Frisky Artisan Vinegars add spice to your culinary skills

I am a shameless foodie……..can’t avoid experimenting on unsuspecting family and friends, particularly when we have so many yummy enhancers right here at home.  But I work too much and tend to search out the simpler ways to create great food on the average day.  A current favorite short cut is to make fab tasting food with local vinegars. Chaparral Gardens Artisan Vinegars off of Highway 41 West in Atascadero – a class act that never fails to deliver.  I have used their vinegars since the Gardens were a small roadside stand that made my simple salads into something special.  My current selections include Pacific Spice and Blackberry & Roasted Pepper.  But now I have a new ‘must have’ secret ingredient in my kitchen……..Star Anise and Vanilla Bean Balsamic produces something similar to the tricky mole! This Limited Reserve Vinegar along with some fresh garden herbs is my new standby as a marinade which turns everyday chicken into something memorable!  Check them out at select farmers markets or on the web at