Sunday, May 31, 2015

Menu Plan Monday: Welcome June 2015!

Welcome Monday!

It's hard to believe that it is June already....the kick off to our summer months, longer days and warmer temps.  Hooray!

I am going to concentrate on grilled foods this week and introducing more traditional summer recipes into my meal planning.

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


Monday: Grilled Skirt Steak with Garden Salad and Yukon Gold Potatoes
Tuesday: Shrimp Tacos
Wednesday: Grilled Halibut with Brown Rice and Asparagus
Thursday: Yum Burrito Bowls

Friday, May 29, 2015

Old Photo Friday: Ann P. Lee Graduation

WHO: Ann Peterson (soon to be Lee)
WHAT: High School Graduation from Newark High School
WHERE Newark, DE
WHEN: May/June 1948 (I might be off just a few years)

It's graduation season again...hard to believe.  Here is a picture of Brian's Mom, Ann on her graduation day from High School.  Both Ann and Brian's father, Allen both graduated from Newark High School.



Thursday, May 28, 2015

Recipe of the Week: Curried Red Lentil Soup

I recently discovered that my local grocery store makes the best red lentil soup, but it's quite expensive.  I just love a hearty soup for lunch so I searched on-line to try and find one that I can make and freeze for weekday lunches.  This soup is inspired by the Indian side dish dal; the Hindi word means split and refers to the split peas or lentils used in it's preparation.


Curried Red Lentil Soup


1 tablespoon oil
1 large onion, shopped
2 gloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed
8 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoon mango chutney
salt & pepper ground pepper, to taste
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt


Heat oil in heavy stock-pan over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until softened, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, jalapeno, curry powder, cinnamon, cumin and bay leaves and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes.

Stir in lentils and broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered until the lentils are tender, about 45 minutes.

Discard the bay leaves.  Stir in cilantro, lemon juice and chutney.  Season with salt and pepper.  Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with yogurt.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

22/52: Pacific Science Center - Pompeii: The Exhibition

In the year 79, Pompeii vanished beneath thick payers of volcanic ash left by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.  Last Saturday, Brian and I explored Pompeii: The Exhibition at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle.

The travelling exhibition which has been in Seattle since the beginning of February, tells the tale of the city of Pompeii, hidden from view and forgotten for centuries until its rediscovery over 250 years ago.

Inside the exhibition, we saw garden frescos and marble statues, helmets and shin guards of the day's Gladiators, coins and currency and religious alters and shrines...not to mention the 6 full body casts of twisted human forms, asphyxiated by extreme heat and noxious gases (this was really the only part of the entire exhibition that I wanted to see). 

The entire exhibition was truly stunning (and the body casts were a bit...gross).

Admission was not cheap!  $32 each for the weekend (add $6 for audio tour, which we both really enjoyed).  Tickets were timed and dated to facilitate entrance.  This way, guests do not have to wait on a first come first serve basis, plus it allows the museum to not over-crowd itself.  We proceeded at our own pace and it took us about 90 minutes to see everything.

After the exhibition, we headed across the street to Sport Restaurant and Bar at KOMO Plaza.

Not only is Sport a great place to watch a game and grab a beer and a burger, but the restaurant is a Seattle Sports Museum chronically a 100 year historical prospectus of Seattle's sports champions from the early 1900's to present day.  Amateur, Professional, Collegiate and Olympic memories are included. It also includes the 500 Club...with players in Major League Baseball that have hit over 500 home runs in their careers. Sport has signed balls and pictures, including Babe Ruth, Willie Mays and Mel Ott.

It was a great day to explore not only the history of Pompeii but also the Sports history of Seattle.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Menu Plan Monday: Last week of May 2015

Welcome to a new week!

Monday kicks off the official start of the summer season, Memorial Day!  It's also time to remember those who have served this country so bravely and sacrificed their lives for our freedom.  Take time to remember this weekend not only those who have served, but those currently serving.

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


MEMORIAL DAY:  Grilled Burgers, Herbed Potato Salad and Corn on the Cob
Tuesday: Taco Tuesday
Wednesday: Thai Curry Lentil Soup with Salad
Thursday:  Grilled Chicken Thighs with Rice and a Steamed Artichoke

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Recipe of the week: Herb Potato Salad

I've posted several potato salad recipes over the years, but this recipe that was published last May in the newspaper supplement, Relish is the best potato salad I've every prepared and/or eaten.  This is perfect for the holiday weekend.  


Herb Potato Salad - Courtesy of


12 small to medium Yukon Gold Potatoes, sliced in half
5 hard cooked eggs, chopped
1 small white onion, diced
1  cup mayonnaise (start with 1/2 cup and add if needed)
2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1/3 cup each, chopped basil, flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
2 springs fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste


Place potatoes in cold water to cover and bring to a boil.  Cook 20 minutes or until just tender.  Drain and let cool.

