Wishing I was in Maui, but dealing with being here

Archive for May, 2011

I Don’t Do D……………

ABC Blogging

D is for I don’t know what to write about. I’ve been thinking about this since Friday and don’t seem have any connection to the letter D.

I thought about writing about my brother Dan, but except to say that he’s a great dad, great husband to my SIL and great guy I don’t have much else to share.

I did a random word search and came up with dinosaur but don’t know much about them.

I thought about disciples of Jesus and couldn’t decide which one to talk about.

I like donuts but since I’ve been losing weight it didn’t seem appropriate to write about them.

I have been feeling very disorganized lately but didn’t want to air my dirty laundry (but I did do the wash on Saturday).

So, I think I’ll leave the letter D in the dust and move on to E next week.

Here’s a recipe that I call Dolce de Leche Bundt but it is also known as Chocoflan. Don’t let the length of the recipe put you off. It is so decadent and yummy that you’ll make it again and again!


Recipe courtesy Marcela Valladolid, 2009

Prep Time:
20 min
Inactive Prep Time:
1 hr 0 min
Cook Time:
1 hr 0 min
10 servings


  • 12-cup capacity Bundt pan
  • Softened butter, to coat pan
  • 1/4 cup cajeta or caramel sauce (or dulce de leche carmel sauce)

For the cake:

  • 10 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk

For the flan:

For garnish:

  • 1/4 cup cajeta or caramel sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans


Put an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

Coat a Bundt pan with a little butter, then coat the bottom with 1/4 cup cajeta and put it in a large roasting pan. (The roasting pan will serve as a water bath during baking.)

For the cake: Add the butter and sugar to a bowl and using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, beat until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa in a medium bowl. Beat 1/3 of the flour mixture, and 1/2 of the buttermilk into the egg mixture. Repeat, ending with the flour mixture. Blend until well incorporated.

For the flan: In a blender, combine the evaporated milk, condensed milk, cream cheese, eggs and vanilla. Blend on high for 30 seconds.

Scoop the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan and spreading evenly. Slowly pour the flan mixture over the cake batter. Cover with foil and add about 1-inch of hot water to the roasting pan.

Carefully slide the pan into the oven, and bake 1 hour, until the surface of the cake is firm to the touch, or an inserted toothpick comes out clean. When cake is done, remove from the water bath and cool completely to room temperature, about 1 hour.

Invert a large, rimmed serving platter over the Bundt pan, grasp tightly together, giggle a little and flip over. Remove the pan and scrape any remaining cajeta from the pan onto the cake, garnish with chopped pecans and serve!

Cook’s Notes: The batters may appear to mix when you pour them into the pan, but they completely separate while baking, with the flan ending up on the bottom when it’s inverted. I like eating it warm, but traditionally, it is chilled 24 hours before serving.

Flan is a rich, creamy, cooked egg custard. It is often flavored with vanilla and baked in a water bath to retain its delicacy.

Cajeta is a thick and creamy spread or paste made with caramelized sugar and milk. It is used as a desert on its own or as a topping. Also known as “dolce de leche,” it is sold in many supermarkets, Latin specialty markets or online. It can be substituted with a thick caramel sauce

FO Friday….

again. These project will look famiiar since they were part of of WIP Wednesday. The scarf was partially frogged on Thursday due to a problem mid scarf and I’m glad I got it back on the needles with all the yo’s in tack. I am considering one sock done as a FO!

Scarf for Christina's B'day

sock 1

WIP Wednesday

I can honestly say I have never had so many WIP’s in my life! I need to get a scarf done for my nieces birthday in late June and decided about a week ago I’d start. Well, the yarn didn’t want to be what I wanted it to be! After starting several patterns I decided to go back to a stand by scarf pattern that is a no brainer, My So Called Lacey Scarf (available free on Ravelry). It works on any yarn and any size needles. Before I started that I started All That Glitters Socks . The pattern is Basic Sock from Pure and simple with Berroco Sox in metallic multi colors. Unfortunately I think it’s going to be to big ;(. Here are my WIP’s and the Berrocco yarn:

C is for…………

ABC Blogging


I’m writing about the church I have attended for the past 7 years, Immanuel Presbyterian Church in San Jose, CA. 

I was raised Catholic but fell away from the church after I made my confirmation when I was about 14 years old. I think my parent’s felt they had done their duty getting me through basic religious training and did not require that I continue to attend mass.

Fast-forward about 42 years. I knew there was something missing from my life. I was just going though the motions of life.; marriage, work, friends, vacations, nothing seemed to satisfy me. Then, one day I was getting my hair cut and Michelle, my hairdresser, asked why I wasn’t smiling. I told her I was not happy with my life and didn’t know what I should do. She suggested I attend the church she had started attending about a year before. Her daughter had been diagnosed with cancer and she had sought God to help her get through the ordeal (that’s another story). She offered to meet me at Immanuel that Sunday. I told her I was busy that Sunday (I don’t think I was but wanted to think about it for a week). I met her there a week later and to this day cannot believe what happened to me. The Holy Spirit met me at the door of the sanctuary and totally enveloped me. I didn’t see or hear anything when I went into the sanctuary but felt a presence that I couldn’t explain. I left that day not sure what had happened but knew I would be back.

