Recipes without Pictures

Sorry no gorgeous food shots to include with this post; just a few basic recipe ideas, per your requests. :)

Roasted Asparagus with Onion

Chop two sweet onions and spread on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Add some garlic and sprinkle with Kosher salt.

Roast in oven 20 minutes.

I was baking chicken at the time so the temp was lower than I would normally favor for roasted veggies. 400 or 425 works best.

After the onions have softened a bit (turn over with fork), add fresh asparagus (woody ends snapped off). Drizzle (or spritz) with olive oil, sprinkle salt and fresh Rosemary. Bake for another 10 minutes. When asparagus is done to desired softness (I like mine crisp), take out and garnish with fresh Parmesan cheese.

I love roasted onions so I took the opportunity to cook them along with the asparagus. You’ll have to experiment with the baking time. I was working on pulling everything together for dinner and didn’t time the veggies very precisely. Okay, I barely timed them at all so I am not responsible for your under or over cooked veggies.

Roast at your own risk.

let's play in the sand

I lied. I couldn’t really post a blog without a few pictures. Sarah and David spent hours in the sand box this afternoon.

Tuscan Chicken Breasts

This is a super easy recipe, I can hardly take any credit for it. I buy the frozen chicken breasts at Costco. I find they consistently give me tender results. I marinated the chicken in Trader Joe’s Tuscan Italian salad dressing over night. I only had a little bit of dressing left so I added some balsamic vinegar and olive oil to the jar and poured it over the chicken.

Bake chicken in oven at 375. Normally this would take 30 to 40 minutes. I HATE dry, overcooked chicken breasts, so I tend to check my chicken as it is cooking. I took the pan out, cut the chicken into smaller pieces (best way to see how it is cooking) and then returned it to the oven. I’ve found that the secret to tender, juicy chicken breasts is in the length of cooking time. You can NOT let it cook too long.

This dinner had several dishes that needed the oven so I ended up pulling the chicken out and finishing it (only 2 or 3 minutes) in the microwave. After it is finished baking, sprinkle with fresh Parmesan.


Trader Joe’s Tuscan Italian Dressing with Balsamic Vinegar – try it! It’s one of Tim’s favorites.

Let's have dinner!

Of course, my lovely Mesa Manna recipe has already been fully documented (complete with lots of pictures) here on this post.

Next time I feature a recipe, I simply must share our very favorite blender oatmeal pancakes. They are delicious AND healthy.

Project 366 – Day 54

Share or follow

Related posts:

Interview Time

This evening we were delighted to have a friend join us for dinner.

Thankfully there was FULL journalist coverage.

How many reporters and photographers does it take to qualify as The Paparazzi?

daniel interviews carl

Daniel is taking a writing class at our homeschool co-op. This week’s assignment is to interview someone and begin writing a biographical essay. Go Dan!

Of course, if Tim were posting this blog he would include blow by blow descriptions of the game we played after our yummy dinner and bore you with details of his stunning victory.

He’s not here, however, so no one needs to know that I came in LAST place in Ticket to Ride.

Last Place! Did I just say that aloud?

daniel takes notes

Did I mention our meal was delicious? We had Tuscan marinated chicken breasts, sweet potatoes, baked potatoes, steamed veggies, roasted asparagus with garlic and sweet onions, homemade rolls, sliced oranges, and a huge salad. Surely that’s worth something in the grand scheme of things.

Yes sir, it’s a good thing I’m writing this and not Tim. He tends to brag. He’s even occasionally been known to swagger and bluster. It’s not pretty people.

Especially not from last place.

Some Loser in WA

Project 366 – Day 53

Share or follow

Related posts:

I Hate Saying Goodbye

Not exactly true. I don’t mind bidding farewell to dreary, cold winters, obnoxious drivers, and bad hair days.

sarah swims

david, grandad and sarah

Sarah has decided she loves the water. Nothing like a pair of purple goggles to brighten up pool time.

But saying good bye to beloved family members, who live TOO FAR AWAY, is quite at the bottom of my list.

group hug!
Who needs a hug? Me!

We had a wonderful visit with my parents. It was much too short, as it always is. We got caught up on all sorts of conversations and even fit in a movie (amidst the swimming).

It seems life has already jumped back into its hectic pace. We have company coming for dinner Friday night, a birthday party Rachel is attending on Saturday and another party for David and Daniel on Sunday. Throw in a few errands for good measure and you have a full weekend.

don't take my picture!
Joshua can’t bear to think about the good byes.

Never a dull moment.

Plenty of messy ones but never dull.

I think I would actually welcome dull.

Surely it comes with a hot cup of tea and a nice nap.

tea and a nap?

We know how to fill up a hotel lobby. Don’t run us out of town!

Thank you for the lovely visit, Mom and Dad!! Thank you for coming with us to co-op, traveling out to the Duckabush, meeting our friends, treating us to dinner (s) out, and working on many home projects.

We miss you already!!


Share or follow

Related posts:

Sunshine in Washington

Winters in Washington State can seem rather long. I know, we sound very whiny to people with ‘real’ winters, like in Minnesota. “Can you even call it winter, when it rarely drops below freezing,” I imagine they would jeer. Fortunately, one of our kindliest and most supportive blog readers is in Minnesota, and she never mocks our winters.

This winter has been a bit on the cloudy and wet side, and it starts to get people down. I’ve noticed a general malaise and discouragement among many of my peers. As they say, “Waning windy western Washington winters weary wet workers” (well, OK, only Elmer Fudd actually says that). Happily, God seems to provide a respite in the latter half of February, such that we often get a couple of days of warmth and sunshine before the rains of March set in.

