Friday, October 30, 2009

Old Photo Friday: Happy Halloween!

Who: Stacy
What: Halloween - dressed as a hobo
Where: Living Room at E Street in Springfield, OR
When: I look to be about 8 - so October 31, 1977

My Pop designed this entire Halloween costume right down to the cigar (which he smoked half of). He rubbed fireplace soot on my face to mimic the beard stubble (great idea). I looked exactly like a train jumping hobo.

A hobo is a migratory worker or homeless vagabond, often penniless. The term originated in the United States during the last decade of the 19th century. Unlike tramps, who worked only when they were forced to, and bums, who didn't work at all, hobos were workers who wandered.

Notable people who have hoboed include, Jack Dempsey, Woodie Guthrie, Jack London, Robert Mitchum, John Steinbeck and Burl Ives.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bon Voyage!

Brian and I leave for our Virginia adventure today!

This week I am preempting the Recipe of the Week, but I promise to post as many pictures of our Virginia adventures as possible.

Enjoy your week!


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Napping Boys

This is just too adorable to not post (sorry, babe)

My two boys napping on Sunday afternoon!


Friday, October 23, 2009

Old Photo Friday: Pop in Alcatraz

Who: My Pop, Jim
What: Inside Alcatraz - actually inside the cell of Robert Franklin Stroud, the Birdman of Alcatraz
Where: San Francisco, California
When: April 1985

For my 16th birthday, Pop and Rosemary took me to San Francisco for a few days. One of the highlights of our trip was a tour of Alcatraz


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Chicken and Apples with a Honey Mustard Sauce

Brian and I fly off to Virginia next Wednesday so this will be the last recipe of the week for October (I promise lots of travel posts in its place).

Did you know that Virginia is one of the nation's top six producers of apples? I betcha, our neighbor to the north, Washington is somewhere close to the top. Red and Golden Delicious, Rome, Stayman, York, Winesap, Granny Smith, Jonathan and Gala are just some of the varieties found in the hillside groves of Virginia.

Winchester, the state's top apple packaging location at the northern tip of the Shenandoah Valley, is often called The Apple Capital of the World!

Did you also know that poultry is also raised in abundance, with broiler chickens being the second largest agricultural product for the state. The recognized birthplace of the commercial turkey industry is Rockingham County, which dubs itself The Turkey Capital of the World.


Chicken and Apples with Honey Mustard Sauce

Slightly adapted from Simply Recipes


1/2 cup apple cider

1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch


Freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp whole grain mustard

2 Tbsp seasoned dry breadcrumbs (panko if possible)

4 (6oz) chicken breasts

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 small unpeeled apples, cored and cut into eighths (use Golden Delicious,

Granny Smith or McIntosh)

1/4 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup white wine

Fresh parsley

Cooked Rice or Pasta


1. Whisk cider, cornstarch, mustard, honey, salt and pepper (to taste) in a bowl. Set aside.

2. Spread bread crumbs on a plate and lightly coat chicken with crumbs.

3. In a large non-stick skillet, heat the oil and add the chicken breasts. Cook over medium heat until golden brown on one side, about 3 minutes. Turn chicken, add apples, and cook until browned on the other side.

4. Add chicken broth and wine, cover and simmer until chicken is tender, about 15 minutes.

5. With slotted spoon, remove chicken and apples to serving plates. Whisk cider mixture again and add to skillet. Cook and stir over high heat until lightly thickened and bubbly, 1 to 2 minutes. Spoon over chicken and apples, sprinkle with parsley.

Serve with rice or pasta. Serves 4.

Image courtesy of Google Images

Recipe courtesy of Simply Recipes

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dodger Inspiration!

Tonight is the night.....make or break.....revenge or regurgitation.....heroes or zeroes.

Gotta love this clip...brings back so many memories. I watched this game with my Mom (Kenny was gigging) at The Cones apartment in Burien, WA (1988).


