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Category — Travel

Anne is up to bat

We spent the day at the Del Mar Racetrack on Wednesday. The most that was bet by any one of us on any one race was $3. Big spenders or gamblers, we are not. But we had fun! Our seats were right in front of the finish line. If not for that pole in front of us, they would have been perfect. Darn structural engineering.

We arrived back too late to cook, so we had leftovers and watched a movie. The next morning, I woke up early and took a 5-mile walk up the beach, to the Oceanside Pier, while Peggy and Anne slept in.

I don’t generally find many shells along the beach in Carlsbad, but the tide was low and I filled my pockets. I wanted to go out again this morning, but with the internet getting busy in the late morning and constantly kicking me off, I decided to get this post up instead. I’ll go out again on Saturday and take a bag with me to collect more.

Since we hung around the resort all day yesterday, Anne had time to cook us up a delicious dinner! The recipe is one she found on allrecipes.com. But she switched it up and made it her own, in true Annie-style.

One great twist she made was switching out the regular pasta for a chickpea variety. It was fantastic!

She found the Banza brand pasta at Sprouts (in the Phoenix area you can also find it at Whole Foods and Target) and although we didn’t have wheat pasta available to do a side-by-side tasting, I’m certain I would not be able to taste the difference if we had.

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August 11, 2017   1 Comment

Peggy’s turn to cook

This deliciousness was Tuesday night’s dinner. Peggy not only manned the grill but was master of the kitchen as well.

Since it was my night off, it didn’t even cross my mind to take any preparation photos. Sorry, but I’m on vacay! I will try to do better when Anne takes over the duties tonight.

We spent Tuesday afternoon having lunch at Stone Brewery and wine tasting at Orfila Vineards & Winery, with a little T*J*Maxx on the side.

We were ultimate Maxxinistas. Peggy was looking for a swimsuit and I was looking for a barstool. The Carlsbad patio has only two stools. There are three of us. I had no choice but to find another stool!

I was successful, Peggy was not. I picked up this industrial style barstool for $29.99. I’m keeping the tag on it in case I decide to return it after the week is over, although I’m leaning towards keeping it for future visits. Decisions, decisions.

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August 9, 2017   1 Comment

Carlsbad and a brothy pasta situation

Peggy, Anne and I are at my timeshare in Carlsbad, CA for the week.

We arrived on Saturday afternoon.

Upon our arrival, I opened the hatch of my car … and this happened. We may have over-packed a tad.

My intention was to post daily. Turns out that the WiFi is easily overworked here at the resort. This is the first day I have not been kicked off before I could at least load the photos. I’ll post as often as the network will allow.

We had a planning session before we left town, each taking a night or two to cook dinner. I was up first with a ravioli dish that I was inspired to make from an Instagram photo my friend, Gwen, posted last week. Gwen has a gorgeous blog called Pen & Fork. You can always get to it over in the “Foodie Blogroll” on the right side of the page.

For the mushroom ravioli, I used the Trader Joe’s brand. It comes with truffle sauce, which you do not want to use in this recipe.

These are the truffle sauce frozen squares. They are easily picked out and removed from the ravioli squares. You can throw them back in the freezer and use for another pasta night or you can throw them in the trash. That’s what I do because I’m not a huge truffle fan. I’ll eat it if it’s served to me but I don’t go out of my way to put it in my mouth.

The spinach is cut into thin strips. When cutting leafy greens, the technique to do so is called chiffonade. It is easy to do, just stack the leaves, roll up tightly and slice. The word is French and translates to “little ribbons.”

“Brothy Situation” Mushroom Ravioli with Shredded Chicken

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 8 to 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 5 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms; cleaned, stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves, chiffonade
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 pound package frozen mushroom ravioli
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, garnish
  • Roughly chopped fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary and oregano)

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August 8, 2017   1 Comment

Brandon’s Whiskey Lemonade

I am in Chicago this week helping my dear friend, Lori, pack up her Lake Shore Drive penthouse, in preparation for her move back to Arizona.

I came in a few days early so I could visit family before the pack-a-thon began. I first drove to my mother-in-law’s home in Rockton, Illinois and spend the night with her. We played games, went out to eat, went to church and had a lovely visit.

The next day, I was off to my brother and sister-in-law, Tom and Beth’s, home in Barrington to spend time with them. The three of us drove into Chicago on Sunday night for dinner with their two daughters, Katie and Maureen, and their beautiful families.

Our first stop was at Katie and Eddie’s home, where I had the pleasure and joy of meeting my newest grand-niece, 4-month old Emily. While Emily napped, her big sister, Kody, who is almost three, entertained us in the backyard. By the way, the weather here has been glorious! What a relief after enduring the heat wave, including the 120 degree day, I left back in Arizona!

Next, we  jumped into our cars and headed downtown to Mo (new mamma to be!) and Brandon’s loft condo. My other brother-in-law, Roger, joined us there.

Here is Roger giving baby Emily her bottle, so sweet!

Brandon, a YouTube-Self-Taught craftsman has been transforming their space. He bought himself a circular saw and went to work crafting barn doors, along with kitchen and bath cabinets, like a pro. Seriously amazing!

The other amazing thing was the signature cocktail Brandon served us.

