|Customize your own photo album|
Monday, January 31, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Is it just me or our we beginning to see the light and the end of the tunnel called "old Man Winter"? Perhaps it was a week in Mexico that is brightening my mood!!!
We are back from our vacation and I am ready to get back to cooking in a real kitchen (the condo kitchen in Mexico is teeny tiny). We are easing back into some yummy and healthy treats this week. Click on the banner above to be directed to Laura's site for more menu ideas.
Sunday: Roasted Chicken with Veggies and Creamy Cole Slaw
Monday: Grilled Flank Steak Tacos with Guacamole and Mexican Rice
Tuesday: Chicken Pot Pie (with leftovers from Sunday)
Wednesday: Pork Chops with Baked Sweet Potatoes and Salad
Thursday: Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Thursday was our serene and quiet day. The thick clouds rolled in, but provided us with an amazing sunrise.
We each had a wonderful 50 minute massage followed by lunch in the bistro overlooking the ocean (tortilla soup and fresh salads) then a three hour nap. Did I mention how much hard work vacation is?
We racked our brains for a dinner spot and after consulting Trip Advisor, stumbled upon a recommendation that I remembered from our encounter with Mr. and Mrs. Pittsburgh on Sunday.
Alcaravea Gourmet, is a little neighborhood Italian gem with great food, reasonable prices and awesome ambiance. The chef's are dressed up with tall white hats and their food presentation is out of this world. Our meal included:
Stuffed Mushrooms Provencial: Large button mushrooms stuffed with herbs, tomatoes, capers and artichoke hearts then smothered with cheese and broiled
Catch of the Day: Sea Bass Milan; pan fried with a gorgonzola cream, basil sauce
Chicken with a basil cream sauce with parmesan and pine nuts
Each entree came with a beautiful and fresh garden salad and a basket of toasted garlic bread. With a glass of Chardonnay each, our bill came to $54
Friday was our last full day. Once again....an amazing sunrise, breakfast cooked in our room and heavy clouds!! Instead of a full day at the pool, we got cleaned up and headed into town....walked along the beach and tried some new places to people watch.
Our send-off dinner was at Maro's Shrimp House. If it's not the food that keeps us coming back...it's our wonderful friends (oh...and the bulldogs).
Saturday our journey home begins....back to reality with wonderful memories.
I'll do a wrap up Smilebox later in the week!
Friday, January 28, 2011
At Ole Ole in the Marina
Stacy, Patty and Sandra at Mexico Lindo
We visited with Patty Riveria who Chick met through friends many years ago when she was first introduced to Cabo. She works at Mexico Lindo Jeweler so I could help but buy by a new charm for my bracelet.
I love the marina; however, it’s very touristy, and loud but a great place to people watch and eat some awesome chips, salsa and guacamole at the Baja Cantina.
Stacy, Dennis and Sandra (Dennis and his wife drive down from Canada to Mexico every January)
After the sun set, we headed over to Pueblo Bonito Rose, a sister property of our complex and sat outside near the waters edge and met Canadian Dennis and his wife, who spend a month in Cabo every January. It's unbelievable how many fun and interesting people you can meet here (especially if you've had several margaritas).
Clouds really rolled in today......and are expected to last tomorrow as well. A good day to hit the spa.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Tuesday, we spent about 6 hours by the pool. Our intent was to head into the Marina, but neither one of us wanted to leave the warmth of the sun so we threw out our “plans” and soaked in the day (and a couple of those drinks with the umbrellas).
In the afternoon, after a brief siesta, we watched the fishing boats come in with their days catch, the pirate ship cruise out to the sunset…..all while sipping on a wonderful bottle of wine (thanks to a couple of bottles tucked into our suitcases with wine skins).
For dinner, we tried DOC Wine Bar, run by Italian guys transplanted in Cabo.
I must say, Chick and I were a bit skeptical of a Cabo Wine Bar, but the place was really cute with just a few tables inside and a majority of the tables outside (unfortnately on a very busy street). Handwritten, eclectic menu, warm ambiant table lighting all under the stars of Cabo, made the evening perfect.
