Thursday, December 13, 2012

Arrosto Misto

I'm a big fan of Jamie Oliver's cooking.
I mean really, what's not to love about the guy.
His meals have an easy going way about them.
They boast wonderful flavors, with the freshest of ingredients.
 He has a way of marrying flavors that just tantalize your taste buds.
If I got to choose to spend an afternoon cooking with a chef - he'd be right at the top of my list!

One of my favorite cookbooks is 

 The whole book is a delight for the senses.
I had been wanting to make for a long time his
lasagne alla cacciatora or hunter's lasagne.
The recipe is not complicated, it just has many steps,
 and is definitely not a fast weeknight meal.

The meat for the lasagne gets roasted in what is called arrosto misto or mixed roast.
Jamie was on The Today Show a long while back, but he talks about this mixed roast method.
You can check out the video here.

The meats get roasted very simply in a high heat oven with salt, pepper, chili flakes,
fresh herbs and citrus. I used a combination of chicken, rabbit and venison, because that's what I had at home, but you really could use any mix of meat that you would like.

The aroma while it cooks is intoxicating and of course
 I had to sneak a little bite when it was done - delicious!
Once it cools you chop and shred all the meat to use in the lasagne.

Then I set about making homemade lasagne noodles, tomato sauce
 and white sauce infused with nutmeg and peppercorns.
Yes...I was in the kitchen all day!

But it was so worth it!!

The bubbling goodness that came out my oven was phenomenal!
I sat down and thoroughly enjoyed every bite.

Do you have a favorite "takes all day to cook" kind of meal?

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Winner...

Just like I promised...I'd pick a winner of the 
Burt's Bees samples on Monday. has spoken and it picked comment number 1!

You are the lucky winner of the Burt's Bees Intense Hydration!

I'll get them sent right off to you.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

Happy Monday!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Burts and The Bees

I've always been a fan of Burt's Bees products.
They contain natural ingredients and they work really well.
Their lip balms and Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream are amongst my favorites.

So when I was asked to try their new line of 
Intense Hydration skin care products containing Clary Sage, 
it was an immediate "Yes"!

I was sent their  

I have fairly sensitive skin
 (kind of typical of redheads)
 that can get quite oily on my forehead, but really dry on my cheeks.
Normally, I'm not a fan of cream type cleansers because I always feel like they leave a film on your face that doesn't completely wash off. 
Surprisingly, this wasn't like that!
  It has a nice creamy texture, a very faint herbal scent and it rinses clean!!
It takes makeup off easily and leaves my skin feeling clean, yet moisturized.
I was pleasantly surprised.

They also sent me

This cream is wonderful!
It's rich & creamy, but not at all greasy.
My skin feels great in the mornings after using this.
I like the light scent that this line of products has.
They smell clean and fresh...natural.

Lastly and my absolute favorite of the products they had me try was the
Intense Hyrdation Treatment Mask

This mask is truly amazing!
This is one product I will be buying for sure!
You rub a thick layer all over your clean skin, leave on for 5-10 mins and then tissue off any excess.
The rest soaks in on it's own, no rinsing required...something that I loved.
I've used this mask about once a week for the last month before going to bed,
 and I can truly see and feel the difference in my skin the next day.
It's kind of plumped up.
It's a very skin soothing product and smells very natural.

Overall I was very impressed with this new line.
It smells great, it's all natural and it works.
You can't ask for more than that!

For one of my readers I have a sample size
Intense Hydration Day Cream & Intense Hydration Night Cream
for you to try, along with some great coupons.

Just leave me a comment...that's it!

A winner will be randomly chosen Monday December 10th, 2012.

Do you have a favorite Burt's Bees product?

I received samples of Burt's Bees Intense Hydration line as part of a BzzAgent campaign.
Any opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Day

Here are a scattering of photos and recipes from our Thanksgiving.
I'm afraid I wasn't quite on top of the whole photographer thing this year - 
got a little too into the groove of cooking.
I think these will give you a good idea of how it all looked and tasted though...

I was a little tired off all the Fall colored gourds and decorations, so I took a can of chrome spray paint to a few things and I loved how they turned out!
Think outside the box!!
I got to use my vintage Danish salt & pepper shakers that
my husband had bought me for our anniversary.
Flowers from the local market put in containers I already owned, were colorful and inexpensive.

