Monday, October 22, 2012

Family time at the Kiyokawa Family Orchards

Oh how lovely it was to be able to take my parents and my daughter up towards the base of Mt. Hood; a beautiful scenic drive up to the Kiyokawa Family Orchards; for a day of picking our own apples. As mentioned, the drive there was beautiful! It's an hour drive from where I live, and the drive was well worth it. We left around 3:30pm on a Sunday afternoon; it was more of a spur of the moment trip, but it has been something I've been excited to do with my daughter for awhile and just haven't had the time. Back home it was raining, but surprisingly it was so nice and sunny as we drove up further towards the base of Mt. Hood. It was a lovely drive and day spent with family =)

On our way to the Kiyokawa Family Orchard Farm!

Passing by Rooster Rock State Park

Started to get dark and sprinkle a little

About 30 minutes into the drive; my daughter asks the dreaded question on a road trip "Mooooooooom, are we there yet?!!" I said no, we just barely hit the road and we still have a little ways to go. She whines and says "But we have been on the road FOREVER! It's been like an hour already!" She eventually took a nap and by the time we got there, she was up and ready to go pick yummy apples!

She was nice and bundled up; keeping warm while running around picking apples. I loved how excited she was, she even said "This is so fun, Mom!"

Yummy Pears!
We walked further into the field and found these super sweet pears! They are the sweetest pears I have ever had. So naturally of course; we picked a bunch of these as well =)

So delicious!

Oh, and then we came across these super sweet and juicy Asian pears! My parents were like little kids in a candy store when we came across these =) They excitedly picked a bunch.

And finally the two apples I was most excited for; were these beauties! The delicious oh so juicy and sweet; Honey Crisp apple and this STUNNING golden on the outside and red flesh on the inside like a Watermelon called; Mountain Rose! 

One of my favorites; Honey Crisp!

Has now become one of my favorites; Mountain Rose!

Isn't that a beauty?! I have not seen anything like this before. I couldn't wait to get home and cut one up to show you all! Can you imagine this in a pie or a tart? Oh I'll have to try it out very soon!

 Over all, it was a day/weekend well spent with family. We had a great time at this super friendly family orchard, all the employees were super nice, the owners walk up and greet you with nice warm smiles and talk to you. A great abundance of variety apples/pears to choose from. I absolutely recommend this place if you live in the Oregon/Washington and are looking for something simple/fun to do with your family/kids. 

What's one fond memory you have as a child growing up with your family?

Have a wonderful week everyone!  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Roasted Lemon Thyme Chicken & A man who just doesn't understand!

Ah, another great comfort food for me is Roasted Chicken. Fall is all about comfort foods for me; I love the chilly evenings with something hot, filling, yummy and full of goodness simmering on the stove or baking in the oven. 
For dinner; I decided to roast a chicken, and jazz it up with lemon thyme butter!

Delicious Lemon-Thyme Roasted Chicken

This turned out spectacular! The aroma of the thyme, lemon and butter just filled the house, and my daughter was just excitingly anticipating dinner. When it was ready, I took my time to make it look presentable and pretty; the man said "It looks good already, Men don't care if it looks pretty on the dinner table, we just want to dig in and eat!" hmph... men; they will never understand! I of course proceeded to make it look pretty before digging in to eat =) Oh! and Mothers this was child approved; my daughter helped herself to seconds and proclaimed this was the best chicken she has EVER had in her whole (entire 9 1/2 years) life.

1 whole chicken
1 lemon
1- 1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme (or dried)
1 stick of butter

Rinse chicken/pat dry, sprinkle salt/pepper according to your taste, and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place soften butter in a bowl, mince thyme and grate lemon zest (about 1- 1 1/2) place in the same bowl as butter. Mix the ingredients together until everything is incorporated. Carefully loosen the skin around the chicken so you can rub the butter mixture in between the skin and meat evenly. Take the rest of the mixture and rub it all over the outer side. Take your lemon, cut in wedges or halves and place inside the cavity; along with some sprigs of thyme. Pop it in the oven and let the roasting begin! It'll take 40-45 mins depending on how big your chicken is. Feel free to make it as pretty as you want; enjoy!

The makings of a wonderful dinner!

