Saturday, July 31, 2010

Netflix This!!

The Blind Side! Such a great movie! I can't believe we waited this long to see it!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Sweet Treat!

For once, our local newspaper, The Columbian had an article worth reading. I just happened to read the paper today & noticed there was a new cupcake place in town, called TREAT. I was so excited, as this is the first of it's kind in Vancouver, where PDX has several very good cupake joints (Cupcake Jones & Saint Cupcake). Nas & I had errands to run, so I decided to make TREAT one of our stops. I am so glad I did. I bought a 6 pack for my family and a darling 2 pack for my friend Tammie (it is her bday afterall). HB TAMMIE! Yummy red velvet

Snickerdoodle, coconut cream, red velvet, triple chocolate & PB&J.

6 pack: one coconut cream, one snickerdoodle, red velvet & triple chocolate.

Try this place! It's so cute & the owner is very nice (& gives out cupcake punch cards)!
TREAT is located at 210 W Evergreen Blvd in downtown Vancouver.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pet Peeved

The dictionary lists a "pet peeve" as a particular & continual annoyance. I have several pet peeves, which I have listed before on my blog. One that is happening more often & getting more annoying is my personal time being scheduled for me -without any consultation on my part.

If you don't talk to me personally and I don't personally tell you I am available - then, I'm not!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lacamas Lake Half Marathon

Me (in my Bigfoot pose) at Mile 11
Today I participated in the Lacamas Lake Half Marathon. I didn't do as well as I did in the Capitol City Marathon in May. I blame it on my knee. I hurt it last week in the Lakefair 8K run. I stretched it all week - but the knee failed me today at the 5 mile mark. It simply refused to cooperate & I had to walk the last 8 miles. I was so disappointed.

Here are my stats for today's race.

I came in 745 out of 765 half marathon participants (at least I wasn't last).
I finished the half marathon in 3:12:50.
14:43 a mile.
I came in 92/97 in my age division (40-44) - again: not last!
I was 421/440 females in the half marathon.

I saw two people quit. One woman called her husband at mile 11 and had him pick her up. Too bad - she was almost there! The other woman quit at mile 8.5 and had race officials pick her up. I felt really bad for her - her back went out & she was sideways. :(

What I didn't like about this race: the 5 miles on the Heritage Trail. My knee hated this! It was rocky and I was in pain the entire time. And...the electrolyte solution. It tasted like B vitamins. I took it at every checkpoint and almost gagged everytime! YUCK!

What I liked: local race & I knew several people running it. My friend Jane started out with me and after .25 miles, took off like the wind and was several miles ahead of me. Go Jane! Also, at Mile 12, Matty met up with me, brought me a bottle of water and we walked the last mile to the finish line together. What a sweet boy!

Mile 12 with Matty

Next half marathon: Possibly the fundraiser for Matty's Cross Country team at the high school in September (IF I can get my knee to cooperate). If I can't, then I want to try the Girlfriends' HM in October (Thanks Rachel for the info!).

Friday, July 23, 2010

Shoo Fly!

We have a problem with flies buzzing around our garage. It's annoying & we hate it! I read the following article written by Cisco Morris in The Seattle Times yesterday. I was convinced enough to purchase several geranimums this afternoon and place them near our garage. I hope it works!!

A caller on my gardening show once asked me how to keep flies out of her house. Other than window screens, I lacked a good solution. The next caller was from Austria and offered a suggestion. She told me that Austrians don't plant Pelargoniums (zonal and other types of geraniums) in their window boxes just for aesthetics. Their real purpose is to repel flies.
Although I was somewhat dubious, I had the perfect place to test her claim. The day we moved into our house, we discovered that we had a problem with flies that constantly flew in circles between the house and detached garage. Nothing we tried would make them go away, and their presence embarrassed the living tweetle out of us whenever we had visitors.
I planted up a container with Pelargoniums where the flies hovered. To my great surprise the flies instantly disappeared, and the only time they ever came back was one year when I purposely didn't plant any.
If you've got a fly problem, give Pelargoniums a try. I think that any kind from Martha Washington to ivy geranium will do, and even if it doesn't work, maybe visitors will notice the attractive flowers rather than the embarrassing flies.

Make This!!

