Friday, October 31, 2008

Old Photo Friday: Halloween

Date: October 31, 1998
Location: Rebecca Lane
Who: Two Crazy Birds (AKA......Chick and Princess)
What: Our first Halloween at Rebecca Lane. I remember it rained and we had tons of candy, but we still had about 80 "trick or treaters".

This will be the first year at Rebecca Lane that I will not be home. Last year I dressed up as a Hawaiian Tourist and we had a fun evening seeing what all the kids were wearing.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Recipe of the Week: Butternut Squash with Pecans and Blue Cheese

With Thanksgiving less than a month away, this weeks ROTW kicks off the Turkey Day Side-Dish Extravaganza! Just how many side dishes can one serve? How big is your Thanksgiving table?

Each year I try and cook at least one new recipe or an adaptation of an old one. I made this last year and EVERYONE loved it. Perhaps it will find it’s way onto this years' Turkey Day table.

Butternut Squash with Pecans and Blue Cheese


4-pounds 8-ounces butternut squash
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 stalks fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup pecans
1 cup crumbled Roquefort or other blue cheese


1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Halve the squash, leaving the skin on, and scoop out the seeds, then cut into 1-inch cubes; you don't need to be precise just keep the pieces uniformly small.
3. Put into a roasting tin with the oil and strip about 4 stalks thyme of their leaves, sprinkling over the butternut squash. If you can't get any fresh thyme, sprinkle over dried.
4. Roast in the oven for about 30 to 45 minutes or until tender.
5. Once out of the oven, remove the squash to a bowl and scatter over the pecans and crumble over the cheese tossing everything together gently. Check the seasoning and add the last couple of stalks of thyme torn into small sprigs to decorate.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

More Coast Photos!

Here are some more photos from last weekend's Ocean Shores adventure.
I decided to take my non-digital camera along on the trip as I am really hoping to learn how to use it properly.
Here are a few good shots!
We really loved the small town of Brady, WashingtonThe spa tub was awesome! I took two baths a day!The living room with a view out to the oceanHuge bedroomBrian relaxing with a beerThe view of our condo (middle building) from the beach

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Menu Plan Monday!

I just love this time of year! Menus become more versatile in the cooler weather and comfort food plays a big part in our Rebecca Lane menu.
Remember, you can still have great comfort foods that are low fat, healthy and easy to prepare. I use Weight Watchers as a guide for taking old recipes and turning them into healthy alternatives.
Check out my weekly menu and about 300+ others HERE.
UPDATE! We had to make a few last minute changes. Monday night I cooked the Creamy Shrimp. Tonight it is TACO TUESDAY at Taco Bell (thanks for the stolen base). Thursday night instead of pizza we are having Hamburger Stroganoff (Chick's trip to Seattle with me has been postponed until November.

Greek-Lemon Chicken Thighs with Potatoes and Cauliflower on the side
Tuesday: Creamy Shrimp with Rigatoni and a Big Garden Salad (last weeks ROTW)
Wednesday: Skillet Beef and Beer Stew with leftover Salad
Thursday: Take-out Pizza while we clean house and pack for Seattle trip

Friday, October 24, 2008

Old Photo Friday: Gone Fishing

WHO: Stacy
WHAT: Fishing
WHERE: Near Cody, Wyoming
WHEN: Late 70's, 1977-78

One of our summer adventures to Cody, Wyoming to see family friends, Toby and Donna Dahl. This might have been someplace in Montana on our way to see them (and Yellowstone).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Recipe of the Week: Creamy Shrimp Pasta

Always remember that food is to be loved, laughed over and, above all....enjoyed in the company of your friends ~ Clarissa Dickson Wright (Two Fat Ladies, Brit TV Series)
Occassionally when I am away from the Rebecca Lane household, Chick cooks. Sunday nights when I come home from the train and open up the fridge, I sometimes spot a big pot of this pasta. It's very good, but I wanted to find one with chicken or shrimp. Hopefully she'll get the hint!
Creamy Shrimp Penne

1 Pound Shrimp
3/4 Pound Penne
Olive Oil
1 Onion
3 Garlic Cloves
1/2 Cup White Wine
1 8 oz. Can Tomato Paste
1 Cup Heavy Cream
Fresh Basil
1/4 Cup Parmigiano-Reggiano

1. Cook pasta until al dente.
2. Peel, de-tail and rinse 1 pound of shrimp.
3. Heat about 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil in a large skillet. Add shrimp and cook for a couple of minutes until they turn opaque. Remove from pan and put shrimp on a plate;cover with foil to keep warm.
4. Mince onion fine along with garlic gloves (I like to grate my garlic these days). In the same skillet you cooked the shrimp in, add another pat of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and saute, stirring often.
5. Once the onions/garlic have cooked 8-10 mintues, add the white wine and let the wine evaporate for 1-2 minutes.
6. Chop up your cooked shrimp into bite-sized pieces.
7. Add tomato paste to onion/garlic/wine mix. Stir until well-combined. Next add 1 cup of heavy cream. Keep stirring. Turn heat to low.
8. Chop basil.
9. Add shrimp back into sauce and season with salt and pepper. Add the basil and stir once again.
10. Add your cooked pasta to the sauce and toss.

