Recent Posts

tomatoes

Tomatoes…and more Tomatoes

All summer I have been waiting for a garden bounty of tomatoes. Santa Barbara finally got some nice summer heat and ta-da!…I found myself with five enormous plants all heavy laden with beautiful, delicious tomatoes at the same time. Great! Great. Great? My tomato windfall coincided with school starting, a full calendar of non-profit events […]

pinkladycrisp1

Pink Lady Crisp

I use Pink lady apples because they hold up well through the cooking process and they have great brightness and acidity, which I love.

inspired-table

An Inspired Table

Every meal is a fresh experience, a chance to sit down with people you care about and enjoy wonderful food and wine. I love setting the table with the menu in mind. Let a feeling from the meal or color inspiration guide your table. I often pick an element or color that strikes me while I cook.

love-the-veggie

Love the Veggie Platter

This is a great way to move things out of your garden on a daily basis. It is wonderful to have a platter of fresh, vibrant veggies waiting for your guests when they arrive…

a-little-offering

For Your Guests, a Little Offering

I love when we have friends for dinner or visiting from out of town, to bake something for them to enjoy the following morning.  Your guests will appreciate this thoughtful gesture, especially if they have a little too much wine and have to wake up to hungry little children the next day!  My signature offerings […]

a-little-offering

THE Banana Bread

Sshh…This is my secret, go-to recipe, I am in the mood to share today! I tweaked this recipe from one in Martha Stewart Entertaining, which is a great resource for fail proof entertaining recipes…

granola1

Val’s Granola

If possible try to get unsweetened dried fruit at a local health food store for this yummy granola. Who needs the extra sugar when it is so tasty on its own?

wine-dinner

Having a Wine Focused Dinner

Even when hosting a wine dinner, you should start with the food!  Create a menu featuring simple, delicious food that allows the flavors of the wine to be the star of the meal.  It always works to stick to the basics, a fresh cut of meat with salt and pepper cooked on the grill, some […]

Cooking with Japanese Chef Teru

Cooking with Teru

Recently, my friends gathered at our house to learn the art of Japanese cooking from Teru of Sakana of Montecito, California.

House Wines

House Wines

Wine is a permanent fixture in our home and we enjoy it daily.  Our wine cellar is for the most part, my husband’s domain.  An avid wine enthusiast, he has spent the past twenty years building a collection of wines from all over the world.  Picking wine from an inventoried source can be complicated and […]