Sunday, July 31, 2016

Menu Plan Monday: Welcome August 2016

Welcome to August!  The last full month of Summer.  Yes, the dog days are here so get outside and enjoy it!

What are your easy go to summer meals?  Let me know the quickest and best recipe for a summer's evening.

Head on over to Laura's site (she's back) for more menu planning ideas.


MONDAY:  Grilled Steak and Caprese Salad (fresh harvest of tomatoes from the garden)
TUESDAY: Yumm Bowl
WEDNESDAY: Grilled Salmon with Salad
THURSDAY:  BLT and Chips (did I mention that bumper crop of tomatoes from the garden)

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Recipe of the Week: Pea Salad with Bacon

I absolutely adore peas....honestly I do.  I tend to go a bit overboard at a good salad bar, you know the one that has a whole container of peas.  My salad typically ends up looking a bit like a pea salad with other stuff.  This is a perfect accompaniment to grilled chicken, sirloin patties or steaks and is easy and perfect to make on a hot summer evening.


Pea Salad with Bacon


4 slices bacon
1 quart water
16 oz frozen peas
1/3 cup chopped green onions (you could also use red onion or sweet yellow onion)
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese 


Place bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat, and cook until evenly brown,  Drain and crumble, then set aside.

Bring water to a bowl in a pot and cook the peas for 2 minutes, until just tender.  Drain, then cool peas under cold running water and drain again.

In a bowl, toss together the bacon, peas, green onion, dressing and cheddar cheese.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until chilled.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

30/52: Fun Times on a Tugboat

Last weekend, Brian's friend from college, Russ and his wife, Sue invited us up to Anacortes, Washington for an overnight excursion on the tug boat, Inga owned and captained by her father, Chris.

This isn't the tug boat you are imagining!  We spent the night on a 37 foot Nordic Tug. Believe me, there is a difference.  This boat is for cruising, not working.

If you recall back in 2013, we went sailing with them in the San Juan Islands and we had a blast. This time, the sailboat has been replaced with a tugboat and the adventure was just as fun.

On Saturday afternoon, we took off from Cape Sante Marina in Anacortes and spent about 2 hours out in Fidalgo Bay, out around Guemes Island and into the Rosario Strait.  It was a beautiful evening and the water was clear as glass.  Brian was in heaven, and got to take command of the vessel.  Do I see a boat in our future?

We had a lovely dinner on board when we got back to the marina.  Brian and I brought up cheese and crackers with salmon dip, kebabs, salads, pound-cake and fresh raspberries.  We spent time in the galley catching up, drinking beer, wine and cocktails and enjoying the beautiful evening.

Brian and I slept in the state room at the head of the ship and it was so cozy that I could definitely imagine myself spending weeks on board in the summertime.  I can totally see why Chris has been spending his summers for the past 20 years cruising around the San Juan islands.

Our 18 hours on board just wasn't long enough.  We took a couple of small trips out on Sunday morning before saying goodbye and watching our friends head off for Deer Harbor and a week enjoying life on a tug.

Thank you so much for a wonderful experience.  Ahoy, Mateys!


P.S. I took a ton of photos with my camera including a few group shots.  Be on the lookout for those on the July Vlog on my YouTube channel!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Menu Plan Monday: Last Full Week of July 2016

Welcome Monday and the last full week of July.

Laura is not linking up Menu Plan Monday today, but please don't forget that her site is a great resource for planning and organizing.

Here is our menu plan for the week ahead!


MONDAY: California Chicken Burgers
TUESDAY: Dogs Dig Burrito Bowls
WEDNESDAY: Shrimp Fettucine and a Big Garden Salad
THURSDAY: Coconut Pork Stir fry with Brown Rice

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Recipe of the Week: Corn and Tomato Salad with Basil

This summer time recipe has been making the rounds on the web for sometime now, but I first discovered it from Oprah Winfrey's one-time personal trainer, Bob Greene.

It's got to be the most perfect summer salad and perfect for grilled fish, chicken and especially a nice juice steak.


Summer Corn and Tomato Salad


4 ears corn-on-the-cob, cooked and kernels removed
1 medium tomato, chopped (you may also use cherry tomatoes, sliced in half)
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup red onion, diced
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Salt and Pepper


In a medium bowl combine all ingredients.  Season, if desired with salt and pepper.  Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

29/52: The Middle of July....the middle of summer

The dog days are upon us, or so the calendar says.  I've noticed the sun set times for Portland and Seattle are now before 9PM.  I hate to say it, but it feels like the middle of summer to me.  Our glorious sun filled days have also been absent.  I hate to complain....last year was stifling at times, but I do miss the warmth of the summer sun.  

