Tuesday, September 28, 2010 

Food Stamp Cuts

in the time of dire need, have consequences.
Congress is poised to cut food stamps, taking away an extended benefit created by the 2009 stimulus before its original expiry date and setting up an unprecedented “cliff” in food stamps, now known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits. To demonstrate how hurtful this might prove, hunger advocate Joel Berg recently spent a week eating according to the SNAP budget.

....The cliff in food stamps means that one month, a family will receive a set amount of money, about $4.50 per person per day. The next month, they will get less. In his week eating according to the SNAP budget, Berg shopped for the first three days as if he received full benefits. For the second two, he shopped as if he received cut benefits. The result? Less food, or less healthy food. - Washington Independent

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Monday, September 27, 2010 

It's Sea Otter Awareness Week

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Saturday, September 25, 2010 

Food Truck Festival in Awesometown!

Who knew there was a rolling festival of delish? You think that Tyler Florence and the FoodNetwork will be there?
A food truck frenzy is currently sweeping the nation, and Valencia is about to take part in it! On Saturday, October 16 come be a part of the festivities when Awesometown becomes the epicenter of rolling culinary greatness as it hosts Valencia’s Gourmet Food Truck Festival in the Santa Clarita Valley. This event will take place at the Bridgeport Marketplace, located at McBean Parkway and Newhall Ranch Road, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. There will be an assortment of delicious food and great company, so bring your friends, family and a hearty appetite! - Valencia.com

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Thursday, September 23, 2010 

We're Number 10! We're Number 10!

10th Most Expensive Place to Live in the World.
Would hate to be number one....but not feeling so hot on being number 10, either.

Even in this terrible economy, Santa Barbara is still one of the best, most sought-after – and expensive places to live in the world.

That’s according to a housing report released on Wednesday by Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

The average four-bedroom, three-bath home in Santa Barbara lists for about $1 million, making the American Riviera the 10th most expensive place to live, the report states. - Daily Sound

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010 

Tweet of the Day - Part 2

Bill Marler bmarler Senator Coburn - you are a douche - http://politi.co/8ZgaDA

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When you reach for that packaged food item

in the grocery store...keep in mind this factfilled tweet.

Bill Marler bmarler FDA inspects less than 10% of food manufacturing facilities. This is silly.

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Tweet of the Day

FairFoodFight FairFoodFight RT @organicnymilk1: "Americans have a right to expect when they eat your products they won't die"....nice standard! #eggrecall | Aim high.

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Get Your #Grenache On!

Get ready....September 24 is International Grenache Day! I plan on celebrating, how 'bout you? It's so easy...and delish.

What to Do:
On the day of the event open a bottle of #Grenache or two then tweet, facebook, and blog on #Grenache. You can do this for 24 hours! Yes, 24 hours of #Grenache as this day of celebration will span the entire globe! During International #Grenache Day, ask questions and share facts from your favorite social media sites or even via email to the Hospice du Rhône team. Most importantly this day is all about #Grenache so we encourage you to open a bottle of #Grenache and enjoy with friends and family. Also, don't forget to take photos of your activities as we will be asking for them!

How to Interact:
You can interact with Hospice du Rhône and the rest of the world #Grenache lovers virtually by heading over to Twitter, Tastelive.com or Facebook. Have questions about Grenache or fun facts you would like us to share, send them our way at hdrinfo@hospicedurhone.org. View the official International #Grenache Day Google map to see an event near you. We secretly hope you will be joining us at the bowling alley in Paso Robles, California.
May I suggest some Beckman Grenache?

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Monday, September 20, 2010 

Sugar Cat Studios

When you need some dressed up cupcakes.
From their Etsy site:
"What are your cupcakes missing?
An adorable cupcake wrapper to make your cupcakes pop! My mission is to make every wedding, birthday party, and holiday more special and unique with my elegant cupcake wrappers. These wrappers look fabulous in photographs, and will give your event that wow factor. Your guests will be raving!"

