Bacon, Arugula, Tomato, Avocado, on Grilled Ciabatta

The And Stuff story that follows the recipe is an uncompensated article about Sideways The Play.


How about a summertime grilled twist on the classic BLT? My easy recipe will make a great dinner for 4 or so on a warm summer night.


8 slices of butcher style bacon

1 lb ciabatta role

1 tomato – sliced into rounds

1 avocado

1/2 white onion – sliced into rounds

1 zucchini – sliced thinly lengthwise

8 slices of gruyere cheese

1/4 C mayonnaise

1 Tbsp Scotty’s Sweet Jalapeno Heat

Olive oil

salt and pepper to taste


In a large fry pan cook the bacon.  Place cooked bacon on paper towel to soak up fat, and cover with foil to keep warm.

Drizzle a little olive oil and salt and pepper on onion and zucchini slices and BBQ until nicely browned.

Slice tomatoes into thin rounds.

Peel and thinly slice avocado.

Slice cheese

Mix the mayo and jalapeno sauce in small bowl.

Cut the ciabatta in half lengthwise, brush with olive oil and BBQ to light golden brown

Drizzle olive oil on onions and zucchini and then BBQ until soft and browned.

Cut the ciabatta into 4, apply mayo jalapeno spread, zucchini, bacon, onions, tomatoes, cheese, and arugula.

Serve dish with a nice side such as Chinese coleslaw.

Now all yu have to do is sit back and enjoy your super easy great take on the BLT.


Last month I began following the author of Sideways, Rex Pickett, on twitter. I quickly learned that he had turned his book into a play.  The play was being performed at The Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica, California. And get this, each night they were offering complimentary wine tasting prior to the show.  As a fan of the book, movie, and the Santa Ynez wine region how could I go wrong with that deal?  Unfortunately, vacations and family events kept She Who Must Be Obeyed and me from attending during the play’s run.

A week or two ago I read a tweet announcing the play had been extended, and better yet we had a couple open Saturdays!   The first Saturday of choice was sold out, so I quickly took down Saturday the 28th.

We started the evening with an early diner at Il Forno, one of my business lunch favorites.   The friendly service and wonderful meal were the perfect kick off for our evening. Then it was off to the Ruskin Group Theater.

We hadn’t been to the Ruskin before, so finding it tucked amongst buildings next to the Santa Monica airport was an adventure.  Didn’t take long until we found the theater intermixed with a number of airport hanger/warehouse kind of structures. As I parked the car it occurred to me how un-LA the area was,  because the parking was …..  free!

With the car safely parked we started the brutally long, maybe 20 foot, walk from our car to the ticket box. After showing our tickets we were handed stem labels for wine glasses. We entered the small lobby area, took a wine glass from a table, affixed our stem label, and got in line for our first taste.  Get this, as we got closer it dawned on me that when Rex Pickett tweets he’s pouring wines, it’s not a figurative tweet.  Across the table and behind a forest of wine bottles stood the award winning writer talking about each wine and pouring tastes for all attendees. Don’t know about you, but for me it’s not everyday I get to shoot the breeze over wine with an award wining author. Very cool indeed.

So let’s recap: great dinner; found the theater; free parking; complimentary wine tasting poured by Rex Pickett.  So far so good! And then it was time to be seated. Sue and I followed people through a short narrow hallway which led into a very small theater.  By my rough count there were maybe 60 seats. Obviously in such a small venue every seat is great. Basically we were sitting on the stage.

The play started with Miles (John Colella) alone center stage or more to the point, center floor maybe 8 feet away from us. In such an intimate theater there is no need for microphones. Miles was quickly joined by Jack (Jonathan Bray) and we were off  on the bachelor party weekend through wine country.   It didn’t take too long for the boys to meet up with Maya (Julia McIlvaine) and Terra (Cloe Kromwell) and the book came to life via superb actors performing literally feet away from us. It was like having Rex bring the play to our living room!

For me, everything worked. I even got a kick out of the ice cold looks Libby (Kristelle Monterrosa) would give her fellow “stage crew” while moving set pieces for scene changes.

All to soon Sue and I were driving home, talking about our great evening and how much fun we had with Sideways The Play. Check it out at

Good Eating and Table Talk,


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