30 December 2012

Christmas Dinner & a Farewell (for now)

This past Christmas was a strange one. We got to see lots of family, including my sweet little grandma, who I adore. We had some great food and reintroduced an old family tradition of doing cold cuts and deli salads for Christmas Eve. It was all very hard without my brother around, though.

Christmas day, my sister and her husband came over between their family gatherings with his family, who also lives in Seattle. The rest of the day, Shawn, mom, and I sat around in our pajamas watching TV and eating. We had delicious leftover sandwiches and munched on See's Candy. We planned a fancy dinner and ate it at 7:30pm. Basically, we did whatever the hell we wanted to. It was as good as it was going to get. I managed to take a few pictures of our feast before we devoured it.

26 November 2012

Thanksgiving Recap

Just a few shots of some of my Thanksgiving day treats! I didn't take any pictures, I was too busy cooking for 14(!). Luckily my mom took a few. Thanks mom!

Appetizer: Spanish tortilla with aioli

19 November 2012

Quinoa, black bean & sweet potato chili

Tonight's commute was a friggin' nightmare. We sold our one and only car last month to boost our  savings for a round-the-world trip next year. It hasn't been the easiest adjustment, but we've done well so far. Portland generally has great public transportation and since I get a free bus pass from work, it was a relatively easy decision. We take the same bus in the morning for about half my trip and it's a nice way to spend a few minutes together before heading off to work. Most days have been tolerable because I can walk the 4 miles home from work pretty easily.

03 October 2012

Egg breakfast muffins

Oh breakfast. You "most important meal of the day" vixen, you. I know I need you, but sometimes, I really hate you. Oh sure, weekend you is great. It's all mimosas and eggs benedict and cinnamon rolls and frittatas. But weekday you...ugh. Nothing but yogurt and fruit and oatmeal and cereal. Occasionally, when I'm feeling naughty, a bagel will work its way into the mix, but then the guilt sets in and I go crawling back (because of all the unhealthy carbs I have no energy) to the old standards. Sigh.

Delicata Squash with Kale and Potatoes

Apparently no one has told Portland that it's fall now. Our weather has been in the 70s and 80s and sunny. It's definitely crisper in the morning, but has yet to have that real *fall* essence to it, or the rain to match. I'm trying not to complain, but boy am I confused. On Sundays, I should be watching football in my hoodie, clutching my coffee mug happy to be inside since it's raining cats and dogs outside. Instead, I'm inside watching football with my hoodie on because the glare on the tv from the sun is disrupting our game, so it's a bit chilly inside. It also makes me feel a wee bit guilty for sitting around all day rather than enjoying the last days of this Indian summer. 

This is only half of what the recipe made; I spread it out in 2 pans to make sure everything was browned

17 September 2012

Quinoa & Black Bean Salad

Tonight our beloved Denver Broncos are playing Monday Night Football. As such, I don't have time to make dinner before we head out to our neighborhood bar to watch the game (that's right, we don't have cable...we're trying to save money here and the lovely grey matter in my husband's brain that makes him the witty delight that he is). We are also trying our best to save money and calories by eating in more, so no taco night for us, sorry Bear Paw.
We have fancy grown-up plates...from the 70s

08 September 2012

Mom's birthday dinner

It's hard to believe it's been a month since I posted. The month of August brought many fun events, like my in-laws visiting, camping at Olallie Lake, and a week-long vacation to Priest Lake, Idaho, where my uncle has a cabin. I did a ton of cooking while we were there, but managed to be very lazy when it came to writing about any of it. So, here we are a month later and I'm finally getting around to this whole blogging thing again.

Yesterday was my mom's birthday. For those of you who don't know her--I'm sorry. She's pretty amazing. Since her birthday is on a Friday and I actually have to work (boo), I wanted to do something simple, but still special. It also hit 95 degrees here, so we also had to keep things cool.

I overheard mom say she enjoyed a tomato salad with fresh mozzarella and basil sometime over our vacation, and found this delightful looking dish on Epicurious. After our birthday drink at Meriwether's, I was really happy I chose something so easy to prepare. I bought a London Broil because it's an economical cut and with the right prep can be made very tender and delicious on the grill. We paired the steak with an Argentinian chimichurri sauce, rounded out the meal with a baguette from Little T, and bam, great birthday dinner. Oh, the champagne didn't hurt either...

07 August 2012

Perfect Flaky Croissants

It's official. I have baking street cred. On the 4th of July this year while everyone else was getting BBQ side dishes prepared (I did mine the night before), I was on a 10-hour mission toward a major baking feat...homemade croissants.

13 July 2012

Grilled Chicken Banh Mi & Hoisin Glazed Corn

There's only one problem with the following recipe: you're going to want to make it immediately. So, do yourself a favor, read this post, then get yourself to the store. You think I'm kidding, but I'm not. It's soooo good. And while there is a lot of chopping, thanks to all the toppings, it's so worth it, and a perfect meal for these lovely summer evenings we've been having in Portland.

Again, strangely enough this recipe is from Sunset magazine. My grandma gave me a 2-year subscription last year and while I occasionally flip through it and see things I might want to try, actually motivating me to go back and shop for one of those recipes often eludes me.Chalk it up to laziness and my online subscription to Cook's Illustrated (a gift from my aunt, her daughter...what good gift givers they are!)

First, you start off with a crap load of ingredients....
After running to 4 stores earlier that afternoon and being ready to take on all this chopping, I realized I was out of hoisin and had to go back to the store....sigh.

10 July 2012

Peanut Noodles and Tofu Salad Rolls

This past week I was lucky enough to host one of my favorite travel bloggers, Hannah from Further Bound. She was here for the annual World Domination Summit held in Portland and needed a place to stay for a night. In short, I'M SO FREAKING GLAD SHE ASKED!  It was such fun to finally have a conversation with someone I've admired for so long for her writing, honesty, and amazing accomplishments.

