Sunday, September 23, 2012


Autumn has arrived!!!
I love this time of year and welcome Fall with open arms. To embrace and welcome this beautiful time of year, I wanted to make a Fall type meal.  Chili has been calling my name for a while now and today was the day.  I was going to make my mothers recipe when my handsome boyfriend suggested a recipe.  Oh and where might he find this recipe you may wonder like I did.  Well, from a back in the day arcade gaming website. Yep.  Hmmm, well I said if you help me, we can make it. SOLD!

So off to the grocery store we went and bought our ingredients for this Fall meal. I was hoping for nice cool Fall weather but that was no where in sight with 86 degree sunny temps in the wine county.

We gathered our ingredients and had everything layed out so we could be anal accountant amature chefs in the kitchen together.  Mind you my man....does NOT cook. Repeat...does NOTcook.  With his generous offer to help, we has put to work! Meet mister handsome S*H*A*N*E

First we cut up our stew meat to make more bite size morsals. Good job did that so well, I think you are hired as my suis chef!

Next is to saute your onions, stew meat, and ground beef in a little oil.  Saute until meat is almost browned and your onions are near translucent.

Then we added our seasonings, cocoa, coffee and beef stock.

The most criticle step next is to taste test your beer before adding to your chili pot!  Very importatnt for quality control :)

The beer passed inspection so that was then added along with the diced tomatos!

At this point is when you add your cup of love, keep your fingers crossed  and two hours later, this will be your next favorite chili recipe......I hope!

Yummm, look at that chili. Since we were feeling so gourmet, we make homemade cornbread to go with our meal. Realizing corn bread is so easy to make from scracth, why would I ever buy a box mix again?

Shane gets kudos from his gaming site chili recipe.  What a tastey recipe! Of course you can add your favorite toppings to top off the good eats! Ours was diced red onion, shredded sharp cheddar cheese and sour cream.



~ LOVE ~

Saturday, September 4, 2010

St. Francis Wine Tasting

Sometimes I take for granted the beautiful area I live in...then I get reminded when I take a step back and look at this beautiful photo of St. Francis winery. A friend of mine, Susan, belongs to the wine club here at St. Francis. Besides the great wines they offer, they also offer wine and food parings which we signed up for immediately! Why not?? After signing in that we have arrived, we were directed to the back patio which overlooked the gorgeous vineyard and enjoyed a great glass of Sauvignon Blanc.After a full day of shopping, what a better way to relax than to have a great glass of wine outdoors and RELAX! Next, we were guided into a building off to the side of the main tasting room into the dining room. I could not believe of open and huge the dining area was. Glass doors surrounded the room with a great fireplace as a focal point.

I was amazed at the size of the dining room table! The table seated 12! Susan and I lucked out because we were the ONLY peeps tasting and paring at the allotted time slot. How cool is that! Needless to say, we were blown away having the entire room to ourselves and to be served!

Our wine and food paring menu was brought out for our reference during the dining. The parings were going to be 4 wines with 4 parings. We could not wait to begin, and after a complimentary glass of Sauvignon Blanc, we were ready!

First paring was a Wild Oak, Sonoma County Chardonnay paired with house cured salmon, braised English peas, Yukon gold potatoes, English pea puree, with lemon beurre monte.

Second course was McCoy Vineyard, Sonoma County Cabernet Franc paired with royal trumpet, shiitake mushroom & fava bean ragout. Served with caramelized cipollini onion, pecorino romano, romesco sauce and balsamic syrup. The mushrooms were so tasty in this dish!
Next was a Sonoma County, Wild Oak Syrah paired with soy and Syrah braised pork cheeks. Yes, pork cheeks. I thought that cheeks was a choice better that butt, however, I was corrected and it is really cheeks! The cheeks was served with smoked Gouda polenta, shaved red cabbage and braising jus. Oh my.....this was sooooooooooo good!

Last but not least was a Dry Creek Valley Petite Syrah paired with roasted marquez meatball with sauteed ratatouille, couscous, kalamata olive vinaigrette and sweet basil puree. Very nice pairing with the wine!

