Tuesday, August 30, 2016

34 & 35/52: Summer Vacation 2016

There is just something about not taking a vacation away that is refreshing.  Three times a year, I try and spend at least 10 days in a row in Seattle with my boys.  Summer vacation is always a highlight of the year.

Here are some of the fun activities that we enjoyed last week!  Stacy

Mariners vs. Yankess at Safeco Field

Ferry to Whidbey Island

West Seattle Water Taxi to Seattle Waterfront

A day on Lake Washington

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Menu Plan Monday: End of August 2016

Welcome Monday!

I am back from vacation and cooking up a storm this week.  Steal those end of summer moments outside and not inside worrying about your menu and food planning!  Take time TODAY to plan out your menu to save time and money!

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


SUNDAY:  WELCOME back to Portland BBQ Ribs with Cole Slaw and Corn on the Cob
MONDAY: Grilled Salmon with Grilled Asparagus and Grilled baby potatoes
TUESDAY: Taco Salad
WEDNESDAY: Chicken and Artichoke Bake
THURSDAY: Grilled Hamburgers with Chips or BLTS (depending on abundance of tomatoes)

Saturday, August 20, 2016

It's Time for Summer Vacation!

Bon Voyage!

Time for a little "time off" from the blog and a nice stay-cation in Seattle with my boys!

I'll see you when I get back and fill you in on how we spent our Summer vacation!


Friday, August 19, 2016

Old Photo Friday: Big Bucks Diamond Jim

WHO: Pop
WHAT: Winnings off a big Keno ticket
WHEN: Mid 1970's

I sure would love to be a fly on the wall when my Pop and Brian leave for Reno in 10 days. I am sure they will have a blast.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Recipe of the Week: Summer Shandy

Do you know what a Shandy is?  These days, major beer distributors make them in mass bulk, but years and years ago, you just mixed them up at home.

A Shandy is a beer mixed with some form of a carbonated soft drink, such as lemonade, ginger beer, ginger ale or fruit juice.  They are very popular in Western Europe, especially Germany. 

With Summer vacation starting soon, here are a couple of summer beer recipes to enjoy!


Southern Shandy


3 12 oz. bottles of cold beer (choose something light); Corona or Budweiser
4 cups of chilled lemonade (Newman's)
1/2 cup peach brandy


Combine all ingredients and stir.

Pour into glasses filled with ice.

(Makes 4 drinks)

Beer Old Fashioned Cocktail


1 oz. bourbon
6 oz. wheat-style ale
2-3 dashes of bitters
1 tsp. brown sugar
orange twist


In an old fashioned glass, add brown sugar, then a few dashes of bitters.  Add the bourbon, then middle until the sugar dissolves.  Put an ice cube in the glass, then add the beer. Squeeze the orange twist over the mixture and wipe the rim of the glass with the twist.

(Makes 1 drink)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

33/52: Fun Times with Family

Brian's brother Kerry came for a visit this past weekend!  It's always a treat to see him and I missed his last visit in February as I was in Mexico.

Saturday we took a 4.5 mile hike through Discovery Park.  Brian and I toured the park a few weeks ago and we enjoyed sharing this beautiful part of Seattle with Kerry.  It's an amazing place to take an out of town guest and get in a great walk.

Brian did an amazing job on an old fashioned "cook-out" East coast style Saturday night and it was fun to enjoy our patio on such a beautiful late summer evening.


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Menu Plan Monday: Middle of August 2016

Welcome Monday!

Are you watching the Olympics?  Wow....how about those amazing athletes?!  I've been in awe watching the competition the past week.  It makes me want to eat healthy and exercise!

If you are watching the Olympics, tell me your favorite moment so far or what you have enjoyed or what you are looking forward too.

Here is our menu for the week ahead!


SUNDAY:  BLTs (too many tomatoes to eat from the garden)
MONDAY:  Hillsboro Hops Baseball Game!  WOO HOO!  Hot dogs, burgers or other ballpark fare!
TUESDAY: Cindy's Taco Bake with a Garden Salad
WEDNESDAY: Creamy Lemon Chicken with Asparagus and Mushrooms
THURSDAY: Grilled Flank Steak, Baked Potato and Broccoli

Friday, August 12, 2016

Old Photo Friday: The Pissing Tree

WHO: Sten (family friend) and Pop
WHAT: Road trip to Reno
WHERE: The pissing tree (exact location is a family secret)
WHEN: Summer 1974

In just a couple of weeks, my Pop and my sweetheart, Brian will be embarking on a road trip to Reno.

The pissing tree is all but a distant memory, but I am sure that they will have a great time making new memories on the old road to Reno.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Recipe of the Week: Kimchi Fried Rice (Bokkeumbap)

A few weeks ago, I decided that I wanted to buy a jar of kimchi.  I've had it before as part of a Korean dish at a pot luck (bulgogi), and for some reason, I've always wanted to have a jar in the fridge.  

Now, what does one do with a jar of kimchi?

I read an article in Bon Appetit a few weeks ago, and decided to add kimchi to my hot dog. The results were amazing!  Now what?

Here is another recipe that I will have to try soon!


Kimchi Fried Rice (Bokkeumbap)


2 tablespoons butter
1/2 small onion, diced
1 cup roughly chopped kimchi
2 tablespoons kimchi juice
1/2 cup diced cooked ham (or any cooked meat)
2 cups cooked, cooled white rice
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 eggs
salt and pepper
sesame seeds for garnish
Slivered nori (seaweed) for garnish


In a non-stick skillet, melt butter over medium low heat and add onion.  Cook, stirring until the onions start to sizzle, about 2 minutes.  Add kimchi and kimchi juice, stirring until it comes to a boil, about 3 minutes.  Add meat, and cook until sauce is evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Break up the rice in the pan with a spatula and stir until combined.  Turn the heat to medium.  Cook, stirring until the rice has absorbed the sauce and is very hot, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the soy sauce and sesame oil.  Taste and adjust with more sauce, oil or kimchi juice.  Turn the heat down slightly, but let the rice continue to cook, untouched, to a light brown color.

Place a small pan over medium heat and add the vegetable oil.  When hot, add eggs and season with salt and pepper.  Cook to desired doneness.  Serve rice topped with eggs and a sprinkle of sesame seeds and nori (if desired).

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

32/52: Rio Opening Ceremonies and Mom's Birthday Adventure

Last Friday were the Opening Ceremonies of the 31st Summer Olympics in Rio!  Chick and I were glued to our seats watching all the festivities and enjoying our international tapas and cocktails!

Saturday morning, I took the first train out of Portland and arrived in Tukwila where Brian picked me up and we headed to Mom and Kenny's for her birthday celebrations.

Her request was lunch at Dairy Queen!  Okay, don't laugh.  Mom's get treated to whatever they want and to be honest, we all really enjoyed the "pig out".

We worked off our lunch with a wander around the Highline Botanical Gardens which include a wonderful Japanese Garden.  Beautiful!

How was your first weekend of August?


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Menu Plan Monday: August 8-11, 2016

Welcome Monday!

Apparently it's back-to-school preparation time.  Since I don't have children, I find it hard to believe that the school year will be starting soon.  It turns out that a lot of kids in certain areas of the country start school towards the end of August (and they get out around the middle part of May).  Amazing!

At any rate, this is a wake-up call to get yourself organized.  Start with organizing your favorite recipes, clean out your fridge, freezer and pantry.  Make a list of staple items that you will need over the next three months and every week, sit down and make a meal plan and grocery list.

Whew!  Now, enjoy the last remaining days of summer time fun!

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


MONDAY: Sesame Chicken with Broccoli over Jasmine Rice
TUESDAY: Beef Fajitas
WEDNESDAY: Shrimp and Chickpea Curry with Cauliflower
This sounds too wintery, so I am replacing with something grilled and corn on the cob!
THURSDAY: Out?  Happy Hour or take away someplace!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Old Photo Friday: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Mom

WHO: Jennifer Dare
WHERE: Unknown
WHEN: May 1965

Happy birthday to my amazingly fabulous mother who celebrates her special day tomorrow!


* thanks for your patience as I had some technical issues with scanning photos the last few weeks!  Old Photo Friday is back!!!!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Recipe of the Week: Rio Olympics Opening Ceremony Party

Friday night the world gathers in Rio for the 31st Summer Olympic games.  Chick and I will be watching and celebrating with this wonderful international menu.


2016 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony Party

International Tapas:

Swedish Smoked Salmon Spread with Rye Toasts
Italian Meat and Cheese with Crackers and Olives

Main Entrée:

Final Act Dessert:  

French Vanilla and Mini

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

31/52: The end of July

I spent less than 12 hours total in Seattle last weekend with our wonderful tug boat adventure.  It's always fun to head out on an adventure, but this past weekend I was craving some serious at home time.

Friday night before hoping on the bus, I found the World Foods on Everett in the Pearl District of Portland.  They have an amazing International Market and a small coffee bar that turns into a beer/wine bar on Friday and Saturday afternoons.  It was a perfect place to hang out and beat the heat.

After a walk through Lincoln Park on Saturday morning, Brian treated me to a new breakfast recipe then grilled some hot dogs and corn on the cob for dinner.  Call me spoiled!

Did I mention that kimchi on a hot dog is delicious!

How did you spend the end of July?