He found the recipe on HERE. Brandon had visited the High West Distillery in Park City and brought home a bottle of their spiced syrup. The syrup is what makes the cocktail so special. How very generous the folk at High West are to share the recipe to make the syrup at home. Enjoy!

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June 28, 2017   1 Comment

Austin with Connor

A week ago, Connor and I flew to Austin, TX to visit Marissa and Jeff and see their new house.

We saw, we ate, we drank, we had a great time and we toasted a lot.

We toasted at every place we ate and drank.

So pretty much all the time!

Looking back, it seems like all we did was eat and drink! Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Nothing wrong with that at all!

The night we arrived, we ate at Odd Duck. Marissa and Jeff had celebrated their first wedding anniversary here, back in October. I love that they wanted to share it with us.

The menu consists of tapas-style shared plates. The food was creative, fun and yummy.

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April 3, 2017   4 Comments

Travel Tuesday

I know it was just one week ago that I said I wasn’t going to continue with the Travel Tuesday feature, but I forgot about something I promised to report back on.

carry on cocktail kit

Nearly three months ago, when I was about to board our flight to Europe, I wrote about these adorable carry on cocktail kits.

Well, I’m here to report that they were as adorable and fun as expected, with one exception. Let’s just say that there was a Lime Situation. More on that later.

old

The first cocktail I made in-flight was the Old Fashioned.

old-fashioned

I “procured” our mini-bottles of alcohol from the complementary stash in our room on the cruise.

old fashion recipe

So all I need to ask the flight attendant for was a cup of ice and another empty cup.

old-fashioned

The drink was fun, easy to make and ever so refreshing.

old-fashioned-cocktail

Seriously delightful!

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October 4, 2016   No Comments

Travel Tuesday

lake-geneva

This image is one of my favorites from the thousands of photos I took on our Swiss-German summer trip.

flowers

My original intention was to post photos along with commentary for weeks worth of Travel Tuesdays. This is my third entry and I’m over it.

vines

I’ve just got too much other stuff going on to focus on the past.

wooden-shoes

It’s becoming harder to remember the details from the trip and write about them when my mind is filled with what I still need to accomplish in the now!

windmill

Not to say it wasn’t an amazing and gorgeous trip. It was. I just have to move forward.

swans

Luckily, if you want to know more about our travels and exploits…

pastels

I have a really wonderful place for you to go and not only read about our journey …

switzerland

… but also see photos much more gorgeous and wonderful than these.

nell

My Australian friend, Nell, was using a real camera to capture it all, while I was snapping away with my iPhone.

gruyere

Not only that, she created a special daily blog page on Facebook.

holland

With Nell’s permission, I share it with you. Here is the link to check it out.

from-chair

When you open the page, the top entry is the end of the trip, so scroll to the bottom of the page to begin at the beginning.

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September 27, 2016   2 Comments

Travel Tuesday

dying lion

From Zürich, we traveled to the gorgeous city of Lucerne. Our first quick stop was at the historic and beautiful Lion Monument, which commemorates the more than 700 Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution, at the Tuileries Palace in Paris.

It is a very moving and emotional place. As Mark Twain said of it,

“… the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.”

lion

Before we got back on the coach, I snapped a selfie, one of the rare photos proving that I was actually on this trip! And one of the even rarer times you’ll ever see me wearing a hat. It was raining, so the hat was there to try to save the hair from frizzing out from here to kingdom come!

fountain

We were then dropped off near the city-center to tour around while our driver took our luggage to our hotel.

umbrellas

These colorful umbrellas caught my attention.

patricia

My favorite part of Lucerne was seeing and walking across the Chapel Bridge. I felt as if I couldn’t get enough photos of it. In the picture above you can see our guide, Patricia, telling us the history of the bridge before we walked across it.

bridge flowers

The flower boxes on the sides of the bridge were magnificent!

flowers on bridge

Absolutely stunning!

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August 30, 2016   2 Comments

Travel Tuesday

zurich5

Some of you asked if I plan to post more about our trip to Germany and down the Rhine River. I’m sorry to have started with a few posts, then abruptly stopped.

Zurich2

The problem with being away for a couple of weeks and then getting home and blogging about the trip, is that I actually have recipes I want to post and other events that come up, such as the 7th Blogiversary.

Zurich 3

My solution is a new feature called Travel Tuesday. This way, I’ll be able to share pretty photos and fun travel info without allowing the travel posts to hijack the entire blog.

Zurich train station

So we’ll pick up here…

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August 23, 2016   4 Comments

Garmisch-Partenkirchen

alps map

Our last night before joining the land-tour group was spent in Germany, in the resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Ettal_Abbey

On the way there, from Munich, we stopped at Ettal Abbey, a beautiful Benedictine monastery.

Ettal Abbey

One thing I noticed was that the monastery gift-shop sold not only wine but also beer. It was a pretty great gift-shop!

hotel zugspitze

We stayed at Hotel Zugspitze, which is named after the highest Alps peak in Germany.

cog wheel

I really wanted to take the cog-wheel cable up to the peak, but at 49.50 euro per person (about $126 total) … on second thought… no thanks!

hotel dining

I can just image how packed this sweet hotel must be during the popular ski season.

hotel fresco

Just as in Oberammergau, many of the buildings are covered in beautiful frescoes.

shops

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August 9, 2016   No Comments