I am married to a gourmand. Omid loves good food. He love to prepare good food and have it look beautiful. He can open the fridge, assess what's inside and make a beautiful & tasty dinner. I look in the fridge and wonder "what the heck am I going to make for dinner." I don't like to cook, because I prefer to bake instead. Enter Pioneer Woman. She has saved me. I love her step-by-step instructions. Everything I have cooked for dinner from her website has been delicious & Omid has liked all of them. Except for her enchiladas.
I made PW's White Chicken Enchiladas for dinner just the other night. They were good! Omid silently suffered through them. He likes tacos & fajitas - but enchiladas are right up there in the 'casserole' category for him; and he just doesn't care for casseroles. Last night, Omid opened the fridge to get the jar of salsa. He saw the two leftover enchiladas on a plate, closed the door and said to Matty. "I opened the fridge and there they were - staring at me." Matty burst into laughter and I said, "HEY!!!" This morning, when Omid opens the fridge, they will indeed be staring at him!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Slappy Cakes!

The kids and I finally made it to Slappy Cakes! We have been wanting to try this restaurant for months. Nas & her friend Leah.
First try.

Nas & Leah added raspberries & chocolate chips to their pancakes. Matty added green onion & bacon. I added green onion, bacon & bleu cheese. YUM!



I love the bacon in this pancake. It reminds me of Cake Spy.

Perfecting the 'flip.'

My delicious pancakes. Leah & Nas were gagging when they smelled my bleu cheese. They missed out - these were the best!

Matty's giant pancake. This one took 10 minutes to cook!

Finally feeling full!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Buy This!!

I don't know one person who enjoys mopping their floors. Vacuuming, moving furniture, keeping kids & pets out of the area, waiting for the floor to dry, etc., etc. I usually use white vinegar to clean my wood floor. While I know the floor is disinfected & very clean, the smell isn't the friendliest. I stumbled upon this floor cleaner while at Target last week.

It smells like almond extract (yum!) and did a good job of cleaning the floor. It's more expensive than a gallon jug of vinegar, but I think the extra $ was worth it. I actually was excited to mop today. How's that for an attitude adjustment?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lakefair Run 2010

We spent the weekend in Olympia to celebrate my dad's birthday and to also participate in the Lakefair 8K run on Saturday. It was fun! Pinning on Nas' bib.

Omid publicly expressing his opinion.

"You will eat my dust!"

Getting ready for the starting gun. The funny thing was...there was no starting gun. Just a guy with a megaphone who yelled, "GO!"

And we're off!


I caught up to Nas at mile 1.37. I never caught up to Matty. He took off and I didn't see him again until right before I got to the halfway mark. He was already on his way to the finish line.

Capitol Lake

After the race.

Matty came in first. He finished the 8K in 42 minutes. I crossed the finish line 17 minutes later. I finished in 59:40. Nas & Omid crossed the finish line together at 1:07.

Poor Omid sustained an injury at mile 2.5 and had to catch a ride with 'the guy who picks up the cones.' Omid caught sight of Nas, had the guy drop him off and then the two finished the race together. To be fair Omid took off his race number so his time wouldn't count.

Afterwards, we went to breakfast at Cascadia Grill (on 4th & Columbia). Both the food & the prices were good!

Well-deserved mimosa with my breakfast.

Check this out: I get to wear a nifty knee brace!
This is what happens when you take up running in your 40s!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Buy This & then Make This!!

This is the most delicious Greek yogurt! It's also very affordable (the usual costs about $5 from Trader Joe's. I found this for $2.38 at Winco & $3.99 at Fred Meyer).
It's very good plain or with a few blueberries sprinkled on top.
I also made PW's yogurt cream with it. It is pure heaven. I have been eating the yogurt cream plain. Try it!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Make This!

Blueberry Cobbler with Cookie Dough Topping

21 years ago, Omid and I were sitting in a laundromat in Pullman, reading discarded magazines & waiting for our laundry to be done. I found this particular recipe in a Cook's magazine. So glad I did! I have been baking this cobbler ever since. It's very good with nectarines too!

Blueberry Filling:
4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
5 Tbs sugar
3/4 c orange juice

Cookie Dough Topping:
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 butter - softened - DO NOT USE MARGARINE!
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla

Grease a 9x13 baking pan. Mix all filling ingredients in the pan. Set aside.
Topping: Mix first 3 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside. Mix butter & sugar in a large bowl until well blended. Stir in egg and vanilla, then stir in flour mixture. Drop the topping by tablespoonfuls on top of the blueberry filling.
Heat oven to 375*. Bake until cobbler topping is golden brown & filling is bubbly, 35-40 minutes; cool slightly.
Serve a portion of cobbler into individual dessert bowls. Top each with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

The topping looks more like mashed potatoes than cookie dough at this point.
Don't worry - it will spread.

Finished product.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Here Fishy, Fishy!

Omid and I decided to try and get a sturgeon yesterday. It was the next to the last day of the season.
Look at that sky! We reached a high of 64* in Astoria (with very windy conditions/swells) - while at home it was almost 90*. If that isn't love (on my part) I don't know what is! Those who know me well know I dislike being cold!