This afternoon I was working upstairs, and I noticed Mount Rainier from my bedroom window, peeking from behind a stand of tall Douglas Fir trees. I ran downstairs. “Kids, let’s go find us a Mountain,” I shouted.

Flying high
While we were out, I noticed a plane about to hit the moon. As you see, it was a near thing.

Many visitors to our fine state deny the existence of Mount Rainier, never having actually seen it during their visit. “It’s just a big hoax,” they assert. “Kind of sad, really, to make up a mountain so that people will think they have some scenery in their swampy, pathetic state,” they sneer. (Truth be told, we’re fine with that — it is crowded enough here already — we don’t need a lot of Californians moving north.)

Hoax Mountain
Too bad this isn’t the view from my window …

Still, when the weather is clear, we rush out to take pictures to send to our friends and relatives. When we first moved here, Kathy’s folks visited us for a nine-day stretch. It rained the whole time, and they never saw the mountain at all.

Daniel, David and I found a good spot where we could see the mountain pretty clearly, and I tried out Kathy’s new tripod, hoping to get a decent picture or two. The light was a bit hazy — I probably should have gone out earlier in the day for a better picture.

Boys on a pedestal
We try not to put our children on a pedestal …

With a glorious, warm, sunshine-y day like that, we felt we just had to celebrate. What luck that the kids all had gift certificates from Baskin Robbins!

Hooray for Baskin Robbins!
Daniel was determined to try all 31 flavors, but his survey was cut short by impatient parents.

Project 366, Day 39

Another fine blog brought to you by Tim “Rakin’ in the Chips”, Blogger for Hire.

Share or follow

Related posts:

Blogging for Hire

One of the burning questions (in some circles) is whether to accept compensation for blogging. Some say it is reasonable to be paid for writing, and (especially if you are open about it) claim that it does no harm. Others feel that being remunerated for blogging (especially posts which recommend or review products) can create a conflict of interest and may compromise the integrity of a blog.

For many, this is a moot issue: nobody will pay them for blogging, so it doesn’t really matter which side they choose. Until recently, I fell squarely into this category … but no longer. In Kathy’s quest for sleep, her desperation has reached new levels, and she is now offering payment in poker chips, which I can redeem for additional computer-game playing time.

Here’s the pay scale:

  • a basic, no frills blog = a 1/2 hour chip
  • a good post = a 1 hour chip
  • a really top-notch, world-class entry = a 2 hour chip

“But I don’t really have anything to say,” I demurred.

“Look, do you want the chip or not?” Kathy challenged.

Truth be told, I’ve burned through nearly the whole week’s poker chip allotment, and there are two more days before my supply is renewed … I need the chip. It is in this way that even the loftiest ethical standards can be eroded. The problem is, there really are two things I’d like to write about, and I don’t have anything particularly witty to say about either. I guess I’ll just pick one, knowing I’m doomed to a half-hour chip.

The Best Piano Recital, Ever

Today we hosted a piano recital at our home, with Rachel, Daniel and David performing to a small audience entirely comprised of family members. As was confirmed by several of the spectactors, “It was the best recital, ever.” I’m sure it had very little to do with the fact that it was also one of the very shortest recitals, ever.

Recital Programme
Kathy whipped out a programme, to add a touch of class.

Rachel has been taking piano lessons from Mrs. Nancy, as arranged by my Mom. In many ways, the whole thing has been very painless for us — my parents pay for the lessons, and they even arranged for a piano to be delivered to our home (since we left ours in the Duckabush). Rachel has made good progress, and we’re very proud of her, although she speaks in considerable self-deprecation and sometimes dreads her lessons (especially when she hasn’t practiced).

Doting Grandad
Having Mamie and Grandad here to witness the recital was a great treat.

Recently, there has been a new development: David became interested in the piano. Rachel would call David to sit by her when it was time for her to practice, and he started to pick out simple songs on the piano. The next thing we knew, he had somehow wheedled lessons out of Mrs. Nancy (and Grandma) and was playing from his own little songbooks.

A study in concentration
David takes his role of piano student very seriously.

Not to be left out, Daniel began to attempt songs from David’s book, apparently belonging to the self-taught school of piano mastery. And so we had three performers in today’s recital. Each of the three made selections from among their favorites, and (after a short introduction), played away happily, basking in the adulation of all four of their grandparents.

Not to be outdone ...
Daniel couldn’t let his little brother surpass him in musical achievement …

Cream Puff Connoisseurs
A Cream Puff improves any recital, in my opinion.

My Mom brought her famous chocolate-drizzled cream puffs, which contributed substantially to the success of the event. She also brought each of the budding musicians a gift, which brightened their day considerably. Indeed, each of the kids wanted to play their selections a second time, once they got over their initial nervousness.

Canned Raccoon
Rachel received the coveted ‘canned raccoon’, a prize she has sought for several years.

We clapped and took pictures and munched happily on cream puffs, swapping stories of recitals we had attended. My sister Posie figured prominently in some of these tales, to the great interest and amusement of the children. I managed to play the one song I know on the piano, although Mom put a bag over my head in the middle of the piece, which (I felt) somewhat lessened the dignity of the moment.

Post Recital Euphoria
Rachel was quite glad to be done with the whole ‘ordeal’.

Feel free to comment on how the subtleties of wit and phraseology of this post combine to make it worthy of a full hour chip.

Project 366, Day 38

Share or follow

Related posts: