Sunday, July 31, 2011


This was one amazing vegetable dinner. What you see on the plate is a mound of garlic mashed potatoes in the center with cucumbers to each side. A half ear of corn in the back and fried zucchini coins in front with one stuck into the potatoes. There is home made marinara to the left side that I simmered most of the afternoon. The meal was so very pleasing and even though I ate this very plate full I did not feel overly stuffed as one would with a protein.

For lunch today I put some left over mashed potatoes in a bowl and chopped some roasted grill chicken breast from the butterflied chicken and put a good size dollop of the marinara over all and heated it in the microwave. Wow it was great. I love making bowls and we do that quite often for lunch or dinner.

Tonight I am preparing grated zucchini and colorful peppers and onions they will sit over night sprinkled with salt. They will be rinsed in the morning and I will make zucchini relish.
We planted more zucchini this year so I will make more relish and use it in many creative ways.

It is another glorious summer day here in the Willamette Valley.
I ran to the farm a bit ago for fresh red, orange and red peppers for the relish. I could not believe the amount of folks at the farm, hardly found a parking space. There are farm animals there that the little ones love petting and visiting. There are tables so you can take a picnic to enjoy. I saw folks just strolling around nibbling as they went from baskets of cherries or berries. Most items at the farm are spary free.  Some folks were u-picking but not for me in the heat. Anyhow a nice family Sunday setting.

Though it is Sunday and I rarely lift a finger I do have things I must do. I am leaving for the lake on Tuesday and have much to do before I leave and to get myself ready.

Have a lovely summer Sunday wherever you are.
For some reason my photo is showing at the end of the blog. Well best not mess with it I may lose it all together.

Friday, July 29, 2011


Let me see where do I begin? What you see here in the photo's is good intentions!
The first photo our bird is awaiting the grill adorned with her wet rub. The second photo she is on the grill doing her thing. The  hickory chips are smoking and the skin is crisping and all smells quite amazing.
We were sipping wine(perhaps too much) anyhow we got involved in conversation. The next thing we know we see flame ups. Not good in any grilling situation. We took the bricks off the chicky and flipped it leaving a little crusty skin on the grill. So we turned down the heat a speck and went back to the patio to now play cards while the bird cooked. This could have been our undoing.  Smoke began again coming in waves from the grill, oh I will say it did smell heavenly with all that garlic and rosemary flying through the air.
So once again we turned the heat lower. Things simmered down we finished our game of cards and I checked the temp via the internal thermometer.  All was perfect. So I grabbed the platter to remove the chicken on to, I had the pancake turner and hubby had the tongs this is a two man job believe me. Well we tried our best I will say that. But somehow the chicken dropped halfway on the way to the platter and lost a leg, yes a whole leg and thigh just came right off with a plop............well now what? So it goes on the platter missing a leg with naked spots where there is no crust this is not a good looking chicken. So I did not take a photo. Who wants to look at a maimed chicken?
But I have to say OMG what flavor. We did not care what it looked like once we tasted it. It was just full of flavor and juice. Rosemary and garlic burst into your mouth with a lingering coolness of lemon all was so smokey and what crust was still clinging to this bird made your mouth so happy.
The roasted potatoes and corn were divine and if you could had heard us exclaiming and humming you would have thought we were dining in a five star restaurant.  We loved our meal but we laughed as it was quite a time to get that ol gal to our plates. 
So I will leave you with this. Sometimes all does not go the best, but however what your mouth says is the final word. YUMO!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Our first onion, cuke and zucchini. How fun. So everyday now there will be things to pick from our little garden.
Hubby is using that beautiful walla walla sweet onion freshly picked in the salsa he is making at the moment. Now how is that for fresh?
We did go to the farm yesterday and bought an assortment of veggies we are not growing. Such a pleasure to cart home lovely vegetable's and fruits grown at that farm or neighboring farms.  A wonderful time of year for feasting on natures bounty.

Tonight we are finally dining on the grilled under the brick chicken. It has been in the fridge for over twenty four hours in a wet rub. Hubby will soon get the bricks wrapped in foil for our little cooking adventure. Tomorrow there will be photo's and the chicken recipe for you.

The day is very breezy but it is a lovely mild summer day. No need for the air conditioning today. As I mentioned before I love having screen doors so a nice breeze is keeping the house comfortable.
The kitchen aroma's of peppers, onions and such are on the breeze. Hubby has sliced cucumbers sprinkled with salt sitting in the sink in the colander. I love the smell of fresh cukes. So I am quite content typing this blog while my husband creates in the kitchen.

