Friday, January 21, 2011

Ski Hood!

Two image panorama (assembled with Hugin) of M...Image via Wikipedia
Photo of Mt. Hood taken from parking lot
Wednesday, for the first time ever, I went to Mt. Hood Meadows with my family and friends. While they skied I enjoyed the scenery and the company of other non-skiers.  I had no idea it would be so much fun! The weather was perfect--sunshine, 8" of new snow, no wind! 

Mt. Hood Meadows has a great group rate for night skiing (Wednesday through Sunday from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm).  If you have a group of 15 or more, the lift tickets are $15 each; ski or snowboard rental is $25 for adults/$20 for youth.  The new skiers/snowboarders were able to purchase a package for $25 that included 90 minutes of instruction, ski/snowboard rental and a lift ticket restricted to Buttercup.  What a great deal for those just learning to ski or snowboard!!!

It was so much fun watching the little kids with there teeny tiny skis and boots. The kids were truly amazing.  The skiers in our group ranged from about 3 years old to 76 years old.  WOW!  It was great to see the families having so much fun together.  

The restaurants at Mt. Hood Meadows are remarkable--some quick and easy and some sit down type.  I think there are six in all.  We had a delicious Garden Burger with fries for $9.50.  I thought that was reasonable considering where we were.  I also tried a Portabello and cheese panini--way too yummy!

Skiing is not anything I was ever tempted to try and I usually stay home to have a little alone time when the family goes but, after last Wednesday, I am planning to go up with my family more often.

If you like to ski or want to see if you would like it or just want to hang out in the lodge, I highly recommend Mt. Hood Meadows.  Kat
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Monday, January 17, 2011

Bulgur Recipe #3

Sloppy JoeImage by jeffreyw via Flickr
Sloppy Joes
This is a photo of vegetarian meatballs on a p...Image via Wikipedia
Vegetarian Meatballs
I hope you got a chance to try the Tabouli recipe from last week.  I have decided to make it for our church potluck on Saturday.  Should be a crowd pleaser!

I am going to preface this next recipe by saying I am a vegetarian.  I don't know if I have said that before but I am saying it now:)  That said, some of my recipes will be interesting to my meat-eating readers. Even among my meat-eating friends, there are those who like to have one or two vegetarian nights a week--for health reasons and for economy.  Today's recipe is one of those interesting ones and I have put off making it for a couple of years because I just wasn't sure about it but once I made it, I loved it!  It is called Bulgur Burger and can be used as a taco filling, in taco soup, to make Sloppy Joes, Shepherd's Pie or "meat" balls.  Use your imagination. 

Bulgur Burger
1 cup bulgur wheat
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup walnuts, ground (or chopped fine)
1 Tablespoon dried onion flakes
1 clove garlic (or 1/2 teaspoon powder)
1 Tablespoon food yeast flakes (nutritional yeast)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos (or increase salt to 1 teaspoon)
1 Tablespoon Beef-like Seasoning ( I use Bill's Best All Vegetable Beaf Seasoning)
8-ounce can tomato sauce

  1. Mix all ingredients together in saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until thick. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes.
  2. Use as is, or place in a Teflon skillet over medium-high heat and brown, stirring now and then. If desired, add about one cup diced onion and brown with bulgur wheat.
Variation: Bulgur Taco Filling
Replace Beef-Like Seasoning with 1/2 package mild taco seasoning. Serve in tacos, burritos or tostadas.

Have a great day--the beginning to a wonderful week!  Kat
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Friday, January 14, 2011

Organizing from the Inside Out!

Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgen...Image by brewbooks via Flickr
One of my New Year's Resolutions is to read at least one nonfiction book per month.  My book for this month goes along with my resolutions as well--to become more organized. The book is Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern.  I read this book a few years ago but felt the need to take it off the shelf, dust it off and read it again.  Maybe I should underline and make notations this time!

The summary on the back of the book says, "Morgenstern's flexible, scalable three-step system--analyze, strategize, attack--can be applied to any space or situation, from an overstuffed handbag to an overflowing garage. So whether it's a refrigerator cluttered with leftover mystery meals, a generation's worth of family photographs, or the challenge of living or working with a disorganized person, Julie Morgenstern will show you how to handle it all."  WOW!  What a mouthful!  I have an overstuffed handbag and unidentifiable objects in my refrigerator.  I live with a disorganized person--ME!  I don't have any trouble with the first two of her three steps.  I enjoy analyzing and strategizing but the attack is truly difficult! But this is the year I become organized--thanks to The Fly, a few episodes of Clean House AND Julie Morgenstern!

You can order your own copy of Julie Morgenstern's book, Organizing from the Inside Out at Amazon for $10.20.  

