Sunday, September 29, 2013

Birthday Bash

Emil celebrated his 39th birthday again.  Funny how that number never increases.  We started our day with brunch at McKay Cottage.  Delish as usual.  It was nice to go on a non-weekend day and avoid the crowd.  They have a fantastic hot chocolate for $2.50.  I must remember to order it each visit.

Thank you so much to my family for all the wonderful gifts for Emil!  He waited all day to open them.  We're really enjoying the chocolate covered strawberries.  Everyone is so kind and welcoming to Emil.  He appreciates it.

Ran around doing errands and such during the day and worked off the huge breakfast.  We needed to make room for Happy Hour eats.  And, it's a good thing we did.  Five Fusion is our new favorite place for Happy Hour.  One dish in particular was the best food I've ever eaten in my life!

Filet Mignon Lollipops with Mashed Taters

Peking Duck in a Steamed Bun

Crispy Lobster Fritters

Crab and Shrimp Stuffed Shitake Mushrooms

Crispy Pork Belly, Chantarelle Mushrooms, Arugula, 68 degree Egg
Birthday Boy!

Calamari with Yuzu Sauce
We already have plans to return after my catering gig.  We'll take Tommy Boy since he'll be here.  YAY!  He should arrive tomorrow afternoon with a truck load of stuff.  His room is ready, and the realtor is standing by, according to him. 

The real question: Is 10 Barrel ready for our daily visits??

Friday, September 27, 2013

Last Days of Summer

We're in the midst of the last days of summer.  Soon, our uke gatherings here at the house will be moved inside, and our menus will consist of hearty soups instead of panzanella salads.

We invited dear friends over last week for Rummikub (our latest game obsession) and dinner.  Emil volunteered to make dessert - a banana cream pie.  The recipe is from S.N.O.B (Slightly North of Broad) restaurant in Charleston, SC.  We were there a few years ago and enjoyed the pie immensely.  Luckily, the Chef shared the recipe with me.  Emil's version has chocolate in it.  Yum!

Two tile racks?

We took advantage of a windy afternoon last week and flew kites at Pilot Butte State Park.  Since I tend to crash the kite into Emil, my kite-flying privileges are currently revoked.

Tis the season for pumpkin!  I've pored over recipes, and this is the first one out the gate.  Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Brownies.  We liked them okay, but kinda wished they were either more chocolate-y or pumkin-y.

We are waiting ever so patiently for Tommy Boy to arrive.  He and his Dad are somewhere in Canada, traveling here.  His room is almost ready, and I've lectured Yam to be on his best behavior.  Once Tom arrives, we'll be house-hunting, drinking beer, and goofing off when I'm not working. 

Well, I'm off to make a special birthday cake for Emil.  His birthday is today, so we started the day at McKay Cottage for breakfast.  We made a run to the city dump for recycling and stopped in at Costco to look around.  Banner day so far for the birthday boy!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Friday, September 13, 2013

Going Back to Cali ... Cali ... Cali

Just returned from an adventure to Woodland Hills, California, visiting Emil's grandmother.  We did lots of chores, sightseeing, and more.  The highlight:  Broasted Chicken from My Brother's BBQ joint.  Salty, crunchy, and plentiful.

We did take a side trip to Malibu and Santa Monica.  Lots of bikinis, rollerblading gals, fishermen, and sand.

Bloody Mary for Emil before boarding.

Tesla vs. Dune Buggy.  Only in California.

Mavorette at the Ronald Reagan Library

Looking out from the Ronald Reagan Library entrance.

Ronald Reagan

Special Lincoln exhibit.  One of three of his hats.

Air Force One used during Reagan's Administration

Took this pic for my nephew, Sam.  He loves ice cream sandwiches.  We could make one with these two places.

View from Mavorette's home.

We drove the famous Mulholland Drive.


Emil and Sara in Malibu

Famous landmark

This pic is for Tommy - short shorts and rollerblades.

Santa Monica beach

Santa Monica Pier and my thumb on the top of the pic.

