Wednesday, July 30, 2014

ISLE OF CAPRI

Could not resist posting this photo of the Isle of Capri. Howwould you like to be sitting here? Talk about a room with a view. I am telling you right now if it were not such a long flight I would make this trip happen. It is such a grand place filled with history and still maintaining the Old Italian culture.
In the current book I am now reading part of story took place here on the Isle of Capri. The writer said though she has traveled extensively this island is the most romantic island she has ever visited. 
I could just see my husband and I here, enjoying the sea and the food the culture and one another. I am just in awe of this amazing place at the moment.

Another day in the nineties today. We now have an unattractive brown front yard. When we were away for a week in central Oregon  the heat took a toll on the grass in the front yard. No matter how much we water at this point it will not be revived to it's green lushness. So be it. When the winter rains come and spring appears next year all will be green once more. Our backyard is thriving as it is surrounded by trees that keeps the sun and the heat at bay. We spend all our time in our backyard and on our back deck so I am thankful all looks so inviting and lush there.

I put a boneless pork butt roast into the slow cooker this morning I made a rub of kosher salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder, cumin and coriander and rubbed into both sides of the roast. Placed it in the slow cooker with a large spring of rosemary and a handful of fresh thyme. Then I added about a third of a cup of apple cider to the bottom of the cooker. In about seven-to eight hours the roast will be fork tender and taste of sweet apples and bright herbs. Tonight that roast will be served with smashed yukon gold potatoes with pork gravy(made from the drippings) corn on the cob from the farm and our own tomatoes and cukes in the tangy marinade mix I posted a couple of days ago. It will be a nice summer meal. Tomorrow the pork roast will be morphed into pork taco's served with black beans. 

I have much to do today and I have promised myself I will get all done that I need to. The kitchen, nook and family room floors need cleaning, all the furniture in the family room and living room needs waxing or cleaning.  And I will attend to the main bath.
Tomorrow I am going shopping. I need clothes and new sandals and I am going to check out new eyewear frames as I need new glasses. So a busy day tomorrow. But maybe a fun one if I find what I need fairly soon and not get overwhelmed and frustrated as I am not the best shopper.
Nothing gets to me more than expending the time and effort to go shopping and then not finding what I like. It is just huge waste of time.

I must get on with the list of chores.
So have a nice hump day and enjoy these hot long summer days as they will be gone before you realize it.
Ciao

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

WANTING THIS SHOE

Well this the first time I have posted a photo of a shoe on a cooking blog no less.
I want a pair of these shoes. Problem is they are expensive. They are imported and real leather with buckskin lining. There is a zipper that runs the length of the heal in the back with a tassel complete with a silver embellishment on the end.
I thought they would be darling for my grandsons wedding at the park. Simple not to casual and not to dressy. Just like I am. As I have everything I need for my clothing I feel I can splurge and get the shoes. But the problem is. Who orders shoes online? Especially a shoe that needs to fit your arch and ankle as well as length and width. I may go to Nordstorm's Rack and look at their sandal selection. I know I want black, real leather and wide generous straps with silver buckles or embellishments. I want a quality pair that will last and last. But for now enough about shoes.

I had a busy morning but a lazy afternoon. I did not sleep well last night and we get up with the chickens so I feel a little rough around the edges. So I am afraid after I put groceries away and cleaned veggies I only did what desperately needed doing in the house. I will be home all day tomorrow and I must put my time to good use. The banking is done, the marketing is done for the week, I got a new supply of books and bought lottery tickets. Ran my car through the wash, picked a couple items at the office supply store and then home. It was getting hot hot by the time I pulled in the driveway.

I will not be going to my daughter until the 12th of August as she and her hubby are preparing for their up coming camping trip. I had forgotten about that, but no worry the following week will be just fine and considering how busy we are this week and the up coming weekend maybe it is just as well. Summers are busy for everyone it seems. I always look forward to fall when the pace slows and the weather cools. But of course I am still very enthralled with summer so it had better hang around for a while yet.

Tonight as I mentioned we are having stir fry veggies in the wok and I decided to toss in some bite size chicken pieces that I will brown in the skillet and then drizzle with sesame oil. I will use my Chinese dishware that I have had for over forty years, it is the Red Dragon pattern and quite festive. As part of the set I have deep wide bowls for dishes like chow mien and sukiyaki. So into the bottom of the bowls I will put a mound of sticky rice and then I will ladle the chicken and veggies over the top. We can top it off with homemade sweet and sour and a little soy sauce if we so desire.

So it is almost three-thirty now and I need to check the mail as the postman just came. And I must put together receipts for materials and supplies for my hubby to go through this evening before I send off the payment to the vendor in the morning.
I will see you tomorrow.


Monday, July 28, 2014

MARINATED TOMATOES AND CUCUMBERS FROM THE GARDEN

We love this mixture. Sliced garden tomatoes and cukes with a little sweet onion slices. Put into a container. In bowl mix a cup apple cider vinegar or enough to cover the vegetables, a tablespoon of sugar(or more to the taste) salt and pepper and mix well. Pour over veggies and put in fridge and let sit several hours to chill and meld.  When I was young this fresh summer dish adorned our table many times throughout the summer. It is a good accompaniment to almost any meal. It is tangy with the vinegar but allows the sweet taste of garden tomatoes to come through. The textures are a pleasing mouthful of soft tomatoes and crunchy cucumbers. And it is so easy to make.
So I am making this tonight along with what I do not know at this point ha. I will dig through my pantry and freezer and see what I come with. Tomorrow night I am making stir fry veggies in the wok to serve over rice.
Our turkey burgers were good last night and we both agree we like turkey burgers better than hamburger meat as the turkey in these patties is juicy and so flavorful with the dark and white turkey meat. As you put them on in a frozen state I feel this keeps them moist.

