Pumpkin Blueberry Trifle for Thanksgiving ~ True Blue Treat

Cathy and Blueberry Trifle

The world is shrinking. How to know? Here in California, I can buy fresh blueberries at Thanksgiving. They’re grown in Chile, the upside down seasons to ours. You can also buy frozen blueberries any old time. They work beautifully in recipes like this heavenly Pumpkin Blueberry Trifle.  Hardest part?  Wrangling a serving bowl big enough to […]

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Dining Changes Afoot at La Jolla’s Special Place ~ La Valencia Hotel

Dorothy and the Filet Mignon

I’m really mad at Chef Daniel Barron. He runs the kitchens at the La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla, California. I’m mad because he won’t share.

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La Valencia Hotel: Beds, Baths and Way Beyond Awesome

La Valencia Hotel Two Nights Girlfriend Getaway

This Girlfriend Getaway road trip was southbound from our Westside digs to the tony San Diego enclave of La Jolla. In a nutshell, these mini-vacations are three “women of a certain age,” hell bent on a little “me time” away from family, with an extra dose of GIRLY. Destination: the breathtaking La Valencia Hotel.

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Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta – Do’s and Don’ts

Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

It’s the world’s largest gathering of hot air balloons, and you literally stand amongst them all in a field, blowing up, flying into the sky (as well as ride ‘em) day after day after day.  The Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, October.

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Breaking Bad Tour – An Albuquerque Phenom

Breaking Bad Tour The Candy Lady

Larry followed the TV show Breaking Bad from start to finish.  I gave up after season 3.  It creeped me out.  But now, having taken the Breaking Bad Experience in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I’ll get through the last two seasons on DVD with a lot more interest.  Hey, I’ve seen the CAR WASH now!!  The […]

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Caramel Apple Blondie Pie

Caramel Apple Blondie Pie

California girl here. Born and bred. Yet, of all the magazines out there, I seem to relate most to Southern Living.  The home decor. The gardens. And, often (but not always) the recipes. Southern Living recipes are crazy rich, crazy fattening but crazy delicious.  Like their Caramel Apple Blondie Pie from the September 2013 issue.

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Ojai Valley Inn and Spa. As In, Aaaaaah

lavender collage ojai valley inn and spa

Faithful readers of this blog might be gobsmacked to learn of our stay at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa.  I am renowned for frugality. And this is a 5- star destination with a decidedly pricey reputation. How our four-day visit came about was kismet; it allowed me the chance to tell YOU, dear readers, […]

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Southwest Chopped Idaho® Potato Salad for Two

Southwest Chopped Idaho Potato Salad for Two

As far as I’m concerned, a big bowl of potatoes in any form is a good thing.  Mashed, riced, french fried, au gratin, baked and classic salad call my name.  So when the Idaho (R) Potato Commission asked if I would come up with a chopped salad featuring spuds… heck, yeah.  My result… a Southwest Chopped […]

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Fresh Plum Galette ~ Wait, Didn’t I Already Post A Galette?

Fresh Plum Galette

It’s time you made a galette.  I’m making them a lot these days.  Master this simple recipe and it may easily become your signature scratch dessert.  Seriously, all this Fresh Plum Galette IS is a flat pie crust with sliced fruit and a good amount of sugar.  Fold up the edges.  Bake.  Beautiful!

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Container Gardening ~ 6 Take Aways From My 5-Week UCLA Extension Course

Sunk soil

The new house has no available dirt to dig and plant. What we have are decent sized patios, balconies, and a rooftop terrace.  Thatzalotta square footage that still needs landscaping. Suddenly, our potted plants looked pitiful to me.  Hooray!  The UCLA Extension summer series offered what I really needed – a course in Container Gardening.

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Crockpot Curry for Two – Simple, Super Supper

Slow-Cooker-Curry-with-caption.jpg

The little slip of paper was in my eyeglass case on the kitchen table for, oh let’s see, THREE houses by now: Westwood, the Playa Vista rental, and now the new house. Time to make this keen little recipe (and alter it slightly) for Slow Cooker (aka “Crockpot”) Curry.

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Why Doesn’t This Light Switch Work? Mystery Solved!

plug-mystery-solved.jpg

In our 35 years of marriage, don’t you think Larry would have shared this pearl of wisdom before now? Mind you, he didn’t actually SOLVE the mystery of “why can’t I figure out which outlet is operated by this light switch?  I plug into EVERY @#$% ONE!”  But he told me something of tremendous value […]

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Fresh Peach Pound Cake ~ Where is Virginia Willis When I Need Her?

Fresh-Peach-Pound-Cake.jpg

Let me say, this Two-Step Fresh Peach Pound Cake is hefty.  It’s from Southern Living Magazine, and presented some questions that could have easily been answered if I were Virginia Willis.  Or Nancie McDermott.  Both of my Southern friends — cookbook authors and culinarians extraordinaire — would have instinctively known what to do.

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