Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Posted by PicasaWe had a nice little meal last night of chicken Parmesan and green salad with summer veggies. A fairly light meal as I did not use a lot of sauce. Three different kinds of Italian cheeses made it very tasty. 
Here is how I do my simple chicken parm.
Use a small casserole 8x8. Give it a light spray in the bottom. Take two chicken breast and slice them through the middle length wise making four pieces. Place between plastic wrap and pound till about a 1/2 thick. Dip in egg and roll in equal amounts of Italian bread crumbs and panko. Use a little canola oil in a skillet and brown the chicken fillets to golden.
Set the chicken pieces in the casserole and cover completely with mozzarella cheese. The add your home made or purchased marinara pasta sauce to completely cover the chicken. Then top with shredded Italian cheese blend and Parmesan cheese to top.
Bake uncovered for about forty minutes on 375 degree's.
That is it. Easy and simple.
You can also make in individual ramekins. 

Tonight my husband is making for us the last rainbow trout he caught at Odell Lake. I will make sauteed zucchini and serve my pickled tomatoes, onions and cukes as well as a small side of brown rice. All sounds very healthy and good.

We have clouds here today but it is nice for a change. They are to burn off late morning and we are to have eighty-six today. So it will be a nice day. It is nice not to have the air running the past few days.
I have not walked yet so I best get on with that chore.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Posted by PicasaWe had a good ol' time yesterday afternoon.
Loved the drive through the valley up into the hills to the little winery.
As you go toward the winery you turn off the paved road to a smaller paved road that turns to a gravel road that becomes narrow as it winds through huge trees and then into the vineyards themselves. All is very private at this winery like an old homestead actually sitting at the end of a road.
We tasted a variety of red and white wines then each purchased a glass of our liking and sat on the little patio and gazed at the view. I had an amazing glass of pinot noir and hubby choose a pinot gris. We lingered as long as possible.

After returning home we went to the deck and sat in the shade, it was such a pleasant day.

For our dinner last night we munched on very tender tasty steak strips. It was just a small sirloin but by the time I sliced it lengthwise through the middle and made strips and breaded the strips it was just the right amount of steak bites for the two of us. Always remember to cut your meat across the grain so it tender. If sliced with the grain it is not nearly as tender.
The corn from the farm was tender and the rest of farm fresh veggies filled a need in my body as I had been craving fresh vegetables.
Now what to have tonight I have not given that a thought. Sometimes it is hard to make a dinner every evening especially when you want make a nice meal and not just something to fill you. I am sure we will come up with an idea. I have a bin full of red potatoes that need eating so I will use that as a starting point. I especially love roasted red potatoes in their skin..well my mind is going now.

I must now get out of my morning clothes as it ten-thirty, I wonder where the morning has went? Well the Sunday paper is always a big one and I needed to check our business emails and personal emails and now here I am posting.
So I am outta here as they say to enjoy our Sunday in the sun.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


Posted by PicasaSo off we go today to High Pass winery set in the deep country of the southern Willamette valley. This is the tasting room you see in the photo. This is truly one of the old bare bones tasting rooms. Nothing citified here. Two small patio areas outside provide views of the vineyards, pastures, and surrounding firs and pines. There is an abundance of song birds as the feeders are always out.
So to make the day even more country we are taking our Dodge 4x4 and I sure our fave country tunes will be coming from the radio.

It is a nice pleasant day here today. Over all the temps are about six degree's cooler today and there is a nice breeze.

I went on a bid with my husband yesterday way out in the country west of here. On the way home we stopped at another winery in the area and enjoyed a glass of wine on their beautiful patio. Then home to the yard and sprinkler to stay cool.
Last night we dined on pork verde burrito's in large soft corn shells. We topped the pork with a four blend mexi cheese, chopped onions, tomatoes  sour cream and hot sauce. What a sumptuous mouth full.
Tonight we having a small steak that I will make in smaller yet steak bites. We will have corn on the cob with honey butter, two different kinds of cucumber salad, a plate of juicy sliced tomatoes(not from our garden yet) they are from the farm down the road. Hubby thinks he may want an additional side of grilling beans.So a very easy to make dinner and I for one am looking forward to the vegetables.

So I will leave you now and get dressed in my well worn jean crops and cotton plaid shirt...... oh if I only had a cowboy hat!

