Tuesday, April 28, 2009

chef de cuisine...

i am a big fan of the food network...and frequently get my dinner ideas from giada or ina or sunny. today...i saw giada prepare penne with beef and arugula...and knew that i wanted to prepare it. so...as soon as the clock chimed 5:00...i was out the door to pick up the ingredients.

i hadn't been to the grocery store in a while...so i wandered about the produce section for over 1/2 hour...picking up lemons and avocados...ginger and jalapeno peppers. i even bought a pineapple. i'd entered the store at 5:30...and it was 7:00 when i emerged. i couldn't believe i'd been in there that long. i gotta get cooking!

while i put away the groceries...i started the water for the pasta. once i'd put the steak on the grill...i needed to prepare the rest of the ingredients. i used my herb-infused olive oil in the salad dressing. *glad i bought another bottle of olive oil because i need to flavor some more. i think i'll hit up costco this weekend...and buy the industrial sized container.

i finished the pasta dish with grated parmesan cheese and a touch of lemon zest...and packed it into containers for tomorrow's lunch. some grapes...a good book...and sunshine will round out my picnic in the park. i'd better set the alarm on my phone so i make it back to the office.

for now...i need to go clean up my kitchen! where's my sous chef or escuelerie
(dish washer)? isn't there some saying that says she that prepares the food should not have to wash the dishes??? well...there oughta be!

Monday, April 27, 2009

the finished product...

last night...to make sure every drop of water was removed from the herbs that i was going to put into the olive oil...i brought out my dehydrator (yes....i have one of those too).

i now have bags of dehydrated herbs that i plan to label & give to people that i know would appreciate receiving it (that would be other geeky wanna be chefs like me).

yesterday when i twittered that i was making the olive oils...my daughter twittered back that it sounded 'very californian' and promptly asked me to make some for her. so...i'm off to the grocery store to pick up a few more bottles of olive oil and vinegars so i can come up with a few more conconctions.

i'm also going to need decorative bottles (and labels) to put my new creations in...so perhaps i'll go shopping during my lunch break tomorrow.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

kitchen creations...

i like making herb infused olive oils. my kitchen smells wonderful when i'm making them...and i love using them in salad dressings & stir frying.

rosemary-garlic-oregano oil...

garlic-sage oil...

chili-rosemary-oregano oil...

simmer the herbs in the oil for a minute...allow to cool & then strain.


blanch fresh herbs in boiling water for 2-3 minutes & allow to dry overnight. place the herbs in a clean container & pour the strained oil over them.

*you can also use dried herbs to flavor the oil.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

more garden goodies...

the other day on my lunch break...i went to my fave nursery. to browse. wink. wink. well...let's just say i wasn't looking for anything in particular.

on my way into the store...i spotted the lemon cucumber plants. i've planted those the past couple years...and have had success with them. since i didn't get a basket...and didn't want to start picking up items before i even got into the store (especially since i was 'browsing') i thought...well...they must have some in the back...so i'll just pick one up back there.

perusing the veggies & herbs...looking for the lemon cucumber plants...i spotted a purple bell pepper plant. i'd never seen those before...so i picked one up to give them a try this year.

if you hadn't guessed...i like to grow the veggies that you can't pick up at the nearest supermarket. i want something that not only looks different...but sparks a conversation.

i share my harvest with friends...family & co-workers. heck...anybody can grow a tomato...but not everyone grows an orange-colored, soft-ball sized heirloom tomato...or eight-ball zucchini. remember the cuteness factor?

i ended up purchasing...more herbs & the little ladybug windmill. i will stay away from the nursery for at least a week. (they should have received a couple more shipments by then). :)

this is a photo of some of last year's herbs...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


this morning on my way to work...i stopped at the grocery store to pick up a cake for my co-worker's birthday. i also got her a balloon & some tulips.

while i was looking at the tulips...i spotted the orchids. i've had an orchid plant before...but wasn't very successful with it. i asked the florist about the ease vs. difficulty of taking care of them...and she told me what i need to do.

so...as you can see...i bought it.


watering directions...

remove the plant from the ceramic holder. fill it with water. set the plant in it for five minutes. pour out the water. repeat in one week.

hopefully in a month...it will still look as good as it does today.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


i spotted this today while driving.

made a u-turn.

parked my car.

grabbed my camera.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


tomorrow i have my first photography class! i'm so excited! i've owned quite a few cameras...but have never had a lesson.

last month...i purchased a dslr for my daughter...and lessons were part of the package. since she took photography classes in high school & college...majored in photojournalism...and lives in ny...the lessons are mine!!! ok...i did send her some of the coupons. a printer was part of the deal too...and i kept that...even though mrchazman had bought me a new one for christmas...but it didn't print ON cds.

yes...i go gadget crazy. i really need to follow the lead of some of my flickr/twitter/social network contacts...and start off loading some of these excess items on ebay. i've never sold anything there...but i've made purchases.

now...i must go clean my 'gear'...cause when i uploaded this photo...i saw how horribly dirty my filter is...and...i want to fully charge the battery...so if we get to take photos...i'm not sitting there with an inoperable camera...tweeting because i forgot to check the battery.

