Grow Your Own Food

Grow your own food

Yes I think you should grow your own food if you have the chance! Fruit trees, vegtables and herbs it’s all possible even if you don’t have a green thumb or a lot of time.  And it all tastes so much better, plus who doesn’t luv it when you can walk out to your garden and pick something to eat.  When you grow your own food you feel like you’ve tamed the wild west, become expert at foraging and living off the land…just don’t actually leave me out in the wild. I’ve been hit and miss on my own vegtable garden and this year tried using just two raised beds.

Had this horrible creature invade my tomato plants, a tabacco hookworm, which I’ve never seen before and hope I never ever ever ever see again!

Tabacco hookworm

Even with the creature, we had a few decent Roma tomatoes and a first for me, a great harvest of potatoes! Yes I did just call my dozen or so potatoes a harvest and makes me feel pretty green thumbish.  Who know you could grow potatoes in Southern California! Yes, that is also a sweet red pepper.

home grown Vegtables

A fruit luver? I decided to add dwarf fruit trees in our front yard.  I haven’t yet gotten a harvest, but I was pretty excited to get just this one absolutely delicious peach!  I also have apple, mandarin oranges and pear trees, all dwarf varieties so I cross my fingers each year hoping to at least get just one.

homegrown peach


Hope you give it a try to grow your own food. It’s pretty darn satisfying even if you start with just herbs.

Dinner Adventure at Spare Parts Bistro

pare Parts Bistro Pop up Dinner


To round up the week on the Santa Barbara Funk Zone, the public art and penny cafe,  I had an amazing dinner adventure at Spare Parts Bistro!  Spare Parts Bistro is a pop up dinner or otherwise called a supper club experience. What’s that you ask?  It’s a weekly 5-course prix fixe dinner put together by a chef and a restaurateur at a location that will be sent to you only after you RSVP (and yes the location is still in the Santa Barbara area)! Each weekly dinner only seats 20 and it’s all at a communal table where you get to know other fun people, learn about each course as its served and have a great dinner adventure!

The dinner adventure began when we entered The Loft which was the location for this inner. Outside The Loft was just as interesting as the graffiti type art mural in the entry hall!

The Loft entry

Graffiti Art at the Loft for Spare Parts Bistro

The dinner menu is never the same and Spare Parts Bistro uses local ingredients with interesting twists. What it meant for me was expanding my food horizons! Yes, both my husband and I thought we might need to pick up a sandwich ‘after’ the dinner because half of the courses had things we weren’t quite sure about. Here’s the amazing menu which was truly amazing! 

Spare Parts Bistro menu

Spare Parts Bistro Food

I can’t say enough good things about the food itself since I ate every bit ! My favorite of course had to be the toffee candied bacon crowing the maple creme brulee – who doesn’t like bacon on their dessert!  What you should know is I ate every enjoyable bite and I’m not a seafood fan, I never have tried lamb outside of a gyro and creme brulee is never in my dessert line-up.  The same was true for my husband too. No after dinner sandwich was needed!

If your ever in the area check out the Spare Parts Bistro dinner and if not, check your town for a pop up dinner, farm table event or supper club!

Enjoy being adventurous about your food and spend time with great people making dinner an adventure!


Time for Holiday Treats?

homemade holiday treats


Finding extra time for holiday treats is always a challenge. This year instead of baking every last item on the list, it was time for a new tradition to enjoy more time with family and friends- or just time to relax.  The new tradition? Bake only one treat until it is eaten up, and figure family and friends will be baking and sharing a few of their treats!

Why the new tradition?
1. Baking takes time – enjoyable for the first couple batches but then it does get to be a chore by the 10th cookie sheet of the 4th variety

2. Having 2-3 dozen of a million different treats means you don’t get a chance to savor it -you keep thinking you have to eat and eat so you don’t miss it.

3. A family pact to make our favorite holiday treats throughout the year! This means baking time is enjoyed, treats are enjoyed and you don’t get that crazy holiday sugar coma!

So what was on my baking list this holiday?

  • Frosted sugar cookies – I cheated a little and used pre-made sugar cookie dough but with real butter cream frosting who cares about the cookie part
  • Gingersnaps – old family recipe that is good anytime of the year
  • Mini muffin tin pies – We can never eat an entire pie and no one can agree on the same kind, so it was easy to create just a couple apple and blackberry mini pies in muffin tin sizes

What did family and friends share?

  • Peanut butter kiss cookies
  • A too cute Reindeer cider mix-in
  • Fudge
  • Nanaimo bars
  • Homemade Caramel & Chocolate sauce

and so many more that it was nice to have just a piece and the rest stayed at their house!

Hope you found time to enjoy a holiday treat this month!