Wine and Cheese

Ok so I’ve been getting Food And Wine Magazine for like ever. I sometimes use the recipes but mainly I just like reading the articles. I never use the wine info. Like really never. So never that I kinda forgot it was even called Food And WINE. But the other day I was looking thru one of them and there was an article on the best wines of the year or something so I read it and cut out the info on the ones that looked good (and cheap hee hee). We have a really great liquor store near here so I went over there the other day and got one of the bottles that was recommended in the magazine. OMG it was awesome. It’s Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel and it was only 11 bucks!

Anyhow, so also Whole Foods out here does this new thing in their cheese department where they take the leftoevers of what they sample or something, not sure exactly what, and rewrap them into small pieces and put them in a basket labeled “try a new cheese for under $3.00”. I grabbed a few of them for our road trip the other day and we had them in the car. It was a great idea! We discovered two that we really liked and will be getting again. Saturday I bought 4 more and we had them with the yummy wine while playing cards the other night. There were a couple of good ones- really they were all good- and they were super good with the good wine. But nothing we’ll need to seek out again, I don’t think.

Tonight I’m making chili while DM watches hockey on TV. Go Ducks (hee hee). I love hockey guys hair- I mean, not mullets, duh, but when their hair (mullet) gets all sweaty on the back of their neck and sticks out from under their helmet. Hee hee. Ok so anyhow I started by making a recipe from The Joy Of Cooking. But it seemed sorta just eh so I searched online for “chili secret ingredients” and added all the things people said they used. LOL. Yea, it was a lot of different things BUT anyhow, so far it’s really good! It has to cook at least another hour so hopefully it will just get better.

Also, last night we went to a super divey bar in a dicey neighborhood and met some random people and played pool and sang karaoke. It was fun! Even tho I suck at pool and singing. Hee hee. The bar had been there since 1935 and was pretty much in original condition. Plus is had a super cool sign. You know I love that shit.

Jack Quinn’s

Just went to Jack Quinns on Tejon in downtown Colorado Springs. It was a cool atmosphere with private booths.  Also they serve food all night till closing which works out well for us since DM doesn’t get off work till 11. And they have chicken strips. Nuff said.

Something else I did this weekend that isn’t on the list: Spent the better part of yesterday shopping at Whole Foods aka Food Porn. I was probably in there a good 90 minutes. Maybe even longer. Then came home and made a yummy pulled pork thing. NO I don’t have a smoker. I should get one but eh, I’ve never had any luck with smoking meats. I’ve tried a few times and, no.

Cheyenne, Wyoming

We’re in Cheyenne, Wyoming this morning. We got in the car yesterday and didn’t stop till we got here. Passed thru a bunch of small Colorado towns then across the border (only by like 10 miles). We had dinner at an oldy timey bar and I had a buffalo burger!

Dange was on the phone but now he’s done so we’re gonna hit the road again.

Breakfast at a diner that was an old train car. I can’t remember the name of it but it was good!

DM had cornbeef hash, eggs, and potatoes.

I just had scrambled eggs.

Later we saw some baby buffalo. Made me feel kinda bad about my dinner the night before.

Southern California

Mike is napping on the couch. He has a thing for naps! This is the perfect day and place for a nap, so that’s good.
Here’s a recap of his visit:

Last time I updated we were in Solvang getting ready to have breakfast. Well, we didn’t do that. We were going to go to a fancy place but it wound up not being fancy so we left and went back into Los Olivos and ate at a place called Panino (sorry, I can’t find a link). I had a curry chicken salad sandwich with currants and pinenuts. DM had a ham and cheese on focaccia. YUM. Then we drove the scenic route past Lake Cachuma down to Santa Barbara. We didn’t stop. Then on home via 126 (I think that’s the highway) thru all the orange groves. We stopped and got pistachios and strawberries.

Then we got home and napped. Of course! Then on to the ‘rents house for wine and cheese and introductions. After that DM was a little frazzled (LOL) so we went to Columbo’s and had drinks. The hot tub broke last week and couldn’t be fixed so there WAS NO HOTTUBBING!!!!! Argh. That sucked. Anyhow I can’t remember what we did after Columbo’s. Probably went home and went to bed.

