The Cheater’s Tortilla Soup - The Cheater's Tortilla Soup

Why are the fancy pants chefs always trying to complicate things?! Here’s a tip: You don’t always have to do it their way. Especially when it comes to making a pot of tortilla soup. Roughly chop vegetables just to put them in the food processor, cook them separately from the broth, and then puree the whole thing […]

Packing for Idyllwild | New England Style Clam Chowder with Garden Leeks, Gold Potatoes, and Fresh Chives - New England Clam Chowder with Garden Leeks Gold Potatoes and Fresh Chives - Overhead

Photo: First Autumn sunset in Idyllwild this year. Also, a bird in flight. I get now why people have second homes. Especially in beautiful places. About once a year, I pack up the whole family (this year, it’s the husband, children, and dogs), and go someplace quiet for an entire week. And I pack an […]

Putting Together the Vision | Saison Diego Clams with San Marzano Tomatoes and Backyard Garden Leeks Recipe - Manila Clams in Broth of Saison Diego and San Marzano Tomatoes - Square

And then all of a sudden, I see things differently. Not clearly. Just differently. Since making this announcement, I’m not just thinking about what tastes good anymore. I have to think about what looks good. What smells good. And then it has to be priced good, so I can make a profit. Does it fit […]

California Fig Fest Blog-Hop | Black Mission Fig Jam with Orange Blossom Honey and Meyer Lemon Zest - Black Mission Fig Jam with Orange Blossom Honey and Meyer Lemon - Square

For those of you that read about our special announcement in the last blog post, thank you. Thank you for being here, reading along, and following our journey. I still can’t believe this may be happening. We’re still waiting to see if the deal is a go from the owner’s end; we’ll know more in the weeks […]

Knockin’ Off Whole Foods | Greek Orzo Salad - Whole Foods Greek Orzo Salad -  Square

Earlier this year, I found myself in a jam and wound up in the Whole Foods prepared foods section. Desperate to quickly feed a crowd, I purchased a 5-pound container of the Greek Orzo Salad. At $9.99/pound, plus tax, this was not a cheap box of… pasta. Really?! Fifty bucks for orzo?!

In Praise of a Big Cookbook | Southern Louisiana Style Biscuits with Breakfast Sausage and Shrimp Gravy - Southern Style Shrimp and Sausage with Gravy over Biscuits - Square

Of all the cookbooks you own, how many of them are actually good ones? And since we’re on the subject, what’s your definition of a good cookbook? Quite simply, for me, a good cookbook is a big cookbook.   So here’s my theory: Nowadays, just about anyone can publish a cookbook (no offense to friends […]

Planting Seeds | Chicken Sausage Lettuce Wraps - Chicken Sausage Lettuce Wraps Recipe - Text 1

On Barry’s daughter’s wedding day, a wild daisy bloomed from a rock in the shade of a cedar three. – Whalen Summit, Shasta County, CA. Years ago, we collected seeds. All sorts of them; little ones, big ones. Round ones, skinny ones. Seeds from Zone 2. Seeds from Zone 8. Devoted seed collectors, we never […]

Five Rules to the Make the Best Bruschetta - Garden Bruschetta

For what seems like the forty seventh Sunday in a row, I had a late start. Rolling out of bed at 8:38 AM, I had exactly 22 minutes to brush my teeth, get some clothes on, comb my hair, make “something with tomatoes or zucchinis” for this months’ Food Bloggers Los Angeles (FBLA) meeting, and […]

How to Make a Quick Hollandaise Sauce - A Modified Eggs Benedict in Idyllwild - Square

After a mighty streak of special projects, I desperately needed to step away. So we used our second wedding anniversary as an excuse to coop up the chickens, wrangle the dogs, and head for the hills. In my bag, I packed the last three to four months of unread magazine subscriptions: Bon Appétit, Sunset, Cooking […]

Entertaining at Home | Feta Cheese Spread with Fresh Garden Herbs - Feta Cheese Spread with Fresh Garden Herbs - 250x250

