Monday, March 31, 2008

Family Food

Food is alway better when it is shared with family. I love the quiet dinners spent alone with Casey every night, but it was so great to enjoy meals family style. There was so many great meals, I wasn't able to get shots of everything, but here are some highlights!
Our first night in Redmond, Dustin, Amanda, Monica, and Casey (and me) all went out for sushi at a place called Yoko's we sat at the sushi bar and had a great time. We drank (except for Monica, she is only a freshman in high school!) Pear Momokawa Sake (maybe a little too much for me!) and ate a TON of sushi. So much that the tab was a little ridiculous. But we don't go out for dinners like that very often, so what what the hell, right!?? You can't put a price on fun times! anyways, we had 33 plates of sushi!!!
Here was some seared albacore tuna... so yummy!

The next night Betty made this soup called Love Letter Soup. I made the parmasean chip/scoop that is on top. I was so scared I was going to mess it up. I want to make this more often and I really, really enjoyed spending time with Betty in the kitchen. This will be a recipe that I will treasure since it has good family memories!

Betty made these delicious and beautiful lemon bars made from lemons grown on Casey's grandma Marie grew whle she was in Arizona. They were so good that I was a little greedy and may have ate too many!

The last night there Betty and Glen made BBQ skewers, some with chicken and some with steak, from this cool butcher shop in redmond. We need more cute local places like this in Portland!!!

Oh, and the first morning in town Betty made these adorable Mickey Mouse waffles. Just like Hello Kitty is my little icon, Mickey Mouse is Betty's trademark. I loved the arrangement!

The last morning we were there Bunny made his famous tamago roll for 7 people. I was so proud of him. I thought he looked cute here in the kitchen.

Family and Friends in the High Desert

Wow, I am going to go a little post crazy in the next few days regarding my trip. There is just so much for me to ramble on and on about. Since this blog is a journal of memories for me and my husband Casey (I am from now on going to call my hubby by his real name, instead of bunny. this blog started out as more of a private journal so there was a level of anonymity, but now that a few people actually read it, I have begun to feel really silly calling him Bunny. But I might slip up now and then because I really do call him bunny in real life a lot.) I really want to document this trip, esp. for when Casey gets homesick.
While we were in Redmond the family went out for a Canyon walk. Amanda has written about it in the past on her blog and since then I have always wanted to do it. It was so cool and I finally got to see a Rockchuck.
I really liked this photo of the family and the sun beaming in on them. That is Casey's stepfather, Glen, Amanda, Casey. His mom is sort of in the pic.
Here are some pretty.... would you call them desert flowers or plants or weeds? I don't know, but they are really pretty!

Here is me and Monica, Casey's stepsister. This pic is a little blurry, but I thought it was real cute. Cute factor always outweighs blurry factor!

Here is Monica and Casey on the ride to Redmond playing Nintendo and having a little giggle. Sooooo cute!

Here is Casey with his Mom Betty and his sister Kadie. Betty was so kind and giving and spoiled us while we were there. We really want to try and come visit more often. We havent been able to see Kadie in ages and she is so very sweet and cute. She might move to the coast which is closer to us than where she lives now, that would be awesome to see her more.

Saturday night we went to visit Casey's best friend since high school, Mike. He just moved to Bend, Oregon a few months ago from Portland. He is the nicest guy you will ever meet. We stayed the night and drank beer and played Yahtzee all night with Mike and his girlfriend Allyson who I sadly did not get a photo of. We both missed Mike A LOT, so it was very nice to see him. Casey already misses him. We are hoping Allyson and Mike will come stay at our house for a few days soon.

The last night in Rdmond we soaked in Casey's parent's hottub. It was so wonderful, it was snowing, and a bunch of stars were out. It really felt like we were on a vacation. This photo seems a little x-rated to me, even though we are clothed and everything. It was so much fun i had to put it up, plus the steam covers us up a little!!! You can see the snow falling in backround. Portland weather is so different than Bend/Redmond weather, but it was so refreshing. The air was crisp and seemed cleaner. I felt revitalized.

We were sad to say goodbye to everyone, but we are going to make an effort to stay in better contact. Here are some shots of the mountain I took through the car window on the ride home.

