San Francisco Days and Roasted Tomatoes


One of my favorite houses in the neighborhood.


Out on a trek through the woods of Golden Gate Park with this mini hiker!  

Hey there friends– Back from 3 weeks in San Francisco with new baby Oscar and his dear family. Missing them all from here.

We made this new favorite roast tomato pasta for dinner one evening there, and liked it so much we did it again a couple days later when friends dropped to meet that Oscar!

It’s super simple and the tomatoes and garlic smell incredible roasting in the oven!

ROASTED TOMATO PASTA
8 oz. mini ravioli (or your favorite pasta)*
2 cups small cherry tomatoes (red or yellow)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
a few grinds of fresh pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

garnish: parmesan romano cheese, grated & sprig of marjoram or basil

In a large bowl, stir together the cherry tomatoes, red onion, chopped bell pepper, garlic, basil, salt, pepper and olive oil.  Then turn it all out onto a baking sheet that has been lined with foil.  Scrape all the extra oil out of the mixing bowl on to the tomatoes.

Pop the tomatoes into a 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are just starting to brown a bit.

While they are cooking, cook up your favorite pasta according to the directions on the package.

Drain the pasta and spread it on a pretty platter.  Spoon the tomatoes and all the juices on the baking sheet over the pasta.  Serve it hot with a sprinkle of parmesan.  So so good!

*I used mini ravioli from Trader Joe’s here, but fresh ravioli is the best!

Hi again–

Just wanted to drop in a few more photos of our SF days (bits I want to remember)– Baby snuggling, good talks, quiet meals together, plenty of playground time with an almost 2 year old.  So glad we could be there.

     
Brand new little Oscar, at the hospital and on his way home for the first time.

     
Lois lined up with kids waiting to get in the library for story time.  With Mom on the playground.  Lois & Grandma Duplo tower!

     
And one Sunday morning Larry and I went out on the town– Breakfast at my favorite ever bakery– B Patisserie.  A wonderful worshipful morning of church at Reality SF.  And then off to a cool new cafe for lunch– Theorita, specializing in pies like the baker’s grandma used to make (we split a piece of chocolate, pecan bourbon pie for dessert!)

So glad to have those days to watch our Oscar come into the big wide world– and see him blossom and grow in his new family.  Thanks Ani & Brian for everything!

.

P.S. Here’s a few other favorite simple pasta recipes:
Broccoli, Chicken & Bacon Pasta
Pasta e Fagioli Soup
Saucy Tomato Chicken & Pasta
Creamy Lemon Chicken & Pasta

Ten Blogging Years


Hello Blog Friends– This August marks my tenth year of typing away on this blog.  Really it’s more of a scrapbook of recipes and thoughts I want to hang on to.

I’ve been thinking for a while that I would use this anniversary to close the site down.  Life is full. And there are so many things I want to give more time to–people we love and projects we never seem to get done!

But when I then I thought about now much I would miss it–especially keeping in touch with old and new blog friends (that means you– Lacey, Mollie, Kat, Marcia, Daisy, Suzanne, Lisa, Mary, Carol, Lilly, Cindy, Brigid, Vero, Ursula and Susie!!)

So I’m cutting back to once a week– less recipes, more of life and faith and family.  I think that will fit just fine.

And to mark the happy event of Ten Blogging Years, I thought I’d link to my favorite posts (just click on the blue letters to link through):

 

FAVORITE RECIPES — DISHES FO FAMILY & FRIENDS


Chocolate Cream Cake with Ganache Frosting


Creamy Lemon Parmesan Chicken


Books & Breakfast– A Morning with Friends


Beef Barley Soup


Swedish Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce


Bacon Ranch Potato Salad


Moroccan Spiced Chicken with Apricot Couscous


Overnight Orange Rolls

 

 

FAVORITE THOUGHTS ON LIFE AND FAITH:


True Home


Waiting


My Notebook


Rethinking Christmas


Enough


Aging Well

.

 

FAVORITE BLOG MEMORIES WITH THE FAMILY:


Christmas With the Crew 2015


Wonderful Woodsy Wisconsin Wedding Weekend


Good Times in Big Bear


Grammy Camp 2017


Cambria with Kids


Sweet Times in San Francisco


On Being A Mom

.

