Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Missy's Sassy Chili

Since I have gotten back home from my week long break at my parents, I have been sweating! The days have been warm here in Southern California. But, this evening the winds started blowing and temperatures have dropped. Perfect for Fall time meals...

How about some chili? Saute onion, ground beef and dump in green chilis, an array of spices and three cans of your favorite beans. I mixed in spicy, sweet and ranch beans. it was fun - kind of like a kitchen sink meal.

I busted out our favorite hot sauce, sour cream, cheese, onions and I baked cornbread muffins.

Perfect with a nice glass of Ramspeck Pinot Nior. 

Life is good - delicious even!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Peacock Acres 5k - Prunedale, CA

As I started Week 4 in my "Couch to 5k" program I discovered a problem - I squeeze my fists tight and I carry that tension in my shoulders. And, it really hurts! So I came up with the idea of carry eggs while I jog to keep my hands open. Sounds weird but I decided to give it a try in a local 5k.

It worked! I finished in 39 minutes. I was very proud of myself considering we ran hills and in sand! Wow, it was a workout.

Cheers! Margaritas for champions!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

First Awakenings - Salinas, CA

                After shopping at the Oyster Trading Company, as well as a few Downtown stores in Salinas, we grew quite hungry. We found great deals and scored some really cute stuff. 

It was just after 11 and we walked to First Awakenings, a convient corner restaurant. I was craving something hot and comforting so I went with the "Beef Encounter" - pretty much a French Dip with cheese and mushrooms. The au jus was very tasty, a great beef flavor. Salad and potatoes were served with it but I was content with all the food from my sandwich.

I had a few bites of my Mom's Calamari Sandwich - It was not your typical calamari that is all chewy this was the real deal. I loved eating it with the tomato, very light and satisfying.

Jennifer ordered the Huevos Rancheros and she just loved it. It was too much food but she ate until she just couldn't do it anymore. But, she did say it was just awesome.

My Mom and Jennifer. I love them so much.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Happy Thanksgiving! 

 Spending time on the phone with Scott - Happy Thanksgiving to you in Texas!

Shannon and I enjoying the afternoon. 

Aunt Tricia, Nanny, Cousin John and his son, Aideyn 

Cousins Robert, Allan and Charles carving the turkeys. 

 Rebecca and Shannon making the gravy.

 Cousin Charles, Aunt Kathy, Cousin Rebecca

Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn and cauliflower with cheese.  

I cleaned my plate. 

Eleanor's 1st Birthday 

Holiday Pies - Pumpking, Lemon Meriguine, Berry, Mince Meat

Thanksgiving - Cousin Appetizer Challenge

Normally at our family dinners the cousins are not involved in the cooking. This year we were put to good use to supply the appetizers before our hearty Thanksgiving Meal. I suggested that we have a competition and put up $20 to the winner.

Dana's entry - Chanterelle mushrooms on Toast. Yum!

James entered a family favorite - Shrimp, cocktail sauce, Monterey jack over cream cheese and topped with cilantro. Very tasty.

 This is my entry - Hot Crab Dip - lots of cream cheese, mayo and sour cream make up the stunner. It needed more hot sauce but I still found it quite delicious.

The Ardigo's brought the Cocktail Weenies - They are always a hit!

Charles of course brought down the house with his two entries. The first being a play on an original appetizer we all enjoy. Cream Cheese with salmon, caviar and onions. The salmon was a nice touch.

The ceviche was also one of Charles' and he killed it with this one! So fresh and flavorful. Just what we needed after all that cream cheese! Good work Charles!

Winner winner, Turkey Dinner! Charles was named Champion of the 1st Annual Crompton Cousin Appetizer Contest!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Arby's Roast Beef Sandwich

One of the things I am thankful for is the opportunity to fulfill my craving of the Arby's Roast Beef Sandwich. I remember splitting the 5 Sandwichs for $5 with my friend Fallon when we were growing up. What fat kids!

No sandwich is complete without the addition of extra Arby Sauce. Ahhh, the simple pleasures in life!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Culinary Classique d' Elegance - Pebble Beach, CA

On Sunday evening a portion of my family assembled together to enjoy the 15th Annual Culinary Classique d' Elegance in Pebble Beach. The event is a main fundraiser for te "Meals On Wheels" program and we were thrilled to particpate in their efforts.
My buddy Kate and I enjoying a Pre-Dinner cocktail and enjoying the view.

James and Kate - I am so happy to have such great people to come home to!

My Dad, I am a lucky gal!

All the tables were decorated beautifully, just take a look at a few I snapped photos of:

Jennifer's Sister-in-laws. They are so pretty and I am so glad we got to spend more time with them!

Our chef was from the Courtside Cafe - Each table was assigned a different chef and I was so excited with the one we recieved. Check out our meal:

House made Salmon Sausage, with Fennel & Oven Dried Tomatoes over White Beans. This was my least favorite dish but I still polished it off because I was hungry!

Pan Roasted Squab Breast over Sauted Swiss Chard & Polenta Cake stuffed with Pancette, Asiago Cheese. A Roasted Squab Leg finshed with Demi glaze totalled sealed the deal. This by far, was my favorite part of the meal. Who would of thought I would love pigeon this much?!

Pomergrante Gelato with Lemon Syrup & Candied Lemon Peel. Great palate cleanser!

Seared Filet Mignon topped with Goat Cheese over wilted Arugula & Oven Roasted Potatoes - Cooked to a perfect medium rare. The goat cheese was a delicous accent to the meal. Others felt it may have been over powered.

Beet Salad with Cherry Tomatos and Basil - This was probably a little plain. It needed balsamic to brighten it up a bit, and maybe a little salt too.

Espresso Panna Cotta with Grand Marnier Whipped Cream & Crispy Florentine Cookie with Chocolate shavings. The best part of this dessert was the cookie! It was so tasty - a salty treat, almost like brittle.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Expressing my creativity!

Can you guess what Melissa Good Taste is painting next?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Boccali's - Ojai, CA

I live right up the hill from Boccali's - probably 3 miles and before tonight I have never dined at their restaurant. Sure, I have gotten pizza to go but never been an actual diner. Tonight, was the night and wandered inside with Cowboy Ron. We sat ourselves down and ordered our drinks. I was ready to dive into some Italian goodness.

An Antipasto Salad serves 3-4 people so we shared that. I went after the tomatoes, cheese and basil and topped it on the fresh bread they served - an bruschetta of sorts. 

I have never had Eggplant Parmesan so I decided that is what I would have. It came out molten hot and the waiter almost tossed it in my lap upon serving. He slipped and I panicked but all ended well. That could have ended really ugly. I dunked pieces of bread into the boiling cheese until it cooled enough for to me to enjoy. I have to say that it was only ok. Nothing worth ordering again and again.

Do you like raviolis? Well Scott enjoyed them. They looked good enough.

All in all I was shocked at how much this simple food ended up costing. They have a pumpkin patch, haunted house, vegetables for sale and wine that they have made - they do a lot and get a ton of business. I just don't understand. I drive by the restaurant everyday and see the crowds - I am amazed at the following. They must be doing something right! FYI: Cash only, such a bummer.