Friday, December 31, 2010

BREAKFAST FOR DINNER

When my niece Jaysa was here she mentioned she loved breakfast for dinner. We had not done that for a long time. Neither of us were very hungry last night and wanted something light. So I said, how about an omelet? Sounds good, hubby replied.
This turned out to be a very yummy omelet. It holds in it's center, sweet onion ,cilantro, Anaheim pepper and cheddar cheese. We topped it off more cheese and a sprinkling of crispy fried bacon and served a small toasted slice of our favorite Tuscan bread along side. We shared the omelet, two thirds for hubby, one third for me. It was perfect.

This afternoon late we are going to the Oregon Duck Store and buying new OREGON DUCK BCS shirts, we are so excited about the championship game on the 10th of January. We will stop and have something to eat after.
Our New Years eve will be low key. Imre found an appetizer on the food network that he wants to make, we will play games and perhaps wander down to my sis in law's later. Who knows if we will be awake at midnight. We try is all I can say, sometimes we see the ball drop at Times Square, sometimes not. So tomorrow starts a new year. We hope it will bring lots of work for us and others that are struggling so.

This is short today.
Happy New Year to you all.
I will write again next year!
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Timothy Lake Or.

I am so busy today so will make this short and sweet.
Another photo compliments of my son. This is Timothy Lake near Mt. Hood. What a serene lake, looks like a Christmas Card. Wouldn't you love to sit there bundled up in winter gear sipping a hot toddy? I would.

Well the scene here today is dismal once again. It has rained throughout the day so no walk again. I could have probably made a short jaunt this morning early as the showers started about nine. But hey I was not through with my coffee and newspaper. I do feel guilty though as exercise is more important than news in my opinion.

Hubby and I are going on a little outing on Friday. We are going to the Oregon Duck Store at the mall and hoping to buy long sleeve BCS Championship tee's. We figured by Friday we may be able to get into a store. We will also go to lunch have not decided where yet.
I went to Fred Meyer yesterday as I needed a few staples for the cupboard. I was pretty perturbed as I circled the huge parking lot for ten minutes bumper to bumper along with everyone else. You just had to be in the right place when a car was leaving a spot to get the space. I finally was getting so irritated(not a good trait that I have) that I went to the adjoining business and barely found a parking space then had to walk in the rain to the store.........bah...hum...bug! I thought Christmas shopping was over. It looked like crazed folks just grabbing this and that. The line at the customer service counter must have had over thirty people in line all chatting it up, this is fun? No one ever told me. A few times I came upon ladies just a beaming and grabbing at things in a excited state. I had to dive out the way approaching an isle as I almost got clipped by an out of control cart, I don't think the driver could see me as the pile in the cart was above her head. Give me my chair and a good book anytime, I am a dull person I have decided. I was so happy to get home I pulled in the driveway and shouted YES! To no one at all...............perfect!
Well on that note I will leave you until tomorrow.


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Monday, December 27, 2010

CLASSIC TURKEY DIVAN



Today our sky is a gray flannel blanket that is starting to give off moisture. Typical for a northwest winter day. I hope I can get my walk in today as yesterday was a deluge!

It is definitely going to be turkey week at this household. We had a repeat of Christmas dinner last night and tonight we are having Turkey Divan, tomorrow night turkey taco's. Then with the final remains we will have turkey soup with home made egg noodles. Then enough already!

We were sure laid back yesterday. I read snuggled in my chair as the rain assaulted the windows. Hubby was cozy on the sofa with his blanket watching the telly. We will take the rain any day than what is happening in the northeast right now. The paper said that the New Jersey shore had a foot and a half of snow and 40 per mile winds........no thanks.
Watching the news and all those vehicles sliding everywhere conjured up memories of the years spent driving in Central Oregon, white knuckle driving as I called it.

Here is the recipe for the Turkey Divan. I have been making this recipe for longer than I can remember with left over turkey. It is yummy and easy to make.

CLASSIC TURKEY DIVAN
Two bunches of fresh broccoli trimmed
1/4 cup butter or margarine
6 tablespoons of flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups of chicken broth
1/2 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons dry sherry, I prefer to use a splash of white wine instead
Three to four cups of roasted turkey
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Paprika for sprinkling on top of casserole

Steam or boil broccoli then drain
Melt butter in a saucepan, add flour and whisk together to make a roux while slowly pouring in the chicken broth while constantly stirring making a smooth mixture. Add the salt and pepper keep stirring until the mixture thickens and bubbles then stir in the cream and wine and remove from heat.
Place broccoli pieces crosswise in a 12x7 1/2 casserole dish sprayed with a little cooking oil for easy cleanup.
Add half of the sauce then top with the turkey pieces. To the remaining sauce stir in the Parmesan cheese and pour over the turkey. Grate more Parmesan over the top and sprinkle with paprika.
Bake 350 degree's for 25 minutes till heated and then pop under the broiler till the sauce is bubbly and golden.
Makes 6-8 servings.
I will serve this with the last of the apple sausage dressing and cranberry sauce. I hope you try this recipe it is a great way to serve left over turkey or chicken.

My husband is working today it has been so dreadfully slow for him. We need the $$$$ as well as I need my space at home for a few days. How do retired folks do it, you know being together all the time? I know we do quite well as we are compatible and we are quiet together so we have our own space but it's still not the same as being totally alone with one's thoughts and daily doings.

I have much to accomplish today so best get at it.
Have a great Monday whatever you are doing. I know the folks on the east coast are probably snuggled up in new cozy socks and sweats and spending the day indoors watching the snow pile up.

Golly, when this blog published for some reason the font size is huge, I tired to change it but no such luck. At least you can read it unless you are nearly blind..........sorry.




Sunday, December 26, 2010

JAYSA'S VISIT


We had a great visit with our niece Jaysa.
What a bright light she is. Her chatter and exuberance lit up our home. We had a fun evening filled with good food and drink, a gift exchange and movies.
I find that Jaysa and I are quite alike in many ways. We both love to read, we are into silver jewelry especially rings. We are both artsy. We both love to talk sometimes both chattering at once. She is not yet 30 and she is my younger brothers youngest child. My Mother her grandmother just adored her. My Mom would say to me, she reminds me so much of you Zo. Well she was right I think. I usually only saw Jaysa when she was at my Mother's home visiting. I miss that we could not have been closer when she was younger but there is still time for much sharing and becoming closer, I am looking forward to that.

Well the Christmas holiday has now come and gone. I am sorry I was so remiss about blogging these past couple of weeks. It is a busy time of year. I also have been negligent in taking food photo's.

Yesterday we had the most amazing turkey I have ever roasted and I forgot to take a photo the thought never passed through my mind. The last minute preparation is a busy time with turkey dinner. I was mashing potatoes and making gravy and getting the items on the table.
Our menu was. Roasted turkey, I rubbed olive oil on the skin and then put a rub of kosher salt, cracked black pepper, oregano, cumin, paprika and garlic power. The skin was a nice rich color and crispy just like hubby likes it. Inside the bird I nested fresh rosemary and lemon. The aroma coming from the oven was mouth watering. The rest of the meal consisted of my apple, sausage and nut cornbread dressing, sauteed brussel sprouts with crispy bacon and shallots in a buttery sauce. Mashed potatoes and turkey gravy made from the good pan drippings, cranberry sauce, and yeast rolls. For desert we had rum cake, a fave ours.
The table was festive in an old fashioned way. We had a large oil lamp and several candles for our lighting. I used my Mother's green plates with gold rims, and the xmas place mats she had made for me years ago and bright red napkins. The silverware I used was left to me by my aunt and is a gorgeous pattern in sterling silver. I makes my heart so happy to use these things that were so cherished and touched with loving hands so many years ago.
Tonight we will have the meal again.........hubby said this morning he cannot wait so I suspect we may eat early this evening.

