10 EASY THINGS YOU CAN DO IMMEDIATELY TO INCREASE YOUR DESIRABILITY WITH WOMEN.

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To some of you these things may seem simple. Well, they are! And so many of you are not doing them. So take a gander and use what helps and discard what doesn’t. I mean, it’s not rocket science…..

1. Buy A Tongue Scraper.

Seriously? A tongue scraper? YEP!

Did you know that much of the bacteria that grows in your mouth originates from your tongue? That’s right, a huge part of what we know as halitosis, or bad breath is caused by your tongue. And since you want to get as close to a woman as possible as quickly as possible, you need to get your breath in check! Did you also know that a woman’s sense of smell is far more acute than ours? Yep, it’s a fact. And if you have bad breath, you will automatically turn what might be a lovely evening with a lovely woman in lovely positions into another lone night in front of the TV wondering what the hell happened. And by the way, a woman will NOT tell you that your breath smells like ass. She will just LEAVE.

Of course you need to brush and floss often and don’t forget to always have some mints with you. One trick I like is to use Listermint strips packs. They fit perfectly in the condom pocket (on most pairs of jeans these days) next to your jimmy hat. At the very least throw some gum or a mint or two in there.

Bottom Line: the junk that accumulates on your tongue could be screwing you over! I guarantee that once you use a tongue scraper and see the amount of crap that you have been carrying around on your tongue, you will never look back. So add a tongue scraper to your oral hygiene regimen NOW and you will up your percentage immediately!

2. No More Whiplash!

A woman walks into a bar. She’s a hottie. And every guy in the place swivels their heads like hyenas after a limping baby gazelle. It’s absurdly obvious and believe it or not, not attractive to the hottie. How many times have you seen or even been this guy?!? Hey, I have done it too. It’s hard for us men not to. That’s how we are hard wired. But STOP doing that!

All the women I have known, dated, or just interviewed, has said the same thing. Ask them yourself. A woman can scan an entire room in an instant. It’s in her DNA. Women are amazing creatures. They are the closest thing to superheroes we have. Their awareness on all levels is quite incredible really. And when they walk into a room of drooling man beasts, it’s not attractive. In fact, it can be very frightening. But that’s another conversation.

In this instance we are talking about DESIRABILITY. We all want what does not need us. When a woman walks into a room with 10 guys in it and 9 guys heads swivel like horny bobble head dolls, what do you think she takes note of? Exactly! The one guy who’s head does not whip around. He is the one who kept his cool. He is the one who doesn’t come off as desperately hungry for some McLovin.

So take a cue from our female counterparts and learn to be DISCREET. A woman can check you out of the corner of her eye and you will never even know it. Pay attention to your own actions. Check yourself when hotties enter the room. If you crane your neck and look directly at her; you have failed. Next time you are out on the town just chill at a table somewhere and observe what other guys are doing. You will want to kick yourself when you realize how obvious you have been. But don’t, you might pull a groin muscle. and hopefully you will be needing it soon.

3. Read This Book!: The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz.

This book has NOTHING to do with getting more dates or pick-up tips. I am recommending it because it does something deeper. This book teaches you how to deal with things very simply and that empowers you in a way that you NEED. This book is based on ancient Toltec wisdom and it’s oddly fitting for the modern dating world. One of the things I always stress in your dating life is to be strong on the inside.

THE thing that women say they want in a man is confidence. And they can sense it from across the room. In order to gain confidence and strength on the inside, you have to have the right mindset. To gain the right mindset, you have to train your self. This book will help you do that. The main Agreement that I want you to understand is the one that states, “ Take Nothing Personal.”

When you understand and really get this one, it will open your eyes and you will no longer fear rejection, but see it as another avenue to what you want. Remember, people do things for their own reasons and most of the time it has nothing to do with you. unless you’re an ass, in which case, it’s all you. Or if you have bad breath. (See above to fix that!)

4. Look Better!

Here is a great and easy tip for you. You can incorporate this one into a possible impromptu date. I have done this in the past. Find a woman that you like or a woman who is of the caliber you want in your life. Ask her to take you shopping for a new shirt, pants, or entire wardrobe! What woman does not want to go shopping?

Tell her you want to get her opinion and listen to what she says. Now she not only gets to go shopping, she also gets to “fix” a man! Make sure she has good taste though. You really don’t want to end up looking like a total douche.

So make sure she is interested in your type or the type of man you wish to become. Look at who her past BF’s have been. All abusive pricks? Run. All douchey hipsters? Run. Cool guys who seem to have their shit together, treated her well, and maybe they are still friends? Niiice.

Now multiply this technique! Take one lovely out for shirts. Take another out for shoes. Another for pants. Another for cologne (my favorite). Etc., etc., and so on...Lather, rinse, repeat!

