Happy New Year!

Happy 2015!  Wow, it has been WAY too long since I’ve blogged.  Since July I have made all kinds of delicious foods that I’ve failed to post, probably because I was too interested in consuming the foods soon after cooking or baking….so as many people after the holidays, I need to lose some LBs.  Now, just because I’m “watching it” does not mean I will sacrifice my taste buds, no no no.  Any fad “diet” (ie paleo, gluten free, juice cleanses, etc) are against my religion (my religion is love and happiness).  For me, it’s everything in moderation and I really need to emphasize on the moderation!  You will be seeing less baking posts because that has been my problem area.  Any who, here’s a recap of all my food happenings July – December!

So what have I been up to since July…..well, to start we had our annual McVicker camping trip in July.  This year we decided on Fort Bragg and it was so beautiful and amazing!  I highly recommend camping at Mackerrichter State Park!  An added plus, someone caught some fresh fish and decided to leave it hanging on our campsite…score!  We grilled those suckers up and dug in!  I also made my Campfire Nasi Goreng on this trip.


Son Devours Fish

Soon after the camping trip my husband and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary in Sonoma.  It was beautiful and peaceful.  On our way up we stopped in Petaluma for the Lagunitas Brew tour….wow was it worth it.  I mean how could it not be…its delicious Lagunitas beer and it was free!  We stayed at the Old Crocker Inn in Cloverdale, hit up some wineries off Dry Creek Road, and stopped at our favorite little restaurant in Geyeserville called Diavola Salumeria.

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Once we got back from Sonoma the kids started school so that consumed much of my time which is part of the reason I haven’t posted in a while.

In November we did manage to get in a pretty kick ass rijastaffel (Dutch Indonesian feast).  We BBQ’d satay, made nasi goreng, kroepoek, cucumber salad….it was amazing!  And of course the people and the company are the most important ingredient 🙂  All the love we put into the food (especially the satay pricking which I did not do but did delegate the task and micromanage lol), the conversations…I just love my family!

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In the beginning of December my Godmother, Mom, and God sisters had a holiday bake day and it was deliciously sinful.  Shots of fernet, too much sugar and carbs, old school Christmas records, it was so fantastic!  This was the first year we did this and I hope we can make it a tradition!

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For Christmas Matt and I hosted our 3rd annual Pho Christmas and I can’t even believe I took NO pictures of the amazingly delicious Pho!  Darn!  However I did snap a pic of my festive white holiday cake topped with candied cranberries and edged with fresh rosemary.


And finally we have New Years.  We had my cousin and her husband over.  I made classic cheese fondue from a cook book my husbands late grandmother gave me (she used to make fondue every Christmas Eve).  We also had plenty of fernet and champagne!

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Happy 2015!!!


Another Walk in my Garden…Spring is Springing!

My garden is coming along great!  The artichoke plants are huge, no artichokes yet but I am hopeful we’ll get some this year.  We are enjoying eating the broccoli and I am also allowing them to flower so that the seeds spread.  Same goes for the Bok Choy, it’s pretty much gone but the flowers are spreading seeds.  Here are a few pictures from today:

First artichoke plant


Broccoli flowering away!


These are peas, they are growing up a trellis.  The flowers are beautiful and the kids often go back there to pick some snacks 🙂


Calendula (and St. Francis in the background)


Tigerella Tomato plant just transplanted outside last week


Matt’s scorpion peppers (supposedly the hottest peppers on the planet) just transplanted last week


Ok this basket is from the dollar store!  Gardening does NOT have to be expensive, we start everything from seeds which makes it much cheaper (plus teaches you patience and the satisfaction of fully enjoying the garden you have nurtured from the start).  I did cheat with the basket though, flowers were purchased from Lowe’s for like $3 so this whole basket cost me about $5.


Just a little “after the rain” walk in the Garden

I love the smell outside after it rains.  And now that we’re in a full on drought here in CA, I am ever so much more appreciative of the rain.  Here are a few snapshots from today.

A ladybug on my arugula 🙂  We love ladybugs in our garden just as much as we love earth worms.  By the way, arugula grows really well here in Brentwood.


Italian Romanesca Broccoli.  Seems to be doing well!


Butter Lettuce.  Also thrives well here in Brentwood


Telephone Pole Peas.  These grow tall!  This spring we will be buying a tall trellis to let these go wild because as of now they are taking up a lot of space in our garden bed!