Weekend in Seattle, Washington

Saturday, 5 May 2012



The holiday of Cinco De Mayo, The 5th Of May, commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862. It is primarily a regional holiday celebrated in the Mexican state capital city of Puebla and throughout the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico, and especially in U.S. cities with a significant Mexican population. It is not, as many people think, Mexico's Independence Day, which is actually September 16.

In honor of the Mexican holiday Cinco De Mayo I am going to post this cute video and then a recipe for a delicious Mexican meal.  Please let me know if you make it and I would appreciate your comments! - You can comment on anything - just comment please!  This dog is soooo special!


The mole sauce with chiles, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, and peanut butter really makes this Mexican chicken dish pop.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes


  • 1 (4-pound) stewing chicken, cut up
  • 8 cups water
  • 4 stalks celery with leaves
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced
  • 1 small onion, cut up
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • 2 teaspoons instant chicken bouillon granules
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 of a 10-ounce can (2/3 cup) tomatoes with green chiles
  • 2 slices white bread, torn
  • 2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 3 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 (1/2-inch stick) cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced


Place chicken pieces in Dutch oven with water. Add celery, carrot, onion, parsley, bouillon granules, and pepper. Bring to boiling. Cover and cook over low heat 2 to 2-1/2 hours or till chicken is tender.

Remove chicken pieces. Place in a 2-quart casserole. Strain broth; skim off fat. Reserve 1-1/2 cups of the broth for sauce (cover and refrigerate remaining broth for another use).

To prepare mole de cacahuate: In blender container place the reserved chicken broth, tomatoes with green chiles, bread, and peanut butter. Cover and blend till smooth. Turn into 2-quart saucepan.

With mortar and pestle crush cloves, peppercorns, and cinnamon well; add to saucepan along with chili powder and garlic. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes or till thickened, stirring often.

Spoon mole de cacahuate over chicken in casserole. Bake, covered, in 350-degree F. oven 30 to 40 minutes or till heated through.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Recipe Source: Better Homes and Gardens Mexican Cooking (Better Homes and Gardens)
Reprinted with permission.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Broccoli - one of the favorites for health

Creamy broccoli lentil soup recipe | Chatelaine.com We eat loads of broccoli in our household - I think it is Jack's favorite vegetable. So loaded with Vitamin B, protects against various cancers, good fibre, and you know what - some nights a soup night is a good thing! I am working lots lately - I know I had a year off but right now I am working for a very busy accounting firm (and it is tax season!!!) Kind of jumped into it but I really like it! In my life as a young girl I worked for many years in a couple of law firms in downtown Vancouver. Feels kind of weird to say that even - I feel young but have just had a few "Life Experiences". I liked being young but for the people closer to my age I must say I do feel more content. Do you? Ok - for you young ones - enjoy, live for the moment - I have to say I did too,  but remember you will get your Visa bills within 30 days. Try to put away something for later. (Even $25 or $50 it does add up -much more at your age) You know what I can't believe what I have read - I am giving advice?

Life gets more interesting as you get a bit older.  I have to say when you do find the right relationship things fall more into place. I know there are many young girls who are so willing to settle for being with someone rather than being alone.  I have been one of them.  But if you do get a chance give it a bit of time - I promise you there may even come a time when you think you don't need anyone. (except your cat or dog)  I think that when you have some time on your own you will start to enjoy it - and like me really enjoy it. Things have a way of working out - just when we are least expecting it.

If there is something you would like to see here - let me know .  Don't forget to leave comments please - it really helps me grow my audience.  Also if you like something you read here - don't forget to "share"  - never know when someone else might like to see it also.


Saturday, 24 March 2012

Portugal Trip - Come and Gone

Strawberry Cheesecake

The four pictures above are from our time in Guimaraes, Portugal which is in the North. That is where Portugal actually began. There is lots of great history and culture there as well as good restaurants that serve traditional Portuguese food. I know I have mentioned it before in another blog but our favorite is Cantar Vitorias Restaurante. If you do manage to get there please tell them Julia and Joaquim Guilherme from Vancouver, Canada recommended it. These people really are all about great service and delicious food but you must bring your appetite because the servings are generous.

Yes I'm back from Portugal.  We had two wonderful weeks where we attended my father-in-law's 90th birthday and our nephew's wedding (all in our first week!)  The first night sleep we had was at my sister-in-law's house and the room is very dark with the outside shutters closed.  We woke up at one point and after checking my watch and thinking it was only 5:30 a.m. we went back to sleep.  Later we got up, showered and my husband, Jack went downstairs to say "good morning".  He came running up the stairs and said "Julie - do you know what time it is?" "It's 3:00 in the afternoon!!!"  Our hosts were quite worried about us.  How's that for jet lag.  So we had cafe and toast and jam at around 4:00 and then one of many fabulous dinners around 9:00.  Some people in Portugal eat between 9:00 and 11:00 but they have a bigger lunch at 1:00 (more like my dinners).    

