Sunday, October 30, 2011

Coastal Weekend

We are back from a fun razor clamming weekend at the coast. We met my parents in Longbeach, WA on Friday evening at the swanky Super 8 motel.   This razor clam harvest was an evening dig, so we had some time to kill. We drove to The Lost Roo restaurant & had a delicious dinner. We needed to fill up, since later, we would be burning lots of calories. Razor clam digging is serious exercise!

After dinner & back at the motel, Omid outfitted everyone in their clamming gear. He brought extra things for my parents as they didn't have the proper wind/waterproof clothing.
Remy & I ready to go!

I don't have any pix of the night dig, but let me say this: the weather cooperated & it stayed dry. The wind was warm & we got 2 + limits.

Night digs are not my favorite as it's so hard to see the clam 'show' on the sand (even with lanterns & flashlights).

This is what you have to look for. I only look for 'doughnuts' as they are the easiest to spot.
Photo courtesy Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife.

Our haul!
The next morning, we met up for breakfast. Long Beach is seriously lacking in breakfast places. One place we stopped at, looked nice from the outside, but the minute my dad & I stepped inside to check out their menu, we were assaulted by a strong musty smell instead of food. We hoped to smell bacon or something similar to breakfast. Nothing but 'yuck', so we decided not to eat there. We ended up at another place that was just okay.
Long Beach: you need a Pig & Pancake!

Papa with Long Beach's giant razor clam.

G & P with the World's Largest Frying Pan!
Christmas card photo!!!

After everyone was fed & no one was cranky anymore (Papa!), we stopped at the Washington State University (Go Cougs!!) Cranberry Research Center for some education (& because I love cranberries!).

Fun fact: Up until I was about 12, the only things that would make it on my Thanksgiving dinner plate
were cranberry sauce & stuffing.

Remy, Matty & Grammy posing as 'bog farmers.'

We took the 'self guided walking tour' of the facility.

Grammy ran inside the gift shop to see what they had.
She came out with a can of Cougar Gold Cheese for me!
Woo hoo!!!!!
Ocean Spray!
I love their cranberry-tangerine juice!

Matty checking out a research plot.
Found one!

Prepare to learn some fun facts about cranberries!

I LOVE the fact that there is a cranberry variety called 'pilgrims!'
If you were looking for sign #3, so were we. Let's move on to #4 instead.
We didn't see any wildlife. Remy must have scared them off!

We learned that wet harvested means a combine cuts the cranberries from the vine & the bog is then flooded.
The cranberries float to the top of the bog & are raked in. Thus: wet harvested!

Bumblebee garden

It was a fun stop & we learned lots about cranberries!
After spending about an hour at the cranberry farm, we decided to visit the beach again.

It was an absolutely beautiful & warm day!
I wish every visit to the coast could be this beautiful!

Fun fact: it was here that I checked Facebook & found out my friend Sarah was on her way to South Carolina to meet her new beautiful baby boy! Congratulations Sarah & Chris!

Sarah with her baby boy, Moses.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Make This!!

Evil Chocolate Chip Cookies!
Why are they evil? Because this recipe calls for 3 cubes of butter. THREE! I usually only make a half recipe, as this cookie is really rich (think shortbread).

Evil Chocolate Chip Cookies

3 cubes butter, room temp
1 c powdered sugar
2 1/4 c flour
1 package of mini choc chips

Mix first three ingredients with your hands. Stir in minis. Chill 30 minutes. Drop by teaspoons onto slightly greased cookie sheets. Bake at 325* for 8-10 minutes.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Eugene Road Trip

Yesterday we took a road trip to Eugene, Oregon. Omid found something on Craig's List he had to check out. Matty, Remy & I decided to tag along.  Since none of us had ever been to Eugene before, we decided to stop & check out the U of O campus.

Fun fact: The Ducks have won 30 straight home games.
This terrifies me for when the Cougs play in Eugene next weekend.

The U of O campus is nice & surrounded by the city of Eugene
 (which is much larger than I thought).
Future Duck?!
Heck no, he has to go to WSU!

U of O has several beautiful buildings. This is the 'athletic academic center.'
Beautiful architecture inside & out.

O bicycle racks. Love it!

I absolutely LOVED how each & every dorm window had an O sticker on them. That is school spirit!
Dear WSU: I'd like to see the same idea implemented in Pullman. Thank you.

 Omid trying to make the famous "O." Is he close?

Matty: Is he close?

Neither of them got it.
Thanks to my friend Mary's son, McKinley for showing us how it's done!

This is the U of O Alumni Center. Omid & Matty were impressed with the architecture.
Me, not so much. I love the barn at WSU. Sorry! It's nice, but it's NOT WSU!

