Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Merry Christmas & I LOVE Trader Joe's!

I WISH my house still looked like this! Most of the snow melted yesterday, and the RAIN has finished off the rest. It is now a giant mud pit on my property. In fact, I had one of my mud boots sink almost 2 feet, & pop off my foot this morning!

On a happier note, I'm just LOVING Trader Joe's even more than usual! I decided to make last night's dinner a 'surf N turf,' since we had leftover fab steaks from the night before. I found these great steamed mussels at TJs, & they are only $3.99 box. Delicious, just a little too heavy on the thyme. We started off with TJ's veggie samosas with homemade cilantro/mint sauce, then had TJ's garlic naan with our surf 'n turf.  YUM.

So this morning, after my pre-teen FINALLY came down, I made him yummy French toast with TJ's cinnamon swirl bread (to die for). But wait, there's more!
  I topped it with the Trader Joe's cookie butter, which I purchased for the first time yesterday. NOT good for a diet, but YOWZA, is it delish!!
Of course, I had a fab Thanksgiving thanks to Trader Joe's. BUT, I also helped host a wonderful wedding shower for my nephew thanks to TJs. I purchased the RSVP brut sparkling, and various juices for a wonderful mimosa/sangria bar. Spiced apple cider, OJ, cranberry and ruby grapefruit were the choices, and 4 kinds of fresh fruit. See the photo below:
Didn't that come out great?? Pretty serving bottles from Target, lambrusco from San Antonio winery, & a great red from Tobin James. Delicioso!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Fall Update

   I'm in love with my new mini-cheesecake pan! Last night, we had our dear friends over for the premiere of the new season of The Walking Dead. My friend made an amazing beef stew, with two bottles of pinot noir in it (yum!). I made mini pumpkin cheesecakes. I got the idea from watching a Bako weatherman decorate a plate like this, with the spider web design. I halved my normal recipe, and was able to make two dozen mini cheesecakes. I want to get another pan!
   Instead of the usual nut/butter/graham cracker crust, I used Jo-Jo cookies from Trader Joe's. You just remove the filling, and use the cookie discs. Then, after baking the cheesecakes, I topped them with chopped walnuts and pecans. On top of that, I put a sour cream topping, that was mixed with brown sugar, nutmeg, and pecan pie whiskey, and baked that.
   Voila! Yummy cheesecakes, and so speedy!
   My senior horsey is now barefoot since August. I'm treating her with kid gloves, since she is still adjusting, and I worry about her, so we went for a walk yesterday, instead of a ride. I rode her in my yard last weekend, and she bucked me about 5 times, so she still has some spunk left!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Welcome to 2015! (in July)

   Well, better late than never! A LOT has happened: the biggest event being, my dear friends sold their house (despite my attempts to convince them not to). On the upside, being their realtor enabled me to pay for a corral and living space for our horse, Kahlua. This is her hanging out on the day it was built (and of course, she hurt her leg, but not too seriously).
   Here she is hanging out in her corral, with her new carport stable. The other side is for hay storage, and other supplies. Pretty nifty!
   This is the other side, before we put in my supplies & finished the corral. Notice the clouds: it POURED that afternoon!
   So I FINALLY got our corn seedlings planted. We also have some pumpkin seedlings (hopefully they will do better than last year with the gopher attacks). I also have some asparagus, but it's difficult to see it.
   This is the middle tier, with the peach tree that sprouted from my compost a few years ago. That big tan blob at the bottom is my weimaraner photobombing...
   This is the very incomplete upper tier, with green onions, a few pumpkin & corn seedlings, a tomato plant, and a young apple tree that also sprouted from my compost. I need to do a lot of weeding. I had planned to build a pizza oven, but that project is on hold.
   It's been a busy summer: jury duty in BAKERSFIELD (52 miles away!), but got taken off jury by prosecutor (yay!), dentist/dr. visits, a great vacation at Pajaro Dunes, with a trip to the Monterey Aquarium, horsey chores, entertaining, etc. Plus, we have to find a new teacher for our school, because we lost a valued colleague to another school.