Gingerbread House Adventures – Part II

The Big Princess Poopie: After stalling this week on our Winery Gingerbread House, we woke up to big rains and the Big Baking Day… and a missed deadline.  In my infinite pregnancy abilities, I mis-calendered delivery of said House for tomorrow.  But it is really due today.  (Sorry SVVGA!) Frankly, at this point in my […]

Gingerbread House Adventures – Part I

Friend Maureen convinced me in a less hectic-Holiday time (i.e. 2 weeks ago) to compete in a Gingerbread House Building Competition amongst all of the Wineries.  For the entire Sonoma Valley.  With the confection structures to be publicly displayed at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn.  I thought, “sure! why not? Blue ribbon all the way!” […]


“Cooking gave her structure, it was substantive, meaningful, it brought her accomplishment and independence, everything she’d long desired.  The last thing she wanted was a conventional life.  Julia dreaded turning into the obedient little woman…. Far from resenting the kitchen to which she was virtually chained, she learned to love the feel of food and to […]

Why Cook?

I loved this quote from Deborah Madison, author of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone “Practically speaking, if you’re concerned about the quality of food you eat, cooking be of vital importance for it’s the only way you can really know what you are eating…  There’s also satisfaction in taking responsibility for what we eat instead of […]

Big Swede’s Chocolate Truffle Toffee

Every Fall, lovebirds visit us from Texas.  When Sharon and Robert (aka the “Big Swede”) Gustavsson visit, a weekend of fun always unfolds.  Robert and Dean met in some dusty South American town while Dean was on one of his fabulously epic, cross continent motorcycle adventures. Robert was building a power plant. And they have been […]

Tonic Water began as….?

Did you know Tonic Water began as an anti-MALARIAL treatment?   Yep. Originally called Indian Tonic Water, it was made by 19th century British colonialists from bitter quinine extracted from the bark of the Cinchona or “fever” tree.  Quinine is an natural crystalline alkaloid with anti-inflammatory, fever-reducing antimalarial properties. Cinchona or Quina trees were “found” […]