Friday, July 31, 2009 

The USDA has a YouTube Channel

for Food Safety.

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Will Twitter for Food

Will Twitter for Food -

Saturday, August 1st is the next #twitterforfood event. What we are doing is asking everyone on Twitter to skip a meal and use the savings to fund any local or global hunger relief agency. There is a list of hunger agencies and food banks on the main page of, but feel free to fund your favorite.

We'll be glad to add any hunger relief non-profit organization to the list, just request to be added by sending an email to or Direct Message our twitter account @HungerNoMore.

I'm skipping a meal for the Food Bank of Santa Barbara.
In 2008, over 125,000 people in Santa Barbara County were served by Foodbank member agencies. The Foodbank distributes food to over 220 social service programs and agencies, churches and community groups from Carpinteria to Santa Maria.
So...all you "tweeps" out there....get to "tweeting" and giving money to your local hunger relief organization.
#twitterforfood Skip a meal Aug 1st and use the savings to fund hunger relief locally and globally! Please RT!

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The House passes a Food Safety Act

It's not as strong as perhaps many would like, but it is further along than the 1940's style inspection process that the United States currently uses. Some statistics to keep in mind, especially those without health insurance, approximately every 2 hours a U.S. resident dies from a food-related illness. Every year, nearly 1-in-3 Americans becomes seriously ill from food they thought was safe to eat, and about 325,000 wind up in the hospital.

Some things that this House approved Bill provides for...
  • Increases the frequency of inspections of food facilities, and calls for more frequent inspections to at least annually for high-risk facilities and at least once every three years for facilities deemed a low risk.. (Currently a facility is "generally" inspected every 10 years.)
  • Requires those importing food to the United States to meet the same safety standards as domestic food producers.
  • Gives the FDA the authority to order a mandatory recall of contaminated food (currently, recalls are VOLUNTARY and the FDA has to ask the facility to initiate).
  • Requires that food processors-with certain exemptions, such as farms-annually register with the FDA and pay a $500 registration fee to help offset the inspection costs.
  • Requires that facilities report testing results to FDA whenever they test food for contamination or adulteration. (This addresses the fiasco of the Peanut Corporation of America recall. They were ignoring positive salmonella tests until it received a negative result from a different lab.
Now...let's see what the Senate does, but according to Senator Tom Harkin, they might not get to it for awhile.

But call your elected officials and tell them it is time to modernize our food inspection programs. Our very health depends upon it.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009 

Drought proofing CA by 2020

California has a plan the 20x2020....and, like a glass of Goleta tap water, it's going to be hard to swallow for some folks used to the usual underpricing of our water.

California lawmakers are working on a historic plan — the first of its kind in the United States — to require a 20 percent reduction in per-capita urban water use by the year 2020. It signals the end of cheap water for water wasters, a change that's bound to come as a shock to some residents in the Golden State.

....Bob Wilkinson, a University of California, Santa Barbara professor who serves on the technical advisory committee for the California Water Plan, believes residents could easily achieve as much as a 30 percent reduction in just a few years.

"The No. 1 source for new water is urban water use efficiency," Wilkinson said. "It's not a sideshow, and it's important that people not think of this as a sacrifice. It wouldn't take draconian measures. We just need to get price signals in place to help people understand the real price and cost of water."

That's what's happening in Montecito, a wealthy community on the coast northwest of Los Angeles, where residents were paying three times as much for water as in Palmdale but didn't care about the cost because they could afford it. Newcomers who had no memory of the drought of 1986-91 tended to build big homes with big lawns.

While water demand flattened out in the rest of Southern California, including Los Angeles, Montecito's grew until it reached a local record in 2007 of more than 350 gallons per capita per day. That's one of the highest per capitas in the state, equivalent to that of people living in California's Sonoran Desert, near the border with Mexico.

"Everybody put in their lush landscaping," recalled Tom Mosby, the Montecito Water District general manager. "Money wasn't an issue. I would see trucks going up the street with sod and I was just having a heart attack."
- Melinda Burns @ MillerMcCune

Time to start living in the reality of drought. Money can't by a source that isn't available.

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How are you participating

California Ale (p4181382)
Originally uploaded by uzvards.

in the National Brew-ha-ha Summit this evening?

and...speaking of brews....The California Beer Festival is looking for people to work the event down in Ventura this September.

