Wednesday, April 29, 2009 

Meryl Streep plays Julia Child

in the upcoming film adaptation of the blog gone big time "Julie and Julia."
Streep juggles pots, pans and pâté in what promises to be a deliciously rich portrait of Julia Child during the decade-long span when she evolved into America's queen of French cuisine in Julie & Julia. Joining her is Amy Adams, her nun sidekick from Doubt, as blogger Julie Powell, who spent a year toiling over all 524 recipes in Child's classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking. - USA Today
Directed by Nora Ephron and scheduled to hit the theatres on August 7th...seems the appropriate month to release as Julia was born August 15, 1912 and passed on August 13, 2004 at her home in Montecito. Perhaps they will have a special event in Julia's honor at her favorite local restaurant, La Super-Rica.

Check out the trailer at

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The Historic El Paseo Restaurant

Originally uploaded by pikester.

is still up for sale according to the posting up on BizBen.

The El Paseo Restaurant Is One Of Santa Barbara’s Oldest And Most Beloved Restaurants Going Back For Many Decades. With Its Type 47 Liquor License, Mexican Theme And Central Location In The Historic El Paseo District Of Downtown Santa Barbara, It Has Been The Hot Spot For So Many Years. Young And Old Enjoy The Dramatic Indoor/Outdoor Setting In One Of Santa Barbara’s Oldest Buildings. Not Only Set Up For Restaurant Use, It Is An Ideal Venue For Special Events With Convenient Parking Nearby, And Also Catering With Its Large And Very Efficient Kitchen.

Anyone have a spare $500,001-$1,000,000?

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Saturday, April 25, 2009 

The Stonehouse at San Ysidro Ranch

San Ysidro Ranch Menu
Originally uploaded by santa barbarian.

has been voted onto the OpenTable Top 50 "Best Overall" restaurants list!

OpenTable, Inc., a leading provider of free online reservations for diners and guest management systems for restaurants, today announced the national winners of its inaugural annual Diners’ Choice awards. The list of top restaurants is generated directly from the two million reviews submitted by OpenTable diners for more than 9,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. - OpenTable

Congrats! Gives me another reason to go back for their blood orange margarita.

San Ysidro Ranch Stonehouse Restaurant FireplaceOriginally uploaded by santa barbarian.San Ysidro Ranch Blood Orange MargaritaOriginally uploaded by santa barbarian.

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Top Chef Las Vegas

Looks like the rumours that have been floating around are correct....Top Chef Season 6 is going to Sin City...Viva Las Vegas!

But first, the Top Chef "tour" will be seen dishing and dishing up food at the Kentucky Derby. I'm wondering who the chefs will be putting some "dough" on....Des(s)ert Party? Mr. Hot Stuff? Chocolate Candy? Or will the losers put all their "clams" on I Want Revenge. I just hope they remember to "spiff" up their toques. It IS the Derby, you know.

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Friday, April 24, 2009 

Congrats Foodbuzz!

on spreading bloggy deliciousness!
Foodbuzz announced today that is has surpassed 2,000 food bloggers in its online food community. These partner food blog websites, when combined with the "hub" website, reached 6.7 million people per month according to third-party traffic measurement service Quantcast. This ranks Foodbuzz as the third largest online food property after less than two years of operation.

"Our goal is to be the number one online food community by promoting the talent, enthusiasm and knowledge of food bloggers around the globe," said Ben Dehan, founder and CEO of Foodbuzz. Of the top three properties, Foodbuzz is the only true community that combines social networking for foodies with food content search for everyone. "Both our monthly users and page views grew over 1000% in 2008, and we are on pace to reach the number one spot within the next 12 months," said Mr. Dehan.

