Sunday, September 29, 2013


I am thinking of spending Thanksgiving on the boat and making Mexican Turkey in the pressure cooker. My friend made it last year and she said everyone loved it.  Here are a few recipes I want to try for Thanksgiving:

Southwestern Turkey with Garlic-Ancho Chili Paste and Gravy

Bon Appétit  | November 1994
  • Serves 14


  • 3 large heads garlic
  • 3 large dried ancho chilies, rinsed, stemmed, seeded, torn into pieces
  • 1/2 cup corn oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 17-to 18-pound turkey, neck and giblets reserved
  • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds turkey neck or wings, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice berries
  • 5 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 cups (about) canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • Cayenne pepper


For paste:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Separate heads of garlic into individual cloves (do not peel). Pierce each clove once with toothpick. Scatter garlic on baking sheet; roast until tender and beginning to brown, about 25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Peel garlic, cutting hard tip off each clove. Pack enough garlic into 1/2-cup measuring cup to fill (about 40 cloves); reserve any remaining garlic. Blend 1/2 cup garlic in processor to form course puree.
Meanwhile, place chilies in small saucepan. Add enough water just to cover. Simmer over medium-low heat until chilies are soft and most of water evaporates, about 15 minutes. Add chili mixture, oil, cumin, and honey to garlic in processor. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover paste and garlic; chill.)
For turkey:
Pat turkey dry. Season with salt and pepper. Slide hand under skin of turkey breast to loosen skin. Spread 1/2 cup garlic-paste over breast under skin. If stuffing turkey, spoon stuffing into main cavity. Rub 2 tablespoons paste all over outside of turkey. Reserve remaining paste for gravy. Tie legs together loosely to hold shape of turkey. Place on rack set in roasting pan. (Can be done 1 day ahead if turkey is not stuffed. Chill turkey and paste separately.)
Position rack in lowest third of oven and preheat to 325°F. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add neck and giblets, turkey neck pieces and onion; sauté brown, about 15 minutes. Place contents of skillet around turkey in pan. Add celery, tomato, allspice and any reserved garlic to pan; pour in 2 cups broth. Roast turkey 1 hour 30 minutes. Tent turkey and entire pan loosely with heavy-duty foil. Continue to roast turkey until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 180°F. or until juices run clear when thickest part of thigh is pierced with skewer, basting often with pan juices and 3 cups broth, about 1 hour 40 minutes longer for unstuffed turkey (about 2 hours 25 minutes longer for stuffed turkey). Place turkey on platter. Tent with foil; let stand at least 30 minutes. Reserve mixture in pan for gravy.
For gravy:
Using tongs, remove turkey parts from pan; discard. Pour mixture in pan into sieve set over large bowl. Press on solids in sieve to release liquid. Spoon fat from pan juices; add enough broth to juices to measure 6 cups.
Stir 1/2 cup reserved garlic-chili paste in heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until liquefied. Add flour and stir 1 minute (mixture will be very thick). Gradually add 6 cups broth mixture, whisking until smooth. Simmer until reduced to 4 1/2 cups, about 20 minutes. Season with cayenne, salt and pepper.
Serve turkey with gravy.

Smoked Chile Scalloped Sweet Potatoes


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chipotle pepper puree
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Whisk together cream and chipotle puree until smooth.

In a 9 by 9-inch casserole dish, arrange the potatoes in even layers. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the cream mixture and season with salt and pepper. Repeat with the remaining potatoes, cream, and salt and pepper to form 10 layers.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes, remove cover and continue baking for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the cream has been absorbed and the potatoes are cooked through and the top is browned.
Chorizo and Cornbread Stuffing


  • 1 pound fresh Mexican chorizo
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups coarsely crumbled cornbread
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (low-sodium store-bought is fine)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Grated cotija cheese, for garnish (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the chorizo, breaking it up with a spoon and stirring occasionally as it cooks, until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic to the chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have browned, about 10 minutes. Add the crumbled cornbread and cilantro and gradually pour in enough of the stock so the stuffing is not too dry but at the same time not too wet. Stir gently and well.

Butter a small casserole dish. Spread the stuffing in an even layer. Bake until it's heated through and lightly browned on top, about 20 minutes. Serve right away, garnished with the cilantro and cotija, if desired.


I have a big kitchen at home with every possible amenity. So only having a tiny microwave that needs replacing and 2 burners on the boat took me out of my comfort zone. I read an article on line that pressure cookers were great for one pot fast easy cook up and clean up on boats.

So I dug out a Bravetti 8qrt electric pressure cooker I bought on HSN.COM many years ago and has since lived unused in a cabinet.
Then came the task of finding pressure cooker recipes. Really there are not alot out there. My particular pressure cooker works in 3 ways a) as an electric pressure cooker, b) as a slow cooker/crockpot c) soup maker.

