From LA to Vegas

You may not believe this but until this trip I hadn’t been to Vegas… it just isn’t my steeze and after going to Vegas I can safely say I don’t need to go back.  The drive from LA to Vegas is rather beautiful. Lots of snow capped mountains and even some cool art instillations. lasvegasthumb_img_1559_1024

We all love Food Network and thought it would be fun to check out Giada’s restaurant. Her menu looks great with lots of smaller dishes to try and share. My favorite was probably the side of broccolini… delish! I also enjoyed the Tangerine / Tequila drink. lasvegasthumb_img_1565_1024lasvegasthumb_img_1566_1024lasvegasthumb_img_1567_1024

Really amazing parmesan crackers. Can I get those to go?lasvegasthumb_img_1568_1024lasvegasthumb_img_1570_1024

I have been to NYC twice and still haven’t made it to Serendipity so when in Vegas we finally had a frozen hot chocolate! I reccomend sharing with friends as it is extremely rich and sweet. lasvegasthumb_img_1572_1024

I was beside myself when I saw this Dolly slot machine. If I was a gambling lady I think this machine would have brought me luck!lasvegasthumb_img_1573_1024

The Bellagio botanical garden was decked out for Christmas and while it was extremely crowded it was also really beautiful.lasvegasthumb_img_1574_1024lasvegasthumb_img_1576_1024lasvegasthumb_img_1577_1024

This Joker was a little creepsville. lasvegasthumb_img_1578_1024

We then hit the Chandelier Bar in The Cosmo. Ironically, my friend, Chelsea, had been telling me about a drink she tried with a flower that made her mouth numb…say what? Then, our waitress told us about a drink they have with this same flower. It was a really crazy feeling. I did a little research and the flower is called, Acmella oleracea. Super fascinating and I highly reccomend trying this flower if you get a chance. lasvegasthumb_img_1579_1024

Not your typical Christmas Day but it was fun to see the strip lit up (more than usual) and the fun Christmas decor. lasvegasthumb_img_1581_1024

Off to the outdoors bright and early.

If you like Beer, look on.

Merry Early Christmas from Anchor Steam!!IMG_4239 A few weeks I go I was able to Steward a home brewing event at Anchor Steam. IMG_4240

Drink a steam with J.C.?! Could be Jesus Christ or me… IMG_4242 A room full of hops could there be anything more fragrant and delicious?!IMG_4248 IMG_4251 A beautiful fall afternoon in the East Bay.IMG_4271 I sometimes forget how amazing this city is. When I am lucky enough to be a passenger and not a driver I can take wonky pictures like this. That do little justice to the beautiful view, but make me happy and thankful all the same.IMG_4306 Went to a Girls Pint Out event at Harmonic in dogpatch/portola last week. They have done a really nice job with the beers they brew.  They were crafted beautifully with robust flavors that have led me to want to go back again and soon! We had a large group and they were so attentive. I can’t recommend them highly enough. Parking is easy, get a pizza near by and enjoy.IMG_4309 We were able to take a tour!IMG_4310 IMG_4311 IMG_4312Finally got to go to go to Mikkeller Bar. Their food and beers are on point. We had the kale salad and fries. A perfect balance of healthy and not so healthy.
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These photos make it look like I drink beer a lot… What can I say? It is true.

Post Christmas Glow

I love Christmas! All holidays really, anytime where you have the opportunity to spend time with your family and friends is a good time to me. We had a large Christmas Eve celebration with my extended family and then on Christmas Day we had a smaller feast. It was nice to just be with my family, present in the moment, enjoying the laughter.

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My grandma and I made a Sour Cream Raisin Pie – sounds weird – but it was WONDERFUL! and I don’t take desserts lightly so you know it must be good!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dairy sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 baked 9-inch pie shell (homemade or store bought)

Easy as 1-2-3

  1. In a heavy medium saucepan stir together the sour cream, 1-1/2 cups sugar, flour, egg yolks, and raisins. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Keep warm.
  2. For meringue, place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed about 4 minute more or until mixture forms stiff glossy peaks (tips stand straight).
  3. Pour warm filling into baked pie shell. Spread meringue over filling. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 15 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Chill 3 to 6 hours before serving; cover for longer storage.

Note: We did not use Cream of Tartar – and it was a-ok! If I was bringing this somewhere or presentation was more important I would definitely remember to add it, but our Meringue still got peaky without it!

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Ohhh and lest I forget the crazy WIN OKC had on Christmas Day! Yah Boys!! I also have to give a shout out to GSW – they had one hell of an exciting game!

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The last couple of days have been WARM! Yes, you heard right! After the ice storm last weekend we have been having really nice weather! The sunset was beautiful yesterday and I tromped around the farm taking some pictures.

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So different than a beach sunset – but still holds beauty.

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Yeeehaw, Y’all! Have a great weekend! I hope that you are enjoying this time as much as I have been able to.

Cranberry Hootycreek Cookies

Since I have been visiting my family we have made cookies every night! Gasp, No! Say it ain’t so! Well folks, it is and since I have yet to work out since I have arrived I may be headed back to SF with a little more meat on my bones!