The California Beer Festival LLC is looking to hirer (sic) part time team members for The California Beer Festival held in Ventura, Ca on September 26, 2009. We are looking for bright, enthusiastic team members with excellent people skills to join our team. This is a great opportunity for someone who is looking for a job in the promotions world with room to grow within the company. - Craigslist

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009 

Hidden amongst the draconian cuts signed by The Governator

is perhaps one of the most important for those concerned with things "locavore", especially here in Santa Barbara.

Elimination of funding for the Williamson Act programs to preserve farmland from development.

With citizens, cities and counties being hit hard economically by this poor economy and sucked dry of funds from The State, they will be hard pressed to find further funds to keep afloat. Many will see developer money as a panacea and we may see precious farmland being paved over.

Have never heard of the Williamson Act? Well, many haven't and that is a shame.

Since its adoption 44 years ago, the California Land Conservation Act, popularly known as the Williamson Act, has grown into the state's most important farmland protection program. The Williamson Act has served California very well, but it is facing its most significant challenge due to the ongoing state budget crisis.

In addition to protecting one of our state's most valuable resources—our agricultural land—other significant benefits of the act must also be recognized and appreciated for their contribution to our quality of life: the protection of our precious watersheds; the availability of and access to a local, safe and affordable food supply; wildlife habitat; and the beautiful landscapes that are so important to all of our citizens.

...In addition to its significant impacts on the state and local economies, the Williamson Act is widely appreciated by those in the environmental, agricultural and business communities, as well as by state and local government officials, as one of the most important environmental laws ever adopted in California. It has encouraged good land use planning and prevented leapfrog developments that can be devastating to agricultural and natural resources.- California Farm Bureau Federation

Program benefiting farms and ranches gutted.

...Under the Williamson Act, landowners sign 10-year contracts with the county that allow ranchers and farmers to pay property taxes based on what they produce on their land, instead of charging them the same taxes residential landowners pay.

The state then reimburses the counties the difference.

As a result, county governments - not farmers - will initially see the effect from the funding cuts, said Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber.

..."That's discretionary dollars," Lees said, meaning the money can be used for just about anything.

Bundy said most ranches and farms under Williamson Act protection might be temporarily safe from drastic tax increases because of the 10-year contracts. But he was quick to add that he didn't know for sure.-

...Farmland preserved by the Williamson Act takes more of the world’s primary greenhouse gas — carbon dioxide — out of the air than any other program now contemplated. More than the proposed tailpipe emission changes and carbon-trading programs proposed as ways to carry out the landmark 2006 AB32, the most aggressive anti-climate change bill ever passed anywhere. More than scrubbing every smokestack in California. More than all proposals to clean up ship- and truck-caused emissions from all California’s ports put together. - Ventura County Star

Now, more than ever, we need to support our farmers...our farmland...our open spaces our environment... because they are endangered more than ever.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009 

Fabio Fabio Wherefore art thou, Fabio?

Chef Fabio Viviani
Originally uploaded by timeoutnewyork.

Well....on August 6th at Borders Books out in Goleta, he will be there signing his new cookbook. - 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

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Monday, July 27, 2009 

Late Night Happy Hour at Cafe Buenos Aires

Originally uploaded by santa barbarian.

2 for the price of 1 after 9:00 p.m.

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Fighting for the Heart of Dairy

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"Carmelized" Energy...brings tears to my eyes

I had no idea that onions could produce juice...of the energy type. Looks like Gills Onions is crying all the way to the bank with their new energy recovery system. Perhaps they will be running "rings" around the competition!

Gills processes as many as a million pounds of onions a day at its Oxnard facility, which employs about 400 people and is the largest onion processor in the country. Its daily work generates about 300,000 pounds of onion waste, but a new energy recovery system at Gills turns what was once thrown away into clean heat and electricity and valuable cattle feed. The system generates 600 kilowatts of electricity.

“It’s a hard pill to swallow, but it’s been one my goals for my whole life to take care of this waste,” Gill told the Business Times.

Gill’s investment will pay for itself in about six years. The plant has been online for a few weeks, and once he proves it works, he’ll get a $2.7 million check from the Southern California Gas Co., which is administering money from a state program designed to encourage big users to generate their own energy.

