Monday, February 21, 2011


This is Bruin, my son Mike's best friend.
Mike sent me a few photo's the other day. I know most folks have pets so I thought I would put a photo of Bru on here.
He looks like a bear in person he is a big husky dog. We do not know what he is exactly except he is half black lab. He only had one sibling who was on the small side and he nicely took up the rest of the womb. He is very sweet and gentle and loves people. But he does look intimidating and if you did not know him nor he you, well you would probably not want to mess with him for obvious reasons.

This a food blog and here I am posting a dog photo. Truthfully we have had some tasty meals but nothing out of the ordinary. We had a great roast with all the trimmings and then we had taco's with the leftovers. We had a really good pizza this past weekend. Not that I made it that is one thing I do not do. It is not difficult to make but I like to go out for pizza and I need to have some down time away from the kitchen. So you get the idea there has been nothing inspiring to blog about.
We are both trying to watch portion control and stay away from deserts. That part is not hard for us but the problem lies in the fact that I like to bake however I have been banned for doing that for a while.

Hopefully weather permitting we will be seeing Mike and Bruin and my brother this coming weekend. There are snow showers forecast and possibly ice so we must keep an eye on the weather.
Once again I will cater a meal to my brothers. I have a yummy casserole that is easy to put together. The camera will go along so if opportunity arises I will take photo's. Maybe we will go to the river and hang out if the weather is agreeable.

My late morning walk was so brisk and fresh I smelled like line dried laundry when I returned home. The sky is deep and clear today and hardly a breeze is stirring. I am so longing to sit on the deck and read in the sun but it is not quite time for that yet. I will admit I did try it but it was just to chilly though looked so inviting. I will be counting off the days now until springs appears at our doorstep and new life pushes up through the ground.

I will be getting acquainted with Jack Thomas and Audrey Christine on the 2nd of March. I will be spending the day with Jana and Diana and their new babies. Now how fun is that going to be? These two new mommy's will be chattering and sharing stories nonstop. We will meet up at Dina's house in Hubbard OR. Not quite sure where that is but I know it is north of Salem and south of Woodburn. I will mapquest! An adventure for old Auntie Zo.

Well no news really and there are things I need to attend to this afternoon.
Till later
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Thursday, February 17, 2011


OK here she is at eight hours old! What a cutie. She is really giving her daddy the once over. I can already tell this one is going to be a heartbreaker.
I am so happy for Diana and her sister Jana. Both now with little ones in their lives. What a time they are all going to have. A new generation on this old earth. Just think what the two of them will see and experience. For someone in my age bracket(old) their lives will be so totally different from the life I have lived.
Maybe that is good or maybe it will be hard for them. But each generation knows only their own reality so they will move through their lives with the same inquisitive minds, hurdles to overcome, joys to be cherished, and love to be found. Bless these little ones and the journey they are embarking on.

Well back to reality and out of baby world.
It is really cold out there today and there may be snow in a day or two according to the paper.

I ran about this morning doing the weekly shopping after making out my weekly menu this morning.
Wow! Has anyone noticed the jump in grocery prices? Of course we all knew produce would take a hike, but everything else seems to have raised also. I am sure the gas prices are mostly to blame as groceries are trucked to their destinations.
I decided to buy a nice size rump roast as they were on sale and as hubby always says, I know my way around a rump roast! Too funny. Anyhow I will make the roast in the slow cooker with oven roasted veggies to the side and the next day have shredded beef taco's. As you know by now a fave of hubby's aka taco man. Plus there will be plenty left for sandwiches. So I felt it was a good buy, my only one today!
Tonight I am making salmon cakes with Trader's canned red salmon. I am fixing a butter lettuce and radicchio salad to go with and rice.

Well hubby is off working today so the house is quiet and all mine.........oh yes!
The fire is so cozy in the family room so I think I will plop in there and read for a couple of hours before it is time to start dinner prep.
Till later.
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I made this chicken last night. Regular old fashioned fried chicken with a buttermilk dunk filled with spices and hot sauce. yumo! Not that it was hot just a tasty full flavor. The best thing was the crispy crust as it was double dredged. Recipe follows.

