Berry’d

A__0B0DIt’s the season ladies and gents!  I look forward to this every year.  We kick it off with strawberries in June.  This was little Mr.s first time, and as an avid lover of all things strawberry, and yes he did break into the fridge after some and the outcome was notPhototasticCollage-2016-07-18-15-31-33 pretty.  This was going to be exciting!  He watched us, the wheels turning, as we picked
and put them in the bucket.  He was so helpful couriering the berries from us to the bucket.  Then came a moment of realization and well hold up in the berry acquisition.  As Dad popped a berry into his mouth.  Colin saw this and it came to him, “there are the same berries from the fridge!.”  Now we had to not only fill our buckets but also fill his tummy.  But soon enough he was berry’d out and back to helping, in his own way.  Yep he became my little 30lb weight for my picking squats.  Not bad a workout, beautiful location and yummy rewards! 15lbs later we were ready to head home.

The next time we headed into the fields was more recently during Raspberry season!  This time Colin was prepared having PhototasticCollage-2016-07-18-15-51-32visiting Grandma Cox and her small berry patch.  He went to picking though none ever seemed to make it into the basket.  I have to admit this are more tempting to me and I had a hard time filling my bucket, I made a deal with myself 5 in 1 for me.20160715_185957  Mmmmm, they are so good!  20lbs later we were done and so was little Mr.  He’s such a good sport and a sucker always helps!  Home we went and bottled some jam for the pantry and froze a little too.  A few days later I got a little hankering so back out to the field we went, my boys are so good to me.  This time we kept it to 4lbs for our snacking pleasure.  Ohhhh I love this season.  Now on to blueberries!  We planted 6 plants this year and already have a few handfuls yield.  The obviously won’t be enough, so I’ll be updating you with when we get that picking done!

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Pies a Plenty

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So with my fear of pie making behind me I set out to make a few pies for Thanksgiving.  2 double layered chocolate Oreo pies.  A key lime because who doesn’t like a little tang.  Then came the last 2 a chocolate pecan, which is based off this recipe, but instead I left out the pretzels entirely, they remind me too much of the pretzel raspberrypicFrame (26) desert, which is really yummy but the pecans add enough crunch I think.  I also melted the chocolate and added it to the filling before I added the pecans at the end, making the filling more chocolaty gooey.  And then a peanut butter pie with chocolate graham cracker crust.  I referenced a few different pie recipes and pulled all the ingredients that sounded good to me and made a peanut concoction of delicious goodness.  Brushed the top with leftover chocolate and it turned out not only pretty but creamy, smooth, and yummy.  They will be perfect for our Thanksgiving breakfast, yes that’s right we want to make sure we have plenty of room for pie so we eat those first thing Thanksgiving morning!  A fun tradition that was shared with us and we decided to add it to our family.  Everything turned out wonderfully, Thanksgiving pies we’re a success

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Clam-cation

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So My Mr. is kinda a Clamming King!  He is so patient and persistent, rain or shine My Mr. will find the those little beasts and harvest them.  The clamming season is really sporadic here in Washington, opening and closing at random times.  With a little luck though he picked a weekend perfectly and he headed out with the scouts recently on a rainy weekend to Long Beach Washington.  Using his trusty clam gun he dug and dug and hit his limit of 15 lovely clams to bring home.  He boiling and shelled them, made a lovely batter to incrust them in and yes, fried them!  This has to be done outside as I really don’t like my house smelling of oil.  But his recipe was perfection and we enjoyed them for the next few days. 

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Hitting the Bottle

WP_20141024_011With the business of the summer flowing into the autumn days we have been really reluctant this year to bottle.  But with bountiful baskets offering pears I jumped at the opportunity.  In general I’m not really a bottled fruit fan, I guess I prefer it fresh and having grown up on bottled fruit maybe I got a little sick of it.  Whatever the case I have little motivation to bottle it.  With the exception of Pears.  I love them!  My parents have a beautiful pear tree in their back yard, my father really looks after it and prunes it to ensure a lovely, well kept shape and optimal pear production.   So it produces quite a few pears along with being a beautiful tree.  So I think that’s where my pear love comes from.  Speaking of which I’m going to stop writing this post for a moment and got open a bottle to eat while I write! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ok, back to or pears, they came individually wrapped in green wax paper (fancy), which made me feel like I was opening presents!  I love the red color of these pears, screams fall don’t you think?  I felt bad removing the skin but scarifies must be made.  So we pealed and cored and filled and sealed and it was done.  Now we have a nice little stash of pears to enjoy for the rest of the year, if we can ration them that long.picFrame (20)

