How to Bake This Seriously Easy Rustic Savory Uber Crusty Olive/Jalapeno/Garlic Bread

This is bread heaven.

Crusty golden on the outside, chewy texture studded with olives, jalpenos, and garlic on the inside.

OK, listen to me. There is NO reason why you can’t recreate this masterpiece of textures and mouthwatering goodness.

If you think baking bread is beyond your skill set, think again.

Can you toss a few ingredients in a bowl, go away for a couple of hours, and throw a few olives and other things on top of the dough and mold it into a round shape?

Can you?

Of course you can.https://enchantedseashells.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/olivejalapenogarlicbread1.jpg?w=584&h=389

 

It’s so easy — not rocket science — and I guarantee success.

homemade bread recipe

Seriously Easy Rustic Savory Olive/Jalapeno/Garlic Bread

3 cups all purpose flour
1 package regular active yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon olive oil just for the rising bowl)

1 cup rough chopped olives (pitted)
2 jalapeños
3 cloves garlic

1. You can either sauté the jalapeños and garlic for a few minutes or leave them raw; it’s your choice. I used pickled lalapenos and garlic ‘cos I had them in the pantry.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast, salt, water. If you have a mixer with a dough hook, mix until it comes together in a wet ball. Add a bit more flour if it looks too wet, but you don’t want an overly dry dough.

3. If you’re doing it all by hand, old-school style, use a wooden spoon and put some muscle into it.

4. When it comes together, flour a cutting board and knead for a bit; this is a rustic bread so it doesn’t have to be perfect.

5. Oil a bowl with the reserved olive oil, place the dough in bowl, cover with a plastic bag, and set aside in a warm place to rise for a couple of hours. It helps to blanket the bowl with a towel, too.

6. After you can see the dough has doubled in size, turn the dough onto a floured wooden board. With your hands, roughly press the dough into a circle.

7. Add half the olives/jalapenos/garlic.

8. Fold the dough in half and gently press again to a rough circle.

9. Add the rest of the ingredients and form the dough into a ball shape.

Not so different than Play-Doh, right?

10. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

11. Dust the baking sheet with a teaspoon or so of cornmeal or flour.

12. Let rise again for about thirty minutes.

13. Toward the end of this second rising, preheat oven to 400 degrees.

14. Using a sharp knife, cut an X-shaped slit across the top of the dough.

15. Bake about forty minutes until the top is golden brown.

16. What I like to do toward the end of baking time is to take the bread off the baking pan and place directly on the rack to bake for another five-seven minutes. This ensures a completely even crunchy crust.

17. Take out of the oven, place on cooling rack.

It’s very important not to cut into it too soon! I know it’s hard to wait, but sometimes it’s a good idea.

Serve with homemade lentil soup and a fresh garden salad; this is truly bread heaven.olivebread3

Enjoy!

I’d like to hear from you if you try it. I taught tugboat man how and he didn’t think it was too difficult.

Celestial Navigation, Sextants, and a Ruined Anniversary

Not SEX. SEXtant.

It all makes sense,  I promise.

First of all, Princess Rosebud and her Tugboat Man have been married for twenty-one years, a really, REALLY long time.

Sometimes it seems like only yesterday, and at other times, it seems like a life sentence.

That’s 7,665 days, 183,960 hours, 11,037,600 minutes, and more than 662 million seconds, or, in my case ‘cos he’s gone about fifty percent of the time, we’ve only been married for about 10.5 years!

The traditional twenty-first anniversary gift is brass and that made it easy, ‘cos mariners are always shining brass, right?

 I found a small, working sextant so that no matter how far from home he might be, he can always navigate his way back to my heart.

heart constellation

What’s a sextant, you ask?

sextantA sextant is a weird looking thing — who invented this, anyway? –instrument with a graduated arc of 60° and a sighting mechanism, used for measuring the angular distances between objects and especially for taking altitudes in navigation, also known as Celestial Navigation.