Peel (skins should fall off) and chop potatoes and place in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Finally, gently fold in the potatoes.

Makes 6 cups (serves 8-10).  I typically cut this recipe in half unless serving a large group. 

Notes:  While my potatoes are cooking, I chop my eggs, onion and mix up the mayonnaise base.  Depending on how creamy you like your salad, you may need to add in a bit more mayonnaise.  Feel free to use other herbs, such as cilantro, dill  and tarragon.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

21/52: A Quiet Spring Weekend in West Seattle

The "crud" invaded our home this weekend so nothing much to post about.  I think Brian is on the mend...just in time for a long holiday weekend.

This picture was taken weekend before last.  I planted the front garden box and found a beautiful hanging basket at Home Depot.  Brian's lawn looks like the 18th green at Augusta...simply stunning!  More outdoor projects to come...hopefully this weekend.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Menu Plan Monday: Middle of May 2015

Welcome Monday!

Brian's in town and it's a short week so I want to spend very little time in the kitchen. Sunday always seems like a good night to grill and I am taking Friday off ahead of a long long Memorial Day weekend so the kitchen will be closed on Wednesday, which is perfect for a pizza night.

If you'd like to see other menu plans, check out Laura's site.


Sunday: Grilled Beer Brats with Corn on the Cob and Chips
Monday: BLTs and Chips
Tuesday: BBQ Chicken, Artichokes and Salad
Wednesday: Pizza

Friday, May 15, 2015

Old Photo Friday: Lei Day

WHO: Jennifer Hanselman (Mom)
WHAT: Getting Lei-d
WHERE: Honolulu, Hawaii
WHEN: 1975

I've obviously still got Hawaii on the brain.  Tomorrow, we will have been home three weeks.  May 1st was Lei Day in Hawaii, a state wide celebration.  Lei Day was established in 1929 and each island has it's own lei that is used for the celebration and for its people to wear.  Maui's flower lei is called the lokelani and is pink.  Being presented with a lei upon arrival in Hawaii is a special treat and something that one never forgets.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Recipe of the Week: Hummus and Vegetable Wrap

May 15th is National hummus day!  I bet you 15 years ago, unless you were eating in a middle eastern restaurant, you'd probably never heard of hummus.  Now today, it's everywhere (I even posted this recipe last year).

Instead of snacking on hummus with chips or veggies, how about spreading it on a sandwich.  If you are not a fan, you could easily substitute cream cheese, tzatziki or baba ghanoush for hummus.


Hummus Vegetable Wrap - Adapted from Pioneer Woman


Makes 2 wraps

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 sweet yellow onion, halved then sliced
2 cups mixed greens
2 tablespoons balsamic salad dressing
2 spinach flour tortillas (I also like multi-grain flatbread)
1/2 cup hummus
1 avocado, sliced
8 artichoke heart quarters (canned)
1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles


Add oil to skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook slowly for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and brown.  Set aside and let them cool slightly.

Mix greens with balsamic dressing and set aside.

Warm the tortilla or flat bread in a pan over medium heat.  The tortilla should be soft and pliable when assembling wrap.

Once the tortilla is warm, spread the hummus down the middle of the tortilla.  Arrange the onion, avocado and artichoke hearts on top of hummus.  Next add the dressed greens and finally sprinkle with feta.

Carefully wrap up the tortilla.  To serve, slice down the middle.

This recipe makes two whole wraps.

Image found on Google Images
Recipe adapted from the Pioneer Woman and also MyRecipes

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

20/52: First Seattle Mariners Game of 2015

Last Sunday was our first Seattle Mariners game of 2015.  We sat up in the Terrace Club, which we's kinda like the cream on the crop seats, quiet...less crowds, nicer bathrooms with shorter lines and better food (delivered to your seat) plus a wine bar (I know I sound a bit like a baseball snob)!

It was also King Felix Day!  Of course you never know who is going to pitch when you initially buy the tickets so getting to see King Felix Hernandez take the mound was a really special treat!

For Mother's Day the Mariner's gave away 10,000 sun hats (which I got) and I will enjoy wearing outdoors this summer.

The King's Court was all decked out in pink tee-shirts and The King won his 6th game of the season.

Sunday's weather was pleasant...just perfect for our first game.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Menu Plan Monday: May 11-14th 2015

It's the middle of May.  How are your pre-summer plans coming along?

Remember that being organized and keeping a good menu plan, means less time in the kitchen and more time having fun.

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


Monday: Flank Steak with Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Tuesday: Garden Burgers with Tater Tots
Wednesday: Halibut with Tomatoes, Basil and Feta and Asparagus 
Thursday: Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Veggies

Saturday, May 9, 2015

19/52: How Does Your Garden Grow?

April 27th I turned my garden over (with the help of Brian) and on the 29th I planted three Early Girl tomato plants.  My goal is to establish a tomato "tree", which I successfully grew the year before last. 

