Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Simple and easy, it’s a harvest tradition in our house. Here’s what we do:

Take all the seeds from all the pumpkins, soak them in warm water to remove the guts. Pull out the clean seeds and place them on foil lined cookie sheet. Liberally drop tablespoons of butter in several strategic spots on the sheet. Sprinkle a tablespoon of salt over the still wet seeds.

Bake in a 325 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar over the seeds

Bake in 325 degrees for another 15 minutes.

Cool and enjoy!

Barstow-Calico KOA

Barstow Calico Koa

35250 Outer Hwy I 15 N
Yermo, CA 92398
(760) 254-2311

As we headed out on our first RV trip and making this the first KOA we have ever stopped at, it was a decent experience.  The park had good clean facilities.  The hookups were solid, and the playground was new.  It was easy to pull in and out of, and was far enough off the highway so noise was not an issue.

Happy Birthday Marine!

•To the Shores of Tripoli (1805)

•Fortitude (1812)

•From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli (1848)

•By Sea and by Land (1850’s)

•Semper Fidelis (1883)


Formal Colors of the USMC



•Forest Green


Official Marine Music

•The Marine Hymn (official song)

•Semper Fidelis (official march)

•The Marine Version of The Navy Hymn (official hymn)


Uniform Colors of the USMC

•1775 Green with white or buff facings

•1779 Green with red facings

•1798 Blue with scarlet facings

•1833 Green with white facings

•1840 Blue with scarlet trim,in force from 4 July 1840


Unusual Customs and Traditions of the Marine Corps

•Marines take the right of the line or head of the column when in formation with elements of the other sea services (i.e., the Navy and the Coast Guard, not to mention NOAA).

•All Marine posts have a bell, usually from a decommissioned ship of the Navy.

•In the US Navy, when “Abandon Ship” is ordered, the last person to leave the vessel before the captain is his Marines orderly.

•On a warship Marines do not man the rail.

•Whatever the regulations say, Marines do not use umbrellas.

•The Marine Hymn is the oldest official anthem of any U.S. military service.

•The Marines always stand at attention during the playing of the Marine Hymn.

•The Marine Corps March, “Semper Fidelis” by J.P. Sousa, is the only march authorized by Congress for a particular service.

•The “Mameluke” Sword, first adopted in 1826, is the weapon with the longest continual service in the U.S. Armed Forces.

•In the Marines, the phrase “I wish…” or “I desire…” uttered by a senior is considered an order.

•The crowns of Marine officer’s service caps are decorated with an embroidered quatre foil, a heritage of the days when such designs helped Marines in the rigging identify their officers on deck below.

•Since 1850 Marine sergeants have been the only NCOs in the U.S. Armed Forces to have the privilege of carrying swords on ceremonial occasions, a weapon of a pattern that makes it the second oldest weapon.

•Officers and NCOs of the Marine Corps wear scarlet piping on their trousers, said to honor the blood shed by the Marines who stormed Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City on 13 September 1847, and traditionally called the “Blood Stripe”.

•In combat Marines never leave behind wounded comrades, and attempt to recover their dead as well.


Three Traditional Names for the Marine Bulldog

•”Sergeant Jiggs”, used between WWI and the 30’s

•”Smedley”, used for the Corps’ bulldog from the 30’s to the 50’s

•”Chesty”, used for the Corps’ bulldog from the 50’s to the present


One Famous Marine Duck

•”Siwashi” accompanied the 2nd Marine Division into action on Tarawa,Saipan and Tinian, after which , she in the meantime becoming a mother was sent home to the US.


A Notable Comment about the 1st Marine Division

•”The 1st Marine Division is the most efficient and courageous combat unit I have ever seen or heard of”, MG Frank E. Lowe , US Army , 1950


Daily Ration Allowance in 1775, Continental Marines

•1 pd bread

•1 pd meat

•1 pd potatoes or turnips, or .5 pd pease

•.5 pt rum


Unusual Honors of the Marine Band

•The Marine Band is the oldest musical organization in the United States.

