Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It's 5 o'clock somewhere!

Green juice moustache, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

It's 5 o'clock somewhere!

I am in Seattle with Brad and his family. Every day at about 4-5 o'clock we have a green cocktail filled with the juice of green leafy vegetables, apples, lemon, ginger and any other fresh produce dying to jump in the juicer. Much to our surprise and delight Reina (2) loves green juice! And the bonus is... a green moustache! Cheers!!!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ladies Slipper Orchid

Ladies Slipper Orchid, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

I am amazed! I have an orchid that has bloomed twice! I first bought this orchid from Roger's Gardens in bloom in August to help stage my house for sale. And then it bloomed again ( and the house is still staged for sale :( ) Anyway it was a lovely opportunity to get my art bag out and capture its beauty.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Here she is!

Gabriela Skye West! born Monday January 11, 7 lb 2 oz.
I haven't seen a pic with her eyes open but this one is a beauty. Amber and Gabriela come home today. Big sister, Reina, is excited to have this real baby to help take care of. I, too, am excited to visit this family next week. Waiting is so hard! Welcome to our world, Gabriela. Nana is sure you will make it a better place.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Jump for joy! 2010

J4j 2, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Well here is this new year's theme: Jump for joy! For the last 10 days the new year has been very good but tomorrow I will truly be overjoyed with a new baby to fourth grandaughter! My son, Brad and his wife, Amber and daughter, Reina, will welcome a new baby girl into their and my family. We are all so excited we can't sit still. You can be sure that at soon as I get a photo it will be posted.
Last summer I took a calligraphy class for fiber art from Lisa Engelbrecht and came home with some painted and written muslin. It has been in my studio drawer waiting for inspiration. The new year provided a new theme and this piece was perfect as a starting point. The "joy" is spinning in the lower right corner. I started stitching and beading and adding recycled felt circles from my Christmas wrapping along with new and used ribbons. This is the result. I have not worked on an art quilt in over 6 months so I was pleased to take the time to make this.

Last year's personal theme was "Dance". It seems as though I am still trying to keep movement in my life. I hope it is a great year for all of us.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Here's looking at YOU!

hummingbird, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

With my new camera in hand I stood quietly by the breakfast stop waiting for my little dive bombing friends to come by. I think she is looking right at me.
Thank you kids for my new camera!

Zen garden face lift.

face lift, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

It has been a week of unbelievable weather in Southern California. Great for gardening. I got the urge to open up the look of my back yard Zen garden and transplant my favorite roses that have covered the arbor for 8 years. I had given up the idea of having roses when I move to Denver until I visited the Botanical Gardens there and saw that many of my roses were thriving there. So in the attempt to give my garden a new look I also snuck the roses out. This was no easy task since these climbers and major canes and major roots. I pruned them way back and then transplanted them into huge pots. Then I rearranged the furniture a bit. I prefer the intimacy of the previous look but this does look bigger and more open. In the process my local hummingbirds were furious. I had to remind them frequently that I was the one who provided them with food and not to dive bomb me every minute. What do you think of my new space compared to the old?

Pruned roses

pruned roses, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Hopefully I have successfully transplanted these beauties. "Eden rose" has canes over an inch in diameter, and "Sombreui" almost as large. I hope they will be happy in Denver when we get there

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Green chili!

green chili, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Around Thanksgiving my daughter's family and I went up to Winterpark Colorado for a playday in the snow. With a ravenous appetite we stopped in for lunch at a soup restaurant. I ordered the green chili remembering how much I enjoyed it last time I had it which was probably over 10 years ago. An old boyfriend of mine (who grew up in Denver) taught me how to make this famous regional dish. Last week revisiting my family for Christmas we decided to make it again. The essential ingredients are 1) a whole (organic) chicken poached then torn apart and the cooked meat put back in the chili. 2) green chilis, use whatever is available. We have fresh chilis all year round in California but choose from Anaheim and Poblano for flavor; Jalepeno or Serrano for heat....canned if you cannot find any fresh. but always green; 3) tomatillos if you can find them 4) any other "green" vegetables you have 5) white beans or pasta to hearty up the mix. Garnish with sour cream; avocado, tomatoes (or salsa) chips, lime wedges and cilantro.
This is a fresh flavorful and hearty soup..good for cold winter days and nights or warm January days like the 75 degree day we're having in Orange County today.


