Tomato Galette

This is a perfect dish to make when you have beautiful tomatoes begging to be used. Store bought pie crust makes it an easy weeknight meal and the addition of some golden caramelized onions can turn it into a weekend hit. Although you may not want to share, it’s that good!

INGREDIENTS

1 unbaked Pie Crust

1 (5oz) package of Boursin Garlic and Herbs Cheese

1 small yellow onion, sliced and caramelized

2 Large or 3 Medium Tomatoes

1 Tablespoon Honey

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Handful of torn or chiffonade basil

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 large egg with a drizzle of water, beaten

Preheat your oven 375 degrees.

On a parchment lined baking sheet, unroll the pie crust. Spread the Boursin cheese on the dough leaving about a 1 1/2 inch border. Sprinkle the onion over the cheese and then layer on your toms. Sprinkle with a healthy shower of salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and honey and then the basil.

IMG_2757IMG_2759

Gently fold the edges of the dough up over the tomatoes, repeating every two inches around the free formed pie. Brush the crust with the beaten egg wash.

IMG_2760

 

Pop into your heated oven and bake for *1 hour or until crust is golden.

* Don’t go too far, check at the 30 minute mark to make sure the crust isn’t burning,

Let cool for 5 minutes.

IMG_2762

Devour with a nice glass of wine.

A Little This a Little That

It’s been a week and a half since Averi’s transition from the crib and I have to say it’s gone very well. Let me follow that up with why. We made sure to do it when Shane would be home and that played a huge factor. When the girls are upset at night, me entering their room makes it worse, Shane walks in and they shut up. Monday he had to go back up to work. Bedtime wasn’t too bad but Averi did try to pull out all her tricks to avoid sleep and keep me coming in, luckily it was short lived.

She woke up crying at 1:30 in the morning just long enough to wake me. I lied awake and read for about two hours until finally drifting back to sleep only to have her wake up crying again at 4:00. She refused to nap this morning and spent an hour crying in her bedroom. I popped her on our bed with cartoons so I could shower and while I was doing so,  she took a hand full of her poop and painted our bed sheets and comforter with it.  This kid..sigh. I am not holding my breathe for a smooth bedtime tonight, but hopefully she will be too tired to fight me. I can hope.

This past Saturday we took the day to drive up to Julian. A little snow, some wine tasting and lunch. All the while I had Anthony Bourdain’s New Mexican Chili in the slow cooker.

There was snow and rain and ice and it was cold, I was not prepared. Having just been in Washington I thought I would be ok but that was a negative. I didn’t bring gloves or an umbrella and spent most of the time in damp clothes. The little town was busy and the weather was forcing everyone into all the restaurants and cafe’s. We finally found a place without a wait and we tucked into a corner booth for a mediocre lunch, but hey, at least we were dry.

 

dsc_5496x-jpg

Once we have seen all we wanted we wandered down the way to Wynola and popped into julian Station. It’s a neat building that houses tasting rooms, a taco bar, a few video games, a pool table and entertainment space for live music. Something almost out of the wild West. Definitely worth stopping at if you are in the area. We will be back.

Heading home we drove through Ramona and stopped at one of our favorite wineries, Chuparosa. We caught up with the wine maker who just got back from Walla Walla and then let the kids run free.

img_1033fullsizerender-1img_1029

We had just enough time for one last stop. A winery none of us has been terribly fond of but it’s been years since we have tried their wine.  The tasting room was inside  a tin can, okay more like an airport hanger with paintings and statues of naked women dotting the property.

img_1034 The wine wasn’t as bad as we remembered however…we all ordered a wine flight of five wines, all red. They were all the same color, the Pinot was the same deep burgandy as the Zin. None of them had any real personality so we left empty handed. I think we all agreed we don’t need to go back.

The Bourdain chili recipe from his latest cookbook was really good, depths of flavors from roasted chili’s and beef. We enjoyed it with some red wine and a game with friends. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday.