5. Mind Your Words!

What you say says a lot about where you are in life and what your potential is. Check on the things you are saying. Have you ever been around a “Negative Nancy?” You know the type. They have a habit of pissing in everyone’s Cheerios no matter how sunny the day is. They see the worst in every situation. Do you think their relationships are solid, healthy, and pleasant? I’m gonna go with “NO” here.

Well, you do not want to be that person! It’s not just negativity we’re talking about here though. It’s self sabotage, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Or just being boring or weird. I hate to break it to you, but women are looking or a reason to push you away. They are testing you ALL the time. It’s just reality. They may not even be doing it consciously, but they are doing it. So you HAVE to be proactive.

Talk to your friends and ask them how they perceive you. How you come across as a man. Are you solid and self confident? Are you meek and timid? Whatever it is, take a very REAL look at who you are and where you need improvement. Start speaking to these areas. Don’t say things like “I can’t afford ________.” Say “How can I afford that?”

Don’t look at a woman and think you can’t be with her. Think of how awesome she may be and how you could enrich her life. After all, if you have ever been in a relationship, it started out with a woman you did not know at one time.

So start monitoring your speech and use strong confident words: I can, I am, I will, I have! Speak strong from the inside and it will radiate to the outside.

6. Ask Questions The RIGHT Way!

When you are talking with a woman, never ask Yes or No questions. Those are conversation killers. Women think differently than men. Not about different things, but literally in a different way then we do. They are more prone to emotion and story than men. For example: If we do the dishes totally unexpected one day for our wife or GF without being asked and asking nothing in return; she may see it as a genuine act of love and we are a knight in shining armor. We may think that maybe she was stressed and we just wanted to pitch in, because, you know, we love her. But in her mind there are numerous stories and feelings that she is dealing with that will take her all over the map as to why you did what you did. We are more linear. Something needs to be done and we do it. We are men. We get shit done. The end.

Well, conversations are the same way. Asking boring yes and no questions will quickly get dull and feel like a job interview. Women want excitement, entertainment, and fantasy. When you ask questions that allow her to explore these areas of her brain, it gets interesting for her. It allows her to access feelings and connect “what ifs” and “why nots?” in her life and tell stories and make up new and exciting adventures in her head. And she will attach these feelings to YOU. So now you are not just another boring guy she has to suffer through. Now you are an interesting diversion to her otherwise boring day or life and that means you are a possible new adventure to be savored. You do want to be savored right?

So ask questions like this, “How do you feel about...?” Or, “What do you remember about...?” And, even better, don’t ask at all. Say, “Tell me about your...” That shows confidence and a simple dominance that’s appealing to most women. It also allows them to access emotions and memories which are very powerful and if you attach yourself to good memories, you may become a saucy part of her sexy future.

7. Improve YOU!

“If you want a one-in-a-million woman, you need to be a one-in-a-million man.”

I heard this from a dating guru years ago and I thought it was awesome! I live by this saying to this day. So what exactly does this mean? It means that you need to be on a quest every day to be a better you. It’s just that simple. How do you do that? Well, take a look at yourself. I’m sure there is something about you you would like to change. There are probably many things you would like to change. Personally I have plenty of things that need improvement and there are many things I wish to learn to enhance my life.

But not only to enhance my life. I do things that will enhance the lives of the women that are involved with me. A woman wants a man who is constantly improving. If he is not improving; he is shriveling. No woman wants a man who is shriveling. Not in he bedroom and not in life. Ick, “shriveling,” that’s just a bad word all around. Don’t do it.

So find things to learn that will enhance your life. Learn a new language, play the guitar (chicks dig music), learn to Tango, whatever. Just do things that improve you and continue to move your life forward and expand. Not only does it bring happiness to your life, but your being happy will engage the women in your life. They want a happy man! When you accomplish something, you feel a sense of pride, confidence, and satisfaction. They can sense that. Constantly strive to better yourself and you will find before you know it that you have a lot of value as a man. So get out there and learn some shit!

8. Make A Decision!

Every woman I talk to tells me the same thing on this. “Where are the men?” What they mean is “Why can my man not make a frickin decision?” Seriously fellas how many times has this happened to you? Your wife/gf asks you what you want to do tonight (TEST), and you say, “I don’t know honey, what do you want to do tonight?” (FAIL).

Here’s the big secret, fellas. She WANTS you to make a DECISION! She wants you to man up, grow a pair and show her why she was attracted to you in the first place. I know it sounds simple, but what you are doing by making a decision is that you are LEADING. I don’t care what kind of ridiculous feminist brainwashing we have been subjected to all these years about being subservient to the fairer sex. Women want a man to take the lead. But don’t worry. If you are wrong, she’ll let you know...

And that moment is your make or break moment. She lobs the “what do you want to do” test ball over to you. You say something like “I’m in the mood for some BBQ tonight, baby. Let’s go get some ribs.” (PASS) She smiles and feigns agreement and says something like “hmm, that sounds pretty good...” 2, 3, 4...’ But, ya know, I heard about this great sushi place and I have really been wanting to check it out.” (TEST) And here’s the moment of truth...

