Thursday, June 30, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Salmon Puttenesca

I find recipes in all sorts of places....on-line blogs, magazines, numerous cookbooks that I own and even a few that I make up along the way.

Recently, I found two or three recipes from Kraft Foods and last week I made this wonderful salmon dish that we couldn't stop talking (or tweeting) about.



Salmon Puttenesca
Slightly Adapted from Kraft Foods


4 salmon portions, skin removed
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1 can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup balsamic dressing (I used Ken's creamy balsamic)
1/4 cup black olives, chopped
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped
1 tablespoon capers
1/3 cup chopped parsley


1. Coat fish with Dijon mustard. Heat oil in large pan over medium-high heat. Cook fish for 3 minutes a side or until browned. Remove from pan and tent with foil.

2. Add onions and garlic to pan. Cook 3-5 minutes until onions are translucent. Add canned tomatoes, dressing, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and capers. Cook 3 minutes; then add all but 2 tablespoons of parsley. Stir together, then add fish back to pan and cover, cooking for another 2-3 minutes.

3. To serve; sprinkle with remaining parsley. I served it with wild brown rice and green beans.

Photo Courtesy of Moi

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Narrows Bridge

I took these shots a few weeks ago while on the Amtrak Cascades.

Historically, the name "Tacoma Narrows Bridge" has applied to the original bridge nicknamed "Galloping Gertie" which opened in July 1940 and collapsed four months later, as well as the replacement of the original bridge which opened in 1950 and still stands today as the westbound lanes of the present-day twin bridge complex.

The original Tacoma Narrows Bridge opened on July 1, 1940. It received its nickname "Galloping Gertie" due to the vertical movement of the deck observed by construction workers during windy conditions. The bridge collapsed into Puget Sound the morning of November 7, 1940, under high wind conditions.



Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up; Summer Bummer

I spent most of last weekend on the couch with a bad summer cold. Best to get these things out of the way early.

Little Sammy spent some time in the flower box, supervised of course....and while we don't let him out for very long, or alone, he appreciates the fresh air.

Sunday Strawberry Smoothies

Sunday was beautiful and we enjoyed some time on the back patio...sipping coffee and eating breakfast.

New Wind Chime from Cost Plus

I am looking forward to next weekend, minus the cold.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Last Week in July

Hello Monday! A short week this week as I am heading up to Seattle on Thursday night for a long 4th of July weekend.

As a reminder, click on the link above to see more great menu and organizing ideas on Laura's site.


Monday: Black Bean Tacos with Feta and Cabbage Slaw (Meatless Monday)
Tuesday: Cajun Skirt Steak with Creamed Corn and a Garden Salad
Wednesday: Asian-Style Lettuce Wraps...ala PF Chang's
Thursday: Get-away day! Off to Seattle for long 4th of July Weekend

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Salem Volcanoes Baseball; Opening Night 2011

Last Wednesday, Dad and Steve drove north from Eugene and Chick, Brian and I drove south from Beaverton to meet up at the Salem-Keizer baseball stadium for opening night.

Stacy, Pop, Chick and Steve

The Volcanoes are a Short-Season Class A team in the Northwest League and are an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants since their inception in 1997. They play their home games at Volcanoes Stadium right off I-5 north of Salem, which opened in 1997 and seats 4,252 fans.

Despite being chilled to the bone (and eating some really disappointing cold hot dogs) it was a great night for baseball!

Brian, Pop, Chick and Steve

Friday, June 24, 2011

Old Photo Friday: Hilo Hattie

WHO: Grandma Virginia; otherwise known as Hilo Hattie
WHAT: Vacationing in Hawaii
WHERE: Black Sand Beach, probably on the big island, Hawaii
WHEN: Early 1980's

After my grandpa Ralph passed away, my grandma took several trips to Hawaii to visit friends. She loved the islands. I think about her whenever I am there.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Mushroom and Black Bean Tortilla Casserole

Here is another wonderful article promoting the Meatless Monday campaign.

I cooked this casserole on Monday and everyone loved it. It was easy to make and easily adaptable (you could add ground beef or chicken if the meat free thing doesn't work for you).


