Thursday, August 30, 2007

California Here We Come!


Hey Everyone! Just a quick note to let you know that Brian and I are heading off to our next adventure…celebrating Brian’s b-day (# unknown) in San Diego, California.

We should have TONS of pictures to post after the Labor Day Weekend.

For those of you who like to track our flights using FlyteComm here are our flight numbers:

Friday, Aug 31st
8:00 AM SEA to PDX (don't ask) #2271
11:00 AM Portland to San Diego #572

Sunday, September 2nd
3:00 PM San Diego to SEA #593

Brian and I will be catching Jake Peavy VS Derek Lowe on Saturday night at Petco Park.

We are staying at the Horton Grand Hotel which is made up of two Victorian hotels from the 1880’s.

This hotel was once home to Wyatt Earp during his seven-year stay in San Diego. Betcha ya didn’t know that piece of trivia!

Stace

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Wedding



Sonja and Geoff were married on Saturday, August 25th on the beach at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend, WA. It was a beautiful weekend and Brian and I were honored to be a part of it. It was only my second time as a Bridesmaid and Brian’s first time officiating a wedding!

We arrived in Port Townsend on Friday and the bridesmaid’s (Amy, Laura, Renee and I) all met up for a bridesmaid picnic (without the beach, but still fun).




In the afternoon, the wedding party met on the beach and in anticipation of Saturday’s wedding – ran through a quick rehearsal.




The Bridesmaids - Renee, Amy, Sonja, Laura and Stacy

The first party was the rehearsal dinner at the Bishop Hotel – a beautiful white tent set up at the back of the hotel with a beach theme and wonderful food (appetizers of oysters, mussels and California rolls – main meal of capresse salad, halibut and cheesy pasta). The Bridesmaids took a couple of bottles of wine back to the Belmont Hotel and helped Sonja write her wedding vows and celebrate her last night of freedom.

Stacy, Amy, Laura, Elly (Renee's Daughter) and Renee

The Wedding Site

Stacy and Reverend Brian

The Groomsmen - Eli, Geoff, Brian (best man) and Boris




Saturday was over-cast, but we made it through the wedding with no rain! It was a beautiful ceremony and Reverend Brian preformed the ceremony with heart-felt love and emotion.

Sonja and Emmy Seymour (Groom's Mom)


The celebration continued at the Silverwater CafĂ©, a place very close to our hearts. Brian and I “loaned” it out to Sonja and Geoff as a wedding present. The Seymour’s designed their own wedding cocktail, a vodka – mango, coconut aperitif, served in flutes along side two different kinds of bruchetta, apricots stuffed with blue cheese and smoked salmon bilinis. The main meal of spinach salad, salmon, Greek pasta salad and chicken with mushrooms was out of this world.



We danced the night away and toasted to the happy reunion of two pretty special people!



Congratulations to the Seymours!

Stacy

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Columbia River Gorge



Brian and I rarely explore the Portland area. I am not sure why, but most of our adventures take place on the Puget Sound – in and around Seattle and Tacoma. I saw this weekend on the calendar and figured it was a perfect time to take a road trip outside of Portland to one of my favorite places, the Columbia River Gorge.

We packed a picnic lunch and we headed east towards the old Columbia River Gorge highway.

The first part of the old highway takes you through the heart of Troutdale. This city has a historic downtown with antique shops, an art gallery, a quilt store, two historic museums, and is the western gateway to the Historic Columbia River Highway.




Our first stop was at Vista House on Crown Point, one of the most photographed sites along the Historic Columbia River Highway. It is a memorial to Oregon's pioneers as well as an observatory. Samuel Lancaster, the Highway's chief engineer, believed that this outcropping of land, located atop a 733-foot sheer cliff overlooking the Columbia River, was one of the most spectacular vistas in the world. He knew that it was the ideal site for "an observatory from which the view both up and down the Columbia could be viewed in silent communion with the infinite."



Brian bought me a Portland hiking book a few weeks ago and I remembered driving past Latourelle Falls a few years ago, wishing I had time for a hike. Saturday we had the time! Perfect! One of several waterfalls along this Byway, these beautiful falls lie hidden in the forest's deep green. Brian loved climbing down close to the falls to feel the energy from the cascading waters.



