Irish Soda Bread

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease two 8” pie or cake pans

4 – 4 ¼  Cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Soda
3 tsp baking powder
¼ Cup sugar
¼ Cup butter
1 egg
1 ¾ Buttermilk
2 Cups raisins or currants

In a large bowl mix together flour, salt, soda, baking powder, and sugar until thoroughly blended.
Cut in cold butter.  I literally take my hands and just break it into the dry ingredients by crumbling it through my fingers until fully into the flour mix. (do not melt the butter!)
Add Raisins

Beat the egg slightly and add to buttermilk
Stir the buttermilk/egg into the dry mixture until blended.

Turn out the soft dough onto a floured board
Knead until smooth (2 -3 minutes)

Divide dough in two.  Shape each half into a smooth round loaf.
Place in 2 greased 8” pie or cake pans.  Press down until dough fills the pan.

Cut a cross in the top of the loaves.  Sprinkle with some sugar (or not)
Bake 375 degrees for 35-40 min.

Robert Allen Jensen

Robert Allen Jensen

Robert Allen Jensen

Bob made his transition surrounded by four generations of his family on April 21st at his home in Atascadero after a long illness.

Although born in Santa Maria California November 1932., Bob grew up in the San Fernando Valley.  He joined the USMC at 19 years old and served in Korea.  His service was from 1951-1954 as a member of the EOD and completed his service with the rank of Sergeant. Bob was wounded in action.

After returning home, Bob apprenticed to his father and followed a lifetime career as a painting contractor throughout the LA basin.

In 1957 he met who was to become his lifetime sweetheart, Linda Blackwell;  they married in 1959 and raised 3 sons. Bob was a loving and devoted father and husband.  He had a great heart and quick wit.  He always proved the statement that “he never met a stranger” as his friendliness attracted many friends.

Much of Bob’s life revolved around sports, motorcycle racing, and coaching.  He was a member of the SoCal Motorcycle Club and enjoyed desert racing. He was a gifted athlete and pitched in Double A fastpitch.  He and his wife, Linda, started the first Women’s Double A Fastpitch Softball League in the San Fernando Valley. He was the coach for the VALCO Double A fast pitch team.

Bob touched so many young lives.  One of his great joys was teaching.  He loved working with children both as a coach for a team and as a private/neighbor who helped a kid improve his batting skills, pass a learner’s driving test, or repair their brakes.

Bob and Linda moved to Atascadero in 1984.  He continued his paint contracting until his retirement.

Bob is predeceased by his Father, Clark Glenn Jensen, his mother, Lillian Elizabeth Jensen, and his brother, Glenn Jensen.  He is survived by his wife Linda Jensen, sister, Jackie Coppedge (husband, Alton) of Helendale and three sons: Derek Lee Jensen (wife Jill) of Santa Barbara, Keith Allen Jensen (wife Shannon) of Atascadero and John Darren Jensen  (wife Patrice) of Ojai.  His grandchildren are all Jensens: Ashley, Shane, Justin, Joshua, Jace, Jeremy and Jenna. He has one great grandchild, Jayden Jensen.
The family has suggested that donations be made to The Wounded Warrior Project  or The Disabled American Veterans in lieu of flowers.

Our April 2014 Flowers

The Roses and the Iris hit wonderful notes this April surrounding us with the beauty of mother nature everywhere we look. We are so grateful.

I see little tomato flowers too. Can’t wait for those big vine ripened tomatoes, and we will have four different types!


May 2014 Schedule

The Events for May 2014 on our radar are:

1st thru 4th – Morro Bay Annual Crusin’ Event
2nd and 3rd – A Delicate Balance by Edward Albee Opens at SLO Little Theatre
10th – Cambria host a Chili Cookoff and Car Show
10th – Paso Robles War Birds Wings and Wheels annual Open House
11th – Mothers Day – Plan ahead and get reservations !!
16th thru 18th – Paso Robles Annual Wine Festival. Events Everywhere!
23rd and 24th – San Luis Obispo – 28th Annual California Festival of Beers
24th – Paso Robles Festival of the Arts
24th and 25th – Arroyo Grande Strawberry Festival
24th thru 26th – Morro Bay Art in the Park
24th thru 26th – Cayucos – Antique Gas and Steam Engine SHow

Six Bean Salad

6 Bean Salad by Charley Carlin

The has been a real hit at our table.

