Thursday, February 27, 2014

Roasted Tomato Soup

Finally! The rain has come and it actually feels chilly (well at least California chilly). This much needed change in weather calls for SOUP!

Roasted Tomato Soup
3 pounds Roma tomatoes, sliced in half
1 pound Vine Ripe tomatoes, sliced thick
1 yellow onion, sliced 1/2 in thick
1 red bell pepper, cut in half and seeded
4 - 6 cloves garlic (depends on your palate)
Fresh thyme leaves (I used about 10 sprigs)
olive oil
salt & pepper
2 cups chicken stock or more
1 teaspoon sugar
Cream, optional (splash up to 1/4 cup for added richness)

Preheat oven to 400 F. In a large bowl or on a sheet pan, toss tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, and garlic cloves with about 1/2 cup olive oil. Sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. You can always adjust seasoning at the end. Roast for about 30 - 40 minutes.
I love the smell of roasted tomatoes and garlic!

Transfer everything to blender. I have a Vitamix so I didn't need to do this in batches. You can also use an immersion blender. Add chicken stock and sugar. Slowly puree. I added paprika for some more color and smoky flavor, totally optional. Adjust seasoning if needed.
Vitamix in action!

Pour soup into large stockpot and gently bring to a simmer. Here is where you can add the cream if you so desire. And if you want to add a little crunch on top (who doesn't like crunch?), well then make some croutons!


Thursday Things

This zodiac constellation necklace arrived from good 'ol Nordies:
The chain is nice and long and pendant durable.
What's your sign?

Monday, February 24, 2014


To my Darling Hubby, David: Thank you so much for this wonderful getaway gift. You made this trip so easy. I love you to the moon and back. 

I can't believe it's been 2 1/2 years since my last trip to Miraval. I thought this was going to be my annual how time flies. But how lucky was I to share this peaceful experience with 3 wonderful friends?! Four full days of work outs, pampering, indulging, relaxing, and laughter. What more could a gal want?

I seriously took advantage of the whole 24 hour check-in.
Printed these babies out the day before at 7:00 a.m.
 Then an evening text comes through from my friend Susan letting
us know we were all packed up. Yup, looks about right!
And before you know it . . .
We had arrived!
 And wasted no time:
Welcome to Suite 317
 Everything is so tranquil and natural:
With two spa treatments daily, I was in Heaven:
We all were!
The food was AMAZING!
My photos, not so much:
The best sign ever:
 No need to tell me twice.
 My best friend:
 Best spa partner, roomie, and fellow jammie lover:
 Lots of cheers on this trip!
Then like all wonderful things, there is always an end.
This is happiness:

Marcy, Jeannie, and Susan - 

Thank you for the best time ever! Here are a few things I learned and will remember:
FRAGILE packing will always be a priority. I will never eat pesto and cracker bread again without smiling. The "cranial sacral massage" will not be on my bucket list. The next time I hear a loud gong, I will immediately start chanting and try to be the woman I was meant to be. Whenever I wear a ponytail (which is every day) I will remember how much damage I am doing to my hair but will still find the will not to get bangs.

But the best lesson learned . . . I will ALWAYS order Fridays style!

I love you all!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

I am forgoing the Thursday Things post today. This one seems more fitting . . .

February 14, 2014

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mammoth Mania

We just got back from a mini family vacation to Mammoth with our closest friends (total of 8 adults and 10 kids). The weather reports leading up to this trip were a bit iffy with the whole no rain, no snow. But we were bound to make the best of it no matter what. So glad we didn't panic and cancel!
See what I mean?
The dads had the coveted Hall pass
on the first day.
And the elders were tucked away in a private ski school:
Too cool for school:
And the moms were hanging with the little ones.
Sorry no photos of the other mommies - I lagged a bit!
Side note: Actually I think I was too shaken up with the whole gondola stopping while
we were at the top. Swaying back and forth. I was in a state of silent hysterics.
I swear if kids were not around I would have FREAKED, out loud!
A rare photo op of just David and me:
 Daddy and our successful skier:
And look at day 2:
 Coveted Hall pass now handed over to:
 Happy, happy, happy!
Then it was back to dads and kids in the afternoon:
So proud of this girl!

At the end of the day, there was some snowman making to be done.
Kalista was only interested in eating the blocks of ice.

And there were a lot of selfies of Miss K and me on this trip.

Snow faces with Miss Charlotte made for lots of giggles too!

The evenings were perfectly cozy:
YES...Tostitos Nacho Cheese Dip.
Quite simply the best.
Absolutely LOVE these gals.
And I can't wait until the next adventure with them.
It's coming soon!
Then before we knew it, it was time to head home.
But not before a brisk mountain run: