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Former Anthony Bourdain Travel Companion Zamir Gotta to Visit Sacramento on July 16th


Life can be a bit surreal. I have been an Anthony Bourdain fan for nearly the past twenty years, and like many people, felt gutted when we lost him the day before my birthday, June 8th, in 2018. Celebrity deaths don’t typically get a reaction from me, but this time I was completely shocked.

I sent my condolences to Zamir Gotta via Twitter, who was Anthony Bourdain’s travel companion in several episodes of “A Cook’s Tour”, “No Reservations”, and “Parts Unknown”. I did not really know Zamir, but wanted him to know he was not alone in the devastation he felt in the loss of his friend.

A few months later, Zamir sent out a tweet looking for a writer for his autobiography. I responded, even though I didn’t think anything would come out of it. Soon though, we were chatting over the phone and though I never got to meet Anthony Bourdain, I felt a great connection through Zamir. I remember being deeply depressed over Anthony’s death, and the new friendship with Zamir, (along with a lot of time) eventually helped me get through the sadness and loss.

I never met Anthony Bourdain, so I was quite puzzled as to why I felt like I did. I guess it was because I, like millions of others, let him into our homes so we could join him on his travels. We learned from his programs, while also being entertained by him.

A few months ago, Zamir touched base with me again on Facebook and expressed interest in organizing a movie screening (the Anthony Bourdain bio will be released in theaters on July 16th) and a meet and greet in Los Angeles. I said that I probably would not be able to make it, but to let me know if he would be in San Francisco and I would definitely show up for that. Then he asked me about Sacramento, and before I knew it, I was helping him plan the event I’m writing about now…. I mentioned the word surreal earlier, and this is why! As Zamir was Anthony Bourdain’s “fixer” in Russia, I am now Zamir’s “fixer” in Sacramento. And I am honored. So without further ado, here are the details of our event:

Zamir Gotta will be coming to Sacramento! Following an early afternoon screening of Roadrunner at The Tower Theatre (movie times are not yet posted), we will be hosting a Meet and Greet and Q & A session at Easy Diner and Bar (1725 I Street). Please join us for Peacemaking Happy Hour with Zamir Gotta on July 16th from 5-8pm!

Tickets are $25 for regular admission and $40 for VIP admission. They do not include the movie screening at Tower.

VIP ticketholders will have early admission and have a chance to have their photo taken with Zamir, and two drinks (house wine, well drink, or beer) included in their ticket.

General admission will include Zamir’s travel stories, the Q & A segment of the program, and two drinks (house wine, well drink, or beer) included with their ticket.

VIP admission is at 5pm, General Admission is 6pm. Program will be 6:30-8:00pm.

There will be extra drinks and food for purchase on site (not included in admission).

We will also be raffling a bottle of Zamir Vodka, signed by Zamir, as well as some other swag items!

You can buy tickets ON EVENTBRITE HERE. If you have questions about the event, please feel free to contact me via the contact page on this website!

My Interview with Lori at Sheldon Wine Shop & Greg Vaughn, 23 Wines

Do you like wine? Do you like baseball? Well, have I got a show for you!

Catch a brand new episode of Table Talk with Kristy Harris featuring Lori Alaniz of Sheldon Wine Shop and special guest Greg Vaughn of 23 Wines and former MLB player!!

In this interview, we discuss the Sheldon Wine Shop, and why it’s a hidden gem (hint: it’s located inside a gas station!)

Greg Vaughn joins us later in the show, to tell us about his wines and how you can meet him TOMORROW, June 2nd at Sheldon Wine Shop for a wine tasting and bottle signing!

Cook and Sip with Cavegrrl

Happy Monday!

I wanted to let you know (again) about my new YouTube channel, Table Talk with Kristy Harris. On my channel, I have started a companion video series called “Cook and Sip with Cavegrrl”.

In this series, I’ll be making a recipe that is budget friendly, healthy, and pairs well with wine. My focus will also be making food that is gluten free and happens to be paleo or primal. I want to show you how easy it is to make healthy and nutritious food.

As far as the wine pairing goes, sometimes I will show some samples of wine that have been sent to me for promotion and review, and sometimes I will select a wine that is a bargain find.

