Sunday, February 28, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: Welcome March!

I've been eagerly awaiting March! It's one of my favorite months. The second Sunday of the month we set our clocks forward and gain more light in our lives. You gotta love this! On the 18th we start March craziness at my house for 4 days. Oh....and SPRING begins on the 20th.

What are you looking forward to in March?


Monday: Tortilla Crusted Tilapia, Smashed/Crashed Red Potatoes and a Big Garden Salad
Tuesday: BBQ'd T-Bone Steak with leftover Salad
Wednesday: Fettucine Alfredo (with some fresh asparagus)
Thursday: Chicken with Balsamic Peppers and Garlic Green Beans

Friday, February 26, 2010

Old Photo Friday: Aunt Pat and Grandma Marie

WHO: Aunt Pat and Grandma Marie
WHAT: hanging out.....they were the best of friends
WHERE: anyone's guess? Oakridge? Eugene?
WHEN: They look very young; I am going to say that they might be late teens.....1939/1940

Happy Birthday to my Aunt Pat, who turned 88 yesterday. She was both my paternal and maternal grandmother's best friend (long story). She's always been an integral part of our family and one of our last links with the past.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pictures of Blondie!

I snapped a few pictures last night while playing with the new "little one".

She's getting a little braver....and knows when you are on the bed. It only takes a few minutes for her to jump up and begin playing. If you make any sudden movements or loud noise she runs right back to her safe haven.

She really enjoys her new feather duster.

She's got a long tail and big feet. I think she's going to be a big kitty!


Recipe of the Week: Happy Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year started last weekend - it is the Year of the Tiger.

People born in Tiger years are bold and courageous natural leaders. They love the limelight, yet are gracious and unselfish. You're a Tiger if you were born in 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, or 1998.

Famous Tigers include Agatha Christie, Bill Murray, Hugh Hefner, Jay Leno, Jim Carrey, Jodie Foster, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Marilyn Monroe, Penelope Cruz, Queen Elizabeth II, and Stevie Wonder.

Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is sometimes called Lunar New Year. The festival traditionally begins on the first day of the first month in the Chinese calendar and ends on the 15th; this day is called the Lantern Festival. Chinese New Year's Eve is known as chú xī. It literally means "Year-pass Eve".

Here is a quick and easy Chinese dish to help celebrate the Year of the Tiger.


Moo Goo Gai Pan


4 chicken breast halves, skinned, boned and sliced

salt and pepper

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups water

1 tbsp. cornstarch

5 tbsp. corn oil

8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced

4 lb. bok choy or Chinese white cabbage, chopped

2 tbsp. sugar

4 tbsp. soy sauce

6 scallions, chopped


In a bowl, toss chicken with the salt and pepper, garlic and cornstarch mixture. Set aside.

Heat 3 tablespoons of corn oil in a wok and stir in mushrooms, bok choy/cabbage and sugar for 2 minutes. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from wok.

Heat remaining corn oil in wok. Stir fry chicken for 2 minutes over high heat. Add soy sauce and mix well. Cover and cook for about 6 minutes, or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Mix in the cooked vegetables and scallions. Stir fry together for about 1 minute. Serve hot with rice.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Blondie's playing

Little Blondie is still getting used to life at Rebecca Lane. She loves playing with her new feather duster.


Click the play arrow at the bottom of the black box to view video!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"The Pit": Mac Court in Eugene

"The Pit" is closing this year. Opened in December 1926, the arena is named for Clifton N. (Pat) McArthur, a student-athlete and the university's first student body president.

Since Brian has never been to the Pit, I thought it would make a great Valentine's present to take him to Eugene to see the Ducks in action.

First we had breakfast at the Glenwood with niece, Alex a freshman at the U of O.

A quick walk around downtown and to the 5th Street Public Market and then off to the Pit.

I first went to the pit in November of 1976 to see Elvis Presley. My parents thought it would be a cultural event to take their 7 year old to see Elvis. I was scared out of my mind when the first bars of "2001: A Space Odyssey" started up and "the King" took the stage - flashbulbs going off everywhere.Since then, I've been to Mac Court many times over the years and have seen both the greats and the not so greats take the floor.

