Testing Testing 1,2,3!

This is it!  One week countdown to our BIG CABO ROAD TRIP!  We have already started to pack the car! So I figured it was time to get my blog dusted off and ready for action. I HOPE to be able to keep you all up to date on the goings on along the way!  Just make sure you follow my blog! Pink Bubbly!  Yep that’s the right one.  Want to know why it’s called Pink Bubbly? Read former post called “I Dropped the Elephant”  It’s been a while since I blogged, so it’s a little dusty, and I’m a little rusty!

Thanks for following along!

XOXO

Me!

Road Trip 2

Advertisements

Wine Tour @ Van Westen Vineyards

One of the things I love most about living in wine country and Penticton, is the variety of new wineries popping up every year. One day I decided to visit a winery I had never been to before. As we were driving along the Naramata Bench I saw a sandwich board on the highway that said Van Westen Vineyards Winery. So we took the next left and found our way to this…new to me winery! The Van Westen family were fruit farmers here since 1954. However Rob Van Westen decided to try his hand at growing grapes about 12 years ago.  This will be the third year that the winery will be open in the summer. Previously it was hit and miss or by appointment.

Sign

As we pulled in to the driveway we were greeted by the winery dog named Brew. Don’t be alarmed by his size he truly has a gentle soul!

Brew the wine dog

Brew the wine dog

The tasting room is inside this large warehouse, garage style building. It’s not  flashy, but then again, I’m here for the wine, not the décor! It does however have a wonderful Okanagan Lake view.

We gathered around a wine barrel converted to hold a bucket of wine bottles, with a table area for your glasses and tasting notes.  A very clever idea indeed.

Wine Bar

Wine Bar

The tasting began with the 2013 Pinot Grigio, a wonderful summer patio wine.  A nice clean crisp refreshing wine with hints of pear and apple.  The second wine we tasted was the Vivacious! I love that name. It’s a 40%Pinot Blanc & 60% Pinot Gris blend. It had a stronger flavour than the first wine, and she said this would pair nicely with white meats like chicken or fish. It has a nice sweet aftertaste. The third wine was the Viognier. A percentage of it is oaked so the wine has more body. However there is no oaky taste because the barrels are 6 – 10 years old. She said this pairs nicely with seafoods like crab etc.

While I was tasting the white wines, my BF and DD was taking interest in the unique things found around the winery.  The first thing he noticed was a bladder press. You put the fruit/grapes inside and the rubber bladder expands and squishes the juice out.  (The days of purple feet are over my friends) 🙂

Then he looked up and saw a giant moose head.  I mean this thing was huge. This photo doesn’t do it justice.  As the story goes, in 1904, (yes 101 years ago) this moose kept coming in to the town of Naramata and he was becoming a nuisance. They kept chasing him out of town and he kept coming back. So I guess you can say his days were numbered.  But his legacy lives on, and story continues to be told at Van Westen Vineyards and Winery!

Moose

Barrel Room

Barrel Room

Now we entered the barrel room to taste the red wines. The temperature is controlled to around 16 degrees in here. There were three wines to taste.  The 2010 Voluptuous is 77% Merlot and 33%  Cab Franc. I senced the flavours of plum in this wine. We followed the first wine with a tasting of the same wine from 2011.  Same vines but a totally different taste.  She described how even the wind and weather can have an impact on the taste of the wine, which is why year to year the wines differ.  I preferred the 2010. The last one was a 2010 V…roman numeral five. It’s their Bordeaux style blend. Merlot, and Cab Franc, with a bit of Malbec, Cab Sav, Petit Verdot! It’s a really full bodied, full flavoured wine. It pairs nicely with gamier meats like duck or lamb.

Red Wines

Red Wines

The wines at Van Westen are also vegan. They don’t add any artificial softeners, so the tannins are bolder than some other wines that use them. This also enables you to cellar the red wines probably up to 10 years.  They will soften over time. So no fish protein and no egg whites! This is important if you have an egg allergy!

