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Saturday Picnic

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First of all, Happy Belated Mother’s Day!

I wanted to share with you all what a wonderful and lovely  time Boyfriend and I had at the picnic Saturday. This was official picnic, meaning I actually made everything, from scratch, aside from the pita chips.  I think I outdid myself with the food, we didn’t finish any of it, but it was wonderful, and we found a tree that was covering a perfect picnic table. It was like a fairytale.


I wasn’t to able to take a lot of photos of the food since we were so hungry, and the light under our perfect tree wasn’t perfect. However there are two shots, one of the sandwich and one of the general festivities that I thought were good enough to relate how much it was that my picnic basket actually hauled. And it was just the two of us!

  • Honey-Ginger Lemonaid (spiked!)
  • “Brick” Italian deli sandwiches
  • A three cheese and salami spread
  • Old Fashioned Hummus
  • Spiced Bar Nuts

The sandwich was the most delicious in the world! Best one ever. Did need a bit of mayo, though.

The picnic gave us energy to walk around Descanso Gardens. Last time we were there was early April and it was windy, and chilly, and overcast. And we only walked around the East side of the park. This time it was sunny, and we were able to venture and adventure around a lot better. We actually found the Boddy House this time (the home of the original owners of the park).

Along the way to our adventures I took these pictures for your enjoyement.



Blueberry Lemon Loaf and a Weekend at the Beach

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This weekend the news reported that Saturday’s full moon would be the largest all year. The first thing that I thought of was how romantic it would be to say hello to such a moon under the stars, at the Redondo Beach Pier. Well, the moon was pretty, and bright, but not what I had anticipated. Although I’m a big fan, and sort of a goofy one at that, when it comes to the moon. Still, I knew I had to see it anywhere but my bedroom window.

Boyfriend and I got the pier a little early, and we decided to get a nice workout on the water. Pedal boating is the most fun, and most stressful thing I’ve ever done on the water. Not to mention the most exhausting. We had a few seals in our path a couple of times, and they were able to evade my camera pretty successfully. Aside from the seals, I believe we had a few pelicans fly a bit too low and almost wing us.

In any case, it was a wonderful thing that lasted for about 15 minutes, till we got seasick. I don’t usually get seasick, on an empty stomach anyway, however, weird turnings in the tummy are usually a sign to turn back and get on dry land.

Aside from the cold weather, I wasn’t able to take a lot of pictures, of the beach and the recipe. In both cases I was in too much a hurry to get to the fun stuff to record anything aside from the basics.

(had to remove the broken links- for some reason a few of my pictures were mysteriously deleted)

Now onto the recipe which was inspired by Sweet Pea’s Kitchen.

I wanted to make something fresh for boyfriend, something that would use up my blueberries left over from berry picking, (and I still have about  1.5 cups left over for muffins). He picked out the recipe out of a handful and I made it right away. Although I was in a hurry, which is the reason for the lack of photos, the loaf was perfect, and Boyfriend even went back for seconds. That’s a winner in my book!

For the Loaf

  • 1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed and rinsed
For the Lemon Syrup
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
For the Lemon Glaze
  • 1 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and sides of one 9 x 5-inch loaf pans; dust with flour, tapping out excess.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
In a separate bowl, mix the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour, and fold them very gently into the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing loaf to a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.
While the loaf is cooling, make the lemon syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir together the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat; set aside. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops and sides of the warm loaf. Brush the top and sides of the loaf with the lemon syrup. Let the syrup soak into the cake and brush again. Let the cake cool completely, (personally, I skipped this step and just used the glaze because I didn’t want the loaf to be too sweet).
To make the lemon glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and 2-3 tablespoons of the lemon juice. The mixture should be thick but pourable. Add up to another tablespoon of lemon juice if the mixture is too stiff.
Pour the lemon glaze over the top of each loaf and let it drip down the sides. Let the lemon glaze harden, about 15 minutes, before serving.

Birthday Fun at Descanso Gardens

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I’m sort of on a roll today, making up those empty days the last month or so without posts. This is all thanks to having a partial day off from work, and thanks to the mystery illness that got my client (today aside, I gotta pay bills so let’s hope the illness is short-lived).

I’d like to end my streak today with this lovely post. Boyfriend’s birthday was in the first week of April, and I decided to take him on a morning picnic with guacamole and Subway sandwiches. Although it was sprinkling on and off and extremely foggy, our adventures at Descanso Gardens were by far the most fun I’ve had since our trip for Valentine’s Day to Northern Cali Monterey Bay.

These are some of my favorite shots from our adventures.

Boyfriend like's to keep his identity private. He's a super hero