Friday, July 31, 2009

Old Photo Friday: Hiking Brian

WHO: Brian
Hiking in the Washington Cascades
Mt. Dickerman - Granite Falls, WA (8.5 miles round trip with a 3800 ft elevation gain)

Brian was supposed to go hiking this week with good friend, Geoff - but the weather was too hot. Perhaps after the cool down. Their plans reminded me of this beautiful shot.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Smokey Beef and Black Bean Burgers

Summer just isn't summer without a great grilled hamburger - but why not change things up a bit. This alternative is health and looks really yummy - plus it's easy to make.


Smokey Beef and Black Bean Burgers

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

1 teaspoon canola oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper (or other ground chili, to taste)
3/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 slices firm whole-wheat bread, torn into small pieces
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3/4 pound 85 percent lean ground beef
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 whole-grain hamburger buns

1. Preheat a grill to medium-high or preheat a broiler.

2. Heat the oil in a small non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute until just softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin and chipotle and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute longer. Transfer to a dish to cool.

3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the beans, bread and tomato paste. Use a potato masher or fork to mash the mixture into a rough paste. Add the ground beef, cilantro, salt, pepper and the reserved onion mixture. Mix thoroughly, then shape into four 3/4-inch thick patties.

4. Grill the burgers on a well-oiled rack, or broil them until they register 160 F on an instant-read thermometer and there is no trace of pink inside, about 5 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, toast the buns on the edge of the grill or in a toaster.

Recipe courtesy of the Associated Press
Images from Google Images

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Summer Waterfront Sunday

Brian on board Portland Steamer Sternwheel

Brian was in Portland over the weekend. I got home from the Relay for Life Saturday afternoon....exhausted so I promised him a fun day on Sunday.Whenever I ask Brian what he wants to do in Portland on a sunny Sunday - his first response is always the waterfront.It was an active weekend.......annual beer festival and some sort of maritime event along the marina. Lots of wooden boats - which were fun to look at.We toured a Sternwheel Steamer operated and maintained by the Oregon Maritime Museum. The Steamer Portland was built in 1947, is 219 feet long and is docked on the Willamette River at the foot of Pine Street all year round (although they are planning on taking her out for a few spins later this year). The maritime museum was very informational and had a lot of very knowledgeable volunteers. It was an interesting experience.

We even managed to wrap up the afternoon by finding a bit of shade on a patio - with a glass of chardonnay. Highs for Sunday were in the upper 90's.Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Relay For Life - 2009

Sandra and I participated in the Eugene/Springfield Relay for Life last Friday in Eugene, OR.
Nan Cross in her $1,000 Club T-Shirt. Way to go Nan!

This was my third year participating and my first year on the decorating committee. We didn't do much, but I think the Hawaiian idea was festive and put everyone in the spirit.Sandra and Phyllis - Friends That Care team

Man...was it HOT!
Fancy Luminaria - lit at dusk to remember those who have passed

It was great to see so many friends and family. Celebrate - Remember - Fight Back!
Phyllis and Daphne - Cancer Survivors!

Each year we honor survivors in bold purple shirts.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: Last Week in July

Summer sure is going by fast. I can already see that the days are getting shorter and the sun is setting earlier than just a month ago. Time really flies.

This week's menu is perfect for those of us who want to spend more time outside and less time in the kitchen - but still put a great meal on the table. prep is key. I like to prep right when I walk in the door after work and then everything is ready to go after my 2.5 mile walk.


Sunday: Grilled Pork Loin with Summer Corn Salad (prep this early in the day)
Monday: Jumbo Stuffed Shells (Meatless Monday). Make this on Sunday so it's ready to hit the oven when you get home on Monday.
Tuesday: Baja Fish Tacos (this is quick and easy - 30 minutes to the table - Prep early)
Wednesday: Chicken Cordon Bleu with Sauteed Garlic Green Beans (quick and elegant)
Thursday: Picnic in the park!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I Heart You!

