Falling into the Fall

Hello dear friends! How was everyone’s summer?  This year was such a gorgeous growing season in Napa (my current hometown) and I am happy to see the grapes coming in… they look beautiful!  The wines are going to be fantastic for 2012! Making me thirsty just thinking about it.

Along with the change in the weather, the type of food I’m cooking is changing to match the season. I made my “First of Fall” pot of stew and I can’t wait for Halloween so I can bring back my family’s long-standing tradition of the perfect Texas-style chili. Every year my dad becomes impatient and tries to make chili in August…my mom quickly puts a stop to it (thank goodness). If you’ve never been to Texas in August, trust me on this one: the heat and chili don’t mix. Hence why my mom is adamant that we wait for Halloween for the cooler temperatures. Now that I’m now back in California, I keep this family tradition alive by making chili at my house for my friends and loved ones while we pass out candy to the neighborhood kids. Halloween in my neighborhood is CRAZY busy, which makes it hard to even get a bite down before the doorbell starts ringing, and ringing, and ringing.  I love it, though. Some people go out, get dressed up and head to the parties. Me? I like to stay at home and chill (I’m getting old, right?).  It is still super fun.

I have some great things in the works and I will be sure to fill you all in as soon as we solidify it all!  It is going to be an AWESOME 2013, I just know it.  And don’t forget about the cruise with Top Chef in April! Would love to have you join me as we sail around the Caribbean. So many things to look forward to…

Love you all!

C

(Hope you enjoy this photo of me sorting grapes at Hartwell Vineyards in Napa…gotta love this life!)