Sunday, August 23, 2009

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner...

Chicken Dinner and Blueberry Pie for Breakfast? Yes Please!! That's what I woke up to this morning. It's actually pretty funny. Yesterday McKenzie and friends decided they wanted to go to Knott's Berry Farm for the day. Michael happily offered to drive them, only because he wanted to stop off at Mrs. Knotts's Chicken Dinner Restaurant and pick up a little to-go package of her sublime fried chicken with all the fixins' and a delectable pie to go with it.

Much to our disappointment, my sweet friend Michelle offered to drive them instead. Oh well, we thought, looks like pasta again tonight. Much to my surprise, Michelle sent home a care package with McKenzie, who got home long after we had gone to bed. It's amazing because I went to bed dreaming of that chicken dinner and pie and could you believe, my dream came true!

For those of you who aren't familiar, Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant is celebrating it's 75th year in business. 75 glorious years of serving Southern California's best pan fried chicken to locals and tourist alike. That's how the whole Knott's Berry Farm thing started anyway.... Mrs. Knott started cooking take out chicken dinners back in the early thirties. Even back then, they would line up for blocks down the street, just to get their baskets filled with the bevy of home cooked delights that this beautiful woman had to offer.

This tradition of comfort food galore, is something that is somewhat of an anomaly these days. In all these years, the menu has changed very little. Just good honest hospitality and chicken dinners to die for.

Knott's Berry Farm is known around the world as the second place to go in Anaheim for amusement and adventurous rides, but to us it is only about the chicken dinner.

Timeless and nostalgic... I don't think I've seen a place with more Linoleum and Formica in my life, but I wouldn't have it any other way. It seems like the best things in life are the most simple, but the hardest to sustain. Guess what? Mrs. Knott has achieved this for decades and even though she has since passed, the legacy of her fried chicken dinners, sumptuous pies and good old fashion home cooking, lives on for everyone to enjoy.

Yes, everyone... I can bet you that this little chicken dinner connoisseur won't be forgetting her soon.

Thank You Mrs. Knott and thank you Michelle for being sooo thoughtful...

I gotta go... That Blackberry Pie is callin' my name.

Monday, August 17, 2009

In Hog Island Heaven...

When I think of The Hog Island Oyster Co., it's usually not about the oyster bar that opened up at The San Francisco Ferry Building a few years back. That's not to say that the ferry building location isn't off the charts... It is! Lots of hustle and bustle, people chugging down oysters and ice cold beer on a sunny San Francisco day, is pretty tough to beat.

And The Hog Island Oyster Lovers Cookbook has long since made it to Pulitzer prize status in our cookbook library.

But my memories of the real Hog Island are more about driving up Hwy. 1 from Stinson Beach, on a warm summers day and pulling off the road at Tomales Bay to the sight of the oyster beds and the heavy smell of freshly shucked bivalve mollusks.

We used to go up regularly and pull a bushel or two right out of the holding tanks, take a seat at the pic nic tables that overlook the water and go to town. Thankfully the salty crew of workers would happily assist us with oyster knives, shucking gloves, fresh lemon and paper plates. With our booty of cold Lagunitas IPA and we'd belly up to the crusty pic nic table and have a feast that wouldn't end until the sun went down and the oysters and beer were gone.

Happy Camper...

This is one of our favorite weekend getaways, El Capitan Canyon Ranch Resort. We've been a half a dozen times now and love it.

It's a pretty easy 3 1/2 drive from Newport, as long as the weekend traffic doesn't get you, but when you arrive, you could be anywhere in the world. It's kind of like five star camping and certainly the way I prefer it. They call it an eco-resort in that it is all very crunchy... Part campground, part yoga retreat, part spa. It is nestled in the canyon above El Capitan State Park in Goleta, north of Santa Barbara.

We've gone with just the two of us, the whole family and even with other families and it's always a great time.

The Creek Side Cabins tend to be our accommodation of choice. The all come with cozy queen beds beds, feather comforters, bathroom with shower, even a little fridge, microwave and coffee maker.

There is a little loft above where the kids can sleep comfortably and each cabin comes equipped with it's own fire pit, pic nic table and camp chairs. All the Creek Side Cabins run along El Capitan Creek that runs up the canyon... It could not be more picturesque.