We went to my sis in law's late afternoon to see family. Our two nieces Kara and Sarah were there as well as hubby's Mother and younger sis and husband. Sarah showed us photo's on her laptop of her time spent last summer in Europe. I will share more about Sarah and what she is doing after she forwards me her photo's so I can share some of those also.

Today is a lazy day now that the festivities are over. I am looking forward to sitting in my chair and reading. The book I am reading right now is rather heavy in that I mean you can only read a couple chapters then must set it down as it is quite draining. I think my next book shall be much lighter something I can flit though quickly.

We woke in the middle of the night to a battering wind storm. The wind was howling and the rain was wild on the roof and against the windows. I was very happy I was warm and cozy in my bed and I thought about the homeless in our city trying to find refuge from the storm. It made me sad.

I do not know if a walk is possible today. I stepped out on the deck earlier and the air is chilled at it's edges and it raining lightly. I may skip the walk and just be a lazy girl today.
Till tomorrow.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

WINTER WONDERLAND


Another photo compliments of my son. Wow, how he loves his snowmobile trips and taking photo's. No wonder it is awesome in the mountains in winter with fresh snowfall.

At this moment we are warm. Hubby was just sitting out on the deck with his face to the sun. I just completed my walk and it was amazing. The sky was filled with crows once again and the sun was bright and hot on my face. Such a pleasure after these gray soggy days we have had.

I made a very yummy pepper crusted prime rib Saturday night and once again I had every intention of taking a photo. However we had company for dinner and all were starved so no time for pictures. I will admit this was the first prime rib I have made. I suppose that sounds odd but usually we have prime rib dinning out. I researched the best way to roast one on the Internet and I am going to share this good simple way of making one.
Prime Rib Roast
Let prime rib sit at room temperature for two hours
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
I made a rub of kosher salt, lots of cracked black pepper and garlic powder
I patted dry the prime rib and then rubbed olive oil on the sides and ends
I then patted in the seasonings until the ends and sides were totally covered. No need to put rub on the bone side.
Place in a pan with at least two inch sides bone side down. I sprayed my pan with cooking spray for easy cleanup
Into the 450 oven without covering bake for 15 minutes, without opening the oven door lower the heat to 325 degree's and continue to roast at 13 minutes per pound
When an instant read thermometer reads 120 degrees(for rare) or 125 for med-rare) remove from oven and cover tightly with foil and let stand for 20 minutes. It will continue to bake till perfect. To crave cut off the strings, and remove the bone side in one piece by slicing along the bone line next to the roast. This way you can then slice the boneless roast into 1/4 to 1/2 slices. This makes for a beautiful presentation.
Use the drippings in the bottom of the roaster pan for your Au jus juice. I scrapped up the bits off the bottom of the pan and added a can of beef broth and heated.
Serve with lots of horseradish sauce and small individual dishes with Au Jus for dipping.
The meat was a perfect med rare like we prefer it. It was juicy and so tender. I will not hesitate to make it again.

Hubby just got through vacuuming all the hardwood flooring. I first had all the area rugs to clean and remove from the floors. It is a project and for now all is free of dust bunnies.
Tomorrow we are having my niece Jaysa from Salem and her brother Aaron from Portland for dinner and they will spend the night. We put together a little stocking stuffer for each of them. This was a surprise, this visit. Aaron has a friend here in Eugene he wanted to visit, so we are happy they are stopping by to see us. We do not see enough of them. I am making my spinach lasagna will serve with Trader Joes' filone bread and a green salad.

Xmas Eve honey and I are having seared flat iron steaks with peppercorn mushroom sauce, sauteed garlic green beans and a relish tray assortment. We bought a nice bottle of King Estate pinot noir. This is a very special wine and comes right from our own Willamette Valley. King Estate Winery is world renown. We always try to do make our meal and drinks special on Christmas Eve.
Christmas Day will be roasted turkey with all the trimmings. As we had ham for Thanksgiving we will enjoy the turkey. We eat on it for a days, the last remains go into a pot of soup with home made egg noodles.
The only baking I am doing this year is the rum cake we both love. I have made it every year we have been together which is a lot of years. This cake is so moist and rummy you do not need ice cream or whip cream to dollop on top.

Well I have chatted enough for one day. I still have some things I want to accomplish today so best get at it. I cannot say enough how wonderful it is to have the back door open this afternoon and let our winter house get a fresh breath of air.

I know a lot of you must be scrambling as there is not much time left before the holiday. But take a moment to reflect and be so thankful for the small and truly important things in life. Your health, your loved ones, having a place to live where you can stay warm and dry and having enough to eat. There are so many that have none of these basic things. So do be grateful for what you have in these hard times.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

ZO'S SCALLOPED POTATOES



















These are such good potatoes. When I serve up scalloped potatoes for company they always disappear, not even a leftover spoonful.
I think the secret is making a Bechamel sauce and adding my seasonings and cheese to that. I also add another layer of cheese over the top with either some scallions, or in this case a few sliced jalenpeno's a sprinkle of paprika and into the oven for a hour and fifteen minutes (or until the potatoes are tender) at 400 degrees.
We had this dish last night with a side of broccoli and biscuits. Not exactly low cal but I used portion control believe me I could have eaten another portion easily.
As far as the recipe is concerned. Basically just make a white sauce enough to cover all the ingredients in the casserole dish. I added salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, chicken broth and a cup of cheese to the sauce. Take the time to make your sauce slowly so it is really creamy and well blended. Then I sprayed a little cooking oil in the bottom of my casserole for easy cleanup. I put in four potatoes that had been sliced thin, topped them with sweet onions sliced thin, added a half rope of kielbasa cut into rounds. I added all of the sauce over the top and topped with additional cheese, jalapeno slices and paprika. I used a 7x11 casserole which is perfect for the two of us.

The sun is out this morning and coming brightly through the dirty living room windows. I must take care of that issue today. Yesterday I cleaned windows in the kitchen and nook, I so like sparkling clean windows.

We made a decision not to get a xmas tree this year. As far as I know no one is joining us for Christmas though my daughter he her honey will be here for New Years weekend. So yesterday I began creating a holiday scene in the house without the tree. I have a number of area's glowing with twinkly lights. There are snowflakes hanging in the windows on long ribbons. I have filled the old antique oil lamps with red oil and many candles adorn the tables. Today hubby and I will add twinkly lights in the kitchen area. I love the atmosphere that the little lights give to a home. I listened to Christmas C.D's yesterday while decorating, that is a tradition for me.

Hubby is away for a while this morning as he has a couple of bids. Work has been so slow so this is good news. Hopefully he will land both jobs. I will tidy the house and walk before he returns. Then we can work on hanging those kitchen lights.

