Category Archives: cooking

Ahhhh….Now I Remember

Our weather is about to change.  A few showery days are predicted starting tomorrow.  We do need the rain, but I hope it is only a few days and we are back to the spectacular weather us Oregonians have been enjoying.  Monday, after dropping Toby off for grooming and visiting with my sister Kathy; Mom, Kris, Toby and I were able to go to Portland to visit my Uncle Marcel. He is doing so good.

Yesterday, I took lunch to Kathy and went to Costco.  It was during lunch time. Last time I ever do that again. I do not like shopping and I do not like crowds.  So shopping in crowds makes for a very unhappy Konnie.  I ate a light lunch when I got back and had “issues” all afternoon. But I was able to make it to my sister Karen’s Mary Kay party.

Back to the weather. I love summer. I am not a fan of weather over 87 degrees, but most of Oregon days are somewhere between 75 and 85. Perfect.  Last summer was my two kids weddings.  Kane’s was in June, Bailey’s in August.  For Bailey’s wedding, pretty much all my time that I did not have “issues” was taken up with planning, shopping, etc.  Because we wanted a nice wedding but with limited funds, it became a full-time job.  For great hostesses, this would not have been the case, but neither Bailey nor I have any natural talent for such things, so it was a chore.  So last summer, pretty much everything I associate with summer that I enjoy, did not happen….much. Camping only happened a handful of times. We have a lovely pool and  I never went swimming.

001The pool is full and in about a week, should be warm enough for me to swim in.

I did not garden last year.  Although we went light on vegetable and ornamental flowers, it feels good to have things planted and an excuse to go out early in the morning to water.  I need to get out there when I am done here to fertilize before the rain comes tomorrow.  Something else I did not do last summer that I really enjoy.  Ride my scooter.  Because I had to be out with the car to run to Salem several times a week for wedding stuff, I always did my local errands on my way home.  During the summer, unless I am getting a sack of dog food or some other big item, I ride my scooter.

003In fact, this morning I have already rode it to the store and post office.  Saves on gas and it is just plain fun. Another summer activity I love is summer cooking.  Oh I cooked last summer, but I just did quick, not creative food. I love trying new recipes during the summer.  Anything with basil, tomatoes, cheese, zucchini, cucumbers, grilling, etc….. I am all in.  So I am back to looking at my summer cookbooks and watching an occasional cooking show.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I would not trade last summer for the world.  The memory of the weddings, all the showers, the shopping trips with Bailey, (we always managed to fit in lunch out), is a once in a life time summer.  A beautiful memory.  But this morning as I was riding my scooter, I had that moment of just AHHHHHH……..Now I remember why I love summers.  So Happy Summer to you all.



Oh, I am so cute on my last post saying LL was on the upswing of his sickness.  He came home that evening much worse.  The next morning I told him he needs to see the doctor.  Well, I guess he thought I was stupid.  After all, it was a work day, so he went to work.  On Saturday, he got up to help my aunt set up her stand for the farmers market.  I left shortly after that to shop with Kris, then go to my sister Kathy’s birthday party.  It was a rough day for her.  After that, I took mom to Costco and then we went to St. Louis to Kane’s home.  They wanted to have a friend take professional pictures of 4 generations of family.  It ended up a nice day.  But a long one for my mom.  Even longer for LL.  I kept telling him we after the pictures were taken, we can go home.  But he wanted to stay for the barbecue and play with the boys.  Again, I said, “lets call the doctor.”  Oh no, again, I guess I am stupid. 🙂  Sunday morning, I go help with putting flowers on my family’s graves.  I get home and LL says “I called urgent care, their open, I need to go.”  Well why didn’t I think of that?!  MEN!  Anyway, got him there and he had bad sinus infection and bronchitis.  I am thinking it was headed to pneumonia.  He sounded that bad.  So our Memorial Day weekend was not spectacular.

Tuesday, I took lunch to my sister Kathy because I wanted to see if she was doing better….she was.