In a deep soup pot, wide enough for a whole chicken, place 1 onion (cut up), 4 garlic cloves, 1 bay leaf and 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme. Place the washed whole chicken in the pot and cover with water to the level of 1 inch above the chicken. Bring to a boil and then a simmer for 1 hour, skimming off any "foam" that may rise to the top. After an hour remove the chicken to cool (in Denver we simply put it outside in the snow....that worked quickly) Remove the bay leaf and any remnants of herbs. Reserve the chicken stock. It will be the liquid for your soup.
In a soup pot place olive oil and saute another onion ( I also added 3 leeks), 4 cloves of garlic, celery and fresh chilis until tender. Add at least 1 quart of your freshly made stock. Add uncooked pasta, tomatillos and any other green vegetables and bring to a simmer. Add cooled chicken which has been torn apart into bite size pieces and any fully cooked beans that you want to add.
When everything is an even temperature season as you like it.

Serve with:
sour cream or Greek unflavored yogurt

lime wedges

tomatoes (yellow or green) ok red is ok too. or salsa (Ryan make your own!)
tortilla chips

and a white cheese

Margaritas or beer may be essential
Ole! and Bon Appetit

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Corn and chowder with shrimp

corn chowder, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Try this great chowder on a cold afternoon or night. We had it for Christmas Eve dinner with a chicken salad (actually no shrimp the first time). Yesterday I made it again because it was so good last week:
Bacon...4 slices
onion ---1 chopped
leeks....3 chopped
celery...3 ribs chopped
carrots...2 large, sliced
potatoes...1 cup chopped
corn...3 ears fresh or 2 cans/ 1-2 cups frozen
chicken broth...3-4 cups
1/2 & 1/2...1-2 cups
shrimp..1 lb precooked, or lobster or nothing

In a large soup pot cook diced bacon until fat is rendered. Add leeks, onions and celery and saute for about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups of chicken broth, carrots & potatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes or until potatoes or a little soft
Add the fresh corn and continue cooking 2 minutes. Add more chicken broth if needed.
Add precooked shrimp and half and half and cook only until all ingredients are the same temperature. Of course you don't want to overcook the shrimp.
Season to taste and serve.

This is good without the shrimp....may be even more fabulous with lobster!
Bon Appetit!

Friday, January 1, 2010

A little time to paint

Peacock feather, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Peacock feather. I have been amazed by these gorgeous feathers always but I am even more in awe after looking at them closely. The DNA of these creatures is incredible. It makes me want to wear them in my hair...or on a hat!


Peacock, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Last Saturday I was at the Denver Zoo with my family and spotted this peacock perched near the snow covered landscape. The natural colors are more vivid than I can capture with watercolor but I gave it a shot.

Fun with the Short grandaughters

cookies anyone?, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Cookies anyone?
Kate got a baking set with cookies included for Christmas from her cousin, Reina, to play with in her kitchen. After they "came out of the oven" she was happy to serve them to her guests. These cookies will be the only ones I will have for a pants are too tight! GHTFSB

glittering shells

glittering shells, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

On Christmas Eve we made some last minute ornaments for the tree. I brought some shells from California (Kate can hear the ocean when she puts her ear real close) and plenty of glitter...We glittered the shells, placed a ribbon through the hole that Ryan drilled and hung them on the tree. Kate likes her glittery fingers

Ella and I apres sledding

Ella and I apres sledding, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

After a heavy snow storm on December 23 (the day I arrived in Denver) the sun came out and Ryan, Ella, Kate & I went sledding in a local park. How great is that?

Once in a blue moon!

blue moon, 2, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Did anyone pause their celebrating last night to see the blue moon? Ok it wasn't really blue but 2 moons in one month is pretty awesome especially since the moon is predictably clear in the Southern California sky even in December. I tried to put my new camera in "fireworks" mode with a really slow shutter speed but I moved a little bit while the shutter was open. That happens without a tripod....The leaves of the rose bush are in the foreground.