Saturday, May 31, 2014


Memorial Day Weekend!

The official/unofficial start to summer.  Weather-wise it was a bit hit or miss.  Friday was gorgeous on the train and Monday was cool but mostly sunny.  We won't talk about BBQ-ing in the rain on Sunday!

In between showers, we managed to get a few hours of yard work in (okay....Brian did most of the hard labor).  Home Depot had more than enough flowers to choose from and we even added a yellow pear tomato plant to the garden.  

I trimmed back the roses which are already producing some beautiful blooms, already!

BBQ Pork ribs with Tom Douglas Rub for Sunday dinner!  We hosted Bay Area friend, Jenny and her son Carter on Sunday.  The boys played wiffel ball and frisbee in the drizzle and Jenny and I sipped on wine!

In addition to the ribs, grilled burgers, Brian's baked beans and corn-on-the-cob, I also found this wonderful Herbed Potato Salad out of May's Relish newspaper insert.  

How did you spend the holiday weekend?  



Friday, May 30, 2014

Old Photo Friday: Baby Stacy and Aunt Sandra

WHO: Stacy and Sandra (Princess and Chick)
WHAT: Hanging out; Chick's probably baby-sitting me (Mom...what's with the curlers!?!?!)
WHERE: E Street in Springfield, OR
WHEN: Early 1970; I appear to be taking my first steps

Thanks to Chick for all the years that you took care of me.  Today, I got to take care of you as you recover from oral surgery.  Nurse Ratchett on duty!!


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Recipe of the Week: Lobster Rolls (or as the New Englander's say....Lobstah Rolls)

So tomorrow we are heading to Boston!  I've already got most breakfast, lunch and dinners planned out, but you can bet that one of my meals will include a Lobster Roll.

A traditional lobster roll is a sandwich filled with lobster meat soaked in butter and served on a bun (OMG)!!!  There are variations made in all parts of New England, but typically the sandwich fill contains celery, scallions and mayonnaise.

The first lobster roll was served at Perry's in Milford, CT as early as 1929.  Once Perry's put the sandwich on the menu, its popularity spread up and down the Connecticut coast, but not far beyond.  For those residing in CT, a lobster roll is served warm.  When served cold (as in other parts of New England) the sandwich is referred to as a lobster salad roll.


Lobster (lobstah) Rolls


3/4 lb cooked fresh lobster meat, diced
1/2 cup Best Foods mayonnaise
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1 tablespoons capers, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons finely minced fresh dill
salt and pepper
4 hot dog rolls, grilled or toasted


Combine the lobster, mayonnaise, celery, capers, dill, salt and pepper.  Fill each roll and serve.

Recipe courtesy of The Barefoot Contessa
Image found on Google Images

Monday, May 26, 2014


Re-discovering Lincoln Park after a long cold and dark winter!

Time to stop and smell the flowers!

2.25 miles on Saturday and 2.75 miles on Sunday!  Yes, despite my grimace, I did enjoy every step!


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: End of May 2014

Welcome Monday!  

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!  Hopefully the weather will be nice enough for a cookout in West Seattle.  It's another short week and a plane ride across country coming up so I'd better be prepared with my menu plan for the week ahead.

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


Sunday:  Memorial Day BBQ!  Brian's Baked Beans, Grilled Burgers and sweet corn on the cob
Monday: Late train out of Seattle!  Food on the go!
Tuesday:  Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Grilled Seasonal Veggies
Wednesday:  Grilled Pork Chops and a Big Garden Salad
Thursday: Chick to the dentist and I am packing for Boston....a soft and light dinner - Baked Potato Bar

Friday, May 23, 2014

Old Photo Friday: Honoring Memorial Day

WHO: Brian and Ann Lee
WHAT: Visiting Brian's Dad, Allen K. Lee's grave site (Korean War Veteran)
WHERE: Newark, DE
WHEN: April 2007

Memorial Day (formerly known as Decoration Day) originated after the American Civil War to commemorate both union and confederate soldiers who died during the civil war.  By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died or served while in military service.  