After the hike we continued along the highway past Sheppard’s Dell, Wahkeena and Multnomah Falls.

With the construction of Bonneville Dam in 1936, many portions of the original scenic highway became impassable and later, with the construction of I-84, other sections of the original highway were bypassed or covered over, and tunnels were filled with rocks or destroyed. Dedicated individuals have worked to have some of these old sections of the highway restored. Too narrow for modern vehicles, they are now open to hikers and bikers as the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail.



We hit I-84 eastbound and continued to Hood River, OR a town that I have only been to once or twice but would really like to explore someday. Hood River is known as the 'windsurfing capital of the world,' but the fishing, hiking, and skiing are also excellent. This town, named after both Mt. Hood and the Hood River, is also one of Oregon's major apple-growing areas.

I had a great idea to stop by the tasting room at the Full Sail Brewery. Brian and I had a sampling of their brews before resuming our journey to The Dalles.


We crossed the Columbia River into Washington and drove another 19 miles east to MaryhHill Winery, one of the most picturesque places along the Columbia River Gorge and award winning maker of some pretty good wines. We ate our picnic lunch and tasted their wine selection of the day along with some reserve wines. We could have sat on their patio all afternoon – we chased the sun east (finally) and then found ourselves ready to head back home.


We traveled 238 miles on Saturday, a fun road-trip and a great “Portland” adventure.

Stace

Recipe of the week - THE CLASSIC CAPRESE



With heirloom tomatoes peaking, the beloved insalata caprese is once again enjoying its annual surge. Enjoy!

• Bring the freshest available mozzarella di bufala or cow's milk mozzarella to room temperature. Lift it out of its water and pat dry. Slice about 1/4-inch thick.

• Slice the tomatoes of your choosing: firm, slightly green ones, in the Italian tradition; or mixed vine-ripe heirloom tomatoes, in the California style.

• Overlap slices of tomato and cheese on a plate. Scatter halved cherry tomatoes around, if desired. Drizzle generously with a fruity extra virgin olive oil.
Sprinkle with sea salt and grind a little coarse black pepper over the salad, if you like.

• Tear perky basil leaves into smaller pieces and scatter over the salad.

• Grind a little coarse black pepper over the salad, if you like. Crumbled dried Italian oregano, in place of or in addition to the basil, is also permitted by some purists.

Janet Fletcher
Seattle Post Intelligencer

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Last Beavers Game



Last Friday night was our final Portland Beavers Game for 2007. The Portland Beavers season ends on September 3rd and Brian isn’t planning any more trips to Portland before then.



We had great seats behind the Portland Beavers dugout (down the 3rd base line) and saw the return of Brady Clark (Sunset High School graduate and Portland native) who is trying to make his way back to the major leagues with the Padres.

I saw 4 games this year, a few less than the summer of 2006 mostly due to our busy summer schedule. For me, this last game symbolizes the beginning of the end of summer...when baseball is gone, the days become shorter, the air becomes colder and the days become darker.

Stace

Monday, August 20, 2007

Good-Bye Tree!



I’ve been waiting for this event for a long time! Goodbye to the backyard pine tree! Goodbye to your needles and pine cones! Goodbye to your ominous lean when the wind blows…the nights of lying in my bed wondering if you were going to come crashing down on my head!

Goodbye to a home for the squirrels who scurry through your branches. Goodbye to a home for the birds who sit at your very top singing their songs. Goodbye to your summer shade. Goodbye to your snow covered pine cones and your majestic presence when covered in winter’s glistening ice. Goodbye!



Stace

Thursday, August 16, 2007

ELVIS


30 years ago today, the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley died in Memphis, Tennessee. The summer of 1977, I was a gangly 8 year-old on vacation with my friend Leslie Hamlin and my Dad on our friend’s ranch in Cody, Wyoming. Leslie and I heard the news report in the front seat of Toby Dahl’s pickup truck coming home from the general store with ice cream cones in hand. I ran out of the pickup and told my Dad, who was an Elvis fanatic, that the King was dead at the age of 42 from an apparent heart attack.