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Weekend Wrap Up

Not too terribly much going on in W. Seattle this weekend. We had planned a fall drive out of the adventure just the two of us, but Mother Nature wasn't very cooperative and we scrapped the idea until next Spring.
The rains started this week....lots of blustery-ness. Time to think about hibernating.

We had lots of house time as a result....watched the rain fall and the leaves blow. Time with Sammy to play and nap. Time to work on a 300 piece puzzle (Sammy did most of the work).

Time to go out to breakfast on Saturday and read the paper while sipping really good coffee. We treated ourselves to Edonlyne Joe's and a big plate of biscuits and gravy (Brian had bacon and eggs).Time to make a big pot of fall chili and eat three steaming bowls while watching college football.

Time together to sit on the couch and drink a big glass of Merlot.See....not much going on at all!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: October 19-22

Wow! We have had some wonderful fall weather here in the Pacific NW. I just love the blue skies, bright colored leaves......pumpkins and colorful mums.

This week's menu is well balanced and full of comforting favorites that are low-fat, healthy and easy to make.


Monday: Chickpea Pasta with Almonds and a Big Garden Salad (Meatless Monday, Rocks!)
Tuesday: Chili-Beef Tacos
Wednesday: Dijon Chicken with Corn Salsa Salad and Jasmine Rice
Thursday: Tuscan White Bean and Pumpkin Soup

Friday, October 16, 2009

Old Photo Friday: Pike Place Market

Who: Jennifer (Mom) and Virginia (Gram)
What: Shopping and Sightseeing
Where: Pike Place Market, Seattle
When: Summer 1985

I was probably spending a bit of my summer vacation with my Mom and Kenny in Seattle and Gram came up for a visit.

Pike Place Market has always been a great place to take out of town guests.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Thomas Jefferson's Chicken Fricassee

In less than two weeks, Brian and I will be heading to Virginia. It's a short trip - but it's the first of many to see my parents who recently located to Portsmouth, VA.

In anticipation of our trip, I've been doing a bit of research on Virginian Cuisine.

Perched on a mountain top in Charlottesville, Virginia, is the home of Thomas Jefferson's, Monticello. His enlightened approach to food molded the course of Virginia food and wine history.

To his garden, Jefferson brought sophisticated vegetables and plants from Europe, including Belgian endive, eggplant and artichokes.

Guests to Monticello noted that the first dinner bell customarily rang at three o'clock, and the second called them to the table at four.

Family recipes that have survived -- eight in Jefferson's own hand -- include blanc mange (almond cream) and nouilly à maccaroni (a pasta dough). Outside of France, Jefferson enjoyed delicacies such as waffles in Holland. On his return to America, many such dishes, including ice cream, were considered novelties. He also imported a variety of foods, such as Italian olive oil and French mustard.


Thomas Jefferson's Chicken Fricassee


2-3 pounds chicken pieces
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
3 tblsp. all purpose flour
2 cups water
1 cup dry wine
3 tblsp. butter
1 onion, chopped
2 cups fresh small mushrooms
1 tblsp. chopped fresh sage
1 tblsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 cup half and half cream
Hot Cooked Rice (or how about egg noodles?)


1. Wash and dry the chicken pieces. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, nutmeg and paprika.

2. Brown the chicken in hot oil over high heat in a Dutch oven; remove the chicken when well browned. Reduce heat to medium, add flour, and cook the flour until lightly browned, stirring constantly. Whisk in 2 cups of water, 1 cup of wine until smooth.

3. Return the chicken to the Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 50 minutes.

4. Remove chicken, keeping warm, reserve broth in large container. Broth may be strained to remove particles.

5. Melt butter in Dutch oven, over medium high heat, add onion, cook until lightly browned. Add mushrooms, sage and parsley. Add broth, and chicken. Cook over medium heat, stirring until thoroughly heated. Served over rice or pasta.

Yields 6 servings.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sammy's Toys

Sammy is so funny!