I must walk right after I complete this post. It is in the sixties now in the shade but is to be 97 today so a hot one for sure. I need to get pumped up about walking as I have been remiss about my routine. Lazy is more like it. If it is cold or too hot, or my allergies are bugging me or for whatever reason I make an excuse not to walk. I know we have at most another two months of good weather so I must enjoy these walks now before the cold rain comes in. So with a song in my heart and a zip in my step I will carry on down the street.

This coming week will be a full one. Tomorrow I must do my grocery shopping as Thursday my normal shopping day I am going to schedule my remaining tests for my physical, then Friday we are taking my mother in law to McGraths fish house for lunch, then Sunday we are having family over for pizza, then I will have a couple of days to prepare for my trip up the interstate for a visit with my daughter. So the time will go by fast this week.

My husband I talked yesterday while sitting and enjoying our solitude on the deck.
We will be going to Belknap Springs sometime in September and if time allows a trip to the coast. We need to get to the coast at least into October before the rain starts. We want one more time there when the weather is dry so we can grill and make breakfast outdoors while we camp. Also walks on the beach are much more enjoyable when there is warmth and sun. Then we also have my grandsons wedding in September so we have a few things on the agenda for getting away and having fun. I always like my little outings to look forward to. My gal pal Gerie will also be coming in the fall for a couple of nights. I always look forward to our yearly get together.

Well I am going to walk now as it will get hot quickly and when I return I will preview this and publish. On with the walking shoes NOW!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

THE CORN IS ON !!!!!!!!!!

The corn is on and that is a good and happy thing for us all. Oh how wonderful to drive for a couple of minutes and pull into the farm where they are filling bins of freshly picked corn. That is what I did yesterday morning and just look at these beauties. The field workers loading the bins said it is the largest cobs they have harvested in a long time. Fat, full long ears of juicy Bodacious corn. 
I must say our meal last evening was incredible. I grilled that ribeye steak to a perfect medium rare. Then placed the steak on my carving board and loaded the top with garlic parsley butter and let it sit for eight minutes. The steak of course had my steak rub on it before grilling but the addition of the parsley garlic butter added another dimension of flavor. The steak was so tender and juicy we hummed throughout dinner the fresh picked tomato from our garden really topped it off. We were over the top! What else can I say?

Late yesterday afternoon hubbies sis and her husband came by and we sat on the patio and sipped drinks and caught up. Life is busy and we do not have much time to hang out. It appears that next Sunday will work for us all to have them down for my homemade pizza. We will dish up at the bar and then grab spots at the patio table. After dinner we will play some games, it will be a nice evening.

Today we went to visit my mother-in-law at the home where she lives. It is a nice facility. We went outdoors into the ninety degree heat, we were in the shade of the patio as we sat at a table and chatted. We brought her a burger and milkshake. She always enjoys that. I know she must get tired of the casseroles and same things served on a repetitive basis. This coming Friday we are taking her to McGrath's for lunch. She seemed pleased by the idea.

Tonight for dinner I am making turkey burgers with Trader Joe's frozen turkey patties. They are good. Dark and white meat both and are good size patties. You buy them frozen and put them on the grill frozen they stay really juicy. I will stack walla walla sweet onion slices along with the patty and slices of munster cheese(which melts so good)and hubby will add some fresh jalapeno slices to his. He made a cucumber salad to go along side. He loves this salad of his childhood. I do not care for it so I will have a dill pickle spear and a couple of Kettle chips for my sides.

I am going to leave you now and join my hubby on the deck he is sitting out there sipping on a gin and tonic. I will pour a glass chardonnay and plop down beside him and tip my toes into the pool.
See ya all later.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

CANADA

So here I am making dinner on one of our many trips to Canada. This trip was made if I recall in the mid-eighties. My then boyfriend, now husband had just purchased a new van and it was a great trip as we could now sleep hard sided as they say instead of in a tent. When bears are always a concern hard sided sleeping is preferred. I am trying to see what I making on the camp stove. It is hard to tell but there is a jar of salsa on the table and beers, so maybe something southwestern or probably burrito's we did that a lot as they are easy to make while camping. I look quite happy and I am sure that I was. Oh the fun we had on those trips. Traveling throughout the days to  new campgrounds as we drove through the beautiful Canadian Rockies. We made a lot of trips in those early years and considering we were both working and it was hard to arrange time we certainly made it work. We went to Canada a total of six times one trip we went to the Worlds Fair in Vancouver then we went from Vancouver to Hope into the national parks. What a grand trip that was. We also made a big trip to Montana. My husband lived in Montana for a while so he wanted to show me the country and on that trip we toured and camped at Glacier Park. How amazing that park is. So there were many adventures and we loved every one and still pour through the photo's remembering and reliving the trips. The last time we went to Canada was in 1998. So it has been a while. My husbands aunt, uncle and niece live there in Cranbrook near Kootney Lake. That lake is so huge like one of the great lakes it seems. You can be on it all day and never see it all. Cindy my hubby's aunt had a mexican restaurant in Cranbrook. It was so much fun for us to go there and be taken to the big round table in the back and have all kinds of dishes and drinks arrive and eat and enjoy  time with family and not pay for a thing! Of course we always left a large tip for the cook and wait staff. A very fun time each time! Thank you Cindy.

So I need to get my mind back into reality. There is no Canada or trip going on now but a fun filled day is planned.
I have already been to the farm this morning for fresh corn and I must say the ears are huge! 
My hubby is picking up ribeye steaks or one large steak to share. He will be home early and has tomorrow off. So we will spend the afternoon on the deck with the little pool for cooling our feet. I have two new magazines to browse through while we have a snack and chat to catch up on the past week. Later we will play gin rummy at the patio table. Then grill our steaks eat outdoors and then head indoors to watch a movie. Sounds like a perfect day to me.

