Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Perfect Summer Sandal

I have been looking for the perfect summer sandal for years now. In that time I have bought a number of un-perfect sandals but never found the "one". Or more accurately, never found the "one" for under $50. My sister aptly pointed out that for all the money I have spent buying so so sandals I could have bought two pairs of nice J Crew sandals. We'll call theses my reward for completing the 5k race today (pictures to come).

Mrs. P

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Eats at Potter Place

So I'm not actually at Potter Place right now. I'm taking care of my sister while my parents are out of town, so I am at their house. She had her wisdom teeth taken out this morning. I am going to try to keep making menus and cooking even though Mr. P is gone. I will try my hardest to refrain from my cereal and fried egg sandwich tendencies. Even though I really do like to cook I pretty muched lived off cereal and eggs before Mr. P moved in. That being said my inspiration my wagger a bit. I did still make a menu so here goes.

Friday: Potato Leek Soup, Taste of Oregon Cook Book
Saturday: Curried Lentil Soup, no recipe I'm going to wing it
Sunday: Some friends from church are having me over for dinner
Monday: Italian Sausage Spagetti (my own recipe) and salad
Tuesday: I have meetings till 9 so it's left over spagetti in between
Wednesday: My Dad's birthday dinner
Thursday: Teriyaki Chicken, baked potato and salad, again I'm winging it
Friday: Chicken Fried rice and steamed Asian greens, again winging it

Next week I'll try to do more recipe research. Now I'm still too tired. Mr. P left at 4 am thursday morning and I woke up at 3 with him then drove 2 hours at 4am to get home and get ready for work. Then after working from 7-5, I made my sister dinner and sat through her senior awards ceremony. By 9:30 I was so looking forward to bed but Jess wanted to enjoy her last night without pain so we went and got frozen yogurt and watched a movie. I finally went to bed at midnight. Now I'm going to take a nap. As always I will happily pass along any recipes.

Mrs. P

Thursday, May 28, 2009

New Running Clothes for Mrs. P

This past weekend while we were in Portland I got a rare and highly coveted shopping treat: a pass to the Nike Employee Store! Nike's headquarters are in Beaverton, Oregon which is just outside of Portland, Oregon. Besides the Nike Campus which houses corporate offices and state of the art gyms, courts, bike paths etc, there is an employee store. I've been to a few other employee stores before and usually they have good deals but aren't that different from an outlet. Not the case with Nike. This employee store has 50% off of brand new Nike work out clothes, shoes, apparel, accessories and sporting goods. Needless to say it was fairly amazing. My mother-in-law got the pass and let Mr. P and I have it, which was very sweet of her to begin with, but then she gave me birthday money in advance to spend there. Here's what I got on my Nike shopping spree:

Running Shorts

Pink sports bra which you'll notice matches the pink shorts

Inspiration Nike Tee shirt to wear in the 5K on Saturday (also matches blue running shorts

Pants and a jacket for cold weather running

New Running shoes which hold the apple/nike running chip

Oh and I also got socks. Now for the exciting part. The value of these goods: $354 What I paid for these goods: $177 Now I am all set for my 5k race on saturday. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm pretty sure I run better when wearing cute-matching running clothes.

Mrs. P

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I’m sorry for the blog absence the past week. I will shamelessly blame it on Mr. P and the supply list we had to get and pack for OCS. We had a very busy Memorial Day weekend. I look Friday off work so we could run errands and work on getting Mr. P ready. Then we went out to my Grandparents ranch for dinner. Saturday we spent the day together. It was so nice. We didn’t do anything to get him ready, we didn’t see anyone, and we didn’t answer the phone. We slept in and then made muffins for breakfast. Then we went to my favorite garden store to buy the herbs, tomatoes and peppers for my garden. We spent the rest of the day working in the garden together. And for dinner we made the infamous Sticky Chicken, Mr. P’s absolute favorite food. Again no pictures as I still haven’t unpacked the spare room and my batteries are lost in the madness. Sunday after church we drove to Portland to see Mr. P’s parents for the rest of the weekend. On Memorial Day we went to the Oregon Korean War Memorial. There were a group of Korean War Veterans there to talk to visitors about the war and about the role Oregon troops played in the war. It was especially moving both because Mr. P is joining the Military and also because his Grandfather fought in Korea in the First Marine Division.

Today I drive Mr. P back up to Portland to ship out and by Friday I should be back to a normal blogging schedule.
Mrs. P

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Recipes to Share

Cyndi at Southern Daze requested I pass along good easy recipes so I decided today I'd share a few from this weeks menu. Sadly I have no pictures because my camera batteries died and I can't find the other set. I still haven't really unpacked from the move a few weeks ago. With Mr. P about to leave and my sister moving her stuff in I just figured I'd wait till he leaves. Anyway...

