Thursday, October 18, 2012

Girlfriends,Fun,and Grilled Veggies !!

"Girls just want to have fu- un !" Oh yes ! Our group,the Beach Bunnies does a lot of zany adventures,from being a lawn chair drill team in a parade in Aptos,to renting antique cars and driving them down 17 Mile Drive,to going to a street dance and pet parades,you name it ! One of our Bunnies was having a very special birthday,so after taking her out to lunch at a restaurant on Cannery Row,we went across the street to a shop that was filled with Old West costumes ! We chose costumes from saloon girls,to proper ladies,to Annie Oakley garb and had our photograph taken ! We probably laughed for a solid hour !! Here you can see a photo of some of our better sides !
   There's a picture of some of us in Carmel right before we sat down to eat outdoors on the charming patio of a restaurant called Portabella.You can watch the people walking by on Ocean Street as you dine there.For dessert,we shared an apricot bread pudding that was rich and scrumptious ! I would suggest sharing desserts in Carmel,as they are so delicious and one shouldn't have too much sugar ! Here you can also see "Bella and Fifi " in the kitchen,having just prepared grilled marinated flank steak,grilled summer vegetables,wild rice with dried apricots and toasted pine nuts,and a baby greens salad with oranges,blueberries,walnuts,and shaved parmesan cheese,with a champagne vinagrette dressing ! Ooooweeee !

                                               Grilled Summer Vegetables

zucchini squash,green and yellow,or other types of squash
bell peppers,green,red,yellow,orange
whole garlic cloves
red or yellow onions
extra virgin olive oil
balsamic vinegar
fresh herbs,basil,parsley,or tarragon

   Wash and slice the squash and eggplant about 1/3 inch thick, the peppers in 1 1/2 inch strips,and the onions about in 1/2 inch slices.Put all the vegetables in a large bowl.Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over all.Add salt and fresh ground pepper.Get your hands in there and toss until all the veggies are coated.The veggies may now be cooked in a large skillet on the stove (two skillets if needed),or they may be placed on an indoor iron grill stove top,or cooked on the bar-b-que.Some people use a grill basket for the bar-b-que.Watch carefully and turn the veggies over when they have grill marks or some browning on one side,and cook the other side until charred a little.Place the veggies on a pretty platter or bowl.A little balsamic vinegar may be drizzled on top,as well as a sprinkling of chopped  fresh basil,parsley,or tarragon.Place a sprig of basil on the side to decorate.

   love.....Having a friend or a group of friends is on of the healthiest things we can do.We laugh together, support and council one another in good times and bad,pray for each other,and spend time together.If you don't have a friend or a group of loving,wise friends,I would suggest attending a church,going to a class,a Bible study,a singles or couples group, or doing activities with people who share your interests.No man is an island,we can't do life alone.We need other people to help us stay on the straight and narrow road,to help keep us healthy,and to laugh with......hee hee !

                                  Well,adieu for now...Jesus loves you and so do I !



Thursday, August 30, 2012

More Carmel Fun !

 Carmel is a quaint little village like town,where the shops and restaurants have cute European exteriors and interiors.The gorgeous ocean with it's silky white sand is just a few blocks down the hill.
   One of our MUST HAVE visits is to a wonderful French/Mediterranean restaurant called Casanova !! It was formerly a rustic little house,now converted to a Provencal-like restaurant with a charming patio. There are intimate tables with French linens on them,a  3 cherub fountain that softly gurgles,colorful lights strung around,and a private room where rests a wooden table that Vincent Van Gogh had been seated at in Provence,France.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Happy End of Summer to you ! We just finished 19 days of over 100 degree weather,and I am so happy to be able to eat my lunch outside for a nice change !!
   One of the trips I went on this summer was to the Monterey Peninsula with 12 fun women who met years ago at a singles group at a Baptist church.  This has become an annual trip,where we rent a beach house and we laugh and act like crazy girls living in the dorms together ! The cost per person has averaged out to around the expense of an inexpensive hotel.
   A few of us especially love going to a restaurant in Carmel Valley called The Corkscrew.We travel inland about 11 miles from Highway 1,(which eventually will lead one along the breathtaking California coast) ,past meadows,oak trees,the Earthbound Farm,(which grows the baby lettuce greens that a lot of us buy in containers),ranches,winerys, and Bed and Breakfasts.The weather is usually warmer than that along the coast. .It's like a little taste of Provence,France with it's rustic look,a bread baker baking luscious loaves on a wood fired oven ,gravel on the ground outside,colorful Provencal tablecloths,grape vines hanging over some of the tables,a small koi  fish pond in the center,and a little gift shop that sells generous bouquets of freshly cut, fragrant lavender !
   We especially love to order their heavenly lavender ice cream for dessert !! Last year we had it snuggled next to a warm nectarine crisp (oh,my mouth is watering !) !! This time I had Marion berry pie to go along with the lavender luciousness ! If I can't be in Provence,going to the Corkscrew is a tradition I don't want to stop !!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Here's a photo of Sharon and I in front of The Corkscrew Restaurant in Carmel Valley,one of our favorite places !

