Friday, September 30, 2016

Old Photo Friday: Safeco Field Memories

WHO: Gram and Mom (Virginia and Jennifer)
WHAT: Watching a baseball game
WHERE: Safeco Field in Seattle, WA
WHEN: June 2000 (I believe that this was the game that John Olerud hit a game winning home run).

The Seattle Mariners are in the playoff hunt with three games to go in the regular season.  We've spent a lot of time at Safeco over the years rooting on the M's.

Go Mariners!!


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Recipe of the Week: Mountain Bar Cookies

Tomorrow is National Homemade Cookie day and as you know, I do not bake (or at least I bake as little as possible).

What could be easier than no bake mountain bar cookies?  I remember these from grade school.  Did anyone else have these in school?



Mountain Bar Cookies


2 cups sugar
1/2 cup dry nonfat milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons unsweetended cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a large heavy bottomed pan over low heat, combine the sugar, dry milk, water, butter and cocoa powder; stir with a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon until melted.

Increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly so the mixture does not burn.  Remove from heat.

Add oats, peanut butter, coconut and vanilla.  Stir until mixed.

White mixture is still warm, drop dough by rounded teaspoons onto baking sheet lined with parchment/waxed paper.  Let sit until cool and the chocolate has hardened.

***The Mountain Bar was first created in 1915 at the Brown & Haley factory in Tacoma, Washington. Originally called Mount Tacoma Bars, the name was changed in 1925 after Brown & Haley began distribution of the candy in Seattle.  Shortly after World War II a cherry version of the Mountain Bar was introduced. This was followed by the peanut butter variety in 1974. Cappuccino and Mint flavored Mountain Bars were briefly available in 2010.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

39/52: Richard and Melissa's Wedding

It was a family affair over the weekend at the wedding of Richard and Melissa, daughter of Chick's best friend since 5th grade, Terri.

Melissa asked if Brian would marry them, as she found out from Chick and Terri that Brian is an ordained minister from the Universal Life Church.  This past weekend, our entire family gathered along with Richard and Melissa's friends and family to celebrate their marriage.

The Saturday evening wedding set in a Pleasant Hill, OR barn was beautiful and Brian performed his duties impeccably.

Congratulations to the happy couple!


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Menu Plan Monday: End of September 2016

Happy Monday, Everyone!  Welcome to an amazing week ahead.  I hope that you have had an amazing September and as we transition to Fall, I hope that things continue to flourish for you and your family.

Now....onto the Menu Plan!  As always, let Laura and her website help you with all of your organizing and planning needs.


SUNDAY:  All-Day Spaghetti Feed with Garlic Bread and Salad
MONDAY: Blue Cheese Chicken Burgers
TUESDAY: Crunchy Beef Tacos
WEDNESDAY: Grilled Chicken Thighs and Acorn Squash
THURSDAY: Beef Tips in Crock Pot with Red Potatoes and Green Beans

Friday, September 23, 2016

My Ode to Vin Scully

After 67 season, Vin Scully is retiring at the end of the 2016 baseball season.  He has been a fixture in the lives of not only Los Angeles Dodger fans, but baseball fans all over the world. 

This is my Vin Scully story.

"It's time for Dodger baseball! 

Hi, everybody, and a very pleasant good evening to you, wherever you may be."

My parents divorced when I was 8 years old and my mom left our hometown of Springfield, OR for the bright lights and big city of Los Angeles (Hollywood to be exact).  My father was granted sole custody, but in the summer of 1978, she had two week’s visitation and I flew to Los Angeles to see her.  This was the first time that I ever heard Vin Scully on the radio, although my maternal grandmother became a fan when the Dodgers moved to the West Coast in 1958, living in Springfield did not give us the luxury of many broadcasts. 

My mom’s new boyfriend had a son, Jamie who was a year older than me and he was obsessed with the Dodgers.  We went out on my first day in Los Angeles and bought me a Dodger’s baseball cap so that I could feel like I belonged.  For two week’s that summer, we road bikes through Hollywood during the day, and sat glued to the TV or radio listening to the Dodgers at night.  Steve Yeager, Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Ron Cey, Bill Russell, Dusty Baker and Pedro Guerrero instantly became my favorite boys of summer.  The Dodgers had an amazing season that year, finishing first in the NL West.

Springfield, OR - 1978

When the two weeks in Los Angeles were over, I went back to Springfield to get ready for the 3rd grade.  It was a hard time in my life.  I missed my Mom and the memories of Los Angeles were a painful reminder of our distance…but I found a way to transport myself closer to her and to Los Angeles and into Dodger Stadium night after night, through the radio.  In a way, that made me feel closer to her and kept the memories of those two weeks close to my heart.

