Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Date Night: Happy Leap Year!

When Scott and I think about "Date Night" or "Comfort Food" we automatically think about our new favorite spot, Agave Maria's in Ojai. We always have the same booth and just feel like it is "our" spot. The bartender even kidded with us about having a brass plate with our names installed.

Enchiladas, Beans and Rice = home in my book so I was a happy camper. Load me up with enchilada sauce and cheese and I will munch for hours. 

We made it home in time to watch the Finale on 'Top Chef'. I was so happy to see Paul win, what a talented chef. I hope he opens a restaurant in LA soon, I will be sure to visit! 

Good Night folks. Big horse day tomorrow...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

We had a baby! ... Horse.

Meet our little baby, I am going to call her "Silvie" for now because I think her show name should be "Silver Rockette" - Although it does not look like it her coloring will actually be a grey according to our veternarian. The baby fuzz makes her look red but it will go as soon as she grows up.

Little "Silvie" is a half sister to "Winnie" the horse I have had so much success on this past year. I am so excited to see if this little bundle of joy has the same desire and athleticism to cut like her big sister. How much fun is this?!

Dr. Pepper, Texas... Gone!

If you have but a single can or bottle marked "Dublin Dr Pepper," don't open it. It's a collector's item as of this very moment. There is no more Dublin Dr Pepper: From here on out, per a settlement agreement just announced in the case filed by Plano-based Dr Pepper Snapple Group in June, the Dublin Dr Pepper Bottling Company will now be known as Dublin Bottling Works Inc. And it will no longer manufacture Imperial Pure Cane Sugar Dr Pepper at its bottling plant.

That is quite sad. The Kloster family was in business for 120 years.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sunday Funday: Beach, BBQ and Bubbly!

Hello my friends. I hope your weekend was as lovely as mine was. We woke up to a Lifetime movie and hot cocoa (talk about heaven...). And then made our way to the ocean.

After Scott surfed at C Street by the Ventura Fairground we took good ol' Buster for a walk on the beach. He was like a kid in a candy store, he rarely leaves the ranch!

Our little family.

Next we went and tried potential surf cars for Scott. He traded in his little Dodge Caliber last year when I got my Range Rover so now he is on a mission to replace it. First, we tried the HHR. I was skeptical at first but I must say it was a nice riding car and it topped my list.

Next up the Clubman Mini Cooper. It was a very pretty car, had a ton of get up and go but they were quite pricey! BMW owns them now so can you imagine the cost of service work as well? Anyway, they were too tiny for my taste. I wasn't sold.

All that b'boping around made me hungry so we stopped in at the Wood Ranch in Moorpark. I got the pulled Pork entree and it was entirely too much food. I took it to-go and was surprised Buster didn't try to tear into it on the way home.

Needless to say, the beers were huge. I was so full, I could not get mine down. A few stops on the way home were made but we did get back in time for the Oscars! Fashion time, my friends...

Oh, and a little champagne. 

First up, Michelle Williams. I love the dress but hate how the color clashes with the red carpet. They know what color the red carpet is every year, get a swatch and make sure the color does not clash. Sheesh. And, I am so over her pixie cut, grow your hair out and do some work! You are not 12 or an 80 year old man. 

Most of my blog friends say that Milla Jovovich was the clear winner of the fashion throw down at the Oscar's. What do you think?

One more thing, these chicks were a little too old to be acting like little girls. I thought the potential "wardrobe malfunction" was little classless on Jennifer's part. They seem like they are washing up quick, quit chasing that neon rainbow ladies!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

First Day of Work!

Melissa Good Taste got a job! I know running this blog is like having a job, but this one is for real and a lot of fun! I lead my very first Taste of Ojai Food Tour and had a terrific time. The weather is amazing, food fantastic and our group was a kick in the pants. I have to admit, I was a little nervous but they put me right at ease.

If you are interested in taking the Taste of Ojai or Ventura Food Tour please checkout the website:

McBites - Chicken & Fish!