Before the new fuel-cell plant, Gills put its waste out onto fields, where it generated carbon dioxide and methane as it decomposed. The process also cost a lot of money in diesel fuel to transport the waste, tipping fees to dump it and labor to spread it. Turning the waste into energy instead will save the company $700,000 in electricity costs, $400,000 in land-application costs and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30,000 tons annually.

...Gills Onions is in the midst of a host of other green-minded activities. It recently signed on with the California Climate Action Registry and is gathering information for a baseline measure of its greenhouse gas emissions.

Once that baseline is complete, the public will be able to view it along with improvements the company makes. Oxnard-based Agromin is a member of the group, as are the cities of Thousand Oaks, Ventura and Santa Barbara. Gills is also working with the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Four graduate students there are working with the firm on drawing up a plan to make Gills Onions a zero-waste company. - Pacific Coast Business Times

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Sunday, July 26, 2009 

Santa Bar-B-Que isn't on fire

Terrace Mountain Fire 3 - Kelowna, BC Canada
Originally uploaded by repetry.

BC Canada is.

and so is the Mediterranean.

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Canada approves Monsanto/Dow GM corn

This is not good. Not good at all.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has quietly approved a new genetically engineered corn with eight different insect- and weed-fighting traits, but farmer and environmental groups in Canada say the approval was rushed and environmental risks ignored.

Developed through a research agreement between Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences, SmartStax corn is unique in that it “stacks” eight different genetically engineered traits that will allow corn to tolerate certain weed- and insect-killing products made by the two companies.

Each of the eight traits has been individually approved by the CFIA, but opponents are concerned there might be unintended consequences when the traits are combined.

“You’d think that a combination of eight GE traits would trigger an environmental assessment, but the CFIA has (provided) no public record of their evaluation,” said Lucy Sharratt, co-ordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network.

The CFIA has also conditionally authorized for SmartStax a reduction in the size of the buffer zone, or “refuge,” normally required around genetically engineered corn.- CanWest News Service

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The cheap, capitalization fearing aristocracy has landed

Some Hope Rancher dwellers are looking for a butler by placing an ad on Craiglist. Perhaps proof reading is part of "butler-ing" duties, too.
private estate in hope ranch.santa barbara,ca looking for service minded butler.will be proactive in anticipating principals needs and will appreciate the art of service must have experience inventorying a household. exceptional serving skills. experience managing and caring for a fine home . must have a good reference two bedroom unit provided.local candidate preferred.
At least they are going "local" in their pursuit of "hired help."

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Bin2860 is Coming to Fess Parker's

Bin2860 an International Wine Shop will be opening up in August at the Fess Parker Inn at 2860 Grand Avenue in Los Olivos.

Chris Knox of Pearl Global Cuisine seems to be involved in the set up....including their Twitter feed.

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More Peruvian Paso perusing?

Putting Paso through Paces
Originally uploaded by santa barbarian.


Saturday, July 25, 2009's Peruvian Paso Oogling

Peruvian Paso in his stall
Originally uploaded by santa barbarian.

Ah...these guys are the sweetest! :-)


Change the word TIP to BONUS

$2.13/hour? This not only is seems to me bordering on criminal. How is it the Wall Street folks get billions in "bonuses" to add to their millions in pay, but the folks who really work for a living get the shaft? Can't we just change the word "tip" to bonus and make sure we cover those who make restaurant attending happen?

U.S. service sector employees who receive tips have been excluded from the latest hike in the federal minimum wage that kicked in on Friday, leaving the public to cover the cost of their healthcare, according to economists and advocates.

The federal minimum wage on Friday rose to $7.25 from $6.55. But only seven states guarantee tipped workers the minimum wage, according to a report by the National Employment Law Project, a New York-based advocacy group for low-income workers.

The minimum wage for so-called "tipped" workers has been frozen at $2.13 an hour since 1991, the report found.

Waitresses and waiters, who comprise the majority of tip-receiving workers, have nearly three times the poverty rate of the nation's workforce, it said. - Reuters

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Friday, July 24, 2009 

Final vote on offshore drilling: 28-43

SB Channel safe for now. Thanks Pedro!

