Just say NO! to Soy.

One of my fondest memories of kindergarden was having milk and a graham crackers everyday after our nap, yes! we had to lay down for a few minutes everyday.  I don’t know why we had to take a nap,  maybe it was a kinder and gentler time.

My mom packed a lunch for me almost everyday of my elementary school years that either included graham crackers or vanilla wafers.

I have many fond memories of using graham crackers to make S’mores while camping or summer back yard barbeques.  As a kid I loved to crumble a few of the cinnamon variety in a bowl and cover them with milk and eat it like cereal. A afternoon snack could be peanut butter spread on to a graham cracker.

So you can see I’m no stranger to graham crackers.

Over the past few years i’ve become a bit of a food nazi, being careful to read ingredients on boxes to stay away from  products that contain corn and soy.   A few people think I take my eating style to the extreme, but it works for me, and I have even gotten a few people to pay more attention to what they are consuming.

So a few weeks ago out of the blue I decided to buy some honey maid graham crackers, I even bought some marshmallow cream to make a quick S’more.  I don’t know what I was thinking but, I didn’t  even bother to do my usual check of ingredients on the label.

I had blind faith in the people of Nabisco,

and that friendly little  bee on the pretty little blue box.

When I did get around to reading the ingredients on the label I was shocked to see that the honey maid graham crackers contained more soy than honey.  I decided right then and there to “just say NO! to soy” and make my own.

So I checked the internet and found a few recipes, some of them by celebrity chefs.  But I came upon one recipe that sounded very easy that even included a recipe for marshmallows.  Yummy!  Visions of S’mores came dancing in my head.

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup water

In a bowl of a standing mixer, add flours, sugar, salt, cinnamon and baking power.  Stir to combine, then add butter and mix till you have  coarse crumbs. Add honey and water, mix until it forms a large ball.

Shape dough into a flat disk, roll between 2 sheets of parchment paper 1/4 thick for crispy cookies, thicker if you want softer cookies.  Cut into desired shapes and bake on parchment paper at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.   re-roll any remaining dough.  Don’t over bake!

I made them the other night, and let me tell you, they are yummy!  And the best part is……   Wait for it… They have real honey in them and NO soy!  Yay!

Because you make them yourself, you decide if you want them thin and crispy or fat and soft.

I  like to make my cookies big, fat and soft.

 But I did make some thin ones too!

   I will make these cookies again, because I already have an idea to make a all in one  S’more cookie.  I almost always tweak a recipe I like into something  a little more decadent.

P.S.   After reading the label I also discovered that the graham crackers were made in Mexico.  Since I have a choice of where I spend my money, and I try to buy American made when I can.

 

  I’m saying, adios to Nabisco.

 

 

 

 

 

XOXO

 

 

Day tripp-n in Ojai

Sunday My boyfriend and I took a little day trip to Ojai. 

 We had talked about spending the weekend at the Ojai Valley Resort and Spa, but because I live an hour away from Ojai we decided do a little day trip instead.

 

First stop was the New Oak Ranch in upper Ojai Valley to Pick Lavender.

  Who knew there were acres of lavender growing a few miles outside of downtown Ojai! 

 The lavender season is short.

 mid-June to the end of July-  (weekends only).

It costs $5.00 per bunch of lavender (that you cut yourself).  They supply the cutting shears and twist ties.

 

This is about as much as you can fit into the twist tie.  Its a great deal!  Take a deep breath of that…ahhhh!

 

 

 

 

 They have more than 5,000 lavender plants.

 The ranch also has 1,400 Tuscan olive trees, which produces a olive oil that they are very proud of!

 The ranch has 35 walnut trees that are harvested in the fall.

 Aww…baby walnuts…aren’t they cute?

You’re welcome to bring a picnic lunch and savor your lunch on a walnut shaded table.

 

You can also purchase quite a few items made with their lavender.

 Everything from body care product to  honey, and even a tomato jam!

 (sounds weird, but it was quite yummy!)

 Yours truly, Big floppy hat and all…

Next stop, downtown Ojai to visit the Farmers Market.

