Archive | April 2012

Lemon Pepper Pancakes and Marrionberries

Mom made good pancakes.

Basic pancakes that we ALL enjoyed. Sometimes she’d add a side of bacon and eggs to these good pancakes. Sometimes just pancakes with butter and syrup or sugar. A childhood memory of mine is when she’d add things into the pancake batter as they were on the griddle. Bacon, ham, berries – you get the idea. Good pancakes.

Mom also made GREAT pancakes.

YEAST pancakes or SOURDOUGH pancakes. As you might envision… these were the next best thing to HOT FRESH HOMEMADE BREAD…. ultra yummy.

Again, sometimes with just butter and syrup or sugar (and cinnamon). Other times, a side of bacon and eggs. GREAT pancakes.

While I do like pancakes, I don’t care for boring, average or less than average pancakes. Mom spoiled me that way. For that I am thankful.

When I make pancakes they are NEVER ordinary. I always put extras in the batter, add to the recipe in some form….. or, I don’t make pancakes at all.

I always add something…. chopped nuts, oatmeal, berries… something.

And I do not use white flour as the only flour ingredient. Many of times I don’t use white flour at all. I usually use a combination of oat flour and whole wheat along with the other additives.

Last Friday I had planned to make banana pancakes for Sunday breakfast. Thanks to a couple of spotted bananas that I won’t eat unless they would be cooked in something (and not too often then). Yet, my husband had other ideas for those bananas. He ate one with his breakfast on Saturday and one for a snack later in the evening. OOPS… there went my new experimental pancake idea. Yes, I would have simply made up the concoction based on an average pancake recipe.

Mom always knew how to ‘adjust’ so I took a page from her book. “What type of flavor will complement the Marrionberries?” Jeff had not eaten the frozen Marrionberries…. he knows better… he can have ALL the spotted bananas he wants, but don’t eat all the Marrionberries!!!  🙂

Earlier last week I had spied some recipes putting lemon and blueberries together. That sounded like a GREAT idea. Yet, a couple of weeks ago I had made blueberry pancakes. Besides I had my taste buds set on Marrionberries. I had thought of the lemon flavor…. then it hit me. Recently I had made some Lemon Pepper Cookies. So off I went.

Basic pancake recipe – omit white flour, substitute half oat flour and half whole wheat flour and add a tablespoon of yellow cornmeal. Add 1-2 teaspoons of Lemon Extract and some Fresh Cracked Black Pepper. Griddle ’em up. Assemble. Enjoy!!!

Lemon Pepper Pancakes

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Weather or Not

Weather, from bad to good and everything in between. Another version of a ‘pay off,’ as we were treated to blue skies and sunshine after enduring more snow, wind, rain and even some hail.

Photos from our vacation of snow, hail, clouds, rain, sun breaks and blue skies and sunshine. After the storms we’d endured, this particular day we chased sun breaks and blue skies. Guess I’ll basically let the images do the talking….

Snowing at Seaside, Oregon

Warm and cozy in our hotel room, we watched the snow come down in Seaside, Oregon.

More snow at Seaside, Oregon

More evidence of the fact that it was snowing at Seaside.

Early morning the next day.

Early morning the next day.

Hail at Seaside, Oregon

Another storm…. this time hail. Yes, that is HAIL floating on the river. It came on hard and fast and created its own ‘rafts’ on the river.

Hail and snow on the beach at Seaside. Tillamook Head in the distance.

Hail and snow on the beach at Seaside.

Snow on the beach at Seaside, Oregon

Another vantage point. Snow on the beach at Seaside, Oregon. I’ve wanted to see snow on the beach and now I can say I have. — Tillamook Head is in the distance.

End of the Trail

“End of the Trail” statue at the turn around at Seaside. Explorers Lewis & Clark are depicted on the top.

"Starfish" street lights, Seaside, Oregon

Love the “Starfish” street lights at Seaside, Oregon.

Snow on the windshield

I know, I know… “Big Surprise!!” … More snow on the windshield of the car.

Blue Skies!!!

Later…. we were treated to blue skies, beautiful blue skies!!!

Snow, Blue Skies and Sun Breaks

Snow, Blue Skies and Sun Breaks!!! AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH….

Vista point south of Cannon Beach, Oregon

Vista point south of Cannon Beach, Oregon.

Looking south.

Beautiful scenery despite the look of the stormy weather to the south.

More snow in the coastal hills.

More snow in the coastal hills.

Blue skies and sunshine at Rockaway Beach.

Blue skies and sunshine at Rockaway Beach. What a treat!!!

Tillamook Cheese Factory with snow in the parking lot.

Tillamook Cheese Factory with snow in the parking lot. Real sloppy, wet snow.

The Payoff

Through example, Mom instilled in me a faith that “things will get better.”  She taught me that not all will be gloomy or be bad, even though it may seem as if.

Mom helped me to see the good side of things. To look on the bright side.

When Jeff and I left for our ‘second honeymoon’ in mid-March celebrating our six-month wedding anniversary the skies seemed gloomy and the Blue Mountains donned a new blanket of snow. The mountains were absolutely beautiful, yet the day before had been a sunny, glorious day. We headed south to catch the freeway. To the east was snow….. to the west… SUN. Luckily, we were ready to head west. Off to the Oregon Coast.

Pulled Pork Sandwich and a Session Black at Full Sail Brew Pub

Amidst sunshine, clouds and rain and after three hours of driving we arrived in Hood River for lunch. A much anticipated lunch at Full Sail Brewery. The three hours plus of a few days of anticipation I endured for their pulled pork sandwich and a Session Black had paid off. Ahhh Bliss. Well worth the anticipation.

