Sunday, May 31, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - Welcome June

Welcome June! It's so hard to believe that 2009 is almost half over. I am really looking forward to cooking for more than one person this week. Chick comes home from her trip on Tuesday night so some good home cooking is in order.

Enjoy!
Stacy

Monday: Chicken Fried Steak with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Ruth's Chris Creamed Spinach (last day home alone)
Tuesday: Grilled Hamburger (I've got some in the freezer leftover from Memorial Day). Chick's flight arrives at 7PM!
Wednesday:
Chili Rubbed Tilapia with Mango Salsa with green beans
Thursday: Lemon Chicken with Green Olives and Jasmine Rice

First Rose 2009

First rose at Rebecca Lane - May 31, 2009

We lost our yellow rose this past winter...too cold and too much snow - but the pink one is doing really well. It produced its first bud about three weeks ago and bloomed this weekend.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Old Photo Friday: Wyoming

WHO: Stacy and Pop
WHAT: Vacation to Cody, Wyoming
WHERE: At the home of Toby and Donna Dahl (they built this cabin from scratch)
WHEN: Late August 1977. I remember the T-shirt I was wearing....it says "Girl's Lib" on it and I think this was the summer I was to go into the 3rd grade - which would make me 8.

We took trips through Yellowstone National Park to Cody, Wyoming quite a few times while I was growing up. Sometimes we had traveling companions - my uncle Larry, Pop's best friend Crowe - one year my friend, Leslie Hamlin came with us.

It was an easy drive from Springfield, OR and we had friends who lived just outside the East Entrance between the park and Cody. I remember this trip because it was when Elvis Presley died (August 16, 1977).

Enjoy!
Stacy

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Mediterranean Quinoa Salad


Have you been reading about Quinoa (KEEN-Wah)? Do you know what it is? Do you know how healthy it is?

A species of goosefoot – Quinoa is a pale ivory supergrain grown primarily for its edible seeds. It's been used in South America for 5,000 years and was called the "Mother Grain" by the Incas. It is closely related to species such as beets, spinach and tumbleweeds. A good source of complete protein - rich in iron, Vitamin E and potassium. Quinoa has a light, fluffy texture when cooked, and its mild, slightly nutty flavor makes it an alternative to rice or couscous.

I found this Mediterranean salad recipe with feta cheese, kalamata olives and fresh herbs. You could easily make this a side dish by adding grilled fish or chicken.

Enjoy!
Stacy

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad


Ingredients:
• 3-4 cups water or vegetable broth (I also like to use white wine for enhanced flavor)
• 1 1/2 cups quinoa, uncooked (look for it at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods)
• 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (you may use any flavor you prefer)
• 3 cloves garlic, minced (I like to grate mine)
• juice from one lemon
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
• 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
• 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
• 1 red onion, diced
• 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (look for specialty feta with sun-dried tomatoes)

Directions:

1. In a medium-large saucepan, cook the quinoa in vegetable broth, water or wine according to package directions. Allow to cool.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil.
3. Gently toss the quinoa together with the remaining ingredients, except feta. Pour the olive oil mixture over the quinoa.
4. Add more salt and pepper to taste and gently stir in the feta cheese.

Image courtesy of Google Images

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

Brian and I had a very busy Memorial Day Weekend.

I arrived in Seattle on Saturday and we headed down California Avenue to Circa Neighborhood Grill and Alehouse. Since they were still serving brunch at noon on Saturday - I opted for a Circa Burger....yummy! This place is pretty small - but it's got that cozy neighborhood feeling that Brian and I love. Since he had already eaten, I think we will head back here pretty soon and check out more of the menu (and ales).
Saturday afternoon - I decorated our Memorial Day table and Brian got out the grill.
We had our first BBQ on our new patio.

Our menu:
Boneless NY Strip
Baked Potato
Grilled Asparagus with Roasted Garlic Aoli

Our weather has been absolutely amazing. I don't even want to say anything about it for fear I might jinx us!

