Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hot Spiced Vanilla Milk !

One of my college years was spent attending Monterey Peninsula College in Monterey,California.I lived in a little quaint town next to Monterey called Pacific Grove.My boyfriend and I were vegetarians,and we used to frequent a small hippie cafe called Tillie Gorts,which is still there today,serving the same delicious,comforting foods,desserts,and drinks.
Pacific Grove usually has cool weather,and the nights can be very cold.We used to order a delicious,warm drink on chilly nights that would warm our bellies called Hot Spiced Vanilla Milk,and today they call it Mellow Elixer. I love to make it at home to drink in the afternoon or on a frosty night,as the fire is blazing in the fireplace. There's no caffeine in it which makes it nice for those who can't handle caffeine after 12 noon.Here's my version which may or not be how Tillies makes it.

Hot Spiced Vanilla Milk

Milk ,1 cup (for one person)
1 t. vanilla (I like Mexican vanilla the best)
2-3 t. honey
1/2 t. freshly ground cinnamon and nutmeg ,mixed together (or less)
(I put a whole nutmeg and a cinnamon stick in a coffee grinder and grind together)
1/4 t.cloves ,or less (optional)
Whipped Cream

Put all the ingredients in a small pan,stir, and heat to the temperature you want,but not boiling. Add a little (or alot !) of whipped cream on top,and a sprinkle of the spices if desired,or perhaps some chocolate shavings !
This recipe can be doubled,tripled,ect.,according to how many people you are serving. Ahhh.......make your tummy warm and happy !

On love............Speaking of spices,I imagine that you have heard the expression,"Variety is the spice of life !"I believe that this idea is important in relationships as well.Too often in dating,or in marriages,it's possible,for one partner to become so entranced by the other,that they lose interest in their friends,or in their hobbies and interests outside of the love relationship.You'll hear the friends say,"Mary doesn't do things with us anymore,since she's been dating John". Or perhaps,"Since Grace has gotten married,she doesn't paint anymore".
Keep doing those things that make you interesting,and help you to be who you are.Those are the things that may have attracted your spouse to you in the first place,providing that they are good and wholesome activities. Don't abandon the friends that are wise and loving;those that truely care for you,and who will tell you the truth,even when it hurts.We all need a support team and honest people around us,especially if we're being blind in a relationship that is harmful,immoral,or smothering.Examples of support groups can be a loving family,a support group,a Bible study group,or a prayer partner.
Well,I wish you a belated Merry Christmas,Happy Hanukkah,and a Happy New Year ! May God bless you and your family with touches of His love,a close walk with Him,good health,peace, and joy this year ! Take good care of yourself,eat healthy,exercise,try to find a way to be kind to someone every day.
Much Love,

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tuna Curry with Apples,Raisins,Almonds,Ect.,Ect.

Patio Beside My Cottage "Casa de Arte"

Flowers at the Santa Barbara Farmer's Market

The Santa Barbara Mission

Calvary Chapel Single's New Years Party

My French Class Having a Party Where I Lived

A year ago, I lived in beautiful Santa Barbara,California....the land of blue seas,palm trees,surfers,outdoor cafes,farmer's markets,avacados,and men in Hawaiian shirts.! (And a whole lot more !) I attended Calvary Chapel Church there,where we had small groups that met weekly to study the Bible,to pray for one another,and to eat good food as well !

I was in a group hosted by a sweet young couple who had their first little baby boy.One of the women in the group had a passion for cooking, and she decided that night to jazz up a tuna salad that she was going to bring. Her recipe grew in ingredients by the minute. She added to the tuna....mayonaise,raisins,almonds,curry powder,and some other ingredients,which I'm not positive about right now !
Anyway,my taste buds went zing,zing,bazaam when I tasted it,because of the addition of the spicey curry powder,the crunch of the almonds,and the sweetness of the raisins,ect.....the tuna salads I had been making were starting to be the same ol' thing,ya know what I mean ?

Today I made my version,laid it out on the patio table to photograph it,and who should hop on the table to help herself to a sampling of it,but my cat Poof ! I managed to shoot the photo right before she was able to snitch a nibble ! Afterwards,I had a delicious lunch,including some chocolate mint tea to drink ! I'll tell you how I make that too.