In other words, blah, blah, blah, ‘cos I have absolutely no idea how to use it, but it’s shiny and has a couple of mirrors, so all is good.

My tugboat man’s a USCG certified instructor in Celestial Navigation.

If you want to know ANYTHING maritime-related, he’s your guy. Well, not really YOUR guy, he’s MY guy, but you get the picture…

Even in this age of GPS and radar, professional mariners need to fulfill a licensing requirement by exhibiting a certain level of proficiency in the use of a sextant.

Celestial navigation is the art and science of finding your way by the sun, moon, stars, and planets, and, in one form or another, is one of the oldest practices in human history.

A star to steer by…

The wheelhouse of hub’s vessels have a sextant on board and he uses it daily when he’s out in the open ocean. Mostly as a way to keep his knowledge fresh, but when I asked him why, he told me he does it because it’s entertaining and rewarding; a great mind game to stay sharp and focused.

Looks like a torture device to me.

sextant3During our twenty-one plus years, my tugboat man has been the one to make all the arrangements from our engagement to our tenth anniversary at the Archbishop’s Mansion in San Francisco — which was AMAZING and I’m talking about a spectacular dinner at John’s Grill, (one of the locations author Dashiell Hammett used in The Maltese Falcon), and when we returned from dinner, our room was filled with candles and stargazer lilies (guys, take notes) — this time I wanted to surprise him.

I had planned a romantic stay at the hotel where we spent our wedding night —  to recreate the whole scene with champagne and a great dinner at a little restaurant on the beach — but no one at the establishment responded to my two emails, two Facebook queries, and a telephone call to book a reservation.

I left a message with a nameless person who answered the phone; he promised someone would call me back and no one did.

Les Artistes Inn in Del Mar had recently opened in 1994 and the owners took pics of us in our wedding finery for their brochure — our wedding night was a lovely and magical time and now they ruined our special evening. RUINED IT!

I ended up making veg sushi and we drank with lots of sake. The next day we went for a walk and had a picnic where we were married at Magee Park in Carlsbad.

Nice, but not the same.

The best part of it all is that hub was HERE, ‘cos he’s leaving for six weeks in just a few days. For that I’m grateful, but I didn’t get the opportunity for my grand gesture, and since he’s the MOST WONDERFUL HUSBAND in the world, I’m sad.

2015 #VionicWalkabout Is ON!

#vionicwalkaboutDo you love to walk as much as I do?

Then join us!

The 2015 VIONIC WALKABOUT IS ON!

We have the ability to create a movement!

Vionic Venture WalkerShare your Walkabout journey via social media using the hashtag #VionicWalkabout.

The #VionicWalkabout spotlights personal wellbeing by bringing people across the nation virtually together to walk for health.

All it takes is a simple pledge to walk 30 minutes everyday for 30 days in an effort to create healthy habits. 

This year’s Walkabout challenge is being co-sponsored by Vionic shoes spokespeople Dr. Andrew Weil and celebrity trainer Juliet Kaska, and runs during the month of February – which is national Heart Health month.

Pledgers will receive exclusive wellness insight from the world renowned Dr. Weil and fitness tips from Juliet Kaska as well as the chance to win prizes from Vionic shoes, to the grand prize of a all expense-paid trip to Napa, CA!

Make Your Pledge Today – sign up for free online: http://www.vionicshoes.com/2015-vionic-walkabout

What’s a Walkabout?
A Walkabout is an Australian journey for well-being during which one seeks to clarify his/her life purpose. The Vionic Walkabout challenge is inspired by the Aussies and aims to improve physical and mental well-being by creating healthy habits over the course of 30 days.

WALK TO WIN
By participating in Vionic Walkabout, you’ll have the chance to walk away with some seriously great prizes. Through photo and caption contests on Facebook and Instagram, we’ll give away weekly prizes such as new Vionic Shoes, Dr. Weil Cookbooks and Visa gift cards. Plus, we’ll select a Grand Prize winner to receive an all-expense paid trip to Napa, CA.