On Sunday we took a walk to Lincoln Park. It's so wonderful that this place is less than a mile from our front door.
Lincoln Park was called Fauntleroy Park until 1922, when the city bought it. The popularity of the name Fauntleroy in this area springs from the passions of Lieutenant George Davidson, who was taking soundings off the bluff in 1857. Davidson had temporarily left his fiance, Ellinor Fauntleroy, back in Illinois. Lincoln Park is the oldest and one of the larger Seattle City parks with more than one mile of direct beach access.
Sunday afternoon we had a BBQ at the Seymour's. It's always so nice to hang out with them and enjoy their relaxing, quiet back garden.

We had quite the feast! Our menu:
Cedar Plank Salmon (Geoff, you did an awesome job)
Yves Veggie Dogs
Ann Lee's baked bean (slow cooked all day long in crockpot). Great job, Brian!
Potato salad
Roasted cherry tomatoes with gorgonzola cheese (loved it, Sonja)
Grilled Asparagus with Roasted Garlic Aoli (so good we had to have it again)

It was a wonderful celebration of friends, family and fun!

Enjoy!
Stacy

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: Still Home Alone

I am still cooking for one this week - but I am really cooking for two. Whatever I make I'll pack up and take for my lunch the next day. Cook it once, eat it twice. Simple!

This week I'll be having a few of my all time favorites and some of them I have added a healthier spin. Check out my menu and others at Laura's site.

Enjoy!
Stacy

Monday: Happy Memorial Day (train home to PDX)
Tuesday: Taco Tuesday! Homemade beef tacos with all the fixings
Wednesday: Healthier Tuna Casserole (Last Week's ROTW)
Thursday: Butterfly Shrimp with Sweet Potato Fries (thanks, Kalyn for the recipe) and Creamy Lo-Fat Cole Slaw
Friday: Brian's Spaghetti (If Brian drives to PDX on Friday). If not, perhaps leftovers?
Saturday: Beaverton Farmer's Market (perhaps we can get some ideas for dinner)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Old Photo Friday: Best Friends

I had this picture blown up and framed a few years ago for my Pop's birthday. Lifelong friends are something very special and this friendship was one of the best around.

Enjoy!
Stacy

WHO: My Pop and his best friend, Lowell Crowe
WHAT: Cub Scouts (Boy Scouts) - dressed up for a meeting
WHERE: Eugene, OR - I think that might be the front of the house on Hilyard St. (next door to Crowe) where my Pop lived as a boy.
WHEN: Both boys look to be about 7 or 8 (I think Crowe is a year older than my Pop) so I'll say 1951-52.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Healthier Tuna Casserole

With Chick away for the next 13 days - I am cooking some of my all-time favorite recipes. As a kid, my Pop made the best tuna casserole.


This recipe is very close to his traditional casserole, but I’ve taken out some of the fat and calories. By using multi-grain pasta – you add fiber and extra protein without altering the taste.


Enjoy!

Stacy

TUNA CASSEROLE

Makes 8 servings

12 ounces multi-grain pasta,

2 cups frozen green peas, thawed (Pop always uses canned S & W Petite Peas)

2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans of reduced-fat, reduced-sodium cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup fat-free milk (you can use low fat or 2 %)

12 ounces tuna, packed in water, drained and flaked (I prefer all white meat)

½ cup sliced almonds

3 slices light wheat bread (please make your own breadcrumbs - my Grandma Cavey would be proud)

1 tablespoon light butter

Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Cook penne according to package directions. Drain and rinse cooked pasta with cool water.

3. In same pot you cooked the pasta - combine penne, peas, soup, milk, tuna and almonds. Transfer pasta mixture into the baking dish.

4. Use a food processor to mix the bread into fine crumbs. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and light butter. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the casserole.

5. Bake covered at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Take foil off and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until bubbly.

Per serving: 308 calories, 4.1 fat grams, 271mg sodium, 22 protein grams, 5 fiber grams, 35 carb grams, 23mg cholesterol

Adapted from an About.com recipe.



