Sunday, July 30, 2017

Menu Plan Monday: Welcome August 2017

Welcome Monday and to the beginning of the Dog Days of Summer!

How is your week shaping up?  Do you feel organized?  Do you have a meal plan in place? Do you have your pantry and freezer stocked and organized?  

As we begin the slow push towards fall, now is a great time to start the planning process and take your life back.

This week's challenge: clean out your freezer and re-organize your pantry.

Remember that Laura is a great resource for planning and organizing so check out her website.


Monday (last day of July): Grilled Pork Chops and Salad
Tuesday: Weight Watchers Blue Cheese Burgers
Wednesday: Fish Tacos
Thursday: I am heading off to Springfield to have dinner with my Pop and Rosemary

Friday, July 28, 2017

Old Photo Friday: Remembering Ken Lee

WHO: Ken Lee (Brian's brother)
WHEN: 1978
WHERE: Hiking the woods probably somewhere in Delaware

We lost Brian's brother way too soon.  He would have turned 63 this past week.  We love you, man and miss you very much.


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Recipe of the Week: Classic Bacon Cheeseburger

Tomorrow is National Hamburger Day!  I can't think of anything better than grilling a juicy hamburger and not only in the summer months, but all year round.

Americans eat nearly 50 billion burgers a year, which translates to three burgers a week for every single person in the U.S.!

We don't eat that many burgers in our house, but when we do....we prefer them grilled and with a think slice of bacon and sharp cheddar cheese!  For me, the key is the beef and how you prepare and season.


Classic Bacon Cheeseburger


1 pound ground beef (80/20)
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon Lawry's Season Salt
slice of America cheese (or sharp cheddar of your choice)
4 pieces bacon, cooked
butter toasted pub buns
fresh lettuce
sliced tomato


Mix the beef, Worcestershire, salt, pepper and season salt.  Divide the beef into 4 patties, depending on how big you want them. 

Preheat your grill to medium high heat and cook the burgers 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare.

Remove from the heat and add sliced cheese and top with bacon.

Top the toasted buns with fresh lettuce and tomato and mayonnaise (or another condiment or your choice).

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

29/52: July in Seattle

What are your favorite Saturday activities in July?

I love cloud watching, breakfasts prepared by my sweetheart, walks along the Puget Sound and an afternoon libation at the local pub.

Checked off all of those this past weekend.  And you?


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Menu Plan Monday: July 24-27, 2017

Welcome to another Summer Monday!

As we move towards the end of July, for me it marks the unofficial half-way point of summer.  How does that make you feel? For me summer starts to wind down Labor Day weekend and that means that this week is the half way point.

With that being said....are you creating the summer menu plan you want?  There is still plenty of time to turn your planning around.  Let Laura help!


SUNDAY: Roast Chicken with Caesar Salad, Roasted Carrots and Brussels Sprouts
MONDAY: Weight Watchers Italian Turkey Burgers
TUESDAY: Shrimp Cobb Salad
WEDNESDAY: Flank Steak with Mexican Corn Salad

Friday, July 21, 2017

Old Photo Friday: Mr. Green Thumb

WHO: I think that might be Brian's brother, Kerry and his Dad on the front porch
WHERE: 109 Tamara Circle, Newark, DE
WHEN: Late 1960's

Brian truly has the green thumb.  Our yard in West Seattle always looks magnificent.  It's easy to see where he got the inspiration after finding a picture of his childhood home in Newark, DE.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Recipe of the Week: Italian Skewers

A client invited me to their annual summer party last weekend and we were asked to bring a light appetizer.  What do you bring to a summer (outdoor) party that doesn't need to be chilled?

I've made skewers before and I did a quick Pintrest search and found a couple of other varieties. These are super easy to make and always go quickly at a party.


