Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Outdoor Wednesday

My family has a cabin in Northeastern Oregon and we love to spend time there whenever we can.
This past September while vacationing there, I talked the Handyman into driving to this little town called Inmaha.  
It was only about 30 miles away and I have great memories of fishing and camping around there when I was little.
Imnaha has a population of 164.

I also wanted to see their little post office. The townspeople worked very hard to keep their post office open when the US Postal service was busy closing rural PO's.  It's open  6 hours a day Mon-Friday.

We drove thru this this valley to get there.

Besides a Post office and a School and a library, they also have a 3-in-one tavern-cafe-store.

I love this little store/tavern.
We sat here and had a hamburger and a beer while I filled out postcards to send from the Imnaha Post office.

Inside they have a poster with a rattlesnake count!
They do have a lot of rattlesnakes out there.
In fact, they used to have a big rattlesnake feed every year, but that event outgrew them.  In 2005 they had over 1000 people.
Hard to handle in a town so remote and so small.

But back to the rattlesnake count!
You see it, you kill it,  you bring it in.
There are prizes for the longest, shortest, the most, etc.
See all those names on the poster?  
Hmmmmm....  those represent snakes!

It's part of the charm of Imnaha.

It's a really cool old bar/restaurant/store tho.

A really unique place to go visit.

I'm linking up with Outdoor Wednesday.
For some great outdoor shots go visit!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Supremely Bad Idea

It's Tuesday evening and I'm home alone.
This sounds weird, but it is one of my favorite times of the week.
The Handyman works late and I come home and I don't cook, I don't clean, I don't turn on the TV.
I did take the garbage out.
But other than that?  Nothing that I don't want to do.
I'm going to poach an egg, dip my toast in the runny yolk  (don't judge until you try it), have a cup of tea and read, Read, READ!!

What am I reading?
Well, listen to this first paragraph...

I grew up in England, a small country near Iceland where we all love the queen and the sun don't shine. Because of the lousy weather and the unfair distribution of wealth, the place is filled with sad people with not much going on for them.
My homeland has a strong tradition, however, of inventing safe pursuits for all the losers.

What do you think?  Should I continue on?
Look at this cover!  How can I not?

I guess it also helps that I am a little bit of a bird-watcher.
I go every year on a "birding weekend"  (be careful tho, if you click on the link, the bird post link---the first one is about Llamas.  Yes, Llamas.  I have no explanation for this.  I'm just kinda edgy like that: writing about Llamas in a  bird tagged post.)

BUT---this face!
How can you resist?

I cannot.
So I will read on.
It's a non-fiction, memoir.  
I know I'll love it.

I'm linking up to 
(I bet there are lots of cool birds by the sea!)

FF Appendix #1 -- Caramelized Onion Quiche

Making my way thru my Friday Friend Cookbook, one recipe at a time.

Oh, wait...
this isn't in the Friday Friend Cookbook.
But it should be.
So---I am starting an appendix:

supplementary material at the end of a book, article, document, or other text, usually 
of an explanatory, statistical, or bibliographic nature.

I decided to make this while we were on vacation last month.

It might seem weird to be cooking on vacation, but I like to cook while we are at our cabin --there is not stress, no rushing, no deadlines to meet -- and also I'd been wanting to try this for quite sometime.
I'm glad that I did.
It's times like this I wish I were a better descriptive writer---that words would come easily for me-- because I hate to just say  that this was really good.  
There should be a better way to say it.
Genuinely excellent?
Certainly marvelous? 
Indeedly wonderful?

It was all these things.
I had no doubt, as Debbie is a very good cook.

One Tuesday morning I 'borrowed' her handwritten cookbook --where she keeps her best recipes-- to copy a few down, and I used the copy machine at work and copied them all.
I know every one of them will be great!

Caramelized Onion &  Bacon Quiche
from FF Debbie Engstrom

Prepare  Pat-in-Pan Pie Dough -- set aside.

Saute 6oz bacon, chopped.  ( used sausage )
Remove and drain. 
Add 3 c. thinly sliced onion, stir until caramelized--8min.
Add 8oz thinly sliced mushrooms,  2 tsp fresh thyme, 1 tsp minced garlic, season with salt.
Cook 8-10 minutes, allow to cool before putting into the pan.

In medium bowl, combine, 1/2 cup heavy cream and 5 large eggs.
Pour over onion mixture.  
Sprinkle with 4oz grated swiss cheese.

Bake 375F for 35-40 minutes.

As you know,  I have coffee every Tuesday morning at  6am with Debbie E. (we've done this for years and years and years)
But  we don't  see each other socially very often.  As often as we'd like anyway.
Last night at a Pampered Chef party that I was at---in she walked.
It was a fun surprise.  

