Monday, September 28, 2009

Chicken and Dumplings

I am a little master to the dumpling.
Low fat and fabulous - a healthy meal to kick off the cool weather!
Recipe to follow if you guys are interested!
So what I did was pretty easy. I am going to give it to you pretty informal. Pour two big cans (the really big ones) of Chicken Broth into a large pot. Turn the heat up! Cut up 4 chicken breasts into bite sized pieces and dump into broth. Slice up a yellow onion, 3 carrots and 3 stalks of celery. Throw them into the mix as well. Salt, pepper, garlic salt and onion powder need to season the the mix. Let simmer with the lid on for about 20 minutes.
In a separate bowl mix 2 1/4 cups of Bisquick and 2/3 cup of milk. You will end up adding more milk as you mix because you want the dough VERY wet. In spoonfuls, add the dough in little balls on top of the slow boiling soup. I season the dough with salt and pepper at this time. Let cook at a low bowl for 10 minutes. After the ten minutes is up, put a lid on let cook for another 10 minutes covered. Your dumplings should be cooked and your soup is ready to serve!
Easy right?! Enjoy.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Baja Cantina - Carmel, CA

My Mom and I had cruised over to the Carmel Valley Ranch Round Up to watch my brother and family compete. Worried we were going to be late we ran through Starbuck's in enough time to get there just in time. Yes! The full day of horse activity was lovely. James ended up second in the Ranch Horse Class and second in the Branding with my cousins. After soaking in enough sun my mom and I scrambled.

This is the Baja Cantina located in Carmel. Isn't the outside welcoming?

The patio was beautiful!

It was a warm day so we elected to sit inside. Funky and fun!

Margarita time! On the rocks with a touch of salt please!

Chips and salsa. The chips were good, and seasoned ever so lightly. I thought the salsa was just ho hum. Even a touch commercially mild. My mom thought it was spicy. She thinks everything is spicy.

We order an half order of guacamole. We love guacamole. This was just ok too. Nothing bad but nothing fabulous.

Guaymas Shrimp Bisque was on the menu and you know this cowgirl had to try it. Kathy I split a cup, which really was a crock... Shrimp, garlic, cognac in a vegetable cream base is how it read. It tasted more like tomato soup with bay shrimp mixed in. I am a soup girl and this one didn't pass my test. It just needed something!

My order of the Enchiladas Yucatan was up first. They were two corn tortillas filled shredded pork marinated in chile negro, achiote and oranges. YUM! There were sides of habanero salsa, tomatillo sauce, pico de gallo, queso fresca, refried beans and rice. Holy mackerel, there was plenty of food! I loved this dish. It reminded me of mole.

Kathy's order is up next and it is a fun one... Mango Chicken Enchiladas! Also two corn enchiladas, these stuffed with chicken, topped with cheese and bathed in tropical mango sauce. Served with rice and beans of course. This was fruity and very fun. It was kind of like island food!

Last but not least dessert! Yummo... We ordered the "Below the Border" which was a deep fried ball of coconut macadamia ice cream resting in a cinnamon tortilla bowl. How much fun is this? It tasted lovely of course, I was just so full!!!

I loved this place. The exterior and well as interior was decorated so funky. Made for a really neat atmosphere. There is a ton of stuff on the menu, not just Mexican but who orders that stuff anyway? The waitstaff was attentive and got the job done with a smile. Prices were right on as well. Very affordable. One compliant was the bar was a touch too lively for an enjoyable meal. They should calm the crazies down. They got a little to wild for me to enjoy lunch with my mother dear. Will I return? Yes! A wonderful meal on the patio is on the books! 1.75 thumbs up!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Ridgemark Country Club - Hollister, CA

So my friend Amanda got a new job and she works inside of Ridgemark. So we made plans to meet up at the Ridgemark Clubhouse and enjoy each others company.

The decor is vintage as you can see...

I ordered chips and salsa because it was on the menu and I figured, "Why the heck not?"... I was impressed. Someone made this salsa homemade and it came from an authentic recipe I am sure.

