Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Visitor & Fettuccini

Last week my brother came to visit! Unfortunately it was the only week this whole summer that we have had thunderstorms. Go figure. All well, we kept busy doing inside stuff and I made him fettuccini alfredo. Brian had actually been requesting it for some time and I kept procrastinating but since we had a special guest I thought it was the perfect time. Before now I had never made alfredo sauce and didn't know how much work I had to put in. I couldn't believe it was so easy! For this recipe I relied on my Giada book.

Ingredients:
  • 18 ounces fettuccini
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 12 tbsp butter (I used less)
  • 2 cups grated parmesan
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • salt & pepper
Directions:
  • Stir 2 cups of the cream and the lemon juice in a heavy large skillet to blend. Add the butter and cook over medium heat just until the butter melts, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  • Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally
  • Add the sauce to the pasta. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of cream, and Parmesan to the cream sauce. Add the nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Toss the pasta mixture over low heat until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute.
 
 We went to casino...he lost and I broke even

 Hiding from my camera
 First fender bender...check.
 Ian and I had to partake in some Scottish beer at a Scottish pub
 And eat some good food
Ian's bratty face

Friday, July 18, 2014

Twisp/Wintrop

Brian and I took a little road trip and headed east for a few days. The weather was hot, the towns were VERY small and all there was to do was relax, eat, drink, read and enjoy the scenery. Just what we needed. Some tidbits...












Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Roasted Salmon with Green Herbs

Up here in Washington we are pretty spoiled when it comes to seafood. Last year I discovered copper river salmon. You can't go anywhere for 4 weeks without seeing signs in grocery stores, restaurants, etc. that say "Copper River Salmon Is Here!" I've never seen anything like it! So I figured this is something I need to try. What can be so great about this salmon?? Salmon is salmon. Oh no. It was so good that Brian and I practically binged on all the salmon we could get our hands on for 3 weeks straight. So here I am craving salmon and copper river salmon is not available, so I guess I'll "settle" for the other stuff. :) This recipe is from Ina Garten who I really haven't tried many recipes from so I was very happy it turned out great. 

Ingredients:
  • 1 (2-2.5 pound) skinless salmon fillet (I happened to have 3 small fillets w/ skin)
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup minced scallions, white & green parts (4 scallions)
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
Directions:
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  • Place the salmon in a roasting dish and season it generously with salt & pepper. Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice and drizzle the mixture evenly over the salmon. Let it stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the scallions, dill and parsley. Scatter the herb mixture over the salmon, turning it so that both sides are generously coated with the green herbs. Pour the wine around the fish. 
  • Roast the salmon for 10-12 minutes, until almost cooked in the center at the thickest part. The center will be firm with just a line of uncooked salmon in the very center. Cover the dish lightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. 
  • Serve with lemon wedges
 Sorry for the horrible picture quality...every time I actually remember to take a picture it happens to be in the awful kitchen lighting when it's dark outside.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Lately

Here are a few pictures that I have accumulated over the past month or so...

Spent some time in nature at the cabin in Chelan
Painted our front door red!
Wine tasting? Sure!
My 10 year old girl dreams came true...Brian made me a flower bracelet. Truth be told, I never learned how to make them and was a bit embarrassed that Brian whipped this one up in a matter of 5 minutes
 Saw Yann Tiersen play



 To celebrate my birthday we went on a dinner cruise in Seattle. Probably the youngest people on that whole boat and it was a little cheesy but you know what? We had a blast

Thursday, June 19, 2014

I'm Back!

I just realized how long it's been since I last posted something...much too long! I guess I was feeling lazy. But I was very happy with a meal I made so I thought I'd share. 
I have always been curious about lemon chicken but never tried it because I'm not really THAT into lemon. So a whole dish bombarded with lemon just didn't really sound all that great. But here we are heading into summer and I saw this picture on pinterest and thought...hmmm that looks pretty good!
And not to mention I don't really cook chicken breast anymore because it's typically on the dry side and lacks flavor. I always use the thigh meat or roast the whole chicken. But here I am making lemon chicken breasts. And you know what? It was absolutely delicious!! Yes, it was very lemony, but it was refreshing and the meat wasn't dry at all. I couldn't believe it. For me it's a perfect summer meal. I paired the chicken with roasted rosemary potatoes and an arugula salad. 