My first concert was at the age of 6 at MacArthur Court in Eugene, Oregon. My parent's thought it would be a cultural experience for their daughter to see Elvis. I’ll never forget the rumble of the bass and the start of the Theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Elvis took the stage and before the first refrains of “C C Rider” a million flashbulbs went off and it scared me so bad that I buried my head in my hands and cried. That’s all I can remember about the show, but Elvis’s legacy and music remained in our home all my life. Here is a list of my all time favorite Elvis songs:

10. Hound Dog (okay, not the original by Carl Perkins, but a classic)
9. Suspicion (Great beat….cha cha cha)
8. My Way (Sinatra sings it better, sorry Pop – but an Elvis classic)
7. Jailhouse Rock (I beg you to put this song on and NOT dance)
6. Kentucky Rain (My Pop’s favorite…I know all the lyrics by heart)
5. Can't Help Falling in Love (slow dancing classic)
4. A Little Less Conversation (Re-made for Ocean’s 11 with George Clooney in 01)
3. Return To Sender (Again…..who can’t sing along)
2. His Latest Flame (Marie's her name)
1. Suspicious Minds (My all-time favorite – gives me chills)

TURN OFF JUKEBOX, WHICH IS NOW PLAYING - GREEN BOX - HIT THE SQUARE BUTTON!

Click on video screen to continue with Elvis video!



Today, Lisa Marie is releasing a duet (just like Nat King Cole and Natalie) of Elvis’s hit song, “In the Ghetto”. I am looking forward to hearing the King and his daughter sing together.

Rest In Peace. There will never be another Elvis!

Stacy

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Recipe of the Week - Barley Salad with Feta and Cranberries


This sounds like a really easy salad that’s perfect for a weekend BBQ. Enjoy the last few cook-outs of the summer!

Serves: 4 to 6
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

2 cups water
1 cup quick barley
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced
1/4 cup packed fresh parsley leaves, chopped
3 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add barley, cover and simmer. Cook 10 to 12 minutes, or until barley is tender. Let stand covered 5 minutes. Transfer barley to a large plate, spreading it in an even layer. Set the plate in the freezer for 5 minutes. While the barley cools, combine cranberries, feta cheese, chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber and parsley and toss. Once cooled, mix in the barley, then drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and mix.

The Associated Press

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sunday Sunset


Sunday was a dreary day in Beaverton. I drove north from Springfield and was met with clouds about half-way home…..not just any clouds, but thick gray clouds with little chance of escaping sun. As the sun set, coming earlier and earlier every day now, the sky began turning into beautiful shades of pink. I grabbed Sandra’s camera and snapped this shot from the backyard looking west. Beautiful!

Monday, August 13, 2007

High School Reunion



I spent the weekend in Springfield, OR with my best friend Debi for Thurston High School's 20th Class Reunion. Friday night was a meet and greet at the Roaring Rapids Pizza Parlor in Glenwood, a beautiful location right on the Willamette river.



Both Debi and I were a bit nervous and were afraid we either wouldn’t be recognized or wouldn’t recognize anyone! Well…..it was a whole lot of fun. A few people actually remembered us!! We saw people we had not seen since graduation night and it was so much fun catching up with long lost friends that the evening flew by! We closed the bar at the River Ranch after the festivities at the pizza parlor ended and no one wanted the night to end.


I especially enjoyed seeing Gary Prouse who I went to first grade with at Yolanda Elementary - 32 years ago! I also enjoyed seeing Julie Bright and Deborah Kempton - who I hung out with my junior and senior years at Thurston.
DEBI, JULIE, HEIDI, STACY and TAMMY

Saturday evening’s dinner/dance back at the West Brothers River Ranch was a bust. The DJ didn’t know an 80’s dance song to save his life and people were more interested in talking than dancing, but everyone really had a good time and it was hard to believe that 20 years had gone by. I really enjoyed meeting Deborah Kempton's spouse Craig (cowboy hat) and finding out what their life is like in Wyoming. I also really enjoyed meeting Tami Kley's husband, Scott. They are both teachers who live in San Jose, California.