Foodbuzz digs deep into the "long tail" of food publishing to discover and promote thousands of small, yet high-quality, food bloggers. "We are providing a platform for food bloggers to pursue their passion in a community that nurtures and encourages the sharing of quality food and dining content daily," said Ryan Stern, Director of Publishing. Foodbuzz offers these bloggers a compelling solution for building their traffic, connecting with like-minded foodies, and making money. - PRNewswire

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Good Buzz on Bee-ing Healthy

Are we close to a "cure" for Culinary Collapse Disorder? We just might bee....
For the first time, scientists have isolated the parasite Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia) from professional apiaries suffering from honey bee colony depopulation syndrome. They then went on to treat the infection with complete success. - Science Daily
(h/t to Fallenmonk)

Speaking of the buzzy little bumbly ones, congrats to fellow blogging Santa Barbarian Chryss Yost for winning the bee naming contest at Sunset Magazine.

We’ve named the new queen Califia, after the queen of the mythical Island of California! Thanks to Chryss Yost for her suggestion on our Facebook page. - Sunset Magazine's blog "One Block Diet"

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Thursday, April 23, 2009 

H.H. the Dalai Lama

H.H. the Dalai Lama
Originally uploaded by arjuna_zbycho.

is Santa Barbara's special guest tomorrow. KCSB will be broadcasting his talks at UCSB live...and podcasts will be available at their site as well.


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Wednesday, April 22, 2009 

Happy Earth Day

Planet Earth |
Originally uploaded by

It's your big blue "cookie" in the sky.
Go out and take a bite out of life today and
show some love for the original "foodie",
Mamma Earth.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009 

What's good to beat the heat?

Why Ice Cream, of course. And, what a coincidence that the good folks at Ben & Jerry's are celebrating. No...not the weather...but their anniversary.


Stop on by the Ben & Jerry's in Paseo Nuevo and pick up an "anniversary gift" of a free scoop of the good, cool stuff.

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Monday, April 20, 2009 

Welcome back to the blogging block

captain haley!

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Sunday, April 19, 2009 

Horrifying news in the sport of Polo

I have spent a number of summers watching the polo matches out at the Santa Barbara Polo Fields. It really is an exciting game and both horse and rider are true athletes. Bringing a picnic basket out to watch the chukkers...and perhaps drink a few yourself of the Pimm's varietal, is a lovely way to spend a lazy summer Sunday.

However, a horrifying event took place down in Palm Beach, Florida just before the showdown matchup at one of the sport's top events. Numerous polo "ponies" quite literally keeled over and died. It's just too heartbreaking.
In front of a stunned, hushed crowd at International Polo Club Palm Beach, veterinarians tried feverishly today to save expensive polo ponies from death before the featured game of the U.S. Open polo tournament.

Fourteen horses, worth as much as $1 million on the Venezuelan-based Lechuza Caracas team died before their scheduled game against Black Watch.

Two other horses are being treated at the Palm Beach Equine Clinic. Another horse is being treated at the Lechuza complex close to the stadium.

When the horses started getting sick fieldside and collapsing about 45 minutes before game time, stadium officials announced that the polo match was cancelled and an exhibition game would be played instead.

...When the horses started collapsing, veterinarians ran cold water on their chiseled, well-bred bodies to try and revive them. Fans that shoot a fine water mist were also used to get their body temperature down. Intravenous tubes were inserted to help them breathe.
- Orlando Sentinel

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Saturday, April 18, 2009 

It's Record Store day today....

Morning Glory Music signage
Originally uploaded by santa barbarian.

and I am so missing Morninglory Music.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009 

Don't just pray for help.....

pay for some fabulous pumpkin bread and save a few souls.

Down the hill from the famous Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, 20 nuns spend their days praying and singing and baking at a small monastery. Their 85-year-old order endured the Great Depression, but today's economic crisis finds them struggling again. While the Monastery of the Angels sits in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Hollywood, the Dominican nuns are cloistered from the world in contemplative prayer every morning.

