Archive for the 'Travel' CategoryPage 3 of 4

December 23rd: Helping Santa Deliver to…

…Kauai, Hawaii where we had an 18 hour layover. Enough time to see some sights, eat dinner and sleep!

Hotel scenes and beach

Me; Opaeka’a Falls; camouflaged chickens and doves

Another beach; somewhere on Kuhio Highway; one lane bridge to Hanalei

Hanalei Bay and Hanalei Valley

Happy Trails…


Fall Photos from France


These photos were sent to me by my brother, Fred, who lives in Agen (which is located between Toulouse and Bordeaux). He didn’t know what type of grapes are in the photos, but they sure are beautiful! Thanks for sharing these w/ me Fred!!


The Birthday Tour

Unfortunately I had to go on the road during the week of my birthday this year. But, as luck would have it, we overnighted in Monterey, California on the eve of my day. I wanted to eat a special meal on my birthday so we went to a place I tried last year where I ate some great seafood and drank some great California wine – Monterey’s Fish House!


Fish House exterior and interior


more interior shots; the menu


Hama Hama oysters; scallops, scampi style


close-up of scallops; wine of the evening; Sal, our bartender

If you enlarge the picture of the exterior you may notice the police tape on the hand rail in front. I’m assuming someone overdosed on the delicious seafood and wine, then crashed through the railing on their way out (ha, ha)! If I lived in Monterey or in the vicinity, this would soon become one of my restaurant hangouts. Nothing fancy, just damn fine food and wine at a reasonable price; friendly, knowledgeable staff and a laid back atmosphere – definitely my kind of place! They serve some of the biggest oysters I’ve ever seen – Hama Hama oysters from the deep water pacific caught off the shores of Lilliwaup, Washington. For dinner I had the scallops, scampi style which consisted of about a dozen sea scallops perfectly seared then served over fettucini w/ a sauce of fresh garlic, white wine, butter, green onions, tomatoes and mushrooms. Divine!! I broke the rules by having w/ the scallops one of my favorite red grape varietals, Zinfandel. California produces some of the best, so I chose the Boeger 2006 Walker Vineyard Zinfandel from El Dorado, California. Usually I have room for dessert, but not tonight!

 If you happen to find yourself in Monterey, I highly recommend you give Monterey’s Fish House a try!! If Sal’s tending to the bar, tell him Bruno sent you :-)

A votre sante’!


The West Coast Tour – Seattle and Napa Valley

It’s 2008, I’ve got the blues, and I’ve lost my cooking mojo! I’m going to a pie making workshop on Sunday so maybe that will help inspire me.  

Until then, here are some photos from my last work week. I got some great shots of the Seattle skyline but unfortunately we didn’t get to spend any time there. We did however get to spend a few hours in Napa Valley. It was torture going to wine country and not being able to taste any wine! (we were on duty) Thankfully we had the opportunity to eat a nice meal at Mustards Grill and stop by the French Laundry in Yountville to take a look around. I was able to go in the kitchen because the restaurant was closed for a few days for a tune-up. We also had time for a short visit to Copia (the center for wine, food and the arts) in the city of Napa.  

Enjoy the views! (click on photos to zoom in)


Mount Rainier; Seattle skyline


Mustards Grill


 Mustards menu; Larry & Kim (the pilots); Kim & me


hanger steak; seafood tostada; cherry & pear bread pudding


Napa Valley scenery


entering Yountville; The French Laundry


more of The French Laundry


inside the kitchen



Until next time…


Telluride, Colorado




Welcome to the Telluride airport… located on a plateau 9080 feet above sea level. The runway is somewhat concave – you land on a downward slope and take off going uphill. If winds exceed 10 nautical miles per hour you must divert!

Pilots say it’s one of the most challenging airports to fly into. See for yourself…

 Safe travels :-)


A Week in the Life – The Culinary Tour (i.e., Pigging Out!)

