Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Saying Goodbye to Summer 2009

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I’ve been struggling the last few days….saying goodbye to summer.

So many memories in my mind that I am finding it hard to put closure on the long - sunny - fun filled days.

To ease my pain, I went back through my summer pictures….remembering all the things we did between May and September.

Boy, was I amazed at all the fun we had!

I hope you enjoy!

Stacy

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

West Seattle Tidbits - Welcome Fall

This weekend in Seattle we welcomed the first weekend of Fall.

We had a mellow and quiet weekend...taking it all in.....stealing the last minutes of summer on the patio (it looks like rain and cool from here on out).

Check out our beautiful rose bush!
Blooming one last time this year! The biggest and brightest blooms all year.

We also checked out two places in West Seattle that we have passed a dozen times before.....The Bohemian and Easy Street Records Cafe.

Opened last September, The Bohemian offers an amazing wine list, full bar with signature cocktails, an eclectic and globally influenced menu and live music Thursday-Saturday (ranging from acoustic guitar to French Jazz). How Bohemian!?The owners were extremely attentive (one brother is the bar manager and the other the head chef) and made Brian and I feel very welcome, even on a quiet Saturday. Were we the only ones drinking at 3:00PM on Saturday?!
We'll definitely be back for dinner and drinks sometime soon! I loved the vibe and the menu looks fantastic.

The major disappointment of the weekend came from Easy Street Records Cafe. Brian and I assumed that lines out the door every Saturday and Sunday meant great food was inside. We were wrong.

Our breakfast was just about the worst we have ever had. Brian's Beck Omelet was so visually unappealing that I had to look away while he was eating it. The last time I saw eggs this powdery and rubbery was on a old re-run of M*A*S*H.

While my New Wave O’s Rancheros was edible...cold food should never be accepted especially at breakfast (even my coffee was weak and lukewarm). You know a place is really bad when you can't drink the coffee! The good news....this place is cheap in comparison to other West Seattle breakfast joints....so being out less than $20 helped soften the blow.

I hope everyone welcomed fall this weekend!

Enjoy!
Stacy

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: Welcome October!

The last three months of 2009 start this week....amazing! Let's kick-start light and healthy eating before the holidays take us over.

Enjoy!
Stacy

Monday: Steak with Two Peppers and a Big Garden Salad
Tuesday: Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms and a Big Garden Salad
Wednesday:Parmesan-Turkey Meatloaf with Green Beans
Thursday: Fend For Yourself Night (Chick has a Mary Kay Class)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Old Photo Friday: Happy Birthday, Sonja!


WHO: Stacy and Sonja
WHAT: Dinner out the night before our camping trip to Yosemite National Park
WHERE: (Bay Area) perhaps close to Foster City, California - my first time eating at PF Chang's
WHEN: June 2003

Happy Birthday tomorrow to my friend, Sonja! I love this picture of the two of us the night before we left for a long weekend in Yosemite National Park. We camped, explored the park and hiked in the summer sun.

Enjoy!
Stacy

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Fall Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing

I came across this Fall salad recently and immediately put it on my Harvest Dinner Menu scheduled for early October. Thank you Tyler Florence!

Enjoy!

Stacy


Fall Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing

Adapted from Tyler Florence

Ingredients:

Candied Nuts:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup raw pecans (you could also use hazelnuts)

Maple-balsamic dressing:

1 small shallot, finely diced

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons maple syrup

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salad:

Mixed Greens, including endive, frisee, radicchio and romaine

1 red pear, sliced

1/4 cup shaved Parmesan

Directions:

1. To make the candied pecans, set a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the butter and sugar and once it has melted toss in the pecans and continue to toss to coat and cook evenly, about 1 minute.

2. Transfer to a sheet tray lined with waxed paper (use 2 forks to separate pecans) while you prepare the salad.

3. Make the dressing by combining the chopped shallot, Dijon and balsamic vinegar in a large mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while you whisk to emulsify (choose to do this in my food processor). Add the maple syrup and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

4. Assemble salad by tossing greens and pear slices in a large mixing bowl with maple-balsamic dressing. Top with shaved Parmesan and candied pecans.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sunday Brunch

Brian and I hosted Sunday brunch last weekend and it gave us an opportunity to introduce our parents to each other.
It was a beautiful day and I am so grateful that we had the opportunity to get together in our home. It was a wonderful way to end our fun-filled weekend introducing my parents to our home and community.

