Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Buffalo Turkey Burger Recipe

During one of my many romps across the Internet universe in search of delicious food options, I came upon this great website that has some pretty decent and easy recipes specifically geared to be healthy for the Type 2 Diabetic: JoyBauer.com.

The first recipe I tried was actually the Almond Hot Cocoa recipe, which was rich and delicious and uses almond milk, vanilla, pinch of salt, dark chocolate chips and sugar (I used Stevia). It's a great go-to recipe when I feel like something hot, rich, chocolaty and sweet, but without the dairy and sugar.

The second recipe I tried was the Buffalo Chicken Burgers and everyone loved it. I have since tweaked the recipe a bit and added an avocado topping. We have had these burgers many times now. If you like buffalo wings, I think you will like these burgers. The link above is to the original recipe. Here is my version:

Ingredients for Patties:
1 pound lean ground chicken or turkey
1 Tblsp. Olive Oil
1 small onion, very finely diced
1/4 cup celery, very finely diced
1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce
10-12 drops Sriracha (we love Sriracha)
4-6 ounces crumbled Goat Cheese
(bleu cheese works too, we like the milder flavor of the goat cheese too)
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
salt and pepper, to taste

Ingredients for Avocado Topping:
1 ripe avocado
2 Tablespoons Greek Yogurt
8-10 drops Sriracha
salt and pepper, to taste

Whole Grain Hamburger Buns, Lettuce, Tomato

Patty Preparation:
Since I do not like crunchy onions and celery in the my burger patties, I sautéed the vegetables in olive oil until soft before adding to the ground turkey. Combine meat, veggies, Frank's, Sriracha, cheese, cumin, chili powder, and salt & pepper. Form into patties and cook on hot skillet, grill pan, or outdoor grill, approximately 5 minutes per side (or until cooked through), depending on size of patties.

Avocado Topping:
Mix together the ripe avocado, yogurt, Srirachia, and Salt & Pepper until creamy.

Assemble the burgers, adding Frank's Red Hot Sauce as a topping at the end if you like.

Quick, easy & delicious!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Breakfast of Champions

It has been a fun Seattle Seahawks season thus far. They have a great team and they are winning games and getting respect from, well, everyone. Since Portland has no pro Football or Baseball Teams, we have to look elsewhere for our favorites. For some reason, Sammy loves the Eagles and now that Chip Kelly is in Philly, well, let's just say we are all rooting for their success. I am not a huge Football fan, however, I do enjoy the more local Seahawks and even though Michael and I went to ASU and only one person in our family is actually a Duck, we love the Ducks. I do go south as well, to San Francisco, for my favorite baseball team and, yes, I still love Barry Bonds (and Martha Stewart, and Paula Deen...but I digress).

I started my day today by turning the kitchen TV on to the Seahawks game and whipping up a delicious Sunday breakfast brunch. Usually Michael takes care of Sunday breakfast and he has two specialities. The first including a quick run to Kenny & Zuke's for bagels, lox and cream cheese. Michael has also perfected steak and eggs, which is simply grilled filet mignon and scrambled eggs (he adds cream and cheese), and quite delicious. I have been wanting to make sweet potato hash for a while, so today I took over the Sunday breakfast duties and made: Sweet Potato Hash with a Sunny Side Up Egg, Grilled Filet Mignon and Homemade Chimichurri Sauce. Since it all turned out so deliciously, I thought I would document my recipes here.

2 sweet potatoes
2 yukon gold yellow potatoes
3-4 strips bacon, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
hungarian smoked paprika to taste
1 Tablespoon chili powder
Salt and Pepper, to taste
finely chopped scallion for garnish

Peel and cut the potatoes into large chunks and boil until almost cooked through. Drain, cool and dice. Meanwhile, in a frying pan, cook bacon on medium heat until fat is rendered and bacon is cooked. Add onion and bell pepper and cook for approximately 3 minutes, then add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add in diced potatoes, paprika, chili powder, and salt & pepper. Cook for an additional 5 minutes on medium to get a nice fry on the potatoes, then turn down to low. In another pan, cook eggs sunny side up. Serve with egg on hash and garnish with green onions.