Today I am missing my boys.....Brian and Sammy (not necessarily in that order) and West Seattle. I won't be traveling to Seattle this weekend (although I will see Brian later on today in Portland).
Moon Garden Art in front bed

Brian's had most of this week off and when I call him in the afternoons, he's sitting in the secret garden (in my Adirondack chair) listening to the birdies and watching the clouds float by. I'll have to picture it in my mind until I return on the 31st.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Old Photo Friday: Grandma Marie and Aunt Pat

WHO: Grandma Marie and her BFF, (Aunt) Pat Dahl - not a blood relative, but just as close.
WHAT: Hanging out....all dressed up and probably ready to party (love those shoes, Gram).
WHERE: It's anyone's guess? The Dahl's place? Does anyone know? Most likely, Eugene, OR.
WHEN: I love it when we find a picture with an actual date, June 1957 (at least we know that is when the film was developed).

These two were childhood friends and lived and worked together for many years. Too bad Gram's got her eyes shut, but there are so few pictures of her I just had to post this.

I wish I lived closer to my Aunt Pat....she's the last of her generation and when she is gone, she'll take our stories and history with her.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Spicy Peanut Chicken Kebabs

Spicy Peanut Chicken Kabobs with Seasonal Vegetables

Kebab (also occasionally transliterated as kebap, kabab, kebob, kabob) refers to a variety of meat dishes in Mediterranean, Central Asian and some Africa cusines, consisting of grilled or broiled meats on a skewer or stick.

The most common kebabs include lamb and beef, although others use goat, chicken, fish or shellfish. Like other ethnic foods brought by immigrants and travelers, the kebab has become part of everyday cuisine in multicultural countries.

We eat kabobs all year round at Rebecca Lane. I like to keep my meat and veggies seperate and spice it up with a variety of different marinades.



• 1/4 cup reduced-fat creamy peanut butter
• 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
• 4-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon brown sugar
• 1-1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1 garlic clove, minced

• 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
• Seasonal vegetables (yellow squash, eggplant, zucchini, red bell pepper, mushrooms, green onions)
• 1/3 cup fat-free Italian dressing


1. In a small bowl, combine marinade ingredients. Set aside 3 tablespoons marinade for finishing sauce. Pour remaining marinade into a large resealable plastic bag and add chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate at least 3 hours; preferably overnight.

2. To prepare your veggies – cut into large chunks and put into a large resealable bag and add 1/3 cup dressing. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate at least 30 minutes prior to grilling, but you could also marinate overnight.

3. When you are ready to prepare your kebabs – I like to separate my chicken from my veggies. Coat grill rack with cooking spray before starting the grill. Drain and discard both marinades. Thread chicken onto four metal or soaked wooden skewers and do the same with the veggies.

4. I like to put my veggies on about 5 minutes before my chicken. Grill chicken for 8-10 minutes or until no longer pink, turning occasionally. Brush with reserved sauce before serving (remember this is the 3 tablespoons you set aside - NOT what was in the chicken).

Image courtesy of Google Images

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

July Sunset Over Puget Sound

Thanks to Amtrak conductor, Mark for opening up the door a teeny bit (while the train was going 50 MPH) so that I could get a clear shot of this July sunset (third picture was with door open).


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Paul and Christine's Party

As many of you know, I am a regular on the Amtrak Cascades between Portland and Seattle (Tukwila, actually).
Paul and Doug (one of my first crews when I began riding 5 years ago)

I've been riding the train consistently since I met Brian (5 years) - but I've actually been riding it my whole life. My entire family both paternal and maternal have long ties to the railroad (Southern Pacific and Amtrak). One of my favorite conductors is a real hoot! Paul made those long Friday evenings enjoyable.....week after week.