Wanting just a light meal and a really nice bottle of Chardonnay, we were greeted by Marco, a ethusiastic and exhuberant (very knowledgeable) Italian with a passion for this restaurant. He praised their concept of locally grown produce, fresh ingredients (only locally caught fish) and housemade pastas. He helped us navigate through the menu and assisted us with our selections.
We had a wonderful Italian Chardonnay ($28) and a gorgeous cheese platter with 5 distinct cheeses accented by honey and two kinds of berry jams for added flavor. Marco even introduced us to a new way to eat cheese.....pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Magnificant! To top off our meal, a freshly tossed mixed green salad and a basket of bread were placed on the table to enjoy.
Once again, we felt like we were taking the restauranteurs of Cabo for a RIDE! Our bill was only $53 and we left, not overly stuffed but extremely satisfied with Marco insisting that we come back for smooth jazz and salt crusted sea bass on Thursday. We will see.....so many choices, so little time.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
We've met some wonderful people here and a couple from New York City, Lou and Andrea gave us the suggestion of going to an Argentinian Steak House called Patagonia for dinner. It was very quaint, clean and simplistic.
Steak Vacio - which is basically a marinated skirt steak
We are not staying out too late here....both of us our tired. Spending your days by the pool and your evenings eating rich food is a lot of work!
Monday, January 24, 2011
After a few hours in the sun (and a few cold beers), we headed downstairs to a large conference room to watch the AFC and NFC championship games.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
We arrived at Pueblo Bonito Sunset around 3:00 yesterday afternoon and were "welcomed home" by friendly familiar faces, basked in the glow of the Mexican sun.
We had just enough time to drop our luggage off in our room and race down to the lobby bar to watch our first sunset.
A few margaritas and some amazing tortilla soup and early to bed. Vacation is a lot of work!
PS....having lots of internet difficulties. I've got more pictures to hopefully post later.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
I'll try and post next week (if and when I can) so as a result there will be no Recipe of the Week on the 27th or Old Photo Friday on the 28th.
I'll try and bring some sunshine back in my suitcase!
Friday, January 21, 2011
WHO: Wilamalane Parks and Recreation Dance Class (that's me in the front row to the right)
WHAT: A bunch of 4 and 5 year olds who learn tap and ballet
WHERE: Springfield, OR
While I enjoyed dancing (singing too) as a young girl, I was not the performer that my mother was. All I remember about these classes was being scared to death of the performances that our group would put on a couple of times a year for friends and family.
I think I took dance classes at Wilamalane for quite a few years (my mother was an assistant instructor). I remember all the faces in this photo including Kristen and Lori (back row) who I went to elementary, middle and high school with.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Have you tried these sandwich thins yet?
I can't say that I enjoy them for a sandwich (I think they are too thin and messy to eat with) but when I saw this commercial last night for sandwich thins pizza, I think I found a wonderful alternative (the possibilities are endless).
Slightly adapted from Oroweat
4 Oroweat 100% whole wheat sandwich thins, sliced in half
6 sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, minced (plus two tablespoons of the oil, divided)
8 oz. assorted mushrooms, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
1 cup, divided shredded mozzarella
Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast Sandwich Thins halves to a light golden brown.
In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil from the marinated sun-dried tomatoes over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook until soft and moisture is released, about 5 to 7 minutes; season with salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, add ricotta and minced sun-dried tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of their oil in food processor and mix until smooth (you could also do this by hand). Pulse to incorporate and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spread approximately 2 tablespoons of the sun-dried tomato and ricotta mixture on top of each toasted Sandwich Thins half. Top each pizza with a few baby spinach leaves and divide mushrooms between each pizza. Top with 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.
Place pizzas on a baking sheet and bake for 3 to 5 minutes to heat to infuse all the flavors and melt the cheese.
Recipe courtesy of Oroweat; who would make a pizza and NOT add cheese....shame on you Oroweat, but add cheese or don't call it pizza.
Image courtesy of Google Images
Monday, January 17, 2011
Here are some out takes from December and January (some on my old camera). Not enough to post about, but nice enough to share.