Leek Bread Pudding
found via West Elm's blog was amazing!!
Vegetarian too, which is always great and who knew that oven crisped shitakes taste like bacon!
Woo hoo!
The only thing I'd do differently is add more mushrooms because they were so good!

Spiced Chickpeas were a tasty nibble to go along with pre-dinner cocktails.
Homemade Spiced Pear Vodka,
recipe found via the fabulous blog
Boulder Locavore was a huge hit!!

I made homemade bread the morning of.
Gruyere & Rosemary
Cranberry, Orange & Almond
using this wonderful dutch oven method.
It was delicious for leftover turkey sandwiches the day after too!!

Tuscan Onion Confit 
found through Pinterest
was a delicious accompaniment to turkey and just a wonderful topping for a piece of bread.
This is going to be a staple in my refrigerator!!

One other appetizer recipe worth a mention,
though somehow I forgot to snap a photo before it was all gone, was a hot
Jalepeno Popper Dip

It was a busy, but fun filled day with family & friends filling our house.
Some tried and trusted recipes were present,
 as were some new ones which I was very happy with the results.

I want to thank each and every one of you that takes a minute to stop by my blog and say hi,
leave a comment or write me an email. 
I am truly thankful that you enjoy your time here and many of you have become friends.

I hope that you all enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Turkey Day!!

Wishing you all the best on this day of feasting, family & friends.

I'll be back next week with recipes and photos to share from our Thanksgiving.

Until then...
Happy Eating!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

I've been in major Thanksgiving prep mode
 and have turned into a baking queen!

I made 8 dozen of these which are a yearly tradition in our house.
Now if I can just keep the teenagers away from the freezer till next week!
I made pecan tarts, fresh bread
 and then something new that I found via Pinterest.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles!

Of course I had to try 
well ok maybe three, but no more (wink, wink)
to make sure that my guests would enjoy them.

Pillowy pumpkin goodness is all I can say!
Easy, peasy!
 I might have added just a touch more pumpkin than called for, but who's measuring!

Do you have a favorite Holiday baked good?

Monday, November 5, 2012


For some reason it just hit me today that the Holidays are upon us!!
Thanksgiving will be here in a little over 2 weeks and I don't feel the slightest bit prepared.
Deep breath Meeling...deep breath.

So if you find I'm a little light on the blog posts this next while,
it means I'm probably hunkered down preparing for "T" day...
or maybe I'm just sitting in the corner with a big chocolate cake and a fork!

Hope everyone's week is off to a good start.
Happy Monday!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The 31st Day of October

It is the 31st of October.
Maybe just a little, 
but around here it's more importantly known as...
Candy Calories Don't Count Day!

Bring on the sugar rush!!

Happy Halloween! a Reeses Peanut Butter cup for me!

Monday, October 22, 2012

My Jeans Don't Fit

Cooler temperatures are bad for me...I mean really bad!
It brings out the baking flu!!
Seriously, all I want to do is bake.
Which in turns means I eat said baking, which in turn means my jeans don't button so well...
Vicious cirlce!

A while back I stumbled across this book in the clearance section at a local store.

As to why it was marked down I don't understand, 
because it is truly one of the best baking tips and resource books I've ever come across. 
Clear text & pictures are great for a beginner and also for someone more advanced.
But, hey my $2, yep you read that right, was very well spent!!

So this weekend, I figured instead of baking something sweet I'd make bread!
I have made bread before, but it's been a very long time.
I used to own a bread maker and while they can be very handy and turn out some nice loaves, 
there is something about bread completely from scratch, made with your own two hands.

So how did it go?

(cell phone picture as my camera battery was dead - I apologize if the quality is a bit low)

I think really well!

That was my first loaf with sunflower seeds, poppy and sesame seeds.
The perfect toasting or sandwich bread.
Eating it reminds me of being a kid, as I grew up eating homemade bread that my grandma baked.
There is something dense and hearty about homemade
 that you just don't get from store bought bread.
No preservatives.
 Flour, yeast, salt, water and a little olive oil...that's it!

I also made a rosemary & thyme loaf, perfect for sandwiches
 or to serve with pasta as a garlic bread alternative.

I think I may have found my new winter hobby!!

What's your favorite thing to bake?

Friday, October 19, 2012

What Do You See?

When you look at the picture below,
what's the first thing you see?