Brian and I have bought various cat toys.....feather duster's, cat-nip balls and squeaky mice.

Guess which toy he likes the most?The Fed Ex box Brian's new phone came in! are so funny!

He sits and sleeps in it every day.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Saturday in Snohomish

It's been a couple of years since Brian and I have been to Snohomish. Our friends, the Seymour's joined us on a beautiful sunny fall Saturday.We hit the pumpkin patch first. There were many varieties to choose from.....some pumpkins I've never seen before. I even found the tiniest white pumpkins to decorate the Thanksgiving table with.Most of the pumpkins were smooth on the outside, but I likes the ones with bumps all over them! Brian and I ended up taking three home (only one with bumps).The weather was cool and mostly sunny (the north Cascade range at our backs)Overall, it was a great spot for picture taking!

Sonja, Maile and Geoff
After the pumpkin patch, we drove into Snohomish and walked the main street. We found a cute Scottish Pub to grab a pint and lunch.
Snohomish is north of Seattle and prides itself for its historical downtown feel, and is known for its many antique shops. Snohomish bills itself, and First Street in particular, as the "Antique Capital of the Northwest."
Snohomish was founded roughly in 1858 by E. C. Ferguson and E. F. Cady. It was originally known as Cadyville, and changed its name to Snohomish City in 1871. The name Snohomish is taken from the name of the dominant local Native American tribe.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: Mid October

Happy Monday! Don't look now.....but Thanksgiving is just 6 weeks away! WOW! I am already thinking about my menu and exploring new recipes. Exciting times ahead. anticipation of all that holiday eating, let's say we keep it light and low-fat this week. It's A Deal!


Monday: Broccoli-Cheese Soup with Texas Toast (whole wheat bread toasted in the oven with 1 Tsp light spray butter and a sprinkle of garlic powder)
Tuesday: Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells with Leftover Salad
Wednesday: Cheeseburger Casserole with a BIG Garden Salad
Thursday: Pan-Fried Parmesan Crusted Fish with Smashed Red Potatoes and Green Beans

Friday, October 9, 2009

Old Photo Friday: Brian by the Sea

Who: Brian and his mom, Ann
What: Family vacation
Where: Possibly Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
When: Brian looks to be about 3 or 4 so about 1963-64

I love the expression on Ann's face (the water must have been a bit cold)! My sweetheart with his arm wrapped around his mother....too enamored (and possibly a bit scared) of the water to be bothered by his father, Al snapping the photo.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Brunswick Stew

Brian and I are heading to Virginia at the end of the month. Aside from seeing my Mom and Kenny, I am really excited about the cuisine of Virginia.

Brunswick Stew is a traditional dish from the Southeastern United States. The origin of the dish is uncertain, and there are two competing claims as to the place in the South where it originated. A debate currently exists as to whether Brunswick Stew was actually originally made near the town of Brunswick, Georgia or in Brunswick County in Southern Virginia.

Recipes for Brunswick stew vary greatly but it is usually a tomato-based stew containing various types of lima beans, butter beans, corn, okra and other vegetable and one or more types of meat. Most recipes claiming authenticity call for squirrel or rabbit meat, but chicken, pork and beef are also common.


Brunswick Stew

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 (main course) servings


1 (3-pound) rabbit or chicken, cut with a cleaver through bones into 2-inch pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped

2 Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes
1 (10-ounce) package frozen corn
1 (10-ounce) package frozen lima beans (I am not a fan of lima beans, so I prefer canned white beans)


1. Pat rabbit/chicken dry and sprinkle evenly with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

2. Whisk together flour and cayenne in a shallow bowl, then dredge rabbit/chicken in flour, shaking off excess.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wide 6- to 7-quart heavy pot over medium heat until it shimmers. Brown half of rabbit/chicken, turning once, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pot and brown remaining rabbit;/chicken transfer to plate.