The following Sunday Michelle was not there. I summoned up my courage and went into the Narthex (small room before the sanctuary) and was met by a BIG teddy bear of a man named Cayo. He hugged me and welcomed me to worship. Wow, what a great place, they give hugs to people they don’t even know. After the service I saw Cayo on the patio with a woman that he introduced as his wife, Rosia. Another hug! I left that day anxious to return the following Sunday.

I have returned each Sunday for seven years. I have become really good friends Rosia and Cayo. They mentored me in my return to Christ and became dear friends. About 4 years ago they moved away and I took over their Welcome and Membership Eldership for the next 3 years. I felt I needed to give back what they had given me. I hope I lived up to their reputation.

I have grown in my relationship with God and know now what was missing in my life seven years ago. I now have a peace that no matter what is going on in my life (or not) God is always there.

The sad thing is that our church is closing on June 12th. We don’t have enough members/regular attendees to “be the church” rather than just attend church. This is not just our church but is happening to many churches these days. I am now in the process of looking for another church to attend and be active in. I’m going to take my time and wait for the Holy Spirit to meet me at the door where I should be.

In the spirit of being a Presbyterian, where all you need to be a Presbyterian is a 9×13 pan I offer the following recipe from The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond.  www.thepioneerwoman.com

Olive Cheese Bread

  |    |    |  

  • 1 loaf French Bread
  • 6 ounces, weight Pimiento-stuffed Green Olives
  • 6 ounces, weight Black Olives
  • 2 stalks Green Onions (scallions)
  • 1 stick Butter, Room Temperature
  • ½ cups Mayonnaise
  • ¾ pounds Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated

Preparation Instructions

Roughly chop both black olives and pimiento-stuffed green olives. Slice green onions into thin pieces.

Combine butter, mayonnaise, cheese, olives and green onions in a mixing bowl. Stir together until thoroughly combined. Spread mixture onto French bread that has been sliced lengthwise. Bake at 325ºF for 25 to 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and browning.

Mixture can also be refrigerated (up to two days) and used as a dip. Great with crackers.

You can also spread the cheese mixture on the bread, wrap in saran and freeze it for later use.

Shark Art………….

As a knitter I had to post A Shark in Sheeps Clothing. Unfortunately it looks like the San Jose Sharks hockey team is about to go out of the playoffs.

FO Friday (early……..)

It’s Friday somewhere so I’m writing this Thursday night about 7:30PM because I had a brain fart that made me think it was Friday and I started thinking about the post for this week.

Since I’ve never posted on FO Friday I thought I’d post pic’s of projects I completed for charity since April. I originally bought the yarn, Lambs Pride Bulky, to make a cable scarf but found it too bulky. I decided to use it for the charity I donate to, Compassion Knits, in San Francisco, CA.

The patterns used are:

Speedy Cable Cowl, http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/speedy-cabled-cowl

Speed Cable Beret, http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/speedy-cabled-beret

Fantasia Mittens, http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fantasia-mittens

Slippers, Lots of Slippers from Knitting Pure and Simple#107


Speedy Cable Beret

slipper socks

Speedy Cable Cowl

B is for…….

ABC Blogging

Betty. I thought about this last week and here it is 10:15 pm in California and I just remembered to do the blog! Actually missing Hawaii 5-0 to do this!!

Anyway, Betty was my friend Pam’s mom. The Harvey’s lived across the street from us on Bennington Drive in Sunnyvale, CA. This was a new subdivision called Cherry Chase and we moved in in 1955. I remember the houses across the street weren’t built when we moved in and I think it was at least a year to year and a half  later that I met Pam. She was a year older than me. I remember that her grandmothers were called Memaw. Both her grandmothers were often at her house because both her parents worked. Betty worked at Sears and as a result Pam always had the latest clothes. Pam was also and only child, something I longed to be (I have a brother and a sister and I’m the oldest).

When we were in high school (Fremont High School, go Indians!) I would go every morning over to Pam’s to pick her up for our walk to school (before we got a car). Betty had laid out Pam’s clothes for the day the night before and every day she went through Pam’s purse to make sure she had a clean hankie and money in her wallet. I really wanted to be an only child.

Pam’s senior year her parents gave her a new 1965 Mustang and my parents helped me buy Pam’s old Corvair Monza (burgundy red with white leather seats).

Over the years I saw Betty only occasionally. I saw her mostly over the years at the Cancer Society resale shop in Sunnyvale where she volunteered. She was a cancer survivor until it returned in 2008. Betty passed away in October 2009.

At Betty’s memorial service her son-in-law spoke about how he went to Betty to ask for Pam’s hand in marriage (Pam was a widow at a young age) and Betty told him she came with the package. “Marry my daughter you marry me too!” Betty and her daughter Pam are probably the closest Mother/Daughter team I have ever known.