Tuna Curry Salad

1 can of tuna (Tongol tuna from Trader Joe's or Whole Foods has less mercury in it)
1/3-1/2 apple,diced
1 T. raisins,or dried cranberries,or dried cherries
1/2 t.curry powder,or more to taste (don't use old curry powder,it has no flavor)
1-2 T. chopped almonds
2-3 T. chopped spinach,or parsley,or other greens
1/4-1/3 cup mayonaise
a pinch of salt and pepper
1 T. capers (optional)

Mix everything together,TASTE it to see if you need to add anything to make it better, and dollop on open faced pieces of bread,toast,or avacado halves. To make your salad prettier,put a few raisins,chopped almonds,chopped apples,and pieces of the greens,ect. on top.Beautiful presentation is HALF the pleasure of eating !
Put some sliced tomatoes,fruit,ect.on the plate as well to add color and a healthy touch !

Chocolate Mint Tea

1 bunch of chocolate mint ( I buy mine at the Farmer's Market on Shaw and Blackstone in Fresno,Calif.,I hope you can find some !)
2 T. honey

Boil some spring or filtered water in a full tea kettle or a medium sized pan.Add a semi- large handful of washed chocolate mint sprigs.Let the tea steep for one hour or overnight.Add the honey,stir and sip this divine,refreshing tea ! I feel cooler when I drink it,so it is especially lovely in the summer time !

Then have a small piece of dark chocolate for dessert.Close your eyes and savor it as you indulge ! (Some people become happy eating chocolate,and some get a little moody.Which type are you ?


Yes,sometimes a recipe,like the same tuna salad made month after month ,gets tiresome and boring.And....speaking of men, women.... and ...... old tuna recipes....yes.....I have been reading the book called,"Finding Mr.Right (and how to know when you have)," by Stephen Arterburn and Dr Meg Rinck. I know...you're saying,"Where is she going with this ?"Well,I'm going to make the comparison between premarital sex and boring tuna salad,or does Mr. Right want to marry the easy woman ?

Mr.Arteburn and Dr. Rinck say......"Mr. Right is not looking for an easy woman.Despite the plethora of sexual imput in our culture today,not everyone is having sex before marriage.Men may be willing to mess around with women for a while,but when they are serious about marriage,they do not like" used goods." (or boring tuna salad !) (my words !)It may seem hypocritical,but it is a reality.Men who are the Mr.Rights of the world are looking for women who are moral,chaste,and able to be faithful.(Of course,Mr. Right must uphold the same standards.

It is never too late to become pure again after having been sexually active.Many people have decided to become abstinate,and to call themselves,"secondary virgins",hopefully saving themselves from an unwanted pregnancy,sexually transmitted diseases,and deep heartbreak. Just as one says no to drugs,one can say no to premarital sex,saving sex for the wedding night.My French teacher's wise Jewish father told her when she was younger....."Sex is the only thing you can do that creates a new life ,so save sex until you get married".I believe God blesses many marriages when the man and woman have chosen to wait. A pastor I heard on the radio said,"My wife and I can usually tell which couples at the wedding ceremony have waited to have sex.They are the most excited !"

I write these things because I care about you,and I don't want to see you make the same mistakes that the "Hippy generation" made ! So,God bless you and happy tuna fishing !

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Four Ladies Adventure into the Deep !

