Friday, June 30, 2017

Old Photo Friday: Wedding Memories

WHO: Ann (Peterson) and Allen Lee
WHAT: Wedding Day
WHERE: Delaware
WHEN: April 1953

You always think of June as the month for brides (even though Brian's parents were married in April). Their love really stood the test of time, patience and in sickness and in health.  They produced three amazing boys and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a surprise lunch surrounded by friends and family.  I miss Brian's Mom's wit and I missed the opportunity to meet Brian's Dad, but I see both of them in my love all the time.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Recipe of the Week: Shrimp Cobb Salad

I've posted Cobb Salad recipes before, but I came across an interesting Cobb Salad combination a few weeks ago that Sandra and I absolutely loved!

This is a great summertime meal and super easy to assemble.  I've made a few changes to the original dressing recipe to suit our tastes, but otherwise this is a perfect salad recipe!


Shrimp Cobb Salad with Creamy Cilantro and Basil Dressing - Adapted from Damn Delicious


1 bag (1 pound) large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1 tablespoon Cajun/creole seasoning sauce (I used Magic Seasoning Blends)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 slices bacon, diced
2 large eggs, hard boiled and sliced
two bags chopped romaine lettuce
1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
two ears of corn, husked and cleaned then boiled for 8 minutes before cooling and cutting off the cob
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

Creamy Cilantro Dressing
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro, stems removed
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, stems removed
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 jalapeno, ribbed and seeded
2 garlic cloves
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup mayonnaise


To make the dressing: combine the cilantro, basil, lime, jalapeno and garlic into a food processor. Season with salt and pepper. With the motor running, add olive oil and vinegar in a slow stream until emulsified.  Add mayo and pulse until combined. Remove from food processor and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve (can be made 1-2 days ahead and stored for 4-6 days).

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the shrimp on the baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and seasoning blend and gently toss to combine.

Place shrimp in the oven and roast until pink and cooked through, about 6-7 minutes (turning shrimp once with tongs).  

Meanwhile, cook the bacon until brown and crispy.  Transfer to a paper towel lined plate; set aside

To assemble the salad: Place romaine lettuce divided onto two large plates. Top in rows with shrimp, bacon, eggs, avocado, corn and goat cheese.  Top with creamy cilantro dressing.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

25/52: First Mariners Game of 2017 and Seeing the B-17 Bomber

It was a weekend of firsts this past weekend.

Our first hot hot hot weekend of summer!  Temps in Seattle reached the upper 90's (over 100 in Portland).  A great night to head to Safeco Field for our first M's game of the summer. Not a great game by the Mariner's, but it was Turn Back the Clock night and we each got a free hat and a T-Shirt so it kinda made up for the Mariners loss on the field.

Sunday we went to Boeing Field to see the B-17, B-24 and B-25 bombers exhibition.  Cool old airplanes rich in history and a chance to actually go inside (a bit claustrophobic, but interesting).  Brian really enjoyed the adventure!


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Menu Plan Monday: Say Goodbye to June 2017

Welcome to the last Monday in June! 

As we head into a holiday weekend for some, and we've passed the longest day of the year...don't let Summer get behind you!  Step up with your planning, pantry and freezer management and save yourself time and energy for fun out door activities.

If you need some more inspiration, check out Laura's website.


MONDAY: Traveling home from Seattle; work conference in the city during the day!
TUESDAY: Beef Taco Bar
WEDNESDAY: Garden Burgers and Chips
THURSDAY: Going out?  If the barkdust is all spread, the treat will be HERE

Friday, June 23, 2017

Old Photo Friday: Summer Time Fun 1973

WHO: Stacy and family friends, Candy and Sten
WHEN: Summer 1973
WHERE: Backyard of E Street in Springfield, OR

Welcome Summer 2017!

