Tuesday, February 21, 2017

8/52: Birthdays and Holidays

It was nice to have a three day weekend this past weekend!  Our days are getting longer and the sun is beginning to stream into the West Seattle windows again.  We are shedding the winter blues.

We celebrated my second dad, Kenny's birthday with a wonderful dinner at 13 coins.  As always, the food and portions were amazing.

The rest of the long weekend was spent at home aside from the 10 miles in total that we walked through Lincoln Park, Saturday, Sunday and Monday!


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Menu Plan Monday: February 21-23rd, 2017

Welcome to Monday, again!  Is everyone ready for the week ahead?

I've been so grateful the last few weeks. We've had a bit of a transportation/scheduling "issue". Nothing major, and only temporary, but it's made me realize how important it is to have a plan.  Even more important is to have a good meal prep plan.  When you don't have a lot of time in the evening and you still want to make a healthy meal, having a menu plan is essential.  I also recommend having a well stocked pantry and freezer and/or an inventory of what is on hand.  It will save you time and money!

Remember to see Laura's site for more planning tips!


MONDAY: President's Day Holiday!  Dinner on the train heading back to Portland
TUESDAY:  Our last "Movie Night" before the Oscars on Sunday.  A burger, here?
WEDNESDAY: Weight Watchers Chicken Fettucine Alfredo with Salad
THURSDAY: Grilled Flank Steak with Asparagus

Friday, February 17, 2017

Old Photo Friday: Happy Birthday, Kenny

WHO: Kenny Hanselman (my second Dad)
WHEN: 1981
WHAT: Playing the bass, gigging with a band, probably in Eugene, OR

Happy 65th birthday to my second Dad, Kenny! 


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Recipe of the Week: Regional American Food Week 3 - Northeastern Apple Butter

The landing point of immigrants and the birthplace of our nation, the Northeastern region is rich in culture and historical cuisine.  The census bureau defines the Northeastern region as nine states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

When the pilgrims first landed in 1620, they encountered a landscape full of unfamiliar foods. Native Americans taught the pilgrims to effectively utilize fishing and farming tactics to survive. The culinary outcome led to beans, lobster stews, and succotash dishes, that have helped define this regions cuisine.

By the 19th century, Irish and Italian immigrants would add boiled dinners, pasta, and bread to the melting pot.

In Pennsylvania, Italian immigrants created the famous Philly cheese steak and in New York City, Jewish settlers created cured meats like pastrami for corned beef.  Americans of German descent developed warm comforting foods like, chicken pot pie and popovers.

The roots of apple butter lie in Belgium and Germany, conceived during the middle ages when monasteries with large fruit yards appeared.  The production of apple butter was a perfect way to conserve the fruit in colonial America, well into the 19th century.

This product contains no actual dairy butter; the term butter refers only to the butter-like thick consistency and is used primarily as a spread on bread.


Apple Butter - In Slow Cooker


6 1/2 pounds apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground gloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract


Fill a slow cooker with diced apples, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Cover and cook on low for 10 hours, stirring occasionally, until mix is thick and dark brown. Stir in vanilla and continue to cook for another 2 hours.

Use an immersion blender to puree the apple butter until smooth.

Pack into small, freezer safe containers.  Store in refrigerator for up to two weeks or freezer until use.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

7/52: Back to Seattle

I finally made it back to Seattle last Friday night...but just barely.  Had it not been for Brian and I driving back from Portland, I'm not sure how I would have gotten home.  With all the torrential rains this past week, a mudslide between Portland and Seattle halted Amtrak trains for 48 hours. Friday trains were cancelled with no alternate transportation.

Then, to make matters worse, the traffic northbound on I-5 Friday night was horrendous. We decided to take a little detour and ended up at Red Wind Casino east of Olympia.  We let the traffic die down, ate an amazing dinner and came home with lots of money in our pockets.  For a spur of the moment side-trip...we had one of the best Friday night date night adventures....EVER!

The rest of the weekend was spent quietly at home. We took a 3 mile walk on Saturday morning and I planted some spring flowers on Sunday, despite the fact that Seattle had 6 inches of snow less than a week ago....I felt that it is time to release Spring!