Thursday, September 30, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Hobo Scramble

To my knowledge, this recipe is entirely made up.....I made it up on the spot one Saturday morning in Seattle after realizing the smorgasbord of yummy items in the fridge that would make one heck of a scramble.

After I plated it, I realized that this was a complete change from what we normally have for breakfast so I figured I'd better give it a name (you know....sell it). Hence.....a scramble was born.


Hobo Scramble
Serves 2

2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Yukon Gold Potatoes, diced
1/2 tablespoon Paprika
1/2 tablespoon Garlic Powder
1/2 green or red pepper, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3-4 mushrooms, sliced
1/3 tube, Jimmy Dean sausage
1/2 slab ham steak, diced
6 eggs
Shredded cheddar or Parmesan

Heat oil in a large pan over medium high heat; add diced potatoes and heavily season with pepper, paprika and garlic powder. Once you get a good crisp skin (about 15 minutes), add onion and pepper; cook for about 5 minutes then add mushrooms.

Heat a separate pan over medium heat and add the sausage (break apart evenly with a wooden spoon) and cook for about 3 minutes; then add the diced ham. Once the sausage is cooked through and the ham begins to brown, turn off the heat and set pan aside.

Beat together 6 eggs until light and fluffy; add just a pinch of salt and let the eggs sit for about 5 minutes. Add the sausage mixture to the potatoes and stir; then add the eggs. Stir the eggs around until sausage and ham are well mixed; then keep you eye on it until the eggs start to set.

To serve, sprinkle with cheese.

Image Courtesy of Google Images: This is exactly what our scramble looked like, right down to the paper plate
Recipe Courtesy of Moi: Honest to God...I made this up. Don't ask me how I came up with the name, except for the fact that I felt like a hobo using up what we had in the fridge

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Our Summer 2010

Last Thursday was the first day of fall!

In celebration and memory of our summer, here is a collage I put together of some of the things we enjoyed the past 4 months.


Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
This free picture slideshow customized with Smilebox

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: End of September

Can you believe it? Thanksgiving is only 9 weeks away!! Are you thinking about the holidays and if so.....have you begun your menu planning?

If you are like me, there are still a few "summer" menu items that keep finding their way onto my menu. One evening out this week for a bit of happy hour fun!


Monday: Teriyaki Salmon in Foil with Jasmine Rice
Tuesday: Cilantro-Lime Chicken Breasts with Avocado Salsa and Couscous
Wednesday: Spiced Pork Chops with Butternut Squash and Green Beans
Thursday: Off to the Blue Olive for Happy Hour

Friday, September 24, 2010

Old Photo Friday: Happy Anniversary Ken and Amy

WHO: Ken and Amy
WHAT: Wedding in Hawaii
WHERE: Kauai
WHEN: September 1985

Happy 25th Wedding Anniversary to Ken and Amy Lee! Cheers to 25 more!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Acorn Squash

Acorn squash is a winter squash with distinctive longitudinal ridges and sweet, yellow-orange flesh. Although considered a winter squash, acorn squash belongs to the same species as all "summer" squashes (including zucchini and yellow squash). The most common variety is dark green in color; however, newer varieties have arisen including Golden Acorn, for its glowing yellow color, and some that are white.

One of my favorites as a kid....but sorry Pop, I don't use much butter and brown sugar any more! Try this twist on an old classic.



Baked Acorn Squash

1 Acorn Squash, Halved
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and Pepper
Fresh Grated Nutmeg
Fresh Thyme, chopped (about 1/2 teaspoon)
A Pinch of Brown Sugar

Preheat oven to 375F. Scoop seeds out with a spoon. Bring large pot of water to a boil and carefully drop in each squash half (I like to pre-cook my squash for 5-7 minutes). Remove from water and pat dry.

Add a tablespoon of butter to each half then season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, thyme and brown sugar.

Place upright on a cookie sheet or shallow baking dish. Roast for about 30-45 minutes or until flesh is tender (can easily be scooped out with a spoon).

Recipe courtesy of my Pop, which I tweaked a bit because I really like the taste of squash and not brown sugar
Image courtesy of Google Images

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Snoqualmie Falls

The last thing I wanted to do on Saturday was steam clean the carpets, but fall and winter are fast approaching and I wanted a good dry day to complete the task.

Having to be out of the house for most of the day gave us the opportunity to enjoy a little Saturday adventure so Marco Polo and I hit I-90 to Snoqualmie Falls.

