Garden Veggies

Garden Veggies
Made into tile for my stove backsplash

Portland Rose Garden

Portland Rose Garden
Mike and my 2 youngest sons Ian and Leif

Grandson Michael's Birthday 2014 throwing water balloons

Grandson Michael's Birthday 2014 throwing water balloons
With son Beau, Grandson Luke and his mom Jennifer


I cut this out of a wedding line. I must take more pictures of her.

Monday, March 10, 2014


The islands have many people from various countries in South America.  Arepas come from Venezuela and Columbia.  Many restaurants, some called Apreparias, sell them here and you can buy them on the street from those little food carts.  Unfortunately, we have never eaten any of the local fair, but I did some research on Pinterest and made a batch.  You can't buy cornmeal here but Arepas are made from a fine, white cornmeal called Pan, which you can get in America but maybe not everywhere.  I don't know yet.  We have a young adult from Venezuela in our group who agreed to make them for our activity and demonstrate the process.
Our friend Adriana making Arepas

This is the Pan corn flour and the patties waiting for baking.  I was glad I could watch Adriana make them.  She had a bowl of water that she dipped her fingers in to smooth the tops and edges to make them beautiful.  Mine looked rough but they tasted just as good.  She first made a smooth round ball and then patted it to flatten to a little bigger than 1/2 inch and then smoothed the edges with the water.

This is a photo from Pinterest showing them baking on the dry griddle.  Adriana likes to do them in a frying pan with a lid and someone in the class likes to fry them with oil.  The first ones I made I used a little butter and we may have liked them better. 
These are some of the Arepas we made on the day of our activity, about 40.

The sky's the limit for stuffing them (photo from Pinterest).  We used Pulled Chicken some  refried beans, tomatoes, and guacamole.  I have been eating the leftovers heated in the microwave with some cheese and then adding sliced avocado and tomatoes, yumm.  If I could get pepper jack I would use that. When cutting them, after baking, it works best just to slice a pocket for filling.  Pinterest has everything imaginable made with them, including pizza crust that looked kinda good.  This would be an great alternative for the gluten intolerant.

In a medium glass mixing bowl add and microwave until warm:
2 1/2 C. water
1 1/4 tsp. salt
3 T. vegetable oil
2 C. Pan corn meal
Let sit for 5 minutes or so to let the meal absorb the water, knead a little and then form the patties.  Some recipes call for baking them for 15 minutes after browning on the stove, but if you put the lid on the pan and bake slowly turning often, I don't think it is necessary, but they can be reheated in the oven before serving.  The ideal is a crusty outside with a soft center.  Adriana makes up some dough and keeps it in the refrigerator and bakes them fresh what she wants to eat then, which sounds good to me.  They are very hearty and filling.

*Note:  When I made these for a crowd a couple of times after returning home I discovered that they are easier to serve without splitting.  I keep them warm in the oven after frying and when ready to serve I have my guests put a patty or two on their plate with a pile of pulled chicken on top with a choice of guacamole, sour cream and cilantro on top as desired.  The pulled chicken is a little tomato spicy so no salsa is necessary.  

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