San Luis Obispo

We’re up here in beautiful San Luis Obispo enjoying the cool weather. It’s overcast and cloudy and the temperature a perfect 65 degrees. We got up early and went to the local farmers market.

I was impressed with the local grown organic veggies from the local university Cal Poly.

Look it at how beautiful they have their veggies displayed. And their prices are excellent !

Next we headed to this cute pumpkin patch where Leo had a blast picking out a pumpkin.

We loaded up our Trader Joes bag with two nice size pumpkins , so we can carve them when we get back home.

Were on our way down to downtown San Luis Obispo ,  then to the  Madonna Inn for a antique fair, more pictures tomorrow, have a fun day !

My kitchen essentials #1 equipment

I organize my kitchen in September for all the fall and winter holidays. I love  to cook in the fall so I make sure my kitchen is ready and in stock.  My kitchen essentials #1 is the first  in a series of  kitchen essentials posts I will be doing. Maybe I will post these on Friday’s  for weekend shopping .  I  have my Sunday farmer’s market day and I look forward to that day. Here is my  bare bones essentials that I use daily.  Good if your just starting a kitchen and great for making most of my recipes.

1. Large canister filled with large spoons , whisk, soup ladle, spatulas.

2. Cheese grater (any size is good)

3. Toothpicks

4. salt and pepper

5. coffee press (makes great coffee)

6. potato peeler.

7.egg slicer

8. cutting board (any size will do )

9. 10″ knife and 10″ fork

10. small strainer

11. cake spatula

12. hand mixer

13. measuring cups ( a must )

14.  hand-held juicer ( I use this all the time )

1. wine opener

2. cheese slicer

3. can opener

4. desert spatula

5. ice cream scooper

6. pizza cutter

7. food scissors

8. sharp steak knife

9. bread knife

10. 10″ knife

11. carving knife

1. cream napkins (I use these for bread baskets and guest napkins )

2. good pot holders (make sure they are thick )

3. canvas bag (My fresh and easy bag I carry everywhere)

4. a good apron (this one is from Target)

5. garden shovel

You can buy coffee beans and  use the grinder at your local Trader Joe’s and store the coffee in a stainless steel container. With a French coffee press  you will have great coffee to impress any out-of-town guest.

 Thanks abeachcottage for good life Wed !

Simple basil pesto

An easy way to use up all my fresh basil and fresh spinach is to make Simple basil pesto.

I add 1 whole bunch of fresh basil, 5 whole clove of fresh garlic, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 teaspoons of lemon juice and 1 cup of fresh spinach in a blender.

I add all these spices about a 1/2 teaspoon each and a 3 full teaspoons of sesame seeds. And blend on ice chop for about 5 mins

untill the mixture is smooth.

Cook a 12oz bag of linguine for 10 mins drain and spoon pesto on the cooked linguine and mix.

Make a simple salad with Romain leafs , green onions, salami and a chuck of cheddar cheese, add blue cheese dressing and pepper.

A little grated parmesan cheese and dinner is served, Bon Appetit !

Alfresco family dinner to go…

We decided to have our family dinner at Brandon’s house this year .  So I began  with a trip to the farmers market with my big straw bag for some fresh veggies and herbs.

I had to get some green onions, cilanthro

and most important basil and eggplant for my spaghetti sauce.

I love the smell of fresh basil. I use can whole tomatoes, sea salt, basil, garlic, eggplant, fresh ground round   for my sauce. I made the sauce early so the herbs blend throughly and brought everything over to Brandon’s house and set up on his back patio. The menu , spaghetti, bruschetta, fresh basil salad, wine, ice tea, double choc. cake with choc frosting with Trader Joe’s vanilla ice cream and choc cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

 We have a new addition to the family and his name is Sam, the kids had a great time playing with him but Leo was upset when Sam jump on him. Finally we told Leo to stop running and tell Sam stop and to  sit.

I like to have the  dress white as this being the end of summer dinner.   Tanya looked so fresh in her white shirt and jeans.

and so did Melissa (right) and her mom (left). Everyone looked like they were having a nice time !

…but  us girls were having too much fun posing for pictures !

 Happy 23rd  Birthday  Justin !

And Happy  Birthday Melissa !!

Hope the magic of this evening stays with you both the whole year till next year at our end of summer family dinner !

We almost  made our list for the “Ten things we wanted to do for the summer’ except for ” #4 Have a tennis tournament at night. (everyone plays), oh well we’ll try ten for ten next year, hope everyone had a wonderful summer. Now it’s time to start  planning for  our annual Mystery Dinner next month !

What exactly is the Mediterranean diet?

The Mediterranean diet is not only a weight loss and maintenance diet, it’s also one of the healthiest way of eating in the world. It’s also called “Mediterranean cuisine” as it is the traditional eating lifestyle of the Mediterranean people. By following the Mediterranean Diet you will be able to avoid the frequent hunger pangs and increase your metabolism.

What is the easiest way to start the Mediterranean diet?

Choosing natural, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seafood, olive oil, nuts, avocados, yogurt, and cheese to make up the bulk of your diet is the easiest way to make your diet more like the Mediterranean Diet.

  • Cook “Unique plates” (Plates that mix carbs and proteins together)
  • Make olive oil your primary source of dietary fat
  • Incorporate an abundance of food from plant sources, including fruits and vegetables, breads, grains, beans, nuts, and seeds
  • Reduce the consumption of red meat
  • Eat low to moderate amounts of fish and poultry weekly
  • Eat low to moderate amounts of cheese and yogurt daily
  • Drink a moderate amount of wine (up to one to two glasses per day for men and up to one glass per day for women).
  • It’s easy to follow the Mediterranean Diet because…It’s convenient, tasty and quick!

