Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Gorgeous Oregon Coast

It may not be all that warm and sometimes there is a whole lot of wind, but the Oregon Coast is so beautiful, I frankly do not care.

The Godsey family spent last week at Happy Camp. Seriously, that is not some bizarre euphemism I am concocting after spending a good portion of the week with 30 of my family members. I promise! It is the name of the little area of Netarts where 31 Godseys distributed themselves into 4 rental houses. Our house had a beautiful view of the bay and the ocean beyond.

Above: Tiff and Danny on the beach outside our house.

We had a great time hiking part of the Cape Trail with part of the Godsey family. Joey and I would have liked to have joined Andy, Lindsay, Lucy, Byron and Mei Mei and hiked the whole 5 miles round trip, however, Mono and hiking do not go well together. Instead we hiked about a mile down and about a mile back. The trail was lovely and the view was beautiful all the way around.

Logan is mesmerized by the "BEAR COUNTRY" sign. Not sure if you know this or not, but if you encounter a bear in the forest, you are not supposed to turn and run, you are supposed to stay and make yourself look large (a lot easier for some of us than others).

Above: Andy and Lindsay are ready to go. Soon enough they will realize that hiking with preschoolers takes a little longer than hiking with adults and dogs.

Above: Lucy the Wheaton Terrier is a non-stop ball of energy. I took maybe 5 shots and this is as much of her body as I got.

Joey and I encountered this friendly little snake on the trail on our way back up. He was just catching some rays on the hillside.

Byron and Bridget took a quick detour to peer over the edge of the trail down to the ocean.

Although tree roots on the trail are beautiful, they are a little rough on the little ones. There was some tripping and falling going on.

The view from the trail was spectacular.

We also spent some time at Cape Lookout Beach with Tiff and Danny:

And some time at the gorgeous north side of Pacific City Beach:

We loved spending so much time with Joey. You may have noticed there are no photos of Sammy. That is because we let him invite friends and therefore, we really never saw him, except at meal times.

Next week we head to Hawaii. There will be more blue sky and more blue ocean, but hopefully a lot less sweatshirts! Actually, I plan on packing NO sweatshirts.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Fried Green Tomatillos

I was watching Aarti Party on the Food Network the other day. I love Aarti because I love Indian cuisine, Indian spices, and I just love her... she is so cute. I was totally rooting for her on Next Food Network Star last season. Anyway, she was making Fried Green Tomatillos with Burrata, Cumin & Basil. I have an absolute obsession with Burrata cheese. Basically it is cheese made from mozzarella and cream. So rich, so delicious. A little goes a long way.

Tonight I decided to make the fried green tomatillos but I did not particularly feel like Indian spices. I kind of felt like a BLT. I ended up topping the tomatillos with Burrata, cherry tomatoes, avocado and bacon. I must say, it did not have the kick of Aarti's recipe, but it was mighty tasty.

Fried Green Tomatillos with Burrata, Bacon, Avocado & Tomato Garnish
4 oz. Burrata cheese
4 medium-large tomatillos (husks removed and rinsed), sliced 1/4-inch thick
salt and pepper to taste
4 Tablespoons Canola oil
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 avocado, Diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, Diced
4 slices bacon (I diced mine up before frying. It cuts down on fry time and they get very crispy)
1 lime

Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Set a cooling rack over it. This will be where you put your fried green tomatillos.

Cut the Burrata Cheese into bite-size pieces (1 per slice of tomatillo). Salt and pepper the pieces.

Heat Canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Do not let it get to smoking point, that is too hot. To check that the oil is hot, drop a pinch of the flour-cornmeal mixture into the pan. If it sizzles enthusiastically at you, it's time to go!

Pour the buttermilk into a flat-bottomed dish and season with a little salt and pepper. In another bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour and cayenne pepper. Season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper.

Dip both sides of the tomatillo slice in the buttermilk. Then, using your other hand, dredge it in the cornmeal mixture. Shake off the excess cornmeal and drop in into the hot oil. Repeat with as many slices as you can fit into the pan without overcrowding. Fry until golden brown on both sides.

