Thursday, July 31, 2008

Seattle is a Foodie's best Friend!

Getting warshed away

Last Saturday, we rode on a charter bus out past Mt. Hood and rafted the Deshutes river with a bunch of engineers and was a cold and wet time.....

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Trip'n with the Bry Bry

Bryan came to visit us this week and we had a rock'n good time. While trying to backpack from seaside to manzanita, we ended up on a bus to Astoria (oops)! All the extra hiking made bryan really tired (see below). Some of that may be due to the massiveness of his load (a few people asked us if we had been hiking for weeks and probably thought we were on our way to Mexico)-Then we met a baptist preacher from bountiful while backpacking on the boardwalk through seaside (yes, we added an extra 5 miles to our hike by taking the wrong bus and ending up on the wrong side of the city)- - Shared our pesto tortillini dinner with a starving photographer, of whom took this picture with the tillimook lighthouse in the background -
- Dilly dallied around cannon beach while waiting for Bruce's Candy Shop to open-

-Hung out with herman the 100 year old sturgeon -
and ended the day by treating ourselves to the 'over priced ice cream that our parents would never buy us' at Multnomah falls. We finished up the trip with a visit to the Portland Temple and by playing the "train game" after eating a wholesome dinner of pirate burgers and blue jello with fresh raspberries (mmmm). Hopefully our good times will inspire more visitors - just look how pretty it is here......

Monday, July 21, 2008


I hate verizon. That's hate with a capital H. Yes, we did get service while we were on death mountain, but we haven't got one ounce of good customer service since we joined. For example: We were charged 54.99 for a modem/router that we DID NOT order. So I called today, and after listening to some terrible elevator music for an hour, I got some indian guy, of whom I could not understand, that told me at least 50 times that I was getting a good deal on the modem that I DID NOT order. Great, I said, I ordered the FREE modem, not the 54.99 modem - and could he please remove the charge. And then, the guy had the AUDACITY to tell me that I was not listening to him very well, and that I had already recieved a discount on the modem!!! DAHHH. So I call back today again, with the order sitting in front of me, that shows that I ordered the FREE modem, and the retarded guy on the line tells me that I did in fact order the54.99 modem THE DAY AFTER I PLACED MY ORIGINAL ORDER.........does this sound the least bit fishy to you????? So I got real angry and hung up....we will get to the bottom of this....but until then......DO NOT be swayed by verizon's cheap price, their customer service crappiness and random billing mishaps will definitally cost more than paying for comcast in the first place.

King's Mountain (aka death mountain)

Richard claims he was not scarred, but I am woman enough to admit that that was NOT a very safe hike. As we left our cozy little apartment the night of July the 18th we had no idea the treachery we were about to face on the Elk Creek-Kings Mountain Loop. The trail guide said this was the steepest hike in the book -- but because Rich and I are self acclaimed hiking pro's -- we accepted this advice 'as naught' and started up this 13 mile hike with no apprehension whatsoever.

The first four miles followed an old logging road, and like most of Oregons mountains, the road started at near sea level and CLIMBED AND CLIMBED AND CLIMBED AND CLIMBED with no breaks for richard to bereave his sweat - until it reached 3,000 ft. So not real steep, but a good uphill start for the night.

We made it to our sleeping spot, which, like all other hikes in Oregon, never made it past timber line - and slept peacefully through the night (except for a few moments that were reminiscent of the wild dog adventure). We woke up at 5:30 in a cloud (yes we were in a cloud), and couldn't sleep anymore, so decided to start hiking. We made it a few miles and then the scarryness began. The trail just seemed to end. (see picture below) Ahhh, but this was just an illusion, the trail actually went off a cliff and then down and around and above and along a cliff - off of which we couldn't see off of due to the cloud we were in.
This is the scarry part. We didn't really get a good picture, mostly becuase I was too afraid to do anything but butt slide, but on the other side of those bushes (picture below) is a sheer drop off into...... well, we dont know what, becuase there was a cloud there - but I'm assuming a large mass of trees. Notice that my backpack is missing in this picture. This is due to the big yellow CAUTION sign 1/4 mile into the scarry part that preceeds a tree root bound rope, of which we had to climb down in order to continue on the trail. Richard climbed down first, took the packs and slid them down this trail and waited for me (Mrs sissy pants) at the end. What a man.
We finally made it to the Summit after about 1 hour of REALLY intense hiking (trail so steep along a cliff that you had to climb up on your hands and knees). Because this post doesn't come with any bad news, I guess we made with out anything TOO exciting to tell you - but be warned anyone that ever wants to hike this loop - it is not built for tennis shoes, anyone carrying a backpack, or the weak of heart!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

