Monday, November 28, 2011 

The El Encanto Is Returning

El Encanto Hotel Pool. by Van in LA
El Encanto Hotel Pool., a photo by Van in LA on Flickr.

Funding has been acquired and the new owners, the Orient-Express Hotel chain, have said they will open the doors late 2012.



The Three Mouthketeers

The Simpsons go "foodie bloggers." Love it.

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Sunday, November 27, 2011 

Step away from the canned pumpkin

it can hide a dangerous "ingredient." Bisphenol-A. BPA.

BPA lurks in canned soups and drinks. A new study may provide another reason to skip the canned pumpkin and cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving. People who ate one serving of canned food daily over the course of five days, the study found, had significantly elevated levels — more than a tenfold increase — of bisphenol-A, or BPA, a substance that lines most food and drink cans - NYTimes

Canned soup raises BPA level. Eating even moderate amounts of canned soup significantly increases exposure to Bisphenol-A according to a new study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The chemical BPA, suspected of causing damage to human health, is used in the interior lining of the vast majority of canned soups and vegetables - CNN

Canned soup increases Bisphenol A exposure: Harvard study. Exposure to a plastics additive that’s linked to health problems increases 13-fold when canned soup is eaten instead of soup made from fresh ingredients, according to a study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health - Bloomberg

A potential danger on holiday table. Along with turkey gravy and pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving, diners may also be getting a dose of bisphenol A, or BPA, a chemical that leaches from can linings and interferes with the body's hormones - Bergen County Record

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Thursday, November 24, 2011 

May Your Butterball Hotline Day...Be Lovely

Happy Thanksgiving!

Actually, Martin's Daughter Rene Estevez is a trained pastry chef. (Maybe that's why President Bartlett is such a foodie!) Although she does some acting (she has been in the West Wing as Nancy), she'll be known in my heart for this wonderful cheesecake. Yeah, it maybe Martin's favorite, it's one of mine as well. A cheesecake fit for a President!

Martin Sheen's Favorite Pumpkin Cheesecake

For Crust
9 whole graham crackers broken (about 4 ounces)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter, melted

For Filling
4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 hour 45 minutes 15 mins prep

To make the Crust:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Wrap a couble layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil around the outside of a 10-inch sprinform pan. (The idea is to make it watertight). This is very important or you will have a soggy crust.
Combine the graham crackers, sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor.
Process until the graham crackers are very finely ground.
Drizzle the melted butter over.
Pulse until the crumbs begin to stick together.
Press the crumbs over the bottom (not the sides) of the prepared pan.
Bake in the middle of the oven until the crust is slightly golden, about 10 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack and cool while preparing the filling.

To make the Filling:
Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until smooth and fluffy.
Beat the eggs one at a time.
Add the pumpkin and the remaining ingredients.
Beat just until mixed.
Pour the filing into the prepared crust.
Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan and add hot water to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake the cheesecake until the filling is slightly puffed and softly set and the top is golden, about 1 1/2 hours.
Transfer the cheesecake to a wire rack to cool.
Cover and refrigerate the cake overnight.
Use a knife to cut around the side of the pan to loosen the cheesecake.
Release the pan sides, cut the cheesecake into wedges, and serve.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011 

10 Healthiest Cities for Women

Self Magazine and The Today Show rank Santa Barbara as #3.
3. Healthiest eaters: Santa Barbara, Calif. What can you say about a town where even the local soup kitchen is 90 percent organic? Women eat 36 produce servings per week (four more than in the average city), and there are also 80 percent fewer fast food restaurants, four times more organic-food producers and nearly 40 percent more farmers' markets.

Santa Barbara also has nearly double the average number of food co-ops. Agricultural consultant Laurie Constable, 46, runs one on land right off Highway 101, preparing weekly baskets of green beans, broccoli, husk cherries and more for 80 member families and four schools. "Most people don't know what fresh lettuce or vine-ripened tomatoes really taste like," she says. "If everybody experienced fresh produce regularly, that alone could revolutionize our dinner plates."

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November 22, 1963

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." - JFK


Sunday, November 20, 2011 

Local Hero Awards - Santa Barbara

Edible Santa Barbara wants you to join them in celebrating the Heroes of the Santa Barbara local food community.

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Pasolivo is being sold to pay Estate Financial victims

I love their olive oil...I hate the former owners' wrong doing. How can someone defraud "Meals on Wheels?"
A court-ordered sale is now under way for the Pasolivo olive oil business and its surrounding 131 acres to help pay back victims of the collapsed Paso Robles lender Estate Financial.

The sale is being conducted in two rounds, the first of which ended last week and was intended to qualify buyers, according to a fact sheet for prospective purchasers.

