Sunday, August 30, 2009
Fried Egg and Sausage Ciabatta Breakfast Pizzas
I have made this recipe my own by using whatever cheese I have on hand cause I forgot to buy the kind the recipe calls for. So, when you think you have everything you need to make something...think again! I have used pepper jack, swiss, cheddar and even a grated blend along with a little feta or parmesano reggiano. So, yeah, it really tastes good and is even more fun to make when you make it "your way!"
1 loaf ciabatta bread (about 1 pound) or a nice loaf of French or Italian will do fine
1 cup chopped green onions or walla walla or red if you forget to buy the green ones
8 tablespoons olive oil, divided
8 ounces sliced pepper jack cheese or whatever you have on hand
1 lb. spicy or sweet sausage. I used Jimmy Dean maple sausage and got some good reviews.
8 large eggs
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut bread horizontally in half. Place bread halves, cut side up, on a foiled lined baking sheet. Mix onions and 6 tablespoons olive oil in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Reserve 2 tablespoons onion oil and spread remaining onion oil over bread. Top with cheese.
Saute sausage in a large skillet until cooked through, breaking up with a spoon. Divide sausage among bread halves. Bake pizzas until cheese melts and bread begins to crisp, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a skillet with a little oil or butter melted in it. Fry eggs and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Remove egg skillet from heat and let sit till pizzas are done baking.
Arrange eggs atop each pizza. Spoon reserved onion oil over eggs. Cut each pizza between eggs. You should have 8 small pizzas when they are sliced.
I usually cut the slices before I put them together. It makes it easier to serve and you don't lose the toppings. These can also be assembled the day before, then bake and top with fried egg at mealtime.
I went to the farmer's market yesterday morning and got a bag of "just picked" peaches and some blackberries. I served them with a little cream and yogurt on the side. Along with a baked pear pudding and some oven fried cottage potatoes, breakfast was served.
Enjoy making this breakfast pizza and don't forget the cheese. But, if you do...it's ok, improvise!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I am enjoying my few days away in Port Orchard, WA. I am a fan of Debbie Macomber and especially a fan of "Cedar Cove". If you have not read Debbie's Cedar Cove series, you have to now.
"Cedar Cove Days" is a week long planned event here in Port Orchard. This is the first year for the festival and by the looks of things, it may become an annual event. Debbie Macomber is from Port Orchard and captures the essence of the quaint seaside town in her novels. With several books in her Cedar Cove series, the latest was released on Tuesday and is titled, "92 Pacific Boulevard". Not only did she release a novel, a cookbook was released as well.
Debbie received a key to the city of Port Orchard today, a huge bouquet of flowers, a standing ovation and lauds of praise for her books. Writing for several years now, Debbie still keeps her home in Port Orchard as well as residing in Florida now and then. Her entire family is here helping with the event including her grand-daughter who is in the Girl Scouts. The scouts played a big part in the opening ceremonies today as well as the mayor of Port Orchard, the Naval Commander stationed close by in Bremerton, many council members as well as the many volunteers that helped to put this event together.
On our bus tour of the town today, we got to see the homes where some of characters in the Cedar Cove series live. We saw the court house where Olivia holds court, the library where Grace works, the fire station where Mack is a firefighter and of course the sheriff's dept. offices where Troy Davis works. Can't wait to read about he and Faith. Hope they can work things out in Debbie's newest book in her series.
Want to read along? Start now with "92 Pacific Boulevard" and work your way back or from the beginning where you get to meet Grace, Olivia, Jack and our beloved Charlotte. Wherever you begin, you will love the "Cedar Cove" series and look forward to each new book that comes out.
See you in Cedar Cove!
Monday, August 24, 2009
Just a slight brush as you walk by it, a little stare as you wonder what it is, then all of a sudden it screams out..."hey you, I'm lavender and I've been in your garden all summer long and now you notice me?"
Such a beautiful little purple flower attached to spindly stalk with dainty sweet foliage and who'd a thunk? Who'd a thunk such a little plant could release such an overwhelming scent that it makes one stop in their tracks to wonder what that lusciousness is. That slight touch of a hand, or the brush of a leg as you stroll by releases lavender's scent and heightens the senses to a point of no return.
People make lavender oils, lavender bath soaps, lavender lotions, lavender pillows, etc. Well, you know me! If there is something that can be made into food, I will pick it!
So, for our lovely guests that graced us with there presence, here is my Lavender Tea Cookie recipe. From "The Summer Book" by Susan Branch, it is stated that "these 'biscuits', as my English pen pal Rachel calls them, spread like crazy while baking-but the lavender flavor is so exotic, you can almost taste breath of bees in them (no, they don't taste like soap!)". Can be served with vanilla ice cream!