You're pretty much fully self contained once you arrive, although we usually stop and load up with lot's of food and drinks in Santa Barbara. There is a little General Store at the entrance that sells really good health type food and other essentials like the smoore kits for four.

They also rent beach cruiser that you ride down to the water. The cruise along the beach side trail to Refugio Beach is about as scenic as you could imagine

Although this place is not all that cheap, starting at about $150 a night in the season, it is worth whatever it costs. I would take a stay here over the Bacara Resort down the road, anytime... well, I might have to rethink that one.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Off to Camp...

How is this for a Dreemie Camp... Lily just got back from this amazing island summer camp on Vashon Island in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. My girlfriend Michelle who lives in Seattle area, invited her to come and spend a week here with her daughter, Georgia. They had to take a ferry over to the island, no parents, just their bags and a box of Twinkies. Pretty adventurous for a couple of 11 year olds.

They ended up having the time of their lives...

This was actually Lily's second summer camp this year so she has become quite the Little Happy Camper. You can't imagine how prepared she was for each of them.

These are photos of homemade Camp Stationary, pre-addressed to all the appropriate loved ones, no two alike.

I guess I may have gone a little overboard as well with these Camp Care Packages sent to them up at her first trip to Adventure Mountain - Big Bear, CA.

A really great summer her and memories for a lifetime. Here she is below with her favorite Camp Counselor Hummingbird.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I kinda feel like I got cheated a bit on summer this year and I think I'm in denial that it's almost over. Anyway, Calypso still has these adorable little St. Barth dresses in stock and they are on sale. I got the cute little white ones and love them both.

Anyway, this weather is still pretty Dreemie and I'm hoping it will continue for at least a little while longer.


My sweet girlfriend just got me this Posie Tint from Benefit... It kind of gave me that little kiss of blush on my cheeks and lips with this sort of translucent glow.... God knows I need it.


Like the tag line of this blog states, "You always have to dream and have hope that those dreams can come true." Well that's all just fine and dandy, but this dream just ain't coming true soon enough.

Never the less, dream we must...

Michael and I have always dreamt about going to Positano on the Amalfi Coast of Italy and have yet to go, but The Hotel Il San Pietro looks like it would be the place to say. This place has received a lot press in the travel world lately. The rooms are actually pretty reasonable, starting at about $160 a night. The real charm is in the old world Italian Hospitality and with views like this, who really cares what the rooms look like.

The fact is that it's one of the regions only Relais & Chateau Hotels, which is like Five Star for a small luxury hotel. Star Chef Jamie Oliver just spent his honeymoon there and claims it's his favorite hotel on earth.

The website site of this hotel is really amazing, although kind of slow, like most European sites. Why is that? I could have had two Frappacinos and and half dozen biscotti by the time the intro was finished starting up...

Monday, August 10, 2009


Alright, this one is a killer... Do yourself a favor and order a bottle of Dinamite Calbrian Viagru online from and now! We've already gone through half a bottle and we just got it last week. Come to think of it, you might want to get a couple a bottles.

It'll spice up pasta, pizza, bruscetta... We even put scrambled eggs and it was off the charts. I promise, this will take the place of Tabasco in your pantry. It's a mix of vinegar, chili peppers and fermented veggies that only the Italians could pull off with this kind of majestic grace. FYI, it packs a punch...

How bout' a little fire scarecrow? Tutto Buono!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Blog Life... I Miss You.

Well, it was just over a month ago that was beginning to redesign my blog, interviewing advertisers and really getting a handle on becoming a serious blogger. Fast forward one week and BAM! All of the sudden I'm in the hospital and diagnosed with chronic pneumonia.

Although I was really sick, lots of coughing, aches, wheezing... I really didn't take it seriously, I mean common, I was in the throws of summer. My girls were heading off to camp, West was starting daycare, we had plans, you know, summer plans.

Well, that all ended very quickly when this hideous flu on steroids hit me even harder and I ended up at Hoag Hospital for two more stints. After a month of rehab, inhalers, antibiotics and numerous other medications, I am just now feeling like my old self again.

It's been a long month or so, but it really did give me a chance to just slow down a bit and take count of myself. I had no idea how crazy and out of control life really can be, especially being Mom with a two year old. It's just not as easy as when I was younger.

