Tuesday, June 30, 2015

27/52: First Summer Weekend in West Seattle

We finally found our way back to Lincoln Park on Saturday and Sunday.  Brian had a bit of jet lag from his east coast trip last week (he didn't land until after midnight on Friday night), but it was nice to smell the salt air and get back to walking after three weeks off.

Saturday we had record-breaking heat.  Our heatwave is expected to continue into the holiday weekend.  Sunday was cooler, but humid and thunder rolled through the sky in the morning just after our walk.

The rest of the weekend we just tried to keep our minds off the heat....making pancakes from scratch and hanging solar twinkle lights on the back patio.


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Menu Plan Monday: Beginning of July 2015

Welcome Monday!

Another short week followed by a long weekend.  The 4th of July is upon us! 

We've got a bit of this and that this week so I want to keep the kitchen low key and the grocery bill even lower going into a long weekend.

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


Monday: I have compulsory CE to complete downtown so I am going to meet Chick for Happy Hour
Tuesday: Ground Beef Crunchy Tacos
Wednesday: Hawaiian Food on the go from 808 Grinds
Thursday: Off to Seattle...Happy 4th of July!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Old Photo Friday: To The Beach

WHO: Ken, Brian, Ann and Kerry Lee
WHAT:  Summer vacation at the Beach
WHERE: I think that was taken down at Dewey Beach, DE
WHEN: Brian looks to be about 4, so I'll say summer 1964-65

Brian flies home from Delaware tonight.  He's had an interesting week...teaching in downtown Wilmington, staying with cousin Randi and her husband in Pennsylvania, but without power the entire week after a Tuesday afternoon thunderstorm.  Then last night's Wilmington Blue Rocks baseball game was called due to rain after the second inning.  He's looking forward to being back home!

This picture was taken down at the beach where Brian and his family spent time every year.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Recipe of the Week: Spicy Greek Yogurt Dip

Over the weekend, Rosemary bought this awesome spicy Greek yogurt dip.  I was impressed with the overall product as it only has 1 gram of sugar and very few ingredients. I started thinking to myself that I could probably find a recipe on line and make it at home.  So here we go!

Spicy Greek Yogurt Sauce


I cup Greek Yogurt
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
* ranch mix


In a small bowl, stir the yogurt with the lemon juice and salt to combine.  Add the paprika and the cayenne.  Stir in 1/4 cup water (or more if needed) to achieve a thin, easy to drizzle consistency.  If you are dipping veggies and not using for a dressing, you may want to omit the water.

Notes: Most of the at home dips contain a packet of hidden valley ranch mix, which is full of processed and un-natural ingredients.  You can easily omit, or perhaps use a Mrs. Dash product to give the dip the ranch flavoring.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

26/52: Father's Day Weekend in Eugene/Springfield, OR

We had quite a mismatched weekend with a bit of this and a bit of that over Father's Day.

Last Friday, we drove from Eugene to Roseburg to the Roseburg National Cemetery where my Dad's brother, Mike's ashes are interned.  It was a bitter sweet journey, but the family agreed that it was the right thing to do...to say a proper goodbye even if Mike was absent from our family most of his life.  I know it meant a lot to my Dad and that's all that really mattered to me.

We drove north west out of downtown Roseburg along the Umpqua River to Henry Estate Winery. This part of Oregon is beautiful and the "Hundred Valleys of the Umpqua" forms the heart of the timber industry of Southern Oregon, generally centered around Roseburg. 

The Native Americans in the Umpqua's watershed consist of several tribes including the Coquille and the Kalapuya.  The Umpqua River boasts some of the world's best fly-fishing and is famous for its small mouthed bass, striped bass and shad population.

Henry Estate Winery, has been in operation for more than 30 years and has five generations of wine growing history behind them.  Beginning in 1978, Henry Estate produced only 2,000 gallons of wine.  Today, full production is 18,000 cases, 75% of which is handcrafted from estate grown grapes.  Their tasting room is open daily from 11-5:00 and it gave us an opportunity to sample some of their wonderful wines and take in the gorgeous views.

We also stopped by Misty Oaks Winery and has their current offerings of Gobbler's Knob Red Blend, Constitution Ridge Pinot Blanc, Jones Road Cabernet Franc and the Viper Trail Malbec (we enjoyed so much that Rosemary bought two bottles).

