Saturday, December 08, 2007

Caitlyn Time

A brief moment of Caitlyn being tired! What an adorable kid.... :)
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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Recipe: Spicy Tortellini Soup

It is so cold in my house I can hardly stand going to the kitchen to make food. Phil did some amazing kitchen tricks this week with some elk steaks, including a pomegranate reduction and a sweet, caramelized sauce with onions. Yum yum! This afternoon I needed a quick warm meal so I whipped this soup up. It was so good I had to pass it along...

Spicy Tortellini Soup
1 russet potato, diced
1/2 cup diced sweet onion
4 garlic cloves, chipped
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 tbs nutritional yeast flakes
3 tbs Braggs Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
2-3 tbs hot curry powder (3 tbs was almost too hot for me to eat)
2 cups (3 hand fulls?) dry tortellinis with cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

  • Heat broth up on medium high burner and add potatoes, onion, garlic, yeast flakes, Braggs, and hot curry powder. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to simmer and stir often for 20 minutes.
  • Add tortellinis and simmer for 10-15 more minutes.
  • Dish up and add salt and pepper to taste! Top with sour cream to cool off the curry powder if you accidentally add too much like I did.
This is a great winter soup that can have many other things added to it and is quick to make during finals week. Yippy!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Food Testing

So, Grandma challenged me to making dinner rolls for Thanksgiving. This is something I have never done. I've spent the past few days looking at recipes. Then, I spent a whole night reading the bread section of Harold Magee's On Food and Cooking, trying to understand the best method to getting the crusty outside and chewy inside. Trying to decide if I should go white or wheat, herbed or plain, twisted or round, oh my god there are so many choices! Here's what I tested today.... I think they're a hit! Whole wheat with oats on top. They're perfect.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Well, after having Grandma's old sewing maching for.... maybe five years? I finally learned how to use it this weekend! While I was spending a lot of time at home the past month, I started a quilting project. Cutting the pieces out is hard enough, but then came the sewing part... Now I'm all set up and Alexander has made himself at home as my helper. He definitely knows how to be in the way when I'm concentrating on knitting, crocheting, cooking or sewing! I wouldn't have it any other way.
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Monday, November 05, 2007

Birthday Weekend

What an awesome weekend! Here's a summary:
  • Thursday: Picked Phil up from Seattle and had dinner. Drove back to Portland and spent the night at Barry and Carol's new house in Laurelhurst. It's beautiful!
  • Friday: Had lunch with mom and grandma at Milo's City Cafe on Broadway. I had crab cakes and eggs with Bearnaise sauce. Phil ordered eggs benedict with smoked salmon (yum!) and mom and grandma shared a cobb salad about the size of the table. We then had an impromptu birthday celebration next to mom's car on the sidewalk, where I opened my presents :)
  • Friday night: Had beers with Desiree and Ian at Bridgeport pub and shared a plate of warm olives. When the folks next to us left for the evening with over half of their plate of warm olives left, we ate that too. Afterwards, Phil and I just made our reservation at 23Hoyt. We started with a plate of gnocchi and chanterelles, then had lamb kabobs with plum sauce, and halibut with grilled peppers for the main entrees. We enjoyed all of this with a yummy bottle of wine, which was hard to choose with about 100 on the list! Although I don't like cake, we went to Papa Haydens after dinner and Phil had an incredible piece of chocolate cake while I sipped on a raspberry desert wine.

  • Saturday: Phil and I transferred wine at Nuthatch with John Bacon then went hiking around Mary's Peak, hoping to find some chanterelles.
  • Sunday: We awoke at 6 a.m. since I was unaware of the time change and set the alarm (oops) and drove over to Pacific City. We had a beautiful morning at the coast with family and said goodbye to Granddad. It was a gorgeous day, warm and sunny and very calm at the tidepools. Afterwards, Phil and I again tried to find mushrooms, but were not successful until we pulled over on the side of the highway after I squealed about some giant looking fungus that was too crazy looking to not stop. Phil quickly noted that the ones I saw were pretty but not edible, and we went about 10 yards off the road before finding chantarelles! Yeaaaahhh! Carol cooked an awesome dinner and we sauteed the mushrooms to go with it. After dinner we went to see American Gangster, which will obviously be movie of the year. Wow.
What a busy weekend! It was great to see so many people and eat such amazing food. The perfect birthday after getting over pneumonia.