Radio waves travel well after dark, so it was easy to pick up a Los Angeles AM radio feed that autumn.  With a pillow over my radio, I would fall asleep listening to Vin Scully’s magical tales.  My heart was broken by the Yankees and Reggie Jackson in the World Series that year, but I was hooked on the Dodgers and have been a life long fan ever since.  

For years, I listened to the radio under my pillow or in the backyard under the summer stars and when I got older, I never stopped searching for a Los Angeles radio feed in the car, or scanning the TV schedule for a Dodger game of the week.  Always, Vin’s voice resonated.  For me, he was the sound of summer….the voice of my youth.  Whatever was happening in my life, whatever journey I was on...hearing Vin brought me home to a safe and happy place.

Dodger Stadium 2006

My mom didn’t stay in Los Angeles long, but it continued to hold a special place in my heart with Chavez Ravine taking on this almost Utopian existence.  In 2006, I finally made it back to Los Angeles and went to Dodger Stadium for the first time.  My partner, Brian and I climbed up to the Vin Scully Press Box.  The view from Dodger Stadium over downtown Los Angeles is the closest thing to heaven that I’ve ever seen.  From our seats down the third base line, I could see Vin in his booth calling the game.  That warm spring evening in Los Angeles was one of the best nights of my life.

Dodgers at Petco Park - 2007

I've been blessed to see the Dodgers not only in Dodger Stadium, but also at Petco Park in San Diego and at Safeco Field in Seattle.  I’m 47 now, and the last few years I’ve been able to get all Dodger home games through my MLB subscription... so now, I can listen to Vin whenever I want to.  The magic has never faded.

I don’t know what I will do next spring when I no longer hear his voice, listen to his stories…feel his magic.  It’s been hard to imagine what life will be like without him in the booth.  Thinking about how many grandparents, parents, kids….generations of baseball loving families have grown up listening to him.  I guess in my mind, I just thought that he would go on forever.

Dodgers at Safeco Field - 2014

I mentioned to my family that I don’t know if I can listen to Dodger games anymore...see the palm trees sway in the the setting summer sun's glare off the San Gabriel mountains.  I know I will...and I know Vin would want me to.  I know for me that it probably won't fully hit me until opening day 2017 and by then, hopefully...the thrill of the new season will take hold again.  All of us will adjust and adapt to baseball without Vin....we have too!   

What I do know is that for as long as I Vin Scully memories will stay cherished in my mind.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Recipe of the Week: Green Salmon Curry

Is summer really over?  Let's welcome fall with some hearty and healthy recipes.

We have a fairly harmonious Beaverton house.  I love to cook and Chick doesn't.  We both love great food, which means that I can sneak in a new recipe from time to time that's always sure to please.  A few weeks ago, when I came home from the train station late on a Sunday, there was a recipe torn from a newspaper with a sticky note saying "please cook for me".

I absolutely love curry, but to be honest, I don't usually think of salmon when craving curry. This dish really opened my eyes to the possibility of more fish curries.  If you like curry then you will really enjoy the flavor combination in this dish.


Green Curry Salmon - adapted from "Salmon" by Diane Morgan


4 salmon fillets, about 4-6 oz each (skin and pin bones removed)
13 oz can unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup Thai green curry paste (alternatively you could use red or yellow curry paste)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup water, divided
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
2 cups sugar snap peas, ends trimmed
1/2 red or yellow pepper, juliened
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
3 green onions, including green tops, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
cooked jasmine rice for 4


Remove salmon from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking to bring to room temperature.

Open the can of coconut milk, without shaking!  Spoon out the thick cream that has separated and risen to the top.  Set the cream aside in a small bowl.  Pour off the remaining thin coconut milk and reserve it separately.

In a large saute pan, warm the coconut cream over medium-low heat.  Add the curry paste and whisk until the mixture is smooth and comes to a simmer.  Add the brown sugar and stir until dissolved.  Add the thin coconut milk 3/4 cup water and fish sauce and bring to a simmer, stirring once or twice.  

Add the salmon fillets in a single layer, turn the heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Flip the salmon over, cover again and cook for another 3 minutes.

Plate the salmon fillets in 4 shallow bowls on top of 1/2 cup cooked jasmine rice and finish the sauce (I covered each plate with plastic wrap while the sauce finished).

Scatter the peas and peppers in the pan and increase heat to medium high.  Cook until the vegetables remain vibrant in color and tender but crisp, about 3 minutes. 

Mix the corn starch with 1/4 cup water until well blended and add to sauce until it thickens. Remove the pan from the heat.  Stir in the lime juice, green onions and cilantro.

