Thursday, February 28, 2013

blackberry cobbler~

Blackberry Cobbler


½ cup sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
½ tsp. ground cardamom
½ tsp. salt
3 cups fresh blackberries
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Cake Topping

2 cup cake flour
¾ cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, melted
¾ cup milk
2 eggs
1 cup chopped pecans

Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Gently toss all the filling ingredients together. Divide among six ½ pint mason jars*. Place jars on a foil lined baking pan. Bake for 25 minutes, until the filling begin to bubble.

While the berries are baking, prepare the cake topping. Whisk together the dry ingredients; set aside. Whisk together the butter, milk and eggs. Pour wet ingredients into the flour mixture and stir to combine.

Remove the berries from the oven and prepare to assemble and bake the cobbler. Add a dollop (about 2-3 Tbsp.) of the batter on top of the hot blackberries. Sprinkle pecans on top of the batter in each jar. Bake until the filling is bubblly and the cake topping is golden brown and cooked through, 20-25 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack. Eat as is, or carefully push the cake topping in the jar and place the lids on the jar(s). Serves 6.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Monday, February 25, 2013

a beach diary feb 16-24

feb 16th sat. woke up to weak clouds and bits and pieces of fog here and there, not a spotless day by the sea. started out a lazy morning with a huge breakfast, after an early morning dog walk on the beach, before the crowds woke up.

the movie crew has cleared out completely from the beach, was told they are coming back. tippy hedren is doing a cameo in bodega bay, i am tempted to drive over and see them shooting by the church, could be a hoot. ah, a little bird humor~

speaking of hoot, picked these up at sur la table today on our outing...

decided to go collect on some puzzles i had solved last year in st helena. got car sick coming down the mountain, didn't even know that road existed, super duper windy :-( was a quick trip, we had a dinner date with dan and laura at 6 so the day felt extra rushed, to much fun in one day. did love these grand entrances and views...

the cafe was jam packed, our table was extra loud with laughter. the restaurant was running out of food, they have been so busy this weekend, plus with the movie crew around, i don't know what they will have left to serve by sunday, the cupboards are bare! good to see them so active.

dan and laura are such a cute couple, i love seeing love right in front of your eyes, she said for valentines dinner she brought her own red candles to the table at a local restaurant, so cute. every time we are around them you can just see how much they both love each other.

3 of the most expensive houses all sold last week, i am betting its the movie crew, i am sure after filming here they must have been smitten with the area and the fact you can buy drop dead glorious views for scads less then any of the coastal areas down south. its just 2 suspect, even the house across from us sold, plus that incredible pele's rainbow, and the largest house in town. amazing really, only the low to moderate were selling, they are just scooping up the cream of the crop~


feb 17th sun. another spectacular morn. scott took the dogs for a walk while i made us another breakfast feast. dined out on the deck, so warm i was sweating before 9am.

headed down the bay with the dogs for a walk in millerton park. we risked life and limb on the horridly crowded tiny single lane roads. there is no room for bikes... much less 100s of them, plus traffic, its a miracle no one was killed yesterday. i felt like it was indy 500 races just trying to survive for a simple dog walk... and the oyster crowds are just ridiculous, 1 mile traffic jam in the middle of no where 3 places, and not a place to park, but thats not stopping anyone. where are the police? this could be a gold mine for ticket writers. it really feels like 4th of july, its like the whole world has hit the coast, we can't even call it cabin fever, its been a very mild winter.

thank heavens the park was near empty, they are all to busy lining up for miles for oysters, too busy to walk on a sunny day. dogs did love the romp, nothing like bay mud in low tide to make a dog happy :-(

its always blue, green and gray here, was starstruck with color when we came around the corner, how color coordinated is this, from the road, to the license plates, to the truck, to the broom, to the kayaks, i loved it! as long as sight seeing i have always loved this little house.

came home to find oscar running wild again... went on mission to track down his owner. poor dog is just a throw away, made me so sad for him. visited with june and chatted up oscar, out comes another neighbor off to track down oscars parents, at least i could provide the name and house, he leapt their fence and made her scared for her tiny dogs... came home and tried to hook oscar up with stellas son, he already owns 2 and is on a puppy wait list, oscar is beautiful and year old, just needs someone to love and train him. he is too big for me, wrong color too, but i sure would love to know he gets the right home, before he gets shot :-(

nestled in for a simple afternoon, scott washed the car inside and out, surprising how bay mud can spur on projects. i read a simply fabulous book, the memoir of an imaginary friend, oh i think its excellent, very different, very wonderful, very very worth reading for those handful of you that look in on occasion, find this book. when you read a lot, different is highly appealing.

made us a full on turkey dinner since scott didn't want to bbq... ate as the sun set, another end to a fabulous day by the sea.

