Monday, June 14, 2010

Daily Love

"I align myself with people who support my growth. If you meet someone whose soul is not aligned with yours, send them love and move along."
- Dr. Wayne Dyer

Love, love, love this concept! We've all met a lot of different folks along the way and sometimes our souls are aligned and many times they are not.  Goes along with the idea that some individuals are meant to teach or help us, we are meant to teach or help some, and others are meant to be there for life.  Not everyone can be a lifer, and we need to make sure to hold onto the ones we just click with.  

On another note... today is my first day back into the real world and off vacation.  Also my first day away from Simon and without a leisurely cocktail for 3 weeks.  So far so good... We'll see how the rest of the afternoon and evening go.  Been up since 4:30 (still getting over jet lag), at work since 7, off at 4, then drive out to my mom's (in an hour of traffic), then back to Phoenix by 7 for a dinner, and probably home by 10.  My only worry is that I've been zonking out around 7 at night the past 2 days.  Hopefully I can make it!!!

I miss vacation but I am enjoying this intense feeling of purpose and of being needed!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A very successful Sunday Roast

To date a man, you need to know how to cook. To date an English man,
you need to know how to cook a roast and how to perfect Yorkshire
Puddings (basically a popover but a tad different).
Today, I succeded! It is a major triumph - I think a right of passage
in acceptance by your English man. Haha There is a lot of pressure to
do it right and damn it, I nailed it!!! Wahoo!!
Simon told me that I did such a wonderful job that he now wants this
every Sunday. I did have a lot of fun puttin it all together and
figuring things out with him... We will see! :)
Ladies, I think this meal goes down in history for a tell tale, for
sure way to win a man's heart through his stomach!!!!
Here is my step by step to eat about 5:15...
1:15 preheat oven to 325. Prep roast in pan ( I used a 3.2 lb chuck
roast). Salt and pepper each side and add about a half cup of water
into the bottom of the pan. Cover with foil
1:30ish put in the roast on the center rack
Do all of your prep work - clean and cut veggies & place in the
steamer so they're ready to go, get all f your ingredients sorted for
the yorkshires, cut up potatoes and place on a baking sheet covered in
foil insides down, place sprigs of Rosemary and thyme throughout the
pan and drizzle with olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to
2:30 prepare yorkshire batter (see below)
3 turn roast over, recover and put in about another hour
4 pull out roast ( if ready) and set oven to 400
4:20 put in potatoes on the top rack and Yorkshire pan on the center
4:30 take out Yorkshire pan and add mixture. (See below for super
important details!)
Make gravy and let simmer (we just use a brown gravy packet and Simon
added grilled onions to it. Yum)
4:45 Turn on the steamer and steam veggies for 10-15 minutes
5 take out potatoes, quickly!!!!!!!!!! (and carefully!!!!!!!)
5:10 yorkshires should be done
Set oven to 330, when ready, put in bread & butter pudding for about
an hr (until it isn't watery anymore)
By 5:15 you'll have a heavenly meal on your plate. Enjoy!!
Here are the recipes for Yorkshire puddings and Bread and Butter

Yorkshire pudding (courtesy of Martha Stewart, revised by me)
Mix 2 cups flour, 1 tsp coarse salt and a little bit of cracked
pepper. Create a well in the center.
Measure out about 3 cups milk. (2% is good. Original recipe called for
Pour about 1/4 of the milk and 4 eggs, beaten into the well and whisk
together. Fold in the flour.
Add about half of the remaining milk and beat with an electric mixer
on low until liquid. Set for about 1 1/2 hrs at room temp. Set
remaining milk aside, room temp

Put about a tsp of lard in the bottom of each cup of a 12 cup muffin
Once you pull the roast out, turn up the heat to 400 an put in the
potatoes and the Yorkshire pan.
Now, slowly add more milk and mix with the electric mixer on low. You
may not need all the milk, just get it to the consistency of cream. I
used a total of 2 1/2 cups or so.
About 10 minutes in, take out the pan and fill each tin about 3/4 of
the way. Put in the oven on the center rack, centered pefectly, shut
the door, and do NOT open it for anything. Your potatoes will be just
fine unturned.
They should begin to rise after about 10 min or less and continue
until about 20 or 30 in. They are done when they are golden brown. If
they start to fall when you open the door, they aren't done so close
the door quickly!!! Should take about 40 minutes.
Bread and butter Pudding, courtesy of Simon's dad
1 pint (20 oz) milk, hot
2 large eggs
1/2 c sugar
Whisk together
Butter 3-5 slices of stale bread (if ends, slice the end off. Some
take all the crust off) and quarter.
Layer half the bread in casserole dish and pour half the mixture over
it. Layer the remains of the bread and then the rest of the mix.
Sprinkle with raw sugar and all spice. If desired, currants and or
Bake at 150C (332f) for about an hour or so, until it isn't watery at

England Trip Photos!!

Follow this link to view my online album of photos from the trip!

We had an amazing time and I can't wait to go back and do some more exploring!

Trip Photos

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Spanish Siesta

While I know I have skipped quite a few days and in turn many sights
and events, part of being on vacation far from home means very limited
access. So deal with it and eventually I will get you all caught up. ;)

Currently we are sitting on a patio overlooking the Atlantic and the
Sahara on the horizon just 60 miles away.

The sun is extremely hot but the breeze is beautiful and instantly relieving. Cold beers and ginormous piña coladas are also a wonderful relief!

We haven't done much of anything which has been perfect. I'm close to finishing my book which I hardly read any of in traveling and Simon and I have battled out in a few games of scrabble. 

The bars are hilarious: Ruta 66 and The American Indian are a couple of my faves!  I must be the only American on the island! Well, besides the lead singer of Def Leppard that I hear has a place he and his family stay. The woman that served us breakfast this morning is long time friends with he and his wife (also from Arizona) and apparently they just left town as we arrived.

But really, I feel like Im a celebrity here they always seem to light up and go into deep conversation once they find out we live it the states. Quite the difference from feeling like sticking out like a sore thumb just a few days ago! 

Yesterday was one of my favorite days in a long time. We rented some beach chairs and an umbrella for 8 euro and lounged around and played in the ocean. Oh yeah, and I braved the feat of sun bathing topless. Simply liberating. And NO TAN LINES! Amazing!

Today we are just exploring the bars even more and have made plans for a scuba/snorkeling trip on Tuesday. Scuba for Si and snorkleing for me. HAVE to plan that diving trip next year to get mr certified!!!!

Oh! A game of Jenga calls! Gotta run! 

P.S. The pool is in our little complex, the drink is my Pina Colada from American Indian, and the view, well that's what Im looking at right now!  

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lunch in Edinburgh

The view from our table at The Castle Arms, Simon scopes out the map
and makes our plan of attack (yay again no planning for me!), Simon
has the Yorkshire Pudding and a Carling and I have the Steak and Ale
pie and the bartender's favorite Scottish Ale. Delish!!


We took the train from London to York on Friday. Simon's brother and
his girlfriend picked us up from the station and then we went to his
youngest brother's school for Sports Day. We met up with Simon's
sister, Sarah then it was straight to the pub, the Charles (we're
keeping a list of all the pubs we visit but I'll save a post just for
Walked the grounds of York University and by the moor along the way.
Simon, Sarah, and Tommy took Anna and I down memory lane. I knew I was
going to learn a lot about Simon's childhood. :)

After the Charles we freshened up and got ready for the night. A
delicious Indian at the Garden of India, Jeff's favorite then we hit
the town for round 2 of Sarah's birthday. A lot of Simon's friends
from primary school met us out, too! We had a huge group! Some places
even turned us away because of it. Going out in town in a weekend
night is so awesome, especially because when you are going from place
to place, the cobblestone streets are empty other than all of people
that are out as well. One big playground!

On Saturday, we got up early to meet Basil, Simon's grandad. We
wandered through the Shambles, the main area of town. I love how old
these buildigs are and that everyone lives a very modern life in them.
Had some lunch and did some shopping and then Basil was off and it was
time to go visit some friends of Simon's mom.

The girls decided it was a good night to break away from the boys so
we went to see SATC2 while they stayed out at the pubs. When those
boys get together they're trouble! Haha not really too bad but they
can be a handful. Lol. Turns out that they were in bed before we even
got out of the movie though. They sure did have a good time!

Sunday we all drove out to the coast to the old fishing town of
Whitby. It was blistering! The wind was so strong it almost blew my
glasses off and nearly blew me over! But we found a good chippy soon
enough and tucked in for tea and fish and chips. Yummy!!! Best Ive
ever had! Got to try some mushy peas - not too bad! I'd been dying for
some veggies so I was happy with what I could get. Lol.

We walked up the hill after lunch to have a look at the Abbey. You can
see it in the photo on the horizon. This is the site used in Bram
Stoker's Dracula! And again, everything is so old! People were
fishing here some 2,000 years ago!

We drove through the countryside each way and got to see some really
great things. Among them were the Gypos (gypsies) who set up camp in
the public section on the side of the road. Now these are some old
school people!!! Didn't catch a glimpse of any of them but apparently
they are very small and very dirty! And they keep the coolest horses,
not as big as Clydesdales but the kind with long hair on their hooves
and heads. It really was a sight to see!!

We then met up with another friend of Simon's mom for a drink. Simon,
Tommy, Anna and I went for a walk along the bar walls and then out to
dinner and I finally got a good lot of veggies! Veggie pizza and a
salad. Mmm! And leftovers for breakfast. Everyone thought I was nuts
but they're just missin out!

Monday, Simon, his dad and I drove back out through the country to
visit with his nanna. We had tea and cakes and a really nice visit.
She is a doll!

Once back in York, the sun came out again and we walked into town for
some sight seeing. We walked through the Minster gardens and just
Simon and I went through the Minster - tehy charge ��8 but we borrowed
a couple York Minster cards and Si told em we live there. I just
smiled and nodded as not to give it away with my blatant American
accent. We also walked through the museum gardens and saw some more
ruins. Back at the house, a roast beef and chicken were being prepared
along with Yorkshire puddings, veggies, and roasted potatoes. Jeff
taught us all how to make bread and butter pudding!

Dinner was delicious and we all just relaxed and enjoyed each others
company. Sarah had to be off to London to catch her flight home in the
morning and I don't think there was a dry eye in the house. It is so
sad that the distance is so great...

This morning we are on the train again but this time it is for a day
trip to Edinburgh, Scotland. Will see the castle, Mary Queen of Scots
crown and septor, first used by her in the 1500s when she was just 9
months old! We'll watch the guns go off at the castle and do a lot of
exploring. Gonna be cold and wet but Im sure all worth it!

Gonna shut my eyes for a minute... A long day ahead of us!