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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What is it really like living in Klamath Falls, Oregon?

I decided to write this blog today to help others who are considering a move to this area.
This is one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Every day, you will wake up to brilliant sunshine- even if it is 5 degrees and snowing like crazy.

This is an igloo in my front yard a couple of years ago...

Everything grows like crazy here...this is my garden and chicken coop...
a photo of my girls...hens only in suburbia! 


We have lots of amazing outdoor stuff to do...this is the tip of my kayak on Lake Euwana ...

how beautiful is this sky? My yard and my chicken coop...
amazing produce in a very short growing season...
lots of fun events, like the 'show and shine' and Klamath Kruise...
or the Snowflake Parade in December...
another shot of garden produce...
beautiful, historical local Churches...this is Sacred Heart Catholic Church, my parish, which was founded in 1908...


Awesome fishing, hiking, camping and hunting ...


Crater Lake, the Lava Beds, Lake of the Woods, Rocky Point, Fish Lake, Howard's Prairie Lake, Diamond Lake, Mt. Bachelor, Shasta Mountain and the Running Y Ranch hiking trails and Golf Course are all nearby! Great restaurants, lots of great local shops and friendly people all make up Klamath Falls! We have a good hospital in Sky Lakes Medical Center, Oregon Tech University, Klamath Community College, 12 Ranch Wines, reasonable housing prices, and great REAL meat markets! We have a great Farmer's Market and the Third Thursday events from May-October are wonderful downtown! Downtown is a lot of fun with great restaurants and shops! Oregon has NO sales tax and housing is reasonable.
It's a great place to live!


Monday, August 12, 2013

White Zucchini Cake with broiled frosting

This is the best cake I've ever eaten!
You all probably know I love to read multiple blogs on a daily basis- mostly food, politics and Catholic! One of my favorites is An Oregon Cottage. Jami has a beautiful blog with fantastic recipes! Since I am on a zucchini kick with the garden producing a ton of fresh zucchini, I tried her recipe for a white zucchini cake with a broiled frosting. Zucchini Cake
I made a few changes since I didn't have any cornstarch, and I used pecans (and doubled!) the amounts for the frosting- but I have to say, this is fantastic!
By the way, that's the rib eye steak I grilled for Kevin's birthday dinner in the background, behind the shredded white part of the zucchini. Oh, and I didn't waste the green- I made that fantastic marinated zucchini slaw for the parish picnic on Sunday and used all the green parts of the zucchini! Nothing to waste...
I creamed together the oil (grapeseed) butter and sugar...added the flour mixture alternating with milk...

tossed in the zucchini and then, whipped the fresh egg whites (from my girls!!) to fold in gently.
I made the broiled frosting and set it aside... poured the batter into the pans and baked.

30 minutes later, the cakes were done and after they cooled, I poured the frosting on and broiled for 5 minutes!
I placed one round on top of the other and brought it to the parish picnic along with the zucchini slaw. It was one of the first desserts to go..everyone was asking what was in the cake! Ha Ha! ZUCCHINI!!
You have got to try this! Thanks, Jami for a wonderful recipe!
We enjoyed this greatly at our Church picnic!




And we all enjoyed 'Mass on the Grass' in the Cathedral in the Trees...the giant pines in the picnic area of Moore Park, Klamath Falls!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Marriott on Wheels

We've been doing a lot more travelling the past month. Kevin has been working on upgrades for the travel trailer to make it more user friendly for us! He's already built pull-out shelves in the pantry, and has added a cool new flagpole.
We've also been taking the new kayaks out as often as possible!
Last week we took Bridget the Yorkie out on the kayak for the first time. She has a cute and practical life jacket!
         
Fish Lake is about 40 minutes away from our home in Klamath Falls...it's a former natural glacial lake that was increased to double its size as a water reservoir for Jackson County. 



I"m also getting back into camping cooking...you know, 'roughing it'...

We had curly mac and cheese with hotdogs, squash from the garden and tomatoes from the garden for dinner one night and sausage and potato hash for breakfast...and of course, even though we are camping, we cannot forget the niceties of life...
This dinner was pepper steak, baked potatoes and yellow squash from the garden with tomatoes from the garden....
Our next trip will be to Lemolo Lake Resort near Crater Lake! We are already planning the menu! 
Enjoy the photos! 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Zucchinifest

Our garden has been producing a lot of squash for the past few weeks!
We've been eating squash or zucchini at least once a day (sometimes I've had it for breakfast) and we've had tomatoes for dinner every night for the past two weeks. I've been bringing 20-25 lbs. a week to the food bank, too-plus our neighbors and Church friends are loving the fresh squash! I have to say, (modestly) Kevin and I do have a green thumb.
There's a blog I follow that I absolutely love called "An Oregon Cottage". I've posted recipes by Jami on my site before - notably, the salad dressing recipes- but she had some delicious zucchini recipes!
Last night I made zucchini fritters that were fantastic!
Tonight, I made one of Jami's 'stuffed zucchini' recipes that is a little different from the one I usually cook. It was fantastic and I think that you should try it! Especially since it's "National Sneak Zucchini on Your Neighbor's Porch" month...according to my friend, Art Sayles.
Here's Jami's recipe... Fresh Corn and Sausage Stuffed Zucchini
I cut this in half and added some salt, pepper and garlic salt. I also used 4 breakfast sausages (that's what I had in the fridge) and I also added 1/4 cut of diced zucchini...since I had to cut a little more off the ends to fit them in the pot! 


