Friday, August 31, 2012

Old Photo Friday: Happy Birthday, Brian!

WHO: The Lee Boys (Ken, Brian (center in the buggy) and Kerry, the two in the back are neighborhood kids
WHAT: A nice warm Spring day
WHERE: Newark, DE; looks like the front yard of family home on Tamara Circle
WHEN: May 1961

Happy Birthday, Brian (who turns 52 tomorrow)!


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Recipe of the Week: Bacon, Egg and Toast Cups

For 4th of July breakfast this year, I found a Martha Stewart recipe for a glorified version of Toad in the Hole.

What's Toad in the Hole you ask?

Toad in the Hole is a traditional English dish consisting of sausages in a Yorkshire pudding batter.  The origin of the name "Toad-in-the-Hole" is often disputed. Many suggestions are that the dish's resemblance to a toad sticking its head out of a hole provides the dish with its somewhat unusual name. It is rumored to have been called "Frog-in-the-Hole", at one time, although little if any evidence corroborates this assertion.

Whatever you want to call's an easy brunch dish and leftovers can be packed up easily to be warmed up later (if you want leftovers, cook the eggs for 5 minutes less).


Bacon, Egg and Toast Cups - AKA "Toad in the Hole"

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 8 slices white or whole-wheat sandwich bread
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 6 large eggs
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter 6 standard muffin cups. With a rolling pin, flatten bread slices slightly and, with a 4 1/4-inch cookie cutter, cut into 8 rounds. Cut each round in half, then press 2 halves into each muffin cup, overlapping slightly and making sure bread comes up to edge of cup. Use extra bread to patch any gaps. Brush bread with remaining butter.
  2. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium, until almost crisp, 4 minutes, flipping once. (It will continue to cook in the oven.) Lay 1 bacon slice in each bread cup and crack an egg over each. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until egg whites are just set, 20 to 25 minutes. Run a small knife around cups to loosen toasts. Serve immediately.
Standard muffin pans come in 6- or 12-cup size; if baking 6 items in a 12-cup pan, leave empty space in between. Nonstick pans are nice but not essential. Beware of very thin pans, which often lead to burning. Place pans on a baking sheet to make them easier to get in and out of the oven.
I just bought this silicon muffin pan and I love it!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Weekend Wrap-Up: Neighborhood BBQ

 Grill "Princess"

It was a busy weekend before starting vacation on Tuesday afternoon.

Our neighborhood hosted a block party this past Saturday and I volunteered weeks ago to be the "grill master".

We had 48 adults and 7 kids and everyone had a great time hanging out in Kaye's backyard! Thanks to Kaye and the entire committee for a job well done. 

I spent 2 hours in front of the burgers, polish sausage, hot dogs and spicy links and loved every minute of it!

Everyone pitched in for a potluck of appetizers, salads and desserts.  There were lots of friendly faces and a good time was had by all!  It's a wonderful opportunity to meet your neighbors and I encourage everyone to be more active in their neighborhoods.

On Sunday, I planted my fall garden.  I've struggled the past few weeks with my yellow zucchini and decided to pull it out and start from scratch with a fall mix, including lettuce, spring onions and broccoli.

We also managed to haul another 20+ loads of bark dust around the front and back yards.  It's been a big job, but I think we are pretty much done...just in time for fall.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Menu Plan Monday: On Vacation!

Happy Monday!

I am not really posting much of a set menu this week.  On Tuesday evening, I am taking the train up to Seattle to spend a week with Brian and Sammy (it's Brian's birthday on September 1st).  As a result, I'll cook a few of Brian's favorites, we'll BBQ a ton and grab something out at some of our favorite haunts (plus a new one or two)!

For more recipes and organizational tips, check out Laura's site.


Sunday: Chick requested!  Yummy! Fettucine with Tomato Cream Sauce
Monday: Rotisserie Chicken with Caesar Salad
Tuesday: Off to Seattle via Amtrak
Wednesday:  Home cooking!  I'll cook something special for my guy and he can relax and take it easy (pour the wine).  Ideas include Skillet Lasagna or Lasagna Roll Ups, but I wouldn't rule out Classic Meatloaf
Thursday:  Perhaps a cocktail and some pupus HERE!  Or a classic piece of "pie" HERE!
Friday:  What's better than grabbing some Fish and Chips on the beach!?
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Saturday:  BBQ with friends and a little Birthday Cake! I'd love to grill up some Juicy Lucy's.
Sunday:  We will probably take an adventure out to Snoqualmie Casino for a cocktail.  I just love their wine bar!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Old Photo Friday: Happy Birthday, Grandma Cavey