Carolina Fried Chicken
1 cut up fryer
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg beaten
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
kosher salt to taste
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
flour for dredging
canola oil for frying

In a flat bottom bowl mix buttermilk, eggs, salt, paprika, hot sauce and pepper. Whisk in baking powder and baking soda. Put flour in a bowl and working with a few pieces at a time dredge the chicken in the flour tapping off the excess. Dip the pieces into the buttermilk mixture letting the excess drip off then dredge back into the flour. Set aside on a wire rack with a paper towel under till all pieces are coated.
Heat the oil in a large deep skillet until shimmering. Add the chicken in a single layer without crowding in the skillet. Cover for the first five minutes. Uncover and cook turning occasionally until a deep golden brown and cooked through about twenty minutes but best to use a instant read thermometer, the temp should read 160 near the bone.
If the chicken is browning to fast reduce the heat if it seems to retain grease increase the heat. My best tip for this recipe is do not burn the chicken. Sometimes that will happen when the first pieces go in so make sure your grease is just right.
* Now if you want to finish the chicken in the oven I see no reason you could not do this. Just evenly brown your chicken to golden then drain on a paper towel, then set the pieces on parchment paper on a baking sheet and finish in the oven on 400 for about twenty-five minutes or until the thermometer reads 160.
Drain on paper towels and serve.
The baking soda and powder make the crispy crust very light and the chicken inside is moist. A good recipe.

We are going to have leftovers this evening. I will reheat the chicken in a hot oven and hopefully it will retrain some of the crunch without drying it out. I made a good size batch of mashed potatoes and made pan gravy last night from the pan drippings. I was a happy girl dipping my pieces of chicken breast into that creamy chicken gravy.

It has been rainy here the past couple of days. Hubby is going to get the moss control and fertilizer on the lawn today. A good time to do it is when it is raining.
The weather this weekend is going to turn colder and we could have snow on the valley floor here Sunday and Monday. I surely hope not, it is no treat for me.

We had a yard full of crows yesterday. I looked out and the faded green grass of winter was just littered with black bodies. I ran for my camera but they saw me at the window and away they flew flapping like black capes.

Tomorrow I am going to post to a photo or two of the newest addition to our family. Little Audrey Christine, Diana's little newborn. She looks so beautiful for a newborn. Perfect little head and pretty skin. Mommy and Daddy must be so very proud.

Fry up some chicken you will not be disappointed.

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Sunday, February 13, 2011


Today is a wonderful day for Diana and her hubby Geoff.
Early this morning they had a baby girl weighing in at seven pounds and five ounces. They named her Audrey Christine. I am not sure where the Audrey comes from, maybe they just liked it. But Christine is for her dear Mother, it is so good she honored her Mother in this way.
Chris my dear niece, Diana's Mother passed away a year ago Thanksgiving day. Our hearts have never been the same but that emptiness can be softened now with not only Diana's baby girl but her sister Jana's baby Jack born this past November. So now we have babies Jack and and Audrey in our lives. These two little ones are three months apart and will more than likely be very close cousins. It is all so wonderful for this family that has been so full of heartbreak these past few years.
So congratulations Diana and Geoffry Peterson and many blessing for your brand new daughter Audrey.
Much love,
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

GINA'S BIRTHDAY Februay 14th

My daughter Gina's birthday today, Valentines Day!!!!! What a wonderful Valentine gift I received on the day you were born.
Here is my girl in first grade, a high school princess, and a current photo.
What a darling girl and woman. Well Mom's do have bragging rights.
So happy birthday Gina we love you and hope your day if filled with all things good.