Lavender Tea Cookies
oven to 350 degrees
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
1 c. unsalted butter
2/3 c. minus 1 Tbsp superfine sugar
1-1/4 c. minus 1 Tbsp. self-rising flour
1 Tbsp. fresh lavender flowers
Cream butter and sugar, add egg and beat well. Stir in flour and flowers. Drop teaspoonful on parchment, spacing widely to allow for spread. Bake 15-20 min. (watch them closely cause I only baked them for 12 min. total) until pale golden and edges tinge brown. They will be soft until cooled on waxed paper. Store in airtight tin.
Thank you ladies for being our guests last evening and for choosing our inn and our "Sister's Suite" for your relaxing stay in the Willamette Valley and our sweet town of Albany.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Sorry about the scary pic but hey what can I say...I needed a break. And, I got one. Except for the heat in Portland, we had a perfect stay. Anyone wanting to "feel young again" needs to stay at Ace Hotel in the Pearl. Very trendy, very young and hip and we will stay there again. Our room was simple and almost hostel-like and we loved it. Room rates were great and everything was spotless. It even had a t.v. and with the heat getting to me on Tuesday, I was out by 9pm and Ray was out too. Visiting his favorite cigar lounge at The Benson, he was able to enjoy his usual late night with a few cigars and a few cold beers.
Street of Dreams on Wednesday was a pretty unique experience. I picked out the condo I want. It is absolutely breathtaking with views of the Willamette and I only need to save a cool two mil to buy it. So, for now I dream. The weather was again too warm but we survived and made it to the train depot in time to catch our train back to Albany.
It never ceases to amaze me that whenever we walk in to our home after being gone a few days, there is just enough lighting on timers that illuminate the living and dining rooms that make our inn absolutely beautiful. I am not bragging or taking credit however, I have been told that even though the inn has that breath-taking natural beauty about it, I have put the proverbial cherry on the sundae. But, that is why I love my craftsman. Natural lines, big rooms, small details that make a huge impact, and the previous owners paint choices all make for a spectacular setting. So, yes I can dream of the two million dollar condo but I can live and enjoy our breath taking view each time we walk into our inn.
Have a great weekend and remember summer vacation is almost over but here in Oregon that just means another perfectly gorgeous autumn.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Well...this is me in a nutshell. Not really but gosh I love my Mac. When we first moved to Oregon, we were lonely, bored and friggin' freezing. That's what we get for coming in December though. Waiting for some renovations to begin, warmer weather to set it and our sanity to return, we needed to find things to do to keep ourselves busy. Needless to say, I found my "thing to do".
I found Photo Booth. For those of you that have a Mac know what I'm talking about. And if you don't know what I'm talking about and you have a Mac, email me or come by and I will show you how to entertain yourself with the Photo Booth option on your computer for hours on end.
Ray always knew where I was in the house and what I was doing because when you are taking crazy pictures of yourself in the dead of winter in a humongous house and you are laughing your head off, someone always finds you. After a while though he quit looking for me cause he could hear me cracking myself up in the parlor, in the living room, in the kitchen and even upstairs when I wasn't too terrified to go up alone. He would just say, "hey woman, are you on that computer again?" A rhetorical question I know as I was always laughing myself silly with big tears and fun pictures to send to my family.
My mom finally told me to quit sending her the beautiful pictures I had created. She said they freaked my dad out. She also said that they knew people that actually looked like some of the distorted pictures I had been sending. One time she turned her computer on and the first email that came up was a huge gorgeously distorted picture of moi...she said she jumped and so I stopped sending them.
Well, my main reason for writing this blog was to show you how I look when I need a break. And...I need a break! So, tomorrow we are taking the train to Portland, staying at Aces and enjoying all that is weird about Portland. And we plan on enjoying every minute of it. We have bought our Street of Dreams tour tickets, Ray has his cigars packed and I of course have my Debbie Macomber book tucked sweetly in my backpack along with my reading glasses.
We will be back to the inn Wednesday evening and if you are a guest with us this week, see you Thursday!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
We have had family visiting now for over two weeks. My nephews from PA came for a visit and my parents flew in to Eugene a few days later. What do I do with two teen-age boys and entertain my mom too. Well, not too hard to accomplish after all.
The BOOM pirates stayed with us the first weekend the boys were here. They were performing at the Willamette River Festival. Dean enjoyed playing his viola for them on our front porch. Pirates, Rum and coke, singing on an old front porch, and I do say, "that's entertainment".
On Monday, we took off for the coast. Heading first to the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, our first stop of many for the day. The museum as I have said before is quite an awesome experience. Just standing outside the Spruce Goose staring at the hugeness of it all gives you "goose" bumps! The free wine tasting there isn't too shabby either.
Heading out to the Tillamook Cheese Factory was next on our agenda. Pretty cool place with lots of um...cheese? I know they make their ice cream there too but the cheese processing area was pretty impressive. A lot of other tourists, too much cheese and the Pacific Ocean calling our name and we were outta there. So, we were off to Cannon Beach. My new favorite beach town along the Oregon Coast. So, if you live there, please invite me and my honey to stay for a week next summer. Thank you for asking...we would love to!
