Thursday, January 31, 2013

Donuts, donuts everywhere!

Looking for a great K cup for your Kuerig? This is one. I am having a donut themed day so I thought this was appropriate. However, I do like another brand called Fog Chaser - it is affordable as compared to the rest of the pack at my local grocery store. It seems to "chase" the "fog" away from my brain on early mornings. But today, I am going all donut style.

I cannot resist these little bundles of joy. So soft and tasty. I can remember my mom buying them for us maybe once as a child. I think she stopped because between my sister, brother and I we probably devoured the bag on the home from the store. However now that I am an adult with plenty of donut self control, a few are perfect with above mentioned coffee. 

Brew yourself a cup, pop a few of these in your mouth and have yourself a Homer Simpson sized day!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Home Body - Ojai, CA

I have to admit, I have been a little bit of a home body. Staying close to the ranch and creating meals that would last a few days. We have been working the horses with in the cold weather and really have been enjoying it. As I turn back or saddle up the next one I think about what I already have in my pantry so I don't have to go to town...

Enter: Chicken Spaghetti. An easy, casserole style dish that provides plenty of leftovers and is comforting on a cold winter night. I had two chicken breasts in the freezer, thawed them and boil to create a little more than two cups of meat. Par boiled 3 cups of spaghetti in the chicken water and mixed that with 2 cans of Cream of mushroom, diced chiles, pimentos and two cups of cheddar cheese. Set at 350 for 45 minutes and then you have a dish for of molten goodness.  

 In the evenings when things slowed down I found myself addicted to this book. I would read chapter after chapter swearing the next one would be my last. I finished this book way too quickly and need to find something else to read that was exciting as this one was. 

What am I going to make tonight you wonder? Think a southern dish that will make you lick your fingers and want to lick the bowl. Those are my hopes - We will see if I get that reaction from Scott!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Harris Ranch - Coalinga, CA

Scott and I just got back from spending the weekend at the famous Harris Ranch off Interstate 5. He is the 2013 President of the Pacific Coast Cutting horse Association so he was in meetings most of the time. I met up with my good friend Sheena in Fresno, started a new book and caught up with friends also attending the convention.

Saturday night was the annual Awards Banquet for the PCCHA congratulating the winners on a year of success with their horses. We got cleaned up to enjoy the festivities and enjoy a traditional Harris Ranch meal.

Beef. It's whats for dinner. It really was a fantastic cut of meat, cooked perfectly and I actually enjoyed every bite. Imagine that... Not seafood.

Chocolate cake and a really great glass of Harris Ranch's own Cabernet. It really was lovely. The catering was really amazing. I was truly impressed.

Sunday morning Scott awoke to many more meetings and I had the great pleasure of meeting up my brother and his girlfriend, Kate. He flew the both of them in to visit over breakfast. How lucky am I?

We took our seats in the Ranch Kitchen and caught up over stories I have missed by living outside of the zip code. It always calls for a good laugh, or two.

The pilot ordered well - Steak and Eggs and he enjoyed every bite. I have to admit I was a bit jealous. I was still savoring the taste of the steak I had the night before and was a little disappointed I didn't pull off a repeat. 

Kate always the best eater in the group had an egg white omelet with mushrooms and jack cheese. Fruit on the side. She will longer than all of us I am sure. She makes sure she gets all her fruits and vegetables in. 
This naughty little plate is mine, Biscuits and gravy with too sneaky sausage patties hiding underneath. I thought the gravy was good, I could have actually had more on the plate to tell you the truth. The sausage was fine. Not anything compared to extra crispy bacon but I could not complain. 

I walked the flight crew back to their little plane and wished them a good day I was pretty proud of my little brother and couldn't help but take a short clip with my camera as they went on their way...

 I was a very proud sister. I hope everyone has a great week - Make the most of it!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Happy Hour Throwdown - Ventura, CA

Scott and I are very lucky to live in such a beautiful part of California. We live on top of a mountain in Upper Ojai so a trip to sunny Ventura is only about twenty minutes. On Monday after our weekend cutting we rolled in to town after unpacking our rigs. We decided to check out a few Happy Hours and compare them... Come with us!

