Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!



It’s hard to believe that October is nearly over. We’ve had a really nice couple of weeks with some amazing fall weather and colors.

Brian and I spent last weekend watching the Ducks cream USC and move up in the BCS hunt. Trick or treat?

We also spent time out and about…

Check out this deer in the middle of a Tacoma suburb. Old “eagle eye” Stacy spotted this doe trying to cross the street in old town (REMEMBER YOU CAN CLICK ON EACH PICTURE TO MAKE IT LARGER).



On Sunday we walked Chambers Bay and came across two bald eagle perched on a light post over looked the Puget Sound. Amazing that all this takes place in our own backyard.




Homemade pizza tonight and lots of candy for the “little beggars”!

Enjoy!

Stace

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Moondance

I am one day late, but this is my FAVORITE Van Morrison song and I saw this posting on another blogger site. A perfect song for October's full moon. Enjoy!



Remember! Before you click on the You Tube link....scroll down the page and turn off the jukebox so you can enjoy the experience.

Stacy

Recipe of the Week: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Hi all!

Very busy lately so not much time to blog! Brian was in Delaware visiting family last week and I flew to Salt Lake City for a work conference. Since this week is winding down and time is of the essence, here is a very quick recipe for those on the "go". I love to make soup this time of year and freeze it - so anytime I am busy I've got a home-cooked meal waiting for me. Enjoy!



Roasted Butternut Squash Soup


Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 90 minutes

Ingredients:

1 large butternut squash or 2 small
4 cups vegetable broth
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbls olive oil
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1 cup heavy cream


Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut the squash in chuncks (remove the seeds & rind), rub olive oil and salt on the flesh and place on a cookie sheet or baking dish.
Bake for 45 minutes.
In a soup pot over medium heat, sauté onion in olive oil until lightly browned, add garlic, and sauté for another 3 minutes.
Deglaze the pan with broth, add the cooked squash and bring to a boil.
Using a blender, hand held immersion blender or food processor, puree the soup until a smooth consistency is reached. Slowly add the cream until blended.
Taste for seasonings and add salt or black pepper if desired.
Serve and enjoy!

Serves 6

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Recipe Of The Week: Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burger with Basil Mayo

I have not heard from Nigella Lawson so I hope I am still in the running for the Recipe Contest. Since the deadline was the 12th, I am assuming that they will need a week or so to go through all the entries....in the meantime, courtesy of Weight Watchers, here is this weeks recipe.



Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burger with Basil Mayo

Serves 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1/4 cup basil, fresh, chopped
3 Tbsp reduced-calorie mayonnaise
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
4 medium portobello mushroom(s), caps, equivalent to 1 pound
4 sprays olive oil cooking spray
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
4 medium mixed-grain hamburger roll(s)
3/4 cup roasted red peppers, about 4 pieces
4 slice red onion(s)
4 piece lettuce

• Heat grill or grill pan. In a small bowl, combine basil, mayonnaise and vinegar; set aside.

• Lightly coat both sides of mushroom caps with cooking spray; season with salt and pepper.

• Grill mushrooms over medium-high heat, until just soft to the touch, about 6 minutes per side.

• To serve, split rolls and toast on grill. Spread a heaping teaspoon of basil mixture on top and bottom halves of rolls. Layer each bottom half with one lettuce leaf, red pepper, mushroom and onion slice; top with remaining half of roll and serve.

**Cooking Notes: The red peppers were a bit lost. My suggestion would be to chop them and add them to the basil mayo where they might get a better chance of being noticed. Toast your buns (HA HA) as the juice from the mushroom will make your burgers soggy if you don't.

Enjoy!
Stace

Monday, October 15, 2007

October Saturday



We spent all day on Saturday exploring our favorite parts of the Seattle area starting with a walk around Greenlake. The fall colors are incredible and unfortunately these shots probably won’t do them justice. As far as the eye can see – the deep reds, oranges and brilliant yellows dotted the landscape. We tried taking pictures of all the different colors as we walked the 2.8 miles path around the entire lake. Fun!





Next on our adventure was a trip around the northern tip of Lake Washington (Lake City Way) to Woodinville, Washington home of Columbia Winery and Chateau Ste. Michelle. Our first stop was Molbak’s, the most incredible nursery/craft shops/Christmas (seasonal) shop on the planet. To our surprise they even have a café where Brian and I enjoyed a slice of quiche and some homemade soup. I had to drag Brian kicking and screaming from the Christmas Village, but I promised him that we'd come back closer to Christmas.

We then drove out to the two wineries located directly across the street from one another. While the tasting room at Columbia Winery is quite large and can accommodate more people, Brian and I are really not big fans of the wines. We enjoyed our 5 tastes for $5, but other than the Viognier, we wouldn’t recommend any of the other whites or reds. We enjoyed looking around at all their merchandise, T-shirts, salad dressings, etc. and could have come home with everything but their wines.





Chateau Ste. Michelle really is the jewel in Woodinville. The grounds are immaculate and are large enough to host a variety of events, so why is the tasting room so small? Saturday’s tasting were “vintage” varieties. We both really enjoyed all four tastings and came home with a couple of bottles of chardonnay.



A perfect way to spend our Saturday together under the beautiful blue fall skies!

Stace

Friday, October 12, 2007

100th Post! Go Rockies!

This represents our 100th post on Blogger! YEA! It's been a great way to keep friends and family updated on what's happening in our neck of the woods. Thanks to all of you who keep up with the blog.

Go Colorado Kids! As you all know, Brian and I are HUGE baseball fans and both of us are pulling for the Colorado Rockies as they pursue the National League Pennant for 2007.



Brian and I went to Denver, Colorado in September of 2005 for Brian's birthday and had the opportunity to visit Coors Field. It's an amazing stadium.



