For better or worse, here I am—trapped in paradise. As long as I continue to live in this vital, inimitable spot on the globe,

I will continue to seek out the unique…the delicious…the innovative products, services and traditions of San Luis Obispo County.

Stay posted for a few of my favorite things.

About Me...

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A wanderlust at heart... captivated by the California Central Coast. Join me on my culinary and vino-infused adventures as I explore and discover the regional novelties of San Luis Obispo County that make living here...easy to stay...and hard to leave.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Centrally Grown: San Luis Obispo County's Newest Gem

Sometimes you just need a place to unwind. The next time you're driving down California's Central Coast on Highway One, consider pulling off the road for a respite at Centrally Grown

Perched on a hill in the piney town of Cambria, this northern San Luis Obispo County gem plays host to a bakery, coffee bar, deli, natural gourmet foods market with locally sourced produce and goods, a bar and restaurant, as well as a general store where local artists sell their ware—all set amidst whimsical gardens, wooden sculptures, living earth structures, and a coastal view. 

I recently paid a visit to Centrally Grown, where I explored their curious grounds, indulged in a house-made boysenberry poptart topped with violets from their edible flower garden, and found myself not wanting to leave.

As the ocean air permeated the surrounding Santa Lucia Mountains, the sun peeked out, the fog rolled in and out, and I leisurely strolled around, snapping dozens of pictures. Following is a video compilation of my exploration at Centrally Grown, which I hope inspires you to take a drive up SLO County's beautiful coastline and stop off for a little rest and relaxation.

I look forward to returning to this seaside mecca to soak up more Central Coast ambience...
...and you can be sure I'll post more of my adventures. 


A special thanks to audionautix.com for the use of their music in this video. 

Centrally Grown is located at 7432 Exotic Garden Drive in Cambria, California, directly off Highway One. 
Click here for more information.


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Central Coast Sailing Charters

Central Coast Sailing Charters is located on Harford Pier in Avila Beach
Yesterday's late morning sail aboard Central Coast Sailing Charters could not have been better. The fog cleared, the skies beamed, the waters glistened, and the whales danced in Avila Beach. 

This past week several humpback whales have been following schools of fish around San Luis Obispo County's coastline, sharing waters with boats and kayakers while circling around Port San Luis Harbor.

When these majestic mammals show up in Avila, we never know how long they're going to grace us with their presence. I still remember the short-lived frenzy some of them caused in August 2012—when I stood on Harford Pier, watching in awe as beautiful humpbacks swam by an elated crowd of onlookers. 

This time I decided to observe the humpbacks from a different vantage point: aboard a 44-foot sailboat. I booked a ticket with Central Coast Sailing Charters and looked forward to a day of fun in the sun. 

Welcomed aboard the "Ocean Spirit" by Captain Mark, this two-and-a-half hour maritime adventure was pure bliss. The captain was gracious, knowledgeable about the locale, and kept a safe distance from the humpbacks. We sailed around in the pristine ocean air, enjoying each moment while catching glimpses of blowholes and breaches from enormous humpback whales. 

Following is a short video of my excursion with Central Coast Sailing Charters. I hope this summer you'll be able to hop on a boat, put your feet up, feel the sun on your face, and take in the local scene.




SAIL AWAY!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Peach Caprese Salad Recipe

It's that time of year again in San Luis Obispo County: peach madness! The fuzzy-skinned fruit is making its yearly debut at local farmers markets and I couldn't resist picking up a basketful for some culinary experimentation. 

Turns out, peaches pair beautifully with thick slices of tomatoes. Serve up this seasonal duo with fresh mozzarella and you've got a a fantastic caprese salad to serve as a side dish or vegetarian meal. Just slice, arrange on a platter, and sprinkle with a touch of salt and pepper, a drizzle of honey, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and top off with some fresh herbs.

I don't know what else I'll be inspired to conjure up from SLO County's stone fruit crop this year, but for the time being, I'll enjoy this vibrant caprese salad that's simple, delicious, and full of seasonal flair. 


PEACH CAPRESE SALAD RECIPE
The secret to this recipe's presentation is using peaches and tomatoes that are ripe but still firm so that they don't fall apart when you slice them.


INGREDIENTS:

2 - 4 large peaches
2 - 4 medium tomatoes
1 ball fresh mozzarella
1 - 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley or basil
Drizzle each of honey, olive oil, balsamic vinegar
Sprinkle of salt & pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Cut peaches in half, remove pits, and slice into thick slabs. 
Slice the tomatoes in thick round pieces and thinly slice the mozzarella. 
Place alternating slices of peaches and tomatoes on a platter and top with sliced mozzarella.
Drizzle with honey, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper, then sprinkle with fresh herbs. 

Couldn't be simpler to enjoy fresh, seasonal flavors!


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