Why Buying a Ranchito in New Mexico Made Sense.


It's funny, I've been looking for a place to hang my hat for most of my life. 

Where is HOME?

I was a military kid, yanked from school to school every single year.  I suppose you could say I came by it honest.  I began a hunt the minute I graduated high school and it wasn't until now...what feels like 1000 years later that I've found a spot that feels like I could stay a spell.

It's a remote area in the Northern New Mexico badlands that has literally stolen my heart.  Just north of Santa Fe, this property we bought backs up against 12,000 acres of BLM land - nothing but a dog and horse paradise for mile and miles.  That was the primary reason for wanting a respite from our floating home in Marina Del Rey.  Which we still have and love...but it cannot compare to a leash free life for our pups.  The joy they have daily running trails, chasing critters, visiting neighbors with horses, racing down dirt roads and just living a life of leisure is not to be trifled with.  Checking the mail is the daily event that usually involves an early cocktail, a racing heart rabbit hunt, and a phenomenal sky.  Just kickin' up dust.

This area is also a pitstop for so many pals driving cross country to various TV and movie shoots they get booked on, so we get to host buds from all over the country all the time.  We even have an old cabin from the 1800's set up as the guest quarters.  Of course, there are plans to expand it into a really luxe little retreat, but all in time.  Country time.

Summer is explosive with blasts of sunshine, rich green grasses, icy cold Rose and simple days examining native plants and flowers.  We've set up a library that blows my mind daily - there are so many books to read and guess what...if we call it a day early, there is no urban guilt to compete with the Joneses...it's just simply...hell yah, I'm opening a bottle of something frosty and tucking into a good book near the fire - inside and outside alike.

The Farmers Market in Santa Fe is a wonderland - one of the best I have ever been to...and year round - and the quality of the restaurants is mind-bending.  Winter is very, very minimal.  It snowed maybe 5 times this past winter and was all melted by the next day.  Al fresco dining is a daily thing, as usually are margaritas...and I feel closer to Mexico than I ever did in LA, even though the Baja border is just a few hours away from LA.  Maybe it's the dirt roads, the endless vistas, the easy pace of the locals...and the plan is to move my sailboat down to Baja and the Sea of Cortez so we have that constant escape as needed. We will now just take a different route to get there, skipping Tijuana all together.

We have a small orchard on our 6 acres.  Apples, plums, pears, nectarines - they all grow with very little effort - maybe cause we have underground water rights that keep this little valley bursting with color almost year round.  Plants pop up out of nowhere and are suddenly 10 feet tall almost overnight.

The neighbors are brilliant.  Poets, scientists, professors, hemp growers...a randy bunch - and smart AF.  All just trying to live a simple country life full of curious days and early, star-filled nights.  And, we can drive to LA in a day if we need to scoot back for work.  Can fly there in 1.5 hours if a meeting is needed.  Easy peasy.

I think I'll stay awhile.  For now, my hunt is over.







January 2017 - A Fresh Baja Bound Article

You Can Always Go Deeper South In Baja

Here is the link to this super helpful monthly newsletter all about Baja:  Baja Bound

There’s an old saying where I come from: You can take the girl out of the south but you can never take the south out of the girl. That is a statement that hit close to home on this last epic trip through Baja. It was like out of nowhere my childhood memories kicked in and every which way I turned I was looking for a taste of home…a link back to my wily youth spent running wild in the mountains of Tennessee. Baja never, ever fails to deliver and she certainly didn’t this time around either. Here’s what I found in my quest for a taste of the Deep South…in the Deep South.

Ette's Pie Shop

The Best Pie Ever - Ette’s Pie Shop – Loreto

This quaint pie shop tucked into a strip mall on a main road leading into Loreto was something that really shocked me to my core when I spotted it on a drive-by one fine afternoon. Homemade, American-style pies in a dusty little Mexican village? Unheard of! I blazed in, tastebuds on fire, ready to try everything and was stopped dead in my tracks at the scene I had waltzed into. Local farmers were sitting quietly chatting at a gingham cloth-covered table enjoying a steaming cup of coffee while hardcore expats formed a line to load up on fresh baked muffins, cakes and pies every which way you can imagine. I hopped in line and went into a frenzy ordering a whole apple pie, two superb chicken pot pies, a hot and sticky cinnamon roll and a mess of chewy cookies. This is the kind of place that makes the upcoming holidays palatable if you plan on spending it in Baja. You make the turkey and dressing, they got the pumpkin pie! Just don’t forget the nieve.


Biscuits and Gravy – Cerritos Beach Inn – El Pescadero

This new beachfront hotel in Cerritos was a terrific surprise. News of their opening caught my eye in The Baja Western Onion, the online newsletter that shares all the news that's fit to print about happenings in the Todos Santos area, but what made my eyes pop out of my head was the headliner – "Southern Style Biscuits and Gravy served daily." Now this was something (besides surfing) to race off to Cerritos Beach for. We parked at the beach club and just walked down with the doggies so we could get them good and worn out before strolling into their outdoor dining area. Not to worry though, we were the first early birds and the dogs just flopped down anyhow, exhausted from the beach run. The views from the perch on the hilltop were never ending over the Pacific and when piping hot biscuits smothered in sausage gravy came out with a pair of over medium fried eggs, I just lost it. It was if my Granddad had put on an apron in the back kitchen and got to it. After chowing down, we toured around the adorable new hotel (extremely pet friendly) with a gorgeous weaving swimming pool and bar in the courtyard. It’s likely the most affordable beachfront spot in all of Cerritos and with the new season about to start, I am hoping the menu gets expanded to add on some fried green tomatoes with white pepper gravy.

El Corazon

A Baby Herb Garden – El Corazón Café – Loreto Bay

I love this coffee shop. Literally every year when we get ready to head down to Baja for a chunk of the high season, I wait anxiously until we hit Loreto Bay and cruise right on over to this adorable café to check in on what’s new. Usually a lot is happening. Well, as much as can be going on in the tiny seaside frontier land known as Loreto Bay. The first thing to be discussed with the super friendly staff is the little garden out front. Did it survive the sweltering summer? Next up is always what’s new on the menu? Last season they finally started serving cold beer. The conversation then turns to will there be any neat new pop up restaurants taking over at night later in the high season, as they are only open for breakfast and lunch? The Wi-Fi runs fast, the vibe borders on ecstatic because all the snow birds are finally making their way down as winter hits the northern parts of the US and Canada, and the Sea of Cortez is a mere few steps away making an early morning coffee walk that much more enjoyable.

La Esquina

My Granny’s Oatmeal – La Esquina - Todos Santos

Everyone knows that Todos Santos is more of a hipster enclave than anywhere else in Baja, so it’s not surprising that I found a swoon worthy bowl of oats at the most popular breakfast haunt in town, La Esquina. They caught onto the avocado toast, gluten–free dance before anyone else in town and everything is ordered at the always busy counter and served in little nooks in a huge tropical garden. Late afternoon and nighttime brings on live music, drinks, art shows, and jewelry showcases. With fast and free Wi-Fi, it’s the perfect spot to drift away an afternoon, but, back to the oatmeal that became an addiction after one wee bite. With the addition of chopped apples, slivered nuts, butter, cinnamon, and sugar, it was a bona fide warm oatmeal cookie for breakfast right out of my Granny’s kitchen. Thankfully, they serve breakfast all day long. Make sure you browse the bulletin board while waiting on your food – you might just find a cheap rental that will entice you to stay a season.

Back in Mexico - Sea of Cortez Love


Scooted down to Baja for a quick sailboat relocation assessment. 

Good news.  I am in.  There is no body of water that you can drive to with your dogs that looks and feels like the Sea of Cortez.  None.  It's a jaunt across the border and a days drive down the peninsula. 

Time to move the boat from MRD, truly.  This is an epic year full of change, so why not go back to the beginning in a way.  I learned to sail here alone.  And, it always snatches my breath away every single time - 16 years later...so it really only makes sense.  MDR does not do that for me anymore - life is just too short...