My daughter Courtney has been telling me for many month's now, about her friend Dylan's father's rustic restaurant,that's only open on Monday nights.Dylan's dad is one of Monterey Peninsula's best caterer's (A Moveable Feast) ,and his Red Tag Tea Party Roadhouse Restaurant is delectably delicious ! It is deep into the heart of Carmel Valley,California,about twenty-five miles from Highway One.
We had a reservation for 8:30, at the second seating of the night.Our journey took us by the light of a full moon, through miles and miles of windy roads, oak trees,and an occasional house scattered here and there..Thank God for the bright moon because it was DARK out there ,honey !
After our adventure into the middle of nowhere,we arrived at this funky restaurant that looked like it was around 100 years old,with a small general store attached to it.The place was lit up with white lights,there were cars parked all over the dirt parking area,and people coming outside who had just dined.Ah,light life,and we even heard music wafting out !
Inside,people sat at old tables that were covered with blue and white checkered table cloths,and a three person band played in the corner.There were about 7 chefs,I believe,bustling about in an open kitchen,as well as the busy wait staff. We opted to sit outside,behind the restaurant,at a wooden picnic table with benches,under the trees.Courtney and her friend Amelia gathered candles off of the other tables and lined them along the center of our table for extra ambience.
For a starter,we were presented with Joanie's Padrone and Fehr Peppers:Iron Grilled,Pink Salt,with Arbequina EVOO.(Many of their menu items listed the name of the person who created it,and the names of the items are slightly elaborate !) They were slightly sweet,and had a delicious smokey flavor.They also served us some warm homemade foccacia bread with rosemary flavored olive oil. We shared the Pear Salad,consisting of Search Ranch lettuces,parsnip chips,Point Reyes blue cheese,and Yuzu honey dressing.Amelia ordered the Tassajara beef tartare with Szalay Vineyard tarragon ice cream,to which we all had a taste.Mmmm,I liked that licoricey flavored ice cream !
Courtney ordered the Infamous Confit of Maigret of Duck with Mulbery/Plum Reduction. Lorraine ordered the Organic Berkshire Heluka Double Porkchop:Peach Confit, with Heller Plum Sauce.I ordered Pan Roasted Wild Monterey Bay King Salmon with Rosemary Aioli,and I believe that Amelia ordered the same.I loved the idea of flavoring the bread dipping oil as well as the aioli with rosemary.Yum !
We ordered three desserts:a lemon,cornmeal poundcake.chocolate mouse,and.....I forgot ! I'll have to ask Courtney what the third one was ! I HIGHLY RECCOMMEND the mouse !!! It was the best chocolate mouse I've ever had.....sooooo creamy !!! Also on the plate were two stripes of sea salt,one white and one black,and some olive oil on the other side.
After dinner,Dylan gave us a personal tour of the little general store......so cute. We then crawled or should I say,rolled, into the car for the hour long drive back to Santa Cruz,by the light of the silvery moon......ahhh,what a heavenly meal ! Ya know,I really reccommend this place,if you can ever figure out how on earth to get a reservation !!!
Oh I love eating divinely good food,and even more,I thank my best friend Jesus Christ for creating such wonderful food !!! He is soooo creative ! I believe there are over 3,000 kinds of apples in this world....thank you Jesus for not stopping after creating one apple ! God bless you my friends !

Friday, September 2, 2011

Honey Lemonade

This week turned into a very sad one for my family and me. Our Australian Shepherd,Chrissy,went to Heaven on Tuesday morning. Chrissy was white with red patches,and had gorgeous light blue eyes.She had had cancer for a few years,and I believe that because I had asked my friends to pray for her,God let her live three years longer than the usual twelve years that Aussies live. Chrissy just about drove us CRAZY,but we loved her anyway! She used to open the front door handle,and race around the neighborhood ,with our Cocker Spaniel,Billy,terrorizing the neighbor's dogs. Scaling a six foot fence was nooo problem for her. I would leave her at a kennel when I went out of town,and the paper I.D. collar that they put around her neck read "Escape Artist",because she opened doors there too and ran amuck ! One time I received a phone call from the local gelato man,who was about a mile from my house ! He said,"Your two dogs are here at my shop,having gelato with me !" Ha,we really got a chuckle out of that escapade....those dogs weren't dumb !

I could see that Chrissy was very weak on Monday night,and my daughter Courtney suggested that I sleep next to her.I stroked her and held her paw and told her,since she was very protective, we would be ok,that she could leave us. She breathed her last breath,raised her front leg in the air,and floated away to Heaven. We will really miss Chrissy.

Well,what do people say when you've been handed a bowl of lemons,but to make lemonade. My making lemonade will be to thank God for allowing us to have had Chrissy, to remember all the funny shenanagins with her, how she fiercely loved us,and how we loved her.

To make a glass of Honey Lemonade,mix together in a 16 oz.glass............

The juice of 1 lemon
2 T. honey
Stir these together until well blended.
Add 14-16 oz. water (I use spring water)
Stir. You can add any kind of berries,or mint leaves for extra flavoring, and a thin slice of lemon.

To make a pitcher of honey lemonade,multiply this recipe 4 times.

