Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Good Times at the Crab Pot

Chick and I drove the Bronze Goddess to Seattle last Friday night (her last trip north until next Summer..fall and winter driving is not my thing).

On Saturday night we finally made it to the Crab Pot, a Seattle institution also made famous by Man vs. Food Host, Adam Richman (see video link below).

We took the West Seattle Water Taxi over to the waterfront Saturday afternoon. It was a beautiful and warm August day.

Prior to dinner, we enjoyed a few cocktails overlooking the Puget Sound at The Fisherman. They have great live music on Saturday afternoons throughout the summer. This Week is was a band called BottleRockit; High-energy Rock, Blues, Soul, Country, Surf, and Pop. Described as a Northwest party band.

We met some new friends from Las Vegas, Gary and Annie and soaked in what feels like our fleeing summer (Sunday we woke up to thick fog and coolness in the air).

Dinner at the Crab Pot around 6-ish was FABULOUS. Chick and I said over and over again that it was just what we expected, although we wish they kept the dipping butter hot.

We ordered the Pacific Clambake which included: steamed mussels, steamed clams and steamed oysters...a skewer of halibut and salmon....hunks of corn, red potatoes and andouill
e sausage...dungeness and snow crab and shrimp in the shell.

They pour the contents out onto your table and you eat it family "clambake" style.

Brian had some crab cakes, but he was less than impressed.

For $31.95 per person (for the clambake), we thought it was well worth the value.

A fantastic weekend!


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Short Week; Welcome September

Welcome to another wonderful Monday, our last of August!

It's a super short week this week. It's my sweetheart's birthday on Thursday so I am heading up to Seattle on Wednesday afternoon. We are trying out a new place in West Seattle Wednesday night, an Irish Pub that opened about 6 weeks ago called A Terrible Beauty. On Thursday, we are heading up to Tulalip for a little get-away!

With the short week, I'd better cook some totally off the charts...rockin' meals on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.


Sunday: Home from Seattle! Something quick and easy; chicken and salad?
Monday: Portobello Au Poivre with egg noodles and green beans (I LOVE MEATLESS MONDAY)
Tuesday: Tortilla Crusted Tilapia with Grilled Veggies and Jasmine Rice
On the train @ 2:50
Tulalip Casino; if we win big...Steaks and if we lose big, hotdogs or sandwiches
Heading to Alki, perhaps? Fish and Chips from SPUD is an end of summer tradition

Friday, August 26, 2011

Old Photo Friday: Happy Anniversary, Pop and Rosemary!

WHO: Pop and Rosemary
WHAT: My 16th Birthday Trip; I think this was taken HERE
WHERE: San Fransisco
WHEN: Spring 1985

Happy Anniversary to Pop and Rosemary who are celebrating 26 years together this week.

This was one of the many fun trips that I was treated to growing up. I'll never forget the gorgeous blue eyes of the waiter at Scott's (just how many oysters did we make Pop eat at that oyster bar) or the helicopter ride Pop and I took over Alcatraz. Always a good time with these two!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Larry's Zucchini Surprise

This is my friend, Larry. He works for Amtrak on the cleaning crew and he rides the train north from Tacoma on Friday nights to head into work. Larry has a kind heart and a generous spirit and I look forward to our 30 minute chats until my station stop in Tukwila.

Last week, during national give your zucchini away to your friends and neighbors, Larry brought me a zucchini and an easy recipe.

Larry's Zucchini Surprise


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 celery stalk, chopped
1-2 green onions, chopped
2 medium zucchini, diced
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup white wine
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper
1 package cheese tortellini or ravioli
3-4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan


Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.

In a frying pan, heat olive oil and saute garlic, celery and green onions for 1 minutes then add zucchini. When zucchini looks like it is getting soft, add the tomatoes, white wine and vinegar. Lower heat and let flavors meld, about 10 minutes.

Add pasta to sauce and season with salt and pepper. To serve; top bowls of pasta with basil and cheese.

This dish can be served hot or cold (it makes a great summer pasta salad alternative).

Photos courtesy of Larry: I took this photo of Larry last winter with his new camera
Recipe is another fine example of a rockin' meatless meal!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

West Seattle Weekend Wrap-Up; Car-Free Saturday!

Occasionally, Brian and I will have a car free Saturday. We both travel constantly, drive way to often from Portland to Seattle and sometimes....cars feel like the enemy.