It will not be long now until I meet up my gal friend at Crescent Lake for a couple of days. I am furnishing one meal and have decided what to cater up to the lake for the two of us.
I can make all ahead so my fun time well not be caught up in cooking. This is what I am taking.
Loaded Italian pasta salad, the best baguette in Eugene from Metropol bakery, herb butter for the bread,  a nice bottle of Oregon wine and cream cheese brownies. I think it sounds like a nice light summer meal to be enjoyed lake side. I am also tucking in a white table cloth and red and white check napkins, a green glass fruit jar to tuck in whatever I can find there in the realm of greenery or wildflowers. I will buy a nice size citronella candle to adorn the table also. I love making things festive even if it is only a campground picnic table.

Well hubby is through with his kitchen duties, the salsa fresca looks amazing so fresh and bright. We will have that tomorrow evening with chicken taco's made from tonights grilled chicken. 

Well I best get my laundry put away all is stacked on the dryer waiting for me to place them back in their respective homes.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Posted by PicasaI just walked out on the back deck and sweet smell of this Star Jasmine wafted up and around me. How sweet and floral it is. This plant trails along our deck railing. The patio table is just adjacent and I love to sit there and sip a glass of wine and read my book when the air is Jasmine scented. Don't you just love summer?

This evening we are dining at my sis in laws as hubbies mom and brother will be here from Bend. So I am taking down a appetizer of those good sausages we buy at the country meat market. I will make my bitey mustard to go with and sourdough pretzels. All is easy.

Tomorrow hubby and I are going to the Bite of Eugene. We are looking forward to that. It is in our huge park along the Willamette River. There will be wonderful food from the vendors as well as small bite plates from our local chefs. A Iron Chef competition will be held among four chefs the winner will attend the Oregon Iron Chef competition in Portland. A chef from Eugene won the Oregon title last year.
There will be wine and beer gardens, different music venues, a children s fun area, and much more. We will stay a few hours in the shade of a tree hopefully as it is to be 86 degree's. We have been waiting for this and are more than ready.
So I am thinking a fun day for us tomorrow.

I will not be making a dinner until Sunday evening. I do have it planned however. We will have a butterflied whole chicken under a brick on the grill. Hubby is going to add wood chips to the grill for a nice smokey flavor. I am going to use my normal rub I always use. The chicken is always juicy and has a crispy golden skin when made this way. I am running to the farm to purchase green beans Sunday morning. I like to pre boil them plunge them into ice water to keep them a vibrant green. I then add some olive oil, the drained beans, minced garlic, salt and pepper to a skillet. Then I saute until the beans are bite tender. Then if you like you can grate a little fresh Parmesan cheese over the top before serving. I am going to serve fingerling yukon gold potatoes. I will just boil them till tender, drain add salt and pepper and dollop of butter. For desert a cold creamy tri fruit sherbet   It sounds like a yummy old fashioned summer meal, I like that. 
I have a photo of this chicken on a previous blog.

Well the day is moving quickly and I do have things to attend to.
Do not know that I will blog over the next couple of days as I will be busy having fun.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Posted by PicasaHello the sun is shining makes me happy. Looks like it will be a lovely day!
These are some hardwood floors my hubby has installed and finished. This is what he does. He does great work.
We have hardwood throughout our home too and I just love it. It is easy to care for and feels so good when you walk on your clean floor with bare feet.

Well after we went to Trader Joe's yesterday we decided to grab a bite at a place that has changed hands several times. The new owners have remodeled and added a nice outdoor patio. However yesterday was not a patio day it was a sitting by a fire day. The fireplace was not going though.
The service was good, the decor very modern and rather cold but not unwelcoming.
They state in their ad that they have a master chef and that all of the food is wonderful and over the top. Well there must have been someone else cooking yesterday.
We ordered cod fish and chips to split as we were not real hungry and really just wanting to test the waters as they say.
The french fries were very good and there was a mass of them. The fish was awful. Four small pieces with a limp coating. They could have been crispy if they had been fried at a hotter temp. But the crust was so limp and greasy that you could not even dip the fish into the tarter sauce without the coating sliding off. My pieces were brown inside the brown next to the skin is suppose to be removed as it taste nasty. I cannot say that is the norm at that place but we will not return. So if in Eugene I would certainly avoid the place by the Ferry St. Bridge called "The Bridge". 
We did have fun after though as we stopped at a old favorite spot for a beer for hubby and glass of wine for me. Then we came home and sat under the cloudy sky in the garden space. It was humid and somewhat warm. We just had the need to be outdoors. In the PM we watched the movie, Secretariat. Have you seen it? A wonderful film staring the most handsome horse and Diane Lane. We both totally enjoyed it.

Today, I wonder what it will bring? Hubby is out riding his bike now for some exercise and I must get on with my walk. Then we need to come up with a plan for the day. It is hard when he is between jobs he gets restless and I seem to accomplish nothing.

