{SLO Restaurant Month}

January is restaurant month here in SLO county, which is essentially a month long celebration of the best restaurants SLO has to offer. Participating restaurants offer a 3 course prix-fixe meal for $30, or some sort of discount. Many restaurants also offer a rotating menu, so you can go back each week and try something new. Although $30 is still a little expensive on my budget, I’m still excited to browse all of the online menus and drool over the offerings.

Here are a few samples:

You can check out all of the participating restaurants and find more information here. The county’s Facebook page also has great up to date information!


{top 5 of 2011}

Happy New Year’s Eve everyone! I know I’ve only been here since July, but I’ve had so much fun blogging and sharing recipes and restaurants and a little bit of everything else with you that I thought it would be fun to recap a few of my favorite posts of the (half) year. Before I begin, I just want to say thank you to each and every one of you who stops by be it every day or just every once and awhile–your encouragement and support is what keeps me going!

Okay, onto the top 5.

5. Clam Chowder in Bread Bowls

I’ve always loved clam chowder (and maybe the bread bowls even more!), but it never occurred to try and make it at home. I’m so glad it finally did though because this was definitely one of my favorite meals of the year.

Clam Chowder in a Bread Bowl

4. Savor the Central Coast

I was beyond excited when Savor the Central Coast put discount tickets up on Groupon and even more excited when the day of the event actually came. I tried oysters for the first time, sampled way too much wine and beer, and got to immerse myself in the area that I love so much.

Savor the Central Coast

3. Beer Battered Fish and Chips

This recipe just turned out so good that I had to include it. Fish and chips are a staple on menus in this area, but I must say I’ve become rather partial to our own…

Beer Battered Fish and Chips

2. Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas

This was one of those random recipes that just came together without much effort. Don’t you love it when that happens? They also happen to be pretty darn good.

Chipotle Chicken Quesadilla

1. Mission: Smoke Fish Tacos

This was the post that started it all. A trip to Cayucos, a girl with a camera, and the best fish tacos I’ve ever had. Seriously, I still have dreams about how good this meal was.

Salmon Fish Tacos

Here’s to an even better 2012!

{Merry Christmas Eve}

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!

{Baking On My Mind…}

…Christmas baking that is! With only 1 week left of school before break, all I can think about is getting a plan together for Christmas cookie baking. Plus, I go right back to working at my favorite store when school’s out, so I need to get organized!

Here’s my cookie baking ideas so far.

1. Sugar Cookies (of course)!

Sugar CookiesPhoto from Cooking Light

2. Gingersnaps (been obsessed with them lately but never made them before–should be interesting!)

GingersnapsPhoto from Cooking Light

3. Peppermint Patties (also never made before but I always eat a million of the See’s ones at Christmas)

Homemade Peppermint Patties

4. Marshmallows (so excited for this one!)

Homemade Marshmallows

5. Peanut Butter Blossoms (love them!)

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Photos from Hersheys.com

Now I just need some great recipes–any suggestions?