I see a sweet little boy, 
busy playing, who ran over to me to give me a giant hug and say hi.

Is that what you see?

Sadly the first thing that a lot of people see is that the little boy isn't like them, "he's different".
 But is he really?
Yes, he is a little boy with Down syndrome, but he doesn't have a disease.
He runs and plays, laughs and loves, and is loved just like any precious little boy or girl should be.
 He has feelings just like anybody does, and responds accordingly.

As some of  my regular readers know, I work with special needs preschoolers.
And yes, while some of the children certainly have some extra challenges presented to them,
they are preschoolers just like any other.  They love Buzz & Woody and Dora, cars and dolls.
They laugh when you tickle them and they cry when they fall down and scrape their knee.

October is  

There are lots of ways that you can get involved,
 you can find out more here on ndss.

Involvement can be as simple as our own attitude towards people with Down Syndrome.
Remember above all they are people, people with feelings just like you.
They don't want to be called names, just like you wouldn't want to be.
Terms like retarded are hurtful, and simply not cool.

So take a minute and pop over to the ndss to see how you can get involved.
You might just realize that you have something of value to offer.
I can tell you from personal experience that your life will certainly be a lot richer for it.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pumpkin Heaven

 So I'm kind of a sucker for anything pumpkin.
Pie, lattes, cookies, ice name it,
I love it!

Lately I've seen a few pumpkin doughnut recipes and I knew I must try to make them.
When I saw one for "baked" pumpkin doughnuts
(yes, insert twinkling lights here)
I knew that was the one!

So here's how they turned out...


 And another shot....

They were light and fluffy, moist and just slightly chewy.
I didn't for one mouthful miss any of the deep fried taste or calories
 that you get with a traditional doughnut. 

You will need one of these fancy doughnut pans to get the shape.
I found mine at Homegoods for about $7 and considering it's made by Wilton,
I don't imagine they should be too hard to locate.

So here is my version of the perfect Fall treat tweaked just a bit from here.

I will also give my disclaimer here that I'm not a very good baker.
Well, actually let me rephrase that.
I'm not a traditional, by the rules baker, where you level things off and measure exactly.
I bake like I cook. 
I kind of eyeball most things.
Yes, I am aware that baking is a "science" and technically you need the exact amount of this and that for it all to work out, but so far it's served me well.
So, anyways here's the moment you've all been waiting for.
(Yields 12 donuts)

  A scant 2 cups of all purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder - not leveled off
Pinch of salt
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
Freshly grated nutmeg - about 1 teaspoon
Freshly grated ginger - about 1/2 teaspoon
Pinch of Allspice
(just a note that you could probably substitute Pumpkin Pie Spice for all the spices if wanted)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar - not packed
1 egg
  2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  Approx 1 cup canned pumpkin 
(I doubled my recipe and used a full 15 oz can)
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350ยบ F
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and spices and set aside. 
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; 
whisk oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin, and milk/cream until combined. 
Add the dry ingredients gradually and stir slowly until combined. 
  Scrape batter in to a pastry bag or a 1 gallon zip bag with a corner cut off.
Fill each doughnut cup about 3/4 full with the batter.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until donuts spring back when gently pressed. 
Turn donuts on to a wire rack and allow to cool for a few minutes. 
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
(optional - but I mean really, why wouldn't you)

1/2 stick of unsalted butter melted
1/3 cup sugar
Cinnamon to taste - Approx 1 Tablespoon
Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. 
While doughnuts are still warm, brush with melted butter and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture. 
They were fantastic warm and the few that actually managed to avoid consumption till the next morning were just as scrumptious with coffee for breakfast.
Just in case you need one more photo to drool over....

So do you love everything pumpkin too?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


 I realize that we Southern Californians are a little late 
joining the Fall party - but yay!!

I do believe it's finally here.
Gone are the triple digit temperatures...bring on the 70's!
(degrees that is - not the decade!)

I welcome with open arms... 

cooler daytime temperatures
hot chocolate
crisp evening air
crunchy leaves on the sidewalk
the occasional rain shower
apples galore

What do you love most about Fall?


Thursday, October 4, 2012


I've had this post waiting in the wings for some time.
Now I'm happy to finally bring it on stage for you!

I came across this brand of yogurt or yoghurt or however you'd like to spell it, 
a while back and fell instantly in love.... I mean really in love!