Wow, such great wines and great food. The serves also offered another tasting of a Sonoma County Cabernet which was very good! By this time, we had more that our share of wine!

Best part was when we received out tab-$0. Loved it~ great wines, great food, service to a T, and no money owed! One of the benefits of being a wine club member.

Just when we thought we were done.....our cute server brought out a decadent dessert and port! I wasn't sure I could consume any more wine at this point but managed. Chocolate, who could turn that down? Delicious chocolate cake with whip cream, chocolate sauce and marinated dark cherries! The port was a great compliment to the dessert.

This photo of Susan explains it all~ We ventured outside of the dining room to the back patio overlooking the Sonoma mountains and sobering up, while others napped!

What a great experience and an excellent way to end the day~

Sunday, March 21, 2010

2nd Day of Spring

SPRING has SPRUNG! I love having the days longer and sings of spring all around me.

I love having these daisies right by my front steps to the house. They are so cheery and a nice sight walking up to the house.

The color is amazing on the Camila shrub. So beautiful!

I have never seen my Alyssum's so happy before!

I can not wait for my rose bushes to open. I have so many buds just waiting......
even my mini is ready to bloom!

My Iris's are almost ready to open, another couple of days.

Amazing colors this spring, everything is so vibrant.

It is so nice to walk around outside, get fresh air, relax and see the beautiful signs of SPRING in the AIR!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A day with Allesandra

I was blessed to spend the day with niece Allesandra! What a fun day. Rainy and stormy outside made it a perfect day to spend with loved ones. My brother Jeff brought his daughter over for a visit. I have a balance ball in my bedroom that has now become my nieces' favorite toy! The ball is larger than she is tall. It is so funny to watch her try to maneuver the ball around.

Besides playing bouncy ball on the bed, balance ball, we also decided to use it as a pillow on the bed while we tried to push buttons on the remote to make the TV work. Allesandra was in search of Dora the Explorer!

Allesandra never leaves the house without her purple back pack to load her favorite toys and snacks in. Her latest thing she is into is FAIRIES!

So Allesandra and her Dad were playing fairies at the kitchen table! That is a first for me to see my brother flying fairies around. It was cute and funny at the same time. During play time Allesandra wanted "Juicy". I gave her some apple juice and it was so cute because she called it "apple sauce juicy".

Then Jeff thought it would good for Jaguar, Alle's stuffed animal to meet Milo my cat.


Allesandra wanted to share her fairies with Milo. He was nice enough to sniff them but wasn't interested in playing.

As you can tell, he went to hide. Well, sort of.....

Allesandra fits under the table being she is only 2.5 years! Perfect play area. She insisted Milo play with the fairies!



~Family Love~

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Card Making

A perfect Sunday~weather is chilly, rain is moving in and Christmas cards need to be made. I pulled out my supplies and and was ready to be crafty. Almost..............
First things first. I walked over to Starbucks to get a Cost-a-latte to keep me warm and fuzzy while making my cards. A Gingerbread Latte with Whip Cream. Perfect.

Oh and second, I would need my assistant a.k.a Supervisor Tule. Somehow he managed to stay put on the top of the chair even as I moved around in it. My worst fear was for him to put is claws out and scratch my head as he tried to keep his balance. I lucked out and no cat mishaps.
This year I decided to be simple in my card making. Maybe because I was lazy about the details this year or just wanted the task to be done in one day. Not sure, but they still are cute and handmade.

I got up for a nano second and up jumped Milo! And of course he happened to be in a playful mood. PURR-fect timing! There went my organized work space filled with a large feline and my embellishments looked like 52 card pick up!

BAD KITTY!!! NO MILO, NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See what happens to bad kitties~Sticky BUTT!

What did I do?? I am angel kitty, MOM!
Luckily I was almost done with most of my cards before my cat managed to mess my entire workspace up! Starved so I am off to make Crab Bisque from the New England Soup Factory Cookbook that my Aunt Nancy was kind enough to rummage up a copy for me.

Yumm...dinner is ready. Crab Bisque with Havarti and dill.....

What a day!

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