All posts tagged: Nostalgia

San Antonio Winery Los Angeles Tasting Room

The San Antonio Winery Tasting Room in Los Angeles has a cornucopia of delicious things. Not only do they have their large portfolio of wines available for tasting and for purchase, but they also have (non-San Antonio Winery) distilled spirits for sale including a few brands of Japanese whiskey. There are gourmet food items and snacks along with wine-themed gifts. The on-premises restaurant, Maddalena, has a stunning “visual menu” of all the entrees that are available. The selection is huge! Selection seems to be the predominant theme at the San Antonio Tasting Room. There is even a selection of wine tastings, ranging in price from $5 to $15 for four tastes of wine. The $5 tasting is for the well-known San Antonio brand of sweet to semi-sweet Stella Rosa wines, while the $7 tasting is for the lesser-known and dryer San Simeon and Maddalena brands. The $15 tasting is for the Artisan wines. The guest is able to select the wines they would like to taste. While San Antonio Winery no longer grows in Los Angeles, …

The Art of Wine and Love

Early on in our courtship, my husband surprised me with a romantic weekend getaway to Napa Valley.  Of course, this act solidified my love and admiration for the man.  After all, he understood my passion for wine, even if it was not his.  He was happy just to see me in my element. At that time, I had been working in the wine industry for a little more than a year, and I was thrilled to finally get to visit in person some of the wineries that up to this point I’d only known by their wines and representatives.  Our first stop was a VIP tour and tasting at Hall Wines.  What a start! We arrived on the mountaintop in Rutherford and were surrounded by awe-inspiring views of Napa Valley.  It was a foggy autumn morning, with wispy clouds hovering along Mayacamas mountain ridges.  It was absolutely breathtaking. As we approached the door to the main house, we passed a delightful metal sculpture of two figures in play – the first piece of art we …

Dinner Parties with Mom

My mother always liked a good party, and she was especially fond of the ones she threw herself.  When I was 15, she decided to have a series of dinner parties.  The menu was always the same; the friends rotated.  Needless to say, after a few of these, we got really good at sharing the kitchen.  It felt like a dance, as we weaved around each other to work in tandem to create a delicious meal. Now, my mother always proclaimed she didn’t have a sweet tooth, however she did have one weakness:  chocolate!  For those dinners, we turned to The Los Angeles Times California Cookbook and created the Four-Minute Brownie Pie.  It was an ooey-gooey brownie in a pie shape that we served, fresh out of the oven, with ice cream and hot fudge.  Calling it decadent was an understatement, and that was exactly the tone she wanted for the evening. The meal started with an appetizer of her signature crab dip.  Our guests would gab while munching on the luscious starter and drink …

Cooking with Mom

This week marks the 5-year anniversary of my mother’s passing.  It seems only fitting I should feature some of her favorite recipes and food she made when I was growing up. Some things were simple – very simple.  She was a working mom, after all.  She briefly experimented with some recipes a few celebrities gave her while she was writing her luxury real estate column for the Los Angeles Times, “Hot Property.”  However, she was known by all of her friends as the woman who once made gazpacho with an entire bulb of garlic instead of the one clove the recipe required. My mother was an intelligent, wise, talented woman, but a chef she was not.  Regardless, I have many fond memories of her food because we sat down as a family every night for a hot, balanced meal.  So, enjoy!

A Bowl of Nostalgia

I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately. Maybe it’s because I’m finally writing consistently and honoring my mother’s legacy.  Or maybe it’s that the fifth anniversary of her passing is coming up.  Needless to say, she’s been on my mind. When I was a child, I always asked my mom for Top Ramen for breakfast on cold days I’m not sure why I loved it so much.  Maybe it was the warm and comforting feeling it gave me.  As an adult, I still love the warmth and comfort.  Now I doctor it up with sesame and chili oil, a flavored egg, some crispy shallots, green onions, and a bit of sauteed pork or chicken.  But there is still nothing like the Top Ramen my mother made on those cold days.