Lilian + David

We want to give a special shout out to one of our brides, Lilian.  She designed and made not only her own wedding gown, but all of her bridesmaid gowns as well!  She is an up and coming designer from Southern California and we are so impressed with her work!

Thank you to Studio LoveJoy for the beautiful images of Lilian and David's special day!

Also thank you to all the great vendors that we love to work with!  Always a pleasure having you out at Rancho Dos Amantes!

Popolo     All About Events     Harveys Honey Huts     Kramer Events     The Queen Bees     Fetch      Slo Coast Coffee     Studio LoveJoy

Shannon + Anthony

Congratulations Shannon and Anthony! Thank you for celebrating you wedding weekend with Rancho Dos Amantes.

What a beautifully unique and intimate wedding. This is why we love being in this industry and doing weddings. We love watching couples come together and celebrate their love and wedding day with family and friends in a way that is so unique to them. 

There were so many great little details and personal touches put into Shannon and Anthony's wedding, from the beautiful hand made napkins and signature cocktails to a beautifully decorated custom tea tent. Their photo booth was also one of a kind and absolutely spectacular! Make sure to go check out Harmonic Light to see some of the amazing long exposer shots.

And that moon! Unfortunately we missed out on capturing any pictures of it, but there is nothing better than a gigantic moon settling over such a beautiful event. 

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And thank you to all the amazing vendors:
Catering/Staff: Trumpet Vine Catering
Rentals: All About Events, Stout Tents, Botanica Events
Photographer: Wobsarazzi
Photo Booth: Harmonic Light
Hair & Makeup: Taryn Rose from Courtney Rossi Artistry
Restroom Rental: Harvey's Honey Huts
Coordinator: Deoshia Hopkins
Flowers: Mikki Sage

Jill + Jeremy

Weaver & DesRosier Wedding

Another wedding down!  Thank you Jill and Jeremy for inviting your friends and family to share you special event here at Rancho Dos Amantes!  It was a pleasure having you.  We wish you a lifetime of wedded bliss, love, friendship and happiness!

Here are some photos from their event:

Also, check out this review we just received from a past bride!  You can visit the Wedding Wire website to see more great reviews: 

"When my husband and I first walked the venue we knew instantly this was going to be the place we got married. The peacefulness and tranquil atmosphere this venue exudes is exactly where we wanted to be. We were able to host an intimate rehearsal dinner the night before and enjoyed the property as we all got ready the day of. The casitas are spotless and absolutely adorable which we ended up doing hair in one and make up in the other. I am dying to get our professional pictures back to reminisce this amazing day and beautiful setting. We are still getting compliments of how amazing the venue was. Guests were impressed and completely enjoyed their time with us. We hired a shuttle bus company so no one had to worry about driving and everyone could enjoy themselves, that wast the perfect touch. Tamara (the owner) has been so great to us and we can't wait to visit the property again, this time to slow things down and enjoy the casitas on a weekend getaway. Thank you team RDA for letting us be on your breath taking property, our dreams are still full of Oak trees with Spanish moss hanging from them and endless lavender bushes getting lost into the hills that shadow behind them."
 

Nonini + Macomb Wedding

Thank you to Nichole and Justin for having your wedding here at Rancho Dos Amantes!  

We have officially kicked off wedding season and have been busy at the ranch!  Here are some photos of Nichole Nonini and Justin Macomb's beautiful wedding, borrowed from Zest It Up's website.  Chanda and Sam from Zest It Up do an amazing job!  So thank you to them and their team, and all the other vendors who joined us.

Fresh Tastes from the Garden- Broccoli

Eat Broccoli and Detox Your Bod

Broccoli has a strong, positive impact on our body's detoxification system, and researchers have recently identified one of the key reasons for this detox benefit. Glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiian, and glucobrassicin are 3 glucosinolate phytonutrients found in a special combination in broccoli. This dynamic trio is able to support all steps in body's detox process, including activation, neutralization, and elimination of unwanted contaminants.

Broccoli may help us solve our vitamin D deficiency epidemic as well. When large supplemental doses of vitamin D are needed to offset deficiency, ample supplies of vitamin K and vitamin A help keep our vitamin D metabolism in balance. Broccoli has an unusually strong combination of both vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) and vitamin K. For people faced with the need to rebuild vitamin D stores through vitamin D supplements, broccoli may be an ideal food to include in the diet.