I want to point out that I had a great mom (who passed away in February 2009) and really love my brother Dan and sister Christina. My envy of Pam and her mother was a temporary thing that I grew out of as I grew in relationship with my own mom Louise.

Since I wrote about Apples last week and Betty this week I’m posting a recipe for Apple Brown Betty. Enjoy!

Apple Brown Betty

Epicurious | March 2000

by Edna Lewis
In Pursuit of Flavor 

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg1/2 cup sugar3 cups 1/4-inch bread cubes2 tablespoons melted butterGrated rind of 1 lemon2 pounds large apples

2 to 4 tablespoons cold water (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Combine the nutmeg and the sugar and set aside 2 tablespoons.

Put the bread cubes in a bowl and toss with the rest of the sugar mixture, the melted butter, and the lemon rind.

Peel, core, and slice the apples into fairly thick wedges.

Line the bottom of a heavy 1 1/2-quart casserole with 1 cup of the bread cubes. Layer half of the apples over the bread and top with 1/2 cup of the bread cubes. Layer the rest of the apples in the casserole and sprinkle with water. Cover with the rest of the bread cubes and evenly sprinkle the reserved 2 tablespoons of sugar over the top. Put the lid on the casserole or cover tightly with foil. Bake in the center of the preheated oven for 40 minutes.
Take the lid off the betty, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until apples are tender and the topping is brown.Source Information
In Pursuit of Flavor, © 1988, by Edna Lewis, Reprinted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., and University Press of Virginia.

Peninsula to Pier Day 2 written on day 4

Though it was an overcast day, our adventurous spirit was there. Over Highway 152 from Morgan Hill to The Swift Stitch in Santa Cruz we went, dodging bicyclist on the way. Arrived at SS about 11:45. Great patterns designed with a Japanese motif using Frog Tree Pediboo. Fingerless gloves and a lacy tank top. Shari bought yarn for the top and me the gloves.

We stopped by The Golden Fleece that wasn’t on the hop to try to catch Gunilla but she was out “hopping” herself.

Next up Chic’s with Sticks. It was good to see Cathy. Pat and Shari bought the yarn for her offering of a knitted market bag.

Yarns by the Sea offered a narrow Clapotis like scarf and shawl.

The Twisted Stitch

Decided to have lunch in Monterey so away we went. On our way to Cannery Row for lunch we ran into The Twisted Stitch. As we exited the car Pat’s Texas nose smelled Barbcue. Into the shop we went and I think Dawn remembered us for our last visit. She was offering an original pattern called Dawn’s Twisted Cable. The yarn colors were hot and sparkly! We all bought yarn and are going to do the pattern together.

Lunch at Henry’s Barbcue was great. Wonderful pulled pork with a slightly sweet sauce. YUM!

Last up was Maurya’s Knitting By The Sea. She also offered an original pattern using a bulky Noro yarn to make a drawstring purse. I’m actually 85% done making the bag.

All in All the Yarn Shop Hop was great. Love spending time with Pat and Shari. Thanks to all the shops and sponsors for their participation.

Peninsula to Pier Day 1

Unfortunately  Martha is very sick and can’t join us and Carrie had a business trip and wasn’t available to join us. Pat, Shari and I hit the road about 10:30.

First stop on the road this morning was Nine Rubies in San Mateo. They had a shrug project and a scarf project that were ok and Shari bought the yarn for the scarf and got the pattern.

Second stop was Uncommon Threads in Los Altos that had a pedi sock and a crochet pattern for fingerless gloves. Pat bought the yarn (Noro) for the gloves. I only bought my favorite product, Lavi-Shea in Lavender scent.

On to Bobbins Nest in Santa Clara. Crochet fingerless gloves (again). I bought Pat the Hazel Knits yarn as a gift because she is driving us around on this adventure.

Then to Campbell for lunch at Sonoma Chicken Coop and Green Planet. GPY had Possum and Merino blend yarns from New Zealand for their projects (hat and scarf). Pat bought yarn here.

Then off to The Knitting Room. They had a chevron scarf pattern with mochi yarn. The big news is PAT HAD HER NAME DRAWN AT THIS SHOP AND WON THE RAFFLE PRIZE ! I’ll pick it up for her tomorrow.

Last shop today was Yarndogs in Los Gatos. A cowl and a scarf pattern were their offering.

I have to say, as anyone who might read this entry can probably tell, I was underwhelmed with the shop offerings. It seemed like they pulled out a shop sample and printed a pattern and Voila a project. I’m hoping that tomorrow proves more exciting.

Peninsula to Pier 2011

Setting up for tomorrow! Pat, Shari, Martha and I are heading out tomorrow for day one of the Yarn Shop Hop from San Mateo to Carmel. We’re doing it in 2 days. Friday we are doing the Peninsula  and South Bay shops (7 shops). Saturday we’re doing Santa Cruz, Monterey and Carmel (5 shops). I’ll be posting pictures of the shops and the booty!

Tag Cloud