Do you stand your ground or do you give in? You do option 3. You agree with her. Say something like, “Ya know, I heard about that place that does sound good. Good call, honey. Let’s do that tonight and next time out we’ll grab some BBQ.”(PASS) Not only do you pass, you are most likely having some great sex this eve. Good on ya!

9. Get Sexy!

Alright fellas, here’s the real deal. You do not know what you do not know about sex. Period. I have been studying the art of sex for years now. There are so many wonderful and amazing things that you are missing out on my friend. And sadly, most men do not take the time to learn techniques that can really rock her world in the bedroom. Maybe it’s pride or embarrassment, but who cares! There are tons of places to learn discreetly these days. Many of the gurus will go through these things for you. There are women out there teaching these things to men They WANT you to rock their world! They are telling you how to do it. LISTEN!

How many types of female orgasm are there? How do you make a girl squirt? Can a man have multiple orgasms? These are questions that you want answers to. Do you know where the G-spot is (generally)? Side note here: G-spots can be different for each woman and they can actually move from time to time. How’s that for making it even tougher on us guys, huh! So you need to learn as much as you can about the art and execution of the ever awesome and happy-making “Sexy Time.”

Another really great reason to gain this knowledge is confidence. When you know that you can make a woman orgasm and rock her world, you will gain a certain swagger. I have zero doubt that I can make a woman happy. Don’t worry, I have references. So if a woman gives me a test, I can pass it. I know that I am not the one hoping to “Get lucky.” I know that this woman is the lucky one. Ask them, they will tell you. Most men are just not very knowledgable in this arena. So you get your technique down, and you will officially be “Da Man!”

10. Just Say Hello!

If you are looking for a great pick up line, you are screwed. There is nothing you can say that is going to make a woman leap out of her bedazzled thong and wrap herself around you. It’s not money, it’s not your body, it’s not your job, looks, upbringing, or how big your johnson is. Okay, well the johnson thing does have a certain cache. But if you have a huge talliwacker you probably already have a pretty good swagger workin.

But no, a woman for the most part, doesn’t even hear what you initially say. She is simply looking or a way to test you out of her way so she can get on with her life. So if you are trying to figure out what to say in the correct way, you are thinking too much and she knows it. And if you are worrying about what to say so that she doesn’t think you just want to sleep with her; I have a news flash for you, Sparky... SHE KNOWS you want to sleep with her. Own it. Deal with it. Enjoy it. You are now free!

I am giving you permission to stop worrying what to say. She knows the game. Take the pressure off of yourself. So next time you see a woman you are attracted to, simply say hello. And sincerely have no agenda. Don’t be afraid. She’s not going to punch in the jublees. She will pretty much probably say hello back. If she doesn’t, refer to #3 above. If she doesn’t say hello back, then she has her own problems and you may have just dodged a “crazy” bullet.

And finally I will leave you with this thought: If you see a gorgeous woman and you do not do anything; you have a 100% chance of failure. But if you go over and say or do anything at all; you increase your chances of success astronomically.

So get out there and do something, Bucko! I wish you the best of luck and love.

Can You Say SpatchCock?

What the hell is a Spatchcock? It’s definitely not the first thing that popped into your head I assure you.

No, it's not a sexual technique, but it is a technique…

It is a way to prepare a bird, such as a turkey, chicken, or game hen for grilling, baking, or broiling.
This technique allows the bird to lay flat, about the same thickness throughout, which allows it to cook evenly.

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I’m introducing spatchcocking now because I have a great EASY new recipe I just tried that knocked my socks off. And I guarantee you, if you cook this for your dates, it might knock off far more than her socks!

Try this ASAP!

BROILED LEMON BUTTER GARLIC CHICKEN

What You'll Need:

  • 1 chicken (Spatchcocked, and brought to room temperature)
  • 1/2 stick of butter, melted but not hot
  • 5 or 6 cloves of garlic, minced and/or mashed. Use more garlic if ya want!
  • Zest of 1 lemon, and the juice from it
  • 1 lemon cut in half for broiling

How to Make It:

  1. Bring oven to broil for at least 10 minutes to get really hot.
  2. Spatchcock the chicken. Mix the butter, garlic, and lemon zest together.
  3. Separate the skin of the chicken from the meat GENTLY by running your finger underneath all over the chicken without breaking the skin.
  4. Stuff the lemon butter mixture under all the skin, coating the meat completely.
  5. Broil the meat for 10 minutes skin side up, 10 minutes skin side down, then 10 more minutes skin side up.
  6. Once it registers about 165 degrees, take it out and let it sit for at least 10-20 minutes. (If you don’t have a broiler, try baking at 450 degrees for apx 45 mins to an hour)

Then eat the hell outta that bad boy!