WHO: Helen L. (Watkins) Cavey
WHAT: Pop and Rosemary's Wedding Day
WHERE: E Street; Springfield, OR
WHEN: August 24th, 1985

Happy Birthday to my late Grandma Cavey who would have turned 109 today!  Her Birthday and my Pop and Rosemary's wedding anniversary is the same day.  This year, they celebrate 27 years together.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Recipe of the Week: Capresse Salad on a Stick!

This seriously could be the easiest salad/appetizer you've ever made.  I think it took me 10 minutes to thread 10 skewers for a neighborhood party in late June.

If you love summer tomatoes and fresh basil, this is the dish for you.  Perfect for a quick side dish, picnic, potluck or cocktail party!


Caprese Salad on a Stick

Serving: 10
2 pints cherry tomatoes (find the biggest ones)
1 container fresh mozzarella balls
1 package basil leaves (better if from your garden)
balsamic vinegar (I used Ken's creamy balsamic salad dressing)
salt and pepper
large toothpicks or bamboo skewers

Start with one cherry tomato, a basil leave (or half a leaf if it is large), and a mozzarella ball on each toothpick.  If using a larger skewer, then repeat the process.
Drizzle with balsamic vinegar (dressing) and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Recipe courtesy of many many blogs on the web.  I can't remember where I saw this first, but it's been around for a few years now.
Picture courtesy of moi; taken June 27, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up: Mom's Visit

My Mom is visiting the Pacific NW from Virginia.

She spent part of the weekend in West Seattle with Brian, Sammy and I and then rode down with me in the Bronze Goddess to Portland for a few days at Rebecca Lane.

Friday's temps were HOT!  It was lovely to sit outside on the patio and enjoy some wine.

On Saturday, Mom spent most of the morning helping us re-decorate our living room.  Thanks, Mom....there is nothing quite like your decorating touches.  In the afternoon, we had a wonderful lunch at Duke's Chowder House, right on Alki beach. 

1lb steamer favorite!

Last evening we took a walk along the Murrayhill pond before grabbing a bite to eat at Ruby Tuesdays.

Duke's famous bloody Mary - with jumbo shrimp!

Mom flies back to Virginia early this morning and we will miss her until our next adventure together.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Menu Plan Monday: August 19-23, 2012

Welcome Monday!

My Mom is in Beaverton for a few days...visiting from Virginia.  There will be a lot of girl talk over the next few days and some yummy food.  I enjoy entertaining and this gives me the opportunity to cook something special for my Mom.

For more wonderful menu ideas, please click HERE to be directed to Laura's site.


Sunday:  Surf and Turf Skewers with Warm Potato Salad and Tin Roof Sundaes
Monday: Herb Crusted Salmon with a Mixed Greens Salad
Tuesday:  Night out!?  Mom flies back home early so perhaps the kitchen is closed?
Wednesday: Grilled BBQ chicken and Homemade Creamed Corn (quick and easy)
Thursday: Grilled Asian Pork Loin with Stir-Fry Vegetables and Jasmine Rice

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Random Bits

It's been full on work mode both inside and outside the house recently.  Brian's had several out of town work trips, we've had two excessive heat warnings with temps in Portland and Seattle near 100 (10 days apart) and my Mom is visiting from Virginia (plus Brian came down with one helluva summer cold last weekend) so not too many "fun" activities.

I did manage to snap a few random shots from the last week or so......


The worst summer cold ever!  He probably picked it up, along with tshirt on his recent trip to Arizona. Still that sweet disposition!

Sammy....relaxing on the couch as always!  He's not a big fan of the heat.

One of the best meals I have every prepared from scratch!  Wild Black Cod with Chantrelle Cream Sauce.  Best way to entertain ones self when BF is sick with a cold!

 NW Fisherman; spotted on our Lincoln Park walk a few weeks ago.  This is a carved work of art in someone's front yard along Beach Drive.  How NW!

Quick (and I mean very quick) stop in Cabela's sporting goods store with my business partner last Wednesday.  Who knew Cabela's has homemade fudge!?

