Wednesday, October 31, 2012

COOKING WITH FRIENDS September 2012

The weekend after I returned from France in September was the weekend that we hosted our "gourmet" cooking group at our house.

Of course, I had to try out some recipes from my recent cooking tour in Provence.

Since the meal was at our house, Jim and I were responsible for the main course. I also made a few things to munch on while we enjoyed drinks before dinner.

It was a warm late Summer night and we were able to have drinks on our patio.

I made Cheese Sabl├ęs (crackers) and served them with Black Olive Tapenade, Tomato and Mozzarella Tapenade, and Breakfast Radishes, fresh from Farmer's Market.





The six of us laugh a lot when we are together, and this evening was no exception.







Arlene and Jim were just back from a road trip to Oregon. Their first course was a Green Salad with Oregon Blue Cheese ("imported" by them), fresh Pears, Candied Walnuts, and Red Grapes.


The perfect first course for our dinner!!!



Next was the main course: A Compote of Chicken and Duck, White Bean Gratin, and Provencal Roast Red Peppers stuffed with tomatoes, olives. 



While the first two courses were enjoyed by all, the real fun did not begin until Colesie and Frank served their homemade Candy Apples! They made six different-flavored apples so that each of us could have a different taste.


Rather than going with the "program," we decided to share and to let Colesie, with the help of Jim, do the slicing. The slicing turned out to be more of a challenge than expected because the caramel shell was not cooperative to being cut through.




Even funnier was the eating of the apples because our teeth got stuck in the caramel. I will spare you the video that Jim shot of me trying to open my mouth and being unable to.




 As always, it was a wonderful evening with longtime special friends...can't wait to the next one which is not scheduled until early 2013.




Saturday, October 13, 2012

Another year; another Swim A Mile



Once again, I swam the Swim-A-Mile for Women with Cancer, a benefit for the Women's Cancer Resource Center (WCRC) in Oakland, California. The swim took place at Mills College.





This was my 15th year to do the swim and also my personal celebration of 15 years since my breast cancer diagnosis.

This year, I outdid myself in several ways:

Not only did I complete the swim, sharing a lane with my dear friend, Harriet, but I raised (so far) $3536 and swam in Memory of 25 people and in Honor of another 48 people.



I feel honored to have been supported by so many friends and family who sponsored my swim and provided so much money to assist the Women's Cancer Resource Center in their mission to provide support and research resources to women with cancer.  WCRC is unique in the services it provides and is a local (to me) organization.

This year, Janet, Harriet's daughter and my special friend, who is living with metastatic breast cancer, came along to cheer us on. She also took photos and just hung out with us afterwards.


















There are very few charity sports events that consist of just swimming. Since swimming is my favorite sport, and the one in which I feel most confident, being able to do the Swim-A-Mile has an additional appeal to me.

It's a fun event that is not competitive. I prefer to swim the entire 72 laps straight through, but many take breaks, and some even walk it...a daunting effort for sure.

This group of three where doing leapfrogs over one another on each length of the pool they swam!!!




Of course, there was lots of good food to enjoy after our swim.







And, the weather gods were with us, providing us with a warm sunny day. After our swim, we spent several hours sitting on the lawn, eating and visiting.



Throughout the two days of the Swim-A-Mile, there was lots of music and other entertainment. Sometimes, people simply could not resist dancing on the pool deck.



Thank you to all of you who sponsored my swim and I look forward to doing it again next year.

Here are the names of all those for whom I swam.