My Damn Good Italy Inspired Red Sauce

Seriously, you MUST make this sauce ASAFP!!!

This will undoubtedly be your “Go To” tomato sauce and you will use it with everything you possibly can.

Not only is this sauce inspired by my Italian honeymoon, but I also found a very similar version from Thomas Keller in his fine cookbook, “Ad Hoc At Home.” Together it is a dreamy combo! And it’s so frickin easy!

Italian-sauce

The reason why this is so interesting is that there are a couple of ingredients I doubt you put in your tomato sauces. As fate would have it, while staying in our Moneglia AirBnB, I had to use the local ingredients, whatever they had and/or was in season. So, using the fennel and leeks was just what was done. And what a great surprise.

I am sharing (basically) Thomas Keller’s oven roasted way of doing the sauce. But for my version, I did it all on stovetop. I added pan seared prosciutto to start and then added a little red wine (whatever we discovered that day), and I would add fresh rosemary, butter, and top with parmesan. Add whatever you like. But his base is crazy good, so let’s start with his recipe. I have simplified it to make it easy for you to cook it up for your dates and store as much as you can. But I doubt it will last long!

What You'll Need

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Pour olive oil, fennel, onion, leek, and garlic in an oven proof pot. If you like, just throw in the bay leaf and time and fish them out later. As for the peppercorns, well, figure it out. Sprinkle with salt. Put in oven for about 1 hour.
  3. Stir in brown sugar and red wine vinegar and heat for another 20 mins.
  4. Add the tomatoes and sachet.
  5. Cook for another 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.
  6. When it is to your desire thickness, you are done!

Use this on pasta, throw in meatballs, or my favorite, serve warm over fried eggs in the morning. So frickin' good!

Play with it and add some of the things I did in Italy and you will be a very happy man with very happy dates.

Keep spicin' it up!

How to Use Facebook to Be a Better Man

In case you have been living under a rock, there is this thing called the Internet nowadays. It is an amazing tool for the education and advancement of the human race. It can enhance our lives in ways we cannot even begin to imagine yet.

spike-spencer-kimberly-spencer-internet

The good news is we have unlimited access to all the accumulated knowledge on the planet.

The bad news is we all think we already know it all and don’t take the time to actually look any of that knowledge up, unless of course it jibes with our preconceived notions of how we feel the world should be, compartmentalized within our tiny selfish parameters.

Sadly all this knowledge has sputtered in a sloppy start. Beginning with “social” platforms originally invented to bring us closer together, allow instant communication, share ideas, and expand our minds with unlimited knowledge, that have sunk to the very bottom of social interaction.

Rumor is reported as fact, believed by the unaware or purposefully duped.

Narcissistic bragging is masquerading as humility and graciousness, aka the “humble brag.” It’s unrelenting envy on parade, a 24/7 portal to everyone else’s lives that are almost always seeming better than yours.

Unless, of course, they take the opposite tack, the cryptic “woe is me” post of seeming positive affirmations couched in a pathetic personal passive aggressive cry for help.

We all see it, we all know it, we are all tired of it. Stop it.

Then there are the unwavering hordes of whiny “victimbitches” simply waiting to be offended by any and every little thing. Tirelessly mining the interwebs til they can find a post, tweet, or blog article that has the subtlest whiff of disagreement to their self-centered myopic tiny minded view of life so they can rage against what they deem to be a personal affront to their integrity, opinions, and/or fundamental belief systems.

All of us have fallen into this category at least once.

We would never admit it of course. Except for just now. Um, I think I just did…

What most people seem to forget is that the internet is worldwide and that unless a personal message is sent directly to them, the chances of any single post being evenly remotely about them is about 4 Billion to 1. So the level of narcissism it takes to believe that any interaction online effects them is truly mind boggling.

Yet we see it every day on an endless loop. You post something you think is funny or interesting and your “friends” take umbrage, pick it apart, or admonish you for having a differing world view then their oh so righteous perspective. Suddenly you have an argument over trivial shit that morphs into something deeper, not remotely associated with the original flippant post you thought was quirky, cute, or funny and now you have un-elicited tension from an aggressive “victimbitch” who simply can’t abide other thoughts outside their narrow worldview.

And since you are a threat to their fragile Glass Menagerie, you are therefore a monster.

They now feel free to deem you any manner of terrible beasty, usually starting with typical easy to reach epithets of racist, bigot, homophobe, misogynist, etc, spiraling rapidly down to the unavoidable comparisons to Hitler.

No, I’m not simply talking about political debates here, I’ve seen the same pathway emanate from random cat videos.

It simply does not matter what you post. Someone out there is going to be offended.

It doesn’t matter how smart, respectable, or civilized they may be. Most people these days seem to have the thinnest skin imaginable. It is infuriating. And you can MAN up and use it to your advantage!