Spoon the hot curry sauce over the salmon, dividing the sauce and vegetables evenly.  

Notes: The sauce was not as thick as I like, so I added the corn starch to thicken; hence removing the salmon early to finish the sauce.  I also added the peppers because I felt the sauce was lacking another vegetable.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

38/52: College Football and Fall Decorations

Okay, it's almost fall.  I give!

It's hard to fast time goes by now.  It just seems like yesterday we were putting away the Christmas decorations and in like just over 2 months from now we will be digging them out again!

I decorated for fall this past weekend.  Saturday was dark, windy and wet.....the most perfect day to be at home.

We watched some college football which seems so foreign to me.  I am in deep denial that it's not the middle of June.

Sunday before driving down to Portland, I tried a new breakfast recipe that we both really loved.  Hash browns in a waffle iron...who knew?!


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Menu Plan Monday: September 18-22, 2016

Welcome to another beautiful Monday!

What's new in your neck of the woods?

Here is our menu for the week ahead and remember to head on over to Laura's site for more menu plans.


SUNDAY:  Grilled Hamburgers and Fries
MONDAY: Grilled Steak with 1/2 Baked Potato and Salad
TUESDAY: Ground Chicken Burritos or Burrito Bowls
THURSDAY: Heading to Eugene for a Wedding tomorrow; Kitchen Closed

Friday, September 16, 2016

Old Photo Friday: Back to School

WHO: Stacy Dare
WHEN: September 1974
WHERE: Front Porch of E Street in Springfield, OR

Welcome back to school, kiddies!  I remember my first day of Kindergarten 1974.  I was scared as shit.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Recipe of the Week: Linguine with Two Cheese Sauce

Today is National Linguine Day!  Linguine is a long, flat narrow type of pasta and is most commonly used in seafood dishes and with pesto.  In Italian it means "little tongues" and is originally from the Liguria region of Italy.

This recipe is a simple and quick meal to be prepared for dinner along side bread and a salad or served as a late night snack.


Linguine with Two-Cheese Sauce


8 ounces of uncooked linguine
1 cup milk 

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/2 cup (plus 2 tablespoons) shaved fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
1 1/2 tablespoon marscarpone cheese (or cream cheese)


Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain; keep warm.

While the pasta is cooking, combine the milk, 1 tablespoons basil, salt and pepper in a bowl; stir with a whisk.

Heat a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add oil and butter to the pan; swirl to coat. Add flour to the pan, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add milk mixture; cook for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring frequently.

Remove from the heat and add 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and all the marscarpone cheese to the milk mixture.  Add cheese mixture to pasta; toss to combine.

Sprinkle rest of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and rest of basil on top of 4 bowls of pasta (approximately 1 cup serving size each).

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

37/52: Girls Weekend

We enjoyed a fun-filled weekend in Portland, our annual "Girl's Weekend".

Saturday was spent in NW 23rd...a long time favorite of ours.  A great place to people watch, shop, bring home many treasures...then sit and have a fabulous lunch.

The rest of the weekend was enjoyed at Rebecca Lane....a great end of summer like weekend with cool mornings and blue skies with abundant afternoon sunshine.

We watched the Ducks take on Nebraska on Saturday night and the Seahawks open the 2016 football season at home against Miami on Sunday.

How was your weekend?


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Menu Plan Monday: Middle of September

Welcome Monday!

Is the smell of fall in the air where you live?  Although it is still summer, tonight our sun sets before 7:30 PM for the first time since March 24th.  The change of the seasons is upon us.

Are you changing your cooking routine or menu for fall?  Are there items in the grocery store that are abundant that you feel like cooking?

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


MONDAY: Italian Turkey Burgers with Tots
TUESDAY: Cod Fish Tacos
WEDNESDAY: Beef Kebabs with Rice
THURSDAY: BBQ Chicken Breasts with 1/2 Baked Sweet Potato

Friday, September 9, 2016

Old Photo Friday: Pool Party 1976

WHO: Friends and Family (L-R); Grandma Virginia and Dorothy Ross (black suit), behind them is next door neighbor Lenny (in green hat) and his wife Sharon, not sure who the girl in the white bikini is (maybe Aunt Laura), but I believe that is my Uncle Mickey next to her.
WHERE: E street in Springfield, OR
WHEN: This was probably the first pool party after the pool was built in 1976.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Recipe of the Week: Napa Cabbage Salad

We love cole slaw in our house and I made it to accompany an assortment of roasts, including chicken and fall-apart-pork-roast and of course BBQ ribs.  This variation of a cabbage salad is one of my pop's favorites and he always request it when he comes to my house (and rarely do I make it for him).  Sorry, time, I promise!


