Binge Watching – Downton Abbey

It’s baaaaaack!  Is everyone excited for Downton Abbey’s new season this Sunday? It’s my (not so) secret dream to be exactly like the Dowager Countess when I’m an old lady.  My husband is not too excited about that but, true to character, I’m not giving him a say in the matter. Last year I developed […]

Summer Magic

What do you get when you combine 2 bored kids, a rope and some sticks? Magic. We adults thought the rope was for climbing gym-class style.  The kids had other ideas. The lower stick was for standing or sitting.  The upper stick was for grasping.  A variety of configurations were tested before the right one […]

Gift Ideas for Mixologists

Do you have a mad bartender in your circle of friends and family?  Here are some gift ideas that should pay you back in cocktails for years to come. Fun with Chemistry I haven’t tried this out yet, but doesn’t it look like fun?  This $80 molecular gastronomy kit includes ingredients and recipes.  Cue thunderclaps […]

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

I love silly little gifts.  Stocking stuffers are best when they are goofy but they should be practical too.  Here are a few fun stocking stuffer ideas. Cocktail Bitters Perfect for cocktail lovers.  The more unusual the better. Challenge the bartender in your family to find a use for chocolate bitters.  Yum! Truffle Oil or […]

Scotch Custard

This yummy baked custard uses real scotch.  I like to use a strongly flavored scotch for maximum impact. For 6 servings you’ll need: 2 1/2 cups heavy cream 1/3 cup dark brown sugar 5 egg yolks pinch salt 1-2 tablespoons scotch 1 teaspoon sugar The custards will bake in a water bath so start boiling […]

Cheese School

Or, how to have a cheesy weekend. I went to cheese school. It was fun. And cheesy. This weekend I dragged a very gracious friend and my long suffering spouse to a beginning cheese making class at the San Fransisco Cheese School (I’m not making that up!).  It was a great class – fun and […]

Russian River Brewing Company

On our recent stumble through Sonoma Valley, we took a break from wine tasting and went to the Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa.  The very blurry photo below shows the tasting sampler, which includes almost every beer on the menu. Russian River Brewing is home to Pliny the Elder, which is a highly […]

The Vitruvian Gnome

or, How to Create a Fake Historic Document I had the (admittedly warped) inspiration to create a gnomish version of Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man.  As you may know I have an unhealthy obsession with gnomes and I was looking to class up my collection.  Part of my process was to make the design look […]

Sierra Nevada Brewery

We just returned from a great weekend at Lassen National Park.  On the way to the park, we stopped at the Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico. Visiting breweries is an activity close to my heart.  I think my family toured every Budweiser brewery on the east cost when I was a child.  At least it […]