Sunday, March 31, 2013


Posted by PicasaThis was a big yummy K burger. K is for our last name.
Inside is tucked a perfectly cooked tender juicy burger,fried bacon with melted jack cheese, shredded green leaf lettuce, sweet onion and tomatoes with lots of goopy Zo's special sauce.
I did get my mouth over it for the first bite but it was difficult.
Tonight we dine on Easter dinner. The rolls are raising as I type.
I am anxious to set our dining table festive for our meal. I am going to use yellow and green for the tablescape. 
I wrote my son this morning and said how I wished he was here with us. If I recall he was here last year for our good meal. Momma as he calls me can usually coax him here with the promise of a good meal and leftovers to pack home.

I just put the first coat of ArmorAll on the spa cover. It looks brand new but will look even better when I apply the second coat this evening after the sun is off the deck.
We sure enjoyed our restful time on the deck yesterday late afternoon after completing our chores.There is nothing more rewarding than hard work then relaxing.

Hubby is cleaning the garage at this moment and getting his tools of the trade ready to load in the work van in the morning. He starts a big job in Pleasant Hill tomorrow.

Sounds as if the plans for a gals weekend at the Oregon Hotel in McMinnville will work out. Seems we are all available for the weekend of May 25th. The weather should be perfect for a wine tour of surrounding vineyards and just having gal fun.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 30, 2013


Posted by PicasaThese little dandelions looked so sweet yesterday on our table. I pulled them out of the garden beds.
I was not going to blog today but thought I would write a little while eating my Chobani yogurt. I love this greek yogurt.

We had a wonderful day yesterday and the day was lovely. Woke to low clouds which burned off as we drove through the Mohawk Valley.  When we returned to the city for lunch the day was bright with spring sun. After returning home we spent the day on the back deck sucking up that heat and showing off our pasty white winter legs. 
As we had a large lunch I made only a chilled asparagus salad with french bread.
This is a good recipe as a side dish or like we had last evening to have if you just need a little something.

Clean and break asparagus at it's breaking point. Put top portions in the steamer and steam until just tender. Plunge the steamer basket into a large bowl filled with ice and water. Let the asparagus sit in the ice water to cool. This keeps it a bright pretty green as well as stopping the cooking process.
When cooled put in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge.
Make your favorite vinaigrette  I made a lemon vinaigrette. Basically just fresh lemon juice, sugar, kosher salt, tarragon and a combination of canola and olive oil. Shake well and put in fridge. Take out of the fridge about twenty minutes before putting together the salad as the olive oil will solidify. 
Boil two eggs to hard boiled.  
Arrange asparagus on a small platter in a uniform manner. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and add chopped hard boiled eggs over the top. Yummy.

Tonight we are grilling burgers with the works. I will clean the deck today.
Tomorrow we will enjoy our beautiful ham.
Have a lovely Easter.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


This evening we are having potato leek soup. This a easy soup to make and just a little different than the two other potato soups I make. 
As hubby purchased a big bag of potatoes that were on special and I had already purchased a large bag elsewhere we are in potato world. So a nice hot bowl of soup this evening with a slice or two of buttered warm french bread sounds divine. 
Here is the very simple recipe.
Potato Leek Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups of sliced leeks white and pale parts only.
1 large clove of garlic minced
1 qt. reduced sodium chicken stock
3 large russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup of half and half
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Cook leeks stirring often until softened about five minutes. Measure out 1/4 cup of leeks and set aside. Add garlic to the remaining leeks in the pot and cook until fragrant about two minutes. Increase heat add the chicken stock, potatoes and cook covered until the potatoes are tender about 15 minutes. Add the half and half and salt.
Cool soup and then working in batches whirl soup in the blender to puree. Reheat slowly.  Divide soup among four bowls and top each with the reserved leeks.
There are variations you can make by adding fresh herbs, some flat leaf parsley or whatever you like. But this simple straight forward recipe is good.
I am going to cut this recipe in half as there is only the two of us and I do not want a lot of soup leftover.
The reason to cool the soup before blending is that hot soup can blow the top off your blender. I had it happen to me once making a mexican hot chocolate. What a mess, luckily I did not get burned.

As I had mentioned previously my daughter was to be here at this time for a three day visit. Well she was unable to come as she came down with a cold. We were both so disappointed as we had our time planned out and could not wait to start having fun. So the way it stands now is that she will come in two weekends. Made me sad.
To appease me somewhat my sweet husband took me to a late lunch yesterday as he only worked a half day. Then tomorrow I going on a country ride with him out into the beautiful Mohawk valley as he going on a bid. Then we are going to do a couple of errands and out for lunch again. Seems it is one of our fave things to do.
Then of course as I mentioned yesterday we are working in our garden space and the back deck this coming weekend and having a Easter meal.