Broccoli is also a particularly rich source of a flavonoid called kaempferol. Recent research has shown the ability of kaempferol to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances on our bod!

 

Broccoli Growing Tips

WHEN TO GROW:  Broccoli grows best in the cooler season and prefers temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees F.  So it is a good rule of thumb, when trying to figure out when to plant broccoli, to grow mostly during these temperatures. When planting broccoli in the spring, you want to make sure to allow plenty of time to harvest the broccoli before the weather becomes too hot.

SOIL:  Growing broccoli is done best in soils that are well-drained with a texture between sandy and clay loam. The pH of the soil is also very important. You should make sure the pH is between 5.8 and 6.5. This ensures best growth.

WATERING:  One of the best broccoli growing tips is to provide a uniform water supply to your plants. You should water the garden in the morning so the foliage is dry before the sun goes down. Make sure you water the broccoli enough to moisten the soil to a depth of six inches at least. 

NUTRIENTS: Broccoli needs lots of nutrients. I like to use Fish emulsion and kelp every 3-4 weeks.

HARVESTING: Broccoli is usually ready to pick 65 to 70 days after planting. You want to pick the broccoli when the heads are three to six inches around. To harvest, just cut the main stem of the broccoli about six inches below the head. Depending on the variety you planted, you may get some secondary smaller heads after you harvest the main head of broccoli.

TIPS:  As far as broccoli growing tips go, when planting broccoli make sure the rows are three feet apart. Plant the plants one and a half to two feet apart.

 

Roasted Broccoli with Lemon Zest

 

3 tablespoons olive oil

zest of 1 lemon

salt and black pepper to taste

2 cloves minced garlic

pinch of red pepper flakes

4 cups broccoli, pieced 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put sheet pan in the oven while it's heating

  2. In a large bowl mix 3 Tablespoons of olive oil,  the zest of one lemon,  a pinch of salt and black pepper, 2 cloves of garlic minced , a pinch of red pepper flakes. Add 4 C. of broccoli pieces to the bowl and toss until broccoli is well coated with mixture. Spread the broccoli and any remaining oil mixture in a single layer on athe heated sheet pan.

  3. Bake until florets are tender enough to pierce with a fork and the edges are browning, about 15-20 minutes.

 

ENJOY!

Fresh Tastes From the Garden- Easter Egg Radishes

While many vegetables have been pushed upon us at the dinner table as kids, you don’t often hear “eat your radishes, Honey.” Broccoli, spinach, green beans and asparagus are the more common culprits, but it might be worth adding radishes to the repertoire. As a Cruciferous vegetable like broccoli, radishes have a host of health benefits but are typically under-appreciated – pushed around on crudité platters until they’re all that’s left and then drowned in ranch dressing to wash them down.

However, for both their health benefits and amazing array of flavors radishes top our list of foods to start paying more attention to and eating on a daily basis. Especially in the spring and early summer when they grow locally and can be picked at their height of freshness and flavor, radishes should be a staple item in your kitchen.

Beyond the natural zing and satisfying crunch they provide, here are nine reasons to “eat your radishes!”

5. Eliminates toxins: In Eastern and Ayurvedic healing practices radishes are said to have effective toxin-purging effects, helping break down and eliminate toxins and cancer-causing free radicals in the body.

6. Protects against cancer: As a member of the cruciferous vegetable family (same family as broccoli and cabbage) radishes contain phytonutrients, fiber, vitamins and minerals that are cancer protecting.

7. Relieves indigestion: Radishes have a calming effect on the digestive system and can help relieve bloating and indigestion.

8. Low in calories, high in nutrients: With a very low calorie count, less than 20 calories in an entire cup, radishes are a great way to add nutrients, fiber and tons of flavor to your meals without compromising your health.

9. Keeps you hydrated: With a high water content and lots of vitamin C as well as phosphorus and zinc, radishes are a nourishing food for the tissues and can help keep your body hydrated and your skin looking fresh and healthy all summer long!

