Monday, January 8, 2018

Tom’s Won Ton Crisps

This is a simple recipe given to me by my friend, Norma, after I ate almost every chip that she brought to a party.  I understand these are not uncommon, but I have never had them before and I loved them. ***warning– you need to make a pledge to yourself NOT to sample until you deliver them to your guests.  If you try one, you’ll keep eating and that does not end well.

Won ton skins – cut in half to form triangles
Shredded Parmigiana Cheese
Seat Salt
Course ground pepper
Olive oil spray
Any herbs and spices you like

Preheat oven to 350

Place parchment paper on cookie sheets and spray with olive oil. Lay triangles on cookie sheet so that they do not touch (I did this randomly at first then realized reforming squares is the most efficient.)  Now spray the tops with olive oil and sprinkle with the cheese, salt and pepper.  (that is traditional, but you can do anything you want at this stage.  I tried a holiday blend of spices as well as garlic salt, with and without the cheese.  They all came out great!)

Bake until golden brown (6-8 minutes)


Remove to a rack to cool while you put another batch in the oven!   Enjoy.

Can be saved, but best the day of.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Illuminated Channel Letter Sign for Patra in San Ramon

We recently had the pleasure of working with Patra Indian Grill in San Ramon.  Patra is a new fast food chain that has received great reviews so far!  The food is delicious and they were a great company to work with.

Patra contacted Sequoia Signs & Graphics about creating and installing a set of channel letters in San Ramon.  As the chain is fairly new, we sat down with the owners to discuss the logo, logo colors and placement.  Once we had established the desired loo, we drew up drawings and renderings so that we could obtain city approval. While channel letters are very common, the cities still need to verify that they are being built correctly and properly mounted to the facade.  Of course, at Sequoia Signs we are more than happy to comply.  We pride ourselves on both quality manufacture and impeccable installation.

The sign that Patra settled on is a combination of custom channel lettering and a logo box.  Both have L.E.D. lights which illuminate the faces at night.  These days, we pretty much only use L.E.D. lights when installing new signage.  They are so much more efficient than the older light sources, like neon lights, – and less expensive.

After we complete the installation, the final step is to call the city inspector to make sure we installed everything correctly. Of course, the sign needs to be well mounted but there are a couple of other things the inspector will look for- they need to have an accessible ‘kill switch’, they need to be connected to an automatic timer or photocell and they lights need to be U.L. certified for quality.  If you look at the returns on most channel letters, you will see a silver or white sticker which is the U.L. certified label. (see below)

Do you have a channel letter project?  We would love to help!  Sequoia Signs & Graphics, Inc. is a licensed electrical sign contractor (Ca # 1019870)

Give us a call at 925.300.1066!  We are happy to visit your site and discuss your options.

Written by: Sequoia Signs & Graphics

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Rosemary & Caraway Shortbread

This is a great and simple recipe for the holidays.  Feel free to increase or decrease the spice to your taste! (I go heavy on the rosemary)  Shortbread dough can be made up to a month in advance and pulled out when needed.


1 tsp caraway seeds

2 sticks chilled butter cut into chunks

1/2 cup sugar (plus some for sprinkles)

1/4 cup powdered sugar

3/4 tsp salt

2 1/2 cups flour (I mix all purpose and spelt flour)

2 tsp finely chopped rosemary plus whole leaves

1 large egg


Preheat oven to 350

Toast caraway seeds in dry skillet over med-high heat until fragrant (2 min)   Coarsley chop

Put butter, sugar, powdered sugar and salt in mixing bowl and beat on med-high speed for 7-10 minutes (longer is usually better)  reduce speed and add the flour, caraway and chopped rosemary.  mix to combine.  Dough will be shaggy and look dry.

Press dough into two 8″-diameter cake pans or similar.  Brush with the egg and sprinkle with sugar and the whole rosemary leaves (I will often half these but not fine chop)

Bake for 20-25 min until shortbread is golden brown.  Let pan cool on cooling rack before turning onto a cutting board and cutting wedges to serve.

Enjoy the Holidays!

