Saturday, February 26, 2011

Errands and More

Last night, the temperature dropped to a chilly zero.  That's the coldest it's been so far this winter.  I checked for eggs this morning, and there was one lonely cracked egg sitting in the box.  I hope to salvage it and eat it tonight.

We did random errands in Bend and tried a new restaurant, McKay Cottage for lunch.  FANTASTIC!  I can't wait to go back for breakfast.  Check out their menu!
Monte Cristo with strawberry jam

BLT with creamy tomato soup

Fried green maters on my BLT

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Brownie, cake, brownie, cake...

I made the most amazing brownies this week.  New recipe.  The thing is, the consistency is more like a cake.  However, it's the most delicious chocolate cake I've EVER had.  No frosting needed.  Just a light dusting of powdered sugar after it's cooled down.

Sorry, I don't have a picture to post.  There is only one piece left, and I'm trying to avoid it since I'm over my Weight Watcher points for this week.  Recipe is listed below.  Let me know what you think after you bake these off...I want to hear from you!

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Grease a 9x13 baking pan and set aside.
  3. Stir together flour, sugar baking soda and salt until combined.
  4. Combine butter, water and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan, stir constantly until boiling. Remove from heat.
  5. Add the cocoa mixture to the flour mixture, beating with an electric mixer until combined.
  6. Combine eggs, buttermilk and vanilla and beat for one minute.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreadin evenly.
  8. Bake brownies for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool pan on a wire rack.
  10. Wrap tightly and refrigerate your delicious brownies up to three days - if they last that long!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Self-Publishing my Book

Yesterday, Emil and I attended a wonderful workshop at Paulina Springs Books, here in Redmond.  Ginger Dehlinger, the presenter, was just delightful and a fantastic public speaker.  She recently self-published her novel, Brute Heart.  Please visit her blog at  I took seven pages of notes, and I am SO GLAD we attended the workshop.  She spoke about the process to self-publish a book, why to choose self-publishing versus an agent and publisher, developing a marketing plan, and the costs involved.  Very informative!  I also won a copy of her book as a door prize, and I have already started reading it. You can order the book from her blog above or download it to your iPad (Mother!).

Inspired by some of her information, I incurred my first expense today towards publishing my novel.  Are you ready??  Red pens and highlighters.  I will supply my two beta readers with these items plus a printed manuscript.  Hooray!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Back to the old days

Now, I sort of know what the old days were like with no electricity or water.  Sort of like camping, but not as much fun.  At least, there were no mosquitoes, spiders, scorpions or snakes sharing our quarters.

Late Monday night, eight inches of wet snow fell in Redmond.  Over a foot of snow in Bend from some sources.  I can tell you why it snowed:

1.  I wore capris and Chacos on Saturday.
2.  I bought a down jacket (my first ever) on sale at Eddie Bauer several weeks ago.  AND, I told Emil I should take it back because spring was here.

Yep.  Blame me.

Tuesday morning, I wake up extra early because it's my first day of work, and the power goes off when I get out of bed.  Note to self:  Do not get out of bed again.  Since we're on a well, the water is off too.  This, I did not know until Emil explained it to me.

While the power was out, I had a couple of items on my mind.  First, I was nervous all weekend about starting my new job, and I can't make it to work now.  Second, I made these slam dunk enchiladas, a new WW recipe.  I didn't want them going bad from no power, so I whisked them away to the chest freezer after a couple of hours.

So, we hunkered down, brought in firewood to keep the pipes from freezing on one side of the home, found our headlamps, and charged our cell phones in the van with an inverter.

I also learned you can flush a toilet without having running water.  It's a cool trick.  Invite me over, and I'll show you how.

Fast forward to last night (Wednesday) at 7 p.m.  Emil is at work, and desperation has set in.  I see all our neighbors have electricity, and we don't.  What is going on?  There must be some secret switch I need to flip.  Nope.  I chatted with Joseph and Margot. No switch, but I did learn about the breakers outside.

I gave up.  I laid on the couch in front of the fire.  Turned the headlamp off.  One kitty on my chest, and one kitty on my legs.  And, I started telling them all kinds of stories and random thoughts floating through my head.  They now know the synopsis of my book and who the main character ends up with.  They also know what I am cooking for meals when my in laws visit in March.  And, they know all about my nephew, Aaron, and his first boy/girl dance and how the turkey dinner served beforehand was a bit on the dry side.

Finally, at 9:14 p.m. last night, the power was restored.  I followed Emil's instructions to flip three breakers and try both hot/cold faucets.  My sanity was restored. 

Best part of my day today?  Going to work and coming home to bake!

Monday, February 14, 2011

The End and Valentine's Day

"The End."  I typed these two words yesterday afternoon, announced to Emil that I was done with my book, and we celebrated with an Oreo Blast from Sonic.  Double oreos, no whip cream.  I saved some of it in the freezer, so I wouldn't go over my WW points for the day.  It will be savored over the week.

Now the editing begins, and I'll finally have time to read the book "You can write a novel."  HA!  I've skimmed it, but now I can put it to good use as I look back over my work the next couple of weeks.