..It's Sister Mary Raphael's job to watch the monastery's money. Lately, she's been watching the monastery's investments and annuities dwindle. In January, she found out the value of the investments had dropped by 70 percent. Plus, medical bills for the elderly nuns drained the bank account, says the mother superior, Sister Mary Raymond.

"So that was when we began to get really scared," Sister Mary Raymond says.

..Today, the sisters are putting their faith in something the monastery's famous for: pumpkin bread. They've been baking and selling it for the past 40 years to help cover expenses.

These days, the nuns get $9 a loaf for their famed pumpkin bread. L.A. City Council member Tom LaBonge is a big fan. When he visited the monastery the other day, he said he buys loaves to give as gifts during the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremonies and other special occasions.

"I gave President Obama, when he was running for office, a loaf of bread," LaBonge says.

With bread that popular, you would think it would be a big moneymaker for the monastery. But there's just one hitch: The oven is broken. And without it, the nuns are out of business. -
Can't one of those aig folks spare a little change to buy the nuns an oven?

Time for a blogger challenge to have every food blogger send in a little donation?

The Monastery of the Angels
1977 Carmen Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90068-4098

(323) 466-2186 Fax 466-6645

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Monday, April 13, 2009 

Santa Barbara Agriculture

brings in the bucks. Too bad the developers have their minds set on paving it all up and turning in this verdant land into unaffordable condos.

Berry Berry Good Season
Originally uploaded by santa barbarian.

For the third straight year, the value of ag products in Santa Barbara County surpassed the $1 billion mark.

The county crop report shows for 2008, production value reached about $1.14 billion. That is an increase of about three percent compared to 2007. More than 50 different crops reported gross receipts, or sales before expenses, of more than $1 million.

Daren Gee has been in the strawberry business for years. Once again, strawberries remain the county's top crop, grossing more than $309 million. - KSBY

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Wondering why stuff is still in the long closed FatBurger?

Perhaps they just don't have any money to hire folks to haul it out. FatBurger has filed for bankruptcy.

Two Fatburger subsidiaries of Fog Cutter Capital Group Inc. have filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection.

According to an SEC report, Fatburger Restaurants of California, Inc. and Fatburger Restaurants of Nevada, Inc. declared bankruptcy after GE Capital Business Asset Funding Corp. notified them that they risked a breach of contract unless they made payments by April 7 relating to $3.85 million worth of loans. Fatburger said it will seek to restructure the loans during bankruptcy proceedings. - Bizjournals

In these hard economic times we are seeing more and more how it affects the restaurant industry. Today, two Fatburger subsidiaries have filed for Chapter 11. Fatburger Restaurants of California and Fatburger Restaurants of Nevada have filed for reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court yesterday. -

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The Downtown Santa Barbara Library is celebrating

well...celebrating Library week(April 11-19) by having a blowout sale of books (hardcovers $1.50 and paperbacks .50) cd's (.50) and magazines (.25).

Re-stocked daily so come on down and find some great titles. I picked up Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine" and a Herb Caen book on Saturday.

Library Reading
Originally uploaded by santa barbarian.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009 

Happy Easter

funny pictures
see more Lolcats and funny pictures


Saturday, April 11, 2009 

Hoppy Easter!

Hello Bunny......
Originally uploaded by Anita Jamal.

Hope it's "Egg-ceptional!"

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Friday, April 10, 2009 

The Hungry Cat is now serving up lunch

Tuesday-Saturday (11:30 am - 2:30 pm) according to their chalkboard placed strategically on the sidewalk.

Hungry Cat - Santa Barbara, CA (at night)
Originally uploaded by santa barbarian.

If you're a little blue and need a little liquid comfort, stop by their happy hour (1/2 off specialty cocktails and drought beer drinks Tuesday-Sunday 3:00 pm - 6:00 p.m.) Perhaps they are pouring "the Lullaby," the winning cocktail involving Nutella, steamed milk and Rosangel Tequila concocted by mixologist, Matty Eggleston, from their sister restaurant, the Hungry Cat in Hollywood.