So I had my physical yesterday and I am a healthy woman my doctor tells me. At my age that is very reassuring as I am on no meds, nor do I intend to be ever if possible. The mammogram and bone density have not been scheduled yet so I will make appointments for those two tests this coming week. Somehow the paperwork for those tests slipped through the woodwork. I am thankful that I have a healthy body.
Tomorrow morning I will get up early and walk. I could not today as by the time I got back from the farm it was hot already. 
I love to walk early on a Sunday morning so tomorrow will be a treat. All is so quiet, you imagine folks still lazing or snoring in bed, sometimes as I pass through the neighborhood maple syrup and bacon fills the air. Dogs are quiet I suppose still sleeping, till their parents awake. Regardless it is a nice treat when all is quiet like walking through the countryside.

I must now go and finish my house chores before my sweet husband gets home. I want to hose the deck and tidy up out there.
Have a fun weekend whatever it is you are doing. You can see we are so content to stay home and enjoy our back yard and just relax. Ah nice !

Friday, July 25, 2014

LITTLE ITALY N.Y

So here is little Italy I would love being here. Italy of course would be better (or not) as far as food is concerned for in Italy all the various regions have different cuisine. In Little Italy New York all the cuisines are represented.  I think that makes this place very intriguing and it would be fun to be there for a few days tasting everything in sight! The reason I goggled this is I am reading a book now that takes place in Little Italy, I love the writer, Adriana Trigiani. I have read a few of her books. This one is titled "Valentine".  Anyhow I am enjoying the book and am learning about this district in New York and about many of the eateries. Another favorite read from this author is Lucia, Lucia. You should give them a try if you are reader.

There is nothing exciting on the dinner scene in our kitchen tonight as we will have leftovers. My fridge is filling up and we do not waste food. Our potato soup and crusty boule was good last night and made me relaxed and cozy like on a fall evening.
Now we go into the furnace again though today will be a nice pleasant day in the mid-eighties.

My day consist of house work this morning and then I have a physical this afternoon......oh yeah.  I have not been for three years and I feel as I am not getting any younger I should go and get checked out. I am not looking forward to it especially the mammogram. Oh I dislike them so. What woman in her right mind would want to have her boobs squeezed to almost flat(ouch). Seems they could come up with a nice painless little scan to get the same results. So I could think of better ways to spend my afternoon.

I will be going to my daughters in Oregon City very soon now. I am so looking forward to this little two night stay with Gina. We always have the best time. Our time will be spent, eating excellent food dining in and dining out. Drinking nice wine, perhaps a little shopping if we are inclined but mostly sitting around my daughters home sharing stories, catching up and just enjoying each others company. I love it when we have 'our' time without the hubbies, though that is fun too this time just the two of us is what we are needing.
I am thinking a couple of days away to Gina's the first week in August will work as long as it is convenient for my husband to have me gone. If he mired in work and bids I will have to adjust to his schedule as I am his right hand gal. 

Well the day is getting on and need to do things before I get ready for my wonderful afternoon at the doctors office.
Have a nice afternoon, the weekend is upon us and doesn't it seem like summer is racing away too quickly.
Ciao.



Thursday, July 24, 2014

HOLLERING TO MOON ON THE BIG SHOT LAS VEGAS

What a great time we all had. On the left is my good pal Margie, I am in the middle hollering my bloody lungs out, on the right my hubby who methodically is counting how long it takes to drop to the bottom. We rode this ride two times back to back we were crazy! Screaming and thrilled acting like kids.
We were in Vegas for a couple of weeks. We had our RV and were staying at a lovely RV park called the Oasis. A great place to stay with two pools one surrounded by sand the other conventional, a mini golf course, not a miniature course but just like a real golf course only smaller. We played daily. Each day we would take the RV park shuttle to the strip and then catch it back to our motor home when we were tired of looking at the sights and losing money.
I met my friend Margie when we were both living in Bend. Margie eventually moved back to her home town of Las Vegas and we met up with her there a couple of times. She is so much fun to hang out with and because she knew the city so well we were privy to all the best places to eat. We all had a wonderful time and my husband and I so enjoyed our two weeks full of fun and sun in sin city. We stopped at Death Valley National Park for another week or so on the way home. So a nice extended trip doing what we love traveling and having a good time.

It is another comfortable day in the southern Willamette Valley. I really am enjoying this, no air conditioner humming doors open and fresh air filling the house.

I must tell you our dinner last night was so absolutely perfect. The Parmesan chicken was crispy on the outside and tender and moist in the inside, the spaghetti olio was such a good accompaniment the garlic and parsley laced olive oil mixed with the spaghetti noodles was garlicky and flavorful in our mouths and the zucchini rounds sprinkled with fresh grated Parmesan cheese rounded out the meal just wonderfully.
I bought my husband a pecan pie yesterday so he had a piece of that for dessert last night. He was one happy man, so happy he cleaned up the whole dreadful mess in the kitchen and made me sit in the living room and he put on a cooking show for me. A very lovely evening.

Tonight for dinner I am preparing a potato soup starting by sauteeing diced carrots, celery and onion. This is the makings of any good soup I start almost every soup in this manner. It will be a simple soup with addition of diced potatoes, chicken broth and cream and seasonings. When it is served in our deep bowls we will scatter fried bacon pieces and grated cheddar over the top. I picked up a pugliese boule today at the bakery. I will reheat it till is crispy on the outside.

My husband informed me last evening that Saturday he will be working on the southeast side of the city. There is an amazing meat market and butcher shop there and he is going to buy one large rib eye steak for us to share. As he will be getting home early Saturday evening and it is to be a warm evening we will grill outdoors and if not too hot we will dine at the patio table. I have a nice bottle of pinot noir from one of our local wineries I will open for us to share. For sides I am going to the farm to pick up some newly picked Bodacious Corn. This is our favorite kind of fresh corn it's so sweet and tender and how lucky it is grown down the road. I will also adorn our plates with ripe red plump tomato slices picked from our garden. I am looking forward to this dinner Saturday.

