July 28, 2015

Japenese Lantern Plant

This is the plant that I started from some heart shaped seeds that my bookkeeper Phyllis had given to me before her passing.  
She told me to plant them and share with the other volunteers that work with me and her family members as well.
When I saw that her health was declining I planted the seeds, and yes I shared the plants with the others, and told them to save the seed and share with others to keep 
Phyllis in our hearts and thriving.
This weekend while I was gone, I arrived at home to see a lantern at the base of one of the very delicate branches, swaying just so, so light and delicate as is the rest of the plant with tiny white blooms on it.  The lantern is where the seeds are, and as the lantern dries out it becomes transparent, like an onion skin holding the heart shape seeds within. Can't wait to see the process and harvest the seeds to give to others. My plant is  about 18" tall, very spinely and delicate.  We all have been talking back and forth about our "Phyllis plant" keeping her legacy alive.
Such a fragile plant with so much meaning just like the woman it represents. 
Strong, steadfast, delicate and beautiful..
I miss our Phyllis in my office and meetings and such.  
A true meaning of the word volunteer. 
I know she is looking down on us and still guiding and admiring what we are all doing.  A teacher of doing things the "right way", no skimping... and always with a big smile on her face, OH I MISS THAT SMILE!

Bridget Luvs 2 Create: FishTaco Night!!

Bridget Luvs 2 Create: FishTaco Night!!: After getting off work tonight, I decided I needed to go to the grocery store before going home.  What shall I fix for dinner?? Something e...

FishTaco Night!!

After getting off work tonight, I decided I needed to go to the grocery store before going home.  What shall I fix for dinner?? Something easy, light and healthy and does not require the oven going on.  Tacos seemed like the right choice.  My favorite are fish tacos, but of course they don't come out quite like the ones from the taco shops.
This is my attempt at making them.
I started out with frying the corn tortillas, saute' 1/4 of a finely chopped onion in olive oil, cut the mild white fish up into chunks added them on top of the onions, on medium high heat with a spatter screen on top.
Made some homemade slaw with white cabbage thinely sliced and chopped along with some onion thinely sliced, added 2 Tblsp of greek plain yogurt, salt, pepper, to taste and mixed it all up.

The other toppings were store bought fresh cut salsa, and shredded cheese. I didn't have any cilantro but the salsa had a little bit in it.

You could add lemon or lime to the garnish if you'd like. 
 I made a whole platter, so good....

Nothing more required to this lite easy dinner unless you wanted to add rice,  a beer or margarita.  Great dinner on a hot July night..

July 22, 2015

A friend of ours from Le Grand is a farmer and brought us over some bell peppers and tomatoes yesterday.. The tomatoes are still sitting on my counter getting darker, while the peppers were ready to do something with tonight!
My dads' favorite thing to eat for breakfast or lunch was the fried pepper / egg sandwich which he made in the summmer for his lunch.
We use to serve it on white bread with a little mayo.  My favorite way is just with a little butter, and the egg and peppers are cooked with olive oil and a little onion.
It is so delicous shown here with a Portuguese roll that I purchased in Turlock at the Portuguese bakery off of Lander Avenue. I was in heaven as the melted butter oozed into the bread and the crunch of the bread and soft egg/pepper mixture hit my taste buds.. oh memories of this sandwich.. and my dad... yummy delicousness!!!
Try making this for just about any meal.... 
E N J O Y!

Bridget Luvs 2 Create: Two weeks ago we celebrated a family tradition in...

Bridget Luvs 2 Create: Two weeks ago we celebrated a family tradition in...: Two weeks ago we celebrated a family tradition in Los Banos called the "Italian Celebration", which is the celebration of &qu...

Two weeks ago we celebrated a family tradition in Los Banos called the "Italian Celebration", which is the celebration of "The Madonna de Carmen", which is a beautiful statue of our blessed mother, that our grandmother (my dads' mom) helped bring over from Italy along with her friends from the village of Grumenta Nova, Italy.
She is celebrated their also, along with many traditional celebrations that we try to carry on here, to keep our grandparents memory alive!
Every year I bow down to her on my knees and am always in tears.  I get so emotional when I am with her.  When going thru my cancer, I prayed to her while holding my childrens hands asking her to cure me so that I could see my children grow and become men, and also get to hold their children.  That was  26 years ago, and I have been very blessed by her and God!  A friend of mine Helen, we always find each other at her feet crying, we can't explain why, we just do. 
 We use to march from the St. Joseph's Catholic Church every hot summer with our cousins and other members of the community to the D.E.S. hall to have the traditional Italian stew and pasta. Our children did too a few times. This year instead of pasta they cooked saffron rice which was delicous with the stew. We no longer march from church to hall, since the new church was built across town. After the luncheon there is a live auction of donated items from different businesses and individuals. My donation this year was the biscotti that I make,"Biscotti by Auntie B.B.", sugar cookies with toasted sesame seeds, a chocolate/orange/nut cake and of course wine.
My purchase was Italian sweet peppers that I came home and stuffed and more!
Our runners for the auction were all the little cousins which is great so that they can learn about our family heiritage.
To the Nonna I never got to meet and my Pops who taught me how tell time and cook and garden and appeciate simple easy made food. He could throw anything together and it tasted wonderful. His pancakes were the size of the plate, lasagne in the pantry ready to bake, and olives curing in the cement wash basin in his laundry room.  I think that is why I wore "chubby girl sizes" before I was in the 4th grade. His garden was his whole back yard, complete with all vegetables, seasonings, grapes, fig tree, and beautiful carnations. Yes I learned a lot of things from my Pops, about food, traditions, and that family always comes first!

