Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Baked Beans and Broccoli Slaw Salad

Toni Ravella Baked Beans
Meet Connie Jo and John aka "JB"
Connie and John lived neighbors to Tom and Susan. A year ago they moved but the friendship has remained. John, Connie, and her wonderful mother Marilyn came to the party Saturday evening at Tom and Susan's home. Connie always brings such great dishes which we truly enjoy. I was a little late with the camera as the salad was eaten when I got into the kitchen but I did get a good photo of the baked beans. Connie was so kind to share the recipes. Try these recipes and I know they will remain as favorites of yours also. Thanks Connie for sharing.
Toni Ravella Baked Beans
Cooking Time 1.5 hours
1/2 pound bacon cut into 1" pieces
1 pound ground beef
1 red onion chopped
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon mustard
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 Tablespoon salt
1-16oz. can Campbell Pork and Beans
1-16oz. can lima or cannelini beans (drained)
1-16oz. kidney beans
1-28oz. can Bushes Baked Beans (Original)
Cook bacon in deep pot on stove top. Drain bacon on paper towel, reserve 2 Tbsp bacon fat. Add beef to skillet and cook until brown. Drain fat. Pour all ingredients in baking dish or to pot. Bake at 350 for 1 1/2 hours OR cook on stove top. Cover and stir often.
Broccoli Slaw Salad
2 packages Ramen Noodles Beef, Chicken, or Oriental (keep flavoring pouches to add to dressing) Crush in package with palm of hand. 16 ounce package Broccoli Coleslaw (from Produce Dept.)
1 cup sunflower seeds, salted or unsalted
3/4 cup slivered almonds (brown slightly in oven or in buttered saucepan)
1 bunch green onions including stems, chopped
3/4 cup oil
3/8 cup sugar
1/4 cup vinegar (Connie uses 1/2 Balsamic vinegar and 1/2 another type)
Flavoring packages from both packages of Ramen Noodles
Mix dressing ahead of time and shake well in jar to dissolve sugar. (let set out at room temperature.)
Place all ingredients in large bowl and mix together. Add the dressing and toss at the last minute. This recipe goes together in minutes and is served at room temp. Enjoy!!! Connie

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes
Meet Gail and her husband Mark
Gail brought a plate of Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes to the cookout Saturday night at the home of our son and wife. When I requested the recipe, Gail said it was so easy. That is what we sometimes need in our day. The plate of stuffed tomatoes quickly disappeared and all agreed they sure were tasty! Here is Gail's recipe.
Stuffed Tomatoes
24 cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 pound bacon chopped and fried crisp
Layer the strips of bacon, cut in half lengthwise and slice thin. Fry till crisp. Remove bacon from skillet place on four paper towels that have been folded four folds. Twist the towels to remove residual cooking grease. Chop bacon till fine. Mix bacon with mayonnaise, and onions.
Cut cherry tomatoes into halves. With a melon baller or spoon scoop out the seeds and pulp. Fill tomatoes with mixture. Gail served her stuffed tomatoes on a plate with a bed of chopped lettuce. They were delicious!
Yields 48 stuffed tomatoes.

Monday, April 28, 2008

PAC District Tennis Tournament

Son Tom
Saturday afternoon we attended a District Tennis Tournament at Stanford University Tebeau Tennis Courts for the Mixed Doubles Teams of the PAC Conference. Son Tom and his partner beat their opponents who were from Marin County (north of San Francisco). We celebrated Saturday evening with a party and great recipes will follow tomorrow.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Greg

Happy Birthday Greg
Our son-in-law Greg adds another candle to his cake! We are celebrating today with Greg, Anne, Veronica, Charlotte, and Olivia. Uncle Bruce arrived from St. Louis. As you can see we don't pass up any opportunities to celebrate. Anne and Greg have developed a business promoting the LED lighting. Stop by and take a look.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Cat Nap

A Cat Nap
Whenever Barbara's cat Nan can find Don to crawl onto his lap we know where she can be found!

