Friday, January 31, 2014

Old Photo Friday: A visit from brother, Kerry!

WHO: Andrew Kerry Lee
WHAT: Army training...perhaps basic training
WHEN: March 1975

It's hard to imagine this weekend without brother Ken, but we are so grateful that Brian's brother, Kerry has come all the way from Hawaii for Super Bowl Weekend!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Recipe of the Week: Roasted Garlic Hummus

Hummus is a Middle Eastern spread made from cooked and smashed chickpeas blended with tahini, olive oil, salt and garlic.  It's popular not only in the Middle East and North Africa, but also in cuisine around the globe.

Hummus is a Arabic word meaning "chickpeas".  Spellings of the word in English can be inconsistent.  "Hommous" is the standard British English.  Other spellings including, humos and hoummos.

The earliest known recipe hummus is recorded in cookbooks published in Cairo in the 13th century.

Hummus is high in iron and vitamin C and also has a significant amount of folate and vitamin B6.  Chickpeas are a good source of protein and dietary fiber and tahini, which consists of mostly sesame seeds is an excellent source of the amino acid, methionine.

Here is a quick an easy recipe!  Serve this at this weekend's Super Bowl party instead of the usual dips.  Guests will appreciate this low fat healthier alternative. Enjoy!

Roasted Garlic Hummus


4 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 19oz can chickpeas, drained
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons sesame tahini
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon course salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup fresh chives, minced


Preheat oven to 400.  Place garlic cloves on a small piece of tin foil, and lightly drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil.  Seal foil to form a pouch and roast garlic in the oven until soft, about 20 minutes.  Remove the garlic from the oven, and allow to cool.  Peel and transfer to a food processor.  Add the chickpeas, and process until finely chopped.

Add lemon juice, tahini, water, pepper and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Process until texture is light and fluff and smooth; about 2 minutes.  Stir in chives and transfer to a serving bowl. Serve with pita chips, or sliced vegetables.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: Last Week of January 2014

Welcome Monday!

Last week I went over budget on the grocery list....big time.  This week, I am on PROBATION!  

It's good to remember that just because you make a list, it's still easy to over spend, especially this time of year with out of season items.  Stocking up on pantry items and eating out of the freeze will get you back on track.

Here is our down-sized menu for the week ahead.

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


Monday: Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms and Roasted Brussels Sprouts (we will buy chicken thighs to cut down on the price)
Tuesday:  Garden Burgers with Tator Tots (always a freezer staple item we keep on hand)
Wednesday: Baked Potato Soup with a Garden Salad (soups are inexpensive to make and leftovers freeze well)
Thursday: BBQ Sirloin Steaks with 1/2 baked potato and Salad (I have 2 steaks in the freezer and we will split a potato)

Saturday, January 25, 2014


One of my blogger buddies posted a really simple weekly wrap-up blog post titled 2/52 (meaning the second week of the 52 weeks of the year).  It's a fantastic idea, especially for the month of January when all our activities have all but stopped and hibernation through the rest of winter is setting in.  

I'll try and keep this theme up through the whole year and post pictures every Saturday.


Late Christmas present I bought for myself.  Thank You, Shopko for the warmest and most comfortable slippers I've ever owned.

Red roses for a blue lady (isn't that the title to an old song)?

Sammy and I watching English Premier League soccer last Sunday Morning!

White Bean Chicken Chilli.  Just perfect for the Seahawks win last Sunday evening!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Old Photo Friday: Splish Splash

WHO: Stacy (or Esther Williams)
WHAT: Bath time
WHERE: E Street in Springfield, OR
WHEN: late 1969....I look to be at least 8 or 9 months old

To this day, I still love my bath time and every time I get into the bath tub I hear the old Bobby Darrin song "Splish Splash" in my head.  Perhaps it was because my parents (mostly my Pop) sang it around the house.  I was a water baby from day one!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Recipe of the Week: Super Veggie Soup with Kale

Winter is the time of the year that I really crave a big bowl of soup.  Since eating kale has become such a health craze, I searched recipe sites for hearty soups that included not only kale but a variety of other veggies.  I think eating soup is a great way to load up on your veggies in one serving.  Use this recipe at a guide, but I would encourage you to try other vegetables to this soup to fit your taste.