Wednesday, I went to mom’s and had a great surprise.  I got to see my great-nephew Jackson.  David, Mom and Jackson were in front of Mom’s house, playing ball.  David and Jackson left for a while and came back…Grandpa wanting to spoil his grandboy.  They went and bought a bike and helmet.

david and jacksonI am not sure which one was happier. LOL

This morning, I picked up mom and we ran a few errands.  Then hung out at my house.  We then decided to go see my Aunt Leone.  To take back containers, but I really think mom just likes to see her every few days.  Me too actually.  Anyway.  We get there.  Mom tells Leone that we brought back containers and her bucket.  Aunt Leone says to me, “well take that bucket and go pick yourself some strawberries.”  Well I think that is what she said, because somewhere between pick and strawberries, I said “heck yes” and went running.

002So, I did not plan it this way, but LL and I are having a very unhealthy dinner tonight.  And He is going to be so happy.  Homemade baked macaroni and cheese.  Then Strawberry shortcake for dinner.  Again, Oh Heck Yes!

Bacon, Fire Roasted Tomato Pasta

001As I said earlier, when LL is out-of-town, I like to eat differently.  I made Bacon, Fire Roasted Tomato Pasta.  Actually, LL likes this dish very much, but not the way I make it when he is out of town……I double the onions and garlic. LOL

LL’s stomach does not tolerate tons of garlic and I can not get enough of it.  So when he is home, I go light on it.  When he is gone….well I get my garlic fix.


What A Scamp

Well good morning.  Boy am I ever dragging here.  As you know, there are some nights, I am up with “issues”.  But lately, there is another reason for my lack of sleep.  REGGIE!!  This little scamp thinks night-time is a time for playing.  I should put him in his crate at night and if he starts whining or barking, put the crate in the garage.  I should……but I just can’t seem to do it.  I guess I will start doing that if I have done everything else to get him tired, but I really need to take him out for several walks a day.  It would be good for him and me.  So today, I am going to add an additional walk with him later in the afternoon.  I will see if that helps.

This week, I took a huge turkey out of my freezer.  I need the room as I start going into Christmas baking season.  I am hoping it has thawed enough to cook it today.  I don’t plan on stuffing it, so the cook time should not be too bad although it is over 20lbs.  This is not the best time to be making turkey, when there are family get-togethers that will have turkey.  But I will just cut it up and freeze the meat in my refrigerator/freezer for future sandwiches and meals.

Looks like Kane has a job.  Whoo hoo!  It is a mixed blessing which I will explain in a future post, but I am happy for him.

Today, the weather is a bit blustery.  I was hoping to go to Oregon Gardens but not sure if I will do that.  Although, that would be a perfect place to take Reggie for one of his walks.  🙂

I am having a hard time keeping my spirits up and not getting too depressed.  On the Miller side, we keep getting rough news about loved ones.  Not ready to share but I would ask you for prayers for two of my brothers-in-law.  (For their health)  Have a blessed day.

Splish Splash…..Mish Mash

Mish Mash?…….Because this is likely to be a post about nothing and anything.  It is 3:30 Sunday morning.  This last week, I have enjoyed much relief from my “issues”.  Which coming off of a week of vacation eating, I was surprised and relieved.  But last evening and through the night, it has been brutal.  I haven’t over eaten, because I put on a few pounds from Oktoberfest and vacation.  So I am back on counting my points for Weight Watchers.  But what I have eaten might be another story.  Friday, I made my spaghetti because I had a jar left over from canning that I did not process.  It was delicious.  I guess I did eat a large serving because I had not eaten since lunch the day before, and I had a sliver of garlic bread.  So I glutened myself.  But usually “issues” show up right away when it is gluten, and I had no problem that night or yesterday during the day.  I then went almost all day without eating again.  But I made a crock pot full of sweet and sour pork ribs, acorn squash, baked potato and green salad.  Sounds yummy doesn’t it?  It was!  I made sure I did not over eat and there was definitely no gluten in the meal.  But YIKES!  What a horrible evening and night. 😦  So bad, I had to take the pain medicine that starts with a P.  Remember, I don’t write the actual P. word down because it brings on spam comments, and nasty comments from people who seem to think if a person occasionally takes a strong pain medicine,……they must have a problem.

