Saturday 9 December 2023

Mountain Walk...

With an ongoing dog respiratory virus in So Cal.. we have been avoiding dog parks but poor Prince needs a bit more exercise.. so today we took a drive up the mountain to give him a bit of a run in the woods
I love it up there.. the views and scenery are stunning.. 
and we always end up driving by Big Bear Lake in the attractively named Fawnskin
Prince was all smiles too. 

Maybe we will take another drive up there when the snow comes

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Friday 8 December 2023


When you have an exuberant.. tree loving.. ball eating.. daft dog… .
and a handy man hubby..
You get a stress free Christmas…
Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Thursday 7 December 2023

In the Kitchen ~ Baked Apple Pie Rings

The Christmas baking has started at the Blue House. 
This year I have decided not to go crazy with the amount of sweet stuff I make. I must be honest I get more enjoyment out of the creating than the eating...although an occasional tasty treat with a nice cup of tea in the afternoon is something I look forward to. Last year I baked quite a lot.. but much of it was given away as gifts.. If I get the urge to splurge again this year..I will probably to the same again.
So this week.. as well as my usual bread baking... 
I have made incredibly easy Chocolate Chip Fudge Crinkle Cookies 
which MrD said were the "Best Ever"
and the more complicated Apple Ring Pastries...which my daughter sent me the recipe to try. 

Not that the recipe for the pastries was fact its very straight forward..but man I found it fiddly. Clumsily threading strips of ever thinning puff pastry through an ever decreasing hole in an apple slice was was challenging.. but they turned out pretty well tho not quite the perfectly neat original recipe. But they tasted good. I think next time, I should use a bigger hole or maybe just a bigger apple!
1 box puff pastry sheets
2 apples
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 beaten egg
juice of 1 lemon
Powdered sugar for dusting

  • Thaw puff pastry
  • Preheat the oven to 400°.
  • Peel and core the apples.
  • Slice into rounds.
  • Use a 1-1/4 inch-diameter cookie cutter to open the core slice a little larger.
  • Place the apple slices into a bowl, cover with water, and add the juice of 1 lemon.
  • Unfold the puff pastry and roll it until it is slightly larger.
  • Cut the puff pastry into ¾ inch strips.
  • Mix the cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg in a shallow dish and set aside.
  • Pat the apple slices dry with a paper towel and dust them with a bit of cinnamon sugar.
  • Wrap strips of the puff pastry(3-4 strips/apple ring) around each apple ring.
  • Brush the wrapped apple rings with egg wash on both sides.
  • Sprinkle the rings with cinnamon sugar.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until puff pastry is flaky and light golden brown.
  • Cool for 10 minutes and dust with powdered sugar before serving.
Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Tuesday 5 December 2023

And the Lights Went On...

The decorating is done... the lights went on for Mum... so Christmas is well and truly underway.
Its time for card writing.. present wrapping and baking cookies...
 We are sipping hot chocolate.. peppermint coffees and eggnog...
Listening to Sinatra, Buble and Crosby...
And making sure we relax by the fire every evening and watch a Christmas movie.
I have planned for this.. my favourite season.. all year..
 and I aim to make it stress free and enjoy every second... 
(my organizing lists are a huge help!!)
So far...I think I have got off to a pretty good start.

How are your plans coming along? 

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Monday 4 December 2023

Whats for Dinner ~ Meal Plan Monday

Good morning from the Blue House..

Everything is starting to look very festive here.. and last night we managed to get most of the Christmas lights switched on in memory of my dear mum. Im afraid that half the tree lights fused... but MrD will get them sorted after work today.

The movie season is well underway... and we watched a couple over the weekend.  I’m always on the look out or ideas on what to watch..

Christmas baking gets underway this week... and I have a few new ideas and a couple of old favourites on the list. 

The menu this week is quite straight forward. The crock pot is being well used... and I get a night off from the kitchen on Saturday as we are going for a drive in the mountains and eating out. 

Have a great week... and I hope you are enjoying the start of the season 

Weekly Plan - 4th December 2023

Monday              Chicken, Roasted Potatoes, Parsnips, Carrots and Cabbage

Tuesday              Skillet Sausage, Potatoes and Peppers, with Poached Eggs

Wednesday         Slow Cooker Pork in Mushroom Sauce, Vegetable Rice

Thursday            Crockpot Spaghetti

Friday                 Sausage and Mushroom Pizza

Saturday             Dinner Out

Sunday                Leftovers

Saturday 2 December 2023

Where Have The Years Gone?

