Monthly Archives: October 2009

My weight loss journey has a detour

Here I am at week 4 and I’ve gained 1/2 pound.  I haven’t lost any weight!  I feel pretty discouraged at this point and I’m going tol be stopping my weekly updates.  I will keep you informed from time to time as I will still be trying to lose weight, but I don’t want to bore you will all the details when I’m not losing anything.  I am heading to Reno to celebrate two life cycle events this weekend then I’m heading off to L.A. to help my aunt with her 80th birthday party.  I will try to be good, walk and eat properly, but I also know that there will be temptations that will be hard to ignore.  If you have been following my blogs and are having success at losing weight, please tell me your story and how you are doing.

Trip to Santa Rosa for Hugs, Pizza and Winery Tour

Today was a great day.  Larry and I did some work in the morning then we got on the road about 11:00 to meet Brandon and Kim (our son and daughter-in-law) for lunch in Santa Rosa.  It took us less than 1 1/2 hours to get there.  We met at Rosso Pizzeria and Wine Bar.  The main purpose for this visit was to give them a hug to congratulate them on their first pregnancy.  That means this spring we will become grandparents.  We are way too excited about the whole thing! ☺

Anyways, the lunch we had at Rosso’s was great.  The four of us shared their Fritto Misto, calamari and green beans fried in arborio rice flour and served with a green chile aioli.  This went down really fast.  Then we shared two pizzas.  One was called Uovo.  It has a red base sauce, prosciutto, oven roasted artichokes, olives, Sonoma organic egg and basil.  The other pizza was their Funghi.  This has a white base sauce with oven roasted shitake and crimini mushrooms, taleggio and fontina cheese, shaved artichokes and fresh thyme.  We added cooked prosciutto di parma on top of that one.  Both pizza’s were delicious, the crust nice and crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside.  We ordered just the right amount of food for the four of us.  The meal came to about $12.00 per person.  The atmosphere there is great.  They have booths around the periphery and tables in the middle.  They also offer casual dining outside, but the restaurant is in a shopping center so the view outside are the cars parked in the parking lot.  The service was great, the wine list incredible with a great selection of wines from around the world.  Each day they have a special that is cooked in the wood oven.  Today it was clams.  The wine bar is beautiful with a large television in the middle, only showing soccer games.  Rosso’s is in the southeast end of town off Third Street.  It’s very easy to get to, but if you didn’t know about it you would never see it.

After lunch Larry and I went to go visit Brandon at Dutton Goldfield Winery.  There was a lot of action going on there.  They were washing and sterilizing brand new French oak barrels and racking them so they will be ready to be filled with the red wines that are in the tanks going through their second fermentation.  The interns were putting dry ice into the open top fermenters and covering them which keeps the grapes at a controlled temperature. We took some samples of the chardonnay, pinot blanc, gewürztraminer and pinot noir.  Mostly we were tasting grape juice that was just turning into wine, but you can still taste the great different flavors of the grapes with the acids and sugars.

We got home before rush hour and went back to work.  Another good travel day to the California Wine Country.

Wine tasting? Head for the Hills! Murphy’s, in Calaveras County that is!

If you like to go wine tasting without the pushing and shoving and high tasting prices then you should head for the hills!  I’m referring to the Gold Country, specifically Murphys, in Calaveras County.

There are over 23 wineries in the Calaveras County.  Some you might recognize, like Twisted Oak Winery whose specialty is Rhone varietals, and Ironstone Vineyards which amongst the many things to see there, is a heritage museum and a deli for a snack.

                             The Twisted Oak Tree

But, you need to check out some wineries that you aren’t so familiar with, such as Black Sheep Winery, Frog’s Tooth Winery, and Lavender Ridge all of which have tasting rooms on Main Street in Murphys.  A number of other wineries offer their tasting rooms on Main Street as well, so you can walk from one to the other.  You should of course explore the foothills and other wineries by car.  

Heading to Murphys makes the perfect weekend getaway.  In the Fall see the foliage.

                       Fall Foliage in the Vineyard                                                           Autumn Grape Leaves

In the Winter you are close to the snow, the spring brings out the poppys and apple blossoms, the summer is perfect for camping, hiking and fishing.  Calaveras County offers much more such as golfing, spas, museums, caverns, panning for gold, etc.  

There are many quaint inns and bed and breakfasts for you to lodge at.  One place you should try is the Cottages at LaHonda Park

                                           Angels Creek at the Cottages at LaHonda Park

They offer individual cottages on 6 acres of land with a swimming pool, picnic area and Angels Creek winding through the wooded grounds.

If you go to these places make sure to mention that sent you and have a great time!

