Wild Lights at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

A holiday tradition taken to the nth degree is my idea of fun, and the WildLights Holiday Festival at The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens never fails to deliver.  Although this world-class collection of desert plantings and animals is a delight during the day, the evenings come alive during December with this annual event. Best…

Details

Sunstone Spa at Agua Caliente – A Recommendation

Professional massage therapist Sam, of Sunstone Spa at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage, knows that some of you may be intimidated by the bodywork experience, whether you’re first-timers or connoisseurs.  And if you’re tense or nervous when you lie down on his table, it kind of defeats the entire purpose of treating…

Details

Snow Birds in Rancho Mirage

From bed I watched the dawn light slowly illuminate Reba’s lovingly manicured Mediterranean garden and the mountain beyond – blissfully grateful for the Eden we call home. The first rays of light sparked on the oranges just turning golden against the deep green leaves of the trees. Hummingbirds zipped through the dewy foliage searching for…

Details

Palm Springs Follies

Fantastic fun for family members of all ages can be had at the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies.  But let’s face it, those in their forties, fifties, and beyond will especially get a kick or two out of the special blend of nostalgia, vaudevillian-style acts, and unapologetic patriotism that is on display nine times each week,…

Details

Jennifer’s Kitchen and Catering in Rancho Mirage

Jennifer’s Kitchen and Catering in Rancho Mirage recently saved my life.  Well, not literally, of course, but in a way for which I will forever be grateful.  For months I had been planning the big birthday dinner of my BFF Tom—a special meal with a special menu chosen for just a very special group of friends.  But then it happened—I got the call from my favorite client who just HAD to have her guest rooms redone tout de suite.  Turn down work in this economy?  I don’t think so.  So I moved to plan “B.”

There was no other option for me than to call on Jennifer Johnson, the chef extraordinaire who runs a tight ship catering some of the best intimate dinner parties and over-the-top weddings in the Palm Springs Valley.  I stopped over to her great lunch café on 111, where we sat and chose my future soiree’s menu while I munched on an amazing Tuna Melt.  This intimate birthday fete was to be for an even dozen on my condo terrace, and thankfully this was a foodie crowd so we could be a bit more adventurous than the usual (but always delicious) crab cakes that seem to be a staple of catered food.

Jennifer’s food feels far from catered fare.  First off, it’s about as “green” and organic as you can get from a caterer.  But the choices are almost limitless.  Jennifer sent her best staff member to take care of us, a wonderful Southern gentleman named Jackie who did an outstanding job taking care of our every culinary and service need.  We started with passed hors d’oeuvres of Risotto and Fontina Croquettes and Deep-fried Green Olives stuffed with Sausage and Goat Cheese, then moved on to a refreshing salad of Arugula with Caramelized Pears and Toasted Walnuts.  For the main course, Tapenade-Crusted Rack of Lamb (sublime) and an amazing Three-Cheese Vegetable Lasagna (for the non-meat-eaters) were served.  Needless to say, Jennifer’s special Three-Chocolate Mousse Torte was the showstopper that all expected after such an incredible meal.

I love to cook and I love to eat.  Cleaning up, not so much.  So this experience with Jennifer and her crew was a win-win for everyone.  Who knows?  Maybe someday I’ll need her for MY special wedding…  In the meantime, I’ll stick to her for my dinner parties.  And by the way, the guest rooms of my favorite client were done in record time, and look divine.

Details

The Rancho Mirage Art Affaire

There are few things more delightful to me than having an Art Affaire on a spectacularly sunny Rancho Mirage Sunday afternoon.  More than 100 award-winning artists—chosen by an esteemed group of judges—displayed their wares in beautiful Whitewater Park on this past November weekend. Although Saturday’s soiree was soaked with rain, many still attended, mostly clustered…

Details

25 Years of Palm Springs Pride

Palm Springs Pride is the perfect opportunity for people of all walks of life to partake in what I like to call rockin’ and rollin’ rainbow revelry! What started out 25 years ago as a simple gay pride parade—partly as a way to respond to the HIV/AIDS pandemic and also as a way to fight…

Details

Thanksgiving in Rancho Mirage

The eternal Thanksgiving dilemma: Cook and eat in, or go out and give up turkey leftovers?   While traveling, it’s a no-brainer, unless you’ve happened to be invited for a homecooked meal.  But while sticking close to mi casa in Rancho Mirage, I’ve found plenty of great places to indulge in the highest caloric meal of…

Details

A Pet-Friendly Visit to Rancho Mirage’s The River

There are very few places more attractive to pet owners than Rancho Mirage’s sprawling The River—a perfect place where man and beast can meet.  On any given day while stopping off for coffee at my local Starbucks, I see dogs walking their owners around this complex, enjoying each other’s company and occasionally taking a break…

Details