25 June 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb Fools

The Hood Rivers are here! The Hood Rivers are here! I speak, of course, of the Hood River strawberries, available to us Oregonians for a short period at the beginning of each summer.

04 June 2012

Sriracha Ranch Popcorn

My friend emailed me this popcorn recipe from The Curvy Carrot on Friday just in time for my movie weekend with the hubby. How did she know I was tired of the same old butter and salt routine? Her quote..."our popcorn love is just in sync with each other." That it is.

I finally took a picture

28 May 2012

Parsley & Walnut Pesto

Pasta with egg and bacon on top...not for the weak of heart (or those on cholesterol medication)

09 May 2012

Healthy White Bean, Avocado & Tuna Wraps

The sun has finally appeared in Portland! As the pasty, white skin makes its way out into public and hipsters all over the city spend lazy warm days sitting on patios of various microbreweries, it's time to start thinking about ways to make dinner on a budget without the use of the oven (you know, so I can join those cool people and up my beer budget).

16 April 2012

Paella Night...Ole!

One of my favorite special occasion dishes is paella. My mom and I usually make it together, and when I was living in Spain, I either had it out or made it with my uncle. I don't even know if I've ever made one alone now that I think about it! Anyway, we were having our friends Dan and Nora over before life becomes really busy for them and they welcome their first baby in early May. We planned to do a Sequence night awhile ago and just got around to it this weekend. Given our unusually lovely spring weather, I wanted to make something on the grill and decided a paella would be perfect for the occasion. Hearty and delicious, yet even better made on the grill, allowing us to enjoy our bit of nice weather.

10 April 2012

Pancetta and Asparagus Fritatta

I was in charge of the majority of Easter brunch this year since I was off the hook for making much of our Easter dinner the night before. As was the request last year as well, I made my grandma's ricotta cheese pancakes. Someday I might feel generous and give you all that recipe. And remember to take pictures...that day has not come. I did, however, manage to remember to take a couple of shots of our frittata. I started off thinking to make this lovely quiche, care of the talented Sacha over at Eating In or Out. But I thought better of it after the pancake request and the fact that we already had a lot of carb and fat deliciousness happening with the pancakes. 

25 March 2012

Ganache-Filled Cupcakes

Last week was not only St. Patrick's Day, but also one of my best friend's birthdays. Since my husband and I officially became a couple more-or-less on St. Patty's Day (7 years ago!), we didn't always get to celebrate with her. The festivities would also almost always fall on the night before the Shamrock Run, an annual run in downtown Portland that I had done for 7 years. This year, I decided to skip the race since it was the day after St. Patty's Day and I wanted to be there for the party. My friends have an ideal house for a party and there was plenty of Jameson to go around. I wanted to make something fun and delicious to go along with the party's obvious theme. I found this recipe for a so-called "Irish Carbomb" cupcake recipe on Pinterest (follow me!) and thought they would be perfect for the party. I ended up going back to the original Smitten Kitchen recipe and ended up following that one as I couldn't tell what the "adaptation" from the original recipe was and I trust the Smitten Kitchen recipes a little more, having some experience with her recipes.

16 March 2012


It's been well over a month since I updated the blog. I have been cooking and I've thought about blogging, but for the few readers I have who don't know what's been happening in my life, I'll provide a quick update.

12 February 2012

Homemade Bagels

Next on my list of baking goals was the bagel. I'm a big fan of bagels and after our bagel experience in NYC, I couldn't satisfy my bagel craving with pretty much anything in Portland. Kettleman Bagels are pretty good, but I just heard they were bought by Noah's, so there goes that option.

10 February 2012

Weekend Breakfast: Eggs Benedict

Yes, this is really what I made for breakfast on Sunday
And no, I didn't just order eggs benedict to go from Sanborn's down the street and pass it off as my own.

08 February 2012

Superbowl Snacks

Pretzels cooling on the rack...it took all the strength we had to not bite right into them
Here it is days past the Superbowl and I am just getting to this post. I think we're still depressed.

30 January 2012

Paella and Tapas

Over the weekend we went up to Seattle to visit my family and see my uncles, who both normally live in Southern California and I rarely get to see. Since it was a special occasion, my mom made a paella, and I made three different tapas.

23 January 2012

Chili and Cornbread

These little hybrid delights finally have me convinced cornbread can be good
I don't like cornbread. There, I said it. It feels good to get that off my chest. It's either dry and crumbly with little to no flavor or overly sweet and cakey, making a poor excuse for a side to a delicious chili or BBQ. So what do I pair with the white chicken chili I planned for our last (tear) football Sunday?

09 January 2012

Grown-up Mac and Cheese

Get the recipe
I don't know if you've noticed this or not, but around here, we like love our mac and cheese. (Ahem... see here and here...oh, and here) So when our beloved Broncos were playing their first playoff game in six years, I decided we needed a themed meal. I made some delicious orange and blue snacks for the game, and bleu cheese mac and cheese for dinner. Of course, I managed to pick a recipe that used extra sharp cheddar (white) and bleu cheese really isn't all that blue. Oh well, it was the thought that counted.

Thai-style Chicken with Basil

I don't know about you, but I get bored easily with chicken breasts. My beloved could eat them pretty much most days, but within a few meals, I'm over even the cheesiest of chicken. I have noticed that lately the only Asian-style dish I throw into our weekly meals has been stir fry. While it's a great standby and a good way to use tofu when it goes on sale, that gets old, too. So when chicken breasts went on sale last week, I had to come up with something a little more entertaining. Enter the Thai-style chicken with basil.