Till later.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Posted by PicasaGood morning. These crispy shrimp last night were so yummy. Once again it is my main stay fry batter. First pat your seafood in salted and peppered flour, then dip into a egg wash, then into a half and half mixture of Krustez Bake and Fry and panko crumbs. Same ol but why mess with something this tasty and crunchy.

Well a change of plans. I have postponed my camping trip to Silver Lake with my brother. We both concurred that it was best. The weather at the lake to say the least looks iffy. The one thing neither of us enjoys doing is sitting under the RV awning watching the drizzle come down. There is still a lot of summer left for our little get together.

Here today we are under gray clouds. They do appear a little brighter though than yesterday's clouds. So there may be some hope of sun later.

Hubby and I are trying to decide what to do today. We know we need to make a run to Trader Joe's for a few items, then what? There are lots of ideas to choose from when it is sunny but overcast? Hmmm we will have to think on this.
I am going to take my walk now and I hopefully come up with an idea. We do not want to stay home. We have stayed home now in the gray for four days and the walls are closing in. The yard is  quite sopped cannot mow, the garden is sogged hopefully all will survive the wet, the flowers look like they have dampened spirits. But you know what? The snails are happy!

So on with the walking shoes and off I go. Have a great day. Like I mentioned yesterday at least we are not baking in one hundred degree plus weather. Those poor folks in the Midwest. First the tornado's then the floods now the heat. How much can they take?
Ta Da

Monday, July 18, 2011


Posted by PicasaHello I was going to blog about our pizza at Ambrosia but did not have a photo of course. So I am posting a photo of Italy that my niece took a few days ago. This photo seems like you what you would expect an Italian city to look like.

The pizza was amazing. Everything we had was good. We sat on the enclosed space from the street but we were along the sidewalk.  We love people watching and we were not let down. Well it is Eugene after all.
Our server took our drink order and then brought us homemade bread with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and crushed garlic. I did not expect this at Happy Hour. All draft beers were two dollars this made hubby happy as they had a nice selection. I had Chianti and it was rich and lush the way a Chianti should be. Hubby ordered a three cheese calazone with Italian sausage, green olives and onions. I had the Margarita pizza which was roasted garlic, basil and three cheeses. To this I added roasted roma tomatoes. 
This is the best pizza I have ever eaten. Baked in a wood fired brick oven the crust was smokey and crispy around the edges. The cheese was rich and luscious and just melted in your mouth. It tasted buttery. The toppings made for a perfect mouthful of love!
So a great atmosphere and great food. The only thing I can possibly fault is our server. She was slow and not attentive in anyway. Though she was adorable with a great smile. But we waited a long while between our two drinks she never came to check on us once. Hubby had to make a call to the men's room and when he walked into the restaurant she was sitting at the bar and talking with the bartender.  We noticed that the other server who was working the street patio was very attentive to all his patrons. However it certainly did not mar a wonderful evening.
We will go again in a heartbeat.

Tonight we are having the butterflied shrimp once more. I was going to make them last night but we were not in the mood. So tonight I will make a salad form our garden lettuce and make my Mom's Russian dressing. My mouth is ready tonight for this meal.

We are clouds and warmth today with thunder showers coming in later. Yesterday it rained .69 inches. More in one day than we normally get for the entire month of July. It was ugly believe me.

So I best get on with my day of laundry and house chores. My walk is out of the way. Seems every dog was barking this morning as I walked through the neighborhoods. So I heard no birds or breeze through the trees, or frogs or anything but the annoying baking of dogs!

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Posted by PicasaSo OK I doubt my wish will come true as this is the French Riviera. How glorious to have a place like this, could you just imagine? I really would like to be on the boat more than the land. Heaven!

Yesterday and today nothing but rain at our house. Throughout the day, gray then lightening a tad and then showers and then dark sky and pounding rain. Oh what a great summer day.........NOT. The snails load the deck like they fall from the sky. They must just lurk in the shade, under the deck in whatever dark dreary cool places they can find. Then just let the temp drop and the showers come and here they are in multitudes. Hubby and I did snail patrol three times today to make sure they were not nibbling at our precious veggies, herbs and flowers. This weather is not to our liking to say the least. We are twenty degree's below what is normal for this time of year.
So it seems our United States are either burning up or like we are cool beyond the norm. So to be honest I would rather this than hundred degree temp's. But please where are the norms?

I believe I am leaving on Thursday rather than Wednesday to go to Washington state camping with my brother. The weather looks better after Wednesday. I am looking forward to it still but I do wish it would be warmer when I am camping.

Our blue cheese burgers were good last night but you know what? I decided I do not like blue cheese stuffed burgers. Blue cheese is so bitey and strong at times.  I am in the mood for a regular grilled burger with good seasoning and silky melted cheese on top.
One thing that is on the agenda for the grill is stuffed jalapeno peppers. I have several recipes and will make an array of them. They all look like great appetizers.

