Recipes Equal Direction Which Equals Success

As the ebb and flow of our lives continues we look back to certain events that have led us in a specific direction, this goes for our look into the future as well. Each step we take in relationship to whats important in our lives is the result of information processed and analyzed to the best of our ability.

Whether its relationships, work, or investments it is important to follow a recipe which leads down a path towards our dreams and goals.

For many without mentoring or divine guidance we rely on information that in many cases is either incomplete or incorrect. I submit that to be successful in any aspect of your life it is those that follow a recipe which includes confiding in those that are where you want to be, those you love and trust, and that gut feeling or instinct we all need to aware of. Quite simply put, the recipe for success leads to the direction you want to follow which ultimately leads to our physical, spiritual and financial accomplishments.

I wish it was as simple as following a recipe to bake a cake, but its not. I do know one thing for sure that any type of success takes hard work and discipline to achieve. There is another constant in achieving success and appreciating the value of it and that is suffering a defeat.

In Emily Dickinson’s lyric poem, “Success is counted sweetest” she uses images of a victorious army and one dying warrior to suggest that only one who has suffered defeat can understand success.

There was a man whom at the age of 35 was a wandering derelict and a hopeless alcoholic who nearly spent his last few dollars on a suicide gun. He describes his early life as never being more than a few paces ahead of bill collectors.

When he finally hit rock bottom he credits books, both modern and classic, with rescuing him. He was particularly moved by “Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude” by Napoleon Hill. Within 10 years using the principles he had learned from these amazing books he became the editor of “Success Unlimited” Magazine and shortly there after published his first best seller, “The Greatest Salesman in the World”.

The man’s name, Og Mandino. In addition to being the editor and chief of the magazine and writing best selling inspirational books, he also rose to become one of the most successful motivational speakers in the world.

If your recipe for success is working, congratulations. If it’s not then just remember one thing, you are the people you associate with and the books you read. I only hope for those of you reading this that you follow the recipe that works for you in the direction that becomes your calling leading to the success and happiness you have always dreamed of.

Oil and Vinegar… PAZAZ™ Style!

Cooking is an art. It is however understanding the basics that un-complicates the process and accentuates the nuances that go into a wonderful meal. Like bow upon string, oil and vinegar bring to the table different levels of flavor that takes a bland meal into the realm of the sublime.

It is the marriage of different flavored oils with unique vinegars that enhances the experience and makes your taste buds dance. The vibrant acidity from the vinegar tempered with oils infused with garlic, lemon, Tuscan herb, wild anithos dill, or sesame creates a new dimension, a very special flavor profile. The interesting variety of dressings or sauces gives new piquancy to any fruit, vegetable, seafood, chicken, or even steak creation.

Usually one part vinegar to two parts oil is the simple but universal recipe. The three companies that I like to use to procure the finest oils and vinegars are as follows:

    • Trio Carmel –
    • Solvang Olive Press – www.
    • Sedona Divine –

Vinegars I like to use are as follows:

    • Blackberry/Ginger Balsamic
    • Cranberry/Pear (White Balsamic)
    • Aged Blueberry
    • Black Mission Fig
    • Aged Alfoos Mango (White Balsamic)
    • Premium Serrano Honey
    • Aged Gravenstein Apple (White Balsamic)
    • Peach
    • Aged Golden Pineapple with Baklouti Green Chili (White Balsamic)

Oils I like to use are as follows:

    • Cilantro and Roasted Onion
    • Black Truffle
    • Blood Orange
    • Eureka Lemon
    • Wild Anithos Dill
    • Wild Rosemary
    • Garlic
    • Tuscan Herb

The difference regarding oils is in the taste. Ultra premium extra virgin olive oil is reserved for the finest extra virgin olive oils in the world. Infused means that in the case of the Solvang Olive Oil Company the product is organic and botanically derived from essential oils that are added after the oil is made. Extra virgin olive oils are free from defects, retain original flavor, produced entirely by mechanical means, without solvents or additives, under temperatures that will not degrade the oil. Less than 10% of the olive oils produced qualify as extra virgin.

Modena, Italy is the undisputed capital of vinegar. Modena balsamic from Modena Italy are crafted balsamic vinegars in which the recipes have been handed down from generation to generation. The famous “Modenese Medical Vinegar” dates back to 1046 with written imperial documentation. “Balsum” is Latin for something healthy for your body. Obtained by grape juice (must) instead of wine, the must is reduced by cooking to obtain a very dense syrupy liquid. Cooked must is placed in small barrels where it ferments slowly in winter and quickly in summer causing a natural concentration. Probiotic wild yeast and acetic bacteria naturally colonize, raising the acidity. Over time the mixture turns into vinegar.