Artsie fartsie shops full of local booty, gorgeous carvings, paintings and of course all that is Cannon Beach. A tourists heaven, a beach combers dream and my perfect beach town. Clean, convenient and absolutely breath taking scenery made my day.
Off now to Pacific City to spend the evening with my dear friend Patty. Lucky duck gets to live on the coast of Oregon. So, we waddled ourselves on down to the water, built a fire, roasted weenies, beans and marshmallows and drank white wine. Did you know how good white wine tastes with food you eat off a skewer over an open fire?...yum! We watched the fire die down as the boys decided it was fun to make torches out of sticks and newspaper. Luckily no one got hurt and they had a good time. The Oregon coast waters are freezing cold so Dean was the only brave soul to stick his feet into the salty ocean. Back to Patty's for girl talk, off to bed and home the next morning.
Since then, we have gone to River Rhythms concerts at the Monteith Park, river rafted down the McKenzie, cooked with Drew, entertained guests, visited with friends, shot 40 bucks worth of ammo at the shooting range, ate our way through the entire town of Albany, made several trips to Portland and Eugene, ate on the roof top at American Dream Pizza in Corvallis, watched our neighbors drive away to live in San Diego, ate smores by our fire pit, welcomed our grandchildren, our daughter and her fiance' to our home, ate our way through Albany again, sang Karoke, ate Marion Berry pie, and all the while performing our innkeeping duties. Whew!!! I'm tired.
With our family on the last train to Portland, the inn spotless, Law and Order on the tv, a pile of ironing waiting downstairs for me, I can say with a smile on my face...I'd do again in a heartbeat. But for now...I gotta go to sleep. Wake me on Wednesday!
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Oh, the brie...what can I say about the baked brie? It was absolutely delightful! A round of brie smothered in butter, sherry, brown sugar, dried cherries and pecans and baked then spread all over a nice piece of crusty bread. If you weren't at our breakfast table this morning, you can google A Riverwalk Inn located in Eugene, OR and get the recipe. I have made this brie several times and it always tastes better every time I make it.
Did I mention the crepes? I didn't think so! They were the perfect mix of cinnamon, nutella, fresh warm strawberries, blueberries and banana all rolled into one gorgeous tasty bite! Add a little bit of fresh whipped cream...heaven in your mouth!
Julie and Julia was such a sweet movie and we enjoyed each others company back at the inn. We drank a little champagne, ate a few chocolate brownies, finished up a few croissant, cucumber and dill sandwiches as we talked about the movie. It's nice to see a film that actually portrays two "good marriages", two very positive stories and no one gets killed or blown up. Well, I take back the "killed" comment. Julie cooks lobster and it is quite hilarious and I know that I will never have that much courage. I'm good with my food already dead before I bring it home. Anyways, the movie was sold out last night so I am glad we Fandango'd our tickets.
Now we are on to new things, new events and some really good weather here in Albany. We are getting ready to welcome between 400 to 600 bicyclists over the next weekend for the National Championship Criterium. Downtown Albany is apparently the perfect venue for such a criterium and the cyclists loved it last year. We need tons of volunteers to set up bales of straw, take times, set up, clean up, etc. Being a spectator would be nice too! We still have a room or two available and we are only a couple of blocks from where all the activity will occur.
See you around and bring your bike!
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Julie and Julia is playing at the Carmike Theater on Friday, August 7th. I purchased the movie tickets, bought 5 bottles of very good French wine, prepped for the crepes and brie and am very much looking forward to having a very fun, a very French and a very yummy time with our guests this Friday night.
Our Mt. Bachelor guest room is still available if you would like to join us as we celebrate all that is French. You will be joined by the company of 7 lovely women as we make the journey and experience all that is French. A little French wine before the movie, a little more after the movie and a wonderful feast of baked berry and nut brie, crusty bread, fruit, crepes filled with fresh locally grown berries and fresh whipped creme.
Call or reserve on-line by going to our website and reserve through webervations if you would like to join us.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
It's 9am and the pirates are heading down to the Willamette River Festival. A little B & B invasion last night, a little rum and coke (and wine of course) on the porch, a good nights rest in our comfy beds and breakfast on the go this morning then off they were to invade downtown Albany.
As you can see by the picture, the BOOM pirates are in full attire and are planning to entertain a few thousand "want-to-be" pirates today. But, they aren't the only ones.
Downtown at the Willamette River Festival this weekend, the pirates will be joined by several entertainers. Even more pirates, professional sword fighters, bbq pros prepping for the cook-off, and jet skiers will be showing off at the river today.
For more info go to www.albanyvisitors.com. The festival continues throughout the day and tomorrow brings even more fun. If you are in town around 10ish tonight, you will find the pirates, a few friends and of course the innkeepers of The Pfeiffer Cottage Inn enjoying a nice evening and a few sips of the pirates rum and you are welcome to stop by and say hello...or aargh!