Friday, March 30, 2012

Santa Barbara Inn

The Santa Barabara Inn

The other week I had the privilege of staying at the Santa Barbara Inn while on business. There are many reasons why I picked this fabulous place to stay. The Rooms are spacious.  The views are spectacular and the serenity of this beautiful inn. The santa Barbara Inn is located at 901 East Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara, CA and is situated right across from the beach. I had an Ocean View Room with a view of the pool also. It was a beautiful room with complimentary wireless internet access and it was a great place to stay the night.

The Santa Barbara Inn has spacious hotel guest rooms and suites each feature a private balcony or patio, including some with an ocean view, and all the comforts of home in Santa Barbara, CA.
They have high quality linens, including 500-thread count sheets, down comforters and down pillows assure you of a comfortable night’s sleep. Each guest room includes a 42-inch LG flat screen television, mini-refrigerator, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, complimentary bottled water and luxurious terry robes. All Standard and Deluxe Ocean View Guest Rooms feature either queen-queen or king beds.

The best part of my stay at the Santa Barbara Inn was the complimentary continental breakfast, me being a true foodie.  It’s all about  the many gluten free options. Such as a variety of gluten free cereals, fresh fruit, yogurt. There was also a separate table that had various pastries and bread that were not gluten free, but as I said before, it was a separate table for those who were not gluten free.

I understand they also have a restaurant on the third floor which I did not have the pleasure to eat at however, and I have heard many great things about this restaurant. Many of my friends and readers have written me and told me that this restaurant has fabulous gluten free options and I really need to try it. Because, I was only there one night and my co worker had made other dinner arrangement at The Wine Cask in Santa Barbara we were unable to visit The Santa Barbara Inn’s restaurant.

Well the next time you go to Santa Barbara if your looking for a place to stay that will cater to your families Gluten Free Lifestyle my suggestion is, that you stay here at the santa barbara Inn. The rooms start at $179.00 per night and go up from there. However, it is well worth the price.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Kahlua Coffee Corned Beef with an hint of Mango honey and Tamari with Roasted Vegetables

So as you know I just had my annual St. Patrick's day party which was a huge hit we had a variety of different Irish dishes. Including Irish Soda Bread, Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Root Vegetables, and my signature cocktail of the evening The Irish Sparkler, which I posted in my last post plus for dessert we had the yummy Deep Dish Pear Pie with a Almond Cookie crust a drizzle of caramel and some vanilla  cream..  It was so much fun and the food and company was fabulous as usual.

So as promised I am going to share my recipe for Kahlua Coffee Corned Beef with an hint of Mango honey and Tamari this is a quick to assemble recipe however you cook it low and slow so either cook at while out and about or while you are sleeping because the smell alone is intoxicating. I gad quite the crowd so I figured a pound a person. We made 20 lbs of Corned beef a baked at 250 for 7 hours so yummy and tasty.

Kahlua Coffee Corned Beef with an hint of Mango honey and Tamari Ingredients:
Corned Beef
Seasonings from Corned Beef
2 cups of coffee
1 cup of Kahlua
1 cup of Mango Honey
1/4 cup Tamari Sauce
2 cups of water

Roasted Vegetables Ingredients:
Carrots and potatoes
1/2 cup Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

1 Dutch oven with a lid
1 rack to elevate meat I used my cookie drying rack

1 Cookie for Roasted Vegetables
1 Spatula

Take meat and let sit out until room temperature. could take up to 2 hours.

Next Mix Kahlua Bath in a large measuring cup add Kahlua, Coffee, Honey, and Tamari and whisk together.

 Poor Kahlua Bath over meat.
Now take the seasoning packet and sprinkle over meat. Then add 2 cups of water to bath but dont poor over meat.

Cover meat and cook for 7 hours at 250 degrees.

 About an hour before dinner clean root vegetable and cut potatoes into cubes and toss in oil salt and pepper cook at 350 degrees in separate oven  turning every 15 minutes
 until golden like this.

Serve with Corned Beef.


Sheila Fretz

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Irish Sparkler at My St. Patrick's party

So as at lot of you know I had my annual St. Patrick's Dinner party. 