First stop: Eric Ericsson's. They are located right on the Ventura Pier and allow for some pretty amazing views! One point for the ambiance.

They serve their Bloody Mary's with shrimp. I would say that is another point!

 We were pretty hungry so we ordered food right away. This ceviche was one of the worst I have ever had. It tasted very fishy, in only a way old fish does. I stayed away from this one. I did not get sick but I did not want to take my chances.

Oysters on the half shell were delicious! I love dolling them all up with cocktail, horseradish and lemon. It is almost as fun as eating them! 

We were enjoying our stay at Eric's but the service started to get lousy as more people entered the deck so we decided it was time for a new hangout.

 Next Stop: Lure Fish House
The view is not as amazing but the inside is decorated so chic you almost do not even need the ocean!

Usually with Happy Hour they do not bring bread - It by the way, was very good! I love that the butter came out soft. Don't you hate it when restaurants bring out those foil packets of butter that are frozen solid?

I ordered the Crab Cakes because I love them and I am still hooked on the corn salsa kick. Notice that this corn wasn't grilled either. However, it did not offend my taste buds like it did at McClintock's the other night. This must have been fresh corn because it was sweet and addicting. Great order.

Baja Fish Tacos! So good. Eats like a meal and keeps you craving each returning bite. Scott and I split these and I was tempted to order more. The food was amazing! And very affordable.

Hands down, Lure wins for its low prices, fresh ingredients and chic atmosphere. Go to Eric Ericsson's if you are a tourist and want to see the ocean. Oh, maybe for their Bloody Mary and shrimp. I know I will be back at Lure to explore more of the menu with those great deals!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

F. McClintocks - Paso Robles, CA

We were back in Paso Robles for another horse show. Or clients treated us to a meal at F. McClintock's so here we go...

We started off our meal sharing a nice frIed Basket of Turkey Nuts. What?! TURKEY NUTS?! Yes, really. It is proof anything deep fried tastes good.

While waiting for the rest of our meal Scott played with the decor and found himself in a scuffle with a raccoon. Just beyond the raccoon, where two cock fighting roosters. Interesting...

I started with some Clam Chowder because it was Friday and I was a little chilly. It was a canned version from Steamers Restaurant in Pismo. I recognized it straight away.

I ordered the Salmon because I read that there was a corn salsa served with it. I have to admit I was disappointed to see sliced cherry tomatoes, raw corn and canned black beans. The salmon was a large, meaty slice so I think I finished only half before waving the white flag.

Scott loves a Tri-Tip Salad so that is what he got. He ate through the lettuce green until he reached the bottom. I would have probably ate all the good stuff off the top, sopped up the dressing with the bread and would have called it a day!

Our dinner was filled with great conversation and even better friends so who could have asked for more?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Feast Bistro - Ojai, CA

The Scott Weis Cutting Horse crew has been really busting it out lately. We have a full slate of horses to work and it has taken quite the team effort. All work and no play is no fun so Kat and I went for a nice dinner in town. We shared a bottle of Ergo, a really great Spanish wine. I highly recommend it.

It should be no surprise I started with the Seafood Cowder. it was not that creamy just had a touch. The shrimps, scallops and clams were all fantastically cooked and made me crave an entire bowl!

Kat had a beautiful Bistro Salad with all the fixings. I love a salad with great toppings!

Kat continued on with the Ravioli and it paired perfectly with the wine. She enjoyed every bite! 

 Whenever I see Pozole on any menu I always order it. I love the hominy, pork and savory broth so much. I have to admit I was a little leery ordering the traditional Mexican dish in an American bistro but  they pulled it off. When any dish is made with love, you can taste it.

Molten Chocolate Cake finished of our meal with the red wine in our tummies. There is nothing better than a great meal, nice company and the satisfaction of a good days work under your belt.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hot Beef Dip & Scalloped Potatoes

Over the holidays I had my parents down for a few days of relaxation and bonding. I set them up with an easy cheese and cracker plate while I finished up the last minutes touches on dinner. 

Give me a Dr. Pepper and I can conquer the world!