Though it took several hours to edit yesterday, I am hoping I will be more efficient in my time with filming and editing next time, and that way I will be able to deliver more content.

So here it is…. my latest work. Please enjoy, and if you do, please click “like” on the video and hit the “subscribe” button. Thanks so much for your support!!

How to make AIR FRYER Beef Koftas with Deconstructed Ratatouille with a Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Pairing (Replica “Just Right” Cabernet Sauvignon)

I Started My Own Show!

Wow. I forgot how much I love to make things! I am really proud of my first effort, and I hope you will enjoy watching as much as I did producing the first Table Talk with Kristy Harris.

My first guest is my husband, Andy Harris, who will also be my frequent co-host! During the interview, we talk about the Paleo diet, his car collection, and of course our favorite topic: WINE! Speaking of wine, thanks to Replica Wine for sponsoring my first episode. Next time, I will make sure the bottles are moved so the are not so much in my face the whole time. 😦

I basically learned Adobe Premiere Pro over a few days and edited two different camera angles. We captured the sound with a device called a Zoom Podtrak P4. I probably spent about 4 hours total editing it, but that’s only because I had such a learning curve and so much trial/error. I also added a lot of photos (I had to dig through my collection to find) and text overlay. Next time will be much faster!

If you like the video PLEASE give it a thumbs up below it, and subscribe to my channel. Thanks in advance for your support!

Table Talk with Kristy Harris Coming Soon!

Happy Friday!
I finally decided to go for it and start my own video podcast.

I’ll be discussing my usual topics: food, wine, travel and fitness, and I will also be welcoming guests to sit at my dining room table and chat over a glass of wine.

I’ll be kicking it off in a few weeks, and I would really love it if you would subscribe.

To subscribe to my channel, please click here and hit the SUBSCRIBE button. See you soon!

Coconut Milk Braised Chicken with Cauliflower, Quinoa, Brown Rice, and Pumpkin Seeds


I’m a big fan of saving money, and for that reason, I love going to Grocery Outlet a few times a week to see what kind of deals I can find on food (and wine)!

They have an organic section with healthier packaged items and quite often, I am able to find organic meats in there, too, like the Rocky and Rosie organic drumsticks ($2.29/lb.) and thighs ($3.99/lb.) I bought yesterday. I already had the coconut milk from another shopping trip (2 cans for 50 cents!) and planned on cooking with it with whatever meat I found.

In the freezer section I found a bag of rice blend (Quinoa, Brown Rice and Pumpkin Seeds) and a bag of cauliflower rice, as well as some frozen peas. I ended up combining a little of all three (to lower calories and carbs) for a rice blend that I served with the chicken.

The chicken recipe I made is one of the easiest I have ever prepared, but it’s not my recipe. Today I give credit to Epicurious for a wonderful recipe I actually followed to the letter, except for the oven temperature/time (I baked my chicken at 385°F for one hour). My only complaint with the recipe is that it isn’t spicy enough. I would make it again and add some red pepper flakes and perhaps a touch more ginger.

Pro tip: I use the lemongrass paste out of a squeezy bottle and ginger paste from a jar. It’s a little more expensive, but the paste can be put in the fridge and lasts over several recipes, so you don’t have to keep buying it or cutting it up.

Ingredients
1 (13.5-oz.) can unsweetened coconut milk
2 Tbsp. Thai curry paste
2 lemongrass stalks, tough outer layers removed, lightly crushed
1 (2″) piece ginger, peeled, smashed
6 garlic cloves, smashed
4 chicken legs (thigh and drumstick; about 3 lb. total)
Kosher salt

Garnish:
Toasted unsweetened coconut flakes
cilantro leaves with tender stems,
cooked rice
lime wedges (for serving)

Directions:
1. Place a rack in top third of oven; preheat to 400°F. Stir coconut milk and curry paste in a 3-qt. baking dish to combine. Add lemongrass, ginger, and garlic.

2. Season chicken with salt (hold back a bit since curry pastes often have a lot of salt). (I used a bowl to mix the coconut milk/curry paste ingredients together and then poured them over the chicken in a glass baking dish). Bake, occasionally spooning liquid over, until chicken is browned, tender, and cooked throughout, 60–75 minutes.

3. Transfer chicken and sauce to a platter. Top with coconut flakes and cilantro. Serve with rice and lime wedges alongside.