Have a nice sun filled Saturday.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I thought I would make some smoked salmon chowder this evening. We love it. I make my fave potato soup and then add the salmon toward the end and let simmer till the flavors incorporate. With the chowder I am having a crusty boule. That is all as it is a rich dinner.

I must run to the farm shortly for my weekly supply of vegetables and fruits.

It is sweltering hot already and will make it into the low nineties today. For weeks now we have been having hot weather and no change in sight. The northwest is usually quite modest when it comes to heat. I am so thankful for the many ceiling fans in our house and air conditioning.

I have spent the morning making out bills and doing some filing. Also finishing up the the last loads laundry remaining from yesterday and I vacuumed all the area rugs and hardwood floors and have cleaned off the deck.So I have been a busy woman this morning.

My husband has just made a run to the refuse center to drop off carpet and pad that he pulled up a day or two ago. Of course he was preparing to refinish the hardwood floors under the carpet. Oh sometimes when that carpet and pad are torn out the pet stains in the hardwood is horrendous. Sometimes so bad it cannot be sanded out. Pets keep my husband in business....true. It is funny though how some folks say their pets never have accidents yet it is very apparent they go in the same places time and time again for years. No wonder some homes smell so foul when you walk through the door.

I will be making another plum galette tomorrow. This time I hope the plums are sweeter as they have not been to this point. The plum cake I made was sour also. Darn.

I had better head to the farm now before it gets any hotter.There are always a lot of folks at the farms no matter what time of day you go. On weekends you are lucky to find a place to park. Of course I am fortunate to be able to go during the week.
Have yourself a nice summer day and stay cool.

Monday, July 22, 2013


Posted by PicasaA little silly fun with granddaughter Kali Brooke.

Loving this weather. It makes me feel so alive when I wake to a shinning sun. The sun charges my batteries until it wilts me....laugh. But to have that burst of energy as the day hangs before you long and lush conjurers up all sorts of idea's. 

I am making a simple little meal this evening.
Mac and cheese with brats and tomatoes, onions and cucumbers in a tangy apple cider vinegar mix. My mother always made that little tart side dish with summer vegetables.

Today is laundry day for me so I best be getting my walk out of the way and on to the wash. Oh how I would love to have my clothesline already installed in my back yard.

Oh before I leave you I must report I have two nasty spider bites on the inside of my knee. I never felt the bites but when they started to itch I noticed them, one of them is bright red with a big lump the other not so much. Talk about itch. I grabbed the tube itch cream and put a good size dab on the bites. That has helped. I deplore spider bites!

Well I am off to walk. Have a beautiful day whatever it is you are doing. And how bad can laundry be with the radio tuned to country music, the doors opened to that sun shinning so bright? 

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Posted by PicasaThe far side of the Columbia river is where I grew up. If the ship were not blocking the view you may be able to see the old barn roof on our farm.
I spent many a summer day down at Goble beach or Prescot beach. This time of year always brings those special times back to me.

My Mother would pack a picnic basket with yummy sandwiches, or perhaps fried chicken and potato salad, always there was fresh fruit and a home made desert. My Dad would load tubes, hula hoops, buckets and shovels and on and on into the car depending on how old we were at the time. Mom would spread a quilt out on the beach that was soon filled with sand. What kid with sandy feet can ever stay off a quilt?
There is actually movie film of me hula hooping on the beach at about 14 years of age with a blue and white one piece swim suit with a white ruffle at it's top and bottom......oh how precious. So the summer afternoons passed by with strolling on the beach looking for whatever we could find and then a wade or dunk in the edges of the river. My Dad was a strong swimmer and would go out a ways but that river always scared me and still does so I lingered quite close to shore. But always it was a great way to cool off. Mom would open the basket and out would come lunch that was my favorite part. The air was filled with river smells and the sweet sticky scent of overripe blackberries and plumbs. 
So those summer memories are nested very deep inside me and always will be and I am thankful for they are part of who I am.
Off I go to enjoy this summer day. Though I am not at the Columbia River or any river for that matter I will still enjoy this warm luscious summer day.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Posted by PicasaI have two of these in the oven at the moment. This photo is from last year and I used Italian prunes instead of plums. The two hanging out in the oven as I type are plum. I was going to make them a couple of days past but the plums were not quite ripe enough and you need that savory juice that releases from the plums while baking. I grabbed some vanilla bean ice cream this morning while grocery shopping.
So my mouth is getting ready for a pucker and sweet smile.
If care to look up this recipe it is listed on my September 29th 2012 post.

