Sunday, March 30, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: Welcome April 2014

Welcome Monday!

We've been off and on weight watchers since January.  Sometimes, things get in the way and we get off track a bit, so this week I went back to my Weight Watchers recipes and pulled out some classics and a few new ones.  Sometimes shaking up your menu a bit will get you back on track!

To get on track with your organizing, remember to check out Laura's site.


MONDAY: Brown Butter Scallops with Ginger Sweet Potatoes
TUESDAY: Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce
WEDNESDAY: Chicken Tikka Masala
THURSDAY: Salmon with Guy's Big Bite Warm Lentil Salad

Saturday, March 29, 2014


Here is what we experienced the 12th week of the year!


  • Pop spent 7 days at Rebecca Lane

  • We watched 4 straight days of basketball; that's 12+ hours each day and 48 games watched!

  • We ate some awesome food including a St. Patrick's Day Corned Beef Feed, Aloha Friday with Kalua Pork and Teriyaki Chicken Wings and a Bloody Mary Bar on Sunday



Friday, March 28, 2014

Old Photo Friday: Uncle Roonie

Who: Steve (AKA...Uncle Roonie)
What: Camping
Where: Probably Davis Lake
When: Summer 1968 (he looks to be about 7 or 8)

Goodbye....see you soon to my Uncle Steve who is leaving tomorrow to head back to Springfield.  He's spent the last 8 days with us at Rebecca Lane.  We've enjoyed your company. 


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Recipe of the Week: Salad for Lunch in a Mason Jar

We live on leftovers for lunch during the week, but sometimes it's nice to try something different.  I've been seeing these salads in a jar on Pinterest for months now and have finally decided to try it.


Mason Jar Salad
Start with a clean wide-mouth jar that is completely dry.
Tear, don't cut the lettuce...cut edges will brown
ALWAYS start with the dressing at the bottom and keep the greens from coming in contact with it or they will wilt.
Place a folded paper towel at the top of the salad, just before the lid goes on and it will absorb any excess moisture and keep the greens crisp.
Avoid strong odor foods (egg, blue cheese, fish, raw onion).   They tend to get stronger after they are bottled up!

Crumbled feta cheese
Sliced English cucumbers
Sliced radish
Green peas or edamame
Sunflower seeds
Romaine lettuce
In the bottom of a clean, dry quart jar, spread 1 1/2 tablespoons of salad dressing.

Crumble 2 tablespoons of feta into each jar on top of dressing.

Add the cucumbers, radish, peas, seeds, raisins, chickpeas, lettuce and spinach.

Top with a paper towel and then the clean dry lid.

Salads can be made and stored for up to 5 days and still retain their crispness.

Notes: The sky is the limit on these salads.  Anything that you would use to build a salad in a bowl could reasonably go into your jar.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: Last Week of March 2014

Welcome Monday!

Is your bracket busted?  Is your grocery budget busted?  Well....we put a dent in both this past week.

Our menu is going to focus on getting back on track, checking out the freezer and pantry and taking advantage of what we have on hand to get us through the week!

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


Monday: BLT's with Potato Chips
Tuesday: Freezer Soups!  White Bean Chicken Chili or Taco Soup
Wednesday: Rotisserie Chicken with Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Thursday: BBQ Skirt Steak with Salad and a Steamed Artichoke

Saturday, March 22, 2014


The first signs of Spring 2014.......

Luckily this year, I was smart enough to put chicken wire down in my garden bed after I planted my bulbs.  No squirrel issues!  The bulbs began peeking through the soil about three weeks ago and thanks to a few sunny days, the daffodils are beginning to bloom.



 Happy 6th birthday, Sammy!

 Deby and Brian on the garden tour


Awesome Sunday dinner with good friends, Deby and Lloyd.  It's hard to believe and embarrassing for all of us that we have not been down to the farm in 6 years.  We caught up and we promised to return soon.



Friday, March 21, 2014

Old Photo Friday: In loving memory of Lowell

WHO: Lowell Crowe (right) with his father-in-law (Penny's Dad)
WHAT: Funny hat day
WHERE: Woods and green....looks like Oregon
WHEN: Mid 1990's

It's a special week around our house and it brings back lots of memories of Crowe.  This coming Sunday would have been his 71st birthday.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Recipe of the Week: Corned Beef Hash

Hash is a dish consisting of diced meat, potatoes, onions and spices that are mixed together and cooked.  The name is derived from the french verb hacher which means to chop.

Corned beef hash became popular in Great Britain and France during and after World War II as rationing limited the availability of fresh meats.  The addition of leftover vegetables including potatoes, cabbage, peas and brussels sprouts is called bubble and squeak.

My Pop cooked us up a big corned beef and cabbage feed for St. Patrick's Day on Monday and I kept the leftovers to make a hash this morning for breakfast.  It's day #1 of our annual March Madness basketball frenzy.


