Untitled Document Home
Chef & Hotel Profile
Publisher's Page
Gift Guide
Travel Adventures
Epicurean Events
Health Minded
Spa Baby Secrets
Book Bites
Culinary Coup
Sense of Style
Kids Kaleidoscope
Tinsletown Tidbits
Radio Show & Links
Contact Us


Toast to New Name


by Bonnie Carroll

Over 300 people registered to join in for the mouth-watering celebration of chocolate & wine at Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center’s 10th Annual Chocolate de Vine fundraiser and unveiling of our new agency name, logo and colors on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Santa Barbara Greek Orthodox Church. 

Chocolate de Vine fundraiser benefits Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center, founded in 1974 to support survivors of sexual assault.  SBRCC offers a 24-hour hotline, crisis and long-term counseling, self-defense programs, and sexual assault prevention education programs.  All services are offered, regardless of ability to pay, in English and Spanish.

Mayor Cathy Murillo, Elsa Granados, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson

Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, Elsa Granados, SBRCC Director, and Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo all spoke of the important work the organization provides in the community, and unveiled the new agency name, logo and colors “Standing Together To End Sexual Assault” celebrated with a champagne toast.

Santa Barbara Councilmember Gregg Hart & Mayor Murillo

City Council Member Gregg Hart and Mayor Cathy Murillo were MC's for the live auction, which included K-9 training and demonstration from SBPD Officer Payne & his dog Jake, as well as great trips, a valuable surprise box, Golf at Hyatt Regency Monterey, Taste of Mexico Tamales & Tequila, Evolutions Mother's Day package and a Salsa Dance Night that included a Salsa demonstration by Councilmember Gregg Hart , Mayor Curillo and ME Sabor Dance Company members. Donations to the auction were generous and people were having fun..

Ben Taylor, Mama Ganashe Artisan Chocolates, Peoples Chocie Winner

The benefit offered fabulous chocolate creations from local chocolatier's and pastry chefs. Delicious hors d’oeuvres were served by Rincon Catering. Ben Taylor, Mama Ganasche Artisan Chocolates won the coveted People's Choice Award and Stafford's Chocolates won the Best Tabletop Presentation.

Riverbench Vineyard & Winery

Chocolate participants included Anna’s Bakery, Dulzura Rustique Crepes Cakes, LeLe Patisserie, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Old Danish Fudge Kitchen, Robitaille’s, and Stafford’s Chocolates. Wineries included Area 5.1, Giessinger Winery, Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards, Pali Wine Co., Rideau Vineyard, and Riverbench Vineyard & Winery. Breweries included Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company, Telegraph Brewing Company, and Third Window Brewing Company. Easy Lift provided transportation to and from the event and a sweet time was enjoyed by all.



The Healing Benefits of SALT in Santa Barbara

By Bonnie Carroll –

I have always loved the beautiful pink hue of Himalayan salt, as well as its fine cooking properties, but recently I visited SALT, located at 740 State Street in Santa Barbara, California, where a totally new experience of the benefits of ancient salt is in process. This wonderful venue gives new meaning to the term ‘salt of the earth” in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara.

Owners Pamela McCaskey and her partner Kelly Egan have created a surreal visual Salt Cave environment comprised completely of Himalayan salt where guests are surrounded from ceiling to floor by the beautiful and healthful pink stuff, held together with rich wood and metal netting. The floors, walls and ceilings of the salt cave, as well as waiting areas are filled with the visually pleasing and sensually relaxing pink salt brought from an area in Pakistan that has been a source for this salt for over 250 million years.

Bonnie C. - SaltCaveEntrance15

SALT Entrance

Guests enter Salt off a busy main street in downtown Santa Barbara with no clue as they walk down the stairs to SALT they are on a magical journey into a special respite of relaxation and escape from the outside noise and chaos in process above the beautiful Salt Cave. In minutes visitors happily find themselves in a serene pink vortex of salt and sweet peaceful vibrations.

The forty-five minute cave session offers relaxing music and soft lighting in a quiet zone where guest breath air containing micro-particles of salt as they snuggle under a blanket on a comfy zero gravity chair. Classes begin on the hour.

Salt offers a charming gift shop where visitors can purchase a bevy of products for cooking, bath and pampering, as well as cookbooks and health information on the benefits of salt. The waiting room, where guests relax before scrub, massage, sound therapy, yoga, Pilates and more, is a comfy salt filled respite with lighted candles, salt lamps and yoga tea selections to sip while you wait.

The private and quite massage rooms, for single or couples, are clean and attractive with private showers. The salt scrub and massage is wonderful, and leaves your skin feeling like silk. The therapists at Salt are excellent and very accommodating to the personal comfort needs of patrons. Either prior to or after your treatments you can revel in the healthful atmosphere of the Salt Cave. This is an amazing room completely made of salt (ceiling, walls, floors) with soft lighting and comfortable lounge chairs to settle into before salt filled air is funneled into the room, along with relaxing music.

Bonnie C. - 1SaltCave

SALT Meditation & Yoga Room

During my visit at the SALT Cave I was in the cave with guests ranging in age from early twenties to late seventies. This ancient form of sensible relaxation is being enjoyed by all ages, and I can certainly testify to the calming effects of forty-five minutes in the Salt Cave. It is such an easy way to breath in salt infused air, find your quiet place and revel in it for an hour; truly a bargain experience for the twenty-five dollar per hour fee.

The welcoming space is also used for yoga, Pilates and special event programs, and has become popular for group gatherings to enjoy the optimum health venue combined with social activities. I was told that group special events with yoga and refreshing beverages are welcomed.

