Sunday, March 31, 2013

Menu Plan Monday: Welcome April!

Chick is heading over to the beach with friends, so I'll be cooking solo for a few nights.  It's time to dig out some of my favorites and maybe grab a bit out one night.

Don't forget to check out Laura's site for more menu planning ideas!


Sunday: Easter Sunday!  Pork Roast, Scalloped Potatoes, Grilled Asparagus and Steamed Artichokes
Monday: Weight Watcher's Cobb Salad
Tuesday: Willipa Bay Fried Oysters, Creamed Corn and Yukon Gold Potatoes
Wednesday: Seared Scallops with Lemon-Pesto Pasta
Thursday: Taco Del Mar for dinner!


Friday, March 29, 2013

Old Photo Friday: Easter Sunday

WHO: Stacy and my Aunt Laura (Mom's Brother, Mick's wife)
WHAT: Coloring Easter eggs
WHERE: Kitchen table at E Street (Springfield, OR)
WHEN: 1974/75

Happy Easter!


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Recipe of the Week: Taco Skillet

I hate to be wasteful!  Last month I needed some yellow corn meal to make some hush puppies for our Oscar party and I ended up having to buy a huge box.

What do you do with yellow corn meal?  You make taco skillet, that's what you do!







1 pound ground beef
1-6 ounce can Mexican style corn (drained)
½ cup cold water
1 packet taco seasoning (1.25 ounce)
Grated Mexican-style cheese
¾ cup Yellow Corn Meal
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup evaporated milk
1 egg, slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a 10” cast iron skillet, brown ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain excess fat.

Stir in corn, water and taco seasoning packet. Cook over low heat for 6-8 minutes or until mixture thickens. Top with cheese.

In a medium bowl, combine corn meal, flour and baking powder.

In a small bowl, mix evaporated milk and egg. Add this mixture to the corn meal, flour and baking powder. Stir until just blended.

Spread over top of the meat/cheese mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Image courtesy of Google Images
Recipe courtesy of Google searches; it's amazing how many recipes came up when I typed in what do I do with yellow corn meal!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up: March Madness 2013

Here are some of the highlights from last week's March Madness week!

  • 32 games Thursday and Friday; 16 games Saturday and Sunday. 12+ hours of basketball a day over 4 days.  Pure bliss!  Ducks in the Sweet 16 play #1 seed Louisville on Friday night.
  •  Aunt Judy's annual goodie box sent from Ohio.  This year's box included 3 ducks and 1 frog which light up, flash and strobe, whistles and yo-yos, candy (and lots of it), Duck pasta and smoked mussels.
 Death on a cracker  I look horrible!
  • The worst cold of my life (or at least the worst in the last 20 years).  It didn't slow me down, but I was grateful that I had Thursday and Friday off.

  •  Food, glorious food!  Everything from orange glazed cinnamon rolls to 4 thick cut ribeye steaks.  It was International Week and our menu included food from Mexico, Italy, Greece and Ireland.  Diets begin today!
  • Kitties love basketball....just not all the yelling and screaming!

 Sandra and Steve get a bracket lesson from Brian

  •  Bracketology!  As of the end of the first weekend, we've all lost at least one final 4 team!  No one has the Ducks or Florida Gulf Coast in their brackets, but all of us are thrilled with the "under dogs".
A great time was had by all....the week goes by so fast.  Lots of good memories each year!


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Menu Plan Monday: End of March

Our house is quiet once again and all the basketball craziness is gone (at least until Thursday's evening games).

Our fridge is packed with some great leftovers so we will turn last weeks meals into this weeks meal (with one splurge mid-week).


Monday: Leftover Ribeye Steak Salad
Tuesday: Ground Beef Taco Bar with leftover tortillas, iceberg lettuce and tomatoes
Wednesday: Decarli for Pizza and Wine (Chick won the Oscar Pool bet)
Thursday: Toasted Cheese Sandwiches and Chunky Tomato Soup

Friday, March 22, 2013

Old Photo Friday: In Memory of Crowe

WHO: Lowell Crowe (Crowe Bird or just plain Crowe to friends and family)
WHAT: Friday night after work, heading to Reno, NV with best friend, Jim (Pop)
WHERE: South of Eugene
WHEN: Mid to Late 1970's

In honor of what would have been Crowe's 70th birthday (March 23rd).

