Decorating Started

I have been slowly decorating inside the house.  Here is a couple of pictures of the bathroom. You will notice that the main colors (yellow, rust, gray & white) are still there but accented with black, purple and orange.


Next to the kitchen. I don’t like the way the valance is hanging so I’m trying to decide on either a curtain rod or maybe just a better piece of twine.

Here are my pot holders.

And just to make you feel welcome:


Creamsicle Smoothie

One of my favorite store bought ice creams when I was growing up was the orange creamsicle. I loved the vanilla inside the orange sherbet like shell. Whenever I see anything that sounds like this flavor, I have to try it. Here is a great smoothie recipe for this Creamsicle Day. Enjoy!

1 peeled & frozen navel orange
½ c. orange juice
1 c. plain yogurt
1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. Honey
1 c. ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

Grand Marnier Day

I don’t know if you’ve priced Grand Marnier lately but it is pretty expensive. I found a small bottle at my grocery on sale for $19.99. I have purchased it before but couldn’t bring myself this week.  It is a tasty orange liqueur. In honor of Grand Marnier, I made an orange liquor by juicing some oranges and mixing with an equal amount of Absolute vodka.

Not quite the same since first off mine is orange in color while Grand Marnier is clear. This would only make a difference if you were making a drink like the B52 shot which layers of Irish Cream, Kahlua, and Grand Marnier. Also Grand Marnier is a Cognac where as my mix is a liquor. What ever your choice: orange vodka or Grand Marnier, make yourself a drink and enjoy today.

Steak & Shrimp Fajitas

Have you ever had a craving for something? That’s what happened this weekend. For some reason I wanted fajitas. Even though we don’t eat tortillas, the meat & vegetables in the fajitas will suffice. So I picked up some top sirloin that was on sale, and red, orange and yellow sweet peppers. I was going to get a fajita seasoning packet but decided that I already had the main seasonings (cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and oregano) at the house. I had purchased a small package of shrimp a couple of days before so I included them in this meal.

When it was time to eat, I cut the top sirloin, peppers and an onion into strips. Using the same amount of cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and oregano I seasoned the meat and placed a skillet. Then seasoned the peppers and onions and added them to the skillet with the steak. I threw the shrimp in just a minute before the veggies were tender-crisp, . The fajitas were served over a bed of cauliflower rice and garnished with cilantro.

It was delicious. Next time you get a craving, I strongly suggest you act upon it and enjoy!

Fennel-Roasted Olives

I do like stuffed olives. We have found a double stuffed olive at Costco. The garlic and jalapeno go very well together. I’ve been trying some recipes that I can use as gifts. This recipe is for Fennel-Roasted Olives. They are easy to make and can be colorful depending on the olives you choose. I used the regular black olives and Manzanilla. If you have a favorite olive that would work as well.  Before serving, your may want to let the olives sit on the counter to warm up a bit.  Otherwise the oil is almost solid like a vinaigrette and it gives the olives a weird texture.

3 c. assorted olives
1 clove garlic
1 tsp. Orange zest
1 tsp. Lemon zest
1 Tbsp. Olive oil plus more to fill the jars
¼ tsp. Black pepper
2 tsp. Fennel seeds
sherry vinegar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a rimmed baking dish  toss olive, garlic, zests, black pepper and 1 tablespoon oil. Spread evenly and roast 30 minutes, stirring once. Divide olives into jars, add 1 teaspoon of fennel to each then pour even amounts of sherry vinegar and oil over olives to cover. Store in refrigerator up to 1 month.


Hot Mulled Port

On these rainy cool days in Southern California, I like a warm beverage.  Give this one a try to warm your bones.


2 oranges
1 grapefruit
1/4 c. sugar
1 cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
1 tsp. ground mace (optional)
1 bottle ruby port




Peel rinds from oranges & grapefruit (try to avoid as much white pith as possible) and muddle them with sugar in a large bowl.  Allow to sit at least 30 minutes, to release oils in rinds.





In a large pot, boil 2 cups of water. Add muddled rind mixture, then spices.






Juice oranges & grapefruit; add juice to pot. Simmer over medium heat 10 minutes.







Remove from heat; strain out the solids. Turn heat down to very low and return liquid to pot. Add port. Heat mixture until hot; but not boiling, garnish with cinnamon sticks & cloves, and serve.