To assemble: place the tomatillos on a platter. Top each with a piece of burrata, some diced avocado, cherry tomatoes and bacon pieces. Squeeze a little lime juice over the top. Eat immediately before things get soggy!

Then and Now

I have been rummaging through my picture stash again. This month Michael and I will be celebrating our 22nd wedding anniversary. We will also be heading to the Oregon Coast in a week for a Godsey Family Retreat. Thirty of the Godsey Clan will be there. Yes, I said 30 people and that includes the newest member, Hudson Godsey, a mere one day old!

So here we all are on July 29, 1989 in Los Angeles:

(click on picture to enlarge)
L to R: Jill Godsey Junior (age 16), Loy Godsey, Byron Godsey (age 12), Karen Godsey, Ben Godsey (age 7), Kari Godsey Lubitz (age 26), Michael Lubitz (age 25), Andy Godsey (age 7), Tiffany Godsey (age 20), Kim Godsey Williams (age 17), Sarah Godsey Franchi (age 11), Betsy Godsey Sass (age 9)

Twenty years later: August, 2009
The Godsey Family makes an appearance in Yachats, Oregon for
Andy & Lindsay's Wedding

(click on picture to enlarge)
Kari, Jill, Sarah, Kim, Karen, Andy, Lindsay, Loy, Tiffany, Byron, Betsy, Ben

I am very much looking forward to our retreat!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

foto finagling

Thanks to an invite from my Sister Sarah, I have a new obsession: Pinterest. Prior to "pinning" I bookmarked everything. Pictures of fireplace surround ideas for the living room, recipes I wanted to try, clothes and household items I was thinking of purchasing on the internet. My bookmark bar was an ugly mess and it took me forever to find the link I was looking for because I was usually too lazy to rename the bookmark something that I could remember. Well, Pinterest is way more fun, easier to use and it looks nice too.

One of my Boards is Photo Inspiration and includes photos that make me smile, or make me want to take more photos, or make me want to learn just how they got those fantastic photos. Something I noticed right away, A LOT of people use Photoshop. I took a class once, but I never purchased the software. I am technologically challenged and lazy. I have just not had the desire to learn a new software. I can barely use the camera I purchased 3 years ago. Therefore, I use the iPhoto that comes with Mac computers. It is simplistic, but so am I. I have been having some fun turning my color photos to black & white, adding an antique look, or fading the colors. What I have noticed is, I like to fade colors pretty much just as much as I like to enhance them. I know some day I will break down and buy the Creative Suite that includes Photoshop and many other goodies. But for today, I am happy just simply playing with color.

Antiqued Hydrangea

B&W Baseball

Enhanced Camel

Faded Canned Vegetables

Sepia Apples

Friday, July 8, 2011

We've got berries!

Last summer I posted about my successful adventure planting berries in our hillside garden boxes: Berry Satisfaction. Today, you can barely even see that the raspberries and strawberries are indeed planted in boxes as the plants have grown to such a large size. The raspberries are towering over their support systems and growing to at least my height while the strawberries are sending shoots out over the sides of the boxes and just generally having a great old time. While I'm sure some kind of berry plant thinning is in my near future, for the moment I am happy to watch the somewhat ordered chaos going on out back.
As far as fruit goes, the raspberries are just beginning to put out their berries. We have been nibbling a few sweet morsels here and there. For the past couple weeks, we have been getting about a pint of strawberries every couple days from the strawberry patch. We even blended some into a strawberry puree on Fourth of July to add to our lemonade. After a thorough picking the afternoon of July 3rd, we have not been down to the berry beds since. Today I decided it was time to pick and water. Not only did I find a nice little stash of juicy raspberries, but the strawberries had gone wild. So many ripe strawberries, I was glad I optimistically brought a large bowl down with me.

After a little weeding, a little watering and a lot of picking, I am excited with my bowls of berries.
I have decided to take some of the berries and make these muffins:  Lemon Ricotta Muffins
(Of course I will use my whole wheat flour).

I can't wait to taste them! (the muffins, of course... as I have already tasted the berries!)