Friday, August 29, 2008

Old Photo Friday: Happy Birthday, Brian!

Date: 1968? 1969? 1970? Brian appears to be between 8-10 years old
Location: Newark, DE (he told me he remembers the sweater)
Who: My sweetheart! Brian
What: School photo - Priceless
In honor of Brian's birthday on Monday. Happy Birthday, Baby!



Thursday, August 28, 2008

Recipe of the Week: Taco Moutain

What's bigger than a Taco Salad and better than Nachos?
Introducing this weeks ROTW......
Taco Mountain
Serves: 5-8 (see note)
Prep time: 10
Cook time: 15 minutes

2 pounds ground turkey or lean ground beef
2 1-ounce packets taco seasoning
2 9-ounce bags tortilla chips
2 cups shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
1 16-ounce jar salsa
3 tomatoes, chopped
2 avocados, chopped
1 cup light sour cream
2 4oz. can Ortega diced jalapenos
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 head of iceberg or green leaf lettuce, chopped or shredded
1. In a very large (preferably nonstick) skillet, cook turkey or beef, stirring often to break up pieces. Add taco seasoning to taste and stir well to combine. Cook until no trace of pink remains.
2. On a very large platter, make a layer of chips. Top with cooked meat, cheese, salsa, tomatoes, avocados, sour cream, jalapenos, black beans and lettuce.
Notes: This can be cut in half or even thirds, depending on your family's size.
Recipe courtesy of Cox News Service

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

End of Summer Pool Party!

Brian setting up the "motel in a box"

Earlier in the summer I made a little suggestion to my Dad that we have some sort of pool party at "E" Street.
I really wanted to spend time with family and friends before we said goodbye to summer.
Stacy and Pop dancing to the oldies

Steve Kinnee and Sandra
Steve, Pop and Terry
A few friends stopped by "E" Street and spent the day by the pool. It was really hot so some of us took a dip (but the pool was a bit chilly)! Brian takes the plunge
Brian and Stacy in the pool

We had lots of fun. Pop needed a "back-up" cook so I stepped up to the grill! We cooked hamburgers, hot dogs, grillin' beans, Pop's macaroni salad and fresh corn from up the McKenzie River.

Pop and Terry

We laid by the pool and swam a few times!
Uncle Steve (thanks for the fire in the pit)
It was a great weekend! Thanks to Pop and Rosemary for the wonderful BBQ and time spent with friends and family.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Family Dinner @ PF Chang's

Brian and I arrived in Eugene last Friday night and met the family at PF Chang's for dinner.

Gosh....I really love this place. They've got a great menu with lots to choose from.
Everybody had a great time and it was a nice way to end the week and kick off the weekend!



Monday, August 25, 2008

Office Party @ Beaver's Game

It's hard to believe that August is almost behind us and our last game at PGE Park for 2008 is in the books.

Our office has season tickets so we passed them around and went last Thursday night.

My Boss, Harold hosted a cook-out at his place before the game. We have such a small office that it's nice every once in a while to do something fun as a group.

What's not to love......

Beer and Baseball?


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Welcome to another Monday! Here is the plan for the week of August 24th.
I am trying two new WW recipes from our new Simply Delicious 245 No-Fuss Recipes cookbook.
Hopefully we will find some new favorites.
Check out Laura and all her blogging buddies for more menu ideas!


Monday: Grilled Steak with a Roasted Garlic and Chili Rub along side Grilled Vegetables
Tuesday: Honey-Lime Salmon with Confetti Corn Salad
Thursday: Shrimp Creole with Brown Rice

Friday, August 22, 2008

Give-Away Winner!

A big THANK YOU to all those who stopped by the GIVE-A-WAY! I've really enjoyed meeting some new bloggers, checking out some new sites and getting lots of great idea for another 300+ posts.

Last night the ladies of Rebecca Lane took all the comments and put them in this bag....

We stirred them up a bit.........

And the winner is.....................

I hope you enjoy the cookbook and the Starbucks card, Crystal.

Thanks for visiting my site! Enjoy the rest of your summer!


Old Photo Friday: Pool Party, Chick!

Date: August 24, 1985
Location: "E" Street, Springfield, OR - backyard pool
Who: Sandra and Stacy (is Sandra drinking a wine cooler in the pool)
What: Dad and Rosemary were married in the backyard earlier in the day. We had quite the little "wedding party" afterwards......lots of champagne, family and good friends sharing in joy.

Oh...there are so many stories about this day that I would love to share (Chick would probably disown me). The highlight of the day had to be Chick and all her antics (*%^&#! balloons). Too much champagne = bad things!? You just can't have too much fun, can you!?