I have had quite a morning. Up at six; slept like a babe in arms last night. Made haste doing my house chores, showered and out the door to two grocery stores, to gas the rig(ouch), the bank and the liquor store. I was back home in just under two hours....very good time!

Now the galette's are baking and the house smells amazing so it is a good time to take care of a little office business.

I will soon go to the deck and give my sweet flowers a cool drink and perhaps I will find myself sitting under my umbrella reading. Oh how I love summer.
So long for now.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Posted by PicasaI have asked my hubby to build me a outdoor clothesline in our narrow basically useless backyard. It is the perfect size for a clothesline.
Ours will be nicer looking than this one. The post will be larger so thus sturdier and it will be painted dark green like the trim on our house.
I have not had a clothesline since I was a young woman with small children. I will say I missed having one and now clotheslines are in again as they are a "green" thing to do. It saves on energy and you get the blessing of having air fresh laundry. Is there anything better than slipping into line dried sheets? 
So as time allows my husband may build it this summer or fall or early spring. I am so looking forward to it. I will use the clothesline every time I do laundry if the weather permits. I cannot wait!

We had rainbow trout last evening for dinner. My husband cooked them to perfection. They were crispy on the outside and tender and moist on the inside and so very mild. What a treat! We have only two fish left from the large catch that he brought home from the lake. We will have them in a few days. So no wasting in this family. What you kill you had better well eat! Our rule.

We had to replace our large patio umbrella yesterday. We saw a sale at our local home center store for umbrella's 60% off. Wow ! We raced right over and purchased a great market umbrella in a dark green for $24.00 what a deal! Looks great with our little green patio set. That humble little patio set with it's round glass top table and four chairs has served us well. We bought it in 2002 and it was just a cheapy.
It will not be long before we need to replace it, though it still working for us but it is starting to look like it has seen better days.

Today's weather is hot and muggy. The sky this morning is rather volatile looking. Thunder clouds but area's of blue also. When we first opened the blinds at six this morning the sky was a pale pink with yellow misty looking clouds. Very strange indeed.

I was going to go grocery shopping this morning but I am putting it off until tomorrow. I have all I need for a nice dinner tonight, mostly veggies from the farm as I went there yesterday. 
Our family down the street has a plum tree and this year the tree is loaded with succulent plums. Hubby took his big ladder down yesterday and came back with a big basket full. So today I am making a couple plum galette's. They are so pretty and yummy. I took a photo of the ones I made two years ago and posted it. Last year the tree did not produce. I may find that we have too many plums so I may be tempted to make some plum preserves.

I am reading one of the best books I have ever read. For me to say that it must be grand as I read a book a week or more. I have about three chapters left and I excited for the conclusion though I do not want it to end, a catch 22 I suppose.

Well I have much to do today and sitting here posting on my blog is not what I should be doing.
So off I go to be a housekeeper, a laundress,a bookkeeper, and a baker.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Posted by PicasaOur little summer supper last night. A baked Parmesan crusted pork chop with green beans, cukes, tomatoes, radish's, and baked potato with chopped red onions, cheese, sour cream, and fresh salsa. Of course it was a lot of food and neither of us finished our dinners. So we have left overs in the fridge now which I like on hand for lunch.

We spent a large part of yesterday outdoors. We set up our scrabble board at the patio table and played for a couple of hours. The game is not finished as of yet but I am way ahead. The wind came whipping yesterday afternoon and it was hard to play with keeping things from flying off the table. Our big patio table umbrella also crashed. The top of the pole had been going south for some time now and yesterday's gusts finished it off. So tomorrow I will go in search of another to replace it. I am picky about my umbrella's I want good quality and only a few colors will work with our deck decor. The good thing is I notice all the umbrella's seem to be heavily discounted at this time.
Later after our dinner we went back out to have a nightcap under the stars and decided to put our foam mattress on the hot tub and bring out the sleeping bags and sleep under the stars. So we did and it was amazing. It was so quiet and the sky so black the stars just glittered. I was so sleepy I was forcing myself to stay awake to stare at that heavenly sky and to spot a UFO of course. My husband woke me about an hour before dawn. He said we should go in to bed as it would be so bright in a short while. So we did.