Breaking the Heat in Baja


Here is the latest from Baja Bound.

When May rolls around the corner down South, it brings two things – the cheer of Cinco de Mayo and start of major heat waves across the peninsula. Most of the snowbirds have either left or begun their migration back north by early summer, but for those that stick around, there are still loads of fun things to do to snap the escalating temps and bring the chill factor back down. Here are three that are certain to keep you entertained.

Hotel Punta Pescadero – North of Los Barriles

When is the last time you’ve gotten wrapped up in a mega ping-pong competition? It’s been decades for me, but when I go, I go hard. The seaside escape that is Hotel Punta Pescadero is quite literally the most enchanting place to get a fierce game going. It goes a little something like this. Stroll into the bar area. Have the staff toss on some kickin’ mariachi music. Order up a few blended margaritas. Take in the epic cliff side view over the Sea of Cortez. Order up some grilled fish tacos. Proceed to dominate the table with your partner in crime. Things get saucy as the game gets more intense. Ping-pong balls launch into the restaurant. The battle continues as the margaritas keep flowing. Sassiness reigns supreme. Order more tacos because the battle has now been going for three hours and shows no sign of stopping. Take a dip in the pool to cool off. And, if you decided to not head back to your own in-town rental, feel free to secure a cozy room onsite. There is always snorkeling on their private beach, an elegant dinner under the stars, chillin’ in the reading library, live music and more ping-pong to keep you occupied. Just be careful, the 15km dirt road that leads here from Los Barriles is a true switchback Baja adventure - one experts write books about. The road to championship ping-pong never looked so good!


Awesome side note: I stayed here once and needed a haircut immediately. The front desk gave me a phone number and the stylist from town came right to my secluded room within a few hours, set me up on the balcony overlooking the ocean and chopped away. Impeccable customer service on demand.

Chez Laura – Todos Santos

Sometimes, it just takes a very, very chilled glass of white wine on a sweltering day to make one feel reborn. This semi-hidden French restaurant and tropical oasis is just the place to find your soul again. It’s simply an oasis of calm – low music, concrete counters at the bar, and a wonderful staff waiting to pour for you, feed you and bring you back down to earth from your surfing expeditions. Steaming bowls of creamy mushroom soup blew our collective minds while the house made pate and chicken liver mousse was on another level. You just don’t expect this kind of food in a tiny Mexican village, but when you find it, you go back. Again and again. Especially when the preparation of the Baked Alaska is a total tableside showstopper that draws the eyes of every table around. I don’t even like this type of sweet, but this version was like no other icy/hot concoction I’ve ever had, especially in 90-degree weather. Just remember to bring cash – that’s all they take. Run like a true French countryside proprietor would.

Awesome side note: You know a place is amazing when the owner drags all of his friends in and shares red wine all day and makes you feel at home – his French home – every step of your meal.


Farmers Market – Loreto

This market adventure is not a place you just happen upon. You hear about it around town, but to find it, you need to know which side road you are taking from the highway (look for the taco truck on the north east side of town and turn west – the market is on the west side of the Highway 1). However, once you get out and wander about, you won’t regret it. This weekend market has the best local fruit, veggies, and meats that you simply will not find in the Loreto supermarkets. It’s like the sun just shines harder and better on the local bounty. Think beets (with enormous greens still attached), lovely asparagus, piles of thick spinach, stacks of nopales, juicy tomatoes. All the things you need for a feast are right at the market, even locally made cheeses that melt into the most legendary quesadillas imaginable. But, the best part of the whole market is the set up of little tin-can vendors whipping out puffy gorditas, thick tamales and bowls of just made pozole. This is truly where I developed not only a gordita obsession, but also a for real watching gorditas get made obsession. The process is so simple – make up the batter off the back of a dusty pick up truck, hand-slap together little balls of dough, fry in a giant vat of oil, slice a hole in the top and stuff with all kinds of delicious items – the creamed chilies being a mega fan favorite. One gordita is enough for a full meal if you stuff them like I do, but the wait is so long – just grab three at the start. Trust me, you will want them all.


Awesome side note: You will most definitely see everyone that you have met in town at this market (waiters, hotel concierge, cashiers). All you have to do is warmly greet them, ask them what they think the best thing to eat is at the market and suddenly you have the inside edge from the locals who know best. Hello goat stew galore!

Visit the Hotel Punta Pescadero website

Visit the Chez Laura Facebook page

Paying Bills, Organizing Life & Daydreaming of Mexico


So much time passes in between my posts, but the minute I log back into my Toothie account, it's like the whole world opens up again.  I jump from here to there in no time flat.  One second in a Jersey City coffee shop tackling my life and whoosh...the next second, I am down in Todos Santos, Baja, sippin' on a margarita ready to kick it with my dogs at Cerritos Beach.

That's what this little blog does for me.  Helps me escape the moment in time that I am in and takes me back (or forward) to the moment in time I want to be in. 

Lots going on in the MST life - bought a 6-acre horse farm/homestead just north of Santa Fe, so spent a few months there getting it all sorted this past spring.  Now in NYC working on a new TV show for a super great pal of mine and literally drinking and eating my way thru this city in the downtime.  Plotting (once again) where to move my sailboat cause you see, I didn't realize I would love New Mexico so much...and now LA just seems like an afterthought.  Don't get me wrong, I love FLO (my floating home) and all, but I think the older I get the more space I need.  Well, the dogs just need to be free and that is the main reason I stay on the move - curating life as I go.  I think that is all one can really do, just take what comes your way and adjust accordingly.

Where to move the boat?  Baja?  La Cruz?  The Pacific seems wild.   I need blue blue blue.  Sea of Cortez?  Time to find some Turkish food and ponder.

Big Fish Texas - Series Premiere on National Geographic Channel

IMG_0018Been a long time but that's cause I've literally been around the world and back.  More on that later, but the BREAKING NEWS is that a TV show that me and my gang at Fatcake Productions created and Executive Produced with the good folks at Asylum Entertainment is premiering on National Geographic Channel Feb 3 at 9/8c.  It's an 8-episode run and it's all about an awesome commercial fishing family in Galveston, TX working their butts off to save the world's oceans one stressful day at a time.  It's an amazing show that I'm super proud of.  Check it out and here's the teaser and press release and where to follow along real time with info!

Check out the preview:

Here's the press release:

Big Fish Texas Promo

You can send some good vibes to me, Misty Tosh and my Lisa Colangelo and the Big Fish Texas family on Twitter at @mst1 @lisacolangelo1 and @Fatcake2016 @natgeochannel @katiesseafood @gulfwild



Guaranteed Good Baja Grub

  FullSizeRender-4Here's the latest from Baja Bound.

I simply cannot wait until the season is upon us for the annual Baja migration to begin.

My stomach and her demands are governed by a different compass - one that leads me down forgotten backroads, through dark alleys and into overlooked street side cafes. The real reason that I adore Baja so much is that it has just one main road, the one that spits you out in Cabo once you have made trails through the most spirited land many tend to ignore – you know it as the infamous Highway 1. There are always guarantees for my taste buds up and down the entire peninsula and I never have to stray that far to find them. Here are a few pit stops along Highway 1 that will get you amped for your next Baja adventure.


Starting at the top of the craggy peninsula, we work our way down...bite- by-bite! Now, this isn't your regular dime store pozole. Nope, this is some kind of fresher than fresh concoction that will blow your mind and demands a slam-on-the-breaks reaction. The secret to a good bowl of pozole? First comes the butcher – he preps some fresh pork, boils it down with piles of bones to make some flavorful stock and then, simply gets to it - ultimately making a long simmering pot of the best dressed soup you will find in all of Baja. Why is it so otherworldly?  Is it because the meat man is onsite? Is it because the morning air is so chilly and the steam rising from a bowl is worth crying over? Is it because the locals happily explain to you exactly how one should dress a bowl of red joy? I think it’s because in the pot next to the pozole is a giant selection of steaming tamales. When you mix these two epicurean delights together, you have a road trip that just hit Mach 10. 


