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Megans Cookin: July 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It's A Bosch!!!

I'm afraid I have been what some might consider a slacker.

My first slack was the Daring Bakers challenge. This is the first one I've missed since I started back in October. It was a lovely Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream. In layman's terms, a hazelnut cake with praline buttercream and whip cream and chocolate ganache. A true diet buster! My thighs are thanking me for missing this challenge but my heart aches. I hear it was delicious. (Sigh)

I also missed The Cookie Carnival. They were making a cookie I was really looking forward too. The Blackberry Almond Shortbread from Martha Stewart. Now, that cookie has been put on the growing list of "must bakes".

And Last, I missed not one but two recipes from the Barefoot Bloggers. One was a jalapeno cornbread and the other was a smoked salmon dip. I will be making that dip to take camping at the beach next week for sure. I'm looking forward to making that, but... I'm afraid I might just get kicked out of the BB group if I don't watch my P's and Q's. You cant miss many of these challenges and now I've gone and missed two in a row. (Rutroe)

Why was I such a slacker, you ask?

I was on a two week vacation and when I came home, my dishwasher was on it's last leg. Now it's dead.

R.I.P. Kenmore.

So I've been under a pile of laundry and a pile of dishes that never seem to disappear. But the good news?...

It's a Bosch!!!

The hubby brought home my new dishwasher this afternoon. It's a Bosch!!! I'm so excited for this new addition to the family. He's (the hubby) going to install it this evening and I'll be back in business! dishes to wash and cookies to make and the unveiling of the new Daring Baker challenge. I can tell you, I wont be procrastinating on this challenge. Bring it on! I'm ready.

That's my excuse for being a slacker and I'm sticking to it!

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Afternoon Tea at Butchart Gardens, Victoria, BC

The Victoria Express.

Our ride to Canada! My last day of vacation was spent with my daughter in Victoria, BC. The hubby stayed in the states with the dog. I said kennel him for a day and night but the hubby just couldn't do it. We have a very pampered pouch! If the truth be told, I think it was the hubby's way of getting out of shopping. He did leave the dog for a game of golf,
so don't feel too sorry for him.

The port of Victoria

There was even a cruise ship in port.

One of the buildings in downtown.

See that double decker bus in front of us. We are riding on the top deck of one of those buses when I took this picture. We are on our way to the garden.

Butchart Gardens

The Water Fountain

Acres of Beauty

Doesn't this picture look like a fairy is going to come flying out at any minute.
It totally looks fake. I want to live here. I want to play and have tea with the fairys.

I have a million flower pictures

One of my very favorite flowers. I would grow tubs of these if I didn't live in an area that gets temperatures above 100 degrees quite frequently in the summer. Freezes in the winter. Not what I would call ideal conditions for this kind of plant.

More Hanging Baskets

Kellie and I had afternoon tea sitting on the balcony over looking a part of the gardens. It was a beautiful day and this made it perfect. I think Kellie will have memories of this time together for the rest of her life. I'm glad I spent the extra moola on this . It really did make it extra special.

This was my view from the balcony.

This was Kellie's view!

The dessert plate.

The menu!
Seasonal berry trifle
Layers of sponge cake and seasonal berry compote, finished with chantilly cream

Traditional delicacies include:
A savory house-made sausage roll with imported mustard
Roasted vegetable and cheese quiche

Savory tea sandwiches include:
Locally smoked wild BC salmon with maple and whole grain mustard cream cheese
Egg salad and watercress, mango curry chicken roulade
Smoked honey ham on a rosemary and aged cheddar biscuit
Cucumber with fresh ginger cream cheese

House-made sweets include:
Dark chocolate barquette with fresh fruit
Raspberry marzipan Napoleon
Lemon and poppy seed loaf,

coconut chocolate macaroon
Chocolate Grand Marnier truffle

Thier own signature candied ginger scone
Accompanied by strawberry jam and whipped vanilla Devon-style cream

On our way back to the port after shopping.
Potfuls of flowers every where you look. I could get use to this!

The Famous Empress Hotel

The Government Building.

A Mime

I hope you enjoyed my little vacation trip. Thanks for riding along!



Gas: $758.00


Golf: $140.00

Canada trip x2:$225.00

Totals for a 2 week vacation: $1400,00. (Not bad for a vacation for 3 people for 2 weeks!)




Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Smile Award and 6 random facts!

A big thank you to Barbara from Barbara Bakes for bestowing on me...
The Smile Award.
How very sweet of you, Barbara, and thank you for all the smiles you have given me.