Measuring once, twice....

.... three times!

Finally a keeper! 41" exactly!

At the fish cleaning station.

Fish cleaners.
We opted to come here and have the sturgeon cleaned for us. It beats keeping the guts in the garbage can all week. Smelly garbage cans = raccoons. Something we don't want!

On our way home, we stopped to purchase some tuna. We had to wait for 30 minutes while it was being cleaned. We stopped at a cafe and had a bowl of fries. This bowl was so huge, we couldn't finish it. It was only $4 too. What a bargain!

Look who was happy to see us when we came home.
I love that smile! :)

Omid was nice and let me pull in the sturgeon. It was hard work!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Make This!!

Potsticker Salad - so quick, easy & cold on a hot day!

You can use ravioli or tortellini if you don't want to use potstickers.

Potsticker Salad

1 lb meat filled potstickers, ravioli or tortellini
1/4 c sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 T sugar
2 T hot chili oil
2 T basalmic vinegar
2 c broccoli
1/2 c carrots, peeled & julienned
1 stalk celery, julienned
1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
1/4 c sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 c pine nuts, toasted
1 bunch chopped green onions

Cook potstickers/ravioli/tortellini. Drain & set aside to cool. Mix all ingredients. Add potstickers/ravioli/tortellini. Place in fridge for several hours until well chilled. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Make This!!

Lime Milkshakes!

I tried to make another batch of vanilla ice cream today -but the freezer bowl wouldn't cooperate. Apparently, it has to be frozen for a minimum of 24 hours to make ice cream. So...we did the next best thing. I took the semi-frozen ice cream mix, poured it in my blender, added a handful of ice cubes and half a can of limeade concentrate (frozen). I mixed it all up and we had ourselves 3 large milkshakes. They tasted exactly like Sonic's Lime Chillers - minus the maraschino cherries.

I will definitely make these again!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Make This!!

Whoopie Pies!
This is the quick & easy version: no baking at all!
All you need is one package of Nabisco's Famous Chocolate Wafers & some whipped cream. If you want to make it even easier, then use Cool Whip. Money saving tip: Purchase the wafers at a discount store if possible -they are pricey! I found them at Fred Meyer for $4.65 and at Winco for a dollar less.

Put a generous dollop of whipped cream between two chocolate wafers. Place in the fridge for a minimum of 6 hours. Enjoy!
Note: I made some that were triple-deckered. Omid & Matty liked those ones best. Also....we thought they tasted best after sitting in the fridge for 24 hours. Just like an Oreo Cakester!

Make This!!

Lime Sherbet! This recipe is YUMMO!

NOTE: This recipe is for an electric ice cream maker. I am not sure if you can use popsicle molds or an old fashioned crank ice cream maker.

Lime Sherbet

3 cups whole milk
1 cup frozen limeade concentrate - thawed
3 Tbs. sugar
2 drops green food coloring, optional

Combine ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pour into freezer bowl, turn machine on and let mix until thick (25-30 mins). Transfer to airtight container & place in freezer for two hours or until firm.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Fireworks = doggy stress. Poor baby!!

Kim D., Kim G., Colleen & Tammy

Funny story: I had never met Tammy before but asked her if she had a sister named Tiffany who lived in Olympia (as she looked exactly like this woman I met at my sister's last weekend). She said yes. I asked her if her sister happened to be in Westport this 4th. She said, "Yes.....?" I think she thought I was psychic. :) I told her that I thought her sister must be good friends with my sister Cynthia & thought their families were vacationing together this weekend. We both texted our sisters and confirmed it. Such a small world!

Lin, Kelly, Tammy & Denise

Gina, Nas, Amy & Lianna

Pulled pork, tri-tip, brisket, hot dog, potato salad & beans.

Aunt Jemima or Mammy from Gone with the Wind? We had a big discussion on whether this was racist or not. We came to the conclusion that Antiques Roadshow deemed this a collectible item and therefore it was not racist.

Denise, Scott, Tammy & Jeff
This is where we were debating to go 'caroling' around the neighborhood. Look at Denise's face - she voted for NOT going. In the end we decided not to go because we could only come up with 4 or 5 songs to sing on the 4th. Neil Diamond's song America was one of them, but as a group, we only knew some of the stanzas & the chorus. That was going to be our 'finale' & we decided we just couldn't pull it off. It was a hilarious conversation.
Here are the songs we thought we'd carol throughout the neighborhood: My Country tis of Thee, America the Beautiful, The Star Spangled Banner, This Land is Your Land, Born in the USA & America by Neil Diamond. The first two songs we thought we sing in 'rounds.'
Tammy, Denise & I

Giant sparklers