San Ignacio to me represents life after the desert blues. When you hit this oasis full of super green palm trees, you know that you are on the verge of landing where you are ultimately headed. It’s a lovely place to park your wheels, wander about the town square, and just take a load off from cranking so hard. Perched on the corner just across from the towering church is a wee food truck whipping out snacks (antojitos) that set you up for the next power blast south. Cheese stuffed tortillas are rolled up, charred a bit and then, dunked in fiery salsa. Coupling them with a piping hot cup of coffee might seem like a weird match, but no road trip in Mexico is complete without a few slugs of Armando's food Nescafe. Don’t miss the gooey chile relleno – my dog, Minka, was caught salivating tendrils of drool to the ground when that treat was being griddled up.


Once you blast over the final bit of desolate desert in mid-Baja, you finally hit the Sea of Cortez and it’s as if the skies have opened up and all hope in humanity is restored; time for a chilly margarita, a dip in the “pool” (which is what the bathwater warm ocean feels like) and a big platter of seafood. Turns out the former owner of this tidy seaside shack died recently and left his joint to his former employee, who took the initiative to make some improvements with his wife. They live onsite in their RV with dogs and babies galore. What impresses me most is just the sweet vibe of the place. Soft music, delicious fish, really fair prices, someone constantly sweeping and arranging tables to look just so, and the killer view of the ocean sprinkled with sailboats gone rogue. This is the spot that makes me want to make like some Americans perched on the beach in the RV setups have done and go full expat. Lobster with fresh lemons on a daily basis, anyone?


Call me crazy, but the folks who crafted up Flora Farms must have drank some kind of freaky genius Kool-Aid because for me to make it a point to drive there no matter where I am camped in lower Baja is just straight up impressive. My favorite spot to kick back is at the bar (of course, the restaurant is wonderful too) where the bartenders take the cocktail game seriously and the service has a little more low-key beach feeling to it. This is the area where you will catch the family of the owners gabbing it up with the in-the-know Cabo locals who dub this their local hangout. This is also where you will tuck into some killer food while lounging way longer than you ever expected. My usual go to is very cold Prosecco, while snacking on dense chunks of nutty housemade bread (still warm, mind you). Minka obsesses at the turtle pond, kids swarm the garden, my man slings back a jalapeno-laced margarita and I just transport myself to one of the onsite culinary cottages that fringe the grounds and imagine living a simple life on an organic farm in Mexico. Get on Flora’s email list straight away for updates on movie nights in the park, special Sunday brunches, cool cooking workshops and other news about what is quite possibly my favorite spot in all of Baja. Just don’t tell anyone about it, it’s already packed enough – EXCEPT at the bar!



Pozole Stop - Located in San Vicente on the north side of town and directly in front of a butcher shop on the west side of the Highway.

Loncheria La Mision Kadakaama – Located just across from the church in the San Ignacio town square.

Armando's – On the beach at Santispac

Flora Farms – San Jose del Cabo - Visit the Flora Farms website

Snapshots from the 3rd Floor of The Flo


Just cause I live on a boat, don't mean I can't have grass. 

When I got home from Istanbul, let me put it this way...it was like I came home to paradise.  The Flo was super clean (thanks to Nando & Bessie - the dream team), the sailboat looked all shiny and beautiful (again Nando's handy work).  The dinghy was all ready to be outfitted with a super cool electric engine (Michael, my dad and Kuba took on that one) and life just looked and felt like a dang postcard.

Then, the heatwave came this past week - which I am pretty much over - bring on Fall and Apple Crisps and Stews and Cornbread and Boots.  With the heat, came my parents - they showed up on a surprise trip from TN with their 2 doggies (what a ball?!).  Who drives cross country as a surprise?  But, I cooked, we ate.  We drank all day long.  They pilfered my storage.  We ate some more.  They introduced me to the wonders of Advil PM (omg, finally a solid night of sleep).   I got back into my boxing classes, which I love.  Contracts we've been waiting to get done are finally lining up right so we can sell some more TV.  My girl, Minka, bestowed her grace and charm on me and made me remember what it's like to be adored 100%.  I got a new desk, a new outdoor table and a new bookshelf - which all made me feel immensely happy.  I shipped my gal, Lisa, off to Abu Dhabi to take over for me on the Arabic show for Discovery International.  I was just ready to be home....and it feels really awesome.

Oh, and I sold our 23' Airstream to a Toothie fan - perfect - it means I can upgrade pronto just in time for the winter season, which I want to spend in Baja, Borrego Springs and maybe some parts of deep Southwest USA.  If there are new, cool, interesting shows out there to build concepts around, I shall find them.  As well as explore some deep ley lines of creativity.

Now, I just gotta do my taxes tomorrow - then for real, life can begin again!



Been Around the World and Back


Time does not change me.  I change time.

There's an picture of me that I will never forget - I am a kid, in a hallway in one of our temporary homes, it's Christmas.  I had just been given 2 dollhouses as presents.  I had a shit eating grin on my face that defied time.  Cut to 35 some-odd years later.  Now, I am in Istanbul, Turkey (the Asian side).  We've almost wrapped a new Arabic talk show I helped launch.  I've got cold champagne in one hand and that same shit eating grin on my mug.  I suppose not much has changed since old Misty girl was a kid.

Been getting lots of emails on where the heck am I and why is The Tooth not being updated. 

Well, I've been a busy bee - I sold my first show that I created from scratch straight to series to National Geographic Channel and worked on that for months down in Texas.  It will air in January.

Right after we wrapped, I drove all through mainland Mexico, and even did a 2 week stint in San Miguel de Allende, where I am most certain I would have been murdered if I'd stayed a hot second longer.

I just got back from a month in Istanbul, where a new talk show I was working on was one of the toughest (and funnest) of my career.  Americans, Turks and Arabs - what a lovely lesson in world politics.

Currently, I am now home on my boat in the marina with my dog, Minka, and watching the sun set - it's massive and golden orange and I cannot take my eyes off it - which is causing me loads of hotspots while writing this.

Bottom line, I'm back.  I'm going to create & sell more shows.  I'm going to make many more wonderful meals in my floating kitchen.  I'm going to get a 27' Airstream (upgrade from the 23').  I'm going to make it all happen, just like I always thought I would.  Same shit eating grin the whole way. 

Much to come - mst

Best Baja Bites - Right Now - A Photo Expose

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From just harvested oysters in a roadside shack perched above the Sea of Cortez to Spanish style pan con tomato (perfectly charred) on a cobble stone street tucked away in an old mining town, Baja and all her food never disappoints me.  

We (me, the man, and the dog) have been on a long leisurely trip down this way for the past few weeks and still have one more week to go - filming a few passion projects as we go.  And, of course, you know my real reason for coming is the food, the drink and the sun.  It just so happens we can self appoint ourselves on some projects as we enjoy all three!

Lobster ravioli drenched in the lightest, butteriest, most mouthwatering cream ever; freakishly refreshing cocktails with homemade bitters at Flora Farms; never-to-be-beaten omelette's bathed in poblano cream; tiny personal pizzas that sing out our names every time we pass the wood fired oven down main street in Loreto; pop up taco bars in Todos Santos where they dunk the tortillas in pork fat before frying them; guacamole of the gods for breakfast up in wine valley; crispy yet soft at the same time chimichangas; homemade biscuits stuffed with breakfast goodies at a dirt road coffee shop pumping out techno music at 9 am; baby bay scallops simmered away in a thyme and wine reduction served oceanside with barrels of hand slapped tortillas; butter soaked cracked crab for breakfast near Gypsy Beach; gooey chile rellenos nestled into warm tomato sauce with a coconut flecked margarita for lunch; and late night foil bags full of baked potatoes with handfuls of cheese, corn, mushrooms and a myriad of salsas to top it of - even the last bite is still steaming.