Wednesday, May 20, 2009

West Seattle Farmer's Market/"Flayvors" of Washington Contest

Brian and I checked out the West Seattle Farmer's Market on Sunday.

Operating since 1999, this market features over 35 Washington State farmers and small food processors each week and is open year round.

I actually had an ulterior motive.....

I am writing a recipe and entering this contest. Since my entry has to be a 2 minute video - I decided to film my 10 second lead-in at the market. More on the contest later.It's a beautiful market and one that Brian and I plan on exploring more as the growing/harvest seasons continues.

Enjoy!
Stacy

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

View from the train

Sunset over the Puget Sound - from Amtrak Cascades
Steilacoom, WA
May 15th 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

New Patio - Part Two

The patio is finished and the flowers are planted. We had a very busy weekend in West Seattle.

Brian has done an amazing job! I honestly did not think that it would turn out so cute and so inviting.
We officially christened the patio last Saturday evening as the sun was fading in the western sky.
Bravo, Brian!

Enjoy!
Stacy

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: Home Alone

Chick and her friend, Nan leave for NYC and their cruise to the Caribbean mid week - which means I am cooking for one at Rebecca Lane (for about 14 days).

I really enjoy cooking all my favorites (otherwise know was things Chick wouldn't eat if it were the last day on earth). Let's see what yummies I can whip up for one.

Remember to check out Laura's site for more menu planning ideas.

Monday: BBQ'd Chicken and salad (quick and easy....Chick finishes packing)
Tuesday: Bon Voyage Dinner with Sandra out by PDX Airport (perhaps this place...great Happy Hour)
Wednesday: Wilipa Bay Fried Oysters, Uncle Roy Potatoes and Creamed Corn (yes, life is good)
Thursday: Cook's night off - My Favorite Taco Del Mar
Friday: BBQ'd Rib Eye, Baked Potato and Cesar Salad

Enjoy!
Stacy

Friday, May 15, 2009

Old Photo Friday: Lou and Ev's Family Dinner


WHO: Stacy, Sandra, Rosemary, Pop and Steve
WHAT: Sunday dinner at Lou and Ev's
WHERE: Eugene, OR
WHEN: Spring 1987 (I think this was taken just before I graduated from high school)

It's amazing sometimes when you look at old pictures and can remember the exact moment a picture was taken...the smells, the feelings....what you were thinking.

This picture sticks in my mind because I remember this night as if it were yesterday. We drove out to W. 11th in Eugene on a Sunday night and had an amazing dinner at Lou and Ev's. I don't think this place exists anymore - but they made great fried chicken and it was always crowded.

Look at that sour face of mine.....you wanna know why? I had forgotten to set up the VCR before we left the house - which meant that I was going to miss 21 Jump Street with the young, hot Johnny Depp. Boy was I upset....I sulked all the way there and all the way home. Teenage angst!

Enjoy!
Stacy

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole

Brian and I hosted Brian's Mother, Ann for Mother's Day Brunch last Sunday. I decided on a quick and easy breakfast casserole along with a fruit salad and chocolate raspberry cake. I came across this recipe (which I have made before) which was just perfect.

Thanks to Ann for the use of her blue floral china, silver and table linens. Thanks to my great Aunt Mildred for the crystal goblets (Mom, I think these were Aunt Mildred's, right)? Brian picked out a beautiful bouquet which really made a beautiful Mother's Day table.

Enjoy!
Stacy



Hash Brown Casserole

Ingredients:

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1 cup swiss cheese, shredded

1 can (12 fl. oz.) * NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Fat Free Milk
8 eggs, beaten

Salt & pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 pkg. (30 oz.) frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
1 onion, chopped
½ green pepper, chopped
½ red pepper, chopped
1 cup cubed ham, pre-cooked crumbled bacon or pre-cooked sausage

Directions:

1. PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease 13 x 9-inch baking dish.

2. COMBINE cheese, evaporated milk, eggs, salt, black pepper and spices in large bowl.

3. Add potatoes, onion, bell peppers and meat, mix well. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.

4. BAKE for 60 to 65 minutes or until set.





Wednesday, May 13, 2009

New Patio - Part One


Pink Geranium on front porch



I can't tell you how impressed I am with the job that Brian did on our humble little patio. As I've mentioned before - our back lawn slopes and there really is no place to set a table or chair on flat ground.

