Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Home Again. Home Again!

We are loading up the horse trailer to go back up to my parents for a NCHA Cutting in Watsonville. I haven't got to see my family this much in a long, long time. I am so happy! Wheels up to the the 831!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

El Jardin - Columbia, CA

My family gathered at this quaint restaurant in the historic town of Columbia to celebrate the life of my beautiful Nanny. She is in heaven and we will hold her in our hearts forever.

My brother and cousins... 

 My sister & cousins...

 The chips were made in house, they were flour and kind of chewy. I liked that. The salsa was not the best but it got the job done.

My very large plate of Mole was spicy and savory. The sauce was very good. I would have loved it over an enchilada! The beans and rice were also to my liking.

This meal was the best because I was surrounded by people who make me happy. It will be a day I will remember forever. Rest well Nanny. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Amigo's - Ventura, CA

Our long date weekend continued on into Downtown Ventura Monday evening. We were in the mood for some Mexican food so we decided to try a new place off of Main Street - Amigo's. It was Happy Hour so we decided to take a seat and start playing with the electronic trivia game on the table. It was fun to play the couples game as we waited for our food and drink.

We had a couple of Street Tacos for a $1 a piece. What a deal! They have a salsa bar to top off the tacos with. The one i picked was so spicy, but oh so good.

Margarita Monday, come on! They kick out some really good drinks.

I ordered the Chicken Enchiladas with Mole sauce. They were excellent. The mole sauce was divine. I enjoyed the smokey, rich taste with the rice and beans. I would order this same exact dish again.

Scott went with a lighter fare and had a Taco Salad. He too enjoyed his dish as he poured extra salsa on top to be used as dressing. I love a deep fried flour tortilla so I helped my self to a couple pieces of his shell. 

This is where our couples weekend came to an end. It was fun, it was semi local, affordable and just what we needed. Today is Monday and we are back to work full swing. I hope everyone has a great week! 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Santa Barbara Zoo - Santa Barbara, CA

So we made our way to the zoo.. I mean we live just a short drive from a really special spot so we decided to check out what the Santa Barbara had to offer...
The gorilla was quite impressive. So much so Scott decided to take a family photo...


The giraffe was especially friendly. So much so that I would enjoy one as a pet. They enjoyed a hay bag of alfalfa so I am sure they would enjoy their home at Scott Weis Cutting Horses.

The parrot was stunningly beautiful with his rainbow of many colors. What a beauty!

Scott walked me through the repitle section of the zoo and it freaked me out so bad that I think he knew I might need a drink. Holy Moly.

I ordered a Harvey Wallbanger in my mom's honor and it did the trick. What fun!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Santa Barbara Shellfish Co. - Santa Barbara, CA

Scott and I woke up in Avila Beach hungry for real food so we packed up the suite and started to head North. As we both rode along we knew that a stop in Santa Barbara was both what we were longing for. We drove out onto the pier, parked and grabbed two seats at the bar.

I knew I wanted to try the Clam Chowder because I had heard it was good. It was good, not totally outstanding but did the job just fine. I liked that it was wasn't chunky, it was smooth and creamy. Good stuff.

Scott must have not been as hungry as I was because he just went for a Crab Salad Sandwich and opted to pass on the chowder. He did think the sandwich was delicious and thought the cole slaw and onion rings hit the spot.

I wanted to go big, I mean if we are at a house of all things shellfish - lets do it right! I ordered the whole crab and worked for every piece of it. Maybe I should have ordered the crab cocktail, all of the glorious meat and none of the work! It was all good though, I liked that it slowed me down so I could enjoy each morsel.

All done!

The day did not end there, in fact this is just where is started! Tune in to see where else we went on our little "staycation"...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Olde Port Inn - Avila Beach, CA

Scott and I went on a mini vacation over the weekend to Paso Robles and then Avila Beach. We had a gift certificate to use at the La Fonda Inn so we glady took advantage of it. Scott used to frequent the Olde Port Inn and said that the live music on Sunday was great. We found out that live music doesn't happen anymore but we grabbed a seat in the pation anyway.

 By the way, this was the hotel...The La Fonda Avila Beach - Fancy!

Our Spa Suite - loved the tub.

Ok back to the food....
Our very patriotic drinks went down too easily so we slowed ourselves down by ordering an appetizer...

The appetizer was a special they had on their menu - Calamari, two bacon wrapped shrimp and a lone crab cake. We decided to split it and boy did we make a mistake! Instantly we both felt quesy and lost our appetites completely. I don't know what exactly caused it but we asked for the check and high tailed it to our fancy hotel suite.

Aye crumba!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Suzanne's - Ojai, CA

Suzanne's is a special place in Ojai. A table in the garden area in the evening is just so enchanting. The weather was gorgeous and we played hostesses to my cousin, Drew.

I started off with a martini because it was chic and so am I, or at least I try to be.

A Crab and Corn Cake went perfectly with my Lemon Martini. 

My husband ordered an Asparagus and Smoked Salmon Salad with a toast point with caviar. We are just living it this evening aren't we?!

