Category Archives: Cocktails

Return To Granite Creek Vineyards and Block Six Catering

Well, it took us long enough but we finally made it back to Granite Creek Vineyard.  The last time that Mister and Missus Dear Friend’s joined us here was more than three years ago… WOW how time flies, right?  On our last adventure to this organic winery, we had some great food provided by Block Six Catering and on this outing, this was no exception.

Mrs. DF ordered the Hummus with Pita and Veggies, MMM, very good Hummus!

DH requested the Philly Cheese Gyro on Pita, stuffed with NY Strip Steak, Red onion Aioli, grilled Peppers, Tomatoes and Mixed Greens; oh, for sides some nice pickles, pepperoncini and a Pesto Pasta salad with Sundried Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives and we think that was a bit of Feta Cheese too.  There was enough for all four of us to share.

Of course, this go-around at the winery we bought a bottle of wine to share, WONDERFUL!  Superstition Gold is a nice crisp, clean easy drinking wine.  This wine pairs so well with just about anything.  Next visit, I’d like to try the Prairie Sun Pinot Gris.  You can order by the glass and keep the beautiful glass or go for it with a flight or tasting of five different wines.

But wait, there’s more!  Live music, featuring local artists that will entertain you during the “season”.  This week Pat Beary had his acoustic guitar and was softly playing in the back ground, what a perfect day!

On this fine blustery Spring day, we were informed that they were hosting their first wedding of the season!  That’s right, these beautiful grounds make the PERFECT setting for your nuptials.  They were setting up the event next to all the vines, so Mrs. DF and I didn’t get a chance to go looking around as we had hoped to, but there’s always next time!

As we were all leaving, DH noticed this basket …

… how thoughtful Granite Creek Vineyards!

I Found A New Wine

<Edit: WOW! One really should proof read when they are not tired! The title was “I Found A Wine Wine”, say what?!>

I was at the Green Grocer, aka Sprouts, today and something caught my eye …

A new wine!

Hatch Green Chile Wine

Well, I’m not too sure about this one, but we’ll see.

Taco Tuesday at Casa Grande Mexican Restaurant in Chino Valley Arizona

Okay, so we talked about Taco Tuesday out with friends before, but that was in Catalina, what about in Chino Valley Arizona?

We met Mister and Missus DF’s at Casa Grande Mexican Restaurant in Chino Valley for a second time.  The first was for Sunday breakfast, yes, I said breakfast and it was GOOD!  I didn’t get any photographs, because I did a face plant into my food before I could reach for my camera.  Not tonight though, Mrs. DF reminded me, “Where’s your camera? You forgot to take pictures on Sunday.”  Thank you Holly!

Taco Tuesday at Casa Grande Mexican Restaurant

Oh my GAWD!  Come on Man, for $3 you can have Carne Asada, Carnita, Fish or Shrimp tacos.  For $2 you can have Ground Beef, Chicken, and, ummm, I forget now, HA!  But there were I think 2 other choices for $2.  Oh, AND $2 Margaritas that weren’t bad.

Chicken Taco Salad at Casa Grande Mexican Restaurant

Also on our table were two salads, an Avocado Salad and a Chicken Taco Salad.  The Cilantro Ranch dressing was outstanding.  Make sure if you go to ask for the “secret stash” of the Green Salsa, muy caliente, but very tasty.

Cheesecake Chimi at Casa Grande Mexican Restaurant

Mrs. DF said that I needed to try the Cheesecake Chimi, oh baby!  GOOD!

We’ve already made a date for the four of us to meet at Casa Grande Mexican Restaurant again in two weeks!

Dinner Out With Friends At Carlota’s Authentic Mexican

My husband and I are not what you would call social butterflies, but we do get out on occasion.  Last night, we went for a second visit to Carlota’s Authentic Mexican in Catalina, it was Taco Tuesday Night.

What’s not to like!

You can have either a Ground Beef or Shredded Chicken Taco for $1.00 each, so long as you order a side dish, such as Guacamole, Sour Cream, Refried Beans, Rice or even a Side Salad.  Let’s not forgot the key component, the Salsa, DELISH!  I think we requested a refill 4 or 5 times, it’s that good.

