December 11th, 2013
For me there is no better sign that the holidays have arrived than wintery cookies! I’m not sure if it’s the taste, the sensory memories, the smell – well just all of it – but holiday cookies baking in an oven bring a smile to my face (and my kiddos)!
Here is one of my favorites created by my friends at the Portola Hotel & Spa! So make a dozen, two or three and celebrate the season with family and good friends!
Wishing you peace, love & happiness this holiday season!
Pumpkin Spice Cookies
- ¾ c. butter, softened
- 2 c. sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ½ c. molasses
- 2 tsp. white vinegar
- 3¾ c. flour
- 1½ tsp. baking soda
- 1 Tbs. + 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees
- In a bowl, beat together butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy
- Add eggs and mix well + don’t forget to scrape the sides
- Add the molasses
- Add the vinegar and blend again until everything is combined well
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda; blend together
- Add the pumpkin pie spice; right about now, your kitchen will start smelling amazing
- Now, add the flour mixture a small amount at a time to the wet mixture until you have it fully combined
- Using a cookie scoop, drop balls onto a prepared baking sheet
- Now, sprinkle lightly with sugar.
- Bake 9-10 minutes
Yields: 4 dozen
November 27th, 2013
The game of golf is synonymous with the Monterey Peninsula. Ask anyone around the world about their favorite courses and there are sure to be a couple courses from our local area on the list. Whether it’s the Pebble Beach Resort courses, host to five U.S. Opens and the PGA’s annual celebrity fun fest, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am; the ultra exclusive Cypress Point; or the popular public course at the Pacific Grove Golf Links - visitors to the Peninsula have more choices than clubs in their bag!
That’s why the Portola Hotel & Spa’s Golfer’s Paradise Package is the perfect way to experience the course or courses of your choice. Centrally located between Carmel, Pebble Beach, Pacific Grove and the rest of the Monterey Peninsula the hotel has been a favorite of golfers for years.
Once you book this package, simply show your receipt for playing 9 or 18 holes at ANY local course and instantly receive $50 off your stay. Even better are all the additional perks you get with the package including:
- Nautically inspired guest room
- Warm homemade chocolate chip cookie upon arrival
- Complimentary beer tasting flight, appetizer and souvenir growlette from Peter B’s Brewpub
- Outdoor heated pool, relaxing cabanas & Jacuzzi
- Complimentary 24 hour fitness center
- Complimentary golf club storage
The Portola Hotel & Spa has ample space to securely store your clubs keeping your room free of clutter and their Concierge will be more than happy to help book tee times, make transportation arrangements (if needed) or suggest additional activities. With all this and so much more, The Golfer’s Paradise Package at the Portola is truly one of a kind!
Golf on the Monterey Peninsula just got a whole lot better!
November 22nd, 2013
Temperatures are dropping and the snow is falling???
It’s time to lace up those skates and let the winter adventures abound! Well maybe this is true for the folks up in the mountains, but here at sea level, we marvel at a different scene, that of the rugged Monterey Peninsula coastline. In Monterey we don’t wait for winter to show up, we make the winter wonderland ourselves.
Ice Skating by the Bay brings on the chill, setting up shop at the Custom House Plaza, providing the perfect holiday outing for the whole family. Set among historic adobes and Old Fisherman’s Wharf, Ice Skating by the Bay is here to help you celebrate the holidays amid a picturesque backdrop like no other. Whether ice skating is your cup of cocoa, or you just enjoy spectating, Ice Skating by the Bay is set in the perfect location to view the breathtaking ocean, excited passers-by, and jubilant skaters, all the while sipping on your favorite warm beverage.
Found just outside of the Portola’s doors, Ice Skating by the Bay is the perfect outing for guests at the hotel. Right outside the front door lies a world of wintery excitement and fun to be had. That’s why Portola is offering a winter package fit for the ice skater within. This holiday season enjoy Portola Hotel’s Winter Ice Skating Package. This ultimate getaway package includes a one night stay plus ice skating for two. I guarantee that the time will virtually glide by when you spend it at the Portola, so grab your scarf and grab your gloves; this is a nippy adventure that you won’t want to miss!
