Monday, December 22, 2008
This about says it all... We were one of the MANY that had plans cancelled, stood in the longest line I've ever seen (probably a mile long at least) and spent hours and hours on my cell phone trying to get things rebooked. We have now made it to Los Angeles, but EVERY flight to Hawaii is booked. Just getting to LA on our rebooked flight due to Saturday's cancellation was interesting. Our flight was supposed to leave at 9am, and 7 hours later finally did take off. We were very lucky - as most all the flights Sunday were cancelled. We were the last plane they de-iced, as they were OUT OF DE-ICER! Can you imagine?
The first available flight to Hawaii is on Xmas Eve, so we are still going. Instead of 2 islands, we will do one; instead of 8 nights, we will do 5. We will still see the sunshine, and see some of Hawaii. I've done a lot of traveling, and have never experienced anything like this. Wow!
Here is an article about the fun conditions of good old SEA TAC
Karen Ducey / P-I
By MOISES MENDOZA
Hundreds of tired travelers lined up at ticket gates Sunday at Sea-Tac Airport hoping to find flights and leave the airport, where many had been stranded for more than a day.
Crosswinds at the airport led to the cancellation or delay of dozens of flights Saturday night and Sunday morning, leaving thousands of people with nowhere to go.
The cancellations hit Alaska Airlines particularly hard, and may continue into Monday. Alaska and Horizon Air canceled all flights at Seattle-Tacoma International and Portland International airports as of 2:45 p.m., in part because of a lack of de-icing fluid. Passengers with local residences were told to go home for the evening, and others were told to make their own hotel arrangements.
A port spokesman said the airlines are responsible for keeping their own planes de-iced, which is why some planes were still making it out of the airport on Sunday. Two runways remained open.
"It's kind of a perfect storm," port spokesman Perry Cooper said. "I've had people here for 20 years and they have never seen anything like this."
While a lack of de-icing fluid made the situation worse, Horizon spokeswoman Jen Boyer said the stretch of bad weather had exhausted the airlines' crews and equipment during the holiday rush.
"We've just been playing catch-up with the weather. ... We're running out of fresh crews and running into maintenance deadlines for the aircraft," Boyer said. "We still have three days to get everyone home for Christmas, and we're trying to get everyone there."
Passengers booked on a canceled flight may rebook on the next available flight without penalty or apply for a full refund of the unused portion of their ticket.
Akiko Onuma, a 21-year-old Scripps College student from California, flew into Sea-Tac on Saturday night from Ontario, Calif. She had a 9 p.m. Saturday connection to Lewiston, Idaho, on Horizon that was canceled.
"There were hordes of people -- literally hundreds of people -- trying to figure out what to do," Onuma said.
By the time Onuma got her bag at midnight Saturday, all the hotels were booked, she said, so she spent the night at the airport.
Onuma is now hoping to get out Monday morning on a flight to Walla Walla.
Terry Haybert of Tacoma was at the airport with his wife and 5-year-old daughter. He had a 1 p.m. flight to Portland on Sunday, which was canceled.
"This was the biggest mistake ever. We should've just driven," Haybert said of his holiday plans.
Joseph Gudall from Blairstown, N.J., flew from Newark to Seattle, hoping to get to Fairbanks, Alaska, on a 9 p.m. Saturday flight. The departure time kept getting pushed back until the flight was canceled at 1 a.m. Sunday, he said.
"It was a sheer disaster," Gudall said. "I never thought this could happen."
Gudall was booked on a 9 p.m. Sunday flight to Fairbanks. He was heading to Alaska to visit his daughter.
Alaska Airlines spokesman Paul McElroy said cancellations may continue into Monday if the weather doesn't improve.
"Since we're dealing with Mother Nature, it's really uncertain," he said. "We're hopeful that we can resume our schedule Monday, but we'll have to see."
On Sunday afternoon, airport staff handed out blankets and pillows to travelers, who were sprawled out over any available space.
Passengers should contact their carriers for flight status before heading to the airport, spokeswoman Terri-Ann Betancourt said.
Passengers whose flights are scheduled to leave Monday should allow extra time to get to the airport and they should expect long lines once they arrive.
People whose flights are canceled should rebook from home, Betancourt said.
Cooper said heavy winds had died down by early Sunday. But poor weather at airports in the Northwest and around the country remained a problem, he said.
"It's that systemwide domino effect," he said.
While airport restaurants and stores did not receive their deliveries Saturday, trucks were able to drop off goods on Sunday morning, Betancourt said.