One of our dining partners requested a Beef Taco, no cheese please, with a Salad as her side; it was HUGE!  It was loaded with all kinds of goodies, like sliced Avocado, Radishes, diced Tomatoes, sliced Cucumbers, Sweet Red Bell Peppers and her meal came out to $2.99 plus tax & tip.  Well, she did have a House Margarita, but I think that’s only $4 or so, still a great deal.

Carlota's Authentic Mexican $1 Taco and Chile Relleno as a side dish. DELISH!

For my husband and I, 2 Ground Beef Tacos (oh, btw, these are the hard shell tacos if you noticed) and a Chile Relleno.  Now, by ordering the Relleno, we really didn’t have to order a side to get our Tacos priced at a dollar each, but we like that combination.  I did ask for another side of Guacamole and Refried Beans, mostly `cuz I like them and Carlota’s makes their Beans with lard, no vegetarian here!  Our charming waiter also informed us that they had “any Mexican bottled beer” for $2.50, YEAH, I’ll have Dos Equis Amber, dos cervezas por favor, mi amigo!  Our tab was $26.xx including the tax and tip, and we were STUFFED!

Cheap and friendly, the best kind of night out with friends.  Thanks Terri, Bobbie, Dave and Terry, we really enjoyed ourselves.

Aloha Friday Lunch With An Old Friend

Gyotaku in Aikahi Park, Hawaii


… at Gyotaku in the Aikahi Park Shopping Center; very, very, VERY ONO!!  This is from their lunch special menu, Gyotaku Combination Bento 2, only $17.95, WOW, that’s a great value in Hawaii.  It comes with a small salad, which was delicious, but I had already eaten that by the time I got my senses about me to take a photo. Both DH and I ordered our two choices as the Misoyaki Salmon (cooked perfectly by the way) and Chicken Katsu (think uber crispy boneless fried Chicken).  They offer brown rice, if you must, rather than white rice.  For me, a Heineken light rounded out my meal, my husband is the designated driver for our crew, so none for him.

Now isn’t this a looker?  Quite a beautiful presentation in the lacquered bento box. Oh, and did I say everything was filling too, YUM!  We walked away with full stomachs after a long and leisurely afternoon with a friend, it was so good to see her again.

Happy Aloha Friday!

We’re Home!

We’re home in the Islands, back home in my beloved Hawaii Nei!  I have SOOOOOO been waiting for this.  We haven’t been back in three years, and were was our first stop?  Same as always,

Genki Sushi 

The last time that we went to Genki’s they did not serve any beer, nor could you BYOB.  What’s sushi without beer?  WELL!!  The Kapahulu store now has beer and wine; that makes me very happy.

I’ll check in with more later,

A hui hou, until we meet,


Mountain Village and Telluride Colorado

WOW WOW WOW, did I say WOW!  How beautiful.  This has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember, not sure why, but I guess because I’m from the middle of the Pacific Ocean and mountain towns intrigue me.

The drive through Arizona and then the Four Corners area is not what you would call necessarily pretty, but interesting never the less.  I spied an old time Seven Eleven store/Gas Station, DH said that he hadn’t seen one of those in years.  We saw several of them on this adventure, going through New Mexico.

DH indulged me and we stayed at The Inn at Lost Creek.  We had reserved a Studio Suite which has a fully equipped kitchenette, washer/dryer, EVERY THING!

If every you go to Telluride, I HIGHLY recommend this ski in/ski out hotel. Absolutely phenomenal, from the minute you pull up to the front door.  Top notch service, beautiful property, perfect location at the foot of the FREE gondola into Telluride or a number of chair lifts to the runs.

Salmon Salad @ Smak Bar

Now that's a Bloody Mary! We didn't order this, but can you see the garnish, a slider!

Now that’s a Bloody Mary! We didn’t order this, but can you see the garnish, a slider!

On our first night in town we had dinner at Smak Bar.

For me, a Salmon Salad that was terrific.  DH had a burger with a side salad rather than fries, good call.   That evening we simply strolled around Mountain Village.  Most of the restaurants and shops were closed; I asked around and it seems that folks take off and have their own vacations in October and return just before Thanksgiving.

Lobster Omelette @ The Inn at Lost Creek

Breakfast at our hotel was included and it’s wasn’t continental either.  There was a beautiful buffet with cold and hot cereal, scrambled eggs, real eggs, home fries, sausages, bacon, smoked salmon, assorted breads, juice, coffee OR you could order one item from their menu.  DH had the buffet and I the Lobster omelette, yum!

