Excellent Blog
2007 Inspiring Blog
Rockin' Girl Blogger

Katie Holmes to Tom Cruise: Show me the money, buddy

June 29th, 2012


On behalf of women everywhere: Katie, honey, we are so happy for you! ;)



reading this week: “The Beginning of After,” “Blue Willow,” “Sensible Kate” and “Kristin Lavransdatter,” aka my new Anna Karenina

June 13th, 2012

our weekend

June 11th, 2012

Alpine village

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

food! Sunday recipe club: Corn & Bean Quesadillas with Yum Sauce, plus Bean & Cheese Enchiladas

June 10th, 2012

bee with wild rose

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Honey is not vegan, fyi.

I saved this article from Thee O last summer. I like how writer Grant Butler has been covering veganism. He’s uncovered and shared some good recipes, including these. We made the sauce and quesadillas last week — they turned out great. I skipped the brownies recipe, cuz I made Mexican Wedding Cakes (with miniature chocolate chips stirred in) for a thing at school. (You can make those vegan, by the way, by subbing margarine for the butter.)

OK, where was I? Fresh corn isn’t available yet, so I subbed frozen. It was fine. We left out the sweetener, too. After the quesadillas were served up, we topped with avocado slices and sour cream. Also I used Monterey Jack cheese, not fake cheese. So technically, they weren’t vegan.

Vegan Policeman #2: [whips out notepad.] 12:47 on February 1st: You knowingly ingested gelato.
Todd Ingram: Gelato isn’t vegan?
Vegan Policeman #1: It’s milk and eggs, bitch.
Vegan Policeman #2: [still reading.] On April 4th, 7:30 pm, you partook of a plate of chicken parmesan.
[Envy gasps, then glares at Todd.]
Todd Ingram: [feeble.] Chicken isn’t vegan?

— from “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”

But they did come pretty close to tasting like our favorite sincronizadas from El Palenque and mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm indeed.

With the leftover filling, I made enchiladas. Super good, especially with the chili paste I made awhile back and kept in the freezer. (Recipe: My girlfriend sent home a big bag of dried red chiles with us last time we were in L.A. Here’s what I did with them: Remove stems and seeds; put in a big bowl and top with boiling water. Let steep 20 minutes or so? Then puree in blender or food processor, with as much water as you need. Freeze. To make sauce, blend up a can of whole tomatoes or a bowl full of fresh tomatoes. Add as much chili paste as you would like; blend again. I might have put a little cumin, salt, pepper and sugar in, too. Voila!)

(Here’s my enchilada recipe, but good luck finding it.)

Summer Succotash Quesadillas With Nacho Mmmm Sauce

Makes 4 to 6 servings. Dunk, dip or drizzle. Just don’t forget about the sauce.


1 sweet onion, sliced
1 ear fresh corn, kernels cut from cob
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup or agave syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup salsa, store-bought or homemade
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried cilantro or 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
8 whole-grain tortillas
1 cup shredded nondairy cheese (such as Daiya pepper-jack)


To make filling: Place a large skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray or lightly coated with oil over medium high heat. Add onion and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, until softened and starting to brown.

Add corn, bell pepper and zucchini to the pan with the onion, along with garlic, water, lemon juice, maple or agave syrup and cumin. Cook the succotash down for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To make sauce: In a food processor or blender combine salsa, water, almonds, garbanzo beans, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic, salt, chili powder, cumin and cilantro. Blend until smooth. Refrigerate until serving.

Place another large skillet sprayed with cooking spray or lightly coated with oil over medium high heat and add one tortilla. Top with 2 tablespoons cheese. Add about 1/3 cup of succotash filling. Top with another 2 tablespoons of cheese and another tortilla.

Cook for several minutes on both sides, until tortilla is crisp and cheese is melty.

Repeat with remaining tortillas, cheese and filling. Serve with Nacho Mmmm Sauce.

PER SERVING (based on 6): calories: 363 (28% from fat); protein: 19.4 grams; total fat: 11.1 grams; saturated fat: 1.8 grams; cholesterol: 0; sodium: 900 mg; carbohydrate: 51.6 grams; dietary fiber: 7.1 grams

From Sarah Matheny

ps Here’s Sarah’s blog.

QOTD: Plath

June 6th, 2012

I like people too much or not at all. Ive got to go down deep, to fall into people, to really know them. Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

summer to-do list

June 4th, 2012

This is from last year (June 20th, 2011) and oh yeah that’s right, we’re going for it again this summer!

— wm

i’m copying everyone else, cuz they’re coming up with such good ideas. I’ll cross them off as we do them.

* celebrate last day of school with dinner out, ice cream, a trip to Powell’s and staying up all night (grown-ups will sleep)

* eat fudgsicles

* swim!