Where ever you are enjoy the day. It is mild here through chillier than it has been for a while. At least we do not have to deal with those terrible snow storms that the upper Midwest is getting. Horrible. No thanks! Give me the good old NW any day.
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

MY SONS PHOTO'S

















Here are few more shots of my son's snowmobiling adventures in the Mt. Hood area.

I have nothing to chat about today in regards to food as we had frozen pizza for lunch yesterday and last night I made turkey and swiss panini's. But I have already blogged about panini's in a previous blog. So no new news there. We do love them and make them about once a month.

Yesterday hubby and I decided to dig into our office closet and check out our board games. We thought it would be fun to play Trivial Pursuit as we have not played that game for at least ten years. So we played and we were so bad, we were laughing like crazy as we could not even answer enough questions to move around the board. So we revised the game to" Trivial Pursuit for Idiots" so we could play. We had so much fun and spent about three plus hours playing. We will play again today, surely we will get better. We are gamers as we call ourselves. I loved games when I was a child and I am no different today and I am still so competitive.......to competitive. When I was a very young girl my Grandmother taught me how to play Canasta. Remember that game? Anyhow I went to a family reunion a couple of years ago and my cousin Ed said, remember how you would rope me into playing Canasta with you for hours? He said, you always beat me bad, then I found out that you were not even playing the right rules! Did I think they were the right rules? Now that is the question.

Our weather here today is very mild it is almost fifty. However it is showery. It was not showering when I got up but by the time I lallygagged away the morning the showers did move in. Now I cannot walk. My walk yesterday was miserable and I only managed half my loop and then cut back to the house. I was wet and cold it was not pleasant.

Well I must get on with my day. We are going out for lunch today as well as dinner at my sis in law's. So a day away from the kitchen and hubby made breakfast too!
Till later.
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

SALSA

Hubby did have a good time with the salsa making. He made three different kinds. Two were keepers. The favorite was the tomatillo salsa. This recipe was taken from a food network show. The photo to the right on the bottom is the tomatillo's, arbol dried peppers, onions and garlic frying in a pan till caramelized. The skin of the onion is left on the wedges as well as the skin of the garlic clove. The tomatillo's paper like peel is removed and the tomatillo is rinsed well under the water as they are a little sticky. The above mentioned is all put in a skillet with a little olive and cooked about twenty minutes or so until the tomatillo's are soft and slightly caramelized.
When the veggies have cooled remove the skins from the onions and garlic and then put all in a blender with a handful of chopped cilantro and the juice of a half lime and salt and pepper. Blend well and you have the salsa shown in the blue dish. It is a pretty yellow green color and taste amazing. We had it on our scrambled eggs this morning.

Ingredients:
Four tomatillo's
1/2 onion cut into two wedges(these may separate when cooked, does not matter)
3 arbol dried peppers (these are available at the grocery store in the ethnic section)
1 large clove garlic
olive oil for frying
cilantro
juice of lime
salt and pepper

The second salsa is a smokey roasted salsa. Myself I do not care for the smokey salsa's. In a dry skillet you char the tomatoes and onions and the cloves of garlic. You keep turning the tomatoes with tongs to get them blistered on all sides. Remove from pan when charred and let rest until cooled. Then cut the tomatoes cross wise and remove the seeds. In a blender add the charred vegetables and combine with canned chipotle chili peppers in adobo sauce, fresh lime juice, fresh cilantro leaves and the oil. Whirl to desired consistency(either chunky or smooth). Cover and keep in fridge for up to three days. Makes 3 cups.

Ingredients:
3 cloves of garlic peeled
one medium onion quartered
3 large tomatoes
1 canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons salad oil(canola)
1/4 cup cilantro leaves

The third salsa hit the garbage disposal and disappeared from sight. It was horrid. It looked very interesting but we were sorely disappointed as it tasted very bitter and bland. Should I say I spit it out? Well you get the picture.

We had fun. I sat at the nook table and watched hubby for a couple hours doing his thing in the kitchen. He was sipping wine and having a enjoyable time. Later we worked together to clean up the mess.
Tonight we are having bean and veggie tostada's and I know I am topping mine with the tomatilla salsa............now that is some good stuff!

Must walk in the rain today, so best grab the umbrella and get to it.
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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

WOK FOOD A FAVE!

This wok food is such good healthy fare and a great way to eat your veggies.
I chopped up chicken tenders, salt and peppered them rolled them in corn starch and fried in the wok till done. I then removed them and sat aside. Then I wiped out the wok and added a little canola oil till the wok very hot and added the chopped veggies. I always love that first sizzle when the vegetables hit the hot wok. While stirring them around I added a little Bragg's amino's. This is a soy based product but natural and very nutritious and not as salty as soy sauce.
These are the vegetables I choose this time. Bok choy(Chinese cabbage) radish's, zucchini, onion, carrot, celery, edamame, orange bell pepper and green bell pepper. After the vegetables were crisp tender I added the chicken back in to heat.
Then we spooned the veggies and chicken over sticky rice in bowls. Topped with a little sweet and sour sauce and little more Bragg's and crunchy Chinese noodles. I like this wok food with shrimp and chicken mixed or just shrimp, beef or pork. Or you can skip all the meat and have a straight veggie meal. Of course as always you can use any vegetables you prefer.
To make the food pretty and interesting I sliced the carrots two ways. One way was into ovals the other was thin strips I made by using the peeler. Also I cut the peppers two ways. I made match sticks and slices.

We went shopping for the ingredients to make three different kinds of salsa. I will post photo's with the results, hubby is doing this. He thought it would make for a fun day. I will tell all about his adventure in the kitchen with the many kinds of peppers and such.

Till later have a good day and eat your peppers. They keep your digestion system operating efficiently and the doctor away too. Or is that the apple? I forget. Silly me!



Tuesday, December 7, 2010

SATURDAY SNOWMOBILE TRIP

This photo is compliments of my son. He is what I call a throttle guy! From the time he was so very young he has loved anything that made a roar and had a throttle. He comes to life in cold snowy weather. He has always loved a challenge and enjoys doing things that push him to his limits. Snow camping alone, no problem. Hauling a pack, tent and gear on a mountain bike for miles to a remote camping spot, no problem. He thrives doing such things. He is quite amazing with his outdoor skills and knowledge. I gave up worrying about him years ago, but it still relieves me to know he takes his cell phone and lets someone know where he is heading off to. I post will one of his outdoor photo's every once in a while.

It is a depressing day here in Eugene. Once again we are under lock and key of low fog. Now there is a cold drizzle to accompany the fog. I tried to walk, came back to the house though before doing my usual loop. My legs were cold and getting damp from the drizzle and my face and hands were freezing. So I bagged it! I came in and fixed a hot cup of tea and curled up in my cozy chair and started a new book. It is always exciting starting a new book, like opening a special gift.

This after noon I am going to do some needed things in the office. Not that I have had much work related office duties to tend to as it has been so slow for hubby. However there are always things to do in here. Right now a good furniture waxing and desk top cleaning are in order. I really need to to shred. The huge basket I use for paper work that needs shredding is overflowing. What a boring thing to do, sit on a little stool and shred the day away.........no thanks!