Our weekend is shaping up nicely weather wise. Lots of bright sun, warming to 69-70 degrees. Perfect for weeding the garden area.

I will not post for a few days now so do have a lovely Easter however you are spending it.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Posted by PicasaEaster weekend plans.
Hubby and I will be alone as is usual. We are not into organized religion so there will be no church activities, services or gatherings. But we do enjoy a nice meal and making the occasion special.  So we honor God and Jesus, the spring day, our lives, our spirituality and spend the day in a peaceful loving way. We are hoping to spend the day outdoors enjoying what nature has to offer in our back yard, which is the bird and squirrel activities. 

As far as the meal we are having a spiral ham with red wine glaze, smashed potatoes with scallions and red eye gravy, fresh roasted asparagus with lemon butter and yeast rolls. Very simple but tasty. 

The weekend will be one of working outdoors as the weather is to be lovely.
The deck will be set with table and chairs, the big grill will be a presence once more, pots filled with posies, and everything cleaned and neat. We will repaint the deck and the deck rails later before summer sets in.
This weekend the garden debris will be removed and the little stone path along the raised beds cleaned of weeds and dead leaves. As I work on the path hubby will tend the raised beds. This is a fun time, though it is work getting the garden cleaned out. 
Then when the time is right the beds will be filled with new soil and fertilizer in preparation for planting.
We will have a full weekend. Work and play.

Today we have sun and huge whip cream clouds fighting for space in a deep blue sky. It is awesome their is no other word to describe. 

Bye for now.

Monday, March 25, 2013


Posted by PicasaThis is a beautiful photo of the Tuscan region in Italy. I posted this photo today as I may be off to McMinnville wine country with Bend gal pals this spring. We will stay at the McMenamins Hotel there. I have stayed there a couple times in the past with my hubby. It is a great old hotel and claims to be haunted. We did not see or hear a thing in our room but maybe the ghosts were not roaming about at that time.

My daughter will be here in two days now. I am almost ready for her visit. We were in the midst of some re-do's in our home as you know. We are now put back together. I do so dislike the house in disarray. 
Yesterday my sweet husband vacuumed all the hardwood floors and then I cleaned them. 
I need get out and spruce up the deck today. It is a mess from the wind we had the other day. I have not bought even one posy yet as the weather is just not warm to be enjoying the deck. I was hoping when Gina was here we could be outdoors getting some sun and soaking up the warmth of spring sun.

Tomorrow I must run for fresh ingredients for the food I am preparing.
For one evening I am preparing Chicken Picatta as it is a favorite of mine. I have not made it for my daughter. I will serve steamed asparagus along side. I know the chicken recipe by heart as we have it quite often and I did not want to be struggling with a unfamiliar recipe after sipping wine. I have done that before and lets just say that does not work out to well.
I will making a French lemon tart tomorrow that will be served with whipped cream. I have made this tart before and it is a zap for your senses.  There is a lot of fresh lemon and also lemon zest.
We are hoping to do brunch one day also. I have ranchero sauce made from our fresh tomatoes last year in the freezer. So the dish will be quite easy to put together. Some from scratch re-fried beans, softened corn tortillas and soft fried eggs all topped with ranchero. For drinks we will have mimosas.
So there will be much to look forward to in the food department.

Today is to be sixty but it surely does not look that way at the present. There is blue sky scattered about but gray clouds clutter the sky also. 

My husband is back on a job site today. It worked out well that he was home for a week so he could take care of his honey-do list. I kept him very busy and all looks so nice. He is a very handy fellow.

I need to close and get "my" list of to-do's done for the day.
Have a happy Monday.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Posted by PicasaThis cake is a winner. Very moist and taste like fresh oranges.  I am surprised it is this tasty as you know where I got the recipe? From the Cake Dr. cook book.
I never make cakes that are not from scratch. So this a semi-homemade cake. Starting with a yellow cake mix with pudding in it and then adding 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice, 1/2 cup canola oil, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and four large eggs. Just mix all the ingredients together in the mixer till well blended creamy and thick and spread into a oil sprayed and lightly floured bundt pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 45 minutes. I took mine out at at 43 minutes as I did not want to over bake it and it was perfect.
Remove from oven and set on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Then run a sharp knife around the edged and invert onto a plate and let cool completely before glazing.
1 cup of powered sugar and juice of one orange and zest from one orange. I use the same orange, just zest it first and then juice it. Pour the glaze over the cake and let it drizzle down the sides and into the middle.
Store the cake in a cake keeper. It can sit at room temp for a week. You can also wrap in foil and freeze it all or part of it if you like.