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A Pie for My Guy

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So after my knee surgery I was so grateful for a loving Mr. who took the time to take care of me after and support me in the week following the surgery.  I wanted to do something to say thank you, but no gift really seemed right, nor would he want me to spend money on him.  SO my options were limited.  Then it came to me, a pie!  My Mr. is an avid pie lover, it was kinda his families thing.  It was not my families thing, unless you count a traditional pumpkin and jello chocolate pudding as “our thing.”  I guess we just weren’t really pie people, but My Mr REALLY IS.  He commented one day how it was pie season and how he was craving one.  Now to me the word pie means “time consuming” and with little Mr. around  “time consuming” can be reallypicFrame (19) difficult with a teething baby.  But the stars aligned and one miraculous Friday I was able to make a beautiful Pecan Pie for My Mr.  It’s kinda his favorite pie so I researched a recipe, asked a pie crust genius (thanks Meri) for a novice crust recipe and WahLaaaaaA!  My beautiful pie came our of the oven looking and smelling incredible! 

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Alfresco Evening

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With the last summer evening hanging on into the the early throws of September we made use of what’s left of the warm evenings by attending a lovely German dinner, hosted by an amazing couple from our ward. (Thank you John and Giesla)  Our ward has a fundraising auction every year and one of the top billings is a German dinner, our hostess is a native German and speaks is beautifully, on top of her amazingly good food.  We diner outside withpicFrame (21) other winners of the auction and it was lovely with candle light, beautiful hydrangeas, and sparkling cider.  Place cards seated us separately from our spouses, which was fun as you got a chance to talk with others you don’t normally have the chance to.  Next to each place card was a rolled up pieces of paper with a question or fact about Germany for some interesting table conversation.  A fun game that the Humphreys introduced toys a couple years ago was a perfect dinner party diversion. Conversation lasted into the early twilight, the beautifully it table was still so inviting, making it hard to leave.  The evening ended with some delicious cake and we said ado to our lovely dinner mates.  A perfect way to spend an end of summer night.

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Time Outs

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While our little Mr. grew rapidly in the loving care of the Portland NICU we spent as much time as possible at his side, snuggling and watching him grow.  You have to get out of the NICU or it will literally drive you crazy.  The sounds of alarms and the flashing of number and stats across the screen make your brain fritz out.  So wepicFrame (6) took in a few sights of Portland.  The first being the salted Straw a uniquely wonderful ice cream shop!  It was all these crazy inventive flavors and it changes with the seasons.  We were told my the family member to recommended this that during Halloween they even have a bone marrow flavored ice cream, which to his surprise was amazingly good!  The inside is decorated with a very vintage feel.  An employee comes up to you as you wait in line combing the menu and asks if there are any you want to picFrame (7)try.  And then to my delight they bring you back the samples on these lovely little metal spoons.  I love little details like that, kinda fun!  We tried several flavors before we finally settled on snicker doodle and Strawberry Basil and Black pepper.  Yes they were yummy!!  We got our ice cream and admired the ambiance for a bit longer before our attention was drawn to a toy store across the street.  We love toy stores even as adults.  So we perused the fun neighborhood toy store and found a little Portland License plate with our little guys name on in, spelt correctly I might add, but peoples desire to spell his name wrong is another topic all together.  Anyway we thought that it would be fun for him to have a little trinket to hang on his isolate in the NICU and always remind him where he was born.  It was a fun evening discovering some fun little places, Portland is by far one of my favorite places in this world.

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Cookie Construction

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My Mr. says I can be a little messy when making my favorite cookies.  I didn’t really believe him til my last baking.  Well I guess he was a little right.  Ooppps!  Apparently I’m a messy baker, but apparently the best cookies come from the biggest messes.

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Blue Sushi

WP_20130927_001_Fotor_CollageWe decided to break from tradition and try a new sushi place.  We kinda love the conveyer belt style most often so we hit this one up to see how it compares to our favorite place.  Now I realize I might be a little bias, but I really didn’t think there would be a big difference but for us there was.

The atmosphere is A LOT swankier, very modern with large  like photos on the walls.  Along with a moving photo screen playing video scenes from Japan.  I loved the circular window lights with Japanese locations named in each center.  I was really impressed it was a huge place.  But lets be honest we were there for the sushi!  The menu was basic touting mainly things that were ordered separately from the conveyer.  We waited a bit surveying the choices that went by, this sushi place had bacon stuffed sushi, that was a little odd to us as bacon doesn’t really scream sushi but heck why not I guess.  WeWP_20130927_001_Fotor_Collage2 finally tried a Veggie Tempura which was really good!  The rest of our selections however left a lot to be desired, may were held together with Mayo, which again doesn’t seem really sushi like to us.  Finally we really just wanted to have another Veggie and some of my favorite Eil!  But neither were coming around so we push our fancy order button and waited.  Soon a guy came and we told him what we wanted.  He was nice and said sure and off he went never to be seen again.  20 minutes later, no sushi came, we didn’t know what was going on.  Was he going to bring it to us or where the chefs going to deliver or what?  At our favorite place to order from the chef or waiter and then they deliver your desired item to you.  This is apparently not the WP_20130927_001_Fotor_Collage4case at Blue.  Eventually we saw some Eil on the belt and snatched it, the Veggie never came and we didn’t want to wait anymore.  We asked for our check and that was that.

