Sunday, January 31, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: Welcome February!

We are back from paradise! An amazing week in Mexico....eating some fabulous food, drinking some wonderfully refreshing cocktails and basking in the sun. I am really excited to be back in the kitchen this week. Here is our menu to welcome February!


Sunday: Cook's Country Slow Cooked Pot Roast Enchiladas (still craving Mexican food)
Monday: Chicken with Three Bean Salad
Tuesday: Winter Vegetable Pasta (thanks to One Hungry Chef)
Wednesday: BBQ'd Salmon with Stir-Fried Broccoli and Almonds
Thursday: Pork with Pomegranate Pan Sauce and Garlic Green Beans

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Cabo: Day 6 and 7

Friday Morning Sunrise

Parting is such sweet sorrow.....

Our time here is almost over. Back to reality this afternoon.

Thursday was a very quiet and holistic day......almost 5 hours by the pool and we managed to snag one of those cabanas so we kept out of the sun for most of the day. Then it was a late afternoon appointment at the spa.....50 minute massages to complete our relaxation.

Dinner on our patio with a bottle of Chardonnay, leftover steak from Casa Raphael and two amazing salads from the bistro. We watched the starts dance.....telling our favorite Cabo stories and promising to make our last day the very best.

Friday went by quickly as we both knew it would. Not a cloud in the sky for our last day.

Toga Man (our downstairs neighbor)

We took a tour of the grounds....located some beautiful flowers and scenic shots. Whispering our goodbyes.

Permanent Resident - Pink Flamingos

We spent Friday afternoon at the Sky Pool then our last sunset in the lobby bar.

What a treat to hear the incredible Luna Itzel again. Chick bought one of her CDs which I am sure will bring back more wonderful memories of our trip.

Senorita Luna Itzel

We said goodbye to old friends (thank you Sergio for all those cart rides and for making us feel like the most beautiful senoritas in all of Mexico).
Sergio, Driver #11 and Stacy (Adios, good friend)

This final morning greeted us with the most amazing sunrise (which I think is more spectacular than any of the sunsets).

We are just about to check out of our amazing villa and check back into reality. A quick breakfast downstairs before our shuttle to the airport.

Adios, amigos!


Friday, January 29, 2010

Old Photo Friday: Brotherly Love

WHO: Brian and Ken (or is it Kerry)
WHAT: Hanging out
WHERE: 109 Tamara Circle, Newark, DE
WHEN: Brian looks to be about 12/13, so I'll say 1972/73

I chuckle at Brian's stories of growing up with two brothers (he is the youngest). Brotherly love did not come until later in life, but all three of them get along quite well now. I am hoping that they are all together in West Seattle this weekend spending time catching up and hanging out.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cabo: Day Five

Another beautiful day here in Cabo.

We spent time down at the main pool at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. It's a crowded pool, but we enjoyed meeting people from Vancouver, Canada and a bohemian couple from Florida.

I took a few minutes to stroll down along the beach. Above you can see the entire Pueblo Bonito Sunset complex, built right into the hillside. Our unit is dead straight center second row from the top.
We took it easy by the pool for most of the day. The clouds moved in just in time for an afternoon siesta, but cleared in time for a glorious sunset.

We watched the whales perform again.....babies breaching out of the water. Too far away for pictures, but still awesome to see.

Dinner was at the quaint boutique hotel, Casa Rafael - where we were actually greeted (and seated) by Rafael himself).

Sandra is always meeting new people! Here she is with her new friend Marilyn Ann.

First it was a drink in the piano bar where we were treated to some wonderful tunes (everything from Johnny Mathis to traditional Mexican standards).

We were seated out by the pool for dinner - a cute and intimate setting. The waitstaff was friendly.

They even danced with us!!!

Look - here in Cabo when you order Filet Mignon (bathed in a wonderful wine and peppercorn sauce), you get TWO for the price of one!! Amazing (which means plenty for lunch this afternoon).


Recipe of the Week: Grandma's Beef Enchiladas

I came across this recipe about 6 months ago in my Cook's Country magazine and immediately knew that I wanted to cook it right when we got back from Mexico.

Hopefully this yummy goodness will fill the void as we settle back into our normal routines next week.


Grandma's Beef Enchiladas


3 pounds boneless beef chuck-eye roast, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions
3 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Teaspoons cumin
2 Teaspoons coriander
1/4 cayenne pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
1/4 red wine
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
12 (6 inch) corn tortillas
chopped cilantro, optional
sour cream, optional
guacamole, optional
lime wedge, optional


Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat to 300 degrees. Pat beef dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in large dutch oven over medium high heat until just smoking. Cook half the beef, turning occasionally until well-browned all over. Transfer to a bowl and repeat process with remaining beef.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from pan and add onions and cook until softened. Stir in spices and cook until they darken. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato sauce and wine and bring to a boil.