How to use a freezer full of ground beef

Richard found this recipe online, I revamped it to have more nutrition - less fat - and to taste ALOT better. As you can see from the directions, I am not so good at writing out recipes. Basically, you make a meat sauce, and then you layer the meat sauce with pasta, pesto, and cheese - sort of like a lasagne, but with shell noodles. You can buy pesto sauce premade or you can make your own - if you need a pesto sauce recipe, let me know.


3/4 # shell pasta
1# extra lean ground beef
1 onion
1/3 cup red cooking wine
1 can tomato sauce
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 tsp italian seasoning
fresh ground pepper
2 zucchini's, sliced as thin as you can get them
1 cup spinach, chopped very thin
1/3 cup pesto sauce
1/2 cup mozzerella cheese

1. Cook the pasta according to pkg. directions, drain, and set aside.

2 Brown the ground beef and onion in a large skillet. Drain off the fat once it is done cooking.

3 Deglaze the pan with some red cooking wine. If you dont have cooking wine, just skip this step. (deglazing is pouring the liquid over the browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan and scraping them up off the pan into your meat). Cook for 1-2 minutes to let all of the wine cook off.

4 Sprinkle the meat with 1 tsp italian seasoning

5 Add 1 can tomato sauce and 1 can italian style (or whatever style) stewed tomatoes. Add zucchini and spinach. Continue to cook the sauce over medium heat until most of the liquid is gone and it looks like a thick spagetti sauce.

6. Put a thin layer of meat sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish. Spread 1/2 of the noodles over meat sauce. Dallop 1/2 of the pesto sauce over noodles. Sprinkle with 1/2 of cheese. Repeat layers once more ending with the cheese on top.

7. Place in the oven, under HI broiler until the cheese on top is melted.

Walaa, dinner. Took me 15 minutes from start to finish, and if we weren't such oinkers, then it would feed us for at least 2 days.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Charming Country Cottage

Richard and I looked at this house last night. We would love to live there for three reasons #1 the yard is huge. #2 There is a large place for a garden #3 it is in the middle of a winery and thus is beautiful #4 Our next door neighbor is the daughter of the person who own columbia sportswear #5 There is a window above the kitchen sink #6 The renters would provide me with a real kitchen table. Okay, that is more than 3 reasons.......
But, alas, we cannot move to this historic house of the man who first settled here in the wilammette valley - this house that looks over the willamette river - becuase it is 1,250$ a month and there is only 1 bdrm and 1bthrm (no place for visitors) and the washing machine is in a creepy basement so I dont' think I would ever want to stay there alone. So I guess we will be staying in our cozy little apartment that always smells like curry and lulls us to sleep with the sound of the freeway. At least we have a dishwasher here and we do love our ward.

Going the Clinical Route

This morning, at 8:35 am, I left a message with Janelle Lilly from Salem Hospital HR that I accepted the positition for an RD unscheduled job at the Salem Hospital. As you can see from the clipped picture, it is a great place to work (; (you know, a picture is worth a thousand words or whatever) and I'm excited about my first job. Now I just have to pass that pesky RD exam - and pass the drug test, both of which I'm sure will be difficult. Oh yeah, I start August 4th, so if anyone is planning to come visit, they better come before then!!!.

Monday, July 14, 2008

U - pick'n entertainment

On saturday, after my first long ride on the Dolce (30 miles), we drove out to the hills to U-pick some berries. It was rather reminiscent of the berry patch at Grandpa Heiner's except that the bees were pollinating something else at the time and there was actually space between the bushes to move. At 99 cents a pound and "all you can eat for free" while you are picking, me and rich spend a whopping 5 big ones for a whole bucket of berries. It was some good entertainment. With our bounty we IQF-ed (individually quick frozen) most of the raspberries and made a pie with the rest for sunday dinner. BOY WAS IT GOOD (: especially with the Tillamook ice cream that we bought at albertsons. MMMmmmmMMM. I am left with only two questions: #1 why don't more people do this and #2 why don't they have these in Utah?