What's crazy about this round up is it's barely even touched the surface of what my poor tummy has inhaled over the past 15 days.  I have hit a point where lettuce sounds good.  Just lettuce.   :)  

But, the journey must continue...

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The Farm at San Benito - Raw Foodies Heaven

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It ain't just carrot sticks.

The evolution of raw food has been something I've followed closely over the past few years.  Not that I ever thought I'd cook it; or go on a wellness retreat where it was front and center; or become slightly obsessed with it.

But, I suppose that time has come.  I'm over in the Philippines right now - at a wonderfully remote sanctuary called The Farm at San Benito.  It's an enormous coconut plantation that has been turned into a working coconut farm/luxe getaway from those needing to detox from all things dominant in their lives.  Like me - too much work, too little me time, too much wine and dairy and caffeine, not enough treks through the mountains.  Things like that.

So, I left.  I simply booked a ticket (OMG, using my FF miles, I scored a 1st class all the way ticket for $33 bones - can you just?)  and got on a plane.   Old school style.  Hate to say it, but I did no extra research, planned no other trips.  The goal was simply to spend 10 days on the farm.  Do a bit of yoga, rock multiple massages and other treatments, check out my blood with the Dr. on staff to see what is going on in my system (mjor allergies to wheat and dairy - I KNEW IT!), detox from constant internet/iphone monitoring, eat super well and clean and just really, grab a fresh sheet of paper and a nice pen + start over.

Simple.  I'm almost done with my stay here and I can tell you - though I didn't do their full on detox (all juices), I still feel pretty dang good.  I've done all the above and also just really learned lots about raw food.  I mean, the coconut crackers and nut cheese they make here rival sour cream & onion chips with cheesy dip.   For real!   I took the prep class in their open kitchen, bought their beautifully shot Alive cookbook, manage to inahle 3-4 courses at every meal and danggggggg....it's all just so, so, so good.  Well, then there's the late night soba noodle fiasco's that happen in my room:)

Just makes me want to go home and lay off.  I mean, I eat super good - but really rich.  Lots of cream, cheese, dairy - but at least it's all organic.  I need way more leafy greens and about 10x as much fiber.  Ditch the white stuff (sugar, salt, flour, etc...) as much as possible and instead, focus on more natural foods.  Which is really next to impossible when you are a foodie like me.   With a great kitchen, to boot.  Stick more to wine, less to the perfect old fashioned's I do so love.

But, I've been here and I don't miss a thing - not the coffee, not the bread + butter, not the daily cocktail(s).  I'm not saying I wont be right back on that train, but maybe I will be a little more aware - and even more judgemental of where my food comes from (home ain't the prob, it's restaurants).

Plus, it was really nice to be alone with just me and my thoughts.  And, to remember what MST real energy is.  I will be back!

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Shhhhh! I Have the Secret Ingredient in PERFECT Baja Fish Tacos

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It ain't the salsas, that's for sure)

I never would have believed it if I hadn't been there myself.  I mean, when does one ever get so lucky to witness first hand the fresh mix-up of Baja fish taco batter - actually like front row witness?  I can tell you - NOT MANY.   The little mama running this joint was pouring and churning a slew of ingredients all by heart and I'm sure years of experience - she had no idea my obsession as she spooned in the ingredients...she even did a 2nd batch, so I have real confirmation of what it takes to make the perfect Baja fish taco.

Now, I've been going to Baja for years and there is not one taco in the US that can compare.  I used to think it was the flour.  Maybe it was came from some special batch like how you need Lily White for proper skillet cornbread down South.  Then, I wondered was it the ratio?  Was it just a specific amount of Mexican beer that only the Baja ladies had mastered?  Now, I know the seafood is way fresher than most of the BS we have in the states (Gulf Wild - I can't wait til you rule the world and shake the fishing industry on its ass) - but man, there had to be something else entirely. 

And, then I saw her do it.  TWICE!  As I fiddled with my camera (ie - full recon on the DL), I witnessed this fine lady squirt in a boatload of yellow mustard.  Plain old French's.  OMG.  What a revelation.  Never would I have thought that childhood saffron jar of tangy mustard would be responsible for half my adult life's infatuation.  Where I come from, yellow mustard is for hot dogs, cheeseburgers, corn dogs - easy things like that.  Not the most perfect tacos the world has ever known. 

I know this because I look for those tacos high and low at home and in my travels and I know others do to.  I read the blogs, I get the updates.  We haven't managed to perfect them yet, and trust me I try to find them once a week.  In fact, most fish tacos are obliterated and really disgraced, if you ask me. 

But, these....these are the kind you yelp out as a dying wish.  Just give me a batch of Baja fish tacos with ALL the fixin's and I'll die a happy girl.  But, they better be made with mustard.

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The Power of the Camera

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Is Like No Other.

Out of all the projects and developments we've got happening over in Indo at 4th World Love, one that shakes my soul all the time is the gift of teaching.  Learning a new trade, skill, habit, idea - all these things are so often discarded in my own life - it's like - who has time to learn?!  I'm trying to keep up with the dang day to day...but that is something that I have to really work on or things just get super stale.

My good friend over in Lombok, Hasan, is the mega learner.  He sent me these pictures recently because he wanted to see if his composition was any good (we play with photos a lot).  I have given him and the CDC several cameras and any time I'm there, he is my go to guy for hauling all my gear, taking camera notes, helping with shot lists, making sure all the batteries are charged and taking point on all off site photo shoots.  Over time, he has become a super duper photographer and peeps now ask him to shoot their weddings, to document their lives.  What a wonderful treasure to have done (teach him some photography skills) and to continue to see flourish.  He is so very proud of having taken a passion and really trying to work on it every day.  I'm so proud of him, too. 



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I did the same thing with my super good pal, Lalo, down at Casa de Mita.  He is already a wonderful photographer, but every time I go, I spend a little time with him - just sippin' a marg and discussing all things photography - taking pix, assessing them, exhanging lenses.  I don't know that much about picture taking besides what I taught myself, but what I do know is that whipping out the camera and documenting the tiny things that I come across makes me happy - and clearly it does other folks too.

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That very thing is one of the reasons we started 4WL.   To be a conduit to hope and inspiration for those less fortunate.  We try to accomplish that every day - even in the TV shows we make; and on this wanderlust blog,as well.   Will this TV show or toothie post entertain, make a difference, change someones life/day, be remembered, make someone wanna have a good meal or some fine drink? If not, man...why bother?

That is the thing I wanna keep striving for every day, every photo, every moment, hell - every decision in the day.  Because if I don't do it for me, who will?  Ain't nobody snappin' my pic - I gotta get out there and document it for me.  And, if I stick to what the me in this wacky ass world loves, well - I will always be proud and happy to share a tidbit of goodness.  Picture that:)

Eastern Exposure, Daily Flo Shakedowns & Corazon de Tierra


The amount of things that shake down daily on this floating home is just insane. 

I try to keep up with it all - and make good food, drink good spirits, and create good things all around.  Sadly though - this blog is the last thing on my mind as I try to get through the day.  Not that I don't think about posting daily - I do.  It's just that finding the time is becoming harder and harder. I gotta change that though - and it's gonna start right now!  Because I use this site as a tool to help me remember where I was at what point in life...PLUS, it's an amazing foodie reference for me when I want to revisit, or share, or link someone up with lots of intel from my fave places around the globe.

First off - a MST update.  I've been working my bootie off on a handful of new shows that we (Fatcake) are developing.  We have driven to TX and back doing shoots for our fishing family show; we've got 5 more deals on top of that one that just literally got done making their way through legal - and I love each and every one of these shows like mad.  It's just FREAKY how long it all takes, though.  From idea, to devo, to shoot, to pitch, to contract to actual deal done - like a freakin YEAR!  On each and every show.  We're staying super positive though and just knowing that doing what we really dig, with peeps we super believe it - well it's going to pay off.  And, I suppose through all of this, my ultimate goal is simply freedom. 