It was so much fun and we had a variety of Irish foods and desserts from Corned Beef  slow roasted in a steam bath of Kahlua, Coffee and Mango Honey with a touch of Tamari which I will post on Friday. Then we had Irish soda bread roasted vegetables .

I set my table with my St. Patrick's day theme with the Gold and the Shamrocks.

Then for Desert we had a Deep Dish Pear pie with a Almond Cookie Crust it was amazing. 

Last but not least we started off the evening with a signature cocktail which I created  served .

 The Irish Sparkler Ingredients
1/2 cup of Seagram's Lemon lime Melon wine cooler
1 cup sour apple schnapps
2 cups of Prosecco Sparkling Wine.

In a large pitcher poor Wine cooler, apple Schnapps,  and Prosdecco gently stir and serve in a champange glass.

Enjoy  and I hope you had a great St. Patrick's Day just like we did.

Sheila Fretz-

Monday, March 19, 2012

St. Joseph's day on a Meatless Monday Lemon Asparagus tomato Pasta

With St. Joseph’s day today and it being meatless Monday also. I thought I would share with you a recipe for St. Joseph’s day and a meatless one and here are some other St. Joseph's Day recipes if you don't want a meatless one. I love to create recipes that are using what ever you have in the refrigerator. I have had many a meal that I have gotten home from work and both husband and daughter are very hungry and its Monday night and my farmers market is not until Tuesday night. So by then the vegetables are not as fresh as I will by tomorrow. So I looked in my refrigerator and I had a basket of organic cherry tomatoes a half of bunch of asparagus a lemon and some Parmesan cheese. So with two hungry bodies I started to boil my water for the pasta.

Lemon Asparagus Tomato Pasta
2 Cups of Cherry or Grape Tomatoes.
20 stalks of Asparagus
1/4 cup Olive oil
1 lemon for juice
2 cups of Parmesan Cheese shredded
Salt and Pepper to taste
Gluten Free Pasta

Boil Pasta in water with a couple cloves of garlic..

Tip of Day: In order to have a great Gluten Free Pasta here’s my secret, I either flavor water with salt or a bullion cube and if I want that extra garlic flavor I will boil a couple of cloves of garlic.
The best way to make gluten free pasta is to boil water first add pasta and flavoring then constantly stir for 7 minutes so it does not stick together. Then let it sit in water with no heat for 3 minutes. Then rinse thoroughly in hot water so pasta gets the starch off of it. Gluten free pasta is a little bit soupy when you cook this way but once you rinse you will see the difference.

Chop Asparagus in 2 to 3 inch strips. On a large Cookie sheet place Asparagus and Tomato

After pasta is cooked add the juice of a lemon.

Next add vegetables

Then Cheese toss and serve.

Enjoy and Bon Appetit-

Sheila Fretz

Friday, March 16, 2012

Saint Patrick's Day a Sweet and Savory Corned Beef

A sweet and savory Corned Beef is always a great way to start off the Holiday of Saint Patrick’s Day.  I always like to make Corned Beef for my Saint Patrick’s Day Celebration. This year I plan to have some close friends and family as I do every year. We have all the trimmings Corned Beef and cabbage and potatoes all boiled the Irish way. This year I thought I might do a little something different. I am going to boil my meat in some mulling spices. In the picture above you won't see any Cabbage or boiled potatoes, that's because Miss J is not a fan of boiled potatoes and cabbage and I quickly snapped a picture of her meal as always because I always feed her first. .

5 bags of mulling spices
Lots of water enough to fill a stock pot 3/4 full
1 corned beef
1 onion Quartered
1 Seasonings from Corned Beef
1 Large Cabbage cut into 8 pieces 1st in half then in quarters.
2 to 3 potatoes per person

Fill a large stock pot with water 3/4 full
Add 5 Mulling spice packets

Add Corned Beef

 add corned beef spices that were in package
 and one onion quartered.

Boil for about 2 hours

When meat is finished add potatoes and cook for 20 min.

last cook Quartered Cabbage for 5 minutes in same liquid.

I hope you enjoy your Saint Patrick's Day and don't forget to make your Gluten Free Irish Soda Bread. As we all know everyone is Irish on this special day of the year, so enjoy the fun and drink responsibly..

