So. Cal December Gathering - Popa's Kitchen Blog at - 291651

Popa's Kitchen

So. Cal December Gathering 
Dec. 9, 2012 4:32 pm 
Updated: Dec. 17, 2012 7:32 am
A memorable December gathering in Southern California was put together and hosted by this amazing lady.

tyle="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">Baking Nana

It started out at the Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn in downtown Riverside, California.

After some sight seeing we happened upon a restaurant called PHOOD on Main ( and decided to give it a go. We were asked, "Do you have reservations?" No. "How many in your party?" Nine. "You don't have reservations?" No. "OK, we'll put you in the vault". Now we are all thinking "THE VAULT!". In the vault we went and let me tell you, that's where the fun began. (The restaurant is in an old bank). After we ordered Chef Marla Cohen stopped in to check in on us and when she found out we were foodies - or should I say, Phoodies - she unloaded on us with her wit, humor, culinary history and more. There is just no way to describe her other than, simply amazing. Do check out her spices on the above web.
tyle="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">Chef Marla Cohen on lower left
After an amazing dinner we of course had to have our picture taken with Santa.
Left to right, LindaT, (suprise) Magnolia Blossom, bd.weld's wife, mauigirl, bd.weld, Santa, (suprise) working azmom of 2, lissa, Baking Nana, bikerfamily.
After Friday night it was on to Baking Nana's Saturday where she and her husband graciously opened her home to us.
Baking Nana and No Baking Papa
And the party began with plenty of food, drinks and smiles, including a baby shower for Lissa.
tyle="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">l to r Lisa(Patty Cakes daughter), 1st Lady, Gabriella, Noemi, working azmom of 2, mauigirl, LindaT, Baking Nana, Patty Cakes, Magnolia Blossom, bd.weld, Cathy Meyers, Lissa, Marianne, gamma-ray, Candice, Bikerfamily
l to r gamma-ray (aka x-ray barb), patty cakes, Cathy Meyers, Magnolia Blossom
tyle="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">back row 1st Lady, gamma-ray, Baking Nana
front row mauigirl, noemi, Gabriella
tyle="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">bd.weld's wife Debi chatting with gamma-ray
tyle="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">l to r mauigirl, Baking Nana, LindaT, Cathy Meyers
tyle="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">l to r Baking Nana, bd.weld, LindaT, Cathy Meyers
Lissa's baby shower
Kitchen gifts were exchange and some stolen such as this one.
tyle="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">Baking Nana showing off her steal of the afternoon.
And of course I got to meet LindaT who triple dog dared me to make a Delicious Fish Smoothie< which I did and videoed;feature=plcp<
tyle="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">bd.weld and LindaT flashing triple dog dare signs
There was no age or gender discrimination.
The young and the old.
tyle="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">The young and the younger.
tyle="font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif">The mother to be and the hostess.
Merry Christmas all!