Saturday was a perfect day for a car-free adventure, plus Seattle's warmest day of the year!

We started off with a 3 mile hike out our front door to Lincoln Park and south along the Puget Sound and ended up on the beveranda at the Beveridge Place.


We had a wonderful on-foot adventure, lots of afternoon patio time and a chance to unwind (this equals an afternoon nap with Sammy), plus dinner outside.

Dinner al fresco; perfect evening to eat outside.

We are so lucky that in West Seattle...we have everything so close that we really don't miss our car.
Steak and shrimp


Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekend Wine Review: Blue Fin Petite Sirah

Last week I went to Trader Joe's in search of cheap wine to re-stock our dwindling West Seattle wine rack.

We love reds, although not as much in the summer as in the fall and winter and Brian was all over the petite sirah the minute I brought it out of the bag.

All in all it is an excellent wine for the price ($3.99). It is full-bodied, yet light and mellow with big berries, cherry and plums. Pick some up for summer enjoyment.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: August 22-25

Welcome Monday!

My Pop is up from Springfield this week so a little special dessert is on the menu this week (with leftovers I hope).

A shorter week this week as Chick and I are taking the Bronze Goddess to Seattle on Friday. It's hard to believe it's the last FULL week of August (and my car has 1,000 miles already)!!


Sunday: Homemade Cafe Yum Bowls (Meatless Monday moves to Sunday)
Pop's request: Asian Lettuce Cups (PF Chang's Style)
Tuesday: Grilled Sirloin with Roasted Corn Salad and Banana Pudding for dessert!
Wednesday: Herb Salmon Salad
Thursday: Kitchen is CLOSED! Clean house, pack car....heading for Seattle on Friday!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow: August Wrap-Up

We are finally harvesting yellow squash after a slow start. Inconsistent watering led to few blossoms and baby squash dying on the vine. We finally put together a few days of bright sunshine and these things grew overnight! I've got three more that will be ready at the beginning of the week.

I harvested all my beets and next year, instead of spinach (which was a huge flop) I'll plant 4 extra beet plants. The four beets that made it produced 3 medium and 4 small beets, perfect to roast and place on top salad greens.

Basil is close to flowering, so I'll need to whip up some pesto and perhaps freeze it. Other herbs, including oregano and chives and abundant.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Old Photo Friday: Stacy, Anna, Mom and Tinkerbell

WHO: Stacy, Anna, Mom and Tinkerbell
WHAT: Summer evening
WHERE: backyard steps at E Street
WHEN: Summer of 1972; I look to be about three

Forgive me if I have posted this picture before, but it is one of my favorites of my childhood.

I can remember this shot as if it were taken yesterday and it reminds me of that innocent time of my childhood...summer. We had no air conditioning growing up, and luckily our summers were never too hot. I fondly remember family dinners on our backyard patio (long before my parents put in a swimming pool). Most of all, I remember my two best friends, Anna and Tinkerbell and the joy they brought me growing up (Anna lived until I was 10-11) and Tinkerbell lived until I was 20.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Beer Braised Creamy Cabbage

Beer Braised Creamy Cabbage

This is a slight adaptation of a recipe I posted a while back.

We absolutely love cabbage rolls in our house and I often times have a half a head a cabbage left over in the fridge from cole slaw. How on earth to use it up? That is just how this recipe came together.

This is totally made up (with a slight adaptation of the pork chop recipe above), but I was really impressed with the results. We liked it so well...that I am repeating the recipe again tonight (I'd better get it written down before I forget). This makes an excellent side dish with fish, chicken or pork.



2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 head of cabbage (serves 4) 1/2 head (serves 2 with extra sauce)
1 cup beer (use whatever you have on hand...the darker the better and richer the sauce will be)
1/2 cup heavy cream (or half and half)
1/2 teaspoon thyme
Salt and pepper


In a large frying pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon oil and saute onions until transclucent (about 5-7 minutes). Remove onions from pan.

Cut cabbage into wedges and heat remaining oil in frying pan over medium-high heat. Add cabbage wedges to the pan and brown all sides (don't worry if wedges sorta fall apart). Total browning takes about 7-10 minutes. Add beer and onions and cover pan with a lid and simmer for 3-5 minutes or until cabbage is done.

Lower your heat to low and add cream; season with thyme and salt and pepper. Cook over low heat until warmed.