As we were leaving the winery we bumped in to the winemaker Rob Van Westen. He told us the story of the Lapin Cherry. Apparently it was created through crossbreeding by Dr. Lapin at the research station in Trout Creek. His dad took the first risk at planting them over 40 years ago, and now they are grown all over the world.  So it’s safe to say the oldest Lapin cherries in the world are grown on this property.

I had a lot of fun on this wine tour and heard some wonderful stories. I would highly suggest you plan a visit to this winery. They are open Friday and Saturday and long weekend Sundays until July 1st, then they will probably be open daily over the summer. You can also call for a tasting appointment.

Please note: I am no wine expert. I just like to drink it!

Cheers

Me!

The View

The View

The Winery

The Winery

Chicken Curry! Oh Yes I did!

If you know me, you know I am not much of a cook. So I am always happy when a friend takes me under their wing by offering a cooking class. Last night, We headed up to Dave and Cathy’s place to learn about cooking curry! I decided to video the steps, so I would remember what to do, and transcribe it for you!

Apparently, when you make a curry, you need several spices, because that’s what gives it that wonderful flavour.  Curry powder has several spices in it already, but you need to add more.

Tonight we made 2 dishes. Regular curry and Madras curry.

Step 1:  (4:27pm)

Place chopped garlic and onions in the bottom of the pot (s). Apparently the onions, garlic and a little bit of ginger will cook and eventually disappear making the curry thick, that and the coconut milk. But right now just put chopped onions and garlic into the pot (s).

Step 2: (4:29 pm)

Turn on stove to medium high.  Scoop in  some coconut oil and some red palm oil. Looked like a couple spoons of each into both pots. Also a scoop of clarified butter if you don’t have (I think she said…Gee?)

Yes, I asked – how do you make clarified butter?  She said put butter in a pot, put it on low for 3 hours. The foam comes to the top, and the milk goes to the bottom. Skim off the butter and put through a cheese cloth strainer. Shazam – you have clarified butter.

Step 2.5 (4:31 pm)

While you have the palm oil out, put a couple of scoops into a 3rd pan, where you are frying your chicken.

Step 3: (4:34 pm)

Add ginger, about 1/2 an inch. She keeps her ginger in the freezer.  Then she used a really fine grader, and graded in 1/2 an inch of ginger in to each pot.  Sound confusing? It’s not, if the ginger root was one inch tall, you grade half of that into the pot! 🙂

This stuff has been cooking for about 10 minutes.

Step 4: (4:37 pm)

Add chopped celery, because she likes hers to cook a long time and disappear with the onions and garlic.

Step 5: (4:38 pm)

Add the spices. How much of each? I have no idea, But I do have a video, unfortunately this blog cannot post videos, so If you want it, I’ll email it to you, just ask me for it.

Pot 1                      Pot 2

Curry                    Madras Curry

Turmeric             Turmeric

Cumin                Cumin

………..               Garam Masala

Grind up/crush celery seed and coriander and add to both pots but put more in pot 2.

Step 6:

Turn down stove to medium low and let simmer.

Step 7: (4:41 pm)

3 minutes later we added home made chicken stock to each pot.  Looked like 2 cups in each pot. And squeeze in a lemon into the Curry Pot 1.

Step 8: (4:45 pm)

Add chopped carrots to both pots then cover both pots.

Step 9: (5:21)

About 30 minutes later we added chopped zucchini and cauliflower to both pots. And a little bit of water, like a cup full.

Step 10:

I guess before this all started she chopped up some chicken breasts and covered them in Turmeric, salt and pepper, and Paprika.  Turn on the pan that has palm oil in it.  Add some olive oil. Get it nice and hot, now add the chicken. We’re going to cook it until it’s almost done. Then we turn it off, and the heat from the pan, finishes cooking it. This is how we get soft succulent chicken, not hard leathery chicken.,  Then the chicken will go in the 2 pots for maybe 2 minutes before serving.

Step 11 (5:30 pm)

While chicken is cooking, Add a can of coconut milk to each pot. And a can of organic diced tomatoes to the Madras Curry pot 2 and a few shakes of peri peri sauce to spice up the madras curry pot 2.

Step 12: (5:50 pm)

Add some Chutney to the Curry pot 1, about 4 tablespoons.  What a difference.  I tasted before and after we added that!  WOW! The chutney accentuates the curry flavour.

