Monthly Archives: February 2009

Easy Turkey Burritos


1 pkg. Ground Turkey (1lb-ish)

1 14 oz. can Enchilada Sauce (mild or spicy)

1 small onion, chopped

1 small 4 0z. can diced green chiles

Saute onions in a small amount of canola oil in a large skillet until soft. Add ground turkey and cook until done and just  beginning to brown. Add diced green chiles and enchilada sauce. Cook and stir uncovered until bubbling. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-30 minutes. Spoon into warmed flour tortillas and eat or add preferred condiments (grated cheese, sour cream, salsa, lettuce, olives, etc.).


Nor Cal to San Diego Trip, 2-09 #1


If you like rock and roll and modern decor you will love the Hard Rock Hotel My husband stayed here for business once (I know what your thinking, ‘what kind of business is he in?’ but the truth is, it was for a convention across the street.) I’m starting to digress…When he was at the Hard Rock Hotel he called to tell me all the little things that make it special (see details he loves below) and how he hoped to bring me back some day.

So here we are, months later, at the Hard Rock Hotel and it is a great way to enjoy downtown San Diego. It helps that our adult daughter lives here so that we can get some insider tips on where to eat. It also helps that regardless of where we eat we enjoy being with her and her boyfriend.

But let me back up a little.

One random tip: if you are traveling and need a place to spend the night (I mean literally just pull off the road and sleep) then use We knew we were going to be driving down to Southern California and we wanted to get the most of our reservation at the Hard Rock Hotel (more on how we got that later) so we wanted to check in as early as possible but we couldn’t leave Nor Cal in time to make that happen. So we left Sunday afternoon and planned to stay at a cheap place in Orange County so that we could get to the hotel in time to at least park and walk around the Gas Lamp District.

 Lenny went to and picked the Irvine Spectrum area and the star rating (three stars) and paid (he is a bit of a gamlber so he got excited to see what kind of hotel he would end up with). After paying he found out it was Holiday Inn. The price was $58. He then went to  just to see what that same room would have cost throught that source, it was $114!! He was very excited to have saved so much.

We arrived at the Holiday Inn  around 9:30 PM; they were friendly, helpful, gladly gave us Holiday Inn Priority Club points for our stay, along with two bottles of water and 15 % off card for the restaurant. The room was clean, smoke free and quiet (that is all I require when we just need a place to sleep).

Breakfast the next morning was fine (I was a little disappointed with my buttermilk pancakes but Lenny’s Godfather Omelett was great). The staff everywhere we went was great though. Someone from the kitchen passed by with a cart loaded with jello, juice, fruit and cookies. He offered us some; Lenny took a snickerdoodle and I took a couple of strawberries (one was dipped in chocolate). When he came back through later we asked what the cart was for and why we got some. He said it was for the staff and he just offered us some. Nice touch.

So back to the Hard Rock Hotel. We arrived early (1:00ish instead of 4 pm check in time), it was pouring rain (one down side to this hotel is there is no Portico to drive under for protection while unloading), on the upside though the bellman opened my door and directed me to go on inside, he then unloaded the car and whisked it away for vale parking. This service does cost $30 a day but there are in and out priviledges and each time we asked for the car there was a new chilled bottle of water in the car with a note also pointing out that the windshield had been cleaned. Yes tipping is expected but the ‘free’ bottle of water helps reduce the  pain of that.

Lenny booked this reservation through, the off season, mid week rate that included a $50 Spa credit was $169 (around $300 directly with the hotel), the upgrade to a suite was $20 more through expedia but closer to $350 directly with hotel.

When we checked in (early) not only did they not make us wait they didn’t even mention that we were early. As we finished up the check-in process the woman asked what type of music we want in our room (Lenny chose alternative) and as the bellman opened the door to our room that music was already playing on the two flat screen TV’s in the room.

The decor is very modern with an interesting use of clouded glass, back and up lighting, glass shelves, chrome, mirrors, leather (or faux leather), music themed art, etc. Did I also mention the $15  charge that covers the wifi in the room, pool and the workout room. We don’t always use the workout room (we always have good intentions) but we do always use the wifi.