Gina was born on a bone chilling Valentine's day just three days past her brother's 2nd birthday. Her father and I raced under a low gray sky on a ice mopped highway the thirty miles to the hospital. My labor had started early afternoon and advanced quickly. Gina's birth was so easy compared to her brothers. I arrived at the hospital , went right to the labor room and then quickly to the delivery room and she was born. When the doctor delivered her and said you have a baby girl. I called him a liar. I had so wanted a little girl but dared not to hope to hard and I still could not believe it. He said, well I have been called a lot of things......but not that! He immediately laid her on my stomach so I could see for myself. There she was so red and wrinklley with a thick mop of dark hair. It was true I had a daughter. I was so overwhelmed and so thankful now my family was complete.
Gina was a fussy infant but quickly turned into a delightful baby. She was so adorable with her jumble of curls and petite little body. She would entertain herself by the hour contented just to play with her toys. She did everything early, she walked well before she was one, cut her first tooth really early as did her brother and she started putting together words quite young.
I had a friend that had a little girl a couple years older than Gina. So Gina benefited from all the clothing that was sent our way. As well her Aunt Betty sent clothes by the box full on birthday's and Christmas time. I had her dressed in the sweetest dresses and little tights with ruffles on the behind. Little coats and hats to match. You name it Gina had it in her wardrobe. Every afternoon after her bath I set her thick silky hair in foamy rollers. she never seemed to mind napping in these appendages or at least did not complain in anyway and she never pulled them out. When her Daddy got home later she looked like a little princess dressed up in frills with her pretty curls.
When she started toddling around and talking she would make me nervous when I did not see or hear her. So I would holler out, Gina what are you doing? She would answer, just messing. Well sometimes she was messing, getting into things and making messes but for the most part she was just entertaining herself.
As Gina grew older she always did things for me. Things like making toast and turning the coffee pot on before I was even out of bed. She was quite young when this started and she took such delight in surprising me. As she got older she would vacuum and clean and everything she could think of to surprise me. She is still the most thoughtful child a parent could hope for. She still surprises me in many ways. She is very generous and adores making me happy.
So this blog is for you Gina, my beautiful thoughtful daughter. Thank you for heaping my heart with so much happiness and love all these years.
Happy Birthday sweetie.
Love, Mom

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Today is my son's birthday. What an adorable baby, a athletic young man, and amazing outdoors man. Well Mom's can be a little prejudiced right?

I will say that 49 years today I was not in a happy place. I had an extremely hard labor, a first baby and a big baby for my frame. I had absolutely no idea what was in store for me. I was so naive. I was in labor over twenty- four hours and for the last eight of that I was in hard labor. Michael was crooked inside me. With his head and shoulder both well advanced into my birth canal. Things were a lot different in 1962 giving birth than they are now. To say no more about the actual delivery and antiquated ways that things were done he finally did arrive healthy. I was worn out, exhausted and sick after his birth. I actually did not see him for a couple of days. I had developed a fever and was getting injections around the clock that kept me sedated and out of pain.
When they did finally bring my beautiful baby boy to me my eyes loaded with tears. My son was so perfect in every way. I raised my knees and laid him on them facing me. When our eyes met for the first time a primal honesty passed between us and it hung thick and full in my throat and I knew my life had forever changed.
Michael as I called him when he was small (he is Mike now) was such a good baby. He was happy and joyful and easy to care for. He eyes were shaped little crescents, happy eyes I called them, he always seemed to be smiling with those eyes.
We had a little game that we played together. If I was sitting down he would toddle over and stand in front of me with his little husky body. He would bend his arms and put his elbows toward me for kisses. I would kiss his elbows and he would pretend to get away and I would pull him back and kiss those elbows again and again. He would squeal with delight and laughter. It makes my heart ache with love to think of it now.
So Mike this blog is for you my son. You have delighted me in ways throughout your life that you cannot not even imagine.
I wish I was there to share your day today but hopefully we will see you next weekend.
Happy Birthday my son.
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Good morning.
We are to have sunshine today which makes my heart happy.
But at the moment the skies are slate gray and the air is chilly and damp.