Tonight for dinner we are having turkey burgers and potato salad. I was going to make potato salad yesterday but decided to go with the bakers instead. So easy fare this evening and hubby will grill. 
Last night he totally cleaned up the kitchen for me after dinner. He does this on the days he is not working and I am thankful that he does.

I must now go and get some potatoes in the oven for the salad. I prefer making potato salad with baked potatoes the texture to me seems superior to boiled potatoes.

It is another perfect day here. There is a breeze but not so blustery as yesterday.
Sunday's are amazing days......enjoy!

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Posted by PicasaMy husband had a good fishing and camping trip to Odell Lake while I was in Portland visiting my family. He arrived home an hour after I did Thursday with a cooler full of fish. Some Kokanee(land locked salmon) and some large Rainbow trout. So we have been eating fish for two evenings now. Fresh fish from a ice cold lake, sides of fresh green beans and salad makings grown right at the farm down the road. I made honey mustard dressing and croutons. Two lovely delicious meals. One cooked by my hubby and one made by me.

Thursday after we both arrived home from our different locations we sat on the deck and shared our trips. It was good to be home again even after a couple of days. We enjoy our time together very much but it nice to do our own things once in a while.

I will share the honey mustard dressing at the end of this post. It is so simple yet so tasty.

What a lovely valley day we have today. There is a breeze which I like as my four wind chimes like to make music occasionally. Everything looks very bright and fresh today. Clear blue sky and big yellow sun the deep green of the trees and manicured lawns and luscious flowers adorning our neighborhood.

My daughter made amazing Mexican fare one evening. Family members dined on chicken enchilada's  re-fried and black beans, a large salad loaded with veggie's, guacamole with chips and I made some sugar crusto's for an after dinner munch.
The evening was warm and we all sat out on the deck overlooking her lovely yard and flowers.
A very nice evening with loved ones.

Tonight's dinner is parmesan crusted baked pork chops and a potato and green bean salad and baked beans. So sort of picnic fare.
I am thinking of making a apple fritters for a light desert.

My granddaughter Kali once again loaded me down with two sacks of clothes. She is so cute hauling out one item after another saying, "Oh Gramma you will look so cute in this." I brought all home that fit and have them washed and hanging in my closet. This little gal keeps her granny in summer tops.
Thank you Kali.

I will wind this post up now with the recipe.
1/4 cup mayo
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste.
Mix until well blended.
(this recipe makes enough dressing for two dinner salads. If you want you can double or triple the recipe depending on your needs.)
This recipe also makes a nice dip for fish or chicken. If you find it too lemony just cut down on the fresh lemon juice. I like it tart with lemon.

Well I am off to enjoy this grand Saturday, I hope you do too.

Monday, July 8, 2013


I will travel to my daughters tomorrow and spend a couple of days. I always look so forward to our time together. It is nice that I am in Eugene and Gina is in Portland as it is a doeble drive so we see each other several times a year. Truthfully though the older I get the less I am a fan of I-5. It is always so busy with trucks and in the rainy season you can barely see when you are behind them or caught up in them.
Tomorrows drive should be fine. Lots of sunshine and I am leaving early but not so early to get caught in morning rush hour in Portland. I lived and worked in that city in the not too distant past so I know the ropes.
My daughter has our time planned out starting tomorrow after I arrive, I can hardly wait.

I was perplexed as to what to have for dinner this evening. Seems I have been cooking non-stop for days. I needed a simple meal as it is a busy day as all the days have been for a while now.
So I decided to have beer brats boiled in more beer and then grilled with sides of mashed garlic potatoes and sauerkraut. I will saute sweet onions and red pepper slices till almost caramelized and then drain and add the sauerkraut and let cook till well blended then my secret weapon add just a squirt of ketchup. Always remember when you have an acid it is good to balance it with a sweet. Actually my Mother always made sauerkraut with some ketchup added it mellows that sour taste out a bit and a small amount of brown sugar will do the same thing. 
So dinner will be simple tonight.......I am all for that this evening.
My hubby just called I expected him at three today but now it seems he will be running late as he needs to go on a couple of bids after he leaves the job site.

It is a grand day today in the southern Willamette valley. We woke to deep blue skies and the warmth already flooding through our screen doors. I put the air conditioner on before going shopping this morning and I am glad I did. The house is very comfortable now and it is heating up outside quickly.