We are a world full of billions of people. Each person has a different view point. Some are well informed, some are not. Some agree with our views, some do not. The vast majority of the world may not agree with you on any given point.

Here is how to look at it: SO F**KING WHAT!

The world does not revolve around you. It never has, never will. People will disagree with you and that is awesome. Variety is the spice of life and all that. Sadly, in the era of giving kids trophies for breathing, we have raised a generation of self-absorbed, self-obsessed, selfie snappers. They are unaccustomed to differing viewpoints and can’t quite handle it.

Don’t be like them. Practice RESTRAINT.

Do NOT get drawn into unending arguments on social media that are doomed to defeat or at the very least both sides being upset and offended.

Read other people’s points of view with an eye toward non response. Stay above the fray. Don’t engage. You may think these people are absolute nutty biscuits on the verge of a mental breakdown. That is their problem, not yours.

Think of it as practicing ACTIVE LISTENING without interruption.

We as a social species connect and communicate openly and freely. Unless you are in a communist country of course (cue the victimbitches). As a social species we can’t wait to use our face holes to deliver our personal views to the world. But the more you speak, the less you listen. This includes digital communication. LISTENING is one of my pillars of confidence. If you can show a woman that you are actively listening to her, she will respect you more.

Practicing non-engagement on social media can help you you restrain from opening your mouth when you shouldn’t.

You may not agree with others points of view. You may not respect those views. You may even think they are absolutely out of their minds. But that does not mean you should give them a piece of yours. Have you ever heard the saying “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt?” Some ascribe the saying to Abe Lincoln or possibly Mark Twain. Regardless, it is a very wise proverb.

Practice restraint, hold your tongue (or your fingertips), read and/or listen to what others say and keep your trap shut. You will be amazed at what you can learn. Let the victimbitches fight it out. It’s a useless whiny waste of energy that is decidedly not attractive to women. And if you find yourself slipping into victimbitchitude, being offended by a random tweet, blog, or post just remember, the chances are 1 in 4 BILLION that it pertains to you at all. Don’t be a narcissistic snowflake. MAN up and MOVE on.

You've got a lot more important things to do.

Santa Barbara's Funk Zone: 16 Wineries in 6 Blocks

Obi Wine Kenobi. That is what some have called my new friend, Randy, the tasting manager at Cottonwood Canyon. He knows a lot about wine. He has probably forgotten more than I will ever know. But he doesn’t wield that knowledge with malicious intent, like an intimidating light saber of condescension. No, he is just as excited to share Cottonwood Canyon’s wines as we are to taste them. He explains the nuances of the varietals as we discuss the intimate pairings of succulent dishes that should accompany each.

Being a Foodie, I am in Heaven. For Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone is a perfect mecca for wine lovers, Foodies, and Funksters to taste, eat, and play, all a short trip from the major metropolis of L.A.

Where else will you find 15 world class wineries’ tasting rooms, plus 2 unaffiliated tasting rooms, a brewery, and one liquor distillery in a 6 block radius?

Starting your tasting tour at the tiny, unassuming Cottonwood is commencing your trip at the top of the Zone and working your way down toward the ocean. This is my recommendation. You can zig zag, go straight block by block, or just let the wine call to you. This is your weekend, discover as you will.

Note: Cottonwood is on the Urban Wine Trail maps, but not the Funk Zone maps. Same with Kalyra, and Deep Sea. Guessinger is on no map, and LaFonda is brand spanking new.

santa-barbara-funk-zone

Straight south on Anacapa St., your next stop will be at the 2 most popular wineries, directly across from one another. Oreana (voted best tasting room in 2012 by the Santa Barbara News Press) can tend to be a bit rowdy as was the case when we were there. They were one of the pioneers of the Funk Zone, repurposing an old tire factory into a laid back winery, where they even have movie nights!

Santa Barbara Winery is a bit more relaxed, and it has reason to be. SB Winery began in 1962, the first winery in Santa Barbara since prohibition, making it the Granddaddy of the Funk Zone, so be sure to swing by and pay homage. They have a lovely wooded seating area for relaxing, if you can find a seat, that is.

Next stop, 4 in a row on Yaconali St. You can literally throw a rock and hit them all.

Starting from East to west, we check out, Riverbench first. Where our lovely host, Cassie, shares all the best vines with us. Riverbench touches all the heartstrings, in that it is a Sustainable In Practice (SIP) certified winery, meaning that it builds community between the vineyards, the workers, and the land. They also donate a portion of their Pinot Noir Rosé to charity. The wine is wonderful and you can feel good about yourself while sipping it!

