Romas & Goats


  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese.
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 11 ounces of goat cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 12 plum (Roma) tomatoes
  • Pesto

Stir together first five ingredients in a shallow bowl. Stir in butter; set aside.

Combine goat cheese, pepper and salt in a small bowl.

Cut tomatoes in half (horizontally). Trim as needed so the halves stand upright. Remove seeds and pulp. Stuff about 2 teaspoons of goat mixture into each half.

Dip tomatoes upside down in breadcrumb mixture, coating generously. Place right side up on ungreased cookie sheet (I used a mini muffin pan).

Bake at 400 for 15 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to serving platter, drizzle with pesto. Yield: Two dozen.

Recipe suggested serving at room temperate. But we didn’t wait.

From the Coastal Living Cookbook

Hoppin’ John

This is a great rice dish that I found when looking for something new to serve with fish.

  • 6 slices of bacon chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped

Cook bacon in dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Add onion, saute until tender.

  • 4 cups of fresh peas, shelled
  • 8 spring fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Add peas, thyme and 1 tablespoon of salt. Add water to cover and bring to boil. Cover with lid, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes or until peas are tender. Drain.

  • 4 cups cooked basmati rice
  • 4 cups seeded, diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Combine pea mixture with remaining ingredients and mix. Yield: about 12 cups.

My notes: I cut the recipe in about half (changing up the ratio as I wanted less rice). Substituted edamame for peas and brown rice. I also omitted the salt until seasoning with salt and pepper after mixing. I felt with the salt bacon that adding salt with the edamame may make a salty dish that I like.

pairing with a white fish like grouper or sheepshead. We grilled salmon and thought that also worked well.

Take Me to the Olympics

In my fortieth year, one goal was to scrapbook each decade. I didn’t get it done. I haven’t made progress this year either. But I did organize photos into piles for each decade. And with the organizing came a nice trip down memory lane. And the decade one pile put a trip back to the Olympic National Park on my summer of 2012 to do list.

And we made it last week.


Started our trip with breakfast in Seattle as we headed north to catch the Edmonds Ferry. ((While waiting for our ferry, Bailie scrounged her first beach.)) After crossing the water, we ventured through Port Gamble. We started with lunch at the General Store before wandering through almost every business in this quaint little town. Then headed out across the Hood Canal

Lunch in Port Gamble
Our lunch spot


After a lazy morning that include ricotta pancakes, we headed down to the Farmer’s Market to select fresh produce and lamb for a dinner feast. Along the way, Bailie also spotted a donut shop (big surprise). After a little dinner prep and packing of lunch, we headed up the road to Hurricane Ridge. What an amazing hike! Beautiful mountains to the south, the Straight of Juan de Fuca to the north, surrounded by meadows in full bloom and full of deer, birds and even a cougar strolling across a snow pack.


Today, we headed east to wonder the shores of Lake Crescent and soak in the Sul Duc Hot Springs pools. Oh, and we found a great little hike to waterfalls along the way. The Lake Crescent Lodge has been restored to it’s original grandeur and would be a great place stay on a future trip. Walking along the shores and up a stream provided lots of entertainment for the girl – but it paled in comparison to the hiking path we found at Sul Duc.

Sul du Falls


We started the trek home early in the morning – as we plan to go the very long way home. First stop was Port Townsend for a little shopping, more beach combing and lunch at Doc’s Marina surrounded by the yacht club.  We headed out on the ferry to Whidbey Island. And, more importantly, a stop at our favorite ice cream shop in Coupeville. Then more beach combing along Penn Cove before another hike at Deception Pass for the sunset. Total travel time from Port Angeles home – a mere 15 hours!

Beach Combing at Sunset
Beach Combing at Sunset

You Scream, I Scream…

We all scream for ice cream.

Last week, I was in Sur La Table for much needed kitchen supplies – and ice cream makers were on special. I had to get a red one!

And now I had to take it on our trip to make desert one night. No surprise – Bill took over the ice cream production.