I was so lazy today it was disgraceful. I did tidy the house early morning and make hubby a good breakfast but other than that nothing but sitting on my bottom and reading, doing snail patrols and some computer time. I am disgusted with myself. Hubby was not much better he puttered in the garage for a bit and tidied it up. That was all. Rain rain go away makes us slugs!

Hopefully I will have something more to blog about in the next couple of days other than the weather. This is so boring I am ready to go to sleep writing about our day.

Maybe where you are the sun is shinning and you enjoyed a fun filled weekend. I hope so.
Till later, time to come up with something for dinner. I have a feeling it will not be too inspiring.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Posted by Picasa Well here is our Crescent Star that is what we named it. And here is hubby on Shasta Lake. We had just arrived and I was parking the truck and boat trailer and he was coming to pick me up at the dock. What a trip we had. Nine days on the lake. Another story another time. The photo is not the best. It is hard to take a photo of another photo without a lot of glare. I wanted this to post after you read the first blog I posted today called Silver Lake Washington. However I posted this in the wrong sequence. Me and computers. I am getting better but still a dummy I am thinking.
Have a great day whether you are out on a body of water or on dry land.
So long.


Posted by PicasaHere is where I will be in about eight days. I am so looking forward to being on this lake with it's views of Mt. St. Helen's(our very own northwest famous volcano) and Mt. Rainier who we hope does not blow it's top also.
There is such serenity being out on a lake. I truly know we miss boating and what I miss most is our cabin cruiser boat. To be on the water all day and then snuggle in for the night on the boat has always been so appealing to me. I loved making meals on the boat and sitting top deck in the morning sun having breakfast. You are surrounded by nature listening to bird chatter and the slapping sound of water against the boat. Talk about serenity.
Hubby and I would be on the water for a week at times only beaching or docking to dump garbage or get fresh supplies or do some beach combing if we felt inclined. Boating was so much fun but I will say it was work too. Not work like a sailboat, but still the loading and unloading, the maneuvering a large boat, docking, anchoring just does not happen it is work and you must always keep your mind on what you are doing. 
We have been in some precarious situations when we were boat owners.  Thunder storms that would build slowly but all at once it seems be upon you. We would race to a cove or beach and leave the boat if possible. One time at a high Cascades lake we frequented a storm came upon us quite quickly. Thunder and lightening was right over the top of us and large hail  pelted us as we pulled into a cove. We anchored the boat and waded thigh high to the bank. We were in a treed area which is not the safest.  Lightening can strike a tree and whiz toward you in a an instant or the tree can fall on you if hit, so not the best situation but better than being out on the water. I was very nervous this was bad angry storm. We waited it out for almost two hours. We were sitting huddled together on a downed tree and biding our time. As we waited an amazing thing happened. Two deer wandered down the trail to where we where. They walked right up to us a few feet away at most. They stared us right in the eye. Believe me seeing those black alien shaped eyes staring intently at you from two feet away was a creepy experience. Deer kicks can be lethal and deer are unpredictable so we sat as still and quiet as mice. They nosed right up to us so close we could feel their warm breath on our faces. They just stood there staring at us for several minutes. It was one of the strangest experiences I have ever had. Then they just flicked their little tails and sauntered back down the path from which they came. I am telling you we were freaked out! The storm was over and we waded back to our boat chilled but thrilled. We sat topside and watched the steam roll off the lake like smoke and the sky turn from angry gray to blue once more. This is just one memory I have from our boating experiences. But I have two journals of boating adventures. 
I long for a big boat like that again but unless we had it moored at a lake it would be more than I would want to deal with at this point in my life. When you have it moored it just makes everything so easy. You jump aboard with your boat bag of clothing and sack of food and ice chests full of drinks and you are off!  If I every became wealthy I suppose I would have to have another cabin cruiser. But in the meantime the memories are so welcomed.
So I am going to leave you now and try to post a picture of the boat from a photo. Lets see how this works.
Back in a flash.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Posted by PicasaGood morning. The garden scene is on again. Wow all at once it seems we have loads of zucchini blossoms and the tomatoes are out of their cages. It will not be long now before we are eating squash and cukes. We have been enjoying the lettuce now for a while. We love our garden.

It is showering right now. I would not mind in the least except that I have to be out and about today and I just washed and waxed my car a couple days ago. So here it sits in the garage gleaming and now will be out on wet dirty streets. I guess the old adage is true. "Wash your car and it will rain."  Usually I just run it through the car wash but I wanted to really detail it.
I am running to the farms today for needed veggies and fruit and also out to the country meat market for hubby's favorite sausages. Tomorrow is grocery shopping and some new togs for me. As much as I loathe shopping I must buy some capri's and a couple tops. I am getting clothes poor. I also need to get my hair cut tomorrow.  So a day for Zo.