Have you seen noosa yoghurt ?

 It was at my local market and being a good consumer
ok, well actually just a sucker for trying something new, I bought one.
I opened it and was instantly taken in by the rich creaminess, 
the kind of but not quite Greek yogurt texture and the bursting fresh fruit flavor.
Yes, I know that's a super dorky word, but that's what it is, pure & simple.
It's gloriously rich in flavor, but not at all heavy.

There are a multitude of deliciously fresh flavors and I've tried them all but mango,
which mysteriously is always out of stock when I shop.
I have a feeling my grocer is hiding out back eating them all!
 They say happy cows come from California,
but I live in California and I've never tasted a local yogurt that tastes like this.
So, I think the really blissful cows are hanging out in Colorado, where this lusciousness is made.

So "noosa" you ask?
It's actually a place in Australia, over on the Sunshine Coast.
The yoghurt recipe hails from Down Under but traveled Stateside and is made in Colorado.

So why did I hold out on you and not share?
When I had originally found it, they were really new and their website consisted of, 
well nothing but a homepage with virtually no information. 
Not exactly much for me to share with you.
But no more!

has been updated and is filled with all kinds of information.
The who, the where, the get the idea.

So have you Noosa'd?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Wow and Winners!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to stop by and say 
Happy Birthday
The Hairy Peach

Almost 650 comments!!!
That's a new record - thank you!

Friends old & new stopped by...tweeted, blogged and left their thoughts.
The overwhelming favorite thing about birthdays is definitely cake!!
And who can blame you...Yum!

A very special thank you to the 4 great etsy shops that joined in on the celebration with me.

So without further ado...
random generator has spoken and here are the winners:

1. Kelly over at The Pretty Bee
you won the linen tote from Twig Prints

2. Oksana V.
you won the retro notecards from CDesign Illustration

3. Deb A.
you won the mustache mug from The Beautiful Home

4. Lindsey G.
you won the art deco rose tea towel from Lulu and Luca


I will be in touch shortly via email with details, so watch your inbox!

Thank you again to everyone, 
and I hope I'll continue to see you around the blog.

Lots of fun posts planned for October,
 so make sure you pop back in!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

My Own Personal Mini

 Art is a very personal thing.
Something either speaks to you or it doesn't.
Sometimes it makes sense why you are attracted to a certain style,
other times, maybe it's the color or where you saw the piece.

I have a couple of art pieces that were bought on vacation,
 and looking at them always reminds me of that holiday.
One of my favorites is an original street painting picked up 
while strolling through one of Rome's piazzas.
It always makes me reminisce on that afternoon with my husband.

A while back during a browsing session on etsy 
I came across this great little shop called tush tush.
Tali's work is fun and vibrant.
 To me it has an old world quality to it.
It spoke to me.

This piece in particular...

Kindergarten mini canvas

 I work with preschoolers, and though obviously not any of the students in my class,
there was a certain feeling that it evoked that was familiar and happy.
So yesterday my own personal happy mini arrived.

Do you have a favorite art piece?

Stop by Tali's shop and see what she has to offer,
 maybe you'll see something that speaks to you.

Remember you still a couple more days to enter my
Make sure you stop by!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Blog Birthday Bash


The Hairy Peach is 2 years old!
Over these past couple of years, I've met some amazing people in the blogging community.
I've even had the chance to meet some fellow bloggers in person!
It's been a very fun journey so far.

I've eaten a lot of food,
(that seems to be a continuing theme with me)
and gone on some fantastic adventures this past year.
Remember the eels!!

I want to take this opportunity to thank all my followers, 
the ones who have been with me from the very first post and 
those that have joined in along the way.
I'm so glad you're here!

I read all your comments and emails and look forward to each and everyone of them.
Thank you for your continued inspiration and support!

I wanted to do something to show you my appreciation,
so I've teamed up with some great etsy shops and have some fantastic
presents to give you!

From left to right:

Art Deco Rose Tea Towel from Lulu and Luca
Mustache Mug from The Beautiful Home
Linen Storage Container from Twig Prints
Retro Kitchen Greeting Card Set from CDesign Illustration

Here's a closer look at all the wonderful prizes!!

Linen Storage Container
Twig Prints

Retro Kitchen Greeting Card Set
CDesign Illustration

Mustache Mug
The Beautiful Home

Art Deco Rose Tea Towel



4 prizes means 4 winners!! 