We settled into our room and pulled out our laptops (time to catch up on email, facebook and research the location of the place we are meeting our daughter for dinner – mmmm, the menu looks great,  I want to try breakfast and afternoon tea too). Lenny fell asleep on the couch to the sound of  ‘Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations’  on the Travel Channel. The daughter picked a small a cute  french bistro type place a few blocks from our hotel. I was excited about finally getting to try Cafe Chloe For more on that read the next blog Nor Cal to San Diego Trip, 2-09 #2.

Rainy Day & Peri-menopause


I’ll spare you the details, but it’s one of those peri-menopausal sort of days. I’m not depressed I just don’t have any energy, my lower back aches, and the only thing that sounds good to eat is chocolate. If you are thinking ‘wait, I thought she was going to spare us all the details’ trust me there was more I could have said that you wouldn’t want to hear.

I’m glad we are having rain but the combination of my physical body and the gloomy skies does make it harder to get moving. Sometimes I just love giving in to the desire to do nothing. I don’t take it for granted that I have that option. That my husband carries the burden of making sure we have a roof over our heads and money for the electricity that warms this home, is greatly appreciated. I’ve even learned to not feel too guilty when I think of how infrequently he can take a ‘do nothing’ day.

It’s a partnership right?! There are trade-offs. I carried our children in my body, he didn’t. I went through 24 hours of labor and months of recovery, he didn’t. I shop for food, bring it home, sort and store it, prepare and serve it, then clean up after we eat it and he graciously eats anything I put before him (except oatmeal or anything with a similar consistency). Ok, so I’m not counting how many times we are in a hurry or in-between grocery visits (or one of many other excuses I use), and so we eat out. He doesn’t even require me to make excuses. What a man.

Well, at least I made progress on my Constant Contact email newsletter. ddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd

in case your wondering, the ds happened when I dosed off while sitting up at my computer and my left middle finger got heavy, I thought I would leave it to show how pathetic I am today. I might actually need a nap, maybe I’m fighting some horrendous virus but a couple of hours of sleep will rescue me. It could be true, good night (afternoon), tj

Recipe – Potato Cheese Soup


Potato Cheese Soup

1 Onion, chopped

6-8 Large Potatoes, peeled, rough chopped

Chicken or vegetable broth to cover

2 cups grated Sharp or Med. Cheddar Cheese

Warm large stock pot or dutch oven and add vegetable oil (butter can be added for flavor) to cover bottom. Add onions and saute until soft. Add potatoes and broth to cover (water can be added to soften the flavor). Bring to boil, then reduce heat and cook until potatoes are soft. Mash with a manual potatoe masher or with a stick blender (be careful not to over blend, it’s best with some bites of potato left whole). Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn off heat and stir in cheese just before serving. Sprinkle with fresh parsley if desire and more cheddar cheese as a garnish.



Lenny is watching ‘Flashpoint’ before recording it and sending it to our son in Oregon. We enjoyed a hot bowl of leftover potato cheese soup. The show is pretty good but I don’t need to watch it, so it’s a good time for me to check my email and facebook. Now we are watching the story of Sully saving the people on that flight that landed in the Hudson River, on 60 Minutes. I had missed the news story when it occured so this is amazing to hear. He stayed so calm, decisive 2 min. into flight. Single focused. He said, “My entire life up to that point had been in preparation for that moment.”

I have felt that. But it sounds so trite in the context of this grand story.

27th Anniversary


It’s 7:25 PM and I need to get out of my hotel robe and into my dress. Dinner reservation is at 8 but a very short ride in the hotel car will get us to Navio on time. Lenny is still on the patio finishing his cigar by the fire pit (strumming his guitar), I’m on the couch by the fire place. Each of us sipping our glass of Merlot we found at the impromtu wine tasting. The Italian deli was next door to the gas station where we filled up the car.