O’Neill Park Interpretive Center, Trabuco Canyon, California

September 22, 2019

Today was a perfect day to be outdoors so my son and I filled our water bottles and went to ride our bikes. O’Neill park is nearby and provides easy, paved roads if we want an easy ride, or difficult, unpaved inclining trails if we’d rather suffer. 😊

We chose a mix of easy and some challenging road for our 1 hour plus ride.

We stopped by the play ground and noticed that the Nature/Interpretive Center was open. We frequent this place but never saw the exhibit open.

It’s small but it provided lots of things kids and adults can learn from and some activities for kids too.

If you’re around the area, come by for a quick visit. http://www.ocparks.com/parks/oneill/


Paw prints
Mountain lion display
Little mammals
Deer family and a fox
Badger and foxes

Thermomix Peach Pie

Peaches! 🍑

It is one of the fruits that, to me, embodies SUMMER (along with my other summer favorite, blueberries). And now that Summer 2019 is coming to an end (my son went back to school today, 5th grade!) I’d like to share an easy Peach Pie recipe with you.

You could use store bought dough for the crust but making it is easy if you have a few minutes to spare.

I recommend using peaches that are somewhat soft when you press them and those that have their “shoulders” wrinkled slightly and “dropped” already. They are the most flavorful ones, plus, they peel easily.

Roll out the bigger crust to fit the bottom of a 9” pie plate

This crust recipe comes together really fast as I use the Thermomix, however the procedure on how to make it without the Thermomix follows.

Ingredients for 2 crusts:

11 oz all purpose flour

5 oz cold butter, cut into pieces

1 teaspoon salt

4 oz ice cold water


Place all ingredients into the Thermomix bowl and mix 20 seconds, speed 4.

*To make the crust without the Thermomix: Place flour, butter, and salt in a bowl and pinch together with your fingers until the mixture looks like sand. Add cold water and stir with a wooden spoon until dough comes together.*

Remove dough from the bowl, divide into 2 (one slightly larger than the other) and press gently into 2 disks.

Roll the bigger disk to fit the bottom of a pie plate. Press crust onto the pie plate, allowing a little bit to hang over the edges. Prick a few times with a fork. Cover with plastic wrap.

Roll the smaller one to a 10 inch round and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate both while we prepare the filling.

Peach Pie filling

Now we’ll make the filling.

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 6- 6 1/2 cups sliced peeled peaches
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice or nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1- 2 tablespoons butter
  • In a bowl, combine sugars; add peaches and toss gently. Cover and let stand for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight in the refrigerator. Drain peaches, reserving juice. 
  • In a small saucepan, combine the cornstarch, allspice or nutmeg, cinnamon and salt; stir in reserved juice. Bring to a boil; cook and stir constantly for a couple of minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in lemon juice and butter. Gently stir in peaches.
  • Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust. Carefully place the smaller half of the crust on top. Trim, seal and flute edges. Prick a few times with a fork. (Or you can make cutouts with small cookie cutters, make a lattice top, anything you like! Get fancy!
  • Bake at 400° for 50-60 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.
  • Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!!
  • Just baked!
    Can’t wait for it to cool. Yummy!

    The filling sets nicely once chilled.

    To check out the Thermomix, click on this link: https://shop.thermomix.com

    Ramakrishna Monastery

    Walkway to the Buddha
    Buddha and koi pond


    After leaving the Trabuco General Store, we went back past Oneill park, driving towards Ramakrishna Monastery.

    My mission: get some locally produced honey as I read that it helps with allergies. Cannot get any more local than this place!

    Driving away from Oneill, the monastery is going to be on your left. The little bridge upon entering the gate gives way to a narrow winding (with a couple of blind spot area) road, where there were signs to honk as you won’t see oncoming vehicles. You’ll catch a glimpse of the bee hives before entering another gate. At the end of the road lies the parking area. Then the exploration begins!!

    The monastery sits atop 40 acres of largely undeveloped rolling hills. The grounds of the monastery include a shrine, a shrine trail honoring the world’s major religions, and a bookstore.

    We walked the trail a little, however some parts were closed due to the recent rains. The views all around were just so beautiful! I could just sit here and let the day go by. 

    We checked out the bookstore before leaving and I got a couple of jars of the honey and a jar of bee pollen. The cashier was very nice, explaining that bee pollen can be bad for those with flower allergy so he wanted to make sure I was aware of that, as I mentioned I got the honey hoping it will help with allergies.

    Gorgeous views all over!
    So peaceful!

    Pay them a visit to see how serene and beautiful this place is!

    Address: 19961 Live Oak Canyon Rd, Trabuco Canyon, CA 92679

    Phone: (949) 858-0342

    Downtown Trabuco, California

    Trabuco General Store
    Old time feels…antique barber chairs.

    Downtown Trabuco,  California 


    Today, our son Enzo was invited to a friend’s birthday party at O’neill Regional Park campground. We usually go through the entance at Via Con Dios, which is close to our home, however the campgrounds are closer to the main entance at Trabuco Canyon Road.

    Because it was a drop off and pick up kind of party, we decided to see the immediate area, hoping we could go around and pick him up after, then head home together. 

    After dropping him off at the campground (TIP: We found out that O’Neill Park allows a 15 minute drop off with out having to pay the entrance fee), we went to the Trabuco General Store. I read about this place while researching the Holy Jim Trail. I didn’t realize we passed it on the way to the park’s entrance. If you’re are heading down from Rancho Santa Margarita towards the canyon, it is tucked at the corner on your right after you pass the narrow bridge, with Trabuco Elementary school on your left.

    I looked inside the store and even though it’s a small store, I’m sure you can find what you need in case you forgot something for when you are camping. I purchased a couple of bottles of Trabuco Salsa and a bottle of Trabuco Queso Blanco after looking at the merchandise offered.

    We asked the cashier what else is there to see in downtown Trabuco as we saw a water tank with a “Downtown Trabuco” sign by the parking lot. She said that there’s this grocery store, and Trabuco Oaks steak house (that will open later in the day) and that’s it! 😊 So much for trying to kill time!

    Downtown Trabuco

    Come visit this little place and make it a day trip by spending the rest of the day at the neighboring O’neill Regional Park! http://www.ocparks.com/parks/oneill/

    Trabuco Oaks Steak House


    Trabuco General Store Address: 31021 Trabuco Canyon Rd, Trabuco Canyon, CA 92679
    Tuesday 8AM–7:30PM
    Wednesday 8AM–7:30PM
    Thursday 8AM–7:30PM
    Friday 8AM–9PM
    Saturday 7:30AM–8PM
    Sunday 8AM–8PM
    Monday 8AM–7:30PM
    Phone: (949) 709-5960