Scott continued on with the fish theme and ordered the Ahi with Asian style vegetables.

So did I! Miso Butterfish for the lady!

Drew stuck to his New Zealand roots and ordered the Rack of lamb. Apparently he loved it, claiming it was the best lamb he has had in quite awhile.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Torte. I went ALL out on this one. Calorie City for Melissa Good Taste, I figure I am only 30 for 11 more months so I better have fun with fattening food as long as I can! It goes all down hill from now on is what I have heard. So I will continue to order dessert until the wheels fall off.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Project Happiness

Happiness in a bottle! This 2009 Chardonnay is made by Oreana Winery in Santa Barbara. For $10 a bottle Scott and I enjoyed the entire thing discussing what exactly what made us happy. A great bottle of wine for a warm summer evening. I would suggest pairing with seafood, anything Asian or just because!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Blu Orkid - Ventura, CA

Scott Good Taste is always on the hunt for a new restaurant to add content to my blog. So when "My Florist" turned into "Blu Orkid" he declared we had to try it, you know for research purposes! Located just off the main drag in Ventura, you will find it at 76 Oak Street. They have their own parking lot which makes it really nice. Asian themed decor, open, and almost one with nature makes you feel really alive upon entering.

We arrived during Happy Hour so we got the menu and decided to play around. We had dinner plans later so we couldn't go to heavy on drinks or appetizers. The bartender suggested I try the Blu Orkid Martini. I happily agreed and loved it. It was sweet without being too much so and it did have a kick. They do not skimp on the alcohol here! 

Scott went with a Gin and Tonic. He said it was stout, I am assuming that is a good thing. 

On the Happy Hour menu I saw the "Ventura Crab Cakes" I am not sure if these were made in house, they seem a little perfectly shaped. The crab mixture was not too crab heavy bit the sauce was good and i was hungry. Not the best, but not the worst crab cake I have ever had either. 

But, the Ahi Tartar was amazing! Mango, peanuts, avocado and added so much flavor to each bite of the fish. The wonton chips were crunchy and an excellent vehicle for getting the mixture into your mouth. This was a home run!

We cannot wait to return and try the rest of their menu. There are cheeses, breakfasts, sandwiches, chicken and dumplings, miso salmon and much, much more that I would like to try! I will be back.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sliders & Summer Salad

Last week I had a little bit of ground beef, white cheddar cheese and Hawaiian buns on hand so I decided to have some fun with Sliders! It wasn't anything fancy but it sure more fun to sink your teeth into two burgers, rather than just one!

The salad I paired with dinner was a simple one. Watermelon cubed, feta cheese, basil, diced jalapeno with a bit of olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. I let it sit in the refrigerator so it could macerate and turn really juicy! I suppose I could have added corn as well. The salad was so refreshing! I will continue to make it as the weather stays warm! 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sunday Funday - Ventura, CA

Good morning friends! How was your weekend? Ours was just perfect! Saturday was kind of a regular work day for us. I had office chores and Scott worked horses and gave lessons so we were excited about Sunday! We woke up and got rolling fairly early, no dawdling. He surprised with a stop into Taco Bell for breakfast. Nachos Bell Grande for me please! After that, I knew today was going to be a good day! 

We ran tons of errands after that, we had a long list of little things to do. After we worked our way down the list Scott suggested a movie. Snow White? Don't mind if we do! It was entertaining, not quite imaginative enough for me. You only get a brief visit to the beautiful land of the fairies, that was my favorite part. It really didn't stray too far from the original story. Charlize Theron is such a beauty!

Then it was off to the beach! Scott surfed like a champ! I wish I brought my good camera to get some shots of him laying it down! 

I finished reading a book that I had started last week - Summer Rental, by Mary Kay Andrews. It was ok, I mean I am just coming off reading the Fifty Shades of Grey series so please excuse me if i seem a little disappointed in what I read in anything other than that.

Scott and i decided seafood is what we were after so we drove over to the Ventura Harbor and snagged two bar seats at Brophy Brothers. Davy Brown on draft for me and Sam Adams for him to start.

The Clam Chowder came up fast and hot. Just how I like it, not too many potatoes and not too thick. This really was a good batch. 

Scott ordered the Seafood Pasta - Gulf shrimp, scallops over a bed of linguini with a white wine, garlic, lemon, parmesan bath in tow. It was a huge portion so he ate his fill and packaged the rest up to potentially eat for lunch today. I say, "potentially" because I am the leftover thief. I am known to eat up his leftovers for breakfast to leave his empty come lunch time. I am so bad.

 And now for my order, Fish and Chips with cole slaw. This is pretty much my favorite thing to order, no matter where I am at. The fish were perfectly batter, fried and salted on the plate - check! Fries tasted almost double fried so they were crunchy and cooked all the way through - check! The coleslaw was creamy delicious and was a perfect compliment to each bite of fish - check!

Spending time together with Scott is always fun. Errands become an adventure! I love to watch him in his element, surfing really makes him happy. And food, you know that makes me happy so I guess likes to see me in my element too! Have a good week people!

Happy Eating.