The what and why of salt has been researched nearly to death, but many who have tried it and found it to be true believe the benefits of this ancient salt can create an electrolyte balance, increase hydration, regulate water content both inside and outside of cells, balance pH (alkaline/acidity) and help reduce acid reflux, prevent muscle cramping, aid in proper metabolism functioning, strengthen bones, lower blood pressure, help the intestines absorb nutrients, prevent goiters, improve circulation, and dissolve and eliminate sediment to remove toxins.

Bonie C - SushionSaltBlock

Pink Salt In The Kitchen

For cooking or curing with pink salt cooks may use pre-ground salt or grinders as they would with any other salt. Cooking with Salt Slabs using them as serving platters is trendy, and the slabs will impart an enhanced salt taste and mineral content to the food. Chilled salt slabs can be attractively decorated with fruits, sushi, vegetables or cheese for serving. Frozen slabs are great for presenting cold desserts or sorbets, and heated slabs are ideal to sear vegetables, shrimp, fish fillets or thinly sliced beef. The dense salt blocks conduct heat beautifully with nearly perfect heat distribution.

These salt slabs are used by many of the finest hotel chefs in California, including the chef at the Monterey Plaza Hotel, to enhance seafood recipes and provide a beautiful visual presentation. Himalayan salt is naturally anti-microbial, and requires minimal cleaning time. There are countless books on the history of pink salt, but also some great cookbooks to assist you in creating healthy daily recipes including The Story of Salt written by Mark Kulansky and illustrated by S.D. Schindler.

Some Established Benefits of Pink Salt:

  • Our bodies require salt and water daily. Water is the detox tool, but salt allows the transfer of toxins from healthy cells to the bloodstream and then helps remove them from the system. The pink salt is considered more effective and efficient than traditional salt in this process.
  • Pink salt is considered a great aid in lowering blood pressure dramatically, and stimulating better circulation at the same time. This salt can be used in small doses to modulate both these body functions, and is quickly and easily absorbed into the bloodstream.
  • Himalayan salt is regarded as the cleanest, purest and “mineral dense” version available on the planet. It can provide your body with 84 needed minerals and other bio compounds. It is only found in the Himalayan mountain range in its pure form.
  • The decrease of electrolytes and salt in the body can cause feelings of exhaustion and loss of clarity, but the easy absorption of salt into the bloodstream allows quick and easy restoration. Salt Block Cooking: 70 Recipes for Grilling, Chilling, Searing and Serving on Himalayan Salt Blocks by Mark Bitterman is ideal for home chefs.
  • Another amazing benefit found in pink salt is success in eliminating sinus and respiratory conditions. When mixed with water it helps clear up sinus problems and respiratory conditions. Pink crystals emit negative ions that allow it to solve sinus issues without compromising the respiratory system.
  • Salt is also renowned for improving sleep by users due to the relaxation of muscles it promotes, providing healthier and regular sleep patterns. Overnight replenishment to the body is known to be very restorative to body and mind.
  • Additionally, acidity and alkaline levels that are out of whack play havoc on the body and a pink salt bath can create balance in these areas. The ancients used these salt baths each week to insure good health.

For additional information on the benefits of Himalayan salt visit www.saltcavesb.com

March 08 | April 08 | May 08 | June 08 | July 08 | July 080 | September 08 | October 08 | November 08 | December 08 | January 09 | February 09 | March 09 | April 09 | May 09 | June 09 | July 09 | August 09 | September 09 | October 09 | November 09 | December 09 | January 10 | February 10 | March 10 | April 10 | May 10 | June 10 | July 10 | August 10 | September 10 | October 10 | November 10 | December 10 | January 11 | February 11 | March 11 | April 11 | May 11 | June 11 | July 11 | August 11 | September 11 | October 11 | November 11 | December 11 | January 12 | February 12 | March 12 | April 12 | May 12 | June 12 | June | July 12 | August 12 | September 12 | October 12 | November 12 | December 12 | January 13 | February 13 | March 13 | April 13 | May 13 | June 13 | July 13 | August 13 | September 13 | October 13 | November 13 | December 13 | December | January 14 | February 14 | March 14 | April 14 | May 14 | June 14 | July 14 | August 14 | September 14 | October 14 | December 14 | November 14 | January 15 | February 15 | March 15 | April 15 | May 15 | July 15 | June 15 | August 15 | September 15 | October 15 | November 15 | December 15 | January 16 | February 16 | March 16 | April 16 | May 16 | August 16 | September 16 | June 16 | July 16 | October 16 | November 16 | December 16 | January 17 | February 17 | March 17 | April 17 | May 17 | June 17 | July 17 | August 17 | September 17 | January 18 | October 17 | November 17 | December 17 | February 18 | March 18 | April 18 | May 18 | June 18 | July 18 | August 18 | September 18 | October 18 | November 18 | December 18 | January 19 | February 19 | March 19 | April 19 | May 19 | June 19 | July 19 | August 19 | September 19 | October 19 | November 19 | December 19 | January 20 | February 20 | March 20 | April 20 | May 20 | June 20 | July 20 | August 20 | September 20 | October 20 | November 20 | December 20 | January 21 | February 21 | March 21 | April 21 | May 21 | June 21 | July 21 | August 21 | September 21 | February 08 | January 08

December 07
| November 07 | October 07 | September 07 | August 07 | July 07 | June 07 | May 07
April 07 | March 07 | February 07 | January 07

December 06
| November 06 | October 06 | September 06 | August 06 | July 06 | June 06 | May 06
April 06 | March 06 | February 06 | January 06

December 05
| November 05 | October 05 | September 05 | August 05 | July 05 | June 05 | May 05
April 05
| March 05 | February 05 | January 05

© 2008 Bonnie Carroll, All Rights Reserved