1 cup finely packed flat leaf parsley leaves, trim off thick stems
3-4 garlic cloves
1/2 cup finely packed cilantro
1/2 chopped jalapeño
2 teaspoons dried Oregano (or 2 T fresh)
1 teaspoon dried Basil (or 1 T fresh)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until fine.

Completely delicious and really good served on steak.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

In Pursuit of the Perfect Hard Cider

On a blustery Autumn afternoon in Portland, we commenced our 2nd year of hard cider making. "We" being me and Danny. Well, let's back track a couple weeks.
(The Leaning Apple Tree, Before The Fall)

On a rainy Saturday morning in mid September, I went out back to do some weeding and was saddened to find one of our (two) apple trees lying on the ground. I had had my concerns. The tree was absolutely brimming with beautiful apples and it was also leaning (somewhat significantly) to one side. When the pruners were here in August, they were reluctant to try and stake the tree as they didn't want to disturb the apples. So there I stood, realizing I was not going to be weeding, I was going to be harvesting apples that day. I was also worried about the tree. It didn't look broken, but more uprooted. As it turned out, mole tunnels had contributed to the fateful apple tree fall of 2013. The tree was replanted and properly staked this past week and they think it will survive to live a long prosperous life. I guess we shall see.

Michael and I did, indeed, harvest a lot of apples that day. We placed them gently on the new Apple Loft/Cider Room floor to sweeten up a bit. In the meantime, I ordered Michael a brand new old fashioned cider press as an early birthday present from Happy Valley Ranch in Paola, KS.

And now, back to present.

(Michael's Happy Valley Ranch Cider Press)

In preparation for having our main floor hardwood floors refinished next week, we need the cider room for storing furniture, etc... Therefore, all the apples needed to leave the cider room floor. Although we will want three different varieties for our hard apple cider, and we have not harvested our second tree or sourced the third variety of apples, we decided to do a first pressing of the fallen tree apples and get them fermenting. Handy Danny put together Michael's press for us and it looks beautiful.

Once the press was together, I realized we might as well get the party started...

First step in our cider press process: Gather the apples for washing:
Second step: Wash the apples and remove any blemishes:

(Michael's Press, before the very first crushing)

Third step: Crush the apples in the grinder
Fourth step: Press/juice the apples
By the time Michael got home, Danny was a pro. He gave Michael a lesson.

Fifth step: putting the cider in fermenters and prepping for fermentation (includes checking levels with a hydrometer, adding sugar when necessary, adding pectic enzyme, yeast nutrient, and Camden tablets--to kill off any "bad" things that might have gotten in during pressing)

We ended up with two fermenters each holding about 5.3 gallons of raw cider.

Here are Michael's notes from late last night:
2 batches 5.3 gal each
Closest to fridge hydro read


Away from fridge

Added 1 cup of sugar to each to bring specific gravity to 1.045
Added 26 drops of pectic enzyme to each
Added 1.25 tsp of yeast nutrient to each
Added 5.3 Camden tablets crushed to each

Completed at 12:30 am Saturday Sept 28

(Michael cleaning the press)

Tomorrow we will add the actual yeast to the cider and the fermentation process will begin. We will need to do this whole process at least one more time once we have harvested our 2nd apple tree and sourced our 3rd variety. After fermentation and before our first racking, we will combine the cider varieties for a better tasting final product. Last year Michael successfully bottled approximately 8 gallons of hard cider. People seemed to like it and it is definitely all gone. I think the preferred cider was the slightly fizzy variety (vs. the flat). This year we were planning for 15 gallons, all fizzy, and I want to try and perfect the Caramel Apple Hard Cider this year. Since one tree provided us with over 10 gallons of cider, we may end up with a lot of cider to experiment with!

