Thanksgiving Decorating at Rancho La Zaca, and a Printable Place Card

Is Thanksgiving your favorite? Mine too. What is that about? Is it what Christmas used to be about? You know, family, friends, congenial gatherings, gratitude? Just a thought. It’s also one of my favorite times at our home, Rancho La Zaca. Here are a few highlights from last year and perhaps some inspiration for you this year.

What a Month! Part 1: CityKids Storm the Ranch!

Whew. And you wonder why I haven’t posted more. (Or maybe not.) And I wonder why I still haven’t finished my book. Here’s the answer. It starts with a rodeo. August 4: Yup, when I landed back here in Californee we went straight to the rodeo in Santa Barbara. I love me a rodeo for five… Continue reading What a Month! Part 1: CityKids Storm the Ranch!

Just Another Night at the Ranch… Starring Shirley Jones and the Cassidy Brothers

How often do you have in your living room an Academy Award-winning actress, a Tony Award-winning costume designer, an Emmy-winning composer, and a Grammy-nominated bona-fide teen idol all at once?
We did when we hosted a singalong with Shirley Jones and Shaun Cassidy and decided to make an evening of it. Rancho La Zaca was filled with music, laughter, and a tear or two.

The Best Lemon Pie in Your Life (Not Exaggerating)

A while ago I heard about a lemon pie, a North Carolina lemon pie, that changed my life.Well not really but I wanted to get your attention. It is that good. “A North Carolina Pie That Elicits an ‘Oh My God’ Response” ran on NPR’s All Things Considered’s Found Recipes series courtesy of Katie Workman, who is fab…

The Perfect One-Dish Summer Supper

Company this weekend? Summer is all about casual entertaining, and here (said she modestly) is the perfect summer supper. Crowd-pleasing, minimal prep and cooking time, surf and turf. Did I have you at hello, or what. Ladies and gentlemen, all the way from the South Carolina Lowcountry, I give you Frogmore Stew. You may be… Continue reading The Perfect One-Dish Summer Supper

Fixin’ Up for the Fourth of July

Time to star spangle the banner. if you’re having a big crowd, consider one long table. It’s a great look and you won’t worry about uneven seating at smaller tables – 14 crammed around one while two or three are at another, feeling unpopular. Pennant flags and big paper lanterns are a lot of look for the money…

Little Life Enhancer: A Handy Way to Clean Dental Devices

Here’s a nifty little case for cleaning retainers and bleaching trays. You know how grotty they can get. It’s called a FreshKase, and you put your dental thingie in it and pop it in the dishwasher. Boom. $11.95. A good little travel case, too.

A Tale of Two Birthdays–Indoor and Outdoor Entertaining

Here are two dinner parties I hope you enjoy and are inspired by. One is outdoors in the olive grove at Rancho La Zaca, our home in California. The other is in the beautiful Manhattan apartment of my friend Carolyne Roehm.