Friday, June 29, 2012

Old Photo Friday: Cotter Girls

WHO: Jessi, Aunt Stacy and Meegan
WHAT: Christmas Time
WHERE: Veneta, OR
WHEN: Early 1990's 1991 or 1992

The girls are all grown up now, but years ago.....they enjoyed cuddling and watching Disney movies with Aunt Stacy.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Recipe of the Week: Peel and Eat Shrimp

Peel and eat shrimp is "the" perfect summer meal!  I thought it would make a great lunch for 4th of July next week so I've been searching the Internet for recipes. 

Old Bay Seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices produced in the Chesapeake Bay area of Maryland.  Developed by German immigrant Gustav Brunn in the 1940s, the seasoning is still very popular to this day. At that time, crabs were so plentiful that bars in Maryland, offered them free and seasonings like Old Bay were created to encourage patrons to purchase more beverages.

Old Bay Seasoning is named after the Old Bay Line, a passenger ship line that plied the waters of the Chesapeake Bay from Baltimore to Norfolk, Virginia in the early 1900s. Gustav Brunn’s company became the Old Bay Company, producing crab seasonings in the unique yellow can container until the company was purchased by McCormick and Co. in 1990 (although McCormick continues to offer Old Bay in the classic yellow can).  In addition to seafood, Old Bay seasoning is also used on French fries, popcorn, fried chicken and corn on the cob.


Peel n' Eat Shrimp with Homemade Cocktail Sauce

2½ tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup beer
1 cup water
2 pounds extra large shrimp (26-30 per pound), shell split and deveined

6 tablespoons ketchup
½ tablespoon prepared horseradish (best quality, such as Boar’s Head
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pinch cayenne pepper

Combine Old Bay, butter, beer and water in a large pot and bring to a boil.
Add shrimp and turn heat down to medium. Cover and cook, stirring once, for 3-6 minutes or until shrimp are pink. Keep an eye on it; if you overcook the shrimp, they’ll be tough. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and transfer to serving platter. Serve hot or cold with cocktail sauce.
Cocktail Sauce
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Taste and add more of any ingredient if desired.

Thanks to Once Upon a Chef for the recipe

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

West Seattle Weekend Wrap-Up: Rain or Shine!

Summer in West Seattle always kicks off with the Morgan Street Festival, the first of several community summertime activities.

Saturday's festival was a complete....WASHOUT!  No puppy parade....the street vendors closed up shop at noon and the outdoor stage was broken down even before the first band began to warm up.  Extremely disappointing for our little West Seattle community. 

Needless to say, about 3PM Saturday the sun came out blazing.  The rest of the day was spent walking to our local pub, reading and relaxing and using our new (used, given to us by our neighbors) charcoal BBQ.

Sammy and I crashed out on Friday night!
Our first meal, burgers with cheddar cheese, portobello mushrooms with thyme and garlic and corn on the cob was wonderful!

Here are some of my favorite shots of the weekend!


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Menu Plan Monday: Last Week in June!

Welcome to the last week of June!

Chick is back from Nashville and we have a Sunday "work party" scheduled for today with a truck load of bark dust to spread.  Sounds like a Sunday Night BBQ to me!

Here is the rest of our menu for the week.


Sunday: Grilled Chicken, Corn on the Cob and Macaroni Salad
Monday: Grilled London Broil with Greek Tossed Salad and Roasted Carrots straight from the garden
Tuesday: Trader Joe's Turkey Burgers
Wednesday: Neighborhood Girl's Night Out.  I am making these appetizers for the party
Thursday: Salmon Salad

Friday, June 22, 2012

How does your garden grow?! Two month check

It's past the middle of June and we've been growing for 68 days (carrots, garlic and rosemary) and a little over one month for the yellow zucchini and tomatoes.

The zucchini is really taking off and I have numerous squash blossoms and the start of some zucchini which I know will grow like a weed.

All tomato plants have blossoms!  Let's hope the fruit is just around the corner. Our weather continues to be a bit inconsistent which does nothing for tomatoes.

