Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Loving the lights

Someone at Portland Parks and Rec is killing it at their job.  Whoever came up with the idea to put up twinkly lights on several park trees and buildings is a genius.  These things make me happy every time I drive by them. There is just something about tiny twinkly lights that is magical, especially when you come upon them unexpectedly.  The picture doesn't do it justice but it gives you an idea. It's adorable.  

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Hood River Outing

 We joined the Neitzel-Platt clan in Hood River for a few hours of window shopping, shop exploring, coffee drinking, and dinner at the Full Sail Brewing pub.  Of course, there were pictures...

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Growing cats need bigger trees

The kitties have graduated from climbing the much smaller trees on the grounds to exploring the much larger 40+ft tree in front of our unit.  And those brave little farts are coming within a foot of the very top of it.  We've seen them up there swaying in the breeze.  How they come down is pretty smart, too.  The branches form a bit of a spiral staircase and they just walk on down.  There's maybe a six foot jump at the bottom when the branches end but that's no sweat for these cats.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Christmas tree time

Having learned our lesson last year we did not wait until a few days before Christmas to try and find a tree.  We waited for a few weeks.  There is a much better selection when you have weeks instead of days before the holiday.  Our scrappy tree is just perfect.  And, yes, in case you are wondering the kittens did climb the tree, and knock the tree over (multiple times), and mistook the ornaments for their toys.  



Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Monday, August 14, 2023

Back on the soccer field again

In my head I'm hearing Aerosmith's "Back in the Saddle" as Henry hits the pitch for his first soccer practice in two (three?) years.  The evening's colors are quite nice even though it is a touch too warm for me.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Recipe Corner: Eggs Benedict

My first Hollandaise sauce and it turned out great!  In no small part because the folks at Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen are frickin' geniuses.  Darren liked it enough for seconds, Henry enjoyed it, and I thought it was pretty darn tasty, too.  My sauce didn't even split, which I believe is the worst thing about trying to make this dish.  This recipe feels so fool-proof that I will definitely make it any time it's requested.  Yay for sauces!  (Well, some sauces, let's not be too accommodating of sauces just yet, okay?)  

4 egg yolks
1/2 cup butter (one stick), softened
1/3 cup boiling water
salt to taste
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tsp lemon juice

English muffins
eggs (enough for each muffin piece)
Canadian bacon, bacon, ham
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp distilled white vinegar
1 tsp table salt

Combine four yolks and butter in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan (use a double boiler if you have one) with simmering water.  Whisk together, slowly adding the boiling water.  Keep whisking until all butter has melted, the sauce thickens, and the temperature reaches 160º F, approximately 7 minutes.    Remove from heat.  Add salt, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice, stirring to combine, and set aside.

Bring water to a boil and turn off the heat, add vinegar and salt, and carefully distribute eggs around the pan, covering with a tight-fitting lid.  Cook eggs for 3 minutes.  If cooking for a larger crowd, have a second pan with heated water (150ºF) nearby.  Remove eggs from the first pan to the second pan and cover to keep them warm while you prepare another bunch of eggs.

Place English muffins on baking sheet cut-side up and place under the broiler (my rack was in the second from the top slot, about 6" from the top of the oven) and broil for 3-4 minutes, checking at 3 to prevent burning.  Remove from heat, add slices of Canadian bacon (or other meat), and return to oven for another minute.  

Don't forget to heat your plates!  Now construct the dish - English muffin, ham, egg, Hollandaise sauce.