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Mar 6 15


by Karen


artwork and agates

artwork and agates


There are so many memories all over our house:

Every estate sale “find” that we discovered together

Her artwork

Her agates

The chair she sat in everyday fighting the ravages of cancer



But she is not here.

We worked through a lot over the past 16 months of cancer treatment and all the challenges that go with it. As we prepare to honor my mother in law at a celebration of her life we look forward to hosting her family from back East and visiting with her friends. Her home in the San Juan Islands reflects her in every way, we had fun taking some pictures there in September and bringing some important items here to Seattle to adorn her in-city bedroom.

Over the years we did some silly things like make huge footed pajamas for her 6′ 4″ son complete with drop seat—-laughing hysterically throughout the process. read more…

Feb 12 15

Wine Selections for Valentine’s Day

by Karen

We usually dine-in for Valentine’s Day together with anyone that happens to be living with us at the time.
This past year we have had three generations in our household and that will be the case for at least a few more years.

Often dinner involves a gorgeous steak and roasted vegetables so our wine selections skew to red wine but I have a few favorites here for wine that pairs with pasta or seafood as well.
Availability was a criteria for each of the wines below–providing your merchant carries popular Washington wines and a good selection of Old World wines. read more…

Jan 23 15

Meatballs w/Prosciutto Parmesan & Lemon

by Karen



You can imagine how excited our city is for another Super Bowl!
I have been saving this recipe for you–it’s a great Game Day appetizer. read more…

Jan 11 15

Lentil Soup in a Flash

by Karen

Gluten Free Lentil Soup



Don’t you just wish someone would have dinner waiting for you at home every night?

What’s for Dinner is always lurking in the back of my mind and with so many other considerations and limitations of the three generations in our household, I need a go-to list of easy, make-ahead meals.

This Lentil Soup recipe scores high marks all around. read more…

Dec 28 14

Potato Leek Soup and Popovers

by Karen



gluten free potato leek soup

Cold days are best when sitting by the fire with a bowl of soup and some good bread. read more…

Dec 23 14

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

by Karen
Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Sour Cream Coffee Cake


Plan on this for a mid-morning holiday break read more…

Dec 5 14

Salted Chocolate Chewy Brownies w/Ganache

by Karen


salted gluten free chewy brownie with ganache

For years I have had requests to be active again in the gluten free world. When we sold our first edition book, it was in the top three gluten free cookbooks on Amazon and available in most libraries across the country.

Life intervened and I had to pull back for awhile but now we are bringing it back with … read more…

Dec 2 14

Orange Pistachio Cocktail Cookie

by Karen


I flipped one cookie over so you can see the bottom.

I flipped one cookie over so you can see the bottom.

A mostly make-ahead appetizer that is freezeable —- slice and bake the day of your party!  Perfect with martinis.  The orange flavor is imparted with orange zest and orange flower water (generally found near the vanilla extract in the grocery store).  See recipe below adapted from Sips and Apps by Chef Kathy Casey. read more…

Nov 24 14

How to set a proper table

by Karen

How to set  he table


We used to have some confusion about the official, proper way to set a table.  A few years ago The Seattle Times ran this so I snipped it out and keep it with my china.

The photo is pretty self explanatory.

One thing we always argued about was which direction the blade of the knife faced.

Also if you can’t read the text in the photo it says the dessert fork or spoon goes above the plate and the glass on the left is a water goblet while the one on the right is a wine glass.  Incidently, there are  red wine glasses (even distinctions between Bourdeaux and Burgundy wines) and white wine glasses if you want to be particular.


Ready to plan your holiday meal?

read more…

Nov 20 14

How to Host Your First Holiday Dinner

by Karen


Pilgrims Going To Church, George H. Boughton, American 1833-1905

Pilgrims Going To Church, George H. Boughton, American 1833-1905

This painting hung in school rooms across the country when I was growing up,  I attended six different schools in Florida, North Dakota, California, and Texas and it was a staple in all.

My husbands’ mom grew up in Boston and gave the painting to us, obviously it figured in fairly large in her life living so close to Plymouth. Each year we rotate it into the dining room during the holidays to remind us of the challenges our ancestors faced. read more…