Sunday, November 30, 2008

Menu Plan Monday: Back to the Basics

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. It's back to the basics here......light, low-fat, WW inspired meals to get us through the week.

Lot's of Christmas activities are beginning. Don't miss the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Tuesday night on NBC! A tradition at my house.

Check out all the other foodies HERE for more great menu ideas.


MONDAY: Steak Salad with Spicy Buttermilk Dressing
TUESDAY: Cheeseburger Casserole with Leftover Salad
WEDNESDAY: Chickpea and Brown Rice Veggie Patties with Tomato Cucumber Salad
THURSDAY: Greek Shrimp with Orzo
FRIDAY: Providence Festival of Trees and maybe a bit and a flight at this place

Our Thanksgiving 2008

Chick and I celebrated Thanksgiving at Rebecca Lane. It was a quiet day, spent relaxing at home - but we had a wonderful time just the two of us....

And our new friend......Mr. Turkey (whose butt lit up with a candle).

We has a little bubbly to kick the party off.

Chick always decorates such a nice table. We used the turkey plates again this year. They are so cute!

The food was wonderful.....homemade with lots of love.

The best part about the start of the holiday season is spending 4 quiet days at Rebecca Lane.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Grandma's Clock

I think the story goes that this clock hung in the roundhouse in Oakridge, OR. My Grandpa, Ralph was quite the "collector" and my guess is that at some point in time it ended up in his and Grandma Virginia's possession. Everywhere my grandma has lived, this clock has hung on the wall. Just the sound of it makes me want to cry....the memories are so thick in my mind. It's just her....and now it is mine.

I wasn't sure if I'd be able to hang it at Rebecca Lane, but Chick and I found the most perfect spot. We hung it on Thanksgiving Eve - which I thought was a perfect tribute. It was as if the melodic beat of the clock was my Grandma's heart with a message of love.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Old Photo Friday: Wine Tasting

Date: Thanksgiving Weekend, 2006
Location: Cooper Mountain Winery
Who: Brian, Steve and Sandra
What: Annual Thanksgiving/Harvest Wine Tasting

This was a particularly fun day! We toured some really great wineries and went home and watched the "Civil War" - which we had taped (thankfully no one knew the outcome).


Thursday, November 27, 2008


Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, at the end of the harvest season to express thanks for one's material and spiritual possessions.

Thanksgiving generally is considered secular, or at least nonsectarian, and is not based on any specific religious canon or dogma. Though the holiday's origins can be traced to harvest festivals that have been celebrated in many cultures since ancient times, the American holiday has religious undertones related to the deliverance of the English settlers after the brutal winter at Plymouth, Massachusetts.

The first recorded Thanksgiving ceremony took place on September 8, 1565, when 600 Spanish settlers landed at what is now St. Augustine, Florida, and immediately held a Mass of Thanksgiving for their safe delivery to the New World; there followed a feast and celebration. As the La Florida colony did become part of the United States, this can be classified as the first Thanksgiving.



Monday, November 24, 2008

West Seattle Weekend

Sandra and I took Amtrak to Seattle last Friday for her first visit to the new West Seattle house.
We had a fun weekend exploring.......

On Friday night we went to The Matador on California Avenue. It reminded me of Texas meets Goth.....interesting interior (dark, candles, chandeliers and cow heads). Excellent tex-mex menu with a great variety. Very crowded.....loud - but a great Friday night hot spot in West Seattle.
Our weather was clear, windy, but chilly. We are loving the fall chill (instead of the gloom of rain).

Sandra really loved our new West Seattle home! It is so nice now to have the room to host friends and family.Sandra and Brian at the end of California Avenue - view of downtown SeattleSaturday morning we hit California Avenue. We took Sandra to our new favorite breakfast place, Charlestown Cafe followed by sight-seeing along Alki Point and shopping up one side and down the other of California.
West Seattle LighthouseWe enjoyed a drive down to Alki Point and around Beach Drive - gawking at all the amazing homes - and the lighthouse.

We had afternoon libations at Jak's Grill and The Beveridge Place.

In the evening we hosted the Seymour's and little Maile to an Indian Feast. Sandra really enjoyed spending time with the baby.


Sunday, November 23, 2008


Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone has the joy of friendship, the love of family and the warmth and happiness of home.

It's going to be an easy week this week - no menu plan. The Rebecca Lane household is trying to keep the costs down this week (lots of stuff in the freezer) and with the BIG MEAL on Thursday...who has time to cook? I've got giblets to simmer, a pie to bake and a turkey to brine.

Here is our 2008 Thanksgiving Menu.


