Wednesday, December 30, 2009

From Dead to Worse - Charlaine Harris

From Dead to Worse (Sookie Stackhouse, #8) From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Another great Sookie book.

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Mittens for Pat

I made some really cute ones for Jill but forgot to take a picture.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lifestyle Motor Company

It's an exciting time. We're in business! Pat & Joel are busy purchasing cars for our inventory and looking for cars for customers. If you need a car, please call 971-244-2160. Pat will hook you up.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Weekly Menu #8 - Darla

I've enjoyed sharing menu ideas and have enjoyed some good food. Here's some ideas for the coming week.
Lentil and Spinach Warm salad.
This is one of my favorites I got from Martha Stewart. Delicioius and easy and all in one meal.
1 quart of water
1/2 cup lentils
1 carrot finely chopped (1/2 cup)
1/4 onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
1 dried bay leaf
Coarse salt and peppper
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces baby spinach

Most of the time I double this recipe of feeding four. The recipe above is good for two.
1. in a large saucepan, combine lentils, carrots, onion, garlic, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to boil. Lower the heat and simmer partially covered until lentils are soft. 15-20 min. Drain discarding bay leaf
2. use a paper towel to wipe out any water from the saucepan. Add oil and return pan to medium heat. Stir in the lentils, vegetables and spinach.
3. Cook stirring occasionally until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning. use a slotted spoon to transfer to bowls.

Day 2
Pesto-chicken calzones
1 pound purchased pizza dough. ( I got whole wheat dough at winco)at room temperature
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzy
1/2 c pesto
1 cup cooked broccoli
1 cup cooked chicken
(about 4 oz)olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 450 on a lightly floured surface divide dough into four equal piecesusig a lightly floured rolling pin roll each piece into a 6 inch round. if dough shrinks let it restabout 5 minutes and roll again
2. Divide mozzy among the dough rounds then top equally with pesto, broccoli and chicken
3. Gently pull half dough over filling to make a half moon shape. pinch edges to seal Brush tops lightly sith olive oil. Tranfer to large baking sheet
4.Bake calzones on middle rack until golden brown 20-25 minutes. let cool 5 min then transfer to plates Serve with tossed salad with pesto ranch dressing. Just add a little bit of your pesto to your ranch dressing.I get the pesto at Costco. I freeze in small containters and that way it keeps longer. It actullay freezes quite well.

Day 3
Since we have the pesto lets try a hearty soup. Serve with our famous crusty 5 min bread. yeah!

Tomato soup with chickpeas and pesto
1 T olive oil
1 1/2 cups sliced onion
1 cup finely chopped celery
2 cups water
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
3 (5.5 oz cans) V8 juice
1 (15 1/2 oz) can chickpeas (garbonzos) drained
1 (28 0z) can finely chopped tomatoes undrained
1/3 cup uncokked ditalini (very short tube shaped macaroni)
1/3 c pesto

1. Heat oil in soup pan. Add onion and celery. Cover and cook 15 min stirring occasionally
2. Add water and next 5 ingredients (water through chickpeas) bring to boil.
3. Add pasta. Cover and reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
4. Stir in pesto and serve.

Day 4
This is one of my favorite pasta recipes. It sounds odd but the mixing of these flavors is awesome
8 oz Angel Hair pasta
1 T oil from tomatoes
1 lb skinless chicken breast ( or drained tofu cut 1/3 inch thick in square)
1 t each of salt and pepper
1/2 med red onion sliced in thin rings
1 6 oz bag baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup golden raisens
3/4 cup undraind Sun dried tomatoes in oil
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Cook pasta reserving 1/4 cup water.
Heat oil in very large skillet over med high heat. Brown tofu or chicken with salt and pepper. 5-6 minutes ( longer for tofu, probably 10 min on med heat)
Reduce heat to med. add onion, cover and cook 2 minutes or until softened.
Add tomatoes, spinach and raisens. stir until spinach is wilted.
Stir in pasta, pinenuts and reserved water as needed to moisten. Serves 4

Friday, December 04, 2009

Stargirl - Jerry Spinelli

Stargirl Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Such a cute book to start, but it had a sadness to it that left me not wanting to read the sequel. Recommend, with reservations.

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Thanksgiving Cruise

For the first time in years, I didn't have to cook Thanksgiving dinner. The family went on a Mexican Riviera Cruise, and by family I mean Joel, Jill, Nathan, Bill, Darla, Pat & me. This time, we were back on a Princess ship and boy were we glad. The food, service, rooms .... everything was better than Royal Caribbean. Of course, having family along made it even better.

We sailed out of Long Beach on the 21st, spent two days at sea lolling about the deck with our books and beverages, then stopped in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas, and finished up with a final day at sea.

As usual, I enjoyed the sea days most. The weather was beautiful and I had a pile of books to choose from. The men were a little more active and roamed about the ship partaking in activities. In fact, Bill was rarely seen except at meals.

High, food, food, weather, balcony cabin, Sky walker lounge, hot tubs, walking around the promenade deck, food, being with family. Low points...poor waiter and Jill lost her camera. That's it.

Puerto Vallarta was great. Nathan and Bill went fishing, the rest of us went to the beach and had tacos, chips and guac and beverages. I love Puerto Vallarta, would like to stay there again sometime.

Mazatlan had us worried. Last cruise we were unimpressed, but this time headed to the beach where we hung out at Joe's Oyster bar, watched people, the guys did a fair bit of water activity, and of course ate Mexican food and had a little something to wet our whistle.

Finally, Cabo. It was a short day, but Pat and Bill negotiated a great price on a glass bottom boat trip. What fun. After the boat, headed to a restarant for refreshments. Had to be back on board by 2:00. The afternoon was spent in a hot tub and getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner.

Sadly the cruise was just about over. One last day at sea, hanging out in a lounge that had a great view of the ocean. Spotted some whales and dolphins, read, talked, played poker, sigh. So fun.

Saturday we arrived back in Long Beach early in the morning. After dropping Darla and Bill at the airport, we headed to downtown Disney to catch the movie New Moon. Nice way to return to the real world.

Pat, Joel and I stayed in California until Tuesday. It was fun being home with Jill & Nathan. We cooked, golfed, ran errands and finally, went to the Riverside Auto Auction to buy cars for our new business, Lifestyle Motor Company.