Enjoy!
Stacy

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mariner's Game with Pop and Rosemary


Last Saturday evening under threatening skies, we headed down to SODO for the M's Yankees game.

We had a great time walking around SAFECO Field before first pitch.Meet my new best friend.....
NOT!!!

Unfortunately, the M's lost but we all had a great time.

Enjoy!
Stacy

Weekend with the Parents

Brian, Sammy and I hosted my parents who drove up from Springfield - picked me up in Portland and drove to Seattle last Friday afternoon.We enjoyed wine and hor'douvres on the patio then headed out to dinner at Fresh Bistro in West Seattle.

WOW! What a fabulous meal.

Opened in late May 2009 by Seattle's biggest caterer, Herban Feast, Fresh Bistro's biggest attraction is local, organic and fresh food. It's seasonal menu is serving up the best of summer while newly adding all the favorites of the harvest.
The dining room was cozy....small tables that appeal to the casual lunch crowd or a romantic date night. I especially loved the see-through fireplace (I can see Brian and I sipping on Chardonnay this winter). A large open kitchen near the front brings the back of the house to the diner's eye and walls painted in natural-like colors of green and sand give the room an earthy feel.

The menu has lots going on—most of the dishes take two lines to describe—and the chefs plate up works of art.

As an example, Brian ordered Herban Feast's signature crab-and-sweet potato cakes. The quarter-sized cakes had a dense, sweet orange filling, well met by the dollops of smoky chipotle mayonnaise perched on top.I personally didn't care for Brian's cold Tomato-corn soup, although it was very visually appealing.

My rack of lamp was glazed and grilled perfectly served on a bed of herby spaetzle.The star of the show.....the deconstructed beet salad. We all had wonderfully exquisite and well prepared meals. We can't wait to go back.
On Saturday, the skies opened up and turned gray, but we didn't let that stop us.....out for breakfast at Circa.Followed by a driving tour of West Seattle.Enjoy!

Stacy

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: Fall Begins!

Fall begins on Tuesday! It's hard to believe another season is upon us.

What is your favorite thing about fall?

I really enjoy comfort foods, the first crackling fire of the season, falling leaves and college football.

Here is this week's menu for Rebecca Lane - is anyone else noticing some yummy fall favorites in the produce aisles (I've got to pick up some acorn squash)?!

Enjoy!
Stacy

Monday: Blackened Salmon and Acorn Squash
Tuesday: Jerk Chicken Thighs with Mango Salsa and Jasmine Rice
Wednesday:Pan-Seared Turkey Cutlets W/Wine Pan-sauce and Grilled Garlic Asparagus
Thursday: Greek Shrimp with Orzo

Friday, September 18, 2009

Old Photo Friday: Baby Stacy and Pop

WHO: Baby Stacy less than a month old and my Pop, Jim
WHAT: A Dad's special moment with his only newborn
WHERE: E Street in Springfield
WHEN: Picture says May 1969 (when developed) but my guess is this is late April or early May just after my birth (I look so tiny).

Look at the adoring face! That's my Pop......and no child could have wished for a better one. I am a very lucky girl to have had such a "hands-on" Dad. Thank you, Poppie!

Enjoy!
Stacy

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Baked Brie in Puff Pastry


I have not made this in ages, but I was thinking that other day that with the apple harvest underway it's a great ooey gooey dipping sauce for apples (and easy to make).

Enjoy!

Stacy

Baked Brie in Puff Pastry


Ingredients:

1/2 (17.5 ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 (8 ounce) wheel Brie cheese

1/4 cup chopped nuts (almonds or hazelnuts)


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 inch pie pan.

2. Slice the wheel of Brie in half, horizontally, so that the halves are two.

3. Lay the puff pastry in the pie pan. Place half of the Brie (rind-side down) onto the pastry dough.

4. Sprinkle almonds evenly over the top. Place the other half of the Brie (rind-side up) over the nuts.

5. Bundle the pastry dough around the Brie. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.


Serve with good crackers, hunks of baguette or sliced apples. I also like a good fruity chutney on the side.


