Monday, March 31, 2014


Our California vacation started in Sonoma, and then on to Carmel, ending in Palm Springs.  From wine country to quaint Carmel Bay and the barren beauty of Palm Springs.  We enjoyed such diversity.  Along the way we discovered hidden parks and gorgeous hiking trails:
One of our hiking buddies at Point Lobos:

Thursday, March 27, 2014

California or bust :)

We just returned from a much deserved and appreciated vacation in glorious California!!  It came at the perfect time...a time when I would struggle to get out of bed in the morning...afraid to confront more ice, snow, and gray skies.  Ahhh, saved by Sweet California!!  
The beautiful farmhouse we rented in Sonoma sits next to a vineyard, and this was the view from one of the windows:
Although it was winter also in California, we delighted in the greenery and colors of flowering trees and shrubs:
Visual beauty was all around us:


Oh, yeah, we did some wine tasting too!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


YES, it's still SNOWING!!  Even though, officially Spring has started (and it really is March!)  Alright then, a walk in the snow sounds great.....
What a wonderful walk!!!

Monday, March 24, 2014

SOBA NOODLE SALAD (based on a Giada de Laurentiis recipe)

      This is a delicious and fresh tasting salad!!   I tweaked the recipe slightly to adjust it to our liking.....and you will LIKE it too!!


8 ounces dried buckwheat soba noodles

3 Tbs. creamy peanut butter
3 Tbs. reduced sodium soy sauce
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 Tbs. sesame oil
1 Tbs. honey
1 (1 inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1-2 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 (1 1/2 lb.) head napa cabbage, cored and shredded
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1-2 cucumbers peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced
1 cup silvered almonds, toasted
3 Tbs. black sesame seeds

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the noodles and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite, 4to 5 minutes.  Rinse well in cold water, drain and put in a serving bowl.

In a blender, combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, olive oil, lime juice, sesame oil, 2 Tbs. water, honey, ginger and red pepper flakes.  Blend until smooth.

Pour the dressing over the pasta.  Add the cabbage, bell pepper, scallions, cucumber, and almonds.  Toss until all of the ingredients are coated.   Garnish with the sesame seeds and serve.