Monday, March 12, 2012

Almond Banana Pancakes with Fresh Bananas a

Almond Banana Pancakes with Fresh Fruit and Sausage

I love having breakfast for dinner so tonight Im making these fabulous pancakes. I love these pancakes because there sweet and so yummy you don’t even need syrup on them.

Banana Pancake Ingredients:
4 Bananas the browner the better
3/4 cup of Milk
3 egg
1/4 cup of Butter Melted
3/4 cup Almond Flour
3/4 cup Gluten Free Flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 teaspoon butter for griddle

Take 4 old bananas and then beat in bowl.

Next add Both Almond Flour, Gluten Free Flour, Baking Powder and Sugar.

Beat together with eggs and milk

Melt butter on griddle.

Poor about a quarter cup of batter at a time or the size that you wish to have.When they have stopped bubbling either add more sliced bananas

or flip, you choose.

Serve immediately with fresh fruit bacon or sausage


Sheila Fretz.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sweet and Savory Meatballs for St. Joseph's Day

The other day I was asked by one of the Mom's at Miss J's school to join the scholarship comity I quickly asked what does this entail because as you all know I wear a lot of hats in my home and in my life. The person from my daughters school said there are two dinners per year plus a handful of other fundraisers. I quickly said yes and then asked what was the next function, and they told me it was the Feast of Saint Joseph's Dinner their annual Pasta Dinner. I knew right away that it would be a good fit and I offered to give a necklace out of a jewelry line that I used to produce. So as soon as I said yes I don't know why but I  always revert back to food and my food imagination goes wild and immediately I thought  of this great dinner that I originally had OnefabulousMoms Best Meat Balls Ever at her house  one night., she happens to be my neighbor However, I didn’t have the recipe. So I went back to my taste bud, until after I made my own recipe up from  memory and I remembered they were a sweet and savory and there was some kind of dried fruit in them. She had told me that she had originally got the recipe from the Oprah Show.  I wanted to make it my own so I went to the drawing board and this is what I ended up with. If your looking for a fabulous meatball recipe I believe this is where its at.

Makes 15 to 20 Meatballs depending on Size.

Sweet and Savory Meatballs:
1 package Italian sausage (mild or spicy depending what you like! remove casings
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 cup chopped dates
1 cup grated Parmesan/Romano cheese
3/4 cup Glutino bread crumbs you can use regular bread crumbs too but I like these because my little one is Gluten Free.
2 teaspoons Dried Basil
3 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Jar of your favorite Jarred Marinara Sauce
Cooking Spray

Equipment Needed:
1 Frying Pan
1 set of tongs
Paper towels to drain on
1 Plate to place Paper towels on
1 crock pot
wooden spoon to rest oil
Combine in a bowl all ingredients and mash together until fully .

Preheat Olive Oil in a Frying Pan.

Tip of the day: To test and see if oil is ready place the end of a wooden spoon in oil if you get bubbles its ready.

Next use a Mellon Baller or cookie scoop about the size of a Ping Pong Ball and scoop Meatballs then roll in your hand until ball forms. You will need to do these meatballs in batches so as soon as you are done making all balls . Slowly brown. You are only going to brown.

Do not overcook because you will be cooking in Slow Cooker after you brown in that Jarred Marinara sauce.  After you have browned all Meatballs drain on paper towel.Next spray crock pot with Cooking spray. Then poor Jarred Marinara sauce in Crock pot place on high and carefully place in Marinara Sauce.

Flip after an hour Cook on high for 2 hours. Or on low for 4 hours. Serve Over your favorite Pasta.

Enjoy and Bon Appetite

Sheila Fretz

Monday, March 5, 2012

Cornaby's Giveaway ....And The Winner is

Cornaby's is giving away two sample packs of Fruitivia to two of  my readers and the lucky readers are Wendy W from The Weekend Gourmet and Jacqueline from It's Raining Yorkies  please contact me both at Mrs Mix It at gmail dot com all one word.

Wendy said she would add it to her smoothie as thickener, Jacqueline said she would add it to her pancake batter these are both great ideas however I would make Strawberry Shortcake with this fabulous product.