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Bites & Sips

A blog about all things food and drink
Tips For Making The Perfect Irish Coffee

Tips For Making The Perfect Irish Coffee

Sauvignon Blanc: Perfect For Warm Autumnal Days

Sauvignon Blanc: Perfect For Warm Autumnal Days

Though the nights have cooled the days are still hot here in Northern California and nothing goes better with the autumnal sun than a sublime glass of Sauvignon Blanc.  These wines can really hit the spot, offering the precise quantities of fruit, florals, acidity and balance. ...

Squaw Valley’s Plumpjack Café Hits all the High Notes

Squaw Valley’s Plumpjack Café Hits all the High Notes

For all it’s fame and glory as a former Olympics town, and its majestic beauty ringed with 8,200’ peaks, Olympic Village at the base of Squaw Valley is quiet on a Friday night in August. There’s lots to do here in summer; you can pick your vacation poison. Hiking, bungee...

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Jazz-up Grilled Salmon with Fresh Corn Salsa

Try this recipe to lift ordinary grilled fish or chicken to a guest-worthy level. Fresh salsa makes a perfect accompaniment to summertime meals, especially grilled salmon.  With just 5 ingredients, it’s a 5-minute salsa or side dish that requires no cooking.  Top fish, chicken...

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Happenings

Valero Benicia Refinery Awards Grants to Local Children's Charities

Valero Benicia Refinery Awards Grants to Local Children's Charities

28 Charities working with children collectively receive $375,000

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VIA Magazine Features Benicia in November 2013 Issue

VIA Magazine Features Benicia in November 2013 Issue

AAA's VIA Travel Magazine Features Benicia, CA

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Casino Night and Texas Hold 'em

This year's annual Casino Night & Texas Hold-em event will be held at the Commanding Officer's Quarters, Saturday, March 16 from 6-10pm. Benicia Rotary and Benicia Soroptimist team up to produce a The evening promises to a delightful evening of gaming, finger food & fun!...

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Phil Joy House Moves Again: Image Recreated on Southampton Home

Phil Joy House Moves Again: Image Recreated on Southampton Home

Benicia’s travelling Victorian house can be spotted in yet another Benicia locale. Little did homeowners Monique and Jim Moench know when they commissioned a mural from local artist Mernie Buchanan that Phil Joy’s Queen Anne would inspire the transformation of the back of the...

Expanding Experiences a Big Success

Expanding Experiences a Big Success

Liberty High School, the Rotary Club of Benicia, and Arts Benicia would like to thank the following sponsors for their support of “Expanding Experiences” September 12, 2012, for a successful event that brings art, culture and creativity to students. Allied Waste Bank of the...

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Recommended Reading From Local Book Clubs

Featured Book Club: No official name, formed in 2010 Number of Members: 12 Accepting New Members: With two new members, the club is currently full Frequency: Once a month on Wednesday at 11am Location: Rotates at members’ homes for a “yummy” lunch & book...

Benicia’s Annual Antiques & Collectibles Fair Returns This Month

Benicia’s Annual Antiques & Collectibles Fair Returns This Month

With only one more year until the Fair’s golden anniversary, the annual event is still packing in the crowds. One of the largest fairs of its kind in Northern California, First Street is closed to vehicle traffic from J Street to the waterfront each year. It is said to attract upwards of...

Timeline Project at Arts Benicia

This summer, Arts Benicia continues to celebrate its 25th Anniversary year with the Timeline Project. The idea is simple; we are laying out documentation of our history in chronological order around the gallery, on tables and on the walls. We have images, posters, flyers, notebooks, cards and...

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California Parks  Dept. Underreports $54 Million

California Parks Dept. Underreports $54 Million

Surplus discovered in Parks Department budget evokes anger amid State Park closures

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July 28 & 29: Benicia Fine Art & Jazz Festival

July 28 & 29: Benicia Fine Art & Jazz Festival

The 5th Annual Benicia Fine Art & Jazz Festival brings something for everyone.  The event will take place Saturday and Sunday, July 28th and 29th in Downtown Benicia. With the Carquinez Straits as the picturesque backdrop, along the beautiful waterfront promenade and the First Street...

Travel

Trips, Trails, Paddling and Cycling

Trips, Trails, Paddling and Cycling

New this summer, Squaw Valley is offering free, guided hikes on the upper mountain, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. The one-hour guided hikes leave from High Camp, at an elevation of 8,200 feet, and travel across Squaw Valley’s mountaintop meadow. Navigating...