Last night I made mac and cheese and tuna cakes and green salad for dinner. Nothing to exciting but hubby always loves my mac and cheese. Tonight we are having the sausages I am picking up, and I will make the paprika potatoes he loves. So a Hungarian meal for my Hungarian man.
Today is his last long hard day on this job the next two will be shorter days. Then a few days of r&r. He is more than ready.

This how we make our paprika potatoes. (Hubby's recipe)
Peel and chop potatoes put in pot to boil.
In a skillet, add some olive oil, one large bell pepper sliced, 1/2 onion sliced, garlic minced and a Anaheim pepper if you want a little heat. Add salt, pepper and approximately 2 tablespoons paprika. This will make a nice rich color as well as adding flavor. Saute the peppers until done hubby actually likes them a bit browned. When the potatoes are fork tender drain them well and add a big dollop of butter and add the sauteed pepper mixture and mix gently into the potatoes. 
That is it.  They are soft and buttery with pieces of the peppers and onions. 
I will boil the sausages as they are not cooked and then brown them off in a skillet with a tad of olive oil. If I am not making the paprika potatoes I usually add a variety of sliced peppers and fry them off with the sausage. To add to tonight's meal I am serving sliced tomatoes and cucumbers and green olives.

We are looking forward to our anniversary lunch Thursday at Ambrosia. My husband wants calazone and I will have the pizza. We will share a bottle of their good Chianti. 

Well now what to do about my walk. I am going to hold off I think until I return home today. Maybe the sun will be popping out by then. Right now it is dismal and raining. No thanks!

Thought for the day.
"What you are is what you have been, what you will be is what you do now.
If you want to know your past look into your present condition; if you want to know your future life look at the your present actions.

Now that is something to chew on.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Here is my niece Sarah in Venice a couple weeks ago. What a time she is having this summer. Every weekend she goes somewhere new in Italy to explore. At the end of her teaching gig there in Vicenza she will have time before coming home to make a trip to Germany to see friends she met while there last year and she also wants to go to Hungary. On route home she will meet her parents in New York and the three of them will then go to Boston for a holiday as that is where her father lived in his early years. So quite an agenda this summer for this young woman.

I had a nice afternoon yesterday with my sister-in law Liz, Sarah's Mom.  She came to look at Sarah's Facebook photo's as she is without a computer at the present time. Sarah has hundreds of pictures posted so it took Liz a while to go through them all. Afterward I made us gourmet popcorn for a little snack and we sat out at the patio table and nibbled on popcorn and had a glass or two of wine. We chatted and caught up on family news and then I copied off some of my blog recipes for her. Tonight she is making those Easy Cheesy Enchilada's.

Here's what I do to make my home made popcorn.
Put oil to just cover the bottom in a saucepan that has a lid.
Sprinkle in the popcorn(Orville's is best) to cover bottom of pan.
Put the lid on the pan at a tilt to let air escape put not so much as to let the popped kernels escape. Set the burner to medium and keep it on med. When all the corn has popped remove pan from burner and put popcorn in a bowl. Drizzle with melted butter and then using a fine grater grate Parmesan cheese onto the popcorn. I like quite a lot of cheese. Then add some dried basil, salt and little pepper. Mix well and serve. It is so good and a nice treat to munch on. I fix my popcorn in many ways. If I am wanting a sweet and salty I add the melted butter then add a teaspoon or so of sugar and sprinkle with salt. The butter allows the toppings to stick to the corn. Try herbs or herb butter you have made. Or even some soft cheese like Gorgonzola, whatever pleases you.  With a little imagination  plain simple popcorn can be a mouth pleasing little treat.

We woke to overcast skies this morning and they are still here they will burn off and the sun will shine through clouds today to give us about seventy seven degree's. My that sounded like a weather forecast. Maybe I missed my calling.

I have been playing the piano the last few days. I just love that song "To make you feel my love" by Adele. So I have been learning to play it. That songs makes a big lump lodge in my throat. Odd isn't what music can do to your heart. Sometimes when I play I just get overwhelmed with emotions  It is almost like meditating for me. I must play more often as it cleanses my soul.

I have the house tidy already this morning but I have not walked. I did not feel the need to rush with the gray skies so when this is finished I am out the door to walk under a dismal gray blanket.

Enjoy your Monday though I know that was not my favorite day when I was working. The end of your work week always seems so far away on your first day back after the weekend.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Posted by PicasaIt was a real laid back evening last night. Hubby was so tired he has put in ten-eleven hour days all week and is still at it for the next three.
We did our little easy Mexican meal. Always his fave as I have mentioned before. These are tasty enchilada's and they are simple takes no time at all. Also I made my mexi rice which is a snap and everyone always likes it. So I will include these two recipes at the end of my blog.