All in all, a fun and productive trip. Now, on to planning Christmas in Sunriver.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

All Together Dead - Charlaine Harris

All Together Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, #7) All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I read Sookie #5-7 on our Thanksgiving Cruise. Fun, as usual.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Yellow Tomato Pasta Sauce

My friend gave me a bag of yellow tomatoes. There was no way to eat them all, so I made some pasta sauce to freeze

Yellow Tomato Pasta Sauce Recipe #136439
This pasta sauce is sweet and simple. Very delicious and easy to make; especially if you are limited on time. You can cook it for just ten minutes or let it simmer for an hour. The longer it cooks; the better it tastes. Very few ingredients also make this a winner. Recipe can easily be doubled and frozen for later too. Ingredient amounts should be adjusted to your preferences.
by jennifer in new jersey
1¼ hours | 5 min prep


5 ripe yellow tomatoes
1/4 cup light olive oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 leaves fresh basil (1 tsp dried)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (2 cloves)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
heat olive oil and all spices and basil in saute pan.
cut up tomatoes; any size is fine.
simmer on low for an hour.
tomatoes will start to break down.
stir and press them while they cook.
Cook for about ten minutes if you are pressed for time or an hour for full flavor.
pour or toss over pasta.
top with good quality shaved italian cheese.

Is it Goulash or is it Hash or is it a Scramble?

We made the craziest, most delicious concoction the other night. "Let's clean out the refrigerator". Lots of leftovers that need to be eaten before heading out of town. The only downside....It was PINK. Here's what we cooked/fried in a heavy skillet:

Mashed potatoes
Green beans
Acorn squash
Black Beans

Left to Tell - Immaculee Ilibagiza

Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Ilibagiza

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Amazing story of a woman whose family was killed during the Rwandan genocide in the 1990's. She survived by hiding a a 3x4 bathroom with 5 other women. Wow!

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Sarah's Key - Tatiana de Rosnay

Sarah's Key Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
If I could only remember who recommended this book to me, I'd give them a big thank you. Fantastic book. Set in Paris. Parallel stories of an American journalist married to a Frenchman and a young girl who was a victim of a Nazi roundup in 1942.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Weekly Menu #7 -

This is my menu for the week. The only recipe that we have previously made is Pat's Gourmet Burgers.

Day 1:
Pasta Fagioli
Bread (Recipe in week 3)
Green Salad

Day 2:
Shepherd’s Pie

Day 3:
Pat’s Gourmet Burgers
Sweet Potato Sticks

Day 4:
Tofu Lime Ceviche
Cheese Quesadillas

Day 1:

Olive Garden Pasta E Fagioli Soup in a Crock Pot (Copycat) Recipe
7¼ hours 15 min prep
SERVES 12 -14
· 2 lbs ground beef
· 1 onion, chopped
· 3 carrots, chopped
· 4 stalks celery, chopped
· 2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
· 1 (16 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
· 1 (16 ounce) can white kidney beans, drained
· 3 (10 ounce) cans beef stock
· 3 teaspoons oregano
· 2 teaspoons pepper
· 5 teaspoons parsley
· 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (optional)
· 1 (20 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
· 8 ounces pasta
Brown beef in a skillet.
Drain fat from beef and add to crock pot with everything except pasta.
Cook on low 7-8 hours or high 4-5 hours.
During last 30 min on high or 1 hour on low, add pasta.

Day 2:
Shepherds Pie
Beloved by the British, this rich, protein-filled dish is traditionally made with a mashed-potato crust. For a sweeter one, use a blend of potatoes, parsnips, and carrots.
Yield: Makes 6 servingsActive Time: 30 minutesTotal Time: 1 hour

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped (or substitute frozen peas & carrots)
1 pound ground lamb or beef or combination
1 cup beef or chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon chopped fresh or dry rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
1 cup frozen peas
2 pounds potatoes (yukon gold, sweet, or combination), peeled and cut into chunks
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk (any fat content)
Salt & pepper to taste
1 T Worcestershire\

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil, then add the onion, carrot, and meat, and Salt and pepper and Worcestershire. Cook until browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Drain the fat and add the broth, tomato paste, and herbs. Simmer until the juices thicken, about 10 minutes, then add the peas.
4. Pour the mixture into a 1 1/2-quart baking dish; set aside.
5. Meanwhile, bring the potatoes to a boil in salted water. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes; drain.
6. Mash the potatoes with the butter, milk, and salt.
7. Spread them over the meat mixture, then crosshatch the top with a fork.
8. Bake until golden, 30 to 35 minutes.

Day 3:

Pat’s Gourmet Burgers
1 lb Lean Ground Beef
2 T Worcestershire Sauce
5-6 Large Crimini mushrooms
¼ onion
1 clove garlic
1 egg
Salt & Pepper
Hamburger toppings (Lettuce, Tomato, pickle, onion, ketchup, mustard, mayo, et)
Small Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

Put burger, egg, & Worcestershire sauce in bowl. Finely chop mushroom, onion, and garlic in food processor, add to burger. Mix. Form into small patties and grill or cook in frying pan.

Brown buns, add toppings and burgers.

Baked Sweet Potato Sticks

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes
Ready In: 55 Minutes
Servings: 8

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
8 sweet potatoes, sliced lengthwise into

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
In a large bowl, mix olive oil and paprika. Add potato sticks, and stir by hand to coat. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake 40 minutes in the preheated oven.

Day 4:

Quesadillas (your choice: Cheese, chicken)

Tofu Lime Ceviche
Traditional ceviche is a popular Peruvian dish featuring raw fish marinated in lemon juice. In this vegetarian version, jalapeño, lime, cilantro, garlic and ginger add a spicy kick while coconut milk and tofu provide a soothing, creamy counter-balance. Pairs well with basmati or jasmine rice.
2 pounds firm or extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
4 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup lime juice
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 small jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
Salt to taste
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup canned coconut milk

Preheat oven to 400°F. Pat tofu dry with paper towels, then transfer to a bowl and toss gently with Worcestershire sauce. Spread tofu out evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake, turning once, for 30 minutes. Set aside to let cool to room temperature. Put tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro, jalapeño, salt, onions, bell peppers, ginger, garlic and coconut milk into a large bowl. Add tofu and toss gently. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight, before serving.
Per serving (about 20oz/560g-wt.): 390 calories (230 from fat), 26g total fat, 13g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 350mg sodium, 19g total carbohydrate (7g dietary fiber, 7g sugar), 30g protein

Friday, November 06, 2009

Weekly Menu #6

Zucchini & Basil Pesto
2 pounds of medium zucchini
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, finely shredded and tightly packed in a cup
2 T extra virgin olive oil
4 medium garlic cloves, chopped
1 pound angel hair pasta
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

Grate zucchini into a mixing bowl. Toss with sea salt., mixing well. Let mixture sit for 10 min as you prepare other ingredients. Pick up zucchii by the handful and squeeze tighty to extract as much water as possible. Put squeezed zucchini in bowl with shredded basil, and toss together.