(per numerous Tweets)

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Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue Project

Barefoot Wines wants you to take a stand in the sand and is partnering with the Surfrider Foundation to support beach rescues and cleanups.

CLICK HERE to cast your vote in support of one of four Surfrider Foundation campaigns. Each campaign will receive $5,000 from Barefoot Wine, and the one with the most votes will receive an additional $5,000! (I HOPE YOU VOTE FOR GAVIOTA!)

You can cast your vote once per day through August 15th (voting is reset at midnight EST) so keep your votes coming daily.

Barefoot is also throwing a Beach Cleanup event on August 15th with a little party afterwards.

Beach Rescue - Santa Barbara
Saturday, August 15, 2009 3 pm -
Celebration: 5:00 pm. -7:00 p.m.

South Lanai @ The Endless Summer Bar and Cafe
113 Harbor Way, Santa Barbara, CA

To attend this event, you must RSVP. Celebration is reserved for those who attend the clean-up. Entry is on a first come, first serve basis.

Basics: At a Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue Project event, we take a stand in the sand and make a lasting footprint by "heeling" beaches across the country. Together with the Surfrider Foundation, we are helping beaches stay "barefoot-friendly."

For each event, we target the needs of the local beach community. Sometimes we host a traditional beach cleanup, but other times we'll do a native planting or a dune restoration. No matter what, we thank volunteers 21+ afterwards with a celebration featuring live music, food and Barefoot Wine. We toast the efforts of these local communities who join us in raising awareness about the importance of having healthy beaches for generations to come.

Volunteers should arrive in light colored, comfortable clothing and protective gear like hats, sunglasses and, depending on the task they plan to tackle, closed toed shoes. We generally try to provide sunscreen and water, but it's always good to bring your own just in case.

You must be 21+ to participate in this event.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009 

Coke's Fountain of the Future?

or Big Brother syrupy creepy? You decide.

From late 2004 through 2008, Coca-Cola executives on the company's "Jet Program" were sworn to secrecy. They signed nondisclosure agreements, locked their office doors, preserved internal memos and, by the time they could tell their families what they were working on two years in, their children had to sign nondisclosure agreements, too.

They were designing the "fountain of the future" -- a touch-screen soda dispenser that gives drinkers what Coke thinks they want -- variety, and lots of it.

...The new system only has room for one cup at a time and promises 104 beverages by allowing people to mix and match a Lime Coke, for example, with a Cherry Sprite.

...Radio frequency identification technology keeps tabs on what people are drinking and what they're avoiding, and sends notes to corporate Coca-Cola nightly to report on drinking habits and when they need to ship more of something to their fast-food and restaurant clients. Technology that has been used for cancer and dialysis patients drips the perfect amount of soda concentrate -- stored in cartridges that could be confused with those that store printer ink -- with carbonation. An ice maker sits on top. - Press Enterprise

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Wal-Mart is backing the President's healthcare reform

but Whole Foods isn't? WTF?

John Mackey, chief executive of Whole Foods, said that while his company offers coverage, he worries that an employer mandate would lead to more stringent federal rules on what employer plans must include.

...."It's a Trojan horse," he said.- WaPo

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009 

Salmon lovers

get ready for some sticker shocks
Salmon prices, which gained as much as a third in the U.S. this year, may extend the rally as a virus hurts output in Chile, the nation’s biggest publicly traded producer said.

Prices may rise a further 20 percent this year amid tumbling output in Chile, the world’s second-largest supplier of the fish, said Jason Paine, head of the U.S. unit of Puerto Montt, Chile-based Multiexport Foods SA. Exports to the U.S. could fall as much 60 percent by year’s end, he said.- Bloomberg

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009 

LOVE this ReTweet

ElGradoTequilaRT @cookiesinheaven: National Tequila Day is July 24th. Wonder if I can start celebrating. ::we say yes::

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Jason Mraz a farmer, too?