Creamy Asparagus Soup (from Jamie Oliver, slightly adapted and cut in half)
*this recipe is quick, easy, cheap and really healthy

1 lb asparagus, woody ends snapped off
1 piece celery, finely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 leek, chopped
1 quart chicken stock or vegetable stock
some olive oil
salt and pepper
good crusty bread like ciabatta

To prepare leek remove green tops and discard. Cut leek in half and slice. Place in large bowl of cold water and use your fingers to wash the leek well. Let it sit 10 minutes then remove leek with slotted spoon onto paper towel. The reason for this is leeks grow in really sandy soil and a lot of the sand and dirt works up into the leek. Letting the leek sit in cold water the sand falls to the bottom.

Remove the nice tips off the asparagus and set aside. Chop the stalks.

Heat the olive oil in pot. Add celery, onion, and leek. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes stirring frequently till soft. Add the asparagus stocks (not the tips) and the broth. Bring to a boil, lower to simmer, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Transfer soup to a blender or food processor and puree till very smooth. Return to pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper (it needs kind of a lot of salt and pepper just keep tasting till it tastes right). Bring back to boil, add tops of the asparagus that were set aside. Simmer for a few minutes till tender. While soup is simmering toast some bread in oven. Serve soup with bread.

*optional: poach some eggs and serve each bowl of soup with a piece of bread and an egg on top. Mr. P liked this a lot. I thought the soup was so good on it's own I just ate it with the bread.
*serves 4

Chicken Fried Steak with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy (from my Dad )

*This recipe is less healthy but worth it for a special occasion. It's one of Mr. P's favorites and he wanted it before he leaves. It's a family recipe. My Dad learned how to make it at Camp Baker, the boy scout camp he went to every summer. The secret to is in the gravy and not skimping. I think there are some foods that you can't try to make healthy or low fat and this in one of them. This recipe isn't difficult but it is a little time consuming. A good weekend dinner.

4 pieces of Round steak
bread crumbs
olive oil
milk (you can use 2% or 1% but don't try skim
6-7 Yukon gold potatoes
some more butter
carnation canned milk

Pound steak with meat mallet until they are thinner and larger and look pretty beat up. Heat olive oil (a good amount) in large skillet about med-high. They should grow by a good inch. Get out two pie plates. In one but a bunch of flour and break crumbs, fairly equal amounts, and salt and pepper. In the other beat two eggs and add a splash of milk. Dredge the meat in the egg then the flour then place in skillet. Let the meat brown a few minutes on each side then turn heat down to med low and let cook 20 minutes turning frequently. Make sure you don't burn the meat. The drippings in this pan make the gravy and if you burn it you can't make good gravy. Pre-heat oven to 350.

While meat is cooking peel and chop your potatoes. Bring water to boil for those. Bring to boil and turn town a bit.

After 20 minutes knock off a little of the breading from the meat and transfer the meat to a baking sheet and throw in the oven. To the skillet add a pat of butter or margarine. Once melted add some flour. Be careful not to add too much flour just 1-2 TB is good. Mix flour and fat well then slowly start adding milk stirring constantly. Let milk thicken then add a little more and so on until it's a good gravy color, not white but not brown. Turn heat down to medium low and cook 20 minutes stirring frequently. If it gets too thick or too dark a little more milk.

When potatoes are done drain well and add 3 Tb of butter or margarine. As you mash add canned milk until you have the right consistency. You shouldn't add more than a few TB of the milk. Add salt and pepper to potatoes and keep warm.

When gravy has cooked 20 minutes taste and add salt and pepper to taste. If it tastes too bland try adding more salt. Careful not to make it too salty but the salt brings out the flavor of the gravy.

I like to serve this with steamed pees, it just seems to go.

Happy cooking,

Mrs. P

Monday, May 18, 2009

summer has arrived

It was another crazy weekend for Mr. P and I. I think my mother is about to wring my neck:). She is constantly lecturing, I mean telling me, I need to take time for myself, have more quiet time, make more along time with Mr. P, and I seem to be incapable of doing so. And honestly I wouldn’t change it. I just love people. I love doing things with friends, and hosting parties, and helping with church activities and meeting friends for coffee. This is just who I am. But what was best about this weekend was that it really felt like the beginning of summer. This was the first hot and sunny weekend here and I spent most of the weekend outside enjoying it. Between the youth group garage sale, helping one of our friends move, sitting outside drinking iced coffee at one of my favorite coffee shops, wearing a skirt do dinnerJ, and spending Sunday evening at BBQ out in the country it really felt like summer is here. And so it got me thinking of my favorite things about summer, which I’m going to share:

Warm ripe tomatoes from my garden

The family cabin on the river
Reading in the hammock

Swimming in the lake
BBQ chicken and grilled corn on the cob

Cold beer on the porch
The crazy 4th of July family BBQ with my many many cousins (seriously, I have like 20!)
Riding horses with my grandfather on the ranch
Picking blackberries
Summer wedding receptions
The Family camping trip

What are your favorite things about summer?