In a skillet, heat oil and saute' garlic over moderate heat. As soon as the garlic sizzles, add the zucchini-basil mixture and saute' until the zucchini begins to turn golden, about 5-7 minutes. Spoon over cooked angel hair pasta, and twist a few sprinkles of black pepper over the top.

Fresh Roasted Beets with Maple Glaze *
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter*
6 Tbs. pure maple syrup*
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste*
4 large acorn squash

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is smooth and blended, 4 to 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 Wash beets and pat dry. Place in roasting pan. Add enough olive oil to coat the beets and season with salt and pepper, toss to combine. Cover pan with aluminum foil and roast until tender when pierced with fork...about 1 hour.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the beets cool to room temperature, then slip off the skins. Cut with knife into wedges. **** make some extra and put in fridge for later on a salad

Romain Salad with lime and parmesian...I sent this one last time so everyone should have it ....................................................

Turkey Pot Pie.....J's favorite :)
4 T butter
4 T flour
2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t thyme
1 c turkey or chicken broth
1 c milk

melt butter and mix with flour and seasonings. Add liquid and stir till thick

2 c cubed turkey or chicken breast (buy a roasted chicken to make it quick and we will use the leftover later)
3 c cooked carrots
2-3 potatoes, cubed and cooked
1 c frozen peas

add to gravy and top with pie crust
1 3/4 c flour
1 t salt
1/2 c oil
3 t water

mix only till hands together...roll out to needed dimension bake 40 min @ 425 Serve with a nice green salad ............................................................................................................................................

Green Salad with Beets, Chicken, and garnish with cheese (blue cheese or goat cheese)

Sweet Potato Bread rolls
2-3 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 cup unsalted butter...cut into chunks
2 T packed brown sugar
2 T white sugar
1/2 t salt
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t ginger
1 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 t baking powder

Heat oven to 400 Cook potatoes. Whip together potatoes and butter. Beat in sugars, salt, and spices. Let cool for 15 min. Stir together flour and baking powder with fork. combine potatoes and flour with fork...knead by hand on a floured surface roll or pat 8x8 in square 3/4 in thick. cut into 2 inch squares. Place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake till golden brown on the bottom and toothpick comes out clean 15-20 min.

Whole Wheat Pesto Zucchini Pizza
I buy the pre-made thin crust WW pizza dough...but you could make your own
4 garlic cloves
1/2 c pine nuts
2 c fresh basil leaves packed tight
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
3/4 t salt
1/2 t pepper combine all ingredients and puree ***you can also buy pre-made pesto sauce...costco has a good one

Spread pesto on pizza crust, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, layer with sliced zucchini, and sprinkle with fresh ground pepper...then bake

The Housekeeper and the Professor - Yoko Ogawa (Book group)

The Housekeeper and the Professor: A Novel The Housekeeper and the Professor: A Novel by Yoko Ogawa

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved this book. Head Injury, Math, Baseball and Japan. What more could one want?

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Dead as a Doornail - Charlaine Harris

Dead as a Doornail (Sookie Stackhouse, #5) Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Another fun Sookie Stackhouse book. Each new book is as fun to read as the last.

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Week 5 Recipes - Nathan

Day 1:
Fresh Herb, Potato and Leek Soup
Delicious soup, next time will substitute chicken broth for water and add more hot sauce.
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
5 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
3 cups water
3 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), chopped
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup minced fresh chives or green onion tops
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried, crumbled
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dillweed
Hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
Chopped fresh chives or green onion tops
Bring first 8 ingredients to boil in heavy large pot or Dutch oven over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are very tender and soup thickens slightly, about 1 hour. Transfer 2 cups of soup to blender and puree. Return puree to pot. Season with salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead and refrigerated. Reheat before continuing.) Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with chopped chives and serve. (Maybe serving soup with a nice bread to go along with it, buy enough you may need it for Day 2 :) )

Day 2:
Tomato Basil Panzanella
Sadly, didn't get around to making this. Will save it for another time.
1/2 lb day old chewy farm style bread , cubed
Bottled spring water, to cover bread4 vine ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves, torn or shredded
2 Tb red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oilsalt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place bread in a medium mixing bowl, cover with water, and allow it to soak, 3 to 5 minutes. In small handfuls, remove bread from the water and wring it out without mashing or tearing bread. You do not want wet bread, so wring it carefully.Combine tomatoes with onions and basil in a second bowl and dress with vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Add bread to tomato salad and combine. Adjust seasonings and serve.

Day 3:
The BEST pancakes ever! Had a wonderful pancake feed with friends and family. Made this delicious recipe topped with homemade strawberry jam and whipped cream. Also served Gingerbread pancakes (thanks Darla for the recipe) topped with homemade pear sauce. Scrambled eggs with feta cheese and fresh fruit rounded out the meal.

-Those of you who don't want this delicious meal can have cold cereal :(
Ricotta Souffle Pancakes with Berries
4 large eggs, separated
2 Tb. sugar1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tb. unsalted butter, melted plus extra for greasing
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/8 tsp. salt
Berries for topping (or berry sauce??) hmmm.... preserves perhaps
About 1/2 cup creme fraiche or whipped cream

In a bowl beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form, then beat in the sugar until medium glossy peaks form. In another bowl beat the egg yolks until thick and pale in color, then beat in the cheese, flour, butter, zest, and salt. Fold a quarter of the beaten egg whites into the yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in the remaining egg whites. Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat and grease lightly. For each pancake, spoon about 3 large Tbs. of batter onto the hot griddle. Cook slowly for about 1 1/2 min. until golden brown underneath, then turn the pancakes over and cook about 30 sec. longer. Bake the remaining batter as directed.

Choice of bacon, bacon-substitute, sausage, sausage substitute, and eggs. Cook the way that suits your tastebuds.

Day 4:Lentil and Roasted Garlic Soup with Seared Steak
Nathan hit a homerun with this recipe. Fantastic Lentil Soup. The steak wasn't even necessary.
3/4 cup olive oil
10 garlic cloves, peeled, halved
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
3 cups water
1/2 cup French green lentils
1 medium leek (white and green parts only), thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
7 cups (or more) vegetable broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce1/4 cup red lentils
1 1/4 pounds yams (red-skinned sweet potatoes), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
12 ounces kale, ribs discarded, leaves thinly sliced
1 1/2- to 1 3/4-pound flank steak
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Chopped fresh parsley
Place oil, garlic, and rosemary in heavy small saucepan. Cook over lowest possible heat until garlic begins to brown, about 1 1/2 hours. Cool. Drain, reserving garlic oil and garlic cloves separately. Discard rosemary. CAN BE MADE 2 DAYS AHEAD ( I SUGGEST IT). Cover garlic oil and garlic cloves separately and chill.