We traveled on and arrived in Portland, got checked in to our hotel and made arrangements to meet cousins from my side of the family for dinner. We had a great time. Lots of catching up and laughing. After driving in more late winter inclement weather we were having some wonderful family time.

The next day we made a trek to a local mall so I could make another anticipated stop… this time at Teavana, to accommodate one of my favorite habits, tea drinking. Again, it was raining, but now after a quick and early lunch in the car we were headed to the coast.

More rain. Well, this is Oregon. 🙂

Snow in the Coast Range on March 12Driving out Highway 26 we experienced a variety of weather. Clouds, overcast skies and rain, then more rain. Yet it was a pleasant drive with scenery I don’t remember seeing before. Maybe, I had not been on this highway.

Then, while driving over the Coast Range the rain got thick. Then thicker. Then turned to snow. SNOW in the Coast Range on March 12th. No worries, both Jeff and I had driven through plenty of snow before.

Be careful. Be aware. Drive on.

I had not personally seen snow in the Coast Range for several years when my brother and I had driven to the coast early one May. I knew it snowed in the Coast Range, I’d seen it on the news from Portland.

Through all the variations of weather, mostly winter-like, we made it to our destination … Cannon Beach.

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, Oregon... from inside Mo's Restaurant

We sat inside Mo’s Restaurant anticipating our first seafood of our Oregon Coast trip, watching the stormy, almost angry surf. As you already know, the rain was falling. There were also lots of clouds and some wind. The tide was high and the ocean seemed as if it wanted to come inside to get out of the weather too. As we waited for our food we watched as some travelers were getting soaked in the rain. Some were even on the beach taunting the waves. I was nearly certain that someone would be overtaken by the crashing waves. The waves did not really seem to want to play.

Ahhhhh…. our food had arrived. Another payoff for enduring something less than delightful. I had anticipated CRAB — in the form of a crab melt. Jeff was rewarded with a bread bowl filled with chowder. We were about to eat while watching the storm from inside, not being out in it. Now, after driving through all that rain and snow and slush, our payoff had arrived.

A greatly anticipated lunch at Mo's, Cannon Beach, Oregon

Mom, our Easter Egg Hunts and Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Easter Eggs

Mom loved holiday ‘surprises’ ….. Christmas, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Independence Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving. And birthdays… oh, birthdays were always special.

Today, Easter Sunday, holds pleasant and fun memories.

Mom would get up early Easter morning (or stay up a little later the night before) to hide Easter eggs for us. My two younger brothers and I would get up Easter morning knowing that an egg hunt was about to take place. Excitement was near that of Christmas morning. While I have no photos of this event, I have vivid memories and can still feel the anticipation, excitement and joy.

Depending on the weather, Mom would hide the Easter eggs either outside in various areas of our yard or inside, usually in the living room. Either way we were delighted.

Mom would hide hard candy coated eggs that resembled gigantic Jordan almonds. She also included some jelly beans and foil wrapped chocolate coated marshmallow eggs. The bright, vibrant colors of the foil made those a prize indeed. Yet, I’d usually trade those with my brothers for other candy eggs that Mom had hidden. As it turned out, I did not care for chocolate covered marshmallow eggs, still don’t.

Many years later, as an adult, one day while we were reminiscing about family holidays I mentioned to Mom that I never really cared for the chocolate covered marshmallow eggs much. She asked my why I never told her that when I was a little girl – she said she would have hid a different candy. I told her, “Mom, I did not want to spoil your Easter. You seemed to always enjoy hiding the eggs for us and for us to search for them and squeal when we found them. How could I ruin part of your joy of Easter? Why spoil the fun. … I still loved the Easter egg hunt, just traded my brothers for other candy… they liked the trade so it all worked out.”

I don’t really know why I told her that when I was an adult, but I seemed to know when I was a child that Mom liked the Easter Egg hunts just as much as we did, so I did not bother mentioning it. I still remember the fun and excitement of our Easter Egg hunts and look back on them each year as such happy childhood memories.

Thanks Mom…. and Happy Easter!!!

Nearly a “Spring” break.

Well…. I have taken a break… a “Spring” break, from writing my blog.

I say “Spring” because Mother Nature is taking her time getting Old Man Winter into his hibernation. Sure, we’ve been teased with some ‘spring-like’ days, but the rainy, snowy, cold, wet days are not over. They seem to alternate, these ‘spring’ and ‘winter’ days.

I took a break when my husband and I took off for a trip to the Oregon Coast. We began our second honeymoon on our six-month wedding anniversary. Yes, we already had our second honeymoon, even though we’ve only been married six months. Where is it written that we wait and wait and wait for our second honeymoon? Nowhere, that we know of. Besides, we don’t have to pay attention to such a rule anyway.

We had made reservations to stay one night in Portland, then head to Seaside and Cannon Beach, then to Astoria to tour the northern coast, on to Vancouver and Camas, then back home. Just us. A lovely way to celebrate our marriage.

Weather made our trip even more interesting. Seems like Mother Nature and Old Man Winter had conspired to offer up some variety for us. Again alternating from Spring to Winter and back again. Over and over and over.

However, Jeff and I took this all in stride…. just as my Mom would have. This is Oregon, this was the middle of March… the midst of the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring. We had no control over the weather… but we did have control of if we’d let the alternating seasons dampen our spirits. We chose to thoroughly enjoy our trip no matter what.

For our positive perseverance we were treated to some glorious weather… each type enhancing the scenery and the memories we were making of our second honeymoon. Our “Spring” break.