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Monday, December 21, 2009

Busy December Traveling, Drinking, Eating and Quilting

Hi Boys and Girls!
I am sure your December is as busy as mine. It started with a bang. Have you ever been so cold that your lips do not move when you talk? I have. Hubby and I visited my most dear Aunt Cay in Spokane, WA the first week in December.
Spokane is home to Gonzaga University. What a fantastic place. http://www.gonzaga.edu/ It is a Jesuit university steeped in tradition. And they have a great basketball team!

Isn't my aunt sweet to find a quilt shop for me in Spokane? I found Moda's pattern Close to My Heart. The fabric line is gorgeous. I know you will fall in love with it. The pattern is from Laundry Basket Quilts http://www.laundrybasketquilts.com/ but for the life of me I could not find the pattern there nor the fabric. However, I did find some of the fabric at http://www.fabricdepot.com/
so I can at least start on the quilt, which measures 72" by 72" which is a good bed size. Anyway, my Aunt Cay is the sweetest person in the world. Back to Spokane.

I knew it would be a challenge but the gods were with us. What a beautiful place! Spokane is high desert and near the Idaho border. http://www.spokane.com/ It is in a valley but the mountains, Cascades, I think are very close. Well, believe me...it is cold there in December. My cousin Mary and husband Lemont live in Colbert, just a few miles from Spokane. They are very active outdoor sports people along with their two daughters. So, this area is perfect for them.
Do they look cold in this picture? It was 4 degrees! Yes, and they are used to this cold weather.

We were at Lake Coeur D'Alene (Idado)http://www.coeurdalene.org/ watching the eagles swooping down to catch fish for dinner. It is an awesome sight. I have never seen such a big lake. Well, let's get back to the 4 degrees! Do Roberto and I look cold? My teeth are clenched and I am trying to say, "Take the picture now!"
When we got back to the house, Lemont started his famous clam chowder....which was a great idea to thaw us out. Actually, he started a fire first and then headed to the kitchen. You didn't think I was going to leave out food in this post, did you? You know me better than that! Anyway, the clam chowder recipe was made up while he was camping and needed something fast and easy. It was a hassle to take fresh potatoes so he used Campbell's potato soup. Of course, the clams were canned but oh so good. No MSG.
Here are some of Lemont's ingredients.

The canned soup was very good too. To finish it off we had sourdough bread.Well, that took care of us just nicely!
You think I got away without making Mexican food? Nice try. They wanted tamales, but hey...I was only there for 3 days! So, I made shredded beef soft tacos with homemade tortillas, of course. The beef was spiced up with chile powder, black olives and garlic. We had Mexican rice and fresh beans. All the trimmings for the soft tacos included avocado, tomatoes and lettuce. Lemont made a real hit with me by bringing a sauce called El Pato. It is so good. The first ingredient is jalapenos but there is also vinegar. That sour with hot is great! I have not found it yet at my local store but it is made in Mexico so being in Texas, I should find it here.

Next, we went to Bothell, WA and had a ball there. My bro is the supreme good cook and his appetizers are very special.  Have you ever served pickles with Brie and grapes? Well, you should try it! The wine was a big hit too. I will not bore you with the Mexican dinner I made for them but let me give you a hint. Quesadillas made with butternut squash are to die for! Butternut squash?? Yes!! Cut the squash in half and poke holes in it. Place it in the microwave for a couple of minutes and keep testing it with a fork to see that it does not fully cook. When still firm, take it out and peel it. Chop the squash in bite-size pieces and saute them in butter, garlic and a dash of chile powder until cooked. Then make the quesadillas with a little butter in the pan. Place the tortilla in the pan and put some squash in the center of the tortilla along with sharp cheddar or Mexican cheese. Fold over and cook both sides. Serve with tomatillo sauce. Now, you tell me if this does not make your mouth water. It is a keeper in this house!

The highlight of Seattle was Canlis Restarant in Seattle. http://www.canlis.com/ The view is so beautiful. The service (at least 4 wait staff treated us like royalty). This is a very elegant place to dine. It is not just eating to fill your tummy. It is an experience that I highly recommend. Bill and Marsha treated us which made it even more special. They were celebrating their anniversary!

And then there was the International Motorcycle Show in downtown Seattle! All our dreams were coming true! Well, not quite, but we could pretend right? Doesn't Roberto look like a natural on this bike? He had one when we were dating and the bug has never left him....I keep bugging him for a bike!It could happen!

Well, this just about wraps up our quick trip to WA state. Christmas is Friday and the gift cakes are made. Now, I have to finish making my presents for a few special people. I cannot mention what they are because they may be reading this! I can tell you that they are homemade and taste good. Of course, the sewing machine has been busy too! Until next time, cook something interesting, make something from scratch and share your fun with me! Let me know how you like those butternut quesadillas!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


  1. A most lovely account of your venture. I like the motorcycle. Dale

  2. It was a great show...vintage bikes were really neat too.