The blog where I have found the best recipes and instructions is:

My first recipe in the pressure cooker was



  • 3 lbs Oxtails
  • 1/4 lb of cured Chorizo, chopped
  • 1 can whole Tomatoes
  • 1 cup Red wine
  • 1 large Onion, chopped
  • 4 medium Carrots, chopped
  • 4 Garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 2 tsp caldo de tomato granules
  • 2 TB mandarin balsamic vinegar
  • ** My additions


  • Chopped Parsley or Chopped Green Onions
  • Splash of Red Wine Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar
** I served over mashed potatoes and topped with a splash of mandarin balsamic as well as the green onions and parsley

In addition to this recipe I made Baked potatoes in the pressure cooker and used up some left overs to make a Mexican spiced steak stew over rice.

Sunday, September 1, 2013



The water Hyacinth has been blooming so pretty in my Thai water garden and my Bio filter for the turtle pond this summer.


My girls are hams and they love to be the center of attention. They wore their outfits at my Mary Kay Party as a test run, but these are actually their party dresses for the big Christening next weekend.


 Strawberry and Lemonade mini cupcakes, Fresh figs from my garden and cherry lintzer cookies
 Pink Lemonade Punch:
Pink Lemonade, a bottle of 7up,
 and a bag of frozen tropical fruit from Schwans

 I have been a Mary Kay Customer for 20 years so I pretty much have everything. I brought out a huge bin of all my products so folks could see it before they buy it. My party was kind of a flop. I only sold about $150 worth of stuff, but thats ok I am really doing it because I buy so much Mary Kay myself that I can get a 50% discount by being a consultant. I love the new Timewise Repair Set.
 This is my consultant bag. What a great bag it even has organizers inside.

My Mary Kay must haves are definitely Timewise lip primer, Med-coverage foundation, loose powder, mint bliss foot cream, Satin Hands Peach set, the suncare lip balm and the SPF 50 MK Sunscreen, it works like a dream and gives you an even tan. Ofcourse I have every eye shadow and blush. The new Timewise Repair set is pricey but it works great. I could see and feel the difference in my skin in just one use. I have never really liked the Miracle set MK always tries to push, but Timewise Repair thats the way to go.


It has been a busy summer at the cottage . I have had to be out of town alot this summer. When I returned one Sunday after noon I checked on my girls and out peeps 2 little yellow chicks. I was so excited. I have had hens go broody for a year now but nothing ever hatched. So this was a wonderful surprise. In total 9 chicks hatched.
All 5 of my hens would lay eggs in the communal nest but only two hens Lulu and Scarlett actually sat the nest and have mothered the chicks.
4 chicks have been lost. I believe our dog who is not aggressive may have gotten them to play with and they became little chicken nuggets, 2 more were killed by Lulu shortly after they hatched.
I took 3 away from her and are raising them in a brooder. The first black chick that was born Lulu just went homicidal and tried to peck him to death. She did alot of damage to him, but with a little nursing and a lot of love he is healthy and growing into a beautiful bird.
The only thing I can speculate there doesn't seem to be a clear answer is that since the hens have laid at different times the eggs are hatching a week apart and Lulu doesn't want more babies just as she has the first batch which are a month old now almost grown.
It was very upsetting for me to find what she had done, and I am getting a stronger stomach and learning how nature works.
I am an island girl, so raising chickens is all a learning experience for me. I love my chickens.  The joke around here is what are you going to do with all these chickens. Since I just started selling Mary Kay at the beginning of summer ( I am my own best I say every one is getting some Mary Kay and a chicken for Christmas.

Friday, July 12, 2013





Let me start by saying Ashtin you and everyone at the dealership have always given me excellent service. You all have earned my loyalty and trust.


I am having a problem I believe I need Mr. Samosa's (sorry if I spelled it wrong) help in.


On April 2, 2013 that terrible hail storm blew thru during the night while I was at work and lots of damage was done to my new 4Runner. As soon as daylight came I brought it to the dealership,because I trust ya'll more than anyone.


Trieu took my car in , I had gotten my allstate claim number and Trieu contacted Allstate and arranged for the adjuster to come out to the dealership. Everything seemed to be going well. Trieu said my car would be good as new and I would never even know anything had happened to it. He kept me up to date the first few weeks. He told me the Ron Carter body shop was taking care of it and gave me Jacks Mongens Phone number. For 5 weeks I was under the impression the body shop was at your facility and under your control.


My car was supposed to be completed and ready to pick up on April 26,2013, that didn't happen. Each week I was told it would be the following Friday .

