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Archive for the month “June, 2012”

End of June Blooms

This has been one of the craziest June’s I’ve experienced in the longest time. We went from 80 degree weather to torrential down pour. Some of our poor flowers took a beating it was raining so hard. Fortunately we had a few days of sun before the second rain storm hit. In that brief time I managed to get outside and walk the garden. I found a few that weren’t deterred by the heavy rain and thought I’d share.

On the bright side, I don’t think I’ll have to worry about drought this year!


Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

I ventured out with another mom last week for a trip to OMSI. I remember field trips to OMSI when I was a kid and I always loved it. Of course, I’ve always been a science geek.

The museum is huge with lots of different exhibits, a planetarium, and huge circular theater. The theater is an experience, but if you get motion sickness, it can be a bit much.  While most of the museum caters to older kids and adults, they have a large area for kids five and under. It allows the kids to learn while playing and help explore all things science. It’s a great way for kids to let loose, experiment and have fun all within a fairly contained area. We had a blast and now that our son is walking full-time, we’ll definitely go back.

Here is a recipe for home-made play dough from the OMSI website:

From OMSI website

The Ingredients

1 cup salt
2 cups flour
3 tbs cream of tarter
2 tbs oil
2 cups water
Food coloring or liquid watercolor (a few drops)
Glitter (optional)

The Steps

  • Mix the dry ingredients into a large bowl, stir well. DO NOT ADD GLITTER YET!
  • Mix the water, oil, and food coloring in a separate bowl.
  • Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients while stirring
  • Stir until you get a smooth consistency
  • Cook in microwave on high for 2-3 minutes
  • Remove the crusty playdough from around the edge of the bowl with a fork
  • Let dough cool, and stir dough for about one minute, breaking up the lumps
  • Return to microwave and cook for 2-3 minutes
  • Remove the crusty playdough from around the edge of the bowl with a fork.
  • Let cool, and knead dough for about one minute, breaking up the lumps
  • Cook until dough is no longer sticky, about one minute
  • Spread out on cookie sheet or tray to aid the cooling process
  • Knead in the glitter and have fun!

Notes About Safety


Be very careful, the dough will be extremely hot after cooking, and cooking times vary depending on the microwave.

A Saba Supper

Saba, or Mackerel, is one of my all-time favorite fish. It’s loaded with Omega 3’s and is a very fishy fish.  I get mine at my favorite Asian market in Portland.


Here’s how I prepare it:

First, remove the head and tail, and then gut it. It is messy work, but not too difficult.

Then place it in a walled pan lined with tin foil and sprinkle with sea salt. It is important that the pan has four walls because there is a lot of oil to this fish and it get pretty messy.

Bake at 350° for about 40 minutes to 1 hour depending on your oven.

I like to eat mine with a little soy sauce and rice. It’s a great light meal and my son loves it *happy dance*.

Recycled Creativity

Today my husband is at an all-day grilling and smoking class leaving me at home wondering what to do on a Sunday. Low and behold, I found out that there was a Recycled Art festival going on in conjunction with the Farmer’s market. I loaded my son up and we headed out despite the threat of rain.

There were some really neat things and I got some great ideas for future projects. I guess it’s time to rummage around and see what I can find to make.

Here were some of my favorite’s…(Pictures are taken off the web site because I didn’t have my camera with me.  Most of the pictures are linked up with the artist’s website.)



June Blooms Part III

As promised, here is the next set of flowers.  Flowers are so happy, aren’t they?



I have never seen this one before. It’s unusual.


I love this plant even though I don’t know what it is. It’s trellised and I think it’s being crowded with roses, black lace leaf and hydrangea so I’ll have to work on fixing that.


Day lily. Not my favorite flower, but the blooms seem to last a long time and their easy.


I don’t remember the name of this one. At our previous residence we had lots of them in all different colors. I guess it’s time to haul out the garden book and find it.


Another unique one. Never seen it, don’t know it. Anyone, anyone?


Another one in which the name escapes me. It’s a pretty prolific spreader, and my husband doesn’t like it. Unfortunately, it attracts a ton of bees. I do see his point, but I think it might just not be planted in the correct spot.


Iris. I think it might be a Japanese iris, which is one of my absolute favorites. I love the delicate stem and the vibrant flower. These make me smile for sure.

June Blooms Part Deux

What a difference a few days of consecutive warmth and sun will do for the garden. Since the last post about the garden there are at least 11 new plants blooming [insert goofy grin].  Therefore, I’m going to break this up into two posts.  I wouldn’t want your brain to also feel like it absorbed twice as much as it should have.