We left the vineyard and headed north east to the historic town of Oakland, OR.  This city was the first city to be placed on the state's historic register in 1968.  The city's two block business district consists of the original brick buildings built in the 1880's and 1890's. Stearns hardware has been in operation since 1887.

In the center of town is Tolly's Grill and Soda Fountain, housed in a historic building built in 1872. It was great place to stop for linner (lunch/dinner) and enjoy an old fashioned homemade soda from the restored fountain.

On Saturday, Brian flew in from Seattle and we went out for breakfast at the Washburne Cafe before settling back to E Street.  We didn't have much planned for the day, but it was nice to be outside by the pool and visit as a family.  The weather was just perfect and it made for a great outdoor day and time in the pool.

Saturday for dinner we decided to have a small plate/tapas/appetizer meal.  Brian made his Pinot Noir meatballs, Pop threw some honey mustard chicken wings in the slow cooker, I grilled some lamb lollipops and there were dips and salads overflowing.

It was a great celebration of Dad and family once again this year.

Happy Father's Day to all! 


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Menu Plan Monday: June 21-25, 2015

Welcome Monday!

How was Father's Day Weekend!?

Here is our menu for the week ahead.  Please check out Laura's site for more menu plans and ideas.


Sunday: BBQ Ribs, Corn on the Cob and Cole Slaw
Monday: Grilled Salmon, Broccoli and Red Potatoes
Tuesday: Chicken Tacos
Wednesday: Thai Beef Salad
Thursday: Rolled Chicken Thighs with Mozzarella and Ham, Rice and Green Beans (maybe from our garden)

Friday, June 19, 2015

Old Photo Friday: Marie and Mike

WHO: Marie and baby Mike
WHERE: Probably Eugene, OR
WHEN: December 1955 (I believe Mike was born in October)

Today is a bit of a bittersweet day.  Our family is saying goodbye and paying our respects to Mike Suter, who died in January 2013 after a lifetime of struggles.

Rest in peace,


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Recipe of the Week: Green Beans with Goat Cheese

It's SUMMER...okay on Sunday, but close enough.  It's time to start re-thinking the menu a bit and summer to me means the freshest fruit and veggies.

We are huge green bean fans around my house, but sometimes I get bored with the same steamed preparation.  When the days are hot and you don't feel like serving a hot side dish, think about this cold green bean salad.


Green Beans with Goat Cheese, Tomatoes and Almonds


1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
salt and pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 shallots, sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled


Toast almonds in a large frying pan over medium heat until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 6-8 minutes.

Cook green beans in boiling salted water for 5 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain.  Plunge beans in ice water to stop the cooking process, then drain again.

Whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Add olive oil in a slow steady stream; whisking constantly until blended and smooth.  

Add tomatoes, shallots, garlic and green beans.  Toss to coat.  Place green beans on a serving platter or bowl.

Top green beans with goat cheese and toasted almonds.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

How Does Your Garden Grow: 6 week Check Up

My garden is coming along nicely.  Of course, right after I planted everything at the end of April...we had about 10-15 days of cooler weather.  I was most concerned with my tomato plants, but they appear to be doing just fine and I am starting to see not only tons of flowering buds, but one small tomato as of yesterday morning.

My black patio zucchini looks healthy.  It will be interesting to see how big it grows and if I'll be plagued with blossom rot.  I've got one lovely blossom!

My beans are already producing.  I've got at least a half dozen small green beans growing and perhaps next week, I'll have my first harvest!

I am ready to plant some herbs.  I'd like to grow some basil and thyme as they are the herbs that I tend to use the most and I have had good success with both, but basil more from July-September.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

25/52: Quiet West Seattle Weekend

I had a beautiful train ride from Portland to Seattle aboard the Coast Starlight on Friday afternoon.  I snapped a few scenic shots along my journey, including one final look at Chambers Bay Golf Course ahead of this weekends US Open just south of Tacoma.

It was a quiet weekend in West Seattle.....Brian is recovery yet again from a nasty head cold so I spent most of Saturday outside doing some odd gardening jobs and enjoying the sunshine.

I finished barking around the patio, cleaned up the secret garden, planted a new hosta in the peace garden and barked around the shed.

Sunday night was a smooth and peaceful journey back to Portland and a beautiful shot of the sun setting along the Columbia River (at 9:01 PM).

How was your weekend?


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Menu Plan Monday: Middle of June 2015

Welcome Monday!

