Sunday, February 27, 2011 

Whew...the Easy Bake Oven won't die

but it won't be the same. I remember using my Easy Bake Oven all the time...even baking my brother's worms in it. Funny how one "toy" can instantly bring back childhood memories.

First things first: Rumors of the death of the Easy-Bake Oven are greatly exaggerated. Rumbling through the Internets yesterday were worries that the federal ban on incandescent light bulbs, due to kick in next year, meant that everyone's favorite bulb-powered childhood burn hazard was doomed. Happily, Hasbro announced that the Easy-Bake Oven would be reborn, all Phoenix-like, as the Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven. Only this time it's going to be fired with some zippy little heating element, which means that some kid somewhere is going to be very unhappy when his parents rip the thing apart insisting that they can change the bulb themselves.

But is all truly saved? Surely the phase-out of incandescent bulbs is good for the world -- I mean, that a 100-watt bulb was so inefficient at turning energy into light that it could cook a cake as a byproduct is sort of its own argument against itself. Still, I can't help feeling a little something may be lost with the change. - Salon

It might seem easy to explain the Easy-Bake Oven's power over children: It is a toy that makes cakes; a perfect storm of passionate kid desire. But let's face it: Not even the most swooning devotee was in it for the plasticky taste of the treats. So why does the Easy-Bake Oven have such power over us? - Salon

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Friday, February 25, 2011 

The Oscars at the Arlington Theatre?

Originally uploaded by santa barbarian.

That's what their marquee read this afternoon.
Watch the grand night of Hollywood from the wonderful
and historic environs of the Arlington Theatre starting
at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.

(and I think it's free, too....)

SBIFF 2009 Saturday Night
Originally uploaded by Sleeptest.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011 

Google cooks up a new view

of "recipes!"
Not everyone who uses Google to look up "molten chocolate cake" is looking for an explanation of what the dish is. After all, the name kind of gives it away. The web has become the nation's recipe box — and Google's making it easier to sift through, thanks to its new Recipe View.

Just as you can refine searches to filter results for images, news, or shopping, Google's Recipe View tells the search engine to return only results that look like recipes. - NPR

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Monday, February 21, 2011 

Where have all the Big Fish gone

long time coming....Where have all the Big Fish gone, long time ago....Where have all the Big Fish gone...gone to dinner platters, every one. When will we ever learn? When will we ever learn.

Over the past 100 years, some two-thirds of the large predator fish in the ocean have been caught and consumed by humans, and in the decades ahead, the rest are likely to perish, too. 

In their place, small fish such as sardines and anchovies are flourishing in the absence of the tuna, grouper and cod that traditionally feed on them, creating an ecological imbalance that experts say will forever change the oceans.

One startling conclusion: More than 54 percent of the decrease in large predator fish has taken place over the past 40 years.

"It's a question of how many people are fishing, how they are fishing, and where they are fishing," Christensen said. A majority of the catch, and now of the decline, involves East Asia, which has witnessed dramatic overall economic growth.


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Saturday, February 19, 2011 

Artisan Bakery and Cafe in Santa Barbara for Sale

Which one is it?
Your chance to own a proven concept, vertically integrated with two profitable locations, just in time for the summer tourism rush. This fully equipped Artisan Bakery and Cafe specializes in the freshest pastries, breads and desserts, serving a full breakfast and lunch everyday.

The cafe includes exclusive service rights to a famous national coffee brand for the local area, and offers multiple avenues of income - retail to the customer, wholesale to the trade, and outside catering and wedding events.

Located on a main thoroughfare with excellent gross lease terms, a large welcoming parking lot and just minutes from downtown shopping, this award-winning bakery is a locals' favorite. The sale includes all equipment, two locations with new furnishings, a web presence, proprietary recipes and goodwill. - BizBen

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Monday, February 14, 2011 

Santa Barbara - Poster Child for a Broken Food System

From Barry Estabrook's eye opening piece over at the Atlantic.
Should you ever want to see firsthand how completely dysfunctional our modern food system is, I urge you to hop a flight to Santa Barbara, California.