Mushroom and Black Bean Tortilla Casserole
Slightly Adapated from Everyday Food


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound cremini or button mushrooms (or an assortment of wild mushrooms), chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pushed through a garlic press
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper
1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 7 ounce can of corn, drained
8 corn tortillas
1 jar (2 cups) salsa
2 cups shredded jack cheese (or Mexican blend)
sour cream, optional


1. Preheat oven to 400F. In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stiring often until browned about 10-15 minutes.

2. Add garlic, spices and salt and pepper. Add black beans and corn and stir to combine. Cook until beans are warmed through about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Arrange 4 tortilla halves in a 2 qt. casserole dish. Top with 1/2 bean mixture, then top with 1 cup salsa. Sprinkle with 1/2 cheese then repeat layers. Cover with tinfoil and bake covered for 10 minutes; remove foil and cook an additional 10 minutes or until cheese bubbles.

Notes: This can be made one day ahead; feel free to top with sour cream (we did)
Photo courtesy of Google Images

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Father's Day Weekend in Eugene

Danny, Tera and Jef

I headed south last Friday to Eugene/Springfield to spend some time with my Pop, family and friends for Father's Day Weekend.

Friday night was home-cookin' night. Pop's famous fall-apart pork roast with all the trimmings. Good to spend time at my childhood home....I even found some old 80's albums (real LPs) to play.

Saturday, I went to Ninkasi Brewing Company in Eugene to hook up with some high school friends that I have not seen in years (Danny, Jef and Chad, 25 years and Tera at least 2 or 3 years).

Jef has a hot dog stand set up at the brewery so we all hung out....sold a few dogs and caught up on the last 20+ years. Unfortunately it was in the rain, but it made the beer taste better!

Jef's Red Five Hot Dog Company

On Saturday night, Pop and I went to June Restaurant and had some awesome retro comfort food (poor Rosemary was sick on the couch with a bad cold).

We each had a yummy classic wedge salad with creamy blue cheese dressing.

I had garlic shrimp with mashed potatoes and grilled zucchini. Pop had some yummy glazed ribs.

After dinner, Pop drove us up to Skinner's Butte for a view of Eugene at sunset.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: June 19-23, 2011

Welcome to another Monday! Brian teaches in Portland this week and our summer weather is slowly arriving. Let's hope for a warm and sunny week ahead.

What's happening in your neck of the woods?

Remember to click on the banner for more great menu planning ideas!


Sunday: BBQ Chicken Thighs with Corn on the Cob and Red Potato Salad
Monday: Mushroom and Black Bean Tortilla Casserole (Meatless Monday Week 4)
Tuesday: Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs and Caesar Salad
Wednesday: Salem-Keizer Volcanoes Game with Family

Thursday: Pan-Seared Salmon Puttanesca with Brown Rice and Green Beans

Friday, June 17, 2011

Old Photo Friday: Happy Father's Day, Pop

WHO: Pop
WHAT: Wedding Day to my mother
WHEN: May 1965

Happy Father's Day Pop...I suppose this is where it all started. On this day, I was just a gleam in your eye.

Heading to Eugene/Springfield later today to celebrate my Pop.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Red Potato Salad

I've been craving a really good creamy potato salad. I must say, over the Memorial Day holiday I got lazy and bought a pre-packaged brand and it was horrible.

Years ago, up in Seattle at a grocery chain called Larry's, they sold an amazing red potato salad with blue cheese. If you have have the recipe, e-mail me! Until then, this one will have to do, which I think is fairly close.

Blue Cheese Potato Salad


4 slices of bacon
2 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed clean
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 bunch green onions
salt and pepper
1 1/2 ounces blue cheese crumbles


Chop bacon and cook over medium heat in a large skillet. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender, but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool and then cube, leaving skins on.

In a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, green onions, salt and pepper. Add the potatoes, bacon and cheese and carefully stir.

Recipe courtesy of AllRecipes; folks if it were me....I'd add a big glob of mayo. I am making this on Sunday and it had better be creamy!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Planting the Secret Garden

This past weekend we had some sunshine and it gave Brian and I the time outside to finish planting the secret garden.

Everything else on our patio seems to be doing quite well, including the Peace Garden that Brian fixed up and planted last year.