I am not sure Bernie is thrilled with the whole cider making "thing." He spent most of the night sequestered and barking. He was one confused puppy. Jumping, hyper puppies with lots of shedding fur, and cider, do not go well together. Some day maybe he will sit quietly in the cider room during the process, yesterday was not that day.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Sammy's Got a New Room!

One of these days we are going to be able to call this old house complete. Pretty sure it won't be any day soon, but some day....

Sammy's room got a complete overhaul last month. Furniture removed, new window covering, carpets cleaned, walls painted. Ta da! Here's his new room about 90% complete. A rug and a couple pieces of artwork will arrive Tuesday, but I could not wait for the unveiling.

We kept the Americana Theme in Sammy's bedroom. His room has always had a red, white & blue flair, complete with American Flag and everything. The flag was relegated to the closet. The designers know what they are doing.

The wallpaper came from France, ooh, la, la.

I love the horses, I think I will name them.

The large TV made it in, so this is the official media guest room. Joey's room has books and music. Sammy's will have the X-Box. Oh my gosh, that is shocking... said no one, EVER!

Comfy Queen Size Bed.

Sammy will be home at the end of this coming week for a couple days. I know he is going to love it, especially the new comfy mattress!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

2012 - The Year of Instagram!

I am running a little late on my end of year post... obviously.

Last year was another big year for the Lubitz Family. So many milestones, so many fun times. Possibly one of the most notable events of January 2012: I discovered INSTAGRAM! It was love at first iPhone photo. Each of the pictures used in this post were taken with my iPhone and transformed (yeah, that's a big word, don't burst my bubble... I am not a big fan of techno-gadgets, but I am still enamored with this one) using Instagram. In January, we were all together as a family for about a week and a half. Then Joey took off on a road trip with friends from Portland to Oberlin, in the middle of winter. A little crazy, yes, but they had fun. Sammy frantically got all his college applications in--at the very last minute, literally.

A walk at dusk in Tryon Creek State Park.

In February, Michael headed off to Japan for work and I visited Salt Lake City for a baby shower. February also included my "Breakfast with Sammy" blog series.

The "Mauna Kea" breakfast with Waffles, raspberries & whipped cream.

March included more biz travel for Michael, another trip to Salt Lake City for me, plus a really fun and relaxing family trip to beautiful Bandon on the Oregon Coast. Joey flew in from Oberlin. I was shocked both Joey and Sammy's spring breaks fell on the same week. That will never happen again. We stayed in a fun little cabin in the woods, on a lake, with no TV or internet. We brought our projector from home, draped a sheet over the rafters, and watched DVD's using the laptops. We actually checked out DVD's at a rental store. I did not even realize "video" rental stores still existed. Well, they do in Bandon, Oregon. We watched our very first episode of 'Breaking Bad' at that Bandon cabin. If not for Lily's ear infection and my toothache, it would have been perfect. Even still, it was pretty amazing having everyone together enjoying quality time. We did a puzzle, I made fresh chowder and chocolate chip cookies, and they even had an old-fashioned record player and record collection.

Joey and Lily enjoying some comfy couch time at the little Bandon cabin on the lake.

April was a whirlwind of activity for Sammy. Tennis season started, it was his last official month of high school, he received all his college letters and then had to make a college decision before the end of the month. Sammy and I traveled back east and visited colleges in Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York. Sammy chose Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. Our CSA farm share started back up.

Carousel outside our hotel in Boston.

May was quite a month. Sammy was offered a spot from the wait list at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, which he took. So, in a matter of days, he went from being a Skidmore College Thoroughbred, to a Bates College Bobcat. Sammy and his tennis partner also went to the state tennis tournament and came in 3rd doubles. Sammy shadowed a trauma surgeon for his Catlin Gabel senior project and went with friends to the Sasquatch Music Festival at the Gorge Amphitheater. Joey finished his Sophomore year of college. I turned 49 years old.

Memorial Day lunch at Oven & Shaker. Leek, Speck and Goat Cheese Pizza.

