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DH, DD and DS and I live in the golden hills outside San Jose, about an hour from the coast and Monterey/Carmel. We all love to eat- even the kids are reasonably adventurous. We love to travel- Napa Valley w/o the kids, Lake Tahoe with them.
I have dozens of "favorite" cookbooks (does Recipezaar count?) but I keep coming back to "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking" by Marcella Hazan and "The Way to Cook" by the late, great, Julia Child.
When I can, I get together with a couple of friends and make Ukrainian dyed eggs.
Our area has lots of great Asian food, which I don't really cook, myself. My all-time favorite restaurant is the Il Forniao chain (possibly just in CA) with Chevy's Mexican up there, too. Don't get this too often now that we're watching our carbs- the chips and salsa are addictive!
My specialties are Osso Bucco and Short Ribs in Red Wine. Fall food is my favorite.