It is a bitter cold day here. I was to the grocery store very early this morning and the air felt like snow. Now that it is early afternoon we have a broken gray sky with bits of blue scattered about but still chilly. I want spring, this does not feel like it.

For tonight's dinner I am preparing crusted baked pork chops, oven roasted vegetables and a pear and walnut salad.
This is a lovely fresh tasting little salad.
Pear and Walnut Salad
4 servings assorted greens
2 med size pears thinly sliced
2 teaspoon lemon juice
3 teaspoon honey
1/4 toasted chopped walnuts
crumbled blue cheese.
In a 2 quart bowl toss together the assorted greens and pear slices. For dressing combine the honey and lemon juice. Pour over the salad and toss to coat. Sprinkle with walnuts and blue cheese crumbles.

I love an oven meal and this will be so simple this evening. The salad will make a nice accompaniment.

I have much to do today so I will leave you now and be back here tomorrow with more earth shattering information.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Posted by PicasaThis is the scene this time of year. All the plum trees have bloomed out in the past week. They have gotten a good battering from the wind and rain but they are holding up well.
The day today goes from bright to dark, from dark to bright and repeated. As I was puttering in the kitchen it was raining on the back deck and in the front it was sunny no rain. Only in Oregon!

I had good intentions of the making the orange cream cake yesterday but my daughter called just as I setting out the ingredients and we chatted for over an hour. I lost my window of time for cake baking. So as I type now it is baking in the oven. Oh, it smells divine and even the batter looked yummy,thick creamy yellow. It calls for a whole cup of fresh squeezed orange juice. Also there is one cup of fresh squeezed juice in the glaze. Mmn cannot wait.

I do not have much to chat about today. We are just having leftover chicken rice soup for dinner with leftover biscuits. So the same  dinner tonight. My hubby loves that, when he likes something two nights repeated is fine with him. The soup was quite rich as the rice makes for a stoup as RR calls it. Not quite a stew and to thick for soup. So a good call on her part. Rachael is really a character.

As it is windy today I am going to leave you with this quote from Stephen King.
"The wind makes you ache in some place that is deeper than your bones. It may be that it touches something old in the human soul."

I like that. It is from his book Salem's Lot.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


This salad dressing recipe comes hot off the press from Food Network magazine. This months issue has a salad dressing booklet with a basic vinaigrette then has 50 variations of that basic recipe.
The creamy balsamic is so good we really enjoyed it last night for something different.
This is not a pretty dressing as balsamic is dark brown so the color of the dressing looks like pork gravy but do not let that deter you. This little recipe hits your palette with a bright acidic flavor but is soon mellowed by the olive oil and sugar.  Try this recipe.

Whisk two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 2 teaspoons dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, pepper to taste. Then add a 1/2 cup of olive oil gradually whisking in slowly. Then whisk in  2 tablespoons mayonnaise and a 1/2 teaspoon each minced garlic and sugar.
Mix well and enjoy!

So we enjoyed our dinner last night of a crunchy green leaf lettuce salad loaded with veggies and this good dressing. A nice accompaniment to the creamy mac and cheese. 
Tonight we are having soup. I will use a chicken thigh base and add vegetables and rice. I am going to make a batch of buttermilk biscuits to go with. Yum!
I am also baking today. There is a cake I want to try. You bake it in a bundt pan or two 9" cake pans. I am going to use the bundt. It is a fresh orange cream cake. Sounds light and lovely. It is topped with a orange glaze and edible flowers(I will skip on the flowers). As we have a huge bag of sweet oranges in the fridge it will be a good way to use a few. The recipe calls for five. So my fun event this afternoon will be making that cake for us to enjoy.

Today the washer and dryer will be moved back into the laundry. So it is a laundering day for me. That is fine with me as the sky is gray and dim today with rain coming in later. So a day indoors.

We played gin rummy again last evening. This game is addicting. I blistered my hubby's you know what!!! And so it goes back and

Talk to a crow today, I did!

Monday, March 18, 2013


Posted by PicasaIt is almost that time of year again. Wine country awaits! This photo was taken at King Estate two years ago. It was early spring if I recall as the patio was not yet set up. We took a picnic lunch along that we enjoyed at the winery across the way. As it was an early spring day the countryside was green and lush. The entire drive from Eugene is really a feast for the eyes. Hills and dales distant snow cap mountains. The curvy paved road takes you past mom and pop farms, small communities and of course vineyards.
So the yearning starts about this time of year for our yearly little drive to wine country.

