food


We took a drive the other day to the Napa Valley.
It isn’t prime – “SPRING showtime” – in NAPA, that’s a good month away, but nevertheless, it was spectacular!
Our final destination was St. Helena, which is – “The surprise GEM of the WINE country.”
For years, my career gave me the unique opportunity to spend an inordinate amount of time driving to Napa and Sonoma,
heading from school to school. The glorious views of the wine country outside my car window as I sped along, like the seasons, are fixated in my memory. Almost every month, they pull me back north. Back to where you can find peace and infinite beauty on the roads and beneath the vineyards.

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Should we go out to a restaurant or hire a chef to come in and cook in our room?
Travel can be quite exhausting.
At home we don’t go out every night do we? It gets old.
This last year we tried twice to bring a chef in while visiting both in Puerto Vallarta and recently in Cabo.
Wow – what an experience!
It was interesting the cost difference from one locale to the other.
In PV, the base cost of preparing the food was $40 for six people. That was the total figure!
Whereas, in Cabo, it was $140 for six for the base cost.
Groceries for both evenings was determinate upon the menu selected. That was a separate figure. In Cabo we were delighted with that figure. It was a mere $64. for all the food for six people.
The tip was on top of that cost and both occasions we tipped them $100. The meals were exquisite to say the least. But – the amount of the tip is entirely up to you.
On both occasions, we had 5-6 choices for appetizers, main entree, and dessert. Options ranged from any steak, authentic Mexican selections, chicken dishes, to 5-6 types of fish entrees.

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My girlfriends and I were having lunch the other day. We thought wouldn’t it be fantastic to cook authentic Mexican food?
On our way to Cabo the next week we wondered, do they offer cooking classes there? Wouldn’t it be FUN to see how local Mexican cuisine is prepared – right in someone’s kitchen?
We googled “Cabo cooking” and decided to send an email to a cooking class at Casa de Colores in Cabo San Lucas.
TripAdvisor had reviewed Casa de Colores and with five stars and 187 great reviews – that was good enough for us!
There were several other choices for cooking classes at various resorts and restaurants.

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Do you like thin, smooth, melt-in-your-mouth Swedish style pancakes?
These are absolutely SIMPLE to make and this recipe is also SIMPLE to remember.
They can be made with gluten free flour as well.
My great-grandmother from Norway used to make these often.

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I would be remiss if I did not tell you where you can also get these incredible seasonal chocolate figurines on every holiday locally right here in downtown St Helena – in the wine country and that is: Woodhouse Chocolate – for boxed only sets such as the one featured they are also available at: Amazon But for the best of both worlds you must enter this delightful store and see the creative displays of seasonal treats throughout the year! Sometimes it’s the little things that bring us back to trips we savored for various reasons – but today the savoring was all in the chocolate!
On our trip to Bali, Jakarta & Singapore we met with some newer friends and enjoyed traditions and delicacies we would never have experienced on our own. The picture above was a traditional store opening in Singapore with countless bouquets from well wishing merchants. Today we received some of the most world recognized – most amazing chocolates – Royce’ from Hokkaido, Japan and Patchi founded in Beirut Lebanon.

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It’s what we do now, John & I, when traveling, we find local specialty markets – the ones with excellent choices. I’m trying to avoid dairy and we both like healthier alternatives. It’s always interesting – as they vary in what they offer – say in NY versus LA or say Colorado. This Round Swamp Farm we stopped into for dinner BBQ stuff, while here in East Hampton, was certainly worthy of description!
They had everything from fresh lobsters to fresh baked chocolate chip cookies & brownies to amazing side dishes – it was incredible.
According to their literature: “For nine generations, our market has been the front porch, the backyard and the kitchen table to our loyal patrons on the Eastern End of Long Island. In these times, when home is more precious than ever, we are happy to open ours to you.”
It certainly did feel as though it was someone’s packed country home just overflowing with exquisite delicious bites to eat. The fragrance – choices – were better than most specialty markets by far! They had everything from fresh lobsters to fresh baked chocolate chip cookies & brownies to amazing side dishes – it was incredible.
According to their literature: “For nine generations, our market has been the front porch, the backyard and the kitchen table to our loyal patrons on the Eastern End of Long Island. In these times, when home is more precious than ever, we are happy to open ours to you.”

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