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Visit In The Sierras

A Visit In The Sierras
Wednesday morning we drove Northeast to South Lake Tahoe, NV. As we ascended in the higher elevations, the freshly fallen snow of the previous night created a spectacular view. The final jewel of our drive was South Lake Tahoe which is the bluest of blue waters.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Ferry Building of San Francisco

The Farmers Market The Farmers Market
Table Linens and Oils of Essence "Boriana" Speciality Foods From Tuscany "Boriana" Specialty Foods From Tuscany "The Gourmet Mushroom Shop"
The Ferry Building of San Francisco
Yesterday I navigated the City like a "local" on the bus lines. Our daughter was working and my husband was out of the city. I went to the renovated Ferry Building which has become an interesting place for the locals as well as the tourists. It is amazing what a mayor with the desire to revitalize an area and return it to a state of original beauty and also a place for so many to enjoy. It is a real tourist stop filled with shops including several restaurants, speciality stores and gardening stores. Also interesting to me was the Farmers Market. Organic vegetables and fruits are brought to small stands in an area just outside the building and are sold Tuesday and Saturday. Inside is my favorite housewares shop Sur la Tab. I found the new for this year the grilling equipment for those of you who love to grill out of doors. Next week I plan to devote me blog to grilling.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Rare French Jewel Found In San Francisco

Peche Mignon
If you do not parlez francais, I will share the name translated means guilty pleasures. Guilty NOT! When I visit San Francisco, a stop at Peche Mignon is a must. All of the merchandise is imported from France and I must say the quality is very very nice and reasonably priced for the high quality. There is something to be said for the French linens, the milled soaps, the gift ware. It is just fun to browse as the inventory is all such unique items. It never ends with just browsing!

I spent an afternoon visit today and found several unique gift items. How about candles which look like an asparagus stalk? The tea towels are of course the french linen and we have nothing that compares with the quality. I bought some food items, pesto and tea, which I thought we could sample tonight for dinner.

I highly recommend you go to the link above and scan her website. You won't be a "one time customer". Diane was so kind to pose for my blog photos. Thank you Diane!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Charlotte Rose!

Charlotte with her Guinea "Buster" Charlotte learning to play tennis. Charlotte loving a neighborhood kitten. Charlotte with her "Aunt Barbie" whose visits can't come often enough!
Happy 10Th Birthday Charlotte Rose
Today we are celebrating the birthday of Charlotte Rose our 4Th granddaughter. Celebrating ten wonderful years with much love and affection. When Charlotte hears her grandparent's voices entering the house, she comes to finds us to give us a warm greeting and a kiss of welcome. What a sweetheart! Happy Birthday Charlotte and many more!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Myers' Boys Athletes

Tom and Jacob Jacob in the Long Jump event Jacob in the 100 yd. dash (on the right) Jacob at the end of the meet.
Sunday was another Track and Field event for the Myers family. Saturday was Phil's day and Sunday was the day for Jacob to shine. Jacob's events were the shotput, the long jump, 4x100, and the 100 meter dash. Jacob made a nice showing!

Another Myers Track Star

Philip running in the four- four hundred
Philip in the long jump
Another Myers Track Star
They say history repeats itself and this we believe. Our grandsons have track meets this weekend. Philip competed in a fourteen school 5Th grade Track and Field Meet on Saturday. This photo shows Philip in the Long Jump event. His jump was 11' 8". Philip also ran in the 4 X 100 setting a new record with a 59.03 seconds and the 4 X 400 with a 5 minute 10 second . St Raymond School won the Track Meet by three points over the second place winners. Way to go kids!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Family Dinner

Seated left to right, our son-in-law Silvano, Anne, Olivia, My husband Don, Charlotte, Anne's husband Greg, and Veronica.
A Family Dinner
Our son-in-law Silvano came to San Diego for a conference this week. We were delighted to have him spend a couple of days with us and of course that gave us the opportunity to have a dinner together with our daughter Anne and family.
My menu was changed from the posting earlier this week. A few bites into the meal I realized I needed to grab the camera. For dinner I marinated the salmon and baked it. I made a roasted red pepper coulis and a dill sauce for the salmon, oven roasted the asparagus, and made my favorite recipe of lentils. We had the fresh Carlsbad strawberries for desert. I have posted the lentil recipe and directions for roasting the asparagus previously. I took a few shortcuts to maximize time with the family and closed down the kitchen!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Herb-Crusted Salmon

Herb-Crusted Salmon
Serving Salmon at a dinner party allows the hostess to be seated and eating with the guests. Small fillets of other fish requires time spent frying fish for everyone.
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 (6 oz.0 salmon fillets, (about 1 inch thick) skinned
Cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Combine the first seven ingredients in a shallow dish or pie plate. Lightly coat both sides of fillets with cooking spray, and sprinkle evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Dredge both sides of fillets in bread crumb mixture.
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add fillets to pan, cook 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; carefully turn fillets over. Cook 4 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Parsley and Walnut Pesto