It is a beauty here today though it is cold. I was surprised when I stepped out the back door as the air is sharp.

Our dinner last night was yummy. Tonight we are going veggie all the way. I am making large green salad with an assortment of vegetables with a light Italian dressing to the side. My husband is in the mood for mac and cheese so I will make a small pot of that. I like to use to three kinds of cheese but only have two on hand so a two cheese mac and cheese it will be.

As I type hubby is painting the laundry room. We are anxious to get everything moved back in.
Loved playing gin rummy was a close back and forth game. My honey took a big lead and I gradually worked my way up in points as he lost points but the end result was I lost!

I must get to my chores now and leave the computer. Sometimes time just goes by so quickly when you are on the computer. 


Sunday, March 17, 2013


Posted by PicasaHere is one view of the kitchen with it's new microwave and glass tiles between the counter and hanging cabinets. I am very happy the way it turned out. I did not want to lose the country feel in our home but wanted it fashionable and less cluttered so I think we achieved that.
Now onward to the laundry room. Then our house will be back to normal before we do something more.

I expected a totally cloudy day today but that is not the case. The sun has been winking at us through the windows for most of the day. However it is not warm out, there is a small brisk breeze that keeps me indoors.

Tonight in our kitchen I am making crispy parmesan chicken cutlets. For sides I will serve roasted cauliflower and smashed red potatoes with chicken gravy. A little comfort food. I was going to make a veggie meal but decided to add the parmesan chicken. I love the left over chicken the next day for lunch.

We ate ribs again last night. I must say we have the St. Louis ribs down to a science. I just remove the silver membrane from the back of ribs and trim any excess fat and salt and pepper the ribs both sides. St. Louis style ribs are larger pork ribs than baby back. We do not care for baby back ribs as they tend to be dry. We like to bite into the rib and get a bit of pull to the bite before the meat releases from the bone. That is the perfect way to make them. I bake them first in a 325 degree oven in a covered roaster pan with a little water covering the bottom and bake for 45 minutes. Then hubby takes over as far as the grilling part. I make a semi homemade bbq sauce. I start with a basic original flavor bottled sauce. To that I add apple cider, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar a small drizzle of honey and a good squirt of ketchup, onion salt, hot sauce and pepper. I take a taste if it is acidic I add more honey, if too sweet I add more balsamic, if it is not hot enough, add more heat.  This mix makes for a nice medium bodied sauce.
After the ribs are roasted in the oven they go on to a hot oil sprayed grill. Now my husband starts mopping on the sauce and turning the ribs as required. The whole event on the grill last about fifteen minutes. Remove the ribs when the edges are getting black and crispy and the sauce is all sticky!
I am telling you these ribs are heaven!!!! We had pile of napkins on the table you would not believe.

I am looking so forward to my daughter coming. She will be here the 27th for a couple of nights. It is time to spring clean the guest bedroom so knowing that she is coming will make it fun for me. Lighter bed linens, remove clutter, clean and clean until everything is sparkling. This time of year I will put a vase of daffodils on the night table.
Hubby is going to take us to wine country if the weather cooperates. It will be a good time no matter what we do. We always have fun.

Not that our kitchen is set and we have some time before I start dinner we are going to play gin rummy. We both love that game. We are very competitive we never know who will win. We have different strategies. We bet two dollars a game which makes it more intense.

The weekend is ending it was a good one here in this household as we accomplished much.

Saturday, March 16, 2013


So the tiles are in place in the kitchen and hubby is grouting it all today. So the kitchen will be done by this evening. I still need to remove my decor items that sit atop of the hanging cabinets and clean everything and replace. There is not much up there but oh it gets so dusty. Tonight after all is replaced on the countertops and cleaned I will put Bona wood floor cleaner on the hardwood floor in the kitchen. It will be so nice to have everything sparkling clean as well as the glass tiles and microwave. I will post a photo soon.
Tomorrow my husband is painting the laundry room and the washer and dryer can be moved back in. Yeah, the old hamper is starting to get quite full.

I am a tad tired today as after we enjoyed our bbq'd ribs last night we sat and listened to music, drank  wine and played gin rummy.  So we stayed up a little later than usual.  It was a very full busy day yesterday as it has been for several days.  I am more than ready to have my old routine back.

A post note for Judy.
I am wondering if you have rec'd the photo's and emails I have sent recently? Have not heard from you for sometime. I hope all is well.

Happy Saturday everyone!

