Tuesday, January 12, 2010

January 12, 2010

"Friends forever, cousins for life!"

Anthony on the right is almost 8 months and Everest is nearly 2 months. Even though there is a 6 month difference between these two, you can just tell from looking at them how much love and fun they will share as cousins. They are so lucky to live nearby each other and as they grow, it is my hope they will stay close and be the best of friends.

Monday, January 11, 2010

January 11, 2010

Marie Callender's Chicken Pot Pie....
Menu Description: "Tender chunks of chicken with seasonings and vegetables.

Guess what I found at my local Costco this weekend? The Best of Top Secret Recipes from the files of Todd Wilbur! I LOVE these copycat recipes!

The fog came rolling in this afternoon at about 3 and the weather was cold and gloomy. What for dinner? Ahhhh, Marie Callender's Chicken Pot Pie! This turned out to be a 5-star recipe. So good and really, just like the real thing. I kept asking my husband if he thought is was pretty close to the real thing because it is one of his favorites and his only comment was he didn't think Marie Callender's puts that much chicken into it. Yeah, I don't eat that much meat anymore either and even though it was stupendous, I'd go a little easier on the meat. It was a chicken breast per bowl and I think a half a chicken breast would have been enough. We ate two tonight and have two for another night down the road, or lunch.
And the crust...... TO DIE FOR!!!


Crust
1 &1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp. salt
2 egg yolks
3 TBS ice water
2/3 c cold butter
(1 beaten egg to brush on crust) optional

Filling
1 c sliced carrots
1 c sliced celery
2 c frozen peas
1 c chopped white onion
4 chicken breasts
4 TBS butter
5 TBS flour
2 &1/2 C chicken broth
2/3 c milk
1/2 tsp salt
dash pepper

Mix dry crust ingredients, make well in center and all wet ingredients, mix with fork and then your hands to finish. Make into disk- put in fridge for at least an hour

Steam veggies (sliced carrot and celery first for 5 min. Add frozen peas and onions and continue steaming for another 10 to 12 minutes)and poach chicken (cook in slightly salted water for 8 to 10 min) Cut chicken into bite size pieces. In separate pan melt butter and whisk in flour- add chicken broth and milk- stir until mixture comes to a boil, then cook for 1 more minute before reducing heat to low. Add all the chicken and the veggies and salt and pepper. Simmer on low for 5 minutes. Put into casserole dish (I like to spray dish with Pam first for easy cleaning)

Roll out dough the shape of the dish- seal on top of dish folding edges under. brush with egg if desired. His recipe calls for cooking in 6 individual ramekins, but I'm to lazy for that (and don't have the ramekins).

Bake 425*F for approx. 35 to 45 minutes

Sunday, January 10, 2010

January 10, 2010

"By making this wine vine known to the public, I have rendered my country as great a service as if I had enabled it to pay back the national debt." Thomas Jefferson

Maybe we need to follow good ol' Thomas Jefferson's tips about settling up the National Debt with more wine orchards. Of course the debt has really grown since those words were uttered.

It's quiet in the grape orchards this time of year. We took a ride out to Edna Valley Winery near sunset and snapped some pretty pictures of the dormant grape vines against a backdrop of Islay Peak. When I got home and decided to upload it, along with some information about the winery, I found their painting of nearly the same shot. (Shhhh! I think I like mine better!) Anyway, gonna have to try some of that Grenache. You can find information about Edna Valley Winery HERE.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

January 9, 2010

Blue Moon, you saw me standing alone, without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own......


A little late in posting this picture, but this is the Blue Moon of December 31, 2009. Have you ever wondered what a Blue Moon was? The simple explanation is the 2nd full moon of a month. You HAVE to check out the information over at About.com though. Here is one of their examples of when the moon actually turned blue. Head on over to read much, MUCH more.

"In 1883, an Indonesian volcano named Krakatoa exploded. Scientists liken the blast to a 100-megaton nuclear bomb. Fully 600 km away, people heard the noise as loud as a cannon shot. Plumes of ash rose to the very top of Earth's atmosphere. And the moon turned blue."

Friday, January 8, 2010

January 8, 2010

The ocean is a central image. It is the symbolism of a great journey. Enya


I know, I know...another ocean picture. But this is MY ocean, the one that is just a few blocks away. The one that amazes me each and every day with the diversity of sunsets. The ocean that smells so good and lulls me to sleep each night with the sound of the waves on the beach. This is my ocean, the one I want to take care of so future generations can enjoy it as much as I do. As I gaze out on the ocean today, I wonder how many other eager eyes are doing the same thing as sunset hits their beaches. I love the ocean and I'll NEVER get enough of her.

And this is my little dog Rico, who, I'm sure, feels the exact same way. See how he gazes at the beauty. You can almost see the ocean in the reflection in his little eyes.

January 7, 2010

"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." Sherlock Holmes


Last night my hubby and I went to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie. I really liked it. Watson (Jude Law) made a great Watson, in love and wanting to propose marriage and "move on" from his bachelorhood with Holmes. Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) character was really fleshed out too. Not only did he solve crimes but he dabbled in boxing, scientific investigation and even a bit of alcohol. And Lord Blackwell (Mark Strong) made a fantastic villian! He is willing to murder women, men, even his father in an attempt to try to takeover "the world" as he finds it. The special effects and filmography of creating an 1800's England is remarlable. Definitely a two thumbs up movie!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

January 6, 2010

Hello? Hello is anyone there... testing, TESTING... tick, tick, tick.... is this thing on?

Wow, that's really up close huh? That's what I get for thinking my camera was taking a 10 sec. timed photo.

I just got back from a scooter ride. Gonna post the beginning mileage and see just how many miles I end up going this year. My hubby says he'd like to take a 2 week bike vacation and ride some of Route 66. That sounds like fun... AND a bunch of miles.

So here's where I'm going to say the year began, 3, 426 miles on the bike. Yes, we have done a bit of riding already this year, maybe about 75 miles more... lets' see how many more we can add to that this year.

As I was saying, took a ride on Hwy. 1 from Halcyon to Avila Beach and back. We are having THE BEST weather right now. My bike said it was 75! Here is a picture of my baby in Halcyon....



And here is at Port San Luis...


My Majesty is such a pretty bike and keeps a nice shine most of the time. Oh, and me you ask? Ear to ear smiles, man..... ear to ear smiles!

I'm a lucky girl to be able to ride ANY TIME OF THE DAY OR NIGHT!