Leaving Tacoma the day after Christmas on the Amtrak Cascades. It was so hard to leave my guys. The only bright spot was this awesome shot of the Narrows Bridge
New Years Eve, 2010-11
Brian and I enjoying the last bits of the holidays together. A nice bottle of wine and some cool tunes
Our first celebration of the New Year, Chick's 50th Birthday. We celebrate the entire month of January....dinner on the 5th, a party in Eugene on the 8th and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico at the end of the month
Sandra's party at the Broadway Wine Bar in Eugene. Don't you just love my fur-like vest. Thank you KMart! Cheap and Chic!
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Monday: Turkey Ziti with a Big Garden Salad
Tuesday: Cashew Chicken with Jasmine Rice
Wednesday: Taco Casserole
Thursday: Fend for Yourself....packing and last minute errands before we leave for vacation
Friday, January 14, 2011
WHAT: Brothers forced to dress up, then pose
WHERE: Backyard @ 109 Tamara in Newark, DE
WHEN: Brian looks to be about 5 or 6, so I'll say about 1965-67
WHY: All dressed up, probably for Easter
Brian tells me that as a child, they typically only went to church for Easter and I can't think of any reason why or how, three young boys would put suits on if only for an Easter Sunday service. Have you ever seen three more sour faces? Too funny!
Thursday, January 13, 2011
I know.....garlic mashed potatoes, boring!
You are probably thinking to yourself that you've had garlic mashed potatoes dozens of times and you love them.....but, have you had these garlic mashed potatoes before?
People....please make them! After I ate them for Christmas dinner, I fantacized about them for days, then made a double batch and ate them for breakfast! Some people like to have something sweet after dinner....I was chowing down on seconds (okay...thirds) of these mashed spuds. No joke. You'll never eat any other garlic mashed potatoes again...swear!
Slightly Adapted from America's Test Kitchen 2009
2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled, halved then cut into 1 inch pieces
1 stick butter, plus 1-2 tablespoons
10 garlic cloves, minced (if your cloves are large, use half or about 5-6)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups half and half
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper
Place potatoes in a colander and rinse under cold water. Drain thoroughly. This is a very important step to eliminate excess starch, which produces gluey mashed potatoes.
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Cook garlic and sugar, stirring often, until sticky and straw colored, 3 to 4 minutes. Add rinsed potatoes, 1 1/4 cups half-and-half, water and 1 teaspoon salt to pot and stir to combine. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered and stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes (the last 10 minutes, I cooked without the lid on to reduce liquid).
Remove from heat, add remaining butter to pot and mash with potato masher until smooth. If needed, fold in remaining half-and-half until liquid is absorbed and potatoes are creamy (some people like thicker mashed potatoes than others; we found we didn't need additional liquid).
Season with additional salt and pepper. Eat...eat...eat!!
Recipe courtesy of America's Test Kitchen, slightly adapted by Brian on Christmas Day
Image courtesy of Google Images
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
We spend last weekend in Eugene for Sandra's 50th Birthday.....
Catching up with friends and family.
chicken liver mousse, apple juniper marmellata & crostini - $8
crispy fried calamari & spicy tomato sauce - $10
roasted beet salad with gorgonzola, apples, hazelnuts & vinaigrette - $8
local salad mix with house vinaigrette - $6
A wonderful meal!
We ate some wonderful mini cupcakes from Divine Cupcakes and enjoyed a fabulous evening with good friends. Happy 50th, Chick!
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Enjoy this week's menu, and others HERE!
Sunday: Guiness Braised Beef Pot Roast with Roasted Vegetables and Creamy Cole Slaw
Monday: PIZZA NIGHT! Who wants to cook when football is on!!!!
Tuesday: Beef Pot Pie with leftovers from Pot Roast
Wednesday: Chicken Fajitas
Thursday: Fresh Steelhead (caught by my boss over Christmas) with Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Jasmine Rice Pilaf
Saturday, January 8, 2011
I explained to Saint Peter
I'd rather wait here,
Just outside the Pearly Gate.
I won't be a nuisance, I won't even bark,
I'll be very patient and wait.
I'll be right here chewing
A celestial bone,
No matter how long you may be,
'Cos I'd miss you too much
If I went in alone...
It wouldn't be heaven for me.
Basha and Stacy - sippin' on margaritas
Friends in heaven - Basha and Cleo
Enjoy these precious memories of your girl.