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009 

Salmon Fishing Banned off the California Coast

Not a good sign for either the fish nor the fishing industry.
Lovers of king salmon will have to settle for fish hooked in the Pacific Northwest this year under a federal agency's recommendation Wednesday to ban the commercial catching of salmon off California and much of Oregon in an attempt to save the fabled fish.

The move, which the National Marine Fisheries Service is expected to make final by May 1, comes after the fewest chinook salmon ever recorded made their way up the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers last fall.

"There are just no fish," said Zeke Grader, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations. "If they allowed any fishing, they would be putting at risk future fishing." -

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Something a bit seedy is happening in Hawai'i.
Ask folks to name Hawai‘i’s most valuable farm crop and they’ll likely say sugar or pineapple, maybe hazard a guess at macadamia nuts. Few will answer correctly–seeds–and even fewer will know that at least half that industry is devoted to growing genetically-modified organisms, or GMOs.

In the past two decades, the Islands have hosted some 2,252 outdoor tests for experimental GE plants, more than any other place. Open-air field trials have been conducted on corn, soybeans, cotton, potatoes, wheat, alfalfa, beets, rice, safflower, sorghum, sunflowers, sugar cane, pineapple, dendrobium orchids, anthurium, coffee and papaya, among others. About 130 now are under way throughout the state.

Some of Hawai‘i’s outdoor tests—by companies such as Monsanto, ProdiGene, Garst Seed Co. and Hawai‘i Agriculture Research Center(HARC)—also involved biopharmaceuticals, which refers to plants genetically-engineered to produce medical supplies, drugs, vaccines and industrial chemicals. According to court documents, these trials involved experimental AIDS and hepatitis B vaccines; growth hormones; enzyme production from human genes; and aprotinin, a blood-clotting cow protein that is also an insect toxin. Information about where these tests were done remains blocked by a court order. -
Honolulu Weekly

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009 

All Tapped Out

Maple Syrup Time In Pennsylvania
Originally uploaded by Crikit (Lori G).

I grew up on Maple Syrup. This is just heartbreaking news for the industry, the maple producing States and for those of us who love maple syrup.

...It is not a question of if the sugar maple will disappear, it is a question of when. Such shifts of species have taken place gradually in the past, over hundreds of years, allowing adaptation, but not in this case. Already, according to research from ecologist Brian Beckage of UVM, tree species have shifted more than 90 meters up the slopes of the Green Mountains since 1964 in search of cooler climes.

The cost will be tremendous if these predictions hold true. Maple syrup production in the Northeast, a $65 million a year industry, will cease to exist and with it a critical financial lifeline for small family farmers in the region. Already, according to preliminary data from one of Rock's graduate students, the sap from northeastern maples is getting less sweet. -
The Daily Climate

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Recalls Expanded

Big time.

The recall last week of 2 million pounds of pistachios because of concerns about salmonella contamination has been expanded, and federal officials say more recalls of foods containing pistachios are on the horizon.

...The recall was expanded this week to cover Setton's entire 2008 crop, except for raw in-shell pistachios. Most pistachios sold in stores are roasted.

... In addition to selling in the USA, Setton sold to Canada, Korea, Hong Kong, Germany, Australia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, France, Cyprus, Greece, Lebanon, Norway, Ukraine and Ecuador. -
USA Today

Egg rolls from a Hayward manufacturer are now being recalled after state health officials warned Tuesday they contain pepper associated with a recent salmonella outbreak.

California Department of Public Health officials advised consumers not to eat chicken egg rolls and vegetable egg rolls from EDS Wrap and Roll Foods, LLC. -
Mercury News

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Monday, April 06, 2009 

*UPDATE* The Hummingbird Cafe was SUPPOSED to be open

for business at 8:00 a.m this morning. (Monday, April 6) Guess they weren't quite ready yet. But the near future.... stop by 1101 State Street and say "welcome to the neighborhood!"

