November 28, 2009

A lovely walk

Today was a delight. The sun decided to visit.

I enjoyed a brisk walk downtown

I love these cement bridges.

The other side of the street.

What is this all about? Anyone? It's facing the wrong way on a one way street.

I love these berries. No idea what they are.

A tidy yard. I expect the lavender will be wonderful.

November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

Thanks for...

Those peeps in my life I couldn't do without. My hub, my kids, my family, my friend Trice, my pals, my Bob and Cha Cha, my funny and wonderful co-workers....

The places I love. Home, living so close to the mountains and the beach, living in a city small enough that when I complain about the traffic I've obviously had a bad day 'cause it's nothing, living near a city big enough that I can get a little turned around in walking the ups and downs of the city blocks, going to wonderful restaurants, massive book stores.

The stuff. New recipes, my guinea pig pals who try the new recipes, discovering new restaurants, the blogging world, warm socks, lovely candles, good books, sour cream horseradish dip and plain potato chips, fat robins, fresh flowers, long days filled with sunshine, spring.

And right at this moment, I'm thankful for my cup of coffee, my blanket and this warm fire.

Happy Thanksgiving.

It's early and I still need to go to the store for some sweetened condensed milk to make my Thanksgiving contribution. Yumkins.

November 23, 2009


I'm a second generation Salemite. My kids are the third generation. That's counting those in my family that were born here. If we're talking just growing up in Salem, then add another generation to the tally.

Nothing brings perspective than recalling the past for my children. There are stories to be told which hearken back to my grandfather's days.

One of my favorite stories involves Bush's pasture (not park) and some devious young boys and their experiments with smoking. The story goes that my grandfather, his brothers and friends were off sneaking a cigarette in Bush's pasture, one thing led to another and ended with a small brush fire. Nothing serious.

There are many other stories, as my father didn't fall far from the tree when it came to the devious department.

This recent nostalgia stems from my observations while driving through downtown on many a night. I can see the change and I love it.

I love the people milling about. I love the activity. I love the sense of community. I know it's no Portland or Seattle but something is brewing and it's wonderful.

I can't claim the same lineage when it comes to blogging as I'm a virtual baby of this world.  But it appears the Salem blogging community is becoming just as vibrant as our downtown core. If you haven't yet, please check out the Salemites blog. This is a hub of some of the Salem area bloggers.

Take a try at the periodic trivia contests.

Join Today!

November 18, 2009

Olinger - End of an era?

Recent news has noted the unknown future for Olinger pool.

I have memories of crossing the bridge out front and paying the nominal fee to go swimming as a small child. I remember the hard mesh clothes hangers that you could rent. Was it a quarter?

These days I'm back as a parent catching the tail end of my son's high school swim practice. But not for long. His practices are slated to be moved over to the Kroc Center very soon.

The Kroc Center is beautiful. Beautiful.

I will miss Olinger though.

November 14, 2009

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Options

Thanksgiving is coming. What is a vegetarian to do? Do I care? 

I enjoy and gladly gobble up that big turkey bird every year. Alas, a good friend and many family members don't share my love for the carnage.

This recent post by Food in Jars looks perfect for those looking for some original T Day options.  Thanksgiving Favorites

Not only is there a Brined Turkey recipe there are also some tasty, interesting recipes for the veg in your life. I think the Napa Cabbage Gratin and Yumpkins are on my to-do list


My Perfect Breakfast

I love good bagels.

I love cheese and jalapeño bagels.

I love open-faced tomato sandwiches.


Open-faced cheese jalapeño bagel with cream cheese, tomatoes and salt & pepper. Plus a touch of parsley-garlic spice.


I love you.

November 11, 2009

I Love Me Some Pork Carnitas

I love me some tasty Mexican food and I love me these carnitas.

Pork Butt
Salt and Pepper
and a Dutch Oven

This is all you need to make the best pork carnitas around.

I have a weak spot for caramelized savory dishes. These carnitas are little nuggets of delicious goodness.

Serve warm on a corn tortilla with a little fresh guacamole and a touch of cilantro and lime. Ah, bliss.

Give it a try.

Recipe by: Zarela Martinez
Cookbook: Food From My Heart

Pork Nuggets

1/4 to 1/3 cup lard, or vegetable oil 
4 pounds lean boneless pork butt, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 
Zest of 1 or 2 oranges, finely chopped or slivered 
3/4 cup fresh orange juice 

In a large, heavy Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid, heat 3-4 tablespoons of the lard or oil over high heat until almost smoking. Add about one third of the pork (just enough to fit in one layer.) Season lightly with salt and pepper and scatter one third of the orange zest over it. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionallly and adjusting the heat as necessary, until the pork is browned and crisp on all sides, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the meat to a large bowl and reserve. Cook the remaining pork in two batches in the same manner, adding another 1 or 2 tablespoons of lard if necessary. 

Drain off the excess fat from the Dutch oven; return the browned meat to the pan, add the orange juice and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently to coat the meat on all sides. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until the liquid reduces to a syrupy glaze, 10 to 15 minutes. While the orange juice is reducing, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Bake, tightly covered, until the meat is very tender but chewy, about 40 minutes.

Drain off the excess fat that has accumulated and serve the carnitas hot, with hot flour or corn tortillas and any kind of salsa.

Yield: 6-8 servings


November 10, 2009

November 7, 2009

Saturday at Grand Vines

Champagne tasting makes for a wonderful Saturday.

Check out these upcoming events.

November 14 - Champagne from Louis Roederer and sparkling wine from Roederer Estate and Sharffenberger Estate

November 21 - Cava from Spain, Prosecco from Italy and sparkling wines from Oregon, California and beyond

Come visit:
Grand Vines
195 High Street N
Salem, OR

November 4, 2009

A relaxing Wednesday

Loving a weekday respite in Portland.

Cocktails at the hotel lounge - Driftwood.
Dinner with extended family at Henry's Tavern.
Fried pie at Whiffies.
A great night at Hotel DeLuxe and sleeping in on a Wednesday.

Love it.

Next on the agenda:

Coffee, coffee, coffee
A nice walk around Portland
A movie - 'Damned United'
Finally, a visit with good friends and their new addition, Henry

November 1, 2009

gaz, michelangelo, raphael

Halloween timeline

Costume prep
Hair prep
Final assembly
Ahhhh mom

Candy coma....
and a pencil from the guv

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