"We should be OK with concessions," she said
Monday, December 15, 2008
Well, this is the week to get ready for our trip. I really only have 2 nights to get ready - Thursday and Friday. The rest of the nights I have late meetings this week (wouldn't you know). Wish me luck. It will come together, it always does!
So, off to the land of warmth, sunshine, and tropical showers.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Well, we had a great weekend in the windy city... The weekend served 2 purposes; first was for me to see the cardiologist for a check up (clean bill of health); and the second was to enjoy Larry's birthday.
We got there on Saturday afternoon to light snow and high 20's. Weather was comfortable, and we headed out to walk Michigan Avenue - the Magnificent Mile. Oh my - how extremely busy was that street and every store on it. Wow! I compare the crowds to that at Disneyland in December after a parade. Can you picture it?
Saturday night we went to a jazz club - very fun experience. We heard a sax player named Frank Catalano. He was awesome! Yes, we bought a CD.
Sunday was shopping day. The weather had cooled... it was 6-8 degrees and windy. Brrr! The crowds of Saturday were gone, and it actually was the perfect day to shop. The cold weather kept most people indoors. However, if you were dressed for the weather, you were fine. We did our share of ducking in and out of stores and were fine.
Sunday night we went to one of our favorite hang outs - Banderas. Such yummy food - and they have an appetizer called Queso Appetizer that is to die for.
Monday was the appointment, then it was a lingering lunch at the Melting Pot; a little more shopping and then off to the airport. A whirlwind trip in a whirlwind of a city!
So, one quick trip and lots of fun!
Friday, November 28, 2008
It was wonderful. I think we have a winner!! I was going to take a picture, but wouldn't you know - my camera batteries were both dead... story of my life :)
Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don't know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you're tired and weary,
because it means you've made a difference.
It's easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Ours is a quiet holiday. Grant is here for a "short" visit (leaves Saturday afternoon). Larry is working today...
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Well, our plans are coming along... We have our 2 full days on Oahu figured out. We arrive on Sunday afternoon, so will have Monday and Tuesday as our full days to explore. On Monday, we will spend the day at Pearl Harbor. Everyone says this is a must do experience, and can take much of the day. Our second day, Tuesday, we are taking "The Surf Bus" to the north shore of the island where the big waves are, and the cute little surfer towns. We will have a few hours on a beach to kayak and play. So, we will experience the big city in Waikiki, and the quaint villages of the north shore.
On Wednesday, we fly to Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. We will have a rental car while on Hawaii. Since we are going to our condo, we need to stop at the market and pick up provisions for our 5 days. I've already ordered our prime rib for Christmas dinner! Christmas Eve we are eating out (and already have our reservations).
So, plans are falling into place, and in less than one month we will once again feel the warmth of the tropics!
Last year I ran across this wonderful recipe for make ahead turkey gravy. It is a bit of work, but very tasty and I LOVE having gravy done ahead of time! I have never been a gravy maker - never seems to turn out, so usually resort to having someone else do it, or a jar. This gravy is wonderful and now I know I can make gravy! I hope this can help you too...
Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy
Makes 8 cups
This can be made ahead of time. You can even freeze it in an airtight container - it will keep for 3 months!
6 turkey wings
2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
1 cup water
2 quarts chicken broth, divided
3/4 cup chopped carrot
1/2 tsp dried thyme
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange a single layer of the turkey wings in a large roasting pan. Scatter onioins over the top of the wings. Roast in preheated oven for 1.24 hours, or until wings are browned.
2. Place browned wings and onions in a 5 quart stockpot. Add water to roasting pan and stir, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour the water from the pan into the stockpot. Stir in 6 cups broth, carrot, and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and summer uncovered for 1.5 hours.
3. Remove wings from the pot and place on a cutting board. When the wings are cool, pull of the skin and meat. Discard the skin and save the meat for another use. Strain contents of stockpot through a large strainer into a 3 quart saucepan. Press on the vegetables to extract any remaining liquid. Discard the veggies and skim off the fat. Bring the contents of the pot to a gentle boil.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk flour into the remaining 2 cups chicken broth until smooth. Gradually whisk the flour mixture into the simmering turkey broth; simmer 3-4 minutes or until the gravy has thickened. Stir in the butter and pepper. Serve immediately, or pour into containers and refrigerate or freeze.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees for 10 minutes.
Step 2: Season the roast with a mixture of seasoning salt, garlic salt; Emeril's Essence; and onion powder; (equal parts). Press the spices into the roast.
Step 3: Put roast on a rack in a roasting pan. Put it in the oven.