Mrs. P

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Eats at Potter Place

Since Friday’s are my menu planning/grocery shopping day here at Potter Place I think I’ll use Friday’s blog to share. I know I love to see what other people are cooking! With Mr. P shipping off soon I’m trying to cook lots of his favorites. So for the next two weeks it's lots of soup, Jamie Oliver and meat!

Friday: left-over Chinese take out from last night
Saturday: Indian food with friends from Church at local Indian Restaurant
Sunday: Creamy Asparagus Soup topped with crusty bread and poached eggs from Jamie Oliver, Jamie at Home
Monday: Chicken Fried Steak with mashed potatoes, gravy and salad (I learned the recipe from my Dad, he learned it at Boy Scout camp yet it is the best, so good!)
Tuesday: I have a meeting so left over steak for Mr. P
Wednesday: Dinner at my Dad and Step-Mother’s, a family farewell for Mr. P
Thursday: English Onion Soup, from Jamie at Home, with Teriyaki Steak appetizers from the Taste of Oregon Cookbook, and Salad with homemade dressing

*cookbook note: if you live in the Pacific Northwest and haven't read the Taste of Oregon Cookbook it's a must. It was put together in the 70's by the Junior Leaugue or something like that and it has a lot of great local favorites, dishes from restaurants and seasonal recipes using local food such as Salmon, apples, hazelnuts (which are actually called filberts here) and cranberries. My favorite part however, is all the pioneer facts and recipes scattered throughout. Many of my childhood favorites are found it this book like Taco Casserole, Italian swiss steak, terriaki appetizers, potato soup, and wild strawberry pie.

I'm very glad it's friday and have many fun weekend plans to get too. Tonight we are hanging out with some law school friends of Mr. P, probably playing pool and drinking beer. Saturday is the youth garage sale at church followed by eating delicous Indian food with other young adults at our favorite Indian restaurant. And Sunday it's church, sunday lunch at a friends, gardening and cooking Jamie's delicious asparagus soup. Fun fun fun!
Happy Friday to all!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"You want to do what!!!!?????"

In two weeks Mr. P is leaving for Officer Candidate School (OCS), and I will be spending the summer (and our first anniversary) sans Mr. P.

It’s actually a little bit of a funny story. You see, Mr. P never mentioned that he wanted to join the military the entire time we were dating or engaged. To be fair he didn’t really know himself. But a mere 6 weeks after we got married Mr. P announced he wanted to become a Judge Advocate in the Marine Corps. I knew absolutely nothing about the military or the Marines or what this would mean for our life. I don’t come from a military family and I didn’t know anyone in the military. The only reference point I had was that I have seen A Few Good Men many times. Mr. P could tell me all sorts of things about what it would be like for him and his career but he knew nothing about what it would mean for me, except he thought we’d probably move around a lot. I was like, "You want to what!!!!!????"

This is how I came to discover blogs. I mean, I knew of blogs but I had never read one. To find out about the military life I started reading military wife blogs. I’ve also read some books such as: Today’s Military Wife, 5th addition and Army Wives.

Throughout this year I have been adjusting to our future in the Military. And now that it’s getting closer I am finding myself getting excited. Not necessarily excited to be without my husband all summer, but excited to see him achieving his dreams.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Crazy weekend

I'm sorry for the lack of posts over the weekend. Mr. P and I moved. We actually moved to the apartment directly above us. Sounds crazy I know. But it's bigger and has vaulted ceilings and the previous tenants up there were really loud. It was getting so distracting to Mr. P, and his ability to study that we realized we had to move. But it turned out they were moving so we decided to just move on up. Despite the close proximity it was not an easy move. This, I realize, is mostly my fault for owning so many books. I moved all the books myself in one box. I filled the box, took it upstairs and then unpacked it and repeated. Needless to say I am very sore. I'm starting to wonder how necessary it is for me to keep so many of my philosophy books from college. While Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit is filled with memories am I really going to pick it up and read it again??? But alas, I'm too attached to them. Anyway, things will settle down soon now that Mr. P is done with finals and we are moved.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Great Giveaway!