finished memoir and cried, its such a touching book... read it! i am going to read his 2 other books, he thinks different, i like that~


feb 18 mon. omg another overwhelming breakfast... heavy fog, heck lets eat big again! went to do a costco run to last me another week here. brought home some test plants for the deer... i will place one out tonight and see if it survives, the real problem is things can be here a year and then disappear, they are not like my deer at home, reliable!

a do nothing kind of day, decided to do some baking and use up my lemon curd in prep for a bunch of lime curd i made. first i made gingerbread thumbprint cookies filled with lemon curd, followed with a lemon tart with blackberries and a fabulous onion goat cheese tart. scott leaves me tonight, so far the renters are still here, i can't stand the thought of waking up to them still here tomorrow, i count on 11 am for this place to clear out :-(

storm is here, the sky is black, rain out to sea, winds shifting, but still a fabulous colorful sunset...

scott left after dinner, it always makes me sad when he leaves at night, instead of the morning... it will be a long separation this time, a whole 4 nights, its to much for him to come back in that short of time.


feb 19th tues. stormy morning, up early and turned on the heat, i think psychologically i need it more then reality. 30 degrees, went out in my nightgown to feed the feral, didn't even feel cold to me. a perfect day to fill in my diary and sort through pics. oh, and make labels for things i made this weekend...

the rain let up mid afternoon, but the wind is howling and the house vibrating. a do nothing kind of outdoor day for me, even though i laid out plants in the rainstorm, of course they have blown over, i only hope not away...

busy chatty day on the phone and stella stopped by with 2 chocolate cakes, great way to enjoy a storm!

downloaded a new book, i have read 2 real stinkers in a row and was just disgusted, i wanted to be sure to get an author i already i knew i loved. so decadent to be in bed and use your kindle for instant gratification. fell asleep only to be awakened by a car parking their headlights to shine in my bedroom. so ticked off i ate chocolate cake in the middle of the night and read until i fell asleep. did see a green falling star low on the horizon over the sea, almost worth the irritation...


feb 20th wed. wonderful morning after yesterdays storm, the wind meter has broken on our weather station, a neighbor told me hers broke at 90 mph last year in a storm, i guess being coastal they are to flimsy to hold up to the full pacific frontal weather...

oy, i swear i filled my diary in yesterday, but its barren today, either i was more tired then i can remember or another damn blogger glitch :-( it was such a gorgeous morn that i was eager to back to the garden after a quick dog walk. i spent the bulk of the day moving mulch to the front bed under the window, which means i am front and center to the world and ended up chatting much of the day away with neighbors as they passed by.

i rescued sam, visited with stella, richard and renters, and had long chit chats on the phone, the day just flew by. i was exhausted after mulching but took the dogs at low tide for a quick romp in the howling winds. the sand was flying off the dunes and ripples on the beach, i could barely stand up right, i do love throwing the ball with the wind behind me, its like being superman, faster then a speeding bullet and ball ends up almost in southern ca.

laura called and said she met her soap idyll of 20 years at dinner at the william tell of all places. she took pics and they asked her to be an extra this sunday night from 10 pm to 10 am, her choice, a bar scene or a funeral. the funeral needs 3 changes of clothes, she picked the bar~

exhausted after hauling mulch in the full on raging wind, went to bed right after the dogs last walk before 6pm, i feel asleep 3 times before scotts 9pm call... not liking my latest book purchase, just on a bad book roll...


feb 21 thur woke up without a care in the world, a warm morning and beautiful as ever. fed the feral and took the dogs for a walk, promptly grabbed my book and sat outside until mid afternoon reading and chatting on the phone. the day has flown by! good thing, because i can't stand my new book... i LOVED her first 2, but this was just dull, not one bit of sparkle to encourage me, can't wait to be done with it...


feb 22 fri another day in paradise. took the dogs out for a nice warm walk, ended up spending the entire morn, until after lunch outside reading an absolutely adorable book, mr rosenblum dreams in english. the wind was picking up and stella was getting our neighborhood emergency responder placed on her roof so i headed indoors.

so enchanted with my book i basically was planted in the window the rest of the day. more phone calls and visited with june about the garden when checking on the feral, which has been missing for 2 days...

saw 2 boats out in the rough water about the size of a bathtub, i am sure the coast guard will be needed if they don't get to shore quickly. one boat was completely air born when cresting head on into a wave in the channel... this is not warm caribbean waters, this is cold, great white, kill you, hypothermia filled pacific ocean, complete idiots to be out, by mid afternoon the water was absolutely wild and furious, you couldn't pick anything out in all the choppy waves.

scott comes tonight, hopefully we can grab dinner at the beach, but i fear he will be to late, meanwhile i just want to finish my book, i have had 3 crummy books in a row, what a joy to get back to something good again that you just want to rush back to finish~


feb 23 sat cold windy morning, so glad scott is home to walk the dogs :-) seas are as wild as they were yesterday afternoon, makes for little desire to venture out in the below freezing biting wind.