The falls are 268 ft on the Snoqualmie River between the towns of Snoqualmie and Fall City, Washington. It is one of the states most popular scenic attractions, but is perhaps best known internationally for its appearance in the cult TV series, Twin Peaks. More than 1.5 million visitors come to the Falls every year, where there is a two acre park, an observation deck, and a gift shop.

Brian @ "The Attic" - Salish Lodge

It turned out to be a beautiful day after heavy rains most of Friday. I loved the back country roads, the smell of the fresh air with just a hint of color in the leaves.

The break in the weather gave us a chance to explore not only the falls, but also Salish Lodge.

Brian at NW Rail Museum

We continued on through the small town of Snoqualmie and dropped into the Northwest Rail Museum. There was also a classic Model T car show in old cars.

The clouds started to thicken and rain was in the air, so we ducked into the Snoqualmie Casino for a bit of afternoon fun (craps and chardonnay). Luckily, we came home with money in our pockets!


Monday, September 20, 2010


Last week, Pop came up for a visit and he took the MAX train downtown to have lunch with Sandra.

He had quite a few funny stories about his adventure but got downtown and back in one piece (and had an awesome lunch at Macaroni Grill).


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: Welcome Fall!

Fall arrives this week! Gone are the long days and warm evenings, but not all is lost.

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year because of the bounty of the harvest (oh....and college football too). It's time to start incorporating some of those fall favorites into our menu planning.

Brian is working in Portland this week so one more at our dinner table this week.

How are you celebrating falls arrival?


Sunday: Turkey Parmesan Meatloaf with Red Potatoes and Grilled Asparagus
Monday: Beef and Broccoli Stir-fry with Jasmine Rice
Tuesday: Happy Hour with friends!
Wednesday: Tilapia with A Big Garden Salad
Thursday: Whole Wheat Pasta Carbonara with Salad

Friday, September 17, 2010

Old Photo Friday: Molly Ringwald Wanna-Be

WHO: Stacy
WHAT: Molly Ringwald eat your heart out
WHERE: This is in Seattle, outside Cutter's. I was probably visiting my Mom for Spring Break
WHEN: 1986
WHY: Didn't we all idolize someone in our youth?

When I was 15, I totally fell in awe of Molly Ringwald. She was hugely popular when I started my sophomore year (1984-85), staring in hits like Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink. If you've never seen a John Hughes film, I urge you to indulge....they are absolutely time-less.

This is my Pretty in Pink ensemble circa 1986.....everything about it screams the 1980's.....the bolo tie I picked up on the Eugene Mall, the men's vest I picked up at Goodwill and the floral tights paired with white lace topped socks and white keds.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Recipe of the Week: End of Summer Pasta

With the end of summer in sight, I found this recipe through the Splendid Table. This is a one-dish meal using fresh in-season vegetables, herbs and chickpeas. For added protein, I’ve included chicken, but you can easily omit.

Mediterranean Summer Pasta with
Tomatoes, Chickpeas and Herbs

Adapted from The Very Best of Recipes for Health:

250 Recipes and More from the Popular Feature on

4 servings


1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, diced into ½ inch cubes

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound ripe tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped

2 garlic clove, minced (I like to grate mine)

Salt and ground black pepper

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon slivered or chopped fresh basil

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained

3/4 pound fusilli or farfalle

½ cup, chopped kalamata olives

1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta cheese


1. Rinse and pat dry chicken. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat and brown chicken. Remove from pan and set aside.

2. Combine the tomatoes, garlic, salt, black pepper, vinegar, herbs, and oil in a wide bowl. Let sit for 15 to 30 minutes, or longer. Stir in the chickpeas. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Salt generously and add the pasta. Cook al dente, until the pasta is firm to the bite, following the directions on the package but checking 1 to 2 minutes before the suggested cooking time. Drain, toss with the tomatoes and chickpeas then add the cooked chicken. To serve, top with olives and sprinkle on the cheese.

Advance Preparation: You can make the sauce a few hours before you cook the pasta.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Garden Update: Fall Planting!

It's hard to believe, but next Thursday is the first day of Autumn.

Although my first garden was a bit disappointing, I did produce some wonderful yellow squash and to date have harvested 4 of the most perfect squashes.

Last week, I took a chance and planted Romaine Lettuce and one Cauliflower plant.

We've had some wonderful weather so I have hope that by the end of October we will be harvesting some lettuce and at least one head of cauliflower.

Wish me luck!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Girls Weekend on NW 23rd

A glorious almost fall-like Saturday spent window shopping and people watching on NW 23rd in Portland.

Chick and I had an amazing lunch at Jo-Bar Rotisserie....our annual tradition.