Place 3 cups water and green lentils in small saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 25 minutes. Cool lentils; drain. Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup garlic oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add leek and sage. Cook until leek is soft, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Add 7 cups vegetable broth, soy sauce, red lentils, and green lentils to pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer until lentils are almost tender, about 15 minutes. Add yams and garlic cloves and cook until yams are tender, adding more broth by 1/2 cupfuls as needed to cover vegetables, about 10 minutes. Add kale to soup. Simmer until kale is wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon garlic oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper. Place steak in skillet and cook until brown and cooked to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to cutting board; let stand 10 minutes. Thinly slice steak. Divide soup among 6 bowls. Arrange sliced steak atop soup. Sprinkle with cheese and parsley, drizzle with garlic oil, and serve.

Quinoa, Mango Salad and Black Bean Salad

Looks yummy.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

How to knit a flat circle

I copied this from a hat pattern that started with a flat circle. My plan is to use it for the bottom of a felted bag.

Using double-point needles, CO 5 sts.
Divide sts between needles and join to begin working in the round, being careful not to twist.
K 1 round.
Place a marker to mark beginning of round, or wait until there are a few more sts on the needles first so it is easier to manage. If you find 5 stitches too difficult to work, you can cast on 10 sts and start on Round 3. This will form a small hole that can easily be sewn closed later.
Round 2: [M1, k1] around. 10 sts.
Round 3: [K1, m1] around. 20 sts.
Even-Numbered Rounds 4 through 20[22, 24]: K all sts.
Round 5: [K2, m1] around. 30 sts.
Round 7: [K3, m1] around. 40 sts.
Round 9: [K4, m1] around. 50 sts.Round 11: [K5, m1] around. 60 sts.Round 13: [K6, m1] around. 70 sts.Round 15: [K7, m1] around. 80 sts.Round 17: [K8, m1] around. 90 sts.Round 19: [K9, m1] around. 100 sts.

French Market Bag

Really wanted to try knitting a felted bag. Love this first attempt. It looks better than my poor photography skills would lead you to believe.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hunting and Gathering - Anna Gavalda

Hunting and Gathering Hunting and Gathering by Anna Gavalda

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved this book. It was written in French and translated. Interesting characters: artist, chef and nobility who end up living together. Seems very French to me. Highly recommended.

View all my reviews >>

Knitted Putter Cover

My putter cover keeps falling off; the zipper broke. Tried a velcro model. Hassle. So, I made this cute spiral cover in a couple hours.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Week #4 Recipes - Darla

This first recipe I had at Judy's house in Portland. So yummy and not that hard to make. You really could put most anything in the tart. I'm thinking of Heather and her thing with tomatoes. I still have some of our garden tomatoes left so I will use those. I didn't have any fresh basil the first time I made it so I used some dried Italian seasoning that I had and it was fine.
heirloom tomatoe-and-3-cheese tart.
Delicious tart! Didn't make the salad.
I just made a spring green salad with oil and vinegar dressing. Here is the basic..
3oz olive oil
1 oz red wine vinegar
1 oz apple cider vinegar
1 clove pressed garlic
salt and pepper to taste.
This is also a great dressing for spinach salad. Heat it up and pour over spinach leaves to wilt

Next day:
Mexical Stew
So tasty. Will make again and again and again.
This is a meal in itself especially with all the fresh garnishes. This makes quite a large pot of stew so for two people you may want to cut in half and you will still have leftovers for lunch
1/4 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves pressed
2 large onions diced
1 teaspoon cumin
28 0z can tomatoes chopped
8 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
1/2 t salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 carrots or 10 baby carrots
3 medium zucchini sliced in 1/4 in slices
2 cans black beans rinsed
2 cups frozen corn
garnishes optional chips, avacado, green onions, Queso mexican cheese, anything you can think of

In a 6 to 8 qt. pot, heat olive oil over med heat. Saute garlic, onions, and cumin 10 min. stirring often. Add tomatoes with their juice, the stock. salt and pepper and bring to boil, add carrots and cook 15 min then add the zucchini and cook 5 to 10 min more until tender but not mushy. Add the black beans and corn and cook 2 min. remove 2 cups of the stew and blend in magic bullet and return to pot. This will nicely thicken the stew. Taste to adjust the seasoning. Have fun garnishing with chips and all assortment of toppings as you desire. Yum

Next day:
Polenta Pizza a vegetable and cheese pie
This recipe as written was just ok. It needs something to spice it up. A bit bland. The idea is good. If I make it again, I'll add some canned tomatoes, pesto or something. Could try making a Mexican version with beans, cilantro, etc.
Crust: 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal or polenta
1/4 t salt
1 cup cold water
1/3 c grated parmesan
1 cup boiling water{heated in med saucepan}
1} place the cornmeal in a small bowl. Add cold watr and stir until uniformly combined
2}Stir cornmeal mixture into saucepan of boiling water. Cook stirring over low heat until thick {about 5 min}
3}Remove from heat and stir in salt and parmesan. Form a crust in the buttered pan Bake uncovered for 30 min at 375. Remove from oven turn oven down to 350

1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 t oregano
1 lg clove garlic
1/2 t basil
1/2 cup minced onion
salt/pepper to taste
1/2 cup sliced bell pepper
1/3 lb mozzarella sliced
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
parmesan for top
1 med tomatoe sliced
Saute garlic, oinon, peppers, mushrooms in olive oil for about 5 min. Remove from heat add herbs, spread sauteed mixture into crust. arrange slice of mozzarella and tomato on top. Sprinkle with parmesan. Bake 20 minutes at 350 Serve with tossed salad:

Next day:
Tofu Parmigiana
Not a huge fan of tofu. Didn't get around to making this. I do have a really good Chicken Parmigiana recipe that I planned to make, but didn't.
Haven't tried this one but sounded good and nutritious
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
5 Tbs grated parmesan cheese
2 t dried oregano, divided
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
1 12oz pkg firm tofu
2 Tbs olive oil
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 t dried basil
1 clove garlic pressed
4 oz shredded mozzarella
1} in small bowl, combine bread crumbs, 2 Tbs parmesan cheese adn 1 tsp oregano, salt and pepper.
2} Slice tofu in 1/4 in slices and place in bowl of cold water. one at a time press tofu slices into crumb mixture turning to coat all sides
3}heat oil in med skillet over medium heat. Cook tofu slices until crisp on one side. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil, turn and brown on other side
4} combine tomatoe sauce, basil, garlic and remaining oregano. Place a thin layer of sauce in a 8 in square baking pan. Arrange tofu slices in the pan. Spoon remaining sauce over tofu. Top with shredded mozzarella and remaining 3 Tbs. parmesan. Bake at 400 for 20 min

Serve with Italian green bean salad
1 lb green beansVinaigrette dressing{ from first night}
2 tomato cut in wedges
1 small sweet onion
1/4 cup grated parmesan
ripe olives

Remove ends from beans. if large cut french style. Better yet get the thin green french green beans from costco. So tender. Heat beans in 1 in salted water {1/2 t to one cup water} cook uncovered for 5 min. cover and cook until tender about 10 min.. pour vinegrette dressing over warm beans and toss. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Remove beans to lettuce lined plates. add tomatoes and olives. Sprinkle with cheese{optional} Beans can be cooked the day before and kept in fridge to they are ready.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Quinoa, Corn and Black Bean Salad

Super delicious salad.

Grated zest of 1 lime
¼ cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
3 ½ tsp ground cumin, or to taste
¼ cup olive oil

1 ½ cups water
1 - 14 oz can low sodium chicken broth
1 ½ cups quinoa, uncooked
1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 ½ cups corn kernels
2 – 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained (divided)
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Freshly grated ground pepper
2 cups finely chopped red, yellow or orange peppers
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
¼ cups finely chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup chopped green onions (white and green parts)
2 cups salad greens (optional)

To make dressing: In a small bowl whisk together lime zest, lime juice, salt and cumin. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly. (or blend in the Magic Bullet) Set aside.

To make salad: Bring the water and broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the quinoa and salt. Simmer for about 15 minutes until grains are just tender and the germ has begun to separate from the grain. Add the corn and continue cooking another 5 minutes. Remove from heat, let stand 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl toss 2 cups of the beans with vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate the remaining beans from the can (about ¾ cup) for the next meal. Add the bell peppers, jalapeno, cilantro and green onions, toss well.

Reserve 1 cup for the next meal. Stir the rest into the bean mixture (reserve remaining quinoa for the next meal). Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Salad may be made one day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring salad to room temperature before serving. To serve, divide salad greens between 4 plates. Remove 1 cup of the salad mixture and reserve for the next meal. Divide the remaining salad among the plates and serve.


Hubby's first hole in one. The Reserve North Course Hole #3. 148 yards, 9 iron. Windy, over water, flip shoes are over rated.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Weekly Menu #3

This is my menu:
Day 1:
Roasted Chicken
Red Potatoes
Homemade Bread

Day 2:
Crockpot Thai Curry

Day 3:
Pat’s Steak
Grilled Corn
Tomato and Avocado Salad

Day 4:
Hoisin Lettuce Wraps

Day 5 (bonus recipe – almost free)
Chicken Soup from roasted chicken – day 1
Bread from leftover bread dough from day 1

Day 1:
Roasted Chicken
Red Potatoes
Salad (your choice)
Homemade Bread

Bread (5 minutes per day recipe) – start this in the morning or the day before

Roasted Chicken

3-5 lb Fryer
½ onion cut in 3-4 pieces
3 cloves garlic
Seasoned salt
5 baby carrots
Celery pieces

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Spray small roasting pan with non-stick spray. Place onion and garlic (and carrots) in chicken cavity. Generously sprinkled seasoned salt all over chicken. Place in roaster, tightly cover with lid or seal with foil. Bake for 1 hour. Do not discard vegetables (to be used in soup)

Red Potatoes

5-10 red potatoes
2 garlic cloves
Parmesan Cheese (opt)

Cut potatoes into quarters, place in pot with garlic. Cover with water (salt the water) and boil until fork tender. Drain and either serve with butter or mash slightly with butter and parmesan cheese.

Day 2:
Crockpot Thai Curry

Crockpot Thai Curry
- 1 13.5-oz can coconut milk
- 1 T brown sugar
- 1 T soy sauce (La Choy is gluten free, and so is Tamari wheat-free)
- 1 T Thai red or green chili paste, or more to taste (I used red, and went with 1.5 T)
- 1 t fish sauce (optional.)
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1/2 large eggplant
- 1 sweet potato
- 1-inch knob of ginger, peeled and grated
- chicken thighs (I used 5 frozen boneless, skinless)

The Directions.

Combine the sauce ingredients: coconut milk, soy sauce, brown sugar, chili paste, and fish sauce in the bottom of your crockpot stoneware. Taste. If you think you need more chili paste, add some, carefully. It's hot stuff!

Add the chicken pieces to the sauce, flipping them over a few times so they get nice and saucy.

Wash and cut the vegetables, and add to the crock.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-6. This is done when the chicken is fully cooked and the vegetables have reached desired tenderness.

I cooked ours on high for 5 hours. The vegetables were soft, but not squishy, and the chicken was cooked, but still had shape.

Serve over white rice.

Day 3:
Pat’s Steak
Grilled Corn
Tomato and Avocado Salad

Pat’s Steak
Steak (we prefer Chuck Eye or Tenderloin)
Salt & Pepper (seasoned salt or pepper is good too)
Vegetable oil
Olive oil
Minced Garlic
Fresh herbs, finely chopped (we use rosemary, oregano, and basil)

Rub steaks with salt. Pour a couple Tbsp of vegetable oil on a plate with ½ of your chopped herbs, salt, pepper and garlic. Put each side of steak in the oil mixture and place on hot grill. Grill on each side for 3 minutes. Turn grill down to medium and cook 1-2 minutes more per side. Continue turning every 1-2 minutes until steak is slightly less done than you want (it will continue to cook after it comes off the grill.

While steak is cooking, on a clean plate, put a couple Tbsp of olive oil with rest of herbs, garlic, salt and pepper. Dredge each side of cooked steak in this mixture, then top with herbs that don’t stick to the steak.

Grilled Corn
Remove husk from corn and place on grill with steak. Turning frequently, cook for about 5 minutes. (we used to leave the husk on, but found it was less messy and just as tasty to cook it without the husk)

Tomato, Pear & Avocado Salad
2 Tomatoes
1 Avocado
2 T minced onion
1 ripe pear
Salad Dressing (something sweet like 1000 Island, honey mustard…..)