We bought lots of amazing items, like flavored goat cheese, lemon cookies, strawberry pie, fresh basil, pixie tangerines, olive oil.  All the great looking fruits and veggies made me so hungry, I forgot to take pictures!

 We decided to get something to eat at a quaint little health food store called the Rainbow Bridge Market.

 Me, pigging out on a de-lish  avocado- veggie sandwich.

  I eat one whenever i’m in Ojai.

P.S.

I bought a organic olive oil while I was at the Farmers Market.  They have a tour that will be in part 2 of day tripp’n in Ojai.

 

Move over Rover

and let Jimmy take over

Look close, you will see a Bee

 Humming the song

 Purple haze.

XOXO!

Janice

 

 

My latest Obsessions

I’m currently obsessed with quite a few  things.

 

 I’m having a lot of fun making Cake Pops!

  I find myself singing a little song while I make them.

It goes a little like this.

Bake  er  ella

 you’re as lovely as your name

~*~Bakerella~*~

All hail the mighty Bakerella,

 I just love this book!

Here are a few of the cake pops I’ve made.

For my first attempt, I made these for my daughters baby shower.

I made these for Halloween.

I plan on making these for Thanksgiving.

If you haven’t tried making cake pops yet,

  I can highly recommend it.

 They’re the hit of every party, and ever so yummy!

~*~

Soon the Holidays will be here

and Being the nut job that I’am

 I have a new Christmas decorating theme.

I think it would best be described as Winter Wonderland.

I live in Southern California

So the closest I get to icicle’s, snowflakes and snowballs are the kind you buy at the store.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Crystal Snowflakes

 

  Feather Poofs.

 

 Glamorous snowballs

 

 

 

How cute is this peacock?

Yes, there really are white peacocks, I saw some while traveling in Australia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been going gaga for Mercury Glass, if you want some I suggest you act fast, before I buy  it all!

XOXO,

Janice

White House/Black Market,,,going-going-gone

My latest purchases.

Off the shoulder shimmer top

 

Fair isle sweater

 

I love this sweater, it brings out the Norwegian in me!

 

Trapunto stitch trench

Is there anything better

 than getting something cute on sale?

 

Black trapunto stitch trench

The trenches regular price $188.00 on sale for $89.99

 

High contrast cardigan

 

I know I have bought something cute, when one of my daughters wants to borrow it!

Cardigan regular price $88.00 on sale for $49.99

 

Slouchy carryall bag

 

I can hardly wait to Rock this bag!

Regular price $88.00 on sale for $44.99

 

Flounced coverup

 

Not on sale yet,,,but oh yes!,,, they will be mine!

 

Quilted vest

 

Fur vest

 

 P.S.  I don’t work for

White House/Black Market

I just love their clothes!

 

XOXO

Janice

A Few of My Favorite Fall Things

 

 

 

 

 

 Enjoy Your Beautiful Fall Days!

XOXO

Janice

From Craigslist with love?

Do you love Craigslist, and swear it is the best thing ever?

I think Craigslist is a joke, and have had nothing but weird spammer people contact me.

Let me back up and explain some of my experiences with The Craig.

This past year I have been in the process of cleaning and remodeleing my house, and  then listing some of my no longer wanted or needed items on Craiglist.

Things like.

9ft pool table

Brass bed

 

While the ad was running I had some strange e-mails inquiring about the items.

 

Thanks for mailing back,i am an Oceanographer and i am buying this for Dad, i am at sea right now, I can only pay through PayPal at the moment as i don’t have access to my bank account online,but i have it attached to my PayPal account, and this is why i insisted on using PayPal to pay,all i will need is your PayPal email address to make the payments,and if you don’t have a paypal account yet,its pretty easy to set one up at www.paypal.com,i will be expecting your email.I have a pick up agent that will come for the pick up after payments.I will like to have communicate and discuss this via Phone but i am 95% Deaf and i do use hearing piece so that was why i have prefer to communicate more through Mail …So kindly get back to asap…i need to see more photos also and i will like to know the last asking price.

(Sorry,,,sounds like a scammer to me!)