WALK TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH
Walking can improve physical health by helping you manage your weight, boost your immune system, lower blood pressure, strengthen your heart and much more. It can also improve your mood, ease depression and help maintain mental efficiency!

Vionic sent me these cool shoes and I’ve been walking all over my city. They’re super comfortable, lightweight, and give my heels and high arches all the support they need. As always, I’ve received product, but no compensation, and all opinions are mine.

My Neighborhood #Vionicwalkabout

A couple of feline friends who always run out to greet us and get some love.Walk1

Stopped for a picnic at Magee Park in Carlsbad.

walk12

The park was full of well-groomed collies!

walk11walk10

Hmmm…what are they trying to say?walk9 Couldn’t pass by this beautiful rose without stopping to smell…

walk8

Red berries!walk7A very primitive and mature Cycad.walk6Look at these fluorescent puffballs!walk5walk4And a popcorn sky…

walk3

 Start your #Vionicwalkabout today and be healthy!
There’s still time to start walking and win a trip to Napa!

http://www.vionicshoes.com/2015-vionic-walkabout

Lady Gaga, Just About The ONLY Oscar 2015 Moment Worth Watching

Most of the time, I LOVE awards shows, but #Oscar2015 was spectacularly disappointing. A snoozefest.

Yawn.

Oh, there were a few bright spots, like during a red carpet interview about Fifty Shades of Grey, Dakota Johnson acted like a spoiled brat to her mom, Melanie Griffith. We were offered a glimpse into the dynamics of their relationship, and that was pretty funny.

And Benedict Cumberbatch drinking from a silver flask was PRICELESS. Even if it was only a prop.

I kept switching over to other shows —  I especially love the Great British Baking Show on PBS, and almost missed Lady Gaga. She was never a fave of mine; the whole meat dress thing was wrong on a million levels — I  started to love her when she teamed up with Tony Bennett, and her tribute to the Sound of Music was beyond AMAZING. Lovely, lovely Julie Andrews was so gracious to Gaga — classy, classy, classy.

Here it is; enjoy!

 

Did you watch the Oscars?
Did you think it was boring, too?
What was your favorite part?
Have you seen any of the winning films? (I haven’t)

Winner! The Oscars and Cocktails, a Match Made in Heaven

Powell and maoneyThe good people at Powell & Mahoney sent me a sample of their (my choice) Old Ballycastle Ginger mixer.

Handcrafted in Vermont, Powell & Mahoney, Ltd. was founded by two beverage industry veterans who were inspired by the lack of quality mixers made available to consumers. Noticing a true need in the market, the duo combined their expertise and passion and launched the successful mixer brand. Powell & Mahoney, Ltd. has reinvented classic cocktail recipes by swapping out artificial flavoring and preservatives for hand selected, better-for-you ingredients.

Old Ballycastle Ginger
This rich, full bodied mixer uses the finest ginger, delicate elderflower, and fennel to create the perfect partner for your favorite dark spirit. It also makes an elegant non-alcoholic sipper!

This recipe is on the bottle, but I jazzed it up a bit, ‘cos I love to put my own spin on things…

“Bubbly” Moscow Mule

1.5 oz. Russian Vodka (We used Stoly)|
2.5 oz Old Ballycastle Ginger
.5 oz Fresh Lime Juice (from our garden)
Champagne (or club soda)

Add all ingredients except champs/club soda to a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously. Pour into pretty glasses. Top with 1 oz. champs or club soda and stir. Garnish with a fresh lime wedge and a sliver of freshly peeled ginger.

We had just opened a bottle of Gruet champs to celebrate our twenty-first anniversary, so I used that bubbly to top one cocktail, and the other was bubble-free, so we could compare the two.

Both were DELICIOUS.

Actually, this was one of the best tasting, sophisticated, and fancy cocktails I’ve had anywhere.

