Archive for December, 2011
What is the New Year all about, really – beyond the glitz, horns, crowds and late night mayhem? Isn’t it really just a symbol for something that humans seem to need? A reason to pause, look back, see where we’ve been… A chance to put it into perspective and take note of our lives so we can live them a little more consciously. Isn’t the beginning of a new year like a fresh start or do-over even?
It is, to me, a reminder to honor the past and envision the future. Sure, I like having a reason to drink tiny bubbles and literally sparkle against the darkness of the night… but how about getting in touch with that inner sparkle and carrying it into the New Year?! I suppose that’s why we have New Year’s resolutions and extended gym hours. But beyond our societal traditions is something deeper; something both universal and highly personal.
If you could literally start over, what would you do, who would you be, how would you approach the dawn of a new day?
A GIFT OF GOOD HEALTH: Food is medicine too, and many winter fruits are packed with enough natural vitamin A and C to knock out winter colds with a one-two punch. Try a Christmas stocking filled with satsuma mandarins or tangerines and fuzzy kiwi fruits. Add a mug with lavender or dried herbs for soothing tea, and throw in a couple of lemons and a little jar of local honey.
BIG BREAKFAST GIFT BASKET: If you’re staying at the home of your holiday hosts, show how much you appreciate their hospitality. Line a large container with pretty dishtowels and fill it with all of the fixings for a yummy omelet breakfast: California cheese, little red potatoes, gourmet mushrooms, garlic, green onions, fragrant herbs and farm fresh eggs. Carry in a big bag of oranges along with a bottle of bubbly and assure your hosts that brunch is on you.
INDOOR PICNIC: A sweet gift idea for the cute couples in your life is an indoor picnic basket. Line a basket or box using any fabric item with a red-checkered motif. Fill with an assortment of California grown snacks, such as olives and tree nuts. Fresh apples pair well with sharp dry cheeses, and dried fruit, such as medjool dates, pair well with soft fresh cheeses. If you choose, you might include a fun music mix, a deck of cards, and a malty microbrew or beautiful local wine.
For some great holiday decorating ideas inspired by Mother Nature and information on the area’s farmers’ markets, visit http://www.california-grown.com and stay awhile.
Turn Verein, a fine example of Sacramento’s rich and ongoing immigrant contributions
What’s fun to do in any season? Whether enjoying the body-temp warmth of summer, the beautiful blossoms of spring, the brilliant foliage of fall or the crisp blue-sky days of winter, Local Roots Food Tours will provide you with a full-bodied and full-bellied experience.
I recently joined ‘Gals on the Go’ from El Dorado Hills for a tour of the Sutter District and East Sacramento areas. Among others, it included delicious French toast and private chef talk at Café Bernardo, as well as mouth-watering lunch options in Centro’s sunny “paper flower” room. In between stops, we walked and talked about some of the area’s lesser-known history, and checked out the breathtaking fall foliage in East Sac’s Fab 40s neighborhood.
All in all, we tried some Czech beer, Italian pizza, Mexican food, Middle Eastern cuisine and coffee/pastry samples. We learned a bit about each chef’s niche of expertise and what makes each restaurant unique. We learned about coffee bean roasting, local humane food products, haunted places and Sacramento’s brewery past. We got to know Lisa Armstrong, the founder of Local Roots Food Tours, and chit chat as we walked Sacramento’s sidewalks.
From breakfast, lunch and appetizers to cocktails, dessert and coffee; from history, haunting and architecture to walking, talking and sightseeing… these tours (there are 3 different options in all) are certainly an enjoyable, comprehensive and distinctive Sacramento experience.
Way to create something both timely and timeless, intimate and expansive, Lisa!
http://www.local-food-tours.com, (800) 838-3006