This is how the scammers work on craigs list…They contact you with a question…like is your ______(fill in the blank still for sale?)  or they contact you with an another question.. but they leave out one of the numbers of a phone number they want you to call…..so you e-mail them back to answer their question…once you do they have your personal e-mail address.  Then the scamming e-mails begin.

This is One of the most outrageous e-mail to come out of something I tried to sell on Craigslist.

 

Is your merchandise still attainable? Umm…this might be  off topic but you sound interesting in your posting. Do you want to get coffee sometimes? I promise I’m not a weirdo, just feeling lonely. If you’re interested, meet me on my exclusive dating profile (it’s like facebook for adults), there’s no cost to sign up! My pics and my  phone # are all on there so get in touch with me. There are too many scammers on here so if you’re  real call me and maybe we can meet to become friends and maybe more? You never know! OK, I won’t bother you again! You’ll be amazed to see who I am! :)

Really?

Trying to get a date this way??

OMG! at least this one gave me a good laugh!

 

xoxo,

Janice

 

 

Window Shopping,,, Parisian Style

Ahh!,,,Paris,,, The most magical city in the world

   The window shopping here is off the charts.

 The Parisian have a style that is all their own.

You see it as you stroll the streets and gaze into the awe inspiring shops.

I’m going to be quiet now

 and let you gaze into the windows of a few gorgeous shops.

Look very carefully into the pictures.

The reflections tell a story 

 

~*~

~*~

~*~

x

x

Tell me….What did you see?

XOXO

Janice

Makes me think about Captain Ron

It was a beautiful day to go sailing!

We set sail out of Channel island Harbor.

I want to learn how to Paddle Board…

How Cute is this couple with their paddle boarding doggie!

  I love the sun faded color of this house. 

 You would never guess that this beach is in Southern California.

 It reminds me a litle of the East Coast .

 Out at sea.

Sailing is a lot of work!

 

So, I’m just going to sit here and look cute…

 

Hey!…..If it’s good enough for Captain Dan, it’s good enough for me!

When you sail during the week,  you own the Ocean!

Our two Hour cruise is coming to an end..

Back towards the harbor we go..

There’s a show off in every crowd..

Back at the dock….and so glad that I didn’t get sea sick!

What is it about birds…that makes me think about Alfred Hitchcock?

XOXO,

Janice

&

Mr. Hitchcock

Top Chef Challenge,,,,with Chef Fabio and Lisa Vanderpump

This past Sunday I went to a Top Chef Invasion in Hancock Park, CA.  It was to benefit the glaad Organization.

  Being a Top Chef fan I knew I had to be there!  Especially since Fabio Viviani was going to be there, and when I found out that Lisa Vanderpump was going to be hosting the event, I knew I couldn’t miss it!

  I’m big a follower of Fabio because his restaurant Cafe Firenza is located in Moorpark, the town where I have lived for the past 25 years.   I’ve been to the restaurant many times, and took a cooking class at Cafe Firenza before Fabio became a celebrity Chef, known for his appearances on Top Chef.

*The adorable couple*  Lisa and Ken 

 The always charming, beautiful and witty Lisa,  is my favorite Real Housewive. 

Love You Lisa! 

The Event was held at a private home in Hancock Park.

A food station  from  Border Grill with  chef  Susan Feniger

   Susan was the first celebrity Chef I followed.  Love you Susan!

 

Some beautiful Macaron’s

I couldn’t resist the raspberry ones..Yummy! 

 

Time for the Top Chef Challenge with Chef Antonia Lofaso and Chef Fabio Viviani.

 With the help of these Ingredients,  both chef’s cooked with a time limit of 10 minutes to come up with something delicious

And The winner of the Top Chef Challenge   *Golden Whisk*

 Goes to Chef Antonia (smiley) Lofaso.

I call her smiley because the girl is always smiling

   Congratulation Antonia!

P.S.

 And the award for best shoes goes to ……. Lisa! 

  This girl knows how to rock a pair Louboutin’s!

And Honorable Mention goes to…this guy!

For his amazing boots.

P.S. Thank you Bravo

XOXO,

Janice