We had a great week flying around the US and sampling the food of the region whenever we had the opportunity! We started our eating tour in Denver, where we had dinner at Las Brisas, a great little Mexican restaurant near our hotel. I don’t have any photos but you can click the link for their menu. Next stop Jackson Hole, where we had lunch at Sweetwater Restaurant. They serve great elk burgers and elk sausage sandwiches! The next evening we found ourselves in Des Moines, Iowa. We had dinner at Centro (sorry, no photos, but check out the link), then strolled around the Des Moines Art Festival which was in progress. As luck had it, later in the week we landed in New York City. We stopped in the Shark Bar at Spring and Mulberry Street for a couple of Belgian beers (Hoegaarden wheat), then headed over 1 block on Spring to Lombardi’s to sample some of their famous coal fired oven pizzas. The ovens heat up to 850 degrees F, creating a beautifully crispy, chewy and blistered crust. I tried to get the dough recipe, but apparently it’s top secret! After the pizza we headed over to Little Italy for dessert at Ferrara Cafe. They serve great gelato and cannoli among other things!

Hope you enjoy the photos….




Jackson Hole, Wyoming


Jim, Jeff and me in front of Sweetwater





Up, up and away!!


Me in the Shark Bar…  Little Italy and Grand Central Station 


Lombardi’s, yum!

Ferry Plaza Farmers Market – San Francisco

I was in San Francisco recently and was fortunate enough to have time to stop by the farmers market. It was an incredibly beautiful day so I took many photos (I was thinking blog post, blog post!). Let me share a few of my favorites w/ you:



ferry-plaza18.jpgferry-plaza19.jpg Lovely and fragrant, fresh cut lavender

ferry-plaza4.jpgferry-plaza5.jpg Tierra Vegetables – this is where I get my pepper jam (they specialize in chile peppers)

ferry-plaza7.jpgferry-plaza8.jpgWe bought some of the best fresh feta cheese I’ve ever tasted – I can’t remember the vendor’s name but he’s always in the booth that’s next to the guy who sells baba ghanoush

ferry-plaza9.jpgferry-plaza10.jpgMy brother-in-law buying some bread at Acme Bread Co. and posing w/ “the goods”

ferry-plaza11.jpgferry-plaza12.jpgBeautiful mushrooms


ferry-plaza15.jpgferry-plaza16.jpgCowgirl Creamery – they make awesome cheeses – one of my favorites is “Pierce Point” which has a rind coated in local dried herbs (unfortunately this cheese is only sold in the fall so I couldn’t buy any…bummer!)

The End…

Hope you enjoyed my quick tour of this fabulous market!

P.S. – Sam at Beck’s & Posh recently did a post which surprisingly discovered that some items are cheaper at the farmers market than at Safeway (the large grocery chain in California)… so support your local farmers, the planet and sustainable agriculture!

P.P.S. – I just found this great farmers market icon – “Blush the Sweet Tomato” at A Veggie Venture. a-veggie-ventures-farmers-market-icon-blush-the-tomato.gif Alanna invites bloggers to use the icon on posts to signify farmers market fresh veggies. Thanks Alanna!


Rocky Mountain High… Colorado

Here are a few photos from my latest trip for work. A very awe inspiring place, unfortunately we rarely get to stay very long!

The post w/ photos and recipes from the Thanksgiving feast at my friends’ house will have to wait until I return. Sorry for the delay. I hope these photos will tide you over until then…


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The Mushroom Hunter

My brother, Fred, who lives in southern France sent me some photos of his recent mushroom foraging during which he found over 30 kilos of cepes!! He wouldn’t tell me the exact location where he found these beauties, just that it was in a forest in the Perigord region. Apparently mushroom hunters are as secretive about their prize spots as truffle hunters and fishing fanatics! He did however send a stock photo of the forest where he found them and a photo of a typical village in that region of France.
Fred, I don’t think you have to worry about anyone finding your spot… not even a super sleuth could w/ so little info! Well, let’s take a look at his bounty!






Thanks Fred… enjoy your beautiful ‘shrooms!!


What’s Cookin’?


I went to San Francisco over the weekend for my

sister’s wedding reception and was lucky enough

to have time to stop by the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s

Market to pick up some of my favorite pepper

jam from the Tierra Vegetables booth (which by

the way is great on toast w/ peanut butter for

breakfast!). While there I also picked up something

else which is the main ingredient for the mystery

food that I’m cooking up for a friend’s birthday

party later this week. By looking at the photo

can you tell what’s cookin’? (The answer and final

product will be in a post later this week!)

Until then, happy cooking….