Image courtesy of Google Images


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Patrick Swayze



We lost another great 80's icon this week and another to cancer. I think Chick and I saw "Dirty Dancing" at least 3 times in the theater and I own the 20th Anniversary DVD. It's one of my favorite "feel good" movies of all time.

Rest in Peace, Patrick.

Enjoy,
Stacy

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: Mid September!

Welcome to a full 4 days of cooking! With the Vegas trip and Labor Day weekend, we've gotten a bit off track. Let's regroup!

Is anyone craving comfort foods? Usually for me - when the calendar turns to September, I start thinking about comfort food - things that simmer and stew and make the house smell delicious.

The big problem is......comfort foods usually mean high calories and fat and generally thing that are not good to eat if you are watching your weight.

I've managed to find a few comfort foods that are lighter in calories and fat and still taste wonderful. This week, I am introducing the first - Beef Stroganoff.

Enjoy!
Stacy

Monday: Beef Stroganoff with Yogurt and Dill
Tuesday: Almond-Crusted Tilapia with a Big Garden Salad
Wednesday: Chicken Cordon Bleu with Garlic Green Beans
Thursday: Marinated Flank Steak (Asian inspired) with Jasmine Rice and Stir-Fry Veggies

Friday, September 11, 2009

Old Photo Friday: Happy Birthday, Jo-Anne!

WHO: Stacy and Jo-Anne
WHAT: Goodbye lunch (I left Australia 3 days later)
WHERE: Melbourne, Australia (Church Street, Brighton)
WHEN: April 1997

Happy Birthday to my Australian pal, Jo-Anne. We worked together at Norwich Union in Melbourne, Australia back in 1995-96. I can thank Jo-Anne for my sanity. She helped me through a rough patch while sorting out my life and leaving Australia in 1997. I'll never forget the day this picture was taken...outside that cute little restaurant in Brighton, The Half Moon on a cool April "Fall"(southern hemisphere) afternoon.

I miss you Jo!

Enjoy!
Stacy

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Autumn Root Stew

Okay, I know it's technically not Autumn just yet, but it is the start of harvest season and the perfect time to make some soup to freeze for those chilly autumn weekends.

Enjoy!

Stacy

AUTUMN ROOT STEW

SERVES 4 (can easily be doubled)

Ingredients:

  • 4 carrots, peeled, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 leeks, chopped (white and pale green parts only)
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 4 organic Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 large bulb fennel, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, stemmed and chopped
  • 4 cups curly kale, shredded (you could also use baby spinach)
  • 1/2 cup Marsala or dry sherry
  • 1 cup dried potato flakes or instant mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup extra sharp cheddar or any cheese, grated (I really like Parmesan)

Directions:

1. In a soup pot, combine carrots, garlic, leeks, parsnips, potatoes and fennel with water to cover by at least 2 inches. You could also use part water and part chicken or vegetable broth.

2. Add salt, pepper and thyme, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender (15-20 minutes).

3. Add kale/spinach, cover pan and cook until tender (2-3 minutes). Add Marsala, stir in potato flakes and cook for 1 minute. Serve hot, garnished with cheese.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

We had a quiet wet and cool Labor Day weekend in West Seattle with lots of time at home.

I cleaned out the flower bed and planted fall mums. Brian planted two arborvitae to create a "fence" along our new patio (in between monsoon like showers and temps in the upper 50's).Autumn is in the air.

Enjoy!
Stacy

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: September 8th, 9th and 10th

Menu Plan Monday is back (brief absence last week while I was enjoying Las Vegas). I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend. I enjoyed the long weekend in Seattle with my boys! Not much patio time (too wet and cool).....lots of naps, British mysteries and reading books. Ahhhh...end of summer bliss!

For me the beginning of September represents the end of summer.

As a kid, the days after Labor Day marked the beginning of the new school year - and all your summer fun was over. For my entire life - the beginning of September.......fall begins!

As an adult, you begin to notice the sun setting earlier, the leaves slightly turning color and you wait for the moment when you smell "fall" in the air.

When does summer end for you?

This is another short week at Rebecca Lane, but we are making the most of it. Light and easy meals so that we can keep the pace with our walking schedule.

