Edible and Medicinal Herbs of the Southern California Coast
by Lanny Kaufer
The Southern California Coast stretches from the Santa Maria River in the north to the U.S.-Mexico border. This fertile region is home to countless edible and medicinal herbs prized by foragers and herbalists. Both native and non-native species can be found in Southern California’s springtime mountains, canyons, valleys, yards, and gardens.
By Kerstin Kuhn
The English writer W. Somerset Maugham once wrote that “there are few things so pleasant as a picnic lunch.” And who would disagree? After all, what can beat the delightful simplicity of spreading a blanket and relaxing in nature with your favorite friends and a basket of food?Read More
Sightseeing by Saddle
Get off the beaten path with these horseback riding companies
By Marlowe Hast
If you’re yearning to get away from it all, there’s just nothing like putting on a brimmed hat, swinging your leg over a horse, and getting out into the wilderness. It compels you slow down and find a new perspective, as the rhythm of the trail sets the pace.
Horses are a part of life for many along the Central Coast, and visitors — both experienced riders and beginners — have several options to experience that lifestyle by trekking out into wild places. Here are three from each county to get you started on your outdoor adventures.Read More
The Alchemy of Ojai Botanika
Eco-friendly soaps and candles find a following in Central Coast shops — and on the web
Story by Misty Hall Photos by Malina Majikina
In a lot of ways, Ojai Botanika bridges the gap between old-school and new. Founder Malina Majikina started her soap and candle company the way craftspeople have done since, well, forever: through word of mouth. But her business really took off when she began connecting with customers through social media platforms, which allowed her to vastly expand her reach. Today, Ojai Botanika ships its all-natural soaps, candles, and curios around the world.Read More
Tri-tip tribe: Searching for the best barbecue on the Central Coast
Story and photos by Katherine McMahon
Barbecue: Technically, it’s just food cooked over a flame. The term comes from a Native American word for slow cooking meat over a fire. But today there is so much cultural complexity that goes along with the word, particularly when meat is involved. Depending on where you’re at and who you ask, you’ll get very different definitions. While many famous barbecue styles come from the southern U.S., there are countless other varieties like Hawaiian, Korean, and even a style native to the Central Coast dubbed Santa Maria style. In my travels on the Central Coast, I have eaten at barbecue restaurants that encompass a range of tradition and innovation, drawing from regional preferences and those across the globe.Read More
Fall Comfort Food
By Randy Graham
Fall brings a yearning for cozy blankets, hot apple cider, and comfort foods here on California’s Central Coast. One of my go-to comfort foods is poutine with plenty of tangy gravy.
My riff features French fries, cheese curds, and gravy made with vegetable stock and rice vinegar. If you’re looking for comfort food for Halloween or Día de Los Muertos, give my quesofundido a try. It is good with a bowl of fresh tortilla chips or small handmade flour tortillas for dipping. If you need to provide comfort food to vegetarians visiting at Thanksgiving, we have you covered there too.
Try my veggie meatballs made with walnuts, onions, fresh sage, and mild longhorn cheese. Veg heads and meat lovers of all ages love this recipe. AnotherThanksgiving favorite of mine is my mom’s riced potatoes recipe, made with russet potatoes, butter, half-and-half, sour cream, and Parmesan cheese.Read More