Well, after long thought (OK, 17 seconds) I've decided the Hinkelgruber family menu should be brought to the web. A couple of things for you to remember: no substitutions (Charlie's not a short-order cook, after all), and change is inevitable - Charlie may not feel like cooking kim chee on a Tuesday! Oh, and there is one request: if you're joining us for dinner, please either call or text the Scary Lady (you know the number - if you don't, you're really not invited).

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Posting just gets more difficult...

Somehow, our internet server thinks I'm in Thailand, so figuring out how to put up a new post would be much easier if I read Thai! A beautiful alphabet, I assure you, but absolutely impossible for me to read! Anyway...

The Hinkelgruber Christmas holiday was terrific, beginning with a fun, fun, fun Christmas Eve party! Nearly all of our favorite people were there (I'm sure some couldn't make it, but after the second glass of wine, I couldn't tell you who it was that we missed.) Christmas morning brought a brand new bicycle to Mrs. Hinkelgruber and I took every opportunity to ride it Christmas Day. And the day after Christmas...And I'd be riding it right now, too, if it weren't raining so hard. (Yep, I'm a "fair weather" rider. Well, I don't have rain gear, but who knows how that might pan out!)

As New Year's Day approaches, the question becomes, "Take down the Christmas tree before New Year's or after?" Today I'm leaning to after.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ho, Ho, Ho!

Cheese balls, brie en croquette, chips and wine. Do we need anything else for Christmas Eve? Probably not. Oh, we'll get a ham and then let everyone else bring everything else.

It's the holidays - we're keeping this week's short! Happy Holidays, everyone!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The countdown begins...

I really do know that the Twelve Days of Christmas begins the day after Christmas and is to count down to the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6, but my countdown begins now. Cheeseballs, cookies, maybe even a Buche de Noelle - it'll be a cooking/baking frenzy for the next ten days or so.

We took a beautiful drive up the Gorge yesterday and I do mean beautiful! I've never been at Crown Point when there has been no wind until yesterday. The last time Mr. Hinkelgruber and I were there, the wind was blowing so hard I didn't get out of the car and I wasn't certain Mr. Hinkelgruber would be returning to it! But yesterday, there was just barely enough wind to sweep out the fog. And once it did, oh, the pictures Mr. Hinkelgruber caught! We continued on to Hood River, picked up a wine shipment and learned about Camp 1805 - a new distillery in Hood River. I can tell you the bartender there knew how to mix a Sazerac - wow! - did it hit the spot!?!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Day two of no rain?!? In December?!?

Mr. Hinkelgruber and I went to the beach last week and had three days of sunny weather. At the coast. In December. Oh, and then Wednesday night came and it rained...and rained...and rained...
The drive home was so rainy, daylight was never above a dusk light. We got back into town and the street lights were on - at noon! Oh, well, we had a great respite as a lead-in to the frenzied holiday season.

The holiday decorating is done. If it's artificial, it's here! When I mentioned that I really would like some greenery so that the house would smell a little bit seasonal, Mr. Hinkelgruber said, "I think we could find one of those little pine-tree air-fresheners..." That's a tad too artificial for me.

I'll be taking a knitting class this Tuesday - I'm finally going to learn how those Scandinavians make their stranded, Fair Isle garments. We'll see if I'm not too old to learn!

Oh, and for those of you who read this, we'll be having our annual Christmas Eve bash again this year. Come on over any time after 5:00 pm and bring something you consider finger-food. Oh, and if you want to participate in our version of a gift exchange, 10 lottery scratch-off tickets.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Black Friday leads to Little Box Saturday...

Nope - I don't do Black Friday. Did it once and decided full price was cheaper than the melee of any savings that might be had by Black Friday! Little Box Saturday... now that's something else.
I went to a local yarn shop (I hear all of you saying, "Wow, what a surprise!?!") and I was the only one there. Bought some yarn for a class I 'm going to take in about ten days. I can hardly wait.