Monday, April 13, 2009


i noticed this rose outside my living room window yesterday afternoon...and knew that i wanted to photograph it for today's photo.

upon arriving at home...i grabbed my camera from the car...and went right to the front yard. the rose was perched a couple of feet above my head...and i was shooting towards the sun.

in an
attempt to bring the rose closer to me...the branch snapped. i then placed the rose on the trunk of my car...and proceeded to take over 20 photos.

in this photo...i cropped just a section of the rose and its reflection...and applied the dry brush filter. i think i'm going to print this for my office.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

roast chicken...

fresh herbs from my garden...chives, rosemary & sage...finely chopped & combined with olive oil, butter, garlic, salt & pepper. rub chicken with mixture...inside & out & under skin.

place 1/2 lemon, onion, sage inside of chicken. place on bed of sliced onions mushrooms. roast at 425 for 90 minutes, basting occasionally.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

incredible, edible...


since we have so many of them...i had to at least photograph them. even if it is raw. and not decorated.


did you know there used to be a toy called
incredible edibles? yep. i had one.

now...you go to the store and buy gummy worms...and they taste good. well...in the 60s...that wasn't the case. you made your own. and they weren't very tasty.

my brother and i would go into our play room...usually because it was raining or dark and we couldn't go out...cause in those days we played outside. all the time.

anywho...he and i would go into our play room...and i'd cook up these critters for him to eat. i'd make spiders and lizards and worms. there were different flavor packets to give the bugs different colors and tastes.

as i'm writing this...i'm recalling the taste and smell. i can only remember a few of the flavors...cherry, root beer & butterscotch. i think i liked butterscotch...but i'd have to ask my brother. i'm older then he is...but his memory is better.

i also had an easy bake oven...and i'd make those cookie-sized cakes...and then have the nerve to want to slice it so that everyone could have a slice. that light bulb sure could cook!

wow. i never imagined taking & posting a photo of eggs would bring back so many memories.

and now...

Thursday, April 9, 2009


each year i color eggs. i also make an easter basket with candy and other snacks. then...i take everything to church. for the little...and big kids.

the first year i did it...one of the deacons took an egg...and then asked where the salt & pepper were. i didn't have any...but lucky for him...my mother did.

this year...i'm sick. my mother called earlier to check on me. she said there will be some hungry people after church tomorrow when they discover that i'm not there.

i bought all the candy for my basket a couple of weeks ago...and had mrchazman pick up the eggs the other day. since i already had an 18 ct of eggs...i now have 36. i see omelets in our future.

i'm also going to miss my mother's easter dinner. she's making a turkey and a ham. i love eating her hams...and don't even attempt to make them myself because they never quite taste like hers. she suggested that mrchazman come over and bring me back a plate...but...he's coming down with this flu bug also. :(

so...i'll soak some pinto beans tonight...and let them simmer all day tomorrow in the crock pot. and...i guess i'll roast a chicken...unless one of my brothers takes pity on me...and drives in the opposite direction from his house to bring me some ham.

oh well. if i go to work on monday...perhaps i'll go to my parents house for lunch!

happy easter!

*this post was started on thursday & posted on saturday.


when your throat is sore.

i posted this photo on my flickr site...and had someone comment that getting your tonsils out as an adult is worse than childbirth. ouch! well...i've been thru childbirth...and if a tonsillectomy as an adult is worse than that then i'm not too sure i want to do it.

they really should have been removed when i was a child. ok...that didn't happen...and since i can't pop back there now and have it done...its a moot point!

well...my sore throat morphed into something worse...and while i started this blog post on wednesday...it's now friday. i'm still at home...and still sick. but...i did take my daily photos...and i since i don't have a lot of energy...i'll be posting without commentary.

have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

stormy weather...

don't know why...
there's no sun up in the sky...
stormy weather.

well...really...i do know.
there's no sun...
because its 7:30 at night!!!

our weather has been sooooo crazy...
80 degrees one day...
60 degrees the next...

so now...
i'm sick.