Add browned beef, along with any accumulated juices, to pot. Transfer pot to the oven and cook, covered until meat is fork tender, 2-2 1/2 hours.

Transfer beef to a large bowl. Strain sauce through a fine-mesh strainer, discard solids and set aside (you should have about 2 cups of sauce).

Increase oven temperature to 375. Spread 3/4 cup of sauce over bottom of a 13 x 9 inch baking dish; set aside. When beef has cooled, shred into bite-sized pieces. Add 1 cup cheese and additional 1/4 cup sauce and toss to combine.

Spray tortillas on both sides with cooking spray and arrange on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until they are warm and pliable, about 1 minute. Arrange warm tortillas on work surface. Place 1/3 beef mixture in center of each tortilla. Roll tightly and arrange, seem side down in prepared baking dish.

Pour remaining sauce evenly over enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Cover with foil and bake until cheese melts and enchiladas are heated through, about 20-25 minutes.

Serve with chopped cilantro, sour cream, guacamole and a lime wedge

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cabo: Day Four

Up early and into downtown to Lenny's NY Deli and the sight of the Original Trailer Park....two classic Cabo restaurants that have been around for ages. Three eggs, chorizo, potatoes and corn tortillas for $10 - a steal in this sometimes overwhelming tourist town.

Time by the pool - the clouds broke away and we had a wonderful sunny day with light winds - which was perfect for our sunset sail.

We booked the Tropicat Catamaran again this year (great discount with my time share presentation).It's a wine and jazz cruise (not the typical booze cruise). They also had a wonderful selections of breads, crackers, cheese and veggies all for $38. A very enjoyable 2 1/2 hours.

Greg and Elaine (Minnesota)

This year we didn't see any whales, but the sunset was perfect and we met more people from Minnestota (they must really need to escape winter - we've met about 30 Minnesotans).

Dinner was the highlight of the trip...Maco's Shrimp House. This place has no door and only part of a roof, but hands down some of the best shrimp and lobster that I have ever eaten and at a total steal......1/4 kilo of lobster (two tails) and 1/4 kilo shrimp (about 4 butterflied) grilled and served with garlic butter for $20. I felt guilty when we paid the tab!

Oh....did I mention their signature drink.....the Bull Dog (or bad dog/big dogs as we called them).

7UP....drop in a shot of tequila then add a corona beer. We drank two (only because the owner, maco bought us one "for the road"). We decided to skip the expensive steak house and have our last dinner on Friday at Maco's.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cabo: Day Three

Walking, shopping and cocktails......this is how we spent our third day! Nice warm sun.....near 80.

Free shuttle bus from Sunset to Rose (after my time share presentation) then a walk into downtown for some shopping.

Look at my beautiful new ring!

Chips and salsa with fresh guacamole at Pancho's. Very cute little place - known best for their tequila menu.More shopping......t-shirts, yard art and table linens filled out bags.....then off for a stroll along the beach to "The Office". This place is crazy!

A little music, please!

One shot of chilled tequila on ice.....very nice!

A quiet dinner at Cilantros at Pueblo Bonito Blanco.....tortilla soup then back home to Sunset for star gazing.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Cabo: Day Two

Our first full day in Cabo!

A great day to grab some sun and pool time.

We spent most of the day at the Sky Pool which is a stones throw from our Villa - and overlooks the Pacific Ocean. We had a bit of wind, but temps in the upper 70's.

It has two pools - one is an infinity pool which stretches to the horizon.

In the evening, we had a wonderful dinner at La Frida right here at Pueblo Bonito Sunset.The food was amazing and artfully prepared.

Chick had a wonderful house salad and I had blue fin tuna tartar for starters. Our entrees (crispy sea bass and mole braised short ribs were quite tasty).
Blue Fin Tuna Tartar

Watched the stars pop out from our balcony before calling it a day.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cabo: Day One

It's nice to know that some things never change.

Pueblo Bonito Sunset is just as we remembered....
The water glistens in teal, the sky is deep sapphire blue and at night each star dances just for you.We arrived early and made our way up to the Sunset complex. To our surprise, we got an upgrade for free to an Executive Suite.

Check this out....

We had a quiet evening - our first sunset in the lobby bar and wonderful Mexican music with Luna and her friends. We met this cute couple from North Carolina and shared a few margaritas.

Wren and Joel from North Carolina

Dinner was the most scrumptious Tortilla soup and chicken enchilada.

In bed early to prepare for our first full day!