We have kind of a short week this week, heading down to Eugene on Thursday for Father's Day weekend.  To add to that, I am cat-sitting...so each night (after dinner) I'll be taking care of a couple of cats. Basically all this means is that I have little kitchen time. On the menu this week is quick and easy meals that won't take long to make or clean up.

Don't forget to visit Laura's site for more planning tips.


Monday:  Garden Burgers with Fries
Tuesday: Picking up something from Taco Del Mar
Wednesday: BLT and Chips
Thursday: On the road.....

Friday, June 12, 2015

Old Photo Friday: Stacy, Pop and Anna

WHO: Stacy, Pop and Anna dog
WHERE: Outside in front yard at E Street in Springfield, OR
WHEN: April/May 1978-79

Man, am I rocking that tube top or what!?  It took me a minute to see that my Pop's right arm is in a cast.  He broke his thumb at work and was laid up for a while.  Since our rhododendron always blooms around my birthday, this picture was probably taken during one of Oregon's hot spells in late April or early May. Our beloved poodle, Anna was never far away from us.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Recipe of the Week: Grilled Brussels Sprouts

One of my favorite guilty pleasures is watching Sam the Cooking Guy on YouTube.  He used to have a show on the Cooking Channel, but has since moved to his own YouTube channel.  Check him out, he's fabulous (if you live in the Southern California area, he's on COX TV).

I love Brussels Sprouts and cook them quite often in the fall and winter, but recently I saw Sam grill them and I absolutely loved the idea of serving them in the summer months with grilled steak or chicken.


Grilled Brussels Sprouts - Sam the Cooking Guy


2 cups Brussels sprouts, peeled and halved
1 cup water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard


Preheat Grill to high.

In a medium microwave proof bowl, add water and sprouts and cover with plastic wrap.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

While sprouts are cooking, make dressing.  Mix oil, garlic, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes and mustard in a small bowl.

Drain sprouts.  Pat dry them by wrapping them in a paper towel to remove excess moisture.

Toss sprouts in dressing and throw them in a grill pan.  Grill the spouts for 3-5 minutes stirring frequently until grill marks appear. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

24/52: Anniversary Weekend

Brian and I celebrated #11 this past weekend.  Our anniversary was Thursday and of course we were apart, but we made up for it over the weekend.

First stop on Friday after my train pulled in was a new place in West Seattle that we drove past last weekend (I didn't even know that it existed) and I immediately brought up their website to discover that it is a premier Sports Bar, and only about 1/2 mile from our house.

The Westy Sports and Spirits, is located in the heart of the Gatewood neighborhood.  It's described as a premiere sports viewing pub with elevated pub-grub including cocktails and beers on tap.  The small venue has 16 TVs and the option to view up to 8 different games.

They had a fairly standard pub menu...burgers, dogs, wraps...plus breakfast on the weekends!  

Saturday was a full day....I put on my new sherbet orange dress and we headed back down to Emerald Downs for the 147th running of the Belmont Stakes.  Would history be made and would we see a triple crown winner?

It was the first Triple Crown winner since 1978!

It was a beautiful 80+ degree day and in addition to the Belmont, we had live racing at Emerald Downs to entertain us.  

Dinner on Saturday night was at our local Italian/pizza joint, Peel and Press on California Avenue in West Seattle.  We had a cocktail at the bar before ordering a pizza and some amazing ravioli to take home and enjoy on our cool patio.

How did you celebrate the weekend?


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Menu Plan Monday: June 8-11, 2015

Welcome Monday!

I am slowly trying to get back on the "better eating" plan.  I am choosing better lunch options (soup, salad and fruit) and trying to include smaller portions with lean protein and vegetables.  I am also searching for at least one slow cooker recipe a week this summer so I can spend more time outside during the week.

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


Monday: Grilled Pork Chops, Grilled Summer Squash and a Garden Salad
Tuesday: Slow Cooker Thai Red Curry Beef over Jasmine Rice 
Wednesday: 10 Minute Southwestern Layered Chicken Salad
Thursday: Low Fat Hamburger Sliders with Tator Tots

Friday, June 5, 2015

Old Photo Friday: Stacy's High School Graduation

WHO: Stacy (the class of 1987) and my best friend Debi
WHAT: High School Graduation
WHERE: Thurston High School Gymnasium/outside on the courtyard
WHEN: June 1987

Congratulations to the class of 2015, 28 years after my High School Graduation...that's hard to believe.


I think this video is mandatory for anyone graduating this year.  Listen to the words!