Name one quirk you have; that your man will never understand? =) 

It's mid-week ladies, hang in there! 


Monday, October 15, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Cookies & a time to relax

Saturday was just one of those Pumpkin kind of days; when you see bright orange Pumpkins everywhere you go, and the colorful Fall leaves scattered all around town reminding you that Autumn is here, making you just want to sink your teeth into a nice yummy pumpkin pie with lots of whip cream. Instead of making Pumpkin Pie, I decided to make Pumpkin Spice Cookies! Oh let me tell you; they were perfectly soft and chewy on the inside, and tasted just like mini Pumpkin Pie bites. I topped it off with some Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses, and that made it even more delish! A perfect Fall treat, and a big hit at the pot luck I brought these to on Sunday.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Pumpkin Spice Cookies Recipe


Basic sugar cookie recipe
1 tsp of pumpkin spice
1 tsp of cinnamon 
1tsp of vanilla extract
1- 1 1/2 cups of pumpkin in a can
1 bag of pumpkin spice hershey kisses


Follow your basic sugar cookie recipe, or you can always just use premixed sugar cookie. Add pumpkin spice, cinnamon, vanilla extract and pumpkin in a can into the mixture and mix and fold until all ingredients incorporate and get to know each other very well. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, Then take your cookie sheet and line it up with parchment paper; scoop about a tablespoon of dough and drop it on cookie sheet. Bake until golden brown; take it out and let it cool for about a minute before pressing down the hershey kiss. 


Pumpkin spice hershey kisses melt a lot faster than regular hershey kisses, so you will want to place them in the freezer while mixing and baking your cookies, once cookies has cooled for about a minute, then take out the hershey kisses, peel and gently press into the cookie. It will melt a bit onto the cookie, but it will harden back up once it's cooled. Place in the fridge to help harden.

On another note; I have been day dreaming of a weekend of alone time with just  only me and nothing but the sounds of the waves crashing. A time of solitude, a moment to relax with some peace and quite, be refreshed and rejuvenate. Do any of you ladies feel this way? I think women lead such busy hectic lives taking care of everyone and everything; that they tend to forget about themselves. I think once in awhile; it's okay to just step away for a moment to refresh ourselves so we can come back ready to take on everyday happenings. Below is a picture of one of these moments for me; one where I got to do just that. A weekend of just over looking the beach at the beach house; with nothing but just me and the sounds of the wave crashing. No time to worry about, no running around like a headless chicken trying to get things done. No rush hour traffic, no phones, no work emails. Stress-free and relaxing weekend so I can come back the best person I can be for everyone in my life =) 

Relaxing @ Seaside, OR

There's nothing like waking up on a cold Fall morning; after the rain fall at the beach. Sitting on the balcony of the beach house and sipping on a hot cup of tea; listening to the waves. I absolutely love our beaches; they are so peaceful and beautiful. There's a sense of peace every time I come here; I never want to leave! 

What are ways you take time for yourself?

Happy Monday everyone! Make this a wonderful week =)  

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall weather brings soupy days!

We have been having some awesome Sunny warm days up until today; it's dark, gloomy and yes it's raining outside. It's chilly, but not too cold to turn on the heat yet. How else to warm up on a chilly day? Make a big pot of Chicken pot pie soup! I found therapy in chopping the veggies, shredding the chicken and yes even stirring the pot. The heavenly aroma filled my house; oh it was lovely!

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

This hearty yummy soup is perfect and warms up my soul; it really is comfort food! Filled with veggies, protein and packed with flavor; even my daughter who isn't so fond of peas, gobbled it up with not one complaint of eating peas. Winning!

I actually made this pot last night, and let me tell ya... this was the perfect ending to my day. The stress and exhaustion from work  fled my mind as soon as I helped myself to a bowl of comfort. The best part is; this will be waiting for me when I get home later, and I know it will even be more fantastic! Foods like this are always better the next day! 

A bowl of comfort!

