Saturday, December 13, 2014

Three Rivers Brewery is Top Notch!

Three Rivers Brewery

111 East Main Street
Farmington, New Mexico, 87401

Phone: (505) 325-6605

We'd passed by Three Rivers many times, but always on the way to somewhere else.  This time though, we made sure to stop and were so glad we did; amazing atmosphere, food and staff.  JJ, our waitress, is a firecracker personality; so ask for her when you go to dine in.  While you can dine in the bar area; there is a separate restaurant part in the next room; plenty of seating (tables, small and large booths).

Three Rivers has an eight page menu; something for everyone's tastes! We started off with the Onion Rings appetizer; crunchy goodness with a homemade buttermilk ranch dressing. We so wanted to order another round of onion rings, but needed to keep room for the main meals.

One of the menu pages is "Daily Specials"; we were there on a Monday, so I started with a cup of the Baked Potato soup; luscious, packed with potatoes, bacon and chives. 

The sandwich for the day was the Smokehouse Cubano; tender pork, onion, pickle, on pressed bread; and Yes!  I ordered bacon for it which enhanced the whole experience.

I'd met some folks from Farmington awhile back, who had highly recommended Three Rivers Brewery; and told us to try the Drunken Steak Sandwich.  This was hubby's main meal, but I had a bite; oh my goodness, so tender and juicy!!!  This definitely hit the top of the awesomeness scale.

Two relatives had joined us for lunch; one had the Garden Burger with a side of black beans; she surely raved about those beans, but enjoyed the burger too. 

The other had a half pound burger special (2 - 1/4 pound burgers stacked) with more onion rings); nothing left on her plate, so you know it was that good!

Now I had already perused the dessert menu and saw that Tres Leches cake was listed; here was my chance to finally try this cake out.  I only ate half my sandwich to make sure I had room for this treat.  The cake is light with a, not unexpected, milky taste; it was almost like a palette cleanser and yummy treat all wrapped up into one.  Definitely would have this cake again!

If you're in the Farmington, New Mexico area and want a unique dining experience, Three Rivers Brewery has what it takes...atmosphere, friendly staff, awesome food.

Mary Cokenour

Three Rivers Eatery-Brewhouse on Urbanspoon

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Shari Rene's "The Studio-Coffee House"

"The Studio-Coffee House"

64 West 200 South
Monticello, Utah, 84535

Phone: (435) 459-9399


Shari Rene' (aka Shari Griffin); a renowned San Juan County artist, formerly from Oregon, loves her art, and loves serving up fresh made coffees, teas, hot chocolates, muffins and bagels to visitors of her newest indulgence shop, "The Studio-Coffee House".  It is so named due to the fact that she also conducts art classes; so the best of both her worlds is offered to customers.

Shari Rene with her employee, Mary are waiting to give you friendly service!

 The building is "country cute" and the interior is "country comfort"; large windows bring in the sunshine; a couch in front of the fireplace speaks of warmth and cozy.  Shari Rene's artwork adorns the walls and table tops; the menus on chalk boards over the kitchen counter.

Now for the most important part, well for me anyway; the food and beverages; as I stated before, the beverages are fresh made, no premixed powders and just add water or milk.  The first is Chai Tea Latte, made from a freshly brewed chai tea and topped off with steamed milk; a dash, alright, a huge dash of cinnamon to top it off.  I nursed this baby, it was so, so delicious!

My friend ordered a hot chocolate with espresso shot; again, chocolate powder cooked with real milk, topped with whipped cream, real liquid chocolate so thick, it cannot be pumped out, but spooned out; and a dash of cocoa powder.  Opinion; my friend was very happy with her choice.

Newest item on the menu are bagels (blueberry, plain and everything); real wood fired bagels (partially baked, shipped in, then Shari Rene finishes them off in the her oven); toasted up perfectly and smeared with cream cheese.  Oh I was in bagel heaven; I haven't had a real, delicious bagel since leaving the East coast, and this did it for me!  I did request that Shari bring in cinnamon raisin (we both had the blueberry), since that is the perfect comfort bagel with cream cheese; in my opinion of course.  Just a suggestion, but I sure do hope she does it.

The Studio-Coffee House just opened in September and the current days of operation are Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  However Shari Rene announced that, with the addition of new employees, hours and days will be added on; call the phone number to make sure it's open before you go for your hot beverage fix.  This place is going to be a great boon for locals and visitors alike; but I do hope not so busy that my Chai Tea Latte and bagel with cream cheese are sold out before I can get them.