He finished about a week and a half ago and I am just amazed with the results.
He still has one row of pavers left to place and we need to plant some flowers - but I can't believe how it has turned out. With temps expected to be in the 70's this weekend - I think we will see some patio time.

Enjoy!
Stacy

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sammy - Unleashed


Our good friends, Kelly and Rob gave Sammy a little present a few weeks ago.

Knowing that Sammy is now an indoor kitty and that his parents are outdoor people - they found this cute little leash especially made for kitties.I don't think Sammy thought much of it. Brian was worried that it was too tight and I was worried that it wasn't tight enough (he's a good Houdini).

We spent 5-10 minutes with him outside and hopefully we'll take him out again this weekend, weather permitting.

Enjoy!
Stacy

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: Mid-May

May is really evolving here in the Pacific Northwest. Our days are getting longer and longer (we pick up over an hour of daylight this month) and we are anxiously awaiting warmer days.

Over the next few weeks the menu planning at Rebecca Lane is also going to evolve. Chick is just a week away from her big New York/Caribbean Cruise so I've promised her to keep things light and low fat. Here is our plan for this week.

Monday: Scallops in a Chipotle-Orange Sauce with Stir-Fry Veggies and Brown Rice
Tuesday: Swedish Meatballs with Buttered Egg Noodles
Wednesday: Southwestern Chicken-Bean Salad
Thursday: Spinach Fettuccine in Cheese Sauce with a Big Garden Salad

Enjoy!
Stacy

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Restaurant Review: Kinara Thai Bistro


Several weeks ago, by boss handed me a newspaper clipping and told me that the previous night he had had the most amazing Thai food. He told me the location and in a moment I realized that I knew exactly were it was - this little hole in the wall has been several things in the past few years and I've always been curious when I pass it on the Max train.

Located in Goose Hollow, across the street from PGE Park, Kinara Thai Bistro has very reasonable prices with a simplistic menu. The atmosphere is cozy, quiet and laid back (funky urban grooves pulsate through the tiny dining room, cushy benches with decorative pillows and a modest interior). My only complaint would be the waitstaff.....there was only one and at times, our service was slow to non-existent (although the space is so small that I am not sure they could fit another body in there walking around). A good sign was that every table was filled by 6PM and several cars pulled up for take-out (the couple next to us appeared to be regulars).

Here is what Chick and I tried:

Appetizer: With about 7 or 8 to choose from, Chick commented that the Blue Crab Wontons sounded good. On a simple square white plate, 8 of the most amazing little crunchy and creamy wontons appeared. Filled with blue crab and cream cheese (spicy sweet chili sauce on the side) - there were quickly devoured.

Mains: We each chose a main. One of my favorites at any Thai place is a good Pad Thai- I ordered Prawn Pad Thai and was not disappointed. It was not as saucy and gooey as others I have tried, but the noodles had a wonderful garlic flavor and the prawns were cooked to perfection.

Sandra ordered a Yellow Chicken Curry with white rice. The curry was one of the richest and creamiest curries I have ever tasted (I'd have eaten it ladled over a old tire). While it was not as spicy as some yellow curries can be, the sweetness of the sauce and the flavors of the cumin, nutmeg, fish sauce turmeric and lime were pleasing to the palette.

They have a nice wine list, with a nice and reasonably priced selection of NW wines (by the glass and bottle). For $40 exactly (minus tip) - Chick and I had a glass of wine, appetizer and two mains....very affordable. NO left overs - so don't expect over-flowing plates.

This won't be the last time we check out Kinara Thai Bistro.

