Friday, December 28, 2012

Out and About Around the Central Coast

December 24 - December 28, 2012

West Cuesta Ridge Road aka TV Tower Road

Oceano Dunes
Off Roading at the Beach

 Elephant Seal Rookery at Piedras Blancas

SLO Thursday Night Farmer's Market

McClintock's Outside BBQ Special

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Our Christmas card made by the Man from "scratch" ie, no template.
Next year we're buying cards.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Gadget Love

Our friend, Jerry, has been bringing over boxes (and boxes) of his home-grown apples: Granny Smith, Fuji, Red and Golden Delicious, Pink Lady and their own grafted Riz apple.  I've been hand peeling and coring like crazy.  I've canned apple butter, apple sauce, and baked several apple pies.  The animals and the neighbor's horses have been getting their share as well.

Today, The Man got me a "Peel Away" apple peeler from the local hardware store.  Love it.

Hand peeled Apple Butter


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Whole Lotta Cookin' Going On

We're going to be merrily enjoying visits from friends and family for the next week and a halfI've been meal planning like crazy.

The other night we had our Hawaii friends, Ryan and Marie, spend the nightI had a pork sausage lasagna ready to pop into the oven but instead we opted for SLO's Thursday night Farmer's Market and ate "on the street".  Tri-tip sandwich and tri-tip chili from the Ribline booth, veggie burrito, churros, and kettle corn was consumed. 

I volunteered to make breakfast for Marie's family since they were stopping by before heading south to Redlands.  Eighteen of the Girls' eggs were scrambled with bacon, spinach, tomatoes, avocado, and cheese and our still-alive green onions and parsley.  Topped with my "homemade" canned salsa (Mrs Wages salsa mix)Also, fried potatoes with garlic chives, Jimmy Dean turkey sausage, and San Luis sourdough toast and the apple butter I made with Jerry's apples. 

On Sunday, the Man's nephew Zac and his wife are driving from Las Vegas (with their two dogs) and will be here till the morning of the 26th.  Since they'll be spending Christmas with us we headed to Costco to recreate our delicious Thanksgiving meal.  We couldn't find the 5# Butterball breast (only available Thanksgiving and Easter per Costco butcher) and opted for a smaller precooked one.  We did find the same Harry's Roasted Turkey Gravy 2-pack.  We'll also make mashed potatoes, Cornbread stuffing, roasted brussel sprouts from last week's CSA box and, of course, pumpkin pies.

ETA 12/25/12 - Christmas Dinner (Granny Smith apple pie)

Right now I've got two pans of brownies cooling: one with walnuts and one with chocolate chipsI've already made pecan tassies/tarts a couple of days ago.  This will be for the neighbors' Christmas plate along with a jar of my canned apple butter.    

The Man's Mom (Tutu), his brother's grandson and his sister are flying in on the 26th from Denver.  I've already prepared (and froze) a big pot of beef stew.  We also have a spiral ham.  Woohoo, whole lotta eatin' going on.  


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Reaching Higher Heights

Zeke eating the moss in an Oak tree . . . 

. . . high up . . .

. . . way, way high up!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Little Bit of Cheer

Last night, The Man and I went to downtown Atascadero to see their "Winter Wonderland".  Over 50 tons of shave ice was used to make a snow mountain for the kids and adults to sled down.  I looked at The Man but he said, "don't even think about it" just before a couple of kids tumbled off their sleds.  Instead of risking bodily injury we opted for free hot cocoa (and literature) from one of the church booths and bought cotton candy freshly-made by the Pozo 4-H club.  Huge cones of pink awesomeness.
Feeling very festive after so much sugar, we drove to downtown San Luis Obispo and watched their Christmas parade.  Perfect weather as usual.


Today we did a little holiday decorating.  Hohoho.

Goaty Boys' Christmas tree

Monday, December 3, 2012

Weather Report: Rain

It seems like it's been raining for weeks now but it's probably only been a few days here and there since Thanksgiving.  Mostly it's been a drizzly off and on rain here on the Central Coast not nearly the severe weather they're seeing further north.  I like rainy days and we call it my "dream day" as long as I don't have to leave for work or go outside for that matter.  Having the animals changes things up a bit since the rain seems to make everyone miserable especially the Goaty Boys.  My new rain boots from came in the nick of time and they've been getting a workout unlike The Man's rubbah slippahs.

And speaking of Thanksgiving . . . I was supposed to work the day before and the day after which just left Thursday and though I wanted turkey (and leftovers) I didn't want to be cooking all day.  In Hawaii, Zippys and other restaurants, hotels, even supermarkets offer complete heat and serve meals and though I've never had them I've heard it was pretty goodSadly, none to be found around here.  The Man suggested a turkey breast and we found a Butterball turkey breast just under 5 lbs at Costco.  The selling point was we could make it in the slow cooker.   

The turkey breast looked pretty weird when I took it out of the wrapper.  I expected something that resembled a bird not a skinless mound of something.  I had my doubts but in the crockpot it went on a bed of quartered granny smith apples, onions, celery, a little salt and pepper and basted with melted butter.  I cooked it on high for one hour then turned it down to low for about 4 hours till it reached 165+ degrees.  Took it out and let it rest with a foil covering.  Surprise, it was delicious. Moist and perfectly seasoned.  In addition, I made 3 pumpkin pies (gave one away), fresh cranberry sauce, roasted brussel sprouts and The Man helped with the mashed potatoes.  We also got some ready-made turkey gravy a 2-pack so we could pour it on liberally.  I decided not to make stuffing though I bought some.  It was so good we forgot to take pictures of our Thanksgiving dinner.  Or the next night, Thanksgiving Dinner 2, which was just as wonderful.

Strange looking but so delicious.  Really.