Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

A quiet day at Rebecca Lane.....

A decorated table for two....

A very Happy Thanksgiving!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: Last week in November

Is everyone still stuffed from Thanksgiving? Tired of leftovers? Well, you have come to the right place this week. We are totally turkey free and looking forward to some light and low calorie favorites this week (including Meat-Less Monday with Chef Brian in the kitchen).


Sunday: Guiness Braised Beef Pot Roast with Roasted Vegetables
Monday: Brian's cooking!! Wild Mushroom and Tomato Ragu over Cheesy Polenta (with a big garden salad)
Tuesday: Homemade Beef Pot Pie made with leftover Pot Roast along side leftover salad
Wednesday: Whole Wheat Spaghetti Carbonara
Thursday: Broccoli and Cheddar Soup with Texas Toast

Friday, November 26, 2010

Old Photo Friday: Thanksgiving Oldie

Who: Stacy, Steve and Sandra
What: Thanksgiving Eve....music, wine and good conversation
Where: Rebecca Lane
When: November 2006

Luckily, the picture of me sticking my finger up my nose (taken much later in the evening) is long gone. This was one of those "classic" Thanksgiving Eves....in fact the whole weekend was crazy good!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving! Holiday Food Quiz

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I am already cooking up a storm at Rebecca Lane so no time to post a recipe this week. Instead, how about testing your Thanksgiving IQ!?

Don't cheat! Answers at the bottom! Good luck and happy eating!

1. What's the biggest turkey to tip the scales (please don't mention names of family members)
A. 52 pounds
b. 86 pounds
C. 175 pounds (um.....I think we are going to need a bigger boat, um roasting pan)

2. What do you call the bright red thingy that hangs under a turkey's chin?
A. Hoogie
B. Snood
C. Wattle
D. Beard

3. Why do we call a Turkey.....a Turkey?
A. A frightened turkey makes a turk, turk turk noise
B. The name steams from the work TUKA, which means peacock in India
C. The name comes from the native American name, FIRKEE - which rhymes with turkey
D. All the above

4. Where do turkeys originate from?
A. India
B. Mexico
C. Turkey
D. The good old U-S of A

5. Approximately what percentage of American homes eat turkey on Thanksgiving?
A. 100%
B. 88%
C. 65%
D. 50%

Scroll down for answer key!

1. B; The biggest turkey known to man weighed in at 86 pounds -- about the size of a large German Shepherd. He was raised in the United Kingdom. Most domesticated turkeys weigh between 14 to 45 pounds -- live.

2. C; The wattle is the loose skin that hangs below a turkey's beak. If you thought "snood," you would have been close. The snood is also red, but it starts at the base of the turkey's beak and hangs over the top.

3. B; Columbus thought to be in India when he encountered his first New-World turkey. There are a lot of peacocks in India, and Columbus thought the finely-plumed turkey was its relative. Turkeys actually originated in North and Central America and have existed for about 10 million years.

4. B; Early explorers to the new world acquired a taste for this bird which originally was found in Mexico. It was brought back to Europe for their fellow Europeans to try.

5. B; according to Butterball, not quite 100% of the population eats turkey on Thanksgiving. Make sure you don't go to their house for dinner!

Quiz and answers courtesy of Familyeducation.com

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November in Woodinville

Brian and I took a drive over to Woodinville this past Saturday.

I was itching to get to Molbak's and explore. If you love Christmas and decorations and holiday ideas then this is the place to come (the rest of the year they are an awesome home and garden center).
The trees and decorations are phenomenal! Including this tower of poinsettias. We wandered around for about 2 hours and came home with a couple of treasures.

Since we were in Woodinville, we decided to explore a bit of Woodinville Wine Country, most notably a stop into Chateau St. Michelle to pick out our Thanksgiving Day wine.

We tasted four wines for $10, including a special tasting of their 2008 Columbia Valley Grenache. Each of us picked out a Chardonnay for the Thanksgiving Table.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: Thanksgiving Week!

This is a short week this week and not much cooking in preparation for Thursday's big meal. I am really looking forward to 4 1/2 quiet days at home and possibly a Christmas tree next Sunday!

In the meantime, here is our short menu for the short week.


Monday: Pick up the turkey from New Seasons - then grab something from their prepared section for dinner
Tuesday: Grocery Shopping! Anyone for Toasted Cheese and Tomato Soup??
Wednesday: Lasagna, Salad and Garlic Bread (I am afraid the lasagna is frozen, folks). Office closes at 12:30....bake pies, prep turkey and RELAX!


Marcona Almonds

Cheese and Crackers

Veggie with Ranch Dip

Champagne Mimosas


Roast Turkey & Gravy

Mashed Potatoes


Brussels Sprouts with Marjoram and Pine Nuts

Buttery Peas

Relish Tray with Deviled Eggs and Black Olives

Cranberry Relish


Pumpkin Pie

Friday, November 19, 2010

Old Photo Friday: Happy Birthday Deb!

