Grilled Cheese Smackdown with Toad&Co

Dear Friends and Foodies! Gourmet Girl Gail here writing from windy Santa Barbara. Did you know that April 12 is Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day? Yep! It has its own unofficial holiday, celebrating one of the most popular comfort foods on the planet. In a ranking of America’s favorite cheesy foods, pizza ranks #1 (94% of […]

The Fruits of the Season

Hello friends and fellow campers! Gourmet Girl Denise here from Le Petit Saint Barnabé in Mouliherne, France. We have had some unseasonably warm weather here in the Loire River Valley for the past three weeks, but alas today the skies clouded up and much-needed rain has blessed us with its presence. This is the view […]

Cooking in France

Hello friends and campers! Gourmet Girl Denise here from Le Petit Saint-Barnabé, Loire Valley, France. I was recently invited to a dear friends home for dinner after a lovely bike ride through the countryside. I asked him what was on the menu and he said Brochet, which I interpreted as brochette, some kind of meat […]

Live Oak Stampede!

Howdy y’all, Gourmet Girl Gail here writing from Santa Barbara. A couple of weeks ago, Kathy Moran, Kathleen Murphy, and I headed over to Live Oak Camp to join 120 Sisters on the Fly for Live Oak Stampede. Live Oak is very close to my home, only about 40 minutes from S.B., off the 154. […]

An Early Spring

Hello friends! Gourmet Girl Denise here from the beautiful Loire River Valley, France. Spring has come early to the Loire this year, and the winter was very mild. Many of you may already know that in the States I worked as a landscape designer, and although I have yet to create gardens for clients here […]

The Snowbirds Visit – Part 2

Greetings from Santa Barbara! We’re seeing sunny days and crisp temperatures here in our city known as the American Riviera. It’s a lovely change from all the much needed rain we’ve been having, and even though there’s more rain in the forecast, these breaks in the inclement weather bring locals out to picnic in the […]

Spring Is On Its’ Way!

Hello Friends and Fellow Campers, Today the sun came out for the first time in over a week and it was warm outside! You Southern Californians probably can’t relate to my exuberance over one sunny day, but then you haven’t experienced the Loire in the winter. Every morning I dress up in multiple layers of wool […]

The Snowbirds Visit — Part I

Greetings! Gourmet Girl Gail here reporting from Santa Barbara. I’m happy to say that we’re getting buckets of much needed rain along the California coast. Our lakes are filling up, creeks are flowing, and thankfully there has been only minor flooding and debris flow so far. I’m hoping things will dry up a bit later […]

Expat Life In France

Hello friends! Gourmet Girl Denise here from the Loire Valley, France. As I sit here hunched over my big electric heater at my computer writing this, I can’t help but remember a post on a website group that I belong to, ‘Expat life in France’. They were asking what you miss the most from your country […]

Gone with the Wind!

Dear Readers, Gourmet Girl Gail writing to you from rainy Santa Barbara. We’re getting a ton of rain here on the California coast, and it’s much needed, but it feels somewhat like an El Nino these past couple of days. I hope to see sunshine by the end of the week when my sister and […]