Today is Friday and you know what that means... Clam Chowder Day! This clam chowder had an excellent broth, plenty of clams but too much boiled bacon. Boiled bacon?! Yes, you heard right. That was little weird but satisfying as a whole.

Amanda ordered the BLT Wrap. That sounded delicious and was glad she tried it. She seemed to like it but it looked a little bit over dressed. She didn't complain but certainly didn't rave...

I don't have much to say about this dining experience. Not because it was terrible but t didn't just knock me off my seat. I enjoyed the afternoon because there was a tournament going on so there was a lot of people watching. Would I return? Sure, it is a nice place to meet up with Amanda. It is not pricey, pretty reasonable actually. That said, 1.25 thumbs up.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Coconut Oil - Who knew?!

So my hair routine is shampoo, light conditioner...

Blow dry and then my favorite volumizing trick - hot rollers! I don't use them for curl but for big volume. It is actually a great alternative to a curling iron because they are the soft, velvet ones. Anyhow, I know it must wreak havoc on my hair because my beautiful blonde locks, may or may not be, color treated. So I researched my conditioning options...

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is what I came up with. You have to melt the oil - either letting it soak in warm water or leaving it out in a warm place. It becomes liquid in no time and that is when you slather this good stuff all over your luscious locks. It is greasy, messy and kind of a pain but the results were well worth it. I left it on for about twenty minutes and shampoo'ed it right out. Today my hair feels great.

Another use for food products, brought to you by Melissa Good Taste.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Burger King Cheesy Tots

I needed a quick snack. It was in between breakfast and lunch - so lets call the Cheesy Tots my brunch. I ran by the bank and Burger King was just a swing away. Six little tots, filled with some sort of imitation cheese. Greasy, salty and perfectly satisfying. I am a fan!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Long time no blog...

I have been eating, just not blogging. I promise I will get right back to my regular eating/photo taking/writing schedule. I PROMISE! In the mean time, check out my photos from the Mebane Ranch Cutting in Fort Klamath. Remember I told you I did really well? Well, hope this tides you over until my next post!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Little Tampico Kitchen - Soquel, CA

First of all it was a bad, bad idea to head to the Santa Cruz on the last day of the free summer. But, I did it anyway and boy did I pay. First off I wanted to go to Hawg's Seafood but, it was closed. Should have known - Holiday weekend and all... So as I got hungrier and hungrier - sat in traffic, waited at lights and got even hungrier... I ended up at a place I used to go to as a kid with my Mom and Nanny.

The Little Tampico Kitchen is a fun memory. Did I remember if the food was good? No. Did I know that it was open and that I was starving (and irritated)? YES! Time to park the car and fix this situation.

We decided to sit on the patio overlooking the beautiful creek... I was sending mind darts to my waiter - "Bring me chips and salsa and no one gets hurt"... amazingly it worked! He scurried over with a pico de gallo and a tomato paste blend. The pico de gallo was good. I ordered a Margarita and it was so horrible that I sent it back. Alcohol is not supposed to taste disugsting and if it does I do not want to drink it. Thanks.

First off, the Carne Asada Taco platter. Yowza, that is a lot of food right? I can say that the carne asada kind tasted a little sour. Not in a marinated in lemon lime kind of way either. Strange. Onto my Cheese Enchilada (supposed to be with extra sauce, but got extra cheese instead) with refried beans and rice. The beans had a baked on coat of cheese as well. So cheesy! The rice was actually pretty decent.

So the Little Tampico Kitchen was not really what I remembered. My Mom said her first Mexican food experince was at the Tampico Kitchen in another Santa Cruz location. That is kind of special I think. The food is pretty marginal but the patio is great. The one thing I did notice on the menu was if you are a vegetarian you can have any of your tacos, enchiladas or burritos filled with spinach or tofu instead of the standard beef or chicken. That is pretty cool. 1.25 thumbs up for a new experience at a fair price.