Freedom to work on what I want, to develop what I love, to conspire with folks I laugh with, and to really be a part of the worlds bigger picture through creative endeavors.  Pretty simple, eh?

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That all said - Baja. 

As we've been planning on taking the airstream down this winter and the aftermath of Odile keeps getting shared - it seems less likely we will make our way down for any extended amount of time.  I told Kuba yesterday that it would a damn shame if we didn't at least get a few weeks down in Southern Baja before the holidays, so we might try to make that happen.  The Dept. of Tourism in TJ released a statement that said 'if you go to Baja right now, you are doing a disservice to the residents.'  There is very little water, food, and fuel up and down the peninsula so just stand by a minute and let things marinate a bit for the locals.  I can honor that, as much as I want to be in the truck rolling down come Nov. 1.  I'm going to just keep my eyes peeled on the super helpful Baja forums (Baja Nomad), the national news (which is so stale and out-of-date it's sad), and my peeps on the ground there to see what our real plan can become in the next 6 weeks or so.

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Meanwhile - enjoy the pix from breakfast and dinner at one of my fave Baja wine country restaurants - Corazon de Tierra.  Now that is still an escapade that's easily doable since it's just about 3.5 hrs from my front door.  When I have a restaurant (and mark my words, I will someday) - it will be all about lighting and early AM Eastern Exposure and then the stunning evening Western Exposure.  Just like on the Flo (we have North, South, East and West exposure) - it makes every room in the house usuable all the time and full of light and sunbeams. 

Next up (for me solo) is a trip to the Philippines this week, a place to which I've never been.  I just wanna yoga, eat green, get a billion massages and really just grab a fresh sheet of paper and start anew for all the ideas that need to get done for the early 2015 roll out. 

These are exciting times and a good cup of coffee in the morning, with my dog resting in a ray of soft light, and the masts clanking in the light breeze are all that's needed to get the day going up in here.

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When Life Hits Mach 10, Keep Eating


When it gets this crazy, it's time to just step back, take a breather and remember all the dirt roads out there somewhere, waiting to be explored and raged down.

Got a lot going on - new shows, big budgets, upcoming trips (hello Philippines), just got back from a cross country expedition to Texas for a show super close to my heart, and really wanting to kick it on back and plan my winter escape!

Delighted the new Ryan Adams album is out; LOVED Otto's in Fredericksburg, TX; over-the-moon daylight savings time is on the horizon; and really beyond happy that the construction in the marina will end in a few months.  It's beena long hectic summer and it's time for SOUP again.

One meal at a time - especially if it's from La Picazon in LTO, Baja - mst

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Just Back from Rancho La Puerta - A Wonderland...

Rancho La Puerta - Fun, Food and Fitness

**From the latest Baja Bound.  Just got back from a great trip down there and literally, I need about 2 weeks of this program to really get life back on track :)

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Border towns are not generally known as sanctuaries for harried travellers, but in the case of award- winning destination resort/spa Rancho la Puerta, the typical conceptions about these usually dusty towns  are simply thrown to the wind. Here are a few enticing ways to experience this age-old wonderland just across the border in Tecate. No matter which path you choose, there will be no regrets...only visions of future bookings for much longer amounts of time!

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1. Afternoon Cooking Workshop at La Cocina Que Canta Cooking School - Price: $95 per person

A few times a week, Executive Chef Denise Roa offers up a cooking demonstration on the grounds of the cooking school, and if you can grab a slot at the Salsa y Salsa class, you will be in for a super treat. Mixing fresh, homemade salsas with the spirit of super sassy salsa dance lessons is brilliant, especially if you’ve sampled a little sangria during the al fresco cooking demos. The class includes lots of good wines, a feast of good food (imagine giant vats of fresh caught  seafood paella made with quinoa, piles of char-grilled vegetables, and just picked strawberry studded field green salads), and hours of dance lessons with the house dance sensation, Manuel. Everyone is fueled by the good food, the setting sun, and the light buzz and the infectious charm of this splendid pairing – salsa and salsa, indeed. This class alone will inspire students to return to Mexico time and time again – much like the visitors at the ranch do year after year. It’s a soul pilgrimage not to be missed.

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2. Saturdays at the Ranch at La Cocina Que Canta Cooking School - Price: $300 per person; 7:30 am – 8 pm

This six-acre organic farm and cooking school is a dream-like mecca for like-minded foodies (it means “the kitchen that sings”). It’s the light-dappled farm you fantasize of having, but just can’t for lack of time, energy or money. No worries, though, Executive Chef Denise Roa has you  covered so you can day play in her best dream ever come alive. If you are a guest at the ranch for the week, you will be able to a la carte sign up for cooking classes with visiting chefs, take part in hands on fresh ingredient workshops, enjoy exquisite farm to table dinners, and partake in leisurely farm tours...but if you only have one day available out of your normal life in the US, you can hop on a bus in San Diego on a Saturday morning and spend the next 12 hours eating, inspiring, hiking, cooking, photographing, exercising, laughing and becoming a ranch warrior. Once you pass through receptions doors, you are given a spa locker to dump your stuff and can immediately join up with others for a big healthy breakfast. The typical Saturday could include a 4 mile hike through steep canyons, a dip in the hot tub, a therapeutic massage or facial, a relaxing tai chi class, a pole dance learning session, a bit of reading under the massive shade tree, a plunge into the pool, a cooking lesson at the farm and a bit of that amazing tinted wine from Valle de Guadalupe – all before you hop back on the bus cross the border and head home. The days are jammed full of activities – but only if you want them to be. Make a Saturday at the Ranch Day 1 in your new life plan – which for me is figure out how to live the ranch life every day, no matter where I’m at in the world.

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3. Full Week Immersion – Saturday to Saturday - Price starts at $3650, all meals included

Most folks commit to this 7-night/8-day program for the simple reason that it’s literally a guarantee. The bottom line is, if you take the plethora of exercise classes (over 50 choices are on offer per day), eat the farm fresh meals (no meat or dairy are allowed), join a few of the workshops (think photography and writing), rock the morning hikes (the 7-mile switchback trail to Mt Kuchumaa is a killer way to see the sunrise), and stay off your phone and computer as much as possible (there are only a handful of wi-fi hotspots on the grounds)...well, you will leave the ranch a new person. Weight loss, new friends, fresh ideas, and stronger habits will have you skipping to the bus to head back across the border to San Diego (the USA pit stop where all pickups and drop offs happen) as a super sparkly version of the bedraggled person you probably were before you arrived in paradise. Most everyone is an early bird and hits the hay in their charming casita (call ahead to make sure the front desk leaves your fireplace ready to be lit) right after the evening bingo game or jazz quartet show. And what really blew me away was that the  place was packed to capacity, yet outside of meals and classes, you barely see a soul - the tree soaked grounds are just that spacious. Plan on walking miles and miles a day and they even include a handy pedometer in your welcome package – so you can rack up the steps to wellness and stay mega inspired to keep on moving. There’s also a lovely new wine bar & coffeehouse - local artists showcase their wares there and you can purchase a whole new dining room set complete with stemware before you depart (Sure! Add it to my room bill!). The cozy, and often visited wine bar, features all local Baja vino; just don’t let the tasting derail you from a week of brand new beginnings! The Ranch also recently started offering mini breaks – 3 or 4-day retreats starting mid-week for those who can’t scoot away for a full week. Prices start at $1850.

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Visit the Rancho La Puerta website

Luxury Airstream for Rent - Pure Summertime Joy!

AirstreamWelp, I've got the Super Sonic Airstream up for grabs this summer...of course I'd give all ya'll a killer deal if you have any interest in straight pimpin' out this summer!

AND I can help you customize a trip...all the good food, drink and adventure you can imagine...sea, sun, sand...
Couple of details:

YOU pick a location. WE drop off/set up/pick up.  YOU chillax & bring your own wheels to explore the area.

