Sunday, July 31, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Welcome August!

Summer just wouldn't be summer without a good outdoor concert! Sunday night we are going to the zoo, my only hope is that the weather is nice.

As we begin August, my goal is to plan my menus to minimize time in the kitchen, utilize our outdoor BBQ and outdoor space and soak up some sunshine. What are your August goals?


Sunday: Oregon Zoo Concert with Bruce Hornsby and Bela Fleck; picnic dinner
Monday: Capellini with Fresh Tomato Sauce and a Caesar Salad (Meatless Monday)
Tuesday: Pizza Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries
Wednesday: Road Trip to Eugene; going to show the new car to my Pop and Rosemary
Thursday: Southwestern Layered Salad with Chicken

Friday, July 29, 2011

Old Photo Friday: On The Road, Again!

"Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”
- Lance Armstrong

WHO: Stacy and Sandra (I think we called this our Thelma and Louise Road Trip)
WHAT: Road trip south via Oregon Coast to San Francisco
WHERE: This photo was taken the morning we left Springfield (out in front of Dad and Rosemary's house)
WHEN: Summer 1999 (it might be 1998...I can't remember)

Hoping that Chick is back on the road again soon (in more ways than one)!


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Lemon Blueberry Muffins

A few weeks ago, I made some packaged lemon-blueberry muffins for Brian and I. They were great, but not homemade and probably full of a lot of preservatives and sugar.

So last week my boss comes into the office with a whole flat of blueberries and gives me some to take home.

Then this idea popped into my head.....why can't I make homemade lemon-blueberry muffins. I mean, I know I don't bake, but this should be easy (plus my boss requested some sort of payment for the blueberries).

Easy Lemon-Blueberry Muffins
Adapted from Betty Crocker Website

  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 6oz container of vanilla yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of grated lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries (if you use frozen, do not thaw)

  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Grease bottoms of 12 muffin cups (or 6 large)
  • In a large bowl, beat milk, oil and yogurt using a whisk. Stir in remaining ingredients, except blueberries until flour is moist and ingredients are well mixed. Slowly fold in berries.
  • Divide batter into cups and bake for 14-17 minutes or until golden brown.

Image courtesy of Google Images: Since I actually didn't bake them, Chick did the above story is slightly fabricated but does not take away from the delicious product.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Beaverton Farmer's Market; A Busy Beaverton Weekend!

Summer just isn't summer without a trip to the Beaverton Farmer's Market (or any other outdoor market). Since I am rarely in Beaverton on Saturday, I took the opportunity last Saturday to see what the market had to offer.

The Beaverton Market is the single largest, all agricultural market in the state with 15,000 - 20,000 visitors each week.

The market is open on Saturdays (5/7 - 10/29) from 8-1:30, Wednesdays (6/22 - 8/31) from 3-6 with a special Harvest Market on 11/19 from 8-1:30.

Lunch with Chick at a new place for us, Cafe Murrayhill on their outdoor patio. Just perfect for an 80 degree day. I loved the Crab Louie Salad.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Meet the Bronze Goddess

After 14 years, it was time to say goodbye to my old Honda (the silver bullet).

Meet the Bronze Goddess!
2012 Hyundai Elantra Limited. Check out the amazing folks at Beaverton Hyundai!

I test drove her on Saturday....slept on it and at 4AM on Sunday morning, I just knew that I had to have her.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Last Week In July!

It's hard to believe that we are nearing the dog days of summer, given that summer here in the Northwest has been most absent. In August we begin to see our days shortening. Can you already feel it? How will you cherish the final month and a half of summer?


Sunday: BBQ Pork Ribs and Creamy Cole Slaw
Monday: Wild Mushroom Stroganoff with Salad (Meatless Monday)
Tuesday: Halibut with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, Alice's BBQ'd Baby Potatoes and leftover Salad
Wednesday: Caribbean Skirt Steak with Roasted Corn Salad
Thursday: Grilled Pesto Chicken Kebabs (with home made pesto) and Brown Rice

Friday, July 22, 2011

Old Photo Friday: Happy Birthday, Rosemary! and Happy Birthday, Ken!