Last night, we made Cranberry Hootycreek cookies.  My grandma had the recipe stashed in her recipe box and it did not disappoint.

Without further ado here is the recipe:

Cranberry Hootycreek Cookies

List of Ingredients

2-1/4 cup flour
1 cup old-fashioned (not quick-cooking) oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup white chocolate chips/chunks
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Set oven at 350′

1. Set aside a non-stick cookie sheet or line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt – add oats.

3. Next, use an electric mixer to cream the butter for 1 minute. Add white and brown sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. ( We used Medium Speed on my Grandma’s 50 year old mixer.) While beater is running, add eggs, one at a time, and beat 2-3 minutes or until mixture is smooth.

4. Add dry ingredients slowly until well combine. On low speed.

5. Mix in cranberries, chips and nuts by hand.

6. Drop batter in tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets.

7. Cook for about 7 to 12 minutes. The goal is to have the edges slightly browned.

8. Remove from oven- and set on wire rack. Or just remove, my family literally grabbed them off the baking sheet!

Recipe makes about 30 to 50 cookies.

Sounds like a lot but don’t worry – they were gone in a jiffy.

They make a great dessert, snack or breakfast. My dad even crumbled a couple in his greek yogurt!

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By the time I got around to taking the picture almost all the cookies were gone!

Enjoy!!!

The Sooner its not iceee the better!

Get the title? Cause Oklahoma is the sooner state??

I have not left ‘the hill’ (What my family calls the horse farm) since I arrived Wednesday… it seems like that should be weird – but it hasn’t been. I have enjoyed just being with my family, playing board games, cooking, reminiscing and of course a few disagreements here and there.

Since I have been on my own and living as an adult I have gotten used to the way I like to do things and  I find it really hard to move back into the roll of daughter. Not because I don’t love my family and respect them, but because I like the way that I do things!

Really though, and if I am stubborn and like to do things my own way – then my family is exactly the same way. Total fun!

My grandma loves Hallmark Christmas Movies – so I have been watching a ton the last few days!

In one movie we watched, a girl had the opportunity to make wishes and actually have them come true! – and so I thought to myself – what would I wish for? Honestly, the only thing I could think of was to have my grandma’s health back.

She is getting old – we all are right?!.. but its hard to see a women that was so strong- start to get so frail and its scary and terrifying and I need to wrap my mind around it and figure out how I can navigate this time with as few regrets as possible.

and NOW I realize what a downer this post has become and I apologize – but its real. Its really real and I am just evermore grateful that I get to spend time with my family. So thankful.

On Saturday, the power was off in this small town for eight hours… I guess when you are in a place with about 200 people what is the big rush!? So what do people do with the power out – raid the pantry and play monopoly of course! It was so fun and something that would never happen in Coastal California.

It is freezing here – literally we had a huge ice storm! Of course, I was stoked when I woke up Saturday morning because it looked like snow! andddd you know those icicle lights that folks hang up at Christmas time? , I never understood those until I saw real icicles and was blown away by their beauty. I will take real icicles over the lighted variety anytime!

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Even the hay has icicles! Image

Positivo

I am a firm believer in positive thought, in regards to just about everything.

Feeling sick – No I am NOT. – I feel great!

Bus is late and I will be late – Nah, now I just have more time to enjoy being outside.

My toes are so cold they are going to fall off! – At least I have toes!

ha ha see where I am going with this – I am such a positive person..

but lately I have been struggling. I just want to stay negative and let my anger stew a little… which, lets be real – is not a good thing!

The following quote abet a little silly has really been ringing true for me!

‘Our attitude is the crayon that colors our world’ – Allen Klein

Think about it – it makes sense right?!

Positive thoughts = positive actions = positive outcomes

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Sweet, beautiful sunset in the sunset.

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My fun winter printed – fleece lined – leggings at work today!

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My secret santa stocking filled with lots of yummy treats!

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Enjoying the small things – trying to stay happy and not get down about anything!

Monday Mantra

Monday is usually the busiest day of work..so it can be a bit stressful – but I am trying to stay positive.

Today my mantra is – I had to write this out and lay it on my desk – people can be difficult and sucky but I am choosing to see the beauty around me!

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Some weekend lovin’…

DIY Fun

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JAMmin’ – (pictured) the beginnings of Strawberry Jam. Also made Cherry Port, Blueberry, and Raspberry Blackberry. All day Jam Sesh ensued.

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Candle Making! – See that large wine bottle to the left? We cut that! A difficult process – but super gratifying! We prob only successfully cut 1/4 of the bottles we tried to cut – but boy howdy – when it was successful all was well in the world!

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These are actually little dessert cups we found at Ross -added a bit of glitter to the top and viola! pretty little candles to gift to friends.

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Sangria with Grand Marnier! Extremely strong!! Fun to catch up with Friends at Opa! in Los Altos, CA during the holidays!

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Santa CON madness in San Francisco

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Santa was everywhere! In all shapes and sizes!

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I love CHRISTMAS!