Step 4: Set timer for COOKING TIME... To figure your cooking time, it is time to multiply the weight of the roast by one of these numbers (dependent on the amount of done-ness you want). 5 (very rare); 6 (rare); 7.5 (medium rare); 8 (medium). For example, your roast is 5.0 lbs, and you want it rare. You would multiply 5.0 (weight) x 6 (rare) = 30 minutes cooking time.
Step 5: Once your "cooking time" is over, turn OFF the oven - DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR!!!!! Set your timer for TWO HOURS.
Step 6: When the two hours is up, and timer has gone off, turn on your oven at 375 degrees for 15 more minutes. STILL, DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR.
Step 7: When the timer goes off, this time it means your prime rib is done! You may open the oven door, take the roast out and wrap in foil to keep it warm.
Step 8: Do all your last minute preparations, call everyone to dinner - you are ready to eat!
My roast is almost done resting (12 more minutes), close to turn on the oven time (Step 6). Salad is ready; asparagus is ready to steam and horseradish is made! I'll let you know how it turns out. This has been incredibly easy, so I hope it is good. If so, it will be a great holiday dinner away from home kind of meal! I made enough to have leftovers - prime rib tostadas!
The results: The prime rib turned out great. I choose rare for cooking time, and next time I will choose medium rare (it was quite rare). Delicious, easy and a great way to cook a prime rib.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
5 cups broccoli florettes
4 oz. grated swiss cheese
About 6 Tbsp of mayo (you can use a mix of light + regular; all I had was regular)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp. dijon mustard
Ground black pepper to taste (I used quite a bit)
3 Tbsp chopped green onions (very finely chopped)
Parmesan-reggiano cheese (to top the casserole - I probably used 4-5 Tbsp)
Preheat your oven to 375. Trim your broccoli into florettes (bite size pieces). I did not use much stem at all, mostly all florettes. Boil large pot of water. When water is boiling, put in your broccoli and cook 1-2 minutes, until they turn BRIGHT GREEN. Drain in a colander well.
Spray a 9x13 pan with olive oil Pam. Put the broccoli into the bottom of your casserole, spreading into a single layer.
Stir together mayo, lemon juice, Dijon, pepper, green onion, swiss cheese. I used a spatula to smear this mixture of the broccoli. It won't cover it completely, just cover as much as you can spreading it out evenly. Last step is to sprinkle the top with parmesan - reggiano.
Bake 20-25 minutes, uncovered. You want the cheese to be melted slightly and nicely browned.
Very yummy! This will be our Thanksgiving veggie. For pictures and more suggestions about healthy Thanksgiving, visit Kalyn's website. BROCCOLI GRATIN WITH SWISS & PARMESAN
Sunday, November 9, 2008
I also made a wonderful veggie casserole: Broccoli AuGratin. This recipe came from Kalyn's Kitchen. You blanch broccoli; spread it out in a 9x13 casserole dish. Mix 6 Tbsp of mayo (Kalyn recommended to use part low fat; and part regular... I had no low fat, so used all regular mayo); ground pepper; sliced green onions (very thin) and grated swiss cheese (I used about 4 oz). Using a spatula, you smear the creamy mixture on top of the broccoli. On top of the broccoli mixture, you top with shredded parmesan cheese and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Kalyn gives lots of tips, so here is her link:
Broccoli Au Gratin ala Kalyn
The turkey is done, and in the process of being carved right now. VERY YUMMY! I think we found a winning combination. Even the white meat is juicy and tender, and the cajun flavor is just the right spice. Now if we can only recreate it on Thanksgiving Day!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Well, we finally figured out our plans for Christmas... Hawaii! We will be lucky enough to see 2 islands, Oahu and Hawaii. We lucked out on some air fare (big sale), and have condos for the three of us at the Hilton Grand Vacation Club. Should be very fun!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
A VEGGIE VENTURE
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Well, I knew it would come eventually, but was surprised it came so soon... Yes, yesterday we had our first snow of the season. Some hail started mid-day, the kids thought it was snow. During our staff development time, hail again began - but before long, the bouncy hail turned to soft light snowflakes. It was short lived, and was gone quite quickly. By the end of our Fall Festival, about 9pm, it was snow and it was sticking. I got half way home, it turned to heavy snow, several inches already on the ground, slowing traffic down to about 25mph! It is beautiful though, I just want it to melt fast as I'm not wanting to shovel snow... Isn't this a pretty picture? This is the gorgeous view today after our night of snow...