Friday, July 11, 2008

My new favorite vegetable: Mustard Greens

Most of my classmates in dietetics probably remember my love for squash. Often times, I was even referred to as the squash queen due to my over exubarance for the flesh of the fall bearing fruit, but let it be known......I have found a new vegetable passion.............MUSTARD GREENS. Mustard greens, if you didn't know, are a spicy green which is hard to eat alone and uncooked when it is a full grown plant (but good alone when it's a baby-younger things are less bitter, its a fact of life). But when you cook it and add some cheese and becomes delicous beyond all belief. Plus mustard greens come with all sorts of green vegetable goodness: LOTS of vitamins A&C, some folate, some calcium and a bunch of maganese, and of course - countless things our body needs that only the man upstairs knows about. My favorite and introductory recipe for mustard greens comes from Mollie Katzen's cookbook The Vegetable Dishes I can't Live Without. It only takes like a 1/2 hour to prepare this dish and if you serve it over pasta, you'll be too stuffed for dessert, so please.......go to the farmers market........get some FRESH mustard greens........and come to know why Mollie describes herself as LEAF GEEK.

  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups slice SWEET onions (like vidalia)
  • 3 large bunches fresh mustard greens, stems removed and coarsely chopped (12 cups)
  • salt (to taste)
  • up to 1 cup FETA cheese, crumbled
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

    1. Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat. After about a minute, add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the onions and saute over high heat for about 5 mintues. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan, and let the onions cook until very tender, about 10 more minutes.

    2. Add the greens in batches, sprinkling very lightly with salt after each addition and turning them with tongs, brining up the wilted ones from the bottom oto the top of the pile.

    3. When all the greens have wilted, stir in the cheese and cook for just about 2 mintues longer.

    4. Transfer to a platter and grind on a generous amount of black pepper. Serve hot or warm, on or next to pasta or grains, or by itself. (I like it on bowtie pasta)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

From the loins of the flamingo

From the loins of the bird scarring pink flamingo came our first lettuce ever, and we love it and ate it all in one meal. We are sure proud of our little guy!! Now we need to figure out how to get our new zucchini to start growing, we bought it a week ago, so it is quiet likely that it will die, but we have faith, and since my plants are the only thing I have to take care of all day, the odds are all for it. We'll keep you posted.....

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The King

Long live the king. Last summer steve, Nicole and I went hiking in the sawtooths and steve was fly fishing red belly lake when he caught a king salmon and nicknamed himself the King. Then yesterday him and I went sturgeon fishing on the Columbia outside of Portland when we pulled in 3 that were 6,7,8 feet long and weighed about 200-300 lbs. By the end guide was saying steven was putting "the hurt to the fish." The king struck again. We couldn't keep any of them but it was fun and lots of work.

Steven is off to Korea for a year and we will miss him but I am ready to go fishing with the king as soon as he gets back.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

the beautiful ocean

the beautiful mountains and a wonderful husband
what more do you need?

Saturday, July 5, 2008


On July the 4th, Richard and I decided to take a mountain biking trip through forest park. IT WAS AN AMAZING RIDE, and the best part (besides the wildflowers and jungle), was when I took out an old man who was riding on the wrong side of the trail. His first comment after we collided was "is my bike okay???!!" Then, after he was assured that his rear deraileur was not derailed, he said...."are you okay?" And then, he rode off only to discover that he had "tweaked" the metal plate in his leg.....?????? I offered him my red bandana for the pain if he wanted, but thank goodness he declined and rode off. Wow, my uncle bart is right....those bikers are JERKS. Oh well, I guess that biking experience got my ego up so high that I decided that I needed a new bike, and my best friend in the whole world spent a good part of his moving bonus to buy me a bike. THANK YOU RICHARD SMOOPY POO (: