Sunday, November 29, 2015

Menu Plan Monday: After Thanksgiving!

Whew!  Does everyone need to un-button that top button on the pants!?  What a meal!  We had a great dinner on Thanksgiving.  How about you?

We are starting the Christmas season off right with some amazing meals this week.  Using up a bit of turkey and storing the rest.

For more great planning and organizing ideas, check out Laura's site.

Here is our menu for the week ahead!


Monday: Beef Pot Pie (leftover from Pot Roast on Saturday night)
Tuesday: Yumm Bowls
Wednesday: Fish with a Salad and 1/2 baked sweet potato
Thursday: Bridget Jones "Turkey Curry Buffet" over Jasmine Rice

Friday, November 27, 2015

Old Photo Friday: Merry Christmas, Grandma Marie

WHO: Etta Marie Volgamore Brady
WHAT: Christmas 
WHERE: Oakridge, OR 
WHEN: December 1946 (I recognize the Christmas tree from a picture of my father's 3rd birthday)

My paternal Grandmother, Marie looks so forlorn for Christmas, not to mention that you could likely mistake her for some 1940's screen legend (think Joan Crawford or Dorothy Lamour).  The camera is rolling, she's smoking a cigarette and sipping on vodka after a long day at the diner.


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving 2015


By Edgar Albert Guest (1881)

Getting together to smile and rejoice,
And eating and laughing with folks of your choice;
And kissing the girls and declaring that they
Are growing more beautiful day after day;
Chatting and bragging a bit with the men,
Building the old family circle again;
Living the wholesome and old-fashioned cheer,
Just for while at the end of the year.

Greetings fly fast as we crowd through the door
And under the old roof we gather once more.
Just as we did when the youngsters were small;
Mother's a little bit grayer, that's all.
Father's a little bit older, but still
Ready to romp and to laugh with a will.
Here we are back at the table again
Telling stories as women and men.

Bowed are our heads for a moment in prayer;
Oh, but we're grateful an glad to be there.
Home from the east land and home from the west,
Home with the folks that are dearest and best.
Out of the sham of cities afar,
We've come for a time to be just what we are.
Here we can talk of ourselves and be frank,
Forgetting position and station and rank.

Give me the end of the year and its fun,
When most of the planning and toiling is done;
Bring all the wanderers home to the nest,
Let me sit down with the ones I love best,
Hear the old voices still ringing with song,
See the old faces unblemished by wrong.
See the old table with all of its chairs
An I'll put my soul in my Thanksgiving prayers.

Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours!

Stacy and Brian

*Edgar Albert Guest was an English-born American poet who was known as the people's poet. His work still occasionally appears in periodicals such as Reader's Digest.  His popularity led to a weekly Detroit radio show which he hosted from 1931 until 1942.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

48/52: Back home!

We drove back to Portland on Friday night under starry skies and cooler temps, met by our adorable cat at the front door when we arrived home.

Saturday, we took an amazing early morning walk down to Lincoln Park.  Temps were barely above freezing and the sun glistened off the Olympic mountains freshly glazed in new snow.

We swung by my Mom's church to take a peak at their holiday bazaar.  They had lots of holiday treasures, books and homemade goods.  We bought $5 worth of goodies (to go along with our presents from True Value's annual open house)!

It was a bittersweet departure to Portland on Sunday fueled by an amazing breakfast (potato works) at Circa in West Seattle.  I will not be back to Seattle until the first weekend in December.  I did manage to plant my spring bulbs as our temps will continue to be cool to freezing this week.  In 12 weeks I hope to see three rows of daffodils and tulips!

This week is Thanksgiving mode.  Grocery shopping, prep cooking and preparing for the big day!  Brian arrives back in Portland on Wednesday.

How did you spend your weekend?  Did you travel or stay at home?  Leave me a comment.


Sunday, November 22, 2015


Welcome to Thanksgiving Week!

Thursday is Thanksgiving Day and we will be celebrating all long weekend long with some really good meals and lots of traditions.

Our hearts will be full even if our table is set a bit smaller this year.  We are still over flowing with gratitude and love and celebrating all the things that make our family so wonderful.

How are you celebrating Thanksgiving?  Don't forget to check out Laura's blog for more menu and planning ideas.


MONDAY: Garden Burgers (I'll pick up the turkey at lunchtime) 
TUESDAY: Tacos (quick easy meal after grocery shopping for the big day).
WEDNESDAY: Off work at 1PM and home to prep cook.  Lasagna, Salad and Bread (thanks, Brian)
Happy Thanksgiving!
Marcona Almonds
Aged Sharp Cheddar Cheese and Crackers
Vegetable Platter with Dip
Champagne Mimosas
Roast Turkey & Gravy
Mashed Potatoes
Classic Stuffing
Brussels Sprouts with Marjoram and Pine Nuts
Buttery Peas
Relish Tray with Deviled Eggs, and Black Olives
Cranberry Relish
Pumpkin Pie
FRIDAY: Nacho Bar (Civil War at 12:30)
SUNDAY: Turkey Enchiladas

Friday, November 20, 2015

Old Photo Friday: Happy Birthday Aunt Judy!

WHO: Uncle Roy, Tina, Aunt Judy and Tangi
WHAT: Family portrait
WHERE: Edgerton, OH
WHEN: 1971-72

Happy birthday to my Aunt Judy who celebrates her birthday tomorrow!  I hope you are having fun with your brothers, Jim and Steve and SIL, Rosemary as they celebrate your birthday and the Thanksgiving holiday.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Recipe of the Week: Thanksgiving Side Dish #3 - Edamame Succotash

One of the only things that I won't eat (and this is coming from a girl who grew up on fresh venison, fried oysters and liver and onions) is lima beans.  A popular southern side dish at Thanksgiving is succotash, but instead of traditional lima beans, this dish is made with edamame (which is a fancy word for soybeans).  A complete recipe changer for me and something that I might consider as a side dish on my holiday table.

This dish is in memory of Brian's late brother, Ken.


Edamame Succotash


1 red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 yellow pepper, seeded and diced
1 1/2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 16 oz package frozen edamame
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste


Saute onion in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until tender. Add peppers and corn and cook for 5 minutes longer.

Stir in broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low.  Stir in edamame and cook for 3 minutes.  Add butter and stir until melted.

Remove from heat and add basil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

47/52: Quiet November

This past weekend was another quiet weekend in West Seattle. It was also quite wet (over 4 inches in rain gauge from Thursday to Sunday).

Brian's schedule has been hectic and he's in the middle of a long run of 7 weeks of teaching back and forth between Seattle and Portland.  It's the perfect time for us to stay close to home!

Saturday was spent making some wonderful and hearty meals!  Brian cooked Cowboy Hash on Saturday morning while I worked out indoors.  In the afternoon, I made a huge crockpot full of beef stew and Brian made some wonderful homemade Italian Herb bread. The house smelled incredible!

I dodged the ending rain showers and cool temps early Sunday morning, but I finally got the front flower bed cleaned out (pictures next week).  I am hoping to get some spring bulbs planted with Brian's help before Thanksgiving.  The squirrels run amok in the bed and take off with my bulbs if I don't lay down some chicken wire.

Sunday was bittersweet. A quiet morning...then packing the car up again for another drive to Portland.  Brian's fighting a cold and we have a big week ahead. Let's hope we all remain healthy for the holidays ahead.

How was your weekend?  Did you have rain/snow/sunshine?  Please leave me a comment and let me know what you did to make the weekend memorable!


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Menu Plan Monday: Middle of November 2015

Welcome to Monday!

Brian is in town this week and we have an after work meeting with our web developer and my parents and Steve are in Portland one night (flying out of PDX for Ohio) so a mixed up dinner week at Rebecca Lane.  I am so glad that I have a menu plan to rely on!

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

Here is our menu for the week ahead!


SUNDAY: Bellagios Pizza - Seahawks on at 5PM
MONDAY: Meeting up with our web developer and grabbing dinner on the go!
TUESDAY: Yumm Bowls
WEDNESDAY: Dinner out at the Airport with my Parents and Uncle Steve
THURSDAY:  Grilled Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo with a Garden Salad

Friday, November 13, 2015

Old Photo Friday: Happy Thanksgiving 1981

WHO: My dear sweet "maternal" family (clockwise): Great-Grandma Bea, Aunt Laura, my cousin Matt, Uncle Mickey, cousin Corey, Uncle Larry (at head of table), step-dad Kenny (just one of his eyes), my mother Jennifer and her mother (my grandma) Virginia. Missing is my aunt Charley who most likely took the picture
WHAT: Thanksgiving Dinner
WHERE: Grandma Virginia's in Junction City, OR
WHEN: back of picture says Thanksgiving 1981

Happy Thanksgiving!  These holiday memories are always so strong and clear.  Most likely, I was with my Dad at Aunt Pat's for Thanksgiving but my mother's side of the family gathered together for dinner in Junction City.  This was probably my great-grandma Bea's final holiday.  I believe she died sometime in 1982.

I hope where ever you spend this holiday weekend that you are surrounded by the memories of family and the love, hope and comfort of giving thanks.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Recipe of the Week: Thanksgiving Side Dish #2 - Cheese Muffins with Bacon and Chives

These savory muffins are perfect for Thanksgiving Day.  They can be made ahead and if you don't serve them with your Thanksgiving meal, they are perfect for Thanksgiving morning.


Cheese Muffins with Bacon and Chives


4 slices bacon
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup fresh minced chives 
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups AP flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar


Cook bacon until crisp.  Cool and crumble; then set aside.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare muffin tins by spraying with vegetable oil spray.

Melt butter (in microwave for 15 seconds) then add chives.  Cool down to room temperature.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs and milk and whisk together.  Add butter/chive mixture, cheese and crumbled bacon.