Chop tomatoes, avocado and pear in ½ in pieces. Combine with minced onion and your favorite salad dressing. For this salad, I use 1,000 Island.

Day 4:
Hoisin Lettuce Wraps

HOISIN CHICKEN (or your choice of protein) IN LETTUCE LEAVES


You can make this superfresh-tasting version of the Chinese takeout classic yourself.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 scallions, chopped (1/4 cup)
2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 lb total), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 (8-oz) can sliced water chestnuts, rinsed and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup bottled hoisin sauce (preferably Lee Kum Kee, House of Tsang, or Koon Chun brand)
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar (not seasoned)
1/2 cup pine nuts (2 1/2 oz)
12 large red- or green-leaf lettuce leaves

Heat a wok or a 12-inch heavy skillet (not nonstick) over moderately high heat until just smoking, then add oil. Add ginger, salt, and 2 tablespoons scallions and stir-fry until ginger is fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add chicken and stir-fry until just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Add water chestnuts, hoisin sauce, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, and pine nuts and stir-fry until heated through, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons scallions.

Have guests serve themselves by spooning chicken mixture into lettuce leaves and wrapping leaves around filling to enclose."

Day 5 (bonus recipe)
Chicken Soup from roasted chicken – day 1
Bread from leftover bread dough from day 1

Chicken Soup
Leftover chicken carcass, drippings (except fat) and veggies
1 can diced tomatoes
2-3 chicken bouillon cubes
Egg noodles, rice or can of white beans
Salt & white pepper
1 tsp dried basil

Place chicken carcass with drippings and veggies (you can add more raw onion, carrots or celery at this point) in large pot, cover with water, add 2-3 bouillon cubes. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 – 2 hours. Do not drain. Remove bones and other weird chicken parts. (You can add extra cooked breast meat if you want – I don’t). Chop up veggies into bite size pieces. Taste – add salt, pepper or dried herbs to taste. Add canned tomatoes and egg noodles, rice and/or beans. Cook until noodles and/or rice is cooked.

At the same time, take bread dough from refrigerator and raise and bake according to instructions.

Baby quilt for Henry

Baby quilt

Weekly Menu #2 - Heather

To date, the menus have been published on Monday, unfortunately we do our shopping on Friday, so we're a week behind. It's interesting to see someone else's weekly food ideas. Amazing how much different we all are. Notice there's not an ounce of meat in this menu.

Vegetable Soup and Buttermilk Biscuits (Since we're a week behind and it's Friday, we'll probably skip this one. We already have some leftover Chicken vegetable soup in the fridge)

Vegetable Soup
Didn't make this recipe. I am trying to eat 40% of my calories from protein. Alas, no protein in sight.
7c water
4c canned tomatoes- pureed
4 beef boullion cubes
1 chopped onion
sliced carrots
diced potatoes (or you can use pasta noodles)
1 can drained green beans
1 T salt (or less to taste)
2 Bay leaves
1/2 t sweet basil leaves
1/4t dill seed (optional)
1/4 t pepper

Bring to a boil and simmer until veggies are done

Buttermilk Biscuits


2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) very cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup buttermilk


Mix the dry ingredients
Preheat an oven to 400°F.
In a bowl, using a wooden spoon, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Make and shape the dough
Scatter the butter over the flour mixture. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender or 2 table knives. The mixture is ready when it
looks like coarse crumbs with small pieces of butter still visible.
Add the buttermilk and stir gently with the wooden spoon until the mixture starts to clump together.
Sprinkle a work surface with some flour. Dump the shaggy dough onto it and gently press it into a rough, thick oval.
Cut a round out of the dough with a biscuit cutter. Lift the cutter and set the biscuit on a baking sheet. Repeat, cutting as close as possible to the previous shape and spacing the biscuits about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
Gather up the scraps, gently press together and cut out more biscuits.
Put the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the biscuits are puffed and brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Using oven mitts, remove the baking sheet from the oven, set it on a wire cooling rack and let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Makes 6 large biscuits.


Chinese Spaghetti...salad with Sweet and Sour Drsg...baked sweet potato
(I made this tonight, skipping the baked sweet potato. Noodles and potato in one sitting is too much starch for me. It was quite tasty and the lentils were definitely unexpected in this dish.)

Chinese Spaghetti

1 cup lentils, uncooked
3 cups water
1/4 cup tamari
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 t fresh ginger-root, peeled and grated
1/2 pound Udon noodles
1 T sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large carrot, grated
1/2 medium green bell pepper, chopped
2 bunches scallions, chopped (including green tops)

Wash, rinse, and pick through lentils. Cook in water 30min. In a small jar mix tamari, honey, vinegar, and ginger. Shake well and set aside.
Cook Udon noodles and drain. Heat a large skillet and add sesame oil. Saute' garlic and carrot, bell pepper and scallions, cooking just long enough for scallions to begin softening. Add cooked lentils to the sweet/sour mixture, simmering together for about 3-5 min. Add the cooked Udon, simmering until just heated through.

Sweet and Sour Dressing

1/2 cup tamari
1/4 cup water
2 T sesame oil
one 8 ounce can crushed pineapple with juice
1 T fresh ginger-root, peeled and grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes

Spin in blender about 10 sec. Great at room temperature, but chill if you prefer. Shake before each use.


Tacos with Mexican Rice (We have all the ingredients for this, will probably make it this weekend. I'll update this post with a review when done) 11/8 update- still haven't made it.

Mexican Rice

1 T sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup uncooked rice
1 cup tomato sauce
2 cups boiling water
1 t salt
1 t cumin
1 t chili powder

Saute' garlic in oil in a heavy skillet. Add uncooked rice, and roast until golden. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Stir to mix. Immediately cover and simmer for 40 min (brown rice), or 20 min (basmati).


Grilled vegetable open faced sandwiches, Honey-Lime Sweet Potatoes, and Lime Romaine Salad (These sandwiches are delicious. I haven't made the sweet potatoes yet, but plan to soon)
Grilled vegetable of your choice...zucchini, eggplant, onions, green onions, beets (pre cooked and sliced), portobello mushrooms
Brush vegetables with olive oil, dust with salt and pepper, and grill until tender
Brush slice of bread with olive oil (sourdough works well) and grill until golden brown...add slice of cheese (white soft like swiss or muenster) and warm till melted
Pile grilled vegetables on top adding fresh basil leaves if desired...pour balsamic vinegar over the top

Honey Lime Sweet Potatoes

6 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut crosswise into
slices 1/2 inch thick
Melted unsalted butter for brushing, plus
2 Tbs. butter
1/2 cup honey, at room temperature
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Bring a saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat. Add the sweet potato slices and boil for 10 minutes. Drain and let cool.
Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat. Brush the potato slices with the melted butter.
Grill the potato slices over the hottest part of a charcoal fire or directly over the heat elements of a gas grill, turning once, until fork-tender, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over low heat, mix the honey and lime juice until smooth. Add the 2 Tbs. butter and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper. Brush the sweet potatoes on both sides with the glaze and grill them briefly, turning once, about 30 seconds per side. Serve hot. Serves 6.