In memory of the Summer Solstice of 1973.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Recipe of the Weekend: Spatchcock Chicken

A spatchcocked (butterflied) chicken is a whole chicken with it's backbone removed.  The carcass is then opened up and laid flat before roasting or grilling. Flattening the chicken exposes more surface area to heat, so overall the cooking time is reduced.  

It looks intimidating, but in all honesty it's very easy to accomplish and the results are fabulous.


Spatchcock Chicken


Place the whole chicken breast-side down.  Cut along one side of the backbone. Repeat along the other side.  

Open the chicken and slice through the white cartilage at the tip of the breastbone to pop it open.  The chicken will lay nice and flat now, just like a butterfly.  Some people remove the entire backbone, but be can remove some good meat and it's not necessary to get the chicken to lay flat.


1 red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
2 shallots, minced
1 stalk lemongrass, outer leaves removed and discarded, chopped
1 teaspoon ground tumeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 (3-5 lb) whole chicken

Put all ingredients for the spice paste in a good processor and blend until smooth.

Coat the chicken with the paste and seal chicken in a large plastic Ziploc bag.

Leave chicken in the marinade for at least 6 hours or for even better flavor, overnight.

Remove the chicken from the fridge and let sit until room temperature (about 30 minutes) before roasting or grilling.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

24/52: Father's Day Weekend in Eugene/Springfield

Father's Day Weekend is becoming quite an event.  The last few years, it's been centered around some sort of road trip and this year we started off with a beautiful drive on Friday to King Estate Winery for a wonderful lunch.  It's a beautiful area and our lunch was spectacular.  We stopped off to pay a quick visit to my Aunt and Uncle (Mom's side) and it was nice to spend a bit more time with them having just seen them again for the family reunion at the beginning of May.

Friday night we hit PK Park in Eugene to see the Emeralds take on the Vancouver Canadians in minor league baseball action.  The park is great (just a few years old), very imitate and a nice place to see baseball (it's still not Civic Stadium).

Saturday we headed up the McKenzie River Highway on our way to Sister's, OR.  It was a spectacular drive with stops for waterfalls and panoramic views of Cascade peaks.  For me, it wasn't about the destination, although Sisters has a lot going for was about the journey and spending quality time with my Pop over Father's Day Weekend.

The weekend went by all too soon and before we turned the rental "beast" van back into the rental car company, we were already planning next year's adventure.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Menu Plan Monday: June 19-22, 2017

Welcome Monday!  Nice to see you again (and so soon)!

Did everyone have a nice Father's Day weekend?  We had a blast down in Eugene with a road trip to Sisters, OR for the day.  Family times are always fun times.

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


MONDAY: Garden Burgers and Chips
TUESDAY: Shrimp Cobb Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing
WEDNESDAY: Grilled Steak and Zoodles with Avocado Pesto
THURSDAY: Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs and Indian Curry Cauliflower

Friday, June 16, 2017

Old Photo Friday: Father's Day Weekend!

Allen K. Lee

Ken Hanselman

Jim Brady

This weekend we honor our father's.  Thank you for all that you have given to our lives.  We are forever blessed.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Recipe of the Week:Lobster Bisque

Yesterday was National Lobster Day, June 15th.  Once considered pheasant food, in the 1800's lobster was so plentiful that most New Englanders could simply walk down to the beach and capture them during low tide. Servants lived off lobster and most made it a daily meal.

Today, lobster is a delicacy around the world and not all that cheap. There are many ways to enjoy lobster, but if you don't have the time or the money, this simple bisque is perfect and makes an elegant starter for a dinner party.  I buy a few extra lobster tails around Valentine's Day or New Year's Eve when 5 oz tails are typically on sale.


Lobster Bisque


3 lobster tails
1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1/2 small white onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/3 cup sherry
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon paprika
1 cup clam juice (1 cup lobster water)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons butter


Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, place lobster tails in the water for 8-10 minutes or until the shells are bright red and the flesh is opaque. Remove the lobster from the pot to cool. Keep 1 cup of the lobster water to flavor your soup!

Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a medium sized stock pot and add the shallot and onion. Saute until tender, about 6 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until the garlic becomes fragrant.

Add flour to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes. Slowly add the wine, taking time to incorporate the wine into the flour mixture. Once mixed and smooth, add the Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and thyme. Cook for 1-2 minutes until this mixture becomes a thick paste.

Slowly add the sherry and deglaze the pan, scraping any bits at the bottom of the pan. Next, add the tomato paste and paprika and then add the clam juice and lobster water.  Stir well and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.

While broth is cooking, remove the lobster meat from the shells and chop into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

After the stock has simmered for 10 minutes, blend the mixture with in an immersion blender. The mix should be very smooth.  Return the blended mixture back to the stockpot and add the heavy cream and additional butter. Taste and add salt and pepper, if necessary.

Bring the bisque back to a simmer and add the lobster chunks.  Cook until heated through.

Serve with sourdough bread

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

23/52: Anniversary Weekend

I spent less time blogging and vlogging and more time celebrating our anniversary weekend together.

It started in Centralia last Friday night.  While waiting for Brian to meet me at the Olympic Club on Main Street, I chowed down on some Cajun tater tots and sipped Chardonnay in an old "gentlemen's club" established in 1908.  The place is haunted, they say...and filled with original features and fixtures.

It was easier to take the train to Centralia and have Brian drive up from Camas (where he was working) then to fight Portland/Vancouver traffic.  It was a great adventure for the both of us and half the trip back to Seattle we spent together.

We eventually made our way into Seattle and had a wonderful Saturday morning walk in Lincoln Park followed by a nice lunch in the Rainier Room at Emerald Downs.

We didn't win any money on the final leg of the triple crown, The Belmont Stakes...but we had a wonderful anniversary celebration together.


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Menu Plan Monday: Middle of June

Welcome Monday!

It's the middle of June and Spring is winding down.  What are your summer plans?

If you are like me and already trying to get the calendar organized, you'll want to also work on organizing your menu planning and food prep.  It will make your summer days seem light and breezy.

Check out Laura's blog for more planning tips.


MONDAY: Grilled Pork Loin and Grilled Vegetables
TUESDAY: Take Away!  Late afternoon appointment
WEDNESDAY: Grilled Sea Bass with A Big Garden Salad

Friday, June 9, 2017

Old Photo Friday: Pop in the Badlands

WHO: Pop (Diamond Jim Brady)
WHAT: On Vacation
WHERE: Not quite sure??
WHEN: Summer 1979

This is part of the infamous 6 pack trip from Oregon to the Badlands of the Dakotas in 1979. I am not sure where this was taken....Yellowstone? Montana? Wyoming or on or near the reservation.

With the days getting longer, kids out of school and graduations happening, I am reminded of what summer feels like....sounds like.  Do you think of the summers of your youth?  What do the longer days bring to your memory?


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Recipe of the Week: Braised Pork Cheeks

Do you use Groupon or LivingSocial?  If you don't you might be missing out on fabulous and inexpensive ways to eat at some of the most popular local restaurants in your area.

We discovered Allium Bistro in West Linn, OR through a Groupon offer a few years ago and about once every 6-12 months, they place another offer through Groupon or LivingSocial and it gives us the opportunity to dine at their fabulous restaurant with about a 30% discount.

The last meal we ate there had to be of the best meals that I have eaten in a Portland (metro) area restaurant....EVER! was the first time that I ever had pork cheeks and they were amazing.

Cheek meat is really some of the best meat on an it halibut, beef or pig.  It's an often overlooked cut of meat that is uniquely lean and tender. Cooked the right way, cheek meat will instantly become your favorite.

This isn't the exact recipe I had at Allium, but it's a simple way to prepare pork cheeks if you have never made them before.


Braised Pork Cheeks


(8) 4 ounce pork cheeks
salt and pepper
1/2 cup AP flour
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 cups hard apple cider
2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 small carrot, diced
1 rib celery, diced


Season pork cheeks with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle lightly with flower and press into meat to coat.