Corned Beef Hash with Poached Eggs



1 1/4 lb Yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 Tbs butter
1 large sweet yellow onion, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 1/2 lbs corned beef, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 Tbs finely chopped fresh chives
salt and pepper
4 Tbs vegetable oil
4 eggs


In a saucepan, combine the potatoes with lighly salted cold water to cover.  Bring to a boil over high heat, deduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until just tender enough to pierce with a fork, 5-7 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat and melt butter.  Add the onion and bell pepper and saute until the onion is tender-crisp, 4-5 minutes.  Set aside.

Drain the potatoes and place in a bowl.  Add the onions and bell pepper, set the frying pan aside (do not clean it).  Add the corned beef, milk, 1/2 the chopped parsley and chives to the bowl.  Toss to mix well, taking care not to mash the potato pieces too much.  Season with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in the frying pan over medium heat.  Add the hash mixture, pressing it down with the back of a spatula to form and even, compact cake.  Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, until crusty and lightly browned on the botton, about 15 minutes.

To serve: Garnish each hash cake with a poached egg and a few fresh parsley leaves.

Notes:  if you have leftover cabbage (like from a corned beef and cabbage feed, feel free to chop up the leftover cabbage and add to your hash)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: March Madness

Welcome Monday!

It's that time of year again!  The best week of the year....MARCH MADNESS!

We will have a house full starting tomorrow and continuing until Sunday, March 23rd.  Along the way there will be some epic meals, 14 hours of basketball, laughs, tears and a bit of wine.

So everyone...get your brackets filled out and get ready to get busted!

Here is our menu for the party ahead!  Check out Laura's blog for more ideas!


MONDAY:  St. Patrick's Day!  Corned Beef and Cabbage Feed with Mini Baileys Cheesecakes
TUESDAY:  Baked Turkey Ziti Casserole with Caesar Salad and Garlic Bread with Italian Gelato for dessert
WEDNESDAY:  Chicken and Artichoke Casserole with Rice and Creamy Cole Slaw
THURSDAY: Breakfast: Corned Beef Hash and Poached Eggs/Dinner: Fish Tacos with Berry Cobbler for dessert
FRIDAY:  Breakfast: Biscuits and Gravy /ALOHA FRIDAY: Kalua Pork, Glazed Chicken Wings, White Rice and Mac Salad
SATURDAY: Rib Eye Steak, Baked Potato and Artichokes with fresh baked cookies for dessert
SUNDAY: Bloody Mary Bar opens at 10AM; pizza in the late afternoon!

Saturday, March 15, 2014


For the 10th week of the year!

Extra cuddle time last Saturday with my favorite boy, Sammy.  It was a cold, dark and damp day and I spent my time sipping tea, eating girl scout cookies and watching Coronation Street on Hulu.  What more can a girl (or kitty) ask for?

Tower of onion rings at Thirsty Lion pub in Beaverton.  After an exhausting evening of shopping for new eye glasses, Chick and I sat up at the bar and ate sliders, fish and chips and this mammoth tower of rings!

A "selfie" with my train buddy, Bree.  I've been riding the train with Bree since she was 9 and this year she turns 16. 


Friday, March 14, 2014

Old Photo Friday: Driving Home for Christmas

WHO: Mom (Jennifer) in the green Volkswagen
WHAT: Back of picture says: Driving home for Christmas. Stopped along the way for a beer.
WHERE: Klamath Falls, OR to Eugene, OR
WHEN: 1965-66

I love my Mom's smile, but I am fairly certain that it was my Pop who wanted to stop for the beer!
Happy Friday!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Recipe of the Week: Chicken Paprikash

I started a major project this week and realized that I suffer from a possibly untreatable mental disorder called Recipehording.  

Let me spell it out for you....I collect recipes.  Lots and lots of recipes!  I clip them out of magazines, newspapers and even print them off on-line.  I then stuff them into a bag and keep them hidden in my closet.  

If I started now and began cooking every single recipe I've ever collected, I'd still be cooking at age 103 (and probably still clipping recipes out of the latest Cooking Light magazine).

So this week, I started going through the bag and quickly realized that I like a lot of the same things.  So far, I've located 8 recipes for Cabernet or Pinot Noir braised short ribs, 15 recipes for chilli (turkey, chicken and vegetarian varieties) and a half dozen recipes for pasta carbonnara.  Strangely, I also found 4 recipes for Chicken Paprikash, which I'd never heard of before.  Turns out, it's quite easy to prepare and very tasty.  I kept one recipe and threw the rest out.  Progress continues!

Are you a recipehorder?



Chicken Paprikash



2 tsp oil (I use olive oil)
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/8 tsp Hungarian paprika
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced (you could also use chicken thighs)
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream


In a large skillet over medium heat, saute onion until softened.

