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7/18/2013
Muir Beach Overlook
Local Mini-Vacations That Make You Feel Like You Got Away
Life is busy. Vacations are short and far-between. 
 
When we travel we pack our days. We do everything we can to absorb local culture and color. At home, we often don't take this approach, unless we have out-of-town guests. 
 
Here are some ideas of how to make it feel like we took a vacation in just one well-planned day.  
 
Wine Country in the East Bay
Did you know there is great wine in the East Bay?
Morning paddleboat ride Del Valle Regional Park in Livermore.
Lunch and wine tasting at the acclaimed McGrail Vineyards
Dinner in Downtown Livermore.

In Love Again With Golden Gate Park
A day touring the park at the perfect pace--on your bicycles! 
Morning stroll in the Botanical Garden.
Grab some lunch in one of the many Inner Sunset restaurants
Spend the afternoon at the DeYoung Museum, or take the kids to the California Academy of Sciences.
Visit the Buffalo, the Japanese Tea Garden, and don't forget the fabulous playground and merry-go-round near Kezar Pavillion.
End the day with a visit to the windmill, and sunset at Ocean Beach.

Mighty Mount Tam
Lunch in Fairfax, and definitely stop for ice cream at the Fairfax Scoop 
Hike the Bootjack Trail.
Eat dinner at the charming Pelican Inn.
Walk down to Muir Beach to watch the sunset along the bluffs.
 
Butano State Park Outdoors on the Peninsula
Spend the morning picking Organic Olallieberries & Blackberries at Swantown Berry Farm.
Picnic on the bluffs, or grab a gourmet lunch from the General Store at Costanoa.
Choose between a redwood hike at Butano State Park or mingle with the elephant seals at Año Nuevo State Park.
Dine at one of the many restaurants in Half Moon Bay.
 
Urban Oakland
This mini vacation can be done entirely with public transportation. 
Take the morning to re-visit the Oakland Museum of California.
Lunch in Oakland's China Town 
Enjoy an afternoon tasting at Urban Legends Cellars
Followed by a stroll and dinner on Jack London Square
End the evening soaking in the art deco at the Paramount Theater  
Urban Legend Cellars  
Vendor of the Month 

  

Oak­land does wine, and the result is
uncompromising balance and elegance!



Crafting more than a dozen Urban Legend wines that each, uniquely, salutes the varied flavors of California and Oak­land, America's most diverse city. 

 

Urban Legend Cel­lars has crafted wines that are perfect complements to our local food-diverse flavors, honest ingredients, a sophisticated yet approach­able style-they said, We'll have to make them our­selves; we'll make them where the food is created-in the city; and we'll do it together! It's not a traditional strategy--just a very American one. Read More...

  Chili Cook-Off

Over the weekend we had our inaugural Pied­mont Grocery Chili Cook-Off. Wow, what fun! I had a blast, and the general consensus is the we should do it again next summer. I think we shall.  

 

The customers who came by to taste were awe­some, and so culinary-aware, and so educated. It was really cool to stand there and talk to them about ingredients while using phrases like "nuance" and "depth of flavor". Yes, I realize we were talking about chili but it felt like we were dis­cussing the recipes of Thomas Keller.

 

All of the chili recipes were tasty, but since it was a chili cook-off there has to be a winner. So, without further ado, the winning chili as voted by our fabulous customers is...Chili #5 by Max and Sarah! 
 

Thursday, July 18 from 6 to 9 PM  

 

Piedmont Ave Stroll is a neighborhood event that happens every third Thursday of the month. It's a fun environment for our community, gives you an opportunity to visit new shops and restaurants, and support local artists.

 

 

This week we have live music by the Jazz Ambassadors at at Linda and Piedmont Avenue. Read More...

 

  Next Organics

True fruit. True Chocolate.
Straight from Mother Nature.

 

Next Organics Dark Chocolate Coconut is not what you think...It's better!

 

These top-quality, dark chocolate-covered fruit, nuts, ginger and pretzels make you feel like you are eating straight from nature. 

 

Our customers are crazy about their products, and the chocolate-covered coconut is a perennial favorite.

 

Trop­ical Valley Foods holds hight standards: healthy food, environmentally-sustainable growing methods and equitable relationship with the growers. They are an active part of the global movement to improve the environment.  Read More...

 

  Frozen Fudge Pops

Frozen Fudge Pops

This classic summer treat calls for just five ingredients, and stirs up memories.

Equipment
8 (1/3-cup) or 10 (1/4-cup) ice pop molds and 8 or 10 wooden sticks (if necessary)

Ingredients
3 cups low-fat milk (1% or 2% milk fat)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions
Heat milk, sugar, cocoa powder, corn syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool to room temperature or quick-chill in an ice bath. Pour into molds and freeze 30 minutes. Insert sticks (if using), then freeze until firm, about 24 hours.
 
Run hot water over molds (or dip in hot water) to loosen pops before un-molding.

You can find the original recipe here at Epicurious. 
In This Issue
Mini Vacations
Vendor of the Month
Chili Cook-Off Winner
Great Idea
What's Hot
Recipe: Frozen Fudge Pops
What's For Dinner Wednesday
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