Lime Romaine Salad

Squeeze one lime...2 T olive oil, 1/2 t salt
chop Romaine lettuce
garnish with grated parmesan cheese

Weekly Menu #1 - Nathan and Jill

Our family has decided to share a week's worth of recipes with each other.
Monday (We didn't make this because I brought home a pizza from Costco)
3 Cheese Pizza using "fresh pizza dough" from Winco, tomato basil marinara, and the cheeses (Ricotta, Mozzarella, and Feta)
Mixed greens salad with tomato and avocado

(OK we didn't make this either, but the Watermelon Soup is my recipe)
Watermelon tomato soup and cheese quesadillas (we want to make sure to make use of this delicious recipe at least once more before we the tasty watermelons are finished for the season)

Watermelon Tomato Soup
1 personal seedless watermelon, cut 1 1/2 c in 1 inch cubes (set aside), puree the rest in a blender
3 medium tomatos, seeded & peeled, cut up one into 1/2 inch cubes (set aside), puree the rest with the watermelon

Saute for about 5 minutes:
1 1/2 T olive oil
1 T finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 T finely chopped fresh ginger
1 Shallot (but next time I'm going to try scallions, think it would be better)

1 c of the watermelon puree and cook for about 5 minutes.

To watermelon puree in blender:
Hot ingredients
2-3 T fresh lime juice
Handful of cilantro
1/2 - 3/4 tsp salt

Place in glass serving bowl:
Chopped Watermelon and Tomato
1 small seeded & peeled cucumber cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 - 1 seeded finely chopped serrano chile

Pour ingredients from blender over chopped items and stir.

Serve at chilled or at room temperature.

Wednesday (This was delicious and there were plenty of leftovers. I used 6 tsp boullion plus 6 cups of water instead of broth. Next time, I'll use only 4-5 tsp bouillon to 6-7 cups of water:
Crockpot dinner (make it in the morning and then have the delicious aroma of it slow-cooking all day, plus then all you do is ladle it out at dinner time). This is a new recipe for us...not sure if we'll do the ketchup and we are going to add potatoes.

1 pound of stew beef, cut into 1/2" chunks
2 c. carrots, diced
1 c. celery, diced
1 lg. onion, diced
1/2 c. uncooked barley
1/4 chopped parsley
6 cups of beef or vegetable broth
2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. dried basil
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp. catsup
Brown the beef in a non-stick saute pan in minimal oil. Remove beef chuinks and place in crockpot. Add the diced vegetables to the pan and stir them around to pick up the flavor bits. Add 1/4 cup of water to the saute pan and stir. Move vegetables to the crockpot with the beef and add the remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Check near the end of the cook time to see if you need to add more liquid.

Thursday (This recipe was disappointing. All the right ingredients, the sauce tasted delicious by itself, but was lacking when added to the pasta. We didn't make the stuffed tomatoes):
Pasta Verde, stuffed tomatoes (we are not using as many tomatoes as this recipe calls for), and sauteed carrots

2 Tbs. olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups coarsely chopped raw spinach
1 cup ricotta cheese (9 oz.)
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tb. fresh basic (1 tsp. dried)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp. nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt to taste
1 to 1 1/2 lbs. pasta (fettucine, spaghetti, or egg noodles)
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Saute the onions and garlic in the oil until the onions are translucent. Rinse the washed, chopped spinach in a colander and then add it, still damp, to the onions. Cover the pan. When the spinach is wilted and still very bright green, puree the sauteed vegetables with the other sauce ingredients at medium speed in a blender or food processor. Cook and drain the pasta. Toss the sauce with the hot, drained pasta in a warm bowl. Serve immediately, garnished with grated Parmesan cheese.

Oven-Roasted Plum Tomatoes

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
12 large plum tomatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds), halved lengthwise
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Assorted fillings (such as whole-milk ricotta cheese, pesto, chopped olives, small fresh mozzarella balls, soft fresh goat cheese, and anchovies)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Remove seeds and juices from tomato halves. Arrange tomato halves, cut side up, on prepared sheet; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, then drizzle with oil. Roast tomatoes until slightly charred and tender, about 50 minutes. Cool completely on sheet. Spoon desired filling into each.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Invasion - Robin Cook

Invasion Invasion by Robin Cook

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Entertaining, but written as if it were a screen play. I could picture each chapter as a new scene.

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Monday, October 05, 2009

Olive Kitteridge - Elizabeth Strout (Book Group)

Olive Kitteridge: A Novel in Stories Olive Kitteridge: A Novel in Stories by Elizabeth Strout

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I loved the concept of this book. 12 stories in which the main character appears. But....they were all very depressing. Beautifully written, interesting stories, way to sad for me. If there'd been a few happy events in her life, the book would have recieved 5 stars.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dead to the World - Charlaine Harris

Dead to the World (Sookie Stackhouse, #4) Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Another fun Sookie Stackhouse book. Although Sookie is the main character in each book, they all have a new and interesting twist on the supernatural world.

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Travels in the Scriptorium - Paul Auster

Travels in the Scriptorium: A Novel Travels in the Scriptorium: A Novel by Paul Auster

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Very strange book. It takes place in a single room during a single day. A confused elderly man is the main character. He isn't sure why he's there or who he is, but you find out that he's been involved in some sort of intrigue and violence, which he senses but can't remember.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Saturday, September 05, 2009

It does wonderful things for your tastebuds - Blueberry Scones

Fantastic Blueberry Scones.

Breakfast With Buddha - Roland Merullo (Book Group)

Breakfast with Buddha Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Merullo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I selected this book for our monthly book group read. During our road trip in July, I found it in a small bookstore in Bandon and thought it would be fun to read. It sounded funny and light. It wasn't, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the uptight book editor driving across the country with his sister's Yogi.

Definitely has a spiritual element with which traditional Christians will disagree, however there are nuggets for everyone. Recommended..with an open mind.