Enjoy!
Stacy

Tuesday: Herb-Crusted Red Snapper with Jasmine Rice and Garlic Green Beans
Wednesday: Lemon and Asparagus Fettuccine with a BIG Garden Salad
Thursday: Goat Cheese and Fresh Herb Stuffed Chicken Breast with Sauteed Herb Cauliflower

Friday, September 4, 2009

Old Photo Friday: Grand Canyon


WHO: Stacy
WHAT: Family vacation to Las Vegas, Sedona, AZ and the Grand Canyon
WHERE: South Rim of the Grand Canyon
WHEN: September 1997

Less than a week after the death of Princess Diana - Dad, Rosemary, Chick and I took a family vacation to Las Vegas. We rented a car and drove to Sedona, AZ for a few days and spent some time at the Grand Canyon before driving back to Las Vegas in time for Princess Diana's funeral on September 6th 1997.

Perhaps a moment of reflection at such a beautiful place?!

Enjoy!
Stacy

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Garlic Schmeared Rosemary Chicken

My best grown herb this year was my rosemary. It's so hearty and even during our heat spell in late July, it continued to grow like a weed. I found this recipe courtesy of Emeril and made a few changes.

Enjoy!

Stacy

Garlic Schmeared Rosemary Chicken
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse

Ingredients:

1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
1/3 cup roast garlic puree, recipe below

Directions:

1. Preheat grill to 400 degrees F.

2. Rinse the chicken thighs well and pat dry with paper towels.

3. Rub chicken all over with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle rosemary all over chicken. Grill for 7-9 minutes then turn and schmear with roast garlic puree. Grill an additional 5-6 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

Roast Garlic Puree:
2 heads garlic
2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 lemon juiced
1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the top quarter from each garlic head and place, cut side up, in a baking dish (I have a garlic roaster). Drizzle 2 tablespoons oil over the garlic, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until the cloves are soft and golden brown, about 1 hour.

Remove from the oven and let sit until cool enough to handle. Remove cloves with small pairing knife, or squeeze into bowl. Add lemon juice and chopped rosemary. Stir the garlic mixture with a rubber spatula to blend thoroughly. Drizzle in remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Yield: 1 cup

Note: Can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Mix with olive oil to extend the life of the puree.

Images courtesy of Google Images

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Las Vegas (Monday)

While Brian was busy working - I spent Monday relaxing by the pool at the Green Valley Ranch in Las Vegas.
View of the strip from the pool area

It was just me and my book...poolside! This is the cool "bed lounge" I relaxed on. These things were so comfortable. Very hip pool area (although the ghetto hip-hop they blasted was annoying). Check out the area they call "The Pond". I had no desire to go top-less, thank you!
I loved staring at the palm trees (I took this one looking straight up above me). There was an entire grove around the pool.It was way to hot to sit out all day long - so I cooled off with a bit of shopping and a light lunch (okay.....I pulled a few "penny" slot handles too) while waiting for Brian's day to end.

He met me back at the "ranch" and had a quick swim in the pool!The birthday boy requested the "Cheesecake Factory" for dinner. We had a nice dinner (Baja Chicken Tacos and Chicken Marsala) before returning to the "ranch" for an after dinner cocktail and a bit of roulette (I won $43).Tuesday was more pool time for me, an afternoon chardonnay and some video blackjack. After Brian finished up his class, we had a quick bite at the Elephant Bar before flying back home to PDX.

Enjoy!
Stacy

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Las Vegas (Sunday)


Brian and I are enjoying a little get-away in Las Vegas.

We are staying at this wonderful place out in Henderson, NV where Brian is teaching for 2 days.

Check out the Green Valley Ranch!
We arrived early enough on Sunday to spend some time having fun down on the "strip". We parked at the Monte Carlo and walked to the Bellagio (it was 107 yesterday). We ate some lunch and took a look at the Bellagio's botanical gardens. Beautiful flowers!In the evening, when the weather cooled into the low 90's... we explored "the ranch" and checked out the pool area.Drinks at a bar called Drop (rock videos playing on plasma televisions).....great Chinese take-out dinner at China Spice.

Enjoy!
Stacy