Well, cooking/baking wise: I've made dinner rolls, birthday cake (Happy Birthday, Mr. Hinkelgruber!), and pumpkin pie. How I love this time of year!

Well, the weather outside's not yet frightful, although the weatherman claims we might see some freezing rain Monday. Ah, who cares!?! As long as I have cable TV and internet access, I'm happy.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Strawberries were in the last post...really?!?

OK, OK, OK....so it's been a while. Let's see if we can't end the year a little more timely...

Let's begin with perhaps the most important event of this summer: Mr. Hinkelgruber the Youngest graduated from the U of O! What a party that was in June!

Summer came (we survived) and it proved to be mildly warmer than some, not as hot as others...Fall was beautiful! A much nicer September than we've had in a long while. And, although it had a few days of much wetter weather, October proved to also be lovely. And, as a point of fact, the senior Mr. Hinkelgruber was actually sitting on the deck in early November - with the propane heater blasting, of course.

I've begun to bake with a new online baking group - working our way through Dorie Greenspan's Baking Chez Moi. If you're looking for a very accessible French style dessert cookbook, this is the one for you. Dorie Greenspan is a genius - she knows just what home bakers want and need in the way of guidance for recipes you might not otherwise consider. If you're interested in following my progress, you'll find it here http://scaryladyatho.com, or if you'd like to join yourself here's the link to the organizers http://tuesdayswithdorie.wordpress.com.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and that means Mr. Hinkelgruber's birthday is too (this year, he's the turkey!). So, here's wishing that you eat enough to require elastic waste pants, but not so much you're filled with regret on Friday.

Gobble, gobble!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

A strawberry is a beautiful thing....

And a Hood strawberry is the best of the best! My eyes were bigger than my stomach Thursday when I went to the berry stand. Truly intended to buy one flat - came home with two. Sooo...we made strawberry ice cream today (the boys next door helped us make it and eat it!), strawberries to top my pancakes tomorrow morning and strawberry shortcake for dessert tomorrow. And, no, there will not be any strawberry jam.

We cleaned the basement today! We used to get a dumpster every year and do a cleaning. This is the first time in about five years that we've done it. And, it wasn't as bad as I had originally thought it would be. The basement is still a basement (you'll never mistake our basement for additional living space), but there's no longer a fear that anyone will injure themselves downstairs.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

June 21 may be the first day of summer, but Memorial Day Weekend really starts it off....

I love this three day weekend. For the most part, I've never been particularly fond of three day weekends, except for this one - oh, and Labor Day weekend. I find these bookends somehow very satisfying - a beginning and an ending.

Mr. Hinkelgruber cleaned off the grill (grilling season is officially ON!) and we finished planting the final annuals in planter pots. I nearly made it to 30-days of sobriety - we had a boil water alert Friday that simply provided me with evidence of a higher power: He/She wanted me to drink wine! So, I (we) did!

A beautiful week coming our way, I'm sure.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

A perfect weekend!

Three weekdays at the beach and a gorgeous weekend - what could be better?

Mr. Hinkelgruber and I planted our annual crops: petunias (yes, Mr. Hinkelgruber did them all!), impatiens (I did all those!), and tomatoes (a joint effort!). I also planted ten peony bulbs/tubers/rhizomes - whatever they are - because I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE peonies! I can hardly wait for spring and summer to progress.

This next week is supposed to be a lovely one - and this is why we live here!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Did I really say 30-days of sobriety?!?

Mr. Hinkelgruber and I had such a good time in Lost Wages last month, I thought I should try 30-days of sobriety. It's both harder and easier than I thought! The hard part? I missed a mint julep for Derby Day, a Margarita for Cinco de Mayo, and champagne for Mother's Day. Well, those have all passed (or are passing) and now I only have another 16-days to go! The easier? It makes my weekly Wednesday lunch cheaper (two glasses of wine really does add up!) and I seem to be sleeping better.

