Friday, 25 October 2013

Not Really A Girl Scout Cookie

Do you look forward to Girl Scout cookie season?

Do you prefer Thin Mints? Tagalongs (Peanut Butter Patties)? Shortbreads (Trefoils)?

Or is your first impulse to grab a box of Samoas (Caramel deLites)?

If so, I ran across this recipe for a Samoa Tartlet.

I don't think it tastes anything like the Girl Scout cookie but it is delicious nonetheless.

Couldn't find a jar of Dulce De Leche but snagged this ice cream at Vons.

Ingredients: toasted coconut, butter, flour, brown sugar, salt, chocolate.

After 'base' is cooked, sprinkle chocolate and put back in oven to melt.

Use a spoon to spread the melty chocolate.

Toasted coconut: in the base, on top, save some to top the ice cream!


This will do until cookie season rolls around again in 2014!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

San Diego Central Library

It opened at the end of September.

The new downtown library near Petco Park.

Shiny and massive and modern and a bit concrete-y (but in a good way).

Lego model of the library!

Self checkout stations.

Terrace outside the entrance.

Renewed my library card.

Asked some questions at the reference desk.

"No, we do not have audiotapes to learn Finnish. That would be like learning Swahili. And we don't have that either." 

Checked out some new bestsellers at the kiosk...

Wish they had more than two elevators as the wait was forever so never made it past the 4th floor.

Good enough reason for a return visit!

Side Note:  The gentleman at the reference desk downtown was able to track down two sets of Beginning Finnish audiotapes at my local branch library. Go figure. Stopped there on my way home and the librarian said they have been out of circulation, as in not checked out, for two years and she wasn't able to find them on the shelves. She will call me back when she is able to locate. Probably shouldn't hold my breath.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Roasting Vegetables

Red yam, red pepper, onion, carrots, potato, eggplant, zucchini, tomato.

I have roasted cauliflower flowerettes, sprinkled with olive oil and cumin in a hot oven.

Wedges of russet potato also brown up nicely.

But these are single vegetables in a single layer on a single sheet pan resulting in a browned caramelized tasty nugget.

Which is how I have always roasted vegetables.

Until recently.

I was searching the internets and I found a recipe for:


...which made me wonder if they were any good.

Exclamation points can be deceiving.

So I chopped up a bunch of vegetables (I used the selection pictured above) into somewhat small pieces and made sure that the onion was sliced thinly.

Tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Baked at 375 degrees for over an hour, tossing the vegetables twice during the cooking process and tasting until I liked the 'doneness' factor.

This is the end result.

It might seem like an odd combination but it was quite tasty and can be eaten as a side dish or when you just feel like a big bowl of vegetables for dinner. 

Two days later I incorporated the leftovers into enchiladas:  dip a tortilla into enchilada sauce, spoon roasted vegetables onto tortilla, sprinkle cheddar and jack cheese on top, then roll up and place into baking dish. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.


Monday, 7 October 2013

Bates Nut Farm in Escondido

First weekend in October.

Wandered through the massive pumpkin patch, checked out scarecrows, visited the Farmer's Daughter retail shop to try on fascinators (a feathery spider topper, a little pumpkin hat perched high above a headband, veiled witchy look with tiny tiara was my favorite), sat on a hay bale under a tree to lick a homemade coconut ice cream cone and watched little kids swing from a climbing wall.

This was our first trip to Bates Nut Farm.

Wheelbarrows were available to haul your pumpkins (or your kids)!
Or if the whole family wanted a ride...

Lots of photo ops -- this little girl has paparazzi!

Yet another way to ride around the fields.

Yikes, the hot sun has not been kind to her make-up.

Remembered to check out the nuts before we headed out.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Puppy Love

Snoozing on the cool patio.

Spent yesterday a little out of my element.

Surrounded by colorful squeak toys, a water bowl and a half-empty bag of treats.

And this little gal.

A Golden Retriever/Labrador mix.

Wide awake and holding still for the camera --- a rare moment.

Right now she is ALL puppy.



Excited about the wind, a leaf on the ground, dangling shoe laces.

But she has big responsibilities ahead and a lovely family of four to help her get there.

This sweet little pup is being trained as a service animal!

But first there are holes to dig, snails to sniff, toes to lick....simple pleasures.