...Guth and her son, Joshua Yaguda, were sentenced in December 2009 to 12 and eight years in state prison, respectively, for defrauding tens of millions of dollars from hundreds of the lender’s investors — most of whom were elderly — in a Ponzi scheme.

Pasolivo and its property were part of Guth’s personal assets, and proceeds of the sale would go toward paying back Estate Financial victims, said Andrew T. Feola, a vice president at Beverly Hills-based Geringer Capital, which is handling the transaction. - San Luis Tribune

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Thursday, November 17, 2011 

The Restaurant Guy

admits that mine was a "brilliant forecast of future events" regarding Starbucks on Carrillo Street. Of course, my blog's name wasn't mentioned.

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Monday, November 14, 2011 

Santa Barbara restaurants new to Opentable

A few Santa Barbara restaurants have joined Opentable lately. They may be new to the online reservations service...but they certainly aren't new around town.

Arnoldi's. (yes...complete with bocci ball court)

Bella Vista at the Four Seasons Biltmore.

The Ballard Inn up in the Valley in Ballard.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011 

Santa Barbara - Vote Snowy Plover!

Audubon California is having a vote for Audubon's California Bird of 2011. Among the nominees are two local birds of reknown, the California Condor and the Snowy Plover. It's a tough decision, but I am encouraging everyone to vote SNOWY!

A volunteer program to protect nests for the tiny, threatened snowy plover on a popular surfing beach has proven a model, but the birds still can’t fly solo. - Miller McCune

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Wednesday, November 09, 2011 

Cathy Murillo...our new Santa Barbara City Councilmember

and foodie!

I made her a campaign promise to keep her new office in "cookies"....guess I better get baking.

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Monday, November 07, 2011 

The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa is seeking for a Director of Catering and Conference Services. If you would like to work at a beautiful, AAA rated Five Diamond resort this may be the opportunity for you!

Job summery: This individual will oversee all aspects of a profit and service driven catering department while personally prospecting, selling, planning and servicing corporate and social business. This individual will be responsible for the supervision of the Catering/Conference Services function including maintaining and monitoring the accuracy and effectiveness of all written communication from Catering/Conference Services Managers and Administrative Assistants.

Requirements: Previous experience in the role of Director of Catering or Director of Catering/Conference Services. Minimum six years of experience in Catering /Conference Services in a resort/hotel, handling weddings and the social market. College education preferred. Excellent reading, writing & oral proficiency in the English language. Proven interpersonal skills with a track record of successful client interactions. Coaching and people development skills. Excellent organizational skills. Attention to detail. Ability to multitask. Able to negotiate, organize, delegate & work under pressure. Basic knowledge of audio-visual equipment, internet, telecommunication technology -- helpful. Knowledge of Daylight Sales and Catering Software. Computer literacy to include MS Word, Excel, and ability to use e-mail and the Internet. High level of creativity with food and beverage menu proposals. . Flexible schedule is required and ability to weekends, evenings, and holidays.

If you meet these qualifications, please submit your resume and contact information via e-mail to Applications in person are accepted M-F, 10am to 2pm.

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To BEE or NOT to BEE honey.

Odds are, if you bought it at a grocery story, it isn't.
More than three-fourths of the honey sold in U.S. grocery stores isn't exactly what the bees produce, according to testing done exclusively for Food Safety News.

The results show that the pollen frequently has been filtered out of products labeled "honey." The removal of these microscopic particles from deep within a flower would make the nectar flunk the quality standards set by most of the world's food safety agencies.

The food safety divisions of the  World Health Organization, the European Commission and dozens of others also have ruled that without pollen there is no way to determine whether the honey came from legitimate and safe sources. - Food Safety News

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Sunday, November 06, 2011 

Is Woody's BBQ out at Earl Warren Showgrounds?

Looks like Earl Warren is looking for a new concessionaire (pdf) and rumours have been floating that kitchen equipment was seen being taken out of the facilities. And, there was no food or beverages been sold at the last Brawlin' Betty's roller derby match which forced many of us to fend for ourselves.

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Friday, November 04, 2011 

Santa Barbara Public Market

the former Vons/Safeway on Victoria Street, next to the Arlington Theatre, is close to signing tenants and begin serious construction.

The Santa Barbara Public Market will be developed with San Francisco's Ferry Building as a model. Seems only fitting as Margaret Caferelli, of Urban Developments, is a part-time San Francisco resident and the company itself is based in The City.

The complete project, Alma del Pueblo, is a mixed usage project with living space above the market. Think how cool it would be to just stroll downstairs to pick up fresh beef, veggies and baked items.

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