Fresh Flavors for Food Lovers

Sipping on Hello Kitty Wine

by Robyn Wyman-dill

Hello and welcome to 2017. Shall we commence with a quick reality check before we cultivate ourselves. As kind of a warm-up to the New Year.

Marking this calendar week, we have the raging United States of Russian relations and a storming Helena – spreading ice and snow across our vast nation. Like old
man winter sweeping across Red Square. Meanwhile, a cold, cold war – in the words of Nobel for Literature-Elect Bob Dylan ‘is blowing in the wind.’ (Does anybody really know when Bob Dylan is going to accept the award?) Okay. If life insists on imitating art badly, may I recast my presidential vote in favor of Princess Leia, posthumously, before it’s too late. She is someone who has proven to me that she can guide a ship to greener pastures with the goodness in her heart, a light saber by her side and a sassy sense of humor. Thank you, Carrie Fisher, for inspiring girls like me to think large. May the force be with you and your unsinkable mother, Debbie Reynolds. Salute. Cin cin. I raise my glass to you, sipping on Hello Kitty sparkling white wine…from the Lombardy region of Italy. Made with love by the Torti family.  At last. Read the rest of this entry »

Bistango and the Bastille Bash

blog by Robyn Wyman-dill

It’s been a patriotic week. Sheathed in red, white and blue. Apparently, the sight of strips of loosely woven red, white and blue English wool bunting arouses flag-waving emotions in humans a lot. The proof is in the 36 countries around the world who have inspired their own people with a sense of national pride waving the red, white and blue flags on their behalf. The next red, white and blue flag bash is coming up on July 14, when France celebrates Bastille Day, (Which commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution back in 1789.) This is France’s Independence Day, folks. And because the French know how to celebrate life right, the occasion has turned into an international party. (New York, London, Sydney and LA host week-long events.) Just done the road, Bistango in Irvine will be honoring the French holiday with a special small plates menu and selection of rosés. In honor of freedom. Now doesn’t that sound like a lovely way to spend a summer’s day.

Read the rest of this entry »

In Funober Month

by Robyn Wyman-Dill

October is kind of a rich, toasty, full-bodied, coppered-colored month for many people around the world. Largely because it is loaded with Oktoberfests from start to finish. The Bavarian-style merriment gets re-created in places like – Argentina, Australia, Sri Lanka, Palestine, South Africa and hundreds of cities throughout Canada and the US – every year.  In celebration of German beer.  Read the rest of this entry »

Taco Talk

blog by Robyn Wyman-dill

Some weeks seem to shine the light on our world mess better than others. Not because the special interests, religions and ideologies in the world are any more hell bent on multiplying their ranks – by dividing and conquering – than usual.  It’s more a feeling I get that intelligent signs of life have exited the building. Leaving behind no forwarding address. Which makes me hunger for the biggest common denominator and ultimate peacemaker – comfort food. According to psychological studies -this may be consumed for the purpose of positively piquing emotions. Replacing negative vibes with positive feelings. Read the rest of this entry »

In the Mix

by Robyn Wyman-Dill

Along southern California’s coastline, toes are tapping to the beat of night music this week.  There’s summer concerts in the parks almost every night, stirring up the dust with happy feet.

Last eve, The Ritz-Carlton/Laguna Niguel rolled out the red carpet for doggie night on Dana Lawn.  Yappy Hour is a monthly event for a ‘pedigree’ crowd and their devoted companions. (With the Hotel’s 4.5 star service in attendance to pamper the guests with assorted biscuits and treats. Bacon, cheese, chicken, meat and liver flavored waters were also on tap. The proceeds are slated for the Wounded Veterans Initiative of Canine Companions for Independence and Canine Companion’s Southwest Region puppy raising program.) While next door in Bluff Park,  Moonsville Collective was sending a string medley – rooted in American music –  across a silver and blue ocean.  Bound for Catalina.  As the pink sky fades to black, a feeling of carefree blows in the wind.

I decide to make a blue cheese grilled sandwich. Read the rest of this entry »

Seven Enchiladas

blog and photos by Robyn Wyman-dill

Ay, Caramba! A Mexican restaurant just opened in Laguna Beach. Upping the count to twenty.  in a resort community of less than 25,000 residents.  The only highway into success here is to bring something better than anyone else – to the table. And Tortilla Republic does just that, starting with their enchiladas. Read the rest of this entry »

Religion in the Kitchen

blog by Robyn Wyman-dill

Some people are in the habit of going to church on Sundays. Where they pray before an altar.  My altar is my refrigerator.  God’s house of all things delicious. Amen. Read the rest of this entry »

Off Center in Costa Mesa with Die Roten Punkte

blog by Robyn Wyman-dill

In a story about a pet rabbit who ended up in the stew pot, a writer writes an essay about his exuberance for life being sucked right out of him – by modern times.

“I doubt I could even fish today without a feeling of remorse,” he said with downcast eyes.  So deep was the wound of Beanie the Bunny and the others that followed in his path.

Oddly enough, my social conscience and a natural talent for cooking meat are sparring with each other. And I worry.  Will my meat-eating ways take me down a similar dark path, converting me into a vampire?  This mental torment doesn’t give up. I defuse it with other brewing unsettlements.

Like my insatiable appetite for finding art that stretches my boundaries so I can feast on inspiration. Coupled with the fear I will not find the right sustenance to satisfy me in Orange County.  Where art likes to play it safe.

That starts me yearning for the offbeat.  Well, someone must have caught that thought before mine because suddenly an infusion Off Center performances are rolling into town. Read the rest of this entry »

Red Red Wine

blog by Robyn Wyman-dill

It began when a small shipment of Criolla vine clippings – imported from Spain – were planted on mission grounds in the 1700s.   Although Father Junipero Serra, who founded nine of the 21 missions of California, had not envisioned his harvest would do that well, (His primary focus was to provide wine for religious ceremonies.) it did.  Birthing California’s wine industry right in the heart of San Juan Capistrano. Read the rest of this entry »

Humor In the Universal House

blog by Robyn Wyman-Dill

A rainbow of people gathered a few days ago to say their final goodbyes to Nelson Mandela.  Noted among them were a gang of four U.S. Presidents, a posse of world dignitaries, the usual Royal suspects, a partridge in a pear tree and a felon.  I believe that is the correct label for a person accused of murder, attempted murder and kidnapping.  And before that, rape, theft, housebreaking and malicious damage to property.

Who would have imagined a character like this had a promising future? Read the rest of this entry »