Mother Nature Network highlights 40 Farmers under 40 and singer/songwriter Jason Mraz makes the list? I had no idea he grew avocados!
Singer/songwriter Jason Mraz has produced a bounty of melodic pop-rock songs since hitting it big with his sophomore album, Mr. A-Z, in 2005. (His 2008 follow-up, We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things., has sold 2.5 million copies.) But reggae- and folk-inflected ditties aren't the only sweet crops Mraz harvests — the Virginia native is also an enthusiastic avocado farmer. After buying five acres in an agricultural area of San Diego, he settled in and began farming the pear-shaped, green-skinned fruits. He also installed a solar-power system on his farm to let the sun fuel more than just his plants. - Mother Nature Network
Too cool!

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Monday, July 20, 2009 

July 24th is National Tequila Day

Los Três Amigas de TequiLa
Originally uploaded by gLo's VancouverBlueEyedGuero.

I'm thinking of how to properly celebrate.

The SB Museum of Natural History is kicking off the Fiesta Week with a Tequila Tasting on Friday, July 31st. Don't know if I could do a full celebratory week, though....but, I could try.

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40 years ago today

we learned that mankind could leap giants.

and google, today, wants to prove again that the big thing in the sky really isn't made of cheese...

google wants to fly you to the moon.

the internet search giant released a version of its 3d mapping program this morning on the 40th anniversary of the apollo 11 landing that includes a virtual tour of the lunar surface. the moon imagery joins the mars and constellation maps that were already built into the free google earth software. - latte times

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Sunday, July 19, 2009 

Welcome to the "blogging" block

Wildland Residents Association

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Jill has a new "place"

Jill Shalhoob is now at the helm of the wine bar, Wine Lovers Bar, down in Ventura.
...a new owner is in place at Wine Lovers.... Now at the helm is Jill Shalhoob of Shalhoob Restaurant, located at the Santa Barbara address where her father, Jerry, opened his one-man butcher shop in 1973 (that business now occupies a larger space less than a mile away). Shalhoob is such a fixture at the Santa Barbara eatery that locals have taken to calling it Jill’s Place, the same moniker she gave her company. She has no plans to tweak the Wine Lovers name (“That’s how I’ve known it since forever ago,” she said with a laugh) but does hope to expand the menu beyond the existing cheese platters and wood-fire pizzas. For now, she’s merely expanded the hours: Wine Lovers now is open from 4 p.m. daily, closing at 10 p.m. on weekdays and at midnight on weekends (1067 E. Thompson Blvd. 652-1810). - Ventura County Star

View Larger Map

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Another warm welcome to Whole Foods

The "local" newspaper can't get the company's name correct on a front page headline. Apparently we're calling it "World" Foods here in Santa Bar-B-Que.

Shouldn't that headline read "Whole" Foods? on Twitpic

h/t Craig Smith

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It's National Ice Cream Day

I Scream!
Originally uploaded by Matt (mistergoleta).

How are YOU going to celebrate?

Flickr photo from Matt (mistergoleta)

Want to make your own?

Edible Portland has a Blueberry Ice Cream recipe.
Epicurious has Emeril's Lemon and Lavender Ice Cream recipe.
Baking Obsession has a Basil Ice Cream with Grilled peaches recipe.
Gourmet Sleuth has a history and recipes for Avocado Ice Cream.
President Thomas Jefferson's (founding father and first foodie) recipe for Vanilla Ice Cream.

Don't have an ice cream maker? No problem Grab some Ziplocs and follow Apartment Therapy's step by step instructions.

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Saturday, July 18, 2009 

For mixed salad in Santa Barbara

go no further than Shephard Farms booth at the Farmer's Market. I think the Santa Barbara Independent agrees, and has shown a literary spotlight on Tom Shepard and Shepard Farms.
A fifth-generation Santa Barbaran, Shepherd has been farming organically since 1973. The owner of Shepherd Farms started his first garden, which he intended for use as a community garden for members of All Saints by the Sea, on a plot of land near the church. Unfortunately, no one from the church community expressed interest, so Shepherd developed the space into his own personal garden. Over the next few years, he continued establish small farms all over Santa Barbara.

Tom Shepard also knows, very well, the truth to the catch phrase "No Farms. No Food" and the benefits of being "organic."

Shepherd is passionate about promoting the idea of protecting Santa Barbara’s precious farmland. “What are we going to do when we have no farms left and all we have is houses and malls covering the most fertile land in our country, maybe even world?” he demanded.