May 17 rolls around and I am told its finally ready. I get a ride to the shop and I am very upset with what I see.


A large scratch on the bumper and various other scratches that were not there before.


I was refusing to take it and Jack said oh no go ahead and take it and bring it back Tuesday May 21, and he would fix all the scratches.


So I take the car. I barely had enough gas to get home. I had filled the tank the day before the storm, but I figure ok maybe they had to drain the tank for the welding or painting process. Then my tire blows out. (May 17 Friday)


I come to the dealership on May 20 to have a new tire put on. I asked Carl to look at some things I found odd about the repairs and asked him to confirm if they looked right or not. I knew the sunroof shouldn't be making that scraping sound, and it shouldn't sound like marbles rolling around my lift gate. At that time we noticed that most of the front end pieces were not lined up correctly and some pieces were not even tightened up. I thank Carl for being there to confirm my thoughts.


I then drove the vehicle back to Ron Carter Collision Center and showed them the additional things I found wrong. Jack was none to pleased , I was just told to wait for the shuttle and given no time frame for everything to be fixed. I was told 2 days for the paint work the week before but with the additional errors, nothing was said. He just wanted to get away from me.


What I am asking of you is that since I was under the impression when I dropped the car off, that the dealership was the one handling repairs and I was unaware until yesterday that The Ron Carter Collision Center is not part of Ron Carter Toyota, it is a company the dealership sublets work to.


I ask you on my behalf to quality assure that the work is completed correctly.


The issues I noted:

1. Various scratches in paint that were not there previously. ( 8 in scratch on front bumper, scratch near (L) rear light, various others


2. Sun/Moon roof makes scraping noise ( adjustment, track lube, possible linkage issue.


3. Loose object rolling around rear hatch on (L) side


4. Front Bumper not hung correctly


5. Grill area loose, uneven gaps


6. Hood large gapping area in front does not look right


Please feel free to add any mistakes you might find that should be addressed.



I have been with out my vehicle for almost 8 weeks at this time. I am about to pay the 3rd car note and haven't been able to use my car. My car just had its one year birthday in March and it made it to 10k miles yesterday. I take great extremes to keep it  nice and I want it to remain that way.


I thank you in advance for help you will give me.



May 20,2013 In the late afternoon I called to speak with G.M of Ron Carter Toyota Alvin. He was very curt and said he would look in into the situation and call my by end of next day.
May 21,2013 I emailed this letter to GM's assistant so he would have all info in front of him.
I did not receive a call from him today
While returning rental car to dealership I asked Ashtin what he was doing on their end. She said he has passed it to Jim Smith their service manager and he was talking to Walter the manager of Ron Carter Collision Center. They said it would be taken care of up to Toyota standards.
Had I not stopped in I wouldn't even know that much. Still no call from GM.
May 22,2013
I called to speak with Jim Smith at 944am was sent to return call, I called again at 1212pm  sent to voice mail, no return call.
at 158 pm I called to speak to GM Samoza, was told he was in meeting.. spoke with Ashtin who said she would check on it
received return call from Ashtin at 250pm stating that Jim had been in contact with Walter at collision center and my vehicle was in clean up and would be ready to go.
I explained that that did not sound right at all since I was told it would take at least 2 days to do the paint work.
SHe said collision center was supposed to be calling me soon.
At this point perhaps Ashtin should be given the general manager job, she is the only one it seems knows how to get info and return calls to the customer.
300pm received call from Jack at collision center stating car was being detailed and should be ready, he and his manager would go over the car with me when it was ready for pick up.
Jack said scratch on back bumper was fixed . I said the scratch was on the front bumper, then I asked about the scraping sound sunroof was making....he was like uh he would have to check and get back with me. He did not call back. SO as I suspected the vehicle is not finished.

310pm called Jim Smith once again voice mail. No return call
May 23,2017 Jack at the Collision center called and said the car would be ready and they were filling it with gas.  My Dad drove me up and everything had been addressed . I am pleased with the corrected results.
Unfortunately Ron Carter Toyota Alvin is on my shit list. My husband and I have spent $107,000.00 on vehicles at Ron Carter in the past year. I would expect a return phone call. All I can say is Mr. Samoza and Jim Smith you are both cocksuckers. You have failed completely at customer relations, and I will tell anyone and every one what sacks of shit you 2 are.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


 I bought a box of these at the French Market. My client says he thinks I got bamboozled that the only thing that  makes it Creole is that is was grown in Louisiana. I will not fall prey to his
 I prefer to allow Creole Tomatoes to mystify me with their lore.
 I even bought both varieties of Killer Tomato Seasoning to use on my beautiful red creole tomatoes.



