Monday, October 28, 2013


Yesterday Brian and I drove to Snoqualmie randomly and really enjoyed this VERY small town. We have actually been once before to see the falls but never wandered around their little town center. We arrived and noticed a lot of people with children dressed up in costumes lining up to get on this very old train. We found out you can take a ride to the falls and decided to partake in the fun. Once aboard we sat quickly and then just as quickly  moved down the train to a more "mature" car. Hoards of screaming and out of control children was just a little too much. I think what really threw me over the edge was this little boy, probably 4 or 5, kicking the foot rest violently over and over again and of course his dad just sat there letting him abuse this 100 year old train.  No thanks!! If you are going specifically for the falls it's best to drive there because you don't really get the best view from the train. By the end of the ride we were both frozen...we could see our breath inside the train. haha Note to self...bundle up next time!

 This couple above were making apple cider than you can drink for free! He was cranking that thing when we left on the train and came back...65 min. Talk about a supply of elbow grease!!

After the ride we wanted to go inside somewhere to get warm and grab a bite to eat. We found this taxadermy heaven. I loved they put that leg in the cat's mouth for halloween. Hilarious!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

On Monday I just happened to catch The View and am so glad I did because I was so touched by this story. I was literally blubbering like an idiot for what seemed to go on for far too long. After I watched this interview I was ready to adopt this boy along with thousands of others. Any family who gets him will be so fortunate.

Greek-Style Chicken and Rice

If I see a tasty one pot meal that's easy...I'm there! And this was just that. Another thing I love about one pot meals is that usually it will last us a couple days since there's only 2 of us so we get a few meals out of it.


  • 6 chicken breasts or thighs (i always prefer the thigh)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • paprika to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 1 parsnip, cut into 1/2 inch thick coins
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch thick coins
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill (i used 1 tbsp dried)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp wondra flour (i used regular flour)

  • Season the chicken on both sides with salt, pepper and paprike
  • Heat a dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the olive oil and butter along with the chicken pieces. Cook for 6-8 minutes, making sure the chicke is nicely browned. Turn and cook for another 4-5 minutes on the other side. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, carrot, parsnip and garlic with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until the veggies are softened and aromatic, about 5 minutes. Next add the rice and toast it with the veggies for a minute or 2. Add the chicken stock, reserving 1/2 cup for later, and bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Add the chicken back in and cook, covered for about 20 minutes, until the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through. The mixture will still be slightly brothy at this point. Keep it at a simmer. 
  • Whisk together the egg, lemon juice and zest, dill and flour. Add the reserved 1/2 cup stock and whisk together to temper. Stir it in to the rice and chicken mixture to thicken and flavor the rice. Check for seasoning. 
On another note, I was enjoying the sunset last night.

Monday, October 21, 2013


I was watching the Rachel Ray show last week and she showed this burger recipe that is a little different and looked SO good. Sometimes it's nice to add a little variety to my staple favorites and also be able to use the ingredients in multiple meals.

Maple-Dijon Bacon Burgers

  • 12 slices bacon
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp grainy dijon mustard
  • course black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • salt
  • canola oil
  • 1/2 lb extra sharp white cheddar, sliced (or whatever cheese you prefer)
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 4 sandwich sized english muffins, toasted and lightly buttered

  • Heat oven to 375 degrees
  • Arrange the bacon on a wire rack set over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  • Whisk up syrup, dijon and black pepper
  • Drizzle half the syrup over top of bacon and bake 15 minutes. Flip bacon and baste them with the remainder syrup. Bake 5-8 minutes more until crisp. Remove from oven and reserve
  • Season beef with worcestershire, salt and pepper. Form 4 patties
  • Heat cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, drizzle with a little canola oil and cook patties 8-10 minutes turning once, melting cheese on burgers in last 2 minutes of cook time
  • Remove patties to plate, wipe pan and add eggs. Cook to desired doneness, over-easy or up.
  • Place cheeseburgers on english muffins and top with bacon and an egg

(I cut the recipe in half because there's only the 2 of us)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fall Meal

Yesterday I was reading one of my favorite blogs and they had a post featuring bread bowls and soup. I thought, I think that's something I could do! So I made bread bowls and some veggie soup. The bread was delicious! I have never made bread before so to have it fresh out of the oven was a real treat. Here's a link to the recipe if you care to try. Now, I did take a picture but it doesn't look half as good as theirs but...ya know. An A for effort?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Day Trip to Woodinville

This weekend has been all about getting out of Seattle and enjoying the color changing leaves and crisp cool air. We ended up in Woodinville. We did a little mead tasting and enjoyed some wine, snacks and each other's company.