Monday, April 6, 2009

i like chips...

potato chips.

i prefer salty snacks to sweet. i can pass on cakes, pies, cookies, etc., but don't leave me alone with a bag of potato chips. especially if you don't want me to eat them.

remember that line from 'devil in a blue dress' when mouse killed jophrey and then he asked easy...why'd you leave 'em wit me? well...that's exactly what i'd ask you if wanted me to 'watch' some potato chips for you.

now if you were to melt that chocolate...and put it on some pretzels...snack food heaven!

today...a co-worker & i went to lunch...and brought back dessert for the rest of the team. she & i got chocolate chip cookies. i guess they decorate the plate with the chocolate chips if you eat the dessert in the restaurant...because they gave us both a container of them 'to-go'. not only have i not eaten the cookie...but i also did not eat any of these chocolate chips. not one!

when i saw them in the box...the thought that came to my mind was...photo. i gave the cookie to mrchazman...and since i played with the chocolate chips...they will hit the trash.

yes...i did work out extra-hard this morning...but i'll bank those calories until later on this week so i can have my potato chips. 'cause i know i can't eat just one!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

the cuteness factor...

this little water mister serves no real purpose in my garden. it's cute! that's it. that's the reason i purchased it.

if i were to attempt to water my garden with it...i can't imagine how many trips to the faucet i would make. it already takes me an hour to water everything by hand. with a hose.

yes...we have an automatic sprinkler system...but i don't like to wet the tops of the flowers...and only want to water the ground beneath. i know...a good rain would wet everything...but...it's not raining!

i water by hand because i want to soak the ground...as the soil in our area is not the best...and tends to dry out rather quickly. also...the plants need that deep-soaking that can only be achieved by rain...or watering by hand.

the flower garden receives sun all day...and the vegetable garden receives sun most of the day. it is the flower garden that needs the thorough soaking. it sits at the base of a hill...exposed to the elements...and the wind and sun tend to dry the soil very quickly.

so...i'll continue my daily backyard watering therapy. ipod attached to my waist. earbuds in my ears...blasting (while i sing badly) to the cd of the day. and i'll continue to admire my little water mister...and the other little water cans that i've purchased over the years. none of them are really used to water my garden...but mainly as accents to it. now if i could just bring myself to use those 'oh so cute gardening gloves'. i'm sure my nails will thank me.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


a few years ago...i planted a smallish-sized lavender plant in my garden. it is now a couple of feet tall and a couple of feet wide. it has also sprouted four or five baby lavender plants. it's a good thing that i love the smell of lavender.

a couple of years ago...my boss went to france and asked...'what do you want me to bring you?'. my reply...'lavender'. she brought back a lavender soap...which is gone (hint, hint) and a lavender lotion...which i use sparingly.

a year after i planted the french lavender...i also planted spanish & english lavender. the english lavender didn't make it thru the season...but the spanish lavender is still hanging in there. it's starting to get pretty big also.

so this morning when i was working my garden...i decided to prune the lavender plant...as it was hanging over the border into the grass...and was spreading into the space where i wanted to plant some other flowers.

now....the plant is pruned...and i have the wonderful aroma of lavender...scenting my home...inside & out.

Friday, April 3, 2009


yesterday i stopped at my fave nursery to get my herb & veggie plants. the pickings were quite scarce...but i still managed to find quite a few things that i wanted to plant. i will go back there in a couple of weeks when they get in a few more varieties.

unfortunately i didn't get to work in my garden today, due to a sore throat & an earache. with the crazy 20 degree fluctuations in the weather that we have fr
om day to day...i guess i was bound to get something sooner or later.

i guess i should have realized when i was driving down to san jose with the air con on in the car that something was up. something like my temperature! i didn't give it a second thought. went to the office and then went out to dinner with the new team members.

not until i arrived back at my hotel did i notice the scratchiness and sore throat coming on. i took a hot shower...took some vitamins & went to sleep. thursday morning...feeling WORSE. sucked it up...went to the 8:00 a.m. training for our new team members & proceeded with my scheduled q&a portion.

one of the facilitators had some cough drops...which greatly helped. i still had a webex and one more class to attend before i could make it back to my side of the bay. i arrived home at 7:00 p.m., promptly took some nyquil & was out for the night.

i had previously arranged to take today off work...so i spent it attempting to cure myself so i can enjoy my weekend before i'm back in the office on monday! but now...it's time for tea.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

i saw this fairy in my co-worker's office...and thought it was very cute.