Bridget Luvs 2 Create: Amanda's bridal shower

Bridget Luvs 2 Create: Amanda's bridal shower: We will be giving my niece a bridal shower in August. So my job was to come up with the invitation, which is right up my alley. I so ...

Amanda's bridal shower

We will be giving my niece a bridal shower in August. So my job was to come up with
the invitation, which is right up my alley. I so enjoyed putting it all together with color and texture and yes a little bling too!

I stamped most of it, embossed it with texture and designed the way it opened and closed, which was a little tricky, taking me a couple of evenings to figure out.

The best part of it all was having my sister, the mother of the bride, my sister n' law who is helping give the shower and my other niece come over, finish stampin', glue and assemble with embellishments and ribbon, also deorating the envelope.
We all agreed it was a great afternoon, munching on salami & cheese, sipping on wine, looking through old photo books to gather photos and reminencing about when the kids were small, and "Where did the time go?"
  They are all grown up and starting their own lives.

Relish every step of the way you spend with your children, it goes by so quickly, make every moment count and memorable,
 even the smallest ones can be the precious ones.
When they are holding our hands we can protect them and guard them from being hurt, give them a good foundation of wrong & right by being good examples to them.
Hopefully they will remember all that is taught them, and how to handle all situations in a postitive way even when someone might hurt their feelings or    
not agree with them.   
Being kind to others, and reaching out to someone that might be in need.

Here is the finished invite with the envelope
All products are by Stampin' Up! which you can purchase from my website:
There are some awesome ideas for bridal, wedding, baby, anniversary, birthday,
and any holiday you can think of.  Cards, gifts, treat and favor ideas as well.
The sky is the limit when it comes to Stampin' Up!

Summer time, garden goodness!

Here's what my garden looks like at this point.
Over taken with the tomatoes I started from seed. Manzano and Romas. Lots of tomatoes just haven't turned red yet, more flowers bloomed over the last two days too, so that means hopefully more tomatoes!!  Can't wait  to harvest these 
and make spagehtti sauce, yum!

I have also planted basil, Italian sweet peppers, swiss chard, and some green beans.
Have been harvesting the chard, love it saute' with baby carrots and garlic and olive oil.  The basil I use it to make pesto in small batches.  I love pasta with fresh chopped tomatoes and pesto saute' in olive oil dusted with parmeasan cheese and fresh ground pepper. Such a simple meal for a hot summer dinner.
I am pretty excited about my garden this year since I started the plants from seed.

July 12, 2015

Sunday morning breakfast..

Today I chose to make Popovers

I love this crunchy soft centered treat

You need a Popover pan or some glass custard cups to make them
I finally bought a popover pan from  http://www.wayfair.com ; at a really good price.
I think I need a second one in case you have many to make for a large crowd.
So simple, just 1 cup of flour,1/2 teasp salt, 1 cup milk and 2 eggs, all beaten smooth.
Fill cups 3/4 full, hot oven 425 degrees preheated,  bake 35 minutes.

They puff up in pan as the batter heats up. Turn your oven light on and watch!
They are simple and delicous, crispy outside and soft wet inside, like a cream puff.

They can be filled with butter & jam like I have done here.

This is what they look like comin' out of oven

Cooked up some homemade Italian sausage

Filled one with the sausage and butter, oohh my delicous!

Be creative, and fill as desired... eggs & bacon, even whipped cream or custard with fresh fruit, the sky is the limit on these. Make a batch and comment back to me with what you put in yours.  Enjoy!

July 4, 2015


We are home today, just had a few family members over.  Hot dogs, Italian sausage, and a garlic sausage, complete with all the fixings!  My sister brought macaroni salad  with a lil' kick in it and some fruit, my mom brought ribs, Jack & Lydia brought watermelon. Reno and I did the sausages on the grill and also the corn.  Dessert was homemade Apricot cobbler.  We are stuffed!  Headed to visit a cousin and maybe watch some fireworks!