Everybody's Gone Surfin...

Oodles of brown pelicans

Emil checking out the water temp.

What a sweet guy!

Slippery Shrimp.  Our last dinner there.

Traffic!  20 mile jam. 
It was an interesting trip.  So many smokers, rude people, horns honking, and traffic.  No one lets pedestrians cross!  Such a departure from our little town.  I'm very glad to return home.  Yam is also a happy camper, since we sprung him from the joint (kennel).

On deck:  Back to running a 5k every other day, climbing Pilot Butte daily, yoga, meetup events, uke jam, and more.  Oh ... and someone has a birthday coming up!

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Song Camp 2013

Ahhhh ... Song Camp at Caldera.  My favorite catering gig of the entire year.  This time, I had one day of jury duty, so I helped unload and prep on Monday, then returned home for the night.  Jury duty ended on Tuesday morning, so we packed our tent, warm clothes for chilly nights, comfy shoes and hightailed it out there.

Cooking for 152 people this time around was a blast.  I enjoy seeing the entire meal come together, rushing at the last minute, and hearing Todd the Coffee Guy sing his song before each meal.  Song Camp had all new musician mentors this year, so I enjoyed meeting everyone, especially seeing a guy from Greenville, SC.  I didn't have time to chat him up during Song Camp, so I hope to see him at the Sisters Folk Festival.

We loaded up all the cooking stuff, leftover food, and unpacked it at Chef Annie's home yesterday afternoon.  Picked up lunch, rested our aching feet, and then checked out the festival last night.  We saw the Shook Twins, Steve Poltz, and the Richard Julian Band.

Lots of laughing at Steve's gig.  He's super fun.  Glad we stayed out late to see him even though we wanted to sleep and hang out with Yam, who was boarded for the week.

A few pics from the week:

The Shook Twins, Katie (from the kitchen crew) at Open Mic.

Monko, Anna, and Randy.  The two guys are part of the amazing kitchen crew.  They volunteer for reduced tuition.

Shook Twins performing last night under the big tent.

Natasha and Mark - the soup servers during lunch on day two.
As usual, everyone loved the food.  Randy came up with a new slogan for Song Camp t-shirts.

"Song Camp - It's not just about the food."

We all laughed.  Two years ago, the t-shirts said, "The music is great at food camp."

Folks rave about the food every year.  We cater to special diets, serve plenty of healthy food, provide late night snacks, and greet everyone with a smile.  Chef Annie says food is a big part of the camp since it nurtures the soul.  I believe it.  With 10 folks in the kitchen, working a few hours each day, teamwork prevails, and Chef Annie teaches us awesome kitchen skills.

Now, it's time to return to real life and household chores.  I'll miss mixing up cake for 152 people.

Oh yeah - OPB did a special segment on Song Camp.  Listen up:

Friday, September 06, 2013

United Way Visitors

I worked with some amazing folks at United Way when I lived in Anchorage.  Suzette, a Loaned Account Manager from there, and her husband stopped in for a brief (way too short) visit last week.  They've traveled across the U.S. and back this summer.  12 weeks on the road and counting.  Their truck camper is adorable with plenty of storage and a comfy bed.  All they needed was electricity and a shower.  We enjoyed hearing about their adventures, visits with friends, and favorite places.  Gary loves history and genealogy, plus he's an avid downhill skier.  We walked the Butte several times during the visit.

The weather was great, and they are super easy guests to entertain.  Since I was on jury duty late in the evenings, we dined out and made the most of our time together.

Benham Falls

Dillon Falls

Gary floating the Deschutes River.  Nice flip flop paddles!

The gorgeous Deschutes River.

My friend, Linda, and Max were on the river, too!

Suzette and I
Tigger, the cat.  He belongs to a neighbor, but visits often now.
Jury duty lasted a little longer than anticipated, which threw me for a curve since I was catering this week.  Luckily, Chef Annie is flexible and easygoing.

Next up:  Pics and narrative about Song Camp.  The best catering event of the year!