•Since 1869, the Marine Band has serenaded the CMC at his quarters on the morning of 1 January, after which they are invited in for hot buttered rum and breakfast.

•The Marine Band has played at every Presidential Inauguration since 1801, and is known as ” The President’s Own.”

Ferraris Cucina Italiana – Danville, CA

The best Italian food in the San Francisco Bay Area is in Blackhawk?!?

2 words. Chicken Parmi-OHMYGIANA!!!! 

The BEST Chicken Parmigiana this side of the Vatican.

Here’s a breakdown of our experience:

1) Greeted at the door by the staff. 
2) Given an accurate timeframe of the wait
3) Celine our fun and bubbly waitress was full of fun fun fun
4) Those huge Prawns and the sauce they are swimming in are an excellent appetizer!
5) The Luigi Meatball sammie is out of this world…although I would imagine you could put those meatballs on a shingle and it would still be amazing!
6) The Chicken Parmigiana. Most amazing italian dish ever served anywhere. Period. Westlake Joe’s who? Banchero’s who? How do you get the chicken to taste like that AND keep the breading so crisp?!? Black Magic?!?

If you get one dessert get the Tiramisu cake…but if you get one dessert you are an idiot. The Affogato with the hazelnut ice cream and ILLY espresso is such a ridiculous way to end the meal, don’t pass that up either.

Now one would think with all the chef’s success that he would start charging huge for his popular food, right?  Well evidently Chef Rodney is not a very shrewd business man because on the night we were there he was serving specials and one such special is a bottle of Justin Cab for $30. It paired perfectly with the Luigi, don’t judge me.

Bottom line: Great atmosphere, great food, great prices, great wait staff. 

After 25 years the Plaza has finally found an identity it can bank on!!!

Ferraris Cucina Italiana – Danville, CA.

Add some summer color to your chicken dish!


1 cup chopped red, yellow, orange bell peppers
8 oz sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
1 t dried thyme or 1 T fresh thyme
2 T dry white wine or chicken stock
small amount of olive oil to coat pan

Heat the oil in the pan on medium-high, and add the mushrooms. Cook until they begin to brown and add the peppers. Cook for 2-3 minutes,and then add salt and pepper, and the garlic and herbs. Cook for 30 more seconds (don’t burn the garlic!), and add the wine or stock. Cook until the liquid evaporates.

Makes two pretty large servings, each with 7 grams of carb plus 3 grams of fiber.


Melitzanosalata (Greek Eggplant Dip)

pronounced meh-leed-zah-no-sah-LAH-tah


1 large eggplant
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons of wine vinegar
3 cloves of garlic, minced
sea salt
freshly ground pepper

Pierce the eggplant with a fork and char on the grill, or over an open flame (alternatively, broil for 10-15 minutes) until the eggplant turns black and is very soft. Set to cool and drain on a rack with paper towels underneath.

As soon as it can be handled, peel by hand (the skin will come off easily), and transfer to a bowl. Chop the pulp into small pieces with a knife, and mash with a fork. With a wooden spoon, stir in oil and vinegar slowly, alternating between them, until well blended. Stir in garlic, salt, and pepper.

Serve chilled or at room temperature, with pita wedges, slices of crusty bread, and/or fresh vegetables, garnished with black olives and a sprig of parsley. This goes well with salty cheeses and fish mezethes like anchovies.

Yield: about 1 1/2 cups

Quick and Easy Peach Cobbler

2 tbsp. butter
1 c. Bisquick
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. milk
3 c. cut up peaches or other fruit of your choice (can be fresh, frozen
(thawed) or canned)

Turn oven to 375°F.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in 8 x 8 inch baking dish. Mix Bisquick, sugar, and milk. Pour over melted butter. Spoon fruit over. If using canned peaches, pour on some of the juice also.

Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes. Can double the recipe. Bake in 9 x 13 inch pan.

