Tag Archives: summer

Dreaming of Summer

All of this rain (it’s been raining for a week straight, Lindsay says San Francisco is crying because of my departure) has me dreaming of warmer weather.

This morning I finally woke up to sunshine.

bowl o’sunshine

While windy and freeeezing outside, it is warm and sunny in my sunlight-drenched room, calling for my current favorite breakfast, a bowl of sliced mangoes topped with chopped almonds and coconut milk.

Oh yes, and that is knitting you see.  Just a little project I’m working on, to wear on an upcoming trip… for my new job…

I’m being mysterious, aren’t I?

Rinconada Dairy

Jim and Christine Maguire own one of the only two licensed sheep cheeseries in California, the Rinconada Dairy.  They produce three cheeses, two are pure sheep’s milk (Pozo Tomme and La Panza Gold) and one is a mix of sheep and Nubian goat milk (Chapparal).  Their award-winning cheeses are produced in limited quantities, as everything on the farm is done by Jim and Christine (breeding, lambing, feeding, milking, cheese making and affinage).

Visiting them is so special, not only because of the farm and all of the adventures I can have, but because they are honestly two of the most kind, generous, lovely and amazing people in the world.

The cheese (and Jim in the background)

Christine and her amazing cheese knife

They also breed goats, pigs, chickens, turkeys, have an array of wandering cats and a few herding dogs.  Their produce is all homegrown, we had the most delicious meal I’ve had in months.  Pasta with veg from the garden, cheese from their dairy, and spicy Italian sausage from their piggies.

A Saturday in Cambria

Cambria = magic.  The fog drifts through the trees along the coast, and then drive five minutes inland and you feel like you’re in Italy.

We began our Cambria adventure with a drive to the Linn’s Fruit Bin Farm, eating olallieberry pies and feeding the domesticated peacocks Randy and Andy!  Linn’s Fruit Bin also has a delicious restaurant in Cambria, but if you’re looking for a snack and an adventure, meander down the long windy country road, grab a spoon and a pie, and be sure to invest 25 cents in peacock chow.  If you are in the mood for a major adventure, afterward fueling up at the farm, swing by the elephant seal beach (you’ll get to see millions of elephant seals and their frighteningly large babies if you go in the spring) on your way up to Hearst Castle.

Once we had our fill of pie, ice cream and olallieberry lemonade (an olallieberry, for those who are wondering, is a cross between a loganberry, a blackberry, and a raspberry), we headed back into town for some antique shopping (a vintage bee smoker?  that is the opposite of not awesome), and then onto the Cambria coast.  The beach was typical Central California foggy, the grey sky melting into the ocean, with a seal head popping up every so often.  Magical.

We ended our night at Robin’s, a Malaysian-inspired restaurant built in an old home, with an outdoor/indoor patio with TREES going through it!  Little teebs had the Peach Glazed Baby Pork Back Ribs, Teo (little teebs’ friend) had the Slippery Lobster Enchiladas, the Madre ordered Malaysian Chicken, and I got the special – the Dry Fried Malaysian Beef.  Nothing was short of spectacular.  There was a lot of sharing that night.  And the desserts!  We split a sundae, the bread pudding and the chocolate mousse shooters?  Oh my.  Food coma.  Thank goodness Teo has the most amazing appetite I’ve ever experienced or we might have died of overindulence.  Thank you Teo for saving our lives.

Stay tuned for part 2 of the adventure…

I’m such a tease

Here’s a little somethinsomethin to get you started.  Stay tuned…

Adventures with Pteebs

Little teebs is home from school, and everyone who knows me is acutely aware that pteebs is my absolute favoritest person in the whole entire world.

As a belated birthday present, I decided to take him for a day adventure.  An impulsive duo, we decided to follow the wind where it took us.  We decided Santa Barbara.  Almost 2 hours (and one In-N-Out pit stop later) we landed in Camarillo.  Traffic was awful and we were still 45 miles from Santa Barbara.  Normally not quitters, we didn’t want the waste the day so putzed around the Camarillo outlets, turned around and shot over to Malibu.  Best. Decision. Ever.

We drove over Las Virgenes Canyon, such a special drive, almost worth driving to Malibu just to experience it.  Almost.

We began our Malibu adventure by exploring the Adamson House and Malibu lagoon.  The Adamson House was setting up for a wedding (putting that in my back pocket) so pteebs and I, the interrupting mongrels that we are, proceeded on our merry way for a walk around the lagoon.  We saw pelicans, baby ducks, loons, went tidepooling (tide was too high to actually see any tidepool-dwelling creatures), discussed an impressive business idea my brother and his friend are throwing about, and caught a surfing competition.

Not quite ready for dinner yet, we explored the Malibu Pier, drank a beer at the Beachcomber and watched an intensely amusing white trash old-man cover band performing with the ocean as their backdrop.  Many laughs later, we decided it was time to make our way to dinner.

After hearing about The Reel Inn over and over from one of my bosses, I decided it was the perfect place for little teebs and I to do his birthday dinner.  Oh. Em. Gee.  Everything was so fresh and delicious.  I had the orange roughy, little teebs had the yellow tail, both cajun style with fries and rice, and we split crab cakes (was that mango salsa on top?)… perfectly complimented by the sounds of the ocean across PCH.  Or was that traffic?  The crab cakes were a little skinny looking, but tasted so good that I could forgive them.  But just barely.

We rounded the night out with a stop at the Sweet Rose Creamery.  Holy sweet delicious amazingness!  Salted caramel ice cream on a chocolate waffle cone?  Malted chocolate with toasted hazelnut praline?  S’mores ice cream pies?  God rest my sweetened soul.

Happy Belated Birthday Pteebs!  I hope you slept nicely through your food coma.

Blueberry Scones

I have been promising my office for weeks that I’d make scones.  I know I said I’d make raspberry scones, but I found the most beautiful blueberries and had to do that instead.  Sorry guys.

I found a recipe for blackberry scones on the LA Times Food page, but adapted it to use blueberries (they were so pretty I just couldn’t help myself) and whole wheat flour.  I also didn’t have any buttermilk, so I made my own.  It was so easy, I’m never buying buttermilk again.  Ever.  Ever ever.  Thanks for the help, Emeril!


Lavender Simple Syrup and Martinis

Lavender is one of my favorite aromatic herbs.  There are 39 different species and it is part of the mint family (perhaps that’s why lavender and mint compliment each other so flawlessly?).  I’m thinking lavender mint chocolate somethingorother (lavender mint flourless chocolate cake?) should be my next baking project.

Simple syrup is so easy to make.  1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup water, boil for a few minutes until the sugar dissolves and voila – your simple syrup ready to go.  I infused mine with 1 tbsp of lavender from the stash I dried a few weeks ago.  You can infuse simple syrup with almost anything, just be sure to strain it before placing it in a storage jar.  I recently made a simple syrup with white peaches… that was delicious.  Simple syrups are a perfect refresher for sparkling water (add 1 tbsp for about every cup) and can also be used in cocktails, which is exactly what I did!

Lavender Martinis:

1 tbsp lavender simple syrup

2 oz vodka

6 oz sparkling water

Pour over ice and enjoy, or if you want to be extra classy, shake it up in a martini shaker with a bit of ice, pour into a martini glass, and drink it in style.