"Matt Court" will open in 300-some days....and that is a sobering though because there will never be another "Pit".

I am glad that Brian could share some of the memories.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: Last Full Week of February

Welcome to another Menu Plan Monday. If you have not checked out Laura's site recently and are in a menu rut, check it out.....over 300+ menu's and planning ideas. Now onto our week.


Monday: Veggie Chili
Tuesday: Chicken Fried Rice
Wednesday: Carne Asada Tacos with Avocado Pico De Gallo
Thursday: Pappardelle with Shrimp and a big garden salad

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pop's Visit

My Pop came to visit last week.

We really like it when he comes to town (we put him to work). He sweeps our garage, vacuums the house, empties the dishwasher and cooks us dinner. He likes to take care of his girls!

As a pay-back, I took him to a new Chicago Hot Dog place right by my office for lunch. I've never been to Chicago, but my hot dog was awesome and with all with the works (pickles, tomato, relish and onions) Chicago style. desk is really messy.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Old Photo Friday: Grandparents

WHO: Ann and Alan Lee with grand daughters Ericka and Heidi
WHAT: The love of grand parents....what more can you say?
WHERE: Newark, DE
WHEN: Let's see.....the girls look to be between age 4 and 6 (perhaps Kerry, Ericka or Heidi can help me out). I'll say 1987-88?

Sometimes things "dawn" on you....and just recently I stopped dead in my tracks and realized that I no longer have any grandparents. I was very close to my grandma and miss her almost every day. The love of grandparents is something quite special.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Taco Soup

For Super Bowl Sunday, we made a big pot of taco soup with plenty leftover in the freezer. This is a fabulous soup/chili and a perfect meal for a Sunday afternoon.




1 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 pounds ground beef
2 cloves minced garlic
2 cans stewed or diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can corn, undrained
2 cans kidney beans, undrained
1 can sliced black olives, undrained
1 jar medium hot sauce
2 packets taco seasoning
1 large (20 oz) Corona Beer
2 cups water
salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, to taste
sour cream, cheddar cheese, green onions, taco chips


1. Heat oil in large stock pot and saute onion, about 2-3 minutes. Add ground beef and break apart with wooden spoon. Cook until browned then add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
2. Add all can goods, undrained and entire jar of hot sauce. Add taco seasoning and stir.
3. Add beer and half the water (you can add more water to thin down if you want more of a soup than a chili).
4. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer one hour, then check seasoning and add salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder as needed.
5. The longer you simmer, the better it will taste. I typically let my taco soup cook 4-6 hours before serving.
6. Serve hot in bowls with garnishes.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Okay, we all knew this day would come sooner or later. We have a new addition to the Rebecca Lane household and we are thrilled.

Little Blondie came to us from an animal rescue shelter in Salem and she is everything her mama was looking for. She's about 4 months old and has long orange and white hair.

Our house has been quiet and lonely since Abby passed and while we are still mourning her loss, we felt it was time to move forward and begin a new chapter in our family.

Welcome home, little girl! I promise more pictures as soon as she gets used to her new home (she's spending a lot of time under her mama's bed).


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentine's Day Weekend

A long overdue weekend adventure with my Funny Valentine.

Brian and I have not had a decent road trip in months.

My Valentine's surprise was a Saturday drive over the water to Port Townsend, a cute little sound-side town.....a wander up one side of main street and down the other.

An amazing lunch at our favorite bistro...sitting at our favorite table (next to the food burning stove).

So grateful for my love! Thank you for a beautiful day!


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: Mid February

Happy Valentine's Day! May you heart be full of love. Here are some interesting "heart facts" that I recently discovered.....

* The heart beats about 100,000 times a day
* A child's heart is about the size of a clenched fist; a adult heart the size of two fists
* The heart weighs less than a pound
* Women hearts beat faster than men

Do you take good care of your heart? Did you know that foods rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids like Salmon and Tuna reduce both inflammation and the risk of blood clots? Olive oil reduces your risk of heart disease by lowering your bad (LDL) cholesterol. Green leafy veggies contain vitamin E and folate, which helps keep your homocysteine levels low. Finally, tomatoes are packed with lycopene, which has been shown to reduce your heart disease risk.


