Posts Tagged With: salads


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Incline Village, Nevada sits on the north side of Lake Tahoe. Living in the Sierra Nevadas we have a choice of what route to take over the passes. Laurie drove Ken, Doug and I up over Highway 88, which she considers the most scenic. Normally at this time of year, snow covered 88 would require chains and could have closures. Lakes were covered with thin ice, and dabs of snow looked painted on the mountain fissures.

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Kris came up from Las Vegas. Virginia and Cedric took Highway 80 which is a fast four lane thoroughfare and serves the bigger populations from the Bay Area.

Highway 4 and 108 are my other two favs, but 88 is prettiest.

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The first night, we played and noshed.

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A little wine, games, and plenty of snacks.DSC02589 (Copy)

Kris made the observation that Ken has lived at one time or another with all of his siblings. He is currently sharing an apartment with his youngest sister. Both are away from their respective homes for their jobs. Ken is extremely neat and Virginia likes to leave dishes in the sink and clothes hanging over the backs of chairs-til later.  Hmmm!

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Virginia taught us this loud, raucous game she learned from her Italian brother-in-law. Fast moving, arms waving, card auctioning, gambling card game, a matter of luck, so the kids of any age have an equal chance of winning one of four pots. Everyone could put in a dollar, two dollars, a per-determined equal amount.  Kris, Theo, Myself, and Austin each won a pot. But the laughter was wonderful.

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Laurie brought a pot of chili from home so we had and easy dinner and lots of time to catch up with each other. This was our family Christmas since we couldn’t all get together this past December.

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On Saturday morning, everyone geared up for skiing, except Doug, Kristanne, Laurie and I. Kristanne is “Lodge Fluff.” I’m the photographer and Doug and Laurie stayed behind and played cards and rested. Ken hadn’t skiied in 13 years and all but Virginia and Ced had lesson packages that give a price break for skiing.

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Laurie and I were thinking we might  do cross country, or maybe snowshoe since neither of us like downhill. There really wasn’t enough snow.

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Owen gets fitted for his boots.

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Virginia, Cedric, Theo and Owen all go at their own pace on different runs. Owen is boarding. Theo is skiing. Skis are shorter and rounder than any I’d ever seen.

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Austin, who had never skiied wanted to snowboard because he likes his skate boarding.

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The kids lessons were at station one. That bit about falling?

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The instructor just came up to him and knocked him over numerous times. Taught him HOW to fall so he wouldn’t put his hands out and break a wrist. He had a two-hour morning lesson and a one hour afternoon private lesson. The instructor said Austin was the best student he ever worked with at that age. Kudos!


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The “bunny hill” of station one has a tramway up the hill where everyone, kids and adults can practice their newly learned skills.

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Ken decided he didn’t want to go back to work with a broken anything and Virginia went with him on the bunny slope.DSC02618 (Copy)

She coached him for a few runs on cutting and stopping and turning before they headed for the lifts.

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We all met around lunch time and then everyone went all out on the slopes. Kris and I kept track of spare gear as everyone shed jackets or pants, or whatever. Virginia referred to us as the “mules.”  The weather was amazingly warm.

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Back at our condo, which sleeps 16 people, Cedric made the pies.

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Laurie made a beautiful salad. She said she was always salad queen as a child at home.

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Ken made kabobs.

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I roasted a turkey breast and we toasted our good fortune and grand gathering.

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Kris surprised Doug with a basket of goodies, as in Ben Gay, Anti Diarrheal meds, vitamin container, gas relief, all that over-the-hill stuff because his next birthday will be his 50th.

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And we all decided Cedric should give up his science PHD and become a pie chef. I didn’t get a picture of his apple pie. Life is not only good but delicious.


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My daughter-in-law, like her mother before her, is an excellent cook. The bird was succulent, the dressing and gravy likewise. She is gluten sensitive and both were made with that in mind. Virginia brought the desserts and made a special pumpkin pie for Laurie, gluten free.

DSC02006 (Copy) The day was so balmy, we spent part of the day outside. We had two games of bocce ball going, with two teams on different parts of the lawn. Laurie cooked the bird, and Ken roasted precooked sweet potatoes with rosemary and a tri-tip on the barbeque. Doug made an 8 pound lasagna with turkey meat.