* swim

* did I mention swimming?

* trip to Denver to see grandma ??? (maybe she will visit us here instead)

* trip to Iowa Central Oregon to see grandpa and grandma

* house party!

* eat the first fresh strawberry from the garden

* go for walks in the neighborhood and look for deer, hawks, snakes, frogs and… ???

* picnics at the park

* read on the chaise lounge

* drink iced tea and lemonade and iced tea with lemonade

* go to the drive-in

* farmers market!

* go see live theater outdoors. somewhere. where???

* visit the zoo

* go camping

* go to the beach

* finish proofreading my novel finish writing new novel I started (Young Adult)

* get it published

* start next book (cookbook) then start writing another book!

* celebrate my daughter’s birthday, my birthday and our wedding anniversary

yay to summer.

— wm

ps the comments are from last year. hi girls! i can’t figure out how to allow comments on this post again, so sorry.

happy Monday and have a delightful week!

June 4th, 2012

Bee on Rhody

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Sunday Book Review: “Larf,” “Get Outside: The Kids’ Guide to Fun in the Great Outdoors” and “Earth-Friendly Buildings, Bridges and More: The Eco-Journal of Corry LaPont”

June 3rd, 2012

I’ve come across some really fun and educational books lately. (No, that’s not a contradiction.)

“Larf” (written and illustrated by Ashley Spires, Kids Can Press, 2012, unpaged, $16.95) is one wild and furry guy. He is a Sasquatch, and he lives with his bunny, Eric. If I had to choose two imaginary friends, and those two were the only friends I could have, they would be Larf, and Schmidt from the show “New Girl.” Larf is living a pretty peaceful and solitary life, but that may be about to change…

The illustrations and story are hilarious; Larf is a vegetarian, which delighted the 10-year-old vegetarian at my house; and we just really enjoyed his story. This book is perfect for the 10-and-younger set.

Just in time for summer, we have Jane Drake and Ann Love’s book, “Get Outside: The Kids Guide to Fun in the Great Outdoors.” Illustrations were created by Heather Collins. (Kids Can Press, 2012, 176 pages, $16.95.) Yes, I know. People are still yammering on and on about how kids never have recess at school anymore. They never go outside. They’re glued to their video and television screens and on and on. I can speak to what I see around me, and what we saw in our old neighborhood: People riding bikes, skateboards and scooters. Kids running back and forth to each other’s houses. Practices, practices, practices, for soccer, basketball, swim meets, concerts and dance. Kids throwing balls and frisbees and hitting things with sticks. We’re all on the computer too much. In fact, I’m sitting in front of a computer right now. Earlier today, I sent a few text messages. I watched part of a movie. But I also gardened and hung out the laundry on the line outside. We could be doing better, as world citizens, but we could also be doing a lot worse.

That being said, it is a little frustrating as a parent when you tell your kids to go outside and play, and they are literally the only kids out there because everyone else is inside. (We’ve taken to texting our friends, Going to playground, meet us there ;)

I think this book will come in handy for us. Want help learning how to garden? Making a scarecrow? Playing Stone Toss games? It’s in there. How about bird feeding, kite flying, or marathon card games? The book is divided into the four seasons (Summer: Make A Night Sky Dome, Pebbles in the Sand; Fall: Wildlife Blind, Worm Farm, for example.) and is straightforward — easy for the kids to leaf through, and perfect for those days when you can’t come up with any new ideas.

And there’s no one outside to play with.

Another new release is “Earth-Friendly Buildings, Bridges and More: The Eco-Journal of Corry Lapont” (Kids Can Press, 2012, 64 pages, $18.95). This was not written by Corry Lapont, though — she apparently is an imaginary, architecture-crazy young girl, with the stereotypical pesky younger brother. This one is named Riley, aka “The Question Box,” aka “The Factoid Finder.” And yes, that is the first and last time you will see the word “factoid” written on these pages, because “factoid” is not a word. The book was written by Etta Kaner and illustrated by Stephen MacEachern. OK, I’m kind of a stickler for calling a book a “journal” or “the almost-true story of,” etc. but hello, Dear America and My Name is America series. Yeah.

Am I too fussy? Probably.

Moving right along… This is an amazing book. Skyscrapers, dams, domes; various kinds of bridges; building green; job descriptions for architects, urban planners, structural engineers and other builder-type people; and yes, Portland’s own Hawthorne Bridge gets a little picture and a shout-out. (Thanks, y’all.) It’s a very cool book. My son would probably call it “one of those books that grown-ups love and kids don’t” but you know what? I think both of my kids are going to be into this one. You can answer a whole lot of those “how did they build that?” questions with this as a guidebook. There is a glossary in the back, and lots of good art and fact boxes sprinkled throughout.

Enjoy, and here’s to summer reading.

— WM