It had been a busy, runaround day. I hadn’t given much thought to dinner, and really didn’t feel like making anything. The mental list of easy, take-out options started to spool out: pizza, burritos, sushi, burgers … Then I caught myself. Earlier in the day, I had visited a local farm to interview the farmer for my newspaper column. He sells at several farmer’s markets … Continue reading Getting Past Lazy
Had never been to Healdsburg, so headed up with the pups for a mid-week February jaunt. (Yes, I’ve been remiss in posting this … hopefully better late than never.) It’s a charming town a lot like Paso Robles – a main square, lots of good restaurants, in the middle of wine country. No wine tasting this trip though, but maybe next time! L&M Motel – Wonderful … Continue reading “Forks in the Road”: Healdsburg Highlights
Cabernet Franc (and yes, I’m resisting all the puns) isn’t bottled on its own very much. It’s primarily used as a blending varietal in Bordeaux wines, especially with Merlot and the usually dominant and better known Cabernet Sauvignon. It is one of my favorite wines, however, so I was tickled red to see it showcased at the varietal focus seminar at this year’s WiVi Central Coast, … Continue reading Cab Franc: Both a Challenge and a Reward to Consumers
The smell of smoke. The aroma of savory meat. The hallmarks of “barbecue.” The nuances and details of that word can spark heated debates about beef versus pork, mustard sauce or no sauce, hickory wood or mesquite. The one thing most of the USA can agree upon is that “barbecue” means low and slow, meats cooking for hours and hours in closed smokers tended by … Continue reading You Call That BBQ? Yes, We Do!
Hi. I’m Mourvèdre. A Red Rhône wine. I can be a bit sulky, but once you get to know me, you’ll understand. I like long ripening seasons in hot, dry climates. I’m looking for a stand-alone bottling, but am open to blending. Uncork me, and let’s get cozy with some big unami flavors. At the 2016 Paso Robles Rhone Rangers Experience I recently attended, … Continue reading Meet Mourvèdre.
It’s not you, it’s me. I want to like you, I really do. You’ve got such pretty, delicate fronds and a bulb that reminds me of onions, one of my favorite foods. You’re so good for me and my bones, blood pressure, heart, immune system, liver, and you may even help prevent cancer. I should like you more, Fennel, even love you. We should at … Continue reading Dear Fennel,
Another tasty, fun-filled jaunt — this time to San Diego! It was a jam-packed trip that included visits to 11 breweries/taprooms, and that just scratched the surface of the local beer scene. The beers certainly did not disappoint. All were really good, and the only ones I didn’t much like were just styles of beer that aren’t my favorite. Arguably the U.S. capital of craft … Continue reading “Forks in the Road”: Sippin’ and Snackin’ in San Diego
By design, my travels often include some wonderful culinary adventures. Here’s a sampling of what my tastebuds enjoyed during a recent trip to Seattle – it’s wonder I didn’t gain 45 pounds! Slurp-tastic! Sure, there are other places to go for oysters in Seattle, but why bother. Elliott’s Oyster House has “Oyster House” in its name for a reason. There’s always a broad selection of … Continue reading “Forks in the Road”: Sated in Seattle
A few years ago, I noticed that shishito peppers started showing up on a lot of Asian appetizer menus, especially in Japanese restaurants. Akin to the Spanish padrón, the peppers were usually served grilled to the point of blistering and tossed with sesame oil and either soy sauce or sea salt. After I’d ordered them once, I was hooked. Small, slender, and thin-skinned, the bite-size … Continue reading Shishito vs. Mothra (Well, sort of)
It really can’t get any easier. You put your food in a container, put the container in an oven, and point the oven towards the sun. That’s basically all you need to know to start solar cooking. As I noted in a recent “Local Flavors” column about solar cooking for the Tribune newspaper, “… this cooking method captures the power of the sun. It’s a passive … Continue reading Sun’s Out, Let’s Get Cookin’!