Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas in the Mountains

    Merry Christmas, Everyone! I am finally updating my blog! We finally had a decent snowfall Christmas night; about 4-5". I want more snow....


I hosted a great craft at Chatterpillar on Dec. 11. We read The Polar Express, made jinglebell necklaces & pinecone ornaments, drank hot chocolate, & ate cookies!

On December 23, we enjoyed a visit to the California Living Museum (CALM) to view the Holiday Lights. It was even better than last year, with better lighting on the pathways, more concessions that were spread apart, and even a Santa for photo opp's. Really fun!!

 We had a lovely Christmas Eve (chicken posole & sparkling wine), and Christmas (turkey, etc.), with our family and some friends. We love all of you!!
    I am happy to report that Moose (our new doggy) has made wonderful progress, and his behavior with the other doggies is amazingly better. No more injuries, and he has tolerated a variety of two and four-legged guests very well! The Christmas night snowfall was so pretty! Hope everyone had a Christmas as filled with love as we did!!

Friday, December 10, 2010


     Ladies & Gentlemen, I am pleased to present the newest addition to our family, Moose! Saved from possible euthanasia at the NEast LA Animal Shelter! Has already had his first bath (he was dirty!).
Moose at the shelter before coming home...

Last two photos are of Moose in the exact spot Rio passed...

Monday, December 6, 2010

More Eberle Black Tie Dinner

   Okay, I am getting really tired of these false hopes for snow; it snowed nicely for about 20 minutes last night, while we were watching Rudolph. Then, of course, it began to rain. Woke up to icy roads & a smidgen of snow. Rats!
    Anyway, on to the Eberle dinner! Warning: vegans will NOT want to read this! We were a little late (why did the hub exit at 46 west, when he's been to the winery a zillion times?), but Jan, (Gary's awesome 'right hand' woman extraordinaire), made sure we had some appetizers. Wow! A pork belly amuse bouche in a won ton soup spoon, a shrimp 'lollipop' (stick was a green onion) & this amazing creamy celery soup with a bit of truffle oil...yum! And of course, wine!
    We were lucky enough to get to sit at Gary & Marcy Eberle's table this year! We actually had been seated with them a few years back, but a couple we had met a few times had us moved to their table. The wifey got a little loud & rude that year, made some highly inappropriate comments in the tasting room, & we haven't seen them since. Perhaps they got the boot; I'm just glad we didn't by association!
    Anyway, we also sat with a very nice retired couple from Texas, as well as a very interesting man who lives in Cali & Nevada, who is a self-taught electrician, and works on big-time assignments, with extremely high voltage, like nuclear plants...
    Last year's dinner was a little disappointing, but this year was a homerun! The chef was Budi Kazali, the chef & co-owner of the Ballard Inn & restaurant in Santa Ynez. First course was an amazing yellowtail hamachi delicious! This was served with avocado & a soy/yuzu vinaigrette. I'm usually not a huge yellowtail fan, but it was perfect. Very thinly sliced, which I realize, is part of my problem with sushi bars; the fish is sliced so thickly. Then, my favorite course: a seared scallop with a slice of foie gras on top. Delectable! These two courses were served with two very nice white wines: a viognier, & the Côtes-du-Robles blanc, a fantastic blend. I usually am not a white fan, but esp. enjoyed the blend.
    The third course was a pan seared duck breast, with a sweet potato puree, balsamic reduction, served with an awesome Eberle zin made from the famous Steinbeck vineyard, as well as the Wine-Bush vineyards. Fourth course was a yummy braised short rib, with parsnip & chanterelle mushrooms, served with the Eberle '06 cab. Dessert was a perfect chocolate pecan tart, with Frangelico whipped cream, served with the first ever Eberle port. I usually don't like port, but this was so good, we had to get a bottle. Not overly sweet or syrupy, and a very 'manly' port. It was aged in very old barrels obtained from Remy Martin.

    This is chef
a magnum
meal he prepared.
Every year
we have
to take
a photo
in front
of the
tree in
the cave.
I took
photos of
but I
am not
posting those
to respect their privacy. It was a fantastic evening!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Paso Robles Weekend!

    Finally, a new & happy post! We went to Paso for the weekend to attend our 10th black tie Holiday Dinner at Eberle Winery (vegans beware: it was a carnivorous weekend!). This photo is from the deck of our adorable cottage at the Santa Rita Inn B&B in Templeton.
    After a late start, we made good time to Laetitia via the 166 (beautiful drive). Enjoyed the sparkling tasting, of course. Took this photo as we left.
Our b&b was adorable; we had our own little cottage, with a vaulted ceiling, electric fireplace, & a cute little blue heeler from next door that kept us company. Wanted to take her home...

 Friday night we had a fabulous dinner at Artisan. Had two different wine flights. We enjoyed the ahi tuna & abalone appetizers. The hub had a great scallop dish, and I was adventurous & tried the rabbit. Pleasantly surprised by how really delicious it was.
The desserts were also amazing: the hub had the churros with a warm chocolate sauce, and I had a trio of creme brulees: pumpkin, ginger & butterscotch. I am going to have to steal the idea of using a sake cup & serving more than one flavor...
    The next day, we enjoyed breakfast at our b&b, then did a little wine tasting (spaced on taking photos at the wineries, though!). We began at Linne Calodo (so awesome of course), then Opolo (another fave). We then continued to Pasolivo for some olive oil. While there, we met a lovely lady named Tina, who was pouring Villicana winery tastings there for her son. Really enjoyed the rosé and a lovely blend. Tasted some great honey & vinegar, that is a flavor explosion when combined with the citrus olive oil.
     Noticed these bushes all around Paso, with these pretty red berries...
After Pasolivo, we went to La Vigne (formerly Sylvester). Had some nice wines, & were very impressed with the deli case & gourmet food selection. They also sell some delicious panini sandwiches there (we were famished!). From there, we went to the Wine Wrangler next to the train station to pick up our club order, & enjoyed tasting some wines there as well. By then, it was time to get back to the Inn to get ready for the Black Tie Dinner. I will post about that was fantastic!!