I made this dish last night. I am passing it on as it is tasty, but truthfully hubby and I agreed we like meal loaf better. After all it is a dish with burger as the main ingredient. I do make a juicy flavorful meatloaf topped with a red sweet and sour sauce.
This Salisbury steak recipe however can be served over noodles as we did or mashed potatoes, orzo, rice. Well you get the idea. So it is versatile which is good. Also the caramelized onions were yummy.
1 1/4 ground chuck
1/4 cup fresh minced parsley
2 T. scallions
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. pepper
4 T. flour
1 T. olive oil
2 cups onions, sliced
1 t. sugar
1 T. garlic minced
1 T. tomato paste
2 cups beef broth
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/2 t. dried thyme leaves

Combine chuck, parsley, scallions, salt and pepper. Divide evenly into four portions and shape each into a one inch patty. Place 4 T flour in a shallow dish and dredge each patty in flour. Reserve the left over flour in the dish.
Heat the oil in a skillet over med/high heat. Add the patties and saute three minutes on each side or until browned and remove from pan. Add the sliced onions and sugar to the pan, saute five minutes. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste, saute until the paste turns brown. Sprinkle the onions with the reserved flour cook one minute then stir in the broth and wine, scrapping up the bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the thyme. Return the meat to the pan and cover and simmer on low for ten minutes.
Serve over whatever you prefer I think mashed potatoes would be grand. The recipe also suggests cheese toasts.
Garnish with extra scallion pieces. That is all there is to it!

My two children have their birthday's coming soon this month. My son Mike's is on Friday the 11th and his sister Gina's is the 14th. My valentines baby. How fun is that for Mom and daughter both? A Valentine baby girl! Gina has always loved her birthday date. At school she got a lot of attention as there were always Valentines day parties, and her birthday got celebrated right along with that special day of candy, cakes and cards.

I had a plan and it actually worked. When I was newly married, I told family and friends that I wanted two children, a boy and a girl in that order. That I wanted them exactly two years apart. Well actually they are two years and three days apart but hey pretty close don't you agree? They were perfect everything I had hoped for. I was so proud of them both(most times).
When I would take them shopping when they were so very young people would stop me and say, what adorable children. They were so beautiful and well behaved for the most part. Mike with his husky little body and dark hair and green smiley eyes. Gina with her doll like face peeking out under a head full of curls. For the most part I kept Gina in frilly little dresses with cute little leggings. They grew up in the cold of central Oregon winters and were accustomed to snowsuits, stocking caps and mittens.
It is funny the things you tend to remember about your children years later. I remember exactly how the backs of Mike's hands looked. There were these little dimples where his knuckles were and his chubby little fingers were so pointed at the end. He was always pointing at things with his index finger. I remember Gina's little chin always had a small rash on it as she must have drooled a lot and her hair was always so damp and curled tightly on her check when she woke. Their bath times were quite the play time actually for us all. I would fill the double kitchen sink with their bubble bath, there they would sit side by side. Mike fit his side quite snugly as I remember. When I scrubbed them I would play little piggy went to market on their little toes till they just squealed in delight. After they were squeaky clean I would bring the out the Silly Soap. I would squirt them and they would splash and laugh. Oh it was so much fun.
After their afternoon bath, it was nap time. While they slept, I would polish their little white high top shoes and re-string their laces with little silver bells. Then the ironing board would go up and I would iron their clothes. That was probably the only peace I had all day! When they woke from their naps it was snack time and then back to play time for them. Seems I went all day without stopping and certainly no me time at that point. Oh it was so good though.
At the time I am sure I thought it all quite hard and that there were not enough hours in the day. Being a very young Mother like I was certainly was extra challenging also.
There are times now I wish I could turn the clock back just for a few hours and hold their little bodies and kiss their soft cheeks, smell their hair and feel their small arms around my neck.
Times goes by so quickly and those sweet things are never to return so we are just left with our memories.

