BBVA – El Celler de Can Roca Tour 2016

My first thought when I was invited to this dinner was, “What does a bank and (quite literally) one of the best restaurants in the world, El Celler de Can Roca, have in common?”.  Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, or BBVA, acquired Compass Bank in 2007.  Okay, so it’s a Spanish bank, and Spaniards love food and drink.  The bank benefits from its association with culinary …

“Eat This, Shoot That!” Santa Barbara Funk Zone Tour

On a recent glorious So Cal day, a close friend from Santa Barbara suggested we spend an afternoon touring Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone with Eat This, Shoot That!, a food and photography tour.  Eat This, Shoot That! is the brainchild of Tara Jones, a college photography teacher and local foodie, who decided to blend her two passions, offering the choice of two tours through the Funk Zone and …

Wine My Way at the Aspen F & W Classic 2016

Among the many things the Aspen Food & Wine Classic does well is to encourage the audience to “think outside of the box” when pairing food with wine.  I have heard and read the standard line of pairing whites with seafood and reds with red meat, but what if you don’t necessarily want to tow that line?  And what do you pair with “difficult” food, like …

Aspen Food & Wine Classic 2016

I have been a bit of a vagabond since Memorial Day, floating between Arizona, California and Texas. While it has been great, the kids are growing a bit weary living out of a suitcase. I am happy to settle down for a month in California before the kids’ school starts to enjoy some cool weather and catch up on my posts. For the fourth year …

Vino and Polo

I wasn’t sure I could pull it off, but luck was on my side.  I was picking up one of our kids from summer camp in Long Beach, and decided to drive up the coast to Santa Barbara.  I convinced a friend there to find a sitter for a day and accompany me to Happy Canyon Vineyard to attend the Santa Ynez Polo Classic (see previous post on …

Happy Canyon Vineyard and Piocho Ranch

Every summer, we scour the hills around Santa Ynez searching for vineyards off the beaten “Sideways” track.  One area high on our list has been Happy Canyon, one of the newest and smallest AVA’s (American Viticulture Area) in California, located in the easternmost part of the Santa Ynez Valley.  While the Santa Ynez Valley is famous for its pinot noir wines, Happy Canyon has the warmest micro-climate in the …

Local Focus – Juice Core, A Micro Juicery

I obsess over many things, much to the chagrin of Hubby and the kids (just ask about my ballroom dancing kick). Over the past year, I have become a juice fanatic. I feel if I indulge in things like triple-cream brie, ossobuco Milanese, jalapeño cheeseburgers, and chiles poblano, that I both want and need to balance my diet with clean, fresh choices that leave my body feeling healthy. …

Mofongo and Chilis, and a little José Andrés

Beach vacations are all about hanging out in a hammock with a good book in one hand and a tropical rum drink in the other. But in Puerto Rico, I was torn…I had all these grand plans to explore the island (you know the rain forest and the colonial villages), but then I laid eyes on this little spot outside the Ritz-Carlton Reserve’s reception area…the Positivo Sand …

Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Puerto Rico

On Puerto Rico’s north shore, just west of San Juan, lies Dorado Beach, a coastal stretch of rolling palm groves and white-sand beaches that is a thriving scene of resorts, golf courses and residential communities. Among the more touted, the Ritz-Carlton Reserve is a hideaway destination with a history for excellence and distinction in the Caribbean. In 1905, a Jamestown, New York physician, Alfred T. Livingston, visited Dorado and was …

Entertaining in the Desert Part Two

We kicked off March with a spring soirée at our home to celebrate a milestone anniversary.  The more I dug into the planning, the bigger the party grew, and next thing I knew I was sitting around a beautifully candlelit table with 30 of our closest friends toasting Hubby and the last 20 years of my life.  I felt it was fitting to “go big” …