Check out my other articles relating to Portugal at:


Saturday, 18 February 2012

Family Dinner - Always a Feast!

Mia studying Portuguese
Tzatziki Dip

Tonight we are expecting family driving down from Prince George which is about a nine hour drive to Vancouver.  I thought it would be nice to make a Pork Tenderloin with mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli and carrots and as a side dish I made Tzatziki dip and a raw veggie platter.   Both the meat and the dip recipes I found on the internet.  My husband was a bit leary of me trying a new recipe for company.  I had faith!  I had also read about 20 of the reviews so I was very convinced it would be good.  

Slow cookers are great in the fact that you can do housework and the dinner just cooks away while you get other things done.  Nice to have company on a Friday - the house always gets a more thorough clean.  So I shall share the recipe I found but with a few alterations of my own:
  • 1 (2 pound) pork tenderloin
  • 1/2 package envelope dry onion soup mix
  • 1/2 onion cut in circle slices
  • 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 3 tbsp. minced garlic  + 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • fresh ground pepper
  • pinch rosemary and pinch thyme
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • fresh parsley
Place a few garlic pieces into the tenderloin (called studding - I learned that today).  Put the meat into the slow cooker and empty the 1/2 pkg of onion soup mix on top as well as the fresh onions.  Pour water, broth, wine, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce all over.  Add the rosemary, thyme, parsley, and black pepper.  Put slow cooker onto low, cover and cook for 4 hours turning meat half way through cooking time. Serve the cooking liquid on the side in a gravy dish to use over mashed potatoes.

We enjoyed this with plenty of cornbread, some rye bread and of course a bit of red wine.

North 54 restaurant, Prince George British Columbia
For dessert, believe it or not we still had room, for some of my lemon loaf and my sister-in-law brought us some delectable dark chocolate covered humungous juicy strawberries from her restaurant, North 54 located in Prince George.  The restaurant is so popular that they unfortunately had to turn people away as they were so booked for Valentine's Day this year.

As with all good family dinners it is a good time to have a few laughs and enjoy each others company as we did.  We did however,  have to keep checking to see if Mia was trying to sneak back into the kitchen to steal another morsel of food.  I have never known a cat to have quite a personality  such as hers.  She is a sweetheart though. If you liked this blog you could see my more recent blog at : http://www.jaxjule.wordpress.com

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Stewing about Dinner

First off - very sad about Whitney Houston.  People with too much money, too many chances to get into trouble with drugs and alcohol and too much fame can be a lethal combination. We just experienced the same with Michael Jackson and his death at 50.  It's sad for the loved ones that get left behind.  We did get to experience the beautiful music that was Whitney's.  Too bad she couldn't have lived to see her daughter have children and to have more memories.  Instead drugs seemed to control her and so her life was only made up of 48 years.

I felt like stew for dinner tonight in the crock pot.  Last night we had sardines from Portugal - my husband is Portuguese and these frozen sardines are actually from the Atlantic ocean near his hometown of Peniche, Portugal.  It's a healthy fish but you should really fry or barbeque them outside as they have such a strong smell.  Once we cooked them on a little hibachi on our rooftop deck in the summer and my skirt seemed to absorb the fish smell.  I had to wash it twice!!

So tonight - I just bought a package of stewing beef and swished each cube around in a small cereal bowl of flour and salt and pepper.  Then I shook each piece to get a bit of the excess flour off and dropped them into a fry pan of a few tablespoons of hot olive oil.  After a few minutes turn each piece with a fork and add some pieces of chopped garlic and some sliced onions.  Brown all for a few more minutes about 5 minutes and then spoon all into a crock pot (slow cooker).  I added about 1/2 cup of red wine that wasn't very good but will add a bit of flavor to the stew.  Put it on high and then peel a few potatoes and carrots and even a turnip if you like and cut up into wedges and boil for about 10 minutes and drain the water and add the vegetables to your crock pot.  I added a bit of Hungarian paprika and some fresh parsley, a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce and some thyme.  Cook for about an hour until your veggies are fork tender.  Don't overcook and don't stir much as you don't want to break the potatoes. A few slices of rye bread are a nice accompaniment or crusty rolls.  Serve with a nice glass of Merlot - tonight we have a California wine - Barefoot.  Enjoy!!

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