Diablo Magazine 2012 Awards

Here’s how I voted….what did I miss:

Beauty Store: Fusion 3

Beauty Treatment: Mandara Spa

fashion block:


Consignment Shop: Snickerdoodles

Day Spa: Aventine

Exercise Clothes:

Eyeglasses Shop: Site for Sore Eyes with Dr. Ja – Windemere

Hair Colorist: Tiffany – Fusion 3

Local Fashion Designer:

Local Jewelry Designer: hayjac designs

Local Online Shop:

Maternity Shop:

Mens Store:

mens haircut: Fusion 3

Mens Suit:

Nail Salon: Mandara

Shopper Stylist:





Shoe Store: Red Wing

Shoe Repair: Red Wing

Vintage Shop:

Hair Salon: Fusion 3

art wine:

Art Gallery:

business bar: The Prickly Pear Cantina

Live Music: The Prickly Pear Cantina

Bar Trivia size=:

Bar Menu: The Prickly Pear Cantina

Bartender: The Peasant and the Pear – Andy

Brew Pub:


Dance Troupe:

Dog Park: should be banned – Parvo

Museum: Downtown Pleasanton

winery: those two old people who do that video segment


Happy Hour: The Prickly Pear Cantina

bar lounge: The Prickly Pear Cantina

Indie Cinema:

Local Band:

golf course:

night out: The Peasant and the Pear



Pool Hall:

Romantic Getaway:

Singles Scene:

Sports Bar:

Ski Resort:

Wine Bar: Underdog

Atmosphere: The Peasant and the Pear


Breakfast Joint: The Peasant’s Courtyard

Brunch Spot: The Peasant and the Pear

Butcher Shop:

CSA Program:

Cheap Eats:

Chef: Rodney Worth

Chinese Restaurant: The Asian Pear

Coffee House: Sideboard

Comfort Food: Sideboard

Cupcake Shop:

Dog Friendly: should be banned Parvo


Food Truck: Grillaz

Gluten Free: Jules

Pizza thin: Jules

pizza thick: Jules

Hamburger: The Little Pear – Rodzilla

Indian Restaurant: Back Forty

Italian: Baci


late night:

Mexican: The Prickly Pear Cantina

New Restaurant: The Little Pear

Middle Eastern:

Outdoor Dining: The Prickly Pear Cantina

Dessert : The Peasant and the Pear

Romantic Restaurant: The Peasant and the Pear

Salad Spot: The Peasant and the Pear

Seafood: The Peasant and the Pear

Service: The Peasant and the Pear

Steakhouse: The Peasant and the Pear

Sushi Bar: eSushi

Tea House:

Thai Restaurant:

Vegetarian Menu:


Anti Gym:

Antique Shop:

Bike Shop:


Boxing Class:

Car Wash:

Cleanse Program:

computer repair:

Craft Store:

Department Store:


Farmers Market: Livermore

Fitness Center:


Health Food: Van’s

Home Accessories:

Book Store:

Local Blog: The Better Food

Massage Therapist: let me know if you find one


Personal Trainer:

Pet Adoption:

Pet Shop:

Pet Lodging:

Pilates Studio:

Plant Nursery:

Pop Up:

Girlfriend Gifts:

Sweet Shop:

Thrift Store:


Wine Store:

Wedding Planner:

Yoga Studio:

Yoga Teacher:

Zumba Class: Adrienne Sulger

After School:

Baby Shop:

Birthday Cake:

Dance Classes: Spark

Family Photographer: Sara Porter

Gymnastics Classes:

Art Classes: Cafe Art

Clothes Store: Janie and Jack

Kid Restaurant: The Peasant and the Pear

Haircut: Fusion 3

Kids Museum:

Martial Arts Classes: Cobra Kai

Music Lessons:

Fun Park: Harvest Park

Preschool Daycare: Shining Light

SAT Prep:

Educational Camp:

Fun Camp:

Swim Lessons: LVTC

Teacher Mentor Camp Counselor:

Toy Store: Toys R Us