If you have not checked out her blog, please do yourself a favor, check her out. She just put up a picture of some awesome cookies that I know I will be trying. Thank You Barbara!

Characteristics for the Smile Award:

1. Must display a cheerful attitude. (not necessarily at all times--we are all human)
2. Must love one another
3. Must make mistakes
4. Must learn from others
5. Must be a positive contributor to blog world
6. Must love life
7. Must love kids

These are the rules:

1. The recipient must link back to the award's creator (
2. You must post these rules if you receive the award.
3. You must chose 5 people to receive the award after receiving it yourself
4. You must fit the characteristics of the recipient of the award, as posted by Mere.
5. You must post the characteristics of a recipient.
6. You must create a post sharing your win with others.
7. You must thank your giver.

And now I get to give the award to 5 of my favorite bloggers...

April from Abby Sweets.
April always makes me smile. We e-mail each other quite regularly and have built a nice bloggy friendship. When I asked her to co-host a local goodies swap, she was right there beside me, smiling all the way. Thank You April, for the smiles and the friendship.

Karen from Do Better
I love to read this blog for several reasons. Whether it is exercising, eating better or just thinking green, Karen inspires me to do better. She writes about her friends and family and makes me feel at home when I come to visit her.

Geggie from So...What else, What else, What else?
I have followed Geggie for awhile and she has a great sense of humor. She has recipes, tips, and a wonderful sense of adventure. She will also tell you how it is! A guaranteed smile!

Michele from A Big Cup of Tea
Michele has a crock pot breakfast that I used when I was on vacation. That meal alone is a good enough reason for an award but michele has some fun crafty ideas as well. She makes everything look so easy and I love to stop by and visit.

Dawn from A Home in the Country
Dawn is a new blogger and also a Daring Baker. It makes me smile to watch her garden grow. I didn't get to do a garden so I'll just watch Dawns with a smile. Welcome to the blogging world, Dawn!

Now for the random facts.

April tagged me for 6 random fact about me.
I know this is stuff your just dying to know. :)

Here are the rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on the blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Here goes...

1. I grew up in a music store. Same building, roof and walls. Just walk through some swinging doors and you would walk out of my kitchen and into the music store.

2. I volunteer for the YMCA. I have been there for 11 years this October.

3. We had a fire and the music store burned down in 1993. We rebuild it and are still there today.

4. I don't have a spleen. It burst after I was hit in a head-on crash with a drunk driver. Don't drink and drive.

5. I have a wienie dog named Mario. I use to have a cat named Mario, too.

6. I don't like to talk on the phone.

Now I get to tag some people and I tag all of you! If your reading this, considered yourself tagged. What? Not everyone has a blog? Then you can leave your random facts in the comments. See how accommodating I am. Another little random fact I bet you were dying to know!


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hurricane Ridge and a Raspberry lemonade

We made it to Salt Creek campground in the far northern coast of Washington. You can see the Strait of Juan De Fuco waterway between the USA and Canada, right behind where we're staying.

That would be Canada you see in the distance. Actually, it's Vancouver Island. This is the waterway to get to Victoria, Canada and the ports of Seattle. We saw cruise ships, huge barges, and even a submarine pass through these waters. Sometimes there would be a ridge of fog in between and you could just see the top of the mountains

On our first day of sightseeing, we went to Hurricane Ridge. We are 52oo feet up in the Olympic National Forest. This is looking down on Port Angeles from the top of the ridge. You can barely see the town in the middle of the picture.

This is the spectacular mountain ridge that we drove 17 miles straight up for. It was more then worth every gas guzzling mile and a must see if you are ever in the area! I felt like I was in the movie Sound of Music and wanted to break out in song.

The hills are alive with the sound of music
With songs they have sung for a thousand years
The hills fill my heart with the sound of music
My heart wants to sing every song it hears.

Can you hear it in your head?
I hope it didn't get stuck there and your humming it all day. (insert evil giggle)

The little family (minus me) at a photo opp! That would be the hubby Rich, the daughter Kellie, and the dog Mario. I'm thinking this picture might make the annual Kellie Calender!

The next day we went to Victoria, Canada and this was a view of the mountain from out on the ferry. When we left Port Angeles, it was sunny weather. Then we went through the fog bank and thought it would be foggy and cold in Victoria. But we came out of the fog... to a beautiful day.