WHO: Lloyd and Debi
WHAT: Wedding day
WHERE: Walterville, OR
WHEN: August 1989

Happy 42nd birthday to my best friend, Debi.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Easy Vegetable Curry

According to the website Curry Dishes, curry is a term used broadly to describe a number of spicy, sauced-based Indian dishes. In India, a curry is traditionally a gravy or stew, but other cultures have adopted the term to describe a variety of similar dishes.

Curry's popularity in recent decades has spread outward from India to figure prominently in international cuisine. Consequently, each culture has adopted spices in its indigenous cooking to suit its own unique tastes and cultural sensibilities. Curry can therefore be called a pan-Asian or global phenomenon with immense popularity in Thai, British and even Japanese cuisines.

I've been really hungry for some spicy, root vegetable curry. I think this will hit the spot.

Easy Vegetable Curry


2 tablespoons Olive Oil

2 Garlic Cloves, minced

1 Red Onion, chopped

1 Can Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas), rinsed and drained

1 heaping tablespoon Peanut Butter

2 teaspoons, curry powder (or you can use a pre-packaged curry paste, red or Madras)

1 can Coconut Milk

3 cups, combination of root veggies (potatoes, parsnips, carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, rudabega); cut into 1 inch pieces and pre-cooked in boiling water for 5-8 minutes, then drained.

1 handful fresh, chopped Cilantro


Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and chopped onion and fry gently until soft, about 5 minutes. Add chickpeas and peanut butter and stir; then add curry. Once the peanut butter and spices have coated the garlic and onions, add coconut milk and stir.

Add the pre-cooked root veggies and lower the heat to medium low. Continue to cook until veggies are done about an additional 10-15 minutes; stir frequently (add a bit of water to thin if coconut milk thickens too much).

Serve on its own with crusty French bread, a bowl of rice or couscous. Top each serving with a tablespoon of cilantro.

Enjoy! Stacy

Image Courtesy of Google Images

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sunday dinner out in the middle of nowhere

Brian and I had dinner with one of my clients last Sunday evening. They've been asking us for over a year and the timing was perfect.

They live out in Oregon City, so Brian and I stopped off at the Willamette Falls observation turn-out. Our light was fading and the overgrowth made it hard to spot, but the area along the river is quite spectacular.

The falls are a natural waterfall on the Willamette River between Oregon City and West Linn. It is the largest waterfall in the Pacific Northwest...horseshoe in shape, it is 1,500 feet wide and 40 feet high with a flow of 30,849 cu ft/s. Located 26 miles upriver from the Willamette's mouth, a canal and set of locks allow vessels to pass into the main Willamette Valley.

We found our way into Oregon City and Ed and Alice drove us south on Highway 213, past the small towns of Mulino, Carus and Liberal, Oregon.

Then, out in the middle of nowhere (a small dot on the map) sits the Markum Inn. If you go, be prepared to wait in line, this is one busiest places considering they are out in the sticks (Ed and Alice have been customers for over 40 years). Ambiance is almost non-existent but the menu speaks for itself. American Style Food; Steaks; Seafood; Burgers; Italian Selections; Full Service Catering with wonderful BBQ. Sunday night is prime rib night and my "mama" cut was fabulous with just a hint of BBQ smoke.

Take a look at Brian's Chicken Parmesan!

Thanks again to Ed and Alice for treating us to a wonderful meal (with leftovers for several days).


Monday, November 15, 2010

Miss Blondie

Hi, my name is Blondie Valentine. This is my new favorite place! This way I can keep an eye on Aunt Tacy as she prepares dinner.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: Mid November

Welcome to another fabulous Monday. It's hard to believe that we are already in mid-November and just 12 days from Thanksgiving! I think a light and easy menu is in order for the week. Don't be tempted to dive into the holiday eating just yet.

Brian is at Rebecca Lane this week so I think I am going to take a night off and have him roam free in the kitchen!


Monday: Grilled Herb Marinated Chicken Breasts with Roasted Red Potatoes and Asparagus
Tuesday: Brian's Famous Spaghetti with Garlic Bread and Caesar Salad
Wednesday: Happy Hour with Friends!
Thursday: Tortilla Crusted Salmon with Baked Sweet Potato

Friday, November 12, 2010

Old Photo Friday: Happy Birthday, Aunt Judy

Who: Marie (baby Judy), Don and Vesta (Don's sister)
What: Posing with first born
Where: Eugene?
When: November 1940

HAPPY 70th Birthday to my Aunt Judy (November 21st).


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Thanksgiving Appetizers

If you are like me, I could eat an entire meal on appetizers alone. Tapas bars and small plate bistros are all the rage these days, but my family has been preparing party sized nibbles since before I was born.

Whether you call them hors d'oeuvres, canapes, crudites, an amuse-bouche or finger foods, appetizers come in all shapes and sizes. Here are a few that would be great to serve prior to your Thanksgiving Day feast.


Blue Cheese Dip

1/2 Cup Non-Fat Yogurt
1/2 Cup Reduced Fat Mayo
1 Cup Reduced Fat Sour Cream
4 Green Onions, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
4 Ounces Blue Cheese, Crumbled
1 Garlic Clove, Minced
Cracked Black Pepper, to taste

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Serve with assortment of crackers or cut up veggies.

