restaurant.

Participants of the class will receive a recipe booklet of the foods and wines served during the evening.

Artiste Impressionist Winery & Tasting Studio and Sunstone Winery will provide the wine for the event.

The cost is $100 per participant. The event is a fundraiser for St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Camarillo. -
SimiValley Acorn

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Friday, February 06, 2009 

The Wine Cask and Intermezzo for sale?

Originally uploaded by gary ryan.

Seems like it.

Located In The Heart Of Santa Barbara On State Street In The El Paseo Mission-Style Historic Landmark, Sophisticated And Upscale Dinner Guests Enter Through A Secluded Garden Courtyard In To A Dramatic Dining Room Complete With Hand Painted Beamed Ceilings And A Baronial Fireplace. For Years This Restaurant Has Been Regarded As “The Most Beautiful Dining Room In Santa Barbara.” Winecask’s Chefs Use Regional Ingredients To Fashion Imaginative Plates Of California-Style Cuisine. The Executive Chef Hails From A Venue Were He Was An Integral Part Of A Michelin 2 Star Award. The Restaurant\'s Wine Spectator Grand Award And Wine Enthusiast Award Of Ultimate Distinction Places The Winecask Among The Top 100 Restaurants In The World. Current Offerings Are Featured On A List Of Over 2500 Wines, Specializing In Hard-To-Find Selections, With A Santa Barbara County Emphasis.

This Is Actually Two Restaurants In One, With A Smaller, Separate Bar And Bistro Café Featuring Smaller Dishes At Slightly Lower Pricing. The Restaurant Also Has A Private Catering Operation, And Liquor Licenses For On Site Spirits, Wine And Liquor, Off-Site Catering And Separate Wine Store Stales.

This Is A Very Unique Opportunity For A High Profile Gourmet Chef Operator To Acquire A Venue That Must Be Seen To Truly Be Appreciated For Literally Pennies On The Seller\'s Original Investment Dollars. All Inquiries Are Limited To Principals Only, Please.


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Which Cafe/Coffeeshop could this be?

Cafe/Coffeehouse for sale on State Street. Great location with new lease. Business has established clientele and many new tenant improvements. Sale includes all equipment and will train up to 2 weeks as needed. Partial sale considered for the right person with business experience.

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Thursday, February 05, 2009 

Close the Loopholes

Lawmakers reacted angrily Thursday when told that food makers and state safety inspectors are allowed to keep tests results secret. That keeps federal health officials in the dark even when products have been contaminated by salmonella or other dangerous bacteria.

"I'd like to see some people go to jail," Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said during a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on a deadly salmonella outbreak linked to a Georgia peanut plant that has sickened more than 550 people and killed at least eight. - AP
I agree with the honorable Senator Leahy. People need to go to jail.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009 

Gentle readers....sharpen your knives....


SAN FRANCISCO - Sunday, February 8, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Ducca Restaurant & Lounge

SEATTLE - Wednesday, February 11, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Canlis Restaurant

ATLANTA - Sunday, February 22, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Craft Restaurant

NEW YORK - Sunday, March 1, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Craft Steak Restaurant

PHILADELPHIA - Wednesday, March 4, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
XIX NINETEEN at Park Hyatt at the Bellevue

LOS ANGELES - Sunday, March 15, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Craft Restaurant


Tuesday, February 03, 2009 

Value Meals coming to a Starbucks near you

Step aside Mickey D's and Subservient Chicken King....Value Meals are coming to Bucko's.

The allure of the value meal has long seduced penny-pinchers craving a cheeseburger. Now, as the dismal economy slurps up profits, Starbucks Corp. is hoping to find some sales salvation in its own value meal variety.

Starbucks has yet to offer many details about what Chief Executive Howard Schultz described to investors last week as "several breakfast
pairings" at "attractive" prices. More details are expected as early as later
this week. -
AP Yahoo

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It's Blogroll Amnesty Day

The day that we share the little spaces on the internet(s) that we love and think should get more attention. To start off, some blogs not of the "edible" variety....

Fallenmonk shares his wisdom and recipes from the heart of Georgia. (His wife, the lovely Mrs. Monk, is an Elvis fan, too....)

Bryan over at Why Now? is a constant source of information about Florida, weather, airplanes and Siberia.

George at I'm Not One to Blog, all that and a bag of casaba chips (and the best editor in the world...wink..wink.)

Alan at Left at the Gate is a man after my own heart....he loves horse racing and hockey. However, he has a fabulous wife, the Head Chef, so I'm well behaved when I surf over there.

and for the food blogs....

La Vida Locavore and The Ethicurean are the places to turn to in times of serious food news.

I don't know how Kristen over at Dine and Dish does all she does with her large and loveable family, but she does it all so well.

You can get your Cajun on over at Looka! The Gumbo Pages.

For absolute tasty joyful bloggin', I head on over to Obama Foodarama and Cakespy.

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Let's talk about another recall

recalling the President of Peanut Corp. from the Peanut Stardards Board.

The president of the peanut company linked to a nationwide salmonella outbreak serves on an industry advisory board that helps the U.S. Department of Agriculture set quality standards for peanuts.

Stewart Parnell, president of Peanut Corp. of America, based in Lynchburg, Va., was first appointed to the USDA’s Peanut Standards Board in July 2005 and was reappointed in October for a second term that runs until June 2011, according to the USDA. -
Atlanta Journal Constitution

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Monday, February 02, 2009 

Goleta Restaurant is up for sale....

Can you guess which one?

Restaurant for sale, everthing included - $95000 (Fairview and Calle Real,Goleta)

Everthing needed to start your own commercial restaurant. 1100 SQ. FT. Beer and wine license, 12' hood, refrigerators, freezers, ice and soda machine, buffet steam table and all furnishings. Rent is just $3000 a month in this busy shopping center.

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Criminal Investigations have begun

against the Peanut Corporation of America.

Local eyewitness news reported that authorities began a criminal investigation into the Peanut Corporation of America’s (PCA) Georgia facility because of the link to the salmonella outbreak.

Throughout their investigation in the Georgia plant, FDA found a complete mess: a leaking roof, mold, and roaches.

This investigation into PCA comes after Minnesota officials found salmonella in an open tub of peanut butter manufactured by PCA. More information led to FDA finding PCA already had salmonella problems; however PCA continued to sell the products! -

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More Recalls..this time Ralph's

or, as it's parent company is called, Kroger.

Kroger, one of the biggest supermarket chains in the United States, is recalling products in 31 states where it operates stores under various names. The stores involved are Kroger, Ralphs, Fred Meyer, Food 4 Less, Fry's, King Soopers, Smith's, Dillons, QFC, City Market, Foods Co., Jay C, Scott's, Owen's, Baker's, Gerbes, Hilander and Pay Less.

Kroger said it was recalling peanut butter store-baked and store-packaged cookies and select cakes sold in its family of stores because the products could be contaminated with salmonella. No illnesses have been reported in connection with the cookies and cakes, the company said in a statement on its Web site. -

Now...if you shop at Ralph's and heard that Kroger products were being recalled, would you know that it involved the store that you shop in?

The recall list continues to grow...and grow. Keep in mind, stores don't have to tell you anything. It's all voluntary. do you like those Republican policy apples?

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Sunday, February 01, 2009 

Guess there's a new BBQ place coming

to 3807 Santa Claus Lane, Carpinteria...and they're needing some help.

Dishwasher - The Barbecue Company - (Carpinteria)
Pantry Cooks - The Barbecue Company - (Carpinteria)
Wait Staff - The Barbecue Company - (Carpinteria)
Line Cook - The Barbecue Company - (Carpinteria)

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