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Ventana - An Enchanting Resort in BIg Sur

Summary: I love Ventana. I highly recommend visiting  and exploring the landscape at Lime Kiln and Andrew Molera State Park which I've blogged about here. Please note this is #notsponsored . Yes, that means we paid our own bill! Lots of details in the following review. including a Post Ranch vs Ventana comparison.  Can you tell there's something exciting beyond this beautiful gate? There's something special about Big Sur, a magic in the light, the presence of the Pacific, the cliffs, beaches, redwood forests and the murmur of the surf. It's one of my favorite places in California. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be to celebrate turning fifty, because it's a place where there's a sense of nature, space and light and a wide horizon. We've been to Big Sur many times and for a celebration there are two fantastic hotels vying for your attention. The exclusive, modern and very private, cliff top Post Ranch Inn and on the other side of the road the …

A Perfect Sunday Supper

David Waltuck's Staff Meals from Chanterelle is a wonderful cookbook and I've made lots of meals from it, but there's nothing better than staying at home on a Sunday and having someone else cook for you. A glass of cold white wine and a bowl of Pasta Vongole with lots of garlic, parsley and anchovies - fabulous! 

My favorite culinary discovery right now is here in Berkeley, Amphora - Berkeley Olive Oil Works, where you can try more olive oils than you knew existed! Extra virgin Australian, Croatian and Portuguese olive oils along with organic versions from California, Italy and elsewhere. They have an incredible selection that is reasonable priced  and they want you to try as many as possible before you buy. When you sample them one after the other you really get a sense for the differences. I  felt I was developing a taste for the peppery, dark,  rich green olive flavor that gets caught in your throat. It's heavier and more robust than the lighter, softer oils. I went in to try their olive oil but the vinegars were a revelation too. A simple dressing of white apricot vinegar combined with a Persian lime infused olive oil, all this and someone else cooking the pasta, what more could I want? 
Thank you darling!


Erika King said…
I am like a Pavlov's dog looking at that bowl of pasta! One of my resolutions for 2013 is better family catering, and it's taken me a nano-second to put the Pasta Vongole down on my 'to-try' list. Yum!

Erika @ xx