We are both enjoying the play-offs and rooting for Colorado!

Go Rockies!

Stace

Spaghetti in Canby



I had dinner Wednesday night in Canby at the Hygelund’s. I had not seen Debbie since our 20th High School Reunion and prior to that in the middle of summer – when the days were long and the garden was in full bloom.

Life on the farm is good, despite 16 year-old Miles’s knee injury while playing defense on the Canby football team. Fingers crossed he will be back wrestling in no time.

We celebrated a belated 12th birthday for Noel who is not “the baby” anymore. Both boys are growing up quickly.

Noel Hygelund Age 12

Deby made a huge pot of spaghetti….YUM and it was nice for the two of us to spend some time together.

Stace

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Recipe of the Week: Wild Mushroom and Brie Bruschetta

It's in the mail!

I mailed in my entry to the University Book Store/Seattle P-I's Nigella Lawson recipe contest. I made a few minor changes to the appetizer so here goes...

Wild Mushroom And Brie Bruschetta

This quick and easy appetizer is best served with a dry, medium bodied white wine
(ie: French Burgundy - Pouilly-Fuissé is a dry, medium-full bodied, white wine)

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 18 Minutes

Ingredients

3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 lb mixed fresh wild mushrooms such as chanterelle, oyster and morels, cleaned with a damp cloth and chopped
1 small finely chopped garlic clove
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
8 oz Brie (French import; Isigny Ste Mere or equivalent); rind removed
1 French baguette or similar bread



1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Heat 6 tablespoons unsalted butter in skillet over medium high heat until foam subsides, then sauté mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and tender, about 7 minutes.
3. Add garlic clove and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
4. Add wine, thyme, salt, and pepper and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to a glaze, about 3-5 minutes.
5. Slice baguette on a bias (I angled my cuts down so that there is more surface area on my slices; about ¾ inch thick). Brush the tops with olive oil and place in the oven for a few minutes until the tops are lightly golden brown.
6. Remove the bread from the oven and top with a couple of spoonfuls of the mushroom mix.
7. On top of each slice of bread, lay two slices of brie cheese.
8. Return bread to the oven, allowing the brie to melt, 1-2 minutes.
9. Remove and serve.

Recipe serves 8 (two pieces of bread per serving)



Here are a few pictures from last Saturday's "run-thru". Thanks again to Jenny who helped me with my wine selection and to Geoff and Sonja who had the first bite.



Let's keep our fingers crossed!

Stace

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Busy Fall Weekend



Brian and I had a great weekend. I drove to Tacoma once again (perhaps my last road trip) due to Amtrak still being on a maintenance schedule. The Friday night trip was highlighted by our wonderful Fall foliage – so not all that bad (I won’t even mention Sundays drive home in the rain).

On Saturday we drove to Covington to see our friends, Jenny and Brent and their friend Laura – all up from NOCAL for the long weekend. Jenny (a.k.a. the “singing Sommelier” and owner of the Savvy Cellar) gave me some great wine paring ideas for my Mushroom Bruschetta recipe - as the contest deadline is fast approaching. Thanks Jenny!

It was also nice to snuggle up next to the baby! What a little cutie pie!



Saturday afternoon we headed into Seattle to hang out with Sonja and Geoff who we have not seen since the wedding. We celebrated Sonja’s birthday and I tried the recipe out for the first time. They didn’t seem to mind being guinea pigs and I really appreciated everyone’s help.

The recipe appears to be a huge success and required very little revision. I’ll post the final draft as this week’s recipe of the week on Wednesday.

Enjoy your week!

Stace

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Recipe of the Week - My Chance to Meet Nigella Lawson



So this past weekend in the Seattle Post Intelligencer I came across a recipe contest with the chance to meet my favorite “foodie” Nigella “the Goddess” Lawson. The winner of this contest will win a place in the front of the line at Nigella’s Seattle book signing in mid-November.



I’ve only entered one other recipe contest and to my disappointment, I didn’t even get an honorable mention (even though my Mama Mia Leaning Tower of Pizza Burger was the best entry).

I’ve decided that I will “win” Nigella over with this yummy appetizer (this is a work in progress as I have not made it since I lived in Melbourne, Australia). Check back before the contest deadline, October 12th for the final version.



Wild Mushroom And Brie Bruschetta

This quick and easy appetizer is best served with a light bodied white wine
(ie: Pinot Grigio or a Sauvignon Blanc)


Ingredients

3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 lb mixed fresh wild mushrooms such as chanterelle, oyster and morels, cleaned with a damp cloth and chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
8 oz wheel of Président Brie
1 baguette French bread or similar Italian bread


1. Preheat oven to 375F.

2. Heat 6 tablespoons butter in skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and tender, about 7 minutes.

3. Add wine, thyme, salt, and pepper and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to a glaze, about 2 minutes.

4. Slice your baguette on a bias (I angled my cuts down so that there is more surface area on my slices). Brush the tops with olive oil and place in the oven for a few minutes until the tops are lightly golden brown.

5. Remove the bread from the oven and top with a couple of spoonfuls of the mushroom mix.

6. On top of each slice of bread, lay three slices of brie cheese.

7. Return bread to the oven and broil, allowing the brie to melt, 1-2 minutes.

8. Remove and serve.

ENJOY!
Stace

Monday, October 1, 2007

Quiet Weekend

Happy Monday!

Brian and I had a quiet weekend in Tacoma. We watched the Ducks lose to Cal (still licking our wounds); but quite grateful for a weekend of upsets in college football and continued respect in the polls.




Before the Ducks tipped off, we walked along the Foss Waterway before finding the game on the big screen at the Ram Big Horn Brew Pub.

As you can see....our weather is turning. Our first fall storm with rain and wind arrived late Saturday afternoon and rain will continue most of the week.

Stace