Well I took my Summer Bean Recipe and modified it for a larger batch and added a few twists. This recipe can be modified at will. For instance Anet does not care for the butter beans, so I simply do not put them in that batch. Each batch is a bit different abd they all are simple, easy, and taste so nice.


A real raving favorite for some of our guests! Just Chop, mix and chill! It really is that easy.


Simple and Straightforward

Simple and Straightforward

1 can – 15 oz black beans (rinsed thoroughly and drained)
1 can – 15 oz butter beans beans (thoroughly rinsed and drained)
1 can – 15 oz pinto beans (thoroughly rinsed and drained)
1 can - 15 oz red kidney beans (thoroughly rinsed and drained)
1 can - 15 oz pinquito beans (thoroughly rinsed and drained)
1 can - 15 oz white kidney beans (cannellini beans) (thoroughly rinsed and drained)
1 can – 15 oz diced tomatoes (juice and all) Continue reading

No Fail Pie Crust

Cherry Pie by AnetEditor’s note – Anet has made this crust for many years. She teaches people to make the crust and then the next day the beat her in a pie contest (this has happened twice). She continues to occassionally show peole how to make the crust and there by become pie princesses! (somtimes complete with tierra!) So click read more to see the recipe!|
No Fail Pie Crust

(Small children and large dogs can make this successfully on their first try)

  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • ¾ cup corn oil or vegetable oil (no others please)
  • ¼ cup cold milk

Mix in a bowl until the consistency of play dough.  If it is too dry sprinkle a few drops of oil on it.  If it is too wet, a Tbs flour until just right.  Sticky…too wet….crumbly or cracky…too dry.

Single Crust Pies
I don’t even roll it out for a single crust.  Just take a ball of it and mash onto the pie plate and flute the edges until you get it done.  This recipe will make a 10” deep dish pie crust.  For a one crust crème pie, cook at 350 for 20 minutes and check it for done.  (Light brown).  For pumpkin and pecan pies, put the filling in the raw dough crust.

To make a double crust pie…….
Make the bottom crust as described above. To make the top full crust roll out the dough.  To roll out this sort of oil dough, you will need waxed paper.  LIGHTLY oil the paper on both the surfaces that touch the dough.  Roll with rolling pin the thickness you like.  CAREFULLY peel the waxed paper away.  While the dough is still attached to the bottom piece of waxed paper, flip over the fruit filling on your pie.  Peel off the waxed paper and seal the two crusts together.

Rather than make full cover top crusts, I slice the rolled out crust into a lattice about 1” wide and weave the top.  I also draw diamonds and cut them out and layer a totally covered top.

To make it golden and gorgeous, take the pie out 15 minutes before done and paint on egg yolk cut with a little water.  It will make the top brilliant.

I suggest you collar the pie to keep the edges from getting too brown.  Pie collars are a GREAT INVESTMENT.  Beats folding and crimping the aluminum foil.


Moroccan Crockpot Stew

Charley’s Version of Moroccan Stew

So I had a dish like this at FIG here in Atascadero, and really liked it! So I went to the net and got a half a dozen versions of Moroccan Chick Pea Stew and with that input created my version which has been pretty popular! So Here Goes!

Get that Crockpot out and put it on Low. Add these to the Mix:

  • 2 Cans Garbanzo Beans (rinsed well)
  • 2 Cans Red Kidney Beans (rinsed well)
  • 2 Cans Pinto Beans (rinsed well)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more – some like it hot)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 big cans (28-ounce) diced tomatoes, juice and all!
  • 6 carrots diced small pieces
  • equal sized pile of yam or sweet potato (Some prefer Potatoes – Your Choice)

Use olive oil to Saute the following:

  • One medium yellow or brown onion – Sauteed
  • One medium purple onion – Sauteed
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced and  Sauteed
  • 2 jalapenos seeded and minced and Sauteed

Saute till tender and add to the Crockpot. Make sure everything is covered in sauce – This usually means add a few cups of water.