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Recipe of the Week: Penne with Triple Tomato Cream Sauce I am totally obsessed with creamy pastas! Everytime I come across one, I am tempted to make it on the spot! I found this yummy little number on the Food and Wine website and tweaked it a little (you gotta add the cream).


Penne with Triple Tomato Cream Sauce

1 pound penne
2 medium tomatoes, cut into 1-inch dice or one can diced tomatoes
4 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 large basil leaves
1 garlic clove
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
½ cup heavy cream
Parmesan cheese

1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the penne until al dente.
2. Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, combine the diced tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, garlic and olive oil. Puree until smooth. Pour the tomato sauce into a large pot and warm, stiring often. Season with salt and pepper. Add heavy cream and stir until heated and slightly thickened.
3. Drain the pasta, add it to the sauce and toss well to coat. Serve the pasta piping hot. Top with cheese

Serves 4

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Busy Weekend

Brian, Stacy Kelly, Rob and Picard

Brian and I had a busy weekend in Seattle.

We looked at two homes in Seattle and found one in West Seattle that we are hoping is our new home.
We caught up with the Seymour's who are anxiously awaiting the arrivial of Maile.....anyday now. It was fun to sit out on their back deck and get caught up before all our lives change.

Then we drove east over Lake Washington to Newcastle and had an early dinner with Rob and Kelly and little puppy, Picard.It was also one of the hottest weekends of the year! We really had a great time catching up with all of our friends.



Monday, August 18, 2008

Restaurant Review: Serratto

Serratto is a lively and elegant NW Portland neighborhood restaurant serving authentic and innovative dishes from Italy, France, and the greater Mediterranean region. The menu, which changes seasonally, is built around a commitment to using natural meats, the freshest seafood, and locally grown fruits and vegetables.

With Brian's boss, Howard up from San Diego we thought this would be the perfect spot to take him for a Sunday night dinner.

Check out their website and menu.

Howard and I each started out with a wonderful beet and pear salad, dressed with crispy garlic in a light vinaigrette. Brian had a capresse salad with fresh heirloom tomatoes and basil.

The dinner menu is huge.....lots of seasonal fare and fresh pasta. Howard had Pan-seared sea scallops on white wine-braised fennel risotto, finished with chives and fresh basil oil. I had the Pesto Linguine with prawns and Brian had Rigatoni with spicy Italian sausage, garlic, onion, tomato, fresh mozzarella and basil.

I thought the prices were very reasonable for a NW location. Excellent wine list. Open kitchen. Airy and cozy atmosphere.



Sunday, August 17, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

There is still time to enter my 300th post GIVE-AWAY! Check out last weeks post for contest rules. Please enter your comment for the give-away on last weeks post!!!

Can you believe it?! August is half over! We've only got about another 6 weeks of "summer" here in the Pacific NW (before the rain starts up again). I intend on enjoying every minute of it.

Fire up that grill and enjoy!

We've got a short menu this week. My office is hosting a baseball game at PGE Park on Thursday night so hot dogs and ice cold beer are on the menu. Here are some other cool summer-time treats! Of course you can always check out Laura's fabulous website and pick up some easy ways to stay organized!



Monday: Marsala Chicken over wide egg noodles with Asparagus
Tuesday: Summer Vegetable Curry over Brown Rice
Wednesday: Asian Lettuce Cups (last weeks ROTW)
Thursday: Beavers Game at PGE Park - I'll take a Jumbo Dog, Please!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Old Photo Friday: Newport Seafood and Wine Festival

Date: End of February 2005
Location: Newport, OR
Who: Stacy, Sonja, Renee and Sandra (plus some drunk guy who thought he'd mess up our picture)
What: Since 1978 the Newport Seafood & Wine Festival has attracted visitors from around the world to the central Oregon coast. Each year the festival promises to be packed with all of the fun, food and wine you can handle.
We usually head over on a Friday night and spend most of Saturday at the festival. This was the last festival we attended. The weather was great and we all (including my Uncle Steve) had a great time.



Thursday, August 14, 2008

Recipe of the Week: Asian Lettuce Cups

The latest trend at Asian restaurants, flavorful lettuce wraps make a great appetizer or main dish. In honor of the Summer Olympics in China, I've found a light and easy recipe perfect for eating in front of the TV.

U.S.A.!!! Go for the gold!