Saturday, October 18, 2008
"Not" - Sagna
based on Rachael Ray's recipe
I've tried to make it South Beach friendly
1 # pasta (I use Dreamfields penne - or whole wheat short pasta)
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 # lean ground beef
6 cloves garlic (smooshed)
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. allspice
2 tsp. Worscesteshire
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup beef stock
28 oz can Organic Crushed Tomatoes
12 oz low fat ricotta
1 cup fresh basil (about 20 leaves) - cut up into small pieces
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Shredded Parmesan to top
Boil water for pasta, add sea salt, add pasta and cook. You will want to save a ladle full of the pasta water for the sauce!
Heat your evoo in a large nonstick skillet. Add your meat and break it up as you brown. Add garlic, onions and red pepper flakes. Add salt, pepper, allspice & Worcestershire. You will want to cook about 5 minutes. Then, add your wine - cook a minute or two, then add your beef stock. Add the tomatoes last, bring to a the boiling point, then reduce heat to medium and simmer about 5 minutes.
Get your pasta bowl ready. Put ricotta in the bottom of the bowl. Add a ladleful of your boiling starchy water from the pasta pot. Stir to combine your ricotta and water. Add your 1/2 cup of parmigiano-reggiano cheese and mix.
Drain pasta. Toss hot pasta with the cheeses. Add half of the meat sauce to the pasta/cheese mixture. Toss. Add the torn basil. Toss. Salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, put pasta on plate, top with a spoonful of meat sauce, and top with parmesan cheese. Yum!
Friday, October 17, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
After playing in the land of the rich and famous, Mustique, it will be time to set sail for a favorite area - the Tobago Cays. One of the cays, Petit Tabac, is also called Jack Sparrow's Island. Remember the scene where Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth Swann were marooned on a tiny deserted island? They spent their time sitting on a perfect beach drinking rum! Sounds like the perfect Caribbean vacation, doesn't it? That is where we will be in eight months! Time flies, it will be here before we know it!
The whole island group is now a protected marine national park. The last time I was there it was not protected. I understand the snorkeling in the area is now much improved. I'm hoping to see lots of turtles here. Also, with this being a deserted area, there will be no light pollution, meaning we might have a great night of stargazing!
Saturday, October 11, 2008
SEARED SCALLOPS WITH WINE-BRAISED LEEKS
(adapted from stephencooks.com - trying to make it a bit more South Beach friendly)
1 lb. scallops (about 12)
1 large leek (white and pale green parts only)
1 cup dry white wine
1 chicken boullion cube
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup fat free cream
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp fresh tarragon, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
whole wheat pastry flour for dredging
salt, hot sauce, lemon juice (all to taste)
Check out the website listed above for the directions, and a picture of this creamy dish. I am substituting olive oil for butter; whole wheat flour for flour; fat free cream for whole cream and added a little more garlic - as we LOVE garlic! I have not made this yet - but it sounds wonderful and will be on our menu this week! I will let you know how it is.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2/3 cup water
1 cup Splenda/Sugar blend
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp vanilla
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Nuts and mini chocolate chips, optional
Preheat oven to 350. Grease (I used Pam) and flour 3 loaf pans. Using the mixer, mix together pumpkin puree, oil, eggs, vanilla, water and sugars until well blended. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, pumpkin pie spice. Spoon the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl/pumpkin mixture until blended. Stir in the nuts and chocolate chips (or whatever else you decide to add) if you are adding them at the very end. Pour into the prepared pans.
Bake about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. I had to bake them about 7 more minutes for the loaves to be done.
Delicious! Makes wonderful gifts as well... You can even poke holes in the top of the loaves, melt butter, mix with sugar & cinnamon and pour over the top. Very tasty - but of course doing this would take the semi-healthy label away completely...
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Well, hubby bought a beautiful prime rib at the store yesterday. We are going to smoke it in our little smoker for dinner tonight. We will have enough leftover to make our tostadas for dinner later in the week, and me to have some yummy lunches at school!
Here is our recipe:
1 bottle of kitchen bouquet
2 cups of kosher salt
2 Tbsp vinegar
Lots of granulated garlic
Mix together the above ingredients, and coat the outside of the roast. We are going to get the smoker to 225, and smoke the meat (apple, cherry or oak is best) until the temperature comes to 128 (rare in the center). We bought a thermometer that is great - a probe with a wire running to a main unit, which beeps at us from a remote unit we keep by us in the house! We can "watch" the roast from the comfort of inside the house... We will take it off at that point, wrap the roast in foil, then wrap in a large towel and put in a small ice chest for about 30 minutes. The whole process should take about 2.5 hours from start to being ready to eat.
It will then be time to knock off the salt crust, slice and eat! Yum...