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Friday, December 15, 2017

Check Out These Budget-Friendly Hotels for Your Trip to San Ramon

Hotels in San Ramon, California

You’re visiting San Ramon, and you’re seeking a place to stay that is both comfortable and easy on the wallet. Of course, you know this can be a challenge – especially in the Bay Area! However, you can put your worries to rest. We’ve done the legwork for you. We put together some of the best rated, most budget-conscious places to stay in the San Ramon.

Hyatt House San Ramon – from $139/night

One of the top-rated hotels in the beautiful San Ramon Valley, the Hyatt House San Ramon offers short-term studio style rooms and long-term stay multi-room suites. Warm, contemporary styled rooms include fully equipped kitchens, workspace, and free wifi.

Hot breakfast is also complimentary and boasts options like cage-free eggs, all-natural bacon and sausage, greek yogurt, fresh fruit, and steel cut oats. A pool, hot tub, and 24-hour fitness center are ready for you when you’re ready to relax and recharge. Clean rooms, friendly staff, and easy access to the area’s business parks— all that for under $150 is tough to beat.

Residence Inn San Ramon – from $149/night

You’ll find comfortable, casual, and recently renovated apartment-style suites with fully equipped kitchens at the Residence Inn San Ramon. Functional, ergonomic workspaces in rooms also include free wifi access and are pet-friendly. Full, hot breakfast buffet is complimentary, and 3 nights a week the hotel hosts “mixers” – free social events with snacks and sips including local fare from food trucks (for a nominal charge).

Burn that breakfast off in the fitness center, pool, or on the basketball court. All of this along with a free business center, fire pit and BBQ grill access, quiet location and free parking help make the Residence Inn a top budget-friendly pick.

La Quinta Inn & Suites Dublin – Pleasanton – from $109/night

Just down the road from San Ramon in Dublin, the La Quinta Inn & Suites is another great option for both standard rooms and suites available. Each recently renovated room includes a microwave and refrigerator, comfy pillowtop beds, and workspace. The premium cable, wifi, and parking are all complimentary.

Wake up to “Bright Side” breakfast, complimentary DIY fresh Belgian style waffles, fresh fruit, muffins, bread, and unlimited coffee and fresh orange juice. Run some laundry in the guest laundry facilities while getting a workout in or swimming in the pool. Clean rooms and attentive, friendly staff are the “cherry on top” for this budget-friendly choice.

San Ramon Marriot – from $114/night

The San Ramon Marriot boasts redwood forest views while still providing easy access to the 580/680 freeways. Contemporary, California style greets you – and your pet – in comfortable, well-appointed rooms. Rooms start at $139/night, but tor roughly $20/night more, a concierge level room gives you access to the lounge, in addition to offering free continental breakfast, non-alcoholic beverages, hors-d’oeuvres, desserts, and late night snacks.

Room amenities include refrigerator, coffeemaker, and iron. Friendly staff, clean rooms, and great location make this hotel a great choice, but be aware you’ll need to budget extra for parking and internet access.

Best Western Danville Sycamore Inn – from $109

Just a few minutes North of San Ramon, the Best Western Danville Sycamore Inn provides scenic views of Mt Diablo. This hotel boasts large rooms with many options – from single king sized bedrooms to two queen beds and a patio with mountain views! Rooms feature microwaves, refrigerators, and coffeemakers. Larger suites also include ergonomic workspaces and patios.

The complimentary breakfast includes hot items like eggs, sausage, and bacon, as well as cold breakfast standards like muffins, cereal, fresh fruit and yogurt. Pets are welcome in specific rooms. Parking and wifi are also complimentary. While the Best Western doesn’t have its own fitness center on property, they do offer free passes to a nearby facility. Don’t feel like working out? Relax in the heated outdoor pool instead! Comfortable, quiet rooms, friendly staff, and convenient location give the Best Western extra points.

Whether you are planning a stay in San Ramon or its surrounding areas for business or pleasure, let Sequoia Signs help with your display and signage needs. Contact us today for a quote!

