Culinary Bucket List 2014 ~ July

This months culinary dish was difficult..Now that I think of it, the entire month of July has proven to be difficult in both the kitchen arena as well as the blogging arena.

I think I’m going to blame it on the intense HEAT of the summer time in Arizona. I really don’t want to get into to much of a whiny session on the sucky hot ass summers in that we, who CHOOSE, to dwell…

But seriously…it’s flippin hot here and honestly the extreme weather makes it most difficult to sleep, walk from the car to the office, from the car to the grocery store..yada yada yada. To top it off..it seems that once the humidity rolls in (around July) the air conditioning does not work as well so even the stores are HOT.

So yea..that’s my “excuse” and I’m sticking to it…

Cruising around the internets for a good dish I have never tried before I found a little number I thought would be a good, fresh treat for summertime dinner.

I have never been a huge fan of mixing sweet with salty but I admit this Hawaiian BBQ Beef Taquito dish intrigued my taste buds.. Why not give it a shot?

My longtime friends were my guinea pigs for this months dish..The mister and I were invited over for the evening but he had a bachelor party to go to so it was just me flying solo.  I’m so glad they were so open minded and willing to let me try this out on them with no restrictions! I have such great friends! 🙂

Ingredients:  as found on  website:

 

  • Simple Pineapple Salsa
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple, chopped
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped, divided
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon adobo sauce
  • (from can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce)
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • Taquito Filling
  • 1 ½ pounds flank steak, diced*
  • remaining red onion from salsa
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle pepper, minced
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

 

Make the salsa first..Dice all the ingredients then place in the fridge to cool…maybe the freezer..ya know..if you live in ARIZONA..

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Bonus about cooking for friends?? You can employ them as sous chefs! 🙂

Danny volunteered to dice the onion AND the flank steak! THANKS DANNY!

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Olive oil splashed and heated in the frying pan..I added the meat, the onion and the garlic and cooked until ALMOST done. As soon as that was done, I threw in the all of the spices along with the pineapple and simmered for a couple more minutes.

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So pretty and by the way…this blog is taking so much less more time than the actual production! We of course took breaks for chatting and wine drinking (I have..as you know..a very bad time concentrating so this will take the “normal” person about thirty minutes to do…me? It took about an hour)

No..big..deal..I’m used to it 🙂

I’m also not good at rolling anything tortilla related. Enter sous chef Amy Jo 🙂

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Notice the rolls on the left? She started rolling them as burritos 🙂 hahah Is OK, we caught it in time and the remaining seven were rolled as taquitos..all is right with the world!

These things only need to bake at 350 for about ten minutes..then turn them over and broil for a few minutes ( I forgot this part..it’s necessary so be sure to do it)!

Add the cheese, top with the pineapple salsa and broil until cheese is melted.

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As I mentioned, I’m not normally a fan of sweet and salty but THIS…is the exception. Thank you to my friends for letting me try this out on you AND for being such great sous chefs!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look out weekend..Here I come!

Last weekend, I stuffed my overnight bag into the trunk of my car, strapped myself in and headed to work a half day. Around lunch time I scooted out of there as fast as I could and headed down the highway…

West Coast Snyder family here I come! I was off for my first visit to our long time friends in Southern California. I cannot believe I have let so much time go between visits…no worries, I will be back on schedule ASAP!

The ride there …always sucks. It’s brown, flat and HOT. I do have Satellite radio to help ease the pain but honestly…I almost turned around because I didn’t want to be in the car anymore. I pushed through and rolled into town around dinner time.

I made a bad decision and stopped into the Target in El Cajon to pickup a little goodie gift bag for the preschooler in the family. I’m pretty sure that location is either closing down or their purchaser should be fired because normally…Target has a pretty decent selection for little ones..Not this one. Don’t go… I piddled around there for a good thirty minutes before I finally came to the conclusion..Nothing new is going to magically appear, jump in my basket and scream, “pick me, pick me”!

I settled for a little multipurpose Hello Kitty bag, stuffed it with sidewalk chalk and some bubbles. Not too long after I was parked in the front and being greeted by a super sweet smile from a super sweet little preschooler. 🙂 This little one has a really excellent memory or her mama does an amazing job at keeping close friends and family fresh in K’s mind because she seemed to remember me and even happy to see me. Either way, it was so good to see her little face in person again!

Hugs and hellos were had and I was settled in. And I got to meet the babay!!! 😀

For such a struggle in utero, trying get out too early and all, and a difficult few days of life in NICU, it made my heart happy to see such peace on her tiny tiny face. In my mind she was much bigger..while I was holding her I was mentally kicking myself for not grabbing the newborn cutey pattootey outfit I was going to get for her. Anyhooo…

Into the evening we, adults, enjoyed patio time, conversation and vino.

Cut to MORNING! 🙂

Thump, thump, thump, thump…no gentle pitter patter of little feet here..Little K makes her presence well known with the thump of her little feet bright and early on a Saturday morning. Thankfully..we all fell asleep at a decent hour so I was more than happy to be awoken in such a manner….Again..with the super sweet smile but this time with super sweet major bead head! 😀

Snuggles in the morning before she headed out to Sea World with Grandma and Grandpa while Mommy, Daddy, Uncle B and I took a little day trip to Ramona..La region vinicola del sur California.

