Archive for the 'California' Category

February by the Beach

This has been a month of beautiful sunny days and beautiful rainy ones as well.   A great time to take long walks and enjoy the new beginnings of the early Spring.

All of the neighborhood creatures are in full activity. 


The monarch butterflies are getting ready to leave the grove.



A family of birds is building a nest outside my window. the coloring of the bird is so close to the leaves in shade.



and the pelicans are flirting.

And in honor of the rain, this quote from the late John Updike’s memoirs:

 Rain is grace; rain is the sky condescending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.


Santa Claus Has Come to Town


I Madonnari 2008

Another wonderful sidewalk chalk art show in San Luis Obispo this past weekend.  I never tire of watching the artists transform the blacktop around the mission into works of art.  People of all ages strolled and delighted in their surroundings. 

Two days watching the artists with side trips to local wineries, walks on the beach, visits from two out-of-town friends, and dinner at exceptional restaurants made for a glorious weekend.

 Here are some of my favorites….

Ah Spring, Ah Artichokes

Well, it may choke Artie, but it ain’t gonna choke me!”  (Stymie, one of the “Our Gang” kids)

Nothing says Spring in the farm fields near the Red Door than the beautiful globe artichokes (Cynara Scolymus) just waited to be stuffed or made into filling for ravioli.  Yum!  Here are two recipes from for your artichoke eating pleasure.  The first reminds me of how my Italian father used to prepare artichokes, the second is a wonderful “lite” Alfredo sauce which is great over Trader Joe’s fresh artichoke ravioli.

Stuffed Artichokes                     Quick and Easy Alfredo Sauce

And then there’s the wine.   Definitely a pinot grigio.  Light, cool and crisp.  Castoro Cellars or Meridian both make wonderful ones.

Songs of Spring

p4040006.jpgGetting ready for Easter dinner tomorrow and need to get the music playlist together.  Here are the  selections for this year. The list is divided into two parts: classical and pop/jazz.  Links are to Youtube videos of the selection. 

The poppies are blooming on the Central Coast.  I found these in a vacant lot across the street from my mechanic.  You can find beauty everywhere you look.  I’m going to have to go for a drive this week and find some more.  They revive my spirit.


Popular Music

Surf’s Up

The latest Pacific storm is supposed to show up in my neighborhood tomorrow or Friday.  It makes for some great waves today.  Warm temperatures and beautiful clear sunsets to enjoy for the moment.pc050007.jpg


November at the Wineries

winery-door.jpgA welcoming display at a local winery near the red door invites everyone inside to find the perfect wines for the coming Thanksgiving feast.  I found a really nice article about turkey and wine pairings that might help those who are wondering which wine to buy. Assuming that the main course is turkey, I suggest serving sparkling, chardonnay, and pinot noir at your feast since everyone has such different tastes and all three go well with the bird.  Something from Laeticia for the sparkling wine, a Zaca Mesa chardonnay, and a Wild Horse pinot noir?  So many choices. 

The leaves on the vines are starting to change, the Central’s Coast homage to autumn.  Besides getting ready for our own Thanksgiving, I attended a harvest dinner at one of our favorite wineries and enjoyed an amazing five course dinner paired with the winery’s best wines.  The chef was French, the winemaker American, and one of my dinner companions someone who has lived on three continents.  A satisfying evening.