I guess some things do happen for a reason, because I feel really good and very well rested now. When it comes to this silly blog, I can't tell you how much I've missed it. It had become such a part of my daily life... Reading every magazine and newspaper, constantly on the look-out for fun and interesting content to share with you all. Well, these past weeks, I haven't had the energy to even think about the research, much less sit at the computer and write.

That's all over now and I'm thrilled... I can't thank you all enough for the amazing feedback and emails I've received, wondering "Where is our Dreemie?" It really did make me realize that there are people out there who do care about what I have to say or what I think is cute, fun or interesting.

The fact is that The Blog Life is here to stay... I am so happy and proud to have found this medium as a way to communicate and convey my viewpoint on life. This has been the first of many stages in a long career in blogging. It has changed my life and the peoples around me. Michael has his MisterMunchie blog in development and it's going to blow people away. Lily has also embraced it and is working on her own expression and friends and family members have began exploring other blogs, sharing their finds and ideas and really just expanding the spectrum of great information and content that's available to us.

Anyway, Dreemie is back... I am planning a whole bunch of great things with the blog and am going to work hard to learn more on the technical side. The posts will now be pretty much every day and I'll be adding all sorts of widgets and media that should continue to be a lot of fun.

Thank you all again, keep reading, don't be afraid to comment or email and keep loving...

The Blog Life...

Little too much time on my hands...

Yah, just a little... This last month has left me probably more home time than I could have asked for. It did give me the chance to start making this collection of headbands for the girls and their friends. Of course my Mom put in the helping hand at it as well.

Anyway, all the girls love them and are doing their best Taylor Swift imitations wearing them..

FYI, Patina Boutique just started carrying them and I will be putting some up on my Etsy store next week...

Feeling a little crafty...

I have always been a bit of a freak for stamps of any kind. I can remember my Mom buying them in every conceivable style and size. Holidays, seasons, sayings, it was kind of crazy. Anyway, that obsession has lived on and I about lost my cookies when I came across this Yellow Owl Workshop Stamp Set...

Yup, my girls lunch bags will never be the same. Sorry Girls... I mean, common, Stamp Your City? To die for.

How about this one with the winter mountain theme. Am I thinking maybe some hand made one-of-a-kind christmas cards with an adorable vintage mountain scene? Maybe with just a splash of glitter? Hmmm....


Uhm... Never been much of needle-pointer, but it looks like I'm gonna have to be now. My daughter Lily caught me checking this out on an adorable blog called Inspire Company, done by this amazingly talented girl, Amy Powers.

What I love is that this is so improvisational and could be a really a fun "art in progress", to do over a vacation or whenever...

I know that my Mom is reading this and already on her way to Michael's Art Supply. Mom, I hope you own some stock in that company...

Food TV

Ok, I am pretty sure that there is not another household in the country that's as excited about the new Top Chef Season Six as ours. We are counting the days until it starts August 19th.

This years it's Vegas Baby! Who knows what kind of freaks will be in the starting line-up of 16 new contestants. Will there be any real talent? Any hot new Chef Dudes? How many of them will gay this year? Call me crazy, but those are the kind of questions I'm already asking myself.

Either way, it doesn't really matter, as long as I get to see Tom's blistering blue eyes every week. Wait, I think he just winked at me... I actually love all the hosts, Padma bugs me a bit, but she's always worth checking out, Gail is hysterical and the new guy, Toby is brutally funny the way he lashes out at the contestants.

Top Chef has come a long way in five years. The show has received several Emmy's and just recently got the culinary industry's prestigious James Beard Award. Over the last couple of months, we've been glued to the Top Chef Masters as well, which is totally entertaining.

The Top Chef Cookbook was a New York Times best seller and a "go to" in our library, but keep on the look out for the new book Top Chef-The Quick Fire Cookbook, it should be a good one.


Living here in the OC, there is really nothing that exudes Summertime and Family Fun more the Orange County Fair... Every time we go I feel like we have just stepped back in time, when the simplest things matter the most.

This year was a first for Little Buddy and I'm pretty certain it won't be the last for him.

It's a real jungle out there, as you can see. West seemed to take it all in good stride, only a half dozen or so meltdowns.

The food there is always great... You can tell that Lily was pretty taken by this beautiful turkey leg, just $11.50, special today.