Out & About In Ojai

 


Hello friends– Last weekend Larry and trekked up the coast to Ojai for a day with the 3 grand-girls and their dear parents.  After these crazy winter rains, the citrus groves and hillsides stretched out green and lush–beautiful drive into the valley…

Jodi pulled out the wok to make us a tableful of a delicious lunch, while Mary Ann and Grandpa set up for a round of her latest game invention– Buzzing Bee.
     

There was a hike down to the creek and some splashy wading (for girls, not grandmas!)

   

Also, a lot of browsing and a few selections at Bart’s Books (a rambling indoor/outdoor used books store) — followed by pizza and gelato at Papa Lemon’s.
     

     

And Jodi rounded us all up for a few family photos just outside their front door (thanks Jodi– you know this grandma loves family pictures!)

Thanks Micah and Jodi– loved loved the meals, the talks and time with you all… It’s the best!!

Orange Cupcakes

IMG_8660

Hi there– Our kids live in Ojai– and if you’ve ever been there, you know it’s nestled int a valley teeming with citrus groves.  There are spans of orange and mandarin trees lining the roads that lead up to their house.  So when they come down to visit, they often bring in the door a big red net bag of oranges, fresh from the farm!  There’s a big bowl sitting on kitchen the table here next to my lap top.

So when I wanted to make cupcakes this week for friends coming in on Thursday night, I thought– how can I use a few of these oranges??!  And here they are– orange cupcakes:

Cake:
Orange cake mix (Duncan Hines)*
2 large oranges
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs

Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
1 pound box powdered sugar (about 3 3/4 cups)
1 tsp. vanilla

Use a grater to grate off all the orange skin of the two oranges.  Set aside.  Then juice the oranges keep the juice aside as well.

Make the cake mix according to the directions on the package (mine asked for oil, eggs and water) — But substitute 1 cup of orange juice for the water called for!!  (save 2 tablespoons of the orange juice to use for the frosting)  Stir in half of the grated orange peel into the batter (save the second half of the peel for the frosting).

Spoon the batter into muffin tins lined with cupcake papers about 1/2 full.  Should make about 24 cupcakes.Pop them into the oven for 15 0 18 minutes at 350 degrees, until they come out firm to the touch.

Let the cupcakes cool completely and then make the frosting– With an electric mixer beat together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, 2 tablespoons of the orange juice and the rest of the grated orange peel).  Spread it thickly on the cooled cupcakes and you’re ready for a party!

* If your market doesn’t have orange cake mix, a yellow or white mix would be just as well.

IMG_8658

Back in Ojai!

DSC01641
Sun setting off the back porch in at Micah and Jodi house

Hello friends–  So happy to say that Jodi and the 3 grand-girls are back from China!!  Been missing them all 4!  So today we trundled up to Ojai for welcome home hugs and a little birthday cake for Jodi.  Loved the sweet time together.

11046432_667101626734067_6204186537104242075_n
Out and about in Ojai– trying out the new Sushi restaurant in town–a grand-girl favorite.

DSC01651        11021227_667101920067371_3886318753105026879_n

DSC01664
And back home there was some awesome double rainbow watching and a little soggy puddle jumping.  Things are never dull with the grand-girls back– Love those lively, lovable  girls.