Excellent Blog
2007 Inspiring Blog
Rockin' Girl Blogger

Tuesday round-up and Recipe Club

December 13th, 2011

Deer angel

(Photo by Steve Rawley.) (Everyone in our neighborhood went crazy with the big ornaments on their outdoor trees and shrubbery this year. Also those oversized, fake wrapped “presents.” Whoa. We put up a few lights. They looked nice. The end.)

* You ever send a note to a friend, then realize it was their work e-mail and pray like heck that it didn’t go into a general delivery mailbox? Because it was personal?

* Uh, no. That never ever happens. Whoops. (Edited to say: It all turned out okey-dokey. Thank the e-mail gods.)

* I usually don’t get all that into the holidays. I want to, but I hold back. Or I give up. They can be a let-down, and also expensive. A costly bummer, some years. Also, the kids and I often have differing opinions about how to make a holiday “successful.” I don’t want to give away any family secrets or anything, but their version? Much more expensive than mine.

* This year I kinda have the holiday spirit. Weird, right? Nice and weird. Did a little shopping yesterday, we’re figuring out menus for Christmas Eve and Day, and I’d like to do something special for New Year’s Eve, too.

* My girlfriend N signed me up for a recipe chain-mail. I’m not crazy about chain-mails, but you know I love recipes! I’ve done them in the past, without much luck. But this time? Score. (ps I’m sending around the Chocolate Volcano Cake for my recipe.) I’ll share them with the Internets, so you can play along at home:

Cucumber Salad

1 cucumber
2 or 3 green onions
sweetener (I use Splenda) or sugar

1st: put 2 tbsp mayo in a mixing bowl, add 1 or 2 tsp. of Splenda or sugar and mix up thoroughly
2nd: add about a tsp vinegar and blend well, then add another tsp of vinegar and again blend
3rd: slice cucumber very thinly and mix into sauce
4th: clean and cut 2 or 3 green onions (only just into the green part) add to the cucumbers and
refrigerate for an hour or so.

You now have a delicious, refreshing salad all ready to enjoy!

Fish Tacos and Cilantro Coleslaw

25 min | 5 min prep
4 tacos

* 4 frozen battered fish fillets
* 4 8-inch flour tortillas
* 1/4-1/3 head green cabbage
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
* 1 green onion, sliced or minced
* 1 teaspoon chopped jalapeno or serrano chili , to taste
* 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
* 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
* 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed or 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
* salt and pepper, to taste

1. Bake fish fillets according to package directions.
2. Wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil and place them in the oven to heat.
3. Or heat them at the last minute in a microwave in plastic wrap.
4. Shred or chop the cabbage.
5. In a medium bowl, combine the cabbage with all the remaining ingredients.
6. Cut each hot fish fillet into 6-8 pieces, then pile into a hot tortilla with lots of slaw.

and… last but certainly not least:

Mackinaw Island Fudge

All the way from Michigan! “It’s a good one,” according to the nice woman who e-ed this to me.

4 cups of sugar, 1 cup milk (whole works best), 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 cup butter, 1 & 1/2 cup mini marshmallows, 12 oz. chocolate stars candy (I use Brachs), 12 oz. chocolate chips, 12 oz unsweetened chocolate, 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Mix sugar, milk, and vanilla in a pan. Add butter and bring mixture to a boil. Let boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add marshmallows. Then add chocolate a little at a time, stirring constantly so you get a smooth batter… add nuts if you wish… line a 9×13 glass pan with parchment paper for easy lifting… pour mixture onto paper… chill thoroughly…. cut into whatever size pieces you wish and enjoy!

And now, for the free advertising for Kroger. (Ralph’s, Fred Meyer, King Soopers, etc.) (Please see disclaimer.) They’ve re-worked their Private Selection line, and sent us coupons for free samples. It’s pretty good. We tried the Pizza Margherita. It was a little watery because they used cherry tomatoes, but other than that, good, with pesto and mozzarella balls. Crust was crispy, thin and tasty. If they work on the recipe a little more, they’ll nail it. We also gobbled up the appetizers — a spinach pesto puff, mushroom phyllo triangle and feta and sun-dried tomato phyllo roll. These were from the “Mediterranean-Inspired” hors d’oeuvres collection. OK, I like salty snacks, and these had just the right amount of flavor, salt, crunch and grease. They have a whole new line of desserts, too — blueberry peach panna cotta, pineapple upside down cake… yum.