The ginger mixer is intense, complex, and PERFECTION with fresh lime juice.

I’m Oscar-ready, are you?

As always, I was provided product and no compensation; the reviews are my own honest opinions.

The Art and Practice of Compassion in Action

On February 20, more than one thousand bloggers are speaking with one voice about compassion — to share our belief that together we CAN rid the world of brutality, cruelty, hatred,, indifference, meanness, tyranny, animosity — the opposite of compassion. 

calendulacompassion“…sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.”

You know what I think?

Being compassionate should not end there.

It’s not good enough to simply FEEL pity and concern, but we need to DO something about the suffering in this world.

  • Take ACTION to PREVENT brutality.
  • Take ACTION to STOP abuse and pain.
  • Take ACTION by educating our children.
  • TEACH kindness for all creatures.
  • Become better stewards of our planet.

That means NO puppy mills, no circuses with animals as entertainment, no SeaWorld, no elephant rides, no camel rides, no dolphin slaughter, no factory farm hell, no running of the bulls, no bullfighting, no cat and dog ritual torture and eating, no dogfighting,

And especially NO wolf killing and NO coyote or bobcat or mountain lion killing contests.
We are better than this.
I hope…

I’m sick of hearing about babies killed and tossed in dumpsters, children who are abused and starved, football players who beat their wives, their children, their dogs — I’m sick of it all.

Practice cruelty-free living.

I have much admiration for Jen at Driftwood Gardens, who, as a fresh convert to veganism, is a shining light educating the world about the merits of living cruelty-free.

My story is that I’ve been meat-free since 1970, but only recently learned about the horrors of dairy, and now I’m practicing being successfully dairy and egg-free.

If you want to start your own practice of compassion in action, watch Eathlings, a film with Joaquin Phoenix, at http://earthlings.com

In fact, STOP all killing of animals. How’s that?World ME

That’s MY perfect world.

That’s the legacy I’d be honored to leave for my son.

1000-Voices-Speak

1000Speak‬

 

 

DIY Craft Project: Jazzed Up Animal Print Wedges

What could be better than marrying my love for shoe shopping with a little craftiness?

I found these cute Toms wedges on sale at Nordstrom Rack.tom1

The FIRST thing I did was to remove the Toms label from the heel area of the shoe.

Unless it says Chanel or Dior or Versace or even Kate Spade, I’m not doing any free advertising for anyone.

Plus, to me, TOMS label/logo is ugly. A whole lotta negative valence happening, if you understand those types of dynamics. (I’m aware he does good things with the One for One giving back campaign.)

I studied the shoes for a while, pondering the shape and colors and textures and found them to be a bit lacking in style.

Hmmm, what could I do to jazz ‘em up a bit?

Pearls didn’t seem right, nor did seashells, but then I remembered I had a container of wooden beads — natural, organic, and elemental.

Almost everything can be improved upon, right?

PERFECT!Toms2

It was so easy, you MUST try this! My tugboat man thought I bought them this way.

All I did was string three beads and relace the wedges.embellishshoe2Why three beads? Because that’s how many fit the space. Two wasn’t enough, and four was too much. Three beads were just right.
embellishshoe1

Love!tomshoes2

Too easy, right? And that simple embellishment totally transformed rather bland shoes into fashion-forward and UNIQUE animal print wedges. They’ll totally rock with skinny jeans and a flowy, gauzy top, don’t you agree?

Toms3See?

PERFECTION!

Right now, I’m going to go crazy with my other lace up shoes and garnish them with jewels, pearls, and beads. I get all obsessed that way…

I’m a happy girl.

 

You Do Me and I’ll Do You, OK?

Join me in a cup of tea brought to me by my MANSLAVE (I mean husband), and let’s connect across all platforms, OK?

Yogi Tea

 

HAPPY WEDNESDAY!

