Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Washington Weekends

Lately, or at least prior to Saturday's thunderstorm, we have been getting beautiful weather over the past few weekends, I mean into the 80's on some days. While most of you may think my excitement a bit odd I assure you that it is not. See while everywhere else the typical summer weather seems to start at the appropriate time. By at least mid june, most people are well into breaking out the sprinklers and slip-n-slides for the kiddos to run through and praying that their A/C doesn't break, meanwhile us that live up here on the island are breathless with anticipation for July/August when we might get a solid week or two of steady sun and warmth, true Washingtonians, however, are excluded from they seem to thrive under the hover of gray clouds while the rest of us want to stay cocooned in our comforters. Maybe they just do a better job of hiding their disdain. With me being a native Californian, though, I get restless for the sun. I've lived here for nearly 7 years and have just started to feel like I'm becoming acclimated to the weather, so I guess it happens, but I relish in the few warm days that we do get out of the year.

In all fairness without the frequent precipitation we would loose our status as the ever green state (the firs are beautiful all year round), and though it may sound like a complaint I'm very thankful to not live in a constant state of paralysis due to warm humid air gluing me to the sofa. With the onslaught of nice weather I've made a point to try and get out ant enjoy it with some friends.

The nice weather started back in June, right in time for Amber's wedding. That was a fun Saturday, and a blessed time to see Him finally bring Dave and Amber's relationship full circle with them joining their lives in marriage. Besides our Faith Missions month, I've been calling it the social event of BBC calendar.

The Blushing Bride
Pink heels...Amber's so stylish
The Arbor
Pastor & Dave
Getting Ready to say "I Do"
Me & Mandy...ol' friends & good times
I visited the zoo (Woodland Park is a very nice zoo) this past weekend also, and on the 4th of July I went to a Knot in Thyme for my friends picnic. Below are some pics. The picnic photos were taken with my friend Ken's camera, which I'll be using to take the photos for Amy's wedding this September (one of these days I'd love to have a digital SLR myself, super fun to play with).

The Grizzly Bear was my favorite
Pet me...I dare you
He was a gentle giant
Sleeping Leopard
Silver Back...guess who's the king of his castle?
Komodo Dragon

A visitor at lunch

A Knot in Time offers free Draft Horse wagon rides. The path is shaded by ferns and trees with much growth being cut back and being used to make improvements to the farm. Mr. Rawls offers a good tour that is filled with history about the farm and horses, people usually confuse them for Clydsdales (I know I did at first). He also offers funny antectodes along the way.
The wagon path
Mr. Rawls telling stories & joking around with us
Trees above us

At the end we were treated to a song
by the Irish Quartet

The ride & song were enjoyed by all
& ATV's make for a good time
The Mosquito was hungry too
Horse shoes
Jeff & Jim against Chris & Solomon
Chris & Solomon ended up winning
& Volleyball were also part of the festivities

Ummm...I think I'll pass
The Watermelon looks good though
I've also found the motivation to start experimenting in the kitchen again. Which led me to make Salisbury steaks a few weeks ago, before my ground beef went bad. I got the recipe from one of my favorite GF blogs, Hey that tastes good (she's also where I got my wedding pie recipe from). I'd never made it before. so I guess this can go on my list of meals I can now make. It's super easy, maybe a half an hour to make from start to finish, and it was really good too. I put the link up in case you want to check out the blog, but I'm also posting her recipe as well in case that's all you want. I'm sure greatful for a new easy recipe to add to my catalog.
Salisbury Steak

Salisbury Steak
1 lb ground beef
2 onions
salt and pepper
1 T Worcestershire sauce
2 cloved minced garlic
1 T olive oil
2 c sliced mushrooms
2 T butter
1 T sweet rice flour (heaped), I didn't have any rice flour so I used corn starch to thicken the sauce...it worked just as well
1 c stock, water, or wine

Finely dice half of one onion, set the other one and a half aside. Put the beef into a bowl, add the onion, salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce (wooster-sheer), and garlic and mix with your hands. Heat the olive oil in a medium sized pan, form the beef into egg-shaped balls, and flatten a bit. Cook the beef on each side until well browned. While the beef is cooking, slice the onions. Remove meat to a plate and cover with foil, and cook the onions in the same pan over low heat, until softened and starting to caramelize. Push the onions to the side and add the mushrooms and cook until they're lightly browned. Scoop the mushrooms and onions into a bowl, and add the butter to the pan. When it's melted, stir in the sweet rice flour, let it cook for a minute, then whisk in the stock and let cook for a few minutes, whisking occasionally, until thickened. Stir in the mushrooms and onions, then nestle the beef into the gravy and let the meat heat through. Serve with rice, noodles, or maybe even on a sandwich (woah!).

Washington weekends have been really great lately. I love the summer!

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