I have Pandora radio on while typing. I am listening to Norah Jones I love this kind of music when I am home alone. It is easy to listen to and soothes and settles me.
I am getting so soothed I think it is time for me to settle into my red plaid comfy chair. That chair is starting to look the worse for wear however. The plaid is getting quite faded, well it is seventeen years old now that I think of it, that is a long time to keep a piece of upholstered furniture. It is so comfortable it will be hard to part with.......maybe next year.
Hope you are also enjoying your day.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

BUENELLA'S

I am craving these little lovelies. Fried,soft and tender and sugary. Who wouldn't like them? So perhaps this weekend I am going to make a batch. There is problem though once I start eating them they just seem to pop into my mouth automatically no need for hands!

Today it rained that makes me smile, seriously. I like the rain in summer especially when I know there is hot weather on the horizon. The rain has cleaned the streets, washed our hot tub cover clean, watered the lawns and plants and made the air so fresh and clean you want to drink it.

Tonight in Zo's Kitchen I am making parmesan crusted oven baked chicken breasts, spaghetti olio and sauteed zuchinni rounds. A perfect meal for a showery evening.

I am going to depart now and do a few things before my husband comes through the door. 
Have a nice evening you all.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

BEEF STROGANOFF

This is the real deal. No burger and cream of mushroom soup in this baby. 
Sauce made from scratch, fresh mushrooms, onions, wine, sour cream and for the beef tonight I using what I had on hand in the freezer which a sirloin steak and piece of chuck steak. I will remove the fat from both and pound them a bit to even out the cuts and then cut into bite size pieces flour and salt and pepper and saute them before adding them to the sauce to simmer and become tender. This is a good dish and I have already posted the recipe on this blog. If interested and missed it last time you will have to search it out as I have not the inclination to go searching for it myself. Lazy me.

Our dinner last night was so good. I decided to make a shrimp Louie's with some of our luscious shrimp from Belize. I also used our first cuke and tomato from the garden as I mentioned yesterday. I did hard boil eggs as I changed my mind from making an aloi dressing to a thousand island dressing. I made us sourdough garlic toast to go along with. We got very full on that salad as it was loaded with rich shrimp.

It is soft day today, a pale blue and gray sky mingling, the ground is damp from a small shower that passed through last evening and the air is fresh smelling of moisture and earth. I like it just fine. And I do hope that we will get another shower today to do more than dampen the ground.

My son has already called this morning. We had a nice chat as always. He said it was gray also east the mountains where he lives. They are still under red flag warnings there. They need a good rain storm without lightening to give the area a good soaking. It is so dangerous where he lives for the threat of forest fire. We try not to worry about it.

I have spent another morning in the office. When my husband is loaded with work there is always something needing done. I needed to fax a couple proposals and mail some billing statements, personal bills needed my attention, filing as always. At least the top of the desk is visible once more.

I just received the wedding invitation in the mail for my grandson Tyson's wedding to Lyndsey. The wedding is to be held at Champooeg Park outside of Portland. It is lovely venue with the Willamette river winding through the park. I am sure it will be a semi- casual affair as many of the guests are camping there for the weekend. It is September 7th a Sunday at one in the afternoon. I surely hope the weather will be agreeable. Usually in western Oregon that is a pleasant time of year but who can say for sure. There is a pavilion there so I suppose if it were to shower there would be that option. These are two wonderful young people and along with their little daughter Olivia they are a beautiful family.

So I am procrastinating now. I did half of the laundry yesterday the remainder will be done today. My project today is make some apple fritters as I still have a couple granny smith apples from the farm. Oh these are so good, tender and wonderful rolled in cinnamon sugar. Also I will wax my living room furniture and clean the glass and vacuum the floors and area rugs. Then this afternoon I am going to make a shopping list for tomorrow as I will be out and about I will make a stop at Walmart for paper and drugstore supplies and nearby is a lovely market that carries a lot of organic foods and a good variety of items you do not see in chain grocery stores. It is always a fun place to go in and scout around. Their bakery is amazing carrying a lot of the local bake goods. 

So with no more said. 
I am outta here as it sounds as if I have much to do today.




Monday, July 21, 2014

TONIGHT SHRIMP SALAD

Time once again for this fresh bright shrimp salad. It will be extra special tonight as we have our first bright red tomato and I will use our first cucumber. With the addition of onion and edamame and aoli dressing it will be a great dinner. If I can muster up some energy I may make a loaf of french bread to go with. I have a french bread recipe for my Kitchenaid mixer that I tried before but the bread lacked salt, well that is easy to fix.

My husband will putting in a long day today. He has been so busy all month and will continue to be for the remainder of the month. At least he had this weekend off which was nice for the both of us.

I made the plum galette yesterday but the plums were so juicy it turned out rather messy as the dough leaked and a lot of juice ran out over the parchment paper it was baked on. Not the prettiest galette I have made but it tasted sweet tart and juicy as always. We so enjoyed a small piece last night after our simple dinner.

Today is in the high seventies. Ah so nice. I feel moisture in the air which is so enticing to me right now after days of dry air and heat. We may have a shower tonight which would be so helpful for our dry lawns and washing away some of the summer dust courtesy of the farms. I adore having the the doors open to the screen doors when it rains.  The back door opens into the kitchen and nook area but is directly across from the front door at the other side of the house so when both doors are open we get a wonderful cross breeze that cools our main living areas. It is a good arrangement.
We have four wind chimes in the back and one in the front. It only takes a small breeze to get them all singing. They are soprano singers light and melodic I love their music.
The jays also add their songs to the mix making for quite an orchestra. 

