Homes Sweet Homes: Bungalow Heaven Home Tour – Pasadena

Homes Sweet Homes:  Bungalow Heaven 2017 Home Tour – Pasadena Wow, has it already been a year?  If you love to view the interior of historic homes (and not be arrested for trespassing) while strolling along beautiful tree-lined streets, then the 28th Annual Bungalow Heaven Home Tour on Sunday, April 30, is right up your driveway.  Oh, and the gorgeous exterior of houses you will see along the way make for a fantastic day. The theme for the 2017 Tour is “It’s All In the Details” and “celebrates beautiful wood, tile, concrete and brick that skilled artisans used in Bungalow Heaven’s many characteristic Arts & Crafts-era, Spanish revival and English-style homes.” Here is your brief Bungalow Heaven history lesson. Bungalow … Read more…

Strawberry Grand Marnier Fig Jam

Ain’t It Grand! Strawberry Grand Marnier Fig Jam After the success of the Boozy Bourbon Vanilla Fig Jam, I was inspired to try another jam recipe also including a potent potable (Strawberry Grand Marnier Fig Jam).   It was a good thing too, because as I was making the jam I looked out the kitchen window to see a family of raccoons helping themselves to all the fruit from the top of the tree!  If they clean out the tree, this may be the last batch of fig jam I make this season. While researching strawberry jam recipes, many people mentioned that the jam sometimes would get foamy.  I did not experience that, but if you do be sure to … Read more…

Sports Museum of Los Angeles – Los Angeles

“Cooperstown West” Sports Museum of Los Angeles – Los Angeles Visited:  August 2016 (in October 2016, it was announced that the museum will be closed until they find a new location) Although it is not officially dubbed “Cooperstown West,” the Sports Museum of Los Angeles could, in reality, use that title and have no qualms in doing so (well, other than the fact Cooperstown might sue them).  Simply stated, however, this is a tremendous sports museum, and to me was just as memorable…or maybe even more memorable…than my visit to Cooperstown. The Sports Museum of Los Angeles contains a treasure trove of historical sports memorabilia that is truly one-of-a-kind.  According to former Dodgers’ owner Peter O’Malley, “It’s the best sports … Read more…

Boozy Bourbon, Vanilla and Fig Jam

We’re Jammin’ Boozy Bourbon, Vanilla and Fig Jam Our neighbor has a gorgeous fig tree that fortuitously hangs into our yard (as does her luscious lemon tree).  Never having been a big fig fan, each year I would pick them to take to the office where they are scooped up like hotcakes and, I am told, are delicious. After a friend shared Jill Silverman Hough’s Drunken Fig Jam recipe with me, I decided to give it a try with this year’s crop.  The original recipe appeared in the October 2008 issue of Bon Appetit and calls for brandy although I read reviews of people using sherry, white port and other liquors.  We (that would be me, although Tom did do … Read more…

Some Like It Hot Chicken Enchiladas with Hatch Chile Sauce

Scrumptious South Of The Border Enchiladas Some Like It Hot Chicken Enchiladas with Hatch Chile Sauce Tom Preface:  (About five years ago…when I was gainfully employed…I conducted an interview with my friend Robert at Melissa’s Produce.  I asked him what was new, and he replied, “Well, it’s almost Hatch Chile season.” I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about.  Some reporter I was!  Robert went on to say that fresh Hatch chiles from New Mexico…grown in the Hatch Valley…were hitting retailers the second week of August…the season is a short one…and he was nice enough to provide us with a box.  They come in “mild” and “hot,” and, of course I went for the hot. Well, that day … Read more…

Pasadena Museum of History/Fenyes Mansion – Pasadena

“Downsized” Mansion Pasadena Museum of History/Fenyes Mansion – Pasadena It’s not often that when a family plans to downsize, they decide to build a 21-room Beaux Arts mansion, but that’s exactly what Dr. Adalbert and Eva Fenyes did back in 1906 (well, a few rooms were added in 1911).  Recently I took a tour of that historic home; Pasadena’s famed Fenyes Mansion.  Not only is the mansion a cool place to visit, but the history of the house (which at one time also served as the Finnish Consulate) and its occupants are equally as interesting.                     After my tour, I also “horsed” around a bit at the nearby Pasadena Museum Of History (who maintains the century-old estate and provides these … Read more…

Arguello – San Francisco, CA

Brunch At The Presidio Arguello – San Francisco, CA Visited:  May 2016 After our tour of the Walt Disney Family Museum (click link on the left to take you to the story in California Dreaming), Kim, Mary, Tracy and I had worked up quite an appetite. Filing past the dozens of food trucks and throngs of picnickers… …in the distance we spied what looked to be a restaurant (Arguello), which just happened to be located in quite an historic spot at the Presidio. The Presidio Officer’s Club was established in 1776 (hmm, didn’t something else happened that year) by a group of Spanish explorers who utilized the facility as a place for military officers to gather.  It stayed in use … Read more…

St. Andrew Church – Pasadena

An Historic Pasadena Church St. Andrew Church – Pasadena Visited:  July 2016 Thanks in part to a lost necklace and a good deed by yours truly (yes, I’m as shocked as you by this random act of kindness), I was able to glean much more information about an historic Pasadena church that I toured a few days ago (more on that “divine intervention” later). The interior and exterior architecture of St. Andrew Catholic Church (which will celebrate its 90th birthday next year) combines two famed Rome churches.  Constructed in 1927 (the parish has been around since 1886), the 140-foot tall, Romanesque campanile of St. Andrew replicates the one found at the 8th-century Basilica di Santa Maria in Cosmedin.                     … Read more…

Restauration – Long Beach, CA

A Little Gem In Long Beach Restauration – Long Beach, CA Visited: July 2016 Restaurant Type: New American Cuisine While attempting to find a casual dining spot in Long Beach, Tracy recalled a recent article in Westways Magazine about an establishment called Restauration.  Perusing the menu online it reminded me of many spots we’ve dined at in the last few years with funky menus that have turned out to be great restaurants.  We decided to give Restauration a whirl, and once again we were more than pleasantly surprised by our decision. Tracy and I made the 45-minute drive to Long Beach to have dinner with friends, Rich, Liz, Rob, Susan and Melinda (aka the Magnificent Seven). In another of those … Read more…

Grandma Moore’s Baked Beans

A Magical Side Dish Grandma Moore’s Baked Beans Category:  Side Dish Beans, beans, the magical fruit …. not sure if these beans are magical but they sure are good!  This recipe comes to Tracy’s Kitchen from subscriber Kevin’s Grandma.  However, the recipe might actually be magical as Kevin’s Grandpa recently turned 103 (… hmmm, we will have to ask what is the secret to his longevity, it may very well be this delicious concoction).  Grandma, who is 96, uses baked beans in tomato sauce, but we decided on utilizing Bush’s Homestyle Beans (which were delicious) in this version.  The other great thing about this recipe is it is even better the next day. Ingredients: 6 slices, thick cut bacon, diced … Read more…