So here it is an amazing Sunday morning and what is Zo doing? I don't know. I do feel a little bored today but there are certainly things I could do today as far as projects. But I really feel like having fun and having a self indulgent day. I have been diligent all week and have accomplished much. I hold the day in my hand but not to be squandered. This is an another perfectly appointed day. Not a hint of a breeze, that dark blue clear sky once again, beaming sun and not to hot nor not to cold it is a Goldilocks day!

My son called yesterday afternoon. He was perched on a high basalt rock taking in the view of the Cascade mountain range. He saw five mountains I believe he said. He had driven his truck as far as possible and then rode his dirt bike to his destination. He had taken a lunch and was quite content to spend the afternoon by himself with his thoughts in this beautiful place in nature. He made me want to be there too but without the dirt bike adventure.

Well here are the recipes. You really should throw this quick dinner together some night when you want something quick.

Zo's Easy Cheesey Enchilada's.
12 corn tortillas
canola oil for frying
14 ounces of green chili salsa
2 cups of shredded cheese. Here you can save time and buy shredded I bought a Mexican mix for the filling and grated cheddar for the topping.
1/2 onion minced
1/2 Anaheim pepper minced
Paprika for sprinkling on top
Canned sliced jalapeno peppers
Sour cream and salsa for toppings after plating.

Put a small amount of the oil in a skillet and heat the tortilla's till limp remove and set on paper towels. Continue with all the tortilla's.
Add diced onion and the Anaheim pepper to small skillet with a couple tablespoons of water, cover with a lid and let steam until tender. Spread a third of the green chili salsa to cover the bottom of the casserole.  
Spoon shredded cheese down the center of each tortilla and add a sprinkle of the onions and pepper over the top. Roll tortilla and lay seam side down in the sauce in a 9x13 casserole dish. Repeat with all tortilla's. Cover all with the remaining green chili salsa. Cover the top with grated cheddar or mexi blend cheese, scatter the sliced jalapenos over the top and sprinkle with paprika.
Bake in 350 oven for about 25 minutes till top is golden and bubbling.
Plate and add a dollop of sour cream and salsa if desired. We also at times will add chopped lettuce and tomatoes.

I serve this with my quick version of mexi rice.
Follow directions for long grain white rice. Instead of the water called for I use chicken broth and jarred salsa of your choice to make equal the amount of liquid required. The rice should be dry as possible when done so I let it sit a bit on the burner but with the burner off. Just fluff and eat. It is easy and has good flavor.
We also served this dinner with canned whole pinto beans that I added a pinch if cumin, black pepper and chicken broth to make it more soupy. We like the whole beans this way as they are amazing when you top your mexi rice with the beans and broth. All we lacked was a corn cake.

Well my phone has rang twice and I have let the machine pick up as I wanted to finish this so I get on with my day, whatever that will be.

Have a good one!

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Posted by Picasa
Here we are a wild and crazy couple so in love. Well not much has changed. Still crazy and in love, but wild? Wild occasionally ignites and sparks but does not blaze as in days of old.
Twenty-nine years together and truthfully there is little I would change. We are a odd pair I think as we really are very content just being in each other's company. We do not need others to entertain us and brighten our world. We are best friends and enjoy the same the things so we can easily entertain ourselves. Of course we love it when we share time with family and friends it is like frosting on our cake.
As I mentioned yesterday we will not celebrate our anniversary today that will occur when hubby is not having a hard days work. However we will share a tasty meal and enjoy the evening together. I even plan on wearing the little red and purple stripped shirt I was wearing when he first met me. Too funny. I have had that shirt all these years and every once in while I slip it on and he always laughs as it warms his heart that I have kept it all these years. 

I walked early this morning through a sleeping neighborhood.  I loved the quiet. The sun is bursting today, the sky is deep and the breeze is gentle. A perfect day. I walked with thoughts of my husband in my heart as it is our special day. I recalled anniversary's past, adventures shared throughout the years , difficult times we have waded through, losses and gains, sunshine and rain. It is our life together created by us, our reality. And the most splendid thing is there is more to come. We are still writing our book.

I must get on with my day. I will put my favorite music on while I work in our home. I will have the doors open so the summer air can flood in and I will be content and thankful for the life I have and especially for the man in my life.

Have a wonderful day.

Friday, July 8, 2011


Posted by PicasaI had no food to blog about as I made fried chicken last night and have already included that recipe on a previous blog. Tonight we are just dining on a green salad from our garden with blue cheese dressing and bakers loaded with a variety of goodies. A veggie meal tonight.
Tomorrow night I am making cheese enchilada's with mexi rice and pinto beans. 