We are having my favorite side dish - twice baked cauliflower, a little horseradish and a salad. Can't wait for my leftover lunches this week!
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Once we leave the peaceful island of Bequia, we will most likely sail to the island of Mustique (home of the rich and famous). Mustique is a 1400 acre private island owned by shareholders of the Mustique Company. The island has 100 private residences, and 72 villas which are available for rental. We have been there before, but never have taken an island tour. This trip, we will absolutely tour the island! We can do a little shopping, walk up the hill to the Firefly for drinks and perhaps lunch, have a swim at Macaroni Beach, and finish our island exploration with happy hour at Basil's Bar. We will then head back out to our catamaran for a wonderful dinner...
How many days?
Makes 2-3 servings
2 links Hot Italian Sausage (can use chicken or turkey)
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 box Dreamfields Spaghetti
3 oz arugula
1/2 cup pasta cooking water
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Parmesan Cheese (for tossing with the pasta and to top at table)
In nonstick frying pan, heat olive oil, and cook the sausage (squeeze out of casing). Brown well, breaking into pieces. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook spaghetti 8-9 minutes, or until barely done (al dente).
Pur arugula into large bowl. When sausage is browned, drain well. Pour sausage over arugula. Put pan back on stove, turn heat to low, add garlic and saute about 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup pasta cooking water and lemon juice. Heat two minutes.
When spaghetti seems done, scoop out 1/4 cup of pasta water (in case you need it. Drain pasta, put in bowl with arugula and sausage. Let sit 2 minute to wilt arugula. Then, add water/lemon juice/garlic mixture from pan. Throw in some parmesan cheese and toss.
Serve hot, with parmesan sprinkled on top if desired.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Well, June just won't get here fast enough. I wrote on September 20th about our plans to fly into Grenada, fly to St Vincent, and then ferry over to Bequia. I guess we could call that part one of our adventure in paradise, as it is an adventure - much like the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles with Steve Martin (a classic).
Once we are in Bequia, we will probably spend the night at the same small, cute inn - The Sugarapple Inn, that we did last year. It is still early though, so we haven't booked. After a day and a half exploring this cute small island, it will be time to board our sailboat for the week and begin sailing the Grenadines!
This will be our first time sailing on a catamaran, and I think it will make the perfect home for our little motley group. So far, we have a couple of friends and my son coming along. It will be so much fun!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
I absolutely love this pizza! Easy, tasty and good for you too. This recipe comes from Kalyn's Kitchen, http://kalynskitchen.blogspot.com/2005/10/kalyn-makes-tonys-low-carb-pizza.html , and Tony's, http://tonyskitchen.blogspot.com/2005/10/mini-low-carb-pizza.html ...
Here is what we do to make individual pizzas...
Toast whole wheat flour tortillas in a hot oven. Put tortillas on a piece of foil in the hot oven. Bake until most of moisture is gone, and it starts to turn a light brown. The ends will begin to curl up. Seems to work well cooking 5 minutes on one side, then flipping it for another 5 minutes on the other side. However, you want to watch it carefully - as they do burn rather quickly. I know from experience!
When the "crust" is crispy, blend a can of organic pizza sauce, one cup of sun dried tomatoes, dried basil and dried oregano. I use the food processor.
Spread this in a thin layer on each "crust" (tortilla), then top with cheese and pepperoni, onions, and sliced olives or whatever you would like to use to top your pizza. You can even let people make their own, since you are making individual pizzas! Bake at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes, till everything is crispy and slightly browned.
Just make a salad to accompany this healthy pizza and wah-la... you are all set with a great and healthy dinner! Thanks to Kalyn's Kitchen for the recipe idea! I flipped back and forth many times between Kalyn's two recipes, and Tony's before we got this down... Now it is our Friday night dinner!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
I just love the beginning stages of trip planning. It is time to dream - dream about what you want to do, where you want to go, and about the exciting places you will experience! So, after a very rainy summer here in Alaska where you could probably count the number of times the sun actually appeared on one hand, it is time to start the initial stages of planning an exotic, tropical adventure to take place next June.
Sailing... we are excited to be planning this sailing charter in the Grenadines. We seem to be stuck on the Southern Caribbean, don't we? Quiet, relaxing, peaceful are words that come to mind. There are no mega resorts, no all inclusives, just plain old Caribbean like it used to be probably 30 years ago.
Our trip will begin flying into Grenada for just one night. Thanks to American Airlines beginning a new route to Grenada from Miami (direct jet service), as opposed to flying into San Juan to take a turbo prop, we were able to take advantage of a great sale price for air fare. Awesome deal!
From Grenada, our journey to Bequia will begin. Journeying to Bequia is a fun experience all on its own. We will fly in a small plane from Grenada to St. Vincent - viewing the beautiful islands of the Grenadines along the way. Once in St. Vincent, a short taxi ride to the ferry terminal - and you are off on the hour long ferry ride across a usually rough patch of ocean to the tiny island of Bequia (population 6,000). Bequia truly has a magical charm about it - and I can't wait to get back to the most friendly place I have ever been!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Egg Burritos To Die For
(Makes 10-12 burritos, recipe created by Kalyn many years ago and made over and over at Lake Powell. Kalyn's Kitchen is my favorite cooking website! Great ideas, and healthy meals...)
1 dozen eggs
1 red bell pepper, chopped in 1/2 inch pieces
1 green, yellow, or orange pepper, chopped in 1/2 inch pieces
1 can diced green chiles (4 oz. can, these are Anaheim chiles, which are relatively mild)
2 T olive oil (more or less, depending on your pan)
2 tsp. Spike seasoning (optional, but recommended)
12 whole wheat tortillas (see recommendations below)
1-2 cups grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (I used four cheese Mexican blend)
light sour cream, for serving
Salsa, for serving (I used a yummy fresh salsa from the deli - mango/peach.)
(If you're making burritos for a crowd, you can wrap tortillas tightly in foil and warm them in the oven while you cook the eggs.)
Use a good nonstick frying pan for this recipe. Heat small amount of olive oil in pan, then add diced peppers and saute until slightly soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add green chiles and Spike seasoning and saute about 2 minutes more.
While peppers are cooking, break eggs into mixing bowl and wisk until whites and yolks are completely combined. Add a little more olive oil to frying pan, add beaten eggs, and immediately lower heat and cook until eggs are barely set, gently stirring and scraping side of pan with rubber scraper or turner the entire time, about 8 minutes. They should still be slightly wet-looking when you turn off heat.
To make burritos to eat immediately: Inside each warmed tortilla put a line of egg mixture, top with cheese, sour cream, and salsa, fold together and enjoy.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
2 HEADS CAULIFLOWER (I used one)
1 MEDIUM ONION
4 CLOVES GARLIC
1 POUND WHOLE WHEAT PASTA (or use Dreamfields Pasta - low carb)
EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
SALT & PEPPER
1 PINCH RED PEPPER FLAKES
WHITE WINE VINEGAR
1/2 CUP TOASTED WALNUTS
4 OZS FETA CHEESE
PUT A LARGE POT OF WATER ON TO BOIL. CUT THE CAULIFLOWER INTO SMALL FLORETS. SLICE ONION VERY THIN. PEEL AND FINELY CHOP THE GARLIC. PUT PASTA ON TO COOK.
SAUTE THE CAULIFLOWER IN OLIVE OIL IN A LARGE SAUTE PAN. WHEN THE CAULIFLOWER BEGINS TO SOFTEN, SEASON WITH SALT AND PEPPER AND ADD THE SLICED ONION AND RED PEPPER FLAKES. SAUTE OVER MEDIUM TO HIGH HEAT UNTIL THE VEGETABLES ARE BROWN AND TENDER. THE CAULIFLOWER SHOULD STILL BE SLIGHTLY CRUNCHY AND SHOULD NOT TASTE STEAMED. ADD THE GARLIC AND REMOVE FROM HEAT, TOSSING AND STIRRING SO THE GARLIC DOESN'T BURN; IF IT STARTS TO BROWN, ADD A SPLASH OF WATER. ADD A FEW DROPS EACH OF VINEGAR AND LEMON JUICE AND THE TOASTED WALNUTS. TASTE AND CORRECT THE SEASONING. WHEN THE PASTA IS DONE, DRAIN AND ADD TO THE CAULIFLOWER, ADDING ENOUGH EXTRA OLIVE OIL TO COAT THE PASTA THOROUGHLY, TOSS TOGETHER AND SERVE, WITH THE CHEESE CRUMBLED OVER THE DISH.
Here are a couple cafeteria jokes...
Did you hear about the mean cook?
She beat the eggs and whipped the cream!
What's worse than finding a caterpillar in your lettuce?
Finding half a caterpillar!
Ha, ha... enjoy your day!
Monday, September 1, 2008
Well, I'm going in again today to make certain everything is ready to go for our young children who will come back to school tomorrow. Tonight will be a night of restless sleep for many... for kids who are nervous as well as for teachers! Yes, it even happens for teachers.