Speaking of P. word.  Here’s another for you.  You know the P. word that refers to a male part.  Well I may be adopting another animal next week that has a head that looks like an eight year old boy’s P. word.  😀  Rett’s brother and sister-in-law are looking for a home for Yoda, their tortoise.  I have met Yoda and as far as tortoises go, he is a handsome little fellow.  I am sure adding this guy to our household will bring on many more blog posts because this truly is a nut house.  Which brings me to……

Splish Splash?…….Yesterday, after I blogged, I went out and cleaned the chicken coop.  While out there, Bailey was on her lunch for work and was talking to me in the back yard.  LL came out and asked me to help him cover the pool for winter.  Now Reggie was out there with us.  He had walked around the pool probably a dozen times this first day that we’ve had him.  But not 2 minutes after we covered the pool with the blue tarp,…..yep, he stepped right on top of the tarp and went in the pool.  I started freaking out, and Bailey quickly grabbed him, but his surgical incision got wet with the green pool water so I quickly cleaned him and put antibiotic spray on his incision.  Not 15 minutes later, while LL is gone to the store, Bailey yells.  I come running.  I had let the girls out to free range while cleaning their coop, and Harriet stepped right onto the tarp and into the pool.  Now you might remember that I lost Alice by drowning in the pool, but Harriet and the others have lived here for 3 years, walking around the pool, tarp on and off.  Never a problem.  So while Bailey is trying to grab Harriet and Harriet is freaking out and not cooperating, I get the pool skimmer and get under her butt and literally throw her out of the pool.  What the @#$% is going on at this crazy house.  Drowning Dogs and Hens!

After such a weird day yesterday with the animals and my trying to keep Max down so his hand can heal, I am hoping for a more “normal” day.  What ever the heck that means in Konnie’s world.  There is only one plan for the day today.  Bailey wants to take LL and I out for breakfast.  Our Anniversary is coming up and she wants to treat us.  Max will probably go to.  She wants to take us to Leona’s, or is it Lenora’s.  Oh I can never remember.  It is a restaurant in Mt. Angel.  The owner is a friend of Bailey and Rett.  I have eaten there before, but LL has not and Bailey wants her dad to try the food there.  The owner is a wonderful baker (has gluten-free choices)  and she makes great cinnamon rolls, so I think Max will enjoy it too.

Well I did say this post would be rambling about nothing and everything.  Between the pain pill that I took hours ago and only a couple of hours sleep, I am pretty nauseous.  I sure wish I could go back to sleep, but as you already know about me, once I am up, I am up for the day.  Oh well, have a blessed Sunday and try not to make your day as “interesting” as my days seem to turn out lately. 🙂

Sleep would be nice

Oh boy oh boy, and not in a good way. 😦  Not doing too well today.  Not much sleep the night before last, and last night I am lucky if I got a couple of hours sleep.  “Issues”, strange dreams, and wandering mind, all contributed to a very long night.

I got most everything done on my To Do list yesterday.  Today I am meeting a friend for coffee and then going to Mom’s to make a pie.  Not sure if we need to go pick the berries first.  I haven’t made a pie since going gluten-free and I don’t have a speck of flour in my home.  I want it to turn out since I am taking it to my book club meeting tonight.  So the pie master (mom) will be helping me make it at her house.

As I have said many times before, I am not a napper.  But this afternoon, I really hope I can sleep for an hour or so.  If I want to make it tonight and be able to see words on the page, either a nap or copious amounts of caffeine need to happen. Or maybe both.

Tomorrow, I am a lucky girl.  I am picking up Brantley around 7:00 in the morning at Keizer and bring him home to spend the day with me.  His mom is working.  I already borrowed my sister Karen’s playpen.  My one concern is if I have any “issues” tomorrow, I would need someplace I can quickly put Brantley and know he will be safe.  He is starting to roll.  So now that I have the playpen, I am very excited.  Excited because there will be no baby hogs around that I have to share with.  Oh, I am sure Bailey will show up during her lunch or after work, but for the most part, I am on my own with Brantley.  🙂


Stage Left

I make no secret or apologies that I adore my LL.  Don’t worry, I am not going to get mushy.  I believe he kind of likes me too.  I think what has made us so happy together is one thing.  We love to make each other laugh.  We laugh together at things, at each other.  We see the humor in the same things.  He is very quick-witted.  Every situation has a potential punch line.  I am more a physical comedy gal.  He gets such pleasure saying something ridiculous and watching me try to keep a straight face so that I do not give him the satisfaction of seeing my delight.  I get pleasure by putting an expression on my face, or dancing, or walking funny.  My reward is LL holding his stomach, bending over and having a great belly laugh.  Frankly, half the time I get this reaction from him, I am not even trying…… 😦  But there is one area that we are nothing alike.  Not even close……..Our taste buds.