That's just what I did late last month to attend the annual Edible Institute, a conference organized by Edible Communities, a network of several dozen magazines that celebrate local food

If ever there was a group of Americans that should be able to eat locally with neither effort nor sacrifice, it's the 425,000 residents of Santa Barbara County, about 90 miles north of Los Angeles. Santa Barbara County grows commercial quantities of more than 50 vegetables, everything from artichokes to zucchini. Apples, peaches, oranges, lemons, and melons are among the more than 25 varieties of fruits raised there. There's beef, pork, and chicken. All of which can be washed down with a terrific bottle of local Pinot or Chardonnay.

Given this abundance and a year-round mild climate, it didn't surprise me to learn from David Cleveland, a professor at the University of California Santa Barbara who gave a presentation at the institute (PDF), that Santa Barbara ranks among the top 1 percent of American counties for agricultural production, with annual sales of $1.2 billion. Nor did it surprise me that 99 percent of what is grown in Santa Barbara is exported: a box of Santa Barbara mandarins currently sits on the counter of my Vermont kitchen.

But then Cleveland dropped a statistical bombshell: In this land of plenty, overflowing with all manner of great local food, fully 95 percent of the fruits and vegetables consumed in the county are shipped in from elsewhere.
"Picture two produce-laden tractor-trailers passing on the highway," he said. "One bringing food into the county; the other hauling it out."   - The Atlantic

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Happy Valentine's Day!

One of the loveliest love songs....from the incomparable Stevie Wonder.

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Sunday, February 13, 2011 

Paso Robles Zinfandel

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Saturday, February 12, 2011 

TedX Manhattan

"Changing the Way We Eat"


Watch live streaming video from tedx at

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Friday, February 11, 2011 

Santa Barbara named a Top Foodie City

(or we prefer.... "foodist" city)

This coastal city has a hybridized culinary scene. With fresh seafood from the shore and California wines, it makes sense that Santa Barbara makes the list of best foodie cities. Mexican dishes combine with the city’s local produce and fish to generate a flavorful and unique cuisine that reflects California’s history.

Stats: 83.2% of restaurants are local, 166.5 wine shops per million.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011 

Organic Soup Kitchen

at the Edible Institute Gala Event where Anthony accepts the Sustainable Award for outstanding contribution to solving the hunger issue facing Santa Barbara on all levels.

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Wednesday, February 09, 2011 

Sly's in Carpinteria

Tweets some delicious news!

James Sly
Starting tonight, Sly's $35 fixed price menu features the wonderful specialties of Michael's Waterside, out of Santa Barbara's past.

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TEDx Manhattan 2011

TEDxManhattan “Changing the Way We Eat” will take place February 12, 2011, in New York City.  The one-day event will highlight several aspects of the sustainable food movement and the work being done to shift our food system from industrially-based agriculture to one in which healthy, nutritious food is accessible to all.

Speakers with various backgrounds in food and farming will share their insights and expertise.

You can watch the live webcast from 10:30am – 6:00pm on February 12th at

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Eat your Fruits and Veggies....

That is if you can afford them. Historic low temperatures are taking their toll on produce in Mexico and Florida. think that doesn't affect us here in Santa Barbara? Think again. Our County IMPORTS 95% of its fruits and vegetables.

Many importers of Mexican fruits and vegetables are still waiting to assess the effects of a freeze the night of Feb. 3-4, but some already are reporting extensive damage.

Nogales, Ariz.-based Ciruli Bros. expects total losses of its remaining Sinaloa-grown green peppers, eggplants, green beans and shadehouse cucumbers, partner Chris Ciruli said Feb. 7.

“Through the weekend we received reports that were worse than what we initially thought,” Ciruli said.- The Packer

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Saturday, February 05, 2011 

Happy World Nutella Day!

Chocolate ❤
Originally uploaded by ❤ Mαisweet.


The dessert to get the heart a'flutterin' today. No...REALLY a'fluttering.

Nutella Crack Pie! ShowFood Chef has posted the recipe. 
Be prepared to drool.

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Friday, February 04, 2011 

Blogroll Amnesty Day

Also known as the Jon Swift/Al Weisel Memorial Blogroll Amenesty Day is, well, more than just a day. It's a celebration of a life gone...of sharing voices that may not be's about driving traffic off the blogging superhighway and onto some really lovely side paths of knowledge.