For over a month now, I've been meaning to bake a Lemon Buttermilk Pie with Saffron. Even went to the expense of buying saffron! (Don't ask me what saffron tastes like - I assume like saffron!) Well, for Mother's Day, I finally have it in the oven baking. It was relatively easy, and very pretty as it bakes. I'll let you know how it tastes.

Oh! And, I got one of the best Mother's Day gifts ever! A family portrait done by the younger Hinkelgruber son. What a talent!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

May 1st and spring arrived...

...with a vengeance, I might add! What a beautiful beginning to May we had. Our concrete work is done, done, done! And it looks marvelous, if I do say so myself (and I do!). 

Mr. Hinkelgruber and I spent a terrific week in Lost Wages. We first stayed at the Red Rocks Resort so he could take photos at the Red Rocks National Scenic area, and he got some beautiful shots. You should ask to see them! Then, to our home away from home in Sin City, Paris Las Vegas! I'm not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing when the cocktail waitresses at your favorite bar remember you and what you drink, but I choose good. Needless to say, a good time was had by all. 

Coming back to the real world was hard, but welcome - one can only have so much fun. Routines have begun again, and it's time to think about spring plantings. A few weeks ago we attended Mr. Hinkelgruber's father's 80th birthday party, and he had some truly black petunias. We're thinking of going with a black and white theme to this year's front bed. The only question is whether we can find them here. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

If you see a sidewalk's gone, why wouldn't you cross the street to walk?

Well, best intentions and all that...We do have a new retaining wall. We have a new back porch (or stoop, as Mr. Hinkelgruber likes to call it). But the sidewalks don't get started until this week! And what a week it should be. We've been promised 70 degree weather tomorrow (remember, they also promised us jet-packs fifty years ago) and both I and the concrete guys are counting on it. A week from today should see one more project completed.

It's only two weeks until the Mr. and I head for Lost Wages for a week. We're trying out a new locale this time: Red Rocks Resort. Mr. Hinkelgruber will be taking some photos at the Red Rocks Canyon National Conservation Reserve. I will be making sure I'm getting my beauty sleep.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

It seemed like a good idea at the time...

Take one part excavation, two parts particle board, and three parts record rainfall and what do you get? Mud holes, swamps and the opportunity to surf in your own front yard! Yep, Mr. Hinkelgruber arrived home from work Friday to have the opportunity to use our temporary front sidewalk. Unbeknownst to him, the plank was floating and suddenly became a surfboard! We didn't even know he could surf!?! It was all in good (albeit, not clean) fun.

The concrete guy says he's going to pour on Tuesday, so a week from now, we should at least have some new concrete sidewalks and maybe even two new retaining walls. I only hope the back wall is constructed in time that the sloughing at the alley stops before our yard ends up in the alley.

I think I hear my oven calling - I think this April fool will be baking this week!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

It looks like spring, but...

From inside the house, you'd swear it was 70 degrees. Not so fast...it's closer to 59 degrees and the breeze, while not strong is chilly! But it sure is nice to see Mr. Sun.

How does that adage go, "In the spring a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of love...?" Well, when you're a middle aged woman and man, it turns of thoughts of new concrete! We got an estimate today, and it looks like we're getting two new retaining walls, new stairs, a new back porch, new sidewalks - whew - that's a lot of concrete.

The other thing this woman's thoughts turn to is lemony desserts! This week? Lemon meringue pie! Yum!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

To the Way-back Machine!

"Mr. Peabody, Mr. Peabody - I need the way-back machine!" Oh, I think I still have a crush on Sherman - that lovable little nerd-boy. That movie, "Mr. Peabody and Sherman," just makes me want to find a little white dog to name Mr. Peabody. No, Mr. Hinkelgruber, it won't be happening anytime soon.

Weatherman says it might hit 68 degrees next Saturday. Do we believe it? Who cares, the mere thought of it makes me happy. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Oh, what a beautiful morning...