To create a recipe that will dazzle even the most contentious meat eater simply follow this recipe:

The Organic Crab Loui Beet Down

1. Par boil Red Beets and Golden Beets (separate receptacles) then place in separate bowls. The Red Beets should marinate in the Black-Berry Ginger Balsamic Vinegar (cover bowl and place in refrigerator). The Golden Beets should marinate in the Cranberry/Pear While Balsamic Vinegar (cover bowl and place in refrigerator).

2. Peal raw multi-colored Carrots and place in Aged Golden Pineapple to marinate (cover bowl and place in refrigerator).

3. Wash Organic Butter Lettuce, dry and cut. Then place in large bowl for final mixture.

4. Slice Beets into thin rounds and place in Salad bowl with Lettuce. Mix with Peach Vinegar and add shaved Parmesan.

5. Place Beets and Lettuce into mold to shape

6. Add Alaskan King Crab formed on top of Salad mixture after boiling for 3 minutes and cooling. Add dollop of home made Thousand Island on top of Crab.

7. Finish with pealed Carrots around perimeter for color and texture.

Oil and Vinegar recipes can spin off into a thousand different combinations. Enjoy creating your very own special combination of sauces and dressings from oil and vinegar, and just remember one thing…

…The Journey is the Reward.

Paso Robles, Cambria, Carmel, Oh My!!!

Through our travels Nancy and I have discovered gems not discussed by friends or those I love and care about… and so, I want to tell you the amazing places to go in the above three towns that will most certainly make a very special vacation.

To begin, we’re driving from Las Vegas and so coming from the east our first stop on the highway 46 is Tobin James winery. For those of you not familiar with Paso Robles and Tobin James winery it is the Napa Valley 30 years ago. The difference is that the wineries are more spread out and in many cases encompassing much larger swaths of land. The focus is on varietals not usually within the wheelhouse of most wine lists outside this region.

When tasting wine at Tobin James enjoy the fun and drink in an atmosphere resembling a party that never ends orchestrated by employees that love what they do. Putting aside the mostly pedestrian wines just purchase the Tobin James, Zinfandel, “Once in a Blue Moon”, and you will have added a major component to your wine stash, cellar, or whatever you want to call it. Beautifully hand crafted with rich berry, subtle herbs and black pepper with notes of the earth it was so expertly crafted from finishing with a nuanced complexity so rarely displayed from zinfandel. This wine is the real deal!

Speaking of the real deal we have found the place to stay in Paso Robles, The Allegretto Vineyard Resort ( The display of one of a kind art integrated into a Spanish villa formula combined with an almost gothic castle like feeling means just one thing… this resort will not disappoint. A swimming pool, hot tub, and a wonderful restaurant (Cello Ristorante and Bar) will literally take you places you’ve never been. The bedrooms have twenty foot ceilings either with a patio or a fireplace depending on your preference and the time of year. The rooms look out to a courtyard with sculpted fountains lit in an array of colors next to fire pits framed by vineyards as far as the eye can see.

Paso Robles because of the climate and soil mirrors the southern wine growing region of France known as the Rhone region. Varietals such as Petite Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Roussane, and Petite Verdot are found either as stand alone varietals or blends that add dimension and complexity to the standard California varietal landscape of Cabernet, Merlot, Sauvignon blanc, and Chardonnay. While these grapes are found in abundance it is the Rhone varietals that have become the backbone of some of the greatest wineries in the region.

When in Paso Robles you must go to one of our favorite wineries, Herman Story. Ask for Russel P. and tell him Jack and Nancy sent you. Big and bold Rhone varietals sculpted into perfection… his wines are released twice a year in the Spring and the Fall. His team of perfectionists craft their wine with such precision and love that you know from the moment you taste any of these amazing wines that quality of product enhanced by attention to detail has led to a world class wine. The winery is named after Russel’s grandfather as an honorary tribute to a very special person that helped form the persona behind the brand.

Moving on to Cambria enjoy Linn’s for lunch. We had the oven roasted turkey sandwich with a homemade cranberry sauce on ciabatta bread with organic romaine lettuce. This, along with the New England clam chowder was the perfect introduction to the culinary scene in Cambria. When you go to Cambria and you enjoy the food from Linn’s please ask for Daniel Gnenett or the general manager Aaron Linn. Sit outside in the patio and enjoy the gracious service with quality product creating an ambience not to be forgotten.

We stayed at the Fireside Inn on MoonStone Beach in Cambria. Ask for room 128 so that you have a patio and corner room with a fantastic view of the ocean. Within a short hike you’ll walk across boardwalk planks that skirt across the sand, home to an abundance of squirrels with your destination being the vistas of tide pools, elephant seals, and of course the majesty of the Pacific Ocean. The negative ions from the crashing surf neutralize free radicals, revitalize cell metabolism, purify the blood, and enhance immune functionality. All this by just taking the time to walk down to the beach!