Eat in about 3 hours – when the carrots and Yams are tender.
Add a bunch of chopped cilantro and Lets Eat!
As Always
Charley Carlin

Cherry Rice

Cherry Rice by CharleyCharley’s Cherry Rice
Well as luck would have it, I wandered into a Mediterranean restaurant in Lake Elsinore, CA, King Kabob. So I tried the saffron rice and lamb and loved it! Came back and tried the Chicken Kabob and Saffron rice and loved it even more. Came back again and tried the Cherry Rice and Loved it even more! They use a family recipe so I had to research and make up my own, so here it is! I include the link to restaurant for those who may be near or driving by from or to San Diego. (Railroad Canyon Ramp from Highway 15) Click to read Anet or my review on Yelp.
Half cube butter and one chopped onion saute then add half teaspoon for allspice, half teaspoon of cinnamon quarter teaspoon of ground cloves saute more add half teaspoon kosher salt some ground pepper saute and set aside next - Half cube butter and minced onions saute (one brown and one purple) add a teaspoon of salt add two cups Long Grain Basmati Rice – saute more and stir stir stir next - add three and a half cups of water – bring to boil then low heat for 20 minutes (till rice is done) next - a jar of Trader Joe’s Cherries (include about half the juice) add the sauteed spiced onions from step one mix in gently and put lid on rice and let is rest for 10 minutes next - get our clay pot with lid and fill with hot water wait 10 minutes to warm the container so it does not cool the rice! dump water – dry container and fill with rice and serve! Note the salt really wakes up the flavors – salt to taste Yippee – A double big Hit - First served on 4/18/2012[print_link]

Texas Pecan Pie

This is it the Pecan Pie by Anet that will knock your socks off. Enjoy!
Make a crust of the following:
2 1/4 cups of flour
1 tsp of salt
3/4 C of vegetable oil or corn oil….no canola or olive
1/4 C milk
Simply mix the ingredients until the consistency of Playdough.  If it is too wet, sprinkle flour make it right.  If it is too dry it will not be like clay.
It is not necessary to roll this crust.  Simply take balls of it and form a fluted crust.  You do not have to use all of it.  Don’t make the crust too thick.  This is a delicious crust.  I promise.
3 Tablespoons melted butter
1/2 C sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 Tablespoons flour
1 Cup DARK Karo Syrup
1 1/2 Cups of Pecans broken (ours come from Texas)
1 Tsp of Vanilla
Mix the ingrdients and pour into pie.  I use a pie collar to make sure the edges don’t get too brown while the pie is cooking.  However, you can make a little wreath with foil around the pie to keep the fluted crust from cooking too quickly.
Bake at 350 for about 50-60 minutes

Triple Olive Tapenade

This one has been a raving success at all our dinner parties lately!

Can of Black Olives
About the same amount of green olives (with pimento is fine)
Almost the same amount of Kalamata olives
Chop All the Olives Coarsely

2 cloves garlic minced finely minced
4 or more scallions minced
a small pile of minced purple onion – about a half cup
half a red bell pepper minced (makes it pretty! and sometimes I get the small peppers and use a couple orange, a couple yellow and a couple red for great eye appeal)
mix all with 4 – 6 Tablespoons of Olive Oil (I like Kalamata).
add a couple tablespoons of red wine vinegar
Gently mix

Eat immediately on your favorite crackers or toast sourdough  bread and brush it with olive oil and then cut the bread into 1 to 1.5 inch squares and put a pile of tapenade on each piece! Now the trick is to make a platter of these to serve to your guests, without eating so many it becomes your meal! You have been warned! Sometimes I do a big platter, and Sometimes I do individual plates – do what fits your party! Oh yes I think this stuff makes a wonderful sandwich – a thick layer of tapenade between two slices of toasted sourdough! – Yum!