Serve with generous spoon of Parmigiano-Reggiano

google image

Monday, October 20, 2008

Point Brown @ Ocean Shores, WA

My parents are always so generous with their time share. I asked my Dad this past spring if he had any "free" points and I choose an Autumn get-a-way for my sweets and I to Point Brown at Ocean Shores, WA.

I've never been to Ocean Shores before. I was especially excited about the drive over to the beach as I saw on the map that we would pass through a town named, Brady. Too Cool! Lots of cute little towns and beautiful scenery.

It took us about 2 hours to get from W. Seattle to Ocean Shores. I was surprised that the city itself is not a very big place.
Our condo was awesome. It was huge with a big spa tub and a fireplace insert with a cool patio (nice in the summertime). We were on the ground floor so not a perfect view of the ocean, but since it was right out our back much better could it be? We both just love the ocean and I couldn't wait for our Sunday morning walk along the beach.

Brian wanted to walk up to the jetty, but there were too many big rocks to climb (plus the ocean looked menacing).

We opted for some cool photos instead.

I'll have some more photos from my non-digital camera in a mid-week post.

Enjoy! Stace

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Menu Plan Monday!

Wow! This month is flying by. Soon we will be thinking about planning those holiday meals, but in the meantime……

Don’t forget the World Series starts on Wednesday, October 22nd. Break out the TV trays!
For more interesting menu ideas….check out Laura’s fabulous site.

Monday: Roasted Salmon with a Maple Glaze and Baked Acorn Squash
Tuesday: Herb Stuffed Pasta Shells with a Big Garden Salad
Wednesday: Garden Burgers with Cascadia Farms Organic French Fries
Thursday: Citrus Broiled Chicken with Fresh Green Beans

Friday, October 17, 2008

Old Photo Friday: Mom and Gram in the 70's

Date: Mid 1970's (74/75)
Location: Grandma Virginia's house on Hilyard Street in Eugene, OR
Who: My Mom and her mom, Virginia (with our dog Anna in the middle)
What: As a child I spent lots of weekends at Grandma Virginia and Grandpa Ralph's house. We'd have PJ parties and card games and dinners (especially around the holidays). Always a house full of friends and family.

My Grandma Virginia would be 89 tomorrow (she passed in 2001). In her honor.



Thursday, October 16, 2008

Recipe Of The Week: Potato and Feta Cakes

It seems as if the Rebecca Lane household is always wasting cheese. I love love love cheese, but feta and bleu – bags of Mexican shredded and slices of aged cheddar seem to go bad before we’ve had a chance to finish them off.

I found this recipe a few weeks ago and I thought it sounded like an excellent side dish or an easy main (meatless Monday) along side a salad. Best of all......a way to use up the Feta crumbles I bought earlier in the month.


Potato and Feta Cakes

2 medium potatoes, cooked and mashed
1 egg, beaten
5 tbs sour cream, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbs snipped fresh chives
4oz feta cheese, crumbled
1 tbs olive oil

1. Mix potato, egg, 1 tablespoon sour cream, garlic and chives well. Stir in feta.
2. Divide into 4 equal portions. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
3. Add potato mixture, forming into patties in the skillet, about 1/2" thick. Fry until brown on one side, about 7 minutes. Turn and brown the other side.

Serve with an additional tablespoon of sour cream on top of each patty!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sunny Saturday

Brian and I hung out at Rebecca Lane last Saturday, waiting for his train departure and Chick and Pop's plane arrival.

Brian was outside with Blackie and I just couldn't resist snapping a few pictures of us "hamming it up".

The air was cool and smelled like fall. I didn't want this moment to pass.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hunter's Moon

Enjoy this month's Hunter Moon. I didn't take this photo, but I wish I had.

The Hunter's Moon (also known as Blood Moon or Sanguine Moon) is the first full moon after the harvest moon, which is the full moon nearest the autumnal equinox.



Monday, October 13, 2008

Meet Blackie

Okay so Sandra has been feeding and nurturing a neighborhood cat. We are not sure if the cat is a stray, but he seems quite attached to Rebecca Lane.

Sandra named the cat Jackson and I said we have to call him Blackie (I mean, come on.....he is black).

Blackie has been hanging around a lot lately......

He comes for love and food and shelter from the recent rains.

I am afraid he is growing too accustomed to his new life.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Menu Plan Monday!