I like quality, he likes quantity.  I like a pretty presentation, he would prefer it in a trough.  He likes common, I am adventurous.  I used to cook a lot more.  But because we only have one evening together during the week, and we are either camping or at some event on the weekends,  my cooking days are not happening often.  In fact, lately, when I do make dinner for us, it is usually his type of food.  Burgers, tacos, nachos,…….*big yawn*.  But today I am making Grilled Zucchini Roll Ups.  You know the saying, I never met a (fill in the blank) I didn’t like.  I use to say “I never met a donut I didn’t like”  But sadly I can’t eat donuts anymore.  But it is true when I say “I never met a cheese I didn’t like”.  Mild, melting smooth cheese, sharp, stinky, who’s dirty socks is that cheese.  It does not matter. LOVE.  ❤  It is also true when I say “I have never met an olive I didn’t like.  Mild black, strong green, domestic, foreign, stuffed, pitted, unpitted, it does not matter.  I Loves me some olives.  So when I saw this recipe with grilled zucchini, herb goat cheese and kalamata olives, I was all in.  The thing is, LL will most likely not like this.  He will not complain.  He never has, except maybe once early on in our marriage, but for some reason…….he never made that mistake again. 🙂  He will try it, and I am not telling him it is goat cheese.  But I will make some pasta with alfredo sauce just so I don’t feel too guilty.  See, that is what you do when you adore someone.  O.K. that was a little mushy.

Relearning lessons

Good Morning!  Boy am I doing well on my elimination diet.  I went out to dinner on Tuesday and had a few foods all at once.  Besides a bit of bloating, I had no adverse affect from it.  But the trouble with having too many ingredients at one time is what I said before…..which ingredient is the problem.  Suspect it was the halibut.  But that was the only time over the last week that I didn’t adhere to the adding one food at a time rule.

I have had cheese a couple of times and so far so good. 🙂  I think the hardest one food for me to give up forever would be cheese.  I have tried my favorite gluten-free cracker.  I know, a lot of ingredients go into the cracker, but I tried it anyway since there is no preservatives and only three ingredients and it seems to have caused no problem.  I have not had any beef, pork, chicken, etc.  I know too much of any of these causes problems but I do want to test out eating a small portion at a time to see if I need to totally rule out meat.  Fish is another issue.  I will test out a small portion of fish and then shell-fish.  I hope I can eat salmon because it has a lot of cancer fighting compounds in it.

I am suspecting one thing.  If you have read my other blog.  Remember last year I did a Real Food challenge.  I felt really good while eating no processed, homemade food.  I have a feeling that when I start trying out things like salad dressings, premade gluten-free marinades, etc., my “issues” may start-up again.  If that is the case, and I truly have to eliminate all that from my diet, this requires tons more work in food preparation.  Making my own mayo, even not eating my Udi’s gluten-free bread, means getting more creative and building better skills in canning and cooking.

I do feel so much better this week.  When having issues on and off all week-long, it tuckers a person out.  I have had little energy over the winter.  But this week I feel back to my old self.  Monday I thoroughly swept, mopped and polished my hard wood floor.  This usually is a two-day undertaking, but I finished it by about 2:00 in the afternoon.  I try to do this 3 or 4 times a year but I went a bit too long this time around.   Tuesday had me running around a bit with errands and yesterday, Max was home with a stomach bug.  He is doing better today and will make it to work.  He still is dealing with temporary staff as the provider still hasn’t  found the right person to replace O.

Today, I have a few things to take care of around here.  My fridge is starting to look like a science experiment and I need  to take care of some calls and paper work.  On Tuesday, I bought a book that I have been wanting on gardening.  I hope when I get my work done, to sit and start reading it.  The book has lots of ideas about how to make the most of gardening in small spaces and has a section on chickens and coops.  My girls really need a new coop but I haven’t had the heart to push LL on this lately.  But this spring I am determined to butter him up enough to build a new nifty coop.  Well a girl can dream.