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North Lake Tahoe News & Events

North Lake Tahoe News & Events

It’s late July, and it’s going to be another beautiful week in North Lake Tahoe with clear and sunny skies with highs predicted to reach 83 degrees by Friday. Here are some highlights for the coming week: Lake Tahoe continues to boast environmentally friendly transportation...

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A Hike in Squaw Valey Punctuates Lack of Water

A Hike in Squaw Valey Punctuates Lack of Water

It's good to get out of Benicia if you want a really good vertical hike, and Squaw Valley is my favorite disctractions. Its majestic bowls and rare granite outcroppings awe-inspiring. As much as I enjoy a good hike just about anywhere that poison oak doesn't grow, Squaw has an added...

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Healdsburg Offers Unique Wine-tasting Experiences

Healdsburg Offers Unique Wine-tasting Experiences

Healdsburg is always a fun day trip on its own, but getting outside the downtown shopping area adds a new level of enjoyment. A recent trip found us scoping out the Russian River Valley wineries, then meeting friends for dinner Downtown. Two winery gems just up 101 to the north that share...

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Decoding Online Travel Reviews

Decoding Online Travel Reviews

Before booking a trip where I’ll be staying somewhere new, I consult the ever-expanding industry of online reviews. Navigating the different sites can be annoying, there are so many of them, each with different posting protocols. Some sites can be manipulated to favor advertisers, so I...

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Fresh, Flavorful and Filling, bite Serves up Scrumptious Small Plates

Fresh, Flavorful and Filling, bite Serves up Scrumptious Small Plates

Restaurants in small mountain towns have all the usual challenges that city eateries do, and then some: they also face the additional problem of navigating the seasonal ebb and flow of tourism, even when they are located around Lake Tahoe, and even when they are in affluent towns like Incline...

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A Rainy Day's Tasting

A Rainy Day's Tasting

California Wineries offer Rhone-style wines

Best Biscuits and Gravy on the Lake

Best Biscuits and Gravy on the Lake

On Tahoe’s North Shore, locals and visitors rave about their favorite breakfast hangout.

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Style

Style of all types

Preparations Underway For Annual Art Gala

Arts Benicia has two big reasons to revel at this year’s annual art auction, one of Solano County’s most significant and fun events. The premier arts organization is celebrating their silver anniversary, and the 20th anniversary of the auction itself. This is an opportunity for...

Shop Benicia First - Win Prizes!

The 3rd annual SHOP BENICIA FIRST SCAVENGER HUNT is on!  Sponsored by the Biznet Committee of the Benicia Chamber of Commerce, this year’s entry forms will highlight the logos and photos of 14 local businesses to be identified.  Entry forms can be picked-up at the Chamber...

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Local Artist Mernie Buchanan

Local Artist Mernie Buchanan

Mernie Buchanan, a local artist with a downtown studio for twenty five years, is best known for her fine art painting series, the ‘Faux Louvre’. Buchanan travels to fine art museums in Europe and the United States and sketches original masterpieces, then paints watercolor...

Bistro Jeanty a Perennial Favorite

Bistro Jeanty a Perennial Favorite

Most of us have a favorite dining spot we return to over and over again. For my money, Bistro Jeanty never fails to entertain or to provide exemplary French food in an authentic, unpretentious atmosphere. Mike and I have been going there for years, and it’s still our number one go-to...

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Port Sheds its Stuffy Image

Port Sheds its Stuffy Image

Here in the US, and in other world markets, port wines seemed, for a time, to fall out of fashion. As the stodgy end of a formal dinner party or perhaps your grandmother’s nightcap, port has had a rather stuffy reputation. But the fortified wines appear to be enjoying a...

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Post-Season Thoughts on Bocce Ball

Bocce Ball is a simple game, or one would think. Until I was asked to join a Bocce Ball Team this season I didn’t think much about it. I thought it was a game played mostly by older people to occupy their time after retirement.  I was told that I should try out for the team...

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FUR-ocious Fall Fashion

FUR-ocious Fall Fashion

This season we seem to be revisiting the early 1970's, and recapturing the mood of the era with paisley, worn denim, crocheted trim, burn-out velvet and a renewed interest in fur. Fur, worn as protection by prehistoric man, has, as fashion, waxed and waned throughout history. From the days...

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Free, Fresh and Organic - Blackberries Grow Wild in Benicia

Free, Fresh and Organic - Blackberries Grow Wild in Benicia

Attention blackberry lovers: you can find fresh, local, organic blackberries, free, with exercise thrown into the mix. Take a stroll along the waterfront on the west side of downtown, where wild blackberries can be found in pockets here and there. Even better, try the entrance to the State Park,...

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Restaurant Meals Delivered in Under an Hour

Restaurant Meals Delivered in Under an Hour

Sometimes you just need a break in the dinner routine. We usually head to First Street on Friday nights, but the June Gloom is insisting on a different approach: comfy sweats and a couple good movies. I’m hungry but don’t want to cook—what to do?Here’s one solution....

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Currents: Market Fresh

Currents: Market Fresh

Get Your Superfoods HereThis year’s Farmers Market is off to a rollicking start. Now in its 19th year, cooked meals at homes all over town have been supplanted with al fresco dining at the Market. In addition to the returning Mexican food vendors, Fox and Fawn Bakehouse, new this year, is...

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Sustainability

Interview: Sue Frost Alfeld, Water Educator

Interview: Sue Frost Alfeld, Water Educator

Water is on everyone’s minds these days. The state declared an official drought in January, and any amount of rainfall is greeted with joy tempered by the realization that no single storm will make up for three dry years. So Benicia’s water resource education specialist,...

Benicia State Parks Get A Short-term Reprieve

Benicia State Parks Get A Short-term Reprieve

In 2012, the Benicia State Parks Association's arduous negotiations with the State avoided closure of the Benicia Capitol State Historic Park. The situation was dire—the Capitol is Benicia’s branding, the cornerstone of our identity and the shining centerpiece of our tourism...

Water-saving Tips For California’s Deep Drought

Water-saving Tips For California’s Deep Drought

Governor Brown declared a state of emergency in January, midway through our third dry winter in a row, as we face what may be the worst drought on record in California. Snowpack in the Sierras is currently down to 12% of normal. The governor has called for a 20% reduction in water use...

Benicia State Parks Association 2012 Annual Update

Benicia State Parks Association 2012 Annual Update

The Benicia State Parks Association was successful in meeting its biggest challenge of 2012 by keeping the Benicia Capitol State Historic Park open and fully accessible to the public.  This achievement was made possible in large part by the hard work and overwhelming volunteer support in...

Benicia Expo Entices Clean Tech to the Arsenal

Benicia Expo Entices Clean Tech to the Arsenal

Members of the City of Benicia's Sustainability Commission are gearing up for the CleanTech Exposition to be held later this month at the Benicia Historical Museum. The Expo is a two-day celebration of Benicia's existing clean tech businesses, such as Bio Rad, as well as an enticement...

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Recycling Just A Few More Items Helps Reduce Greenhouse Gas

Recycling Just A Few More Items Helps Reduce Greenhouse Gas

We can all be doing more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by recycling items we are currently throwing away. It’s getting easier to recycle curbside now that Allied Waste is collecting brown carts every week. And if that’s not enough to contain your recyclables, get an additional...

Best Western Plus Heritage Inn, Benicia joins “Clean the World” Campaign

Best Western Plus Heritage Inn, Benicia joins “Clean the World” Campaign

Best Western Plus Heritage Inn, Benicia has teamed up with the Clean the World campaign to help save lives of children around the world.  Every day in the United States alone, 1.5 million bars of soap are discarded along with other bathroom amenities. These unused soaps and bathroom...

Tips For Green Cleaning

Tips For Green Cleaning

Do you associate a clean home with the lingering fragrances from commercial household cleaning products? According to Deirdre Imus, best-selling author and founder of the Greening the Cleaning program, household cleaning fragrances could be harmful to your health. The Deirdre Imus...

Oops! Correct Information for Household Hazardous Waste at Devlin Transfer Station

Devlin Road Facility no longer accepts household hazardous waste from Benicia Residents

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Butternut Squash Soup: A Winter Take On A Fall Favorite

Butternut Squash Soup: A Winter Take On A Fall Favorite

Cool winter evenings demand that curvaceous flesh- toned beauty, still readily available in supermarkets for hearty, warming meals. That’s right, the sweet, long-lasting and bodacious Butternut and other squash varieties make for a delicious soup that never fails to please....

Benicia Magazine Blogs

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Style

Benicia has style and this blog is the place to find it! From art to sports; books to home & garden, fashion, food and fun to favorite haunts & jaunts. It’s all about living with style.

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Travel

Day trips, weekend getaways and vacation destinations are the focus of this blog. Food & wine, The Lake Tahoe area and California’s wine country will feature prominently.

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Happenings

Looking for something to do? This blog has it all - events, sports, civic matters, festivals, music, art, history and everything that’s happing in Benicia, as well as events in Solano County and the greater Bay Area.

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Sustainability

This blog will focus on sustainability matters of all types including green living. Watch for tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint, what’s happening at the City level, how private businesses are doing their part, news from Benicia’s Sustainability Commission, Benicia Community Garden updates and more.

   

Bites & Sips

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