Step 13:

Once the chicken is cooked, divide into both pots, stir up, wait a couple of minutes and serve over rice.  DELISH!

2 3 4

Are you a Grammar Commander?

Cross your T’s and dot your I’s
That should be a semicolon not a comma.
Why do you randomly Capitalize words in the middle of a sentence?
Quit overusing the exclamation mark!!!

Ya, I do that, and quite frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!
I agree there is a time and a place for proper grammar, spelling and no type-oh’s. That place is not my blog. So you grammarphobic fools may get the heeby-jeeby’s when you read it.

Sorry!

I have known many Grammar Commanders in my time.  I have been known to bring out my grammar whip when necessary. But that’s not going to happen in my blog world.  Nope, the Pink Bubbly Blog is a happy place where you can type anything you want without spell check or grammar check, and it really doesn’t matter!

There are no consequences, except maybe not being “Fresh Pressed” whatever that is. But that’s not why I’m blogging anyway. Actually, I don’t know why I am blogging.

I just am.

So if you are reading my blog and you find a mistake, stop, take a deep breath in, exhale out, and move past it. See, that was easy, wasn’t it?

CRAP…do you know what I just did? I just proofread my blog and corrected spelling and fixed the random words that I noticed I capitalized for no reason.

My subconscious did it.  Automatically. It just happened, without my control.

I am sure I missed some, actually I might just put some Back in just for Fun!!!!

On a sad note, I kinda wish I was more of a Grammar Commander. I recently entered a short story writing contest and scored 88/100. I lost all my points to grammar and punctuation, and of course that randomly capitalized word that I overlooked. 😦

Since we’re all friends here, I’ll share one more little factoid. This was my 17th blog. I thought you should know. Now, complete the poll below so I can learn a little bit about you!

Hurricane Odile hits Cabo San Lucas.

This September Hurricane Odile, was the largest hurricane to ever hit Los Cabos. And it was a direct hit. It decimated the southern Baja. Just ripped it up. While some hotels, restaurants and houses sustained minor damage, others were completely wiped out.

The news coverage of this disaster was ridiculous. What news coverage? I think the Weather Channel had the best, or so I’m told, our Canadian Weather Network, was absolutely lame.

Entire neighbourhoods are gone. People are left homeless. Animals were abandoned by evacuees. It’s crazy the mayhem and destruction that followed this monster created by mother nature.

Now, a week and a half later, hotel workers that lost their homes have now showed up at work, to help get the hotels back up and running. Many restaurants have reopened. And the brooms and shovels are out as the clean up has begun.  The Mexican government is hiring thousands of workers to help with the clean up as well.

Cabo will bounce back faster and stronger than anyone could have imagined.

That being said, so much help is needed.

I have friends down there right now who have witnessed the devastation. Talked to families who have lost everything. Fed stray dogs and cats that were once family pets, now left to wander the streets.  I am told one person actually has 19 dogs in her house.  Wow!

The firefighters are not really funded down there, they are mostly a volunteer organization. And while their homes have been destroyed, they are out there helping with the clean up, first aid and the restoration of Cabo.

All of these areas need help. They need money to buy food, medicine, building supplies, cleaning supplies and more.

I am asking you…if you are reading this right now, please donate. I’m not asking for a hundred dollars, although that would be nice.   5 bucks will go a long way! Please give what you can give. Every penny will help…feed a dog, buy diapers, rebuild the fire hall, support a family, etc.

 

To view some of the destruction, watch this video.

 

TO DONATE Click here!

http://www.youcaring.com/nonprofits/cabo-strong/235470

 

keep calm cabo

Please donate!!!

I will arrive October 24, 2014. More updates then!

Thank You.

XOXO

Me

 

 

 

 

What about my pickle jar?

I would like to declare unfair discrimination against my pickle jar.

The new recycling guidelines have come out, and I cannot put glass in my garbage, or in my recycle bin.

My pickle jar is feeling really left out.

You mean I have to find my way halfway through town and bring my pickle jars to the recycle depot?