Shepherd has always been very conscious about health issues, and started farming on his own out of concern over the abundance of chemicals on the majority of mass-produced foods. He swears by the high nutritional value of local produce, which retains more of its content when eaten fresh.

“The food loses vitality when it sits around for a few days,” Shepherd said. “And when it comes from Mexico or Argentina, it’s just dead. It’s filler. It’s like chips.”

It's Saturday morning...and it's Farmer's Market day. I'm off to get some of Tom Shepard's mix of greeny goodness. How 'bout you?

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Friday, July 17, 2009 

Happy Cat Blogging Friday

Reaching out to stop the paparazzo
Originally uploaded by santa barbarian.

This is Spider. She got tired of me not reaching out to pet she reached out to pet me...or rather the camera.


Who knew the Pentagon Channel

Had its own version of Top Chef!
Among the Defense Department's many responsibilities — fighting two wars, looking out for 3 million employees, and so forth — is producing a weekly cooking show.

Every week, on the Pentagon Channel, the military's best chefs battle it out on The Grill Sergeants.

Sgt. First Class Brad Turner is the original grill sergeant and the star of the show. - NPR All Things Considered

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Thursday, July 16, 2009 

40 years ago today

Apollo 11 inspired all mankind to dream...and to gobble up more "Space Food Sticks." Boy, did I love these things as a kid. I wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up. And, really...who didn't in those days?

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009 

Whole Foods is handing out Tweets

or rather treats for tweets.
Whole Foods Market has challenged its followers to tweet their five-word food philosophies. Ten creative fans will win $50 Whole Foods Market gift cards -plus five pounds of quinoa -- for submitting the best philosophies. The contest wraps up Friday, July 17. - PRNewswire

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009 

Take home this Chef...Curtis Stone

Curtis Stone thanks you!
Originally uploaded by Yahoo! Answers Team (Southeast Asia).

TLC's former "Take Home Chef" Aussie Chef Curtis Stone is set to appear at the Alisal for a little "Down Under" action up in the Valley...and George at the Santa Barbara Independent gets the skinny.

So...ladies (and gents if you are so inclined)...around September 16th or so, remember to dress up when you go to the grocery store because you just never know who you may meet.

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Honey Do's

and don'ts in Florida.

Honey Bear
Originally uploaded by julia.picturetaker.

Beginning today, when you buy honey in Florida you will get only honey.

No additives. No preservatives. No flavorings and nothing produced with chemicals. Just honey.

Florida has enacted what is being touted as the first regulation in the nation - and possibly in the world - requiring that any product that is produced, processed or sold in Florida as honey must be "natural food product resulting from the harvest of nectar by honeybees."

If the product includes sugar water, flavorings, antibiotics sprayed into hives to keep bees healthy or anything else that is not honey produced by bees, it cannot be sold as honey in Florida. -

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Happy Bastille Day!

Vive le France! Aux armes, citoyens...

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Sunday, July 12, 2009 

Unappetizing news re: Farmed Fish

There's trouble a bubbling in the Chilean waters....

It was only a matter of time before disease began sweeping through Chile's overcrowded, poorly designed and maintained salmon and trout farms. For years now Chilean fish farmers have jammed millions of fish into pens and poured on the antibiotics to keep them "healthy." Now strains of bacteria have built immunity, and a deadly virus -- infectious salmon anemia, known as the Isa virus -- is killing off fish in a total of 200 different "cultivation centers" in Chile.

Let's be clear: The virus cannot be transmitted to humans via consumption of infected fish. But what's going on in Chile, and in other fish farms around the world, sure shouldn't t make you hunger for farmed salmon tonight.

The Isa virus isn't the only challenge facing Chilean salmon farmers, who exported more than $2.4 billion worth of salmon in 2008. The salmon growers are heavily indebted to suppliers and banks, according to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal. They have an estimated $1.6 billion in liabilities and owe suppliers about $400 million for nets, cages and other gear.- Portland Oregonian

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What a warm welcome for Whole Foods

someone tagged their temporary sign on State Street. Graffiti sad.

Is it just me or is graffiti really getting out of hand here in town?

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Saturday, July 11, 2009 

Unemployed Farmer Gone Good

Way good. Kevin Skinner shows America he's got talent. Lots of it.