I planted some basil and thyme mid week.  We love our herbs.  The day after I planted the basil we had rain and a high temperature of 55 degrees.  Pray for the basil.

I am thinking that it's probably just about time to harvest a row of carrots!?  Given our lack of sun in April/May....I am extending the official number of growing days by at least 10-12 to be on the safe side.  The tag says 100 days, which would make it another month....but they sure look ready to me.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Recipe of the Week: Curry Artichoke Rice Salad

Several weeks ago at a funeral potluck I saw this salad sitting on the buffet table and made a beeline for the serving spoon.

There is just something about this cold rice salad that is absolutely dreamy.  This recipe has been around for years and goes back to potluck's from the 1970's when cooking with artichokes became chic.  There are dozens of recipes out there, but this one sounds the best to me.


Curry Artichoke Rice Salad

  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups uncooked white rice
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 (6.5 ounce) jars marinated artichoke hearts, chopped (reserve 2 tablespoons of marinade)
  • 5 green onions, chopped
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, chopped depending on your preference
  • 1/2 cup raisins, okay to omit if you are not a fan
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley


  1. Combine chicken stock and rice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Cool rice in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and curry powder. Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine artichoke hearts, green onions, green bell pepper, raisins, celery and parsley.  Mix in cooked rice, then add mayonnaise mixture.  Cover and chill overnight. Serve cold; drizzle marinade over the top before serving. 

Recipe adapted from AllRecipes

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Weekend Wrap-Up: Eugene for Father's Day

Last Friday, Chick and I drove down to Eugene to spend Father's Day weekend with my Pop and Rosemary.

It just so happens that on Friday night, one of our close family friends was celebrating her retirement.

We had a wonderful celebration at LaVelle Vineyards in Elmira, Oregon.
for Bobbi!

It was great to see the Cotter family again and celebrate 36 wonderful years of teaching.  Quite an amazing lady.

Sandra, Steve, Rosemary and Pop

On Saturday morning, we had family breakfast at The Pour House in Springfield before heading around Eugene for a bit of exploring.

First stop at Hop Valley Brewery. Hops were a large agricultural crop in the Willamette Valley in the late 1800’s through the early 1900’s and were eventually replaced by other crops only as Prohibition wiped out the demand.

It is from this heritage that Hop Valley Brewing Company was born.  Fresh, local hops are an important part of their brewing process, along with grains and yeasts, also grown in Oregon and the Northwest.  Their restaurant and tap house cater to the “Beer Geek”, but also feature food prepared using local, sustainable and organic products whenever possible, based on seasonality and availability.

We split a 9 beer/ale tasting which was fun and a great way to taste a number of their beers at one time.

Next stop was a cute little tasting room called Falling Sky Brewing.  After nearly a decade of providing service and products for home brewers and winemakers, Valley Vintner & Brewer, changed it’s name to Falling Sky Brewing and expanded to bring the Eugene area a new Brew House, featuring handcrafted brews and locally sourced eats.

A very relaxed tasting room with large picnic tables and a small outdoor patio.

Saturday evening we went to dinner at Izumi Sushi and Grill.

Izumi serves authentic Japanese food and a complete sushi bar, as well as cuisine from numerous Asian cultures.  Izumi means spring water in Japanese, and the owner Alex Han says the name reflects his desire to “give joy, pleasure, relaxation and comfort to people by offering food and hospitality from the heart - unlimited and unstoppable like spring water.”

Our food included......

Oysters on the half shell

Baked Oysters

Seafood Salad


Various rolls which included crab meat, avocado, cucumber, shrimp and cream cheese

A great weekend was had by all!


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Menu Plan Monday: June 17-21st

Welcome Monday!

We had a fabulous time in Eugene celebrating Pop over the weekend!  Lots of good food and drink down in the valley.

Brian is in town this week and Sandra heads out of town for a week of training for her new job.  A bit of a change up this week...we are having dinner out one night and I've asked Brian to make his famous spaghetti one night.  Here is this week's plan!