Recipe courtesy of Everyday Food, but mostly from me!
Image courtesy of Google Images

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

West Seattle Weekend Wrap Up! Mid-August

  • Searched for pink pants for an adorable almost three year old; who knew pink pants were such a hot commodity
  • Drinks, hor's douvres and dinner with friends on their cool patio. One of our favorite summertime activities. Fun to celebrate a 3 years old's birthday month!
  • Ate yummy mini cupcakes from bakery on California Avenue (Groupon pick-up for friend, Sonja who graciously shared)
  • One lone gladiola bulb

  • Fresh blueberry pancakes (perhaps next weekend we can eat on the patio)
  • Unseasonably cooler weekend temps after consistent upper 70's/low 80's for past 10 days. Fall is in the air
  • Sitting in the passenger side from Seattle to Portland knowing my sweetheart and I will be together for 9 straight days (he teaches in Portland next week)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Red Tail Golf Course/The StockPot Restaurant Review

Family Dinner - August 2007

We haven't been to The Stock Pot in ages.

Last week was the perfect summertime weather to overlook the gorgeous Red Tail Golf Course.

They have a wonderful Happy Hour daily from 4-6:00 and 9:00-Close and Sunday 1/2 off wine by the bottle.

The Happy Hour menu is huge with everything from Basque-Style Meatballs, Asian Rice Paper rolls, nachos and mahi mahi tacos.

We tried...

Deep-Fried Onion Rings with Wasabi Dipping Sauce = $2.95
Nachos with Roasted Tomato Salsa = $2.95

A very quiet patio, attentive service and gorgeous views. Perfect for summer.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Middle of August!

Welcome Monday!

A shout out to our local Oregonian newspaper and a wonderful article by Grant Butler published a few weeks back highlighting meatless meals. I'd love to see the paper spotlight one meatless recipe a week to show folks out there how easy it is to create a wonderful meatless meal. Try it!


Sunday: Driving south from Seattle; perhaps just grab a pizza when we get home?
Monday: Giada's Pasta Ponza (Brian's in the kitchen and he picked this dish). GO MEATLESS!!
Tuesday: Cheddar Chicken Bites with Fries (a new favorite)
Wednesday: Out?
Thursday: Lemon Halibut with Wild Rice and Creamy Sauteed Cabbage

Friday, August 12, 2011

Old Photo Friday: Brian @ Petting Zoo

WHO: Brian, age 6; dark striped shirt...very curious about the pig
WHAT: Field Trip to Petting Zoo
WHERE: Outside Newark, DE
WHEN: 1966-67; Mrs. Rader's First Grade Class

Through the miracle that is Facebook, a classmate from Delaware posted a few photos of Brian's first grade class.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Turkey Pizza Burgers

Sometimes I get tired of the traditional weekend BBQ....the same old hot dogs and the same old hamburgers.

I found this recipe in a weight watchers magazine and played around with it a bit here to make it the recipe of the week. It makes a super tasty non-traditional burger that will knock your socks off...especially if you like pizza.


Turkey Pizza Burgers


1/2 pound Ground Turkey
1/2 pound Hot Italian Sausage, castings removed
1 cup Marinara sauce
8 slices of mozzarella cheese (I like two slices of cheese on mine)
8 fresh basil leaves
4 whole wheat hamburger buns

  • Mix ground turkey and Italian sausage together and form into 4 patties.
  • Heat marinara sauce in saucepan over medium-low heat.
  • Grill burgers (or you could cook in a pan over medium heat on stove top) until internal temperature reaches 165F. Remove from heat and top with cheese.
  • To assemble burgers: Place patties on whole wheat buns and top with two to three tablespoons of marinara sauce and two basil leaves.
Image courtesy of Google Images:
Recipe Slightly Adapted from Weight Watchers. Did you know our President likes Pizza Burgers?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

ASA Western National Tournament in Kent, WA

Uncle Brian and Carrie

Brian's brother, Ken, Sister-in-Law, Amy and 16 year old niece, Carrie came up to Kent, WA last week for the ASA 16U Western National Tournament.

Ken is the pitching coach on Carrie's team, the Castro Valley Synergy.

It was one tough tournament, but the girls won the whole thing, beating out 40+ other teams for the Western Regional title. Carrie is one of only two pitchers on the team and she was awesome to watch.

It was fun to watch the girls really hustle....I was quite impressed with their level of play.