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Saturday, April 04, 2009 

Blush. Float.

Not just two words, but names of two new businesses coming to town.

Blush appears to be the name of the new nightclub where the old Zelo's used to be. (according to a little paperwork in the window.)

Float is a new luxury spa going in on Canon Perdido Street just 1/2 block up from the Lobero Theatre.

And, it looks like Esau's in Carpinteria is still available for sale.

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Another gallop down memory lane.....

Freehouse vs. Silver Charm in the Santa Anita Derby of 1997.

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When it comes to food...

it does not come in one size...and that should also pertain to food regulations.
...But while food industry giants that have long opposed new regulations are beginning to change their tune, small-scale producers are growing increasingly vocal about their own concerns.

The problem, they say, is that small farmers, who are most accountable for their food's freshness and health, may suffer the heaviest burden under proposed new food rules.

"A lot of people worry that what's on the books right now is very much geared toward the biggest agricultural players," said Patty Lavera, assistant director of the nonprofit consumer group Food and Water Watch. "It's sort of a one-size-fits-all approach, and when its one size fits all, it's usually written by the big guy." -

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Friday, April 03, 2009 

Stonyfield Yogurt Recall

I love Stonyfield and am saddened that this has happened to a really good company.
Stonyfield Farm is recalling about 44,000 quarts of fat-free plain organic yogurt in Stonyfield Farm branded containers because the yogurt products might contain sanitizer that's normally used in food plants. The company said it hasn't received any reports of illnesses, but it has received several reports from people noticing an off-taste or off-smell. Stonyfield Farm said the issue resulted from human error in not following the company's standard operating procedures.

The recalled products are limited to Stonyfield Farm 32-ounce Fat Free Plain yogurt with the UPC code 52159 00006. It carries one of these product codes printed along the cup bottom that start with the following date codes:

-- May 06 09: Time stamped 22:17 through 23:59 (limited to these specific time stamps only).
-- May 07 09: All time stamps.
For more information, consumers can call 800-776-2697. - AP
But, again, why is this recall hitting the wires late Friday night?

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Yet another "For Lease" sign seen on State Street

Oriental Rugs & Furnishings at 1119 State Street.

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The Santa Anita Derby is tomorrow

one of my favorite runnings of this stepping stone to the Kentucky Derby was the 1988 version...where the FILLY ruled the day! I was there that day..and did I lose my voice cheering on the filly!

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Thursday, April 02, 2009 

April is National Grilled Cheese Month

Mmmmm....grilled cheese! Wonder if C'est Cheese will be unfurling their new Panini Press and grilling up some homage du fromage this month.

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Trader Joe's is previewing a new website

All "flash-y" with Elvis tending the sample bar.
And we've created a fun (we think), different (you'll see), new website design. Want to be among the first to preview it? We thought you might. Click HERE to experience the new "Trader Joe's Virtual Store That Still Does Not Sell Anything" website design.

And if you want to share your thoughts on said design, we'd love to hear them. Send us an email to

and just a note...Trader Joe's pistachios are NOT on the recall list.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009 

Best April Fools day joke

involving food. The 1957 Spaghetti Harvest presented by the BBC.

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Beer Wars Live! Coming to the Arlington

April 16th. Just in time to drown your sorrows over knowing you feed corporation Head Honchos the day before.

Beer Wars LIVE with Ben Stein, is a one night event taking you inside the boardrooms and back rooms of the American beer industry. The event will feature the exclusive never-before-seen documentary Beer Wars, followed by a riveting live discussion led by Ben Stein with America’s leading independent brewers and experts.

Beer Wars will introduce you to the who’s who in beer while following the journey of small, independent brewers who are challenging the corporate giants. Director Anat Baron provides an insider’s perspective of the daily battles and all out wars that dominate one of America’s favorite industries.

For more information go to

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