Italian Skewers


1 (8-9 ounce) package of refrigerated cheese tortellini
25 slices salami
25 slices pepperoni
about 50 cubes of sharp white cheddar or Gouda cheese
1/2 cup Italian Salas Dressing
1 can black olives
1 can green olives
decorative toothpicks


Cook tortellini according to package directions (about 4 minutes).  Do not overcook!  After cooking, drain off water and let them cool for about 10 minutes before placing them in a ziploc bag.  Add salad dressing to the bag and marinate the tortellini for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.

On each toothpick, thread the tortellini, salami, cheese and olives however you would like.  I sandwiched the cheese between the folded over salami.  I also alternated between pepperoni and or black olives to add variety.

Place on a single layer on a serving platter.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

28/52: West Seattle Summer Festival

Parties and festivals are what make the summer season so special.

Brian and I had a cocktail soiree for a client of mine in Portland on Saturday afternoon and then we hightailed it up to Seattle to finish the weekend out at the West Seattle Summer Festival on Sunday, a favorite of ours every year.

I always try and get a picture of the crazy bikini clad dancing man and Brian loves to chow down on some pizza slices.

What summer time activities do you look forward too?


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Menu Plan Monday: Middle of July 2017

Happy Monday to All!

Thanks for stopping my my little corner of the Internet.  What's on your menu this week?  If your answer includes words like..."I don't know" you might want to consider checking out Laura's site for some great ideas.

Here we go....


MONDAY: Yumm Bowls
TUESDAY: Grilled Fish with a Steamed Artichoke and a Garden Salad
WEDNESDAY: BBQ Chicken Thighs with Green Beans
THURSDAY: Black and Blue Steak Salad

Friday, July 14, 2017

Old Photo Friday: Grandpa Gone Fishing!

WHO: James Wharton
WHAT: Fishing
WHEN: late 1930's (written on back of picture)

I don't remember much about my Mother's Father, James H. Wharton.  He passed away when I was eight and lived in Seattle long before I made regular treks north.  Every summer we made at least one trip in the car from Springfield to their home in Bothell to swim in their pool and get terrorized by their yappy dog, Suzie.  I know he loved me as there are many many pictures of the two of us together when I was a baby.

In this picture I see the eyes of his son, my uncle Mickie but I also see the eyes of my cousin, Mickie's son, Matt.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Recipe of the Week: Greek French Fries

Today is National French Fry Day!  Yippee!  Despite my attempts to be as low carb as possible, I can't resist a good French Fry.  

Thomas Jefferson had potatoes served in the "French Manner" at a White House dinner in 1802.  The expression "French fried potatoes" first occurred in print in English in an 1856 cookbook.  Some say that fries were created in Belgium and became popular when introduced to American soliders who were stationed in Belgium during WW1.

The JR Simplot company is credited with successfully commercializing French fries in frozen form during the 1940's.  Ray Kroc contracted them to supply frozen fries in 1967 to his McDonald's franchises.

In Canada, fries are more than just a side dish, they are a staple of meals.  In the 1950's fries became a major component of poutine, where they were topped with cheese curds and gravy.  Around that same time, people in Philadelphia and Chicago began eating fries topped with chili and cheddar cheese. The popular In-N-Out hamburger chain serves Animal Fries topped with cheese, grilled onions and secret sauce.  In Ireland, curry fries are popular at chips shops.


Greek French Fries


2 large russet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons store bought tzatziki
1/2 cup feta cheese
2 tablespoons fresh parsley


Preheat oven to 425F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Thinly cut potatoes into long strips to form fries or wedges depending on taste.  Toss them with oil, oregano, zest, salt, pepper and garlic.  place in single layer on the baking sheet.

Bake fries for 20-30 minutes, roatating the pan halfway through baking.

Toss fries with tzatziki, feta and parsley and serve.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

27/52: Quiet July Weekend

It was time for a quiet weekend in West Seattle.

A beautiful dinner prepared by my sweetheart to spoil me after my train ride north.