Heat butter in pan over medium heat.  Sear meat on both sides until browned.  When checks are done browning, transfer to a plate to rest.

Add onion, carrot and celery to the pan and cook until softened.  Add vinegar and stir to de-glaze the pan.  Pour in the cider and chicken stock and bring to a simmer.  Add sage and rosemary.

Add cheeks back into pan, cover and reduce temperature to low.  Cook until fork tender, but not quite falling apart, about 2-3 hours, depending on the size of each pork cheek.

Remove cheeks from the stock and set aside.  Bring liquid to a boil over high heat, skimming off fat as it rises to the surface.  Reduce the volume of the liquid about 70%.  Sauce will start to thicken up. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.  

Transfer cheeks back to liquid.  Continue to cook over medium heat until cheeks are re-heated through, fall apart-tender and the sauce is thick enough to coat the cheeks.

Serve on a bed of creamy polenta with roasted baby carrots.

Picture courtesy of me (this was my meal in March at Allium)

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

22/52: Girl's Week(end)

We had an extended Girl's Weekend this past week with Brian having to fly to the east coast for work.  I spent the weekend with Chick in Portland, celebrating the last of the birthday meals then heading into the weekend with gardening and lunching.

Last Thursday night, Chick treated me to a great and exotic Thai meal at Pok Pok NW.  We slurped down some refreshing cocktails and dined on Ike's famous Thai wings followed by a pork belly/shoulder curry and a spicy Thai herbal salad with coconut milk dressing.  I love the NW Portland location and I can see myself dropping by for a cool cocktail and a double order of wings again very soon!

Summer is here, even if the solstice doesn't start for another 3 weeks.  Portland has had some amazing weather and we took advantage of a cooler Saturday to shop several nurseries for plants and then spent a few hours on the patio at Cafe Murrayhill enjoying and amazing lunch and a bottle of wine.

Sunday we spent several hours making the backyard beautiful, including planting a gorgeous pink hydrangea.


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Menu Plan Monday: June 5-8, 2017

Welcome Monday!

Our late Spring weather has been fantastic and I am always rewarded when I come home to house full of food due to a great meal prep plan.  Don't leave meal time to the last minute.  Make a plan and stick with it.  Laura has great ideas on her website to help you.



SUNDAY: BBQ Ribs, Cole Slaw and Corn on the Cob
MONDAY:  Grilled Hamburgers
TUESDAY: Chicken Taco Bar
WEDNESDAY: Flank Steak with Artichoke and Salad
THURSDAY: WW Tandorri-Dijon Chicken Skewers with Couscous

Friday, June 2, 2017

Old Photo Friday: Chick and Princess

WHO: Chick and Princess
WHERE: Lake Union, Seattle
WHEN: Summer 2009

Happy June everybody!  It's girl's weekend in Portland this weekend.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Recipe of the Week: Summer Breakfast Tacos

Okay, I know.  Summer is officially 6 weeks away, but doesn't it feel like summer NOW?

This weekend, do yourself a favor and put down the breakfast cereal and make these tacos.



Summer Breakfast Tacos


4 eggs
2 tablespoons butter
(4) 4 inch corn tortillas
1 avocado, mashed with a bit of salt and pepper
1 green onion, sliced
1 large tomato cut in half, then sliced (think 1/2 moon shapes)
1/2 cup cilantro chopped
4 tablespoons salsa
1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese


Preheat oven to 300F and wrap tortillas in aluminum foil and place in the oven for 10 minutes.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon butter.  Lightly beat the eggs until combined and then add to the skillet.  Stir eggs until they just begin to set, then add 1 tablespoon butter until its incorporated into the eggs and the eggs are fully set.  Remove eggs from heat.

To assemble the tacos, add 1 tablespoon of mashed avocado to each tortilla.  Top with the eggs, tomato slices, a few green onions, cilantro, salsa and cheese.