Thursday, February 28, 2013

Recipe of the Week: February Food Pics

Goodbye February!

Lacking any one recipe inspiration this week, here are some of the dishes that I created this month, plus links to recipes/cookbooks and a few cooking comments.


 Filet Mignon Stroganoff (Weight Watchers)

This recipe came from the Weight Watchers One Pot Cookbook that I got for Christmas.  Chick and I were blown away with the flavors and spoiled that a WW recipe included such a decadent cut of meat.

Super Bowl Sunday - Taco Soup

This recipe is a hand-me-down from Rosemary and has been slightly adapted over the years.  The link above is the closet recipe I have found to the way I prepare it today.  The best part about the soup are the toppings (green onions, sour cream, cheddar cheese and tortilla chips)!

Scandinavian Beef over Egg Noodles (Weight Watchers) with Ina Garten's Green Beans

A fantastic, rich and creamy WW beef dish with red potatoes and finished off with dill and sour cream.  The green beans were amazing (I love anything with pine nuts)

I think what made this taco salad (or any taco salad) great was the addition of the Hidden Valley Spicy Ranch Dressing (but be careful as it does add calories to the WW dish).

Valentine's Dinner

Steak and Lobster with Chocolate Pot de Creme (which I made from scratch)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Oscar Party Wrap Up!

Chick and I had a fabulous Oscar weekend at Rebecca Lane.

Last Wednesday night we caught an evening showing of Lincoln.  Fabulous!  I'll admit that I thought it was a bit long, but the acting was phenomenal.  I am very happy that Daniel Day-Lewis won the best actor award.

On Saturday, we squeezed in one final Oscar nominated movie, Silver Linings Playbook.  What a great ensemble!  I am not entirely convinced that Jennifer Lawrence's performance was Oscar's best, but she was amazing and the movie is a must see.

As for Argo...this year the academy made the right choice and I was thrilled to see Ben pick up another trophy.

On Sunday, it was all about our Red Carpet Party

We had our own little celebration, glammed up a bit (I bought a vintage hat off Ebay) and oooh'd and ahhhh'd over the dresses, jewels and shoes!

Here is a wrap up of my favorite highlights/lowlights from the 2013 Oscar telecast.

Best Dressed  

My pick is Amy Adams!  Her Oscar de la Renta dress, which she paired with Moa jewelry was fabulous.

Biggest Disappointment 

Seth MacFarlane!  That stupid adolescent's just not funny.  Who opens the Oscars with a song about boobs?  This is the best thing you could come up with when you had 6 months to prepare?  Also, your performance bombed because you thought it would bomb!  Ever heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Favorite Moment 

I love, love love, Adele and the fact that in addition to her many Grammy's, she is now an Oscar winner is awesome! Next stop, a Tony award?!  I was a bit perplexed that her song was NOT included in the 50 years of James Bond segment?  Wouldn't this have been the perfect timing?

Biggest Comeback 

I must say, I got a lump in my throat when Barbara walked out on stage to sing "The Way We Were" and honor Marvin Hamlish.  One of the evenings highlights!  Welcome back, Babs!



Sunday, February 24, 2013

Menu Plan Monday: Last Week of February 2013

Welcome Monday!

We are saying goodbye to February this week and welcoming March on Friday (and March is one of my favorites).

Our Oscar party kicks off our Sunday and then we have some nice light and easy meals (with tons of stuff from our freezer) planned.

Remember to check out Laura's site for more menu planning ideas!


Sunday: Oscar Party!
Monday: Noodles with Beef and Cabbage and a Garden Salad (thanks, Katie)
Tuesday: Bangers and Mash (with homemade Chicken Sausages from Chick's co-worker) and Grilled Asparagus
Wednesday: Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato "Sammies"
Thursday: Tortilla Crusted Tilapia with Cauliflower

Friday, February 22, 2013

Old Photo Friday: Happy Birthday, Kenny

Who: Kenneth R. Hanselman (that's good friend Rusty to the left)
What: Wedding Day to my Mom, Jennifer
Where: Seattle, WA
When: January 1986

Happy Birthday to Father #2, Kenny who celebrated a birthday last Sunday.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Recipe of the Week: 2013 Oscar Menu

And the Oscar goes to……..

Once again, it’s time to unveil our Oscar Menu for 2013 (here is 2012 and 2010).  As always, our menu is based on the nominees up for awards this year.  This year I focused on the Best Picture Nominees.

When the Oscar Nominees were unveiled a few weeks ago, I knew this year would be a challenge.  Some films made it easy.  Silver Linings Playbook has multiple culinary references, but movies like Argo don’t include a lot of food references or scenes. 

