wedding season

wedding season is starting up and well, for those of us that are single it means we have to practice catching bouquets...

millions of peaches, peaches for me

it's peach season which is quite exciting at the farmers market, and up at buttonwood yesterday which is now more of a vineyard but started out as a peach farm. although I'm not a fan of their wine, i do love the beautiful gardens and this time of year, the peach trees!

santa ynez summer

i love santa ynez. driving through it i hope that heaven has some parts with rolling hills and beautiful vineyards. yesterday some friends and i drove up, stopped off at a couple vineyards (Firestone, Buttonwood, Roblar) and had a great time on our mini road trip with many pictures to prove it.

alison and robert

last week alison krauss and robert plant played at the bowl. i want to get their cd and play it in my dream house in santa ynez all summer. their talents together were pretty magical, especially in the glory that is the santa barbara bowl. i discovered that all the food served is from local restaurants and for good prices. sushi, pizza, burritos, etc. so, when we go to James Taylor there in about a month !!! we're going to camp out before hand and enjoy the scene- looking out onto the ocean and listening during the sunset that is.

my life is funny

so it was off to vegas this morning after a wonderful evening at the robert plant and alison krauss conert. more on that one later. for now i'm in my vegas office, the startbucks at the hard rock, doing some 'work' and waiting until we go to mark knopfler tonight. so today at lunch i'm sitting there with these guys and euan is all excited mark is here. i don't want to be singled out as 15 yrs. their junior, at least, but it comes up i don't know who he is. when they say dire straits i still don't know. i redeemed myself a bit by saying i was at robert plant last night. needless to say we're going to the concert tonight to get me some education. my life is funny.

fruit tostadas

only in california would a girl grow up on fruit tostadas. last night my friend hilary insisted that i try this dish, and to not knock it until i'd tried it. when i got to her house i told her to do the deed and make it up for me, i wouldn't want to mess up this family tradition. the first layer is a tortilla lightly fried to the point that it looked toasted more than fried. next layer black beans (mashed?), then cheese, lettuce, pineapple, mandarin oranges, and nectarines since they're in season. on top is catalina dressing. again...only in california.

summer salmon

after a hot day at the beach...and not at the beach...Hilary and i took up some 'real simple' recipe ideas and lightly marinated salmon in about 2 T soy sauce and 1/4 cup of honey and put them on the grill. so easy and a great glaze. a good little salad with tomatoes from the garden, and of course, a marg. one can really get by in sb with wine and margaritas. this one had blood orange juice, guava juice, tequila, and cointreau. after dinner and still hot due to the 88 degree weather at night...we walked to Via Maestra, a little Italian restaurant across the street from me to get gelato. The men spoke Italian to us, and as much as they wanted us to stay, we had a fan to get back to.

seriously martha

thanks to leslie i got news that martha isn't allowed into the UK. coming from a place where pretty much anything goes in certain arena's i'm pretty shocked and offended for her. don't worry martha... similar to your prison sentence in time, i'm sure they'll let you in.


it's pretty rough living in paradise where you have to go to the beach to get out of the heat.

Tribe Friends!

Friday night my friend and I headed down to LA in the ridiculous heat (108 at 7:40, 95 at 11:00); she was wearing 'dodger blue' and I was proudly decked in my Ohio State shirt. Of course the first Indian fans I saw I went up to and said, "GoTribe!" Jess thought I knew them, nope although I did get an, "alright kiddo." We proceeded to say "Go Tribe" or in some cases I just nodded... and I also received a "Buuuckeyes!" Jess commented, "They're all so nice and normal like you!" Once again- the Midwest really does produce a great crop. We sat in our seats, I enjoyed my first Dodger Dog, and watched the tribe bring it home to victory!

taste of home

unfortunately the information highway let me down and i couldn't find a pick of chagrin hardware with it's usual huge flag on it. however, pretty exciting the day i came to work and saw the building across the street from mine decked out pretty similarly. good try Santa Barbara, good try.

generous servings

down the street from happiness was a place called Generous Servings. a great cafe with homemade ice cream sandwiches and cooking classes. I checked out the schedule and they have a lot for kids as summer is about to start- smart idea on their part. it was good atmosphere with no snobbery or high prices which i find too often around here. sign me up.