This building was impressive.
This is the U of O basketball arena.

While I had a nice time visiting, I again have to say my allegiance is 110% to WAZZU! Go Cougs!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Make This!!

Crunchy Baked Pork Chops

It's been years since I last made pork chops. I have been searching for a while for a good pork chop recipe. I found one tonight on Smitten Kitchen.  To quote Omid: "This recipe is a winner!"  I adapted the recipe slightly. Instead of using fresh bread crumbs (shame!), I used one cup of Panko & one cup of Contadina Italian bread crumbs.

Half way through, I flipped the pork chops so they wouldn't be soggy on one side.

Doesn't the lower left pork chop look like Africa?

Moist, tender & served with mango chutney.

Start of Something New!

Click here to read my new baking blog.

I love to bake and that's no secret! I have to bake something several times a week, or I go stir crazy. I'm starting up a small home-based baking business. If you would like me to bake something for you & deliver it to your door, give me a call or send me an email. I am excited to bake for you!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Make This!!

Pasta with sun dried tomatoes, chicken & alfredo sauce.

This colorful dish is so tasty & easy to make.

2 chicken breasts, cubed
3 T olive oil
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large package of basil, julienned (I used the container from Trader Joe's)
1/2 package of sun dried tomatoes, julienned
1 lb package of pasta, cooked
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute chicken & garlic. Add sun dried tomatoes & 1/3 package of julienned basil.  Set aside.  In the same pan, melt butter & add whipping cream. Once a few bubbles appear around the edges & it starts to simmer, add parmesan cheese. Lower the heat & continue cooking until cheese is melted. Hopefully you have already cooked your pasta. Combine the pasta & chicken mixture. Add the alfredo sauce & mix everything together. Sprinkle with the rest of your reserved basil.  Top with additional parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Make This!!

Pumpkin scones!
I have been looking for a good pumpkin scone recipe for a long time. My friend Karen just gave me this recipe last Thursday. I made them today and they were pretty good! Karen found the recipe here:

Adapted slightly from Mom's Who Think.

Starbuck's Pumpkin Scones

Scone ingredients:
2 cups flour
7 T sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 t cloves
1/4 t ginger
6 T butter (cold)
1/2 c pumpkin
3 T 1/2 & 1/2
1 egg

Sugar glaze:
1 c powdered sugar
2 T milk

Spice glaze:
1 c powdered sugar
2 T milk
1/4 t cinnamon
1/8 t nutmeg
pinch cloves
pinch ginger

*Preheat oven to 425*. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt & spices in a large mixing bowl.
*Cut butter into dry ingredients until mix is crumbly.
*In a separate bowl, whisk pumpkin, 1/2 & 1/2 & egg.
*Fold wet ingredients into dry. Form into a ball.
*Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form into a rectangle.
*Cut the dough into three equal portions. Cut diagonally to produce the triangular pieces of dough.
*Place on cookie sheet & bake for 12-15 minutes until brown. Check the bottoms of the scones around minute 11 as they can easily burn.
*Place on a wire rack to cool.

Mix powdered sugar & milk together. Brush glaze over tops of cooled scones.

Spice glaze:
Combine all ingredients. Use a whisk to drizzle over the top of each scone.

Pullman Weekend (Part Two)!!!

Homecoming Day in Pullman!
Omid and I woke up and took a walk through all the tailgate campsites.

 Walking past this campsite, we were thankful these campers weren't right next to us!

Former WSU football player Ryan Leaf.
He has just written a book & is now on a booktour.
Go Cougs!

Omid & I walked up on the campus. Look at the view of the Palouse behind Omid.

After a few hours, we all met back at Lin & Ward's camper for lunch.
Ward ordered the 'Colossus' pizza from Pizza Pipeline.

Ginormous 26" pizza!
Stuffed & almost ready for the game!

We took a quick family shot before the kids left for the game.
Omid and I didn't attend, but drove all over Pullman
revisiting our favorite places. So many wonderful memories!
After the game, we met up with our friends again. Look at Remy & Jack.
These two begged all weekend long, especially Remy. He forgot all his manners & was even caught
stealing food from other campsites. Naughty boy!

Coug fans!!

Just after the game, fans were starting to trickle back to the tailgating site.
I loved the sea of crimson!

I also loved the camraderie between the Coug fans. We were all complete strangers, but everywhere you went, Cougs invited us over for a bite or drink; and we did the same. We met so many nice people this past weekend.

We had a fantabulous time visiting Nas in Pullman. We were so happy she spent the entire weekend with us.
We can't wait until our next visit!!