This year’s contenders encompass action, drama, suspense, comedy and historical adaptation.  My challenge is to create a menu that combines different cultures that come together in some of the nominated films, pull out a character name or place…and design a fun and entertaining culinary extravaganza!

Don't forget to print out your Oscar Ballot and check out movie clips on the Oscar website.

The Oscars are broadcast LIVE on Sunday, February 24th at 5PM PST.  Red Carpet Party begins 3 hours before on the E Network.


Red Carpet: Sparkling Wine with Crudités and Dip, and Blue Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped DatesIn Honor of Best Picture Nominee “Argo” (my theory behind this dish is that dates are a popular food in Persian (Iranian) cuisine).

First Appetizer:  Shrimp Hush Puppies with Spicy Chile-Dijon Sauce with Mixed Greens – In Honor of Best Picture Nominee “Beasts of the Southern Wild”  (hushpuppies and the south go hand in hand.  The primary character in this movie is named hushpuppy).

Second Appetizer: Middle Eastern Chicken Kebabs with Garlic Hummus, Tabbouleh Salad and Warm Pita Bread – In Honor of Best Picture Nominee “Zero Dark Thirty” (A film based in the middle east)

Final Act Dessert:  HeartShaped Mini Flourless Raspberry Chocolate CakesIn Honor of Best Picture Nominee “Amour” (I bought some precious heart shaped ramekins and this movie is all about love).

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

West Seattle Wrap Up: Long Presidential Weekend

I love long weekends!

With Brian's crazy travel schedule last week, we had a very quiet Saturday at home with requests for French Toast and other comfort food, re-energizing naps, movies and cuddles with Sweet Sammy.

Sammy enjoying a Bloody Mary

 South Lake Union Trolly

Sunday's weather and our extra day in Seattle gave us an open opportunity for an adventure.  We drove downtown and caught the trolly down to Lake Union.

I've been wanting to explore South Lake Union for a while now.  It's been a few years since we've explored this growing area and it's a great place to plan a walking adventure. 

 Wooden Boat Museum

I didn't realize there is a 6 mile loop around Lake Union on the Cheshiahud Trail.   The city of Seattle named the route after Cheshiahud, a chief of the Duwamish Tribe who guided settlers to Lake Union in the late 1800's.  The lake remains a major aquatic destination today and a great place to hang and people watch in the summer.

 Brian "man-handles" his brown ale at Brave Horse Tavern

A counter-clockwise itinerary is suggested, starting at the Wooden Boat Museum and continuing past the many waterside restaurants.  There is a boardwalk right on the water which is nice.  Beyond the restaurants, you continue along busy Fairview Avenue before reaching the famous flotilla of Seattle's quirky houseboats (think Sleepless in Seattle).  We didn't quite make it to the houseboats, but this coming summer we plan on walking the entire loop.

On our way back to the S.L.U.T. (South Lake Union Trolly) we stopped in for a cocktail at the Brave Horse Tavern.

The tavern is a 21+ over bar/restaurant owned by famed Seattle restauranteur, Tom Douglas.  The menu is gastro-pub fare (think juicy burgers, thick steaks and pulled pork sliders, with a Sunday night fried chicken feed). Seattle "Cowboy" grub!

What a great way to spend a long weekend!  A definite place to come back and explore when the days are longer and the weather is warmer.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Menu Plan Monday: February 17-21, 2013

Welcome Monday!  It's a super long weekend for many people, including me.  How are you celebrating President's Day?

Here is our menu for this week!

Don't forget to check out Laura's amazing site for more menu planning and organizing ideas.


Monday: President's Day Holiday!  Toasted Cheese Sandwiches and Amy's Chunky Tomato Soup
Tuesday: Slow Cooker Weight Watchers Lasagna
Wednesday: Taco Tuesday! Probably Taco Bell as we plan on taking in an Oscar Nominated movie tonight!
Thursday: Grilled Chicken Thighs with Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Friday:  Grilled Polenta with Spicy Skirt Steak

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Super Bowl Winnings @ Decarli

Chick and I paid another visit to Decarli in Beaverton last Wednesday night to spend my Super Bowl winnings (thanks, Pop).

They have the cutest bar which opens onto the kitchen and it's got a real funky vibe.  Most nights when I drive by on my way home from work, the bar is packed (I got the last two bar stools at 4:45)!

Here is their Happy Hour Menu, which is quite reasonable including $2 off any wine by the glass and $4 well drinks.

Chick and I sampled the following.....

Mixed Greens Salad -  $4.50

Pizzeta with salame, pickled chili, oil cured olives, oregano and mozzarella -  $10

Happy Hour is available in the bar and outside only (Tue-Thur 4:30-6PM and 9-10PM, Fri-Sat 4:30-6PM, 9-11PM and Sunday 5PM-close).  Decarli is closed on Monday.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Old Photo Friday: There's No Place Like Home

Who: My Mom (I'm in her belly)
What: First home (only home)
Where: Springfield, OR
When: April 1969

There is no place like home!  This photo was taken about 30 days before I was born.  My parent's bought their first home on a quiet sparse street in Springfield, OR in anticipation of their first (and only) child.  My Pop and Rosemary still live there, so it will always be home to me.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Recipe of the Week: Chocolate Pot de Creme

I am really not much of a baker, but while I was recuperating from my procedure, I got a craving for some chocolate pudding and decided to try an easy recipe (plus it's Valentine's Day and pudding isn't really baking, is it).

I have an extremely old and dog-eared Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, circa 1960-something and managed to find an easy Pot de Creme (fancy name for pudding) recipe.


Chocolate Pot de Creme


1 cup half-and-half
4 ounce package sweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten (make sure eggs are at room temperature)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Whip Cream Topping, optional


In a heavy saucepan combine the half -and-half , chocolate and sugar.  Cook and stir over medium heat about 10 minutes or until mixture reaches a full boil and thickens.

Gradually stir about half the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks to "temper" the mixture (or else you are going to get scrambled chocolate eggs).  Return all of the egg yolk mixture to the saucepan.  Cook and stir over low heat for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.  Pour chocolate mixture into 4 to 6 pots or small dessert dishes.  Cover and chill for 2-24 hours.

Recipe courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens
Images courtesy of Google Images

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

West Seattle Weekend Wrap Up: Bits and Pieces

I dare say, that I smelled a bit of spring in the air this past weekend!  I've been hearing the song birds in the mornings which is a sure sign that old man winter is on his way out, plus my bulbs are starting to sprout!

We were rewarded with a dry weekend and a bit of sunshine on Sunday, enough for me to get outside and weed around my bulbs (the ones that the squirrels didn't dig up and relocate) and plant a few primroses.

Finally, I put up some Valentine's Day decoration to fill our house with even more love!


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Menu Plan Monday: February 10-14, 2013

Welcome Monday!

It's Valentine's Week!  What special meal are you planning this week? Aside from a splurge on Wednesday (Super Bowl winnings) and VDay on Thursday, the rest of the week is filled with a nice selection of easy, low fat meals.


As a reminder, check out Laura's site for more organizing tips and menu planning ideas!

Sunday:  Pancetta and Tomato Pasta with a Garden Salad (thanks to Jeff for homemade pancetta)
Monday: Scandinavian-Style Beef over No-Yolk Noodles with Ina Garten's Green Beans
Tuesday: Weight Watchers Chicken Taco Salad
Wednesday: Decarli for Pizza and Salad (spending my Super Bowl winnings from Pop)
Thursday:  Steak, Garlic Grilled Lobster and a Garden Salad!  Dessert is Chocolate Pot de Creme. Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Old Photo Friday: In Memory of Ann Lee

WHO: Ann (Peterson) Lee (L) and the other ladies in the secretarial pool
WHERE: Wilmington, Delaware (I think this might have been at DuPont)
WHEN: Early 1950's; perhaps before she married Allen Lee

In loving memory of Brian's Mom Ann who would have celebrated a birthday earlier this week.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Recipe of the Week: Thai Ginger Chicken Burgers

We love burgers around our house and I am always in search of an alternative to ground beef.  This recipe would also work well with ground turkey.  The added Thai influenced ingredients make the burgers super moist.


Thai Ginger Chicken Burgers with Spicy Peanut Sauce


4 green onions
1 tablespoon ginger, I used 2-3 good sized pieces
1 pound chicken breasts or you could use ground chicken
1/2 cup (into mix) plus an extra 1/3 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup egg substitute
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 teaspoon lime zest, plus juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 tablespoon chopped garlic
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 multi-grain hamburger buns
16 slices of English cucumbers
4 red onion slices
4 iceberg lettuce wedges


1/4 cup room temperature chunky peanut butter
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil


Add green onions and ginger to food processor and pulse a few times, then add chicken (if you are using whole chicken breasts, cut each breast into several pieces before feeding into processor). 

Transfer chicken mixture to a mixing bowl and add 1/2 cup bread crumbs, egg substitute, cilantro, lime zest (and juice), garlic and salt and pepper.

On a sheet of wax paper, sprinkle 1/3 cup bread crumbs. With wet hands, form 4 patties with chicken mixture and dredge patties in bread crumbs, pressing to coat.

Place patties in the refridgerator for 30 minutes.  

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil into a frying pan and heat to medium.  Add patties to hot pan and cover, cooking for 5-7 minutes per side or until a meat thermometor reaches 165F.

Serve on buns with cucumber, onion and lettuce.  Drizzle with sauce, if desired.

For sauce: Mix together the peanut butter, vinegar, soy and cayenne pepper.  Steam in oil.

Recipe courtesy of Weight Watchers
Image courtesy of Google Images

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Seattle's Experience Music Project/EMP Museum

 Breakfast at Endolyne Joe's before our adventure

I've been begging Brian for years to take me to the EMP Museum at the Seattle Center.  It's a great indoor, winter, rainy day adventure.

Last weekend, Brian's oldest bro, Ken came up for his annual Super Bowl in Seattle weekend and it was a great day for an adventure at the EMP (foggy and temps in the low 40's).

On the monorail with brother Ken heading to Seattle Center

Ken is a huge music fan and over the years has seen just about every artist or band that put out an album from the early 60's to present.

Tickets are quite reasonable for the 2+ hours we spent wandering around.  If you buy them on line, you get $5 off each ticket which is a real bargain.

The Experience Music Project (EMP) celebrates the creative process, engages the imagination and inspires personal expression in current and future generations.  It opened its doors in 2000 and is a museum dedicated to the history and exploration of popular music, science fiction and pop culture.

The building was designed by Frank Gehry and is adjacent to the Space Needle and the Seattle Monorail, which runs through the building.

Current exhibits include, "Here My Train a Comin': Hendrix Hits London", "Worn to be Wild: The Black Leather Jacket" and "Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses".

The Hendrix exhibit included some of this clothing, fan letters, concert posters and a 30 minute video regarding his experiences in London in 1966.

In addition to those exhibits, museum guests can also enjoy a large scale video wall that hosts a collage of audience picked songs in distinct custom categories.  Guests are invited to step up to one of the two voting stations, type in their selection and see how they rank on the big screen.

 Worn to be Wild Exhibit - Black leather jackets and Harley's!

In the Sound and Vision section, guests can choose from a vast collections of enlightening and inspiring videotaped oral history interviews with key figures from the worlds of film, literature, music and science fiction.

The Guitar Gallery: The Quest for Volume, presents 55 vintage, world changing guitars from the 1770's to present.  Instruments on display span the development of the guitar through the lives of such innovators as Oville Gibson, Leo Fender and Les Paul, and the musicians who played them including, Bo Diddley, Eddie Van Halen, Buddy Holly and Kurt Cobain.

It was a fun afternoon and an incredible exhibit. 


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Menu Plan Monday: Welcome February!

Happy Monday!

Wasn't it just Christmas and we were all planning our holiday menus?  Now it is the second month of the year!  Amazing how time flies.

Here is our menu to start off the Month of February!

Remember to check out Laura's wonderful site for other menu ideas!


SUNDAY:  Super Bowl Sunday!  Our tradition is Taco Soup with all the fixings! Plus I just bought these fun cupcake molds!!
MONDAY: Thai Ginger Chicken Burgers
TUESDAY: Parmesan-Turkey Meatloaf, Broccoli and Roasted Red Potatoes
WEDNESDAY: Tortilla Crusted Tilapia with Sauteed Veggies
THURSDAY: Leftover Beef Stew from Freezer

Saturday, February 2, 2013

On the Mend!

Why on earth am I smiling?

We are on the mend around the Rebecca Lane household!

I had an interesting adventure in "day" surgery on Monday for a fairly routine procedure.  Grateful that I don't have cancer or need to spend anymore than a few hours in the hospital on a regular basis.  I feel so very blessed for my great health!

IV...Check, Stupid Head Thing...Check...TV Tuner Check!

However, if you do need to spend anytime in the hospital, Providence St. Vincent is a very nice facility with some really wonderful doctors and nurses (trust me, I've watched a lot of hospital dramas in my life).

Aside from the years of wonderful advice General Hospital has given me, the most important thing I can take away from my adventure is to have a Medical Advocate with you at all times. 

Chick drove me to and from the hospital (very important since I was knocked out on happy juice), she was there to hear from the doctor when my surgery was over and she listened to the nurses instructions upon my discharge.

An Old-fashioned Flower Soda from Pop and Rosemary

I didn't plan on needing to spend 2 1/2 days off work (I thought I was Super Woman, apparently I am NOT).  Heavy narcotics and anesthesia really do a number on your body, not to mention the surgery.  Remember to take a few days off to rest.  Your body heals better when you are tucked into bed, with the Food Network on and a warm kitty at your feet.

P.S. Keikei has recovered from whatever ailed her.  She was the perfect companion and never left my side for two days.