Sunday: Taco Bar!
Monday: Chili Dogs (yes, weight watchers allows)
Tuesday: Brian's in the kitchen making Spaghetti
Wednesday: Out
Thursday: Fried Oysters, Ruth's Chris Creamed Spinach and Yukon Gold Potatoes

Friday, June 15, 2012

Old Photo Friday: Happy Father's Day, Pop and Kenny!

WHO: Anna and Stacy in wheelbarrow with Pop
WHAT: Cleaning up or free ride?
WHERE: Florence, OR at Gram's place at the coast
WHEN: 1973-74

WHO: Mom, Stacy and Kenny
WHAT: Friday after Thanksgiving
WHERE: The Cones in Burien
WHEN: November 1985-this is known as the Doug Flutie "hail mary" pass day

Two incredibly special Dads equals one incredibly lucky Stacy.

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful Dads in the world.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Recipe of the Week: Tequila Lime Mahi Mahi Tacos

I am always on the lookout for great fish tacos.  For me, it is the perfect summer dinner.  Mahi Mahi is one of my favorite fishes to use and the tequila lime combination makes a great marinade.


Tequila Lime Mahi Mahi Tacos

  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
  • 3 tablespoons tequila
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 lb mahi mahi
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons honey, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 3 cups thinly sliced cabbage
  • 3/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons 2 percent milk (I'd use fat free)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
  • 8 corn tortillas (6 inches each)
  • 1/2 firm-ripe avocado, thinly sliced
  • 2 limes, quartered

In a resealable plastic bag, combine 3 tablespoons lime juice, tequila, 1 tablespoon each of cilantro, garlic and cumin. Add fish, seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate, turning once, 1 hour.

In a bowl, combine vinegar, oil, 2 teaspoons honey, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add cabbage; toss well. In another bowl, combine sour cream, milk, zest, remaining 1 tbsp juice, remaining 3/4 teaspoon honey and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Heat grill. Remove fish from marinade; season with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Grill, turning once, until just cooked through and lightly charred, 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board; coarsely chop.

Stir remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro into slaw. Grill tortillas, turning once, 30 seconds per side.

To assemble, spoon 1 tablespoon sour cream mixture in center of each tortilla. Divide fish, slaw and avocado among tortillas. Garnish with lime wedges. 

Recipe adapted from Epicurious
Image courtesy of Google Images

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

West Seattle Weekend Wrap Up: M's vs. Dodgers!

I've been eagerly anticipating this game since we bought the tickets in January and also planning my ensemble.

Being a life-long Dodger Fan and an equally crazed Mariner's Fan, Saturday's game was tough, but I think I showed my true team spirit (you can't see, but I am wearing Mariner's earrings with a Mariner's sweatshirt tied at the waist to go with all my Dodger gear)!

Just call me the Dodger Socks Lady!

I got tons of compliments on my attire from other Dodger faithful (including many others who were obviously rooting for both teams....they were just as twisted as I was).  Despite a bit of resistance from Brian, I think we managed to enjoy the game together (even if we were on opposite sides for the day).  We had good seats....8 row off the first baseline and just enough dry weather to keep the roof extended.

Thankfully, the Dodgers have left town and I can go back to rooting for both teams once again.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Menu Plan Monday: June 11-14th

Happy Monday!

Since our "Spring" weather continues to outdo itself, I've decided to spend more time grilling and less time in the kitchen this week, plus one celebration Happy Hour!  Here is our menu plan for the week ahead.


Tuesday: Hall Street Grill for Happy Hour!  Celebrate Chick's new job and the summer season
Wednesday: Herb-Crusted Salmon with Tomato Salsa and Individual Garden Salads
Thursday: Dijon Pork Cutlets with Jasmine Rice and Sauteed Snap Peas

Friday, June 8, 2012

Old Photo Friday: Lee Family Beach Outing

WHO: That's Brian in the dark swim trunks and I believe Ken and Kerry (plus some other boy) by the shore
WHAT: At the beach
WHERE: Delaware?
WHEN: Brian looks to be about 4 or 1964-66, depending on the time of year

With the first day of summer approaching, who doesn't love a good beach photo.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Recipe of the Week: Asian Green Bean Salad

I love Emeril and a few weeks ago I saw him prepare this wonderful salad on Good Morning, America.