Although this was not Memorial Day, we did honor Brian's father by decorating his grave site when we visited Delaware in 2007.  Brian's Mom, Ann who passed in 2010 is also buried at the Veteran's Cemetery outside of Newark, DE.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Recipe of the Week: Dinner from a soup can

I hate budgets!  From time to time, it's always good to re-evaluate your spending habits.  Sometimes, you need to make dinner from a can of soup.  No, not eat a can of soup for dinner, but actually make a dinner out of a can of soup (plus other things).  

I stumbled across a stir-fry recipe a week or so ago and it called for a can of soup.  The thought of soup in a stir-fry did not go over well at Rebecca Lane, but in all honesty, it was one of the best stir-frys I have made in a long time.  We always have rice in the pantry and the vegetables that I added cost less than $3.  If you don't like pork, substitute chicken or a lean (cheap steak).  This is easily a meal that you could make for under $10, plus we got 4 servings out of it.


Asian Pork Stir Fry


1 cup brown rice
2 cups water
cooking spray
2 (6-8oz) boneless pork loin chops, cut into thin strips (or chicken or beef)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 medium onion, cut into thin slices
1 zucchini, cut in half then sliced thin
1 carrot, sliced thin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 can (18.5 ounces) Progresso Light home style vegetable and rice soup
2 green onions rough chopped into bite sized chunks1 tablespoon stir-fry sauce
1 cup shredded cole slaw or cabbage
2 tablespoons sliced almonds


Cook rice according to package directions.

Heat a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add a bit of cooking spray; cook pork over medium high heat, until browned (but not cooked through).  Remove from pan, set aside and keep warm.

Wipe pan clean and spray a bit more cooking spray into skillet.  Cook mushrooms, onion, zucchini and carrot over medium-high heat until browned, but not overly cooked (about 3 minutes).  Season with garlic powder. 

Stir soup into veggies and then add stir-fry sauce; heat to boiling.  Add pork and cook over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat and add green onions, cabbage and almonds; stir well.

Serve pork mixture over rice. 

Image found on Google Images
Recipe courtesy of Weight Watchers (slightly adapted) 
Notes: Feel free to add whatever veggies you want

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


We had dinner at one of our favorite places last week and took Uncle Steve with us.

Allium Bistro is located in West Linn and I bought Sandra a gift certificate for her birthday in January, which had to be used by last Thursday!

Our meal consisted of a wonderful cauliflower voulette (creamy soup), a Cascade Natural Hamburger with bacon, cheddar, charred onions and tomato jam, Seafood Paella full of shrimp, mussels, clams and calamari and a 6 oz sirloin steak, potato croquette and braised greens.

Their food is exquisitely prepared (we've been here twice before and had an outstanding meal each time), they buy local and promote local farmers and ranchers.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: May 18-22, 2014

Welcome Monday!

This week's menu certainly has a lot of grilling?  It's May and the days are long and the evenings are warm and it's time to fire up the BBQ.

What do you like to grill?

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


Sunday: Grilled Brats and Corn on the Cob
Monday: Grilled Chicken with a Big Garden Salad
Tuesday: Okay....not grill but still good. Cafe Yumm Bowls
Wednesday: Dinner out with Friends?
Thursday: Grilled Scallops with Chickpea Salad

Saturday, May 17, 2014


The first round of clean up and planting for the 19th week of the year!  

The Seattle patio is coming along nicely.  Brian's spent quite a bit of time weeding, edging, mowing, weeding, clearing ivy, (did I mentioned weeding?).

Here is my Rebecca Lane garden.  This year I planted broccoli, spring onions and tomatoes.  I hand laid 6 cubic feet of hemlock barkdust, but I still have at least 6 more more to go.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Old Photo Friday: Yatzee

WHO: Stacy, Steve and Pop
WHAT: Hanging out at E Street playing Yatzee
WHERE: Springfield, OR
WHEN: I look to be about 17 or 18 so 1986-87

It's always nice when my uncle Steve (Roonie) visits.  We had a great week!  Thanks for all your help around the house.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Recipe of the Week: Black Bean Tacos with Feta Slaw

A taco is a traditional Mexican dish composed of corn or wheat tortillas folded or rolled around a filling.  