Parsley and Walnut Pesto
I am planning a dinner party for mid week. Our son-in-law from Milano, Italy is in San Diego for a conference and will be visiting the family. I will publish my dinner menu with recipes and photograph for the blog at dinner.
3 cups flat leaf Parsley leaves
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
3 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 garlic cloves, chopped
Combine all ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth. Yield 12 servings (serving size 1 Tablespoon)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Elderberry Pie

Meet our friends Pat and Joe One elderberry on a spoon The finished slice of pie Joe said perfect, great pie.
We were visiting our friends who live in Escondido a few months ago when Joe mentioned how he loved elderberry pie and perch. Midwesterners know perch is the fish of the Gods from Lake Erie. I mentioned that we had a package of elderberries in the freezer along with several packages of perch. A dinner plan was in the future.
Elderberries are maybe 1/8" across. Grown on an umbrella shaped stem maturing from tiny white flowers. They are found growing wild along ditches or swampy areas. The flowers appear early summer and mid August they are ripe. If you have seen the flowers in bloom you must remember the site. One never discloses where their site is located as they are becoming more rare. Mid August when they are ripe one has to beat the birds to the site and get the berries. Stripping the berries is a task. Each berry has a 1/4" stem attaching it to the cluster stem. This small stem must not be pulled off when the berries are stripped. It is a labor-some task but so rewarded. The berries are very tart and actually a member of the honeysuckle family.
I will share my recipe which is very simple.
Elderberry Pie
4 cups elderberries
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour OR 6 Tablespoons instant tapioco
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg.
1 recipe of pastry for 10" double crust. I grate a small amount of fresh nutmeg into the pastry for this pie.
Line a 10" pie dish with pastry. Mix together the elderberries, sugar, flour or tapioco and ground nutmeg. Pour into pastry. Dot with butter. Fit top crust on pastry and filling; seal edges.
Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350. Bake for 45 minutes or until done.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Susan

Happy Birthday Susan
Today is our daughter-in-law Susan's birthday. Susan gave us three beautiful grandchildren and makes our son and us so happy. So a big wonderful HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUSAN!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Big Sur Power Bar Recipe

Last week our daughter Anne stopped by with a taste of a power bar that she made. Another daughter, Barbara sent her the recipe. They were quite tasty but just a little sweeter than I prefer. I plan to make a recipe but will try to adjust the sweetness. This is an original recipe from Heidi Swanson of San Francisco.
Big Sur Power Bar Recipe
If you can't find the crisp brown rice cereal, no worries - just use regular rice cereal for ex: Rice Crispies - just stay clear of "puffed" rice cereal, it will throw the recipe off. Feel free to substitute other types of nuts, seeds, or whatever little goodies you can dream up.
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or regular butter)
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup slivered almonds
2/3 cup (unsweetened) shredded coconut1
1/4 cups rolled oats1
1/2 cups unsweetened crisp brown rice cereal
1 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup natural cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 tablespoons ground espresso beans
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking pan with the coconut oil. If you like thick power bars, opt for an 8 by 8-inch pan; for thinner bars, use a 9 by 13-inch pan. On a rimmed baking sheet toast the pecans, almonds, and coconut for about 7 minutes, or until the coconut is deeply golden. Toss once or twice along the way. Mix the oats, toasted nuts, coconut, and the cereal, together in a large bowl and set aside. Combine the rice syrup, sugar, salt, espresso, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly as it comes to a boil and thickens just a bit, about 4 minutes. Pour the syrup over the oat mixture and stir until it is evenly incorporated. Spread into the prepared pan and cool to room temperature before cutting into whatever size bars you desire. Makes 16 to 24 bars.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice Baked Potatoes
This is a recipe that I have made for my family for years. I obtained the recipe in the late 1960's. I used to make a large batch and then freeze them. They were just as good thawed and then reheated.
6 baking potatoes, all about single serving size
2 ounces bacon chopped and fried to render fat
2-3 Tablespoons milk
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
Place scrubbed on counter and pierce once from the side. You will cut potatoes in halves after they are baked. You do not want piercings on the bottom where the potato rest. It will allow the butter to leak when baked the second time.
Bake potatoes in oven until soft to the squeeze. Remove from oven and allow to cool to the point where they can be held in a hot pad to scoop. Cut potatoes in half horizontally and scoop the potato from the skin. Be very careful not to tear the skin.
Mix the remaining ingredients with the scooped baked potato and mash until to a creamy consistency. Add more milk if necessary Too much milk will make them go flat when reheated. Serves 6