I flew up to Seattle on Friday night.  An fun new "habit", and luckily the fares have been reasonable if booked well in I don't have to pay the extra for parking like I do at the Amtrak station. How can you beat the speed of air travel!

Saturday was spent walking through Lincoln Park and preparing for a BBQ with friends.

And just like that....the weekend was over and it's back to reality.


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Menu Plan Monday: July 17-21, 2016

Happy Monday to all!  Welcome to our menu post for the week ahead.  What are your cooking up as the dog days of summer begin?

Laura is not linking for the next few weeks, but her website is always very useful for planning and organizing ideas.


Sunday:  Grilled Cheeseburgers and Chips
Monday: Sirloin Thai Salad
Tuesday: Mexican Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Green Beans
Wednesday: Out?
Thursday: Cedar Plank Salmon with Grilled Veggies and Jasmine Rice

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Recipe of the Week: Mashed Potato Salad

So to go along with all those great grilling recipes that I posted in May and June, here is another side dish.

One of my most favorite side dishes of all time are mashed potatoes and of course in the summertime, we eat a lot of potato salad.  Did you know that some people make a mashed potato salad?  Believe it or not, here is the recipe.


Mashed Potato Salad


6 Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 small yellow sweet onion, dived
3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 hard boiled egg, sliced for garnish
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup sweet pickles, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sweet pickle juice
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
paprika for garnish


Place potatoes in a large pot of cold water; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain and transfer potatoes to a large bowl.

Mash potatoes with a potatoe masher.  Stir in onion, eggs, celery, pickles, salt and pepper.  Mix mayonnaise, pickle juice and mustard in a seperate bowl; pour over potatoes and mix well.

Cover and refridgerate at least 2 hours before serving.  Garnish with sliced egg and a sprinkle of paprika.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

28/52: West Seattle Summer Festival 2016

And just like that.......the weekend was upon us again.  I loved the shortened holiday week. How about you?

One of our favorite weekends in July is the West Seattle Summer Festival, the highlight of West Seattle's Summer.  Several blocks of California Avenue blocked off for food booths, music, a beer garden and arts and crafts.  If only our weather had been a bit better?!  

We started our day off with a 3 mile walk down to Lincoln Park and then spent a few hours on Saturday afternoon wandering around the festival before spending most of the rest of the weekend at home.  We enjoyed a huge slice of pie at Pagliacci Pizza, had a beer in the beer garden and listen to the musical stylings of Danny and the Sugarmakers.  It's a wonderful tradition.

So far it's been a busy month and a little weekend down-time is just what I craved, so after another amazing walk through Lincoln Park on Sunday, we had some nice down time at home.

What's going on in your July?


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Menu Plan Monday: July 11-14, 2016

Welcome Monday!

How's July treating you so far?  Food goals?  Menu Planning?  Fitness routines? Please leave me a comment and let me know how your planning is going for the month.

We are still trying to eat low/no carbs.  We were "slack" over the 4th, but have started back up again with a good eating plan.  We are contemplating another commitment to Weight Watchers so I'll keep you posted.

Remember to head on over to Laura's site for more menu planning ideas.


Monday: Grilled Shrimp Caesar Salad
Tuesday: MLB All-Star Game!  Grilled Beer Brats with Herb Potato Salad and Corn on the Cob
Wednesday: Thai Chicken Skewers with Brown Rice
Thursday: Grilled Polenta with Spicy Steak and Asparagus

Friday, July 8, 2016

Old Photo Friday: Tolmie Peak

WHO: Stacy with Mom's friend, Sandy (behind)
WHAT: Hiking
WHERE: Tolmie Peak* - Mt. Rainier National Park
WHEN: Summer 1985

Hiking in the summer always reminds me of the first time I ever really went hiking out in the woods. Summer 1985 with my Mom and her friend, Sandy in Mount Rainier National Park.

Sandy was an expert hiker.  My mom and I were not, but Sandy insisted that this hike was "easy".  To this day, I remember how my legs ached and my lungs burned, but we were determined to make it to the top...and we did.