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Manufacturers are not required to stamp expirations dates....

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Friday, July 10, 2009 

Is almost Top Chef Richard Blais

trailblazing a restaurant concept from Atlanta to Los Angeles? His tweet says it may be so.

I wouldn't mind it being an unusual bacon shakes!

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Imagine a world without fish....

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Thursday, July 09, 2009 

Fun With Fabio!

I don't know which is more "bubbly"...the Prosecco or Fabio.

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009 

Mexican Cooking with Chef Monica de Alba

Wednesday July 8, 2009 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
1023 Bath Street, Santa Barbara, CA

Cuisine of Mexico

Casa Dolores - Center for the Study of the Popular Arts of Mexico

Join our Host, Chef Monica de Alba for a workshop of the fresh cuisine of Mexico

Menu includes:

Chicken Tingas - A tinga is a special kind of stew fromPuebla that's most often made with pork, but alsomade with other meats. This version will be made with chicken in a smokychipotle sauce and served ontostadas with black beans.

Nopalitos– A refreshing salad made from fresh cactus pads.

Tomatillo Salsa – Traditional salsa made from tomatillos (husktomatoes), a tomato like green fruit.

Horchata– Pleasantly sweet rice drink flavored with cinnamon.

We will enjoy our delicious dinner in our charming and historical adobe (the oldest in Santa Barbara), chef de Alba will provide recipes of the prepared dishes to all participants.

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Tuesday, July 07, 2009 

Whole Foods adopts new verification

for its private label products with the aid of Non-GMO project.
Whole Foods Market, Inc. says it will submit its private label products to testing for genetically engineered organisms--a move that will add a new level of certification to what's on the organic and natural grocer's shelves. - BizJournals

Whole Foods Market invites the industry to join an educational webinar on Wednesday, Aug. 26 at 1 p.m. CDT, to learn more about the Non-GMO Project and the PVP. Webinar details are available at - PRNewswire

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Sunday, July 05, 2009 

Turtle Ballet

La Arcada Turtle guys
Originally uploaded by santa barbarian.

Saturday, July 04, 2009 

On this 4th of July....Yes We...CAN

Help fellow Americans who are hungry. Take some canned food to your local foodbank. Be part of the "Million Can March."

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Happy July 4th!

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Friday, July 03, 2009 

Friday Night Food Recall News Dump

Salmonella concern spurs recalls
Creve Coeur-based Precision Foods Inc. is among food distributors across the U.S. that are recalling nonfat dry milk, cocoa and other products that are linked to a possible salmonella contamination at a Plainview, Minn., milk processor.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Malt-O-Meal Recalls Oatmeal With Possible Salmonella
Malt-O-Meal Company is voluntarily recalling oatmeal that contains instant nonfat dry milk that may be contaminated with salmonella.
New York Times

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Thinking on how to celebrate Bastille Day?

Renaud's Amazing chocolate macaron
Originally uploaded by santa barbarian.

May I suggest you think about obtaining Renaud's amazing macarons.

Sure Bastille Day isn't until July 14th, but I'm sure Renaud's will be sold out of these amazing chocolate gobs of goodness quite early on, so check on pre-ordering.

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Bubonic Plague for Plants?

Blight is hitting the Right Coast, hard.
Tomato plants have been removed from stores in half a dozen states as a destructive and infectious plant disease makes its earliest and most widespread appearance ever in the eastern United States.

Late blight -- the same disease that caused the Irish Potato Famine in the 1840s -- occurs sporadically in the Northeast, but this year's outbreak is more severe for two reasons: infected plants have been widely distributed by big-box retail stores and rainy weather has hastened the spores' airborne spread.

The disease, which is not harmful to humans, is extremely contagious and experts say it most likely spread on garden center shelves to plants not involved in the initial infection. It also can spread once plants reach their final destination, putting tomato and potato plants in both home gardens and commercial fields at risk.

