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 Yucat√°n. Here are a couple of my favorites, but you can see all of them from the link.




Tuesday, April 1, 2014

What's For Dinner

Thai Beef Stir Fry with Mango Carrot Salad

 Ingredients:
  • vegetable oil
  • 2 red chilies 
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 pound beef sirloin-fat trimmed and thinly sliced
  • salt
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1-2 cups fresh basil leaves, plus more to garnish
  • rice-to serve
For the mango carrot salad
  • 1 ripe mango-julienned
  • 1 large carrot-julienned
  • 2 scallions-thinly sliced
  • 2 limes-juiced
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • pinch of salt
Directions:
  • Heat a large skillet (I used my wok) over high-heat with a few tbsp of oil. Add the chilies and ginger and cook for about 30 seconds. Stir in the beef and saute for about 2 minutes or until no longer pink, seasoning with salt.
  • Drizzle in the worcestershire and soy sauce and toss to coat. Remove from heat and stir in fresh basil.
  • Serve with rice and mango carrot salad
  • For mango carrot salad- toss together the ingredients in a bowl and serve room temperature or chilled.
 I thought this recipe was super easy and fun to make! I tend to steer clear of Asian dishes because I don't have any experience but when I found this dish I knew I could make it successfully. 

Can you believe I finally remembered to take a picture?!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Few Tidbits

Lately...

 Actually getting my butt outside to either walk or jog. It's a start!
 Louie loves laying by the warm vent
 Starting to bloom
 Louie hard at work next to me
 Did my first beer tasting!
 Took a drive to Deception Pass


 Bellevue Botanical Garden...where plants grow out of trees
 Suspension bridge at the garden



Perfect little pine cone

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dinner Party

This past Saturday Brian and I had a group people over for dinner. I was slightly nervous only because it was mostly guys, there was only one other girl, so I knew I had to make enough to feed everybody and their big appetites. So I'm sure it's not surprising, to those who know me, that I went with spaghetti and meatballs, salad and bread. However, what might surprise everyone including myself, is that I made a dessert! Panna cotta served with fresh berries on top. I had never made it before but it has always been a favorite of mine. Thankfully it's easy to make. From now on it will always be a go-to stress free dessert for me.
The recipe I used is from Giada's book Everyday Italian.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tbsp unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 3 cups whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups assorted fresh berries
Directions:
  • Place the milk in a heavy sauce pan. Sprinkle the gelatin over and let stand for about 5 minutes to soften the gelatin. 
  • Stir over medium heat just until the gelatin dissolves but the milk does not boil, about 5 minutes. 
  • Add the cream, honey, sugar, and salt and stir until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let cool slightly. 
  • Pour the cream mixture into pretty glasses (if you are going for presentation) or a bowl like I did. Cover and refrigerate until set, at least 6 hours, and up to 2 days. 
  • Spoon the berries atop the panna cotta and serve. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Lately

I don't feel like I am exaggerating when I write that the weather has been pretty yucky lately. Although, two pluses have been that we had about 2 days of sun (was it last week? I can't even remember) and it's not quite as cold. Let me tell ya, those two days of sun go a long way when you see days and days of consecutive cloud cover. Meanwhile I have just been keeping myself busy with buying little fun crafty things from Michaels, visiting the library (finally got my card and checked out my first book!), cooking, listening to music and watching probably way more tv than I need to be. 

House plants make a room more cheery

Louie getting cozy

Constantly

Costco sized bag...set for a while

Louie's Lookout Point

The Sun!

Hangin

The park by my house...I will sit there when it dries up a bit

Favorite Smell

Caprese Salad

Kale & Sausage Rigatone


    

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Chicken and Rice

If you're anything like me, there is always rice and frozen chicken hanging around. I always make it in a pinch or if I just feel like making something quickly. I really wanted to change it up so I found this recipe where else... thechew.com. I really enjoyed this and Brian tried saffron for the first time. 

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 pounds chicken-cut into pieces
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 spanish onion-roughly chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper-roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste (i used a sofrito mix by goya)
  • 2 1/2 cups rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup chopped green olives 
  • fresh chopped parsley to garnish
  • fresh chopped cilantro to garnish
Jalapeno Aioli
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 jalapeno-finely minced
  • 1 clove garlic-finely minced
  • 1 lime-juiced and zested
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Directions:
  • Heat a dutch oven over medium high with a few tbsp of olive oil. Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper on all sides. Cook until golden on all sides, about 10 min. Remove from pan to a plate.
  • Combine the onion, pepper, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add to the pan with more oil as needed. Season with salt. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until soft and slightly caramelized. Season with the paprika.
  • Add the tomato paste and allow to cook until darkened. Once tomato paste is dark plum colored, add the rice and toast for 2 minutes
  • Deglaze pan with white wine then pour in chicken stock. Stir in the saffron, bay leaf and olives and top with chicken. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until rice is cooked. 
  • For the aioli-whisk together the egg yolks, jalapeno, garlic, a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Whisk in olive oil until emulsified.
  • Serve the chicken and rice with parsley, cilantro and aioli.


Friday, February 21, 2014

4 Years

Four years ago yesterday I married my best friend. The time has flown by incredibly fast which is kind of scary. I honestly can't believe that we started dating almost 9 years ago! Wow. Marrying Brian has undoubtedly been one of the best decisions I have ever made and I can't wait to see what the future holds. Now, sorry in advance for the multitude of pictures I am posting. I had fun taking a trip down memory lane.

Right after Brian proposed we took a trip to Big Bear

Maui

Goofy 3D glasses

Palm Springs

Honeymoon

Christmas Family Photo

Bumbershoot Music Festival

One evening at Dargans 

Matrimony! Unfortunately all my wedding photos are on a different computer so this is as good as it's gonna get for tonight.