I'd like to go back one day to see how bad it really was.


*In 1833, Dr. Wililam Tolmie sailed from London to Ft. Vancouver where he awaited assignment.  After seeing "the mountain", he was captivated and subsequently made a visit to collect herbs to make medicine.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Recipe of the Week: Farro Salad with Artichoke Hearts

Remember all those wonderful grilling recipes that I shared with you in May and June?  Did you think I forgot something?  What about side dishes?

This salad is an adaptation of a deli salad that I picked up a few weeks ago at our local grocery store.  I loved the creamy dressing and I believe that it was the first time that I have ever had farro.  This grain is versatile and hearty and goes great in any combination of salads.


Farro Salad with Artichoke Hearts


1 1/4 cups semi-pearled farro
2 1/2 cups water
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 jar (14 oz) artichoke hearts
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cups pine nuts, toasted
Salt and pepper, to taste

3 garlic gloves, unpeeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup canola oil

Dressing: Preheat oven to 375.  Set garlic cloves on a sheet of foil, drizzle with oil and wrap up. Roast for 30 minutes until soft.  Let cool.

Squeeze the garlic from its skin into a large bowl.  Mix the vinegar, water, Dijon and mayonnaise. Slowly add the canola oil and mix until creamy.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Salad:  Rinse the farro and drain.  In a saucepan over high heat, combine the farro and water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the grains are tender and the water is absorbed, about 25 minutes.

Cut the tomatoes in half.  Drain and quarter the artichokes. Dice the red onion, chop the parsley and toast the pine nuts all while the farro is cooling.

In a large bowl, mix together the cooked farro, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, onion, parsley and pine nuts and stir until well combined.  Season generously with salt and pepper and add dressing to coat.

Notes:  Use a food processor to make the dressing or, just have a mason jar on hand and shake well.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

27/52: Fourth of July Long Weekend

We had a wonderful long weekend in Seattle to celebrate the 4th of July.

Sandra and I drove up to Seattle on Friday and walked down to the new Whisky West Bar on California Avenue. We loved the place.  The beer/wine and of course, whisky lists were awesome.  Food menu to come....they just opened a week or so ago so the kitchen is still working out the kinks. Brian arrived home from Delaware late Friday night/early Saturday morning so we were all ready for a Seattle adventure!

Saturday we spent touring the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibit below the Space Needle. Opened in 2012, the garden is an exhibit showcasing the studio glass of Dale Chihuly.  The project includes three primary components: the Garden, the Glasshouse and the Interior Exhibits, with a 90 seat indoor/outdoor cafe.

I've wanted to go it's opening so it was a fun "new" Seattle experience for all of us.

Afterwards, we took the montorail back to downtown and walked down to Pike Place Market.  The market is always fun to tour and a great place to people watch.  We exited the west side of the market at the Victor Steinbrueck Park and walked over to Cutter's Crabhouse for "linner".  Lunch was wonderful and my Wild Salmon Club was amazing.

Sunday, we had breakfast at Endolyne Joe's with a Bloody Mary...before taking Sandra down to my Mom's to spend the second half of her visit.  Brian and I had a quiet Sunday afternoon at home with Sammy.

Monday was the 4th of July BBQ at Mom and Kenny with friends and family.  It was a much cooler day than last year and we all enjoyed sitting out on the patio and having a really lovely afternoon.

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Menu Plan Monday: Welcome July

Happy Monday and Happy Birthday, America!

What are your holiday weekend plans?  I am sure that most of America is cooking out in some fashion.  Leave me a comment and let me know that BBQ favorites are on your cooking list!

Remember to head on over to Laura's site for more planning ideas.


Sunday:  Fun times around Seattle with Sandra, then perhaps grilling something good!
4th of July:  BBQ at Mom and Kenny's.  Potato Salad, Corn on the Cob, BBQ Ribs and Brats
Tuesday:  Driving back home!  Picking up a rotisserie chicken and a Caesar Salad
Wednesday: Baked Cod with Feta and Tomatoes and Green Beans
Thursday: Grilled Steak and Asparagus

Friday, July 1, 2016

Old Photo Friday: Stacy on the 4th of July

WHO: Stacy
WHAT: 4th of July Parade
WHERE: Edmonds, WA
WHEN: July 4, 2005

Happy 4th of July weekend, everybody.  I hope you all have a happy and safe 4th of July!