Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Our Tulips

Still recovering from the crud bug so a quiet weekend in West Seattle.

Ahead of Sunday's storm, we had a chance to take a walk through Lincoln Park and down to the water.
Everything is in bloom and the air smelled so sweet. These are the tulips we planted last fall. We had both forgotten they were purple. What a nice surprise!


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: Welcome April

With Summer just around the corner, now is the time to get your food consumption in check. Put together a food log and start menu planning. This will not only lower your food budget but also start to get you in shape for summer.


Monday: Turkey Parmesan Meatloaf with Green Beans
Tuesday: Salmon with Oven Roasted Asparagus and Jasmine Rice
Wednesday: Asian Chicken Burgers
Thursday: Grilled Sirloin Steaks with 1/2 Baked Potato and a Big Garden Salad

Friday, March 26, 2010

Old Photo Friday: Ride Em Cowboy!

WHO: Sandra K
WHAT: Pony Rides
WHERE: Probably some place in Eugene
WHEN: She looks to be about 3, maybe 4 so I'll say 1963/64

I love the look on her face....sheer child joy. The oversized hat is a hoot! Is that a gun in her holster?


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Persian New Year

Nowrūz, Persian meaning "New Light" is a traditional ancient Iranian Festival which celebrates the start of the Iranian Calendar. Nowruz marks the first day of spring when the earth stops its motion for a second. It is celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox, which usually occurs on March 21 or the previous/following day depending on where it is observed.

Rice cooked with lentils, dill, and spices is ubiquitous in Persian cooking, and there are many elaborate variations that include dried fruit, fresh herbs, nuts, and beans. This version is green and aromatic. Persian cooking is known for making single dishes with few ingredients, but big on spices and flavor.

Thanks to my friend, Soudy for sharing with me that it was time for the celebration of Persian New Year.


Green Rice

Makes 6 cups


2 cups long-grain basmati rice
1 teaspoon saffron threads or powder
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks, green and white parts, finely diced
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/3 cup minced fresh dill
1 cup shelled, toasted pistachios


1. Put the rice in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Toss the rice with your hands a few times to remove the starch, and drain. Repeat this process 2-3 times. Set aside.

2. Pour 3-1/2 cups water in a small pot with a dash of salt and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, put the saffron in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons of water. Stir and set aside.

3. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add the oil. Add the leeks and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the rice, saffron water, and lime juice and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Pour the boiling water over the rice, bring the rice to a boil, then decrease the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the rice stand, covered, for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

4. Transfer the rice to a large bowl and fold in the parsley, cilantro, dill, and most of the pistachios. Season with salt. To serve, pile the rice on a platter and scatter a few pistachios over the top.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Yard Man

Brian absolutely loves working in the yard.

Being outdoors with a rake in his hands puts the biggest smile on his face.
Last weekend at Rebecca Lane, he took a rare time-out from the basketball games to mow the lawn and clean the beds. Thank you!

Spring is in the air.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March Madness 2010

We had an awesome time last week celebrating the first weekend of NCAA March Madness.

64 teams widdled down to the "Sweet 16" late on Sunday and in-between lots of upsets and buzzer beaters.A special thanks to my Aunt Judy who sent us this wonderful basketball care package all the way from Ohio. Lot's of snacks.....funky straws and pencils and pads to keep track of all our teams.
Despite a nasty cold, I whipped up some pretty good grub, including the hit of the weekend....bacon wrapped scallops. Yum!

This continues to be one of our favorite weekends of the year!


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: Last Week in March

The first week of March Madness is over and we survived. Last week's menu was a tad rich so we are back on the food wagon. Check out these light and easy low-calorie gems.


Monday: Tilapia with Brown Rice and sauteed Yellow Squash, Red Pepper and Zucchini
Tuesday: Pork Chops with Black Beans
Wednesday: Tortilla Soup
Thursday: Flank Steak Marinated in Beer and Sauteed Garlic Broccoli

Friday, March 19, 2010

Old Photo Friday: A Day at the Beach

WHO: Ken, Brian, Ann and Kerry
WHAT: A day at the beach
WHERE: I'll have to check with Brian, but this might be Rehoboth Beach in Delaware
WHEN: Brian looks to be about 3 - so I'll say summer 1963 possibly 1964

I posted this picture of Brian and his mom a few months ago then ran across one with all the boys this past weekend.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Easy Vegetarian Three Bean Chili

My winter experiment with soups continues.....

A few weeks ago I found this easy three bean chili in the latest Cooking Light. I was able to throw it together on a week night which is always an added bonus. A very tasty and filing soup considering that you didn't have to cook all day long.


Three Bean Vegetarian Chili
Adapted from Cooking Light

1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt and ground pepper, to taste
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 cups vegetable broth (plus more depending on your desired consistency)
1 1/2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added tomatoes, undrained and chopped
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

1. Preheat broiler.

2. Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise. Remove and discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 15 minutes or until blackened. Place pepper halves in a plastic Tupperware container with a lid; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel and chop peppers.

3. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in spices then garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add bell peppers, broth, squash, and tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans; simmer 20 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with green onions. Freeze leftovers

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Weekend Wine Review: Annie's Lane Chardonnay

I picked up a wonderful Chardonnay at Cost Plus World Market this past week.

Annie's Lane Chardonnay from the Clare Valley, South Australia is a light pale straw colored wine with green hues. It has strong aromas of peach, vanilla and wildflowers. Finishes with notes of fig and integrated oak characters. It would pair wonderfully with fish and chicken, not to mention rabbit (cover your ears dear bunnies).

