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Monthly Archives: December 2013

A Winter’s Day at the Coast (ringing out 2013)

A Winter’s Day at the Coast (ringing out 2013)

It seemed appropriate to usher one of the worst years of my life at a peaceful and centering place. I headed to the Oregon Coast with Dana and Dodger to breathe in some fresh air, exhale the bad, and throw the ball (for Dodger of course). What a healing place the coast is for me. The calming sounds of the ocean, the salty air, the beauty all around, remind me that no matter what is going on in my life, there is always a place to go to recharge. Breathe in. Breathe out.

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Grilled Cheese with an Italian Twist

I had a craving for grilled cheese today, but wanted to put a twist on the classic.  So I pulled out the provolone and mozzarella and set to work.

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My ingredients

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The trick= lots of butter on the bread!

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First layer = provolone

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Add the shredded mozzarella next

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My secret weapon= Spicy Italian Herb Seasoning (YUM!)

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Top with another slice of provolone

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And the bread topper….

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Grill to a toasty brown

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Serve with your favorite tomato sauce and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • bread of choice (I used Dave’s Killer Bread multi-grain)
  • butter
  • sliced provolone
  • shredded mozzarella
  • Favorite seasoning
  • Favorite tomato sauce (I chose Newman’s Own Marinara)

O Christmas Tree….

Christmas used to be my favorite time of the year.  The decorating, the gift giving, the entertaining.  I channeled my inner Martha Stewart.  Baking cookies, buying and wrapping gifts, and creating the perfect cocktail menu put a permanent smile on my face.  That is until last year.  A week before Christmas I learned that my 13 year marriage was ending.  The visions of Christmases gone by evaporated in the blink of an eye.  And a sadness took its place.  This year, I am determined to recapture that joyous feeling.  Fake it ’til you make it, right?  I started small by decorating the mantle- stockings for Bonnie and Clyde (the cats) and me.

mantle

And decided to write some Christmas cards….

cards

And then I decided to get a tree…

tree in car

My car is deceptively large when the seats are down!

ready to go inside Clyde inspecting the tree

The ties made it easy to get inside

lots of needles

It passes the inspection…

the barbies await

The Barbies await – did I mention I have over 15 Barbie ornaments?

lights on

Lights are on – ready for the ornaments

decorated tree

The finished tree

up close

Topped with a Tinkerbell

I was so inspired that I decided to take a walk and enjoy the Christmas lights.  My neighborhood embraces the holiday season- some even hire professionals to set up the lights!

colorful lights

lights galore

tall tree

lit house

So for all of those who are feeling a bit blue this holiday season, I send you many wishes of happiness and health and joy.  Go out and rediscover the enchantment of Christmas- one little step at a time….

Snapshots from Nuremberg

I arrived in Nuremberg, Germany after traveling 15+ hours from Portland. I granted myself a nap in the late morning and decided to rally in the afternoon to explore. I discovered some beautiful details around town and thought I’d share them here.

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What did you do with all that turkey?

Well, I looked at my turkey leftovers and decided to make a version of roll-ups.  I believe the original recipe came from my Mom’s Welcome Wagon cookbook from Central Pennsylvania and was called “Chicken Roll-ups”.  The original recipe uses chicken, cheddar cheese, crescent rolls, and cream of chicken or mushroom soup.  I decided to take a Mexican twist on the original.  I used turkey leftovers with a Pepper Jack/ Cheddar cheese and skipped the soup in favor of guacamole.  How can you go wrong with dough, cheese, and turkey?

pepper jack and cheddar

Tillamook Mexican 2 cheese blend

turkey and mexican cheese

Cut up turkey and cheese

roll out the dough

Crescent roll being rolled flat

fill the dough with turkey cheese

Adding the turkey and cheese filling

rolled and ready to go

Roll-up rolled

pan ready for the oven

Prepped for the oven

baking complete

Freshly baked

plated with guacamole

Roll-ups plated with a side of guacamole

Recipe:

Turkey – cut into small pieces

Mexican 2-cheese shredded (Pepper Jack & Cheddar combo)

Crescent rolls

Side of guacamole (I make my own using only an avocado, minced garlic, and sea salt)

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Spray pan with cooking spray
  • Cut up turkey into small pieces and combine with shredded cheese
  • Open crescent rolls and roll each triangle flat
  • Fill crescent roll with turkey/ cheese combo
  • Roll tightly and add to pan
  • Cook for 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown
  • Serve with a side of guacamole (and/or salsa)
  • Enjoy!

Frosty morning walk

Today is one of those mornings where the crisp, cold air burns each time you inhale.  For Portlanders, this is a rare treat because we are usually zipped into our rain coats and grumbling about the dark, rainy days.  Personally, I welcome the cold, sunny weather.  On my morning walk I discovered some interesting frozen scenes that glistened in the sunshine.  So I had to capture a few of them……

curly tree

frosty leaves

icy leaves

frosty moss

frosty tops

frosty grass

dual spider webs

spider web