Napa Cabbage Salad


1 large head of napa cabbage, shredded (you can also use regular cabbage either purple or green)
6 green onions, white and green parts sliced
1 large carrot, grated
1/2 red bell pepper, diced (use orange or yellow too)
2 (4 oz) packages or ramen noodles, seasoning packets discarded, crushed in the package (small pieces, not dust)
4 oz slivered almonds
4 oz sunflower seeds
1 stick butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup oil


Combine the cabbage, onions, carrot and pepper in a large bowl.  Cover and refrigerate.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add crushed noddles and nuts and brown.  Stir frequently and be careful not to burn.  Remove to a paper towel lined baking sheet and cool completely.  

Make the dressing:  In a mason jar with a lid, combine the soy sauce, sugar, vinegar and oil. Shake well until the sugar is dissolved.  Set aside.

When ready to serve, mix the cabbage mixture with the noodle nut mixture.  Dress the salad and toss to coat evenly.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

36/52: Brian's Birthday Weekend (otherwise known as Labor Day Weekend)

It was hard for me to miss Brian's birthday last Thursday.  He's not one to complain, but I know that he probably didn't want to spend the day alone (however, he did just get over an epic road trip with my Pop to Reno).  

I took the early train to Seattle on Friday night and treated him to Mexican food at one of our favorite West Seattle Restaurants, Cactus.

Saturday we were invited to my Mom and Kenny's for a birthday lunch and we had a nice relaxing afternoon on their patio before heading home for a quiet Saturday night at home.

Sunday morning we tried a new breakfast place right on Alki Beach called Alki Cafe.  Cheers to great food and a bloody Mary to start the day!

We managed to hit Alki Beach after breakfast.  It was our first day at the beach this year.  It was a cool day, but with enough sun to really make it enjoyable.

Neither one of us said anything, but the noticeably cooler temps and earlier setting sun  (and rising sun) really made it feel like summer is ending.  Local kids have already headed back to school and Monday's holiday was the unofficial end of summer.  

It's been real, Summer 2016.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Menu Plan Monday: Welcome September!

Welcome Monday!

Is it the end of summer?  It's Labor Day today and for those of you who have no clue as to what Labor Day actually means, please check this out!

I know for most of us it means, back to school, end of summer, shorter days, cooler weather and a change of the seasons.  I for one hope that summer lasts right through the first day of fall!

Here is our menu for the week head and remember to check out Laura's website for more organizing tips.

Monday:  Labor Day BBQ
Tuesday: Shredded Chicken Taco Bar
Wednesday: Grilled Pork Loin with Salad Bar Salad
Thursday: BBQ Chicken Thighs (Pesto Marinated and Teriyaki Glazed) with Rice and Broccoli
Friday: Bacon wrapped filet mignon with iceberg wedge and 1/2 baked potato
Saturday: Girls Weekend!  NW 23rd for shopping and lunch
Sunday:  Hawaiian Kalua Pork, Mac Salad and Rice

Friday, September 2, 2016

Old Photo Friday: Happy Birthday, Brian

WHO: Brian K and Ann Lee
WHAT: Family trip to the beach
WHERE: Delaware
WHEN: 1965-66; Brian looks to be about five

This is an oldie but a goodie.  My sweet boyfriend and his Mom.  This picture always puts a smile on my face.


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Recipe of the Week: Trail Mix

Yesterday was national trail mix day.  When you head out on a bike ride, go for a hike or plan a long road trip, trail mix is an easy snack that provides the extra energy boost you need to keep you going.

Both Hadley Fruit Orchards and Harmony Foods (California) both claim that train mix was first invented in 1968 by two California surfers who blended peanuts and raisins together for an energy snack.  However, trail mix was also mentioned in Jack Kerouac's 1958 novel, The Dharma Bums as the two main characters describe their planned meals in their preparation for a hiking trip.

Here are a couple of recipes the next time you need a quick snack!


Mountain Trail Mix


1 cup cashews
1/2 cup peanuts
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup raisins
2 bags M & M's


Combine all ingredients in an airtight container.

Pumpkin Seed Cherry Trail Mix


2 cups pepitas (baby pumpkin seeds)
1 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
6 tablespoons pure grade B maple syrup
course salt
1 cup dried cherries or cranberries


Preheat oven to 300F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  

In a large bowl , toss the pumpkin seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds, and syrup until evenly coated.

Spread the nuts mixture out in an even single layer on the baking sheet and season with salt.

Bake the nuts, stirring several times until just golden, about 20 minutes.

Cool the nuts completely and then add the cherries.  Toss to combine.

Store in a airtight container at room temperature.