Chicken Pot Pie Soup Recipe


2 cups potatoes peeled and chopped
1 onion chopped
1 -1 1/2 cup celery chopped
1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables  (carrots, peas, corn, green beans)
1 tbsp. fresh chopped thyme
2 cups of skinless cooked chicken breast 
4 cups of milk
1/2 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth 
2 cubes of chicken bouillon
Salt/Pepper to taste 


In a pot, add some water half way in the pot and bring to a boil, add your chicken breast and let cook (15-20 mins) Then take out the chicken breast and set aside to shred later. In the same pot, add your potatoes, onions, celery and chicken bouillon and slowly simmer until veggies are fork tender. Add your frozen veggie mix, thyme and continue to simmer. Take the chicken breast and shred them and adding them into the pot. Pour in 1 cup of chicken broth; and pour the rest of chicken broth in a small pot with flour on medium high heat, whisking and slowly pouring in milk until all ingredients are nice and smooth. When it starts to thicken up, pour into your big pot of soup, letting it simmer until the soup thickens. If your soup is too thick, just add more chicken broth or if you want it thicker, just add about 1/4 cup of flour and let it simmer longer until it thickens to your liking. Add salt and pepper to taste according to your preference. 

I hope you will enjoy this bowl of comfort along with me! 

Tell me one of your favorite comfort foods?

Happy Friday everyone, have a wonderful weekend!



Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekend of Revival

This past week has been a bit of a whirl wind; I felt like it's been one big emotional roller coaster ride all week. I think trying to be strong and stay positive for everyone else, while they were down and out and negative about certain areas in their lives... it somehow crept up on me as well. I let the seed of their fears, doubts, questions, worries, and stress grow in me; and oh how it did grow! I suddenly started feeling the things they felt in myself; to the point where I would lie awake at night filled with anxiety and disappointment, and those things were the first things that crept in my mind the instant I awoke the next morning.

But let me tell you, there is light at the end of the tunnel, because this past weekend I got to go to the Women of Faith Conference with some of my ladies (all 9 of us) and we had a blast with the other thousands of ladies in the arena that night! It was the most spectacular weekend, filled with tears and laughter. Hearing messages that seemed to be graphed up and tailored to fit what I had been battling with all week. I could feel my spirits being lifted once more and my soul start to dance in gladness again. Here's a few pictures I got to snap in between the tears and laughter's.

The view from our seats of the beautiful stage at WOF 2012!

One of the many memorable moments of the night when everyone whipped out their cell phone's to be a City on the Hill!

Another wonderful moment when this Painter created a Master piece right before our eyes!

At the end of the night, WOF had reached their goal of sponsoring many children, and so some of the ladies husbands had to prance around in tutu's and a red umbrella, during worship. I think the men were enjoying it a little too much =)

I went into that arena this past weekend; filled with doubt, frustration, stress, emotional baggage, anger, resentment, hurt, sadness, hopelessness, envy, worries and full of fear and anxiety. I walked out of that arena fulfilled, my cup surplus, filled with hope, full of love, wrapped up in grace and mercy, and I am back to my old self again... oozing with positivity and ready to pass it along once more! The theme was about "Revival" and I must say, I truly felt revived afterwards! 

The icing on the cake, was during dinner with my ladies after the two days of the conference. We were sitting around sharing what was most impactful for us and sharing our struggles and lending each other encouragement and words of comfort in love. The waitress came around and handed us our fortune cookies; as everyone was still chit chatting around the table, I decided to crack open my fortune cookie and just about fainted! Surely this can't be? How? What in the world?! OMGEE?!! I let out a huge gasped that could have been heard miles away, my eyes wide open and mouth about hit the floor. Everyone just stopped talking and immediately asked me what was wrong. I must remind you that I walked into the WOF conference filled with Fear and anxiety of all the "What if's" and the fear of the unknown etc. and when  I saw my fortune cookie and what it said... I just about died or pee'd in my pants =) Here's what I saw people!

My confirmation =)

Oh Hallelujah! This was my confirmation, as if He had to make sure I ended the night knowing that He's got me in the palm of His hands. He is saying to me "Do not worry, I got you! I got you! For whom shall you fear?" Yes, I heard it loud and clear! All the ladies were just in total shock along with me =) My God never ceases to amaze me. He surely has a sense of humor and yes He can deliver message in creative ways i.e in fortune cookies at a Chinese restaurant! =D That was my weekend folks; A very memorable one.  

Have a great week everyone! Don't let Monday beat you up too much =)