We are having stir fry this evening. I ran to the store today for fresh produce. I bought an array of nutritious and colorful veggies. I have some chicken tenders thawing out so will chop and fry those first in the wok, then remove and fry up the vegetables and add the chicken back in. We are serving it up over sticky rice. We like to put a little sweet and sour along with amino acids over the top. Bragg's liquid amino acids is better for you than soy sauce and it taste better also. I also add a little of that to vegetables while I toss them in the wok. You can buy that product in the health food section of your grocery store.
I have a rolled steel wok that I have had for over thirty years. It is well used at this point as it is totally black on the inside and does an amazing job. I love it for deep frying also. We bought a little electric deep fryer a few years back and tried it once. That was enough, it now sits in a storage cupboard in the garage with other useless items. The wok works better, gets hotter and requires way less oil.

I picked up frozen berries from the farm before they closed for the season. So I am going to make jam to go with some other stocking stuffers for the holiday's. Food items in jars are cute with a fabric top and decorative label. I enjoy doing things like that. I am also going to give our family down the street some homemade marinara sauce made from our own tomatoes. Remember I made freezer tomato sauce the end of summer? I also have a good recipe for wine mustard it is very good served with sausages. The mustard has a sweet/hot bite. It is easy to make. I think food items that you have taken the time to make from scratch are always appreciated, especially by those that are full time workers.
We are unconventional I suppose in our holiday traditions. I love to decorate the house and hauling out the same things year after year comforts me. Our tree is usually tall, large and loaded. I use a combination or white and silver ornaments with red bows and clear lights. We put on hundreds of items all selected for their sparkle. My Mother has been gone for quite some time now but in a way she is here for the holiday's as usual. I have all of her rhinestone and crystal jewelry and it adorns our tree. It sparkles and shimmers and I remember all the pieces as she wore them all (not all at once of course) on the holidays. So decorating is big for us. The two other faves are food and drink and sharing our hospitality with others is important to us. Seems every year we have different family here but it all works. I just always say, whoever shows up is meant to be here! Where we are different is that we do not shop for gifts. We do exchange with those that come but the gifts are small, usually home made or home crafted and thoughtful. That way we have something under the tree to look forward to. But the food is abundant and the drinks flow. At the end of the eveing I will sit at the piano and play Christmas music. It just brings back to me my memories from childhood when my grandmother and I would play together for our family. I have always done that and everyone seems to enjoy it. Most of the songs are traditional and I play a few that I have composed myself. A big request is Frosty the Snowman and Jingle Bells, boy you can rock with those songs!

Well I must now get to my office chores.
I just looked out to see if the sky is any lighter. Appears there is no hope for that today. Maybe the sky will be brighter tomorrow.


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Monday, December 6, 2010

LEFTOVERS

Posted by PicasaThis was a very good dish. We ate half so tonight it is on the menu again.
The pork roast was tender and juicy with a hint of heat. I already mentioned yesterday in my blog what I did with the roast. Here is how I put it all together.
I used a 7x11 casserole dish. But you can use any size you like just make less or more enchilada's. I also used a large can of the green enchilada sauce and about two cups of cheese for the top.
The recipe is so easy, just simple enchilada's. I sprayed my casserole dish with cooking spray for easy cleanup. Then I put a ladle full of the green enchilada sauce in the bottom to cover. I sprayed my corn tortillas with cooking spray and heated them till limp and then added the shredded pork and rolled them and placed them seam down in the casserole dish. Then I completely covered them with all the enchilada sauce. Then I topped them with lots of cheddar cheese and nacho sliced jalapeno peppers. I baked them at 375 degree's for about thirty five minutes till all was bubbly and the cheese had started to brown. After serving up we topped them off with a dollop of sour cream, splashes medium hot taco sauce and minced orange sweet pepper and sweet onion and served with black beans along side with the same toppings.

Well this blog will be short as it is Monday and I have much on my plate to take care of today.
Tomorrow I am going to post wonderful photo my son took while snowmobiling near Mt. Hood this past weekend.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

LAST WINTER

Well thankfully we have not seen this white stuff yet this year. This was the view of our street from the living room window.
Today we have a clear skies well there are a sprinkling of clouds here and there very high in the sky. It is chilly out as there is a small breeze. I walked earlier and bundled up to much, I was peeling off clothes before I returned home.

The the main thing I have to say today is...........our OREGON DUCKS did their job once again. We are on our way to the national championships in January. This is an amazing feat for our university and team.
It amazed yesterday as were watching the game the amount of folks strolling along the side walks walking their dogs. Drivers buzzing by the house.............why aren't they in their houses watching the DUCKS play ball. After all they live in the very area that it is taking place and folks are watching from all over America. Go figure?
I did pretty well I never chewed one fingernail. Well I do not have any left to chew but that is beside the point I was being good. I did however twist my hair so much it looked like I had dreadlocks. I just get nervous and need to do something with my hands. If it is someone other than our OREGON DUCKS playing I will crochet. Now it is over till January. It will be a game I fear against Auburn. Their style of play is very much like our own. You know however even if we do not win we are winners. Just getting there is such a huge accomplishment. Somehow I do see Coach Kelly though with that crystal ball in his hands. I kept saying this whole season it is the perfect storm for us. Let us carry on to the end and win!

I put a pork roast in the slow cooker this morning. I first rubbed it with my spicy rub I make up and then put in the slow cooker and covered it with a few pickled jalapeno peppers and then topped with about a cup of salsa verde. Later when it is tender I will shred it and make enchilada's. We will have black beans to the side and load all with sour cream dollops and chopped sweet onion.
Our burgies were really good last night. We decided to wait and eat after the game which turned out to be a good idea. Hubby wanted bacon so we put bacon on them and two kinds of cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, hot peppers, onions, special sauce all on toasted onion rolls. I made home fries to go with. We had worked up a hearty appetite jumping up and down and cheering while watching the game. So it was a fun day for us here in Eugene Oregon.

Today is a laid back day for us. Sunday's normally are. Whatever you are doing enjoy your Sunday.
Till later
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Friday, December 3, 2010

JACK THOMAS WILSON

Well here is this big boy ten days young! He is a chunk and Jana said he is sleeping five hours straight at night. Good boy. He has already had outings with his mommy and daddy. To lunch twice and then downtown Seattle to see Santa. I wonder if he had his list ready? His Mommy said he was upset Sunday when the Seahawks lost...he was grouchy I think.

Another gray dull day in Eugene Oregon. My brother called earlier he was down at the river plunking. He said the sun was out though it was a tad chilly but not bad. I wanted sun today, I am jealous. Seems we get so much fog here and low clouds. We are trapped between the Coastal range and the Cascade range. So we have this tantalizing trap that all loves to hang out in.

Tomorrow is the day!!!! OREGON versus OREGON STATE. Our going to the National championships on the line. Hubby is nervous but is quite confident that we will prevail. However strange things happen in the Civil war. I do not know if I can stand another nail bitter, I have no nails left. Normally I have pretty nails, my own and natural. Of late they are ragged and splitting, they seem to be in my mouth a lot............hmmmm. I would have never thought in my younger years I would be so enthralled with college football. My hubby and his family have made me so as well as living here in the heart of it all. This city home of the OREGON ducks is crazy believe me. I know on game day if you do not wear the OREGON colors folks look at you with scorn. But of course I always wear the gear on game day, I am a girl in the know!
We are grilling burgers tomorrow at half time and then putting the grill away Sunday for the winter. I will make homemade fries to go with. I will have everything ready to go before the game starts as I cannot miss a moment of the game.
If for some horrible reason(cheating no doubt) we lose at least we go to the Rose Bowl, a nice consolation prize. However I say GO DUCKS onward to the Nationals, all the way you little quackers!