 

FAVORITE BOOK POSTS OVER THE YEARS:

     
     
Booklist Page (Notations of books I’ve read the last 3 years)


Five Favorite Children’s Books!


At Home in the World (& Other Travel Books)

  
Books For A Special Baby

 
  
30 Years of Books (Lit Group favorites)

      
Favorite Books (October 2009)

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FAVORITE TRAVELS FROM HERE TO THERE:


Family Trek Through the Sequoias!


Beautiful Kyoto


Vancouver Days


Wet Market in Lijang China


Lunch in Paris


San Francisco with the Grand-Girls (or Fun in SF with kids!)


Wisconsin Part #2– Off to the North Woods!!

 

Whew! That’s a whole lot of posts.  It wasn’t easy narrowing down to very favorites!!  And if you, by chance, are still reading this overwrought posting– thank you!!  It’s been a joy to send out posts for the last ten years to dear people like you.  I remain thankful.

Baked Pumpkin French Toast


Hello there– I have to tell you that this is one of those dishes that tastes way better than it looks!!  It’s sort of a homely little mess sitting on the plate. Looking at the photos, I thought I should just scrap this post, but then it was so yummy, I just wanted to give you to be able to give it a try!!  Please trust me on this one.

The toasty bread coated with custardy pumpkin is pretty delicious, especially hot from the oven.  With maple syrup, perfect!

BAKED PUMPKIN FRENCH TOAST
1 pound loaf French bread
6 eggs
1  1/2 cups cream or half & half
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)

Crumb Topping:
1/2 cu brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup pecans (or more if you love pecans as much as I do!)

Garnish:  lots of maple syrup!

Cut the loaf of bread into bit sized chunks.  Put it into a 9″x13″ baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until they are blended.  Then stir in the cream, sugar, pumpkin, salt, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice.  Pour the mixture over the bread.

Cover the whole thing with foil and set it into the fridge overnight.  The next morning, take it out of the fridge an hour before you want to put it into the oven, to warm a bit.

While that is sitting, make the Crumb topping by mixing together the brown sugar, flour, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Then cut in the butter with a pastry blender (or 2 forks) until the mixture is crumbly.  Stir in the pecans and sprinkle it over the pumpkin French toast just before you pop it into the oven.

Bake the French toast for the first 30 minutes still covered with the foil at 350 degrees.  Then remove the foil and bake for 20 or 30 minutes more until the top is golden and the pumpkin filling is all set.

Serve it up hot from the oven with along with a jug of maple syrup!  I think you’ll love it!

Chipotle Chicken with Avocado Peach Salsa


Hi all– I’m happy to say I’m tucked in here in San Francisco waiting with Ani & Brian & Lois or the new baby to arrive!  It could be any day now!  (You know I’ll let you know when he arrives!)

But back to chicken– here’s dinner a couple nights ago.  Spicy chicken, with bright salsa.  It’s peach sweet, avocado creamy and a little tart from the lime juice.  With a leafy green salad and a chunk of cornbread– a good end of summer dinner.

CHIPOTLE CHICKEN WITH AVOCADO PEACH SALSA

Chicken:
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 tab. flour
2 to 3 tab. Chipotle Garlic chili powder*
2 tab. olive oil

Salsa:
1 to 2 tab. chopped cilantro
1 tsp. fresh lime juice
2 tab. red onion, chopped fine
pinch salt
1/4 tsp, freshly ground black pepper
1 tab. olive oil
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, cut to chunks
1 large peach, not peeled, pitted, cut to chunks

To cook the chicken, heat the olive oil in a medium high skillet.  Then cut the chicken breasts horizontally to make 4 thinner chicken filets.

Mix the flour and Chipotle chili powder together in a flat bowl and dredge the chicken in the mixture on both sides before dropping it into the hot oil.  Cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side until the chicken is well browned and cooked through.

To make the salsa, mix the cilantro, lime juice, red onion, salt, pepper and olive oil.  Then cut in the peach and avocado.  Mix it and spoon the salsa over the cooked chicken hot from the pan.  Enjoy!

*The flavored chili powder was McCormick brand– but any chili powder would be good.

 

Fruity Farro Salad with Honey Lime Dressing


HI all– I’m hoping summer is cooling down here– but we are still big on summer salads and with nectarines and strawberries beautiful and ripe these days, here was a recent supper.  A splash of farro and sprinkling of garbanzos gave it some heft and balanced out the sweet fruit and creamy avocado.  With the tart lime dressing and a chunk of walnut Levain bread– delicious!