Sandra is back from Ohio with all sorts of stories and pictures. It’s so nice to be cooking for more than one! I am breaking out the WW cookbook again and trying to stick with light, easy recipes this week.

For more than 300+ menu plan ideas, check out this site.


Monday: Lemon-Crumb Chicken with a Big Garden Salad
Tuesday: Beefy Black Bean Chili
Wednesday: Stir-Fried Shrimp and Vegetables with Jasmine Rice
Thursday: Baked Ziti with some of my left-over homemade spaghetti sauce

Friday, October 10, 2008

Old Photo Friday: Going Through The Heads!

Date: Summer (January in Southern Hemisphere) 1995
Location: Sydney Harbour - Sydney, Australia
Who: Sandra and Stacy
What: Sailing out throught the Sydney Harbour "Heads" with friends. Memories from that day include...a picnic with the Kookooburas, hanging on for dear life as we made our way out into the Tasman Sea and Sandra slicing open her shin (she still has the scar as a fond memory).

Sydney Heads (also simply known as 'The Heads'), is the entrance to Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

North Head and Quarantine Head are to the north, South Head and Dunbar Head are to the south. Middle Head, Georges Head and Chowder Head are to the west and within the bay. The Hornby Lighthouse is located on South Head and is Australia's third oldest lighthouse. Macquarie Lighthouse, Australia's first lighthouse, is a few kilometres to the south on Dunbar Head.



Thursday, October 9, 2008

What am I going to do?

Dodger Stadium, April 2006

What's a girl to do when her childhood team.......

is playing her sweetie's childhood team?
I guess I'll have to root for both of them?



Recipe of the Week: Go Meatless!!

I sometimes sneak “meat-less” Mondays into the Rebecca Lane household menu. I am not trying to convert myself or anyone else into VEGETARIANISM but with encouragement from nutritionists and doctors, more of us are choosing to serve meatless meals more often. That's just good for our health and great news for the planet. Here is an easy and quick recipe to help you explore the possibilities.

Fettuccine with Tomatoes, Basil, and Crisp Bread Crumbs

Serves 6
1 cup very coarse fresh bread crumbs, for garnish
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3-1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cups yellow cherry tomatoes, halved*
2 cups red cherry tomatoes, halved*
12 ounces fettuccine pasta
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips, for garnish
shaved Parmesan cheese, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
2. Place the bread crumbs on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and toss the bread crumbs to distribute the oil evenly. Season the bread crumbs with salt and pepper. Bake in the middle of the oven, tossing occasionally, until they turn golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
3. In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil and the balsamic vinegar to make vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes and stir together. Set aside.
4. Fill a large pot three-quarters full with salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes.
5. Drain the pasta and toss with the tomatoes and vinaigrette. Place in a serving bowl and garnish with the basil and bread crumbs. Serve immediately.
*NOTE: If you can't find yellow cherry tomatoes this time of year, look for late harvested heirlooms or good old Roma tomatoes.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Purple Cow Winery/Vineyard

It's not often that we find a Washington County winery that we have not been to before, but on Saturday we stopped by the Purple Cow Vineyard in Forest Grove for a wonderful wine tasting.

We were greeted at the door by owner/winemaker, Gallo who invited us into his home (and tasting room) to try some of his wonderful creations.

Brian listening to Gallo talk about his wines

I've never seen somebody so pasionnate about their wines (it's not often that you actualy get to meet the winemaker). Gallo took us from vine to bottle.....explaining in detail each of the 5 wines that we tried.

I especially liked the 2007 Dry Muscat - a very unusual wine for me to like. I bought a bottle to take home and put in my wine stash. I am really kicking myself for not picking up a bottle of 2005 Tempranillo - a very unique blend for Oregon and a perfect wine for a nice thick rib-eye steak.

I think we'll have to stop by this vineyard again on our annual Thanksgiving wine tasting trip.



Monday, October 6, 2008

Weekend with Friends

Sonja and Geoff drove down from Seattle for a long weekend in Portland. It was nice to spend some quality time with them and Maile. It was a cool and wet fall weekend, but we didn't let that stop us. We had a quiet Friday night at Rebecca Lane (girls in jammies) and Sonja prepared a wonderful ravioli lasagna.
Here were some of our fun weekend activities:
Wine tasting
A dinner party - a nice homecooked meal prepared by friends and enjoyed with friends
Lots of red wine and candles
Special time spent with a 6 week old baby
Even Abby got into "relaxation mode"

Yummy dessert!

We spent Saturday exploring Washington County wineries, one of my favorite activities (it actually ended up being the best weather day of the weekend).

Appoloni Winery (our first stop of the day)

Tualatin Estates - a beautiful fall day in Washington County
A great spot for a picnic

Priceless weekend!