Saturday, April 30, 2016

Classic Cat Behaviors: The Look

I call this look "Batman."  Sharptooth used to do it too.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Bread Dreams...

 Dreaming about buying this...

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Beta Radio House Gig

  Beta Radio has lately become one of my favorite bands.  I found them last year on Noisetrade and was so excited to get word that they were doing a house gig tour and coming to Tucson.  Matt and I went and really enjoyed the intimate environment as these 2 guys played for about 30 people in someone's living room.  These guys sing and play just as well live as they do on their albums.  Afterwards we got to meet them and tell them how much we enjoy their music and got a tour poster signed. Great show! 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Ladies Book Club on the Art Wall

 My Ladies Classics Book Club made it on the art project wall that Cindy Visser arranges at church.  For the Lent season Cindy decided to photograph the different ministry groups at church and ask the members what they are learning about Jesus in their particular group.  Then she hung up a photo of each group with the responses surrounding it.  Cool idea and great job Cindy!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Communion Ministry

Matt and I are in charge of the Sunday morning communion ministry at our church which means we set it up and tare it down.  Since we have taken it over we have been pleased to make some improvements to the system.  We upgraded the wine to Port and finally after a few years of offering to make the communion bread (instead of using matza crackers) Pastor Phil said yes.  Palm Sunday was our first service with real bread followed by Maundy Thursday.  It is an honor to make the bread for the most important meal a Christian consumes!   

Thursday, March 24, 2016

14 Years!

Happy Anniversary to us! We decided to celebrate at home because I had to work during the day and we didn't want to be rushed in our evening.  We started out on the patio having a very special bottle of Champagne, Krug Grande Cuvee, to celebrate our marriage with as we exchanged gifts.  Then we had a lovely dinner with thick cut filet mignons that Matt grilled to perfection.  We accompanied such a fine piece of meat with an equally fine wine- a 2005 Souverain Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  Praise be to God for 14 years!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Classic Cat Behaviors: In the Sink

He doesnt't even care if I've just brushed my teeth...

Friday, February 19, 2016

Bread Baking Class with Local Baker

 I took a bread class from local baker Don Guerrathis week.  It took place at the UA farms on Campbell.  He had us sit in groups of 3 and make dough together that we developed throughout the 4 hour class.  At the end of the class each group divided their dough into 3 parts and each person had a beautiful round to take home and bake off later that day.

Don is a very down to earth, friendly and joyful baker.  He did some lecturing, some demonstration and answered countless questions on bread baking.  The class had about 30 attendees.  Most were older and a varied level of baking experience was present.

Don provided us with a spread of bread he baked that morning, cheese, fruit and nuts to munch on during the class.  But the best thing he gave us (to my surprise)  was a big hunk of his unbelievably delicious smelling sourdough starter to take home and continue baking with.  His starter smelled so good I could have eaten it raw. 

 I have already baked with his starer this week and made the best tasting, most beautiful breads I have made to date.  And I discovered nothing goes better with a piece of sourdough bread than a glass of traditional method sparkling wine.  Oh all the bread, toast, and yeast!!!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Valentines Date

Pizzeria Bianco is purported by Peter Reinhardt (my favorite baker and bread expert) to be the best pizza in the country.  It is located in Phoenix, Arizona and has recently opened a new location in Tucson.  I have been wanting to go there for months and  this is where Matt took me on our Valentines date.  Afterwards we went out for a night cap at Tap & Bottle and followed that up with hot tub and our favorite Baskin Robbins ice creams at home.  A wonderful evening. 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Valentines Dance

Matt got to take Ariana to her school Valentines dance for the second year in a row. 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Trivia Night Calls for Bread

Our church has a trivia night every year where we team up and compete to see who knows the most amount of trivial information.  This year's trivia night included a spaghetti dinner beforehand.  Matt and I were privileged to be able to provide the bread for the dinner. Fortunately it turned out that I was off work the day before and was able to make all the dough Saturday.  Then on Sunday after church we came home, fired up the oven, and baked all 13 loaves in the brick oven.  Any time we can practice baking in the brick oven is a good thing since a brick oven you build yourself does not come with instructions  and a lot of trial and error takes place.  We didn't know how many people were coming or how much bread they would eat so we made 6 baguettes and 7 round loaves. A little over half of the bread got eaten with the dinner.  At the end of the night one person told us the prize for the winning team should have been the leftover loaves!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Visitors from Frozen Tundra Seek Refuge in Arizona!