Friday, March 15, 2013


Posted by PicasaIsn't Audrey a little cutie! She celebrated her 2nd birthday February 13th. Now she will welcome  a new sibling the first of August.  I am so happy for my great niece Diana and her family.  Audrey is fair and redheaded like her father I wonder if the new little one will be dark like Diana? Always fun to think about how the little ones will be.
One thing when every new baby comes along and it is a great great to you, you know you are old!

The remodel continues. The kitchen wall tiles are about half in place. These little glass tiles on the mesh sheets are not as easy to install as one would think. Hubby is doing an excellent job however as he does with everything. It is so nice to have a handy hubby.

I did manage our cod fish sammies last night. I was sequestered at the bar counter and had to prepare everything there as the rest of the counter space was not available. I cooked on the stove that had been pulled out from it's space to the middle of the kitchen.  But it all worked and food was great.
Tonight we will grill outdoors if the weather stays dry. I am planning on having St. Louis style ribs to go with the leftover coleslaw and will make a pot of baked beans(if the stove area is available.)  Hopefully the tile will be completed today.
The laundry room floor has had it's last coat and is dry to walk upon. I now need to choose a paint color for the walls and ceilings. I want to keep it fairly light but would like a little interest on the walls, I am thinking maybe a sea green or something like that. I will pick up the paint tomorrow.

I must take care of office work this morning so I better get to that task now.
The weekend is upon us! Have fun.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Posted by PicasaWell here he is baby Sam. Jana my little great niece and her hubby Bill have a new addition to their family. Sam and Jack the two Wilson brothers. How cute. Two adorable little boys.
Sam looks so very much looks like Jack when he was a newborn. I am so happy for their little family.
And I just found out my other great niece Diana is expecting. Wow!  I am so happy for them all!!
And really it makes me so excited for my forthcoming little great grandchild that will arrive in September. I cannot wait to cuddle and snuggle that little one.

Well the remodel is still on. Another coat of finish went on the laundry room floor this morning.  At the present moment my hubby is prepping the walls in the kitchen for the glass tiles. He is hoping to get them all installed today.
The microwave is in and looks and works amazing. I have wanted a new one forever it seems. So things are happening and in the mean time the house is a disaster!

Tonight in Zo's Kitchen if it usable we are fixing Alaska cod fish sandwiches. I will make tarter sauce and we will heap the buns with crunchy fish and shredded lettuce, tomatoes, onions and the works. I am making a coleslaw to go with or even on the fish burgers if we prefer.  Should be a tasty meal.
We have been eating on lasagna now for two days. Oh it is a heavenly mouthful it consists of many layers or flavor.
Hmm, hubby just informed we may not be able to cook in the kitchen tonight......well I may grill the fish outdoors. 

I am going now to do what I can help.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Posted by PicasaYes the youngest of my grandchildren Seth is having his 21st birthday today.
I just wrote him reminding him that I actually helped in a small way when he was born.
I was standing by the doctor when Seth started to crown and the doctor being a very kind person asked if I wanted to help guide him out. And of course I did. So our two hands held Seth's head as he came forth.
Gina was crying she was so happy and daddy Darren was half in shock I think. Good thing I was there as you would have thought Darren was the one having the was quite humorous.
So this photo is of Seth and his big sis Megan. I did not have a photo on my computer program of him alone. I have many pictures all complied in boxes of older days and I must purchase a scanner so I can get them on the computer.
Seth has always been older than his years. He is very level headed, mature beyond his years, tender and sensitive everyone in the family totally adores him. He is a really good guy. So happy birthday Seth!

Well hubby is installing the new microwave above the range. We took the old one out this morning.  I will assist when we actually put the new one in place. I cannot wait to have a pretty stainless microwave in my kitchen. Tomorrow the glass tiles will start to go up.
We are rather torn up in our home at the moment with the first coat of finish on the new hickory wood floor in the laundry. The washer and dryer are posed in the rear hallway. 
The new floor is outstanding. Hickory has lots of character. The grain is varied with interesting little curlicues and knots here and there. The finish just brings it all to life. Two more coats to go.
I had mentioned on yesterday's blog it was a oak floor. Call it a senior moment, I knew hubby had purchased hickory. A hickory floor can be a thing of beauty or it can make for a really busy floor. The key is not to use it in large area's as it is distracting. However if a highly patterned wood floor does not bother you, go for it. I myself like it in small applications.
I post on my hubby's blog about the various wood floors and applications. The next post will be about wood floor care. If anyone is interested in our business blog and website just go to

