January 3rd Avocado Egg Toast

Saw a great idea on Foodnetwork this morning and decided to try it as a great alternative for breakfast, lunch or afternoon snack.  It is healthy, has the good type of fat and a nice amount of protein.  I toasted a couple of pieces of whole wheat bread, smashed 1/2 of a nice ripe avocado on the slices, sprinkled with a little salt and some lemon and then topped with slices of a hard boiled egg topped with a little more salt and some pepper.  It was delish!


I need some easy things to make for breakfast so I don’t default to cereal, high in carbs and sugar. I like to scramble eggs, but some mornings I do not have the time to sauté the vegetables to make the eggs interesting and more nutritional. Plus, I like cheese with my scrambled eggs and if I want to cut some bad fat and calories, I need to add cheese less often.  So having avocados and hard boiled eggs on hand make this a great alternative that is so easy to make in the mornings.

Substitute the toast with pita bread and this would be easy to pack for lunch.  Take the ingredients to work and make it when you are ready to eat it.    I like it and plan on using it often.



For 2015, I am going to a more active, intentional participant in my life. Yes, I am going to concentrate on eating mostly fish.  I can do without the beef, pork and chicken and I just cannot continue to pretend the cruelty involved in bringing those proteins to our local grocery store does not exist. It has gotten out of hand all while the consumer does not know how factory farming works. It is cruel and inhumane and if more consumers were aware, there would be a lot more conversation about it.

What I am hoping I can incorporate into the diet is exercise….I swear I am allergic to exercise and my health is the proof of that.  One of the past “What I know for sure” aspects of my life was that I was in better than just good health.  I just did not get sick, was a naturally, physically strong person.  I hate that over the last few years, I can no longer say that about myself. A variety of chronic back problems, plantar fasciitis, etc made me less and less mobile until my state of fitness is much lower than it should be if I want to be active and mobile for the next few decades. So, I really need to start moving more.  I know I need to do it, but starting is my problem, so I am going to have to develop a plan and, with small steps, get going. Anything larger than small steps and I quit before I start. So, walk a little more every day, do some basic stretching in the morning and work up to 100 minutes of 130 or above heart rate a week.  That’s what my doctor suggests and it just does not sound like that much…why is it so hard to get accomplished?

For me, it really comes down to thinking through a plan, writing it down and being a more conscious, intentional, pro-active liver of my life.  I want to work in mindfulness too.  I think that will help keep me calm, focused and mentally sharp. I’m hoping for once in my life being in better fitness will make it easier to stay in better fitness now that I have witnessed what happens when you do not pay attention.   Ohhh, there is so much to do and I am really finding that aging is not for the meek; if you want to do it well anyway.

pescexerciseikalemindfulitarian….it’s going into the Tricia O dictionary.



For the new year, as with most of the population, I am going to strive to be more healthy.  My sister is going to try the Pescetarian Diet which is fish and healthy stuff that grows from the ground.  I am going to enlarge my choices to chicken and turkey – hence pescechikturktarian.  Yes, I realize the jest of that is I am not eating red meat, but I really like my new word.

I am not calling this a New Year’s Resolution because I always break those.  This is just a positive approach to eating for the new year.  Hopefully, I will be make a concerted effort to stay focused on the new way of eating.

One problem is my husband does not share my desire to cut out red meat, so I will have temptation in front of me any time I need to cook something red for him.  Also, I do really like a good bowl of chili in the winter, but ground turkey can be substituted for the red meat, and maybe my husband won’t know.

The other effort I plan to make is exercising more – well, I should probably leave off the word “more” since I have been rather lax in doing any exercise.  I go for a while and do great, and then I travel or something else distracting, and I get out of the routine and then take a long time to get back in the groove.

Walking is my exercise of choice along with yoga. I like both of those activities so I do not know what my problem is.  Oh, yes I do, it is actually participating in the movement.

This time next year, I will write with the report of my success. I will brag about how much better I feel and how I look so many years younger. I will talk about how I have the body of a much younger person, all a result of my 2015 new year approach to better health.




We’ve moved our blog from

We moved our blog from to our new website,  Please excuse our mess while we are under construction, I am struggling with designing the new site to be a regular website as well as a blog.

We moved for more accessibility. seemed very restrictive both in using it and in trying to find other blogs we would be interested in following.  It was not that intuitive.  I hope designing this website proves a little easier and offers more options for designing and sharing content.