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Friday, December 8, 2017

Check Out What’s Happening in San Ramon Year Round

What's happening in San Ramon Year Round

San Ramon boasts plentiful sunshine, warm days, copious green space, and beautiful rolling hills. It’s a perfect spot for outdoor adventures and casual picnics in the warm California sun. Not surprisingly, there’s plenty to do year-round in the San Ramon area. Here are some of our top picks for events and activities in San Ramon:

Year Round Fun

San Ramon’s mild weather is perfect for outdoor pastimes. Spend an afternoon on a trail or pack a lunch to enjoy al fresco with friends. Here are just a few of the many things that natives and visitors can do year-round in San Ramon:

Las Trampas Regional Wilderness

Varied hiking trails wind through the hills, offering the breathtaking views and wildlife make that Las Trampas a popular destination for adventurous families and photographers alike. Spend the day exploring on your own or with friends and family, or steal away from the workday hustle and bustle for a quiet picnic lunch!

Forest Home Farms Historic Park

Explore Victorian life and get a taste of local history at the Forest Home Farms Historic Park. While the name is taken from the historic buildings dating back to the 1850s, there’s more than that in this beautiful space. Antique farming equipment, farm animals, free activities, and children’s programs make this park a hit for children and history buffs alike.

Canyon Lakes Golf & Brewery

This sprawling 18-hole golf course is a daily fee public course with competitive rates and a monthly membership available. Bonus— the club also features a full restaurant and microbrewery! Hit the green for a “work meeting” and then grab a brew and have a tasty lunch outdoors. That’s a great way to spend an afternoon in the San Ramon area!

Dougherty Station Library

The Dougherty Station library has everything you would expect from a great library – e-books, movies, and music available for checkout, as well as storytime and events for little ones, clubs and after-school activities for school-age kids, and even “adulting” classes on topics like resume building and interviewing.  Should San Ramon’s typically perfect weather be less-than-perfect, the Dougherty Station library is an ideal place to while away the afternoon.

Farmer’s Market

Foodies, rejoice! Every Thursday and Saturday, you’ll find more than fifty local growers and artisans who gather to share their wares at Bishop Ranch. Fresh fruits and veggies, honey, eggs, artisan cheeses, crepes, barbecue, and more await you.

Seasonal Activities

There’s no doubt that there is always something to do in the Diablo Valley, regardless of the season. Change up your routine with these season-specific special events:

Art and Wind Festival

This annual event blows into Central Park each Memorial Day weekend with amazing stunt kites, hang glider demonstrations, arts and crafts (including making your own working kite), delicious food from local vendors, and an impressive lineup of multicultural music and dance.

Summer Concert Series

Pack a picnic and enjoy some great live music with friends and family. You can even let the kids kick off their shoes and dance barefoot in the grass— after all, this is what summer nights are all about! Concerts begin on July 4th and run throughout the summer in Central Park. The Summer Concert Series features a variety of music styles from pop covers to oldies, country to Latin beats.

Tree Lighting at Bishop Ranch

Come get in the holiday spirit at the annual tree lighting at Bishop Ranch. The ceremonial lighting of the beautiful 70’ fir tree also includes a variety of activities and refreshments for both kids and adults – including play in the snow park with real snow!

Sequoia Signs is a proud part of the growing community of San Ramon. Let us help you get your Bay Area business the attention it deserves! Contact us today!

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Friday, December 1, 2017

Booking a Trip to Concord, CA? Check Out These Budget-Friendly Hotels

Hilton Hotel sign

Planning your next family trip? Need to come to Concord for business? No fear—we have your hotel recommendations right here.

We get it. Travel can be expensive. From buying a plane ticket or renting a car to planning meals and outings, things can get pricey fast. Here are a few stellar hotels we recommend that won’t bust your vacation budget.

Crowne Plaza Concord

Located just next door to the Buchanan Field Golf Course and Airport, you can squeeze in a round of golf between business meetings or even take a flying lesson while you enjoy your stay at the Crowne Plaza Concord. Also, located in the center of the hotel, a beautiful indoor lounge area with a pool and multiple koi ponds feels like a little oasis at the end of a long travel day.

Accessible to major highways, you won’t be too far from where you need to be. Check out deals and special packages for your stay on their website– we’re sure you will enjoy all that the Crowne Plaza has to offer without breaking the bank.

Hilton Concord

Looking for a hotel close to 680 that’s within 5 miles of Waterworld USA and also nearby to other major attractions like Six Flags Discovery Kingdom? The Hilton Concord is well-loved for its hospitality and friendly, welcoming staff. With a beautiful outdoor pool area for the kiddos and a fabulous restaurant which offers a wide array of wine selections, wood-fired pizza, and a full menu, plus a fully operational business center you will find exactly what you need at the Hilton Concord.

Whether you’re traveling alone on business or with your family, the Hilton Concord will be able to meet your needs. Here are some special deals, including WiFi, breakfast, complimentary drinks, and discounted rates at the Hilton, where affordability meets leisure.

Hyatt House Pleasant Hill

While technically in Pleasant Hill, Hyatt House is just a little south of Concord. We couldn’t leave it off of our list of hotels— this hotel offers visitors to our part of California such a great value! With a peaceful, contemporary aesthetic and kind, accommodating staff who spare no attention to detail, you will be sure to find the respite of Hyatt House worth it.

While most hotels these days feature a pool, business center, and fitness center, Hyatt House also offers a “sports court,” perfect for tennis or basketball, as well as a dog walk area and a complimentary hot breakfast.  You can blow off some steam, take your beloved pet for a walk, and get fuel for your busy day—all within the grounds of the hotel.

Looking for a longer stay? This is an extended-stay hotel complete with fully equipped kitchens, so Hyatt will soon feel like your home-away-from-home. More information can be found at their website.

Residence Inn Pleasant Hill Concord

Many hotels offer a host of complimentary amenities: free WiFi, free parking, or a free hot breakfast, but we were charmed by the offer for a beer or glass of wine on the house to help weary customers unwind after a day of travel.

Both family-friendly and pet-friendly, the Residence Inn Pleasant Hill Concord also offers an outdoor pool and barbecue area. We’re not the only ones who think this hotel is excellent: recent reviews give high ratings for both the staff and the cleanliness of the hotel. The Residence Inn also offers a full kitchen in-suite, so whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, you can maintain all the comforts of home. Check out the offerings of this fabulous hotel with great deals at their website.

While you’re in Concord, come check us out! Our signs can have a huge impact on the overall look and feel of your company, and that can leave a big impression on your customers. Let us help you make a positive impact on your business with sleek, professional-looking signage inside and out. Contact us today for more information, or just check out our website for more information!

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Friday, November 24, 2017

Tom’s Jambalaya

This is such a staple in our home that I thought I had posted it already, but I do not think I did.  There are probably a million ways to make Jambalaya and this one has no claim to authenticity or New Orleans.  In fact, my good friend Lisa from Yuma, AZ gave this to me years ago.  We love it and hope you do to!


3 boneless chicken breaks- cut up (1″ ) 1/4-1/2 tspn cayenne
1/4 lb cooked ham (I get 1/4″ slice at deli)- cubed 1 tspn file powder
6-8″ cooked sausage Andoulle or something smoked 1 1/2 tspn cumin
cut into half moon pieces 1 1/2 tspn fresh ground black pepper
4 Tbsn butter 1 tspn dried thyme
1+ large yellow onion -diced 3 cloves garlic -minced
1+ bell pepper – diced 2 cups brown rice
1 cup chopped celery 1 can chopped tomato
1 tspn white pepper 4 cups chicken broth
1 tspn dry mustard 4-5 bay leaves

This is really one of those recipes where you can add more of what you like or take away something you don’t.  I actually added corn to this batch which we liked.

ALL steps stirring frequently.  Cook chicken in the butter on med-high for 10 minutes, adding ham and sausage for last bit.  Add veggies and seasoning and cook for 10 more minutes.  Add garlic and rice and cook another 5 minutes.   Add broth, bay leaves and tomato. simmer (covered) 40-50 minutes additional or until rice is cooked. (add additional broth as necessary and stir occasionally- scrap bottom while stirring.)




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