It is our wedding anniversary tomorrow but hubby is working all day so we will celebrate as quickly as we can once this job is completed. My hubby mentioned this morning we can go somewhere of my choosing for a late lunch or early dinner. So I am thinking perhaps a quaint little restaurant downtown. They have brick oven pizza authentic Italian style and sidewalk seating. The place is quite funky. The kitchen is open to the dining area and each table and each chair is different though of the same era. It really has old world charm with the warm colors, subdued lighting and lots of wood and brick. Outside bright umbrella's pose against a backdrop of lush leaf trees that line the street. We will dine outdoors if we go there and enjoy the street scene. They have a great selection of Italian wines. Sounds fun! Perfect for a little wedding anniversary celebration.

I thought it would be pleasant when I walked this morning but as I started heading north, the wind coming from the north was hearty and nippy! Brrrr. So I changed direction and went south not so bad of course I even skirted west and east I knew at some point I would have to head north to get back to the house. I just put my head to the wind what else to do. I was under dressed and felt chilled it was exhilerating. Oh well the walk is out of the way for the day. It is so pretty out it is deceiving as the sky is cobalt, the sun is big but that wind is cold like a March wind.

Today is a day of whatever for me. For one thing I need to start working on a website for our business. We are listed of course on the Internet but do need a nice website. I am not the most proficient doing something like this but will chip away at it. Also on my list is going through my linen closet. Believe me there is a lot more in that linen closet other than linens. I have a feeling I will be packing up a big box for the thrift store. 

I am back on facebook. I tried it a few months ago and truthfully it is not my thing. But my neice Sarah is in Europe for the summer and she has all of her amazing photo's on facebook and I wanted to see them. That was my main critera for signing on again. So we will see how it goes. I do like to read my grandchildren and daughters little daily comments. However everyone who knows me knows I am a e-mailer. I type fast and tend to be long winded. No wonder they like me on facebook! But alas that is me I am a writer.

The collage of photo's today was a desperate attempt to post something.
But hey these shots are some of my favorite places. Wine country of course and the beach and Siltcoos Lake a coastal lake near Florence.
I am so longing now to get into nature. My first trip there will be in less than two weeks. I will be camping with brother Jack at Silver Lake in Washington. I can already smell those kosher dogs roasting over the campfire.
Well I need to do what needs doing in this home today not more procrastinating.
Till tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Posted by PicasaThere was not one shrimp left. We ate them all. So yummy and crispy. These are Argentine red shrimp, large and succulent.
I served them with a red leaf lettuce salad from our garden and french fries. I made a firecracker sauce and also lemon butter for dunking.
I made hubby banana cream pie with whipped cream. This was his birthday meal yesterday but however as you know we did celebrate his birthday early on Saturday. So he had two special days.

I just returned from my morning walk I was out the door at seven-thirty. So nice to have it out of the way for the day. It is already warm out. Yesterday topped out at 89 it will not be quite as warm today but still into the mid eighties.........lovely.

Hubby is now on a work marathon. Sixteen days straight without a break. he will be one tired man when these two jobs back to back are done. Seems that is the way it goes, no work or too much work all at once. Go figure? But we have come accustomed to dealing with the circumstances of that.
So I am making a list of to-do's and also some fun things that I would like to do to entertain myself over the next couple of weeks. I truly hope to get some projects done that have been nagging at me. I also want to do a lot of walking and will take the camera along. I will take the Willamette river trail for one walk and have a few other places in mind. I like to people watch and this time of year there are many out doing their thing.

Today I will be in the office for a hour or so. Then I need to make out a menu for the next week. I will be grocery shopping tomorrow as well as another stop for more books.

Tonight we are going to have chicken and olives with spaghetti. It is a simple dish with a flavorful red sauce, garlic and green olives over pasta with lots freshly grated Parmesan cheese. once again we will have a green salad from our garden. I am getting a little tired of lettuce but it is coming on so fast and growing larger each day so I must use it up as quickly as possible before it turns bitter. I will take more down to my sis in law this afternoon. I will take a photo of the pasta dish and post the recipe tomorrow.

Now here is the simple little dredge I use for everything including these shrimp. I know I have posted it previously but it is such a good crust for everything I will repeat myself.
Butterfly Shrimp.
Use large or extra large shrimp we figured five apiece.
Canola oil for frying. These are not deep fried so just put a inch to two inches in the frying pan. Just keep the shrimp turning as you know they do not take long.
Clean and de-vein the shrimp. To butterfly just cut deeper along the back where you remove the vein, then press open.
Here is the three plate dredge.
Flour in one bowl
Beaten egg with a little water in the second bowl
Equal amounts of Krustez's bake and fry(blue box) and Panko crumbs.
So they go into the flour, then the egg to coat then into the panko mixture,
then sprinkle with paprika and fry till golden
set onto parchment paper to drain.
Eat and enjoy!