Step 1. Look up a recipe on America’s test kitchen. Follow the recipe to make the batter (and their tips through the process).

Step 2. Freezing a portion of the batter, then spoon the frozen portion into the refrigerated portion.
Step 3. Mix frozen batter to further cool the mixture.
Step 4. Pour mixture into machine bowl (that was pre-frozen for 24 hours)
Step 5. Let the ice cream machine work its magic!
Step 6. Keep an eye out to mix it to the perfect consistency.
Step 7. Mix in your favorite topping. We choose Moonstruck Chocolates dark chocolate sea salt almond bark.
Step 8. Store in the freeze for a few hours to perfect the consistency.

After dinner, serve in dishes, cones, etc. ENJOY!

Decades – Celebrating 40

With over a year into my 5th decade, 40 seems so….normal.

And it is more fun to celebrate as friends turn 40. This weekend, it is Erin’s turn. And what is extra special about sharing Erin’s celebration is there has never been a time in her life that I didn’t know her. Our fathers are grade school friends; we were likely about 10 before we understood that we were not really related. Luckily, we even lived in the same town most of our childhood (I moved a few miles away at the end of my 4th grade year). I have memories that include Erin from every decade of my life – and most years. Our kids are being raised the same way. Trips to the beach, days at the fair, passing down clothes, and for my daughter, learning to take care of the horses.

So it was no surprise that as soon as Erin confirmed the date and time of her 40th birthday celebration, my girl decided she was making 40 cupcakes to take. Happy 40th to a life-long friend – and here’s to 40 more years of memories!

Whale Watching

Q: What one thing you wants to do while Bill’s mother is visiting?

A: Whale watching.

And we listened to the girl’s request (crazy, I know). Now we are all up and moving pre-6 AM on a Sunday morning to trek to Anacortes and catch our ride. The best part – there was a baby born early this week that has been seen by whale watching tours for the last three days. Luckily traffic is light and we grabbed Starbucks on the way out the door.

The weather could have not been more perfect if we had prayed and offered a sacrifical lamb to the sun gods. The water as we left the harbor was calm and matched the warmth of the blue sky. We settled into spot and enjoyed the view – moving outdoors as the whim hit us to gaze at the travels through the San Juan Islands.

We saw many birds…other boats…an eagle…and finally Orcas! The first whale to greet us was J-14 Samish, who breached not far off our port side. Soon after, J-2 Granny (the oldest whale at around 100 years of age) swam by. She was joined by J-8 Spieden, J-37 Hy’Shqa and the newest member of the family, J-49, who is only a few days old.

NOTE: To view as a slide show, click on photo and scroll through gallery.

On the trek back, we cross paths with sunning seals, turkey vultures (who lost their meal to an eagle). Any soaked up the islands, boats and more.

Our ride. Their blog. And photos.

Date (Day &) Night

Part A

We took advantage of a warm, sunny Seattle Saturday with a drive to Port Townsend to check out the Farmer’s Market and play.

Farmer’s Market//Noshed on hand-made chocolates, Mt Townsend cheese for our roaming course. Then enjoyed a pork tamale while we waited for the next course – a salmon sandwich with greens and bread from other market merchants.

Waterfront Stroll//Poked in and out of shops filled with treasures and little art galleries. No surprise, we even found a few bottles of wine at a little shop. After our meanderings, it’s dessert time. A crepe with chocolate and coconut filling.

Part B

Late afternoon we headed back across the Sound for dinner at the Mistral Kitchen.

  • Our shared plates: (1) Big Eye Tuna Crudo, (2) Foie Gras Mousse, surrounded by berries
  • My main plate: the fresh catch of the day (dissappointed Potatoes Joel Robuchon are not an option today)
  • His main plate: tres mejor (rustic beef…yum)

Accompaniment:  Dauo Vineyards, ’09 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

The location:

Mistral Kitchen | 2020 Westlake Ave. | Seattle WA | 206-623-1922 | Website