The potato soup was good last night and we will have the remains tonight. So I have night off it seems. Hubby had a big lunch out between jobs today. He is home now working on a jigsaw puzzle. In winter seems we always have the Scrabble board or a puzzle going on the dining room table. Keeps him out of trouble and my hair is what I think.

I managed to read a couple chapters today in my book. Oh I am so taken with so many of the books I read. You learn so much. Through books I have traveled the world, I have lived other lives in other places. I have experienced the heartache and emotions of others. I have cried, laughed, despaired and been lifted to amazing heights all because of books! It is hard for me understand that some folks do not read, they watch the boob tube and let it go at that or maybe read an occasional magazine article. Oh, they truly miss so much.
Well on that note, I think I may have time for another chapter. Cannot wait to see what is going to happen to Juliet, will she jump off Niagara Falls or not? See what I mean? She is only sixteen years old and has a self serving Mother who does not pay her attention and constantly hurts her with cruel words...........well it is life I suppose. There are so many realities out there, folks living lives we have no idea about. We live our own little lives comfortable in our reality of what is real for us. It is good to explore and wonder how others live. To at least feel sympathetic in our hearts and feel for their torment or in some cases their triumphs. It is good to read.
Best get off the soap box.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

MOM'S GINGER CREAM COOKIES

I had fun yesterday afternoon making these cookies. They smell so wonderful when they are baking and the house fills with the aroma of warm spices.
I like these cookies much better now than when I was a child. My husband loves the soft interior and the gingerbread taste. They taste like Christmas!
I have my Mother's old cookbooks and use them regularly. I also use her colored Pyrex bowls that have never seen the inside of a dishwasher. They are still as colorful and perfect as when they were new. But they are not new and have been used for years holding delicious foods as well as fond memories. The photo in the background is one of my Mother taken when she was a young woman I was about two years old at the time.

It is a nasty looking day. It is damp and gray. The neighborhood offers nothing of interest. Piles of grimy leaves still lingering about, dirty driveways and rain rotted plants. Yesterday as I walked I tried to find one thing that was visually attractive. Then came to view the three huge sequoia trees I pass everyday on my walk. These trees never cease to thrill me with their grandeur. They make me thankful I can walk in their presence as many others have done in years past.

Last night the spinach cheddar pie was wonderful. It came out of the oven all puffy with crispy cheese on top. I did dabble with the recipe a bit. So I am going to share how I made it as it was so tasty. It would make a great brunch dish. In fact hubby had a piece for breakfast this morning.

Spinach Cheddar Crust-less Quiche.
2 1/4 cups of cheddar cheese grated(save some for the top)
2 tablespoons of flour
4 eggs beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt and dash pepper
paprika for sprinkling
3/4's of a bag of fresh spinach chopped

Toss the cheese with the flour. In a separate large bowl combine the beaten eggs with the spinach and salt and pepper. Add the cheese mix well and pour into a greased quiche plate. Top with a little more cheese and sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
I served a salad with romaine lettuce, English cucumber slices, radishes and onion.
So we had a veggie night and it was filling and yummy. The quiche is especially good with a little hot sauce of your choice drizzled over the top.

Tonight hubby is working late so I have decided to make my sausage potato soup with Lisa's bread. The bread spread recipe was given to me years ago and it has become a favorite that we make often.

Lisa's Parmesan bread spread.
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup softened butter
1 clove of garlic minced
salt and pepper to taste
a dab of Worcestershire sauce
1 bunch of green onions thinly sliced.

Mix altogether and spread on sour bread, artisan bread or rolls. You can toast the bread or rolls first if you like for more crunch. Then pop under the broiler on Hi until the cheese mixture is all bubbly and browned slightly.
If serving a crowd or using a whole loaf of french of sourdough bread make as much as you need. Just use equal amounts of the cheese, mayo and butter.

Well I have already been to the dreaded grocery store this morning. Grocery shopping is not a fave of mine but it is out of the way for another week.
I still have things I need to accomplish today so I best get at them. I want to relax in my chair for at least an hour this afternoon with my nose in my book. This one is a page turner, so totally hard to set it down.

Till later
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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving at my brother Jacks. A good time was had by all. It was a fun day with good company and good food.
The catered dinner went well, I did not forget anything, that was my concern. The men all had seconds. I knew they would. My brother, son and grandson all cook for themselves. They actually do a good job of that but you know when someone else cooks up a meal, they cannot pass on second helpings.
The next day was college ball day. We watched two games. We won our game over Arizona. Once again we started slow but the end result is what counts. It is very exciting at this point. Now we must and I repeat MUST beat the Oregon State Beavers next Saturday in their stadium. As you know this is called the Civil War game and it is war!

My brothers house was very cozy. I brought some table decorations and candles. Friday morning he had a fire in his fireplace. How I miss a fireplace in my own home so it was a treat for us.
We left Saturday morning quite early to miss the traffic and for the most part the trip was uneventful. There was one event that could have turned nasty for us. A car on the outskirts of Portland tried to cut in front of us from the right almost sideswiping us and rear ending another vehicle. It shook us up!

My son and grandson rode together to my brothers. It was so wonderful to see them both.
My son has a big booming voice and always has many humorous stories to tell. He is quite an entertainer. My grandson is such a nice young man. He is thoughtful, easy to be with, mannerly and so handsome. What is not to love?
My nephew John, Jack's son and John's Mom Betty were there. Betty and I are close. I have known Betty since I was seven years of age. Now that is a lot of years back in time believe me. There is a lot of history to share when we start chatting. Betty kept company with me while I prepared and cooked. We could hear the men in the living room enjoying themselves with their boisterous laughter and voices.

I am off to the grocery store as soon I finish this blog. I will pick up the making for tomorrow nights dinner. I am making a cheese spinach pie. I have not made it for a number of years as I recall it was good. I am making a green salad to go with. Seems we have not had a green salad for a while. Tonight I am making old fashioned fried chicken which I will finish off in the oven. We are having with mashed potatoes and chicken gravy and glazed carrots. I love freshly cooked carrots. After their cooked , I put a pat of butter and a drizzle of honey on them and let all melt together. Quite good and easy.

It is a gloomy day here. There are varying shades of gray looming over us low. Sometimes it brightens for a bit then turns all gunmetal gray once more.

Till tomorrow.



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

THIS MORNINGS PHOTO

This photo did not post on my blog, so here it is. Sometimes that will happen when I try to post more than one photo. I am not the brightest bulb on the block when it comes to the computer. I am a work in progress as they say.
Have a good day.
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DINNER AND A DUSTING OF SNOW


I use this method sometimes when roasting a chicken. Take out the back bone, open it like a book breast side up and push down with your hands to flatten it. It cooks more evenly I think. I surrounded it with sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, carrots, Anaheim peppers, onions and garlic. I chopped the veggies and mixed them up with a little olive oil and salt and peppers. I rubbed olive oil on the chicken and then rubbed on my mixture of, garlic powder, cumin, black pepper, kosher salt sweet paprika and allspice. Now you are thinking Allspice? Well this is the secret ingredient. It makes that rub taste all earthy and warm. It is wonderful. Then I popped the pan into the oven on 375 for a little over an hour I have an instant read thermometer so when it was 180 into the deepest part of the thigh I removed it from oven. The potatoes and other veggies had caramelized perfectly making them melt in your mouth with dense flavor. Make sure you spray your foil or pan with cooking spray for easy cleanup.