Area 5.1 puts the fun in Funk Zone. A great riff on the “secret” Nevada military site, 5.1 is called that because of the 2 owners, Martin and Mike Brown. Australian born brothers, with a love for good wine, decided to make their wine as the “Aliens” they were. Thus Area 5.1 (as well as Kalyra) was born. Along with the fact that they deal with 5 vineyards, 5 winemakers, 5 wines on the tasting menu, and Martin’s birthday is 5/1. Seeing a pattern? Their wines are solid, smooth, and I took home a bottle of their amazing Port for later testing.

AVA (American Viticultural Areas) Winery is a nice wide open, very modern tasting room. They make “wines of distinction from the five AVA’s of Santa Barbara.” With the help of a giant wall map, you can taste your way specifically through the terroir of the local region, mile by mile.

Directly across a small breezeway finds you at Pali Wines. An equally modern room, but with hints of the mountains with their woody accents. Two of their Pinot Noirs were recently given “Top Values” recommendations by Wine Spectator’s James Laube. This is also one of the few wineries that features wine on tap, something that is becoming more popular in the US.

Directly across the street you will see the latest newcomer to the scene, La Fond, having just opened in May of 2014. Pierre LaFond, an architect by trade, is also the owner of the Santa Barbara winery, which, again, you can hit with a rock from here. LaFond is a bit more refined than SB and there were two standouts here for me. Their Pinots were very smooth and did not have what I have dubbed the “Pinot Funk” on the nose, and you get to take the tasting glass with you! A great souvenir and smart marketing all in one.

One block and several art installments later, will find you around the corner at the Fox tasting room located inside the Santa barbara Art foundry. You can grab a glass and wonder around the fun and funky exhibits, many wine themed, throughout the warehouse.

Now you have a decision to make. This is where you can call it a day and save the rest for tomorrow or press on like a blurry eyed wine fanatic.

I recommend the prior. Get some rest, and start fresh tomorrow.

On day 2, I would start with a double header tasting at Kalyra and then walk directly across, literally 10 feet away, to Giessinger. I guess you could switch them if you are feeling adventurous.

Remember the 2 Aussie gents who started Area 5.1? Well, here they fully embrace their roots in the land of OZ. The room is a vibrant fun loving homage to the land done undah! Surfboards and Aboriginal art abound, and even show up on some of their labels. If you want to taste Santa Barbara with an Australian flair, this is definitely the place.

Giessinger takes a more French forward approach with their wines and their room. Lovely art adorns the room, and their wines bring the art of French wine making to the California coast. They also have the distinction of winning the “Best Wine Tasting Room in Santa Barbara for 2013,” given to them by the US Commerce Association.

Now it is time to head past yesterday’s quarry on Yanonali, turning right on Anacapa, heading toward the water. En route, you will find a gaggle of tasting rooms huddled up closely to one another for warmth, or I guess you could say, winth. Yes, I just made that up.

The first stop will be Corks n’ Crowns. This is one of the top places to go in the Zone. Their claim to fame is that they are not a winery. They actually serve as a representative tasting room for many wineries that are too small to have their own rooms. So, in one place, you get to taste many wines that you will not find anywhere else. You get a huge variety to sip and it’s a very fun place to hang out and just relax.

Snuggled in right behind C n’ C, is Chatter + Drake, the winery run by the husband and wife team of Mark and Andi Cummins. Both are artists who also craft lovely wines. Interestingly, they produce wines by “blocks” in a very small region, the Lawrence Winery in the Edna Valley, highlighting the subtle differences row by row. The tastywines are mainly Pinots, and they have a small private room to rent for parties.

A nice long walk of about 30 seconds brings you to the doorstep of Kunin Wines. A family owned winery, Kunin’s wines all come from the Central Coast AVA. Kunin is one of the elder statesmen of the Zone, having been there for over 5 years, since Seth Kunin had a vision to bring high quality boutique wines to the area. Much recognition and several awards later, Kunin Wines is a firm anchor to the Santa Barbara wine scene.

Just next door is Municipal Wines, where Dave Potter has made a place that is like going to a friend’s clubhouse made from things he found in his mom’s basement and at the local flea market. Having trained in Australia and France, the homey feel does not belie the world class wines he makes. This is not a snooty wine haven. They have a stuffed bear for cryin out loud! Municipal is a great place to wind down the day. But we are not quite done.

There is one more place to hit, that is not exactly in the Funk Zone, but I recommend it because it is the best place to sit, sip, and sunset. You need to head around the corner and out onto the boardwalk to Deep Sea Winery, the only tasting room with an amazing view of the Santa Barbara Coastline. This vineyard, run by the Conway family, gets it’s name from the ancient sea beds of Arroyo Grande where their vines reside. This is the ideal way to end a tasting day, on the sea watching the sun set, sipping one of Deep Sea’s lush, rich, smooth wines and reminisce about your adventure.

“Best…Weekend…Ever!”

