Saturday, October 30, 2010

There were seven mule deer hanging around our yard this evening.  Now, they are in the pasture and walking around in the dry pond.  Here are some pictures of the deer and some of our other wildlife:

The molting chicken

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Victorian Cafe

When we first arrived to Oregon, I searched on Google for an ultimate list of restaurants in Bend.  Stumbled upon a fantastic website, and I emailed the contact, Jon Abernathy for some restaurant suggestions.  We are slowly making our way through the list he generously provided us.  Zydeco for lunch was our first outing last month.  And you know we eat at Deschutes Brewery fairly often....

Today, we had lunch at The Victorian Cafe, one of Jon's top rated places.  They are known for their creative Eggs Benedict and serve breakfast all day.  It's a charming small place with limited parking, and it was crowded at 11 this morning.  I am going back as soon as possible.  Maybe take my old roomie, Brian when he comes to town on Monday afternoon. 

Wish I could remember the name of the Benedict that Emil ordered, but I can tell you all about it.  Poached eggs, brie cheese, granny smith apples and a sage hollandaise.  YUM!

Since seeing Josh's funny FB picture yesterday, I am on this Caribbean kick.  So, I ordered the Caribbean Benedict (half order).  Poached eggs, cuban ham, black beans, mango and cilantro.  It was fantastic.  I highly recommend that you request to eat there when you visit us.

Billy Ocean Benedict, I mean Caribbean Benedict

Hello brie cheese!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Blueberry Scones

In April, we stayed at the Seven Oaks B & B in Hood River.  The innkeepers served delicious pumpkin blueberry scones, so I made some this afternoon.  Tweaks:  Add in some extra pumpkin and a hearty handful of blueberries (frozen is great!).  Enjoy!

4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
3/4 cup cold butter, cut in small pieces
1 cup pureed pumpkin
6 tbsp milk
2 eggs
milk for brushing tops
sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 400. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices. Cut in butter using 2 knives or your fingers, until it resembles small peas.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin, and milk. Fold together with the dry ingredients until just mixed.

Pat dough into a 1 inch thick rectangle. Slice in half. Slice each half into 3 squares. Slice each square into a triangle.

Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with a little milk, and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake 14-16 minutes.

Monday, October 25, 2010

You have to hide behind a tree to tie one on.
- Chester at Sportsman Warehouse in Medford, as he was describing how quickly the trout react during a salmon fly hatch.

Going (to the) Rogue

Spent a nice afternoon in Medford with family yesterday and dropped off our visitors at the airport super early this morning to catch their ride back to Cincinnati.  Stopped at several fly shops to obtain the current fishing reports and headed for the Rogue River.  It rained as we fished two different locations.  No luck, but no current hatches, so it was really just casting practice.

My norm is to wear Chacos until the snow flies.  Well, it snowed all the way home to Redmond tonight.  Glad I had a pair of socks to keep me toasty in the car as Emil navigated through the mountain passes, about 6 inches of snow in some areas.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Driving south

We headed south very early this morning and were looking forward to seeing Crater Lake.  Unfortunately, it was snowing/sleeting when we arrived, and a gate blocked the north entrance.  Guess we'll have to see it in the spring.

Our next stop was the Rogue River Gorge.  Huge rushing water flowing through over the mossy rocks and lava tubes.  See the pictures below:

Had a little picnic in the hotel room since it was rainy!  Note the ironing board buffet line.  First class!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sahalie Falls and the Mackenzie River

Today, we explored Bend and had lunch at Riverbend Park with a beautiful view of the Deschutes River.  Then, we drove to Sisters, Oregon and checked out Sahalie Falls and the Mackenzie River. 

For those of you who play cribbage, please feel our pain.  Uncle Ron/I were trailing eight points, and Grandma/Emil counted out before Uncle Ron could count his 26 point hand.  Ouch.  Here is his hand for you curious folks... 4, 5, 5, 6, 6. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cincinnati Crew Arrives

My Grandma and Uncle flew in last night from Cincinnati.  They are now trying to adjust to the time difference.  We had a big breakfast and headed to Smith Rock State Park, a favorite place to show guests.  After a walk around the field this afternoon, we all settled on the deck to watch the sun set.

Apple Pie with Walnut Streusel for dessert!

Double the topping for the pie!  Enjoy.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Peanuttiest Blondies

I splurged on a new cookbook, Baking:  From my Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, and I've been trying out the recipes.  Peanuttiest Blondies are perfect served with vanilla ice cream.  Be careful not to overbake.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 cup peanut butter
5 T unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 t vanilla
1 cup coarsely chopped salted peanuts
6 oz coarsely chopped milk chocolate or semi sweet chips (mini or regular)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9 inch square baking pan with non stick spray

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

Cream the peanut butter and butter together until smooth. Add the white sugar and then the brown sugar and continue creaming. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each egg goes in. Beat in the vanilla extract. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the dry ingredients. Add the nuts and chocolate, finishing by folding by hand. Do not over stir. Scrape the dough into the prepared pan and smooth it out.

Bake the blondies for 40-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Steelhead Paradise

I just finished the book, Steelhead Paradise by John Fennelly.  Fantastic read.  Jens Laipenieks loaned me the book before we drove down.  Each night, I read a little bit and dreamt of catching big steelhead using dry flies.  Okay, maybe not every night.