May God bless you....Au revoir !

When my three daughters,the ABC girls (Courtney,Brittany,and Ashley),would come home from school,I enjoyed putting out a variety of healthy snacks,as well as honey lemonade. (I am three quarters Swedish,and I think I inherited the Swedish custom of putting out 5 or 7 snacks for guests.) Correct me Swedes if I have my numbers wrong !
This is a very welcome drink to give to your gardener,the traveling Vet,or any friend on a hot day !

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mr.Harland's Fresh Tomatoe,Garlic,Basil,Goat Cheese Pasta....Yum !!!

Years ago,there was a beautiful and wonderful restaurant in Fresno,Calif. called "Harland's"Restaurant. The floor was laid in black and white large tiles.I believe the booths were black,and there were cream colored tulip lights in vases behind the booths.It was very romantic ! Dining in there one night,I ordered the Fresh Tomato and Goat Cheese Pasta.What was brought to me a little while later was this pan of ooey,lucious ,fragrant Heaven !The goat cheese was melting over a fragrant pan of chopped tomatoes,lots of garlic,basil and olive oil. Well,I like to take risks if I have looooved a dish, often calling the chef to ask for the recipe.Imagine my shock when Mr.Harland kindly gave me the recipe over the phone ! I couldn't believe he'd share such a jewel with me !

This is how you make it....Boil some water in a pot and cook some Angel Hair pasta or some spaghetti(about a pound for maybe five people) Chop up in 1/2 inch pieces about 10-15 Roma tomatoes.(The Roma tomatoes are best because they are denser and won't water down the flavor of your sauce.)Chop a whole head of garlic in 1/4 inch pieces.Keep a log of goat cheese cold in the fridge,to crumble on top later.Chop about a cup of fresh basil in 1/4-1/2 inch pieces.Have parmesan cheese ready too.Pour 1/8 inch extra virgin olive oil in a medium-large frying pan.Heat the oil on medium low-medium heat.Cook the garlic a few minutes,until soft,but not brown.Add the Roma tomatoes and cook for a few minutes.Add the basil at the end,just before serving,and a little salt and pepper,to taste.You can add a little more olive oil now,if you think it needs it.After placing the hot pasta and sauce on a plate,crumble some cold goat cheese on top. Then grate some fresh parmesan cheese over all (or use some already grated) .The parmesan cheese adds another level of flavor and saltiness.

I just love it when tomatoes are in season ,where I live in the San Juaquin Valley ,in California ,and I can make this dish,or just to eat them with salt and pepper ,and maybe a little sprinkle of fresh basil !! The dry heat here in the summer makes the most lucious tomatoes ever !! Choose very red tomatoes,and make this dish when tomatoes are in season ONLY !!

Love thoughts.....(When I say "he",I mean he or she) ......When I think of being very selective in choosing red,ripe tomatoes in season.... my thoughts are on being selective in choosing a future mate with good character.Observe things like.....does he drive carefully when you are in the car......does he stay sober at parties,so he can safely drive you home.......how does he treat animals.....is he kind to servers in restaurants.......does he love and respect his parents,or is he angry at them......if he's angry at them,he may very well treat you with that same anger.....is he patient and forgiving.....or does he explode in anger........does he apologize easily........does he encourage your interests or does he only talk about himself ......are you both of the same faith.....?

Take time to get to know him,at least a year or two.....stay friends for a long time and DON'T SLEEP with him !!!!!!!! (until the wedding night !!!).........observe his friends.....he most likely will be LIKE them.Ask him a bazillion questions..........If you're engaged to him,go to many sessions of pre-marital counseling.(They offer this at churches)The counselor will ask you questions that you may not have thought of.

My Swedish great-grandmother said to her children....."It's not da looks that count.....it's da character." Good advise Great Grandmother !

Amities,(good wishes)
Poppy (Katy)

P.SWhen I was twenty,My grandmother took me on a trip to Europe.(She had been a ballerina,and had the opportunity to dance in Paris for a few months) She wanted me to see Paris and many other beautiful sights.I was shocked when we went to Italy, to see how slender the Italians were......they eat pasta as a SIDE dish......not a huge main dish........as stated by Mireille Guiliano.....author of "French Women Don't Get Fat". Now I get it !!!