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic (9 cloves)
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
Directions:
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  • Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook for just 1 minute but don’t allow the garlic to turn brown. Off the heat, add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt and pour into a 9 X 12-inch baking dish. (I used my dutch oven)
  • Pat the chicken breasts dry and place them skin side up over the sauce. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck it among the pieces of chicken. (I used the lemons that I zested) 
  • Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, until the chicken is done and the skin is lightly browned. If the chicken isn’t browned enough, put it under the broiler for 2 minutes. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot with the pan juices. 
Yesterday I turned 30. So I thought I would celebrate by eating this yummy meal outside in the backyard with some french wine, enjoy my own company and my birthday. It was perfectly relaxing and I feel ready to take on a new decade.
Cheers!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Chicken Francaise

This dish is super easy and really tasty! Definitely keeping this one in the rotation. I mean, who doesn't like a butter wine sauce?!

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Flour for dredging
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 3 Chicken Breasts (I used chicken thighs)
  • 2 Eggs plus 2 tablespoons Water (whisked)
  • 2 Garlic cloves (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup White Wine
  • 1/2 cup Chicken Stock
  • 1 Lemon (zest and juice)
  • 1/3 cup Capers
  • 6 tablespoons Parsley (roughly chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons Butter
Directions:
  • Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.
  • Season the flour with a generous amount of salt and pepper and whisk together in a baking dish. Lightly coat the chicken breasts in the seasoned flour and then dip in the egg wash. Gently place in the hot oil and fry for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Flip the breast and fry for another 2 minutes until golden.   
  • Add the sliced garlic to the pan and cook for about 20 seconds. Deglaze with the wine, scraping up brown bits with a wooden spoon. Stir in the broth, lemon juice and capers and allow to reduce for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the lemon zest, parsley and butter and swirl to emulsify. Plate the chicken with the sauce and serve.
I served the chicken with mashed potatoes. Yum!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Lately

 Beautiful blooms in the front yard
 I agreed to go to Cabela's with Brian but only if I can hang out on this ridiculous camo chair. If it wasn't camo I would have seriously considered buying it. It was THAT comfy!


 Brian smoking a stogie and cutting the lawn for the first time
 And I was there for moral support :)
 I had to document this blue sky
 Brian's bonsai mini worlds



 Red vans ready for some summer strolling
 Record player slowly being assembled

Baked Salmon & Broccoli Mash

After a weekend of eating pretty poorly I was ready for something more on the healthy side. Salmon and broccoli mash did just the trick! I had never made broccoli mash before and I was very happy to find it was delicious and will definitely make it again!

Salmon 
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tsp dark sesame oil
  • 2 oranges (juiced)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 scallions (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp red chili pepper (minced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced) 
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds (toasted)
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • 2 salmon filets (skin on)
  • non-stick cooking spray

  • Mix together all of the ingredients except the salmon. Place the salmon in the marinade and cover in the fridge for 2 hours
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet with non-stick spray.
  • Remove salmon from the fridge while oven is preheating. Transfer salmon to the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until done. 

Broccoli Mash
  • 3 large bunches broccoli
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • salt 
  • pepper

  • Steam 3 large bunches of broccoli in a pot with water until tender
  • Saute 4 cloves of garlic in a pan with olive oil and butter, until golden
  • Add broccoli, garlic with oils, 1 cup of ricotta cheese to a blender or food processor and season with salt and pepper to taste. Blend to consistency of mashed potatoes. 

Served with pillbury crescent rolls...because I love them!! 



Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dream Vacation

There are too many places on my list of dream vacations but lately I keep seeing tons of people vacationing in Mexico. I have always wanted to go, especially to Mexico City and visit Frida Kahlo's house, and now after seeing these pictures the capital of Yucatán. Here are a couple of my favorites, but you can see all of them from the link.