1126 SW 18th Ave.
Portland, OR 97205
503.227.5161
www.kinarathai.com

Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-10pm, Sat 3pm-10pm, Closed Sunday

Image courtesy of Google Images (I left my new camera at home)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Old Photo Friday: Uncle Brian

Who: Uncle Brian and niece Heidi (Brian's middle brother, Kerry's daughter).
What: Uncle Brian meeting his new niece (Heidi is about two months old).
When: This picture was taken in Manhattan, KS (where Kerry and family were stationed in the Army). Brian was on his way to college in Colorado - August 1978.

Enjoy!
Stacy

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Maque Choux (an easy little side dish)


Maque choux (pronounced: "mock shoe") is a traditional dish of southern Louisiana. It is thought to be an amalgam of Acadian French (Cajun) and Native American cultural influence, and the name is likely to derive from the French interpretation of the Native American name. Chef Paul Prudhomme is the man who back in the 1980's single handedly put Cajun into our national culinary vocabulary. Thank you, Paul!

It is a simple dish - usually served as an accompaniment; however, it can also act as a base for a main meal and use focal ingredients such as bite-sized portions of andouille sausage, bacon, chicken or crawfish. I'd pair this little side dish with a grilled Cajun chicken breast.

Enjoy!

Stacy

Ingredients:


2 ears sweet white or yellow corn, shucked and silk removed, or 1-1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed

1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 medium yellow onion, diced

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup peeled, seeded, and diced fresh tomato, or canned tomato (with juices)

1 14-ounce can red beans, kidney beans, or chili beans (for a bit more heat), drained and liquid reserved

Salt

Hot sauce


Directions:

1. Cut the corn kernels from the cob, or if using frozen - defrost corn completely.


2. Heat the oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet to foaming. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the corn, jalapeño, and garlic and stir to mix.


3. Cook for about 3 more minutes, then add the tomato, beans, and 1/4 cup water or reserved bean liquid and season to taste with salt and a little hot sauce. Stir and cook until heated through, then swirl in the remaining tablespoon of butter. Keep the vegetables warm while cooking the chicken. (I also think that this would taste great chilled).


Image courtesy of Google Images

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Raccoon!

Our friend paid us another visit on Sunday. Between thunderstorms and rain - our raccoon hopped over the fence and climbed into the twisted willow tree.

He's pretty to look at, but I know he is dangerous and there is much talk in the neighborhood that he needs to go. Brian's neighborhood in W. Seattle is over-run with them.

Last Saturday....I was just content to watch him and take a few pictures.

Enjoy!
Stacy

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: Welcome May

It's hard to believe that it is May around these parts. I am still waiting for a few dry days and warmer temps (we had a very wet weekend). Perhaps a few BBQ'd items will put me in the mood.

Here is an update on our April food budget. Since we had a no menu last week with our Napa trip - we will include this Monday's shopping trip as the last one. Last Tuesday's shopping trip totalled $83.86. So our three week total is: $293.84 ($6.16 under budget).

Check out Laura's site for more great menu ideas.

Enjoy!
Stacy

Sunday: Last Minute Lasagna with leftover Cesar Salad and a piece of Texas Toast (we didn't eat this dish last week)
Monday: Grilled Halibut with Herbed Mayonnaise and Sauteed Garlic Green Beans
Tuesday: CINCO DE MAYO! Spicy Chicken Tacos
Wednesday: Checking out a new Thai place in NW Portland
Thursday: Sloppy Turkey Joes and Fries

Friday, May 1, 2009

Old Photo Friday: Stacy in Florence

WHO: Me (Stacy)
WHAT: Sitting out on Grandma Virginia's picnic table
WHERE: Florence, OR
WHEN: Summer at the Oregon Coast - Mid-1970's (I look to be about 4 or 5)

This place brings back so many memories. The firepit to the left was built by my Grandpa Ralph and his Brother, Don. We constantly had to move the picnic table into the sun (sun at the Oregon coast is rare). From the looks of things - there must have been a break in the card game to get this picture taken (I see Gram's big orange ashtray and a couple of bottles of Olympia Beer).

Enjoy!
Stacy