DEBI, CRAIG, DEBORAH, TAMI and SCOTT
SCOTT, TAMI, CARRIE, DEBI

I would encourage everyone to go to their 20th year reunion. I know Debi and I had our trepidations, but seeing friends and even foes 20 years later left me with a better memory of high school and those people I spent so much time with in my youth.

Stace

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Stockpot - Beaverton, OR - REVIEW


One doesn't usually associated "fine dining" and Beaverton, OR together, but perhaps those in doubt should try a meal at the Stockpot Broiler at Red Tail Golf Course.

Last night my Dad, Rosemary, Sandra and I had a fantastic, imaginatively creative and hearty dinner. Here is what we had (also check out the full dinner menu):

STARTERS:

Dad - Maine Lobster Bisque $6.50
It's all in the presentation. A large deep-round bowl is presented in front of you with a hunk of Maine lobster meat. The server then gently pours the bisque while the whole table oohs and aahs! I was lucky enough to have spoonful and I can tell you that the rich, creamy bisque was very good.
Stacy & Sandra - Iceberg Lettuce Wedge with Rogue River Bleu Cheese $5.00
It sounds simple but oh so good! Rogue River Bleu is some of the world's best bleu cheese and the creamy homemade dressing was tangy and light.
Rosemary - Apple Salad with Field Greens, Candied Walnuts & Sundried Cranberries -
Ricotta Salata Cheese & Champagne Dressing $6.50

This salad was sized almost like a full meal! Wonderful dressing complimented all the ingredients.



Executive chef Brett Tuft's menu focuses heavy on steaks, lamb, and shellfish with many unusual dishes including last night's special, soft shelled crabs (which you don't often see in these parts). The menu dishes out comfort and generous portions at every angle.

MAIN:

Dad - Soft Shell Crabs - $24

I don't think Dad was all that impressed. He was looking for a crisp crab and what he got was a little wilted. I had a bite and I didn't care for the gritty texture and lack of flavor.
Sandra - Hand Carved Steak Aged 28 Days to assure tenderness and flavor.
New York Strip Loin with Herb Smashed Potatoes and Crispy Fried Tobacco Onions - Regular Cut $26

Not really much to say about this. How could a 28 day aged steak not be the best thing?! Fantastic!
Stacy - Seared Jumbo Sea Scallops with smoked Pork and white polenta in a Stone Ground Mustard Beurre Blanc - $24
The three sea scallops were cooked to perfection, something few chefs ever master. The accompaniments were unbelievable making each bite pure joy!
Rosemary - Asian Short Ribs on a bed of braised cabbage and risotto - $24
The portions were monstrous (I think Dad ate the last rib). I had a bite of the risotto and found it a bit flavor-less and chewy.

DESSERT:

Chambord Chocolate Torte with French Vanilla Ice Cream
YUMMY! We all shared



THE WRAP-UP:

The service was absolutely flawless. Great views of the 18th green and surrounding golf course. The furnishings are comfortable and warm with dark tones and flickering candles. Nice wine list with very reasonable prices. For the quality, the food was not over-priced. A great place for a date or a quality meal to be had with close friends/family.

**** (4/5 Stars)

Stacy

Monday, August 6, 2007

Recipe of the Week-Zucchini Parmesan


Happy National Zucchini Day!

This is just like Eggplant Parmesan, but with zucchini. Brian and I made this over the weekend for our friends, Sonja and Geoff and we all really loved it.

ZUCCHINI PARMESAN

INGREDIENTS:
• 2 large zucchinis – the bigger, the better
• 2 eggs, beaten
• 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
• 1 jar marinara/tomato sauce
• Parmesan Cheese
• Mozzarella Cheese
• Olive oil
PREPARATION:
Preheat oven to 425

Slice zucchinis into round discs.
Beat the egg in a bowl and coat zucchini.
Roll the zucchini in bread crumbs until coated.
Bake zucchini in oven for 8-10 minutes per side.
Layer in a baking pan or casserole dish in this order:

Sauce
Zucchini
sprinkle with parmesan and mozzarella

This should make 3 layers.

Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until it is all melted together and the cheese is browned on top.