My Mom and my nephew Levi finally came down for a visit.  Levi was here with his family last Christmas but my Mom has not been here in 3 years so it was great fun to have her and show her all the things we have done to the house and yard since she was last here.  
We spent most of the time relaxing, eating and watching movies.  We didn't want to put her to work too much but we did need a few Mom treats like what you see pictured here: her famous chicken salad and her delicious beef short rib and dumpling soup which I have named "Soup of the Meaty Bones."  When we could get her out of her chair and away from crocheting dozens of dishcloths we took her and Levi to the Gaslight Theater to see a fun production of "The Cisco Kid" which we all enjoyed. 
Levi, who is turning 14 in a few months, is almost as tall as Matt already!

Sunday, January 03, 2016

New Recipe of the Week: Chickpea Curry with Rice

My friend Betsy and I both really love to cook.  In order to spur each other on in cooking new things we decided to take turns picking a new recipe of the week which we give the other each Sunday and both cook during the week.  FUN!  

I thought it would be fun to keep track of what we cook each week by posting a picture of the plated recipe, a link to the recipe and a short review.

I chose the first recipe which was an easy chickpea curry from Ree Drummond.

4 out of 5 stars.  I really enjoyed this recipe.  It was fast, simple and very flavorful.  Using the coconut cream from Trader Joes made the sauce so silky.  It paired perfectly with a semi-seco Cava from Spain which tempered the spiciness.  I will definitely make this again.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

In Honor of the Sharptooth

One year ago today we had to put Sharptooth to sleep.  We decided from now on we would honor him by drinking our very favorite wine of all time each year on this day.  We have a little less than one case left and it is a 2007 so we will see how it fares over the years.  

We miss you buddy and hope for a reunion in Glory.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Good Sports

Ariana came over to play with Bandito and new toys she got for Christmas.  Bandito was a good sport and played a good horse/cat in the stable. 

After dinner we played dress up and even got Uncle Matt involved!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Our Christmas Morning Tradition

On Christmas morning Matt and I have biscuits and gravy (his Mom's recipe which is a bacon gravy) and a bottle of nice Champagne while we open presents.  A great tradition indeed.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Minnesota Summer

Wine and Werewolves

Wine and Werewoves was an EPIC NIGHT with Tyler Lyle who we hired to come play a house gig in our backyard.  We had been preparing for weeks.  The morning of the gig Matt awoke early to fire up Sharptooth's Inferno.  We baked about a dozen loaves for the gig.  Set up followed throughout the day and we were so happy the Janks were here to help us.  The guys picked Tyler up from the airport around 2 and took him back to our house where we promptly filled him full of our most authentic and delicious Tucson food- Guerro Canel carne asada tacos.  I served Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne and Monte Xanic Calixa red wine (cab/syrah blend) which is one of Mexico's finest.  After a leisurely lunch of getting to know Tyler we gave him some time to chill and get acquainted with Luke's guitar.  Jeff arrived late afternoon and helped us all with last minutes stuff around the yard and thankfully he also took photos throughout the night for us with his sweet camera.  See his awesome photos here.
Gates opened at 7:30 and Tyler was playing by about quarter after eight.  We had 40 people all together.  Tyler took a break a few songs in so people could get more wine and snacks.  We had a plethora of wine (Champbrule, Luc Pirlet Chardonnay, Summit Estates Riesling, Vasco Sassetti Sangiovese, Montecillo Rioja,  L.A. Cetto Cabernet Sauvignon, & Line Shack Cabernet Sauvingon).  Plus we had fresh baked bread from the brick oven, cheeses, a tray of dessert bars by Betsy and a big platter of strawberries from our neighbors.  Tyler played many more songs, including my favorite of his, By My Name, which he had to relearn for me as its one of his oldest songs, and Matt's favorite, A Journey of Infinite Recognition, another oldie.  Tyler ended and we demanded an encore so he took a bit of a break and then ended the show with One Legged Woman.  The concert was awesome!  We tried to record the audio and video but unfortunately it didn't work (Jeff recorded a few songs which you can watch on his photo page linked above). Tyler brought a bunch of copies of his new album to sell and even though no one who came to the gig had ever heard of him they loved him and he sold a slew of his CDs. For those who bought CDs they got entered into a raffle in which we raffled off an autographed bottle of one of Tyler's favorite bottles of Bourbon.  When the music was over we kicked people out within about a half an hour or so.  This was for two reason, number one we needed to quiet it down and get all the cars off the street before we got complaints from our home owners association and because there was an after hours high end whiskey tasting for just a few guys and Tyler.  All in all the night was AWESOME except that I got sick that night and had to go to bed soon after the show.  The next morning we filled Tyler full of coffee and Los Betos breakfast burritos before we hauled him back to the airport.  

I will never forget how I was walking around the corner into my backyard the afternoon of the gig when I heard a very familiar voice singing, live.  A voice I listen to almost everyday and here it was live in my own backyard.  Awesome.