According to the Real Academia Espanola, the word taco describes a typical Mexican dish of a maize tortilla folded around food.  The original sense of the word is of a "plug" or "wad" used to fill a "hole".  Its etymology as derived from Mexican Spanish means "light lunch", or literally, "plug, wadding".  The sense development from "plug" may have taken place among Mexican silver miners, who used explosive charges in plug form consisting of paper wrapper and gunpowder filling.

The taco predates the arrival of Europeans in Mexico.  There is anthropological evidence that the indigenous people living in the lake region of the Valley of Mexico traditionally ate tacos filled with small fish.  Writing at the time of the Spanish conquistadors, Bernal Diaz Del Castillo documented the first taco feat enjoyed by Europeans, a meal which Hernan Cortes arranged for his captains in Coyoacan.  It is not clear why the Spanish used their word, "taco" to describe indigenous food.

Taco Tuesday is a big cultural/urban following in the U.S. with many restaurants offering happy hour prices or cheap tacos on Tuesdays.  Here is our Taco Tuesday recipe for this week.


Black Bean Tacos with Feta Slaw


1 15oz can of black beans, drained
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder (or chilli powder); or you can add taco seasoning
salt and pepper
1-2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 cups coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage
2 green onions, sliced thinly
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
cooking spray or 1 teaspoon olive oil
4 corn tortillas
4-6 tablespoons crumbled reduced fat feta cheese
hot sauce


Place beans and spices in a small bowl and partially mash.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add 1-2 tablespoons of water and heat over medium low heat in a shallow saucepan.  

Mix 2 teaspoons olive oil and lime juice in a small bowl; add cole slaw,  green onions, and cilantro and toss to coat.  Season, if needed with spices or salt and pepper.

Heat cooking spray or oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add one tortilla at a time and cook on both sides for 2-3 minutes.  

To serve:  Spoon 1/4 bean mixture onto half of each tortilla, then top with slaw and feta.  Add hot sauce if desired then fold over.

Notes: I can typically get 4-6 tacos out of mix
Recipe slightly adapted from Cooking Light
Photo found on Google Images


Monday, May 12, 2014


A celebration of Mother's Day for the 18th week of the year!

Thanks to Kenny for putting on such a wonderful spread; Hamburgers, Potato Salad, Baked Beans.  A celebration of Mom!  Cheers!


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: Middle of May 2014

Welcome Monday!

We are hosting my uncle Steve this week AND trying to stick with the Weight Watchers program.  Easy!?  Yes, believe it or not, what I'll be cooking this week will not be recognized as "diet" food and if Steve doesn't read this blog post, he probably won't know that we are eating light and healthy.  

Just because you are on a healthy eating plan, don't feel limited to hosting dinner or having company over.  You might surprise everyone with your menu!

As a reminder, go to Laura's site for more menu planning ideas


MONDAY:  Weight Watchers Blue Cheese Chicken Burgers with Fries
TUESDAY: Taco Tuesday!  Cooking Light Black Bean Tacos with Feta and Cabbage Slaw
WEDNESDAY: Weight Watchers Asian Pork Stir-Fry with Jasmine Rice
THURSDAY:  If we've been good all week long, perhaps a burger out at The Fireside Grill

Friday, May 9, 2014

Old Photo Friday: Happy Mother's Day

I've been so lucky to have had three beautiful, smart, entertaining and passionate mothers in my life. 

Happy Mother's Day!