Well my help will be needed shortly so I am going to make this quick today.
I will post a photo when the kitchen is done.
Looks as if we may get sun again today. We are on a roll. Yesterday was a spring melody!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Today the laundry remodel has started. I am going to paint the white walls a gold/brown called sand biscuit. That will look amazing with all the different grains in the wide hickory wood floor that hubby is installing and finishing. We are going to use some kind of industrial surfacing for the counter tops and replace the sadly stained laundry sink. I found a perfect piece of art for the room. It is on stretched canvas and is a faded yard with an old clothesline with clothes hung from wooden pins.
We ran to the home improvement store today and purchased glass tiny rectangular tiles for the area between the kitchen counter tops and the bottom of the hanging cabinets. Then we drove over to Best Buy and bought a new stainless microwave to go above our range. When we bought our stainless appliances for the kitchen a few years ago we did not get a microwave. Making those changes in the kitchen will add so much. In a year or so we are going to have our granite tile squares that hubby installed on our counters replaced with solid surface granite. Then the kitchens new face will be completed.
So now the work begins for my husband.

I started this post yesterday(Monday). So today Tuesday I am doing some running about while hubby installs the new laundry floor. It will be loud in the house with the hammering and sanding so it is good I am gone for a while.

I will go to Ross to pick up the art work for the laundry and I need to purchase some new hand towels for our master bath we just spruced up. Then on to Walmart for some staples I get there. I also need to make a stop at the office supply store and get new files and a file box for our 2012 taxes. So a busy little morning for me.

We are having lasagna tonight for dinner. We have been eating on that Tuscana soup for two nights. It is always such a treat.
Yesterday we sat for a bit on the deck in the warm bright sun and soaked it up. Oh it was lovely out. No breeze, not a stir. Clouds would come and go giving a reprieve from the penetrating spring sun. 
I fixed a small plate of sharp white cheddar,crackers and sausage picked up from the meat market earlier in the day. This sausage is a fave of ours. So lean with the right amount of spice. We just boil for a half hour and slice.
We had wine filled with ice and the little snack making for a tasty treat.

I had better take care of my to-do's this morning and get out the door.
Have a nice Tuesday.

Friday, March 8, 2013


We had a volatile sunset last night. Huge clouds moved in right before sunset. The sky was stormy and angry. As the sun started to sink the clouds absorbed the colors. It was quite a spiritual display.

Today we have low gray clouds with the promise of a sun filled day. We will see.......

We so enjoyed our steak dinner last night. I have not seared up a sirloin steak for a few years preferring other cuts. But this steak had amazing flavor. I know the rub on the outside certainly punched up the flavor but overall it was a delicious steak.

Tonight I am preparing grilled mild Italian sausages and red potatoes with the skins on sliced on the mandoline and fried with onions to be served along a side of sauerkraut  My husband loves a meal like this and we have at least five different kinds of mustard in the fridge to dunk that sausage in. I venture to say we probably have more condiments in our fridge than the average Joe. That man of mine is a condiment junkie. The entire door is filled with them as well there are jars and bottles tucked into whatever available shelf space there is. 

We are going to be purchasing a pickup this spring or summer. Hubby needs something to pull his fishing boat with. We used to tow it behind the motorcoach but as we sold that the boat stays put in the side yard. He does not want to use his work van and I do not want my SUV used for pulling the boat. So a truck is in order and then we will take our time scouting for a short travel trailer with a slide. We do miss going camping. There are several lakes and camping places close by so it is easy to escape and leave the city and suburbs for a few days. It is nice that we can go during the week and miss the crowds. That is one perk of working for yourself.

My guy got home earlier than I expected him to yesterday. I just nicely had settled down on one of deck chairs to read and I heard his voice, "I'm home".
It was so lovely yesterday I kept the back door open to the screen door for most of the afternoon to let that fresh bright air ease into the house.
I do not know what I would do if I did not have screen doors. We have one for the front door as well. I love them. I am not talking sliding glass doors with screens nor storm doors. We have old fashioned screen doors period. Sadly they do need to be replaced. I would imagine they were installed when the house was built which was sixteen years ago.  So new screen doors is going to be a goal of mine this summer. Hubby has been putting it off as he dislikes installing them. But at this point it is a must so no more procrastination Mr. Kasza!

Well my dryer's obnoxious buzzer has been rattling my brain for the past few minutes so I must get back to my laundry.