We took the gondola ride into Telluride to take a look see around on Day 2.  This takes you from one side of the mountain over to the other in about 15 minutes, and what a ride.  The views are stunning.

We walked around Telluride, just meandering, looking in shops, stopping in the parks and just sitting.  Lots of sitting, the elevation is over 9,000 feet, take your time walking.

Time for lunch.  We found Smuggler’s Brew Pub.  We ordered a BLT with fries and beautiful mixed green salad with Goat Cheese, Pears and Walnuts, we shared.  I did not know that DH liked Goat Cheese, I always thought that he didn’t, who knew.

The gondola ride into Mountain Village

The ride back to Mountain Village was just as impressive.

Dinner this evening was at La Pizzeria.  For the table to share was Lasagna Bolognese, a side salad and a Mushroom Pizza.  Delicious!  I ordered a glass of Sangiovese wine and my husband did something that I hadn’t seen him do in years, he took a sip and order one for himself.  Boy, he must have been really relaxed here, he doesn’t drink, well, enough to mention anyways, but he said it tasted just like the homemade wine his Uncle would make.

The public Hot Springs in Ouray Colorado

Ouray Colorado

Have you heard of it?  You probably haven’t, we hadn’t either, that is until watching a television program which inspired this whole trip.  Ouray is best known for their public Hot Springs, but I forgot our bathing suits, dang it!  The drive was gorgeous riding along the Rocky Mountains, capped in snow and the beautiful Fall Colors in the trees.  There had been some snow in the higher elevations just a few days prior.

We spent the better part of the late morning and early afternoon strolling along Main Street and window shopping.

But what was that?  Did I hear a stomach growl?  Our lunch stop this day was at Cavallo’s Restaurant, just in the nick of time too.  DH had a bowl (not a cup mind you) of Gumbo and a Chopped Salad; for me the Shrimp Remoulade Salad.  That bowl was a bit much, so I helped my husband finish that off, great stuff!

Majestic Rocky Mountains

Our drive back to Mountain Village was no less beautiful; we found this pull out to take photos.

The weather was starting to turn, so we decided that a nice cup of Chicken and Dumpling soup and a salad to share for dinner would do us fine.  I got take out from Tracks Café & Bar, conveniently just steps off the back porch of our hotel.  Perfect.  We snuggled up in our super comfortable room and drifted off to sleep.

We woke up the next morning to sleet and freezing rain.  This did not bode well for our travels.  We were off to Durango to visit with friends for the night, on our way back home; taking the “Million Dollar Highway”, a AAA recommended drive, BUT, not a great idea in this mess, maybe next time.  So we went the opposite direction and just as well, there was snow at 7,000 foot level, YIKES!  We don’t have four-wheel drive or snow tires and chains, but we made it in one piece and found our favorite hotel in Durango, the Best Western Mountain Shadows.

We had an early morning wake up and hit the wagon trail for home with supplies in hand of course.  The night before, we stopped in a grocery store and bought the makings of a very nice pasta salad, as well as some fruit for our planned lunch spot in Show Low Arizona.  We found the City Park during one of our previous travels and it serves as the best pit stop and break from driving for awhile.

Where too next is anyone’s guess.


It’s Friday, Have A Great Weekend!

… that is it say, Happy Aloha Friday, No work til Monday… get out there and ENJOY!

Kewalo Basin Harbor, Honolulu Hawaii

Kewalo Basin Harbor, Honolulu Hawaii


For Real?

I’m not sure if you all remember that I had made flavored Vodka… my adorable husband thought that I was nuts, but Missus DF in Prescott as well a few of our other friends enjoyed it. I used very inexpensive Vodka and added fresh Cherries as well as another batch with fresh Raspberries… NICE!

Flavored Whiskey

Well, I was poking around again at the local supermarket and I found flavored Whiskey. Can you see the price on it? HOLY COW! $28.99 for a little more than a quart of hooch. I’ll stick with making my own thanks.

A Blast From The Past

I didn't know this stuff was till being made!


I was poking around in the market (no, we don’t have to go to a State Liquor store here in the middle of the desert) and look what I found.  I had no idea that they still made this stuff.  So I bought a JUG  and you know what?  I kinda liked it as a wine spritzer.