After a hard day sightseeing, It was time for a cool refreshing drink. I've made this drink several times now and it's a winner. Simply mash some fresh of frozen raspberries in a pitcher. Add one can of frozen lemonade mix. You can use either pink or regular lemonade. Then add a 2 litter bottle of ginger ale and mix. Float a few berries on top. If your over 21, you can spike it and turn it into a cocktail. Thank you Janet, for this recipe. It's one I will be enjoying a lot . It's perfect!!!

Stay tuned for my Canadian post.

Totals So Far!



Miles-1150 (total miles, including side trips)


Recommend Reading:

The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright
Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber

Note: I'm not including food or souveniers because everyone has different habits and budgets.
Besides, I dont want hubby to know what I spent. :) (just kidding! About the spending, not the food and souveniers)



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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Classic S'more, With A Twist!

A picture is worth a thousand words so lets start with pictures!

Remember the 4 mile bridge to Washington? I thought I would share the crossing. Coming over the bridge, it started out kind of like a roller coaster. You kind of lose your tummy going over that little hill. This is one long bridge. Ohh...but what a fun bridge. Washington bound!
This was our first stop in Washington at Kalaloch (claylock) National Park. The beach was beautiful once you got past the logs. Actually, they were fun to climb over!

You can see the back of some of the trailers up on the bluff. We were backed up to the beach with just a short walk down the trail. It took longer to climb over the logs then it did to walk there. Even the dog had a jolly good time.

We had gorgeous sunsets. I couldn't decide which picture to share so here is a Mosaic. It wasn't dark till after 10 o'clock each night. That really screwed with my inner clock!

This is Ruby beach a few miles north of where we stayed. I must say, this was my favorite beach. It reminded me of Hawaii in so many ways. The turquoise water, the black sand beach, the breath taking scenery. The only problem is, it's not Hawaii and that is not black sand beach. But if you lay on the beach and and smell that the sea air, you might as well be in Hawaii.

Doesn't that look like black sand to you? I wished I had brought a book and a picnic! A Mai Tai cocktail with an umbrella would of been a nice touch too!

S'more time! But why go for the same ol' thing? We added a little pizazz with different frosting and different candy bars. Or, how about one with Nutella? A twist on an old classic.

Here is one with a peanut butter cup. I believe this one to be my hubby's favorite. I got a little piggish and had this one with 2 marshmallows. I believe one is enough!

I know, I already showed you this sunset picture. But it is one of my favorites and I wanted you to see a larger picture. It's really an awesome sunset.
Our next stop? Port Angeles, Washington.
Totals so far:
Total Distance-about 850 miles
Recommended reading:
The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright
Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Goodbye Oregon, Hello Washington!

One of my favorite parts of vacationing in Oregon is the baskets of flowers everywhere. Oh, how I wish I could grow them like this. But living in Redding, where the temperature was 112 degrees this week, I wont be hanging any of these beauty's anytime soon. I'm so glad I'm out of town. I guess the fires are still going strong around Redding and according to a newspaper article I read, the ash is falling like snow. Between the smokey air and the blazing hot temperatures, they have health warnings in effect. Today's forecast is 106 degrees Ouch.

It's 65 degrees and blue sky here in Astoria. Perfect for growing these window baskets.

We took a trip to the Lewis and Clark fort and went through the museum. This is the entrance to the fort. It's interesting to hear about all the trials and hardships those people went through. And they didn't have enough whiskey to make it through the trip. Hard times indeed!

This is the mouth of the Columbia river. It was hard to get a picture to show you because it's so big. We were even standing on a very tall platform to get this picture!

We went up to the Astoria column but the column it self was closed for renovation. Bummer for us but the view was still spectacular on the hill.

That is the bridge that takes you to Washington. The part you see is the tall part so ships can pass under. The total length is 4.1 miles. We'll be heading that way today.

Tonight was our last night here at Fort Stevens State Park. According to a camp ranger, it's the largest park west of the Mississippi river. Not in acreage but in the number of sites. There are 538 including yurts and biking sites. That's a big park but it's very nice. Across the road is a KOA park with a Internet cafe. I'm telling ya, Hi-Fi is the new cable!

Tomorrow, Washington bound. I wonder if I'll be seeing this sign all up the Washington boarder. They are certainly up and down the California and Oregon border.

No recipe for you today but I'll leave you with a picture of my lunch. I use to think fish tacos were weird but I've found that I have taken a fancy to them on this trip. You will see them again on this blog! These were blackened fish taco with Cilantro Lime Creme fraiche. These are definitely going to be duplicated when I get home!

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