4. Add remaining tablespoon oil to pot along with onion, bell pepper, potatoes, garlic, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring and scraping up brown bits, until vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes.

5. Add bay leaf, broth, tomatoes with juice, and rabbit/chicken with any meat juices from plate and bring to a simmer. Simmer, covered, 50 minutes.

6. Stir in corn and beans, then simmer, uncovered, until stew is slightly thickened and vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Discard bay leaf.

Serve with warm crusty bread

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Saturday in the "pearl"

A rare weekend in Portland gave us the opportunity to do a bit of exploring in NW Portland on Saturday.
Brian and I hopped on MAX...then to the Portland Streetcar and on into "the pearl" (Sandra met up with us about an hour later).

Autumn was definitely in the air in Portland......blowing leaves, a cool breeze and bright sunshine for most of the day.It's been awhile since we'd spent anytime in the "pearl". This place is still transforming but has really carved out a cool, urban niche for itself. Lots of new restaurants and shops - a little city within a city.After centering ourselves and a bit of window shopping.....our first stop was Wine Unwind (recently written up in the Oregonian's MIX magazine). A very friendly, small wineshop masquerading as a winebar. Seats about 10, live music on the weekends and an incredible selection of not only NW wines, but international as well. They had a nice selection of "pours", including a wine flight (any three on their pour list for $10). No real kitchen to speak of, however they do have a large selection of cured meats and cheeses, nuts and olives.I really wanted to check out a second winebar, Vino Paradiso - but they didn't open until 4PM - perhaps next time!

For a complete turn-around we hit the Goose Hollow Inn on the way home. Opened in 1967 by former mayor, Bud Clark - this pub is a neighborhood gem. We always enjoy sitting on the patio - perhaps the last time this season.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: October 5-8

I hope everyone had the chance to see that Harvest Moon last night (still singing Neil Young)!! We welcomed Autumn at Rebecca Lane with a Harvest Dinner on Sunday. It's always a good idea to welcome Autumn and make it feel right at home!

This week I've found some really yummy, light and low fat recipes. For those needing a bit of comfort, the baked turkey ziti casserole is a real favorite at our house.


Monday: Tortilla Crusted Tilapia with Broccoli Sauteed in Garlic
Tuesday: Beef Pot Pie (made with leftover Porter Braised Pot Roast from Sunday)
Wednesday: Baked Turkey Ziti with a Big Garden Salad
Thursday: Fend For Yourself Night (Chick has a big dental appointment)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Old Photo Friday: Happy Anniversary Ken and Amy

WHO: Ken and Amy Lee (Brian's oldest brother and sister-in-law)
WHAT: Catching some rays either before or after the ceremony (Ken, I love the cut-offs)
WHERE: Hawaii (Brian thinks Maui, Ann remembers Kauai)
WHEN: They are celebrating their 24th Wedding anniversary this week so that would make this picture 1985

Congratulations Ken and Amy! We hope you enjoyed your time in Eugene and your Amtrak journey home.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Porter and Cheddar Soup

College football season is in full swing and it always makes me think of a good hearty soup....something to warm your insides on a cool autumn Saturday. This one is really easy and really yummy!



Porter and Cheddar Soup


1 small onion, diced fine

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoon flour
2 quarts chicken, beef or vegetable stock

2 quarts heavy cream

12 oz.Deschutes Black Butte Porter

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 pounds extra sharp cheddar

Salt and Pepper

Bacon crumbles, optional

1. Over medium heat in a soup pot, caramelize the onions in the butter. Add the flour and cook the roux for 10-15 minutes (it should be a rich brown color) before adding all the liquids.

2. Bring the liquid to a boil, then simmer for half an hour. Add the Worcestershire sauce and cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

If you have an immersion blender, you can blend for a creamy consistency. You may need to add extra cheese to thicken or add a splash of beer to thin (that is if there is any beer left).

Serve with topped bacon crumbles alongside a good crusty bread