Sprinkle paprika and cayenne over onion and stir.  Add chicken and cook for 5-7 minutes.

Add chicken broth and tomato sauce.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and add in sour cream.

Serve over noodles or rice.

Serves 4

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: March 10-13, 2014

Welcome Monday!

March keeps on rolling and I love the small of spring in the air!  This weekend, we set our clocks ahead and get rewarded with longer days ahead!

Here is our menu for the week ahead.

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


Monday: Low Fat Chicken Paprikash over Jasmine Rice
Tuesday: Sirloin Steaks with Potato-Parsnip Mash
Wednesday: Weight Watchers Italian Turkey Burgers
Thursday: Southwestern Pork Stew

Saturday, March 8, 2014


A real stunner of a day last Friday in Portland!  For something new, I went car-free on Friday and walked to the Max train from my office (about 1/2 mile), then took it down to Union Station and got on the Amtrak train.  It was a rare treat to feel the sun on my face and a beautiful day to walk around the city.

Mani/Pedis with Mom on Saturday.

Our Oscar Party on Sunday was a BLAST!  This Roasted Shrimp, Watermelon and Goat Cheese Salad with Basil and Balsamic Dressing was wonderful!

The grand upside down "gravity" brownie with a cosmic shot!  The Oscars were great this year and we really enjoyed Ellen hosting, again.  Did you watch?


Friday, March 7, 2014

Old Photo Friday: Pheasant Under Glass?

WHO: Pop, Anna (dog) and something dead (is that a pheasant)
WHERE: I believe this is in Klamath Falls, OR
WHEN: May 1967 or some months before

Pop, what in the heck are you holding onto?  Is this a pheasant?

Enjoy this "grab bag, Friday" courtesey a bag full of old photos!


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Recipe of the Week: National Frozen Food Day!

March 6th is National Frozen Food Day, which celebrates all those yummy foods and snacks in your freezer.  Sure, the invention of the freezer made this day possible, but the methods and techniques of preparing and freezing foods is what makes frozen foods taste great, look great and store in a frozen state until you need them.

Frozen foods first hit the store shelves in 1930 in Springfield, MA.  The process was developed by none other than....Clarance Birdseye.

I will be honest, we do not eat a lot of frozen foods in our house.  Oh sure....we have ice cream in the summer and we are huge fans of Bocca Burgers, but planning meals out of my freezer just isn't going to happen.

I searched long and hard to find a simple and easy frozen meal, so here is something to try out!



Lemon Artichoke Chicken


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (pick up a bag of frozen chicken)
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
1 10oz. package of frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
2 tablespoons dry sherry
zest of one lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup sour cream (or Greek Yogurt)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs


Preheat oven to 350F.

Dice the chicken into 1/2 inch cubes and season with salt and pepper.

Melt the butter in a large skillet and over medium heat, brown the chicken.

Transfer the chicken to a 9 x 11 baking dish.  Add the artichoke hearts over the chicken.

In the skillet that you cooked the chicken in, add the sherry, lemon zest and lemon juice.  Stir over medium heat, until hot.   Remove pan from heat and add the sour cream, then pour the mixture over the chicken and artichokes.

Sprinkle with cheese and bread crumbs.

Bake 20-25 minutes until hot.

Thanks to Mr. Birdseye!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: Welcome March!

Welcome Monday and Welcome March!

Today we are having our annual Oscar Party!  Appetizers and Sparkling Wine start flowing at 3PM followed by a three course small plate meal inspired by the nominated movies up for best picture this year.

The rest of the week we are back on track with weight watchers and other light and low calorie favorites!

Check out Laura's site for lots of organizing tips and menu planning ideas.


SUNDAY:  Oscar Party!
MONDAY:  BBQ Chicken Thighs and Salad
TUESDAY: Weight Watcher's Chili-Rubbed Pork Chops with Broccoli and Yukon Gold Potatoes
WEDNESDAY: Garden Burgers
THURSDAY: Off to Lenscrafters for more eye glass shopping followed by a Chardonnay and dinner HERE

Saturday, March 1, 2014


Sometime there are wonderful silver linings to things, including this awesome sunset last Friday night that I would have missed had my train left on time.  We were 1 hour late leaving the station and I was rewarded with this beautiful sight.

We had a wonderful adventure at Schooner Exact last Saturday including a $15 Tasting menu paired exceptionally well with three fabulous beers.  I am not much of a beer drinker, but the sample that I had was phenomenal.  It was an unexpected treat on a wet and cool day.

Cheese with brown cherries, crispy duck with dates and chocolate pudding.  Just a perfect size for a Saturday lunch!

Finally, Brian's had his eye on this BBQ for 6 months and finally decided to buy it before the new models hit the store.  Not bad for $99 and I know we will get our use out of it this spring and summer! 


A reminder, this is my weekly wrap up of the 8th week (out of 52 weeks in a year).  Here are weeks 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7