The second photo I took this morning was taken off my front step. We had just a sprinkling of snow late evening. We were in the hot tub last night before the snow came in watching the black sky as it broke into puzzle pieces exposing a roaming moon. It looked so ethereal, I felt quite moved.

I have news. I am a great, great auntie. My great niece Jana had her baby boy Sunday morning. Now this is no small baby............11 pounds, 12 ounces! Ouch!!!! She had to have a C section as that little man was just to big to make his appearance in the normal manner. Jana sent a photo and I will try to post that tomorrow. I am so happy for this couple and their baby, this is an event that has been so anticipated.

I have many things to accomplish today to get ready for our Thanksgiving trip. As I am catering the meal I will start some prep work on that today also.

Enjoy the snow if you have it. I for one am not stepping outdoors today.
Till tomorrow.
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Sunday, November 21, 2010

HUBBY'S HUNGARIAN DISH

This meal was amazing. A simple and hardy meal for a cold autumn night. It was not only warmth for the body but food for the soul. My guy does such a great job on this dish. This is the first meal he ever prepared for me some 28 years ago. He quite impressed me I must say.
Tonight we will repeat the dinner as he always makes enough for two meals, by the second evening the flavors have melded even more.

It is really cold now in the valley. There is a little breeze today that makes it even more so. The paper said rain or snow, or rain mixed with snow today. Not a fave or mine. I lived many years on the eastern side of the Cascade mountains where is snows non stop for days. I have dug out enough snowbound cars and shoveled enough sidewalks and driveways to last a life time. No thanks!

I am waiting to hear from family regarding the birth of my great, great, nephew today. I keep checking my e-mail, there is no news as yet. This is a much anticipated event for the family. Jack Thomas Wilson making his debut and starting his adventure in life. What will he be like, who will he look like, what will he want to become and achieve? What will he believe, how will he live his life? As the years pass by these questions will be answered but for now all is a mystery.

I have many things on my agenda today so best get at them. I still must walk. It is not something I am looking forward today. Bundling up and facing that cold blustery wind will be exhilarating no doubt but not pleasant.

Have a lovely Sunday whatever your weather.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

OREGON COAST

I am longing for the coast I think. It has been a while since we ventured over. We were talking this past week that we need to make a trip soon. Walking along the beach at the water line on the hard wet sand just centers me. Looking for shells or special rocks while watching the sea birds bring much joy to my heart. There are many winter days on the Oregon coast that are perfectly pristine. The ocean a deep blue appears as a reflection in the sky and the air is fresh and wild with it's salty bite. In the evening standing on our balcony under a star crusted sky is truly a piece of earthly heaven.
We have our favorite places we like to pop into but overall we spend an incredible amount of time on the beach. In winter we bundle up snugly, slip on a day pack holding a nice bottle of wine, two glasses and some cheese and crackers. Hubby finds us a windbreak either a log or a dune to nestle behind. We spread a blanket and gaze at the sea and sky and enjoy our little treats we brought for the occasion. We really enjoy winter at the beach. There are less people for sure and the clarity of the sea and sky are not the same in summer. I am ready to pack our bags just thinking about it. We are thinking Christmas but maybe before.

This morning we woke to clear skies. I walked early before the clouds and the lower temperatures came in.
My husband and I then made a run to Traders Joe's for our usual staples. Wine for one thing, cheese and bread for another. There are many items I like to purchase there but with hubby along best to get what was needed and no lingering. He is not a shopper nor am I so that could spell trouble in an overly crowded store.

I put a beef pot roast in the slow cooker early this morning. Tonight we will have roast, smashed garlic potatoes and Trader Joe's baby green beans with lemon butter. So I would venture to guess you know what is on the dinner menu for tomorrow night. You are right, shredded beef taco's. See you remembered I am married to Taco Man. I really do not mind, it makes him happy and it is easy for me.

It will soon be time to start gathering together my ingredients for the Thanksgiving dinner I am catering to my family in Washington state. Because I am an organized person I have the menu set and a list of needed items already on the word processor. I will enjoy doing this so much for my family. I love the planning, the prep, the cooking and the presentation. This year as we will be at my brothers we will not be dining at the table as his table would not accommodate us all. He has a huge kitchen island so all will be set up buffet style but I will make it festive and fun. It will be so nice to have the companionship of my family and share a meal.

A dirty kitchen floor and another load of laundry await me, so best get my chores done.
Till later.
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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Gloomy Day

Good morning,
It is a grim Sunday. My sis in law and I just returned from a long walk along the country road adjacent to our neighborhood. The sky is hanging low today threatening showers, there are no definable clouds just a dreary gray blanket. The air so damp it left my hair wet and curly around my face.
We walked along a newly made street with new homes. Most of them sadly empty. They are nice looking houses, all with dormers and large porches on good size lots. It appears a couple have been abandoned as there are legal notices on the doors. It is difficult to know folks have lost their homes. A home was and has been the American dream. Oregon is a state that is very depressed at this time. You see it everywhere. More folks working the streets for handouts, more homeless people sleeping wherever they can get out of the weather. There are less patrons at the malls, specialty stores and restaurants than usual. No one is spending on luxury items or for that matter spending on items that are not absolute necessities. Our own business of hardwood floor installation and refinish has slowed. I feel bad for us all. There is nothing to do but wait it out and hope we go into recovery soon. We have found we just do not do the things we did in the past. We are home for the most part entertaining ourselves with food and drink, games and projects. Not a bad life but quite boring at times and certainly a change in our lifestyle.

I wrote my great niece yesterday. Her baby boy is due now and has not made his arrival as yet. Oh how she longs to have that baby out of her body and into her arms. I remember so feeling that way at the end of my pregnancies. Seems you just cannot stand another moment as the waiting seems impossible. Maybe it will happen today. I will be notified via the e-mail along with everyone else. Very exciting!

Well OREGON won another game. Not a pretty game for sure, but we won, that is the main thing. CAL really held us back, they did a great job. What a victory for them it would have been to take down the number one team in the nation. We could hardly breathe sometimes, I was chewing at my nails, it was an intense game.

Tonight for dinner I am taking the easy route. We are having patty melts. I will make my Mom's coleslaw to go with. I have sharp white cheddar to put on the patty and the bread will be the good crusty pane bread from Trader Joe's. I will have horseradish sauce for dipping. I am making myself salivate just writing about it.

We have some TV shows we must catch up on tonight. We love Empire Blvd.on HBO. We also have some fave shows on Food Network of course.
I see that the movie " It's Complicated" is now on HBO so we will need to catch that also sometime soon.

Well I am just rambling at this point. See, I said our life is small. I am now going to flop in my comfy chair and read the afternoon away. Not a bad plan actually.

Till later.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

FRENCH ONION SOUP

I think as far as French onion goes, we pass. The recipe was made properly but we just do not care for the soup. To many onions? Too funny.
Anyhow will not bother to pass the recipe along as I am busy with getting ready for the OREGON game against CAL.
We have family coming over to watch the game. So I always get our OREGON decor out and then we deck ourselves out in OREGON gear.
I am not doing anything special for food just popping a pre-made pizza in the oven, my sis in law is bringing a lot of munchies. So all is simple, the game is the MAIN course after all. We must win this game and then two more. It is so very exciting at this point.