It's a fleeting term at best, as it will be replaced on and off throughout one’s life, but I can say without equivocation a visit to Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone has elicited this statement often and will continue to do so even more, as plans for expansion are being put into play in the Zone for more amazing wineries, fabulous eateries, and general funkiness. If you love wine, food, art, fun, luxuriating in the sun, and a nice walk on the beach, get thee to the Funk Zone. And tell ‘em Spike sent ya.

Keep Spicin It Up!

Reprint from 2014

Revisiting one of my favorite places- Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone. This article got lost in the mix somewhere along the way. I figured now is a good time to get it out in the internet ether. A few things may have changed but not much. So get out to SB and have a drink for me!

 

A Tuna...Omelette? Yep!

I know, I know, it sounds weird, but it is actually very tasty and easy to make. I walk you through the simple steps to get a heart healthy breakfast on full of da flavaaaaa!!!

Here’s the How-to Tuna Omelette

What You'll Need:

canned-tuna-breakfast-recipe

How to Make It

  1. Put a little of the olive oil from the tuna into a med-high heat nonstick pan.
  2. Add onions, and a little salt, sauté for a few minutes
  3. Add tomatoes and garlic, sauté for a few minutes
  4. Add tuna and warm up for a minute. Then remove to a plate.
  5. Add eggs to the pan. Allow them to set for abut 30 seconds before you pull the sides toward the middle allowing the runny eggs to cook.
  6. Once the omelette starts to firm up on top, add the onion tomato mixture.
  7. Grate Parmesan cheese on top.
  8. Fold the omelette over and serve.

Eat that bad boy!

And, as always, keep spicin' it up!

Saucy, Sexy...Saurkraut?

Yep! Sauerkraut! I just made a batch of the freshest tastiest most mind blowing sauerkraut I have ever eaten.

And it was SOOOOOO easy! Do yourself a favor and make a batch of this stuff ASAP.

Keep it on hand in the fridge for up to a year and you will have a great tasting side for so many different dishes.

I made mine with a great big ole head of purple cabbage.

I like the way it looks as it can be very eye catching on the plate. It doesn’t taste all that much different than green cabbage sauerkraut, so you can go either way.

Besides being incredibly tasty, sauerkraut, and many other fermented foods, like kombucha, yogurt, strong aged cheeses, and kimchi, are very good for you.

Due to the natural bacteria that are produced in the lactofermentation process, the food is preserved along with many vitamins, and probiotics that aid in digestion and absorption of nutrients.

Add a little sauerkraut sauteed with onions to a nice grilled pork chop. Slap some on your next hot dog with lots of mustard. And, of course, you simply must have some with your brats and potatoes for that awesome Oktoberfest feast!

I just had some, sauteed with onions, for breakfast with Italian sausage and eggs. Deeeelish!

homemade-sauerkraut-recipe

What You'll Need

  • One head of cabbage, sliced thinly, except for a couple leaves, save those
  • 1 tbsp salt (for really big cabbages, add a little more salt)

How to Do It

Put the cabbage and salt in a big bowl, turn on the TV and watch your favorite Sci Fi and massage the hell out of the cabbage for 10 minutes. Really get in there! You are working the salt into every nook and cranny of the cabbage. You are also extracting moisture. So massage it like you are on a date!

After 10 minutes, put the cabbage in jars. I used a few pint sized mason jars.

Pour the liquid evenly into the containers.

Now with the extra leaves you saved, cut them down to fit into the tops of the jars. These will act as a sealant to keep the kraut submerged in it’s liquid. Put a leaf on top of the kraut and press down til the liquid covers it.

Then put on the lid. That’s it!

Now, store the jars in a relatively cool place away from sunlight, NOT the fridge yet.

For the next 3-5 days, open the jar up once a day to let out the fermentation gas that will build up.

Otherwise you could have a 911 kraut emergency on your hands. After the 3-5 days, store the kraut in your fridge. And ENJOY!

Keep Spicin' It Up!

Gettin' Saucy, Argentinian Style

I love Argentina! Even though I haven’t actually been there yet, I know I do. Why?

Three words Malbec, Parrilla, and Tango.

You may already know of all these things, but what you may not know is of another tasty addition that makes Argentinean meats really pop – Chimichurri sauce. It is incredibly tart tangy savory and succulent and will be a welcome addition to your FoodGame repertoire. ENJOY!

What You'll Need:

How to Make It:

Put all ingredients in a blender or processor, blend till coarse, do not puree!

You can add, oregano, cilantro, onions, cayenne, or whatever else you want to try. But this is your base, experiment from here and enjoy. Serve over any kind of meat, preferably grilled.

Keep Spicin It Up!

Iconic Cities, Iconic Dishes, Iconic Dates

Here at “Don’t Kill Your Date (and Other Cooking Tips)” I’m all about showing you adventurous dating tips. But not all of you can be trekking across the globe to share exotic locales with your lovely ladies. That can get a tad expensive.