Today is Friday and the weekend is on it's way. Have a good one.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Posted by PicasaThese are photo's of our home we built when we lived in Bend.  Of course we built other homes also and lived in them briefly before selling them. But this is the house we built for ourselves and sometimes I really do miss it. It is a beautiful home, spacious, with unique touches and we laid out the floor plan exactly to our liking.
It has three large bedrooms, two generous size full bathrooms. The master bath has a cast iron slipper tub and a tiled walk in shower. the laundry is very spacious with lots of storage, laundry sink etc.  There is a floor to ceiling river rock gas fireplace in the family room, adjacent to a gourmet kitchen with a huge walk in corner pantry and built in china cabinet with linen and silverware storage.  The living room is a nice quiet space in the front of the house with three bay windows overlooking the Deschutes river and downtown. The back area is private with a hot tub and lots of decking built around a gnarly old juniper tree. In the back depending on what time of year it is, it's quite a hub for many species of wildlife. We had a variety squirrels, quail, rabbits, deer and lots of birds. We kept food out for these little visitors and they certainly were entertaining.  So there is a lot to miss!  We were intending to build that house again when we left Bend for Portland but sadly it did not work out for us to do that.
The couple that bought our home fell madly in love with it the first time they stepped through the door in 2000. They are still there 13 years later and take immaculate care of it. That makes my heart so happy to know that we created this special home and it is so loved by them just as it was by us.

Do you know that today is a gift.  We have deep blue skies nary a cloud in sight. It was chilly this morning but now early afternoon the sun is doing it's magic and the air is warm.  I was thinking I should go out to the back deck, hose it off and clean the spa cover. However I am ready to relax. Tomorrow is another day and it is to be another lovely one.
I started the day early I was out bed at six. Got my hubby's breakfast, packed his lunch and out the door he went early. Then I did my house chores and showered and loaded my SUV full of goodies for St. Vinney's.  I cleaned out my walk in closet yesterday as it is large I use it for extra storage also. I unloaded lamps, pictures, picture frames, pillows, decor items as well as clothing. Oh, so nice now to have a orderly closet once again.
So I dropped off those items this morning and then on to grocery store, the bank, ran the rig through the car wash and stopped for some office supplies.
Then home to unload and put groceries away and have a bite to eat. I then came to the office as bills had to go out before the mailman came. So I have done enough today in my opinion.

I just put a rub on a nice piece of sirloin steak. I will fix that tonight in the cast iron skillet. We will have bakers and the first fresh spring asparagus that is now in the stores. We will gorge ourselves now on asparagus  until the season is over. We love it! 

I want to start a new book this afternoon. So my plan is to sit on the deck in the sun and read until hubby comes home which today should be about four or so.

We have made reservations at Driftwood Shores in Florence and if the weather cooperates we will keep them. We are hoping for the best. We do not want to cancel but do not want to be stuck inside the entire time while the rain thrashes into a gray churned ocean.

Well off I go to enjoy this beautiful day.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Posted by PicasaThis truly is the easiest way for me to make roasted chicken and have it be perfectly roasted every time.
It seems when I roast a whole chicken I always have to bake it longer to get the thigh meat next to the bones done.
This chicken is always moist, tender and most importantly evenly roasted.
This was how it looked right before putting into the oven. I have already blogged with photo's how the chicken looks when taken from the oven.

The first thing you do is take the backbone of the chicken out. I find it is easiest to use cooking shears. Lay the chicken breast side up with the large cavity facing you. Take your shears and cut down side of the backbone all the way to the other end. Then repeat on the other side of the breast bone and then discard the backbone. Now taking your hands place them on the fatty part of the breast and press down very hard until you hear the breastbone crack. And that it it!
I surround this one as I normally do with carrots, whole garlic cloves, green peppers and red potatoes with the peelings left on. I toss all into a big bowl and drizzle well with olive oil then I add what ever herbs and spices I prefer.
What I do to the chicken is salt and pepper the inside and then place it breast up and rub with olive oil then rub in kosher salt, cracked black pepper, coriander  paprika, tarragon, and thyme. You can use anything you like. Sometimes I will add a little heat such as cumin or red pepper flakes and cayenne. Or at times I have added lemon juice and zest. Just use what appeals to you.
Place in a hot 400 degree oven for a half hour then lower the heat to 375 degree's for about twenty minutes or until juices run clear from the thigh or use your instant read temp gage it just should read 180 degrees. Some say 165 degrees I find that is not sufficient for all the meat to be cooked next to the bones.
Remove from oven crave and enjoy. It is so easy to cut also with the backbone removed and the breast bone broken.
So that was our meal last evening.

