Relax in Bodega Bay

Mignon Dunbar shares her latest!

One of my favorite local get-a-way locations is Bodega Bay. It makes a great place for a relaxing day trip. Take a Friday off of work and drive there in the morning. Enjoy the view and make a stop at the beach! Have lunch at the Boat House restaurant. The BBQ oysters, clam chowder, fish and chips are the best!
After that, head to the UC Davis Bodega Bay Marine laboratory. They have tours on most Fridays from 2:00pm to 4:00pm. It is a wonderful experience for the whole family!

Best banana bread ever!

Mignon Dunbar shares her latest!

1491696246891-1440840386When life gives you overripe bananas, make banana bread! Here’s a recipe for quick, easy, and delicious banana bread. This will become a fast family favorite!

3 or 4 ripe bananas (mashed up)
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg (beaten)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 4x8in loaf pan. In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas. Mix melted butter into the mashed bananas. Mix in sugar, egg, and vanilla. Next, mix in the baking soda and salt. Finally, mix in the flour. Pour the mixture into the loaf pan. Bake for about 1hr (check to make sure the banana bread is done by sticking a knife in the center. If it comes out clean, it’s done. Otherwise, leave it in the oven for longer). Remove the banana bread from the pan and cool it on a rack. Slice to serve.

Weekend adventure in Monterey, CA

Mignon Dunbar shares her latest!

Monterey is a historic and scenic coastal city in California that is about a 2 hour drive from San Francisco, and a 5 hour drive from Los Angeles.
Start your morning off right with a wonderful breakfast at First Awakenings. The restaurant is located in an indoor shopping center in Pacific Grove, California. The lines can be long, so either get there early, or pack your patience. Your sacrifice will be rewarded with a fantastic breakfast. Their pancakes are huge. I had only one and it filled me up!    After breakfast, visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which is just walking distance away.

When visiting Monterey, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a must see attraction! The aquarium provides a thrilling experience for the young and old alike.

For an early dinner, avoid the tourist trap restaurants on Cannery Row and eat where the locals eat. Head two blocks up to Foam Street and find Sea Harvest, a fish market that doubles as a restaurant. The BBQ oysters and clam chowder are fantastic.

Take a walk around the city. By being adventurous and exploring any city you’re in, you’ll make long lasting memories and have unique experiences!

The easiest lemon tarts you’ll ever make!

Mignon Dunbar shares her latest!

These lemon tarts are the easiest dessert I have ever made!


1/2 cup lemon curd

1/2 cup spreadable goat cheese

Mini fillo dough shells


Mix the lemon curd and goat cheese with an electric mixer. Fill ready made fillo dough shells with lemon cheese mixture. Serve and enjoy!

The fillo dough shells that I got were in the freezer section of the grocery store and already baked. They only had to be defrosted!

Recipe courtesy of Redwood hill farm.


Top 3 places to buy souvenirs in San Francisco

#3 Fisherman’s Wharf
If you are looking for the quintessential souvenir, Fisherman’s Wharf is the place to go. From post cards to sweat shirts to shot glasses, this place has it all. While you are there, try the clam chowder in a San Francisco Sourdough bowl.

#2 Chinatown
San Francisco’s Chinatown is the largest and oldest Chinatown in the U.S. It is an excellent place to not only buy souvenirs, but also experience the culture and attractions. While you’re there, don’t forget to sample the dim sum.

#1 SF Art Market
The SF Art Market, just outside of the Ferry Building, is a great place to buy unique souvenirs from local artisans. These handcrafted, unique gifts are sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face. While you are there try some of the restaurants inside the ferry building.
Check out the SF ArtMarket’s website for more information

SF Art Market

SF Art Market

3 Thanksgiving Meals for the Whole Family

Thanksgiving is less than a week away and what better way to get into the holiday spirit than to try your hand at these 3 innovative holiday meals. Whether you’re cooking for the entire family or a simple dinner for two, these three holiday entrees will be sure to steal the show!

Spiced lamb with sticky date and onion chutney recipe

An aromatic marinade packed with toasted coriander and cumin seeds, cinnamon, and paprika make these juicy lamb cutlets wonderfully-spiced. They can be prepared up to a day in advance and are a brilliant party food idea for festive celebrations.


  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 lamb cutlets or chops
  • handful pea shoots, to garnish
  • 1/2 pomegranate, seeded, to garnish
  • handful mint leaves, to garnish

For the onion chutney

  • 25g (1oz) butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1-2tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 x 200g pack Medjool dates, chopped

Lobster Mac and Cheese

Cooking lobster needn’t be tricky and this simple recipe for a hearty weekend main shows you just how easy it can be. Pairing sweet, luxurious lobster with mature Cheddar, rich Parmesan and a drop of Prosecco (optional!) gives you a comforting and indulgent dish that’s perfect for sharing with friends.


  • 2 x 400g packs frozen whole cooked lobsters, defrosted
  • 500ml (17fl oz) whole milk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 50g (2oz) salted butter
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 30g (1 1/4oz) plain flour
  • 150ml (1/4pt) Prosecco (optional)
  • 200g (7oz) mature Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 400g (13oz) macaroni
  • 16 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp chopped tarragon
  • 50g (2oz) dried breadcrumbs
  • 50g (2oz) Parmesan, grated
  • crisp salad, to serve (optional)

Milk chocolate truffles with almonds and honeycomb recipe

If you’re into making Thanksgiving dessert from scratch, then this delicious recipe is for you!


  • 2 tbsp single cream
  • 100g (3½oz) milk chocolate, chopped
  • 100g (3½oz) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 150g (5oz) Crunchie bars
  • 40g (1½oz) whole almonds, toasted and chopped
  • cocoa, for rolling
  • icing sugar, to serve




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Understanding Travel Advisories Before Your Next Trip

These days, you’re probably not planning a trip to Iraq or Afghanistan despite the United States and other developed nations currently advising citizens against all non-essential travel to these countries. But a government travel warning doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a bad idea to plan a trip to a particular part of the world.

In fact, within the last few years, the governments of the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. have also released advisories about the following countries: Thailand, Mexico, China, and India.

What Is a Travel Advisory?

Governments issue travel advisories to let their citizens know about safety concerns that may affect travel to a particular country or region. In the United States, these warnings are issued by the State Department.

Travel advisories are released for a variety of reasons, including terrorism, natural disasters, political unrest, wars, health emergencies and outbreaks of crime. Travel warnings may also cover areas of the world where a government does not have the ability to respond to the problems of citizens traveling there or example, if the government doesn’t have an embassy in a particular country, or if the functioning of its embassy is threatened by local violence.

Many governments make a distinction between long- and short-term travel advisories. The U.S. State Department issues travel warnings for ongoing problems such as civil wars and unstable governments, while travel alerts cover temporary issues such as natural disasters or election-related demonstrations.

A travel advisory no matter how strongly worded cannot legally stop you from traveling to a particular place. After reading an advisory, it is up to you to decide whether to heed or ignore the advice. While your government will try to help you if you run into trouble abroad, you will always be traveling at your own risk.

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Evaluating Travel Warnings

Not all travel warnings are created equal. When deciding how seriously to take a particular travel advisory, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Is the entire country affected?
  • What’s the danger?
  • How long ago was the warning posted?
  • Is there a safety net?
  • Is travel insurance an option?

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