I have had some emails asking how I stay fit . (#8  on the ten things we want to do for the summer ).    I have always been on the Mediterranean diet, but  I stop eating fast foods and I cook almost all our meals now. Pasta is what I have around the house all week-long. I make a cold pasta salad with veggies, apples and green onions and olive oil and put it in a container and keep it in the refrigerator.   I eat fish and chicken at least 2 times a week and I love to eat breads and grains. I carry a water bottle with me everywhere. I exercise at least 3 to 5 times a week. I feel great !

My signature  dinner  has always been Spaghetti . I am a pretty good cook (my mom is a fantastic cook ) and I make a mean spaghetti  dinner , and the kids know what they are going to eat when they come over.  Spaghetti,  fresh basil salad and  french bread  and olive oil.  Now I have a sweet tooth so a double chocolate cake is always on the menu .

My breakfast is usually 2 soft-boiled farm fresh eggs, sprouted toast, 1/2 grapefruit, green tea with trivia or Greek yogurt topped with berries

My lunch is sometimes a sprouted bread cucumber sandwich or pasta with chicken and always  fresh fruit.

My dinner is basil tomato salad with french bread and olive oil and sometimes I add grilled fish and a glass of red wine.


I love to dine alfresco as you know just like the Mediterranean people, the food just taste better outdoors…. Italy will always remain a part of me, and I will take it with me always… la Dolce Vita !

Information from the mediterranean book. and this website will also send you a free Mediterranean diet plan.

The Gilmore Farmers Market in L.A.

      A weekend with the girls in West Hollywood,  Kim , Danielle and I hopped into my cousins  Vintage Classic V.W. bug and headed to the Gilmore’s Farmers Market in L.A.   Established in 1934, when a dozen local farmers parked their trucks on an open field, once a dairy farm, to sell fresh produce to local residents, the Market remains true to its roots today.

 

It’s still the best grocery store in L. A. offering a remarkable selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, meats , poultry and fish, baked goods, ice cream and nuts. I am wearing 1960’s vintage baby blue earrings and a 1980’s orange dress.

 At patio tables and sit-down restaurants people gather daily to visit and eat some cuisine from around the world, French crepes, Mexican,  and Brazilian fare to name a few.

Vintage L.A. at it’s best, history lives here, when Arthur Fremont Gilmore came west from Illinois in 1870, he and his partner purchased two sizable farms. When the partners decided to part they drew straws and Arthur Gilmore became the sole owner of the 256 acre dairy farm at the corner of third and Fairfax in L.A.

I love this old Ford truck on display here, I can imagine the farmers loading up this truck with all their fresh fruits and vegetables and selling them right off this truck.

A great weekend with the girls and a great day of shopping at the stores and the  Gilmore’s Farmers Market, for more information, www.farmersmarketla.com.

 Hope everyone has a great week !

Postcards from Paris

 

 

If there is a city that is profoundly feminine , it is Paris, I said it before and I will say it again.  Everything about the city is for  women, to walk ,  savor,  enjoy all the wonderful things just for us…..the flowers wrap in colored  papers tied with simple strings, where you bring your own straw bag to fill at the colorful street markets. The shop windows with their tumbling wares, their message that women’s concerns with finery and food are important. Or the language, which lends itself to whispers. Ahhh  the women themselves, who stride by with scarves just so, and handbags tucked elegantly under their arms. The postcards from Paris, so romantic and written in such a feminine way.

 

 

Postcards from Paris , just for you don’t forget my give away at the end of June.

 

 

 

Farmer’s Markets Old Town Temecula

One of my favorite farmer’s market is on Saturday in old town Temecula and one of my favorite organic stands Trethowan Organic .

I love the way they display their foods, and I also love the way  they put herbs together.

 

I bought this beautiful organic salad, it has been said to it looks like a Monet. 

Sweet pea’s…..what a great price !!

Organic Bay leaves .

What I like about this stand is you can taste the organic honey, and organic fruits.

Now there are a lot of wonderful organic stands here at this farmer’s market , and a lot of beautiful flower stands , and some great buys , I highly recommend coming here on Saturdays. 

Hope everyone has a fresh and fun weeken !!

A Spring Green Meal

I love cooking simple and  fresh  meals. I don’t have a lot of time to cook,  but I want a fresh meal for Leo and Darrill.  Here is one of my favoite spring green meals.

 

I start with fresh organic spinach, fresh basil,  artichokes , cucumbers and limes, which I buy at my local farmers market.

Then I put a chicken half in a piece of foil and I add fresh basil and spinach, and garnish with slices of limes , garlic salt and pepper. Then I bake  it in the oven at 400 for 35 min

 

Then I put the artichokes in salted boiling water for 30 min. 

I buy my spices from Spice Merchants in Temecula Ca. I love their picnic blend, I add it to sour cream for a great dip for the artichokes.

Next I make  my green salad with spinach, cucumbers, fresh basil and a few red grapes or black olives.

I add fresh tortellini from my market which I cooked for ten min.  and top off the  salad  with olive oil and parmesan cheese .

 

 This meal goes perfect with fresh brewed green tea garnish with a  slice of lime.

The chicken is done and smells wonderful, this meal is low-fat and healthy too ! Hope you enjoy .