I am heading off now to put away my morning shopping that is cluttering my kitchen counters. I will pack my bag and give the inside of the car a cleaning and I will be almost ready for my little getaway in the morning.
Have a great July 8th.

Saturday, July 6, 2013


Posted by PicasaThe cod fish top photo we devoured last night. It was hubby's birthday and he wanted these yummy sandwiches for dinner along with homemade potato chips.
The bottom photo is veggie night which we do frequently. It is a lovely salad of mixed greens with blue cheese dressing and spaghetti olio which is pasta with olive oil, garlic and flat leaf parsley simmered together and served with fresh grated parmsean cheese.
We are having a vegetarian meal this evening also. I will take the grill basket to the grill filled with red and green bell pepper slices, zucchini rounds, sliced leeks and whatever else I find at the farm that looks good. I will coat them with soyaki sauce and turn occasionally to give all a nice char. Our side dish will be Cal Rose rice and fresh sliced tomatoes and a crispy bread boule with garlic butter.

I am going to say right now it has been so busy for days on end. With our company and then the holiday getting together with family and all and then my husbands birthday festivities I was exhausted. So much in fact I did not get up until nine this morning. So now I feel refreshed after two very late evenings. Now back on a schedule including clean eating for a few days and rest and recharging my batteries as I leave for my daughters on Tuesday for a couple of days. Summer is always busy for us and when fall finally breathes it's cool air and all turns golden I am more than ready for the reprieve.

Our garden is doing nicely we have lots of green tomatoes. The heat we have had lately has increased their size two fold. I always get so excited to harvest our first tomatoes it will be a while yet but my mouth is watering already.

I am going to sign off now and get on with my day as it is late already.
I hope you are having a fun 4th of July weekend.

Thursday, July 4, 2013


Posted by PicasaSo today is the 4th of July 2013. The weather has cooled somewhat so that is good. The fire danger in Oregon is high with all the heat we had this past week.
I suppose we will have the usual amount of fireworks in our neighborhood which I so deplore. I think street fireworks should not be allowed. For several reason, first reason being seems everyone gets their fireworks from Washington state or Indian reservations. So they are not legal in our state. But does anyone enforce this? No. It sounds like a war zone and goes on for hours so you cannot sleep, it upsets and terrifies pets and it is dangerous as well as it can start fires and does every year; as well folks have accidents and blow their fingers off or worse.
So why is allowed? Go figure.It is a nightmare for most of us.

We are always home on the 4th and usually my husband is working but this year he is not. So we are going to go down the street to his sisters house for a while this afternoon. His other sis and family will be there and we have not seen them for a while. Then we will come home and have our own dinner. I have had New York strip steaks sitting in the fridge with my rub for two days now. The longer they sit the more they soak up that good rub flavor and the more tender they become. We will grill the steaks and make potato packs with lots of red bell pepper and a few anihiemn peppers and onions and corn on the cob pieces. It will be a nice 4th of July meal.

Tomorrow is my hubby's 53rd birthday.He is to select where he would like to go to lunch and I will drive. This is a big treat for him as he always drives and cannot have drinks. So I will be the designated driver tomorrow so he can have a few microbrews. I will not make dinner tomorrow night as we will eat lunch later than usual.
I have a bag full of birthday goodies for him to open....it will be a fun day for us both.

I will be going to see my daughter on the 9th and 10th of this month. We are excited as it is more time shared and more memories made. Then ten days later my hubby and I both going for a visit to her home. I will also see my son on both visits I have missed him so. Hopefully I will see some of grandkidlets too.

I am going to post a photo our huge, huge hydrangea's  They are so beautiful this year. I am going to cut one enormous flower today and take it down in a small vase for my mother in law. She will like that. Hubby is taking down a cream cheese smoked trout dip with minced onion, peppers and olives. He loves making dips I do not care for any kind of dip so I let him create to his hearts content. He can make them as hot as he likes and this man likes heat!

I clothed myself in red, white and blue today. I thought I may as well look festive.
Whatever you are doing today be safe. Do not drink and drive in our area I know they have added extra police officers to keep our highways and roads safe. Seems every year there are bad accidents or drownings and other mishaps and usually alcohol is the factor. Best to drink at home.

Well I am going to sign off for the day.