 { Mandatory Entry }

Leave me a comment telling me your favorite thing about birthdays { +1 }

{ Additional Entries }

Like The Hairy Peach on facebook { +1 }

Favorite any of the 4 featured etsy shops 
{ +1 for each - that's 4 possible entries!! }

Give this giveaway a shout out on facebook, twitter or your blog
{ +1 each }

The more you enter the more chances you have to win!

* Please remember to leave a separate comment for each entry and 
 don't forget to include contact information *

I want to thank all these fabulous etsy shops for teaming up with me in this great giveaway!!
Please take a minute to visit their facebook & web pages. 

{ Bonus Entries }
{ +1 extra entry for each facebook that you like }

CDesigns And Illustrations

 * Where applicable, color of prize will be winner's choice - 
limited to stock on hand when giveaway closes *
Good Luck!! 


Giveaway ends September 30th
10 pm Pacific Standard Time.
*Any comments received after this time will not be eligible*  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Don't Forget The Maps And The Martinis

Slightly eccentric is how one might describe 
Mame Dennis, better known and loved the world over as
Auntie Mame.
I always wished for an aunt just like her - how divine it would have been!

When first published in 1955, Patrick Dennis’ Auntie Mame sold over two million copies and stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for 112 weeks! 
It was first made into a play, and then a movie starring Rosalind Russell.  
The movie is one that I've watched more times than I can count since I was a child,
but can you believe that I've never read the book?
Shame on me!!!

Well, no more... 
A fresh copy has arrived on my doorstep and I'll be devouring it this week!

I can't wait to get started.
I predict a whole lot of laughter in my future!

Do you have a favorite book or movie that you go back to time and time again?


Happy Monday and make sure you pop back later this week for my
2nd Blog Birthday!
I've got some fabulous giveaways coming your way!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Bowl of Soup and My Thermals

While we've been  
it's actually more like
in near to or over 100 degree temperatures every day, 
soup has been the farthest thing from my mind or my menu.

Last week out of the blue there came upon us a glorious day of cool.
Well, truthfully it was in the 70's, but it poured
ok, actually it was more of a sprinkle.
But, hey living in Southern California, you take what you can get!

I'd had this recipe on one of my Pinterest boards just waiting to be whipped up.
So a temperature drop below melting was enough for me.
A wonderful thing...
bacon, beer, cheese, spicy jalapenos and oh did I mention cheese?

It was soooooooo good!
Just creamy enough.
(I accidentally tipped the whole container of whipping cream into the pot - wink, wink)
Smoky bacon, spicy peppers, fresh thyme from the garden and a dark beer simmered to perfection.
Yes, please!

Now if the mercury would just drop again, to say a balmy 80 degrees,
I'll be digging out my thermals.

Linking up today with
the Thursday
Eat. Make. Grow. Blog Hop
Hop on over and see what everyone has been cooking up!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My Week

This is me...

Ok, not really - I mean I know it's Spongebob, 
but it's how I feel!!

My week thus far...

Dogs dig in mud - on freshly cleaned and newly planted side yard.
Garage door wouldn't close - and I'm already running a little behind for work.
Hot water heater goes out!
Husband fixes! 
Microwave comes back after more than 2 weeks out for repair!
Dishwasher breaks and repairman doesn't have the correct part...
Now the dishwasher is gone.
Hot water heater goes out again!!
Gas company comes and fixes it.
Yay, again!
Next water heater goes out again.
Gas company comes back and fixes it yet again.
Yay...I think?!
Then this morning we woke up to cold showers!!
I mean...come on...are you kidding me?
I'm done!!

I sure hope your week is shaping up better than mine!!
Happy Thursday...I think!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Chocolate Silk

Back to work and back to school means busier days are back!

I'm always on the lookout for fun little snacks that I can pack easily for work.
I don't often get much time to eat and sometimes a quick bite is all I have time for.
This has become my new favorite...

Peanut butter, which is one of my favorite things in the world, combined with chocolate!!
I mean, how can you go wrong!
I love whole wheat pretzel sticks dipped in it - delicious!
It's creamy and silky and just the right amount of chocolate.
A definite must try!!

Do you have a favorite "On The Go" snack?

Linking up with

Hope everyone's week is off to a great start!


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