Super Veggie Soup with Kale


 Non-stick vegetable spray
3 carrots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
2 large tomatoes, quartered
1 large onion, quartered
1/2 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch thick wedges
6 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cups canned begetable broth
4 cups chopped kale
3 springs thyme 
1 bay leaf


Preheat oven to 400.  Spray baking sheet with spray.  Arrange carrots, tomato, onion, squash and garlic on sheet.  Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Toss to coat.  Bake until vegetables are brown and tender, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.

Transfer carrots and squash to cutting board and cut into 1/2 inch pieces; set aside.  Place garlic in food processor, then add tomatoes and onion; puree until almost smooth.  Add 1/2 cup broth and vegetable puree to a large pot.  Add rest of broth, kale, thyme and pay leaf to pot.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat; simmer uncovered until kale in tender, about 30 minutes.

Add beans, carrots and squash to soup.  Simmer another 10 minutes to blend flavors, adding more broth is necessary.  Season with salt and pepper.  Discard thyme springs and bay leaf.

Note: This soup can be made 1-2 days ahead 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: January 19-23, 2014

Welcome Monday!

Sunday we will be splurging by celebrating the Seahawks win over San Francisco and a trip to the Super Bowl with a big bowl of chili, then it's back on Weight Watchers for the week.  So far, we have both dropped pounds and are very pleased with our eating plan.

That's why following Laura's site Menu Plan Monday is a great way to plan and organize your menu.  With organization, you'll be sure to stay on track with your eating plan.


Sunday: White Bean Chicken Chilli
Monday: Parmesan Turkey Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes and Salad
Tuesday: Spiced Pork Chops with Butternut Squash and Couscous
Wednesday: "Skinny" Chicken Divan and Salad
Thursday: Herb-Crusted Salmon with Tomato Salsa and Roasted Asparagus

Friday, January 17, 2014

Old Photo Friday: Aloha from Hawaii

WHO: Ann and Alan Lee
WHAT: Walking to the church for Ken and Amy's wedding
WHERE: Kauai
WHEN: September 1985 

I just love Al's white shoes with his pants.  They look full of the aloha spirit!  

Happy Aloha Friday!



Thursday, January 16, 2014

Recipe of the Week: Energy Bars

I am always looking for a quick and easy afternoon snack and/or something to pack either in my train bag or car....just in case I am caught someplace and need a "good" bite to eat.

Energy bar sales have had incredible growth over the last decade, with more than $700 million dollars in sales (according to research in Dietitians Edge).  

The problem with some of the energy bars at the grocery store is that they are full of fat and sugar, so I've been looking into making energy bars at home using healthier ingredients.

The fact that they are energy/protein bars means that they are going to have some level of sugar and/or fat, but finding the right mix to make at home really isn't all that complicated if you have the time and patience.

Don't be scared off by the list of ingredients.  Many of these items have multi-purpose use.


Energy Bars (Vegan)


1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
2/3 Cup Oats
1 Cup Grape Nuts Cereal
3/4 Cup Raisins
1 Cup Shredded Coconut
1/3 Cup unsalted Almonds, chopped
1/3 Cup unsalted Cashews, chopped
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

2 tbs flax seed
1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups cooked great norther beans (15 oz can)
15 dates, chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs honey
1 tbs coconut oil
1/2 cup applesauce, look for all-natural and unsweetened


Preheat oven to 350.

Rinse the canned beans and chop the beans either by hand or with a food processor.  They don't need to be processed into a puree, just fine pieces.

Grind the flax seed and mix it with the water, set aside to thicken.

Then, combine the dry ingredients together first and mix well.  Add the wet ingredients and mix until incorporated.  Press into a greased 9x13 pan or casserole dish.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the pan half way through cooking.  Cool completely, then cut into 24 bars.  Leave unwrapped for harder bars; put them in an airtight container for softer bars.  If keeping longer than 7 days, wrap and freeze.

Nutrition per bar:
Calories 157
Fat 4.4
Protein 4.6
Sugar 13.9
Fiber 7.4 

Image Courtesy of Google Images
Recipe Courtesy of No Meat Athlete

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

West Seattle Weekend Wrap-Up: January Blahs

 Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Thankfully, we have not been sick with the flu nor have we been digging out from under the snow and cold that had gripped most of the US for the past week. Can I get a Hallelujah!!??

With that being said....perhaps we have the January blahs.  You have it too!