Dec. 9, 2012 5:05 pm
Thank you for sharing the wonderful gathering of friends.
Dec. 9, 2012 5:11 pm
It was wonderful to meet everyone.. especially my triple dog dare buddy!
Dec. 9, 2012 5:21 pm
Thank you for this! What a great time we had. I can't believe it is over... Isn't it cool that we come from all different back grounds, all ages and genders and yet it is like we have known each other for ever. Thanks to your lovely bride for putting up with us and being the "Official Photographer". I am so blessed.
Dec. 9, 2012 5:46 pm
Wow i'm so happy you all had a great time.Thanks for posting this,the pictures are lovely.
Dec. 9, 2012 6:06 pm
Thanks for the postcards from the "edge", Brian! Looks like a good time was had by all!
Dec. 9, 2012 6:46 pm
I finally have a smile on my face again:) Thanks so much for the memories and thanks for being a friend bd & and Mrs. bd XOXO
Dec. 9, 2012 9:02 pm
BTW - I only 'stole' that gift because is was not TSA approved. That is my story and I am sticking to it. ;)
Dec. 10, 2012 3:18 am
bd.weld: I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and all the others! I would like to encourage everyone who has a chance to meet some AR peeps to seize the opportunity. What an amazing community we have created, brought together by this website, and bonded by genuine and heartfelt friendship.
Dec. 10, 2012 4:53 am
Great pictures, looks like lots of fun had by all. Kind of cool seeing the Mission Inn in Riverside, I used to work down the street in 1977 and would go eat my bagged lunch in the garden there. You brought back a nice memory for me. :)
Dec. 10, 2012 8:51 am
great pics, I completely missed the planning and shout outs for this whole affair. This was a total surprise.
Dec. 10, 2012 9:03 am
Oh Lordy, bd! Do we know how to party, or what! Thank you, Penny, for all of your graciousness and love. You are felt for weeks to come! Thanks to Noemi for her out-of-this-world ziti and thanks to Marianne for the fantastic appys ("PRO" worthy!) and cookies. Thanks to all of our out-of-state friends that partied on in the true spirit of AR Foodies! My heartfelt thanks to all of you that make my life even more special and blessed. And Brian and Debi, the grand King and Queen of SoCal, thank you for this blog and your friendship. I love you guys!
Dec. 10, 2012 4:02 pm
Marie C. - It was a great gathering indeed. Hope you can join us next time.
Dec. 10, 2012 4:04 pm
LindaT - It was a blast. Hopefully not the last one. 3DD!
Dec. 10, 2012 4:07 pm
Baking Nana - It did go by fast even for 2 days. Thank you for opening your home to us. TSA? Ha! Those bottles would have flown up the hill with no problem but you deserve them.
Dec. 10, 2012 4:09 pm
manella - We did have a good time. Some day when I hit the lottery I'll have a gathering for a week and I'll make sure you are there.
Dec. 10, 2012 4:23 pm
Bibi - We missed having you there.
Dec. 10, 2012 4:26 pm
mauigirl - It's always a pleasure seeing you. Won't be long before we head your way. We will give you a heads up.
Dec. 10, 2012 4:34 pm
bikerfamily - You are so right! What an amazing community we have created. It was a pleasure to meet you.
Dec. 10, 2012 4:36 pm
*Sherri* - You would be amazed how much it has changed over the years - for the better. If you ever get back in the area check out PHOOD On Main.
Dec. 10, 2012 4:39 pm
redneck gramma - Guess I should have run an ad on my Delicious Fish Smoothies video. I'm sure you would have shown up. LOL
Dec. 10, 2012 4:46 pm
Cathy Meyers - It was a fun party and you brighten up any party. Baking Nana out did herself. What a hostess! Marianne's appy's were awesome. Debi told me I have to make each one. Noemi's Ziti? What can I say? I had 3 helpings. She needs to write that one up.
Dec. 10, 2012 4:48 pm
Some of the photos don't show all of the peeps in the blog. Just click on the photos for a full version.
Dec. 10, 2012 4:54 pm
That sounds good to me,and if i ever win,same thing.
Dec. 10, 2012 7:51 pm
So much fun and so many happy faces. Mine included and I'm still grinning... Thanks for the great photos!
Dec. 11, 2012 4:24 am
Oh my gosh - you sure can tell you all had fun! That's great - happy so many could gather.
Dec. 11, 2012 8:12 am
Magnolia Blossom - It was such a surprise to see you there. I'm still wondering if it was Mike Harvey disguised as Santa.
Dec. 11, 2012 8:13 am
Maggi - There certainly was no shortage on smiles and fun.
Dec. 11, 2012 9:13 am
Look at that beautiful smiling face of our hostess! What a fun day reuniting with AR peeps I've met at previous meet ups and meeting for the first time other AR peeps. Thank you so much Baking Nana for opening up your home to us all. No Baking Papa is absolutely a sweetheart too just like you. I was most happy to meet you Brian and your very BEAUTIFUL wife. Thank you for sharing our fun day in your blog. Merry Christmas!
Dec. 11, 2012 7:59 pm
Looks like you all had a great time! Enjoyed all the photos.
Dec. 13, 2012 11:38 am
BD-thanks for sharing the photos, so FUN! Baking Nana, what a lovely way to kick off the holidays, you can see there was lots of "Merry and Cheer" at this gathering!!! Happy Holidays So. Cal.
Dec. 13, 2012 11:38 am
BD-thanks for sharing the photos, so FUN! Baking Nana, what a lovely way to kick off the holidays, you can see there was lots of "Merry and Cheer" at this gathering!!! Happy Holidays So. Cal.
Dec. 13, 2012 7:24 pm
How did I miss this? I love it! That cute little Lissa! Great party, great friends. Like kids say, BFFs!
Dec. 15, 2012 2:44 am
OMGarsh! Tell your beautiful bride that I just today realized I never opened my gammy-gift! [It was put with some Christmas gifts that came back from AZ with me . . .] Ay! I will open it sometime this weekend. [Maybe not today, I'm on the downhill slope of a double shift, and be sleepin' today away!] It is always such pure joy to see all my great friends!!!
Dec. 15, 2012 7:17 am
And, by the way, I can't tell you how happy I am that you caught me with BOTH pairs of glasses on my head - LOL! Hugs to bd and Mrs bd!
Dec. 15, 2012 10:40 pm
You did us proud BD!! LOVE seeing old friends n meeting new ones! Geezzz, I sound like Hallmark card! Bbaahhaaa Great photos too! Great blog! !
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About Me
Graduated from the Culinary Institute of Burn and Learn. If DW and I were to take our daughter, son-in-law and our grand children out to dinner we would have to ask, "table for 10". Therefore, cooking at home has a high priority.
My favorite things to cook
Anything my grandchildren like to eat.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Making the meal of choice for the grand kids birthdays.
My cooking triumphs
Pleasing hungry family and friends.
My cooking tragedies
Anything I cooked that my wife disapproved of.
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