Friday, November 14, 2014

Gourmet White Wine Steamed Clams


Impress your friends and family with your "gourmet-like" chef skills when creating these fabulously rich, yummy steamed clams.  So easy, so good, and pretty difficult to mess up. Perfect for a fall dinner party!


  • 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
  • 2 cups + Good dry white wine, like a Chardonnay or a Sauvignon Blanc.  This will make or break this meal - don't skimp! (or if you want to do 1/2 wine and 1/2 water that's okay too, just don't use bad wine)
  • 1/2 - 1 large chopped yellow onion 
  • 4-5 chopped fresh garlic cloves
  • 1 large fresh chopped-diced tomato  (can use canned)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup fresh chopped Italian Parsley
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup prepared pasta sauce - a little spicy is better; try Arrabbiata or a really good Marinara with a few red pepper flakes
  • Ground Pepper to Taste
  • Kosher Salt to Taste
  • 2 lbs. fresh scrubbed Manila clams - the smaller the tastier!

Melt stick of butter in large stock pot.  Saute the onions and garlic until soft in the butter, then add the tomato. Continue stirring and sauteing together while adding the parsley and the basil.  Add the pasta sauce, salt, pepper and then the wine. 
Bring to a slow simmer, then gently add in the clams.  Adjust with more wine, pasta sauce or water if clams are not swimming free in the broth.
Continue simmering with the pot covered.  Cook until the clams are steamed open, should only take 5-10 minutes.  **Throw away any unopened clams**

Serve up in a deep bowl with broiled Parmesan cheese toasties for dipping,  and of course, 
a glass of your favorite white wine!  Don't forget to have a little fun with your table setting.  Go a little nautical with charts and linen,  mix and match dinnerware, or use your special seafood flatware. My driftwood centerpieces are simply "washed-up" rope that I found at the beach in Pesadero and a collection of interesting driftwood.  Found the lantern at some hideaway antique store in Pescadero, could not resist it! 

Cheers to cozy fall days!

Compass Rose Glassware 


Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Fall Coastal Picnic

There's still time for a fall picnic with your special someone before the crazy holiday season starts! It's one of our favorite things to do on a lazy weekend day.  Tom and I pack up our picnic basket, with linen napkins, wine glasses and then stop for local cheese and produce on the way to our destination.  Sometimes we never know where we will end up!

Oh - we do bring wine too! Or in this case, we had our picnic on the Concannon Winery picnic grounds and bought a wonderful cold bottle of Chardonnay.  Just the right pairing with our goat cheese and red-ripe tomatoes.  Yum.  (Sea Turtle Glassware)

Such a relaxing way to get caught up after a long hectic week...

Tips for a fall picnic:

1. Stemless Wine Glasses; you never know when you might be sitting on the grass or in the sand dunes...  I love my School of Fish and my new Moby ones!

These Starfish Etched Stemless Wine Tumblers are pretty cool too.

2. Cloth Napkins, or a small tablecloth (not too precious!)  - much better than throwing more things away.  I put mine in the washing machine when I get home, and then repack them in our picnic basket for the next time.  These new red coral linen napkins are super durable and super easy to wash and dry. (Trust me - I have washed mine many times!)

3. Ice Packs for the picnic basket.

4. A great cheese board and spreading knife to keep in your basket. We keep a small paring knife in our basket too.  We love our sea turtle!

5. Make it simple. Grab whatever fruit and veggies are in season, a fresh loaf of baked bread and your favorite cheese.

I am hoping that we are having a picnic somewhere in Paris; in a garden or along the Seine.... keeping my fingers crossed that it's not raining!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Get the Look - French Seaside Style!

We're off on a jet plane today, leaving San Francisco and headed to the City of Lights, Paris.   Tom and I have known about this for quite awhile, and have planned for months to make this all happen - can't believe we are actually leaving this afternoon!

What to do! Am overwhelmed with all of the culture, museums, cafes, wine and window shopping, and maybe a little more shopping...

Have been scanning Pinterest and have had my trusty French Seaside Style book open for inspiration for treasures that I might have to bring home in my suitcase....linens, handbags, perfume, travel posters - possiblities are endless.  Hmmm... maybe I had better unpack some stuff out of my suitcase so that I have more space! Or maybe I could just pick up another suitcase?

Enjoy my eye-candy collection! All sources for blogs and photography can be found on my Pinterest Board, "Get the Look - French Seaside Style"

We are going with guidebooks, maps, and pages of notes and lots of tips from friends. (also several pairs of comfy shoes!)  Hope that a week will at least give us a little taste of what there is to experience in Paris!  Can't wait to discover the bookstalls, the art and the myriad of flea markets throughout the city.   Promise to take lots of pics to share when we get back!

P.S. We're having a sale while Tom and I are traveling - take advantage of Free Shipping!  
Coupon Code = Paris

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