Thanksgiving and Homebound

We had a very nice and low key holiday. I don’t know why I say “low key” because there were 17 of us but since the kids were so entertained it felt, well calm.

imageimage

The girls had so much fun with their cousins, it’s too bad we don’t live closer.

No one went hungry. We had Brie en croute and plenty of snacks,  ham, turkey, all the side dishes and a plethora of desserts which I couldn’t even manage to eat until late that night.

I didn’t take any food pictures which is very odd and I have no excuses.

image

We  woke up way too early the next morning to hit the road, home bound. We drove from 6:00 in the morning until 6:00 at night, went through five states and saw much of nothing but the girls did amazingly well considering. A good book doesn’t hurt either.

imageWe stopped for the night in Bishop, Ca. Luckily there was a Holiday Inn express with one room left that suited our needs. Once we were checked in we headed to a small Italian place for a decent pizza and then to bed so we could do it all over again But since we went so far the first day, the second day was much shorter. We pulled into San Diego by lunchtime.

image

 

 

Wine About It

We spent most of the day wandering from winery to winery. Downtown Walla Walla is basically one after the other, the only problem  is deciding which ones to skip. You could easily wine taste for days just downtown.

img_0632img_0635 img_0638

We started the trip with a list of wineries we haven’t been to so we could try some new wines.  Some were great, some too expensive and a few just amazing.

fullsizeoutput_4b

K Vitners, also known as Charles Smith has  very good wine, especially their Syrah’s.

fullsizeoutput_4a

We headed to the airport to try a few new ones and revisit an old favorite.

img_0650

img_0654

Of course we had to pop into Sleight of Hands since we are members.

img_0671img_0672

And luckily two of the wineries we are always hoping to visit but are always closed were open.

Va Piano was a great experience. Not only did they have playmates for the girls,

img_0673img_0681img_0680

we met the winemaker. He gave us a taste of his Rose out of the barrel and although it wont be ready for months is was already delicious, all of his wines were five star.

We got to visit the cellar and witness the aftermath of a wedding proposal.

img_0683

Hard to follow that but we still tried. Dusted Valley had some above decent wines and a large lot for the girls to run around.

img_0686img_0687

We have done some pretty good damage in the wine department.

Pumpkin Patching

We managed to visit three different pumpkin patches this year. I don’t think this is something anyone needs to do, but the kids had fun.

fullsizeoutput_17fullsizeoutput_18fullsizeoutput_1cimg_0379

We took a day to check out the Ramona pumpkin patch. We also tried the famous cinnamon roll at the Ramona cafe…way overrated and then on to a few new wineries.

dsc_3823-jpgdsc_3814dsc_3787dsc_3760dsc_3745

Averi had her first ever pony ride, you can tell from her face that it was exhilarating.

We painted pumpkins before school and then met Kaili for her Halloween parade.

fullsizeoutput_16

img_0446

After a mediocre dinner and a total meltdown from Averi, the girls were ready for some Trick or Treating.

fullsizeoutput_19img_0471img_0482

Momma lasted about an hour and a half and then I was ready to get the girls to bed.

I think we successfully nailed October this year!

 

 

Bolognese + Garlic Cream Sauce

You know what marriage is? it’s bumping into the same person in your kitchen day after day and not killing them. Also known as true love.

The other night I made a recipe that I got over a year ago with a wine shipment. Dunham cellars in Walla Walla, one of our favorites in town.  Most of the recipes we received from them looked good, but this one I knew I was going to make, I just needed an excuse.

The recipe read like it was a  Bolognese meets Alfredo sauce, where is the fault in that?  My first step after reading a recipe, any recipe is to pick it apart. Most of the time I will counter it with multiple other “similar” recipes and come up with my own ending.

The results were pretty fantastic. Sausage and garlic can do no wrong, just make sure you get an Italian sausage in casing that has fennel, otherwise you’re wasting your time with this dish. I am not sure what my final measurements were so I will give you the original recipe. Do as you wish but don’t leave out the sausage or the red peppers, trust me.