November 22nd through January, 5th, Ice Skating by the Bay is open Monday through Saturday from 11am-10pm, and Sunday from 12pm-8pm, you can learn more online at www.iceskatingbythebay.com, and visit the Portola’s website to learn more about this fantastic Winter Ice Skating Package.
November 11th, 2013
It’s that time of year again, the most wonderful time of the year! And while some of us have been humming Christmas carols since last December, we think it’s about time to start getting in the spirit!
This year, you need look no further than the beautiful Monterey Peninsula to gear up and get ready to haul out some holly and deck the halls! Sure it’s no winter wonderland, but who needs the messy snow anyway? There’s no better way to escape the hustle and bustle of busy cities, or forget the stress of home than planning your winter getaway in lovely Monterey.
Neighbored by sweet Pacific Grove, one of America’s last hometowns, and cozy Carmel-by-the-sea, a romantic and charming destination like no other, the Peninsula is guaranteed to be a little slice of holiday heaven. Be dazzled by the twinkling lights and breathtaking sights of Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, decked out for the holidays; marvel at the several-story-high, elegantly dressed, Christmas tree towering over Carmel Plaza, or let the charm of decorated historic downtown Monterey fill you up with holiday cheer.
The holidays on the Monterey Peninsula offer fun and excitement for the whole family. On December 6 and 7, from 5-9pm, the California State Parks holds its Annual Christmas in the Adobes, an event celebrating the history and holiday traditions that make Monterey so special. Participants tour over 20 historic adobes by night and enjoy entertainment and refreshment along the way. As for the young ones, the local area is nothing short of magical, at Pacific Grove’s Caledonia Park on December 7th during the 20th Annual Stillwell’s Fun in the Park. Transforming the park into a winter wonderland, this annual event features a day of fun and entertainment for the whole family amid the beautifully decorated park, complete with twinkling lights and a visit from Santa himself aboard a shiny fire truck. And don’t miss Santa make another grand entrance via helicopter during the Carmel Valley Chamber of Commerce’s 55th Annual Santa-Fly in on December 14th.
Don’t let the season pass you by without experiencing the magic of the Monterey Peninsula throughout the winter season.
November 8th, 2013
When the autumn leaves start falling and all the turkeys go into hiding, Americans across the country starts to tingle with anticipation because we all know that the most widely celebrated, and undoubtedly the coziest, holiday is right around the corner. With all of the fuss and preparation, though, Thanksgiving can become a time of stress and exhaustion (and we’re not just talking about the unavoidable post-feast food coma), leaving little room or care to meditate on the real meaning of the holiday, to consider what we’re all truly thankful for.
This year, Jacks Restaurant at the Portola Hotel & Spa wants to help put the “Thanks” back in Thanksgiving! Why not escape the stress of the holiday season and get away to beautiful Monterey? A perfect backdrop to appreciate the blessings in life, press pause and enjoy the exhilarating winter chill and the majestic Monterey coastline with your family to help you put things back into perspective and really get into the holiday spirit. And as for your Thanksgiving feast, our acclaimed restaurant Jacks has it covered.
Featuring a mouth-watering four-course menu, you can enjoy all of your favorites dishes with a new gourmet twist, like our luxurious sourdough stuffing, fluffy whipped potatoes, and our perfectly seasoned green beans with crispy shallots, not to mention a wonderful selection of holiday inspired desserts from our decedent dessert display. You won’t have to lift a finger to enjoy all of the fun, food, and feelings that this holiday has to offer – plus the staff at Jacks will pack up your leftovers so you can continue your feast on Friday!
Leave it all to the team at the Portola and Jacks and enjoy the holiday the way it was meant to be spent, basking in the love of family and appreciating life’s bounty.
Visit Jacks website to tantalize your taste buds with a preview of our full menu and to get all of the details for this offer to be truly thankful for.