Mary Cokenour

Shari Rene "the Studio-Coffee House" on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Thirty-One Bags, A Product Review.


Main Website:

Sue Morrell - Consultant (my area)

Phone: (435) 587-2728

Her Website:

The first time I was invited to a Thirty-One party; I wasn't too sure what to expect.  I was used to Tupperware and Pampered Chef parties; I enjoy cooking, these belonged to my genre.  The party was hosted by a friend, so how could I refuse, right?  Sue Morrell was the consultant; she's a sweet lady, very knowledgeable about the products she sells, and passionate about them too.

At this party (I've been to three altogether now), I purchased a "Zip Top Organizing Tote" for my mother; she loves to crochet, so this would be perfect for her.  I was even able to get it engraved with her name on it; that's right, stitched engraving is available.  Besides names, you can get logos which is great for the kids going off to college; the prices depend on what you have engraved, but it's very reasonable.  I ended up purchasing one of these totes for myself, and my current quilting project is at my fingertips; all the pockets around the outside of the tote keeps me well organized!

With my travel blog, I do a lot of driving, hiking and climbing to get to the best sites, and take primo photographs.  I don't have the option of being disorganized or weighed down; so Thirty-One helped me solve these problems easily.  To keep my maps, notepaper and pens together; I purchased the "On a Stroll Bag".  Normally this bag can be used by a mom/dad with a child's stroller; it clips on easily and has pockets galore!  I simply clipped mine to the back of my head rest, it hangs down the back of my seat; when I need a particular map, it's right there where I want it.  Two other items are the "Bring a Bottle Thermal" which keeps a cold bottle of water cold to cool for about three hours.  If I put a frozen bottle of water inside, I'm looking at cold water for about 5 hours.  The "Vary You Backpack Purse" holds everything I need with two huge pockets and several small too.  I have packed up this baby with so much stuff (camera, wallet, snacks, first aid kit, etc) and it still doesn't weigh me down!  The "Bring a Bottle Thermal" has a utility clip which attaches easily to a metal ring on my backpack; leaving my hands free.

Here comes my all time favorite item, the "Fresh Market Thermal"; I was so impressed with this bag that I ended up buying another one.   It packs a lot of packaged items inside; put frozen ones on the bottom, dairy or must-keep-cold- items on the top; zipper it up and the items stay as they should be for hours.  Story: I went to Moab (an hour away) and did a bit of shopping at the local City Market, packed up my bags, but instead of going immediately home, I got delayed.  Anyway, the items were in my bags for about five hours; the frozen was still frozen, the cold items were still cold!!! 

If I'm buying ice cream, that's always a tough one to keep frozen properly; pack a few of those frozen thermal packs in the "Fresh Market Thermal", add the rest of your items inside; the ice cream stays perfect!  The ends of the bag snap onto the side, so if you need more space, simply unsnap and open it up wider.  It folds easily for storage in the trunk of your vehicle, or stack them onto a shelf.

I have to admit, at first I was a little thrown by the prices; but these are quality bags and have withstood my abuse of them well.  Every month there are special deals, and discounted items, so I was able to get other items at a well reduced price.  So, if you're in my area, give Sue Morrell a call and set up a party; if not, go to Thirty-One's website (listed above) and find a consultant in your area.

Mary Cokenour

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

This Shrimp Recipe is Light and Easy.

So, there I was at the City Market in Cortez, Colorado picking up the ingredients to make an Alfredo sauce. I had already purchased pappardelle elsewhere; now I wanted to combine it with shrimp, broccoli, sugar snap peas and cover it all in Alfredo sauce. That was the plan, until I got home and decided, "I don't want Alfredo sauce, I want something different!"  Now what, was the question indeed.

I still wanted the shrimp, definitely the sugar snap peas, but broccoli and pasta just didn't seem enticing at the moment.  Digging around the fridge, I found a red bell pepper and diced it up; in the pantry I found a jar of chopped shitaki and oyster mushrooms in brine (drained that off).  Hmm, now what, I thought, perhaps a stir fry?  Rice, sigh, rice is a bore; but wait, instead of water, why not cook it in broth and soy sauce...and a new plan was finally born.

The dish I ended up with was so light and yet, packed with flavor; it was hard not to eat the entire skillet full.  It was also very, very easy to put together.  The ingredients in the skillet finished cooking up just as the rice was done; no waiting for one, while the other got cold.  I love when a plan, turns into a plan which ends up delicious!  Oh, the other ingredients I had purchased to make an Alfredo; you know I'll come up with something else eventually.