This weekend... Im thinking of this beautiful lady I was blessed to call Mum..
Nineteen years since God suddenly called you home.. so quickly I didn’t get to say goodbye. The last words you said to me will stay with me forever..
“I love you.. I’m proud of the way you are bringing up the kids.. please keep going to church you are going to need them.. see you in a few days!”
For a incredibly hard working, brutally honest, determined woman who “said” she wasn’t religious and found it hard to say ‘Love’.. yet showed it for her kids.. grandkids, family and friends with every fiber of her being… it was mind blowing. It was the first and last time she said the words love and proud towards me..
Well mum .. I can say I have always loved you .. I have always been proud you are my mum and I am so grateful for the life you gave me.. the lessons you taught me and the love of family you instilled in me.
I will love and miss you always mum … 

Until we meet again.. xxx

Tuesday 28 November 2023

Feeling Festive...

So the Christmas decorating is coming along nicely.. 
the outside is done and inside the house is looking more colourful
Our Festive Season started beautifully at Church this weekend. It was beautifully decorated for Christmas and we were led in praise by the Gutierrez Brothers.. 
singing Christmas carols with a Spanish flair!
When got home we did a bit more outside decorating... then I made a quick batch of cookies. We then had a cozy afternoon and evening drinking hot chocolate and watching Christmas a cheesy Hallmark one.. then Elf... and finally The Santa Chronicles.
Oh...and I sold another heart in my Etsy shop.. 
not a Christmas one..but cute anyway...

So its the dentist this afternoon and it will be lovely to walk into a semi decorated house afterwards. 

I cant wait to carry on tomorrow...I should be done by the weekend

Is anyone else in the midst of a Christmas decorating frenzy?

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Monday 27 November 2023

Whats For Dinner ~ Meal Plan Monday

MrD returned to work this morning after four days off. It was a struggle for him, but it gives me time to start decorating the house. 

I think I can safely say.. the Christmas atmosphere is building nicely at the Blue House.

 So this week the weather is turning chilly, so warming comforting meals are on the menu. The last of the turkey is being used in a crockpot curry on Tuesday..ready for us when we get home after a visit to the dentist. I have a feeling my crockpot is going to be well used over the next few weeks

Is anyone else in the midst of a Christmas decorating frenzy?

Weekly Plan - 27th November 2023

Monday              Chinese Crispy Beef and Vegetables

Tuesday              Turkey Curry, Basmati Rice, Naan Bread

Wednesday         Sausage Casserole, Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

Thursday            Crockpot Four Cheese Ravioli Lasagne

Friday                 Spinach and Artichoke Pizza

Saturday             Hawaiian Chicken Burgers

Sunday                Leftovers

Saturday 25 November 2023

And So It Begins....

 Well the Fall decorations are down. and packed away
and the Christmas ones are going up
MrD spent the morning putting up the outdoor lights..
an easier job this year as the concealed hooks are still in place from last year... 
Good thinking MrD!
The tree is also up... but we are testing the waters for a few days before decorating.
Prince can be...shall we say.. a little boisterous.. and still has major abandonment issues 
He goes a bit nuts when we leave him alone
Tomorrow we are leaving him whilst we go to church and would hate to come home to a stripped tree.
Im just hoping that the tree itself will still be standing
Its been a busy day... 
my Christmas lists are out and Im starting to get in the spirit of my favourite season.. 
But the only decision I had to make today... and it was an important one...

Which Christmas apron should I wear??

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Friday 24 November 2023

Guess Its Over....

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day
MrD and I had a lovely day together... after I had sent him off on a bike ride in the morning. Everything ran to plan, I wasnt stressed at all and I didnt have one disaster... score!!! Of course I made so much food... especially that after one plate...I was absolutely full. I didnt even have room for pie! After all these years its still so hard to cook for just two of us At one time... I was cooking for nine people and I havent mastered cutting back...yet! But none of it will go to waste...all the leftovers will go into new meals...including a curry, a leftovers casserole and a pot pie
And it always makes me happy when MrD enjoys my cooking..
Clean plates for both of us
Later it was time to put my feet up infront of the first fire of the season...
spending a very cosy evening contemplating the weekend

Thanksgiving is over so it can only mean one thing...


Love and Hugs
Phoebe x