Teriyaki Meatballs

2 Egg Whites
1/4 Cup Green Onions, diced
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger, grated
2 Teaspoons Sesame Oil
1 Garlic Glove, pressed through a garlic press
1 pound ground Chicken, Pork or Turkey
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1/2 Cup Teriyaki Sauce (the thicker the better)
Toasted Sesame Seeds, Garnish

In a large bowl, whip egg whites then add onions, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil and garlic until blended. Add meat and mix together with your hands until combined. Shape mix into 25-30 mini meatballs.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add oil. Brown batches of meatballs, trying not to over-crowd the pan. Once brown, place on foil lined cookie sheet. To finish, place meatballs in a 425 degree oven and brush with teriyaki sauce, cooking about 5-8 minutes.

To serve, insert toothpick and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds (place some teriyaki sauce on the side for dipping)

Spicy Chickpeas

1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/8 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 Tablespoon, Curry Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 1/2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 15 oz Can Chickpeas, rinsed and drained (dry flat on paper towels to soak up moisture)

Mix spices together in a small bowl. Heat large frying pan over medium-high heat; add oil. Once the chickpeas have drained well and dried, add them to the pan then add spice mix. Toast chickpeas until browned and crisp, about 30 minutes (adjust heat to avoid burning, if necessary).

Images courtesy of Google Images
Recipes courtesy of Low Fat Lifestyle (do you think anyone noticed that all the appetizers above are low fat and healthy)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Back to our regularly scheduled programming....all ready in progress!

Please forgive us! We are still here…still love blogging, but very busy and not doing many activities that have pretty pictures attached. Here is a run down of the last few weeks…

  • Brian flew from Seattle, WA to Philadelphia, PA to teach a one day class (he’s racking up the frequent flier miles this year).
  • My dear sweet Uncle Steve was struck by a vehicle while crossing Main Street in Springfield, OR on a rainy and stormy Sunday night in late October. Thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated as he continues to improve and recover.
  • Steve in E Street pool September 2009
  • Chick and I attended our first Christmas “doings”….Al’s Festival of Trees the first week in November. We each came home with a Christmas treasure (and it took our minds off our troubles, if only for one evening).
  • Decorated the house for halloween/fall and cleaned out the flower beds (planted bulbs...iris, daffodil and last year's tulips). Opened the door for 18 trick-or treaters leaving us with a huge bowl of leftover candy and something munched on our front porch pumpkin nightly...very gross.

  • I was selected to the Amtrak Customer Advisory Committee and will serve a three year term which began on October 1st. Lucky for me, they held their annual meeting in Seattle this year, the first week in November. I met 24 incredible committee members from all over the United States, each with a unique background and all with a strong love of trains. I am very excited to contribute to the group.
  • Attended a wonderful dinner at Tom Douglas’s Dahlia Lounge restaurant in Seattle (thank you Amtrak) where Tom Douglas spoke to our group about the 4 course menu he created for our evening. Phenomenal event! Double "R" ranches signature hangar steak with garlic mashed potatoes and bacon~onion gravy

  • Pan roasted alaskan halibut with giant white beans in tomato, garlic rapini, cracked green olive, preserved lemon, dill
  • Panna Cotta with fresh huckleberry compote



Sunday, November 7, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: November 8-13

It's a busy week at Rebecca Lane so the least I could do is prepare some really easy, yet yummy dinners.

I just got back from my first Amtrak Customer Advisory Committee meeting in Seattle, so a very busy weekend. Time for some quiet home time.

Here is this week's menu.


Monday: Fend for Yourself Night (I don't get home from Seattle until 6:30PM)
Tuesday: Thai Chicken with String Beans and Jasmine Rice
Wednesday: Steelhead (freshly caught by my boss) with Roasted Brussels Sprout
Thursday: Fire-Roasted Tomato Bisque with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Quick Fire-Roasted Tomato Bisque

A few weeks ago I was thumbing through a stack of old cooking magazines and I ran across this soup. Last year, Brian and I made several pots of soup and since it is becoming that time of year again, I think this soup is in order for the week ahead.


Quick Fire-Roasted Tomato Bisque
Courtesy of Food and Wine Magazine


4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 garlic gloves, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups broth (you can use chicken or vegetable)
2 cans fire roasted tomatoes, drained
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 heavy cream
salt and pepper
1/2 cup croutons, for garnish (optional)


In a medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and saute onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occassionaly until vegetables are just turning brown, about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle flour over vegetables and stir until incorporated, cooking about 1 minute. Add broth, tomatoes and paste and bring to a boil, then add sugar. Cover pan and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

Transfer half the soup to a blender or food processor (you could also use an immersion blender) and pulse until smooth. Return the soup to saucepan and add the heavy cream and cook until heated through. Season with salt and pepper and add in the last two tablespoons of butter.

To serve, top each bowl with croutons or serve aside a gooey cheesy grilled sandwich.

Recipe courtesy of Food and Wine Magazine
Image courtesy of Google Images