It's two for one here today on Old Photo Friday!

Happy Birthday to Rosemary who celebrated her birthday yesterday.WHO: Rosemary and Pop (I think that is Tom Cotter next to my dad)
WHAT: Together with friends
WHERE: I am guessing but I think that piano is the Cotter's
WHEN: Early 1980's; perhaps one of their first dates

Happy Birthday to Brian's Brother, Ken who celebrates his birthday tomorrow.

WHO: Ken Lee
WHAT: Saturday Little League
WHERE: Out in the front yard @ 109 Tamara Circle in Newark, DE
WHEN: Ken looks to be around 10 so I'll say the summer of 1965



Thursday, July 21, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Pasta with Turkey Sausage and White Beans

While watching the Cooking Channel (my new favorite food channel) a few weeks ago, this wonderful creamy pasta dish caught our eye. I love it's simplicity and the fact that it can be easily adapted using vegetarian sausage....not that we made it that way the first time...just saying...keep your options open.


Pasta with Turkey Sausage
Slightly adapted from Everyday Italian


1 pound pasta; I prefer penne but recipe calls for orechiette (hard to find little ear shape)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3/4 pound turkey sausage; ground (or meat substitute); casings removed if buying links
1 15oz can of white beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 mascarpone cheese (alternatively you could use 1/2 ricotta and 1/2 cream cheese mixed together)
salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese and a few oregano leaves, optional


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook according to directions while preparing the sauce (reserving 1 cup of pasta water for the sauce).

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat and cook onion, 3-5 minutes until translucent. Add sausage and break into bite size pieces while browning about 7-10 minutes.

Add beans and oregano and stir together, cooking an additional 2-3 minutes. Add a cup of the pasta water and scrap any browned sausage bits off the bottom of the pan. Slowly add the cheese and stir until a sauce forms. Season with salt and pepper.

Add pasta to the sauce and stir together. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and a few springs of fresh oregano.

Image courtesy of Google Images

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sequim Lavender Festival

Ever since I finished reading Claire Cook's Wildwater Walking Club in January, I've been planning our adventure to Sequim for the annual lavender festival.

The day started out wet and rainy, but by the time we got past the Olympic mountains and hit the rain shadow in Sequim, the sun popped out and we were able to enjoy some of the festivities.
Our first stop was the street fair...lavender, lavender products, art, music and jewelry.

Our favorite stop of the day was Jardin du Soleil Lavender Farm, a gorgeous place that grows and distills their lavender organically.

The grounds were beautiful and a special treat was Valarie, who on top of a ladder, took pictures for free (with your camera) and included views of the beautiful lavender fields behind you. She had a basket full of props and I thought the parasol was a hoot!

We caught the 6:30 ferry back to Seattle and the sky put on a show...amazing thunderheads and black gloom moving east, had the city caught in its grip.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: July 17-21

How is your summer going so far? Typically, we choose lighter healthier meals in the summer. Produce and fruit is so abundant and with the warmer evening temps, it's nice to sit outside and enjoy your meal.

We are coming and going this week with Brian in Portland and Chick gallivanting around and on vacation. Perhaps we'll get time for an evening meal or two on the patio.


Monday: Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers (Meatless Monday is back)
Tuesday: Brats on the Grill with Corn on the Cob (eating out of the freezer is always a good thing)
Wednesday: OUT
Thursday: Tilapia with Grilled Vegetables and Wild Rice
Friday: Grilled Rib-eye, Caesar Salad and a Baked Potato

Friday, July 15, 2011

Old Photo Friday: Sleeping Brian

WHO: Brian
WHAT: Sleeping
WHERE: Basement of family home in Delaware
WHEN: Summer 1972; Brian is 11
WHY: Hot east coast summers = sleeping in basements

I imagine him falling asleep to the Phillies game on the radio, just as I fell asleep listening to the Dodgers on the radio in the summertime.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Sweet Creamed Corn

When I was a kid, the closest I got to creamed corn came from a can. Don't get me wrong, I loved it (and still do), but summer corn is so sweet and plentiful. How about trying it from scratch? It's super easy too.