They even whip up some cupcakes to go with these fun wrappers.
Some of the flavors of cupcakes offered up:

  • Bailey's Irish Cream Cheesecake
  • Boston Creme Pie
  • Carrot Cake
  • Chocolate Syrah
  • Coconut-Pineapple
  • Cookies n' Cream
  • Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter
  • Double Chocolate Chip
  • Ginger with Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Green Tea
  • Hazelnut Chocolate Chip with Chocolate Buttercream
  • Key-Lime Pie
  • Lemon Cream
  • Lemon Cheesecake
  • Mint Chocolate Chip
  • Pink Champagne with Champagne Buttercream Frosting
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake
  • Orange Kahlua
  • Red Velvet
  • Salted Caramel Cheesecake
  • Tiramisu Cupcakes
  • Vanilla Rainbow Sprinkle
  • White Chocolate Raspberry

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Pneumonia's Last Syrah

This November, buy a case of wine from one of these participating wineries and money will be donated to help eradicate pheumonia! (Thanks Tablas Creek and The Rhone Rangers!)
Most of you are probably aware that Syrah faces a challenging marketplace. Even articles complimentary about Syrahs (as nearly all of them are) feel compelled to begin with a story about how hard they are to sell. A recent article by Eric Asimov in the New York Times began "There’s a joke going around West Coast wine circles: What’s the difference between a case of syrah and a case of pneumonia? You can get rid of the pneumonia."

...When mainstream articles about Syrah (which is, after all, as widely planted in California as all other Rhone varietals combined) lead with anecdotes about how hard they are to sell, it's time for more deliberate action. And Asimov's article started a chain of events that we Rhone Rangers hope may help turn around Syrah's fortunes.

Asimov’s article spurred a blog on Huffington Post by Dr. Orin Levine, Executive Director of the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr Levine, who is one of the world's leading experts on pneumonia and also a wine lover, posted a challenge to Syrah producers and retailers to both promote their Syrah and help eradicate pneumonia by donating $10 of each case of Syrah sold to consumers in November 2010 to pneumonia vaccine dissemination. Why $10? That’s the cost to produce and administer one dose of vaccine. Why pneumonia? It’s the leading cause of death in children worldwide, and is totally preventable. Why November? November 12th is World Pneumonia Day. - Tablas Creek Blog

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Buyer Beware

Just because a food is recalled....doesn't mean that it is off the shelves.
Consumers should not rely on inspectors to make sure that expired or recalled foods, like the 500 million eggs recalled last month, are no longer being sold, public health experts said.

In most cases, inspectors rarely check grocery shelves for recalled products, and instead rely on the producers of the tainted product to make sure that the recall was effective.

No regulations exist to prevent stores from selling expired food, which inspectors view as a food quality issue rather than a food safety concern. Agencies only intervene when the expired product has been found to cause illness, which public health specialists say is rare.

Food recalls sound official, but actually they are voluntary. Removing the tainted food is up to the stores and restaurants after they receive the recall notice from the company that produced it. Government agencies try to monitor to make sure the recall is happening but they have limited authority or resources to intervene. - Minnesota Public Radio

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Sunday, September 19, 2010 

Beware...it's Tarantula Crossing the Road Time

Poor little fuzzy guys are just looking for a little "love" action.

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The Planned Parenthood Booksale is back at Earl Warren Showgrounds!

This is the used booksale of all booksales (the largest one locally in the Tri-Counties area.)
It offers thousands of titles for all ages and interests (especially my downfall...cookbooks.)

Admission is free, except for the Opening Night Reception, and all are welcome to attend!

Mark your calendars now!
Thursday, September 23 - Sunday, October 3
Earl Warren Show Grounds, Santa Barbara

Opening Night Reception - Thursday, September 23
5:00pm - 9:00pm
Admission Fee for Opening Night Reception: $25

Friday, September 24 /10:00am - 8:00pm
Saturdays, (September 25 and October 2) / 10:00am - 8:00pm
Sundays, (September 26 and October 3) / 10:00am - 6:00pm
Monday, September 27 through Friday, October 1 / 12:00pm - 8:00pm

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It be "Talk Like a Pirate Day!" It is rumored that the Canary Hotel's Coast Restaurant & Bar is serving up some special grub for today to all matey's who hoist up their sails. (Just make sure it isn't three sheets to the wind....)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 

Das Williams knows it takes education

to strengthen lives...to strengthen communities....to strengthen California.
"....The thing that made California so great was our world-class education system, an education system that was the envy of the world. I was fortunate enough to grow up having good public schools and great teachers. I also had great teachers at SBCC, who helped me secure a scholarship to UC Berkeley and I went on to earn a graduate degree from UCSB. Growing up in poverty, I would not have been able to become the person I am now, or enjoyed the many opportunities in my life, if it weren’t for the public school system.