We perused menus of other cafes on 23rd, but to be honest with Jo-Bar you know that you will always get quality, well presented and prepared food, a great waitstaff and one of the best places on 23rd to people watch.

We started with the Roasted Beet Salad topped with bitey, creamy Gorgonzola cheese, dainty slices of fresh orange and grapefruit and chili-candied toasted nuts. It was barely dressed which accented the flavor of the sweet beets. To be honest, I was disappointed that I split this with Chick...I could have eaten the whole thing myself.

Chick had the classic Jo-Bar burger topped with gooey cheese and caramelized onions served on a brioche toasted bun. Amazing down your arm juicy and melt in your mouth yummy. The fries were average, but the creamy tangy mustard dipping sauce was wonderful.

I had an incredible and interesting baked pasta with creamy Gouda, lardoons of bacon, snap peas in a roasted corn cream sauce topped with toasted bread crumbs. It sounds strange, but a symphony of texture and flavor. The cast iron pan kept the pasta pipping hot right down to the last bite.....and I do mean last bite (I ate every bit and didn't need to eat again for another 14 hours).

All paired nicely with a bottle of Argyle Chardonnay. A fabulous Saturday!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: Mid September

Welcome to another Menu Plan Monday. Don't forget to click the above link to be transported to Laura's amazing site with more menu planning ideas.

Have a great week! Pop's coming for a visit on Monday so the eating should be good!


Monday: Fish Tacos with Lime-Cilantro Crema (Pop's coming for a visit)
Tuesday: (Pop's Cooking) Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon with Ceasar Salad and Baked Potatoes
Wednesday: Balsamic Glazed Salmon with Green Couscous
Thursday: Chicken with Tomato and Red Onion Sauce with Fresh Green Beans

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Bulgogi

A few weeks ago, we had an end of summer/company BBQ at my boss's house. His girlfriend, Helen is Korean and served Bulgogi (for the second year in a row). It is an amazing dish and Helen was kind enough to share her recipe, which is easy to make...a great summer appetizer and can easily be turned into a main meal with veggies and rice.

Bulgogi is a Korean dish that usually consists of marinated beef, although chicken or pork may also be used. Bulgogi literally means "fire meat" in Korean, which refers to the cooking technique—over an open flame—rather than the dish's spiciness. It is made from thin sliced of sirloin which is marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic and scallions.

Helen's Bulgogi

1/2 Tablespoon Sugar
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
3 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Korean or Japanese cooking wine
1 Tablespoon Vinegar

3 Garlic Cloves, grated or minced fine
1/2 Cup Green Onions
1-1.5 lbs. of thinly sliced rib-eye steak
1 large head of green leaf or iceberg lettuce


It is very important to partially freeze the meat first, this aids you in cutting the meat into thin slices. Make sure the meat is still frozen, but workable.

Cut the meat into thin thin as possible.

Put the slices into the large mixing bowl and sprinkle sugar over it and mix with hands or chopsticks. Let it sit for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the marinade.

Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, black pepper, cooking wine and vinegar. After mixing, taste it. You want to have a slightly salty, sweet taste. If it's too salty, add a bit more sugar.

Mince garlic into small pieces (or use a grater), cut green onion into 2 to 3 inch pieces and put into sugar/meat mixture. Mix well, using hands or chopsticks. It is important to mix thoroughly so the marinade is evenly distributed throughout the meat.

Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.

Either pan fry in a hot and oiled pan or you can grill, preferably using a grill pan. Some people prefer to cook the bulgogi until some of the edges have turned dark brown and crispy.

To serve, wrap meat in lettuce - like a little taco with some rice (Helen also served with kimchi).

Recipe courtesy of Helen (thanks for making this again....sorry we demanded that you make it or the BBQ was off...we were only joking)
Image courtesy of Google Images (Helen was too camera shy)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Birthday Week: The Wrap Up!

The best part about Brian turning 50 was spending a whole week the same state, in the same city.

As disappointing as it was to ditch our travel plans, we had a wonderful "staycation", many new adventures and had just as much fun as we would have had if we had hit the road for Canada (as far as I know, Canada is still there and will be the next time we want to visit).

Here are some highlights from the Birthday Week....

Goodies opened the night before turning 50, including heirloom wine glasses given to us by Chick, a big sack of chips, salsa, nuts and cookies that I gathered at Cost Plus along with 3 micro-brews and 4 bottles of wine (well stocked up for the week). Sammy especially loved the box the wine came in!

Early morning birthday greetings on the 1st, 7 birthday cards that arrived in the mail and three wrapped presents excitedly opened (with Sammy's help).