Monday: Tortilla crusted tilapia and garlic green beans
Tuesday: Sliced Rare Roast Beef, Scalloped Potatoes and A Big Garden Salad (Pop's coming for a visit)
Wednesday: Chicken Thighs, Rice and Roasted Cauliflower (Pop's still here)
Thursday: Cobb Salad (perhaps some leftover rare roast beef)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

My Love, Happy Valentine's Day

"Your slightest look easily will unclose me, though I have closed myself as fingers, you open petal by petal myself as Spring opens her first rose. "
-- E.E. Cummings

Happy Valentine's Day!


Friday, February 12, 2010

Old Photo Friday: Happy Birthday, Kenny!

WHO: Rusty Williams, Stacy and Kenny
WHAT: Sightseeing with Rusty and Kenny
WHERE: Downtown Seattle, Rusty owned the AristoCab and both he and Kenny drove it
WHEN: I think this was Spring Break, 1986 (dear God, I am wearing a Huskies sweatshirt)

Happy Birthday to Kenny, who turns another year older on the 17th of February.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Ginger-Shallot Chicken

Sauté……the key to super fast dinners comes from a French verb which means to jump or rise up.

Culinary, it is something like pan frying, except you cook foods in a modest amount of hot fat in a wide shallow pan. The goal is cooking food through without added moisture.

In the recipe I found below (an adaptation from the Splendid Table) you will want to heat the oil in a big shallow pan, add the chicken, brown over high heat, then cook until done - lowering the heat as you go and covering the pan (sorta like a little steam bath for the chicken).

I just love the spices…..which remind me of a clear winter afternoon just as the sun is lowering on the horizon.

Ginger-Shallot Chicken Breasts

Serves 4


4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (pound between two pieces of plastic wrap until flattened)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1-1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarse chopped

4 large shallots, or 1/2 medium red onion and 1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and minced

2 tablespoons cold water

2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil

Extra oil for the sauté

Basmati or Jasmine Rice, cooked


1. Place the chicken in a plastic storage container. In a blender or food processor puree the soy, ginger, shallots, turmeric, coriander, brown sugar and jalapeno. Add a little water to the mix while pulsating.

2. Pour mixture over the chicken in the plastic bag, rubbing pieces to coat thoroughly. Refrigerate 30 minutes to 24 hours (the longer the better).

3. Lightly film a 12-inch straight-sided sauté pan and heat over medium high. Add the chicken, not letting the pieces touch. Sear on one side for a minute or so, turn and lightly brown on the second side.

4. Reduce heat to medium low, cover the pan and cook, turning the chicken once, 10 minutes (if the meat threatens to burn, add a few tablespoons water), or until the pieces are just firm when pressed.

Serve hot with rice.

Recipe adapted from The Splendid Table
Image courtesy of Google Images

Monday, February 8, 2010

Weekend Update: Ken's visit and Ann's Birthday

View of Olympic Mountains from West Seattle (2 blocks from our house)

Brian was supposed to get together a few weekends ago with both his brothers, Ken and Kerry - but plans change and schedules get rearranged. Ken kept his reservations and flew up to spend last weekend with Brian and visit their mom, Ann who celebrated a birthday on Saturday.

It's always great to catch up with Ken and I know Brian really enjoys the time he spends with both brothers.

Sammy and Uncle Ken

Brian and Ken took at walk through Lincoln Park on a rare (dry) and beautiful Saturday.

In the afternoon, we explored California Avenue and a cocktail at the Shadowland. New CD's at Easy Street Records. Then, Ken took us all out to Olive Garden on Saturday night for a wonderful dinner.

I enjoyed being back in Seattle after three weeks away.....especially spending time with my little boy, Sammy.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: Feb 7-11

Happy Super Bowl Sunday and a great start to a wonderful week. Our Super Bowl Sunday tradition is Taco Soup, a recipe that has been in my family for years.

We are really looking forward to a great game and a healthy and happy week ahead.