Firecracker sauce.
A  small dab of may
A tablespoon of chili paste or more if you like the heat
1 quarter cup of ketchup
onion powder, garlic powder and pepper to taste
A good squeeze of lemon.
Mix well.

I am getting hungry so I will grab a banana and have a honey yogurt. Then I must get on with my chores. I am hoping I can set on our festive deck later this afternoon and finish my book. Always so sad to end a book like leaving a friend.
Summer is here.
La Dolce Vita

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Posted by PicasaThe deck is set for summer. Makes me smile.
Yesterday we celebrated hubby's 5th of July birthday as he will be working on his birthday. We spent a couple of hours on the patio of The El Torito Cantina, dining on good food and drink. The day was glorious a huge hot sun, deep blue sky and a mild breeze full of summer pleasures.
After we arrived home we called family and had them join us on our deck for frozen Tequila Sunrises(recipe on a previous blog). I put out a few snacks for others but we were still severely stuffed from our mexican fare.
We played games at the patio table and listened to music and had a very nice relaxing afternoon. Later I served up home made strawberry shortcake with fluffy whipped cream. Hubby's faux birthday cake.

The shortcake was almost a disaster. I tried a new buttermilk biscuit shortcake recipe. When I was making it I thought to myself the ingredients were off kilter.  It called for two cups of flour and a third cup of sugar which I thought was fine but then it called for a whole cup of buttermilk and I thought to myself that is a lot of liquid more like a cake recipe rather than a biscuit recipe. Then after all the ingredients were added I was to remove the dough to a board and slightly kneed. What dough? It was batter. So I added more flour at that point to make a biscuit dough and patted it out and hoped for the best. They turned out ok,  but they would not have if I had followed the recipe. So I chucked the recipe in the recycle.  I should know better than to try a new a recipe when having guests but heavens it was just a biscuit recipe. Go figure? The strawberries were luscious sweet juicy Oregon strawberries. I make my whipped cream with a little twist which is very good. To the cream in the mixer I add pure vanilla of course but also a little powered sugar instead of granulated sugar. The powered sugar makes the cream more full bodied and very rich thick and creamy. So we enjoyed this desert in spite of the shortcakes.

Today is a day of lazing about. It is Sunday and we have coastal clouds once again. It is like we are living at the beach but without the ocean. Hopefully the sun will smile on us today at some point.
Late afternoon we are grilling a spice rubbed sirloin steak and marinated shrimp will be grilled in the grill basket with lemon wedges, red peppers and onions. I will make a green salad with our red leaf lettuce and make one of my Mom's dressing, have not decided what I am in the mood for, maybe the thousand island. If it warms and turns lovely we will dine once again at our patio table on our little festive deck.

Tomorrow the 4th we are going down the street to enjoy rotisserie chicken on the grill. I am taking my creamy cheesy scalloped potatoes to go with the chicken. I think I may add some deli style jalenpeno's and mince them to scatter over the potatoes for a little zip and added color. There will also be salad, baked beans and a relish plate. So a good 4th fare.
We are going to play croquet and lawn darts to entertain ourselves. Lawn darts are no more as they are deemed dangerous. We have had a set for almost thirty years and only adults play and we are always watchful when someone is throwing. It is fun to play and we get quite competitive.
No fire works this year for us it will be an early evening. However I am sure we will have our sleep sound machine on with the volume turned up as others will be doing their thing in the neighborhood.
When I was a little girl growing up in the country my Dad would start building a rocket in June. This was our entertainment, Dad's rocket and sparklers. So he would build a launch pad and the whole works. His goal was to have it shoot straight up and go out of sight. Well that never happened as I recall. It would sometimes take off and fly for a bit before plummeting to the ground. It was always the big event on the 4th.
My Mom would be in the kitchen non stop making food to be carted to a gathering place in a shaded part of the pasture. There Dad would set out log rounds and set planks on them for our seating. The swing set would be moved to the area so my cousins and I could swing and hang by our knees or whatever we needed to do to keep ourselves entertained. There were galvanized tubs of soda's and lots of beers for the adults. Long tables made of sawhorses and plywood covered with colorful tablecloths held the plates of food offered not only from my Mom but my Aunts as well. Some would plunge or wade into our pond if it was hot and we needed to cool down. There was always softball in the pasture dodging the fresh cow pies of course!  So in the shade of trees with the barn at our backs we would enjoy our country 4th of July.
Wherever you are and whatever you are doing have a safe, fun 4th of July.
Till later.