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Sunday Visitor

A Sunday Visitor
Living above a canyon beckons wildlife. This morning we found this guy sunning himself on the wall. I am not sure why he was protecting his rattlers from the sun! Just happy his visit was brief. Not all diamonds are a gals best friend!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

In The Eye Of The Egret

In The Eye Of The Egret
This egret is often seen looming around the backyard pond hoping to catch a goldfish. We installed the netting which allows him to put his beak through the net but then he is unable to open the beak hoping to protect the fish.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Our Guests Dan and Karen

We toast great friends who had a wonderful influence on our children.
Anne was so happy to see her math teacher from high school. Math was one of Anne's favorite subjects. Anne said Mrs. Major was such a good teacher.
Our Guests Dan and Karen
We were so complimented that friends from the town where we formerly resided took time from their vacation time in San Diego to spend a visit with us. Dan and Karen were teachers at Willard High School. Our four children speak so highly of these educators which is such a deserving compliment to their efforts.
For dinner I served the salmon prepared from the posting of Thursday. Also on the menu was salad from the posting of 9/23/07, and I tried a new recipe on them that appeared in the Food section of this week's newspaper. I thought I would just use my electric rice cooker for perfectly cooked wild rice. Well it didn't happen. The rice was a little crunchy. Don't you just hate it when you have company and you want things to turn out right and when you are at the table you learn it didn't? I will post the recipe anyhow. The dessert was my standby to serve with seafood, Lemon Meringue Pie posted 5/23/07.
Wild Rice and Asparagus Casserole
2 cups cooked wild rice
1 pound asparagus, cut in 2" lengths
3 tablespoons onion
1/2 cup fat free chicken broth
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup low fat milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
3 slices bacon, chopped and fried crisp
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a shallow 1 1/2 quart baking dish with cooking spray. Put the wild rice in the bottom of the dish and top with the asparagus.
Place onion in sauce pan over medium high heat and add chicken broth. Cook until onion is soft about 4 to 5 minutes, adding more broth as necessary.
Dissolve flour in milk; add to pan. Bring to a boil, then add pepper and cheese, remove from heat. Stir until cheese is melted. Pour over asparagus and top with bacon. Bake for 45 minutes.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Baked Salmon

I am planning a Friday evening dinner party and have decided on this as one of the recipes. Our guests are former High School teachers of our children who are visiting in San Diego. My menu is still in the planning stages but I can get it all together after one quick trip to the green grocer
Baked Salmon
Ingredients 1 cup crème fraîche or sour cream

3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, divided

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel, divided

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil plus additional for brushing

2 tablespoons chopped shallot

6 6-ounce salmon

lemon wedges

Whisk crème fraîche, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon lemon peel in small bowl. Season with salt and generous amount of pepper.
Whisk honey, 1 tablespoon olive oil, shallot, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon lemon peel in 11x7x2-inch glass baking dish. Add salmon fillets and turn to coat. Cover and chill at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour, turning salmon fillets occasionally.
Position rack in top third of oven and preheat to 400°F. Line large baking sheet with foil and brush with olive oil. Transfer salmon fillets, with some marinade still clinging, to rimmed baking sheet. Roast until salmon is just opaque in center, about 14 minutes.
Place 1 salmon fillet on each of 6 plates. Top with watercress salad. Drizzle with lemon-pepper sauce and garnish with lemon wedges. Serve, passing additional sauce alongside.
Makes Six Servings

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


The cliffs are covered with flowers making the beach so beautiful. To the lower right of the photo is his "money box " soliciting from the viewers. This juggler came on the scene at sunset to present his talent.
A Walk In The Park
After viewing the Flower Fields of Carlsbad yesterday, we took a stroll through the Park and along the ocean in Carlsbad. California does not have a shortage of sidewalk entertainers and musicians. We found these jugglers making an effort to draw a crowd and maybe earn a little money. We did the ocean walk before stopping to have dinner. The sunset was so beautiful as it slowly sank into a fog bank.