Bon appetit!

— wm

Year of the Dragon, my year

December 12th, 2011


(Photo by Steve Rawley.)

2012, coming up!

some days are a little much, plus hey did i mention that My Book is in print?

December 7th, 2011

A stream runs through it

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

“That’s Not It” has been available on Kindle since October, and now you can purchase a genuine printed copy. Alternately, you can buy it on Amazon.

Please buy a copy, or multiple ones if you’re in a gift-giving mood, if it is in the budget. Send me an e-mail if you’d like a free bookmark to go with it. Include your address and I’ll mail it to you. Thanks for your support of this crazy-ass endeavor of mine. (PS I will be updating my author site soon, so bookmark it if you are so inclined.)

So. I don’t know if you’re like me, but I know I am. Aren’t some days just a little too frickin’ much? I was getting ready to start the holiday baking (casseroles, cookies, breads, and assorted everything). Thought I would start by cleaning the oven. Bad call. I broke the oven. (Let this be a lesson to you.) Now we’re in the middle of picking out a new one, and will be converting from electric to gas, only the ovens (ovens!!! finally getting the convection oven I’ve wanted my entire life) will be electric, and ps they don’t make the right kind of gas stove to fit into the drop-in slot the current stove is in and hello, carpenter, bye-bye, countertop and cabinet, we need more wiggle room.

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know how Steve and I are: Why clean the bathroom when you can grow mushrooms in there instead? We do it nice cuz we do it frickin’ complicated. (That particular remodel took the contractors four fun-filled months.)

Today I need to:

* make cooky dough and freeze it, in anticipation of someday having a stove again
* work on my new book (ideas/dialogue that need to be written down before they go away)
* finish Granny’s memoir… still inputting recipes and kinda not into it
* clean the house
* work out
* update calendar
* help the kids with homework
* fix dinner (waffles? soup in the microwave? again? bake bread in breadmaker?)
* work on publicity for “That’s Not It” — reading? book signing? order copies to sell, finish press release, update author site, and the list goes on…
* avoid Facebook/Twitter/politics/the mayor of Portland
* figure out what to get Steve, the kids, and the rest of our family for Christmas
* finish mailing out holiday cards
* oh, right. buy more holiday cards

Honestly, all I want to do is climb into a hot bath and stay there ’til January. Please advise, dear readers: What do you do to rein in the schedule?



edited on Thursday to say: I baked cinnamon swirl bread in the breadmaker — delicious with butter, and not as sweet as a cinnamon roll. (I can’t find the recipe online — it was from the cookbook that came with the machine. But it baked in the breadmaker — no turn out, extra rising, etc.)

I’m baking whole wheat bread right now. I mixed up and froze dough for Mexican Wedding Cakes and chocolate chip cookies (semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips — my secret ingredients) and Spritz are next. Tonight? Burritos in the microwave (not to be confused with microwave burritos, although we have some of those in the freezer ;) and… salad. Last night was waffles. Good thing I mainly survive on protein shakes (blender! also not broken!) and soup. The kids seem to be fine with pre-made mac and cheese, cereal, toast, peanut butter sandwiches, granola bars and… more waffles? Damn. Missing the oven. We can always send out for pizza. It’s not like we don’t do that once a week, anyway.

sunny day

December 5th, 2011

Christmas raspberry

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

we have raspberries in the yard that are trying to ripen. i love December in Oregon.

— wm

QOTD: on big money and big crime

December 3rd, 2011

“Let’s begin with a new segment. We base it on the fact that no one has yet been held accountable for the 2008 financial crisis. It’s a new segment we call: ‘How the F#@k Is It That Martha Stewart Went to Jail?'” — Jon Stewart, “The Daily Show” 12/1/11

« Previous Page