New Synergy Cheering Section!

It was great to support Brian's family while they were in our neck of the woods.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: August 7-11

Welcome Monday! This month marks 5 months at the gym. I never thought that I would say this, but I really love it and I've managed to work it into my evening routine. Since I spend an extra 45 minutes a night (3-4 times a week) commuting to and from the gym and working out, our week night dinner menus really need to be planned out. Here are some of my tips for menu planning...
  • keep a three ring binder or a file folder full of recipes
  • write a list of your easy "go to" meals....for our household, grilled chicken and salad, garden burgers or fish, roasted vegetables and rice are quick, easy and healthy
  • Plan your menu for 2-3 weeks ahead...nothing written in stone, but have an idea of what you have on hand, what is seasonal and what you are hungry for
  • write and organize your grocery list by the lay-out of the store; group all your veggies, fruit, meat and dairy together
  • When you have time, pre-cook food in advance or at the very least marinate meat/poultry, clean herbs and chop fruit and veggies

Monday: Spring Asparagus and Lemon Fettuccine with a Salad
Tuesday: Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Stir-Fry Veggies and Jasmine Rice
Wednesday: Baja Fish Tacos
Thursday: OUT! AWESOME night for a drink and a salad HERE

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bon Voyage, Soudy!

People may come and go in your life, but true friends of the heart are with you forever - Stacy Dare Brady

A sad farewell to my wonderful stylist of 14 years, Soudy who left for Orange County, California last week.

I will miss you, my sweet friend. Good luck to you as you begin a new chapter in your life. All the best!


Friday, August 5, 2011

Old Photo Friday: Happy Birthday, Mom!

WHO: Mom
WHAT: High School Graduation Photo
WHERE: Eugene, OR
WHEN: June 1963

Happy Birthday to my Mom, Jennifer who turns 66 on Saturday! I love you!


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Homemade Pesto with Chicken Thighs

Last week I harvested a handful of fresh basil leaves and made homemade pesto. This recipe was fantastic and with the leftover chicken thighs, I made chicken sandwiches with pesto mayonnaise the next day.



Basil Pesto


1 cup basil leaves
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, pressed or finely minced
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs.


Add the basil leaves, cheese, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor or blender and combine by pulsing for 10-15 seconds. Slowly begin to drizzle in the olive oil while blending. Stop to scrap the sides of the processor with a rubber spatula. Check the consistency....you may need to add a bit more olive oil (I also added a bit more cheese). Season with salt and pepper.

Reserve two tablespoons of pesto for leftover pesto mayonnaise. Combine remaining pesto and chicken thighs in a zip-lock bag and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Grill chicken thighs until done or internal temperature reaches 165F.

Add the reserved two tablespoons of pesto to about 2 tablespoons of mayo for a wonderful sandwich spread.

Image courtesy of Google Images: I would have snapped a photo but pesto isn't exactly a pretty food! Thanks to google for this image
Recipe courtesy of moi...I sorta winged it and added things without really measuring...using taste and sight as my guide
. The above recipe is not an exact science!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow: End of July Update

We have blossoms and with blossoms comes the promise of at the very least a few yellow squash.

Our cherry tomato plant is producing some very tasty little tomatoes....just perfect to eat right off the vine.

As for my beets, I picked these last Wednesday and made a very small shaved beet and feta cheese salad. I think eating from your garden is one of the most wonderful feelings!

Herbs continue to go nuts, including my basil. I also had enough to harvest and make pesto with grilled chicken last week (recipe of the week....hint hint).


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Oregon Zoo Concert: Bela Fleck and Bruce Hornsby

It was a beautiful evening last Sunday night at the Oregon Zoo's Summer Concert Series

At about 6:00, Bruce Hornsby took the stage. I've always been a fan of his music, but have never seen him perform before.

He is an accomplished singer, pianist, accordion player, and songwriter and is quite well known for his spontaneity and creativity in his live performances. His influences include, classical, jazz, bluegrass, folk and blues.

I've seen Bela Fleck before, in fact about 8 years ago at the Oregon Zoo. Although the musician ship was outstanding, I felt the crowd disengage from his performance after such an amazing first set with Bruce.

Widely acknowledged as one of the world's most innovative and technically proficient banjo players, Bela is best known for his work with the bands New Grass Revival and the Flecktones.

If you get a chance to see either of these two performers, I urge you to go. Fabulous!