Live Sea Urchin @ Smorgasburg Los Angeles

A friend introduced me to heaven today…Smorgasburg in Downtown Los Angeles.  I wish I had a big enough stomach to fit all this wonderful food. I had to choose wisely since I was only going to fit a few items down the gullet. 

There it was, I saw someone pass by with a huge sea urchin on their plate, gold meat just seating inside a giant shell. Off to Jolly Oyster! $15 per Santa Barbara Sea Urchin freshly cracked. They remove the membranes and have it ready to serve. Now I didn’t realize the spines would still be moving, I instantly felt some guilt thinking this animal was being tortured. However, I later found out that it’s common for the body to move even after it has died, and with a lack of a central nervous system, it is unaware of the pain. 

Immediately I noticed the saltier flavor of this Urchin, it’s the salt water taste which doesn’t last long because it is immediately followed by the creamy uní flavor that coats the tongue. It’s probably one of the hardest food flavors for me to describe. Since there is not a lot of “meat” in the shell, it forces me to take my time and savor since the experience will end after a couple of bites.  Thank you succulent Sea Urchin for feeding me so wonderfully today…


Apples, Berries, and Pumpkins OH MY!

There’s still time!  Get your fresh apples and berries at these fun family orchards.  There’s nothing like having a jug of apple juice that you pressed with apples you picked just minutes before.  Below is a post from the last time I was in Oak Glen, check it out!  I hope you get inspired to get out of your area for a day and walk among the orchards.



Riley’s Farm in Oak Glen, CA is a great place to pick apples, rasberries, and blackberries.  The best thing is pressing your own apples into a fresh jug of cider.













There are many farms and orchards to choose from, since our first visit we have narrowed it down to two places that we decided were the best for us and now just go straight to these favorites.  We love Riley’s because the grounds are so big and open, it never feels crowded.  There is a good variety of apples, blackberries, raspberries, and they have pumpkins as well.  You can also press your apples here and leave with a jug of delicious apple juice.  There are also games like archery and hatchet throwing 🙂





They provide you with your own apple picking tool to reach those apples out of reach (which is almost every apple).


Time to make CIDER

Filling Bucket with Apples for the Cider


Rinsing Apples with Water and a Tad of Bleach


Throwing in Apples to Grind


Grinding and Grinding


Time to Press!


…and Press…


Here comes the juice!


Here comes the goods!


Voila! Apples and Cider


Now for some archery lessons…

Not bad, not bad…at least we got on the paper


And off to one of the biggest pumpking patches on our way out of Oak Glen…

U-Pick Farms are still offering the fun!

Tomatomania- Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Claremont, CA

Saturday and Sunday, April 5 and 6
9 a.m.-5 p.m.

At BOTH Grow Native Nursery locations in Claremont and West Los Angeles (at the Veterans Garden)

Find a huge selection of heirloom tomato seedlings and beautiful California native plants at Tomatomania at Grow Native Nurseries!

The self-proclaimed “world’s largest (and most fun) heirloom tomato seedling sale” returns to our nursery locations for a tomato-centric event with a native plant twist.

Did you know?
Although not native to California, Tomatoes are native to the Americas. Tomatoes grew wild in what is now Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Ecuador and were brought to Europe in the 16th Century!

Beer Fest!!

Saturday March 15, 2014
Pasadena Convention Center
300 E Green Street
Pasadena CA 91101
1:00 pm – 7:00 pm
International Beer Exposition
and Tasting Event

The Ultimate Beerfest, occupying 55,000 square food of exhibit hall space at the Pasadena Convention Center, is the largest international consumer beer expo in North America. The expo features exhibitors from around the world including: breweries, homebrew equipment and supplies, beer sampling and a consumers choice beer competition. The Ultimate Beerfest International Beer Expo puts everything from the world of beer all under one roof. Get your tickets today before the event sells out.

California Beer Festival

Craft Beer Heaven
Saturday, September 21st, 12:30-4:30)
(music until 5:00pm)

Ending Ventura County Beer Week is THE Legendary,California Beer Festival (CBF) back at beautiful Mission Park in downtown Ventura Presented by The Players Casino! Saturday September 21st, come experience Craft Beer Heaven with over 130 craft beers on tap, food trucks and an electrifying 14 piece tribute band to Michael Jackson w/ Foreverland! This is a chance to expand your mind and educate yourself on new and old styles of craft beer!

Blues and BBQ Festival
Sunday, September 22nd, 11am-6pm

Sunday is the Blues & BBQ Festival! Bring your blues chairs and blankets to Sunday’s family friendly event (Children 12 and under FREE). Sample amazing BBQ from teams from all over the state and get marinated by an amazing Blues lineup with Robben Ford, Ana Popovic, Carolyn Wonderland, Michael John and the Bottom Line and local Blues/Funk band the Bomb!

Mammoth Bluegrass Festival- This weekend!

“The people of Mammoth Lakes, California are proud and privileged to present the
greatest array of Bluegrass Musicians to the High Sierra.  Now is the time to plan on
attending the best outdoor Bluegrass Festival on Labor Day Weekend.  Tell your
friends to drop in as well.  After all, we’re all family and family is always welcome!
   This year, we are pleased to present Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Peter
Rowan, Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, Alan Munde Gazette, Chris Jones & The Night
Drivers, Jeff Scroggins & Colorado, Poor Man’s Whiskey, Hot Buttered Rum, Bill
Evans and other top-notch artists as well.  Our event will be held on August 30th, 31st
and September 1st (Friday, Saturday & Sunday) at the “Canyon Lodge” performing
area in Mammoth Lakes, CA.  The festival starts at 2:00 PM on Friday, the 30th of
August and extends until September 1st at 10:00 PM.”