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Category Archive for: ‘Blog’

  • Bee Cause Feb. 2017 FF

    Bee Cause…! February 🐝

    Rainy Day Bees!

    Northern California has been a very wet, soggy place this winter. However, we are loving all the rain since our region has been in a severe drought for the last 5-years. ☔️

    The winter months pose a tough time for honeybees due to the impact of cold & rain on foraging and the availability of pollen. During a break from a recent rainy deluge, I came across this busy bee gathering pollen for her hive mates. Working with great vigilance, she moved from flower to flower on our Camellia bush. If you look closely, you can see the rain drops on the top of the petals… 🌺

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  • LV BLOG BLATOH Ff

    B.L.A.T.O.H. Sandwich (pronounced blah-toe)

    Recently, I found myself in a rather ‘delicate’ state, desperately craving salt, fat, protein, juicy tomato & the peppery flavor of arugula. So I decided to make myself a bacon lettuce & tomato sandwich (B.L.T.) With my trusted sous-chef Otter-Pop the dog by my side, we took to the task of creating the perfect ‘hangover helper…!’

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  • LV Blog Bee Cause Jan. 2017 FF

    Bee Cause…! January 🐝

    🐝 Winter Bee Food 🐝

    Yesterday after the rain stopped, I ventured through the garden to document the blooming plants producing food for our local & migratory pollinators. I photo document this seasonal bloom-cycle twice a month throughout the year to make sure our little nectar-loving friends are always ensured a veritable smorgasbord in our garden.

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  • LV Blog Roasted Rainbow CarrotsFF

    Oven Roasted Rainbow Carrots

    Rainbow Carrots make for a festive nutritious side dish. Accented with pomegranate seeds (arils), a dash of nutmeg, and savory herbs, this colorful blend is a true crowd pleaser every time!

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  • LV Blog Bee Cause Dec. 2016 FF

    Bee Cause…! December 🐝

    The Little Bee That Saved Christmas 🌲

    In the queendom of beedom, there is known to be a small bee from the genus Hylaeus sp. that has been credited with saving Christmas by researchers in New Zealand. This sweet little bee formed a much needed, yet mysterious symbiotic relationship with a very rare form of mistletoe (Peraxilla tetrapetala).

    Now this is not your average, run-of-the-mill mistletoe. Rather, a single Peraxilla plant can live for more than a century, producing a cluster of spectacular crimson buds each year around the time of the Winter Solstice. 🌟

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  • LV Blog Roasted Garlic FF1

    Herb Roasted Garlic

    We roast a few bulbs of garlic every week to add to various dishes. Simply cut off the very tippy-tops (non-root end) of each bulb, place in oven-proof dish with lid, add ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil, ½ cup of dry chardonnay, & fresh herbs such as rosemary, oregano, bay leaves & thyme. Salt & pepper to taste. Place in pre-heated oven at 400 F (204 C) & cook for 45-minutes.

    We spread this on toast, add it to soup & pasta dishes, along with using it in homemade salad dressings & sauces. Enjoy the culinary richness of roasted garlic while embracing all the healthy benefits of this star in the allium family.

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  • LV Blog Cranberry Whiskey Smash

    Cranberry Whiskey Smash Cocktail

    Throughout the holiday season, we find ourselves entertaining and celebrating with friends and family. Inevitably after a grand feast, I end up with leftover cranberry sauce. In an effort not to be wasteful, I’ve found creative uses for the tart and tangy sauce such as spreading it on turkey sandwiches, throwing it into smoothies, and even placing it on top of a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream on occasion.

    This year I came up with a new and exciting way to blow through all the leftover cranberry sauce at once with a fabulous cocktail! Though I’m not a big whiskey fan, I found this libation to flow quite smoothly once you get beyond the initial ‘bite’ of the first sip…

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  • LV Blog Monsanto Bee Cause Nov. 2016FF

    Bee Cause…! November 🐝

    Nectar Sweet Victory Against Monsanto!
    A district judge in the state of Yucatán, Mexico has overturned a permit that would have allowed Monsanto to commercially plant hundreds of thousands of hectares of soybeans genetically modified to resist the company’s infamous pesticide Roundup. The new ruling stated that introducing GM crops to the region would most certainly threaten the established and highly lucrative honey production.

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  • LV Blog Corn Cheddar Chowder FF3

    Corn Cheddar Chowder

    Corn Cheddar Chowder is my go-to soup as we transition from the late summer heat of ‘Indian Summer’ to autumn each year. Why? Because this is the ultimate in comfort food, without leaving you feeling like you need a long hibernation after ingesting it. (Though that is never a bad idea…right?)

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  • LV Blog Pumpkin Tini FF

    Spiced Pumpkin Martini 🎃 🍸🍁

    I created this cocktail on a cold, windy autumn evening recently. The warmth of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom spices just seem to sink deep into my tired body at the end of a long, cold day and warm it to the bone. As I recall, we sipped this lovely drink while handing out Halloween candy last October 31st!

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  • Dear Matilda

    Pooped!

    Dear Matilda,

    We have an issue with a careless neighbor and her little gray dog. Every morning this woman allows her dog to take a poop on the pathway to our front door. And sure enough, every morning my kids find it on their way out the door for school and proceed to spread it all over the front pathway…

    On the few occasions when I have been up early enough to catch this jerk, she just smiles and walks away, leaving a steamy pile of poop gracing our entryway. We love dogs and always pick up after our own animals. There is also a leash law in our town that this lady seems to have decided to ignore. I’m not sure where this person lives, and I don’t want to start unnecessary conflict, but I’m sick of this crap. Any advice…?