Five years ago, if my college roommate (and bestie) Meg, told me she was moving to Jupiter, I would have rallied 40 of our closest friends, wrangled them into a bistro, and shut the place down. We’d drink, we’d eat, we’d be merry. And at the end of the evening, we’d be scrounging for ones […]

Holiday Breakfast | Spinach Mushroom Omelet with Tomato Puree - Spinach Mushroom Omelet with Tomato Puree and Feta Cheese - SQ

Breakfast is generally pretty hard for me. Most mornings, over-snoozing the alarm means scrambling out the door, full of frazzle and empty in the tummy. But then there are holiday mornings, like today. Nowhere to go, nothing to do… Check-in on the chickens? Absolutely. Wander through the herb garden? Sure. Brainstorm a breakfast concoction? Game […]

Baked Eggs on Sourdough with Garden Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella and Basil-Mint Pesto Eggs on Sourdough

We’re surrounded by chickens… because the eight baby chicks we picked up in June have somehow multiplied into eighteen. I don’t know how it happened. We officially fail at chicken math. Sunday was a big morning at the RGB: it was the day fifteen baby chicks were old enough to move from the brooders in […]

Zucchini, Onion and Goat Cheese Feta Frittata

July at the RGB. The grapes were ripe about fourteen minutes before the birds came and stole them all. Fortunately, they spared us the strawberries. And they ignored the blooming artichokes. With tomatoes coming in, we can now plan for gazpacho. There’s plenty of parsley to go around. Lastly, Meyer lemons and tangerines are target […]

Salmon Sashimi with Shishito Pepper Sauce

I was 22 the first time I had sushi. I don’t remember it being so glorious because it was likely an overcooked tempura shrimp concoction with krab. Probably smothered in sweet sauce. And topped with brown avocado. To be fair, it was only $8.99 for all-you-can-eat, and that’s a steal! Fast-forward a few years. I […]

Grilled Artichokes with Balsamic, Soy and Ginger | Sunday Shout-Out: The Taste Place

Blooming artichokes mean were at the end of the season. Farewell until autumn, when the second batch comes up! Once upon a time, when my good friend Jeff and I were both single, we occasionally took turns cooking for one another before settling onto the couch for an evening in front of the TV. On […]

Summer Market Platter Market Platter

If I had a second sub header for the RGB blog, it would probably be: How to make really complicated food using over ten ingredients, three burners, two people and a very long time. This doesn’t work very well when you’re in the middle of a remodel.

Fried Tempura Squash Blossom with Seared Scallops and Apricot Salad | June at the RGB

RGB June Garden Collage

June at the RGB: grapes dangling over the trellis, neglected artichokes blossoming, and radishes so plentiful we don’t know what to do with them all. Last year’s Meyers are still on the tree. Figs will be ready next month, squash even sooner. And each afternoon ends with another handful of strawberries. [Enter happy dance here.]  […]

RGB Reads – The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love – Shrimp and Pork Wonton Soup Recipe - Pork and Shrimp Wonton Soup

I recently finished a wonderful book called The Dirty Life, by Kristin Kimball. A farm is a manipulative creature. There is no such thing as finished. Work comes in a stream and has no end. There are only the things that must be done now and things that can be done later. The threat the […]

Wolfgang Puck’s Tortilla Soup - Wolfgang Puck's Tortilla Soup - Square

“Cook from the heart, and with love.” – Wolfgang Puck As summer turns to fall and the days get shorter and shorter, I struggle with the strain of not being at home as much as I’d like to. It’s not that I’m spending more hours at the office; it’s just dark on both ends of […]

Celadon Mojito


Be careful what you wish for, right? It got hot this week. So hot, we broke all-time high temperature records in Southern California. Have I mentioned we live without air conditioning? And in a house with picture-windows that don’t open? We’re dying here. Because I’m a big procrastinator, I waited until Monday evening after work […]