Tonight I cooked my first meal with my new Fagor pressure cooker. I cooked a delicious chuck roast with potatoes and carrots. It was so tender and tasty! I am hooked. We are going to try a vegetarian white bean chili next.

I vividly remember my grandmother cooking with her pressure cooker. It was long ago (in the 60's-70's) when I was a child and I remember her scooting me and my cousins away from the stove and out of the kitchen and all the wonderful aromas coming out of the kitchen.

Here I am now, in 2010, all grown up with adult children and a grandchild of my own (and my second due in November) and now I have come full circle with pressure cooking of my own. I believe it is a quicker, healthier way of preparing food. I love to cook and bake but I have never been fond of microwave cooking. It has its uses like boiling water or melting butter...or microwave popcorn. The microwave works fine and dandy for that.

A blogger that I follow, Tracy Reifkind has made some incredible dishes with her pressure cooker and blogged about them and that is what first intrigued me to consider a pressure cooker, too.

I'm really glad that I took the leap into pressure cooking. I am so excited about the adventures to follow!



It is said that truth is stranger than fiction. That quote originated from British poet Lord Byron who, in his epic poem Don Juan, said "Tis strange – but true; for truth is always strange; Stranger than fiction.”

No matter. It is true. I have recently experienced that and it has resulted in an interesting twist.

An event (burglary) at our office, which at first felt surreal to all of us and seemed to have nothing but negative effects, it has now occurred to me that it is also, oddly enough a perfect premise from which to craft a good read.

Things have normalized again at work and the case has been assigned to a capable detective, I am ready to change my focus and put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and begin working on this writing project.

So, I am putting the other famous saying, "when life hands you lemons, make lemonade" to work for me.




Today was hot. When we got home, every room in our house was hot. Our alligator pool thermometer indicated that our pool temperature was 90. hot. Time to take off the nifty bubble pool cover off. And so we did.

Yup, I think that as of August 18th, summer has made an appearance in San Diego, proper.

It was a unanimous decision that the house was too hot to even think about cooking, so we made a run to Souplantation and sat in air-conditioned comfort and ate a plate full of healthy, fresh, cool salad and sipped cold iced-tea. Then we finished our dinner off with two, not so healthy, but oh so yummy, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.

Watered the yards, cleaned the pool, took off the cover and connected our new handy dandy automatic pool sweep.

Chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga....around the pool our Z-Ranger goes.

Tomorrow, it will be us floating around the pool. Enjoying summer.



This Summer Night

Dinner tempts
pesto with linguine and chicken
chilled wine
toasted baguette

Beyond our window
joggers, walkers, dogs and kids
sunset blankets the street
in soft hues of orange

Breeze caresses
fan spinning softly above
evening grows older
and fireworks sparks alight

Quietly day draws close
calm abides
and sleepiness
creeps in

Sleep well this summer night



For some reason my cup of coffee tasted especially delicious this morning.

Maybe it was because I have been taking (and drinking) homemade iced coffee with me to work every morning for three weeks now and I have forgotten just how yummy hot coffee is. Or maybe it was because I woke up with a bad headache (driven by bad dreams) and a mug of hot coffee was the perfect solution to my morning stupor.

But for whatever reason...I savored it and was so thankful for that steaming mug of deliciousness.

Our Saturday quickly got underway with a trip to Costco--we arrived shortly after they opened and crossed off the items on our list, checked out, loaded the Jeep and stopped for something to eat before finishing our food shopping at our local grocery and then finally back home.

Unloaded the car, put away our purchases and then we dug in and cleaned house, bathed the dog, paid some bills, trimmed some of the branches growing out over the edge of the pool and skimmed some leaves, picked some tomatoes and finished off our evening with a really good dinner.

Bruce grilled up some chicken breasts and halibut and I steamed some fresh broccoli and asparagus and cooked some brown rice.

While the grill heated, we nibbled on some warm toasted baguette bread slices with some Ponte Garlic Balsamic Dipping Oil and opened a bottle of chilled Chardonnay from Leonesse.

It was a productive day. And a good day!



For the past month I have been thinking about cutting my hair. I mean really cutting it. Not just a trim off the ends.

But then, sometimes, on really-good-long-hair days, I would say to myself, 'what are you thinking?' And I would push that "crazy idea" out of my head. Yes, I talk to myself. Admit it. You do too!

Back to my story.

Alas, my good hair days were getting fewer and father in between.

I suppose I should preface this by saying first, that I have loved wearing it long. It has been long for quite awhile. And as this summer season crept in, I noticed that I began wearing it pulled up most of the time. Twisted up on top of my head with a clip.

I was beginning to resent the time it took to wash, condition, dry and style it. My long hair began to feel like a burden. I'd get frustrated with it and just pull it up in a clip. I'd wake up in the morning and pull it up in a clip. etc, etc.

I longed for a short, sassy cut that demanded nothing from me. I am busy enough without taking orders from my hair, thank you very much. Ya know what I mean, jellybean?

So when I went in for my scheduled hair appointment this week, I took Toni some photos of haircuts I liked and had printed from the Internet for consideration. She and I talked at length about the cut, style, length and decided to go for a Meg Ryan-esque cut. Short with messy layers that I can scrunch in some hair gel and be on my way out the door.

It didn't take me long to jump on that idea and I gave Toni the "A-OK" to cut it...


(my hubby loves it too)