This is a creative project for Laura and I.  We are trying to challenge ourselves to be more creative.  We are constantly designing projects to help us improve our photography, be more conscious about food selection and creating great menus, and learning to be in the moment.

It would be great to have a ton of followers, but it is the process that I am getting the most out of.


It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

It truly is for me.  I love Christmas for several many reasons.

I begin decorating the inside of our home the weekend of Thanksgiving, while my husband is decorating the outside. We have a very festive home in and out, and I love waking every morning and turning on the tree.  My Santa collection always gives me a happy, holiday feeling. The Poinsettias are on the tables and the holiday stuffed animals are scattered throughout.  It is fun!

I make lists and lots of them.  There are several lists of menus I will cook while the family is together.  Then there is the grocery lists – I have several, shopping lists, cleanings list.  Checking things off my lists shows me I am accomplishing goals as we move closer to the  main event.

My shopping is finished and all the packages that need to be mailed have arrived at their destinations.  Yea! That is a big relief.

This year, right now, our daughter and her family, which includes a granddaughter, are on their way here for the holidays.  It will be a long, eleven hour drive for them, but hey, they are young.  Last year we made the drive and we are not nearly as young as we used to be.

Our son and his family live here, and that includes a granddaughter, so the whole family will be together and that is my most favorite time ever.  I absolutely love it when we have the whole family together.

The Christmas meal will include my mom who is 91, my older sister (no need to mention her age) my nephew and his family which includes a great-niece and our whole family.  Does it get any better than that?  Well, yes, we are missing my other two siblings, including Tricia and Devin and my brother and his two girls.

I like listening to the Christmas carols.  They play in the house and in the car. Some make me feel happy – like Burl Ives and “Holly, Jolly Christmas”.  Some make me feel nostalgic, like “Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire”, and some give me a feeling of thankfulness and can bring a tear to my eyes, like “O Holy Night”.

I am a spiritual person.  Realizing that the Christ was not really born this time of year, and He would not be impressed with the way we have totally forgotten the real reason for his birth, I still try to keep the remembrance of Him separate from the Christmas hype. “O Holy Night” brings me back and makes me think again about how awesome the occasion was and how awestruck I should be when thinking about that sweet baby, born in a manger, just for me.

So, I guess you could say I love the pagan part of the holiday and the religious part of the holiday. As I said at first, I love Christmas for several reasons.

The holiday began last night with family coming over for some white chili and the best cornbread ever (a recipe from the Baldpate Inn near Estes Park, CO) and the holiday overeating will continue through next Saturday.  There is enough food and goodies to last us for weeks.  So, it will be leftovers for Dale and I after everyone has gone home.

It is the most wonderful time of the year – enjoy!



An Evening with a Friend

So, it is about 20 degrees here and it has been snowing all day.  I have yet to get out of my pajamas.  I did finally get everything out of the dining room because a friend invited me to the “red carpet” opening of the a Denver Film Festival film and so I invited her to dinner here first.

I love a reason to finally get something accomplished that I have stalled and procrastinated with.  So today, I was forced to find a home for everything in the dining room that was put there when the kitchen was painted.  It felt good to get that room back.  I now have the table set for Cream of Asparagus soup, a great loaf of bread with garlic I am roasting and the Basil Infused Olive Oil that Laura and I bought during an olive oil tasting while in Napa, plus some of the Domaine Chandon bubbly we had shipped home.  Fortunately, I could spend the day cleaning and de-cluttering because I made the soup a week or so ago and froze it for a day like today.  My daughter does not like this particular soup, so this is the perfect night to use it.

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I am just very pleased with the clean house and the evening ahead.  It will be a nice, warm dinner with a good friend followed by The Imitation Game about the man who cracked the code used by the Germans in World War 2.  These kind of spontaneous get-togethers make me happy.  I love having my friends over and wish I did it more often, but sadly, my house is almost always in some sort of disarray and all of my friends’ houses always appear to be in perfect condition.

But for now, the kitchen is clean, a cool new sign hangs on the wall that I found just yesterday on Antique Row, dinner was made ahead of time, the dining room is clear of clutter and looks welcoming and I have a nice evening ahead.  I am going to need to bundle and layer up, but am still looking forward to it.



Decent Knife Phobia, Playing with fire in the kitchen.

Let’s be clear here.  This is the knife my sister uses.


It is a 4 inch paring knife, meant to peel an apple, cut cherry tomatoes, etc.  It is not a “Chefs” knife.  My 17 year old uses a real knife and has for years now.  There is all kinds of research that indicates that dull knives are the reason for most cuts in the kitchen because you have to use more force to cut and because the knife is dull, the resulting cut is worse that if you cut yourself with a sharp knife.

