Monday, July 30, 2007

Recipe of the Week-Thai Shrimp with Coconut Almond Rice

Thai Shrimp with Coconut-Almond Rice

I found this recipe a few months ago courtesy of the Seattle P-I newspaper. It's super easy and Sandra and I have been eating it about every other week. Sandra calls it her new favorite dish (even Brian liked it). Check it out!

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: less than 5 minutes, plus rice and almonds

1 cup jasmine rice


Light coconut milk

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 pound shelled and deveined medium shrimp

1/3 cup Thai-style chili sauce

1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds

Chopped green onions for garnish

Prepare rice according to package directions, replacing half the water called for on package with light coconut milk.

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet on medium until hot. Add shrimp and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until pink. Add chili sauce and stir until heated through. Stir almonds into cooked rice and top with shrimp mixture. Garnish with onions.


Brian came down on Saturday after I got home from the Relay for Life and helped me stay awake (having had little sleep at the relay). We drove out to Hoffman Farms for fresh corn, Walla Walla onions and just down the road – to my egg lady – who has the best farm eggs in Beaverton.

We also went to Ponzi Vineyards for an impromptu wine tasting and I took this photo of Brian. The Ponzi tasting room is literally 3 miles from our front door, so it’s nice to swing in their every once in awhile and check out their new wines.

On Sunday, we took MAX down to Tom McCall Waterfront Park to the 2007 Oregon Brewers Festival held the last full weekend in July for the past 20 years. Although I don’t like beer, there was a honey-wheat made by a Eugene Brewery that was really nice. My favorite was the Razelberry from Portland’s Raccoon Lodge.

Brian and I then walked along the waterfront down to Three Degrees and had a wonderful cheese plate and a really nice glass of chardonnay. Brian loves the marina and usually visits it every trip to Portland.


It’s a wonderful summer in Portland!

Relay For Life


This past weekend I had the opportunity to participate in my first Relay for Life, sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Relay For Life is a fun-filled overnight event designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money for research and programs of our local American Cancer Society. During the event, teams of people gathered at Lane Community College and took turns walking or running laps. Each team tries to keep at least one team member on the track at all times.


It’s more that just a walk around a track, the relay is a time to celebrate those who have battled or are battling cancer and to remember those who we have lost to this disease.

MY DAD WALKED FOR TEAM ISLER With over 170 teams, the track was always packed!

I dedicated my first Relay for Life to my boss and mentor, Karen Jean Weight, who died April 26th of ovarian cancer.

I walked from midnight to 12:30AM and then from 1-2:00 AM.

This year’s theme was “Field of Dreams” and our tent site was chosen as the best for our use of the theme. One of our team member’s father spent many hours designing a baseball field with cabbage patch dolls that looked like a real baseball game. The field had a scoreboard and when it got dark, we had lights that looked like real stadium lights. It was incredible. Thanks, Bob!

Our winning "Field of Dreams" Tent Site Co-Captains, Phyllis and Nan along with a cardboard cut-out of honorary Captain, Pat Cellers who died of cancer this past spring.

One of the most memorable events of the 24 hours was the luminaria ceremony. The luminaria Ceremony of Hope held after dark is to honor cancer survivors and to remember loved ones lost to cancer. The luminaria candles line the track and are left burning throughout the night to remind participants of the incredible importance of their contributions.

I was so glad that I found the luminary that I made for Karen and was able to take a picture of it because there were so many luminaries lining the track. I also found the two luminaries my Dad did for his good friends, Bobby and Crowe.

Our team raised close to $8,000 this year and the entire Eugene/Springfield relay raised about $10,000 over the goal of $640,000.

I am very much looking forward to next years relay!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Recipe of the Week - Five Spice Coconut Chicken

I found this recipe in the August 2007 Everyday with Rachael Ray and tried it out Wednesday night. I'd never cooked with Chinese 5 Spice before and it actually has a very unique flavor. I'd like to try it out on pork. Very good! As Rachael says, "YUMMO".


1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut milk

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon honey

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lime juice

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder

1 teaspoon salt

8 boneless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds total), pounded flat

1/2 pound sugar snap peas

Cooked white rice, for serving


1. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon coconut milk, 1 teaspoon honey and 1 teaspoon lime juice. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the remaining 1/3 cup coconut milk, 2 tablespoons honey and 1 tablespoon lime juice with the soy sauce, garlic, five-spice powder and salt. Add the chicken thighs, coating well. Marinate for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the sugar snap peas and cook for 1 minute; drain. Transfer to a medium bowl and toss with the reserved coconut-honey dressing.
4. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium. Grill the chicken thighs for about 4 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Serve with the sugar snap peas and rice.

Medicare Party

(click on invite to make larger)

We spent part of the weekend in my hometown of Springfield last weekend to attend the Medicare Party (Jimmy Willis and Rosemary Brady’s birthday’s). Jimmy and his wife, Linda host legendary parties.

Brian and Brady

Brian and Steve Suter

Sandra, Brian and Steve

Osano, Rosemary, Mac and Bonnie

Dave, Jimmy and Brady

They have a great mix of friends and everybody has a good time. The food was wonderful (pulled pork, Yoshida chicken thighs, pasta salad with shrimp) and Linda made two homemade cakes (chocolate and carrot).

Jimmy and Linda's backyard

Linda's cakes! YUMMY!