Sea - Malibu RV Park (beachfront) 

Sun - Paso Robles (wine country) 

Sand - Borrego Springs (desert luxury)


This is literally the BEST vacay ever, for like-minded gypsy's like me...when you get there, expect:

Chilly cocktails.

Cool A/C.

Fresh flowers.

High thread counts.

Refreshing shower.

Cozy surroundings.

Peace and quiet.

EVERYTHING already set up, so vacation can begin pronto!


36 Hours in Baja - A Journal of Sorts (From Baja Bound)

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Baja on the Cheap - A 36 Hour Getaway

Per usual, my adventure in Baja began and ended with food. 36 hours before, I’d crossed the border – with no real destination in mind, not much coin in my pocket, and just a short bit of time to explore new spots. It was just an internal craving I was trying to fill...because let’s face it - a day and a half isn’t much time when there’s so much to see. There's always another dirt road to tear down and one more snack to chomp on.

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Hours 1 - 3 Make way across Tecate border and revel in how lush the wine valley is looking. Start moseying south. Contemplate stopping for some wine tastings, but knowing that we’re gonna want to get south of Ensenada, forgo all and make haste for the sea. Hour 3 – Restaurant Atotonilco and La Costa, Popotla Rustic side roads are always full of surprises and the bumpy ride into the magical fishing village of Popotla is no exception. From the freeway, you’d never expect that just over the hill, a mere click south of Baja Studios, is a miniscule fishing community that rivals anything you’d find in the Med. There is so much fresh seafood being slung around that it would take days to really sample it all, so it’s nice to start with a bit of vibrant clam ceviche. Clams the size of your hand that is, hand carved, sauced and limed to order. For next to nothing ($2). Even better is a restaurant that serves tiny crab legs as a free appetizer complete with a smooth stone and wooden board for crushing. The lobster is grilled and drenched in butter and one order is enough to fill two people, especially when a frosty cold michelada is involved. The whole area can be overwhelming, because the items floating around from stall to stall in the market are simply mind-altering in their enormity. From glistening fish to spider crab the size of a small dog to shark fin to rows of exotic looking clams, this stop is a genuine must happen on all future visits to Baja. I am stunned it took me 15 years to finally make that right turn off Highway 1. Total spent - $20 Popotla Baja Popotla Baja

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Hour 7 – Jing Cheng Restaurant, South Ensenada Before we left LA, we’d been on an Asian kick and I’d become obsessed with rice paper fried spring rolls. Why not try them for a light snack in Baja? It was just a baby pit stop to satiate the mind. How good are the rolls? Turns out, mighty fine. Wonderfully light, they were doled out in a paper bag that had circles of grease spread here and there just so...and though there was no fish sauce to dip them in, you just didn’t need it. Those treats were inhaled in less than 30 seconds. Total spent - $1

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Hour 10 – El Molino Viejo (The Old Mill), San Quintín It’s unreal that I’ve never eaten at this old-school waterfront restaurant in San Quintín bay. We’d ended up at the Old Mill Hotel on the make for a cheap room ($37 cash) and rounded the corner from the simple hotel to find a throbbing bar and restaurant on the bay front. How in the heck do all these people find these hidden gems? It’s not like there’s a paved path to the front door. Nope, that would be a 3-mile dirt road, full of skull jarring potholes. After we checked in, secured extra blankets (no heat in these rooms) and played with the beautiful house doggie, we were simply on the lookout for a good glass of vino. Never did we expect to find it (and it was the delicious house wine, no less – Piccolo Roganto). We also found a refreshing Caesar salad, a giant pile of seafood pasta and a killer queso dip to go with this said wine. The edge of the road burned off with the first sip of red wine and the mariachi singer revved up to take that edge off a little bit more. It wasn’t until we’d stuffed our faces that we realized they crafted up homemade bread – you just have to ask for it. Don’t you know we secured a loaf and polished if off for dessert! Gluttony at it’s finest. Total spent – $42 El Molino San Quintin Baja El Molino San Quintin Baja

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Hour 25 – Loncheria Elena, just North of San Quintin A big breakfast was on…and this time not just a frosty Red Bull and chile tamale. This roadside loncheria was packed with in-the-know truckers, political associates, and local families when we strolled in and grabbed a primo spot. Oh, how quickly steaming coffee made it’s way to our table and just as quick rolled out probably the best breakfast I’ve experienced in all of Baja. Perfect chiliquiles, just made hand-slapped tortillas, piles of tiny limes, cooked down pinto beans and slippery divorced eggs with hand cut fries. Every bite elicited a moan, every stranger tossed a smile our way, and our coffee cup never stopped filling up. Plus, they have free fast wifi. This pint size spot does some dang good business. Total spent - $8

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Hour 30 – Hijos del Sushi, Ensenada Never would I have wandered by this tiny sushi restaurant much less stopped in, but fate slipped up under me. Literally. We were Tecate border bound and just weaving through the hectic traffic of Ensenada when a food delivery driver on a motorcycle pounded up under the back of my truck. He wasn’t paying attention – racing about on his way back from a delivery – and just rammed my bumper. I was delighted to see he worked for a sushi restaurant because I’d been aching to try some fried rice in Mexico! Once we followed him back to his homebase, we stood by for the insurance folks to pop over...and of course we were starving so we ate. Perfect pork gyoza, flavorful veggie fried rice and juicy limes with salt were on tap for lunch when the insurance representatives arrived. We chopsticked up gyoza after gyoza. The food was just so unexpectedly delicious we ordered another full round. And, with our insurance paperwork in order and satisfied bellies, we crossed the border just before hour 36 hit. Total spent - $18 Hijos del Sushi Ensenada Hijos del Sushi Ensenada

Tequila, Wildfires, Cortez Adventures, All Day Swims - Baja Rules Again

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Just back from a truly epic Baja roadtrip from LA to Loreto and back.

1st night - hotel on fire.  drink margs, help as much as we can...and ultimately head further south.   what are the chances it would be OUR HOTEL in the middle of nowhere that the fires gravitated toward?  

2nd night - arrive at our lovely house on the beach in Loreto.  this is for sure the way to go forever - house rentals.  luxe ones at that.  

3rd night and onward - snorkel out at the islands, drink body weight in tequila, shoot a few tv show ideas, and read a handful of spy thrillers wtih couple of serial killer and civil rights mysteries thrown in for good measure.  generally just enjoy, slow down, eat, brainstorm, take pleasure.

this is our backyard, people.  you can drive.  back again soon, promise.

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My Wee Little Floating Home Makes the Today Show of Paris


Remember when little old FLO was just a work in progress?

Well, first a disaster, then a constant takeover of my life, then a beauty.  Well, that small space living LA Times article last summer attracted a super cool producing team here locally that shoots for the Today Show of France and they did a neat spot on FLO.  

Check it out here - you prob have to download it (button on top left), but it's a great 'lil piece!  From just a set of studs to full glory of water living.  Nice job!  Guess I live here :)


I Mean Seriously, Who Serves Free Crab Legs Like Bread

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Of course, it's my peeps down in Baja!

Did a shortie trip a few weeks ago for a new show and don't you know I was dirt roadin', hard scopin', big LURKIN', and always on the make for some new good eats.  Discovered a super tiny village over by Baja Fox Sutdios that was the epicenter of fresh seafood coming out of the Pacific.  CANNOT believe I've never veered right down that dirt road.  WTF?

Each little spot/shack was know for something particular - BBQ fish, giant lobster, chocolate clams...and it all literally just came off the boat.  Unloading was happening right when we rolled through.  Margs first up (these folks ain't out of limes, mind you) - and the best little wooden board rolled out with a smooth rock for crushing the crab legs that are just straight up free with the chips and salsa.  Never did I expect that one!  

Crazy shenanigans on the make down that way - and I just got my pix sorted, so more to come in the next couple few.  Baja - soundtrack to my life.   I never could have written that one back in the day.