Shrimp, Vegetables Over Rice


2 Tbsp. canola oil
½ cup diced red bell peppers
1 cup chopped mixture of shitake and oyster mushrooms
½ lb. sugar snap peas
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Ingredients for the Rice:

1 cup rice (white, long grain wild, brown)
1 Tbsp. butter (or butter substitute)
1 and ¾ cups vegetable broth
¼ cup soy sauce



In a medium saucepan, on high heat, bring the rice, butter, broth and soy sauce to a boil.  Stir, reduce heat to low, cover, let simmer for 15 minutes.  Turn off heat, uncover and fluff up rice; any excess moisture will evaporate.


While rice is simmering, heat the oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat; add in bell peppers, mushrooms, snap peas, garlic powder and ginger; mix and cook for 3 minutes.  Add in shrimp, cook for 5 minutes; shrimp will begin turning pink, stir in lemon juice, cover and remove from heat.  Let mixture settle for 3 minutes; serve over rice.

Makes four servings.

Mary Cokenour

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tillamook Expands Products into the Freezer.



Located in Tillamook County, Oregon; this dairy co-op has been providing quality dairy products since its founding in the 1800s.  Cheese, butter, sour cream and yogurt can be found in any market's (large or small) dairy aisle.  Now Tillamook has jumped from merely cold products to the land of ice and snow....the freezer section.  That's right, Tillamook now has ice cream products and they are so decadently good, you won't mind the sinfulness of it at all.

Now while our local market is not carrying the Tillabars yet, it does have half gallon cartons of flavors like Banana Split, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Oregon Strawberry and so many more (Tillamook has 28 flavors)!  White Chocolate Raspberry Yum and Mountain Huckleberry are two flavors that sit in my freezer; we just can't be without them!  Usually, I find that fruit sometimes overwhelms the entire flavor of an ice cream product, but not with these.  Instead, the raspberry enhances the rich white chocolate and the huckleberry brings out the vanilla goodness.  These ice creams are not just rich, but smooth in texture; a few spoonfuls go a long way in satisfying the palate.

These ice creams are not just excellent alone, but add them to a warm dessert, such as my Glazed Donut Bread Pudding and heaven is now in your dessert bowl!

This product is made in the USA; is a high quality product and once you try any of the flavors, you'll be in ice cream love with it too.

Mary Cokenour

Monday, November 24, 2014; A Review by my Dogs.

Disclaimer: The taste testing done for this review was done by my dogs. The opinions expressed within are solely based upon how fast they ate the treats, who grabbed what toy, and the condition of said toys currently. In no way did I influence their opinions by tasting the dog treats myself. That's a big, "Oh hell no!" from me.

Phone: (855) 520-BARK (2275)


I saw so many ads about this home delivery system for dogs on Facebook; and I decided to try it out.  There are four sizes of dog; less than 10 lbs., 10-20 lbs., 20-50 lbs. and over 50 lbs.; you pick the package deal (monthly, six months, 18 months); and there are discounts for multiple dogs.  Even though I have multiple dogs, I purchased for one; let them share and see what they all think of it before I go for the gusto!

One of the most important issues of Barkbox; 10 percent of all profits goes directly to animal rescue shelters.  The more you buy, the more the company profits, the more money goes towards saving animal lives.  I most certainly agree with this!

What kind of quality are the treats and toys?  Here is a direct quote from the company "Frequently Asked Questions" guide:


Where are items made? Are they safe for my pup?

Last Updated: Jul 30, 2014 03:45PM EDT
We totally understand your concern for your pups health, we feel the same way! We have extremely high standards for all of the edible items we select for the boxes. All treats are sourced from the USA and Canada, and chews are sourced from the USA, Canada, South America, Australia and New Zealand. Rest assured, we would never send items we would not give our own very spoiled pups.

Here are our head product tester Scout's standards when testing edible items: Minimal processing; no glycerin whenever possible; wheat, gluten, soy, corn, filler-free whenever possible; organic whenever possible. We are moving toward limited, if not single, ingredient products.

Our toys, grooming products, and hygiene products are sourced from around the world and are all approved by our office dog product testers. We want everything we include in BarkBox to be high quality and safe and the thorough testing we do on our own dogs allows us to feel confident about the standard of quality of goods manufactured here or abroad.