Christmas is over!  The tree is gone and the lights are out!  Not to mention, we are on the healthy eating plan with exercise and NO WINE!  

Saturday the power was out all morning after a fierce wind storm, but we were grateful for our new battery operated (with remote) candles which gave us plenty of light until the power was restored.  

How was your weekend?


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: Mid-January 2014

Happy Monday!

How was the first half of the first month of 2014!?  We are continuing with the Weight Watchers eating plan and I've included a special cooking light recipe this week as well.

Here is our full menu for the week ahead!  Remember to check out Laura's site for more organizing ideas.


Sunday: Roasted Chicken and Salad (Golden Globes start at 5PM)
Monday: Greek-Style Cheeseburgers
Tuesday: Cooking Light - Pork tenderloin Paprikash and Egg Noodles (WW 11 Points)
Wednesday: Salisbury Steak with Green Beans
Thursday: Basque-Style Turkey Cutlets with Tomatoes, Bacon and Peppers and a Big Garden Salad

Friday, January 10, 2014

Old Photo Friday: Happy Birthday, Sandra!

WHO: Sandra K. Suter
WHERE: It looks like her bedroom at Silver Lane in Eugene, OR
WHEN: Back of picture says 12-28-78

Happy Birthday to my Aunt Sandra who celebrated a birthday last Sunday!


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Recipe of the Week: Smoothies

I think one of the biggest health crazes in the past couple of years has been smoothies and juicing at home.  Last summer a good friend of my parents turned them onto homemade smoothies and this past December we bought my Pop a Ninja Blender for his birthday.  Now they replace a meal and start their day with a healthy concoction of fruits and vegetables...proving that you are never too old to take care of your health!

So Chick and I are jumping on the smoothie bandwagon and I've been researching information on smoothies.  Here are some tips, plus a recipe.

Smoothies should be made with healthy ingredients like soy milk, fresh or frozen fruits, Greek Yogurt and/or at the very least, skim milk.  Avoid adding high-sugar items, like peanut butter or whole milk which can add calories fast.  Consider a 20 oz Strawberry Smoothie from Smoothie King has more calories than a Burger King Double Cheeseburger (990 calories)!!

To keep your smoothie healthy...keep it simple!  Four ingredients will give you the vitamins, protein and calcium you need to get your day started.  Stock up on fresh bananas, strawberries, skim milk and a protein powder

If you are using a smoothie for a meal replacement, look for a recipe that has at least 5 grams of protein and a similar amount of fiber so that your hunger will be held off for a few hours.


Berry Smoothie


1 small banana
1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup blueberries
1 6 oz container Greek Yogurt
1 scoop protein powder
1/2 cup skim milk
4 ice cubes (optional)


Place all items in a blender and blend until smooth.

Green Power Smoothie


1 cup baby spinach
1 frozen banana
1/4 cup mashed avocado
1 cup coconut water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
2-3 dashes of cayenne pepper


Place all items in a blender and blend until smooth.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Chick's Birthday Weekend!

Last weekend we celebrated Chick's birthday in Portland with great food and fun!

It was a quiet, mostly at home weekend...but aren't those the best!?

Friday night I cooked steak and lobster with an appetizer mini crab cake salad.  Wonderful!

Fish Tacos

Saturday we had "linner" (combination lunch and dinner) at Cafe Murrayhill in Beaverton.  We were both craving fish....I had fish tacos and Chick had a halibut burger.

Sunday was presents and cake and a yummy pot roast with all the trimmings.

Oh....yesterday we started our diets!


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: January 5-9, 2014

Welcome Monday!

It's that time of year again!  Time to stop stuffing our faces and get back on the program!  We'll start slowly this week, but as always, I find planning my menu in advance cuts down on binge eating, making poor food choices and portion control.

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


Sunday:  Pot Roast, Roasted Veggies and Cole Slaw (Birthday Girl's request)
Monday: Tortilla Crusted Tilapia with Steamed Broccoli
Tuesday: Beef Pot Pie and Salad (leftovers from roast)
Wednesday: Honey Chicken with Cashews
Thursday: Sick Day!  Chick's having dental surgery so "soft" foods are on the menu and/or anything that sounds good!  Nurse Stacy on duty!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 with Brian and Stacy

Happy New Year!

Enjoy a look back at our incredible year!  Welcome 2014!

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