Well I have much to accomplish today such as office work, house cleaning and laundry. I did not do much in the house all weekend except keep it tidy.
Have a nice Monday. I know Monday's are not ones favorite usually. Even in my world of being retired it is still the start of the work week for my husband and I always seem to have a laundry list of things to do on Mondays, including the laundry!
Later.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A LONG HARD CLIMB

This worn out woman is me. This photo was taken by my husband when I reached the summit of the South Sister mountain in the Cascade range. This peak is just under 11,000 ft. When we got to the top we got cheated. What a bummer, as it was bluebird sky all the way up the mountain throughout the very long day but then as we scrambled up the last twenty minutes to the summit the fog rolled in and all below us was obscured. How disappointing. I think that is what you see on my face in the photo. We stayed on the summit for about an hour and had snacks from our day packs and re-hydrated. Then down we went skating on the scree at the top. I was more than happy to be back at our base camp at Moraine Lake.

We are so much cooler today and it is nice though I do wish the sun was out. It is a gray day. The doors are open to the screen doors as well as our bedroom and bathroom windows are open to the screens. The house is a perfect temperature. 

My husband fertilized the back yard and watered it, worked in the garden to stabilize the tomatoes once again. He spotted our first ripe tomato which we will pick in a couple days when it gives itself up to your hand. Did you know when a tomato is ready to be picked if you put your hand under it and gently move your hand upward if the tomato is perfectly ripe it will drop into your hand? The same with peppers. Once we get a red one the others follow suit quite quickly. Oh, we are excited. Also hubby picked our first nice cucumber this morning. We just planted three bush cucumber plants this year but they all have quite a number of cukes and blossoms. We will have enough for eating fresh.

Our grilled chicken last night did not fare well. I precooked the bone in chicken thighs in the microwave ahead of time for about ten minutes to get them part way cooked. Hubby used the charcoal grill and put them on when the coals were still to hot, then as I looked out the window they were flaring up and he was adding the bbq sauce, what was he thinking? I ran out the back door but they were crisping up too fast and he was scooting them to the edge of the grill they were well on their way to black. We did manage to salvage them by keeping them moving but I will grill the chicken from now on. I told him med heat and turn, turn turn and have patience as it takes a while when they are bone in. He hurried the whole process so thus we paid the price. 
My new style potato salad was good but I decided rather than the herbal olive oil dressing that accompanied it I would prefer my honey mustard salad dressing thinned down a little. The combination of vegetables was good, but I also think that small red potatoes cut in half would be just as tasty as the fingerling potatoes. So on a scale of one to ten our dinner was about a six I suppose......not our best effort.

Tonight I am fixing smoked rope sausage sliced and fried with chopped nappa cabbage and red onion with a side of sour cream mashed potatoes. I like this combination as I will add butter to the cabbage and sausage and I like to mix that in with my mashed potatoes. A lot of freshly ground black pepper tops it all off deliciously. 

My husband went to his sisters yesterday to pick plums. Oh they are so sweet and juicy. So when I finish this post I am going to make a plum galette. I do this every year either with plums or Italian prunes. I really prefer the prunes as they are not as juicy as the plums which can run out of the pie crust if one is not careful. I have photo of this galette on my 9/27/12 post.
I did not realize it almost three pm so I must make that dessert now.
So I will see you all tomorrow.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

SUMMER SNAPSHOT BACK PATIO

Ah summer you gotta love it! Bright colors, warm breezes, vivid blue skies, birds and critters, outdoor dining, grilling, toes in the pool, reading in the shade of the tree and much more. I am happy on my back private deck pursuing all the above mentioned. If I only had a swing. Oh how I love to swing.

Next year new dining chairs for our patio table. I tried to find some the early part of this summer season but could not find what I wanted which is black metal. Also next year we are extending our deck to the garden side of the house beyond the hot tub, there we will house our grills and smoker. My husband is going to build a gazebo type structure to cover the area. That will increase the size of our deck for setting or lounging with the grills nested in their own area. I am looking forward to that.

This morning hubby is going to tend the tomatoes, they always need attention as they are always crawling out of their cages and growing more foliage than they need. 

We used our new little charcoal kettle last night for grilling. Using the chimney starter and the new kettle was a snap. It is a sturdy kettle and so well made I would recommend it to anyone. It is a Masterbuilt Pro. It is the perfect size grill for us. Tonight we are doing chicken and I am making a slimmer version of potato salad. The salad also has green beans, radishes, onions and a light herbal dressing. It will interesting but I hope also delicious and something I will want to make again.

Another hot one today it is to be 90. Each day I am expecting the temps to drop they have a little but not much. Tomorrow supposedly will be the big drop to 82 and I am more than ready for this change. The air has been dry for here on the west side of the mountains. I wake in the morning with a sandpaper mouth. I am ready for some moisture in the air. 

Well my hubby is making his breakfast of fried potatoes with all kinds of peppers and onions and sausage. I am passing too hot for me. I had a piece of cinnamon toast and tea.
Now off to tidy the house except for the kitchen that will my husbands job as he cooked. I will shower and get ready for our visit this morning to my mother-in-law.

I hope everyone has a nice weekend. Summers are so short and fleeting it seems we must really appreciate them and get outdoors and enjoy while this season is upon us.
See you tomorrow.

Friday, July 18, 2014

BIG JUICY BACON BURGERS TONIGHT!!!!

These babies will be on the menu tonight. This is a previous photo of course. We love a big juicy burger with munster cheese and crispy bacon decked with onion and some sort of green. We have not grilled burgers for some time so it will be a nice Friday evening spent on our deck grilling burgers and eating outdoors. I think for a side I will just serve chips and a fat dill pickle. The burgers are going to be half pound burgers. I like to make them big and thick to keep them juicy. Of course I will only eat a half of one saving the other half to eat tomorrow for lunch.

Today is forecast to be 93 degrees so the temps are dropping slowly but you can notice the difference. I am a happy woman to have mid-seventies to low-eighties in my life. Any warmer and I stay in my air conditioned home. What a baby I am. I never used to be that way when I was younger, I was a heat monger. The hotter the better but those days are past.