I picked up a bottle for $6.97... an excellent steal.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

March in West Seattle

This past weekend really felt like spring to me. Despite a windy and chilly Saturday, it really feels like spring is in the air.

Sunday was a beautiful day and we took a short drive after brunch along Alki and were treated to some beautiful views of the Olympics and Cascades.

A quieter weekend at home gave me the chance to break out some spring accents for the house.
The bunnies and birdies are very pleased!


Sunday, March 14, 2010


Let the games begin! March Madness Week begins on Thursday. Twelve hours of basketball for 4 days = heaven to me!! Tip off is 9AM on Thursday and continues through Sunday.

My Pop arrives on Wednesday and from there our basketball and culinary adventure kicks into over-drive.


Monday: Mexican Chicken Stew with Texas Toast
Tuesday: Salmon with Roasted Broccoli and Smashed Red Potatoes
Wednesday: Golden Crown in Beaverton
Thursday: Braised Short Ribs, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans
Friday: Tapas Night! Pinot Noir Meatballs, Stuffed Mushrooms, Bacon Wrapped Scallops and more!
Saturday: Grilled Rib Eye with Onion Blue Cheese Sauce, Roasted Asparagus and Salad
Sunday: Pizza Night - Cook's night off!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Old Photo Friday: Pop's Senior Class Photo

WHO: My Pop - Jim Brady
WHAT: Senior Class photo
WHERE: Cottage Grove High School

A few weeks ago my Pop visited for a few days and he brought with him a mock-up of his high school year book that he saved from his 30th high school reunion. Out of the envelope fell his reunion name tag/picture and it was a photo I had never seen before.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Recipe of the Week: March Madness Traditions

March Madness begins next week at Rebecca Lane. We have some new menu items this year along with some traditions. My Pop making biscuits and gravy on the first morning is always one of my favorite meals.



Traditional Tip-Off Breakfast

Biscuits and Gravy


1 pound Jimmy Dean roll sausage (any flavor)

6 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

3 cups milk

Pilsbury biscuits


Crumble sausage into a large skillet and cook until browned. Remove from skillet and set aside; drain thoroughly.

Blend flour and pepper into drippings and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until lightly browned.

Gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir until thickened. Stir cooked sausage into gravy. Remove from heat. Serve over biscuits

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Oscar Night

We had an awesome Oscar night at Rebecca Lane. Chick and I got all glamoured up!

Even Blondie got into the act.

All of our tapas/small plates came out wonderfully.....champagne flowed freely and all our favorites won.
It's fun to add a little celebration to your Sunday, isn't it?


Monday, March 8, 2010

Blondie Update

Blondie has been at Rebecca Lane for three weeks now.....

In the last few days, she's become extremely friendly and plays out in the living room in the evenings. She still seeks solace under the bed from time to time, but she ventures out more on her own.She loves her toys, especially her little fuzzy ball and carries it around the house in her mouth.

Just last night, she decided to become a "lap" cat and spent quite a bit of time on her mommy's lap.

We think she is adorable!


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: March 8-11th

Welcome to another Monday! We are celebrating "Oscar" on Sunday night and enjoying a bit of Hollywood razzle dazzle. The rest of the week is light, healthy and low fat. Check out our menu and plenty of others HERE.


Oscar Night!
Monday: Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Tuesday: Sauteed Red Snapper with Orange Fennel Salad and Wild Rice
Wednesday: Steak Tips with Mushroom Gravy and a Big Garden Salad
Thursday: Stuffed Baked Potatoes with Leftover Salad

Friday, March 5, 2010

Old Photo Friday: Feeding the ducks

WHO:Grandpa Jim (Maternal Grandpa), Stacy and Leslie Hamlin (childhood friend)
WHAT: Feeding the ducks
WHERE: Grandpa Jim and Grandma June's module home complex in Bothell, WA
WHEN: Late 70's......1978 I believe

We took a lot of trips in the summer to the Seattle area (northeast of downtown) as a child. My grandparents lived in this really cool "trailer" park that had an awesome swimming pool and a river inlet where hundreds of ducks and geese lived. They had a nasty-ass dog named Susie who terrorized me, but most of my memories are centered around the walks to the water with grandpa to feed the ducks.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Recipe of the Week: And the Oscar goes to.......

It's time for our annual Oscar Party. Last year I created a tapas/small plates menu inspired by the movies and actors nominated (this way we can eat more....the show is REALLY LONG).

This years buzz
is that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has expanded the Best Picture category from five to ten nominees. That may make it harder to zero in on a favorite, but definitely makes it easier to create menus inspired by the nominees.

Here is last years menu. I came up with some really great ideas!

Don't forget.....the 82nd annual Academy Awards are on @ 5:00 PST on Sunday, March 7th.

Check it out! Here is this year's menu

Red Carpet Special: Roasted "Red" Pepper and While Bean dip with veggies and crackers served with chilled Barefoot Bubbly

Porcini Mushroom Tarlets with mixed greens - Inspired by Best Actress Nominee, Meryl Streep in "Julie & Julia"

Singing Cowboy Slider Melts and homemade Big Texas fries - Inspired by Best Actor Nominee, Jeff Bridges in "Crazy Heart"

Sticky Date Pudding - Inspired by Sherlock Holmes nominated for Art Direction and Original Score