An afternoon walk to the local pub for some trivia pursuit and a couple of cold drinks on the patio.

Back to Portland on Sunday to enjoy the last warm hours of the weekend and spy the new birdbath for signs of activity.

How was your weekend?


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Menu Plan Monday: July 9-14, 2017

Welcome to a beautiful Summer Monday!

What's going on in your neck of the woods?  Summer is in full swing and activities are at a yearly high.  How are you coping with the heat?  If you find you are spending too much time in your kitchen and less time having fun then perhaps you need a menu makeover?  Head on over to Laura's site for more planning tips and ideas including menus from around the country.


SUNDAY:  Grilled Hamburgers and Chips
MONDAY: Beef Taco Bar
TUESDAY: ALL-Star Game Beer Brats and Potato Salad
WEDNESDAY: Grilled Chicken with Spiralized Sweet Potatoes 
THURSDAY:  Drinks and Dinner OUT!
FRIDAY:  Grilled Steak and Caesar Salad

Friday, July 7, 2017

Old Photo Friday: Happy 4th of July

WHO: Stacy Dare Brady
WHERE: Aunt Pat and Uncle Bud's house in Eugene, OR
WHY: Aunt Pat had a closet with items that I liked to play with when I came over.  She had nude lady swizzle sticks, bamboo cups and dolls (that were not really dolls to play with, but she let me anyway).

In honor of the 4th of July this week, here is a strange one.

I am not sure why I am wearing the hat and wig and what about the Japanese figurine? That velour suit is much too warm for the 4th so it's probably just a party at the Dahl's.  


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Recipe of the Week: Easy Macaroni and Cheese

Tomorrow is National Macaroni Day and I absolutely love a good mac and cheese (who doesn't)?!

How about an easy to make and no bake dish especially designed for those who have limited time and want something homemade. 


Easy Stove Top Mac and Cheese


16 ounces elbow macaroni
1 stick butter
1/2 cup flour
salt and pepper
1 cup half and half
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup shredded cheddar
1 cup shredded Swiss


Cook macaroni according to package directions.

In medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add flour and cook for 3-5 minutes to form a roux.  Add salt and pepper then slowly add half and half and milk, stirring well after each addition.  Add mustard and stir to combine and cook until bubbly.

Slowly add the cheese a small amount at a time until fully melted.

Drain macaroni; add to cheese sauce and stir to coat.

Notes:  Jazz it up with a bit of blue cheese or even a pepper jack cheese.  Top with crispy bacon for added flavor

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

26/52: The end of June through the 4th of July

We had a pretty cool long weekend for it actually not being a long weekend (I had to work Monday)!

It was a beautiful weekend in Seattle.  Time to catch up with friends, BBQ in the backyard, enjoy a crisp Rose on the patio and take an afternoon walk to Lincoln Park.

Back to Portland on Sunday and a short workday on Monday before spending some down time at Rebecca Lane for the 4th.  A walk through the neighborhood in the morning, coffee on the patio, Bloody Mary's in the afternoon and a wonderful spread of food to fill out the day.

How was your 4th?


Sunday, July 2, 2017

Menu Plan Monday: Welcome July!

Happy Monday!

Is it a holiday for you today?  I am working, but taking off early to spend a bit of time at home.  The 4th in the middle of the week isn't convenient, is it?  Oh well!  With my menu plan in place, I know exactly what I am cooking and what I need to shop for.  Who wants to try and find an open supermarket on the 4th, right?

Remember to head on over to Laura's site (she's Canadian), but I am sure some of her U.S. friends will be posting lots of holiday week recipes.


MONDAY: Grilled Chicken Kebabs
4th of July: Hamburgers and Chips (lunch) Pork Ribs with Cole Slaw and Corn on the Cob (dinner)
WEDNESDAY:  Corn Chowder and Bread
THURSDAY: Grilled Salmon with Green Bean, Tomato, Onion and Basil Salad