I never made it to the farm yesterday after dealing with a crowded grocery store I was done. Also I would have been at the farm about lunch time which is not a good as they are so busy at that time of day.
I am going to load up on peppers today. My husband loves to toss them on the grill when we are grilling and have to the side of anything he is eating. What a hot pepper man he is. His entire family is the same with one or two exceptions, including yours truly.
I will buy another watermelon today. The one I picked up last week is gone and was so juicy and sweet. I used a melon ball scoop to drop a couple of balls in the bottom of a wine glass, added ice and white wine. Yum so good on a hot day, very refreshing giving the wine a sweet melon taste.

Tomorrow we are visiting hubby's Mother at the assisted living home. We will take her a milkshake, a slice of my fresh apple cake, some magazines etc. Spend a hour or so with her and then off for my husbands birthday lunch at El Torito mexican eatery. That is where he has decided he wants to go. His treat is that I will drive so he can have a couple of margarita's. I will sustain from alcohol and have ice tea. I like their street tacos and their side salad with a mexican caesar dressing.
Speaking of salads our grilled salmon salad last evening was over the top. I love the dressing I made. It is a Caesar salad dressing without eggs, using mayo in place of eggs. It is creamy and so rich. The salmon was grilled to perfection with lovely char marks. I fixed an old fashioned type of french bread in the oven with herbs and butter wrapped in foil. Such a nice meal for a summer evening.

Well I must get out of my morning clothes, and head to the farm before the droves of folks descend upon it.
Have a fun Friday.
Adios.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

ME AND MY PIANO

Here I am sitting in front of my new purchase in the eighties. I bought this old 1800's piano at a piano event in Bend where we were living. The minute I put my fingers to the keys I knew I had to have it. It has a incredible tone something like I have never heard. I had been without a piano for some time. I sold my childhood piano when I got married in 1960. It was a gorgeous piece of work a solid cherry wood goddess. It was in perfect condition with much detailed woodwork. I adored that piano but I was moving to California a newlywed not knowing how many times I may move and huge heavy upright piano had no where to fit into my plans. So there was no piano in my life for quite a few years until we rented a home outside of La Pine in central Oregon when my children were very young and it came furnished with a piano. I so enjoyed that for the three years we lived there but then I was piano-less once again. I was determined at some point in time I would have another piano. So here I am in the photo so pleased to finally have a piano back in my life. I still have this piano all these years later. It has moved over seventeen times in the past 30 years and it has never needed tuning. Now that is some piano!

A little cooler today I can feel it in the air and I am thankful for the decrease in temps. 
Today is my grocery shopping and out to the farm for produce day. So it will be nice that the weather has cooled just a tad.

I just came in from watering my herbs and flowers. Oh what a lovely morning. There were few sounds out there early this morning only the jays and the patter of the squirrels feet and they sailed along the fence tops.
The sky is deep blue and the air seems clear. We are so near the farms sometimes in summer we have dust. But all is pristine on the this grand day.

Tonight for dinner it is time for a grilled salmon Cesar salad once again. I will make up the dressing this morning so it has time to meld. I will serve sliced toasted chabatta bread to go alongside. 

The pizza last night was delish as always. Boy I have that pizza crust and sauce nailed. It is so mouthwatering beautiful when it comes out of that 500 degree oven it makes me proud. We ate heartily last night to each others hums of appreciation.

Well I must go now and get my house tidy, shower and out the door I go.
Have a nice Thursday if you are on FB it is Throw back Thursday. I am posting this photo on there today. A girl and her piano.
Bye

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

SHOAL BAY FWI ANGUILLA

This beach is rated one of the top ten most beautiful beaches in the world. And yes we were here! The year was 1997 in May. We were staying on the island of St. Martin and took a sail to this beauty.
We were taken from the sail boat by a Zodiac to this island picked up and driven to several landmarks and sights on the island. It was wonderful to see school children playing in their green and white uniforms in front of their island styled school, frolicking like all children will do. Life on the islands is so different from what we know on the mainland. Their resources are limited they are always aware of the weather as this area has many hurricanes in the fall season. There culture is much more laid back and their life revolves around the sea. We spent a few hours on this lazy island that is shaped like an eel from which Anguilla derives its name.  Then it was back to our beautiful catamaran sail boat for a late lunch, drinks and swimming. Ah the good life!
I just choose this photo today as this was one of my best vacations ever. Glorious weather, beautiful beaches, two sailing trips to different islands, tasty island food and lots of culture. And to think it took place seventeen years ago and is still so fresh in my mind is amazing.
I know there were times when we were traveling quite frequently to exotic places I wondered if this was the smartest way to spend our dollars but in retrospect I feel nothing can take the place of experience. I know this is true for travel expands your horizons and takes you out of yourself. To just experience the same things over again and again in life you become numb to the whole experience of life. So I guess a good phrase would be,  Just Go For It!

So now back to reality. It is another hot one today in Eugene. Yesterday I stayed in the entire day so when I stepped out at six pm to start the gas grill it was like a blast furnace slapped me in the face. Whoa it was HOT! we had 98 at four pm. Today a little less heat but still a toasty 92 degrees is forecast. So my m-o is, stay in the air conditioned house keep hydrated, and relax.

I am making pizza dough after I finish this post. We have not had pizza for a couple of weeks now, so it is time as there is a half jar of marinara sauce yelling at me from the fridge that it needs to be made into pizza sauce. So ok enough nagging already I will comply. Tonight's pizza will be toppings from what I already have in the fridge and pantry. Hubby can create his side however he likes and I will make a veggie side for me. Not that I ever eat a half of pizza so he will be forced to eat veggie pizza for snacks.......it is good for him! 

I talked to both of my children yesterday afternoon back to back. They were both upbeat and full of news. I love them so and it always brightens my heart when I hear their voices.
Today I must call my dear brother. It has been almost two weeks since we had a chat.

So no walk today it is to hot. I must be careful not to get dehydrated. As I have low blood pressure dehydration makes it even lower. As I would like to stay upright and not fall on my face I will stay indoors.
Well off to make that pizza dough. Have a nice hump day!