 I took this photo in the St.Josephs Catholic Cemetery in Paulina, La.
Perhaps its because I spend so much time with older folks, I have started taking life at their pace. One of my clients told me that I was special because "I lived life in the details. "



I am not generally a superstitious person, But every day for 6 months something bad was happening to me. Not a day went by that everything I tried to do wasn't 3 times as difficult to get done because some unforeseen, uncontrollable problem came up. For instance in two different vehicles a truck in a different lane from me threw a rock that broke my windshields, if I had a deadline my Internet would go out, if my husband was going to call my phone would go dead zone, if I washed my bed linens the cat would barf on the freshly remade bed, nothing was going right and it was nothing I could control.
Apparently I don't quite have the patience of Job, 6 months is my breaking point. So, I looked on line for ojos and evil eye cures etc. Finally I called my neighbor and friend. She is of Hispanic background and I figured she would know what the ritual was all about.
She came over with her brother. She brought artificial flowers, olive oil and the biggest eggs I have ever seen. She made me lay on the floor, she told me to take 2 eggs , putting one in each hand and rub the eggs all over my body to draw out the curse, then she dipped the flowers into the olive oil and started swatting me hard with them, after a few minutes she brought a glass of water and had me break the eggs into it.
Then she and her brother started laughing. I was like what are ya'll laughing at. They said there is no such thing as evil eye, just know you are surrounded by friends that love you and you wont have anymore bad luck.
Well say what you will, the broken eggs did have odd white stuff in them and I haven't had anymore bad luck since then.
From what I read that after you do the egg thing, the evil eye returns to the person who put it on you. With in days I heard that this woman who was jealous and hated me for absolutely no reason was fired from her job and now bad stuff is happening to her. So maybe there is something to it, and maybe my friends are


 I lived in Asia for many years and I got used to very spicy flavorful Kim Chee. I wasn't finding anything comparable to it at my Asian Market or grocery store so I decided to try and make it myself. I ordered The Kim Chee cookbook from and thus begins my journey.
Here are my ingredients. I made 3 types of Kim Chee, Eggplant and red pepper, Daikon and Spicy Cabbage.
This is the eggplant Kim Chee
This post is called Kinky Kim Chee, just look at that Daikon, and tell me your mind doesn't make that leap...smiles

 This is my napa cabbage diced and soaking in salt water. I think I may not have soaked my cabbage long enough. I soaked it for 1 hr 15 minutes but it wasn't as wilty as maybe it should have been.
Spicy cabbage Kim chee, Eggplant Kim Chee and Daikon Kim Chee made with rice porridge.
Here is where I am perfectly honest. All of it sucked. Its terrible. I am letting it stew in the fridge a little more hoping it gets a flavor.
I had better luck unjarring bought kim cheese and adding more Korean Red pepper powder and fish sauce to get the flavor I was looking for.
While I was doing all this I came across a recipe for A Kim Chee Grilled Cheese Sandwich well what could possible be better on it than Bacon.... So here is my recipe for :
Bacon Kim Chee Grilled Cheese
2 SLICES FIRM BREAD ( I used an artisan rosemary bread)
SHARP CHEDDAR (sliced evenly, use as much or as little as you'd like)
Basically I buttered only the outside of the bread. I layered my cheddar, bacon and kim chee between the slices of bread, added more butter to the frying pan and cooked it on medium high til the cheese got gooey and the bread toasted golden. It is excellent.


( I will almost always take a picture of a Buddha in a garden, I cant help myself..smiles)
These are just random photos of things I saw on this years garden tour that struck my interest. This years theme was sustainability, although it was not very emphasized.
 A beautiful fountain in the Oleander Garden behind the Moody Mansion. I never knew this garden was here.
 I love the varying shades of this hybrid oleander
 Dutchman's Pipe although people were calling it something different at a few gardens
 Lotus blossoms in a water feature
 This is a nice cistern, the wood siding was added to make it more pleasing to the eye, the other ones on the property were just the black plastic cylinders.
 I thought this was pretty cute
 I definitely want to bead my hanging baskets, this was very pretty
 An old pallet made into a planter ( Rehab Center for Brain Injured)
 This is a table top garden , what make it unique is that this is for Wheelchair bound patients in therapy to be able to garden
 These are neat made from pallets as well and livened up with bright paint.
 What a great coop at the rehab center, no chickens yet. I have a rooster that I'd be happy to give to them.
 A volunteer at San Jacinto Garden brought these shopping totes back from France. She donated them to the community garden with proceeds benefiting the garden. Since I am a definite bag lady and all you have to say is France and I am smitten, I bought 2.
I love the poppies at San Jacinto Garden. I bought some seeds from their plants and hope they will grow as well for me in my garden.