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Swedish Pancakes in Kingsburg !

I have decided to start a new tradition , in December or other times of the year ,if the desire strikes ! It's going with my family,or friends, to the little Swedish town,called Kingsburg,where my father grew up,to have Swedish pancakes,and then to have a small tour of this quaint village. Kingsburg is in central California,about twenty miles south of Fresno,where I live. I especially love a shop called Svnsk Butik Swedish Gifts,which is loaded with all sorts of wonderful goods from Sweden. June, the owner, sells delicious Swedish coffee,christmas ornaments,clothing,books,ect.,ect..

When I was growing up,our family used to drive to Kingsburg on various Sundays,to have roast beef dinner with my Swedish grandmother in her little house.My brothers and I could always count on her to have the cookie jar filled with sugar cookies !
   In December,before Christmas,my folks came up to visit, from San Diego,California and my daughter Ashley was in town,from San Francisco. I suggested,rather,I urged them to go on a trek to Kingsburg with me ! So,the first item on the agenda ,was to go to Kady's Country Kitchen, to have the World's best Swedish Pancakes ! This place is located off the beaten track,on the outskirts of town,close to the Old 99 Highway. The decor is simple and homey. A friendly waitress asked us what we would like,and we all chose  the Swedish Pancakes. The pancakes are huge,about the size of a salad plate ! They are a pale yellow color,because of all the eggs inside them,and have  a rich,buttery flavor,which is to die for !!! They come with a cup of lingonberry sauce,a boulder sized dollop of butter that melts and oozes all over the pancakes, and lots of powdered sugar sprinkled all over ! We ladies could only eat two apiece !
   After rolling out of Kady's,we dove to the center of town,and did a little shopping at the Svnsk Butik.Ashley bought some Swedish Dala horse cookie cutters and I bought some red wooden Christmas ornaments in a pig a,little girl,a little boy,and a heart shape.
   After that,we drove to a building that had once housed my grandfather's grocery store.There is a wonderful,enormous mural painted on the side of it,depicting Kingsburg's heritage.
   Unfortunately,at the end of this trip,we ended up landing in jail......Kingsburg's former two celled jail,that is ! The town must not have had much crime in the olden days,as is true today. ! You can peek inside,where you'll see two jailbirds sitting in chairs,playing cards at a tiny table.
   For the richest taste treat and a step back in time,I highly recommend stopping by Kady's Country Kitchen at 1710 Simpson Street and the charming little town of Kingsburg !
   P.S. I added a photo of  Swedish Pancakes  and Mandarin tangerines that I made at home recently for breakfast.....and dinner ! Hee hee !

                Swedish Pancakes (Pannkakor)

6eggs                                           1  1/2 c. flour                          lingonberry sauce
1/2 t. salt                                      2  2/3 c. milk                          powdered sugar
1  1/2 t. sugar                               1/8 lb.melted butter

First cut up some fresh fruit and snip some mint sprigs if you have them. Have this fruit ready to put on the plates when your pancakes are done.Some cooked turkey bacon can be a nice addition too.Heat your oven on low for about 3 minutes and then turn it off. Put your plates in the oven to keep warm .Melt  the butter. Beat eggs until light ; add salt and sugar. Add flour and beat well. Add milk gradually. Add melted butter and stir until blended, or mix all in a blender...Put a small pat of butter in a  hot frying pan or a griddle on medium or lower heat. Pour 1/4 cup or less of the batter in the pan or on the griddle.Cook until the pancake is golden brown on one side,and then flip it over and cook until the other side is golden brown.
   To make them extra rich,put a small pat of butter on top,some lingonberry sauce,and sprinkle a little powdered sugar ! Garnish with your fruit and mint leaves.
   This recipe can be halved for one or two people.I would leave the salt the same measurement,and put in 1 tsp.of sugar. This recipe was found in the Centennial Cookbook (1888-1988) by the cooks of First Covenant Church,Fresno California. Elaine Johnson submitted the recipe and had said to use 2  3/4 c. milk.I changed it to a little less milk.

On love.....In the book "How to Get a Date Worth Keeping" by Dr.Henry Cloud,he talks about being yourself from the beginning when dating. To be continued....