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

TOMATOES COMING ALONG

The tomatoes are doing well. All of our nine plants are loaded with tomatoes. It will not be long before I can take a tomato from the vine and wash it and eat it out of hand. Nothing more yummy than a juicy ripe tomato warm from the sun.
I am down to just one quart jar of frozen tomato sauce so what I put up last year was just the right amount. Now if I can only remember how many jars I made. Good grief! I still have four pints of ranchero sauce. I will not make ranchero sauce this year as I will the have tomato sauce I can easily make up into ranchero sauce when we desire it.

We had a nice afternoon yesterday after hubby returned home. He filled our little kiddie pool so we could stay cool while sitting on the deck with our feet in the cold water. I worked on puzzles while we chatted and sipped wine with watermelon balls and ice cubes. If you have never tried this with white wine you should. It is very refreshing.

I wonder what I will be making up for dinner this evening. I have several choices it just depends on what I am hungry for. It is hot today though I am in air conditioning my husband will be working in this heat all day. So I am thinking perhaps something light and fresh.
I made a fresh apple cake yesterday. It is the first time I have tried this recipe and it was amazing. The cake is made in a nine inch round cake pan with grated granny smith apples, cinnamon, butter, toasted walnuts etc. If you would like to try this recipe just google fresh apple cake and scroll down until you see the recipe by Betty Crocker. It is simple as it says but oh so tasty makes it feel like autumn in your mouth. I served with cool whip as I have a hard time with dairy products. Oh how I love real whipped cream.

I need to make a plan as to when I want to take the drive up I-5 to Portland and into Washington to visit my brother. I was planning on going this month for about five days as it will take that long to spend time with my daughter in Portland and my brother in Washington state. I am still recuperating from our central Oregon trip so perhaps another couple of weeks and I will feel like making another little journey. This time by myself as my husband is a busy man with the business this month.

I must go now and get my day underway. It is after eight we were up at five-thirty this morning. So now that I have my paper reading and computer time out of the way for the day best get myself moving.
See you tomorrow.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A BIG PONDEROSA PINE AND ME

One of my favorite trees of all time. The ponderosa pine. I saw many on my recent trip to central Oregon. This photo was taken at the Metolius river in central Oregon in 2000. We camped in our motor home for a week in this wonderful campground. We took our bikes and rode a few times to the hatchery which was quite a long ride, fun going down the long hill and on the pavement I flew. I never had a fear of my mountain bike. It was not so fun on the way back up the hill but I was determined not to get off my bike and push, so I switched gears and kept moving. I was always a trouper on my bike keeping up with anyone. We also rode through Black Butte resort several times which was fun touring along the outback of the golf course on the biking trails. If you have never been to this great area you should as there is much to offer.

Well I need to get my thoughts back to Eugene. Today started off with a bang, literally. After hubby left for the job site I settled in my chair with a cup of tea and the Sunday paper. Then I saw a flash and lights blinked and then almost immediately the crash of thunder right overhead. This continued for a short while and then the storm moved away. But since then more storms have come near but not as close. For that I am thankful as they do scare me a bit I will admit.
When I was a young girl growing up on the farm a huge  storm came over while we were in the barn doing what I do not remember but we were all there my mother, father, and younger brother and myself. It was a distance back to the house and storm was right over us flashing and rumbling and striking the ground near the barn. I was so afraid as we had to stay put and hope the barn would not be hit. My heart was in my throat and I will always remember that day. But it was nothing as I found out later when I was a grown woman with children living in La Pine in central Oregon. The storms there are so severe we witnessed several trees struck down right beside our home and at one house we were renting a bolt of lightening hit a shed just adjacent to the house and that then started a tree on fire. I am telling you those strikes were so close it raised the hair on your arms and head and the air smelled metallic. I have had enough lightening to last me a lifetime.

I am so lazy today it is disgusting. I have accomplished nothing but tidying the house and taking a shower. I do not even need to think about dinner this evening as I made that luscious fattening quiche yesterday and there is still half left.  So we will have that with fresh green beans I picked up at the farm. I will simmer them, drain and put back in the pot with a pat of butter and drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice,  kosher salt and ground black pepper. Just simple my favorite way to have them.
I am going to bake something however today. I have not made a desert since the berry cobbler for my hubby's birthday that I whipped on our little getaway. I enjoy baking and keep a well stocked pantry with baking ingredients. I did pick up some granny smith apples while at the farm so I am thinking perhaps I will use them in some fashion, a crisp, or cobbler or apple cake or fritter. We will see what I am in the mood to make.
We have so enjoyed a sweet seedless watermelon I also grabbed up at the farm. I always get us a small one under six pounds or so. It is half gone at this point but we will eat more this afternoon when hubby gets home. I just love the seedless ones and this one is deep red and so sweet. I admit I have already had a slice this morning.
I am allergic to so many fruits as they give my tummy a fit.  I am so pleased that watermelon is one fruit I can digest and I love it!

Well I need to do something, don't I?  Maybe I may just switch the computer chair for my plaid chair in the living room and read for a bit. I would like to take a walk but it is still volatile out there and I do not want to be walking while the thunder is crashing about.
Have a super nice Sunday! :) 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

VOLATILE WEATHER

The weather is to be HOT. But it is also threatening as thunderstorms are expected in many areas. After we left my sons home east of La Pine last Tuesday there was a wild storm that tore through his area. My son was visiting a friend in a different area of La Pine and was not aware of what was happening at his home. When he returned home early evening the power crews were repairing downed power lines and poles. Throughout his development there were downed trees and on his property there were several down or broken. The ground was covered with hail and all was drenched including his big bear of a dog. He said it appeared that a storm just roared through that area with high winds and hail and rain.
I am very thankful that we had left that very morning. For he had no power for the entire night into the next morning. He is thankful no trees fell on his home or shop. If our little trailer were still parked there it would have been scary for me.
Lightening strikes are expected on the eastern slope of the Cascades and in my son's area throughout the weekend. Forest fire is a huge concern in central Oregon where so many dead trees abound. Let us keep the faith that all the folks living there will be safe.
This morning we have the same weather as yesterday morning. Low threatening clouds. It really never cleared yesterday until late in the afternoon and looked as if it would rain all day. Our forecast for today is 95. So we will see what occurs. We may also have a thunderstorm today, they are forecasts for tomorrow.