 

 

Rebranding Fat Tuesday and Much LOVE for Cindy Crawford

There’s a connection here — or at least in my feverish condition, I see one…

Writer’s note: After I hit publish, I realized there’s grammatical confusion with the original title — I don’t think Cindy Crawford needs to be rebranded ALSO, which is what the “and” implied Update:. I think I fixed the problem with this version.

Photo:Enchanted Seashells,Confessions of a TugboatCaptain's Wife

Photo:Enchanted Seashells,Confessions of a TugboatCaptain’s Wife

It’s not the excessive alcohol consumption that bothers me, nor the shiny beads (I love all that is shiny and sparkly), nor the naked-y ladies dancing down Bourbon Street.

What really vexes me is the name…FAT Tuesday.

I know what it means…

Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”, and is the practice of overindulging in rich, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season.

Because of my body issues, it’s the word FAT that causes me distress.

I work really hard to fight against being overweight, to eat healthy foods, exercise daily, limit my intake of fatty and rich foods — yes, it’s my issue, I KNOW that. I’m so short at five feet tall that an extra ounce looks like five pounds on my small frame. It’s been a life-long struggle.

Still.

Here’s what I think of when I hear FAT:
Plump
Stout
Overweight
Large
Chubby
Portly
Flabby
Obese

All very negative. FAT is an ugly word.

Here’s a thought. How about a total rebranding?

If it were renamed “Curvy Tuesday” or “Voluptuous Tuesday”, I’d be more inclined to wholeheartedly celebrate.

Doesn’t that sound better than “Plus-sized Tuesday”?

I dunno. I guess you could say I’m fat-shaming Fat Tuesday.


What do you think about this unretouched photo of Cindy Crawford?

Unretouched Cindy Crawford

http://www.dailyhiit.com/hiit-blog/hiit-community/cindy-crawford-releases-un-photoshoped-pictures/On another but similar subject, what do you think about this un-retouched photo of Cindy Crawford?

I think she’s gorgeous and real and it’s incredibly empowering.

There’s so much pressure to continue to look like we’re in our unlined and no cellulite twenties — I’m hopeful the future will bring less photoshopping and more authentic portrayals of women as we are. I stopped reading all those fashion mags ‘cos they’re really depressing. Try as I might, I could never attain that level of skinny.

This might sound like a mixed message with my observations about FAT Tuesday, but it’s not. Really.

Happy Curvy Tuesday, everyone!

 

 

sometimes it sucks to be married

to a husband whose career takes him away from home for weeks at a time.

Like when you’re sick and he’s not here.

What about the “in sickness” part of the marriage vows?

When my mariner isn’t feeling well, I’m always his Florence Nightengale to nag  nurse him back to health.

But who can a mariner spouse turn to when she’s alone and suffering?

More importantly, if no one is here, who can I whine and complain to?

My symptoms…
100.4 degree temperature
Headache
Really bad sore throat
Achy all over
Cough
Runny nose

In other words, an upper respiratory infection and possibly a viral lung infection and my tugboat man is offshore.

Because I have chronic asthma and because my throat felt like I was swallowing shards of glass, I went to the doctor on Thursday and he informed me that what I have is going around and it’s bad.

I’m digestive-sensitive to most antibiotics; we started with the only one that doesn’t bother my stomach, the five-day Z-pak, but my doc didn’t think it was strong enough to work, and wanted to see me today for a breathing test and more meds.

It totally sucks to be alone and not have a hub here to bring me cold compresses and endless cups of ginger tea.

In case you were wondering, there are provisions in an emergency for a mariner to contact his company and request a relief captain.

In fact, hub asked me if I needed him to start the process to come home early, but he’s already scheduled to be here on Tuesday, so as much as I’d like to have him here to cater to my needs, I don’t think this situation is all that dire.

I know I’m slightly disdainful of the whole Valentine’s Day hoopla, but I was very grateful for this lovely bouquet of roses and tulips he sent to cheer me up.

(I don’t really understand signing it “your husband”…maybe he thought he’d been gone so long that I would forget him? A reminder?)
flowers roses and tulips