FRUITY FARRO SALAD WITH HONEY LIME DRESSING

Salad:
1/2 cup farro
3 cups greens
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup garbanzo beans
1 nectarine, cut to small chunks
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1 avocado, cut to small chunks
1/4 cup salted almonds, chopped

Dressing:
3 tab. olive oil
1  1/2 tab. lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. honey
salt & freshly grond pepper to taste

Cook the farro according to the directions on the package (mine simmered 10 minutes with 1 cup water and a pinch of salt).  Drain off any extra water.  Cool.

To make the dressing, put the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, honey, salt and pepper into a container with a tight fitting lid.  Shake briskly until it’s thoroughly combined.  (If you let it sit, the honey may sink to the bottom, so shake it again just before you pour it on the salad).

Layer the greens, cilantro, garbanzo beans, farro, nectarine, strawberries, avocado,, and almonds on a platter.  Pour on the dressing when you are ready to eat.  Enjoy!

Peach Pecan Bread


Hey all– I just can’t resist picking over the piles of peaches and nectarines every time I hit the market.  It’s one of the best parts of August (compensation for the heat??!).  We’ve been eating them every day.

Here’s a little loaf I baked, for friends who came to brunch this week.  And I found it it’s even yummier toasted in the toaster oven the next day–sweet and peachy ad crunchy around the edges!

PEACH PECAN BREAD
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
2 large peaches, peeled, pitted, cut to chunks
2/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup whole milk (or half & half)
1/4 cup canola oil
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder

Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 to 2 tab. whole milk or half & half

Peel and cut up the peaches.  Set aside.  Chop the pecans.  Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, milk, oil and eggs.  Then mix in the flour, salt and baking powder.  The batter will be a bit dry.  Then fold in the peaches and pecans until it is thoroughly blended.

Spoon the batter into a standard 9″x5″ loaf pan (or I used two smaller half size pans).  Pop them into a 350 degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes, until a sharp knife inserted comes out clean.

Let the bread cool 20 minutes (or more) and the whisk together the powdered sugar and milk for the glaze, and drizzle it over the bread.  Slice & eat!!

Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Lime Sauce


Hello there– We’ve been having record breaking heat here in southern California.  So it seems all we eat these days are salads and tacos!    Anything light and cool.

So when Jenna texted and said she wanted to come by and help with dinner, this was on the menu.  She is so much fun in the kitchen– and we had lots to talk about to catch up!

And– there’s lots of flavor in these little tacos– with the cilantro lime sauce and any toppings you have in the fridge. A perfect summer supper.

HONEY CHIPOTLE CHICKEN TACOS

Chicken:
1 1/2 ponds boneless skinless chicken breast
3 tab. olive oil
3 tab. honey
1 tab. Dijon mustard
1 tab. ketchup
1 tab. lime juice
1 tab. McCormick Chipotle & roasted garlic seasoning
1 tab. apple cider vinegar
1 tab. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt

Cilantro Lime sauce:
1 cup sour cream
2 tab. mayonaise
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped fine
1 tab. lime juice
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Extra Taco Ingredients:
street style small corn tortillas
shredded lettuce
chopped tomato
grated cheese
salsa
cilantro
red onion
avocado
anything you like on your tacos!

Cut the chicken to small bite size bits.  Set aside.

In a container with a lid, mix together the oil, honey, mustard, ketchup lime juice, cider vinegar, cumin and salt.  Drop the bit of chicken into the mixture and stir until the chicken is thoroughly coated.  Then refrigerate the chicken 2 to 8 hours.

To make the Cilantro Lime Sauce, stir together the sour cream, mayonnaise, cilantro, lime juice, cumin, garlic powder and salt.  Cover and set it into the fridge until you’re ready to serve it.

When the chicken is done marinating, heat tab. of olive oil in a skillet,  When the skillet is hot lift the chicken from the marinade (use a slotted spoon so that the extra marinade is left in the container) and grill the chicken 3 to 4 minutes, stirring now and then until it is browned on all sides.

Serve the chicken with lettuce, tomato, cheese, avocado, salsa (all your favorite taco ingredients…) and the cilantro lime sauce.