Category Sides and Salads

Pinot Bus Polenta

In 1991, Zaca Mesa Winery sent our good friend Jim Fiolek on a marketing tour across the U.S. in a custom recreational vehicle in an effort to promote their wines.  The official name of the promotional RV was the ZacaMobile but for reasons I no longer remember, we came to call it the Pinot Bus. […]

Dal Pasta

Dal Pasta is a man not a dish. His lovely wife is Patti Pie. These are of course not their real names but they are the nicknames given to them by the people they love.  Nicknames so appropriate because Dal is the master of pasta and Patti is the queen of pie. Upon meeting them, […]

The Two Jen’s Granola

Jennifer and I met in 2000 when Hubby and I settled back in Santa Barbara with our children after moving around the world for nearly eighteen years. My kids and Jennifer’s kids went to the same school and like me, Jennier loves food and loves talking about food.  We became fast friends. We would go […]

Nancy’s Cranberry Relish

Nancy is my mother-in-law. And lucky for me, she is NOT a monster-in-law.  Far from it. Nancy is kind, thoughtful and non-interfering.  Non-interfering is so key when it comes to relatives and boy did I hit the jackpot! Hubby and I were married for seven years before I got pregnant with Firstborn Daughter and no […]

Thanksgiving Stuffing for Grandpa Bill

Our family tradition of hosting Thanksgiving started out of necessity. Hubby worked at Dun & Bradstreet International in New York City and the fiscal year ended November 30th.  We could not leave town and therefore we could not travel to have Thanksgiving with our families.  We decided that the best thing to do was invite […]

Mandarin Marmalade with Maili

I love making jam. The whole process is so rewarding….from picking the fruit to hearing the lid “pop” when it has sealed.  I don’t eat jam very often, and Hubby doesn’t even like it, but it is very satisfying to bring a friend a jar of something I put time and love into making.  It […]

No More Hating Kale Salad

Kale. How do foods suddenly come into fashion when they taste so bad? It was sometime in 2011 when I starting noticing kale.  The superfood of the century had made it’s arrival and we were supposed to like it. Well, I didn’t. I tried to, believe me I did.  But raw kale tastes like tough, […]