Thanksgiving Menu
Thursday, November 27, 2008 @ 4PM

Appetizers @ Noon
Cut up Veggies
Alder Smoked Salmon
Brie Cheese
and Crackers
Champagne Mimosas

Roast Turkey & Gravy
"Sm-ashed" Potatoes
Artichoke-Parmesan Sourdough Dressing
Brussel Sprouts with Marjoram and Pine Nuts
Grandma Virginia’s Bacon Peas
Relish Tray with Deviled Eggs and Black Olives

Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream

Friday, November 21, 2008

Old Photo Friday: Thanksgiving 1997-98

Date: Thanksgiving 1997-98
Location: Pine Cone Inn Kitchen (aka....Mom and Kenny's house in Tukwila, WA)
Who: Stacy and Jennifer (Mom)
What: I believe this was my first Thanksgiving Day - after living in Australia for 3 years (or it was the year after - Sandra and I began hosting at Rebecca Lane in approx. 2000-01). Mom is over-seeing my preparation of Gram's stuffing (I am cooking the onions and celery in the black cast iron skillet).

In honor of Thanksgiving and Family!



Thursday, November 20, 2008

Recipe of the Week: World's Best Mashed Potatoes

Could you have Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes? I don't think so. This week's ROTW is the final installment of the Thanksgiving Side Dish Extravaganza!
Since we will all be chowing down next Thursday, Thanksgiving Day 2008 - this week you get two recipes for the price of one!


Creamy Garlic Potatoes

3 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
(2 cups) half-and-half
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons kosher salt
6 ounces grated Parmesan

1. Peel and dice potatoes, making sure all are relatively the same size. Place in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce heat to maintain a rolling boil. Cook until potatoes fall apart when poked with a fork.
2. Heat the half-and-half and the garlic in a medium saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Remove the potatoes from the heat and drain off the water. Mash and add the garlic-cream mixture, salt, and Parmesan; stir to combine. Let stand for 5 minutes so that mixture thickens and then serve.

Horseradish Smashed Potatoes

8 Small Or 4 Large Yukon Gold Potatoes (Unpeeled, Washed And Cut Into Quarters)
1 cup Milk
1 stick Butter
2 Heaping Spoonfuls Prepared Horseradish
Salt & Pepper

1. Steam potatoes in a stovetop steamer or a pot with a tight fitting lid and an inch or so of water. Cook for 15-20 minutes until tender when pierced with a knife.
2. Meanwhile heat the milk, butter and horseradish in a small pot.
3. Place potatoes in a bowl and pour in hot milk mixture.
4. Smash well and season with salt and pepper.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Blackie meet Sammy, Sammy meet Blackie

So Blackie has been quite a fixture at our house for awhile now. He got into a cat fight about a month ago and our wonderful neighbor (whose daughter works for a local vet) took him in for a free consultation and we all nursed him back to health. Then the search was on for a new home. It's very apparent that Blackie is not meant to be an outdoor kitty and with winter around the corner, we are all fearful that he would not survive.

I am so grateful that Brian fell in love with Blackie and has agreed to become his new "Daddy".

He's been given a new name, Sammy (Brian wanted something more masculine) and will be heading north to Seattle after Thanksgiving.

For now, he's really enjoying his bed on our front porch.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New Bedroom Set

I found this on-line a few weeks ago and just couldn't live without it. I know it's close to Christmas, but our bedroom in the new house is the last thing to be decorated. I thought this set would be a good start (plus Brian gave his approval). Everything in the picture is included (minus the bed, bedside table and tulips). Don't you just love the bedskirt!! It's my favorite thing.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Weekend in Portland

It's been awhile since Brian has spent the weekend in Portland so this past weekend we had a chance to do some exploring in the city.
We drove over to the east side neighborhoods.....Laurelhurst, Belmont, Hawthorne and "gawked" at all of the gorgeous homes....walking block after block. The sun was shinning high in the sky, but there was that fall nip in the air.

We had a pub lunch at the Horse Brass Pub (a yummy fishwich and a roast beef sammy with hand cut fries).

In the afternoon we watched the Ducks beat Arizona......enjoyed a nice home-cooked meal and our first log on the fire.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Welcome to another Monday! Can you say 5 weeks until Christmas!? Not to mention "THE BIG MEAL" just around the corner.

Here is this weeks menu plan and remember that you can click on the banner above for more great ideas. I am glad to be home on Sunday so an extra meal to plan.

Sunday: Red Wine Braised Pot Roast with Autumn Roasted Veggies
Monday: Grilled Salmon with Roasted Butternut Squash
Tuesday: Meat Pie (with leftover roast) and a Big Garden Salad
Wednesday: Balsamic Chicken with Leeks and Peppers and Brown Rice
Thursday: Pizza and Packing for our West Seattle Weekend (finally)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Old Photo Friday: Sandra and Frank

Date: September 1968 (on photo) - probably a camping trip that summer of 1968.
Location: Oregon
Who: Sandra (age 7) with her dad, Frank
What: Hanging out by the camp fire (Frank's pant leg is wet, so perhaps they are at the beach or close to a river).