As adapted from Full Circle

1. Naturally cooling: Radishes are a naturally cooling food and their pungent flavor is highly regarded in eastern medicine for the ability to decrease excess heat in the body that can build up during the warmer months.

2. Sooth sore throats: Their pungent flavor and natural spice can help eliminate excess mucus in the body and can be especially helpful when fighting a cold. Radishes can help clear the sinuses and soothe soar throats too.

3. Aids digestion: Radishes are a natural cleansing agent for the digestive system, helping to break down and eliminate stagnant food and toxins built up over time.

4. Prevents viral infections: Because of their high vitamin C content and natural cleansing effects, regular consumption of radishes can help prevent viral infections.The radish is a cool-weather crop. Sow radishes in the garden 2 to 3 weeks before average date of the last frost in spring. In mild winter regions, grow radishes in late autumn and early winter. Radishes can withstand frost.

                              

Growing Tips

Radishes mature incredibly quickly (with some varieties taking only 3 weeks from seed to maturity),  they are very hardy, and they take up very little space in the garden.  Grow radishes in full sun or partial shade. Plant radishes in loose, well-drained soil. Add organic matter to planting beds before planting.  Sow radish seed ½ inch deep and 1 inch apart; thin successful seedlings from 1 to 4 inches apart in wide rows.  Keep radish planting beds moist but not wet. Even, regular watering will result in quick growth. Keep radishes evenly watered so that they grow quickly. Slow growth will cause radishes to taste hot.  Side dress radishes with aged compost at mid season.  The best part about growing radishes is that they have no serious disease problems.

Roasted Radishes with Mint and Feta

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Wash radishes, pat dry, cut off greens, and then halve or quarter radishes so they are roughly the same size.
  3. Toss the radishes with the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, honey, salt and pepper and spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring once or twice during cooking.
  5. Put radishes on a serving platter and top with feta cheese and mint.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2-2 pounds radishes, about 2 bunches, fresh
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice, about 1/2 fresh lemon juiced
  •  lemon zest from one lemon
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 C feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint

Enjoy!

Fresh Tastes from the Garden- Tuscan Kale

Jump on the kale bandwagon!

Tuscan kale, like all kale, is so, so good for you: a cup provides more than 100 percent of the daily value of vitamins K and A, and 88 percent of the daily value for vitamin C. Like other members of the Brassica family such as cabbage, collards and brussel sprouts, kale is a rich source of organic sulfur compounds that have been linked to cancer prevention. And...  It's yummy!!!

In cool-summer climates, kale is started in the early spring; however, plants actually love a little frost, so don't be afraid to start early. We grow it most of the year. It can be sown directly into the garden, and it is best to sow the seeds yourself.  Make sure you end up with plants that are spaced a little more than a foot apart, and preferably staggered from one row to the next.

Kale is a productive plant for any garden and is easy to grow.  In general, kale likes rich soil and plenty of sun.  It does best with moderate, consistent moisture and a steady supply of nutrients, like kelp and fish emulsion . This plant loves the cold and needs no frost protection where we live.

As for pests in our garden, aphids have been the greatest challenge. Trim off heavily infested leaves and make a regular habit of spraying plants (including undersides of leaves) with a forceful jet of water. This will discourage the aphids. You can also use organic insecticidal soaps or neem oil.  It's a productive plant for the small garden

 

So easy to grow, everyone should grow it!

 

Asian Kale-slaw 

  • 10 leaves of Tuscan or Dinosaur kale, stems removed, rolled and cut into slices "chiffonade" 
  • 3 carrots grated
  • 1/2 red bell pepper thinly sliced "julienned"  

Directions

Whisk together mayo, rice vinegar, lime juice and sweet chili sauce.  Add scallions, ginger, cilantro, basil and mint.  Add 1/2 the dressing to the kale, carrots, and red bell pepper mixture and toss to coat. You can add more dressing if you like or save remainder for another time.

Dressing for the slaw

  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tsp sweet chili sauce
  • 3 scallions thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp cilantro chopped
  • 2 tbsp basil rolled up and sliced
  • 1 tbsp mint rolled up and sliced
 

Kale is so versatile it can be added to soups, used in salads, mixed into a quiche, added to a sauté, roasted and the list goes on and on. So add a little Kale to everything!