We hosted friends in the late afternoon for Tofurkey Italian Sausage Sandwiches and christened the extra row of paving stones Brian added to the patio earlier this spring.
Dare I say....we need another row?

What we really need are some long hot days. Would the east coast mind sharing?


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Mid June 2011; new food pyramid

Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama, along with Surgeon General Regina Benjamin unveiled the new food pyramid or the My Plate icon.

The plate features four labeled sections: two larger, equally sized sections representing vegetables and grains, and two smaller sections for fruit and protein. Perched on the right side is a smaller circle for dairy and to the left sits a fork, completing the full dinner-plate effect.

Check out the USDA's website for more ideas, portion sizes and meal planning.

How does your plate look this week?

MONDAY: Yodeling Cow Risotto with Salad (Meatless Monday)
TUESDAY: Tortilla Crusted Tilapia with Grilled Summer Veggies and Jasmine Rice
WEDNESDAY: Mushroom Hamburgers with Sweet Potato fries
THURSDAY: Chili-Rubbed Pork Chops with Broccoli and Yukon Gold Potatoes

Saturday, June 11, 2011

How Well Does Your Garden Grow: One Month Check-in

My garden has been growing for over a month now (planted May 5th) and right off the bat....I had a serious slug issues.

I'd really like to say that I am on the "organic" gardening bandwagon, but perhaps people that follow organic gardening DON'T live in the Pacific NW. Corey's slug bait appears to be working.

Some plants appear to be doing well, but just recently the leaves on my spinach appear to be disintegrating. Is it the weather (rain and cool temps throughout May) or another evil pest??

Our hanging baskets and potted flowers, planted May 21st are doing better this week. A couple of days of sun really makes them happy!

Chick's creation....beautiful potted flowers

If all does according to plan, my first "harvest" (beets) should be ready to eat around July 9th (65 days). I hope they make it!


Friday, June 10, 2011

Old Photo Friday: Remembering Ann

Who: Ann sitting next to Brian's Brother, Ken
What: Christmas time? One could only hope with the Christmas like sweater!
Where: Looks like 109 Tamara Circle in Newark, DE
When: Looks like late 1970's early 1980's (1979-1981)

A year ago today, we lost Brian's mom to cancer. We miss her wit and I especially miss her stories of raising three boys. Just the other day, I asked Brian to recall a story from his childhood and we both wished that we could ask Ann for details.

In loving memory,


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Roasted Corn Salad

Do you ever get tired of the same old side dishes? As we begin firing up the BBQ here at Rebecca Lane, I stumbled across this great roasted corn salad a few weeks ago. It's quite versatile and goes great with chicken, fish, beef or you can use all sorts of fresh vegetables, anything that you can grill. Go ahead...experiment!

Roasted Corn Salad
Slightly adapted from Simply Recipes

  • approximately 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 ears of corn
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 large yellow squash
  • 1 zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 red onion, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 jalapeno chili pepper, sliced in half lengthwise and seeded
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup crumbly feta, cotija or bleu cheese
  • juice of one lime
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Prepare your grill on high. Oil grill with BBQ grill spray or 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place corn, red pepper, squash, zucchini, onion and jalapeno on a cookie sheet and rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Grill veggies, turning occasionally, so that veggies slightly blacken. This should take 15 to 20 minutes, less for the small veggies. Once cooked, remove veggies from grill and let cool.

In a large bowl, stand corn vertically with tip facing up. Use a sharp knife cut corn off cob and let it fall into the bowl; discard cobs. Cut the other veggies into small pieces and place in the bowl with the corn.

Add cilantro, cumin, cheese and lime juice. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Anniversary Dinner @ La Rustica

For years, Brian and I have wanted to eat at La Rustica. The name is so fitting...a small rustic, family owned Italian eatery located on Beach Drive across the street from the lapping waters of the Puget Sound and right in our beautiful neighborhood of West Seattle.

For our 7th anniversary on Saturday night, we treated each other to presents this year, only really good Italian food.

To top it all off....we got to eat outside in early June, a rarity in the Pacific Northwest.

The menu was classic Italian focusing on fresh northwest ingredients.