A Girl Scout Cookie Sugar Rush: Part Two


In the current issue of Outword Magazine, I wrote a piece on making dessert from Girl Scout cookies. Today I am sharing the second recipe from that article, and my husband’s favorite of the three treats I made (the third recipe will be in the next issue of Outword Magazine, coming March 11th): Toast Yay! Fudge. This recipe features the newest Girl Scout cookie: Toast YAY! This recipe is also one of the easiest things I have ever made. The only tricky part is melting the white chocolate, as it burns easier than milk or dark chocolate does. You can also substitute Lily’s Sugar Free White Chocolate Chips (sugar free and made with Stevia) to reduce the sugar content and carbs in the recipe (there will of course still be sugar in the condensed milk and in the cookies themselves).

Ingredients:
1 Package Toast Yay! Girl Scout Cookies, broken into large pieces
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons butter
2-2/3 cups white baking chips
1 tsp vanilla or maple extract

Directions:
Line an 8-in. square dish with aluminum foil; coat with cooking spray.
Place half of the broken cookies in pan.
In a heavy saucepan (use a double boiler if you are concerned about burning the chocolate), combine the milk, butter and chips; cook and stir over low heat until chips are melted.
Remove from heat; stir in vanilla or maple extract.
Pour over cookies in pan. Sprinkle with remaining cookies.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Cut into squares..

PS: You can buy Girl Scout Cookies until March 28th, so please do! Just go to www.GirlScoutCookies.org and enter your zip code. You can also text COOKIES to 59618 (message and data rates may apply. Text STOPGS for STOP, HELPGS for help).

A Girl Scout Cookie Sugar Rush: Part One

Professionally, I work for Outword Magazine in Sacramento as a graphic designer, photographer, editor, and occasional writer. In their latest issue I wrote two recipes, one of which I will share with you today: Lemon “Lemonades” Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce.

I know you might be thinking, “I am on the right website? I thought this was a health website. I thought she was gluten free…” Well, sometimes it’s OK to eat the cookies or the cheesecake, as long as you don’t eat all of it. I’m still 90% gluten-free, and still rarely eat desserts, but that doesn’t mean I don’t bake anymore or share treats from time to time. I was pretty hardcore for a few years, but I missed baking and creating crazy treat combinations, so the last few years I’ve come back to it. I’ve also managed to maintain my size, so weight gain is not a big problem anymore. My husband (who has the best metabolism of anyone I have ever met) does a great job of eating everything I make, so it’s not laying around tempting me. I also know the work I have to do at the gym to burn it off, and I would rather not spend more time at the gym than I already do.

PS: You can buy Girl Scout Cookies until March 28th, so please do! Just go to www.GirlScoutCookies.org and enter your zip code. You can also text COOKIES to 59618 (message and data rates may apply. Text STOPGS for STOP, HELPGS for help).

Lemon “Lemonades” Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce
Crust Ingredients:
1/2 sleeve Girl Scout Shortbread/Trefoils
1/2 sleeve Girl Scout Lemonades Cookies
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Zest of 1 Lemon
2 Tsp lemon juice
1/2 stick of butter, melted

Filling Ingredients:
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 sleeve Girl Scout Lemonades Cookies

Raspberry Sauce Ingredients:
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
1-3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Crust Directions: Preheat oven to 325°F (300°F for convection ovens). Crush the two varieties of Girl Scout Cookies in a plastic bag with rolling pin or in a food processor, then transfer the crumbs to a bowl. Add the flour, zest, lemon juice, and then the melted butter and stir until mixture comes together to form a dough. Press the dough into the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan and set aside.

Filling Directions: Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add eggs; beat just until blended. Pour into crust. Bake 40 min. or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours.

Raspberry Sauce Directions:
In a saucepan, combine the raspberries, 1-3/4 cups water and sugar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Mash raspberry mixture and strain through a fine sieve into a 2-cup measuring cup; discard seeds. Add water if needed to make 2 cups puree. Return to the saucepan. Combine cornstarch and remaining water until smooth; gradually stir into raspberry mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook and stir 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat; cool completely. Spread over cooled cheesecake, and if desired, decorate cheesecake with Girl Scout Lemonade Cookies!