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Rising from the Ashes – Chile Rellenos

At Beaverton Farmer’s Market we found some beautiful peppers for a great price. They were light yellowish-green, long and slightly narrow and we had no idea what to do with them. So I asked a man who had a giant bag full, “What are planning to do with all those peppers?” He didn’t know, but his wife curtly responded “Chile Rellenos”. We just had to buy some, so $1 later we walked out with six. We also bought some other lovely sweet red heart shaped peppers and cilantro.

A week later it was time to use them so the chile relleno planning began with a visit to the internet for instruction. From charring the outside of the peppers, to separating and whipping egg whites, to frying them in plenty of oil, the instructions were very thorough so I left Pat to it while I did some other stuff upstairs.

The smoke alarm and hazy air didn’t worry me (I’ve seen that before). But Joel yelling for my help brought me down the stairs with hopes that my kitchen was not engulfed in flames. It wasn’t, but the peppers were slightly more than charred. Unfortunately, the broiler did a number on them and there was no pepper left, just a few seeds and fibers, when the charred skin was removed.

What to do? The batter was ready, the salsa was ready, the oil was getting hot. Sweet red peppers and zucchini to the rescue. While I was charring the red peppers, Pat battered and fried the zucchini. The zucchini came off the heat just as the red peppers were peeled and stuffed with Jack Cheese ready for frying.

The sides of fried zucchini and refried beans were the perfect compliments. Although I’ve never had red chile rellenos, these were by far the best chile rellenos I’ve ever had. Flavorful, colorful, and delicious.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

More on Watermelon Soup

I recommend replacing the shallot with scallion and garnishing with fresh cilantro and maybe basil.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Watermelon Tomato Soup

A few weeks ago at the Beaverton Farmer's Market, The Saucebox restaurant's chef prepared a super delicious Watermelon-Tomato Soup. I knew I had to make it, but have been unable to find the recipe. His had pickled melon in it, which was super tasty, but here's my take on it.

1 personal seedless watermelon, cut 1 1/2 c in 1 inch cubes (set aside), puree the rest in a blender
3 medium tomatos, seeded & peeled, cut up one into 1/2 inch cubes (set aside), puree the rest with the watermelon

Saute for about 5 minutes:
1 1/2 T olive oil
1 T finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 T finely chopped fresh ginger
1 Shallot (but next time I'm going to try scallions, think it would be better)

1 c of the watermelon puree and cook for about 5 minutes.

To watermelon puree in blender:
Hot ingredients
2-3 T fresh lime juice
Handful of cilantro
1/2 - 3/4 tsp salt

Place in glass serving bowl:
Chopped Watermelon and Tomato
1 small seeded & peeled cucumber cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 - 1 seeded finely chopped serrano chile

Pour ingredients from blender over chopped items and stir.

Serve at chilled or at room temperature.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Kindred - Octavia Butler

Kindred Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I love time travel. In this book a black woman from 1976 keeps getting drawn back to a plantation in the early 1800's. She seems to be responsible for the well - being of her ancestor, a white plantation owner. Well worth reading.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Quinoa Tabbouleh

My friend Karen brought a delicious Quinoa dish to work today and it reminded me of my mom's tabbouleh, so I made up this recipe. It was ever so delicious. We ate and ate and ate until it was all gone.

Quinoa Tabbouleh
1 cup quinoa
1 3/4 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 Tbs olive oil

Rinse Quinoa, then cook with water and salt for about 20 minutes (until water is absorbed). Stir in olive oil and let sit until about room temp (doesn't really need to get all the way cool)

While quinoa is cooking, chop into about 3/8 in. pieces:
1 medium tomato
1 medium cucumber
1 avocado
apx 1/4 c chopped onion (I used a red onion from farmer's market)
generous handful of cilantro
small handful of arugula (optional)

Dressing (apx measure):
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
1/4 c olive oil

Stir up dressing, I used my magic bullet. Mix together quinoa, veggies, and dressing. Enjoy. Pita chips would be good, but we ate it with our favorite Juanitas Corn Chips (from Winco).

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Club Dead - Charlaine Harris

LeAnne's  book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

Summer Road Trip - Hubby's Report

After a beautiful early morning ride along the Fall River, everyone had a great time wake boarding at the lake with the Schmunk family, along with Nathan and Jill’s friends - Kerry Ann, Garrett and their two kids.

Jason, Heather, Sydney and their new baby….Landon had to head back home to South Carolina, so Darla and their gang hopped in the car and headed to San Francisco to make their flight. Darla stayed in SF for the evening and drove back the next day.

The rest of us headed back to Bill and Darla’s house for a little more relaxation and dinner.

Everyone went to bed early…not really.

Bill went to work to catch up with a few patients that were in need of a little dental work. So, the rest of us – Pat, LeAnne, Joel, Jill, and Nathan to decided to do a little more nothing. After LeAnne and I took the doggies for a little walk up Saddle Mountain (no leashes), we met for a little breakfast and more relaxation. We basically hung out reading, sleeping, talking, and do a lot of nothing out in the back area – protected by the mosquito netting. The homemade beer was again a major success….!!!

Bill arrived home in the afternoon and Darla arrived from SF. She was a bit tired, however very excited about doing a little golfing

Bill, Nathan, and I woke up early to get in a little fishing (LeAnne, Darla and Jill headed to Burney Falls for a little hiking and Joel decided to sleep in)

evening water skiing. So, off we went, back to the lake. What a beautiful evening it was!!! Water like glass – and very warm…. Jill went first – slalom with the BOOM. Yay!! Then, she got up with the boom and a short line – after the 10th try….YAY!!!

Darla went second…. Wow!!! Ex – professional water skier. Skied since she was 1 week old…. Next

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Living Dead in Dallas - Charlaine Harris

Living Dead in Dallas (Sookie Stackhouse, #2) Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Fun reading. Probably more enjoyable than the TV series True Blood. Sookie Stackhouse is naughty, brave, and funny. Will keep reading the series.

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Sunday, August 02, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Day 5 - Lava Beds

Saturday morning we drove north to the Lava Beds to go spelunking. Somehow, I was expecting that it would be fairly well marked and/or supervised. No, you're basically on your own. Fortunately, maps are available at the visitor center and we had lots of headlamps and flashlights. It could have been scary and claustrophobic, but we had a lot of cool heads with us.

All 11, including children, went into the first cave, which was basically a figure 8. You couldn't really get lost, but it was dark and had interesting lava flows. The second cave, The Catacombs, was much more complex and a map was needed. Baby Landon, Darla and I waited outside in hopes the baby would take a nap. No one got lost so we headed to Medicine Lake for lunch.