Today is Valentine's Day, and we have 29 mile an hour winds with a blue sky.  Newspaper boxes are blown over, and tumbleweed is flying high in the air on the highway.

No gifts or cards exchanged; instead we had a lovely lunch at The Victorian Cafe and spent quality time together before Emil headed off to work.  No pictures of food to post since we were too busy chowing down.  Emil had Eggs Benedict Verona (poached eggs, pastrami, capers, mustard hollandaise).  I chose the Pamplona Omelette (thinly sliced ribeye, jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, red pepper, mushroom and homemade salsa).  I think Spencer and Josh would like it...very hearty.  I'll enjoy the rest of it for dinner tonight.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Antiques and More

Today was a balmy 62 degrees with a warm wind and quite lovely!  Break out the Chacos (again) and capri pants!

We went back to visit some shops in Sisters, Oregon, which is 21 miles from our home.  Browsed some antique stores, the ultimate quilt store, and had a couple of appetizers at Black Butte Ranch.

Here are a few pictures from the day:

I love oreos.  Especially deep fried in tempura.

The smallest chicken I've seen!  How adorable!

Steel plumb-bob

Cute cheeseburger salt & pepper shakers

We also visited Beacham's Clock Company. The most impressive clock shop I've ever been in.  It made me think of my Dad, since he is a clock apprentice in Greenville, part-time.  Beacham's has a beautiful clock for $30,000, and it has so many fancy features.  Pictures don't really do it justice.

Clockmaker's lathe

Antique clockmaker's lathe

Tiny precision drill press

Custom handmade gravity escapement clock with a globe, all based on solar and lunar.

He makes the cases too!

Happy Hour at Black Butte Ranch:

Pulled pork sliders

Parmesan risotto

Delish food and worth the WW points!  We'll have to go back for dinner sometime.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Crazy for commas

I want to apologize for the people who will edit my book.  I love commas.  I love to use them often and usually in the wrong places.  How can I break this habit?  Even on these blog posts, I use commas everywhere.  Emil will read my blog after I've updated it and point out all the extra commas or missing commas (rarely).  Sometimes, I go back in and fix them.  Most times, I don't.

This comes to light as I am writing my book.  I don't know how to end it, and I'm ready to end it!  I keep adding commas and more plots as I try to wrap it up.  The girl gets the guy in the end.  Did I ruin it for you??  It's a love story.  It's a comedy.  It's all my bad dates in Alaska brought to life, along with my best friends, Josh and Tom.

Anyway, I better get back to it.  I'm listening to Eric Hutchinson on Pandora and eating dark chocolate kisses (three kisses for two WW points).

If you are pals with book editors or agents, please let me know.  The book will be ready to send out by April at the latest.  Thanks!

P.S.  I love exclamation points too, but I'll save that for another day.  My pals at UW can attest to that from my emails peppered with exclamation points.  Can I help being excited about work?

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Fish On

We checked out the Flyfishing Film Tour tonight at McMenamin's St. Francis School - St. Francis Theater.  First, I love the theater!  Loveseats spread out in an intimate atmosphere and super friendly staff.  We had pizza, cajun tator tots, and popcorn.  Perfect for viewing fish porn.  And, it was GOOD!  The one movie that highlighted fishing for permit was my favorite.  Emil's favorite was trout fishing in New Zealand.

The tour is coming to a town near you!  I already checked for my Anchorage pals... March 24th at Bear Tooth.  Woo Hoo!  Lots of free swag too!  We both took home t-shirts, Larabars, ballcaps, and magazines.

Here's the link to the tour:
And a link to McMenamin's:

Shout out to LoMo for giving us a heads up on McMenamin's.  She visited their pub in Portland awhile back. 

On our next visit, we'll check out the soaking pool!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Super Bowl Sweets & Treats

We hooked up the antenna, so now we have TV!  Just in time for the Super Bowl.  Lots of food...isn't that why we watch the game?

New recipe for Peanut Butter Cupcakes.  Had a little problem with the peanut butter.  Can you tell from the picture below?

Final cupcakes.  YUM!
Spinach, panko and mozzarella cheese stuffed mushrooms

Hazelnut-crusted brie

Teriyaki Chicken Wings

Katie's favorite Artichoke & Three Cheese Dip

Hitting the book hard this week to finish before sending it out to beta readers.  Thanks for all your kind support!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Dramatic Sky

Tonight's sunset was spectacular.  Two herds of deer were in the pasture at sunset, and they didn't flinch while I took their picture.  The second herd was too far away to capture with my Kodak.

Log beam at the top of the picture, oops!

The sky just a few minutes later....

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Sweet Treats

Emil is training for a June bike race, so I should probably cut down on baking desserts.  We'll see how that goes.  Earlier this week, I made an apple cranberry pie from some gala apples from Costco. 

Nice and tart.  Serve with vanilla ice cream, of course!

Tonight, I made popovers to go along with some leftover casserole.  It's my first go at making them, and I have several notes for the next round.  They are quite fun to look at!  A little too eggy for me, so I'll make them savory next time.

I walked by the porch this evening and peered out the glass door, and there was a small skunk by the door!  I tried to take his picture, but he didn't want to pose.  Maybe next time.