 Wearing my new necklace from Brian



To be honest I am not very confident when it comes to baking. I much prefer cooking but every so often my husband requests some baked goods. I would rather make something myself and get more experience then just running out to get something that probably is full of preservatives and God only knows what other horrible additives. So since it's pumpkin season I thought I would try this pumpkin cake that I actually made baked in a bread pan instead. The recipe is from Martha Stewart and let's just say it was sinful :)

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Honey Frosting


For The Cake-
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 3/4 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp each allspice and cloves)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
For The Frosting-
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1 bar (8 ounces) cream cheese, very soft
  • 1/4 cup honey


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter your baking pan
  • In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, butter, and pumpkin puree until combined. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture, and mix gently until smooth.
  • Turn batter into prepared pan, and smooth top. Bake about 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool cake about 10 minutes.
  • Make honey frosting: in a medium bowl, whisk butter, cream cheese, and honey until smooth.
  • Spread on top of cooled cake. 
  • Enjoy!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fox Hollow Family Farm

Brian surprised me yesterday with a day off in the midst of his 12 day in a row shift. Yay! We took the opportunity to visit the pumpkin patch while it wasn't raining and too gross outside. There are a few places to go in the area but we decided to drive to Issaquah and visit this one since it's close and the drive is always so nice. We arrived at this family farm and it was adorable! They had it all decorated beautifully and it was very obvious this wasn't their first rodeo. I honestly felt like I was visiting Martha Stewart's place or on a movie set! We had a blast wandering around the property, eating pumpkin pie, drinking hot cider and enjoying the animals.

 The Piggies
 Jack-O-Lantern Lane
 Brian hogging the pumpkin pie!
 Peacocks on the roof? Ok

 The house behind the farm
 We saw salmon swimming up the river

 I snuck up on this peacock and snapped a picture before he ran away

 Mr. Sheep

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Catalan-Style Beef Stew with Mushrooms

Sunday evening I was dorking out and watching the local station that was showing some cooking shows. They were featuring this beef stew that looked really good and a little different from my usual recipe. Now that the weather is cool enough to not worry about sweating all over the place when using the oven I was excited to try this recipe. And yes, over the summer I really did sweat while cooking on a number of ocasions. Gross! Anyways, this is a great stew and I think it's my favorite that I've ever made.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, pulp grated on large holes and pulps discarded
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 large sprig fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 lbs beef short ribs
  • 1/4 cup whole blanched almonds
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 slice hearty white sandwich bread, crust removed, torn into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 lb oyster mushrooms, trimmed
  • tsp sherry vinegar 
  • For the stew: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. 
  • Heat oil in dutch oven over medium-low heat until shimmering. Add onions, sugar, 1/2 tsp salt; cook, stirring often, until onions are deeply carmelized, 30 to 40 minutes. Add tomatoes, smoked paprika, and bay leaf; cook, stirring often, until darkened and thick, 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Add wine, water, thyme, and cinnamon to pot, scraping up any browned bits. Season beef with 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper and add to pot. Increase heat to high and bring to simmer. Transfer to oven and cook, uncovered. After 1 hour stir stew to redistribute meat, return to oven, and continue to cook uncovered until meat is tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours longer. 
  • For the picada:
  • While stew is in the oven, heat almonds and 1 tbsp oil in skillet over medium heat; cook, stirring often, until almonds are golden brown 3 to 6 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer almonds to food processor. 
  • Return now-empty skillet to medium heat, add bread and cook until toasted, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to food processor with almonds.
  • Add garlic and process until mixture is finely ground. Transfer mixture to bowl, stir in parsley and set aside.
  • Return now-empty skillet to medium heat. Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil. Add mushrooms and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook, stirring often until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to bowl and set aside. 
  • Remove bay leaf from stew, add picada, mushrooms and vinegar into stew. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with some crusty bread.