Monday, March 12, 2007

Muir Woods

Pete wanted to show me some of the Redwoods. This is a park that is about 30 minutes outside downtown San Francisco. The trees were amazing. Most of them are over 700 years old. Good Pictures. Good Times. This is a great kid activity if you take the family to San Francisco. Phillip liked it a lot better than shopping in the city.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

San Francisco

I got a good deal on a hotel by Union Square and we were able to be on the Concierge level (free snacks at night and free breakfast in the morning). Wahoo! Phillip didn't like San Fran as much as Monterey. Pete ended up taking Phillip to the hotel and I got to go shopping by myself for about 4 hours. I didn't buy much (one new outfit and a pair of pocka-dot shoes) but it was great to shop without any time limits. YAY!

It turned out we were there during the Chinese New Year. We went to a Chinese Restaurant on "Chinese New Years Eve" and it was really busy. In china town they had the regular junk shops, but there were a lot of tents set up for gambling and selling knock-offs. (I got some knock-off sunglasses).

On our way out of the city we got a shot of the family by the "Full House" park. "Whatever happened to predictability, the milkman, the paperboy, the evening TV ... ooooaaaaa"

Monterey Aquarium

Phillip LOVED the fishes. My favorite were the jelly fish. It was so cool to watch with the lights and the classical music. There was a cute little cave where you could crawl behind some fish displays. Pete got a good picture of Phillip starring at the fish. We also got someone to take our picture by the Panguin display. Phillip didn't like it how I ran away from him. Poor little guy.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Pacific Coast Highway

We drove up Highway 1 from San Luis Obispo to San Francisco. It was a windy stretch of road but the views made up for it. Phillip loved the twisting roads and was cracking up like he was on a ride at Disney. I got a little seasick when we were winding over the cliffs with a 1000 foot drop into the ocean, but it was still pretty.

I took some pictures of the cows because it reminded me of the California Cheese commercial, "Happy Cows come from California." These cows were graising on a field right by the beach.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken marinated in yogurt and spices and then served in a tomato cream sauce. Serve with rice or warm pita bread


• 1 cup yogurt
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
• 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
• 4 teaspoons salt, or to taste
• 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
• 4 long skewers

• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 2 teaspoons paprika
• Salt to taste (I didn't add any because of the salt in the marinade and the salt in the tomatoe sauce)
• 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (Garnish)

1. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and 4 teaspoons salt. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Preheat a grill for high heat. ( I used the Forman Grill)

3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side.

4. Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Season with 2 teaspoons cumin, paprika, and 3 teaspoons salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro.


• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup pastry flour
• 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
• 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
• 1 tablespoon applesauce
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
• 1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water.

2. Combine the all-purpose flour, pastry flour and salt in a bowl. Stir in the yeast mixture and applesauce and knead. Dough shouldn't be sticky, but it shouldn't be dry either. If too sticky add 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour till you get the right consistency. If too dry, add 1 tablespoons of water at a time till you get the right consistency.

3. Roll out into a rope and cut into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and roll out till it's anywhere from a 6 to 8 inch circle

4. There are two ways to cook pita bread. The flavor is a bit different with both.

To Bake Pita:
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C) and put a pita on a wire cake rack. Toss in the rack and cook for 3 minutes or until the bread stops puffing up. When you take it out, smash down the pita (Careful, its hot!) and quickly put it in a plastic freezer bag.

To Fry Pita: (I use this method. I spritz the pan with olive oil between cooking each pita. Has a great chared flavor.)
Heat olive oil in a skillet over high heat. When almost smoking, place a pita in the pan and cook for a few minutes on each side, till brown spots begin to appear. It should look something like a tortilla when you're done. Put in a plastic bag once it has cooled a bit.


1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup sour cream
3 cucumbers, seeded and chopped
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
4 cloves crushed garlic
salt and pepper to taste

In a salad bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sour cream, cumin, paprika and garlic.
Add cucumbers and tomatoes; toss and chill before serving.