I made Scalloped Potatoes earlier in the day and just finished off their baking time in the oven before my parents arrived. I pre-cooked the thinly sliced potatoes in milk so all the casserole needed to do was basically heat through. I had to sample them, that is why that little corner is missing!

Hot Beef Dip Sandwiches are so easy to make. All you need is a 3 pound chuck roast, beef stock and plenty of time. Low and slow until the beef basically falls apart. I served up the sandwiches on toasted, buttered rolls and with the au jus for dipping. I could have added a slice of cheese but I didn't, it would have been a lovely addition.

There is nothing more heart warming than a family meal. I miss having my Christmas tree up too. This photo makes me look forward to having in up again! I love the holidays. 

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hawaii Day #7

The last day we are in Hawaii and I finally start craving beef! I have been stuffed to the gills with seafood. I wave the white flag. This French Dip was ordered at the Pine Tree Cafe located just down from the airport. It was not good at all. Meat rubbery, cheese not melted through and onions were still crunchy. The aus had zero ounce of flavor but the french fries saved the day!

I started this book and finished it in for 4 hours straight while lounging by the pool during our last few hours at our rental home.

On our way to the airport to go home we stopped by the Kona Brewery. It looks lovely and stormy doesn't it?!

We started our with the Chipotle Chicken Dip and it was spicy! So, so spicy. Even a heavy spice fan like myself could not handle too much of the heat.

I ordered the Pork Tacos because I was starting to crave some Mexican type food. I usually like corn tortillas over flour but this did the trick to curb my craving.

Scott went for the Cubano Sandwich and a side salad.

So this is where our Hawaiian Adventure ended. We caught the red eye and landed at LAX at 4:30 the next morning. The flight was a short one as I fell asleep 30 minutes after take off and woke as the pilots were about to touch down. We all had fun but were happy to get back to our dogs, horses and work. 


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Hawaii Day #6

As our vacation came to a close Scott wanted to surf one more time at his favorite spot. 

I finished my book and it was spicy!

I wanted to take Scott to the Hawaiian Style Cafe so he could experience some real local food. Not like the junk we got from Bongo Ben's the day before.

He ordered the Korean Chicken and loved it. Heck, I loved it too!

I ordered the Roast Pork, again.

I killed it! I even ate one of Scott's chicken wings. 

Our last meal together as a vacation family was at Huggo's in Kona. it was a beautiful evening and we had a spectacular table.

One more Mai Tai... It was large and in charge!

Kumamoto Oysters for the table. They were light and refreshing!

Scott ordered a Caesar Salad and I munched on the parmesan crisp that came with it.

I am sure you know who ordered this and yes, it was delicious. I promise to be more food adventurous. I promise!

Fallon ordered this pasta and it tasted great! A macadamia nut pesto, mushrooms, goat cheese and grilled shrimp all helped make this dish a good one.

A very small serving of the Teriyaki they claim to known for. Sweet and tender it was done with in a few bites.

Andy went for the Cioppino and he used the bread to mop up the tomato fennel broth.

This is where things started to get bad. This creme brulee was so awful I don't even know what to say happened. Maybe they forgot an ingredient or added the wrong one because it tasted like a dirty mop. It officially was the worst creme brulee I have ever had. 

I set up a travel debit card with a set amount of funds to be used on dining, trinkets and whatever else I wanted while in Hawaii. Before going into dinner I knew I had well over enough money still on the card for at least another week in Hawaii. So when the bill came I treated our table and picked up the tab. The waiter took my card and returned saying it had been declined. I was very confused as to why that happened and gladly gave him my "regular" debit card know that one would be more than fine. He returned with my card and it went through with no problems. 

On the way home I had an uneasy feeling that something was not right with my other card so I logged on to my computer as soon as we got to the rental house. Sure enough, the waiter ran my cards a total of five times! Running my "Hawaii Travel" card to over $750 and then my "regular" debit card twice more. I immediately called the restaurant to tell them what happened and excuses were made that we were in a hurry, the waiter was new, this happens all the time... yadda yadda yadda. It was not the ending that I wanted to have after a beautiful vacation in Hawaii. 

In the end the situation was made right only after constant badgering on my end.