underground nightlife generally brings to mind dark cellar jazz clubs or into-the-wee-hours gatherings, dj’s mixing experimental sounds, by-invitation-only showcases of undiscovered talent. Not unlike private gallery openings, exposing raw artistic talent to an adventurous audience … off the beaten path, and afterhours.  Fine dining is following suit, if you know where to look for it.  As with music and art, talented and independent chefs find a stage to perform for their eager audiences.  Without the overhead expenses and menu restrictions of a restaurant, creativity is unlimited.


for the price of a seat at the table, diners are treated to more than a lovely meal.  The atmosphere is intimate.  Guests may be witness to a performance of preparation and serving.  Local and seasonal foods find top billing on spirited menus.  Adventurous pairings from local vintners and daring dessert offerings are not uncommon.  And why not ?  The chef has full reign …. they’re bound to show off a bit!  Partnering with local producers brings the freshest seasonal produce, meats, eggs and herbs to the dishes – each meal is indeed a work of art.

rave reviews : the art of the pop-up dinner


oh swoon! – I’ve fallen in love with “beet meringue kisses”.


drooling for greek food .. seriously, right now!


a few local venues to watch, for the intrepid dining experience – also watch them on facebook – a good place to find out about sneaky pop-up events featuring guest chefs.    the old brewery/stonehouse     in the kitchen     polly’s paladar    sierra farm to table


It’s been raining for 5 days now.  I’m so thrilled to have this time alone with my neglected housecleaning projects.  I’ve progressed through the usual stuff like vacuuming and tub scrubbing, and am now well into  “excavating and rearranging the kitchen cabinets”.

Now, don’t feel sorry for me – that’s not where this is headed.  I’ve tossed, composted and poured down the drain so many things that I feel totally cleansed.  Yes, I have felt several pangs of guilt about wasting what was once good food, and made some resolutions to practice better rotation and date checking.  But, imagine my elation when I found that jar of whole green peppercorns !  I had a very clear memory of driving all the way to Whole Foods to get those  (an hour and a half away)  back in the days of normal gas prices …. but, I hadn’t seen them since.

I was pretty ruthless, as I sorted and cleared, but some things are just too good to throw out.  Like some sage leaves from the garden that had hidden behind stuff on the counter, and a solid rock of brown sugar in need of some serious moisture therapy rehabilitation.  Then there was this pumpkin.  My neighbor grew this sweet pie pumpkin in his garden last summer.  For some reason, I hadn’t eaten it.  All through the fall and winter, I neglected it.  Right through ‘pie season’, I watched it sit there.  What was my problem, it’s not a decoration for heaven’s sake, it’s food.  And I think if ever there was a time to eat it, it had better be now.  Hmm, how long does a pumpkin last anyhow ?

The pumpkin had become a little dry.  Pretty much to the point where, on a more normal day, I might have just glanced left, then right .. (to see if anybody might witness and document the wasting of food), and purposefully shoved it off the counter into the compost bowl.

But, hey it’s raining and what else did I have planned.  So, I used some once-learned deep breathing technique, harnessed a bit of patience, and kept on cutting up that stubborn little pruney pumpkin, piling dry chunks in the steamer one by one.

And, wha’d’y’know, persistence paid off, that little pumpkin rallied.  A little re-habbed brown sugar, a few crunched up leaves of sage, and ah, those green peppercorns.  I think this is some kind of reward for my perseverance – I’m having really tasty pumpkin soup for dinner.

homegrown  ( the ‘category’ )  is where you’ll find stories inspired by the good people I know who are full of home-pride.  homegrown food, homemade friends, hometown business, home-style connections.  if you like this homey stuff, stay here – sunnydaygarden.com/category/homegrown.   your home … you’re home.

… she’s fresh and new, and will be telling stories and showing pictures about her favorite things, including but not limited to gardens, dirt, bugs, plants, food, cooking and eating .. and most likely something about cookies for breakfast ( default topic ).

Welcome ! and check back soon. You never know what you might find here.