Golf outing for a client at Springfield Country Club on one of the hottest days of the year!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Old Photo Friday: Brian's Dad

WHO: Allen K. Lee (Brian's dad)
WHAT: Looks like some sort of Summer party?  Gathering?
WHERE: Delaware
WHEN: August 1958

This photo reminds me so much of Brian that I just had to share it.  Of all three Lee boys, I think Brian looks most like his father (when Al was a younger man).  Brian sits the same way sometimes...arms resting on a chair. 


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Recipe of the Week: Heart of Palm Salad

Recently, I was fondly recalling the wonderful meal that I had in Baltimore back in May.  I enjoyed the soft shelled crabs so much that I completely overlooked the heart of palm salad.

Heart of palm, also called palm heart or palm cabbage, is a vegetable harvested from the inner core and growing bud of certain palm trees, most notably the coconut palm.  A delicately sweet, ivory-colored vegetable, heart of palm is literally the center of a young palm tree, most commonly Bactris gasipaes, the peach palm. The texture is tender-crisp.  It may be eaten on its own, and often it is eaten in a salad.

As of 2008, Costa Rica is the primary source of fresh palm hearts in the US. Peach palm is also cultivated in Hawaii, and now has limited distribution on the mainland, primarily to the restaurant trade.  Florida's wild Sabal palmetto or cabbage palm was once a source of hearts of palm but is now protected by conservation law.

Bonefish Grill Heart of Palm Salad with Herb Vinaigrette


4 cups romaine lettuce
A handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 can heart of palm
10-12 kalamata olives, sliced in half
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

Herb Vinaigrette
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sugar (could use splenda)
3 tablespoons water (I added a bit more water after tasting it)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
4 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh parsley, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1.  Assemble salad (4 servings)
2.  For dressing; whisk everything in a bowl, then microwave for one minute.  Remove from microwave and whisk.  Cover and chill for one hour before serving.

Thanks to Lacey for the recipe; I had a hard time finding on the web

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Menu Plan Monday: Mid-August!

Welcome to Monday!

We are heading into the middle of August!  Our days are getting shorter, but this week is supposed to be quite warm.  In order to have the time to relax and enjoy the last few weeks of summer, it's essential to plan your weekly menu and prep as much of the meal before hand.

This week's menu is well-rounded, low fat and very easy to prepare or prep.

Check out other menus at


Sunday: Ad's Pasta (closing ceremonies of the London Summer Games)
Monday: Marie's Blue Cheese and Steak Salad with Texas Toast
Tuesday: Parmesan Crusted Tilapia with Grilled Veggies and Jasmine Rice
Wednesday: I am in Eugene for a client appreciation event!!
Thursday: Fettuccine Alfredo with leftover salad

Friday, August 10, 2012

Old Photo Friday: Summers with Cousins

WHO: Stacy (in Superdog canoe), Monica and Wendy
WHAT: Summer fun
WHERE: Backyard of E street before parents put in the swimming pool
WHEN: Back of picture says August 1974

The Summer Olympics bring back fond memories of my cousins, Monica and Wendy (my Mom's brother, Mickie's daughters).

Every summer, we spent several weeks together from the time I can remember through our pre-teens (they lived full time with their mother in Washington).  The summer of 1976 has a special place in my heart (I wished I had a photo from 1976).  It was the summer of Nadia and her perfect 10's.  We'd spend hours in my backyard, pretending to be Nadia, Olga Korbut or Nellie Kim.  The world was mesmerized by her beauty, innocence and talent and we were young impressionable girls (7=me, 8=Wendy and 10=Monica)

I've not seen either cousin in over 20 years, but I hope they remember those summers and have fond memories.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Recipe of the Week (British History Month) Spotted Dick

I am incredibly sad to see the Olympics winding down.  The closing ceremonies are this coming Sunday and I've so enjoyed seeing London and parts of England that I remember exploring some 18 years ago.  Wow!  Time flies.

I served Spotted Dick for the Opening Ceremonies and I had several people ask me about it's origin and history.

To be honest, I found mine pre-made in a can (thank you Cost Plus World Market) but I found this on-line video of the real thing!  Can you even buy suet in the States???

Spotted Dick is a British steamed suet pudding (again, think moist dense cake) that contains dried fruit and currants and is commonly served with a custard (think pudding or a thick cream).  Spotted refers to the pieces of dried fruit and dick may be a contradiction or corruption of the word pudding or possibly a corruption of the word dough or dog (as in spotted dog) which is another name for a dish but made with plums rather than currants.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary the earliest documented reference is a recipe for "Plum Bolster" or Spotted Dick in Alexis Soyer's The Modern Housewife in 1849.