It is rainy and bit blustery here today. It looks gloomy outdoors. The once colorful leaves are now brown and grimy littering streets, driveways and decks. No more do the colorful flowers adorn our entry. The trees stand mostly bare with just a few hardy souls holding tight. Looking down the street I see the remains of political candidate signs sticking out of leaf clogged yards. Some folks still have not removed their shriveled pumpkins from their porch rails and steps. How sad the little jack o lanterns look with their sunk in eyes and misshapen mouths. It is not a pretty sight out there believe me!

Have a great game day. There is a lot on the line today for many teams.
Have fun, enjoy your eats and drinks and root for your team!
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

BROTHER JIMS GRANDSON


This is my younger brother Jim's grandson, his son Aaron's little boy. His name is Vinny. I have not met him in person but I hear he is a little character like his Grandfather was. My brother Jim was so proud when Aaron was born, so thrilled to have a son to carry on the family name. Now there is another son to do the same. I only wish my brother could have known his grandson. But I have no say in that and maybe he does know his grandson. We truly know nothing for certain of what happens when we leave this earth.

We woke to showers this morning. I waited a while before walking. The sky did brighten later but still the bruised looking clouds hung dangerously about, I took the umbrella.
This time of year the crows work the nut trees in our area. They are very busy dropping nuts on the pavement to crack them open. Their loud caws and crazy maneuvers make me nervous. Between the nuts dropping and you know what else dropping I feel I should use my umbrella for protection. My brother told me that crows are extremely smart. Do not ever do them wrong as they will remember you. What if they mix me up with someone who did not treat them right? Now that is a frightening thought, so I tread lightly as not to be noticed.

I grocery shopped for the week today. The menu is set. We are having French onion soup tomorrow evening, my hubby's request. That is one dish I have never made. Reason being I did not have the oven proof soup bowls to make it in. So I went to World Market the other day and purchased some. I found a delicious sounding recipe on the internet. So I am excited to make the soup. I will share the recipe if it is a keeper. Hey maybe I can remember to take a photo this time before I start consuming it.

I have started a project, something I hope my children will appreciate. In December 1978 I was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer, it was a non Hodgkin's variety and quite nasty. So January 1979 I went through a laundry list of tests and started treatment. During that time I kept a journal of my ordeal and all that was involved, what our family went through, our daily lives and the emotions that surfaced. I am making a transcript on the computer and printing it out for my children. Believe me it is time consuming as some of the entries were written at the end of the day when I was so worn down from radiation treatment. Many of the words are barely readable and the sentences ramble. As I read it brings back to me just how important every day is. I almost had no more days. I could have been gone at 37 leaving two teenage children without a Mother. I have had the privilege of watching them grow into adults and have their families, my wonderful grandchildren. How fortunate I am and I never take a day for granted believe me. No matter what my life brings to me, I have life and I do not squander it. I did make some life style changes after my cancer ordeal as I wanted to create as stress free life as possible. Stress causes dis-ease. My type of cancer never leaves your body. It can come back at anytime, it waits patiently to strike when certain elements come into play such as illness, stress, worry and depression. So I look at everyday as a gift, of course sometimes I forget, you know like bathroom cleaning days or visits to the dentist. I feel it will be interesting reading for my children to look back at that time in their lives to see how we dealt with the trauma of it all. Of course it is written from my perspective so they will know not only my pain but also the joy's and the tender moments that touched me during that trying time.

Enjoy the day, the falling leaves, the wash of late afternoon sunlight, the crows. Whatever is outside your door today that brings a smile to your lips and joy to your heart, embrace it.
Good morning,
No photo today. A funny thing happened. I had every intention of taking one when I plated my food last night. But then I got sidetracked talking with hubby and I started eating. About six mouthfuls in I thought, oh no, then oh well, and took another bite!
Regardless I am going to give you the recipe it is good I have made it before on several occasions.

Today it was showery early now the sky seems to be breaking and the clouds are separating, there is some blue. I have not walked as yet hoping for it to warm just a little. We felt chilly and tired this morning when we crawled out of bed. The time change has us a little befuddled we have been falling asleep to early and then do not sleep well.

Well our deck is certainly a big mess it is plastered thick with leaves. The only way to remove them now is with the hose and who wants to go out there and hose them off when it is cold and rainy? So as I work in my kitchen the view from the window onto the deck is less than pleasant. I may do something about it this afternoon if the showers hold off.

Here is the recipe.
Shrimp Etouffee.
I use Pacific Seafood easy peel shrimp but of course you can use the shrimp of your choice. Buy at least medium size.

1/2 onion chopped
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium green pepper chopped
1/3 Anaheim pepper chopped
1 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic minced
1 can diced tomatoes with green chili's
2 teaspoons paprika
2-3 small squirts of Sriracha(chili sauce)we call it rooster
1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined removing tails
Hot cooked rice of your choice. We like Cal Rose(sticky rice)

In a soup pot cook onion in oil and butter until onion is tender. Add green peppers,celery,garlic,sriracha and tomatoes. Cook uncovered over low heat for about ten to fifteen minutes stirring occasionally. Add paprika and shrimp,cook until the shrimp turn pink.
If you like you can add more sriracha after you dish it for more heat.
Ladle over hot rice in a bowl. This is a mouthful of goodness with a bit of a bite. It is also a very pretty dish, with the green peppers and red tomatoes and pink shrimp. Sorry again about the photo.

Tonight I am making comfort food and something easy to digest as we will be eating late as hubby is putting in a long day. I am making my scalloped potatoes with ham and cream corn. It is creamy and cheesy and definitely satisfying.

Stay warm and dry and have a great day.



Friday, November 5, 2010

CHRIS and her daughters JANA and DIANA

It has been almost a year. Chris left us last Thanksgiving day on an achingly beautiful autumn day. I had taken a photo on my cell phone that morning from the living room window as the sun was rising. The sky was a blaze of pink, gold and orange illuminating behind the barren branches of our trees.
Chris had been fighting a battle with colon cancer for almost three years. She knew her time was close and the last time we talked, she said Zo I do not want to die on a holiday, it would just be to hard for all of you.
When the phone rang a little before two p.m on Thanksgiving day I knew. I tentatively answered the phone and heard the broken voice of Jana. I said, oh honey I am so sorry she did not want to go on a holiday. Jana said, it is OK Zo. Every year on Thanksgiving I will have so much to be thankful for because she was my Mom. I thought that was beautifully said.
It is such a sad heartbreaking thing to go through; the loss of someone we love so dearly that fits in our life so tightly.
I loved and adored Chris. She was the sister I never had and the niece and friend I always had. There has not been a day since her passing that I do not think of her. Everywhere I look in my home she is there. The quilt she made me, the throw pillows on my sofa, the jewelry I wear, the note cards I use, the kitchen items my hands touch daily. She is everywhere in my home as well as my heart. To simply say I miss her is such an understatement. We were so alike in so many ways it seems a limb is missing from my body. I know time gently heals the wound but the scar remains.
So this Thanksgiving my husband and I go to be with her Father( my brother.) Others will come, her Mother, her brothers, my son and grandson. Whether words will be spoken or kept locked inside our thoughts will be of her.
Maybe we will share a story or two but perhaps not for I know each of us deal with this loss in our own way.
But we will be there together sharing a meal and remembering and I feel in someway she will know.