happy cakes

saturday we walked through a market in the highlands which made me real happy and really understand why Chagrin people would want to move to Denver. We looove our festivals. We went into Happy Cakes which was pretty much adorable. On the chalk board with all the names of the various cupcakes there was an arrow to "Martha's Favorite." Of course I had a quick chat with them about the one and only and then enjoyed my coconut cloud cupcake on the steamy hot denver day. i'd go back- anytime...

bolder boulder

in efforts to get closer to the mountains we headed up to boulder... there they were, the rocky tops. ok not Tennessee but still, a great site. good little yoga, Patagonia, shops and dinner at a great little crepe restaurant decked in a french like feel, but with classic hippy friends rocking out cooking away. i got my share of hairy-armpit girls and the feeling of 'what do people do here?!" then i realized i too live in a town where people vacation and wonder...'what do people do here..."

skinny dip

first stop in the co apart from the airport and la casa de villarreal was ft. colins for the New Belgium Brewery. Such great times- we all know I like wine tasting, but beer tasting was way more laid back, more guys that actually wanted to be there, and free. We went on the tour as well which was really cool to hear about the history of the brewery and how eco-friendly they are. sounds like a great place to work as well- a free bike after the first year, a 6-pack each week and a draft beer after each shift. no beer belly's though thanks to the healthy lifestyle out there. after a few hours at the brewery we headed to dinner in ft. colins then back to dennnver to hang-out with some of it's finest residence.

off the denver for a long weekend. happy days ahead.

super santa barbara

wearing my consignment store Frye Boots today feeling super santa barbara and ready to live this central coast life for a long time. to top it off a co-worker brought in some valencia oranges from his tree for me- care of his wife.

mojito on my mind

i've never really enjoyed mojitos, but with an abundance of mint overtaking the garden, and shading the sage too much, i decided to take matters into my own hands and make mojitos with my friend jen last night. not only was it a fun group activity, but they tasted pretty darn good as well. recipe: make simple syrup by dissolving 1 cup sugar into 1 cup water. put 15 mint leaves in a cup and then add a couple T's of simple sugar- mash up. add about 1/4 cup light rum, as much lime as you like, and club soda. tasty and refreshing...

the garden market

now that i go to church in carp, i like to make a stop at the garden market for coffee, in today's case, lunch. it's so wonderful- local wines, good food, coffee, and a great sunny patio with a lot of umbrella's and tables around. a good little spot for gifts too from cook books to aprons, napkins, etc. a place every chagrin mom would love... oops and me too.

mint and pea soup

i got Nigella's Forever Summer cookbook from the library and wanted to make something from it before it's due back this week. Thanks to all the mint in our garden right now and the simplicity of this recipe I made mint and pea soup yesterday. basically you simmered 6 cups of vegetable stock with mint stalks, leaves removed, for about 30 min. heat 2 T of olive oil in a dutch oven, add 3 chopped scallions until soft. add peas (about 18 ounces frozen) until soft- 3-5 mins. then add the broth- remove stalks. let good for about 4 min. then remove from heat and let cool. blend in batches with 1 1/4 cup light sour cream. let chill..... tasty. it's kinda overwhelming as a big bowl, but lovely as a started i would say. i had some help in the kitchen too- keola carefully adding in some mint leaves, finely torn- the recipe didn't call for it but i didn't think it'd hurt.

simmer down

that's right- i picked up a ridiculously covered book called Simmer Down, a Gourmet Girl's Mystery, and read it. A good thing about traveling a lot is that I have time to read books, although I admit I wasn't always super excited to reveal this cover. A cute light read though when your mind can't handle much more than a silly book about a girl whose dating a chef...

fogo de chao

so it's been awhile- time to get up to date. when i asked a few friends what i should do in dallas, they resounded with 'go to fogo de chao.' turns out one of my co-workers has been to the original in sao paulo and it was on his list of things to do as well. talk about a meat lovers heaven- more meat than you could ever want, plate after plate of different cuts of beef. since i don't cook beef too often for myself, it was nice to get in a healthy portion of iron, otherwise it's a been there done that for me...

going through the big D

I've been in Dallas since Saturday experiencing the heat and humidity i miss so much from Virginia... home tonight. :) i haven't had much time to explore, but we are right near the spot where Kennedy got shot and hit up the west village on Sunday for a bit. I've seen some big hair, big diamonds, but no cowboys. shucks.