I will keep you updated on the state of my refrigerator and my reading book list. What are your challenges?  Kat
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Oregon Yerba Mate

Day 107/365- Yerba MateImage by thekellyscope via Flickr
Following my daily workouts, I was having muscle pain to the point I didn't want to exercise the next day. Sometimes the muscle pain would make it difficult for me sleep.  I started thinking it was just a sign of age:(

On our trip to Bend in December, we purchased two packages of Oregon Yerba Mate (Performance blend and Zen blend).  On the way home, we stopped at Dutch Brothers in Redmond to get a drink--we both love the cold raspberry mate.  The girl that waited on us works at Oregon Yerba Mate in Redmond part time and was telling us about the benefits of mate and particularly the blends we had purchased at Whole Foods.  She was extremely knowledgable and we enjoyed chatting with her:)

We started drinking the Performance blend during the day--making it in our French Press. You can continue adding hot water to the tea all day--until the water no longer has flavor.  It took me a bit to get used to the taste as it has a "green tea" like taste and I am NOT a fan of green tea!  I find that I do have more energy during the day but it isn't a jittery energy like I get when I drink coffee (I am not a coffee drinker but have had it a few times), it is more a calm energy.  The Performance blend contains Ginseng, Damiana, Wild Yam, Goat Weed, Yohimbe and Maca in addition to the Mate.  According to the Oregon Yerba Mate website, "This blend is designed to reduce lactic acid buildup during workouts and boost metabolism to burn calories. Performance blend is used by body builders and dieters to burn extra pounds and build muscle." Since I started exercising two weeks ago, I haven't had any muscle pain at all!

In the evening, I drink the Zen blend before going to bed.  Within 15 minutes, any tense muscles relax and I am able to sleep comfortably.  The Oregon Yerba Mate website describes the Zen blend as "a wonderful Alchemy of Yerba Mate, Chamomile, Jasmine, Lavender, and Kava Kava. It works to calm the central nervous system."

Yerba Mate is a plant grown in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Southern Brazil.  It contains less caffeine than green tea but the caffeine does not effect the central nervous system as coffee does but "users report a mental state of wakefulness, focus and alertness reminiscent of most stimulants, but often remark on Mate's unique lack of negative effects typically created by other such compounds, such as anxiety, diarrhea, "jitteriness", and heart palpitations." from  Yerba Mate has three times the antioxidants of green tea plus 196 vitamins and minerals.  In South America they drink Mate from a gourd using a bombilla. It is often a shared drink--very social. I drink mine by myself, from a large pink polka dotted coffee cup:)

If you get the chance, visit the Oregon Yerba Mate Cafe at 528 SW 6th Street in Redmond, Oregon.  If you can't visit in person, go to their very professional website at

What is your favorite beverage?  Mine is still water but I do enjoy my mate on a daily basis.  Kat

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Great Gift Idea!

I was trying to think of another one of my favorite websites to share with you today and remembered Just My  Now, I am kicking myself for not sharing it before Christmas:(  Oh well, we still have a year of birthdays ahead and there is always NEXT Christmas!

I first heard of Just My last summer at my granddaughter's birthday party.  My daughter and I had decorated for a Princess Tea Party birthday party.  The guests would arrive dressed as little princesses.  The guests would drink their "tea" from Gramma's English tea cups.  However, my daughter realized we didn't have any Princess Tea Party music!  The precious princesses started arriving with their mothers and one mother handed my daughter a CD called Disney Princess Tea Party!!!  My daughter was surprised and pleased. She put the CD in the player and the delightful music began to play.  My granddaughter's name was in every song!!!  So, we started quizzing the guest and found out this is a business she does out of her home.  WOW! My granddaughter was sooo busy with her birthday party that she didn't realize until later that the songs had her name in them.  She was so delighted!!  What a great surprise for any little girl or boy!

When you visit the website,, you will see the variety of personalized CDs and DVDs you have to choose from. You can hear samples of songs with your child's name. In addition to Disney, they also carry Veggie Tales, Wiggles, Wubbles, Jesus Loves Me, Chanukka, Nursery Rhymes, etc. This is a gift that is guaranteed NOT to be duplicated at the next birthday party or other gift giving event.

Have a great time visiting Just My and let me know what you think. Kat

Bulgur Recipe #2

TabboulehImage via Wikipedia
Bulgur is so versatile. Last week's recipe was for Aladdin Cookies. Next week I will share a recipe for Bulgur Burger. One morning a week I prepare it as a hot cereal (step 1 below). Today the recipe is for a delicious Middle Eastern salad called Tabouli.  