Meg McGrath, professor of plant pathology at Cornell University, calls late blight "worse than the Bubonic Plague for plants." - AP via Yahoo Finance

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Thursday, July 02, 2009 

Dog-Cat-Rat man

Can't we all just get along?
Originally uploaded by santa barbarian.

is up in San Francisco...for the moment

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Local Firefighter gets a grilling from Tyler Florence

or rather a grilling lesson from Chef Florence (be still my heart) in the July issue of Sunset Magazine. He was one of three folks brought together to master the art of grilling and to overcome their past...well...charbroiled disasters.
Lesson 2: Ribs

The student:
Santa Barbara firefighter Matt Osborne.

The disaster: Osborne incinerated some ribs one Super Bowl at the firehouse while leaving them unattended to watch the game with his coworkers. The next morning, he tossed the smoker’s mangled remains into the station’s dumpster and nearly set it on fire.

The hope: Redemption. "The entire event still haunts me today," he wrote. "It has been six years and the guys still bring it up."
I think that perhaps Mr. Osborne has just been to busy fighting fires here in Santa Barbara to master the rib thing. Let's hope that he has plenty of time to work the coals over a grill this summer instead of working the embers on our hillsides.

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009 

Support Your Local Independent Day is July 3rd

The Isla Vista Food Co-op will open its doors to all shoppers and offer 10% off their entire shopping trip.
Come one, come all to the first "Support Your Independent Day" at the Co-op!. We're inviting anyone and everyone to come shopping at the store at 10% off!

You heard that right: this one is not just for Co-op Owners.

We recognize that everyone is being affected by the downturn in the economy, and we want to offer everyone in the community an opportunity to stock up for less.

July 3rd, 8am-10pm, everything in the Co-op (minus items already on deep discount) will be 10% off!

Stop on by, shop, eat, be merry, support a locally owned business and save moolah. What could be better than that?

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French Press opening on July 14th

Regading the Hummingbird Cafe leaving post, I received a couple of responses clarifying a few things...

1) Hiya, this is Amesia from Arcobaleno Trade...and, yes, we are still here. Joining us is the French Press another locally owned business dealing in ethically sourced goods (her's being coffee and treats!) July 14th is our Grand Opening. It's Bastille Day! Thanks Santa Barbara for supporting local business...

2) hi, it's julia from the French Press. Here is a little bit about my business, which, as amesia said, is coming soon on july 14!

Hello Santa Barbara, it is so nice to see you. We’ve spent the last 10 years becoming fanatical about coffee and espresso, about brewing it, about talking about it and definitely about drinking it! So here we are! The FRENCH PRESS! We are working quickly to create a space for all of us to explore the world of coffee - and espresso - in a format that is not now available in Santa Barbara. Using micro roasted coffees sourced fairly and with love, and exceptional brewing methods, such as french presses and vacuum pots (and our beautiful La Marzocco espresso machine that is on its way from Florence as we speak!), we will guarantee a unique and amazing experience every time.

We also love snacks and treats, and know how lovely a fresh baked cookie tastes in the afternoon. We are looking forward to providing Santa Barbara with a truly exceptional product in a beautiful setting! So come see us soon for a sandwich or salad, a cookie or a croissant, and a pot of tea or a macchiato. We can’t wait to meet you!

I know I'll be stopping by for a macchiato...hope you will, too!

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Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day!
Originally uploaded by Ian Muttoo.


Just in time for that Red White and Blue Holiday

Posted by Hello Ina Garten's famous "Flag Cake" from Ina's third book, Barefoot Contessa Family Style. It was actually in one of Martha Stewart's Living Magazines and proved to be one of the most popular recipes. Just in time for July 4th.


18 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 cup sour cream at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

For the icing:
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese at room temperature
1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

To assemble: 2 half-pints blueberries 3 half-pints raspberries
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter and flour an 18 by 13 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed, until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then add the sour cream and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and stir until smooth.

Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool to room temperature.

For the icing, combine the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mixing just until smooth.

Spread three-fourths of the icing on the top of the cooled sheet cake. Outline the flag on the top of the cake with a toothpick. Fill the upper left corner with blueberries. Place 2 rows of raspberries across the top of the cake like a red stripe. Put the remaining icing in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe two rows of white stripes below the raspberries. Alternate rows of raspberries and icing until the flag is completed. Pipe stars on top of the blueberries.

I serve this cake right in the pan. If you want to turn it out onto a board before frosting, use parchment paper when you grease and flour the pan.

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  • From Santa Barbara, California, United States
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