I Love Lucy

Oh man. Lucy is a doll. She is so sweet and full of personality. Amanda is the best mom ever!
Lucy let me hold her for a long time and she was amazing. I wish I could see her more often, I miss her already!
Whenever I spent time with her before, everything was so hectic, like at my wedding, so it was nice to be able to chill out with her for awhile.
She was so well behaved that she let Amanda and I talk over coffee while she played like a good girl.

Here was Lucy all bundled up during a Canyon Walk

And me and her on the way to The Redmond Antique Co-op. I really like us together in this pic, but I feel like my face takes over the screen. Kind of scary to me!

And her just being cute.

Here is the sweet little family all together. Mom and Dad, (Dustin and Amanda) and sweetheart Lucy

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Back from Redmond!

Spending time at Bunny's family's house was so much fun, I have so many photos and things to go through. There was so much that we did and I am just going to start with the lovely time we spent at their house, where we stayed. The house is so cozy and relaxing.
We enjoyed the wood stove and the swing in the sunroom that overlooked the pretty backyard.

And the spring decorations, this easter egg was made by his grandmother Toshi, in 1981. Bunny's Mom was kind enough to let us take it home with us!

And we had fun hanging out in the yard so much!!!!

And I plan on showing so much more, but I have to post this picture of Lucy, Amanda and Dustin's daughter.

She is seriously the sweetest little girl I have ever met in my life! I had so much fun spending time with her and everyone else.
I am going to post the food we ate and so much more when I get through sorting all my photos tomorrow. We are so happy after spending such a great weekend in Central Oregon.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Spring Break!

Spring break is here and it is lovely! I am having a good time relaxing and soaking in the sakura.
I baked these Savory Soda Crackers the other day. The recipe is in the link. In addition to the recipe, I used buttermilk, cracked pepper, sea salt, basil, and chives. The were very flavorful and had a rustic quality to them. I am trying not to buy pre made snacks, therefore forcing myself to make my own treats. This has been working out well for me, plus it is cheaper.

Here are some more spring shots of my 'hood!
This somewhat hippy family down the street lives in a awesome huge old house with these geese that roam around! So cute! I love the sakura petals in the grass that they graze on. They aren't as loud as one would think, and the noise that they do make is pleasant. (at least to me)

Here are more tree blossoms. Not knowing what each type of blossom is, I call everything sakura. These I call Shiro sakura because Shiro is white in Japanese. I really like the white blossoms, because I love white flowers. The sakura in Portland is in full effect right now, leaving a wonderland feel everywhere!

I have no idea what type of tree blossom this is, but it is sort of wild, crawling everywhere. The color is so vibrant! This photo does not do it justice.

This is lavender, I think... There are over 200 types of lavender, so I am unsure. The bees are crazy for this plant.

This squirrel (you may have to enlarge the photo to see it) was so angry with me for taking photos of him, which me made me like him even more! At some points I feared that he was going to jump on my face!

Exciting news! Tomorrow morning we are heading to Central Oregon to visit Bunny's side of the family until Sunday! That means I will get to hang out with my sister in law Amanda, aka Violaceous!! I am very excited to see her and everyone else, some we haven't seen since our big day last September.

This was us leaving our wedding after saying goodbye to everyone, riding off into the sunset. We really did ride off into the sunset, because the sun was actually setting at that time!

Best day of my life!!!!!!! I know Bunny really misses his family and I miss them too, so this will be a fun trip!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Spring Sweets

This weekend the weather was gray, but still pretty!

Friday we made blueberry crepes together, they were really good. Our first time making crepes. I really want to get a crepe pan, because the cast iron skillet is big and bulky.

Easter was low-key, bunny had to work, so I hung around the house and made more cupcakes. I made vanilla cupcakes with strawberry whipped cream frosting.

I really like whip cream frosting because it is so airy and not too sweet or heavy. I got the recipe here and here. I did everything the same as the recipe except I used a little less sugar in the cupcakes and no sugar in the whip cream (the jam is sweet enough for me)

A few of the cupcakes I topped with Moonstruck chocolate truffles.

I really want to make more full sized cakes (9 inch), but cupcakes are so much easier to bake since I am limited to using a toaster oven (which I don't really mind using) and they seem to handle the uneven heat distrubution better.
Thanks for all the good luck on my finals from everyone, I passed my classes with A's all around this term! Besides all the support I get at home, I really think baking has helped me. For some reason baking while studying throughout the day kept me sane and focused. I really hope this method works for next term! I have had so much fun going to school and spending time at home.