Sunday: Super Bowl Sunday - Taco Soup... our annual tradition!
Monday: Greek Burgers - we might go and see "The Blind Side with Sandra Bullock
Tuesday: Tortilla Crusted Tilapia with Roasted Asparagus
Wednesday: Beer Soaked Flank Steak with a Big Garden Salad
Thursday: Meeting Sandra and her friend, Teresa at Old Spaghetti Factory

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Season's Eatings: Rosie's goodie box

Back in December, I participated in Katie's little blog gathering called Season's Eatings. Katie gave me Rosie's name and my task was to prepare a package of Oregon goodies along with a recipe and send it over to her before Christmas.

Rosie lives in England (you know like over the Atlantic Ocean) and has been very busy with her studies (good luck Rosie), but I've been keeping an eye on her blog for the day she might comment about our goodie box. We sent her the recipe for meatballs in cranberry pinot noir sauce along with some Beaver, OR hot mustard and I threw in some chocolate covered blueberries, hazelnuts and an Oregon chocolate bar that I picked up from the Oregon Store.

Well apparently, Rosie finally had time to whip something up from our box! Check out her site for the recipe for yummy White Chocolate And Dark Chocolate-Covered Blueberry Cookies.

They sound fantastic and I am just thrilled that she enjoyed them. Thanks again to Katie for hosting Season's Eatings! I hope to participate again this holiday season.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Old Photo Friday: This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship

WHO: Stacy, Sonja and Heather
WHAT: Sunday morning breakfast
WHERE: Pacific City/Neskowin, OR
WHEN: July 1999

The summer of 1999, I started working on Saturdays as a weekend receptionist at a hair salon. I'd been in Portland a couple of years and didn't have many friends. Heather was the full-time weekday receptionist at the hair salon and she invited me to spend the weekend....partying at her grandparents beach house on the Oregon coast. She claimed that there would be tons of people for me to meet and so I totally went out of my comfort zone and drove to the coast on Saturday afternoon with the hand-written directions that Heather had given me.

Turns out.....there was no big party or tons of people......just Heather and her friend Sonja.

11 years later and neither Sonja or I have any idea where Heather is....but our friendship has remained strong.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Split Pea Soup

Did I mention that I am on a soup kick? This winter I have already made a hearty navy bean and ham (with leftover ham bone from Christmas) and a warming vegetarian minestrone. Next on the list....split pea, only this one is quick...easy and low fat.


Split Pea with Turkey Bacon


1 1/2 cup split peas, divided (usually one package of dried peas)

6 cups water (or 3 cups water and 3 cups broth) - you may need to add a bit more water to thin down
8 slices Turkey Bacon
1 large onion
1 large carrot
1 large potato
3 ribs celery

2 cloves of garlic, minced

Fresh herbs

Salt and pepper


1. Cook bacon in medium pan until brown (add a splash of water to ease cooking). Set aside.

2. Bring 1 cup peas and water/broth to a boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

3. After 30 minutes add chopped onion, carrot, potatoes, celery and garlic to the pot. Season with herbs and salt and pepper. Add rest of peas and bacon.

4. Cover and simmer until all vegetables are done – about 30 - 45 minutes longer (some of the peas will remain whole and a tad al dente).

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cabo: The Wrap Up!

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights;

it is a change that goes on,
deep and permanent,

in the ideas of living.” - Miriam Beard

We are back home now and adjusting to the real world. It takes a few days to let the vacation soak in and to remember each moment and to cherish all the joys. To realize that you will return again soon is what keeps us all going.

Things I loved about our Cabo trip.....

We had an off the hook room!

The joy on each of our faces when we walked into that room and jumped up and down like two five year-olds. Too funny!

I loved watching the sunrise (and for those who know me......quit laughing). It's so calm right before the sun breaks the horizon. A moment of pure joy.

The abundance of sunshine! How lucky for those who live to be bathed in the light. The warmth of my bones.....I am so missing!

The Mexican people are so dear and genuine.....this gets lost to most of us who walk in the real world. Their inner and outer beauty is something that I always admire.

A great travel companion.....someone who shares the love of a 3PM cool cocktail, a warm-as-bath-water-pool, a hot and cheap breakfast and the joys of shopping for treasured trinkets.

If it were not for Chick, I would not have met so many cool people. You've got the gift of gab, Sister! I love the joy it brings to you!

Hola and Enjoy!