Our starter......
Caprese di Bufala $12.95
Tomato and fresh Bufala mozzarella served with a basil pesto
topped with capers and fresh artichoke hearts and served on a bed of fresh baby greens.

Brian's main....

Pollo Salt'imbocca
Chicken breast topped with fontina cheese, sage and prosciutto, finished with a white wine pan sauce along side a bed of grilled vegetables

My main....
Cannelloni 16.95
Pasta stuffed with chicken, veal and beef, served in tomato sauce and mozarrella

Top it all off with an amazing bottle of wine and you have a phenominal dinner!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

First M's Game of 2011

Last Saturday, Brian and I went to our first M's game of the season.

The Baseball Bunch (clockwise)
Brian, Kenny, Steve and Jef (missing was Rusty)

Thanks to Step-Dad, Kenny who was out visiting from Virginia, for awesome front row upper deck seats. The "baseball bunch" finally got to see a game together.

The weather was fabulous and the game was great, despite the M's being beat 3-2.

Safeco Field has undergone some renovations in the off-season. Once a dimly lit, cramped space, the outfield "Pen" has become the ballpark's newest fan attraction.

The area, located in left and center field adjacent to the home and visitor's bullpens, is now a bright, open area with a fire pit, cocktail lounge, and destination concession stands with food concepts created by three nationally acclaimed chefs including Seattle's own Ethan Stowell.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Choose You - June 6th thru 9th

Welcome to a fabulous week ahead!

I want to tell you a little bit about wonderful new documentary produced by Academy Award-winning actress Hilary Swank that is inspiring women nationwide to make their own health a priority and take everyday steps to help prevent cancer. Choose You®, chronicles the powerful and emotional stories of three women on their journey to put their health first for themselves and for the ones they love.

The Choose You movement shines a light on the sobering fact that 1 in 3 women will get cancer in her lifetime. Please visit and you'll receive information on receiving a special invitation to the online premiere of the Choose You documentary airing this month. In addition, Sprite Zero will donate $1 to the American Cancer Society (up to $450,000) for each person who joins the movement.

Here is our menu for this week!

MONDAY: Fettucine with Asparagus and a Garden Salad (Meatless Monday)
TUESDAY: Chicken Milano with leftover salad
WEDNESDAY: Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce and Sweet Potato Wedges
THURSDAY: Cobb Salad

Friday, June 3, 2011

Old Photo Friday: Happy Anniversary, Baby!

WHO: Brian and Stacy
WHAT: After birthday dinner at Mama's Fish House
WHERE: Paia, Maui
WHEN: 2008

Our story isn't long enough for a really old picture, but I hope one day it is. Happy 7th anniversary to my sweetheart, Brian.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Recipe of the Week: BBQ'd Skirt Steak

For years I was a flank steak kinda girl. Recently my local butcher was out of flank steak so I opted instead for a skirt steak and I don't think I'll ever buy another flank steak again!

The term skirt steak refers to a cut of beef from the plate. It is a long, flat cut that is prized for its flavor rather than tenderness (although I find it more tender than flank steak). Sometimes flank steak is used interchangeably with skirt steak, but it is a totally different cut of meat (and a whole heck of a lot cheaper).

This is an awesome marinade!


Lime Skirt Steak with Sweet Potato Wedges
Slightly adapted from Everyday Food


4 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about one medium lime)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 garlic gloves, minced
1 jalapeno, diced with ribs and seeds removed (unless you like it spicy)
1/2 cup cilantro
black pepper
1 1/2 pounds skirt steak
3 medium sweet potatoes, sliced into 4 wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper

  • In a blender or food processor, combine lime juice, soy sauce, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro and black pepper until smooth. Transfer to a large plastic zip-lock bag and add skirt steak. Marinate at least 30 minutes, but no more than 2 hours (I prefer to marinate at room temperature for about 45 minutes).
  • While steak is marinating, preheat oven to 450F. On a baking sheet place sweet potato wedges and drizzle with olive oil, brown sugar, chili powder and pepper. Roast potatoes until brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven once done and salt.
  • BBQ steak! Alternately, you could cook steak in a hot skillet about 3-5 minutes a side. Slice and serve with potato wedges and a nice salad.
Recipe courtesy of Everyday Food; image found on Google Images