First winery stop was to the summer release celebration at Milagro Farm

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My favorites here were the 2013 Pinot Gris and the 2012 Barbera. I had to bring the Gris home with me though because I knew I was saving my wine allowance for our last stop.

Second stop was the wide open space of Edwards Vineyard & Cellars

A comfortable patio for tasting and enjoying company, perfect weather and the gorgeous view.

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* Disclaimer..I did not steal this grape..it was placed in my hand from an unnamed source * 😀

Colorful, aromatic soaps are made and sold here.

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Big lazy German Shepard’s lounge here.

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Some outdoor decor is staged appropriately here.

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I forgot to mention…Baby A (and when I say baby..I mean like she was 9 days old..baby) all the while this little miss was the PERFECT A*N*G*E*L

She snoozed quietly, awoke quietly and just enjoyed being in this world, our environment, with her mommy and her daddy..pure sweetness 🙂

I’m a little upset with myself for not getting more pictures of her for myself but we did have Uncle B there taking photos so I thought it would be a bit much to be all up in her business right behind the other paparazzi 🙂 I’ll be quicker with the camera on my next visit!

OH! I almost forgot…my favorite taste here was the 2009 Syrah. Again, I was still saving my wine allowance for our last stop. *sigh* Next time..next time..

Not too far away was our final stop, the one I had been waiting for, the ever quaint, ever friendly, ever delicious…Chuparosa Vineyards.

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Darn it..I just realized (while uploading the above photos) I didn’t even get pictures of the new indoor tasting area. They really did a great job on this structure..comfortable seating, air conditioning (by this time it was starting to get a teeny bit warm), views of the vineyard and tables for our cheese, bread and cracker spread. Oh mylanta we (and by we..I mean I) ate entirely too much bread and cheese. It was all so yummy..too much to pass up.

My favorites this go round were the 2009 Sangiovese and the 2009 Zinfandel. I spent the remainder of my wine allowance and made them my own. 😀

We said our goodbyes, thanked the people of Chupa, piled into the car to headed back to the house.

I wish I could remember what we had for dinner but by the time we got home, I had had a long day of wine tasting :/ I do know there was burrata involved and it was delicious. I’m pretty sure all I did the rest of the night is eat and drink. Between Uncle B and the Mr. of the house…my glass was ALWAYS full of some sort of tasty wine.

There is a vision in my head of the neighbors coming over and we played Cards Against Humanity. Which by the way…I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (maybe not in any blogs but I’ve said it..trust me) everyone must own a box of Cards Against Humanity ..seriously one of the best games I’ve played in years. Totally foul and inappropriate fun for friends for hours.

The night ended, I don’t remember how but I woke up Sunday morning in a terrible terrible way. Sadly I rolled around the house for a few hours, eventually had to pack up and head out. I was so bad off I didn’t even get to have a snuggle moment with the teeny baby A 😦 I missed out..Again I have to say..next time.

It was hard to walk out the door but I know I’ll be back soon (because I will make time to do so)!

The ride to the beach was painless, I found a good spot, walked along the beach for about twenty minutes before I found my perfect chill station. Threw the towel down, laid back, closed my eyes and just listened to the sounds of the waves, the children playing and the seagulls squawking..squawking is probably not the best word to use.. it sounds like a bad noise but it wasn’t. It was relaxing. I found myself taking in super deep breathes, the smell of the salty air mades my brain happy.

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I wasn’t able to stay too long but the sun helps all and my horrible hangover state was just about non existent by the time I left!

Thank you friends, Thank you San Diego! 😉 I will be back!


99 Days of Freedom..The Facebook Challenge

Crackbook, Wastebook. Both names and more are accurate descriptions of the ever popular social media website that is…Facebook.

The idea is great, this one website brings together long lost friends, keeps us current with our circle of friends and introduces us to new friends in different circles. All fun and games until the drama takes hold. Posts from “friends” become political, whiny or simply fake. Meanwhile, the down to earth people who tell it like it is..start becoming jaded and irritated at their “friends”. The downward spiral begins. 

The other day I found myself scrolling through random posts (in between Candy Crush lives) and came across “99 Days of Freedom”.

Intrigued, I read a bit of the website and the premise behind the 99 Days. Apparently, there was some Facebook drama about moods or whatever..I didn’t read too much into it..all I saw..was a scape goat.. A chance to log off Facebook for a number of months just because.

I did it.

For me, it had nothing to do with the Facebook mood thing. The moment I logged out I didnt know why I wanted out all I know was that apparently I had been looking for an excuse and I found it.

I think it’s been six days and I have not felt better… Facebook, had been bringing me down. I now feel so grateful for the true immediate friends and family I do have.

Every few days or so  I receive an email from Facebook tantalizing me..trying to get m to log back in because I have missed this many notifications, this many posts on my wall, so many pokes, a few messages, yada yada yada.

I let out a teeny giggle  and DELETE.

Here’s the website…give it a look and maybe make a break for it!

http://99daysoffreedom.com/