1 cup water
1/2 cup bulgur
3/4 cup chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup chopped cucumber
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup chopped scallions (green and white parts)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar (opt)
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon pepper (opt)

  1. In a one-quart saucepan, bring the water to a boil.  Add the bulgur and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Let cool.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the cooled bulgur, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, mint, and scallions until combined.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Pour over the salad and toss to combine.
Variation: Use all parsley if you are not fond of mint.
from 1000 Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Gelles

I hope you enjoy this recipe.  Wait till you see what can be done with bulgur next week!  Kat
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Thursday, January 6, 2011

2011 Occasions Mini Catalog

You know that stamping is one of my favorite things, right?!  Well it gets even better when a new quarterly catalog comes out and this is the best yet in my humble opinion:)  It runs from January 4-April 30 so there's lots of time to get all the things you want--for yourself and as gifts.  I will be sharing a few of my favorites in the weeks to come.

Click HERE  to view all the new goodies inside this new mini .
Click HERE  for the Supply list

Have fun perusing the Occasions Mini Catalog and be sure to do something you really enjoy today!  Kat

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Update on Resolutions

We are in the middle of the first week of the new year.  I didn't jump into my resolutions with both feet, merely put my toe in to test the water:)

  • I got up at 5:00 am one day out of three.  Hey, it's a start!
  • I have walked on the treadmill three days in a row--whoo hoo!
  • I joined and cleaned my kitchen sinks!  This month is the Super Fling Boogie so need to get started with that!  The goal is to see how much stuff you can get rid of this month.   
How are you doing with your resolutions?  I'm in your balcony cheering you on.  Kat

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Do You Wanna Be a Fly Baby?

Several years ago I was introduced to What an interesting and helpful website to help you get your house clean and organized.  I followed the Fly Lady for a few years then got sidetracked and am now in need of the Fly Lady again.  One of my New Year's Resolutions is to get organized with the help of the Fly Lady. 

Today's assignment from was to throw away 27 items from under the kitchen sink. I think the items under the kitchen sink have babies cuz I sure don't remember putting all that stuff down there.  Could I have put it there if I don't even know what it is?!!! And the focus for the month is to clean the kitchen sink and keep it clean.  Now, you can't have a clean sink with dishes in it so ya gotta do the dishes then clean the sink:)


"FlyLady uses the Sidetracked Home Executive (SHE) system as a basis for organizing her home and her life. She adds humor, spunk, and a dose of common sense to her advice, but be prepared - FlyLady does not allow whining. You have to get off your "Franny"!
First, you join as a FlyBaby. You will receive your e-mail Welcome Letters from FlyLady instructing you on how to get started. You will also receive regular e-mail reminders from FlyLady about zones, decluttering, laundry, shoes (honestly - shoes are very important here!) and more. Don't feel overwhelmed! FlyLady will keep you on track using small baby steps. And FlyBabies - no peeking at all of the routines, etc. shown on the FlyLady website. You are just getting started!
Now, as you progress, Flylady will send you e-mail to help you develop routines to get you going in the morning and to send you off to sleep in the evening. She's tough here - routines are very important! It takes 21 days to form a habit, but for SHEs, it takes 28 days. FlyLady is going to insist you shine your sink too - you'll soon find out why!
Decluttering is next. FlyLady will help you declutter your house using Hot Spot Fire Drills and the 27-Fling Boogie. If the thought of decluttering your home is overwhelming - don't worry - Flylady has been there and knows what you are going through! In fact, FlyLady still has her own "dungeon" of clutter that she is working on!
It doesn’t matter whether you are a male or female, single or married, working in or out of the home, have kids or not, this can work for you. You can easily adapt FlyLady’s system to fit your own lifestyle. You will find that with time, your house and life will pull together." --from website
One of my favorite acronyms that Fly Lady uses is CHAOS--Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome!  I'm not there but have areas in my home that I would be embarrassed for anyone to see.  I want to get them under control before it becomes CHAOS! You will hear more about Fly Lady this year as I progress in getting organized. I hope you will join me.  Kat

Monday, January 3, 2011

Aladdin Cookies

Uncooked bulgur wheatImage via Wikipedia
Uncooked Bulgar Wheat
Have you ever used bulgur wheat?  Do you know what bulgur wheat is?  I have used bulgur for most of my life and love it's taste and texture.  There are some great recipes using bulgur. 

"Bulgur is a quick-cooking form of whole wheat that has been cleaned, parboiled, dried, ground into particles and sifted into distinct sizes.  The result is a nutritious, versatile wheat product with a pleasant, nut-like flavor and an extended shelf-life that allows it to be stored for long periods." --Sunnyland Mills

Each Monday this month I will share some of my favorite bulgur recipes, starting with my very favorite--Aladdin Cookies.  

Aladdin Cookies
1/3 cup shortening (I use Coconut Oil)
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cup flour
1 cup cold, cooked bulgur
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped nuts
Cream together oil and sugar; add egg and bulgur.  Sift together dry ingredients and stir in.  Add raisins and nuts.  Drop on lightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.  Makes about 20 cookies.
**Note:  Instead of greasing cookie sheets, I use parchment paper.