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#FarmBoxEats - What Am I Not Making is the Question...


Oh, how I love my Farm Box every week - these 2 chicks started a fully organic, farm-to-table delivery service of such amazing goodies that I get dropped right at the front door of FLO every single week.  It literally makes my Sunday.  I crack a bottle of something chilly and delightful, dig into the box, lay out a bunch of thoughts on random recipe ideas and really just get to it.  "It" meaning a not-riddled-with-guilt-about--absolutely-nothing-totally-FREE-day to just explore all the elements of food that I love.

I break out the cast iron skillet (love of that straight from my grandads spot in TN) and char up any veg available (carrots and fennel are awesome), whip up some FLO house buttermilk dressing, drop it on a bit of lettuce with shaved carrot and perhaps some peppery radish; and you know I whip out the tin of heavy cream for some kind of leek, shallot, white wine, butter reduction to spread on everything.

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I take a whole chicken and shove it full of rosemary, lemons, oranges, garlic and then cover it with fresh squeezes of cara cara oranges, a little oil, crushed fennel seed and garlic + onion powder.  Then cook it on 300 for about 4 hours totally uncovered.   What comes out is a damn near revelation on the bird.  So easy, so delish, such a good smell penetrating the house all day.

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I toast some everything bagels smeared with butter, slap a ton of cream cheese on them, layer on some wild lox, salty capers, fresh Lily's eggs, and a ton of dill.  Once you pop on a blast of fresh lemon, watch out.  This little number blows AWAY versions I get from restaurants.

All the flowers, herbs, plants are coming back in - and I just love being inspired on Sunday.  It's the best day of my week, that's for sure.  Unless I bust up my SUP like I did the other day.  No worries, it's  being repaired...but dang...guess that is what Rose is for!

I'm also super inspired by my bud Ky's (@kyfurneaux) new veggie garden in her back yard...I am stunned at how quick all her greens came popping up...what deliciousness!

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Oh, and there's usually some kind of full on rearrange involved.  :)  Tiny space, but big living!  Loving this new layout - more palatial space for the dining table - more spreadout happening - just more life lived overall. 

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A Super Simple Veggie Cobbler

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Is all I really need to whip up to take me right back to Thanksgiving.   You can pretty much toss any cooked veggies in (fennel, sweet potato, carrot, celery, onion are in this one), make the creamy sauce, and whisk up some drop biscuits topped with fresh rosemary and you've got a real deal feast. 

Now the freakishly enormous celery that is hoppin' out of my farmbox is so dang intimidating, I had to turn to the cookbook, Tender.   He takes celery and poaches it with onion and bay leaf, then tops it all with a butter sauce and homemae breadcrumbs...and let me put it this way, what pops out of the over is damn near to-die-for.  Just such a great way to prepare boatloads of celery. 

But, the doozie are these cookies.  Oatmeal, dried cherries, cardamom, shaved coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and an egg.   Add a little flour and baking powder.  Bake for about 12 minutes and while they are filling the house with some heavenly scents, toss some almond milk in the freezer.   Once done, put on jams and call it a day.

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Oh Casa de Mita How I LOVE YOU


Last month, me and my bud Lis, took off for my #1 standby, Casa de Mita.  This amazing spot on earth has become my 100% guarantee refuge from all things CRAZY.  The minute I get there, a quick pitstop is made at the marina to grab a frozen marg.  Mind back on track - CHECK.

45 minutes after landing in Puerto Vallarta, I'm skipping through the front gate of a place that has come to feel like my home away from home.  Lalo and Memo are on the make - laughing a mile a minute and ready to whip me up another drink...pronto.  The smells bubbling out of the kitchen make me woozy with joy, and the very idea of seeing Thomas for a 90 minute massage is enough to drive one to tears.  A spy thriller is in hand immediately, clothes are yanked off, and a tan is on the happs.

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Memo looks super fly in my Ray Bans (I'm gonna have to procure something of the like for him and Lalo next trip down) and these boys just keep me laughing and truly happy all day long.

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Activity on the beach involves all makes and models - dog lovers, sand joggers, intent fisherman and oyster harvesters, couples strolling about, families enjoying the day - but mostly it's deserted. 

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The pool is heated - oh so gently.  Which brings me to the swim up bar.  I mean - what a dangerous place to find me and Lis (and me and Chez last time) at the top of the day.  It really sets the right tone for how life should be lived.

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A fresh bottle of champagne is popped at lunch or dinner, or breakfast if you want...just when you are ready for a beach stroll and a quick nap.  All chilled glasses, all top shelf.

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Now if I sell one of these shows I'm currently pitching, guess where I'm headed? :)


Casa de Mita - go now.

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Italy Down South - Just Below Tecate, Baja

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I've never been a gal who was into super fancy food.  I'm more into the overall make-up of a place.  Homegrown ingredients.  Smiling hosts.  Owners bangin' around in the kitchen and the front of the house - serving food, bussing tables, making drinks and chatting with the customers.  It's how I'd do it at least, all with a nice chilled glass of something delish in hand. 

La Manzana Verde is this exact spot.  I've flown past it a billion times on the way to and from points further away - and never stopped - what a shame.  I just love the whole joint.  The canned veggies lining the shelf, the chaos of being a one-man shop, the old guy wobbling around out in the backyard, the fresh herbs beside the al fresco tables, the time it takes to make pizza from scratch, the laugh a minute vibe - just all of it. 

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The idea of pulling up a chair to the bar, having a glass of local red, and really just tossin' on an apron to lend a hand - all while practicing my Spanish really just makes me happy way deep down in my soul.  Dog's welcome.

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We even took the pizza to go and had it that night once we were back home cozed down on the FLO.  Probably a 2-lb cheese fest, but it was just so fresh, so full of love, so tasty - why not bring happiness with you?

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Back When Flo Was Being Ripped Apart...


I knew I was going to create something wonderful to live in, someplace to call home for a good, long spell.  And, I did.  With the help of many, it all came together into a wee oasis that I still can't believe is mine.  But the time has come for change again. 

Time to curate even more.  Across all levels of life.  Things I own, places I go, how my time is spent.  Projects I choose to work on, how I choose to move my body, what I put in it.  Good new vibes are in the air and summer is on the way. 

Every day I just want to discover something new, eat something fresh, laugh something fierce and learn even more.

All these old bones, much like good ole girl Flo's, are about to get re-checked for a whole new way of living.

Unexpected Baja, for the Curious Kind


Unexpected Baja, for the Curious Kind...

Here is the link for a Baja Bound that I forgot to post...and since we're on Baja :)

Intrepid wanderers have flocked to Baja for centuries and who can blame them? Dirt roads that meander off to stellar oceanside fish shacks; seaside palapas for less than $10; simple folks found living off-grid existences with multi-million dollar views; and unspoiled Steinbeckian adventures around most corners are just a couple of the reasons why. I discover something miraculous each and very trip I take – no matter if it’s just a north, south or mid-peninsula jaunt - and I always get a fresh blast of Baja energy from the folks (and restaurants) I manage to happen across in my adventures.

The common thread that weaves me up and down Highway 1 usually has to do with my tummy but sometimes it can be a unique film shoot, a wondrous whale watching excursion, or simply, nothing more than a fierce margarita jones. If you get in your wheels and head south right now, here are some things you might happen across. And, if you trail blaze far enough, you will probably trump these! Trust me, its all out there if you roam far enough.

Finca Altozano steak

1. Food by Fire
Set deep in the country, Finca Altozano is worth the somewhat bumpy trek it takes to get there – even if it’s just for a convivial dinnerand then a scram back home to the USA. It’s simply put one of the best meals you will ever have in your life. Part wine tasting room, part outdoor dining room, it’s all a piece of something called char-grilled perfection. They’ve expanded since last season – and all for the better. Menus are now offered in English, they’ve created a long wine bottle flanked path to the pigpen and organic garden, and there is now a tiny indoor bar. It’s just a brilliant take on fine dining in a rural environment – vibrant flavors mixed with earthy wines with a hit of rock and roll on the stereo. The open kitchen has a fire roaring at all times, and the scent of juicy steak and crisped octopus wafting through the sleepy valley is enough to drive one mad. Dogs are allowed off leash (big bonus for me and Minka) and the price is always right (2 bottles of wine and half the menu for 3 people about $125). Though is might seem silly, please do order the pasta. It’s a frighteningly delicious veggie option on the meat heavy menu, and just so good, we had to order another one. I’ve never felt more content with my crazy eating excursions than after a meal here.

