Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year's Eve!

   The weimaraners surveyed their realm on New Year's Eve morning. There was still enough snow for the monkey and I to get some serious sledding in!
   Look at what a glorious morning it was!
    Here is Henry!
    The dogs were on their best behavior. No altercations like on Friday, thank goodness.
   The little spots in the white 'V' in the trees are the cows. In person, you could see them quite well. These are the same cows that made a break for it a week or so ago. The hub had to chase them back, or they were going to go visit our neighbors...

   The monkey was yakking and eating
   The 'Jeffersons' birds in the snow...
   This is the AWESOME telescope that my sis & her hub gave to the!! I think we'll check out the stars tonight!!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Easy Posole Recipe for Leftover Turkey

   I promised to post this super-easy recipe to utilize your leftover turkey, & here it is! My family loves posole, which I usually  make by boiling a whole chicken (it is also traditionally made with pork). This is a streamlined version, and a great way to use up leftover turkey, besides the usual turkey and gravy sandwich route.

  • 5+ cups of leftover turkey
  • 1 large can of hominy
  • 1 carton of chicken broth
  • Roasted salsa
  • Cumin
  • Fresh cabbage
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Fresh limes
  • Fresh onion

   First, chop up your leftover turkey, especially any richer, fattier parts (like dark meat). I had at least 5 cups of meat, if not more (you can't have too much). Place in a big pot, & pour in a carton of chicken broth (great way to use one of those cartons you get from those Costco multipacks).

   Heat the pot on medium to medium-high setting. Add some roasted salsa (I prefer the Del Real salsa de Molcajete Roja). In a traditional posole, I would roast my own chiles and garlic, but this is the easy version. I   suggest at least 1/4 cup of salsa, but you can add more/less to taste. Also add one medium (14.5 oz.) can of chopped tomatoes. Then, add one large (29 oz.) can of hominy. I prefer Juanita's, which also makes their own delicious canned posole.  Additionally, you will want to shake some cumin, and perhaps some crushed garlic (especially if you went easy on the salsa).
   Bring to a boil, then let simmer at least 15 minutes, so the flavors can meld. While the soup is simmering, prepare the toppings.
Chop up fresh onion, cabbage and cilantro, and place into small serving bowls. Slice up some fresh lime, as well. Soup should be served piping hot (can leave it on warm during the meal). You throw on the fresh toppings and squeeze lime into your bowls of soup. YUM!!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Vacation!

   We didn't get our snow until the day after Christmas, but I'll take what snow I can (especially after the mud debacle on Christmas day). Explanation: after spending over an hour vacuuming that morning, the two weimaraners destroyed my hard work in less than two minutes, running in & depositing mud chunks all over the house.
   Speaking of Christmas, the monkey had a wonderful one! Between Santa & all the people who love him, he received the most amazing clothes and toys. Lego Ninjago & astronomy was the theme this year, and my sister & her hub gave him a SERIOUS telescope for stargazing. I think the hub thinks it's HIS present (lol).
   Note the busy-body weimaraners ('weisenheimers') are in the middle of everything...
Greco-Roman wrestling...

Even Kahlua got festive for Christmas!
   The Thursday after Christmas, the monkey & I went to visit my wonderful sister. She, my amazing lawyer niece & the monkey visited the Griffith Observatory. Although I'm an L.A. native, this was my first visit in the actual building. It was awesome. The weather was so clear, you could see the ocean! That light horizontal strip is the ocean...
Yesterday, after a yummy breakfast for the monkey of homemade banana chocolate chip Belgian waffles with ollalieberry syrup, it was sledding time! This is the view from our best sled run...

 Dogs and snow is always comical, except if they fight. Moose & Kosmo had a little altercation later in the day, but our miracle dog Moose inflicted little damage (he has learned the art of self-control). Amazing rehab of the former doggy Hannibal Lector...
I like this shot...can you spot the weimaraner?
    This is the monkey on our best sled run!
Our happy home! I will post photos of the awesome turkey posole I made for dinner last night, with a basic recipe later!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Paso Robles Jaunt

   We went to our 11th Eberle Winery Black Tie Dinner in the caves last weekend. It was fabulous, as usual. On the way there, we took the 166 west to the 101 north, which is a lovely drive. You go past some gorgeous cattle ranches and through a beautiful canyon. We always have to stop at Laetitia, for a sparkling tasting. Laetitia is my favorite California sparkling wine, & it is much better than a lot of sparkling wines you read about.  This photo is from Castoro, in Paso Robles though (I didn't take enough photos!.

   I took these photos after Laetitia. The late fall is my favorite time to visit wine country; the vines put on a beautiful display of color from yellow to crimson to purple...
   We stayed at the Paso Robles La Quinta, which has become our preferred hotel in Paso when not renting a whole house. It is pet-friendly, tastefully appointed, and roomy. It is owned by the Arciero family (EOS winery). We were sad to learn the passing of the patriarch, Frank, who was a hilarious old gentleman (he LOOOVVVED my scientist friend).
   The moosh-kah loved it!
   This is us in the caves at the dinner; not the best photo, but oh well...
   The beautiful tree in the lobby...
Great gift shop, too. Free breakfast buffet as well...I recommend joining the La Quinta rewards program too.
Moose & the hub outside Castoro, one of the first wineries built in Paso. They still have a great selection & price range. You can find their cheaper wines at Costco, but the winery has some impressive wines that are reasonably priced for the quality. The Due Mille & Totto Mille are amazing, just as complex as a Turley or Linne Calodo, but 1/2 the price. Speaking of which, after building that state-of-the-art tasting room, Linne Calodo is now tasting by appt. only.
   This is one of the cats at Castoro (I think his name is Desperado). Harley the pig is deceased. This winery is always staffed by friendly, wonderful people.
   I didn't take any photos, but our new discovery is one of the oldest Paso wineries: Midnight Cellars. They don't have any signage on the 46, but are just off the highway, next to Dark Star. Wow! Great wine, & prices like in 1998 Paso Robles...Their rosé is one of the best I have tasted, and only $11, and less if you are a wine club member. The prices go up, but wine club members have a yearly opportunity to buy cases at a slashed 40%.
   Dog-friendly wineries (if your dog is mellow and leashed): San Antonio, Castoro & Midnight). Always check first, b/c a lot of wineries have winery dogs, so you don't want your dog out even on the grounds if you are not sure if there are winery dogs.