What are we paying garbage and recycling collection for?

I understand having to deposit ‘dangerous/toxic’ car batteries at the garage. If I have a car, I can drive there. And chances are if I need a new battery, I can leave my old one, right where I get my new one.

But what about the poor pickle jar? What if for some reason I  cannot drive? This doesn’t prevent me from eating pickles. Are you saying I have to quit eating pickles if I cannot get to the recycle depot? I wonder what my favourite pickle making company would have to say about that?

Am I going to have to switch pasta sauces, and only buy the ones in a can, instead of a jar? What if I don’t like the canned ones? Should we be telling the grocery stores to quit selling anything that comes in a glass jar because our city cannot properly collect them on garbage day?

Does jam come in a can?

If I cannot drive, there are companies that deliver groceries, maybe the city should hire them to deliver the glass? Or am I going to have to just slip all my glass in with my bottles and cans that I donate to local bottle drives and let them worry about it? That wouldn’t be very nice, but it seems like a logical option, considering they are going to the depot anyway.

Plus, I thought plastics were bad, and more and more companies are switching to glass. Am I supposed to sacrifice my health and safety and use plastic or tin instead of glass?

I think this is very unfair to the pickle jar. We pay for garbage collection and recycling. So come and get it. It’s a common household item. If I have to take it to the recycle depot, then I should get money back! Isn’t that how it works?

I think the city is in a pickle.

Maybe the city could designate glass pick up once a month on a regular garbage day?  That would be nice! Even once every 2 months would be ok. If you know of any solutions, please let me know.

Now I’m craving a pickle!

 

XOXO

Me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What to do when you get sick in Cabo?

CaboFriends Net asked me to share this experience with you.

Yes, it’s true, I came down with the Infamous Cabo Crud. It’s like a nasty cold that gets in your lungs and has you hacking up all kinds of fun stuff. I was coughing so much, that Poncho the sea lion  from the marina started answering back. My nose was like Niagra falls, and I was dizzy and achy. It came on slow, then boom it hit me. I tried the tequila remedy suggested by so many, but unfortunately that did not work.  I considered going to one of the hospitals like Amerimed, or Blue net, but then Stephanie from Wicked Pizza  suggested I go see the same dr she went to when she crud got to her.  So I took her advice.

This Dr’s office is just up the street about 3 blocks up from Desperados.(on the left hand side)  There is a pharmacy attached to it.  Just walk in and there is a small waiting room and one door with the #1 on it.  If no one is waiting just knock on the door. If someone is in the waiting area just sit down and wait your turn. The DR’s visit was 40 pesos.  Less than the one box of Kleenex I bought at the Super Mercado.

Most people get “The Shots”  I am told they are 4 shots in 4 days.  You just go next door to pharmacy, buy the shots and needles, go back to dr and she charged 20 pesos to give the shot. Due to my health situation I got one shot and a bunch of pills.  The shot freekin hurt. She warned it would, but man…oweee! I came hobbling outta there like a 90 year old woman.  It was at this point I wish I had drove, instead of walked.  Roc got a good laugh anyway 🙂

On the way home we walked up to Rico Suave, 1/2 a block west past Baja Peppers on the left had side. You can see their Yellow Sandwich board on the street from the corner of Baja Peppers.  They have the best smoothies! On this occasion a little kid was juicing the oranges, he could barely reach the handle!  So Cute! Their smoothies are nice and fresh and a giant one is only 48 pesos.  They have MANY flavor combinations!

The pain from the shot was fading, by the time I got home (about 3 more blocks) and I was already starting to feel better.  I’m wishing I stayed on that shot regime instead of switching to pills, but hey, they are working too.

So, if you are in Cabo and happen to come down with the Cabo Crud. Don’t worry, bring your pesos to the little clinic and get your shot!  It will be gone in no time!

I get the Cabo Crud or some kind of cold every time I travel (anywhere). I normally wait it out, and end up with some kind of chr0nic cough for 3 months.  I am hoping since I went to the dr 5 days in to the sickness when it climaxed to it’s nastiest point, it will be gone by the weekend! Here’s hoping!

coughXOXO

Me!