Sweet Creamed Corn
Recipe slightly adapted from Real Simple


4 cups, fresh corn kernels (cut from cobs of approximately 5-6 ears of corn)
2 tablespoons butter (I don't care if you want to use salted or unsalted)
1/2 sweet yellow onion, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper
1 cup half and half (plus 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon corn starch


In a large bowl, cut the tip off the cobs. Cut the kernels from each cob with a small paring knife. Using the back of the blade, scrape against the cob to press out the milky liquid. Set aside.

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook stirring occasionally until they begin to soften, about 5-6 minutes. Add thyme and salt and pepper and cook for another minute.

Add corn and 1 cup of half and half. Simmer until the corn is tender about 7-8 minutes. Whisk 1/4 cup half and half with corn starch and add to corn mixture. Stir until mixture thickens, about 3-5 minutes.

Notes: We served this with a nice grilled flat iron steak and a simple salad of mixed greens

Image courtesy of Google Images

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Images from the train

Some of the prettiest scenery on the Amtrak Cascades is the 10 miles or so just north of Olympia when the train hugs the Puget Sound.

This time of year, we hit this part of the journey around sunset and every Friday night we are rewarded with some glorious sights and colors. If we are lucky enough, the sun dips just below the Olympic mountain range and turns the sky all shades.

A few weeks ago, I took these shots of the Narrows Bridge, but the fading light was amazing last week so I snapped a few more.

Do you see the heart in the sky?

Just for the record, I used my Android phone (T-Mobile MyTouch) and played around a bit with the camera settings for an "antique" slightly retro look to the photos.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

West Seattle Weekend Wrap-Up: West Seattle Summerfest 2011

One of the highlights of a West Seattle Summer is the annual Summer Fest.

Brian and I enjoyed the Saturday weather and walked up to the Alaska Junction to grab a beer, check out the vendors and hear a little local music.

Here are some photos from our weekend!
West Seattle HiYu Parade Float 2011

Another beautiful rose in our front yard

On Sunday we took a walk through our neighborhood and up to Solstice Park.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: July 11-14

Welcome Monday!

My Pop is coming up from Springfield for a visit and I asked him to cook one night. He's also going to pick up our new BBQ and take the old one away...we go through BBQ's about every couple of years at Rebecca Lane.

Here is our menu plan for the week!


Monday: Pork Roast, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy and Roasted Veggies (Pop is cooking)
Tuesday: Salmon Puttenesca (we loved it so much I wanted to fix it for Pop)
Wednesday: Lemon Cashew Chicken Stir-Fry
Thursday: Fried Oysters, Potatoes and Baby Peas (Chick is outta town, so I can cook my favorite)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

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

When do you know it's time to harvest?

My little beets have been in the ground growing since May 5th. The tag says 45 days, but the tops took so very long to begin growing I thought I would leave them in the ground for a few weeks longer. I planted 6 and lost 2.

Our flowers are finally taking off

In addition, I harvested a head of lettuce last week (made a yummy salad). You know what? I didn't plant any lettuce. How did this beautiful head appear in my garden? By hitched a ride on a spinach plant and grew on it's own. Glorious! The spinach on the other hand was a disaster.

I also planted big leaf basil, spicy globe basil and chives on June 29th. Herbs are easy to harvest.

I'll keep you posted on the beets.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Old Photo Friday: Gold Nugget

WHO: Two unknown gentlemen, Donald Brady, Marie Brady (Suter), Pat Dahl and Uncle Bud (Vernon) Dahl
WHAT: Dinner and Dancing
WHERE: Gold Nugget @ 4195 Hiway 99S, Eugene, OR (here is their phone number 5-7247)
WHEN: Mid-to Late 1940's

I found this picture in a sleeve from the Gold know one of those pictures you buy while having a night out with your friends at a super club (which is what I imagine the Gold Nugget to be).

If there is a heaven, I truly believe that this is what it looks like....old friends sitting around with a drink in their hands and a smile on their faces.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Lemony Berry Cheesecake Squares

I don't bake, but I was pretty impressed with myself on the 4th of July! I made these yummy (but very rich) cheesecake squares for our little backyard BBQ.



Lemony-Berry Cheesecake Squares
Slightly adapted from Pilsbury website

Makes 4 squares

Pastry Squares
1 box Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box (you will only use one dough)
1 teaspoon milk
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2cup whipping cream
1package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4cup sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 cup assorted berries


  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Unroll one crust on lightly floured work surface. With rolling pin, roll out crust. You will need to cut 4 equal squares from dough.
  2. Fold up all sides of each square 1/2 inch and roll inward to form thick crust edge. Brush edges with milk; sprinkle with 2 teaspoons sugar. Place on ungreased large cookie sheet. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely, about 10 minutes.
  3. Using small cookie cutters, cut shapes out of crust scraps (I bought some mini stars at JoAnn's Fabrics). Place shapes on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely, about 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in small bowl, beat whipping cream with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. In another small bowl, beat cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar and the lemon peel on medium speed until fluffy. Fold in whipped cream.
  5. Spoon mixture evenly into each pastry square. Arrange berries and crust cutouts over filling. Cover and refrigerate any remaining squares.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up; 4th of July Weekend

Brian and Stacy at The Fisherman on Pier 66 in Seattle

It's officially summer here in the Pacific Northwest. Our summer starts today....July 5th. Sometimes you just gotta laugh about it, but honestly, we really love it out here in the west. We had our first 80 degree day in Seattle on Saturday and a beautiful 4th of July in Portland.

Here are some more shots from our weekend!


Beautiful Rose

Copper Pig outside Pike Place Market

West Seattle Water Taxi


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Welcome July!

Happy Monday and Happy 4th of July!

I am back in Portland later this afternoon, so I'll be grilling up our 4th of July dinner at Rebecca Lane (Brian has to fly to Phoenix).

Since our summer has finally officially started, I think an all-grilling week ahead sounds good. Click on the banner above for more menu planning ideas.


Monday: 4th of July Cook-Out; beer brats and macaroni salad with berry-lemon cheesecake squares
Tuesday: Thai Chicken Thighs with Coconut Rice and Sugar Snap Buttery Peas
Wednesday: Basil Turkey Burgers
Thursday: Lime-Marinated Grilled Sea Bass with Grilled Asparagus

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Happy Mid Year!!

It's hard to believe that 2011 is half over as of today. Here is a little smilebox creation and a quick summary of our year so far.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Another picture slideshow by Smilebox

  • Chick celebrates #50 in January; a wonderful dinner and wine tasting at a hip wine bar in Eugene with friends
  • Girls trip to Cabo San Lucas at the end of January; who doesn't love time by the pool?
  • Brian's brother visits for Super Bowl Sunday; we love playing tour guide to Edmonds and all over West Seattle.
  • Tugboat christening; it's not everyday that your friend gets a boat named after her!
  • I passed my Series 66 exam!
  • My 42nd Birthday in Maui; time with Brian in paradise.
  • Planting gardens and beginning outdoor projects.
  • Memorial Day Weekend in West Seattle; a family visit with Brian's Sis-in-Law
  • 7th Anniversary; dinner al fresco (in June) at wonderful Italian place.
  • Father's Day Weekend in Eugene
What will the next 6 months bring?