- Health & Nutrition
Did I mention I love artichokes?
When most people see an artichoke for the first time, they are reminded of the giant man-eating plant ‘Audrey’ from Little Shop of Horrors. Artichokes have thorns that look like dangerous claws on the end of each fibrous leaf. Encountering them for the first time may be a little intimidating, bringing about a cautious apprehension present when attempting to break up a cat fight while naked. It is neither obvious nor intuitive how to approach eating an artichoke for the first-timer. However, if you are fortunate enough to live in an area where artichokes grow, and you are in-the-know on just how to prepare and eat them, they are truly a glorious delight.Read More →
Over the last few years, the classic deli sandwich has been through a major overhaul as we strive to create nutritious yet satisfying ways to reinvent this American staple. At the store, as I read the labels on many of these common household condiments, meats and breads, I quickly discovered a plethora of hidden sugars, salt, nitrates, antibiotics and even growth hormones. Bad, bad, 1000 times BAD!
My journey began with the basics, finding reliable sources for high quality bread, cheese and meat. Once I found a healthy source for these, I decided to explore my choices for delicious condiments and greens to create a sandwich that was truly Voovacious!Read More →
This is one of my favorite go-to recipes. I marinate the fish and make the edamame/wasabi spread a day in advance to let the flavors mingle and get friendly with each other. This wonderfully fresh appetizer can be served over sesame crackers, fried wontons, cucumber slices or tucked into endive leaves. You can also make a perfect meal by serving the marinated sashimi over a bed of mâche (lamb’s lettuce) leaves and frisée lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces, accompanied by a few slices of avocado.Read More →
We are blessed to have not one, but two Meyer lemon trees in our yard. As the days grow shorter in late autumn, the yellow orbs begin to deepen in color and look like bright seasonal ornaments stealthfully hiding among the deep green foliage. With the passing of each winter day, the lemons grow sweeter, and knowing this makes me feel warm right down to my toes.Read More →
This brunch is our daughter’s very favorite lazy-weekend breakfast. We buy fresh bagels the afternoon prior so we can wake up in the morning ready for a truly pleasurable, relaxed meal. I usually get the variety bagels that have a bit of everything on top, rather than a specific topping like plain or sesame seed. It’s important to locate a good source for Wild-Caught Smoked Salmon (NOT Farmed Salmon) to ensure high quality lox, without the unnatural addition of toxins, anti-biotics, dyes, or growth hormones present. I usually add fresh chopped dill, a bit of cracked black pepper, and freshly squeezed lemon juice to the top of the lox for an extra bit of flavor. The bagels are accompanied by a platter of freshly sliced organic English cucumber, ripe avocado, thinly sliced red onions, lemons, and cilantro with a small bowl of capers.Read More →
Rainbow carrots bring a marvelous splash of deep, bright color to any meal. The hues of purple, red, deep orange and yellow are complimented perfectly with the bright green verts (French green beans). This colorful, crunchy medley paired with the deep tones of the caramelized shallots and browned butter make for a lovely sidecar to any meal!Read More →
One of my very favorite morning meals is the Nut-Butter Berry Banana Smoothie. (Oh behave yourselves naughty monkeys…!) I refer to this smoothie as ‘B3Z’ (pronounced bee-3-zeeeeh!) since this name includes the word ‘Bee’, and I just love, love, love bees!!! So, I prefer to call it B3Z!Read More →
We have enjoyed this salad served both as a pre-dinner salad or an entree on a balmy summer night. The tart flavor of the endive is perfectly balanced by the rich, deep tones of blue cheese in this salad delight.Read More →
We stumbled across this tapas restaurant in the Mission District of San Francisco. We weren’t even thinking about lunch, but the rich, earthy aroma coming from the kitchen lured us in like moths to the flame. The colorful, art-filled walls and the bustling atmosphere contributed greatly to the lively tenor. Our waiter Jose gave us a few thoughtful suggestions.Read More →
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…Read More →
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?)Read More →
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!Read More →
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.Read More →
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.Read More →
¿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! 🐐🍷🎑Read More →
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.Read More →
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!Read More →
There is nothing better during the hot summer months than cool black beans doing the samba with crunchy red peppers and rich, buttery avocado, all dressed up in a cilantro-lime vinaigrette. This recipe was inspired by a Mexican salad made at the first restaurant I ever worked at in my teen years. I never did get the exact recipe, so I decided to develop my own version based upon the dreamy recollection of my seasoned and discerning palate.Read More →