WHO: Jennifer Dare Wharton Wills Brady Hanselman (I call her Mom)
WHEN: This is probably 1967-68 before I was born
WHERE: This might be Klamath Falls or perhaps Springfield.  I know that lamp...she went through a Colonial phase
WHAT:  Writing songs and playing music.  My Mom is such a creative and talented musician

WHO: Vivianne (Ann) Peterson Lee (Brian's Mom)
WHERE: An elementary school In Newark, DE, where she worked as the school secretary
WHEN: 1980's
WHAT: A working Mom in the 1960's and 1970's when most women didn't work outside of the homes.  She had dinner on the table at 5PM every night and helped raise three boys with her husband, Al of over 50 years.  I miss your stories (especially about your youngest son).  Thank you for your silver, your table settings and the spirit of life that I see in all your sons.  You are missed today and everyday.

WHO: Grandma Phyllis (Rosemary's Mom), Pop, me and Rosemary Theresa Henrickson Sall Brady (I call her my second Mom)
WHERE: Portland, OR (on our way out to the Gorge)
WHEN: Late 1980's (1989 or 1990)
WHAT: Time with family!  I have so many memories of adventures with my Pop and Rosemary.  I am so lucky to have had such a loving and nurturing person growing up.  An avid reader and a wonderful cook.  Thank you for all that you have taught me and shared with me over the years.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Recipe of the Week: King's Market Smoked Salmon Spread

Last month for my birthday, we took a trip up to Friday Harbor.  I have fond memories of another short trip to Friday Harbor back in August 2013 sailing with friends Russ and Sue.  It was on the sailboat that I first tasted King's Market smoked salmon dip.  I was in heaven!  Last month before leaving Friday Harbor I rushed into King's Market and picked up a tub of their dip to take home with me.  It's simple one of the best things I've ever eaten and it's super easy to make; however, I was unable to locate the recipe on the internet.  It might be a while before I am back in Friday Harbor, so I'll have to practice making this dip at home.



Smoked Salmon Spread


2 8oz packages of cream cheese
12 oz. smoked salmon, chopped
3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons chopped green onion


In a medium bowl, stir cream cheese until smooth.  Add salmon, Worcestershire sauce, dill, garlic and green onions; mix well then serve with crackers of baguette.

Notes:  This isn't the exact King's Market (I don't think King's has the onions or the dill) recipe!  If you have it, if you know anyone who has it, if you work at King's...please send it to me!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

California Zephyr from Davis, CA to Denver, CO

For this year's spring meeting, we traveled to Denver on the California Zephyr.  Our journey began last Wednesday afternoon in Portland, OR where we boarded the southbound Coast Starlight to Davis, California.

You may recall, I've taken the Coast Starlight before and it's a beautiful journey down to Los Angeles.  Since we had to catch the train east to Denver, we decided to ride to Davis, California and not Sacramento as it gave us another 30 minutes on the train, plus downtown Davis has more places to explore and grab a bite to eat before the Zephyr arrives.

Between San Fransisco and Chicago lie narrow canyons, towering peaks and breathtakingly beautiful mountain wilderness while crossing two great mountain ranges, the Sierra Nevadas and the Rockies.

The California Zephyr was named for the original 2,438 mile passenger train route operated jointly by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad.

This is the "most talked about train in America" and was inaugurated in March of 1949 with five dome cars and four sleeping cars.

Here are some pictures and highlights of our route.


Having arrived in Davis, CA just before daylight, we boarded the California Zephyr on time at 10:38 and made our way into our roomette.

Davis, CA

Davis begins the Great Central Valley, a large flat valley that dominates the central portion of the state.  The northern half of which is the Sacramento Valley and the southern half of which is the San Joaquin Valley.  The halves are joined by the shared delta of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers.

Colfax, CA

Between Colfax and Truckee, CA (Lake Tahoe) we enjoy a wonderful lunch in the dining car.  Colfax was named for Schuyler Colfax, seventeenth Vice President of the US under Ulysses S. Grant between 1869-1873.

From here to Reno, NV we begin to cross the Sierra Nevada Range.