This is a perfect side dish for summer, especially when green beans are at their peak!


Asian Green Bean Salad


  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed, cooked until crisp-tender, and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons crushed toasted peanuts
  • Salt and pepper 

  • Directions:

    In a bowl toss all ingredients together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.

    Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, copyright MSLO, Inc., all rights reserved
    This recipe was styled by chef Karen Pickus for Good Morning America.

    Tuesday, June 5, 2012

    West Seattle Weekend Wrap-Up: Happy Anniversary!

    A very busy and short weekend in West Seattle.

    I drove the Bronze Goddess for the first time in 2012 to Seattle.  Not my favorite way to travel, but I needed to get home early on Sunday for a funeral so I had no choice but to drive.

    Saturday afternoon, I helped Brian hand out congratulatory gifts to the CFA test takers up at the Lynwood Convention Center.  Kaplan asks us every year...this year we handed out beverage cozies (everyone wanted a t-shirt).

    We celebrated our 8th anniversary a bit early as we will not be together on Monday (poop).  I booked reservations at Assaggio for dinner on Saturday night.  Fabulous Italian food in downtown Seattle....that Brian discovered on our favorite cooking show, KTCS Cooks back in March.

    Appetizer - Mussels and Clams in White Wine, Garlic, Basil and Tomatoes

    Beef Short Ribs over a bed of Cheesy Polenta

    Assaggio Ristorante was opened in 1993 by a self-taught chef, Mauro Golmarvi. In Italian, Assaggio means “taste” and the menu has been designed to give guests a taste of Mauro’s culinary passion, Italian style.

    Just after we ordered, Mauro appeared in the dining room and greeted us like old friends.  He came over to our table all smiles and quickly planted two kisses on each of my cheeks (very European), shook Brian's hand and welcomed us into his restaurant "home".  It was a special moment.

    Homemade New York Style Cheesecake with Raspberry Glaze

    The menu is not about fancy spices or complicated dishes; it’s about simplicity, honesty, and the freshest ingredients around.  The 100 seat restaurant is in the heart of downtown.  In 2009, they finished the addition of a bar, which completed Mauro's vision of his dream restaurant.

    This picture was actually taken by Mauro....what an amazing restaurateur.  Thank you for a memorable anniversary.


    Monday, June 4, 2012

    Happy 8th Anniversary!

    All our young lives we search for someone to love. Someone who makes us complete. We choose partners and change partners. We dance to a song of heartbreak and hope... all the while wondering if somewhere, somehow, there's someone perfect... who might be searching for us.

    Thankfully, my search is over because I have found you!

    I love you, baby. Happy 8th anniversary!


    Sunday, June 3, 2012

    Menu Plan Monday: Welcome June!

    It's hard to believe that June is here.....days are so long and summer is "officially" just around the corner.

    It's the season for graduations and weddings.  What's your favorite thing about summer?

    Enjoy this week's menu!


    Sunday: Grilled Skirt Steak with Individual Garden Salads and Texas Toast
    Monday: Lemon Fettuccine with Spring Asparagus
    Tuesday: BBQ Chicken with Corn on the Cob and Cole Slaw
    Wednesday: Open-Faced Tuna and Artichoke Melts (leftover salad?)
    Thursday:Nut-Crusted Mahi Mahi with Roasted Veggies

    Friday, June 1, 2012

    Old Photo Friday: Four Generations

    WHO: Me, Mom, Grandma Virginia and Grandma Bea
    WHAT: Four Generations
    WHERE: I believe this was taken at Candy's (Nygren) baby shower
    WHEN: 1977

    I've thought a lot about my Grandma Virginia the past few weeks.  Since my visit with my Mom (in Virginia) and seeing my cousin Matt (last time I saw him was a Gram's memorial service) she's been in the forefront of my mind.  I miss you! 

    Four generations is a pretty special thing.