I tried the McDonald's McBites yesterday and was pleasantly surprised. I was happy to bite into all white meat chicken and savor the crunch of the fried coating. They are small and easy to dunk into the sauces of which, there are several new one to try: honey mustard, hot mustard, barbecue, sweet 'n sour, buffalo, ranch, chipotle BBQ or sweet chili. I stuck to good old BBQ because I love it.

I did come across this photo at Grub Grade and it got me very excited! I love Fish and Chips and for there to be a "on the road" option, other than Carl's, I would be very happy! Perfect timing for Lent McDonald's, well played!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Rusty Pickle - Las Vegas, NV

The food truck craziness has hit Las Vegas with the same enthusiasm it had blessed Los Angeles with. This truck parked in between arenas at the South Point Arena hoping to get customers that were tired of the usual snack bar concessions. 

Melissa Good Taste is always game for new eats so I gave it a go. I ordered and pondered on what one of the many unique sauces they had would meet my fancy. I was told, the onboard chefs were all Cordon Bleu trained so my anticipation was at an all time high at this point! 

So I went with the remoulade sauce for the Deep Fried Pickles with I ordered after the truck's namesake. One pickle, good. Next pickle, under fried. Third pickle, raw dough. Such a bummer, and a bad way to start off my food truck meal.

Next up, the Macaroni and Cheese Pit Pie. Hello?! This had to be good. Anything with a flaky pie crust is delicious. Well, this just wasn't. The mac and cheese was dry as a chip and pie crust underdone. 

I know the Rusty Pickle had good intentions and understand it has a following but on this day, it just did not deliver.

Nacho Cheese. Yes, please!

I do love a good gourmet meal but put nachos on the menu and I am a sucker. The snack bar at the South Point arena gets me every time. They serve a mean nacho, with jalapenos on the side. Washing it down with a pepsi, while watching the cutting is pretty much the best thing ever. I know you are probably aghast, but that is just how Melissa Good Taste rolls.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Silverado Steakhouse - Las Vegas, NV

So this was pretty much our crew in Las Vegas. I  didn't show but Ron and Scott did, Kat and I just helped out this go round. We just had to celebrate one night out at the Silverado because of all Ron's success at the show. He did so great, so cheers to Cowboy Ron!

Ron picked our poison for the evening and he did well. Paraduxx from the Napa Valley was wonderful. He always knows the best stuff on the wine list. This was really good.

The bread basket had a variety, pretzel, sourdough as well as a really great raisin bread. I went with that with a slab of butter shaped in a beautiful rosette. 

I ordered the Lobster Bisque because I knew it was good, I have had it before and it is quite heavenly. They serve a large portion so I shared it with Kat, she agreed it was very tasty.

The crew ordered steaks so I was basically the odd man out. They of course loved theirs and ate to their hearts content.

I ordered the Halibut that was supposed to be egg dipped which is no big deal to me. But after looking at the photo I now realize why it tasted like a breakfast plate, there is a lot of egg batter on this bad boy! Ha! I loved the sauce and the mashed potatoes were heavenly. 

The Creme Brulee was a very good one. I have a thing now about the dessert, I am almost a snob now. 

All in all it was a terrific meal spent with good frieds. We learned a lot at the cutting and cannot wait to get out there again and show off our stuff! Cheers to healthy horses and good draws!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Fresh off the truck! - Las Vegas, NV

If the Big Sur Oyster Bar ever left the South Point Casino I would be one upset diva. I love how convenient it is and the food is great. Yesterday I went in for an afternoon snack of Oysters Rockafeller and a glass of chardonnay. My idea of a perfect meal. I mean we are 333 miles from the ocean and they still manage to put out plates and plates of fresh, delectable seafood. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Real Food for Real People - Ojai, CA

The day before Valentine's Day I was craving beef, some starch and a savory vegetable. We have an endless supply of beef that a customer of ours replenishes every year. I just have to remember to take it out of the freezer early enough for us to enjoy it. My darling husband enjoys grilling them to a perfect medium rare so I am quite spoiled. While I was at the Los Olivos Grocery Store on a visit home I noticed a unique grain on their shelf. Black rice is high in antioxidants, fiber and used in prevention in cancer so I decided to give it a go. On its own it is not very tasty, but a dousing in teriyaki  made it more palatable. Baby asparagus baked with a smear of mayonnaise and sprinkle of parmesan was quite indulgent. 