But just because you can’t surprise her with a private jet trip over to Paris to punch a mime and grab a baguette doesn’t mean you can’t bring her the world. Every city has an iconic dish, an ingredient, or a local specialty that they are known for.

Once you visit those places these are the things you want to bring back home and savor those cherished memories. But if you haven’t been there yet what do you do? Thanks to the fancy intrawebs these days you can research just about anything. So now you can…

Bring the iconic dishes from iconic cities to your home and impress your dates.

This is a great way to show your ladies your adventurous side. Even if you are not particularly well travelled, you can both share a “pre-memory” of a place that you both want to visit through a few iconic dishes from the region. And they don’t have to be difficult to prepare.

For example, let’s say you both want to visit Argentina, as do I and my wife. What are they known for? Great wines, grilled meats, and tango predominantly. There are several easy ways prepare a killer Argentinean date night.

Don’t have a full on Argentine parrilla to roast up a side of beef on an open fire? Neither do I. But I can go down to my local store, grab a nice inexpensive bottle of Malbec and a couple of steaks. I can find a decent tango type station on iHeart Radio or Pandora for background ambiance. And now I am mostly set. But there is one step further you might wish to take.

Its not always the iconic dishes that make the meal, but the accoutrements that are added to the mix that really make it memorable.

In our Argentinean date night example you have the big three and that is great. But what will really evoke “future memories” is the addition of a chimichurri sauce (recipe here) which is the iconic condiment that really makes Argentinean meat dishes stand out.

Or if you are planning a tasty Indian adventure for your evening, you might want to prepare a simple lentil dal, tandoori chicken or tikka masala. But what are these dishes without some naan bread for soppin and a spicy sweet mango chutney to top it all off?

And what’s an Italian meal without a rich Chianti, some nice olive oil drizzled atop, and premium Parmesan cheese grated all around, but only use the good stuff! Don’t skimp on the extras, they can make or break a dish and they go a long way.

It’s the little details that can really knock her socks of (maybe even more).

Take the time to listen to her when she talks of far off lands she wants to visit and the dishes she wants to enjoy there. Be the man to spark her adventurous desires. Research a little, surprise her with a tasting menu of her dreams. Don’t just cook up a delicious meal, go the extra mile to discover what really makes that specific region stand out, and add the little tasty details.

You don’t have to fork out a ton of money and take her around the world to make her attracted to you. You can do it all right from your own home. It is amazingly simple and affordable. An added benefit is that you get to find out how well you click together beforeyou attempt one of the toughest tests of whether a couple can work – traveling together. And that is a whole other story……

Bon Apéttit!

Get Cookin' with this Sexy Oil

Get Cookin' With This Sexy Oil!

I have a cooking/sexy tip for you this week. And it involves one of my favorite ingredients, grapeseed oil. Grapeseed oil has many uses.

1. Cooking

Well, this use is fairly obvious. You can cook with it, as it has a high smoke point and makes a decent vinaigrette. But, actually for cooking, I prefer olive oil. Blame my amazing culinary memories of our Italian Honeymoon.

Olive oil is cold pressed and has been used for centuries. It truly is nutritional and beneficial in many ways. The benefits/dangers of cooking with grapeseed oil are still unknown really and it is usually pressed using hexane and other unnatural junk. So go for cold pressed to be safe.

I use grapeseed oil for general simple stuff, as other oils like canola and corn oil are pretty full of GMO crap. I also use coconut oil and grass fed butter a lot. Add these into your cooking rotation and you will be very happy indeed.

2. Massage 

Oh yes, grapeseed oil makes a GREAT massage oil. A little bit goes a long way. I have tried other oils and they just don't measure up. Olive oil gets very tacky, coconut oil coagulates when it cools and makes a creepy mess, and Vaseline is just wrong (I was young and it was handy, don't judge.)

Commercial massage oils are expensive and not always natural, full of chemicals and nasty junk. Grapeseed oil is good for you, silky smooth and you can add your own natural scents. Just add a few drops of rose oil for a nice aroma or a little peppermint oil for a nice peppy "zing."

3. Lubrication

Yep, just like with massage oils much of the commercial lubricants out there are full of chemicals that you can't pronounce. These are things you know you don't want to eat. So if you don't want to put these things into your body why would you put those things on your most sensitive sexy tidbits?

I would recommend you do not put too much peppermint oil in this particular delivery system as the tingle may turn to a raging fire down below. Not that I would know this....

Also be careful adding anything that might compromise the strength of any birth control apparatus you may be utilizing, do your homework!

Oh, and one draw back of grapeseed oil is that it will stain your sheets. But that can happen anyway, so it's not that big of a deal. Of course, there's always the option of covering your bed in plastic sheeting. If you aren't afraid of scaring your date in a Dexter-esque nightmare, I guess it could be a bit of kinky slippery fun. Just don't break a hip.

Keep Spicin' It Up!