Overall it’s an Ok place, very good for those who want really Americanized Sushi experience, bacon bits and all.  I wasn’t a fan of the service.   It was a little confusing, If you take an order your should either tell your customers how it works, or you should bring them their item sitting and wondering what is going on doesn’t really help.  All in all it wasn’t a terrible place fun modern atmosphere we did find some things we liked, but the food isn’t as great as our regular sushi bar, I think we’ll stick with that for now!

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Jam Packed

Fall is coming folks!  Hasn’t it been a crazy summer?!  It’s been so busy with fun tripsIMG_1039_Fotor_Collage and events I can’t believe it’s coming to an end, but let’s not give up on the summer days quite yet.   We took to picking our side of our neighbors plum tree.  He kindly said anything that was on our side of the fence was ours to claim!  We took him at his word and picked it clean the past few weeks.  Now you really can only eat so many plums before your just sick of the thought of them.  So My Mr. investigated IMG_1039_Fotor_Collage2and we began the jam process!  I like plums but there not my favorite fruit and the idea of it as a jam well . . . I was on the fence; our side of course (I totally didn’t mean to write that pun but it works!).  Anyway we went to work prepping, cooking, bottling and sealing.  I didn’t really intend on eating any but I finally conceded and gave some a try I mean if your going to have it in your pantry you better try it.  It was fantastic!  I think I like it moreIMG_1095 as a jam then as a fruit!  It’s great on a sandwich, toast, in our homemade yogurt, really anything I’ve had it on it’s pretty delish.  So here’s to another confection concocted and we enjoy! 

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Eating like the Queen of Sheba

Alright my blogging laziness is pretty apparent.  I just can’t seem to take the time with all this summer amazement and lists of todo’s to sit down and document the wonderful things that have happened, been seen, or experienced in the last few weeks.  So here I go, trying to catch up!

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We are slowly discovering Seattle.  The parking and traffic in that city is a totalWP_20130716_033 nightmare so it is on occasion that we make it in.  This was on such an occasion.  With and invite to join our friends the Vemparalas for some Ethiopian cuisine at Queen Sheba.  Now yes i am a wimp in the spicy department, but I’m trying to increase my range luckily they look out for my tender taste buds.  I didn’t however make it out of this meal unscathed!  With enjoying a delish vegetarian appetizer I took a big bite of what I thought was your garden variety bell pepper.  Only to have my mouth catch fire and find out that it was a chili pepper!  I panicked and grabbed my napkin, spat it out making faces the whole time that caused My Mr. to have a pretty good laugh at my mistake.  Holy Cow that was hot and I could feel the burn on my lips, gums and tongue for half the meal.  When the meal was ordered my sweet friends again looked out for me and got a variety of heat.  And WP_20130716_035I’m proud to say that I even tried some spicy stuff and did pretty well with it!  (apparently I just have to warm up on a chili)   The meal was eaten with our hands, which really is the best way if you ask me!  It was so good and I can admit I was a little nervous.  But I knew I was in good hands and had a delish meal at the Queen of Shebas!  Yes I just wanted to say that I ate at the Queens house, who wouldn’t!

Check out there website here; http://www.queenshebaseattle.net

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Very berry blue

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WP_20130705_001We returned to the blue berry patch, you might remember last years berry-gate here.  We didn’t intend to repeat that this year and decided to leave Pax at home.  But for some reason with the way the day feel and the hurry we found ourselves in Pax ended up having to come.  As I began to pick My Mr. and Pax  joined me a little later and I have never seen him hate a place so much.  With every step further down the row of bushes we were having to pull Pax.  It was like the vets office, like heWP_20130705_010a remembered last year.  It was the funniest thing to watch as he clung to our sides, he wouldn’t go anywhere near the big bushes.  But with the patch getting ready to close we hurriedly picked.  Even with the short time we had we ended up with 6 pounds of berries.  We got home and spread them on a cookie sheet to freeze and re-bag for delicious treats later!  We can’t wait to make some homemade blueberry muffins!

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