Thursday, June 27, 2013


The hops vine that's planted on the south side of the house is, for lack of a better word, infested with ladybugs.  And whatever they're called in the stages before they're ladybugs.  Are they larvae at that point?

If you stand and let your eyes wander, you can see all the different stages.  The crawling things with legs.  The point where they're stuck to a leaf with no legs.  The emerging of the ladybug.  And, of course, actual ladybugs.  It's kinda gross, really.  I'm not one of those people who wants ladybugs crawling on her.  A bug, is a bug, is a bug.  But I do like them in the garden, workin' their magic.

I'm gonna be unplugged all weekend.
I've been goin' like a crazy person all morning, in preparation for a lazy three days.
You can check out my, Pinterest Recipes I've Tried board, for a sneak peak at a few of the things we'll be munchin' on.
See ya'll next week.

Please see my sidebar for the places I party.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Apricot-Jalapeno Jam

Fairly recently, I stumbled upon a new-to-me food blog and discovered she's from my hometown.  Her photos are amazing and every single recipe she posts makes me want to run to the store for ingredients.  I'm pretty good about actually making the food I find online, but this was the first recipe of hers that I've tried.  So far.

Her post was for a whole roasted chicken that uses this jam.  I haven't made the chicken yet, but I did bust out the jam last week so that it would be ready to go.  She used a habanero, but the store I went to was out.  Boooo.  So I used a jalapeno pepper from our garden.  I'm pretty sure she intended for the heat to be stronger than what I ended up with, but I'm too impatient, so I used what I had.

To test out the fruits of my labor, I smeared some of the apricot goodness on a piece of toast with cream cheese.  Yeah, it doesn't suck at all.  Can't wait to make the chicken.

Here's the link to the recipes:

Here's everything comin' together at my house:

And ready to eat:

Thank you, Eva, for heaven in my mouth.

Update:  Over the weekend, we went to The Dad's brother's house, and I took some of the jam with crackers, salami, apples, pears, and Beecher's Flagship cheese as an appetizer.
The jam with the cheese was delicious.
Annnnnd, last night I made the chicken.  
I have pictures.
It was delicious.
While we were eating, The Dad kept saying, "This is good chicken.  This is really good chicken."
It's really good chicken.
We had it with mashed potatoes and broccoli.
The sauce was amazing.
He put in a request for more mashed potatoes tonight so we can eat more of the sauce.
And the really good chicken.
Go make it.
Here's the link one more time, in case you missed it.
Really Good Chicken

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

June In The Parking Strip

I just have a few pictures of the parking strip today.  Since my last post of this area, the penstemon has started blooming, so of course, I headed out with my camera.

I'm pretty much loving this scabiosa, so it had to make a post appearance as well.

See that area in the background of the second and third pics?
The long strip on the outside of the fence.
I'm realllllllly tempted to rip all that out and do a row of boxwood.
I've thought about it for years.
I'm tired of the way it looks.
Ragged and messy.
The rest of the yard is pretty much just a free for all.
I want neat and tidy out there.
I'm tempted.....

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Father's Day 2013

My sister and I sent the boys on an adventure this year for Father's Day.  We knew when we announced their gift, it could go one of two ways.  They'd either love us, or hate us.  They ended up being pretty stoked.

We sent them to City Scape, which is a scaled down version of The Amazing Race.  They started downtown with a pencil, some paper, ten dollars each in singles, and some bottled water.  My sister and I made them matching t-shirts with a logo saying PTA Presidents, which stands for Portland Tailgating Association.  (They came up with that ridiculousness during a football game get-together last fall.)  They were allowed to use public transportation only.  And smart phones were allowed for taking required pictures and looking up answers to clues and riddles, that would lead them to the next check point or destination where they'd have a task to complete.  They only sent me one of the required pictures from the excursion.  They had to have a photo on a modern day velocipede.  Aka, bicycle.  Not to be confused with the gay pride parade festivities going on the same day, although, they do make a pretty cute couple.  Gotta love Portland.

The whole thing was five hours.  And according to them, they ran the entire time.  Like, full-on, full speed, running.  There were 150 teams of two.  The buses and Max were filled to capacity any time they tried to catch one.  So they ran.  And ran.  And ran.  LOL

Anywho, while they were off gallivanting around, I hit up our neighborhood farmer's market and got some stuff for our meal. 

For snacks, we did berries and goat cheese with farmer's market honey.  Pea and mint hummus, also from the market (amazing) with snap peas and radishes.  Salami from the market with nectarines and gruyere.  And bread to pile everything on.  Needless to say, they were hungry when they finally stumbled in at 5:00.

The girls drank Moscato and I picked up some fun local beers for the boys.

Dinner was deeeelicious.
 My parents brought a salmon that they bought from the Indians in Cascade Locks that morning.  
Now that's a fresh fishy.  
With dinner, my mom also made a rice pilaf, I brought some garlic scapes, and my sister made a saute of sliced fresh red cabbage and Brussels sprouts (so good) and a salad.
One of these days I'll share the salmon recipe.

For dessert, the kids ate leftover Mario cupcakes.
Well, some of the kids just ate frosting.

 And for the adults, I made cheesecake in a jar.
In a jar.
Chocolate and plain.
With fresh picked Oregon strawberries and goat's milk caramel from the farmer's market.
Um, that stuff is so flippin' good, it's hard not to just eat it with a spoon.
And yes, I will be posting the cheesecake recipes.

As if it would last in the house that long.

And what do you do to end a day like that?
Turn Baby into a human turtle pinata, of course.

My niece had to get in on the action.

 I'm totally kidding.
No babies were hurt in the making of this post.
This is what I meant.

Do you think we've scarred her for life?

Nah, I hear the third child is pretty tough.

Happy Father's Day, again, to the best daddy ever.
And to the other one who'll do in a pinch.  :)

Oh yeah, and they came in first in a contest where The Dad had to put a wadded up, frozen solid, t-shirt on the BIL.
They won entry tickets to next year's race.
They've already started training.

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