Friday, October 19, 2012

Road to California

Fort Smith, Arkansas

Yesterday we left a beautiful town Fort Smith, Arkansas that for  two years we called our home and headed to Seattle, Washington. So far we traveled 1,234 miles (1,985 km), reaching California. Here are some photos from the road trip. Teenager was happy to get hold of the camera and made hundreds of photos while I was driving. 

Gas Prices in Oklahoma


New Mexico, Santa Rosa area

New Mexico

Albuquerque, NM

Albuquerque: balloons in the sky

New Mexico

New Mexico

Gas prices in Arizona

Watch for Dino in Arizona!

Tipi in Arizona

This exit was tempting... :)
More bikers

Add caption

"Welcome to the hotel California..." Teenager is allowed to sing this song while in California...

See you,

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Pearls for my friends... :)

Dear friends,

Lately I've been slow on visiting all your wonderful blogs and leaving my comments. No, I am not ignoring anyone. I love every blog I follow and many of fellow bloogers became my good friends.
Usually when you have a news, you share it with your friends. So, here it is: I got a job. I got a job!!! In Seattle... Hence, in a few days I am driving from Arkansas to Seattle.

End of the yard sale: only couch was left...
Those two on the couch are NOT for sale! :)
With all the exitment came an enormous load of work: going through a lot of stuff, packing, etc. I have been working for a week non stop to prepare for a moving sale we had today. Now, when all furniture is gone, blogging becomes a bit difficult. Please, bare with me and do stop by... I hope to post from time to time until I settle down and return to cooking and normal posting routine.

I miss you all...

See you,

Monday, October 8, 2012

My Mother's Recipe: Stuffed Peppers

A sprig of  lovage on the top of stuffed peppers

After a week of traveling and eating out I am back to cooking. A home made meal, a cup of a warm soup on a chilly night and a few out of the oven peppers are a must upon our return. If we were coming to my parent's home, that's what my mother would have made for us. It's her signature "Welcome"  dish (see the second photo from the top on the linked page) for many-many guests in our home.

My Mother's Stuffed Peppers

8-9 bell peppers, washed and seeds removed 
1 cup rice
1/2 cup barley
1/2 cup buckwheat
2-3 carrots, shredded
2 medium onions, chopped
1 cup smashed tomatoes, or tomato sauce
2 cups tomato juice
2 cups water or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh lovage
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 Tablespoons sunflower oil (or any other oil of your choice)

Gluten Free option: skip the barley and add a whole cup of buckwheat.

For Meat lovers: when mixing grains and tomato/carrots/onions mixture add 300 grams (a little over half a pound) grinded meat of your choice. Then you will need to adjust seasoning and use 3-4 more peppers.


Pre-heat oven to 400F / 200C

1. Wash and pre-soak rice and buckwheat in hot water for 20-25 minutes.
2. Wash and pre-cook barley (bring it to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes).
3. On a high heat pre-heat oil in a large skillet, turn it to medium-high and add onions. Sprinkle with salt and stir for about 3-4 minute (until onions become translucent).
4. Add carrots, and stir for another 3 minutes.
5. Add 1 cup smashed tomatoes  and sugar, and let cook for another 5 minutes, stirring a few times (it may burn very quickly, don't leave the kitchen, stir!)
6. Drain all grains and combine in a large bowl.
7. Add the tomato/onion/carrot mixture to the grains and mix well.
8. Add 1 teaspoon salt and grind some pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon). Add chopped lovage, dill, and mix again.
9. Fill all peppers. To make it easier, I place peppers in the Dutch oven and then fill it.
10. Pour 2 cups tomato juice, 2 cups water (or vegetable stock), and a teaspoon of salt over stuffed peppers.
11. Cover and bake on the middle rack for 60-70 minutes.  Then take the lid off and check grains for doneness. It may need another 10-15 minute in the oven (depends what rice you use and how you oven bakes).
12. Serve stuffed peppers with some cooking juice and sour cream (optional).

Aroma of baked peppers perfumed my kitchen...
Can you smell it?

See you,

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Greetings From Kansas City

My husband and I are in the beautiful Kansas City. While the husband getting smarter and smarter at another conference, I am sightseeing treasure of this old town with it's contemporary charm...

I couldn't skip a few historical places

A Card in Hallmark Museum

World War I Museum


As of fun, it happened that I was in a right place in the right time for a Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine Tour.
I had so much fun coloring a book and searching for a clue!

I had even more fun recieving a prise! :)

There is a small kid in each of us...

... we just have to have a right attitude... :)

See you,