Asian Lettuce Cups

1 head iceberg lettuce or romaine lettuce leaves (whichever you prefer)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 teaspoon sugar (I use Splenda)
Remaining Ingredients:
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 slice ginger, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 green onions, chopped
1 lb lean ground beef (you could also use chicken)
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
1 can water chestnuts, rinsed
1 stalk celery, diced
1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water

1. Wash the lettuce, dry, and separate the leaves. Set aside.
2. Mix together the sauce ingredients. Heat the sesame oil in a non-stick frying pan on high heat.
3. Add the garlic, ginger, and green onions and fry until the garlic and ginger are aromatic. Add the beef/chicken and cook until the meat is browned. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
4. Add the red pepper, water chestnuts, and celery to the frying pan. Add the sauce ingredients and cook at medium heat, Give the cornstarch/water mixture a quick re-stir and add to the sauce, stirring to thicken.
5. Add the beef/chicken back into the wok. Cook for 2 - 3 more minutes, stirring, to heat through and finish cooking the chicken.
6. Lay out a lettuce leaf and spoon a heaping teaspoon of the meat and vegetable/sauce mixture into the middle. Serve

The lettuce wraps are designed to be eaten "taco-style," with the lettuce/chicken mixture folded into a package.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pix Patisserie

A few weeks ago after our amazing dinner at Pok Pok, we went to Pix Patisserie for some amazing eccentric desserts. I can't remember the name of my dessert, but it was so rich it took me 2 days to eat it! It was the most incredible chocolate dessert ever!
I didn't realize that there are two Pix Patisserie's in Portland. I'd like to try the original store located on SE Division. If it is half as good as the one on N. Williams it will be quite a treat to check it out.

Open since October 2005, Pix’s second location in North Portland boasts a chocolate laboratory and desserts far to pretty to eat. They also serve an array of dessert wines, Belgian beers, and fine spirits (my 30 year port went down pretty smooth).
Check out their website for pictures and descriptions of each dessert.

3901 N Williams Ave; Portland, OR 97227 503-282-6539

Original location: 3402 SE Division St.; Portland, OR 97202 503-232-4407

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mom's Birthday Dinner - Barnaby's

Brian and I spent Saturday evening with my Mom and Kenny and celebrated my Mom's birthday at Barnaby's.

Mom and I made a batch of Lemon Drops to go with wonderful hors d'oeuvres before dinner.

Then it was off to Barnaby's. Everyone really had a great evening.



Sunday, August 10, 2008

Menu Plan Monday! Bring on the 300th Post GIVE-A-WAY!!

In honor of my 300th blog post this week I am having a little FREE GIVE-A-WAY!!!!! Thanks for stopping by. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment at the bottom of this post along with your e-mail address and/or blog URL so that when you win I can let you know! I am giving away this really cool cookbook and a $10 Starbucks card!
We will shuffle up all the entries and pick a winner to be announced on FRIDAY, AUGUST 22nd! Please enter by 3:00 PM PDT on 8/21/08.
Giveaway Terms:
1. Comment to enter.
2. Winner will be chosen Thursday, August 21st and announced at 4:30 PM PDT on Friday, August 22nd.
3. Shipping is to U.S. only.
4. Make sure to include a way for me to contact you through your blog or email. Do not post your mailing address or phone number in the comment section.
Now on to this week's menu......I am trying a few new things this week - oh boy!
I saw this crazy guy cook with his family a few weeks ago and I loved the look of his veggie burgers, named after his sister, Morgan.
The Thai Chicken recipe is from Rebecca Lane's newest WW cookbook - nothing beats a great curry. Check out more great menu plans HERE


Monday: Morgan's Veggie Burgers with Jo Jo Potatoes (thanks to A Pinch of This)
Tuesday: Thai Chicken Curry with Brown Rice**
Thursday: Pork Dijon Cutlets with Garlic Green Beans

**WW Thai Chicken Curry with Brown Rice
Makes 4 servings
2 tsp canola oil
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch strips
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic gloves, minced
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tbp packed light brown sugar
2 tsp Thai Red Curry Paste
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 pound asparagus, cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 tbp fish sauce
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 cups cooked brown rice
1. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large skillet, then add chicken and sprinkle with salt. Saute until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.
2. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the same skillet over low heat, then add onion, garlic and ginger. Saute until fragrant and the onion softens, about 6 minutes.
3. Stir in the sugar, curry paste, and cumin; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
4. Add asparagus, coconut milk and fish sauce; bring to slow boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the asparagus is crisp-tender - about 3 minutes.
5. Add the chicken and basil; heat through.
Serve with brown rice

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Friday Night = Date Night!

Brian and I rarely get a Friday evening together. My train arrives in Tacoma on Friday at about 9PM so our evenings together are short.

About once a month I take the early train to Tacoma and arrive at about 5:30 - so last night we got to have an official "date night". I am really going to miss the Foss Waterway when Brian moves closer to Seattle in the fall. I've enjoyed our time in Tacoma especially around the water and in Old Town. We've found some really cool places to hang out.

We both have enjoyed spending our Saturday afternoons watching college football at the RAM and our rare "date nights" at Katie Downs, where we spent last night.