The next day we went to the farmers market and the grove for pancakes at du pars. Walked around the market and saw a celebrity. I forget his name but you’d recognize him. Then up to Melrose and walked around looking at all the trinkets. We wanted to go to Pinks for hot dogs but the line was, as usual, really long. Then we thought we’d go to The Formosa Cafe but it was closed. So we went to Musso And Frank (seems as if they’re too retro to have a website) instead. It’s a realllllllly oldy timey fancy place. We sat in the bar and had jack and cokes then went into the diningroom for lunch. The food has gone downhill. It’s still ok, tho. The atmosphere is really great.
Then home to nap! Then off to Kate Mantilini (also no website?) in Beverly Hills with the whole family. I love that place. I was still full from lunch so I just had a vegetable barley soup and an iceburg wedge salad with blue cheese dressing. It was awesome. Dessert was great, too. After that we went home and went to bed.

Friday we hung around the house, the yard, etc. Played some cards in the backyard, had some coffee, stuff like that. Then we went downtown to Philipe’s for lunch. French dip sandwiches. I usually get the turkey dip which is super good but this time I got the beef dip which was only just ok. Banana cream pie, too. That was good. Then a walk thru Chinatown then onward to home and a nap. Then we went to the wine tasting at Colorado Wine Company. THE wine tasting that you all have heard so much about. It was fun. We got a little drunk of course, then went to the infamous Chalet (too coooool to have a website?) and drank some more. Actually DM drank some more. I managed to restrain myself. After that we went to Casa Bianca, a really old, yummy Italian place nearby. I had eggplant pizza which DM thought would be gross but was really good- he even liked it. He had ravioli- delish, of course. Then we walked home. I love that all this stuff is walking distance from my house.

Yesteray we came down to Laguna, walked around downtown, had a frozen banana then came to the house and lazed around. Later we went to the beach and took pictures. I grilled some tri tip, made mashed potatoes and salad and we ate out on the deck. Then we went out to a local bar for drinks. Some cover band was playing. They were pretty good but neither of us was that into it. Too much drinking the night before, I think.

This morning we had coffee and played cards on the deck. Now he’s napping and I’m making this post. We have to leave at about 7:30 for the airport. This trip was way too short! But I’ll be back in Colorado next Monday and hopefully we’ll do all kinds of fun stuff this summer.

Santa Ynez Valley and L.A.

Mike has FINALLY come to California! He arrived at San Luis Obispo airport yesterday and I drove up to meet him. That airport is funny. It’s tiny. Looks like the airport in the tv show Wings.

Anyhow so we went to Pismo Beach and walked around and had lunch. I had some delicious clam chowder at Splash Cafe, which is sort of known for their clam chowder. It WAS really good.

Then we drove down highway 1 past lots of vineyards and strawberry fields and things like that to Solvang where we checked into The Wine Valley Inn. I had my doubts about it before we got here because of some reviews I read about it. But it’s cuuuuuuuuute. We got a loft room which is really cool.

After a nap we went over to Los Olivos to the Los Olivos Cafe and had dinner.

It was really good.

We started with some really tasty bread and olive oil with herbs thing. Then had some baked brie with port reduction sauce. DM had never had it before and he liked it. Yay! Then we shared a goat cheese and baby greens salad. It was good but unremarkable. You’ve had one goat cheese baby greens salad, you’ve them all. Then DM had spinach ravioli which I didn’t care for. I had chicken marsala, my favorite chicken dish. The marsala sauce was awesome but the chicken was a little dry. It came with some really good baby vegetables and mashed potatoes, too. Yum. We tried to have dessert but were just too full by then! I also had 2 glasses of local red wine and DM had some local beer.

I was so full I had to unzip my dress in the car. Seriously. OINK.

This trip was supposed to be all about the food. California food! We planned on eating till we dropped. Last night I was laying in bed thinking, NO WAY. But hey, I’m hungry again this morning and ready to go for more. I think I have a parasite from drinking that stream water a few weeks ago.

This morning we might go get pancakes! We’ll see if DM can roll with my pigginess. Then maybe go see some wildflowers and take a scenic drive to Santa Barbara for a quick lunch somewhere. Maybe at that taco stand that everyone loves. After that we head back to LA to have wine and cheese with my parents on their patio in front of their outdoor fireplace. They’ve never met DM so this should be fun.