He's on a new route now, but we keep in touch via Facebook and this year it finally worked out for Brian and I to head up to his house in Marysville for his big backyard summer soiree.
Paul and Christine's artichoke garden

We really enjoyed their huge backyard and beautiful garden.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: Relay for Life Week

Happy Monday! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

This is a special week at the Rebecca Lane household - our participation in the Lane County Relay for Life sponsored by the American Cancer Society. This is my third year and I am very honored to give my time to such a worthy cause. I am also in charge of this year's tent site decorations so I am really excited to see how the "Hawaiian Theme" comes together. Wish me luck!

This week's short menu emphasizes light and healthy eating.


Monday: Girl's Night Out (Sandra to MK and I am having dinner with my friend, Jennifer)
Tuesday: Turkey Cutlets topped with Feta, Whole Wheat Couscous and Steamed Snow Peas
Wednesday: Chicken and Mushroom Pasta with a Big Garden Salad
Thursday: Eugene - Relay for Life starts at noon on Friday!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Old Photo Friday: Baby Brian in the Pool

WHO: Baby Brian and his older (middle) brother Kerry (not sure about the little girl, I believe a neighborhood friend).
WHAT: Kiddie Pool Fun!
WHERE: Newark, DE - Probably in the backyard on Tamara
WHEN: This is probably the summer after Brian turned one - so that would make it the Summer of 1962

I love his shot of Brian with his hand on Kerry's back.....brothers playing in the summer sun.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Grilled Corn with Parmesan Herb Butter

Grilled Corn with Parmesan and Herb Butter

When I researched this recipe there was quite a debate about grilling the corn with the husks on or off - try it both ways. The majority says the corn doesn't dry out if you leave the husks on - but I always have a hard time getting all the "fuzz" off!!

Also, some say it's a good idea to soak your corn in water (husks and all) for 30 minutes prior to grilling (this would create steam which aids in the cooking process). Experiment....that's the fun part!




1 stick (4 ounces) butter, softened

1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon each of fresh tarragon, rosemary, basil and parsley

6 ears corn, in their husks (soaked for 30 minutes prior to grilling)


1. In a medium bowl, beat together the butter, cheese, pepper and herbs until creamy. Spoon onto a sheet of plastic wrap or waxed paper, roll into a log and freeze until chilled, at least 20 minutes or up to 2 days.

2. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. Turn the corn occasionally, until the husks are charred on all sides, about 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Remove corn from grill and let sit for 5 minutes. Carefully remove the silks and charred husks from the corn (use a clean towel if necessary to brush off).

4. Cut the chilled butter into small pieces and serve with the corn.

Images courtesy of google images

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lake Morton

It's been awhile since we've been out to Lake Morton to visit with friends, Jenny, Brent and kiddos.Brian and I just love their lake-side vacation rental. This place is always so relaxing!We had a wonderful brunch and spent some quality time catching up with great friends (man......I wish they lived closer).

Carter, Jenny and "Uncle" Brian

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Our First M's Game 2009

Brian and I went to our first baseball game of 2009 this past Saturday evening.

We like to get there time to watch B.P. (batting practice).

M's Vs. Texas (and the M's won)!!We had a really sunny and warm day so the stadium was bathed in sunlight! Beautiful!
Our seats were awesomel....down the first base line (very close to Ichiro).Enjoy!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: Mid-July

Mid-July here in the Pacific Northwest. Summer is in full swing.

Did you know that we are half way through the Major League Baseball Season? That's's time for the All-Star Break. Get out your peanuts and crackerjacks and enjoy!

Monday: Pasta Primavera (Woot....Woot for Meatless Monday). Check this out people!
Tuesday: All-Star Game in St. Louis, MO! Cheeseburgers and home-made fresh cut fries
Wednesday: 5 Minute Layered Salad (I'll make mine with Grilled Chicken)
Thursday: Pan Seared Tilapia with Lemon Mustard Sauce, Jasmine Rice and Grilled Yellow Squash and Zucchini

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Schmitz Preserve Park

Brian and I took a hike/walk last Sunday through a part of Schmitz Park.