The nights at home, eating meals like this are the ones I savor most! 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

One click at a time...

So I am pretty much obsessed with my new camera and lens but learning how to shoot action, with indoor lighting all while the horse and rider look correct is quite difficult. I just will keep snapping pictures until I get it right! Enjoy my beginner shots!

I am a total amateur but aim to get better! Good night all!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Viva Las Vegas!

We left Ojai with a trailer load of horses to show in Las Vegas. We pulled out of the driveway with a few raindrops spitting, but little did we know it would look like this at the top of the Baker Grade! Can you believe it? It was crazy beautiful: Winter Wonderland. 

We made it to our show destination safely and unloaded the horses. By the time we got checked into our rooms we were starving so only the Big Sur Oyster Bar would do.

New England Clam Chowder in all its glory. Dinner is served.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day little cupids! I hope you get spoiled by the one you love today, I know I did! I am not sure what is the plan for dinner, we have to pack for a work trip to Las Vegas. I am pretty excited about getting out of dodge and playing in the Bright Light City!

For Christmas last year Scott got me this camera, Nikon D5000. It has been a blast playing with it and learning all its features. However one problem was that it didn't zoom very well so I had needed a new lens.

Well, Valentine's Day rolls around and I get this bad boy: Sigma 70-300mm Zoom lens. It is so awesome! Hopefully now I can take more action photos of the horses doing their thing! Thank you Scott for the perfect present!

71 Palm Restaurant - Ventura, CA

I made a bet with Scott that the Patriots would win the Super Bowl and well, I lost. We bet on a good date night out and so here we are. I originally wanted to go to Tuti's across the street but, it was closed for the evening due to a party or something. So we walked over to 71 Palm and decided to give it a try.  

Scott ordered a Cesear Salad and they brought out fried potato peelings with a dipping sauce I couldn't quite put my finger on. It was on the house so I thought that was nice. 

This is Scott's plate: He ordered the Flat Iron Steak with a ragout of mushrooms, au gratin potatoes also filled his plate. He thought everything was cooked well but it lacked seasoning. He normally is not a mushroom lover but he did say that these were very good.  

This would be mine of course - Sea bass with a fresh horseradish crust served over broccoli. I should have known better than to order this, I knew when I read: "fresh horseradish crust" that I may not like it. And, that is what happened. A beautiful cut of fish but the crust just killed it for me. So much so I really lost my appetite.

I really wanted this night to be special because I really enjoy the date nights Scott and I go on but I just wasn't into it. The restaurant itself is very beautiful, craftsman to be exact and a historical marker in Ventura County. I am not sure who was having an off day, myself or the kitchen but it just didn't work out tonight. I may return for cocktails on their patio this summer to give it another go.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Shenanigans - San Juan Bautista, CA

Hello my little blog friends. I went home for a visit to CELEBRATE! It was my baby brother's birthday party and I would not miss it for the world. I packed my party pants and boots, knee highs to be exact - gold belt and a Burberry jacket that I finally got to wear. It was been warm and sunny in So-Cal so I was excited to bundle up. Picture and posed.

This my friends, is my baby/little brother he is stands at 6'3 and I am a mere 5'4. I think I got jipped in the height department. His girlfriend Kate arranged the most fun party... ever - it was a surprise and she really tricked him. He had no idea ;) 

She also had a cardboard cut out made of him upon entrance to the party. It was pretty classic, this is the beautiful Kate, isn't she fun?

My cousin Allan and I grabbed a snap with the mini James.

Such a cool cake!

My bestie, Fallon. We have been friends for 25 years - Oh my!


My favorite couple.

On the left is my good friend Amy's man, such a crazy mix of James's friends!

My cousin John and his wife, Lauren.

Shannon and I doing what we do best... 

Friends and family - Enjoying the tail end of the evening!

What I needed to eat this morning to feel like a human again. Ellie's in Salinas is pretty darn scrumptious.  What a blessing it was to enjoy the evening in my hometown. My heart will always enjoy the 95045. I hope everyone gets to enjoy their friends and family like I do. Geez la wheez, I love my life!