A sunny drive north to Tulalip Bay Casino and a very inexpensive and conveniently located hotel room close to the casino (along with complimentary shuttle service). Dinner featuring Lobster Tempura and Seared Scallop appetizers, Filet Mignon with Cabernet/Rosemary Reduction Sauce and a birthday message written in chocolate (oh how I am kicking myself for not having the camera with me). A bit of roulette and a bit of craps and a whole lot of fun (we brought money home too).

A really warm day and time in the garden......building a new garden box for next years veggie patch and playing with Brian's new cordless edger. A pot of golden mums to help ease us into fall.

A second M's game in less than a won in a fishbowl drawing at Thriftway.

Choice seats behind homeplate....a quiet crowd, but a wonderful night for baseball.

A morning at Alki Beach.....our last beautiful day before the rains came.

Quiet time....watching the sun glisten off the Puget Sound....the suns warm rays. A beach lunch of fish and chips at Alki's Spud Fish and Chips.

Friday night "happy hour" on our cute little patio with dear friends and a little miss....all of two years old that talks like a magpie. Birthday cake for everyone!

Neighborhood walks, old movies, home cooked meals, afternoon naps and snuggles with Sammy, two cups of coffee mornings and yummy lemon scones.

I am back in Portland today......missing my guys but relishing in all the birthday memories.


Monday, September 6, 2010

The Birthday Winner.....M's game

A special thank you to our neighborhood Thriftway for treating Brian and I to a Mariner's game last Thursday night. Brian won the weekly drawing for tickets - that he has been entering for the last 2 seasons.
It was the perfect way to continue Brian's birthday celebrations.

Unfortunately, it was another M's loss, but we had amazing seats behind home plate and it was a beautiful night out for baseball.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: First Full Week of September

What do visibly shorter days, cool mornings (evenings too) and football all have in common?

It must be the month of September!!

Are you still trying to squeeze the life out of summer or are you welcoming fall? How is your menu changing?

Like my wardrobe, I tend to start swapping out "summer" items for "fall" items. Fresh summer berries are being replaced with fall favorite root vegetables and garden's bountiful harvest. The desire to cook more comfort foods is gradually building.

Of course we are still clinging to an Indian Summer, but the next time you walk outside, tell me if you can smell fall in the air.


MONDAY: Labor Day BBQ! Burgers, Fresh Corn and Lay's Potato Chips!
TUESDAY: Fend for yourself! I've got a dentist appointment, yuck
WEDNESDAY: Greek Shrimp Pasta
THURSDAY: Tilapia with Rice and Roasted Veggies
FRIDAY: Grilled Rib-Eye Steaks with Caesar Salad and Baked Potato (Kick off Girl's Weekend)
SATURDAY: NW 23rd "Girls Day"; lunch at 23 Hoyt; Ducks vs. Tenn at 4PM (@ Rocky Top)
SUNDAY: Classic....cook-it-all-day-long, SPAGHETTI BOLAGNESE

Friday, September 3, 2010

Old Photo Friday: Happy Birthday, Brian!

WHO: Brian
WHERE: Seward Park - Seattle, WA
WHEN: 1/2/2000
WHY: A New Year's hike

Happy 50th Birthday to my incredible partner in Marco Polo. Here is to a 50th year of amazing adventures. I love you more and more...everyday.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Recipe of the Week: BLT with Basil Mayo

Do you ever crave something really simple for dinner?

Heaven for me is a Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich - yet I always forget that sandwiches are appropriate for dinner. You don't need to get all fancy pants in order to serve up a good meal.

How about a simple sandwich this week only with a bit of a twist (you didn't think you were going to get away that easy, did ya).


BLT with Basil Mayonnaise
Slightly Adapted from Rothschild Farm


1/2 Cup Mayo (I prefer Best Foods)
1/4 Cup Sour Cream
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard (Grey Poupon)
4 or 5 Basil leaves, sliced thinly
Salt and Pepper to taste
8 slices of thick Applewood Smoked Bacon
Sliced bread or rolls, your choice
Red leaf Lettuce
2 Tomatoes


To make the basil mayo; in a food processor combine the mayo, sour cream and mustard. Add the basil and season with salt and pepper. Chill to let flavors combine, at least 30 minutes.

Cook bacon to your preference and drain on a paper towel. Toast bread then spread both sides with basil mayo. Top with bacon, lettuce and tomato.

Recipe courtesy of Robert Rothschild Farms (not sure who Robert Rothschild you?)
Image Courtesy of Google Images. I tried to take a picture of the sandwiches I made, but we finished them in 3 seconds flat!