I’ve Always Wanted to Be a Chef…

I’ve always wanted to be a chef, but never went all in because I was too busy trying to make a living as a graphic designer for the last 22 years. I went to culinary school for a brief period of time, but only finished one semester.

In the past, I auditioned for Cupcake Wars, and two other shows on Food Network. I came close to getting on the show Cooks Vs. Cons, but when it came to logistics, I think they went with someone local to New Jersey where the show is filmed. I have appeared on a few local morning shows, as well as performed cooking demonstrations at the California State Fair, and the Auburn Mandarin Festival.

Just today I saw a contest that I would like to win, and even though it would be a long shot, it’s like the saying goes, “You can’t win, if you don’t enter…”

So that being said, take a look at my pics below for your consideration, and then please vote for me for Favorite Chef. I could win a feature in Bon Appetit magazine and $20,000. I would use the $20,000 to start my catering business and buy space and equipment.

Thank you.

You can vote for me HERE.

Today is a Special Day

Photo taken by Cristian Morinico, morinico.com

Nine years ago today, I met the man who would become my husband. I was not looking for him. I was not looking for anyone, and quite done with dating for the moment. I was taking time for and care of myself. I was luckily at the very end of getting over someone else and entertaining the idea of never getting married or even into another relationship.

The evening I met him, I was at a wine tasting on October 1, 2011. I met a friend of mine at the tasting and at the end of the event around 7pm, she left and I hung around to see if any wineries were still pouring. I wasn’t ready to go back to my condo and be alone, I guess. Another glass of wine and any small talk with the winemaker or volunteer before I left for the evening sounded just fine to me. I have always loved learning about wine and the wine tastings were my way of doing it without ever setting foot into a classroom.

I saw one table that was still serving, and one man standing in front of it, talking with the person behind the table. When I walked up to the table, I saw the wine being poured was “Ridge Zinfandel”. I had heard of the winery, and from what I had heard, I knew it was quite good. I stuck out my glass, (sort of in front of the man who was still talking to the server, because God only knows when they would have acknowledged my presence otherwise). The man stopped talking and looked down at my glass and his eyes followed up from my glass to my hand to my arm to my face. I was a little embarrassed. I think I asked, “Is this the after party?”, but I really can’t remember what dorky thing line I must have used. All I know is that we began a conversation and shortly after, some of his other friends at the event gathered around. The next thing I knew we were discussing classic cars and then also, all of a sudden, I agreed to go back to his house to see his cars. His friends (who turned out to also be his neighbors) were going to look at them, too, so I convinced myself it was perfectly safe to do this and I would not end up hacked to pieces at the bottom of some rando’s freezer.

And then eventually it was just us in his garage and he asked me if I wanted to come in. Sure, why not? The house looked gorgeous from the outside, so I was curious to see the inside. I was also really enjoying his company. We ended up talking for hours… I don’t think I left until midnight or maybe later. And no, nothing happened. What kind of a girl do you think I am? Well…I am also not a prude, so I did let him kiss me. A lot. But then I left. I had to leave something to the imagination, you know. I left and didn’t even know his last name. He also didn’t ask me for my number. So I thought maybe he was married, in a relationship, or (from the looks of his immaculately decorated home) gay.

Well, the next day, I was still thinking about him and wondering how I might contact him (without driving by his house like a psychopath). Hello internet search! I had little to go on since I didn’t know his last name or his age (he looked about 45 at the time, but who knew he was 53?). So I started thinking about all the things we talked about the night before and thanks to google and a Facebook search, his Facebook profile popped up. So I went ahead and sent him a message. What did I have to lose?

Nine years later and I’m sitting upstairs on my computer in the house I could have been murdered in the night I met the stranger at a wine tasting. We’ve been together officially 8 years and 11 months, and have been married for 3 years and almost 6 months, and I haven’t been asked to leave, so I guess that’s a plus.

So for the single ladies and gentlemen out there, never give up hope. Single people, get out there and do things that you love to do and you’ll find someone else who likes the same things. Having many things in common (the more the better) is a key factor in a successful long term relationship. It will never be perfect, nothing ever is. But the better the foundation you have, the easier it will be to overcome the obstacles. There will always be those, too.

I love you, Andy.

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