This is the knife I gave her.


This is a Victorinox 8″ Chef’s knife rated best by America’s Test Kitchen and runs about $40.  A great buy for a real knife…

I was shocked when I found out my sister, who has cooked for years, had no good knives and more shocked that when given one, she did not immediately see how good knives made the process so much easier and quicker. I can see now that I may have to follow up my gift of the knife with a class on knife skills.  But, that is what sisters are for….  Remember, though, that once you get a good knife, you have to have it sharpened every few months depending on how often you use it and I use a sharpening steel to keep the blade smooth between sharpenings.

I will now be on the hunt for a technique class at Williams Sonoma on knife skills.  They have great free technique classes on Sat or Sun mornings.  Too bad it is Thanksgiving time because the classes are all about the Thanksgiving meal in November, but hopefully soon, there will be a knife skill class offered.

Between now and then, I will be thankful for my sister and overlook her good knife phobia.


Daughters and Chicken Noodle Soup: Two really awesome joys.

I sit here at the computer while my 17 year old makes homemade chicken noodle soup from scratch without a recipe.  Life is good.


I did not really start cooking until she was about 8 and I realized that if I continued that way we were going, she would only know how to warm stuff up.  She would not really know how to cook, with recipes or without, because I mostly just put stuff together that needed to be warmed up.  So I started watching foodnetwork and realized that I loved to cook.  When Devin was 10, I made her responsible for one meal a week.  She could take the easy route of prepared food like canned soup every once and awhile, but I let her know I wanted her to learn to cook.  I got a couple of cookbooks specific for children and off she went.  She made pad thai as one of her first attempts.  From there she took off and I am so proud that she makes stuff up, cooks without a recipe and trusts her ability to combine ingredients.  She makes all kinds of meals now and rarely follows a recipe.

She is really great at asian sauces.  Over time, we have tried all kinds of recipes that we find in magazines, cookbooks or from watching America’s Test Kitchen.  I am working on a cookbook complete with photos of the preparation and final dish so I can print and bind it as a reminder of our favorite “family” recipes.

it just does not take that much effort to build family traditions, empower your kids to be self-sufficient while building their confidence.  A little thought, a little planning, a little creativity…..I cannot say how much I have enjoyed cooking for and with her these past 9 years.  I am proud and thrilled to know that she will grow up to be a skilled, creative and accomplished cook.


Speaking of Canning

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I am not a canner…have never canned in the traditional sense.  But this year’s crop of tomatoes and apples have made me do something akin to canning.  I have made tomato blue cheese soup, marinara, salsa, roasted tomatoes and frozen them for later use.  I just discovered after 25 years that even if the apples look sort of worm-ridden on the outside, they are actually perfect on the inside.  Who knew….I just assumed that if I did not spray for worms, that the apples would all have worms inside them, but that’s not the case.  So I have just made 10 jars of apple butter from our old family recipe and with the apples left on the tree, I could make many more.  I boiled the jars to make sure they were clean and then after I filled them, I put them back into boiling water and boiled for about 10 minutes.  I have no idea if that will make the jars shelf-safe, but here’s trying.  I can hear a couple of them popping their lids and have no idea what that means.  I guess I should get my second refrigerator fixed so I have a place to store all of the bounties of my garden!

I still have something to figure out for the golden tomatoes I have left and I have a ton of apples that I could do something else with.  I am not a fan of apple sauce and neither is Devin, so that idea is out.  i think egg roll wrappers with some cooked apples inside and then fried up in the cast iron skillet might be next.   T.


I like canning.

It is relaxing to can.  I love to look at the jars sitting on the shelf, and I am tempted to not use them so I do not deplete my source of visual enjoyment. The latest addition to my shelf is Green Pepper Relish.  I harvested 13 green peppers from the garden and I needed to preserve them, so here is the product.  The recipe is very easy.

12 green peppers and 6 onions with 6 hot peppers (optional)

Chop peppers and onions in a processor and pour boiling water over them and let stand.

In a large pot, mix and boil
3 cups vinegar
3 cups sugar
3 TBLS salt
1 TEA celery seed and 1 TEA mustard seed.

Drain peppers, add to vinegar mixture and boil again.  Pour into properly prepared jars and process 10 minutes in a water bath canner.

Voila!! Yummy over cream cheese served with crackers, a relish for hot dogs and any number of other uses.

Green Pepper Relish