Spotted Dick

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

West Seattle Weekend Wrap Up: HOT!!!

Whew!  It was a bit on the warm side over the weekend!

It was a perfect day on Saturday for a walk along the water!  We always get a cool breeze off the Puget Sound.

Here are some random shots from the weekend!

Low Tide @ Lowman Beach

Agapanthis beginning to bloom along with nasturtiums that wintered over


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Menu Plan Monday! August 6-9 2012

Did someone just say the "Dog days are over"?  Already?  Summer once again is flying by.  Nothing says summer like cooking when your not really cooking.  Does everyone follow?  What are your favorite summertime meals that are easy and require almost no cooking?

Speaking of the dog of my favorite songs below!

Go to to find some great recipes and meal planning ideas.  More menus HERE


Monday: I am having dinner in Eugene with Pop and Rosemary!  I think we are going HERE
Tuesday: Beef and Vegetable Kebobs with Jasmine Rice (you can find these pre-made in most grocery stores)
Wednesday: Grilled Pesto Chicken Thighs with a Big Garden Salad
Thursday:10 Minute South-Western Layered Salad (we add chicken)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A New Member of the Family!

Last April, this pretty little cat showed up at our back door.  

We've tried for months (unsuccessfully) to find her owner, including a trip to the vet to see if she was micro chipped, walks through the neighborhood and phone calls to various animal organizations.

In the end, we've decided to keep her!  She's extremely loving, has a wonderful disposition and is adjusting to spending her evenings inside (as my bed partner).  Even Blondie appears to be warming up to her.

Welcome to the family, Keikei Lahaina!


Brian and Keikei chilling out at Rebecca Lane

Friday, August 3, 2012

Old Photo Friday: Happy Birthday, Mom!

WHO: Stacy and Mom (Jennifer)
WHAT: Don't remember that rocking chair?
WHERE: E Street in Springfield, OR
WHEN: Picture says 1971

Happy Birthday to my Mom who celebrates her birthday on August 6th.

We are all really looking forward to your visit later this month!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Recipe of the Week: British History Month - Sausage Rolls

For our Olympic Opening Ceremony Party, I made a batch of sausage rolls which were wonderful.  They are extremely popular in Great Britain and I ate my fair share while living in Australia.

A sausage roll is basically a savory pastry served at parties and available at bakeries.  The basic composition of a sausage roll is generally a sheet or sheets of puff pastry formed around ground sausage meat then glazed with egg or milk before being baked.  They can be served either hot or cold and typically have some dipping sauce on the side.

It's not totally clear who first came up with the idea of wrapping food in puffed dough/pastry. The french can certainly claim the right to the origins of the puffed or flaky pastry (think croissants) but it's rumored that the rolls could hardly be called "gourmet" or "delicious"....then the war hit and the Brits were hungry and in search of a cheap alternative for ground meat. The roll became well loved almost instantly.  In the UK, the bakery chain, Gregg's sells around 2.5 million sausage rolls per week.


Sausage Rolls


1/2 cup fresh white breadcrumbs
1/3 cup milk
1 pound ground pork, veal or chicken sausage meat
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 egg, plus 1 egg extra, lightly beaten
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, just thawed
ketchup, to serve
Dijon mustard, to serve


  • Combine breadcrumbs and milk in a bowl and set aside until milk is absorbed.
  • Remove casings from sausages (the skin) and place in a food processor with crumbs, onion and egg.
  • Process until well combined, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to chill.
  • Place a sheet of pastry on a lightly floured surface and cut horizontally into two.
  • Spoon a quarter of the mixture along the centre of each piece of pastry.
  • Fold over a long side of pastry, brush with egg, then fold other side over to enclose, slightly overlapping in the centre, and make a long sausage shape.
  • Repeat with remaining pastry and filling to make 4 rolls.
  • Place rolls, seam side down, on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Cover and refrigerate for 1/2 hour until firm.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with non-stick baking paper.
  • Carefully diagonally cut each roll into individual bite sized pieces (7-10). Brush with remaining egg and place on baking sheet. Use a sharp knife to make 2 small slits on top of each roll (to prevent rolls from splitting)
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and puffed. Serve warm with the ketchup or mustard.