Mrs. Newlywed from Misadventures of a Newlywed (one of my favorite blogs) is doing a great giveway.

Ashley Brooke Designs beautiful whimiscal stationary just for you! I've been wanting some for awhile now so I am pretty excited abou this giveaway. Head over to Misadventures of a Newlywed and enter Mrs. Newlywed's great giveaway!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Wedding Fun!

It is still horribly rainy here. Last night it rained so hard I was really worried about my seeds. Carrot seeds are only planted 1/2 inch deep. But I checked my garden this morning and all seems well. Because of the rain and blah outside I am writing a really fun wedding post!
My favorite cousin, who was also my roommate in college, is getting married this summer. I am the Maid of Honor, or rather as Mr. P likes to remind everyone, the Matron of Honor. Having just gotten married, and having the best Maid of Honor in the world, I am taking my role very seriously. The past months have been so fun for us. Lauren started dating her fiancĂ©, Nick, right before Mr. P and I started dating. We were all pretty close in college. So it's pretty exciting having them get married right after us. Nonna, our grandmother, is having a hay day! Mostly, there has been a lot of shopping. Also there have been a lot of long phone calls about shoes, colors, invitations, cakes, and the bridal shower. Lauren’s colors are yellow and black. Her dress is gorgeous and very classic. The wedding is going to be in an old church and the reception in an old ballroom. Here are some color boards which capture her inspiration:

These two Lauren found and emailed me so I’m not sure where they are from

This one we found on Blue-Eyed Bride’s blog (which we love):

One of my favorite things about this wedding is the elegance. I loved my wedding but I wouldn’t describe it as elegant. It was beautiful but the reception was in a barn so elegant isn’t quite the right adjective. But Lauren’s wedding is full of classic elegance. The brides-maids dresses are beautiful black strapless chiffon dresses.

I have to say this picture doesn't really do the dress justice. But you get an idea.

And these are my shoes.

Both the dress and the shoes are from the White/Black store.

Well that’s all for today but I’m sure there will be more fun wedding notes to come.
Mrs. P

Monday, May 4, 2009

Rainy Monday

Well it’s Monday. And here in the Northwest it is grey and rainy. The weekend was too busy for blogging. Mr. P and I are moving next weekend and he has his first final today. I spent the weekend cleaning, packing, filling holes and, of course, cooking. And I hate to clean! I was so grumpy from all the cleaning I just had to cook delicious food. Here is the amazing dish I made Mr. P and some of his law school buddies for dinner last night(they were all over studying all day):

Polenta-encrusted Fried Chicken with a sweet corn mash, fried bananas and a tomato relish
from Jamie Oliver, Jamie's Kitchen

It was delicious and very fun to make. Although, definitely not a weeknight dinner, it took me an hour and a half start to finish.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Oh The Good Life

I had a lovely evening last night. Mr. P took the night off from studying. I made Jamie Oliver Lemon Thyme Pork Chops with Fresh Pesto. It was delicious. It was so nice to cook and enjoy a leisurely meal with Mr. P after such a busy week, and before such a busy weekend begins.

*note: this is Mr. P's plate. I do not eat this much. He eats a ton! Along with Jamie's pork chops are Jamie's simple mashed potatoes, and my own invention, Parmesan crusted baked zucchini.

This morning I made my weekly menu and grocery list. I like to make my weekly menu on Friday mornings while I’m having my coffee. Because I only work half days on Friday’s I can go to the grocery store after work and be all set for weekend of cooking. I’m so excited about this week’s menu I though I’d share.

Friday: Pasta al Tonno (This is a classic Italian pasta dish my cousin picked up when she was studying abroad in Italy. It has Italian tuna packed in olive oil and capers)
Saturday: Dark and sticky stew from Jamie Oliver’s, Jamie’s Kitchen
Sunday: Polenta encrusted fried chicken with sweet corn mash, fried banana’s and tomato relish, also from Jamie’s Kitchen
Monday: Pasta with prosciutto and fresh peas from Martha Stewart, Everyday Dinners
Tuesday: Sloppy Joe's with baked sweet potato fries, also from Everyday Dinners
Wednesday: left over stew because I have meetings till 6 and youth group at 7
Thursday: Tacos with left over Sloppy Joe meat

Do you make meal plan’s or menu’s? Who’s your favorite chef? I’d love to hear from anyone reading out there. Happy Friday!

Mrs. P
P. S. I'd be happy to pass along any recipes. I didn't want to type them all as that would take forever. Just let me know if you want one.