While teachers are anxious about the uncertainties of the first day (did I remember everything?), parents will be doing the happy dance shown in this cartoon! I saw this and thought it was a funny one.
Wish us all luck!
Saturday, August 30, 2008
I was looking for a yummy snack the other day and came across a wonderful recipe on the All-Recipes website. It is easy enough to modify and make it South Beach friendly. VERY YUMMY! "Try it, you'll like it!", as the old commercial would say...
12 hard boiled eggs
1/2 cup mayo (I used low fat & I used less than 1/2 cup - sounded like a LOT!)
4 slices of bacon (I microwaved till crisp and blotted very well; you could use turkey bacon here)
2 Tbsp shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Tbsp mustard (I used Dijon, and probably more than 1 Tbsp)
Crumble well drained and blotted bacon. Set aside. Peel the hard boiled eggs and cut in half. Remove the yolks to a small bowl. Mash yolks with mayo, crumbled bacon & cheese. Stir in mustard. Fill the egg white halves with the yolk mixture; refrigerate until serving. YUMMY!
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Today, in the midst of our foggy dreary day, we are planning to smoke a turkey. The second time we smoked a turkey, we stumbled upon this combination of ingredients. It was truly THE best turkey either of us have ever had (and I'm not usually a huge fan of turkey). So, today we are going to attempt to recreate this delicious meal!
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Our trip ended with a stay at the Le Meredian Resort in Sunny Isles Beach. We arrived from the ship early, and our room was not ready (sound familiar?). Well, we had quite a different experience waiting for our room this time. They suggested we change into our swimsuits and enjoy the beach - which we gladly did. The beach attendants set up chaise lounges and a nice large umbrella for us. We immediately got in the water - it was warm and clear, hard to believe that this was the Atlantic Ocean! We had a lovely day at the resort.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Thursday was a day completely packed with activities. After a very brief interaction with customs, Larry and I were one of the first to get off the ship in the morning. It was already incredibly hot and humid, little to no wind at all. We had an afternoon excursion planned, so only two hours to explore this colorful town. We took the advice of various frequent visitors and decided to take the Conch Train Tour - 90 minutes of seeing all the major sights in Key West. Those 90 minutes gave us a taste of Key West, enough of one that we want to return and spend some time exploring the Florida Keys. What a great area!
Once we returned to the Majesty of the Seas, we spent a couple of hours sitting in the pool - drink in hand. How very relaxing! This was our last day on board the Majesty... just when we were getting into the swing of "cruising" it was already time to go. Proof that vacations are never long enough!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Wednesday was a great day! We started out with our own private tour of the galley by the Executive Chef. It is quite amazing how they can prepare 15,000 meals a day in such a small area. There was a small group of chefs on duty, prepping items for the dinner menu. The chef said the key to making all these meals is "organization". You could see that was true just from spending one hour in the galley. Size is also important - they have HUGE soup pots, HUGE mixing bowls and mixers; HUGE ovens... So, when it comes to serving 4,000 passengers and crew three meals a day - size does matter!
After our galley tour, we went ashore to spend the day in the water floating. What a gorgeous beach. Once we arrived on the island, the first and only thing you could see were a massive amount of people! We actually thought about going back to the ship - it was that crowded. But, we followed a path to the right (as an internet source suggested) and the crowd started to thin out. We got our floating mats, and spent the afternoon in the beautiful warm water. Before we left for the day, we continued on this path to the right, and came upon THE most gorgeous uncrowded beach! We just had not gone far enough... next time we will know. This beach was pristine and everything you imagine when you think of the perfect Caribbean beach!
Monday, August 11, 2008
We were able to slip onto the ship with ease thanks to the organization of Royal Caribbean's check-in process. This trip (since our trip was free) we decided to upgrade to a junior suite - a room with a balcony. Oh my - how nice was that! It will be difficult to go back now that we have had the luxury of an outdoor space to call our own.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Well, we made it back to Juneau on time and are at home trying to stay awake. Our body clocks are still on east coast time + we got up very early to leave our warm weather beach getaway for Miami International Airport to catch our 7am flight.Our first experience was the "interesting" South Beach. Wow - what a great place to people watch! We had to wander for about six hours, as taking a red eye flight and getting into Miami at 5:45am, our room was not ready at our hotel. So, we got in our fill of major heat, humidity and thunderstorms and showers. We also had time to look at all the beautiful art deco buildings in the area. Once we finally were able to check in to our hotel, I had three new blisters... That was wearing my comfortable shoes!The best part of our SOBE stay was having a fabulous dinner at Emeril's Restaurant in South Beach. Wow! We decided to go all out and order from his "tasting menu", complete with wine pairings with each of the six courses. It was wonderful, and I wish I had kept notes of what we had. There was so much food I have already forgotten! You definitely want to go on an empty stomach...