Enjoy!

 

Fresh Tastes from the Garden- cauliflower

Move over Broccoli!  If you thought broccoli was good for you wait until you try Cauliflower.  Cauliflower is packed with fiber, this veggie is also a great source of vitamins C, K, and B6. It even contains omega-3 fatty acids. Today we will be cooking Roasted Cauliflower with Pine Nut, Raisin, and Caper Vinaigrette.  This warm, caramelized cauliflower is a perfect side dish to a simple roast chicken. 

Many people are afraid to try growing cauliflower because they think it's finicky, or that it's a crop only  experienced gardeners can have success with. While it does need quite a bit of room, it's a piece of cake to grow.  The ideal day time temperatures for cauliflower plants are in the 60s, so gardeners in many parts of the country may find it easiest to ripen a successful crop in the cool weather of fall. In mild winter areas, cauliflower can be grown for winter harvest.

Here are some helpful growing tips:

  1. Select a site with at least 6 hours of full sun.
  2. Soil needs be very rich in organic matter; add compost to the soil before planting.
  3. It is best to start cauliflower from transplants rather than seeds.
  4. Space the transplants 18 to 24 inches apart with 30 inches between rows.
  5. Fertilize with fish emulsion

Roasted Cauliflower with Pine nut, Raisin, and Caper vinaigrette

Directions

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Toss cauliflower with 3 Tbsp olive oil and chili flakes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.  Roast until cauliflower is tender and deeply browned on both sides, about 20 minutes total, flipping cauliflower with a thin metal spatula half way through roasting.
  2. While cauliflower roasts, combine remaining 3 Tbsp olive oil, vinegar, honey, capers, pine nuts, raisins, and parsley, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Transfer cooked cauliflower to a serving plate and spoon dressing on top.  Serve immediately. 

Ingredients 

  • 1 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 8 wedges 
  • 6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • a pinch or two of Aleppo Chili Flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp sherry or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp capers, rinsed, drained, and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley leaves 

Serve as a side dish. Yields about four servings. 

Some other dishes you can create with this in-season veggie are Cauliflower Mash, Cauliflower Soup and Cauliflower Gratin.  

Enjoy!  

Fresh Tastes from the garden- Winter Carrots

Fresh Tastes is our new series about what's in season in our garden and some delicious recipes you can create with what we pick each week.

Today we are featuring carrots  picked fresh from the garden.  We pulled Atomic Red, Scarlet Nantes, and Solar Yellow carrots from their cold winter bed and with them we will be making a warm, comforting Carrot & Coconut Soup with Curried Almonds and Coconut Cream.

 

Carrot & Coconut Soup with Curried Almonds and Coconut Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander, plus 1 Tbsp
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp unsalted butter, plus 2 Tbsp 
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz/60 g) sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 lb (1 kg) carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz/30 g) unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger grated about 1 Tbsp
  • 4 cups (32 fl oz/11) chicken broth
  • 1 can coconut milk 
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar

Directions

Stir together 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, the 1/4 tsp coriander, and the curry powder.

In a nonstick frying pan, melt the 1 1/2 tsp butter with 1 Tbsp water and the remaining 1 tsp sugar over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, swirling the pan to blend.  Add the almonds, stir to coat and cook until the liquid is almost evaporated, about 45 seconds.  Transfer to bowl with the spice mixture and toss to coat the almonds evenly.  Pour on a piece of parchment paper, spread in a single layer, and let cool.

In a large, heavy pot, melt the 3 Tbsp butter over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, carrots, coconut, ginger, and the 1 Tbsp coriander and stir to combine.  Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the vegetables give off some of their dark liquid, about 10 minutes.  Add the broth, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender.  Pour into a clean pot.  Add the coconut milk (reserve some for serving), the vinegar, and 1 tsp salt.  Cook gently over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 10 minutes.  Serve, sprinkled with the special almonds and swirled coconut milk.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma "Soup of the Day"

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Enjoy the familiar, earthy taste from the ground coriander and the exotic,  tropical sweetness from the coconut. Some other ideas for using your in season carrots are honey glazed roasted carrots, fresh vegetable stir fry, or julienne carrots over a salad.