We love you and miss you, but your memory lives on.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Recipe of the Week: Rustic Beef Short Ribs in Mustard Cream Sauce

The seasons are changing so the crockpot's days are probably numbered!  Typically, once the days get longer we tend to start grilling more and those slow lazy comfort meals disappear.

Here is another wonderful creation from the Weight Watchers One Pot Cookbook, which I highly recommend.  I think this is the 4th recipe that we have tried and we have loved them all.


Rustic Beef Short Ribs in Mustard Cream Sauce


6 Tablespoons sour cream (low fat, if possible)
1 1/2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoons chives
3 Tablespoons flour
1/2 Teaspoons salt
1/2 Teaspoons pepper
1 1/4 pounds boneless beef short ribs, trimmed and cut into 2-inch chunks
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 pound red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 cup beef broth
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce


To make the sauce: Stir together sour cream, mustard and chives in a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Mix together flour, salt, pepper and coat beef with seasoned flour, shaking off excess.

Heat oil in non-stick skillet.  Add beef, in batches, and cook until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch.  Transfer cooked beef to 5-6 quart slow cooker as it has browned.

Add remaining ingredients to the slow cooker.  Cover and cook until meat is tender, about 4-5 hours on high or 8-10 hours on slow.

Serve with mustard sauce poured over meat mixture.

Notes: This recipe calls for carrots to be added to the crockpot, but we don't do mushy carrots in our house.  I added roasted Brussels spouts as a side vegetable instead.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Menu Plan Monday: Let the Madness Begin!

Welcome to the start of one of the best weeks of the year!  March Madness!

Is your bracket filled out?  Do your follow bracketology?  Who have you picked to win the tourney?

Our house will be full of basketball fanatics beginning Monday morning...lasting the entire week!  Bring it on!  12+ hours a day of basketball is like pure heaven to me (plus two vacation days).

This year's menu revolves around international cuisine and gives me the opportunity to spoil the people I love through food (another way of saying that we are not following any light, low fat recipes this week).

If you need other menu ideas this week, remember to check out Laura's organizing site for more ideas.


2013 NCAA Basketball Week!!
International Cuisine Week!!

Sunday: St. Patrick's Day!!  Guiness Braised Beef Pot Roast with Vegetables (Ireland)
Monday: Grilled Fish Tacos with Lime-Cilantro Crema and Fruit Tarts (Mexico)
Tuesday: Greek Chicken Burgers with Fries and Garden Salad (Greece)
Wednesday: Pizza Night! Italian Gelato for dessert! (Italy)
Thursday: Sea Scallops in Saffron Cream Sauce with Green Beans and Pear/Pecan Salad (Warm Gingerbread for Dessert) - (France)
Friday: Aloha Friday!  Teriyaki Chicken Wings, Kahlua Pork, Sticky White Rice and Macaroni Salad
Saturday: Grilled Rib Eye with a Classic Wedge Salad and Baked Potatoes (Ina Garten's Raspberry Bars for Dessert) (Classic American)
Sunday: Corned Beef, Cabbage and Potatoes (More Irish Food)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Old Photo Friday: Like Taking Candy From a Baby (or an Ex-Con)

WHO: Pop
WHAT: March Madness Money
WHERE: Lowell's Bar and Grill (Pike Place Market, Seattle)
WHEN: March 1990

Another memorable infamous day with my Pop and longtime family friend, Sten.  I asked my Pop and Rosemary if I could move back to Springfield to concentrate on my college studies (party less, study more) and Pop and Sten came up to Seattle to move me home (it was a month away from my 21st birthday).

One thing led to another and we spent our Saturday drinking and watching March Madness hoops at Lowell's Bar and Grill (who would card a girl drinking with her Dad)?

I am not sure how it happened, but Pop started trash talking with a recently incarcerated gentleman, and made a bet with him on one of the games, then proceeded to take him for all that he was worth (literally).

A perfect example of Dad/Daughter bonding if you ask me!