We got our first two ears of 'Festivity Corn' that were sweet and tender! I cut the kernels off to add to the dish.
I cut a zucchini in half and cut the ends off. I added them to a pan with just enough water to cover the zukes. I added a tsp. of kosher salt and brought to a boil for 5 minutes. I drained them and let them cool.
In the meantime, I cut up the sausage and fried it up in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. I added 1/4 cup of sweet vidalia onion chopped, 4 small slices diced of the zucchini, and 1/4 each of kosher salt, black pepper and garlic powder. After a few minutes, I added 2 tablespoons of cream cheese and mixed it in very well. then, I added the corn kernels and 8 diced Sweet Million fresh cherry tomatoes from my garden!  I added 1/4 cup of freshly shredded parmesano-reggiano and mixed well.
I used a melon-baller like Jami and took out the mushy middle of the zucchini...except I gave mine to the chickens to eat as a treat!
Then, I stuffed the zukes with the mix, and topped it with a little more parm.


I put the zukes in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
In the meantime...this morning, my favorite local bakery, the Green Blade, put a notice on Facebook that they had a limited supply of freshly baked basil cheese loaves. So, on the way into the office I stopped by and got a loaf that was 'too hot to slice'. I told the lady at the counter to just dump it in a paper bag and I'd let it cool before I cut it :)
I sliced it up, grilled it with a little olive oil and parm cheese and served it on the side...ok, yes, I burned it a tiny bit. It was still good!
We lost our sweet Ceili girl German Shepherd this week so it's been a sad and difficult time for me, Kev and the Widge (Bridget the Yorkie) . Bridget thought Ceili was her momma- she practically raise Bridget from age 6 weeks. I am still waking up at night, weeping over Ceili's death. I miss her so much. It does not help matters that we also lost Gretchy a couple of months ago. Sigh. I know it was Ceili's time- she gave every bit of her love and affection to us, right up until her last moments. She was such a funny girl and she loved people food- even if she didn't like the taste...she forced it down. Especially to take it away from the other dogs!! She had lots of zucchini over the years, since we have grown it forever...so I know she would have choked this down!
Rest in Peace, Ceili. I know you are waiting for us at the gates of heaven...along with Sarge, Jolie, Chinook, Panzer, and Gretchen. Can't wait to see you again...healthy, happy and forever young.




 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Chicken and Waffles

We had a difficult day yesterday. Our German Shepherd Dog, Ceili (Deblyn's Irish Ceili) went to Heaven after 14 wonderful years with us. It was not unexpected, since she has had some health issues the past few months, but it is never easy to say good-bye to a beloved pet companion.
We cracked a nice bottle of  King Estate Winery Freedom Hill 2010 Pinot Noir in Ceili's honor last night and remembered all the funny stories about her. One of the stories was about how she loved to jump at the chickens just to see them run...and another story was how she ate waffles (even though she did not like bready- type food) just to take something away from Gretchen (who would eat anything).
It got me thinking about making waffles.
Now, I don't like thick, bready waffles and I have not had a lot of success with waffle batter. I like a light, crisp waffle that I can eat without any syrup. Yah, I'm wierd, I know.
So, I did a little research and found this great recipe from one of my favorite food blogs, Smitten Kitchen
It was pretty interesting since it is an overnight yeast waffle batter and it originated with the Fanny Farmer Cookbook...which is my go-to cookbook for the basics! Kevin and I received the Fanny Farmer Cookbook and Fanny Farmer Baking Book as wedding gifts from Mark and Leslie Murphy back in 1980 when we got married...and I've used it frequently. So, I checked it and sure enough, the recipe was there!
So, I mixed the overnight ingredients of water, yeast, milk, butter, salt, sugar and flour together and let them sit for about 12 hours. I added the baking soda and eggs (from my chickens of course) in the morning and made....20 waffles in my Cuisinart Waffle Maker. Remember, there's only me and Kevin to actually EAT breakfast...
The Waffle Maker has a funny story- in 2009 we attended the family Christmas Eve party at my sister and brother in law's house, Darlyn and Jim Regan in San Clemente, CA. We drove down from Oregon and missed our white Christmas- but it worked out OK since it didn't start snowing until we got home! Then, it didn't stop snowing until May...but that's another story. So the deal is that everyone buys one gift and then we draw names, steal gifts- you all know how it goes if you've ever been to a  white elephant party! I ended up with the Waffle Maker since the one we got as a wedding gift broke in 1982.... and I hadn't made waffles since 1982.
Anyhow, back to the original story...we froze 16 of the waffles and ate two of them.
Incredible!

They were crisp, light, airy and not too sweet. Perfect.
The chickens were clamoring at the back door while we were eating breakfast, just pecking at the window and making a lot of bawking noises- so we decided to spread the wealth and give them some waffles.
I haven't laughed so hard in a while- they were scurrying around while Kevin tossed little bits of waffles all over the grass!
Then, it occurred to me that Chicken and Waffles is a classic Southern dish...hence, the name of this blog.
Here's the recipe- I followed it EXACTLY.
Essential Raised Waffles from Smitten Kitchen
I did pour a little too much into the waffle iron the first couple of times so some of it spilled, but otherwise, this makes a lot of delicious waffles!
We froze them on trays individually and packed them into freezer bags. Then, we can pop them in the toaster for a quick and delicious breakfast!
Enjoy!