When All Else Fails, Put Them to Work

Blueberry Hand Pies

When I decided to undertake publishing a book, I made my best guess on how long certain aspects of the project would take. Some parts of the project are moving along as I predicted — knowing my work habits and my propensity to kick into high gear as deadlines approach. Other parts of the project, […]

What Can You Do to Feel Lighter?

Peaches, Basil and Baby Greens

Sometimes because of my father’s military orders, and other times, just for kicks, my parents moved us at least every three years. The benefit of this peculiar habit was that we had no clutter, no closets full of unused “stuff’, and no junk piles since we sorted and purged every 1-3 years The first 10 […]

Reflecting on the Summer of Chimichurri

Tri-Tip Steaks with Chimichurri Sauce

I have tangible files of travel ideas. I have virtual files of travel ideas. Ideas for weekend excursions, best hikes, best camping, bike tours, Napa Valley wine tours, Yamhill County wine tours, Five Perfect Days in Paris, 72 Hours in Carmel, New York City with Kids, and on and on and on. When summer hits, […]

Bean and Cheese Quesadillas, Anyone? Anyone?

My summer office is closed up. I made it through the first full week of kids back in school coupled with their activities. And this past weekend, I was beat. So very, very tired. Before the weekend even started I let my daughter know, “I will only ‘drop you off and pick you up’ one […]

My Summer Office

Summer Office

I realize this seems a bit…hmm, strange…but when I was a child I liked to weed. Actually, I relished it. The same was true for deadheading my grandmother’s azalea bushes. Sure, the 25 cents an hour she paid me to do it was nice, but that wasn’t my sole motivation. I treasured the rhythmic motion […]

The Girl in the Time Capsule is an 1859 Cover Girl

    In Mrs. Biddle’s second grade class, I spent my weekly sharing time talking about my horses, Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry. When pressed for more information about these horses, I would say that they lived in North Carolina (where I did have cousins) with my two older sisters (which I did not have but […]

Barbecuing up Garlic, Lime, Cilantro Flank Steak on a Much Needed Weekend Away

A Little Steak and Chicken Pocket Pie

“Ummm, Mrs. Minns, I don’t think our camp starts until 10:30 am,” my 12-year old’s buddy says to me as I’m minutes away from dropping the two of them off at cooking camp. “Oh no, darlin’, it starts at 10am. I’m sure of it. I have it in my calendar.” It was the first week […]

Blueberry Smoothies and the Lego Saga

Blueberry smoothie

I don’t do well with chaos. Not shopping malls. Not county fairs. Not kids pounding up and down stairs. Not legos strewn throughout my house. I’m definitely a “go outside and play!” type of Mom. I know I shared with you back in March that I was triumphant. After months of organizing and purging, I […]

Blueberry Crumble Muffins, Need I Say More?

Blueberry Crumble Muffins

The Rooster stands in the shadows of the garage, waving and smiling, but giving us a look that says, “Here you guys go, leaving me again.” The kids and I wave, blow kisses and holler out the rolled-down windows, “Bye Sweetie! Bye Dad!! See you in a week! We love you!” And with that, we […]

Hummus, the Perfect Partner for a Handful of Sweet Beans

Lemony, garlicky hummus...

I look out at the square boxes full of bare dirt. Good dirt. Actually compost-boosted-dirt but still…bare dirt. Not a lick of green…um, except for the occasional weed that chooses to land in there. Yes, it’s true, last year those boxes had been overflowing with tomato plants, some lettuce, carrots but this year…nothing. Nada. Rien. […]

Steamed Artichokes and Short-Order Cook Sauces

Artichokes

  My family is nuts for artichokes. Every year I anxiously await the moment that the DeNoble Family Farms table at our Farmers Market is covered with artichokes of all sizes. And every year I enjoy hearing again and again from the head of DeNoble Family Farm how Tillamook, Oregon deserves to be the artichoke […]

Scrumptious Strawberry Bites

Scrumptious Strawberry Bites

I had two days. Just two days to unpack from a week spent at the Oregon Coast with my sis, my parents, a gaggle of kids and our husbands who were arriving and departing at various times during the week. A true week at the Oregon Coast complete with sun, sand, wind, down jackets and […]

Letting Go with Counter-Top Salads for Dinner

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IMPORTANT MESSAGE: Please read my message after the story especially my gracious email subscribers. She was three years old when she performed in her first dance recital. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and The Bunny Hop. Her little feet could be heard “tap, tap, tapping” away as she practiced for her big debut. Considering that when […]

What’s In Season? Cherries

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Well, it’s cherry season! While I’m absolutely in love with the Rainier cherry – those unique little yellow and red orbs – I’m starting to have a new crush on the super-sweet Bing Cherries coming out of Washington. Of course, right now as I’m typing this to you and need to know the exact name […]

A Heartfelt Thank You, A Giveaway and Some Chili-Rubbed Pork Chops

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I pulled the car to a halt in front of the mailboxes. With half my body out the window, I hoisted the usual haul of catalogs, coupons and bills onto my lap. Methodically, I sifted through the stack on the very, off-chance that there would be something unexpected in the pile.Caught between a Pottery Barn […]

A Medley of Summer Salads

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There they are. Like always. Pots of red, white and blue petunias and geraniums. A thoughtfully placed flag off to one side. They are the first thing I notice. The first thing I look for because isn’t that what holidays are for? The expected. The traditions. The counted on. The nostalgic.The same gathering of aunts […]