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Recipe of the Week: Dubliner Stuffed Chicken with Bacon and Cabbage

In honor of St. Patrick's Day this coming Sunday, I searched the web for an Irish recipe.

Chicken boiled or braised with ham or bacon is a very popular Irish dish, and the flavors of the chicken and bacon combine exceptionally well.  If you are not a big cabbage fan, feel free to omit.  I think this recipe would be great with smashed Yukon gold potatoes.


Dubliner Stuffed Chicken


8 ounces Dubliner cheese
4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (or not)
1 cup bread crumbs
1 TB Italian seasoning
Salt and Pepper
2 eggs, beaten
6 slices thick sliced bacon, cut into 1/4 inch strips
2 TB cooking oil
2 onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups shredded cabbage
2/3 cup chicken broth
2 TB light cream or half & half
4 TB Kerry Gold Irish butter


Preheat oven to 400F.  Grease a baking sheet.

Grate half the cheese and cut the rest into thin slices.  Gently lift the skin from each chicken breast and insert slices of cheese under it.  Press skin down to seal (if you don't like skin, cut a small slit into the breast to stuff).

In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs, seasoning, salt, pepper, and grated cheese.  Place beaten eggs in a shallow dish and dip the chicken in the egg.  Dredge the chicken in the bread crumbs and bake on the prepared baking sheet for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 7-10 minutes.  Drain off fat (reserve).  Reheat pan over medium heat, heat up the cooking oil and add a bit of the reserve bacon drippings.  Saute onions and garlic until the onions are translucent (3-5 minutes).  Add the cabbage and mix well.  Next add the stock and bring to a boil and cook, stirring frequently, until the cabbage is tender.  With a slotted spoon, transfer the cabbage to 4 plates (keep warm).  Boil the cooking liquid until reduced by half then add the cream and cook to reduce by half again.  Whisk in the butter.  Stain the sauce and add the bacon.  

To serve; slice the chicken breast onto the cabbage and cover with the sauce.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

West Seattle Weekend Wrap Up: 74th Street Pub/BBQ in March

Brian and I headed out and about on Saturday.  Our weather was near 60 and everyone had a bit of Spring fever!

First stop was the 74th Street Alehouse, which is one of Brian's favorite places in Seattle.  We were early for an afternoon BBQ (yes, a BBQ in March and in Seattle) and decided to have a quick afternoon libation.

They have a great selection of beers on tap and claim to have one of the best chicken sandwiches in Seattle.

Speaking of chicken.....

Have you ever heard of beer can chicken?

When we got to the BBQ, our friend Geoff was preparing the coals for beer can chicken.  To be honest, I sorta thought this was a redneck joke when I first heard about it, but the chicken came out fabulous.

I think for my birthday, I want a beer can chicken cooker!


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Menu Plan Monday: March 11-14, 2013

Welcome to Monday!

We are slowing coming to the middle of March.  Is the weather turning in your neck of the woods?  As the seasons change, so does our menu.  What are the first signs of spring in your grocery store at the moment?

Here is our menu for the week ahead!  Remember to check out Laura's website for more menu planning ideas!


Monday: BBQ Teriyaki Salmon with Orzo and Broccoli
Tuesday:  Rustic Short Ribs with Mustard Sauce and Vegetables (seminar out by the airport...excellent CrockPot meal)
Wednesday: Southwestern Layered Salad (NO MEAT WEDNESDAY)
Thursday: Grilled Pork Chops with Baked Sweet Potato

Friday, March 8, 2013

Old Photo Friday: Easter Egg Hunt

WHO: Steve and Sandra
WHAT: Jaycee Easter Egg Hunt
WHERE: Shute Park (Hillsboro, OR)
WHEN: Spring 1964

The newspaper article was probably from The Oregonian.  In honor of Spring and the Easter season! 


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Recipe of the Week: Asian Peanut Chicken Tenders

Did you know that March is national peanut month?

Here are some peanut fun facts....