I love that smile on Sandra's face and Frank's dead-pan look at his daughter's antics. That's a real look of love.



Thursday, November 13, 2008

Recipe of the Week: Corn Pudding with Basil

With just 2 weeks to go until you have all your sides? This is the 3rd installment of the Turkey Day Side Dish Extravaganza!
I love corn and it accompanies just about every Thanksgiving table, but this recipe sounds so unique that I just might have whip up a batch.

Corn Pudding with Basil
4 cups corn (from 6 ears or just buy a bag of one will know)
1 cup packaged fresh basil leaves, torn
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter a 2 1/2-quart shallow baking dish.
2. Pulse half of corn in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
3. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in basil, flour, sugar, remaining corn, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. 4. Whisk in milk, cream, and eggs until combined.
4. Pour into baking dish and bake until center is just set, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pub Table

From the first moment I saw our new kitchen I knew that I wanted a pub table. I could just see Brian sitting there with his crossword puzzle and coffee or me with my etched floral wine glass filled with Chardonnay. Perfect!

This is what we found (or should I say what Brian found).

The rest of the kitchen is still a work in progress. We've yet to decide on a color scheme. Brian put up curtains (off white) that I am not yet sold on.

I am looking for pub art work (do they have such a thing) along with a chalkboard and something I can make with all those wine corks I've been saving.

I'll keep you posted!


Monday, November 10, 2008

Brian's Day

Brian and I have been riding the emotional roller coaster that is family elder-care. In need of a break.....I took Brian on a little Saturday adventure to all our favorite places.

We spent the afternoon in Edmonds one of Brian's favorite little get-aways. We sipped on some wonderful wines at Arista Wine Cellars and had a few nibbles of cheese at the Resident Cheesemonger. We even had time for a glass of wine at Olives Cafe and Wine Bar (boy, this place sure has changed).

In the evening, I cooked a bit plate of spaghetti and meatballs (Brian's favorite).

It was a nice distraction from the past few weeks and it was really wonderful to see a smile on his face all day!


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Menu Plan Monday: Pop is coming for a visit!

Happy Monday!

Boy, this month sure is flying by! My Pop is coming for a visit this week, so we will probably dive into the deep end and go off the light and healthy for a few days.

Here is this week's plan - and don't forget to check out Laura's friends and all their yummy menus.

Monday: Lamb's Thriftway Holiday Vendor Party (tons of nibbles, wine and great ideas for the holidays)
Tuesday: My Pop's Braised Short Ribs with the Pioneer Woman's Herb Potatoes with Steamed Asparagus
Wednesday: Thai Coconut Curry Sea Scallops with Stir-Fry Veggies and Jasmine Rice


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Al's Evening of Lights

Sandra and I missed it last year, but this year we marked our calendars early for Al's Evening of Lights in Sherwood.
I know it's a little early to be thinking about decorating your Christmas tree, but it was really an excellent event for all those looking for decorating ideas (plus they had a wine bar).


Friday, November 7, 2008

Old Photo Friday: My Grandma Marie

Date: 1949 or 1950 - Late August
Location: Oakland, California @ Uncle Percy's House
Who: My Grandma, Marie (my pop's mother)
What: My Pop (age 6-7) remembers he drove down to Oakland with Uncle Percy and Aunt Mabel during the summer. His mother, Marie (my grandma) came down to get him and they rode the train all the way back to Eugene, Oregon. Pop remembers they had all black porters and waiters on the train and one of them commented to Marie, "That boy sure can eat". Pop remembers that he had fish (salmon). Quite an adventure.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Recipe of the Week: Oven Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan Cheese

This is week #2 of the Thanksgiving Side-Dish Extravaganza! I hope you enjoyed last week's ROTW.
This week I found an easy recipe for oven roasted cauliflower - which I think sounds great with a big piece of turkey.

Oven Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan Cheese

5 to 6 cups cauliflower florets, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter (from 1 medium cauliflower)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sliced garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
Chopped chives, for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
2. Place the cauliflower florets in a large saute pan or a roasting pan. Drizzle the olive oil over the cauliflower, and season with the garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
3. Place the saute/roasting pan in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even roasting.
4. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Garnish with chopped chives and serve immediately while still warm.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Chateau

Brian has spent most of the past 2 weeks helping his mom, Ann settle into her new Seattle residence - The Chateau - at Valley Center. We believe this is a place where she will be safe, secure and surrounded by caring, compassionate individuals.

Ann and Brian at daily 3PM cookies and coffee
The lobby by the main dining room

Dining Room

We are slowly in the process of decorating and organizing her studio apartment and she is already starting to meet the residents - who are very friendly and helpful.