Last week was nice and sunny with no rain so I think they had a chance to take hold. Despite some showers this week, our night temps have been well into the upper 40's so I think I am in the clear.

This past Monday, I searched for some things to plant in the other box.  I've been kicking around beans or peas the past few years and this year I've taken the plunge.  I bought a set of bamboo stakes and made a tee pee for some french green beans...fingers crossed.  

In addition, I found a black patio zucchini so my thought is that the patio variety will be smaller and take up less space (again...fingers crossed).  Planting a garden in a raised box is wise.  I am never sure if I've got enough room until it's too late!

I've got some herb starts in house (I don't dare put basil outside until July) and my rosemary wintered over in a pot so I think I am good on herbs, which I will re-plant outside later in the summer.

I am super excited!  Grow, baby...grow.


Friday, May 8, 2015

Old Photo Friday: Happy Mother's Day!

WHO: Ann P. Lee
WHERE: I believe this is in Colorado
WHEN: 1983; Brian's college graduation

WHO: Jennifer Dare
WHERE: E Street in Springfield, OR
WHEN: 1972-73

WHO: Rosemary Brady
WHERE: This looks like the Oregon Coast
WHEN: February 1962

To all the wonderful mothers in the world, I salute you!  These three ladies have been very instrumental in my life and so I honor them today and everyday.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Recipe of the Week: Lamb Riblets with Honey and Wine

Okay, so this is not the exact recipe I had at Honu Seafood and Pizza in Maui for my birthday, but they are a great example of this underused portion of the lamb.  

These ribs are so tender that the meat simply falls right off the bone. Delicious!!  The dipping sauce is optional, but I think dill is key to a good lamb dish.


Lamb Riblets with Honey and Wine and a Creamy Dill Dipping Sauce


2 1/2 pounds lamb ribs
1 1/4 onion, minced
1 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2/3 cup dry white wine
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Dill Sauce
1/2 cup plain, Greek yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon dill
1/2 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, grated
1-2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to taste


To marinate:  Place lamb in a 9 x 13 baking dish (or I like to use a Ziploc bag).  In a small bowl combine the onion, garlic, honey, oil, soy sauce, wine, salt and pepper, lemon juice and cinnamon.  Mix well and pour mixture over the lamb.  Cover and refrigerate to marinate for at least 1 hour but preferably over-night.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Bake lamb in a preheated oven for 70 minutes or until cooked through (you might cover with foil for the first 45 minutes and then let the lamb brown without the foil on top).

For sauce: In a medium bowl combine yogurt, mayonnaise and sour cream.  Mix together. Add dill, mint, garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice.  Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed.

Photo courtesy of me (taken at Honu Seafood and Pizza)
Recipe found on-line at

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

18/52: Kentucky Derby Day

Last Saturday was the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.  The derby is run on the first Saturday in May and is know as the "most exciting two minutes in sports"!

On Kentucky Derby Day, Brian and I headed down to Auburn, WA to Emerald Downs to watch not only live racing but also the broadcast of the Derby.

This year, I had a very special hat given to me by family friend, Nan Cross.  It was a hat that she bought for a lifelong friend, who died it was an honor for me to wear it and think of Phyllis.

We had an amazing day and the weather was perfect!

The second race at Emerald Downs featured a horse named Sticks and Twigs, I loved the name and at 12-1, I placed a $5 to win bet and walked away a winner at $69.70.  What a great way to start the day!

Brian hit an exacta on the Kentucky Derby, which was amazing because we never win on the derby!  He walked away with about $180 which paid for our day and the amazing pizza/pasta dinner at Peel and Press on the way home!

The second to the last race of the day at Emerald Downs featured a horse called Our Boy Ken.  I put him in an exacta with a couple of favorites and won $39.50! It was bittersweet and I cried tears of joy, thinking of Brian's late brother Ken and how he would have gotten a real kick out of us betting on that horse for him.  If there is a heaven...and if those who passed can look down upon us, there is no doubt that Ken was there with us at that very moment (and Phyllis would have loved that I was wearing her hat).


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Menu Plan Monday: Welcome May!

Welcome May!  It's amazing to me that we are entering the 5th month of 2015.  Our days continue to get longer and here in Portland, our weather is improving.

My garden is planted for the summer and I am excited about spending more time outdoors.

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


Monday: BBQ Lamb lollipops with Red Potatoes and a Salad
Tuesday: Pork Tacos (Happy Cinco de Mayo)
Wednesday: BLT and Chips
Thursday: Salmon with Broccoli and Wild Rice

Friday, May 1, 2015

Old Photo Friday: Happy Birthday, Stacy!

WHO: Stacy Dare Brady
WHERE: E Street in Springfield, OR
WHEN: 1971 (I look to be about 2-3)

Since I was celebrating my birthday in Maui last week, I thought I would post one final Birthday Girl post.