I receive an email every time a box is shipped out, so I know when to expect it.  When I received the first box, I opened it up, arranged the items and let the dogs sniff it up.  My Australian Shepherd, Tippy, pulled the "Loopies Fish Bones Toy" out of the box and began playing with it immediately.  I was a bit worried as all the dogs usually tear open these type of toys and pull the squeaky noise maker out.  It's been two months now, and the toy is still intact!  In fact, the "Mummy Squeeky Toy" that came in the special Halloween box, is still intact too.  They love these toys!!!

 Now here is the really fun part; my dogs know the Barkbox.  Whenever I pick it up from the post office, as soon as I bring it inside the house; there is a flurry of excitement!  They're jumping up and down, trying to knock it out of my hands, so they can get to the treats and toys inside.  Of course, I portion out the treats daily; I'm not having any of them get sick by pigging out.   Each box comes with a description card of the items; reorder codes are printed if you want to special order any of the items.

Depending on the plan you purchase, full payment is made via credit card.  You can easily change your plan, and receive back a refund if you decide not to get the monthly shipments anymore.  But why would you do that!?!

I'm a good mom to my four legged children; the snacks are healthy, the toys are safe; what else could I ask for?  Try out for your furry children, and see what they think.

Mary Cokenour

Friday, November 21, 2014

Mexican Rancher's Eggs, My Way.

Rancher's Eggs, or Huevos Rancheros in Spanish, has become a common breakfast item on the menus of many Southwestern restaurants. This dish, traditionally a large, mid-morning meal on rural Mexican farms, originated in northern Mexico; bringing it over the border into the southwestern United Stated was not unexpected. The basic dish consists of fried eggs served upon lightly fried corn tortillas, topped with a tomato-chili sauce. Refried beans, Mexican-style rice, slices of avocado or guacamole are usual accompaniments, but salsa, cheese and sour cream are becoming more common in USA located restaurants.

So, what do you do when you have extra shredded potatoes, no tortillas, and don't want to run out to the local store? You make do with what you have and create Huevos Rancheros in your own style!

Huevos Rancheros Skillet


2 Tbsp. butter; divided in half
1 cup shredded potatoes
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup diced ham
2 eggs
¼ cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (or Mexican mix)
¼ cup salsa (mild, medium or hot dependent on taste)
1 buttermilk biscuit
1 Tbsp.  butter, divided in half


In a 10 inch skillet, medium-high heat, melt one tablespoon butter; spread shredded potatoes inside pan and cook for 5-7 minutes; till potatoes begin to brown.  Sprinkle black pepper, salt and diced ham over potatoes.  Carefully lift potatoes, add one tablespoon butter into pan before flipping potatoes over; cook another 5-7 minutes.

In a smaller skillet, prepare eggs over easy; do not break yokes.  Carefully place eggs over browned potatoes; spread cheese all.  Turn heat off, place cover on skillet to allow cheese to melt quickly and evenly.  Slid onto plate; pour salsa over middle.

Cut buttermilk biscuit in half; lightly toast and spread a half tablespoon of butter over each.

Makes one serving.

Mary Cokenour

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Turkey or Chicken, This Stir Fry Works for Both.

Whenever I can find turkey tenderloins on sale, I buy up several packages which go towards turkey paprikash, tetrazzini, pasta bake, pot pie, even soup.  This time I wanted to do a little twist on the usual chicken stir fry, but with turkey instead.

Turkey Noodle Stir Fry


2 lbs. turkey tenderloin, cut into 1/4” medallions
1 tsp. Chinese Five Spice powder
1 tsp. cornstarch
4 Tbsp. canola oil, divided in half
3 (3 oz.) packages chicken flavored Ramen noodles
4 cups water
1 (12 oz.) package frozen mixed vegetables, defrosted
1 (15 oz.) can straw mushrooms, drained
½ cup Hoisin sauce




In a large bowl, combine the turkey with the five spice powder and cornstarch.  Heat two tablespoons of oil, medium-high heat, in a Wok or large skillet; brown the turkey until no longer pink; remove.


Prepare the noodles according to package directions, in the same Wok or skillet, using only four cups of water plus the mixed vegetables; drain any excess liquid, if any, when finished cooking; remove.


Heat remaining two tablespoons of oil, medium-high heat, in same Wok or skillet; pan fry the noodle/vegetable mixture, plus the straw mushrooms, for five minutes.  Add in the browned turkey plus Hoisin sauce; mix thoroughly and let cook another five minutes.
Straw Mushrooms


Makes 8 servings.

Mary Cokenour