You can’t have too much fun… just ask Brady-Mon!


Willamette Valley Vineyard

Sandra, Brian and I stopped by Willamette Valley Vineyard last Saturday on our way to Springfield for the Medicare Party (Jimmy and Rosemary’s b-day’s).

The winery is perched high on the hills over-looking the Willamette Valley south of Salem, along I-5. The views are gorgeous! Unfortunately it was very cloudy and humid, but we could still get a few good pictures out on their deck.

We each had a part complimentary/part reserve tasting. The Estate and Reserve chardonnays were probably my favorite (Sandra and I each bought a bottle) and the Estate and Willamette Valley Pinot’s were vibrant with aromas of black cherries, spice, and brown sugar.

I can’t believe in all the years the winery has been there that none of us has ever stopped in for a tasting. I think we will definitely be back!


Friday, July 20, 2007

You are an Encouraging Creator

There's hope for me yet!

Check this out...

I thought this was really interesting. Take the time (10-15 minutes) to test your personality DNA

Thursday, July 19, 2007

My Guy

In honor of Brian, who isn’t having a great week, I thought I’d share some of my favorite “Brian” photos displaying times of great happiness.

Brian's Birthday, September 2006

Brian in Kerry's backyard, April 2007

Brian @ Safeco Field, Summer 2005

Brian's tomato crop, Summer 2005

Brian and his Mom, April 2007

Brian @ Safeco Field, January 2007

Brian in local joint on Maui, April 2006

Brian @ Boston Harbor, Washington, Winter 2007

Theodore Roosevelt in a speech given in Paris at the Sorbonne in 1910 said:

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errors and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

I love you, Brian!


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Book #4 - "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan"

In honor of my boss Karen, who died of ovarian cancer in April, I will begin book #4 of the year tonight (I know I am behind my goal of 10 books in 2007). The book is Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. Karen had many book recommendations over the years used to enlighten and inform those around her. This was the last book she recommended and she bought it and mailed me a copy from North Carolina shortly before her death. Thank you Karen, for your many gifts. I look forward to reading this book.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Chamber's Bay Walk #2

Sunday morning Brian and I walked Chamber’s Bay (Grandview and Soundview Trail - 3 1/4 miles) for the second time together. Whew! This walk really kicks my butt.

Located in the northern part of the Chambers Creek Properties, Soundview Trail connects to both ends of Grandview Trail making the two trails walkable as a loop. The trail winds from Cirque Plaza across the northern edge of the Chambers Creek Properties then descends through a portion of Chambers Bay golf course to the site of the future Central Meadow. Here the trail turns to take you back up the hill to meet with Grandview Trail.

What was different about Sunday’s walk was that it was the first time I have walked the loop since the Chamber’s Bay Golf Course opened in mid-June. It’s kind of scary thinking that you might get nailed in the head by a golf ball, but fortunately we didn’t hear anyone yelling “fore”. The course is beautiful and highly rated with this walking trail right through the heart of it - an amazing feat.

Despite it being humid and hazy, we finished with smiles on our faces!


Bastille Day - Saturday in Edmonds

Whenever our “spirits” get down, Brian and I always find a way to get up to Edmonds, Washington. Having missed our first Edmonds 4th of July in three years our “spirits” really needed a lift so on Saturday we headed up to Edmonds to see what’s new.

Brian and I wanted to start our trip off with breakfast at the Mountlake Terrace “Terrace CafĂ©”, but we were heartbroken when we discovered that it was closed. Instead, we drove right to Edmonds and had a wonderful breakfast at the Pancake Haus. For over 30 years, this place has been serving up the biggest variety of pancakes around. YUMMY!

We walked about 6 blocks down to the ferry terminal and took the Edmonds/Kingston ferry across the Puget Sound to the small town of Kingston (about a 30 minute crossing). They have a cute little Saturday Farmer’s Market right at the ferry terminal. We didn’t buy anything, but we always enjoy looking at the various arts/crafts and local food (a taste of fudge and a bite of smoked salmon). We had a microbrew at the Main Street Ale House before crossing back over to Edmonds.

Edmonds is a quaint little city right on the Puget Sound with views of the Olympic Mountains. Logger George Brackett founded Edmonds in 1890, naming the city after Vermont Senator, George Franklin Edmunds. Brackett discovered the city of Edmonds while paddling a canoe north of Seattle, searching for timber. When a gust of wind hit his canoe, Brackett beached in a location later called "Brackett's Landing".

We stopped by all of our favorite haunts. The Edmond’s Farmer’s Market has really grown and they had a lot of nice produce. Brian and I picked up a zucchini and a yellow squash for dinner along with a bunch of fresh basil. For Bastille Day, the Edmonds Resident Cheesemonger was serving up two wonderful French favorites, a goat cheese log and a wedge of Roquefort (of which I bought a bit). They have the best cheese in the northwest. We strolled down to the Edmonds Bookstore. I always enjoy supporting the small town bookstores of this country and Brian and I could hang here for hours. I think I picked out my next three reads!
We ended our Edmonds adventure at Aritsa Wine Cellars tasting….you guessed it, French Wines (Vive La France). I loved the sparkling wine, but can’t say I liked much of anything else we tasted (I think Brian liked the red from Bordeaux ). I guess I am just an oaky chardonnay kind of girl!

Thank you Edmonds, for lifting our spirits!