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Well, this will be my last post as we leave for our "free" trip this afternoon at 2pm. We are on the "red eye" to Miami out of Seattle, arriving in Miami at 6am.
LAST MINUTE CHECKS:
1. Packing - done
2. Reading Material - got it
3. Passports - check
4. Camera & charger - got them
5. Cruise Packet - got it
6. Bahamas weather report - High 90's; Low 74ish; Thunderstorms daily (doesn't sound like any big storms are coming)
7. Boarding Passes - printed and have them
8. How to care for Abby notes - printed and on counter
9. House - clean
10.Beds & Towels - switched & clean
11.Fridge - cleaned out
So, I'll post when we return on August 10th. And, to my Juneau friends - I'll try to bring some of that sunshine and heat back to town with me! We need it...
Friday, August 1, 2008
As I have learned through Mandalay's adventure, the transit of the Panama Canal takes about 11 hours to complete. Wednesday night she went through the first set of lockes - the Gatun Lockes. The slower (smaller) vessels usually have to sit on a ball overnight about 27 miles past the first set of lockes. Mandalay went through the last set of lockes late last night - the Miraflores Lockes. We captured a picture of her as you can see!
Mandalay will continue her journey (with our beloved Captain Neil at the helm) all the way to Ecuador for her refit. She will be hauled, her complete hull repaired, the engine room will be totally redone with new machinery, the deck cabins will be replaced with an enclosed saloon. She will be converted into a 32 passenger luxury vessel and spend her days cruising the Galapagos.
I have looked at the Angermeyer Cruises website, and they look like a "class act". I think S/S Lady Mandalay will have a good life (and I will be saving my pennies to go on her Galapagos adventure).
Here she is sitting on the ball, waiting to go through the second set of lockes...
GOOD LUCK S/V LADY MANDALAY!
Thursday, July 31, 2008
If you know Larry and I well, you know how we loved the experience of the Windjammer sailing ships. We were lucky enough to have gone on the Yankee Clipper last year (June 2007), just prior to the company beginning to cancel their cruises, leaving passengers stranded, and finally - the company's demise. Between Larry and I, we spent about 25 weeks on these lovely ships. Such a sad thing for those who loved the casual, fun atmosphere on these beautiful sailing ships, as well as the wonderful crew that were like family and worked so very hard!
So, Mandalay - as you leave Panama, where you have been for almost a year, we will always remember the wonderful times we enjoyed with you and your sister ships. Please teach the new owners and passengers about hermit crab races, jumping off the top deck into the "pool", the PBLT Party, and Swizzle Time. As you sail into the sunset of your new home, know that many hearts and souls will be on the back deck enjoying the wonderful sunsets and watching for the green flash!
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Well, about half way through our day, when the fog cleared, the sun made a guest appearance. Although it was relatively brief, at least the rain stayed away! I decided it was time for a BBQ... I found this wonderful recipe from my very favorite website - Kalyn's Kitchen.
Grilled Tuna Steaks (one per person)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp garlic (I used much more!)
1 tsp fish rub or seafood seasoning
1 tsp hot pepper flakes (I used more of this too)
Mix marinade ingredients. Put tuna into zip loc bag, marinate for 1-3 hours - no longer! Oil grill with olive oil. Preheat grill to high. Drain marinade and grill fish. We like ours medium rare, so grilled 4 minutes per side. It was perfect!
The taste was moist, and spicy. I highly recommend it! We had a simple salad, and some cheesy zucchini with it. Very yummy dinner (and healthy too). Thanks Kalyn!
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
2 pair of shoes
Undies and socks
2 swimming trunks
1 pair of workout clothes for Patty
1 small steamer (just in case there are wrinkles)
1 medium size duffel rolled up to bring back souvineers
Sunday, July 27, 2008
I just found an article written in 2006 by the San Francisco Chronicle. In it, the writer gives tips and a variety of reason why carry-on is the way to go. His reasons seem all the more appropriate in today's times of airline restrictions and fees.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
I knew the sun was still there! We in Juneau have not seen the sunshine for weeks. Instead, we have been seeing a lot of the "liquid sunshine" as Juneau residents like to say. It is time to mow the lawn and work in the flowerbeds - the question is will the sun stay out long enough to dry things out a bit? What you can't see from this picture are the dark clouds from the south - blowing our direction! We need three hours of sunshine to do our yard chores. The race is on...