Cape Horn

Cape horn is a rocky bluff on the right side of the train some 1,500 ft above the American River.  The story of the construction of the railroad grading has been the subject of many writings, resulting in a remarkable collections of truths, fantasies and some in-between.  A narrow rock ledge was expanded into the present track.  Long Ravine Bridge provides one of the first clear views of the Sierras in the distance and to the right of the train.

Mt. Judah

Between Norden and Truckee, CA we entered a tunnel through the mountain some 7,000 ft. above sea level.  The ski resort closed during WWII for fear the Germans might blow up the tunnel.  A ski lift for Sugar Bowl resort carries skiers over the track.

California/Nevada State Line


The "biggest little city int he world"!   And time for an afternoon cocktail!  Reno began as a gold mining settlement which grew after the discovery of silver in 1859.

Between Reno and Winnemucca we eat dinner in the dining car.


This is the town where, in the 1850's, wagon trains crossed the Humbolt River and decided whether or not to attempt crossing the Sierra Nevada range.  The most exciting single moment in the history of the city was when Butch Cassidy held up the local bank for $2,000 in gold coins.

Darkness and bedtime and the Nevada/Utah state line greets us just after midnight.  We go through Salt Lake City and Provo, UT before watching the sun rise along about Helper, UT.

Helper, UT

This was established as a railroad and coal town in 1881.

Ruby Canyon, UT 
This is a popular destination for rafting, taking its name from the red sandstone cliffs lining the canyon walls.

Grand Junction

Breakfast just before Grand Junction!  This holds a special place in Brian's heart as it's where he went to school and graduated back in 1983.  Located at the junction of the Gunnison and Grand Rivers, the city sits near the mid point of the Grand Valley, a major fruit growing region.  The Colorado National Monument, a series of canyons and mesas similar the the Grand Canyon, overlook the city.

Glenwood Springs

Located at the confluence of the Roaring Fork and Colorado Rivers, a unique location that sees high recreational use by locals.  Here lies 6 world class ski resorts within a 60 mile radius, quite a few bike trails, whitewater rafting and the Glenwood Caverns.  Doc Holiday, the wild west legend of the Gunfight at the OK Corral, spent the final months of his life here.

Gore Canyon

This is a short and isolated stretch on the upper Colorado River.  It's steep walls ascend some 1,000 feet on each side over the river, which descends from 7,300 ft. to 7,000 ft.  

As such, it is road less and inaccessible except by rail or kayak.  its Class V whitewater is the wildest commercially available rafting in the state, perhaps the entire county.

Winter Park

This is the station for nearby Winter Park Ski Resort.  This is the "icebox of America" with recorded winter temperatures as low as -50F.   The ski resort is at the western portal to the Moffat Tunnel, built as part of Denver's mountain parks system.  Its slopes come right up alongside the railroad.

Moffat Tunnel is 6.2 miles long, cutting the distance between Denver and the Pacific Coast by 176 miles when it was first opened in 1928. 

Coal Creek Canyon

This is home to 2,300 residents and is on the right side of the train as you pass over a small bridge.  Nearby Central City was known as the "richest square mile on earth" when gold reserves were discovered here in 1859.  Tracks can be seen far below as the train winds between the front range of the Rockies and Denver.


The train negotiates "Big 10 Curve" on the approach to Arvada, a Denver suburb.  Winds can be quite strong in this area.  Hopper cars welded to the rails are filled with sand and sit on adjacent tracks to act as a windbreaker.


The Mile High City is our final stop!  It's elevation sits at 5,280 feet and is measured at the 13th step of the state capitol building.  Founded in 1858 by a land spectacular, the original settlement was named Denver City.

We enjoyed our trip on-board the California Zephyr!  For more information on riding trains, schedules and route guides, visit Amtrak.Com


Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Traveling the 17th week of the year!

Arvada/Golden, CO
BBQ with friends Russ and Sue

Sue, Russ, Cliff, Joe, Tim, Wendy and Brian

Sam's #3 Diner in Denver, CO
Established in 1927