I am not going to write more today this story is for her.
Till tomorrow.
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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

I had fun with this photo. Actually this is a adorable house. It is my granddaughters house in Kansas. I just tipped the photo and gave it a glow!
Hubby is in the hot tub and I have the ouside lights off. There should be no Tricker treaters coming to the door...........however a tribe of them just about rang the doorbell and almost killed it. I am hoping that is all they did out there.

Well we watched the BCS standings on college football ball just a bit ago and our OREGON DUCKS are now # one! Way to go Ducks. It is very exciting for us here in Eugene OR. This has never happened in the history of the University here. Now everyone surely wants to knock us off. We have concern about OREGON STATE our nearby rival. You know the CIVIL WAR game and all. They would love nothing better than to beat our bottoms into the ground and let the feathers fly where they will. So the pressure is really on now for the rest of the season and we MUST win every game. Scarier than a Halloween fright night.

Well our Thanksgiving plans are made. It was difficult this year as there is a lot going with my family.
Always in the past we have had my son and grandson Tyson for Thanksgiving. So Tyson who is now 27 has spent at least 24 Thanksgivings with us. We always have it our home and any other folks that want to come are more than welcome. So over the years we have had a variety of people around our table. From family, to girl friends, boy friends, just friends and one year I really did not know four that sat at our table.
So this year we are off to my brother's in Washington state. He lives alone and holidays sometimes are difficult. He lost his wife several years ago and his daughter last year passed on Thanksgiving day. We have also invited his beloved daughters mother and brother, my son and grandson. So hopefully all will come and partake in a simple catered meal that will ride in the car with hubby and I from Eugene.
I feel happy about the decision as I know my brother will appreciate so much our company. It will be good to be together to share memories and create new ones. So the plans are under way!

Well I just wanted to say HAPPY HALLOWEEN. Hubby just got out of the hot tub and we need to get dinner going and then a scary movie. That is our treat for the evening.

Have a scary Halloween but be safe and sane one.
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Friday, October 29, 2010

Piano and Chicken Paprika's

Aha... it worked this time. Sometimes don't you just want to pull your hair out with the computer shenanigans? These are the photo's I tried to post with yesterday's blog. Why I could not do it yesterday is way beyond me as I did not do a thing different right now.

Well today hubby and I planned what we will eat Saturday for our OREGON game. He wanted shredded beef taco's in soft corn shells with cilantro, lime, sour cream, onion and on and on! Too funny, I am married to TACO MAN!
So this morning I got up early and put a large boneless beef roast in the slow cooker with lots of ancho and green peppers, onions, and garlic. I made my usual rub of kosher salt, black pepper, cumin, paprika, garlic powder and allspice. It is a wonderful rub. We use it on steaks also. Any how after applying the rub I placed it in the slow cooker and added just a tad of beef broth. So amazing smells are wafting through the house now. So tonight we will have wonderful slices of tender roast with smashed red potatoes with brown gravy and glazed carrots. Then tomorrow night the beef taco's and there will still be roast left for sammies.

Well I must walk now. I have my to-do's out of the way for the day except for dinner. So I expect that my husband and I will play some games later this afternoon and then take a early hot tub then dinner and a movie. Simple pleasurs for simple folks.

Have a fun Halloween weekend what ever you are doing.
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

BLURRY PHOTO


I must apologize for this blurry photo. Somehow the setting on my camera got changed. I must have done it accidentally. So here is the chicken paprika's all whirled up!
The second photo at the bottom is a shot of my old dependable piano. Dear old thing I have it for it 28 years and it was ancient even before I bought it.
I love that old 1800's piano. I have had so many hours of pleasure sitting and plunking out a new song or two. I have Halloween lights on it in the photo because the setting on the camera was wrong it slowed the picture down and the lights sort of look like bones..........too perfect.

The recipe for the chicken dish was OK, hubby liked it but I want to make changes next time I make it. Also I did over cook the chicken. It almost fell off the bones so there was not much shape to the pieces. However the sauce was wonderful and the noodles swimming in that sauce was amazing. I served broccoli with butter and Parmesan cheese and crispy sourdough toast to the side. That is a big plate of food you see and I will have you know I took half of it off before eating it and I still was stuffed. Truly comfort food on that plate.

I heard from my daughter today and my sweet niece my younger brothers daughter via the e-mail. My niece is crazy for Halloween. She is going to three parties and is working on her costume. She said it is her favorite holiday.
Well I remember days gone by and many parties and loony costumes. What fun that was. The last party hubby I went to we were American Indians. We were both wearing buckskins but I had on a skirt so you could tell us apart ha. Hubby had on a long black wig and scary war paint. I went along the lines of Pocahontas. Anyhow such a wild nutty time we had. Now we keep the lights off so the hundreds of kids will not be ringing the bell every second. I swear there are hundreds. Just too much. The kids are respectful however if the light is off they do not come to the door. I love decorating the house though that is such fun. I also like having a Halloween costume party though we have not had one for a few years.

I am going to pass along the chicken paprika's recipe to you. I really think next time I will make my friends recipe if I can persuade her to give it to me.
Recipe:
Chicken Paprika's
one tablespoon of canola oil
one onion finely chopped
one clove garlic minced
2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika( I added a little more)
one cut up fryer rinsed
1/2 cup chicken broth
four ripe plum tomatoes(I used the Roma's we grew)
one red bell pepper chopped
1/2 Anaheim pepper chopped(I added this, it was good)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon flour
egg noodles for serving

In your dutch over add the oil, chopped onion and garlic. Cover and on med low heat for about fifteen minutes, steam the onions, do not brown them. Sprinkle is the paprika stir and cook for another minute.
The onions will turn a luscious red. Add the chicken pieces, broth, peppers and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper bring to boil and then reduce heat to med low partially covered and simmer for fifty minutes .
While the chicken is cooking whisk the sour cream and flour together in a small bowl. Set aside.
When the chicken has cooked and is tender remove from the pot to a bowl. Cook the sauce mixture over medium heat uncovered to reduce it slightly. Pour 1/2 cup of sauce into the sour cream mixture and whisk till smooth, then slowly whisk back into the sauce pot. Return the chicken to the pot covering well with sauce and heat through over low heat. Serve over the top of the noodles.

Well that is it. I think if I were to make this recipe again I would use cornstarch instead of flour. Just add some to a little broth mixture mix till smooth and then add back into the sauce. Then right before serving I would add in the sour cream and incorporate it gently into the sauce.
Anyhow it was tasty and hubby loved it. It made enough for the two of us to have again tonight, I will just make more noodles. I am also making my fave biscuits tonight to go with. I absolutely love biscuits not that I need to love biscuits. My Mom made them all of the time. Is there anything better than a hot biscuit with the butter running down through your fingers? Sooooooooooooo good!

Hubby just went to the hot tub. The showers have halted for a bit so he out there soaking away. It does feel so good on ones back after a day of hard work.

I will not write tomorrow as we are having leftovers tonight so there will not be much to chat about. Also I have a day of to-do's that I must accomplish.

Till later. Well I just published this and there are no pictures.......here we go again. So I am going after them now. So they will be on a separate blog right after this.