Every child, regardless of where they grow up, deserves access to the same educational opportunities that helped me succeed. For our state and children to remain competitive in the 21st-century economy, we are going to need the best schools and best teachers. We will meet that challenge not only by securing necessary education funding, but also by ensuring that teachers are not hamstrung and can have the opportunity to provide students with an enriched educational experience so they are prepared to compete in an increasingly competitive economy." - Das
Can you help out? Why...Yes you CAN!

Das Williams (CA-HD-35)$

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010 

Coffee Cat...Not quite so local anymore

Coffee Cat - our local coffeeshop
Originally uploaded by santa barbarian

The SBIndependent spills the coffee beans on a new development in our local "coffee shop wars"

Midwestern coffee company Espresso Royale has purchased popular downtown Santa Barbara coffee shops Coffee Cat and Northstar Coffee Company, and plans on soon opening another cafe in Goleta.

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Wednesday, September 08, 2010 

Happy Birthday - Fallenmonk!

It's my bloggy buddy Fallenmonk's "real life" birthday, too! Stop by and wish him a happy day.

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September 8

Yep. I say it's my birthday...is it your birthday, too, yeah?


Monday, September 06, 2010 

Ingredients - The Movie

Join Edible Santa Barbara for a special screening of "Ingredients: The Local Food Movement Takes Root"

Thursday, September 23


Faulkner Gallery, Santa Barbara Library
40 E. Anapamu, Santa Barbara

$10 Suggested Donation

A benefit for the 1st Annual Sol Food Festival on October 2nd

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The SFChron recommends some 2008 Santa Barbara County Pinot Noirs

2008 Alma Rosa La Encantada Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir ($43)
Richard Sanford, one of Santa Barbara's wine pioneers (Sanford & Benedict), continues to set a standard for the region with his Alma Rosa label. His 2008s, made by Christian Roguenant, are wonderfully nuanced, and this gorgeous estate bottling is deeply aromatic and mineral-edged, with tobacco and nutmeg, and a balance of delicate dark blue fruit and tangy wild strawberry.
2008 Au Bon Climat Sanford & Benedict Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir ($50)
Talk about a classic Santa Barbara matchup: winemaker Jim Clendenen with the historic Sanford & Benedict site. A smoky cola-edged, nuanced take, with lots of robust dark cherry and dried moss; a mineral edge that lifts the finish. It's opulent, layered Sta. Rita Pinot with a serious pedigree.
2008 Byron Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir ($40):
Byron turned out a solid lineup for 2008, but Bien Nacido particularly left an impression. A darker, loamier profile, with a subtle musk amid generous, rich plum and blackberry fruit. That deeper, earth-driven style could use some time to reach its full potential, but it's a compelling expression.
2008 Dragonette Cellars Cargasacchi-Jalama Vineyard Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir ($38):
This young label founded by Steve and John Dragonette and Brandon Sparks-Gillis has access to some of Santa Barbara's best vineyards, including this colder site southwest of the Sta. Rita Hills. Landing at just 13.3 percent alcohol and aged in neutral oak, it's impressively nuanced, with roasted orange highlights and a warm mace spice and musk, plus radiant raspberry and cherry.
2008 Lafond Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir ($27)
Bruce McGuire mixed estate grapes with fruit from the Arita Hills and Kick On Ranch sites for this accessible Sta. Rita cuvee. The nose has an earthy presence, with damp soil and nutmeg that accent tangy strawberry fruit. The vibrancy isn't all red fruit, though, with some black-fruit flavors adding a core of weight.

2008 Longoria Rancho Santa Rosa Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir ($45)

Rick Longoria found a terrific tension in this benchmark Sta. Rita site, with scents that are slightly sanguine and tightly wound. It's a weightier style, with lift and delicacy from an interplay of bright, brilliant strawberry and deeper huckleberry jam flavors.

And, why yes...there are MORE. Go see...at SFGate.com

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Friday, September 03, 2010 

Happy Birthday, Downey's!

Originally uploaded by Hal B..

5:30 on Friday, September 3rd, 1982...
Downey's opened up their doors for business. I'm so glad they did!
One of Santa Barbara's little foodie gems, but...ssshhhhh....don't tell too many people.
Would kinda like it continue to be our local delicious secret.

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