DSC02003 (Copy)We began munching at noon and continued right on up until dinner was served. Everyone ate too much, which I suppose, in a way, is the usual ritual.

DSC02004 (Copy)Ken and Laurie recently moved to Valley Springs. It was an opportunity to showcase the “new” house.

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While his parents couldn’t make it, Austin got to spend time over the Thanksgiving Holiday school break with his cousins.

DSC02015 (Copy)Through the wonders of technology, we skyped and talked to daughter Kristanne who has a new job and couldn’t get enough time off to attend.  Austin skyped his dad in Southern California, so we all got to communicate our good will and love to those missing from the celebration.

DSC02009 (Copy)Doug taught Stewart and Mason how to part out a turkey and put the bones in a bag for soup. He is ever the educator,  completely at home in the kitchen and likes to interact with his nephews. Mason seems a bit less interested in the process judging from his body language. Mason is doing really well in his first year of college and is especially good at French and math. Stewart is now firmly aimed at a major in his sophomore year, teaching English as a second language. He is recently published in a small literary magazine with a piece of his fiction. Both boys are gifted students and enjoy playing their musical instruments.

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Ask night came on, nearly everyone got into the card game, elevator, a bidding game.

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The little guys watched this time, but they usually get in the games, too.

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Clark and Theresa had multiple commitments and came late. Another excellent cook, everyone looks forward to what she will add to the table. Oh, my! And Clark is another whiz on the barbeque.

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The sign on the kitchen wall says it all.  Life Is Good.

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With Thanksgiving coming soon, I’ve looked at recipes that can be made ahead and keep well. The jellos, cranberries,  and some desserts  can be made two days ahead. Even the stuffing, if  made outside of the turkey, can be made two days before and heated in the microwave. Salads, to retain their freshness, are a bigger challenge. I found three that do well.

Joe Carcione’s Stuffed Iceberg:

1/4 th cup grated carrot, 3 tbsp. sour cream, 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp. lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. salt, 3 tbsp. minced fresh tomato, 3 oz. pkg. cream cheese, 1 tbsp. minced green pepper, 1 tbsp. minced green onion, 1 tbsp minced celery, 2 tsp. minced parsley, 1 large head of iceberg lettuce, 1/2 cup pomegranate berries.

Blend cream cheese, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and salt. Add minced veggies. Hollow out the core and center of the lettuce. Stuff with carrot filling. Wrap lettuce in foil. Chill over night. At dinner time, slice crosswise and serve on a pretty plate with a  sprinkling of pomegranate berries. Serves six.

Tomato Green Bean Salad.

1 lb  fresh green beans, halved. 3 medium tomatoes cut into chunks. 1/3 cup basil olive oil. Salt to taste. 1 tbsp. minced fresh garlic.

Cook green beans for six minutes in boiling water, drain and rinse to cool in cold tap water. Dress with half the basil olive oil. Dress the cut tomatoes with other half of the basil olive oil, or to taste. Lightly salt both. Cover and refrigerate. Just before dinner, arrange green beans and tomatoes together on a plate, sprinkle with minced fresh garlic and serve. If there are basil leaves left in the garden, cut a few slices with a scissors to garnish. Serves  six, generously.

I like both of these salads because they don’t take up much room in the refrigerator like a huge green salad does. The beans can conveniently be marinated in a plastic bag in the crisper and kept off the shelves.

Red Apple & Cabbage Slaw.

1/2  large red cabbage, sliced medium fine. (Food processor does this well.)  1/2  medium yellow onion, minced. 1 stalk celery finely sliced. 1/4 cup cider or red wine vinegar. 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/3 tsp salt, 1/2 cup plain or walnut flavored olive oil, 3  crisp red skinned apples, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.

Make dressing with  oil, vinegar and seasonings. Pour over  cabbage, onion, and celery and cover in the refrigerator the day before. Before dinner, core and dice the red apples. Add them and the chopped nuts to the bowl before serving.

One of these can help spread the  preparation time over several days since food is central to our American Thanksgiving celebration.

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