Looking out our dining room window this morning, I would swear it was May (well, maybe late March/early April). Our crocuses are croking, our daffodils are daffing - yep, spring is coming!

This weekend was a foodie's heaven: wine and cheese tasting (oh, let's be honest - it was feasting, not tasting) on Friday, all the crab we could eat (can you say, "Crab coma"?) at the Greek church on Saturday - what a weekend! The real problem with this, is it makes it difficult for Mr. Hinkelgruber to plan a menu for the week. How do you follow that?

The end of this coming week brings the Rose City Yarn Crawl - can I possibly 'need' more yarn?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Don't worry, I'm not contagious - it's just asthma....

Did anyone else catch that awful virus? Superbowl Sunday it moved into my lungs, traveled to my head, temporarily took up residence (I actually went to the doctor) and finally today (February 15) I'm feeling waaayyy better! (And, yes, I'm pretty sure a trip to Vegas where the temperature was 78 degrees didn't hurt my recovery!)

So, I love to travel. But, I'm so lucky to have a personal chef. And, that's why I love to come home - I love home cooking - Mr. Hinkelgruber's home cooking. Breakfast is at least as good, if not better when Mr. Hinkelgruber cooks breakfast. And, oh, dinners are never bad - as you can see from this week's menu.

Monday, February 3, 2014

It's snowing?!? In February?!? In Portland?!?

Yeah, I know I'm late with this post, but I'm not six weeks late! And, yes, it is snowing a little bit - well, it's mixed with rain, but there's snow there, nonetheless.

We had to send our beloved puppy to the doggy-day-care in the sky last week. I had no idea how weird it would be being truly alone during the day after not being so for fifteen years. I really do miss her.

On a happier note, our Seattle Seahawks trounced the Denver Broncos in yesterday's Superbowl! Woohoo! What a game! Now I get to go back to Vegas and collect on that bet I laid down on those guys. Way to go, fellas.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Knit one, yarn-over, purl across...

Well, my knitting obsession has taken over. The annual "Rose City Yarn Crawl" takes place February 27 - March 2, and to gin up excitement, they sponsor a "Mystery-Knit-a-long." This year's is a shawl (the first clue has just come out, and that's apparent). I've finished the first clue (ok, I've finished it twice - once with beads, one without). Now I have to wait until next Friday for the next clue! I guess I'll just have to find something else to knit to pass the time.

Because we weren't here for Halloween - I didn't get my chili fix. Mr. Hinkelgruber took care of my jones by preparing white bean and chicken chili for dinner. Ahhh....hog heaven!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

50-degrees…in January?!?

As I let the puppy out this morning, I realized how warm it was! It's January, the east coast just got out of something they're calling a "Polar Vortex," and it felt more like April at 7:00 am in Portland! Oh, I'm not complaining, mind you - merely observing.

Mr. Hinkelgruber has started a photography class and his first homework assignment was to take five photographs. The most fun today was watching him try to get to the park between rain showers to take the photos. Trip one - over before he got to the corner. Trip two - he made it to the corner across from the park. Trip three - finally he made it. He was gone about 30-minutes before the next shower. And, he got some really wonderful photos.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

January…the longest month...

Did you ever notice how January is really the longest month of the year, followed by February as a close second? I think it's the grey days, the cold and threat of colder weather, and even though the days are getting longer, it's really hard to notice them lengthening. But, this year, we're going to try to make these weeks go a little quicker by spending a weekend in Las Vegas! Woohoo! I can hardly wait.

We tried a new place to eat, the Italian Kitchen, right behind Belmont Station Brew Pub. I've heard it said that the real reason you can't get a decent Philly Cheesesteak on the west coast is because you can't get the right bread. All I know is that the Italian Kitchen makes its sandwiches using some of the best bread I've ever eaten! I had a roast beef and Mr. Hinkelgruber had a pork, and they were both outstanding!