In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Add to the egg mixture, stirring until blended thoroughly.

Spoon mixture into prepared muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until muffin tops just begin to brown.

Cool on a wire rack until ready to serve.

Yields 12 muffins

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

46/52: Rain and Blues

Friday night was my first commute to Seattle entirely in the dark.  I miss the long days, especially when I travel on Friday nights.  It's cold, dark nights like Friday that I am reminded how lucky I am to travel by train (or in this case, the Bolt Bus). I did manage to sneak in a quick dinner downtown at the Veggie Grill before the bus headed north!

We spent Saturday night listening to a bit of music at the Easy Monkey Tap House.  My step-dad Kenny played two sets on bass with the Rusty Williams Band.  Their music is toe tapping rhythm and blues with some original songs and some classic oldies thrown in for good measure.  

We packed up the car up on Sunday and headed to Portland dodging rain showers the entire trip south.

How did you spend the first weekend in November?


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Menu Plan Monday: November 9-12, 2015

Happy Monday!

Welcome to our blog!  Thanks for stopping by.

If you are new to the blog...welcome!  Every Sunday afternoon, I post my menu for the week ahead with links to the recipes (if I have them)...and then on Monday, I link up with Laura's website and share my recipe with dozens of other bloggers.

I hope you have an amazing week.  Please share your menu plans and recipes and send me a comment about what you are cooking this week!


Sunday: Grilled Hamburgers with Fries
Monday: Cheesy Chicken Stuffed Pasta Shells (Weight Watchers)
Tuesday: Tasty Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas
Wednesday:Tortilla Crusted Tilapia with Salad
Thursday: Chicken Curry with Jasmine Rice 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Old Photo Friday: Making Thanksgiving Pies

WHO: Stacy Dare Brady
WHAT: Making Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pies
WHERE: The Cones Apartment - Seattle, WA
WHEN: Thanksgiving 1983

I started baking pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving around 1983.  After my parents divorced, I spent most every Thanksgiving with my Mom and Kenny.  Over the years, I've mastered the art of baking the perfect pumpkin pie.  It's one of the only things I feel confident baking.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Recipe of the Week: Thanksgiving Side Dishes #1 - Creamy Brussels Sprouts

You either love or hate brussels sprouts.  In my house, they are a Thanksgiving staple.  The secret to delectable sprouts is to avoid overcooking them...oh, and cover them with butter, cheese and cream!


Creamy Brussels Sprouts


Non-stick cooking spray
1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons butter
2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
3/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly coat a 1 1/2 quart oval gratin baking dish with non-stock cooking spray.

In a 12 inch skillet, cook onion and garlic in butter over medium heat for 3 minutes or until softened.  Stir in sprouts and thyme.  Cook for 4 minutes or until onions begin to brown.

Add broth, and bring to a boil.  Cook, stirring occasionally for 3 to 4 minutes or until broth is nearly evaporated.  Add whipping cream and nutmeg.  Cook for 4 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken.

Transfer to the baking dish.  Stir in half the cheese and season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle top with rest of cheese.

Bake, uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until brussels sprouts are tender.

Makes 8-10 servings

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

45/52: Halloween Weekend in West Seattle

Last Thursday night, I arrived in Seattle for the Halloween weekend!

Brian and I had drinks and dinner at The Lodge, just down the street from the Amtrak Station using a Living Social coupon that is set to expire this week!  We got $30 of food and drink for $15, so not a bad way to cut down on the bill.

Friday was a quiet day at home!  Thank you Serena at Chill Massage for an amazing 60 minute therapy massage.  I then made a huge batch of crockpot chili for dinner and it was nice to spend a Friday evening with Brian who had to work downtown this week.

Saturday kicked off the Official Holiday Season!  The day was dark and wet, with a bit of clearing at dusk.  We carved our pumpkin for the front porch, lit candles and set the mood for our little Halloween party complete with a spooky mix of music and Halloween sounds ranging from howling ghosts and scary winds to murmuring mummies and creaking crypt doors!

After some wine and passing out candy to 31 kiddies, we made our traditional Halloween pizzas then dove straight into the leftover candy!  

Sunday was an Italian feast and Seahawk football at my Mom and Kenny's.  Brian made a wonderful lasagna from scratch and Mom and Kenny made salad and bread.  A magnificent way to end the weekend!

How was your Halloween weekend?


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Menu Plan Monday: Welcome November!

Welcome Monday!'s so hard to believe that we are entering the second the last month of 2015.  Time flies!

Here is our menu for the week ahead!  Don't forget to check out the Organizing Junkie for more helpful ideas and menu plans.


Monday: Garden Burgers with Fries
Tuesday: "Healthy" Chicken Tortilla Casserole
Wednesday: Grilled Steak with Mushroom Sauce, Cauliflower Puree and a Garden Salad
Thursday: Happy Hour?  We have not been out in ages!  Let's go to Watson Hall