Monday, December 31, 2012

Holiday Time

Brian and I are now back in Washington after spending some time in California with our families. It was so nice to get away for a bit, enjoy time with family and friends, oh yeah, and get some sun! :) 
For quite a while after we moved up here I would call Ventura home. But after being up here for almost a year I caught myself referring to WA as home now. I think I have finally made the adjustment and was happy to come back to our apartment, Olive and just be home. Brian and I have a couple exciting things coming up in the new year with Brian's new job and finding a new apartment closer to his work. Pretty excited. 
I hope everyone has a great New Years and be safe.

Seatac has the best window to watch the planes go by

Grabbing a beer during a layover is the best way to entertain yourself when flying solo

My Franky baby

I can still see two trees from the kitchen window

Miss Kristy w/ American flag glasses-a must for next july!

My pretty mom

First day of snow this winter

Santa Cruz sticker in my building elevator?! 

Mister Moose

Bubble Gum Alley

Sally with her Moose

Christmas Eve Dinner

My morning present from Brian

Christmas Dinner Ham

Dad manning the bar

Setting up my dad's childhood train-still works!

Date night with Rosa

Brunch date with my girls

The lovely Puget Sound


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Over the Weekend

On Saturday night Brian and I had another couple over for dinner and all the food was so tasty! I tried two new things and thankfully they both turned out great. A delicious appetizer that I will most certainly make again is goat cheese covered with chopped dried cranberries and pistachios. It's so easy, I just bought a goat cheese log, dried cranberries and pistachios from Trader Joes. I chopped the cranberries and pistachios then simply rolled the cheese in it. Most didn't stick however so I just tapped it on there to help it stay. For the entree I made a goat cheese cream sauce with linguini. Boy it was good but so rich. The recipe calls for fat free half and half which Trader Joes didn't have so I just went with the regular fatty kind.  There goes the ol' waistline! 

Roasted Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Alfredo

2 whole red bell peppers
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced (i put 4 or 5 bc i am a garlic fiend)
1 cup fat free half and half
4 oz garlic and herb goat cheese
2/3 cup parmigiana reggiano cheese
1/2 cup artichoke hearts (optional)
1/2 lb linguini, cooked to al dente
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place red peppers on baking sheet and bake 20-30 minutes until peppers are charred. Remove from oven and cover with foil for 10 minutes. Yes, this set off the fire alarms. Big surprise.
In the mean time, saute onions and garlic in olive oil until tender. Pour in half and half, goat cheese, salt and pepper. Stir in to melt goat cheese into sauce and keep warm over low heat. 
Uncover peppers, peel off skin and remove stem and seeds. Chop into large pieces and place into sauce along with parm. cheese. Stir to melt cheese and remove from heat. Pour sauce into food processor and puree. Place back into hot pan and toss with cooked noodles. Top with more parm. cheese, pepper, salt and parsley if desired. Voila! 

Needless to say we ate a lot of goat cheese that night so not recommended for the lactose intolerant crowd. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Back Home

I am back home! My time in California was fabulous and I couldn't have asked for a better trip. I hadn't traveled alone in quite some time so I wasn't sure if I would like it or not. I thought I might be quite bored actually. But that surprisingly wasn't the case. I had layovers both ways so I just sat at the bar, grabbed a couple beers and chatted with the people next to me. In fact, I met a nice girl standing in line to board the plane back to Seatac who was super friendly and really funny so I asked her if she wanted to sit together. We chatted the whole plane ride back and stupid me forgot to get her info. I can't even remember her name for the life of me. All well. 
Back home I got to stay in my old bedroom (even though it doesn't look anything like my old room because it has all been redone) and spend time with my family. This is the first time traveling to Ventura as a visitor rather than a resident. It was kind of odd at first I must admit! My brother picked me up from the Burbank airport Monday evening and the air was warm and humid. It was like a breath of fresh air. Suddenly I loved the rat race of Southern California, the freeways I once despised because of my year long commute to work and of course going 80 on the freeway was great! Once we drove up the driveway to the house my parents had decorated with lights I was so happy. The rest of the week was history. It was filled with family time, friend time and eating. I should have called my week Tour de Eat Everything In Sight. I had my list of places I had to eat at, mostly all Mexican food, and I was so glad I was able to check them all off as being complete. Some even were frequented twice.  Ahem....Corrales. Another highlight was I got to work for a day at my old job. It's holiday season which means our little chocolate shop is in high gear trying to produce as much as they can. It was certainly a busy day but it was so nice being able to hang out and laugh with some old friends. Okay okay, and snack on chocolate throughout the day. It was as if no time had passed. I thought my skills would be a little rusty but I did just fine. The weather was perfect. It was sunny every single day in the high 60's. For me, now pretty well adapted to the cool weather here, felt really warm. I never used a jacket the whole time!  
I am happy to be back in my cozy little apartment with my dear husband and Olive. Brian surprised me with a Christmas tree when I got home. What a great treat! In the two years we have been married we have always used our little fake one. We still have that set's in our bedroom now. The more trees the merrier! 
Once I have put all my pictures on my computer I will post them. Promise!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

This afternoon I am getting everything taken care of around the house while listening to Dean Martin's Christmas station on Pandora. Feels like Christmas and I am loving it.