Corned Beef

What’s the weekend hold for you? It’s St. Patty’s day weekend. So today, I will be on the hunt for some corned beef. I used to make it all the time. I love it! My digestion does not. But as I have no big plans for the weekend, I will take a chance and make it. This is what I do….

Core and quarter a small cabbage head. Put them in the bottom of the crock put.  Cut red potatoes, maybe 5 or 6 in half and fit them in around the cabbage. Cut two small onions in quarters and put them in. And put a couple handful of baby carrots in the pot. Then put the beef on top of it all. Sprinkle the pepper seasoning that always comes with the corned beef, on top of the beef. Cook for hours. Eight hours are good. (in the crock pot). About 30 minutes before it is done, make a paste of about 1/4 cup of brown sugar with a few teaspoons of yellow mustard. You want a paste consistency. Spread it on top of beef and let it cook for the 30 minutes. It is important that you do not put water in the pot. The cabbage will give off enough liquid and the broth this dish makes is heavenly. If you can eat bread, which I can not, serve with this dish as you will want to mop up all the yummy broth. 🙂 Have a great St. Patty’s day.

Added later…..I forgot to mention, when you put it all together, the lid may not fit.  I put foil on top and after a couple hours or so, the cabbage cooks down and you can then put the lid on it.

Week 3, 2012

Snow and rain mix coming down right now.  The weather here in Silverton the last few days seems to change on a dime.  Rain, Sleet, snow, wind, you name it for winter weather, we have had it.  It was a three-day weekend for LL.  Well sorta.  He ran his counseling groups last night, but it was nice having him home more the last few days.  He has been tired, burning the candles at both ends, so this weekends rest was most welcome.

I am not an all-weather driver, and even though the roads look good today, I probably wont go anywhere.  I hope tomorrow is better because I need to drive Kelli to Salem tomorrow.  So what is the plan for this week.  Well I will give you my best guess.

Today, I did not get coops clean last week and I think my girls must be freezing, so I WILL clean out nests and give the girls lots of fresh bedding to snuggle in.  My house is pretty clean and laundry caught up, but last week our vacuum cleaner kind of exploded.  Sparks and all.  LL and I bought a new vacuum cleaner yesterday, so I am going to play with it and thoroughly clean floors and furniture.  We decided that no matter how expensive the vacuum cleaner, we are very hard on them and they don’t last too long.  Although our last one lasted over 7 years.  Still, we went with an inexpensive, windtunnel Hoover that is bagless and washable filters.  With all the dog hair, I was constantly changing the bags and filters, so this should save 15 to 20 dollars a month. 🙂  Kane gets home from Missouri tonight.  I really miss him and I am excited to hear the details of his trip.

Wednesday, as I said up above, I hope to be taking Kelli to Salem.  Her appointment is at 2:00.  A risky time for my digestion.  And the plan might change because she might have a job interview at the same time up north, so who knows.  With Bailey so busy at her work, and moving out soon, Kane going back to work, Rett’s work schedule so hairy, and LL working most evenings, I am anticipating that we wont be spending much time together as a group soon, so we all decided every other Wednesday, to have a family dinner.  Oh I am sure there will be some Family Dinner nights that not everyone can make it, but it is a time that they all can come, count on a plentiful but simple dinner and we all can catch up.  So this Wednesday is the first.  Bailey has class in Salem that evening, so dinner will be early and simple.  Tacos I thing 🙂

Thursday I am hoping my digestion is doing fine because Max is feeling a bit lost lately and I would like to do something fun that evening.  Just Max and me.  Perhaps dinner out, or a movie, or maybe just browsing Goodwill and going to the video store.

**As I am writing this, the snow is coming down like I have never seen it before.  Huge flakes, no rain mix and starting to stick on the ground.  Yes, I am not going anywhere today.



Ok, where was I.

Oh yes, Friday, don’t know about Friday.  Sounds like an uneventful week, but what I do know, is that plans change quickly around here.  Oh well, have a great Tuesday.