This is one thing which I admire about her---she never, EVER gets stressed when cooking and/or having people over for dinner.
I mean NEVER.
AND--she can invite people at a moment's notice.
( I cannot do that.  I have to have everything planned )

She is the mother of 4 children.
Including twin girls.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Friday Friend Recipe #25 -- Taco Soup

Sunday Soup

Making my way thru my Friday Friend Cookbook, one recipe at a time!

Friday Friend cookbook:   I have about 50 of my closest friends and family on an e-mail forum which I called the Friday Friends.  At first, most of them didn't know each other, (they knew me) but over the past 15 years, we've answered and shared silly--and serious---questions,  exchanged Secret Santa Christmas gifts,  had a dieting contest in which we paid a $1 a week and that money went to a scholarship fund for a Friday Friends son's memorial scholarship, and we went on a great vacation for my 52 birthday.

AND,  we contributed recipes for a cookbook.
Which brings me to this... recipe #25

Shelly Noble's 
Taco Soup.

The Handyman and I love a good bowl of soup!  And this one is souper easy. And souper good!
Shelly turned in a simple Crock-pot recipe because she says  she likes easy things.
I love to use my crockpot and come home to a house filled with great aromas.
That's just what you do with this soup.
Fix it in the morning, leave for the day  (or stay home and read a book), eat in the evening.

Taco Soup
by FF Shelly Noble

1 lb. hamburger, browned with 1 cup chopped onion (drain off fat)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 14oz can chopped tomatoes
1 29oz can pinto beans
1 15oz can tomato sauce
1 cup picante sauce/salsa
1/2 t. chili powder
1 17oz can of corn, drained

Cook on low all day in crockpot.  Serve with cheese, sour cream, and/or chips.  Can mix and match beans---whatever kind you like.

And now,  Friday Friend Shelly Noble!

Shelly says that she is not a 'cook', but she is and she's  turned in many recipes for the Friday Friend Cookbook.
So stay tuned for many pictures of her--like this one of Shelly and her husband Lorin.

All dressed up.

They were the rednecks as was their dog, Sierra.  
It was hysterical.

We had a celebration at Wallowa Lake a few years ago.
A Friday Friend celebration.
And one night we had a traveling cocktail party.
Their cabin was the Redneck cabin.
(there was Pirate cabin, beer cabin, wallow lake wallbanger cabin, Mexican cabin and the elf cabin.  I should really blog about this traveling cocktail party sometime)
(just because the Friday Friends did such a good 'theme' job and had such a good time)

They did a good job!

(along with April and Doug---together, they were the Rednecks!)
They served us pork rinds and cheeseballs.
No disrespect to rednecks was intended in the writing of this post.  LOL  (I can't help it---I have to write that)

Woo hoo Rednecks!

Lorin and Shelly.

Doug, April, Shelly, Lorin and  Sierra Dog
Starring as:  The Rednecks.

I am going to link up to 

what is Souper Sundays?
Well...taken straight from the horses--I mean blogger's---mouth:
What is "Souper Sundays"?: 
Souper Sundays is a weekly blog event that started because of my love of soup and a desire to work through the many soup and soup-like recipes in my cookbooks and magazines, I set a goal to make a soup or "soupish" dish each week and post it each Sunday and invited others to do the same. I do a round up of all the participants each week on Sunday afternoon (Hawaii time!) with a description of their entry and link back to each participant's blog and their post

Saturday, September 27, 2014

More Book Club Love! (and a Saturday Snapshot)

To bring an end to summer, at my Totally Lit Book club, we had a pizza party at my friend Kathy Janke's house.
She made the pizza...

...oh, and she made her pizza oven too!

YES, I am serious!
Her husband and she did it together, BUT Kathy is no stranger to home repair, hard work and creativity.
She designed it and chose all the stones herself.  And she pointed out to me that she is not thru grouting it.  (i guess you can tell if you look closely )
When I do a project, I just ask the Handyman to do it.
Not Kathy, she loves tools.  And grout.  And saws. (oh, that's a tool--see how I am?)
And projects.

To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken.  Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

Here are a few shots of our pizza book club night...
Totally Lit Book Club  (differs from the Lit Wits, but loved just as much!!)

Yay Kathy!  Great pizza and FANTASTIC outdoor kitchen/pizza oven!

Can  you tell what's grouted and what's not? 
She said she would be embarrassed to show people, since she is not finished, but..'s pretty beautiful just how it is.

Her husband Tim came out to help serve us.

and then they sent us home with vegetables!

oh yeah... we did discuss a book too.
The Husband's secret by  Liane Moriarty.
A great book club book.  
Great discussion!

I could read forever on her patio!