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"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


New YearsHAPPY VALENTINES DAY! nEW yEARS

February 2021

Life Bites News

LETTER FROM 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!

Enjoy the delicious recipe below from chef Becky.

Cordially,

Bonnie Carroll

Bonnie Carroll
Publisher/Editor-in-Chief/Photographer
_______________________________________________________________
Delightful Cold Weather Dish:

Featured Recipe by Chef Becky Geisel, The Fell Stone Manor

Philly Cheesesteak Chili
Serves 6-8
Time: 2 days

Ingredients

(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)

 Chili Toppings

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

 Instructions

 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. 

  1. Reduce heat to medium. Add 1 tablespoon oil and chopped onions.

  2. Saute until soft and translucent, about 8-10 minutes.

  3. Add garlic; stir for 1 minute.

  4. Add ground anchos, cumin, allspice, cinnamon, cloves and coco; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.  

  5. Add beer; stir 1 minute, scraping up brown bits. Return beef and juices to pot.  

  6. Add tomatoes with juice, 2 cups of beef stock, oregano and 2 tsp of kosher salt.

  7. Bring chili to boil.

  8. Reduce heat to low, cover with lid slightly ajar and simmer gently until beef is just tender 2-2 ½ hours.

  9. Cool 1 hour, then chill uncovered until cold.

  10. Cover; chill overnight.

  11. Spoon fat from chili. Bring chili to simmer over medium heat.  

  12. Stir in tomato paste

  13. Sprinkle masa over; stir to blend

  14. Simmer uncovered until thickend and beef is very tender, stirring often and adding water by ¼ cupful if too thick, about 30-45 minutes

  15. Now it is ready to serve.

Philly Cheesesteak Fried Onions + Peppers

(make these within the last 15 minutes of finishing the chili)

  1. Over medium-high heat; heat 2 T olive oil

  2. Add onions and sauté until they begin to brown

  3. Add peppers

  4. Sauté until onions are brown and caramelized and peppers are slightly charred.

  5. Add garlic and sauté for 1 -2 minutes.

  6. Remove from heat and place in bowl.  Cover with foil until ready to use.

Bread Bowl:

(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.

________________________________________________________________

WHO WE ARE . . .

LBN Staff 2021

Bonnie Carroll, Publisher/Editor

writebc@aol.com

Rosalie Frances, Contributor, tolifebites.com

Mary Hilton, Content Contributor/Marketing Director

writebc@aol.com

Natasha Melikoff, Canadian Reporter

writebc@aol.com

Mike OConnell, Photo/Video Director/Contributor

tolifebites@aol.com

Isabella D'Angelo, Rome Correspondent

tolifebites@aol.com

Additional contributing writers are included on an individual issue basis.

Please contact the editor with questions regarding journalist assignments.

Email: writebc@aol.com

LBN Offices

Santa Barbara, CA 93105

805-845-9976

Email contact preferred please

*     *     *     *     *

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

*     *     *     *     *

Due to the CoronaVirus 2020 travel restrictions our awards are primarilly focused on local area

LBN Best of 2020

Best Int'l Air Flight

Best Lunch

Best Cooking Experience

Best Home Spa Products

Best Author Platform           

Air France, Paris/LAX

Carmel Belle, Carmel by the Sea

Beef Bourgignon in Clay Pot (recipe BC)

Burke Williams Spa

Leslie Zemeckis, Author Interviews

Best Coffee & Pastry

Best Viral Museum Visit

Renaud's Patisserie Santa Barbara

The Louvre, Paris

Best Pick Up Cuisine SB

Uncorked, Via Maestra 42, CaDario, Opal

Best Blended Drink

Jenny Schatzel, Whole Foods

Best Soup & Sandwich

5th Street Deli, Carmel-by-the-Sea

Best Family Hotel

Hofsas House Hotel, Carmel

Best Winter Ski Escape

Mont Tremblant, Quebec Canada

Best Cocktail

"Lavender Martini" Highlands Inn, Carmel

Best Ocean View

Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara

Best Art Shopping

Carmel-by-the-Sea, Santa Fe NM

Best New Hotel 

Hotel Cerro, San Luis Obispo

Best family shopping

Target Stores

Best Business Zoom

AWC-SB Holiday Award Zoom Celebration

Best Family Travel Fun

Del Coronado Hotel Holiday Events

Best Car Travel

California Coast- Enterprise Rental

Best Fundraising Event

Claeyssen's Mitary Drive-In Dinner

Best Faux Meat Burger

   Cat Cora Mesa Burger, Goleta

Best Weekend Escape

   Monterey California Area

Best Oysters & Champagne

Four Seasons Biltmore, Santa Barbara CA

Best Christmas Event

NY Tree Lighting

Best Classical Zoom

Nir Kabaretti, Santa Barbara Symphony

Best Italian Breakfast

Via Maestra 42, Santa Barbara

Best Wine Events

Margerum Wine Company, Santa Barbara

Best Romantic Escape

Polo Lounge, Beverly Hills Hotel

Best Outdoor Market

Downtown Santa Barbara, California

Best Thrift Shopping

Assistance League, Santa Barbara

Best TV

Masterpiece Theatre PBS

Best Area Airport

SLO

Best New film Release

Let Him Go" Kevin Costner

Best Virus Advice

Dr. Fauci

Best People Watching

Best Historic Tour

Hendry's Beach, Santa Barbara

Lotusland, Montecito CA

Best Dessert

Chocolate Fondue, Swiss Chalet

Best New Book

Bobbe Joy Dawson, Raising Eyebrows

  

Congratulations You're the Best!




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© 2008 Bonnie Carroll, All Rights Reserved