Archive for April, 2008


cinco de mayo desserts?

I have been charged with the task of making a dessert for a Cinco de Mayo celebration. Does anyone have any great ideas on this front? Any great Mexican dessert recipes?


French Onion Beef Roast

I was throwing together dinner for tonight and realized I hadn’t shared this fabulously easy recipe with you! My wonderful mother in law taught it to me and it’s saved me on many occasions. All you need is a good cut of beef (I just look for any roast that is on sale. Today I found a big one for under $5.00 on clearance!) and a couple cans of French Onion soup. Other then that, just use what you have on hand. Potatoes, carrots, celery,  onions, and garlic are good staples. I also like to wrap my roast in bacon, but that’s more of a luxury item. Chop all your veggies and throw them into your slow cooker with your beef. Add a couple cans of french onion soup. If you still need more juice, add water, beer or wine. And let it cook away until the meat is cooked through. The cooking time depends on what meat you are using, but you’ll know when it’s done. It smells amazing! I’ve even served it for dinner parties and it went over beautifully. So simple it’s criminal.


two-pea pasta with ricotta and tarragon

I made dinner! I know, I know, I should be able to say that seven days a week, but with all of the track meets and lacrosse games lately, we haven’t even been home for about 4 nights a week! Last night we didn’t have anything going on after 5:30 and I decided that it was high time I fulfilled my domestic duties and made something to sit down to at the table. I turned to my trusty FOOD magazine, and found this recipe. About two thirds of the way through it, I realized that it was probably intended as more of a side dish, but oh well. It was still fairly tasty, although I think it needed some additional type of cheese (the ricotta just wasn’t flavorful enough).

Two-pea pasta with ricotta and tarragon


Serves 4
Coarse salt and ground pepper
12 ounces gemelli or other short pasta
12 ounces sugar snap peas, stem ends removed (and, if necessary, strings)
1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon, plus more for garnish (optional)
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese


In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 3 minutes less than al dente. Add snap peas; cook 2 minutes, add peas, and cook 1 minute more. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta and vegetables, and return to pot.
Toss pasta and vegetables with butter, tarragon, and ricotta, adding a little reserved pasta water as needed to create a thin sauce that coats pasta; season with salt and pepper.
Divide pasta among four serving bowls, and garnish with tarragon, if desired. Serve immediately.



Well, I’ve finally managed to get this quilt pieced together!

It took a while because I wanted to take all of your comments to heart and make it pop a little more, so finding the right fabrics was a bit difficult. And just so you know, the hot pink squares aren’t really that dark in real life, and the light light pink strips in between are a little warmer and blend better. Anyhow, I’m pretty pleased with it, and now I just have to find some fabric for the border and the binding!


The Leaf and the Tree

“When will you learn, myself, to be
a dying leaf on a living tree?
Budding, swelling, growing strong,
Wearing green, but not for long,
Drawing sustenance from air,
That other leaves, and you not there,
May bud, and at the autumn’s call
Wearing russet, ready to fall?

Has not this trunk a deed to do
Unguessed by small and tremulous you?
Shall not these branches in the end
To wisdom and the truth ascend?
And the great lightning plunging by
Look sidewise with a golden eye
To glimpse a tree so tall and proud
It sheds its leaves upon a cloud?

Here, I think, is the heart’s grief:
The tree, no mightier than the leaf,
Makes firm its root and spreads it crown
And stands; but in the end comes down.
That airy top no boy could climb
Is trodden in a little time
By cattle on their way to drink.
The fluttering thoughts a leaf can think,
That hears the wind and waits its turn,
Have taught it all a tree can learn.

Time can make soft that iron wood.
The tallest trunk that ever stood,
In time, without a dream to keep,
Crawls in beside the root to sleep.”

-Edna St Vincent Millay

(Photograph taken from my breakfast nook window. Maryland.)


Fries Day

Today my husband called to let me know he’d be late coming home from work. Meetings. I decided O and I were definitely going to need something to keep us occupied and our tummies content until our man of the house made it home for dinner. We found this recipe on and improvised by adding a couple glugs of worcestershire sauce and a squirt of BBQ sauce to our bowl of oil. Yum!! We also believe in salt and peppering our oil mixture, instead of sprinkling after the fact. Also, remember to dab off the extra oil after they’re finished baking. If they aren’t crispy enough, just set your oven to broil for a few minutes…but watch it closely! It would be a shame to burn all those beautiful fries!


  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray (we used vegetable oil)
  • 2 pounds unpeeled russet potatoes or purple potatoes, scrubbed, cut lengthwise into 1/2- 1/3-inch wedges (all we had were red potatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil


Preheat oven to 450°F. Spray large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Toss potato wedges with canola oil in large bowl. Sprinkle potato wedges generously with salt and pepper; spread in single layer on prepared baking sheet. Roast potato wedges until tender and brown in spots, turning occasionally, about 45 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.


The Clark House

If you’re looking for a nice quiet getaway here in the Inland Northwest, I’d like to suggest The Clark House. It is a beautiful country inn originally built in 1910 and fully renovated in the early nineties. They have nine guest rooms and serve an elegant six-course dinner as well as a wonderful breakfast.

The view from the East Lawn.

Andrew and I first visited here for our Senior Protocol at Logos School. At the time, we were not dating or really even interested in each other…yet. As my husband tells it, it was actually as I took his arm to go up the main staircase at the Clark House that he first thought, “Huh. She’s actually kinda cute.” And so while I remained oblivious for the next two months, it was at the Clark House that our “relationship” had its beginning.

We went back to the Clark House this past weekend for our fourth anniversary celebration. For those of you who know us, yes, it was a month early, but things just worked out better to do it now. Anyhow, we wanted to go back to “the place where it all started” for this anniversary trip. When I called to make the reservation they were quite wonderful and bumped us up to a nicer room for the same price as the one I had originally planned on reserving. When we arrived on Saturday they showed us to our room and brought up two glasses of wine. We had dinner reservations at 6:30, and when we went downstairs they took us to our private table in the Library (what a treat!). Dinner was wonderful and it was so nice to see the sunset through the cedars and look out over Hayden Lake. In the morning they served us granola with yogurt, whipped cream and mixed berries for the ‘first course’. Then they brought us the ‘real’ breakfast as my husband called it – scrambled eggs with delicious hashed browns and sausage. We took a little time after breakfast to walk around the property and enjoy the views of the lake. I of course have to mention that the landscaping left a lot to be desired (as did the coffee), but I suppose that is what I would find fault with if I were to find fault with anything.

The second floor window with the small balcony was our room this weekend.

All in all it was a lovely weekend and we would highly recommend visiting sometime. I know that we will be going back in the years to come.