  • It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12 ounce jar of peanut butter.
  • Peanut butter was first introduces in the USA in 1904 at the Universal Exposition (World's Fair) in St. Louis, MO.
  • Two peanut farmers have been elected president of the USA, Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter.
  • Astronaut Allen B. Sheppard brought a peanut with him to the moon.
  • Americans were first introduced to the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup in 1928.
  • Peanut butter is consumed in 90% of USA households
  • 4 of the top 10 candy bars manufactured in the USA contain peanuts of peanut butter.
In honor of peanut month, here is the recipe for the week!


Asian Peanut Chicken Tenders

Peanut Sauce
2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger

1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped dry-roasted peanuts
1 package (14 oz) raw chicken tenders


1.  In a medium bowl, mix all peanut sauce ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

2.  Heat oven to 400F.  Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.  In a shallow bowl, beat egg.  In a large resealable bag, add the breadcrumbs and peanuts and mix together.

3.  Dip the chicken in the egg and place in the bag with the breadcrumbs and peanuts.  Shake to coat.  Place tenders on cookie sheet.

4.  Bake 15 to 20 minutes (turning once) until browned and chicken is no longer pink in the middle.  Serve with the dipping sauce and a large garden salad.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Here are some of my favorites on my MP3 at the moment!


Michael Kiwanuka - Tell Me a Tale

When I first heard this British soul musician, I thought the song was from an artist in the 1960's....someone I had never heard before.  He's been compared to Bill Withers, Otis Redding and Van Morrison. 

The Lumineers - Stubborn Love 

A folk/rock band from Denver, CO.  Their self-titled album was released in April 2012, peeking at #2 on the Billboard charts in January 2013 (thanks to heavy promotion, including appearance on SNL).   

The Avett Brothers - Live and Die

This "brother" band hails from Concord, NC.  They combine blues, bluegrass, country, punk and mix the melodies to include ragtime, honky-tonk and good old fashioned rock and roll.

Family of the Year - Hero

This indi-folk band is from Los Angeles and includes brothers Sebastian and Joseph Keefe.  Their latest album, Loma Vista was released in July 2012.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

West Seattle Weekend Wrap Up: Sammy's Birthday!

 Sunday was beautiful!  Heading south on Amtrak Cascades under Tacoma Narrows Bridge

I decided to head up to Seattle a bit early on Friday for a few extra hours with my boys!

Saturday was just dry enough for Mr. Gardener to mow the lawn for the first time this year!  A sure sign that spring is on its way.

We also celebrated Sammy's 5th birthday a bit early (March 15th).

For the "King" of the house, we bought him a castle!  It was so funny to watch him and Brian put it together.

It's a flimsy piece of cardboard and to be quite honest, he's so simple that a plain cardboard box makes him happy, but we love to spoil him.

I am not sure how long it will last (we've already reinforced it with tape), but he LOVES it!


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Menu Plan Monday: Welcome March 2013

There are so many things I love about March!  It's one of my favorite months.

Days get longer, temps can get warmer, and March Madness begins!

What are your favorite things about March?

Here is our menu plan for the week ahead.  Don't forget to hop on over to Laura's site to see more menu and organizing ideas.


Monday: Lemon and Parsley Coated Cod with Asian Stir-Fry Veggies and Jasmine Rice
Tuesday: Chicken and Tomatillo Casserole with a Garden Salad
Wednesday:Pork Tenderloin in Sour Cream-Paprika Sauce over Egg Noodles with Broccoli
Thursday: Chicken Pesto Pasta with Salad

Friday, March 1, 2013

Old Photo Friday: In Memory of Mike

Be silent in that solitude, which is not loneliness
For then, the spirits of the dead, who stood in life before thee, 
are again, in death around thee, 
and their will shall overshadow thee; be still.

- Edgar Allen Poe

WHO: Mom (Jennifer), Me (Stacy) and Mike
WHAT: I believe this was taken on Christmas Eve
WHERE: Kitchen is unknown to me (anyone have any idea where this was taken?)
WHEN: December 1969 

My Uncle Mike passed away on Thursday.  He was estranged from the family for many many years.  I did not know him as an adult and have few memories of him as a child.  

He lived a troubled life, traveled all over the country as a bit of a nomad.  He loved dogs, the Coos Bay (Oregon) area, worked on cars and machinery and seemed good with tools (from what I remember).

I hope he finds in the next life, what was missing in this one.

Rest in peace,