I have no idea what some of them are, but that’s part of the fun. If you know the names of any of them, please leave me a comment.

Yay for sunny weather!


Giant Hosta about to bloom. While I can’t say that it’s my favorite plant in the garden, and isn’t in the most attractive spot, not to mention all the slugs it attracts, this flower is amazing!




Oak Leaf Hydrangea.


Asiatic Lily. Big and beautiful!


An unknown….any guesses?


Another one I don’t know. It’s a bulb.

Father’s Day Feast

First I need to apologize. I got so wrapped up in everything (trying to finish cooking on time, get our son fed, making sure everything looked pretty, etc.) that I forgot to take pictures, except for the dessert. That however, was probably the best plated dish anyway. As usual I shot for the stars, but hey, I landed on the moon so that’s still a pretty good outcome.

Here was our menu, and please use your imagination.

We started off with Miso soup (I made fresh soup stock) and California Rolls which didn’t look very pretty, but they were sure tasty!

For our main dish I made broiled teriyaki salmon.


2 lb salmon

1 TBS finely chopped fresh ginger

1 medium onion, chopped fine

2 TBS sugar

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup water

2 cloves garlic, chopped fine

Cut salmon into serving pieces and marinate with a sauce made with the ginger, garlic, onion, sugar, soy sauce and water for 1 to 2 hours. Spread fish out on a shallow pan and broil 3 to 5 minutes on each side.

The side dishes included green beans gomae (which is basically ground sesame seeds with soy sauce) and tempura.

And for dessert…



Fruit tart with shortbread crust and vanilla bean pastry cream. I used strawberries, bananas, peaches and raspberries. YUM!

Happy Father’s Day

Technically this will be my husband’s second father’s day, but since our son was only a month old last year, I think this one counts for more. Since our son is only 14 months, as of today, he can’t help too much with the planning and such. However, I did manage to come up with a great present idea. I think this will be sufficient to get to my husband’s sentimental side.


My mom’s group and I all did these together, which made it even more fun since there was copious amount of paint involved. It’s always fun to get the kids messy. I bought some canvas at the art store and then we put the kid’s feet in the pain and printed them. The nice thing was that if we didn’t like the footprint, you could get a wet cloth and wipe it up and start all over. Trying to do this with 1-2 year olds definitely requires do-overs! I found this poem online and we wrote it using a marker. Fortunately I had a black frame lying around, so I popped the canvas in, and voila, all done.

Along with the picture, I got him Portland Timbers tickets, which is a story unto itself. My parents are going to come over and my mom is going to help me make a bento box dinner and we’ll be having a fruit tart for dessert.

I’ll post an update of the food next week.

Happy Father’s Day!

June Blooms

I can’t believe we are already two weeks into June. As usual in the Pacific Northwest, it’s been raining. The last two days have finally been sunny and warm! So before the clouds roll in again, which according to the weather man is tomorrow, I thought I’d get outside and survey the garden.

Not too many new blooms to report. However, the weeds are growing rampant…ugh. Guess it’s time to break out those gloves again and get dirty!


Black Lace Leaf Tree


Hydrangea in full bloom


My husband started counting how many roses were planted. He lost count at 30!


Another unknown.

A Happy Anniversary

In October of 2010 we took our first overseas trip together to Japan. It was one of the best trips ever! I have wanted to travel to Japan for years and it was everything I thought it would be and more. It was one of the friendliest, cleanest, and safest places I have ever been. Not to mention that everywhere you turned there was something interesting, beautiful and creative.

During our travels we ended up in Nara, which, according to the travel book, had a very good sake shop which offered tastings. We put in on our list and found the place.


The tasting menu

Since I was three months pregnant at the time I was the designated picture taker. It must have been good because my husband still raves about it.


Memorial weekend my husband and I celebrated 5 years of marriage. The plan was the break open the bottle of sake we bought and drink to our future, but as usual, our best laid plans didn’t happen and we ended up drinking the sake two weeks later. It was worth the wait. It was unlike any sake I’ve ever tasted. This particular one was made from “double cherry blossoms”. We were told that you can only get it in Nara. It was fruity, crisp and delicious!



The pottery we bought on our way to Miyajima Island from a man who was making it at a street fair.


It was amazing to watch him work

We both miss Japan and want to go back. For now, however, we’ll have to settle for an excellent bottle of sake and our memories.

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