In June, we saw Sammy graduate high school, and leave for Europe. Sammy and friends visited Amsterdam; Bolzano & Florence, Italy; Monaco, St. Tropez; Figueres and Barcelona, Spain; and Paris, France. Joey returned from Oberlin and started his pizza dough making job at Oven & Shaker.

Zinnia's on the deck. Early summer dusk.

Sammy returned from Europe in July. Joey made a jaunt to Albuquerque. Uncle Chris and Aunt Akiko came to town and we visited Crater Lake. Michael and I celebrated our 23rd anniversary at The Allison Inn & Spa in the Oregon Wine Country.

Crater Lake.

August was a lot of fun and a little melancholy. We started the month with a fun trip to Sunriver for the annual Godsey Family Retreat. A total of 30 'Godsey' family members crammed into shared three homes. On August 26th, Joey left for his Junior year Fall Semester abroad in Amsterdam. On August 27th, we helped move Sammy into his dorm at Bates College. At approximately 4:00pm on Monday August, 27th, we said good-bye to Sammy and our hearts sank. We got in the car and drove up to Woods Pond in Bridgton, Maine about an hour away, where we had spent a family vacation about a decade before. We reminisced and frankly, did not know what to do with ourselves. It was more difficult than we had imagined. Michael flew home from Boston and I took the Amtrak to Hartford, CT and had much more fun helping my friend Dana move her daughter into her dorm room. I then spent a fantastic week in NYC with Dana. We saw plays and walked and saw more plays and ate and walked and it helped a lot!

Visiting Detroit Dam on the way back from Sunriver.

In September, Michael learned to live without his sons and it wasn't easy. Joey turned 21 in the lonely land of Amsterdam, where turning 21 doesn't really hold much excitement. We took a really fun road trip with Andy, Lindsay, Kate, Lucy and Lily to Calistoga and the weather was gorgeous. Later in September, Michael picked all the apples from our backyard trees and started the hard cider making process.

Our backyard apples.

October was AMAZING! We left October 8th for a three week long trip to lands far and wide. We spent 4 days in Amsterdam with Joey. We boarded our cruise ship and spent 10 days visiting Bruges, Belgium; Normandy, France; Gijon, Vigo & Malaga, Spain; and then finally Barcelona. We spent 4 days on land in Barcelona and it was awesome. Michael turned 49 in Barcelona. We then flew to Boston and drove up to Lewiston to visit Sammy on his 19th birthday.

Spanish hillside outside Vigo.

November was also pretty exciting. Michael attended his 30 year high school reunion in Calabasas, California and I really don't think anyone has ever enjoyed a class reunion more. Sammy came home for Thanksgiving and we had the big feast at our house again--a new tradition. After Thanksgiving, Michael and I headed to Washington DC. I had never been. It was so much fun. The weather was gorgeous. We went to the Memorials at night--twice! I would have loved to have seen the White House all decorated for Christmas, but this was a last minute trip--next time! There is really no place else like Washington DC.

We shared a chocolate malt, two blocks from the White House.

In December we held our company retreat at The Allison Inn & Spa in Newberg. This is one of my new favorite places and it is so close to home. The day after we returned from our retreat, we boarded a plane for Kauai. Both the Washington DC trip and the Kauai trip we scheduled to use Marriott points we were going to lose if we didn't use them, so we used them. Kauai was wonderful, peaceful, warm, beautiful, relaxing, lovely! Sammy returned to Portland for his break and Joey was close behind. We got a full 9 days with both boys before Joey headed out to Albuquerque. It was a great 9 days! We realize it is going to get less and less likely that the boys want to spend their breaks with us and we are preparing for this inevitability. They both just need to know, we will go to them, no matter where they end up. Not to worry :)!

Crisp December morning at The Allison Inn & Spa.

Thanks 2012, for some really phenomenal moments--actually, a lot of really phenomenal moments!

... and thank you Instagram. I don't care how many bazillion dollars some big, rich company paid for you. To me, you are worth it....