Well back to the here and now. I must get to my daily chores. Also it is office day for me. Once again someone has come into the office and set off a bomb. I get so tired of that seems to happen about every two weeks.

Enjoy your Salisbury Steak or if lazy just make meatloaf!
Till later

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Campfire at our house. Liz my hubby's sis was enjoying the heat. We spent the afternoon on the deck then we lingered well into evening when hubby built a fire in the fire bowl. It was chilly and clear out. The stars were glittering above in a deep black sky. We all decided it felt like camping and then we conjured up thoughts of a wienie roast. Our mouths were watering at the thought of a juicy roasted dog in a mustard slathered bun with lots of chopped onion and relish. But alas we did not have any on hand. Next time I will plan ahead!

Another cold one here today. We had 24 degree's this AM. It is pretty day out but not a day for a walk like we had hoped as there is a certainly a icy chill to the air. So another day of exercising in the house.

Our plans for our Superbowl get together with Liz and her hubby Joe are underway. I am making pulled pork sammies with coleslaw. I will make a banana cake for desert. Joe just adores this cake it is his fave. Liz is bringing hot wings, potato salad and dips and chips. I will make my Mom's homemade blue cheese dressing for dunking the wings in. Just all typical Superbowl fare but yummy all the same. We always have a fun time. We make up our game board and place a few little bets amongst one another.

We had leftovers last night so nothing new to blog about food wise. I am putting our menu together for the week today and will grocery shop tomorrow. So there will be some new recipes I am trying this coming week. So stay tuned.

That is all for now, must get on with the house duties and then exercise.
Well I just realized I have repeated myself. Old age I would imagine. So now you have read twice about our craving hot dogs while sitting by the fire on the deck...........good grief!
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Tuesday, February 1, 2011


This dish is so easy to make and just delicious. I will share the recipe. It is not my own but almost as I have made it for quite some time with little changes along the way. I found it originally in a recipe magazine called Cuisine.

The weather here is really chilly as there is a wind today. We have dense blue skies and there will be plenty of nighttime stars for viewing. We are to have brisk sunny weather for the rest of the week, my walks will be exhilarating!
We are so thankful that we are not having that horrid blizzard that is at this very time in the Midwest and roaring once again to the east coat. I e-mailed my granddaughter this morning she lives in Topeka Kansas. As I was writing the weather channel said the storm was over that very area. I hope they are nested inside their cozy home and making cookies. Man nor beast should be outdoors.

We had fun Sunday. Hubby's sis and husband came down and we had campfire on the deck as it was chilly. We sat out there for several hours just chatting and having snacks and drinks. The stars really glittered when it grew dark and the deck was a glow with the deep orange fire. It was something different to do on a winter night and reminded us all of camping. We wanted to roast a hot dogs but had none.

Here is the recipe for
4 chicken cutlets
flour for dredging
2 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 cup vodka(I substitute white wine as I usually do not have vodka on hand.)
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup tomatoes(you can use fresh or diced drained tomatoes)
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/3 cup scallions (if you do not have scallions you can use diced sweet onion)
If using onion you can garnish with parsley for some greenery.

Season the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper and lightly dredge in the flour
add to hot oil in skillet and lightly brown on both sides for a few minutes
remove them from skillet to a plate and cover with foil
Deglaze the pan with either the vodka or wine scrapping up any little bits of chicken
Add the chopped onion(if using) and slightly brown then add the broth and lemon juice and return the cutlets to the pan to heat.Then add the tomatoes and cream and stir till all is warmed a couple of minutes more. Garnish with parsley if not using scallions for garnish.

We like this dish served over either brown or white rice. I had cooked glazed carrots to the side.
We love having a asparagus with this dish when the springtime brings that wonderful veggie to the stores.
I hope you try this easy classy meal.

Well that is all for today. I am up to knees in laundry......oh yeah. Three more piles ready to go. So off to the laundry room.

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