"They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for." Thomas Edward Bodett
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!
Life Bites News
LETTERFROM THE PUBLISHER
Dear Life Bites News Readers,
Four Seasons Chao Phraya River, Bangkok, Thailand
Enjoying a Valentine's Weekend
We hope you continue to enjoy your visits to great hotels, restaurants, and travel destinations that are pandemic compliant, many that appear in our web magazine. Our hotel/chef preview this month is on some of the latest hotels opening soon and we hope you will be making reservations for 2021.
Congratulations to President Joseph Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on one ofthe most spectacular Inaugurations I've ever seen. We are all proud of them and support their efforts to honor the will and the needs of the American people. See TTT sections for some notes on the remarkable entertainers who made live appearances at the Capitol.
Please enjoy my revisit of special moments of the 35th Santa Barbara International Film Festival . The 36th Festival is tentatively scheduled for April 2021. Visit www.sbiff.org for updated information on upcoming SBIFF.
BookBites has a review on "For the Love of Lemons" by Emily Hope Waingrgrow. It is a food history of her own family containing some amazing recipes and cocktails that I absolutely loved. Also, fun artistic adventures to persue during our confinement.
Culinary Coup covers more delicious morsels on home inspired preparations, including my recipe on beef bourganon along with food storage recommendations from Bristol Farms. favorite spots while traveling the coast on HWY 101 and favorite international destinations. Health minded includes recommendations on best life at home and how improve your sleep patterns.
Kids section is filled with news on art projects for kids, and online crafting places to visit for interesting ways to be creative at home.
Local restaurant and hotels in my home town are doing pick-up and delivery options for dinner, cocktails and wine and are being supported by loyal patrons. Opal Restaurant & Bar offers bottles of wine, entree, salad and dessert for $60.00. Others are offering comperal values, as are the hotels. Wineries are selling bundles at affordable prices and some like Margerum Wine Company are offering online tasting with special price wines to savor.Margerum White and Caviar Eggs!
Celebrating my birthday at Four Seasons The Biltmore which has become an annual event and is always a magical afternoon experience was cancelled this year but I look forward to next year. The Vegan dishes like the beefless burger, and ginger cake were so good and the surprise birthday cake was really a pleasure I welcome another go around.
Hofsas House Hotel & Madonna Inn Hotel
LBN recommends two of my favorite Central Coast family owned destinations for romance, Madonna Inn Hotel and Hofsas House Hotel, where Valentine's Day is always special, and I will look forward to visiting when its safe. Hope you enjoy some sweet desserts and treats featured in SIPs section this month.
Give her or him a special spa session with Burke Williams Spa products for Valentines Day. They have countless LA locations and offer some amazing and sensual products for couples to enjoy during r a romantic weekend together. Visit: wwwburkwilliams.com. Another super romantic destination is The Landsby Landsby Hotel in Solvang where a bevy of divine Danish delights are available, not to mention outstanding wines. Visit: www.thelandsby.com. What ever you do this Valentines Day, savor each moment and be happy.
Please join me each day in praying for our newly inaugurated President Biden and Vice President Harris, for our troops fighting in foreign lands, and for all men and women who serve to keep our great country safe. PRAY FOR PEACE BOTH AT HOME AND ABROAD - PRAYER WORKS and God Bless America!
Featured Recipe by Chef Becky Geisel, The Fell Stone Manor
Philly Cheesesteak Chili Serves 6-8 Time: 2 days
(6) 6” round loaves of sourdough bread
5 lbs well-trimmed boneless beef chuck or short rib
2 Medium Onions
1 head of garlic (about 16 cloves) peeled, chopped
1/3 c anocho chilies, ground
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground allspice
2 T. ground cumin
¼ tsp ground clove
1 T. coco
1 (12oz) bottle of dark beer (stout or brown ale)
2c beef stock
1 (28oz) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp kosher salt
2 T tomato paste
3 T masa (corn meal)
2 Lg Onions, thinly sliced
1 Green Pepper julienned
1 Yellow Pepper Julienned
1 tsp chopped garlic
½ tsp salt
2T olive oil (pure)
2 c grated sharp cheddar cheese
½ c green onions (scallions) thinly chopped
1 c sour cream
1 ripe avocado sliced
1 lime- cut into wedges
Chili: begin day before serving
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add 1/3 of beef sprinkle with salt. Cook until browned, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer beef to large bowl. Repeat 2 more times adding 2 more tablespoons of oil and the beef.
Reduce heat to medium. Add 1 tablespoon oil and chopped onions.
Saute until soft and translucent, about 8-10 minutes.
Add garlic; stir for 1 minute.
Add ground anchos, cumin, allspice, cinnamon, cloves and coco; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add beer; stir 1 minute, scraping up brown bits. Return beef and juices to pot.
Add tomatoes with juice, 2 cups of beef stock, oregano and 2 tsp of kosher salt.
Bring chili to boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover with lid slightly ajar and simmer gently until beef is just tender 2-2 ½ hours.
Cool 1 hour, then chill uncovered until cold.
Cover; chill overnight.
Spoon fat from chili. Bring chili to simmer over medium heat.
Stir in tomato paste
Sprinkle masa over; stir to blend
Simmer uncovered until thickend and beef is very tender, stirring often and adding water by ¼ cupful if too thick, about 30-45 minutes
Now it is ready to serve.
Philly Cheesesteak Fried Onions + Peppers
(make these within the last 15 minutes of finishing the chili)
Over medium-high heat; heat 2 T olive oil
Add onions and sauté until they begin to brown
Sauté until onions are brown and caramelized and peppers are slightly charred.
Add garlic and sauté for 1 -2 minutes.
Remove from heat and place in bowl. Cover with foil until ready to use.
(prep these while finishing the chili)
Set round loaves of bread (boules) onto a cutting board. Using a bread knife, carefully cut off the top of the bread about 2/3 from the bottom of the bread. Then using a small bread knife or serated knife, cut the inside of the bread out. Use your hands to pull out the middle to create a bowl. Save the top of the bread. Set aside. While you re-heat the chili.
To Finish the Chili:
Ladle chili into bread bowl
Top with fried onions + peppers and cheddar cheese.
If you would prefer a simpler bowl of chili; ladle into bowl, top with desired condiments and serve with cornbread or pretzel.