LESSON LEARNED: Fire is God’s gift to the taste buds.

2. Mexican Taco Logistics
taco meat

I’m a TV producer and recently, we we’re filming some tribal activity down in Santa Caterina. Tribes, you say? I know! Who knew there were still old-school tribes living down in Baja? They might not be wearing the traditional garb (bark skirts and raccoon skin loin cloths), but they are most definitely keeping the traditions alive. Raul Sandoval still carves bow and arrows from native trees, he still knows how to source desert foods from cactus (prickly pear) and he most definitely still knows how to track down desert animals with spears and throwing sticks (rodents and rabbits). Every day after filming him and our hosts doing their tribal thing, we would head back to our hotel in a neighboring village, Valle de la Trinidad, and hunt down some tacos. Now, street food in Baja is always a winner in my book – especially when they have all the accoutrements to go along with the meal. The first time we ordered tacos to go, I asked Horacio (our fixer from Ensenada who works for the Baja conservation organization Terra Peninsular) if they would be able to pack us up a few of the condiments and he just giggled and said, “Of course…it’s Mexican taco logistics!” I gazed on as they charred up batches of carne, whipped up more salsa on the fly, and rapid fire slung together bags full of cukes, crema, cilantro, limes, onions and beans. What a joy to witness one smiling vendor and his posse make tacos fast food style in the middle of the cold desert on a dirt road to nowhere. The crew devoured every single bite of food each night with wild abandon…along with some of that delicious Russian wine from Valle de Guadalupe, Bibayoff. I know! Who knew there were Russians in wine valley in Baja?

taco meat

LESSON LEARNED: Never doubt the ingenuity of the Mexican folk.

3. A Legend in his Land Rover
Once upon a time, I was out and about doing a bit of whale watching in a lagoon near San Ignacio (PS - the migration season will be starting up again soon) and I saw, from a distance, a slew of identical trucks on the edge of the water…that all happened to have a tent on the roof. I couldn’t wait to get back to shore and assess the home away from homes. Turns out the owner of one truck was a nice gentleman named Bob and we exchanged emails and such…after he gave me a tour of his truck with a bed on top. Well, when I say Bob, I mean THE Bob Taylor of Taylor Guitars(Google it, you will be stunned at the musicians that rave about his next-level guitars). We’ve stayed pals since then and turns out, he and his buddies have been traversing the back roads of Baja for years - all with identical Land Rovers that have been Film Shoot

tricked out with mega tires, extra fuel tanks, tidy pre-fab kitchens in the trunks and sleeping quarters on top. This is so they can off-road down sandy dunes, catching fish as they go and cooking feasts on a nightly basis (and if one breaks down, they all have the same parts and they are easier to fix). In the aftermath of that meeting, Bob invited me down to his HQ near San Diego and whipped me up a pan full of chicken paella off the back of his truck. What sealed the deal of one of the best meals ever was the cooler full of ice-old Dos Equis with lime squirts that went along with each bite. Who knew a friendship could be started all because we both own Land Rovers. I need one of them beds on top and my truck pimped out with a custom made kitchen in the trunk. Amazing what people can dream up.

LESSON LEARNED: Always ask for a tour.

4. A Kick-Ass Margarita
I usually hit up La Fonda for a lobster and some margs when I’m cruising down the highway, but this past trip, I decided to try something different. I simply wanted a FOR REAL margarita without having to tell the bartender to skip the sweet and sour and boy, did I find it. There’s a joint just north of La Fonda called The Lighthouse- same insane view but a world away from the rustic vibe of La Fonda. It’s more of a sports and karaoke bar (not my thing at all), but the margs are some of the best I’ve had in Baja. Sinfully frozen to perfection, the gal behind the bar needed no instruction on how to whip up a proper marg. I was also interested to hear from the owner that they have not only a traditional Mexican menu, they also turn out vegetarian takes on the classics. A whole separate section of the menu highlights veggie options (try the Chiles en Nogado) and if you are on the make for a new life in Mexico, the place is for sale. Now, if you made this seaside haven more like Finca Altazano (keep the margs, of course), you’d have a stone cold goldmine on your hands.

LESSON LEARNED: Stray from the norm and you just might find something better.

Finca Altozano: Turn on the dirt road at Kilometer 83 on Route 3 in the Guadalupe Valley (at the sign for Laja). Continue on this road until you see the archway for the restaurant about a mile down on the right.

The Lighthouse: KM 58, south of Rosarito

Baja Map


How a Road Trip Comes to Be...

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Thing is, Baja is just so, so, so easy.

A pal just got back from San Fran - first words?  It's FREEZING up there.  I just got back from mainland Mexico - first words from others - "Wow, you are so tan."  Difference is - cold vs hot at this time of year is crucial to my happiness.  Even in LA, it's can get chilly, especially come nighttime on a boat.  And, I just don't dig the cold - I will never say that enough.

I was driving down PCH the other day to my fave gas station that I head to when I have a jones to hit the road to Baja but simply cannot...and I noticed that Dockweiler was empty of most Rv's.  Probably all headed south to AZ or Mexico cause that's what I'd do when the temp dips below 60.  

So, I got all fired up - back on the Baja train again..it just haunts me cause like I said, it's so easy.  So very easy to load up Minka, pack a bag, hop in the truck and just go.  In a few hours, you're across the border with a marg in hand and a killer lobster lunch.  The possibilities are endless...and no real reservations need to be made.

Every glance off the side of the road = a new possibility for exploration, like the funky trailer park I discovered on the beach just an hour south of the border.  We didn't stay there (we were headed all the way to Todos), but man, the spy thriller than could be written in one of these tiny little shacks.  Fog rolling in, distant bark of a dog, not a soul around.  EEEEEE!!!!

Time to re-up my Mexico truck insurance cause I feel a bolt on the make. EEEEEE!!!  But, I'm gonna try very hard to reign it in...there is business to be done here on the homefront and I'm diggin' it so Baja will have to wait, but soon...very soon, my outlaw friend!

In other news - I will post some great times from Casa de Mita that I had last week (Madison the pup is doing AMAZING), and some other things on the make...PLUS finally about to move on to a new slate of projects after being stone cold obsessed with these 2 shows we produced last winter finally being wrapped up this week, which means we pitch soon!  Super duper excited about both of them and can't wait to put them to bed and clear up some brain space.

I have also discovered the most amazing home delivery CSA called Farm Box LA and I've been making all kinds of good stuff from their amazing produce selection. I can't get over how awesome it is to have everything delivered on a Sunday - I no longer have to leave home...which is kinda scary, but wonderful all at once!  More on that soon, as well - cause this CSA is worthy of a full writeup.

Meanwhile, it's time to oder Indian.   Akbar is just calling my name on this bone chilling eve.

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Tiny House Blog - Truly a Gem for Small Homes with Spunk


I love this blog...

Tiny House Blog is super informative, super engaging and just a mighty good read.  I've been following them for years...and they've covered me and my endeavors several times (thank you!).  So, it's no surprise they would write about the FLO for a recent post.  Lots of good vibes and words, but man...It's Always Real Interesting When You Read the Comments.  I just had to post back at the end of reading them all.  The product placement and 4th World Love comments did me in!

Here is the link to their write up on the FLO.

Enjoy...and for real, if you get a minute, do dig thru Tiny House Blog.  It's just a wonder to behold how folks strive to live these days...I'd say, myself included.