I think we only saw a real small portion of the park, but we managed to get lost and found ourselves all the way down at Alki Beach. Amazing that this park is right smack dab in the middle of an urban residential neighborhood.Schmitz Preserve was donated to the city in pieces between 1908 and 1912. The most generous chunk came from a German immigrant/pioneer/banker/realtor named Ferdinand Schmitz, who served on the park commission during those years. It was Schmitz's idea, as he saw how rapidly the great forest was disappearing, to preserve part of it in its natural state.We say THANK YOU!


Friday, July 10, 2009

Old Photo Friday: Camping with the Suter's

WHO: Steve Suter (my uncle)
WHAT: Camping - look at that nice lounge chair, pillow and radio (Grandma Marie liked to camp in style and comfort)
WHERE: Someplace in Oregon - perhaps Davis Lake or someplace at the Oregon Coast
WHEN: Steve looks to be about 7 or 8 - so 1967-68

Summer always makes me think of camping. My Grandma Marie and her three youngest children did a lot of camping in the summertime.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Grilled Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Pizza

I've been wanting to try homemade grilled pizza for sometime now. I imagine a warm summer night on the back deck at Rebecca Lane and a light grilled pizza sounds so light and easy.

I have to admit....the idea of throwing the dough on the grill is scary - but people say it works!

Years ago, when I lived in Australia we used to dine at a placed called the Blue Train Café. They made the best smoked salmon pizza with lumps of goat cheese and topped with fresh herbs. Here is my attempt at their classic.....ala on the grill.

Blue Train Cafe Smoked Salmon Pizza (adapted for the grill)


Basic Pizza Dough – store bought from your favorite pizza shop or you could use one 14-ounce can of Pillsbury Pizza Crust

2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour or cornmeal

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons pesto sauce

8 ounces smoked salmon, thinly sliced

6 ounces goat cheese

1/4 cup minced shallots or green onions

Mixed Salad Greens

1 tablespoon capers

Fresh sprigs of dill, garnish


1. Preheat Grill - Gas: If you're using gas, preheat to medium-high. Coals: Prepare so to cook over a moderately hot fire. Grease your grill to prepare sticking (I'd spray a good coating of PAM).

2. Stretch/roll out dough on a lightly floured piece of aluminum foil. You’ll want it to be about 1/8-inch thick. Brush olive oil generously over the dough with a pastry brush.

3. Now – take it out to your grill and slap it upside down on the grill and pull the foil off. Don't worry: The dough won't fall through the grate. You'll think it will, but people say it doesn't!

4. Once the dough is on the grill, it will take about 2 to 3 minutes of cooking time before it's ready to flip. Brush on more olive oil on the exposed side. When the dough starts to bubble on the exposed side - it's time to flip. The dough should release easily from the grate at this point. Slide it loose from the grill with tongs or a large BBQ spatula and flip.

5. Now…..add the toppings quickly!!! A thin layer of pesto sauce, salmon, goat cheese and onions.

6. Once you've got your pizza topped, close the grill lid to finish warming through – an additional 2-3 minutes (check after about a minute for doneness).

7. When the pizza's ready, use tongs or spatula to remove it from the grill. Throw it on a cookie sheet – top with mixed greens, capers and fresh dill - slice and serve.

This is not your typical cheesy pizza – I like to think of it more like a flat bread.

Image courtesy of Google Images

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

West Seattle Flowers and Roses

When we moved into the West Seattle house - we had no idea what the yard would look like once Brian got finished with it.

Years of neglect.......vicious climbing ivy EVERYWHERE! The previous tenants planted veggies along the front yard fence (I've never been a big front yard veggie garden person).

We cleaned out the wild rhubarb and tomato and Brian planted a cute little azalea and another rose.

With all the warm weather we are having in Seattle....the established rose bloomed and bloomed BIG TIME over the past few weeks. It smells wonderful (I have no idea of the varietal) and it's a beautiful bright pink.The front planer box is going crazy with geraniums, sweet alyssum and scabiosis or pin cushion flowers. We decorated it for the 4th.