Anyway, we finally went steelhead fishing at Mecca Flats near Madras.  Reid from Fin & Fire Fly Shop is an excellent source for fishing, flies and more, and he encouraged us to fish there today.  Gorgeous drive through canyons and farming community.

The lower river was swift, deep and had an even flow.  Not too many riffles to fish and no Tom Sawyers either.  Steelhead and trout?  On vacation I guess because we didn't hook into any.  Here are a couple of pics from the day:

That's right... fishing mid-October in a t-shirt!

Looking up from the Deschutes River

Two amazing spey casters.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

 Our visit with Teri and Troy is coming to a sad close.  We enjoy spending time with them so much!  They are dear friends, and it was nice to see familiar friendly faces.  Many summer weekends are spent at their home in Soldotna, so we were pleased to host them and show off Redmond and Bend.  Here are a few pics from the visit:

Most of you know that Tom Bunger and I play the "Who do you know" game every time we go out.  One point per person, no points for kiddos, no points for waiters/waitresses, and no extra points for celebrities.  Sorry, Josh!  Well, imagine my surprise when Emil got on the board last night with one point at Deschutes Brewery.  You know that hurt my ego.  Seriously.  Anyway, the food was fantastic as usual.  Here are some peeks of what you can eat when you visit:

The delicious pretzel

Taco Salad with local feta cheese!

Cajun Shrimp Macaroni & Cheese

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

All of us enjoyed a sunny day here in Central Oregon.  Troy and Emil fished Steelhead Falls with great success (2 rainbows and 1 brown trout apiece).  Teri and I walked around downtown Bend and dined out.  Dinner tonight was cornflake chicken (Erica, see edited recipe below!), broccoli with hot bacon dressing and blueberry muffins... very Southern.  I also whipped up a peach cobbler for dessert.  See pictures below.

Cornflake Chicken fryin' up! Next stop:  oven.

Peach Cobbler
Note to Erica on the cornflake chicken:  Dredge in cornstarch, dip in buttermilk, then the cornflakes.  Delish and super moist.  Enjoy!
Lemon Lover?  I whipped up a Lemon Icebox Pie for Teri and Troy, our first Alaska visitors.  Emil also grilled up Carne Asada, and it was very tender.  Here is the recipe for the pie, courtesy of Emeril!
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 (14-ounce) can condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 prepared graham cracker crust
Combine the cream cheese, milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla in a large bowl. Mix on medium speed until smooth. Pour into the pie crust. Refrigerate overnight.

Will be finished off tonight!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Happy Rainy Saturday!  It was a great day to stay in, bake and work on my book.  I have leftover buttermilk from the pumpkin muffins I made earlier this week, so I found a recipe on Epicurious for Raspberry Buttermilk Cake.  Course, I have no raspberries, so I used blueberries instead.  Really nice cake... light texture, not overly sweet and good flavor.

Heading into the oven

Ready to eat!
Here is the recipe link:

Two days ago, we explored the Crooked River below Bowman Dam.  It's 40 miles from our house and a beautiful drive through cattle country.  We both hooked into several rainbow trout, and I caught my first whitefish.  Emil also caught a crawfish.  YIKES!

I will pinch you with my claws!

Yes, I know it's small.

Friday, October 08, 2010

One of my favorite books is The River Why by David James Duncan.  So, I was pleased they were making it into a movie, much to the dismay of many avid fishers.  It was shown this afternoon at the Bend Film Festival.  Decent adaptation, but I certainly miss the descriptions and little stories within it.  After the film, we ate at Joolz, a Middle Eastern tapas restaurant.  Check out our little round of tapas below:

Falafel Bites

Simpson Ranch Elk Kafta Slider

Seared Halloumi Cheese Slider

Sticky Toffee Date Pudding

The food was delicious and very unique.  Presentation A+.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, we stopped in at Whole Foods.  It was my first time in the store, and I LOVE it.  Picked up some red quinoa.  It's one of my favorite foods, and I was turned onto it by a good friend, Sonja Amundsen.  Usually, I make a salad with it, but this time I tried a new recipe.  Quinoa Cakes with Eggplant-Tomato Ragu and Smoked Mozzarella.  I will admit the cakes didn't stay together very well... probably because I made them the size of huge pancakes, but the texture of the quinoa lightly fried was excellent (cut down on the oil when you fry them).  I made some changes to the ragu... used regular mozzarella, and omitted the red peppers and parsley.  Very tasty.

Here is the recipe I used from
Happy October and fall weather to everyone!  My new fav blog is  I found a great recipe on there for Chocolate Chip and Pumpkin Muffins.  Delish and super moist.  Next time, I'll add a handful of toasted walnuts.  I did add in extra chocolate chips and pumpkin.... you know I like to punt with recipes!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Shout out to all my Anchorage friends!  We received the first frost before you.  Can you believe it?  The weather during the day has dropped from the mid 80's to the 60's, so we slapped on a comforter last night and closed the windows.  This morning, there was frost on the grass, and a "I'm cold" whine from me.

We fished Folly Waters today, upstream of Steelhead Falls.  A gorgeous section of the Deschutes River with a 3/4 mile walk in.  No luck, but it was a beautiful day, and I wore a bright orange scarf to welcome the fall weather.  Here is a pic of some frost on a fence and the grass that we saw on the drive to fish:

Tomorrow night is irrigation time again, so we'll open our gate to water the fields.  YAY!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Some dramatic sunrises and sunsets from our front porch.