Next was dinner in Cambria at a very small romantic restaurant, Madeline’s restaurant and wine tasting room. We shared the Madeline salad with roasted beets, Granny Smith apple, goat cheese, hazelnuts in an apple cider vinaigrette. I had the veal chop and Nancy had the filet. The veal chop was outstanding…Pan seared with crispy shallots, rosemary butter, garlic mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables. Of course with every great dish their has to be a great wine paired with it. In this case we had the Weatherborne Pinot Noir 2013 from the Santa Rita Hills near Santa Barbara. Big, rich, with stewed cherry and plum, cedar and a whiff of green tea on the nose finished with layers of earth and spice with fine tannins and bright acidity.

Driving up the coast on the one is a magical carpet ride. The first sense of spring with yellow mustard cloaked around wild grass over rolling hills imparts a sense of humbleness as we take in the complete picture. On one side is the ocean and the other is the brushstroke of colorful flora that beckons us to the sensory experience unfolding before us. And so as we proceed north on the one our sights are clearly set towards one of our favorite towns on earth, Carmel.

We’re staying at the Pine Inn located on Ocean Ave. and Lincoln St. in the beautiful town of Carmel by the sea. Ask for room 1 which has a large sitting room, fireplace, king size bed, and a classic design of yesteryear with silk tapestry wall paper and hand carved oak in an intricate fashion giving a bold flavor to the room highlighted by a marble bathroom with all the amenities. The perfect location means that culinary delights are just around the corner.

We had our Valentines Day dinner at the Bistro Giovanni located on San Carlos and 5th Ave. Ironically we were served by the daughter of the owner Mr.Giovanni and were so grateful to meet this wonderful restaurant icon. It seems in our travels that we have been truly blessed to have very special interactions like that become apart of our journey which adds to the flavor of the trip creating another memory we will never forget.

Things That Make You Smile… PAZAZ™ Style!

We’ll start off with the simple things that make you smile and then work up to the greatest smile of all.

A spring day ( Epanoui- In full bloom beaming and cheerful) with a glistening sun orchestrating its magical glow over the waves pounding the ivory shell laden sandy beach.

In the distance the outline of Tulips raising their sleepy heads towards the sun grasping energy enhancing rays bringing the colorful spectrum of flowers to life. Smiles wrapped in smiles witnessing a visual sensory experience dusted with the fragrance of salty air.

To add another layer to this visual just include a euphonious voice singing your favorite melodies backed by harmonious instrumentals driven by a beat that sways your soul… this picture will most certainly bring a smile that holds this moment in time.

Children laughing, music playing, couples dancing, sunsets, or a sojourn through a forest capturing the serenity and peacefulness that breathes in tranquillity to re-generate your state of mind. Whatever brings a smile to your face it is important to live in the moment and remember that the simple things in life are what really matters.

Seeing a family member you haven’t seen in years or a great friend from the past most certainly always brings a smile to your face. The humanity of connection brings an internal smile that is genuine, lasting, and beautiful. That bond is formed in trust strengthened by time and creates a bridge etched in the memories of events only shared by those in that moment.

When I was knee high to a grasshopper I can remember another experience that always lifted my spirits and brought an immediate smile to my face… my mother’s baking. Sometimes I’d smell that delicious aroma and be pulled towards the kitchen like a dog to a bone. Nothing could stop my curiosity and urge to try whatever brought me to that spatula covered in the sweet goodness of culinary delights. This brings me to a recipe from my mom’s repertoire of desserts destined to bring a smile to your face.



1 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil

    • 3 Eggs
    • 1 TSP Real Vanilla Extract
    • 2 Cups Brown Sugar
    • 2 Cups Wheat Flour
    • 2 TSP Baking Soda
    • 2 TSP Cinnamon
    • 1 TSP Sea Salt
    • 1 20 OZ Can Crushed Pineapple (Drain)
    • 2 Cups Medium Organic Carrots (Don’t take short cut with pre-packaged)
    • 2 Cups Walnuts
    • 7 OZ Coconut


    1. Mix oil, eggs, real vanilla extract, and brown sugar
    2. In another bowl mix dry ingredients: Wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon and sea salt.
    3. Mix drained pineapple, carrots, walnuts, and coconut with all ingredients.
    4. Prepare PAZAZ™ Heavy Duty Aluminum Baking Sheet Pan, grease and flour pan.
    5. Bake 45-55 minutes.

Call me for secret frosting recipe.

However, the greatest smile of all is watching your baby being born and the everlasting joy that makes a house a home, and a relationship bonded with unconditional love.