Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Birthday Celebration

I dread my birthday every year for a couple of reasons.  Not because I'm getting older.  It's just stressful for me.  So this year, I planned a super low-key birthday, and it went very well.

We went to lunch in Sisters.  The Depot was closed (boo!), so we ended up at Three Creeks Brewery.  A philly sammy (no peppers) for me, and Emil had a bacon chicken club.  We sat outside and enjoyed the sunny day and 85 degree weather.  After a quick trip to the ReStore and a mandatory stop at Sisters Bakery, we took the scenic way home off Holmes Road.  What a gorgeous drive!

After running a few errands, we enjoyed a quiet dinner at home - Teriyaki Turkey Burgers, fruit, and a peach buckle with vanilla ice cream.  Emil loves the fruit part, and I love the crust.

Teriyaki Turkey Burgers - makes six burgers

1 pound ground turkey 85/15
Generous handful of plain bread crumbs
Couple of squirts of teriyaki sauce
Pineapple rings and juice
Sliced cheese - we like Muenster

Combine the turkey, bread crumbs, sauce, little bit of juice (couple of tablespoons), and egg.  Pat into burgers...mixture will be wet.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil in a pan and fry the burgers until lightly browned.  They will not be cooked all the way through.

Place on a a pan (covered with foil for easy clean up), toss on a pineapple ring, and bake at 350 for 7-8 minutes.  Place cheese on burger when done and let melt in the oven for about 45 seconds.  Serve on buttery toasted Crustini buns with a dill pickle on the side.  YUM!!! 

Freeze the remaining pineapple and juice for another round of burgers.

This is our current favorite recipe these days.  So good and juicy.  I created this recipe to served on Hawaiian Rolls, but we never got around to it...they're just so good on Crustini buns.  Enjoy!

Thanks to everyone who called, texted, emailed, or Facebook'd me!  I appreciate the messages and generous gifts!!

P.S.  If you type your email in to my blog at the top, you will receive an email when I update the blog.  Then you don't need to check often or remember the blog address.  Very handy!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Live in Concert

My co-worker came by our gig at the retirement home and recorded a few songs.  Enjoy!

Octopus' Garden

Harvest Moon

Peaceful Easy Feeling

Next up:  Playing at a festival we're putting on in July.  Check it out!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

First Gig

Emil and I attend a weekly ukulele jam session in Bend, and they often have gigs booked.  Since we're beginners and hardly know any strum patterns, we've declined to play at any of them.  However, we did play on Monday at Pilot Butte Rehabilitation Center (nursing home).  I have a soft spot for older folks...I volunteered for several years during high school at a hospital in their Physical Therapy Department.  The hospital was just for older folks, many with broken hips, who had to get up and moving right after surgery.

It was a BLAST!  Our 16 song set list included Poncho and Lefty, Tiny Bubbles, My Little Grass Shack, Runaround Sue, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Harvest Moon and many more.  We were careful not to play You Ain't Going Nowhere or Dead Flowers.

Here are a few pics from the gig.  My co-worker, Gwenn, came by and recorded a few songs.  We're trying to figure out how to share them too.  Will keep you posted, as I'm sure you want to hear us in action.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Chaco Time

It's sad to say goodbye to my Chaco sandals after 12 years.  They've survived two summers in Denali, one summer in Talkeetna, a trip across the United States, and countless hikes.  They were worn from break up season to the first snowfall for eight years in Alaska.  I've replaced the straps and the soles over the years.  Can you tell I love my Chacos? 

Emil will say one of the saddest days in my life was when a strap broke at Eklutna Lake.  Tears were shed.

I saved up money since last fall, cashed in my REI dividend, and used the coupon for a brand new spankin' pair.

Hooray!  I also invested in a new pair of flip flops for our trip to Hilton Head Island in July.  They are a must for the beach.  Looking forward to our trip to celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary.  Flying kites, chasing nephews and nieces down the beach, boogie boarding, and eating Southern food.


Friday, April 06, 2012

Easter Prep

Well, I've survived Lent.  No desserts and no popcorn.  I extended the "no desserts" to include breakfast breads too.  Although, I did have several thoughtful discussions with random people on the topic of doughnuts.  Are they a dessert?  Most people said it really depended on the time of day.  Interesting.

When I stopped in at Backporch Roasters, they had these lovely fig bars (from Baked Bakery) in a jar right next to the cash register.  The barista said the bars are really a snack, not a dessert.  Hmmmm....anything from Baked is fantastic.  I may have to go back next week.

Am I looking forward to a double helping of dessert on Sunday with a side of popcorn?  Kind of.  I'm making a Cinnamon Chocolate Cake, recipe courtesy of the Penzey's Spices magazine.  I made it a few weeks ago for our company, and everyone said it was a keeper.  More importantly, I'm making Sweet Potato Casserole for Easter dinner.  It's sweet, delicious, and almost like a dessert. The recipe is from my Mama!  Southern gals know about casseroles.

Sweet Potato Casserole
3 c. cooked, mashed sweet taters
3/4 c. sugar - less if desired
2 eggs, beaten
2 t. vanilla
1/2 c. milk
1/2 t. salt
1/2 stick butter

Add all the ingredients to the taters and place in a greased casserole dish. 

1 c. brown sugar - less if desired
1/2 c. melter butter
1/3 c. flour
1 c. chopped pecans

Combine topping ingredients.  Sprinkle on top of the casserole.  Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

Notes:  Use less sugar if you're sensitive to sugary stuff.  You can cheat and use canned sweet taters if you're in a pinch.

Since we're going to Hilton Head Island in July to celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary, I'm toying with the idea of not eating desserts until then.  Lose some more weight, save up money for a new bathing suit...sounds good to me!