Oh, and for some reason the original recipe is named “Tagliatelle Bolognese”. I am not sure if the person who submitted this recipe couldn’t find Tagliatelle and just grabbed the nearest fettuccine and “forgot” to tell us, or they  just didn’t know. But the two are different. With that, it really won’t matter what you use, although if you can find fresh Tagliatelle than by all means use that. I couldn’t, well I didn’t want to drive down to Little Italy, so I used fresh Fettuccine that I found at Sprouts.

Happy cooking!

FullSizeRender-3

 

Ingredients

Meat sauce

3 oz. ground beef (crumbled into ½” pieces)
• 3 oz. Italian sausage (crumbled into ½” pieces)
• 1/8 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
• 12 oz. Plum tomatoes (seeded, drained, chopped)
• 1 Tablespoon parsley, minced
• 1 ½ teaspoons garlic, minced
• 3 Tablespoons roasted red pepper (cut into ¼” strips)
• ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• Fresh ground black pepper
• 2 Tablespoons olive oil
• 1 lb. Fettuccine
• Parmesan, finely shredded
• Fresh parsley, chopped

Garlic Cream sauce

• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 cube butter
• 1 pint whipping cream
• 1 teaspoon salt
• Fresh ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:
Meat sauce: Preheat 12” sauté pan over medium high heat. Sprinkle salt over the bottom of the pan to aid in browning and prevent meat from sticking. Add ground
beef and sausage a little at a time. Meat should sizzle and smoke. Let meat brown on one side then stir. Cook to medium rare and drain off excess fat. Add all other
ingredients except olive oil. Simmer uncovered about 30 minutes until thickened. Stir in olive oil and set aside.

Cream sauce: Heat butter in a heavy gauge sauce pan until melted. Add minced garlic and simmer on low heat for 5 to 8 minutes. Add cream, salt and pepper. Let
simmer for 45 minutes until reduced in volume by 10%, stirring often.

Heat meat sauce, then add the cream sauce and heat until it bubbles and reduces. Cook pasta, drain and add to the sauce, thoroughly coating noodles. SERVE IMMEDIATELY. Garnish with shredded parmesan and parsley.

*recipe from Dunham Cellars

Easter

Kaili woke up eager and ready to see if the Easter bunny had left anything for her. Averi decided to sleep in….of course.

FullSizeRender-4

Once Averi woke up and we were able to get some real food into the girls, we let them see what was hiding outside.

IMG_8025

The grass was wet and cold, Averi didn’t want much to do with it. Kaili didn’t care and managed to gather all of the eggs on her own. Averi found a couple on dry land but put them in sissy’s basket.

IMG_8034IMG_8042

We had brunch plans with friends so while the girls ate their weight in candy, I made my way to the kitchen and stayed there the next few hours.

IMG_7981

I made a grapefruit yogurt cake and a tomato tart.

FullSizeRender

Luckily we weren’t going far. We walked over the pack n play, the kids toys, our food and we tucked in for a nice day with neighbor friends.

IMG_8056

We had quite the spread, baked donuts, savory scones, tomato tart, eggs Benedict casserole and fresh fruit all washed down with mimosas and good wine.

Averi napped in her pack n play for hours while we played in the backyard.

FullSizeRender-6

 

We talked and drank the day away, nibbling on cheese as the sun started to set.

FullSizeRender-5

Reminding us that tomorrow was Monday and we should probably bid adieu. The girls knocked out after a long day and we sat down for all the great Sunday night TV.

It was a very nice Easter!

Easter in Ramona

Our old neighbors are now living out in Ramona. They have so much land, so much space, perfect for an Easter egg hunt. So the girls got their baskets and we loaded up the truck.

IMG_0380

Their house has quite the views, hawks soar above the citrus trees and squirrels dart across the path to their pool.

IMG_7834

If you squint you can see some of our favorite wineries.

IMG_7837

The kids had a lot of fun hunting eggs, well I should say Kaili had fun. Averi just wanted to chase the cat and explore.

IMG_7836IMG_7840IMG_7842

There was quite a spread for lunch, homemade quiche to fried chicken sliders and delicious fresh squeezed OJ from their trees. I made this lemon cake. I was overly cautious to keep an eye on it but somehow I overcooked it by a few minutes, but I would still recommend the recipe. I am going to try another recipe this week to compare and because I need a another piece of lemon cake in my life.

Once we were able to drag the kids away from their playground we headed down the road to Kohill winery. We are new members and had a wine pickup but also, you can’t go to Ramona without hitting a winery, i am pretty sure it’s illegal.

IMG_7845

The girls snacked because they don’t eat their actual meals and then they chased each other around the tasting room while we decided what wines to take home.

IMG_7849

It was a good practice run for Easter, now we get to do it all over again next week but without getting in the car.

Life Lesson

“You can’t depend on anyone but yourself.” That is a tough pill to swallow and a hard lesson to learn, at least for me it was. When I moved to the OC   I quickly learned that there were some very flaky people, something I hadn’t encountered before. I remember my dad trying to console me after some of my new friends just “flaked” on me. That was the first time I ever experienced anything like that and I was hurt. I quickly learned that some people are just that way and it doesn’t bother them.The tricky part is trying to teach our kids that lesson. In the past few days I have had to explain to Kaili why someone wasn’t there or why something wasn’t happening, it sucks. I know it’s a life lesson, not everything works out and not everyone shows up…but she is four. Ugh, parenting is hard.

Kaili had her last soccer lesson of the month. They had a little scrimmage…if you can call it that. There were hand balls and wrong goal scoring but they had fun. I missed a few minutes, Averi dove head first off of a large rock on to the cement and I ended up inside the Y attempting to apply ice to her head. She had a really good goose egg on her forehead. Luckily it went down pretty fast, she was fine.

IMG_7490

IMG_7496IMG_7502IMG_0337Last weekend Shane spent the days putting in a raised garden bed in the back yard. A few years back he worked hard to put a play area for the girls in the yard. He moved the play area to another part of the yard and put the garden in, in a of couple days, he’s a monster. I hope this garden brings us the fruit of his labor.  I planted three types of tomatoes, four types of peppers, artichokes, and strawberries.

IMG_7539I told Kaili she was going to start swimming twice a week and I didn’t get a complaint…fingers crossed she just falls in love with it.

IMG_7526Did you all take advantage of national drink wine day? Those made up days are so silly but apparently my birthday is national margarita day, so……

IMG_7412

 

Halloween Eve

Friday, we took Kaili out of school so we could make our annual trip to Bates Nut Farm. Going the day before Halloween was a big WIN! There was hardly anyone there, meaning no lines for pony rides, plenty of room in the petting zoo and you could actually browse the store without being shoved by the person behind you.

IMG_6386 IMG_6393The kids enjoyed themselves, you goat to believe it.

After the pumpkin patch we went to a restaurant on our to-do list and I was honestly miserable the entire time. Kaili was so good and so easy to take out to restaurants. But Averi, well she isn’t. There is whining, so much whining and she isn’t happy unless she is eating or walking around. It wasn’t a very “kid inviting” restaurant and I just felt horrible for her screeching while others tried to enjoy their lunch. Meanwhile, Kaili fell off her chair hitting the ground head first, causing gasps from everyone around us…she was fine. My blood pressure was not.

IMG_6398

 

After lunch we hit a few new wineries nearby because after that lunch, we all needed a drink. The first winery, Deer Park Winery and Auto Museum was like walking into the past. Everything in the “museum” had a layer of dust on it. The wine bar was something out of the 70’s as was the decor. The wine though, the wine was atrocious. The whole experience was strange. Yes, Averi is eating off of old dirty carpet.

IMG_6406After that experience we hopped into another winery but I think we were all done and ready to head home. After baths, finally able to relax we enjoyed dinner outside while  the men watched baseball and the girls played until dark.

IMG_6424