Our dinner last evening was delish and I will use my butter blend again. After I took the steak from the grill I slathered it in butter mixed with fresh cut chopped Italian parsley and mashed garlic. I covered it tight with foil and let it rest for ten minutes while I sauteed the zucchini. After I removed the foil from the steak the butter had melted into and over the steak leaving the green chopped parsley looking like a chimichuri sauce over the top of the steak. Oh the flavor was amazing.
Tonight for dinner I making Quiche Lorraine. I make that a couple of times a year. It is not the healthiest meal with pie crust, bacon, swiss cheese and cream. But I temper it with a nice fresh green salad with a light dressing.

My husband started a big job this weekend. So I have the weekend to myself. I am looking forward to my time alone. I have much I want to accomplish. My deck is waiting for a good cleaning. I have a new tablecloth to adorn my patio table it is in bright primary colors and will add much to the space out there. I need to fertilize my flowers and herbs. I must say my Italian parsley is taking over the herb barrel. It is growing so fast I cannot keep up with it and I use is almost daily in something or other.

I am going to leave you now and have a piece of cinnamon toast and then lace up my walking shoes and walk. Then home to spend my quiet day doing what I please.
Oh I see now the sun is peeking through and burning off the clouds.....yeah.
Later.

LA PINE GETAWAY

We are back from our six day getaway to La pine. 
Top photo is of the Big Deschutes near Pringle Falls. My son and I went there one afternoon and we lingered and I took photo's. We did not take a picnic lunch as planned as we wanted to cover a lot of country seeing various places in the area. Bottom photo was taken at my sons property. We backed our little trailer up to Mikes shop. We were on gravel which made it nice so we threw out our big mat and put up the awning and we were home. Mikes place is very quiet. Birds were abundant in the morning and I so enjoyed the doves softly making their cooing noises. Every morning they were in the small tree at the end of the driveway.
A herd of mule deer came in every morning and grazed on Mikes bunch grass. They ambled along as they munched they are not afraid and are in the area all year long. So the surroundings were to our liking.
My hubby went off every morning but one to Sunriver to work. It was a long drive of over thirty miles each way taking almost forty-five minutes as the home he was working on was located at the back part of Sunriver. When he arrived home in late afternoon the three of us still had time for a good dinner and chatter under the awning until the sun fell away.
One day I hung all my sons art work and wall decor for him. I set up his built in bookcase with family framed photo's and memorabilia leaving the bottom shelf for bar items and his wine rack. He was pleased. He had done a good job setting things up and his home is spotless but there is something about a woman's touch that brings it all together. I used his kitchen for my more complicated meals and to make berry cobbler for my hubby's birthday. In my trailer I kept it simple as I had prepared many things ahead. 
In all a wonderful little trip. We are going to go next year in mid June so the guys can take the little fishing boat and fish for Brown trout to catch and release in the Big and Little Deschutes. Later in the year the water levels are to low to fish for them. So next year I will be alone for a couple of days camping at my sons to enjoy the solitude and the wildlife and my books. I had very little time this trip for reading, I was too busy talking.
My daughter and her husband Doug and his son Levi and his friend came by our camp to say a Happy Birthday to my husband and bring him a gift. That was sweet of them as it was quite a haul for them from their campground at Quinn River. So as they say a good time was had by all.

Since I have returned home it has been nothing but catch up. First of all I had to unload and clean the trailer. I have been doing laundry non-stop it seems and cleaning house and trimming plants and tending the garden, grocery shopping and on and on. But it is so worth it to get away sometimes. Our front yard it littered with brown patches and it was perfect when we left. But it was hot here while we gone so with no water, well what else did we expect? We knew the tomatoes would be fine as they do not mind the dry in fact they prefer it. My flowers perked right up after a good watering and some deadheading. So all will be back in order soon.

I went to the farm today for my produce. So tonight for dinner we are grilling a simple steak to share I put a rub on it early and it is hanging out in the fridge. We are just having sauteed local zucchini sliced and sauteed with salt and pepper and then topped with grated Romano cheese.
I always put pats of butter on my steak under foil after I take it off the grill. So to that butter this evening I am going to finely chop some Italian parsley and minced garlic and mash them into the butter. When the butter melts into the steak juice it will make a nice sauce for the steak.

Well I think that is it for today. I am tired and that dinner needs to be made. I have been dragging every evening since we arrived home. So much for getting rested on vacation.
Have a nice weekend.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

LA PINE COUNTRY

This may be the very spot my son and I chose to picnic at. Oh how beautiful. Mike emailed this photo this to me this morning. I think it is one of places he frequents while fishing. 
As I mentioned I lived a good deal of my life in this country and it is always so nice to go back for a visit.

Wow it is a scorcher. The flowers are cowering in their pots. and the tall parsley is shrouding the thyme and rosemary like a mother. 

I have been busy in my kitchen all day preparing food for our getaway. My back was starting to nag me to sit down so that is why I am sitting here posting. I really have no time to be doing this as it is a super busy day for me. But ah the chair feels so good to me I could sit all afternoon. But not to be.

Tonight for dinner as I have been preparing all day we are having frozen pizza. What a rip for dinner but oh well it will work as I have no patience left to cook dinner. The Titino's pizzas are not bad a good crispy crust and decent sauce. I will add more mozzarella and some fresh basil before serving.

This will be my last post for a while now.
Have a nice 4th of July and stay safe. That is the most important thing.
Later.