Skippy gives the low down on what exactly this special "blogtopia" (y!sctp) event is really all about.
readers of this space know that b.a.d. is the holiday wherein we ask everyone in blogtopia (and yes, we coined that phrase) to link to 5 smaller blogs w/less traffic than theirs (no bad jokes about no blogs having less traffic than yours, please).

this way we all can introduce our readers to new voices in blogtopia (and yes, we coined that phrase)' as well as giving greater exposure to blogs which may otherwise go unnoticed.

of course, the impetus for this whole ordeal originated w/our dearly departed friend, the legendary jon swift, aka al weisel, who was quite upset by the original blogroll bloodbath and self-amnesty declaration by those big box blogs who shall not be named.

al, in his guise as conservative blogger jon swift, wondered why so-called liberal blogs would have the least liberal blogrolling policies. we here at skippy international joined al/jon in his mock self-righteousness, and thus, four years ago b.a.d. was born!
Some informational blogs I would like to share this year for Blogroll Amnesty...are, well, foodist (of course.)

although his blog is definitely LARGER than mine, Bill Marler's blog (The Marler Blog) is the place to go for food recall news and is definitely worth checking in everyday.

and a newbie to blogtopia, but he's EVERYWHERE else....Fabio Viviani's very funny "you can hear his accent through the blog", blog.

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Thursday, February 03, 2011 

Gōng xǐ fā cái


Happy Year of the Metal Rabbit


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Australians are getting ready for some price spikes

on bananas and sugar. Cyclone Yasi took out a good portion of Australia's crops.
While it is still too early for solid forecasts, businesses are expecting more than $41 billion in damage from Cyclone Yasi.

Almost all Australia's bananas are grown in the path of the storm, and about one third of the country's sugar cane. - ABC News Australia
Sugar Cane is used in Australia as ethenol, so fuel prices are going to skyrocket, too.

Our hearts and thoughts go out to Australia, for they are getting whomped by Mother Nature in all directions.

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Wednesday, February 02, 2011 

s'Cool Food Initiative is looking for a few good chefs

The Santa Barbara based s’Cool Food Initiative is looking for qualified chefs to apply for the Cook for America® Culinary Boot Camp Instructor Training Program being held this May in Santa Barbara, California.

Chefs should live in close proximity to Santa Barbara County and be interested in using their expertise to work in school food reform. Accepted candidates will be trained to become Cook for America® Culinary Boot Camp Instructors and Mobile Chef Advisors.

Application deadline is 5:00 P.M. PST, Friday, February 18, 2011.
Interviews will be held on Monday-Wednesday March 7th-9th, 2011. 

Please respond directly to Melissa Bishop, Programs Manager at for a Program Description and Application 

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Santa Barbara Firefighters

coming soon to a local TV station. "On Duty with Santa Barbara  Firefighters"

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Mobile Cafe - the new food truck in town

Welcome to Santa Barbara - Mobile Cafe! Follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

They are providing mobile delicious and nutritious food in the Santa Barbara area. Offering up Grass-fed organic beef, and more. 

Love their tag...
"We're new. We're fresh. We're tasty. 
We're just getting going."

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Tuesday, February 01, 2011 

An unnerving statistic I learned at the Edible Insititute

Here in Santa Barbara, I have always felt blessed with the amount of local food provided at local Farmer's Markets and various stores. Imagine my surprise and shock to find that Santa Barbara County "IMPORTS" more than 95% of it's fruits and vegetables.

The county ranks 24th nationally in the value of its agricultural production – $951 million in the 2007 ag census. The county, which has 11 farmers markets, ranks No. 2 in broccoli and cauliflower, 6th for lettuce and 24th overall in the category of vegetables, melons, potatoes and sweet potatoes. If local veggies aren’t enough for you, try the pistachios, grown in the Sierra Madre Range that rises above the Pacific. Lemons, oranges and grapefruit grow in the heart of city of Santa Barbara, including on the grounds of the city’s famed 18th century mission that overlooks the ocean. Restaurants offer local swordfish.

But more than 95 percent of the fruits and vegetables consumed in the county are brought in from elsewhere, said David Cleveland, a professor of environmental studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara. Meanwhile, 99 percent of what the county does produce goes elsewhere, according to his research.

And oh yes, here in this land of plenty of fruits and vegetables,four in 10 adults are households classified as food insecure.  More than half of adults are overweight or obese. - DesMoines Register

We have GOT to change this.

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