Monday, January 30, 2012


Anybody can grill. But, it takes talent and years of practice to truly master the art of Barbeque.  And if there's one thing that Owner & Pitmaster Chris of the Rancho A Go-Go Barbeque gourmet food truck knows, it's how to do real, authentic, "Low & Slow" Bb-Q.  Combine Chris' knowledge of the grill with the beautiful, farm-fresh, all-natural meats from local farmer Dave of Da-Le Ranch in Lake Elsinore, California, and you have a match made in heaven. These two paired up for a first-ever Bb-Q Cooking Demo at SoCo Farmers' Market this past Saturday, and crowds gathered to watch the magic unfold before their eyes, noses & tastebuds.

Chris of the Rancho a Go-Go Barbeque Truck (left) and Dave of Da-Le Ranch Meats (right) wow the audience with their amazing Tri-Tip Cooking Demo at SoCo Farmers' Market this past Saturday 1.28.12.

The smell of smokey Tri-Tip filled the air as Chris slowly barbequed throughout the morning hours leading up to the demo.  By the time the meat was taken off the grill, a crowd had gathered who were hungry for both some Tri-Tip sandwhiches & some Bb-Q knowledge. And they weren't disappointed!

After tasting how amazing the Tri-Tip was and what a difference it makes to source local, fresh, farm-raised meats, many were like me and immediately flocked over to the Da-Le Ranch booth to pick up a lil' something to try on the barbeque at home.  My husband is a certified Bb-Q fiend, so I knew he wouldn't pass up the opportunity to smoke some of Da-Le Ranch's babyback pork ribs (one of my personal favorites!).  And, oh dear God. They were some of the best ribs I've ever tasted - tender, juicy, fall-off-the-bone amazingness.

Time to try it at home: Passin' the time with a beer as the Da-Le Ranch babyback pork ribs smoke to perfection.

After tasting these ribs, I know I'm going to be a regular customer of Dave's. The ribs are just the tip of the iceberg of what's available... pretty much every cut of meat - including organ meat, marrow bones, fats, sausages, you name it - Dave has on-hand. You can catch both the Rancho a Go-Go Barbeque Truck and Da-Le Ranch Meats almost every Saturday at SoCo Farmers' Market in the parking lot of the SoCo Collection / OC MartMix in Costa Mesa from 9am - 2pm.

Also - a quick side-note - Dave is looking for help with developing his Da-Le Ranch web site. Any web-savvy folks out there who would like to help out a local farmer in exchange for meat (What better form of payment can you think of?! Yum!), please contact him at  Thanks, and happy Barbequing!

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Thursday, January 26, 2012


When was the last time you paused to admire the natural, unique beauty of an apple? Until recently, I must admit that I'd taken these gorgeous little treasures for granted. That was until I discovered a Food Photography contest being hosted by Pink Lady Apples in the UK. Their Food Photographer of the Year contest boasts nine categories in which amateurs & professionals alike can enter - one of which sounded too fun to pass up - 'An Apple a Day'!

In the 'Apple a Day' category, the Pink Lady judges are asking for images that showcase, "the simplest, most delicious of foods represented in the most inspiring way."  It was a perfect excuse for me to spend a cloudy Sunday afternoon scouring the market for the most vibrant variety of apples I could find (yes, I think I looked like an insane person picking up every apple, examining it, putting it back, picking up another... this went on & on for about 45 minutes) and then photographing them in every creative way I could dream of. I was in food-photographer-nerd heaven!

The variety of apples available here in the United States is staggering - everything from electric green Granny Smith apples, to bright Red Rome apples and everything in between - Pink Lady, Fuji, Golden Delicious, Macintosh, Red Delicious - each its own shade with its own pattern, as infinitely unique as snowflakes.

Entries in the contest are being accepted through next Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 - and winners will be announced in April. I'm looking forward to entering - it's really not about the competition for me as much as it is how grateful I am to see Food Photography being celebrated on a global scale and how excited I am to participate. And, every entry into the 'An Apple a Day' category generates a £2 donation to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, the chosen charity of Pink Lady - Food Photography for a great cause - what's not to love about that?! Here's to apples - simple, beautiful, delicious.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012


Last month my friend & fellow photographer, Kate Noelle Kernutt of Kate Noelle Photography suggested I do a lil' something new for 2012... We all know I love photographing food, as well as landscapes, motorcycles and Americana.  But, another favorite subject of mine is dogs.

Our 3 Dogs: Susan the English Bulldog, with her sidekicks, Rose & Percy the Pugs
My husband & I have three dogs - two pugs, named Rose & Percy, and an English Bulldog, named the oh-so-appropriate name of Susan (my husband felt it was best to name her a human name, so when guests came over we could say, "Have you met Susan yet?" And, then in would walk a 45-pound wrinkly bulldog.)

All three are very, very funny - and very cute.  And Susan is particularly so.  So, Kate suggested I pull together a Tumblr blog featuring a daily photo of Susan's adorable-ness.  Hence, "A Susan-a-Day" Blog was launched on January 1st - and for 2012 I'll be bringing you 366 days (it's a Leap Year, after all!) of Susan (and her sidekicks, Rose & Percy). Because we all can benefit from a daily smile courtesy of Susan's adorable English Bulldog mug.

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