made a huge breakfast while scott vacuumed up the endless maggie fur and sand. feels like a do nothing day, already feeling sad about going home tomorrow, the longer i stay, the harder it for me to ever want to go home. i fear this will become home in mind one day...

the feral greeted me this morn with his bowl in hand, ever cautious, but he didn't bolt away, raced over as soon i set the bowl down. after 2 days i am sure he is extra hungry... makes me so sad that i leave him behind every time i go. breaks my heart really...

wind is just roaring, as i figured, we are sitting pretty for the day. while reading heard a crash on the window... a poor little finch was flat on the deck. i wrapped him in a towel and tucked him back in a sunny corner of the patio sofa out of the full cold gale. i feared he had broken his neck, his breath was so rapid :-( i checked on him 4 times, terrified for his wee little life. was watching him through the window and i knew he was aware i was watching, put on gloves and felt him spring to life in my hands. the winds are horrendous, not sure he is fully recovered, but the winds could carry him to greenland its so strong. walked him to the back of our property and opened up the towel near the ground, he flew off like lightning soaring on the wild winds~

with all the strong winds went out to water in some new plants, came in beyond icy cold, but i noticed the most parasailers i have ever seen at the beach before. bundled up to see if i could get any good shots. i was shooting into the sun so not that good, plus they were whipping along and hard to follow, all the while buttressing against the wind, but still was exhilarating to watch them! i used to wind surf and ski, i can just fell the power and joy when i watch them :-)

i love love love when they jump, they climb sometimes what looks near 50 feet high flying in the air, its hard to tell because the waves and troughs can make things look exaggerated, but they are indeed flying machines. one guy raced to shore until he was just skimming the sand, he would lay flat on his back in the sand and wait for the next wave to float him back out from a reclined position, freaking fantastic! oh, and course he was a hot shot jumper that thrived on attention! and he deserved it...

i just love how this ocean is so well used, from the calm days with kayakers, paddle boards, surfers to the wet and wild windsurfers and parasailers blasting through the waters no matter how hard it blows. makes my skin tingle watching them, such a rush for me, imagine their thrill!

plan was to eat dinner at the beach, as luck would have it they were closed, we forgot it was the cooks bday... i was forced to cook under duress! made us a huge pile of chicken nachos, not bad in a pinch~


feb 24 sun oh how i dread sundays, day of departure... sometimes i think i will actually cry, like the vacation is forever over and i will never be back. right now things are so great here i want to keep milking every moment... i know it won't always be this perfect, nothing ever stays the same, but for now i so love love love living here. i mean visiting... scotts already told me he has a horrible work week coming up, so of course i think why go home if he will be gone 16 hour days... BUT i do have a real reason to go, i want to get some cuttings going to bring some plants back here this summer. my garden at home is in dire shape, its been all but abandoned since sea dream, the snakes come out in april, time to try and restore even a tiny patch, something is better than nothing.

another cold morning seaside, our plan is to have lunch at the cafe, i told scott you are on your own for breakfast, i can't make a mega meal and then eat lunch hours later... i think it would be great if we walked down in fact... i am not stupid, we should leave a car there, god forbid we back home, i would keel over!

still having a bad time with books, it is so rare that i find so many clinkers... i am not sure if its just the mood i am in, i mean i bought them assuming i would enjoy them, but ever since whyle died i am just not as calm and carefree inside. in fact, i find books insulting and irritating... and to have about 5 in a week like that is so not me! i have always prided myself knowing i was buying things i would like, perhaps all these cheap kindle books on sale are hoodwinking me into giving them more of chance then they deserve, i have learned bestsellers are a bestsellers for a reason, THEY ARE GOOD! i must have strayed to far off the norm for even my own taste...

the feral was waiting for me this morn, eager to eat, it just kills me inside knowing this is his last bowl from me until i return... i know he lived a year without my help, and that he is now a robust full size kitty, not longer skeletal, but it doesn't make at any easier leaving it alone to fend for itself... last bite for the birdies too~

scott cleaned the garage out, will be spic and span when we return. it truly is our family room... house is so tiny we need the space for dishes, lanterns, gardening, toys, etc., its filled to the brim and will never ever house a car in our lifetime! i did suggest we build a shed/playroom for me to ease somethings along, scott said he would buy me a greenhouse, this is one place that will never get to hot for it :-) i had already designed a darling mini lighthouse version, i am sure he will cringe at the thought of that, i think he wants prefab and get it done quickly kind of thing, not a 2 story charmer like i want~

walked down for lunch in the cafe and stuffed ourselves to the gills. came home and tidied up for the next visit, it can never come soon enough, and another fabulous few weeks by the sea comes to a close...