    -Pooped

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  • LV Blog Sage Roasted Veggies

    Sage Roasted Winter Vegetables 🌿

    We visited our local farmers market this morning and I was inspired by the amazing selection. We decided upon fennel root, crimini mushrooms, yellow onions, and rainbow carrots, all packed with freshness & nutrients. You can just taste the sunshine!

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  • LV Blog Bumblebee Oct. 2016 Bee Cause FF

    Bee Cause…! October 🐝

    Big-Brained’ Bumblebees Access Tools!
    Bumblebees may have small brains, but there’s significantly more happening beneath those exoskeletons than previously thought. Over the last decade bumblebees have proven themselves to be quite remarkable little beings with complex navigational and communication skills, emotions, and even facial recognition.

    Now a study at Queen Mary University of London has successfully challenged the long held notion that only ‘large-brained’ beings can maneuver with tools. Cognitive scientist Lars Chittka and his team found that bumblebees could solve tasks and use tools to gain access to nectar. But better yet, they’ve shown bumblebees can learn this task from other bees and hive mates, without ever experiencing these tasks in nature.

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  • LV Blog Dean Deluca FF

    Travel & Adventure – Dean & Deluca Napa Valley 🍷 🍇

    Dean & Deluca
    607 St. Helena Hwy S, Saint Helena, CA 94574 (Just off highway 29!)

    After our wonderful tasting experience at Prager Winery & Port Works, we stopped into Dean & Deluca for a bit of epicurean perusing. Dean & DeLuca is a chain of fabulous gourmet grocery stores for foodies. The first store was established in New York City in September 1977, in the SoHo district, a rather upscale area in lower Manhattan.

    Known for it’s unique selection of meats, cheese, freshly baked bread, and of course, the vast array of gourmet chocolate truffles, this is the perfect place to pick up all the fixins for a decadent picnic in between visiting wineries.

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  • LV Blog PP FF

    Le Voov! Restaurant Review: The Peasant & The Pear 🍐

    The Peasant & The Pear

    267 Hartz Ave
    Danville, CA 94526 Ph. (925) 820-6611

    This marvelous restaurant is one of my new favorite East Bay restaurants, Michelin recommended, and a prime example of 5-star dining. Under the guidance of owner Rodney Worth and his wife Natalie, the menu is dynamic, the food is unique in flavor, the ambience is lovely, and the service is impeccable.

    A true Danville gem, this restaurant is quaintly hidden in a small plaza, so you may drive right past it without even noticing it. If you access the rear parking lot, it is quite easy to find.

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  • Dear Matilda

    Social Civility

    Dear Matilda,

    Every year my husband and I throw several large social events at our home. Some for simply gathering good friends, others for networking with colleagues and fostering professional relationships. Over the years, we have adjusted our guest lists and removed those that became socially challenging for us to ‘manage’ during various events (i.e. basic rudeness, over-indulgence, or any socially inappropriate, embarrassing behavior that may reflect poorly upon us.)

    On several occasions, guests that were removed from our invite list called or emailed to ask why they didn’t receive an invitation, or worse, showed up uninvited with the assumption they were welcome. This has proven to create an awkward situation for us. Is it just me, or is it the height or rudeness to assume you are invited to an event, even though you didn’t receive a formal invitation? Are we duty-bound to entertain people simply because they had the privilege of attending one of our gatherings previously? Please Matilda, share with us your sage wisdom on this matter…

    – Irked in Arkansas

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  • GWIA... 9 9 16 FF

    Guess Where I Am…? 🌎

    ¿Cómo se llama Mr. Llama? I had a wonderful conversation with a lovely llama at Harley’s Goat Farm in the charming coastal town of Pescadero recently. After swapping stories and goat jokes with this wooly sentry, Brian and I had the pleasure of attending a 6-course farm dinner in the loft of the old barn on the property. The fresh, delicious cuisine, the ambiance of candlelight, and meeting new friends, all made this an exceptional experience! 🐐🍷🎑

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  • LV Blog Rockin Raspberry SmoothieFF

    Rockin’ Raspberry Beauty Smoothie

    Embrace a diet rich in every spectrum of the rainbow for an ultimate beauty pick-me-up for your hair, skin and nails. Fruits & vegetables are packed with antioxidants along with other vitamins, nutrients, fiber, and minerals that play a huge role in achieving beauty through optimum health.

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  • LV Blog Bee Cause Sept. 2016

    Bee Cause…! September 🐝

    I Absolutely Love This Quote!

    ‘Unique among all creatures, only the honeybee improves the environment and preys not on any other species…’
    – Royden Brown

    Ten Fun Facts About Honeybees!

    Honeybees, scientifically known as Apis mellifera (meaning honey-carrying bee), have been buzzing around on earth for over 30-millions of years. Humans and honeybees have had a long and loyal relationship for thousands of years. Honeybees are the only insect that create/produce food we eat. 🐝

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  • LV GWIA... Sept. 2 2016

    Guess Where I Am…? 🌎

    We went to the 64th Annual Sausalito Art Festival over the Labor Day 3-day weekend. Known as the ‘Premiere Waterfront Art Festival’, the event brings the best of unique, refined artistic talent together with music, great food and wine. It also happens to be one of the most prestigious shows in the country, gathering talent from around the globe.

    After an amazing day of fun, saturated with the brilliant talent we had taken in at the festival, we were greeted by the beautiful and iconic Golden Gate Bridge. As we left the Marin tunnel to pop back to the San Francisco Peninsula, I couldn’t help but revel in our glorious day!

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