I was going to make white chicken chili tonight with the remainder of the chicken but have decided to make chicken fried rice instead with a crispy romaine salad to the side. As we just had soup a few days ago that was amazing by the way it was the linguisa cabbage soup with beer, very tasty. The fried rice sounds perfect to me this evening. I adore fried rice and make it often. This recipe is a little different as it has bacon as well as the chicken. That should make for a flavorful dish. Bacon goes wonderfully in almost everything it seems.

We had a lovely day here yesterday. I took a walk early afternoon, the sun on my face made me want to cry......oh it felt so lovely.
Later hubby and I sat on the deck the sun was still warm as it sunk into the horizon. 
Soon I will not hear the rattle of bare branches but the whispering of limbs softened by new leaves and opening buds.

We have been planning our little getaway to the beach. This morning we were trying to decide whether to go to Lincoln City, Newport or Florence. More than likely it will be Florence as hubby is getting busy and that means a shorter time away.
But we have always loved to plan, it seems it is part of the adventure.  Anticipation has always been a big draw for me.

Well I am going to do a few needed chores and then my nose goes in my latest book. I am not walking today as the rain is quite steady though not heavy but still I would get drenched.

I am hungry may just have to have a snack, so off to the kitchen I go.

Friday, March 1, 2013


The dinner last night was a huge success. One of the best pasta meals we have ever had the pleasure of eating.
So I am going to pass the recipe along. It was every bit as good as any spaghetti carbonara I have ever eaten plus you have the added comfort of knowing there are no raw eggs in your sauce.

Creamy Pappardelle(fettuccine) with leeks and bacon.
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 slices thick bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 medium leeks white and pale parts only, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup water
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme(or 1/8 tsp dried
black pepper to taste
1 lb. of pappeardelle or fettuccine
 1 cup finely grated Grana padano or parmesan

Heat oil and butter in a large skillet or pot over med heat. Add bacon and cook stirring often until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp 5-8 minutes. Add leeks increase heat to med-high and cook stirring often until leeks start to brown.  Add cream, thyme and the 1/2 cup water. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer stirring occasionally until sauce is thickened and coats the back of a spoon 5-8 minutes.
Meanwhile cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water stirring occasionally until al dente. Drain pasta reserving 2 cups of pasta cooking liquid.
Add pasta, parmesan and 1 cup of pasta cooking liquid to the sauce and stir to coat. Increase heat to med and continue stirring adding more cooking liquid as needed until sauce coats pasta.

That is it. Plate into large pasta bowl and serve up with a good crunchy bread for grabbing every bit of that tantalizing sauce. Believe me this is a mouthful of creamy bacon flavor with the bright freshness of leeks.
We loved it and as hubby said it's a keeper! 

Now I just to have to say something that my husband and I observed and  talked about this afternoon.
As I mentioned yesterday we were going to pizza today to Papa's Pizza. Well we did in fact do that.
Actually it was quite a circus. We ordered our pizza and in the midst of waiting for it we watched the show. The pizza buffet was on and goes on from 11am-2pm.  It was so humorous yet sad.  As the folks poured through the door we were amazed at the super sized people. Mostly women of all ages but some men also. I am saying to you in all honesty that these women were very huge. We felt bad for them we are thinking 200-300 pounds here. Seriously. The plates were gathered and the rounds began. Time and time again they went to the buffet to heap multiple pieces of pizza on their on their plates. Truthfully I have not seen anything like this. How they could put away this amount of food is mind boggling. I realize for some it is for economic reasons  to eat at this buffet considering they pay a partly six dollars for this bounty, all you can eat.
When you think of how many obese folks there are in this country and how that much extra weight adds to health problems it is disturbing  What it brings on are hip and knee replacements, diabetes, enlarged heart and stroke problems and many more.  And when this occurs in a huge population all of our insurance rates soar out of sight. Those of us who try to maintain some kind of normalcy in our health pay the price of the high premiums for the others who abuse their bodies.
If it seems I am putting others down do not got there as I am not that sort of person nor is my husband. It just concerns us that there is so little regard to keeping ones self healthy. Without health you have nothing. Of course anything can happen to anyone but it certainly lowers your risk when you take care of your body.  
Truthfully the pizza was not good this time. The ingredients were just tossed about on top and there were too many just made for a heavy almost wet pizza. So there will be no more Papa'a Pizza in our little world and after the circus today it is just as well.

So that was our outing today. Home was a better scene. We sat on the deck sipping wine, chatted and watched big clouds gulp up the sun, and spit it out again and so it went throughout the afternoon. We are having a fire on the deck tonight to extend our little outside adventure.

I will leave you now as I am going to make some sort of little dessert for this evening. Be sure to try the above recipe you will love it, I guarantee.
Have a nice Friday evening.