    Sunday, October 28, 2007

    Saturday Market

    Getting over the pneumonia now that the antibiotics have kicked in. On Saturday, I went to the market to and caught some beautiful fall colors.
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    Sunday, September 09, 2007

    Homemade bbq sauce... Mmmm....

    Kabobs with all sorts of YUMMY veggies from my garden and the market. Slathered in this crazzzzy bbq sauce I just made and ready to hit the barbecue tonight. Who's going to come eat with me????

    Another Harvest

    For a girl who hates to eat fresh tomatoes, I sure got lucky with my one plant that I had this year. Here is a shot of the third harvest. The first round went to a gallon of creamy tomato soup. I'll have to make marinara sauce for the winter (didn't get as much basil for pesto like I did last year) and of course, tons of salsa!!!

    Sunday, August 26, 2007

    She got what she asked for....

    So, my friend Julia wanted a BIG zucchini so she could use it for zucchini bread. I told her the smaller ones are best for cooking with and the big ones are great for baking. My garden is rather productive and ignoring the zucchini for an extra 72hours can be dangerous. So, I'm about to head out the door to leave this zucchini on the stoop of Julia's house as a surprise! Note: This zucchini is literally the size of my torso. Seriously.
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    Thursday, August 23, 2007

    Kitty Has Flavor

    Alex has come up with a new game of pinning down the kitten I'm fostering and attacking her with face licks. Sometimes when I see this it is just too cute and I had to grab a camera.

    In this video, Alex is teaching the kitten what it means to be a little sister... You get pummeled.

    Sunday, August 19, 2007


    I'm getting ready to make marinara sauce to freeze for the winter. This morning I picked about 3 lbs of tomatoes from my garden.

    This is love

    The mini-kitty is doing pretty well these days. I took her in to the Humane Society today for them to check her out, and I got to bring her back home again. She has a cold and a nasty worm thing going on. So Alex and I get to be her pseudo-family for a while longer.

    Friday, August 10, 2007

    Shameless plug....

    Here is a shameless plug for my cooking skills! I should have taken some preparation pictures, but I didn't think about it at the time, as I was making it up while I went.

    Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas:
    Chicken breast (maybe a lb?); washed and all fat removed
    Cottage cheese
    Sour cream
    Enchilada sauce
    Canned chipotle in adobo sauce (the secret ingredient!)
    Walla walla onion; thinly sliced
    Garlic; chopped finely
    Cheddar cheese
    Olive oil
    Salt and pepper
    Corn tortillas
    • Put 2-3tbls olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat and add chicken breast and canned chipotle with adobo sauce. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 20 min.
    • Meanwhile, cook garlic and onion in 1 tbls oil until onion is clear and limp.
    • In a bowl, mix together 1 part sour cream with 2 parts cottage cheese. Add some salt and pepper to taste. Then add the garlic and onion and mix well.
    • When chicken breast is thoroughly cooked and tender, take out of pan with a fork or slotted spoon and shred into long strips with two forks.
    • Remove one or two chipotles from the pan and dice into tiny pieces. (Skip this step if you're aren't into super hot stuff!) Toss with shredded chicken. Add 1 cup of the water from the frying pan to keep chicken moist.
    • Heat corn tortillas in a low oven, or a low setting on the stove.
    • Add 1 part cheesey sourcream mix to tortilla and 3 parts chicken.
    • Tightly roll and put into a casserole pan seam side down. Continue this method until something runs out or the pan is full.
    • Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese on top, smother with enchilada sauce and bake at 350 for about 20min or until bubbly on top and hot all the way through.

    Well. I hope this is good because I haven't tasted it yet when I wrote this!!!!!!!!! Ha!

    Thursday, August 09, 2007

    Long time, no post!

    Wow, so it appears as though I blog about once a month. Which is not enough! So I am now a foster mama kitty for the Humane Society. As many of you know, I like to go to the Benton County Humane Society on a fairly creepy regular basis. I had been thinking about applying to foster for them, but then a story came out in the paper about some kitties getting abandoned at the Linn County shelter. I know they tend to be way more full and out of the way, so I think less people go there. I signed up to foster for them and now have a little kitty who i've named Cheezburger. Or, sometimes I just call her Side of Cheez. Her name is inspired by my current favorite website: I Can Has Cheezburger?

    Sunday, July 01, 2007


    Today I took out all the peas and onions and replaced the space with basil. My garden is HUGE!

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    Tuesday, June 26, 2007

    Phil and I went hiking today in the Palo Alto foothills. It was hot and very pretty out. We were looking off from another vantage point and while noticing how smoggy the city is, we spotted some dark plumes of smoke rising from several ridges over. "Must be a grass fire...," I speculated. After we hiked around for another hour or so, we noticed the smoke had become denser and darker, and had also moved quite rapidly due to the winds that were picking up. We found another great viewpoint to watch from and had front row seats while two helicopters flew to a nearby body of water to suck up water and douse the head of the fire. The fire was moving so rapidly , we decided we better head out since it appeared to be heading straight for the road we were taking out. We just missed our route as a police car pulled up in front of us and started setting cones out, blocking the stop light we were at. Bummer. Six fire trucks went blaring past us. A nearby horse boarding facility (or so it looked, since there were about 30 horses there and so many cars that we were guessing each horse belonged to one car) was trying to shuffle all their horses from one side of the road to another while kids on ATVs herded up the animals in their fields. All of this right in the middle of Palo Alto! You could see the Stanford buildings in the background. What an afternoon of entertainment....

    Sunday, June 10, 2007


    Josh stopped by Portland on his way home from Alaska. Jake and I already had plans to celebrate his last day of classes. I meant to post this a couple weeks ago but it never got up. Anyway, Jake and I had to team up against Josh on every round of pool, and Josh STILL beat us!

    Thursday, May 03, 2007

    How Cool is This?

    Phil just showed me this website that puts your photos into this fake museum and turns it into an image. Wow. It looks so real!

    Wednesday, May 02, 2007

    New Job!

    Okay, so I'm always getting new jobs, but this time it doesn't mean I left another one to take it. I had my second interview at the Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence (CARDV) today and afterwards they took a few minutes to talk and then offered me the spot! Of course I said yes. I'll be working seven to twelve nights a month from 5:30p.m.-7:30a.m. as an on-call advocate. My friend, Melanie, worked there when she lived in Corvallis and I feel really lucky to have learned about so many resources and opportunities from her. I did a lot of their training this fall when I applied to be a volunteer, so I should hop right into training for this position specifically. It can be extremely emotionally draining work, but I have a lot of support from Phil and a great network of supportive friends and family. I plan on staying in the position at least through this summer. Meanwhile, things at the Plant Clinic are going great! We've started some new virulence testing on old plant shoots, and I'm cutting them in to 1cm sections and testing each for pathogenicity. It's a bit time consuming, but still lots of fun being a mad scientist.

    Wednesday, April 11, 2007


    I received the following e.mail today as I'm sure some of you reading did as well. I have to say, I am ashamed to have been included in the e.mail list that this was sent to and appalled that people would think it's something I would want to be included in. Read on to see what I'm talking about, or ignore my ranting and keep surfing...

    Quote from widely circulated e.mail sent to me this morning:

    Good for him!!!
    Surprised CBS let him get away with this even though he's right.

    Right on, Andy Rooney!
    Andy Rooney said on "60 Minutes" a few weeks back:

    I don't think being a minority makes you a victim of anything except numbers.

    The only things I can think of that are truly discriminatory are things like the United Negro College Fund, Jet Magazine, Black Entertainment Television, and Miss Black America.
    Try to have things like the United Caucasian College Fund, Cloud Magazine, White Entertainment Television, or Miss White America; and see what happens... Jesse Jackson will be knocking down your door.

    Guns do not make you a killer. I think killing makes you a killer. You can kill someone with a baseball bat or a car, but no one is trying to ban you from driving to the ball game.

    I believe they are called the Boy Scouts for a reason; that is why there are no girls allowed. Girls belong in the Girl Scouts!

    I think that if you feel homosexuality is wrong, it is not a phobia, it is an opinion.

    I have the right "NOT" to be tolerant of others because they are different, weird, or tick me off.

    When 70% of the people who get arrested are black, in ci ties where 70% of the population is black, that is not racial profiling; it is the Law of Probability.

    I believe that if you are selling me a milkshake, a pack of cigarettes, a newspaper or a hotel room, you must do it in English! As a matter of fact, if you want to be an American citizen, you should have to speak English!

    My father and grandfather didn't die in vain so you can leave the countries you were born in to come over and disrespect ours.

    I think the police should have every right to shoot your sorry ass if you threaten them after they tell you to stop. If you can't understand the word "freeze" or "stop" in English, see the above lines.

    I don't think just because you were not born in this country, you are qualified for an y special loan programs, government sponsored bank loans or tax breaks, etc., so you can open a hotel, coffee shop, trinket store, or any other business.

    We did not go to the aid of certain foreign countries and risk our lives in wars to defend their freedoms, so that decades later they could come over here and tell us our constitution is a living document; and open to their interpretations.

    I don't hate the rich I don't pity the poor.

    I know pro wrestling is fake, but so are movies and television.
    That doesn't stop you from watching them.

    I think Bill Gates has every right to keep every penny he made and continue to make more. If it ticks you off, go and invent the next operating system that's better, and put your name on the building.

    It doesn't take a whole village to raise a child right, but it does take a parent to stand up to the kid; and smack their little behinds when necessary, and say "NO!"

    I think tattoos and piercing are fine if you want them, but please don't pretend they are a political statement. And, please, stay home until that new lip ring heals. I don't want to look at your ugly infected mouth as you serve me French fries!

    I am sick of "Political Correctness." I know a lot of black people, and not a single one of them was born in Africa; so how can they be "African-Americans"? Besides, Africa is a continent. I don't go around saying I am a European-American because my great, great, great, great , great, great grandfather was from Europe. I am proud to be from America and nowhere else.

    And if you don't like my point of view, tough...


    I was asked to send this on if I agree or delete if I don't. It is said that 86% of Americans believe in God. Therefore I have a very hard time understanding why there is such a problem in having "In God We Trust" on our money and having "God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. Why don't we just tell the 14% to Shut Up, lay down and BE QUIET!!!

    If you agree, pass this on, if not delete...

    Do you feel angry yet? I do.

    Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    Spring Seeds!

    Sprouting chives! I started a couple of herb boxes in my house about two weeks ago. I have three types of basil going, chives, cilantro, parsley, and dill. I think these are dill sprouts? I can't really remember where I put everything... Outside I have tons of lettuce (i'll probably have to thin some of it out) and rainbow chard. My mailman keeps stepping on the beds however, because he doesn't see the new tiny little green babies coming up yet, I guess. Tomorrow morning before he comes, I'm going to put huge stakes up with twine across and a sign saying, "Mailman, please don't step here!" Now if only I could get him to stop crumpling my New Yorker up....
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    Alex Contact Sheet

    twirl a squirrel

    This one is for grandad! I thought everyone would enjoy however.

    Monday, March 12, 2007

    Phil was up in Portland this weekend for a conference and brought his new stickers with him. I'm sportin' one on my bike now!
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    Thursday, March 08, 2007

    Meow kitty! This is the welcome I've been getting lately when I come home... Alex is teaching himself how to knit. It'd be easier if he had thumbs.

    After recovering from being really really icky sick with the flu for over a week I'm just wrapping up the term. Just one more week and finals, then spring will be here! I'm taking anatomy and physiology next term, it's supposed to be one of the hardest series for health and science majors here. Other than that, I'm looking forward to a full load of upper division policy and planning public health classes. More on that later!

    Wednesday, February 21, 2007

    Has spring sprung?

    It's raining a lot, then doing the typical Oregon thing and sunshining on us like crazy for 20 minutes at a time. The dogwood trees are starting to bloom and I feel spring coming! I recently went to visit Phil and it is much warmer where he is, even though the Bay is known for being mild and cloudy. He has a wonderful backyard know at his home in Palo Alto, with several raised beds. We spent an afternoon at a nursery picking out some seeds to start in the house. I hope they all survive!