Lompoc Wineries are on the Map

Lompoc, is a small community between Santa Maria and Santa Barbara.  The Lompoc Chamber of Commerce hasjust put out with their very first wine map.  This consists of 9 wineries that are open to the public.  They will be re-printing this map every 3 months as new tasting rooms will be continuously opening up.  Lompoc is located on scenic Pacific Coast Highway (California Hwy 1)and Highway 246, 55 miles northwest of Santa Barbara, 155 milesnorthwest of Los Angeles and 270 miles southeast of San Francisco.  Below is a list of the nine wineries to go and check out if you are in the area.

1. Palmina

Chronicles of Lori’s Slim Down Journey – 2nd week

OK, something isn’t right!  Maybe I’m just not doing something right?  I weighed myself yesterday, it being my second week watching what I eat, drink and exercise and I still am up the same 1/2 pound!  Damnit!

Now, I know that I didn’t exercise like I did last week, I also really watched the desserts that I was subjected to.  I drank less alcohol during the week, but I did splurge on Thursday and had a margarita with lunch at a Mexican restaurant.  I was very careful to only have a handful of chips with salsa, and I ordered an open faced burrito which had no cheese in it.  I did however eat about half of the re-fried beans.  That is a serious downfall.  Mexican food is really hard when you are watching your weight.  You have the tortilla chips, the alcoholic drink, the beans with cheese on top.  If I had ordered a tostada instead of the burrito it would have come with cheese, a fried shell that I would have been tempted to eat, etc.

During the week I had a tough time getting my butt out of the house to go for a walk.  I don’t know why?  Some days it was too hot, but other days it was very nice.  Poor Elmer, (my dog) would really love it if I would take him out everyday. 

I found myself craving chocolate the other day so I took a half handfull of chocolate chips.  I ate them very slowly and that seemed to satisfy my urge.

I think what I’m figuring out is that I eat too much at each sitting.  We went to a lecture the other night in Berkeley with Michael Pollan the author of the book The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

He had some very funny and practical things to say about trying to eat right and buying the wrong foods (processed) in the grocery store.  One thing that stood out that he said, is that “Americans eat until they are full, but French people eat until they are no longer hungry.”  If you think about that, it’s is a big difference.  So my goal this week is to stop eating when I’m no longer hungry as opposed to when I’m full.  I need to shrink my stomach, I need to exercise and drink more water. 

Ristorante Barolo, Italian Dining in Aptos

I don’t always write a review about the restaurants I go to.  I go to hundreds and hundreds of restaurants, I try find something I like in each restaurant I go to so I can leave there somewhat happy.  I however had my worst restaurant experience EVER recently, and I just have to write about it.  Having gone through culinary school I know what is involved in the front and the back of the house.  They are both hard jobs and they have to come together to make one great experience.  Sometimes, if the food isn’t up to par, I don’t have a problem going back another night to give it another chance.  But if the service is lousy for no particular reason, I usually don’t have the patience for that and tend to not want to go back again.

The restaurant I am referring to is Ristorante Barolo, 8041 Soquel Drive Aptos, 831-688-8654, is located in the historical Bayview Hotel in the Santa Cruz area.  This hotel and building dates back to 1878!  That is old for California!  Anyways, my son Jacob, his girlfriend Brittany and I had 1 1/2 hours to have a nice leisurely breakfast before Brittany had to head off for school.  We were aiming at the Cafe Sparrow, across the street from Barolo but they didn’t open until 11:30 and it was 11:15.  We decided to try Barolo instead of waiting the 15 minutes for the Sparrow to open.  When we walked in we weren’t greeted.  After a couple minutes we walked around looking for someone to seat us.  We found a server and she sat us down in the nice patio room.  After a few minutes we realized that she wasn’t going to bring us menus so I got up and got them.  We were there just as breakfast was turning over to lunch but we were still allowed to order breakfast.  Breakfast is from 8:00-11:30 and lunch is from 11:30-2:30.

Our server finally came over and took our drink order.  We ordered decaf coffee and one orange juice for Jacob and Brittany to split.  We received two glasses of juice and my coffee.  We were curious, but didn’t say anything.  She took our order of eggs benedict, French toast, and an omelet with salsa and avocado.  Nothing too taxing.  We waited and waited and waited for our food.  To give a little bit of background, there was one other couple being served at the same time, there was a family who was done eating and us.  One server, and hopefully a chef.  Brittany was getting antsy as her time was getting closer for her to leave and we hadn’t even received our food yet.  In the time that we waitied I could have gone into the the unfamiliar kitchen and cooked everything and been faster than the current chef was!  Jacob’s French toast finally came out and Brittany ended up munching that down, even though she had ordered the omelet, because she needed to go.  Just as Brittany was leaving we received the rest of our order.  The food was good but nothing to come back again for.  I liked the atmosphere in the front porch room and the bar area seems nice and rustic.  Jacob and I finished our meal, asked for the check and were out of there after TWO hours!  On top of everything else we were charged for two orange juices!  This experience was over a month ago and I still have a very bad taste in my mouth.

I hope that for their sake they have better service for their dinners, but I’m in no hurry to go and try it out.  If you dare to go, please let me know how the experience was.