Archive for the ‘dinner’ Category

Roast chicken

I checked off one of my 2012 to-do’s tonight – roasting a chicken!

Rinsed the chicken and stuffed the cavity with lemons.

I had some veggies in the fridge that were looking a little wilty, so I chopped them up, mixed in a bit of olive oil and salt, and put them in the dutch oven. Carrots (some from our garden!), onions, celery, and cherry tomatoes from our garden that I froze last summer.

Chicken on top with more olive oil and salt.

Baked at 350 degrees with the lid on for about an hour; then removed the lid, added a little butter on top for color, and roasted for 15 minutes more.

My plate. Yum.

Hope you had a nice weekend!

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On Saturday night, Ryan and I had the most wonderful dinner at The Side Yard Farm.

The Side Yard Farm is a small urban farm NE Portland that provides local restaurants with produce. The owner, Stacey Givens, is also an amazing chef, and hosts farm-to-table meals every now and then.

Before dinner, we got to poke around the farm.

It was really fun to see a professional urban farm – definitely inspiring for my own garden.

Hoop house for tomatoes, basil, and peppers.

And of course, chickens.

On to the food! This was a special Bastille Day dinner. 5 courses, with really incredible wine parings. Vive la France!

There was a lovely lavender lemon water on the table while we were getting settled.

Menu printed by Cumbersome Multiples.

French Breakfast Radish, with Nasturtium “Capers” and Butter

Halibut. Shaved Kohlrabi. Lil’ Peas & Carrots. Lemon Verbena Beurre Blanc.

Summer GreensFlowers. Herbs. Plum Vinaigrette.  Soft Sheep Cheese. Farm Egg.

Crispy Pork. Rubystreak Mustard Greens. Pickled Cherries. Tarragon

Salt n’ Pepper French Shortbread. Blueberries. Basil & Chevre Ice Cream (actually instead of shortbread, this is a soft gluten free raspberry cookie, which was amazing! So sweet that they accommodated me)

And the wine!

This was one of the best meals we have had in Portland. Everything was so fresh and bright. I can’t wait to go back!

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Life via Instagram
























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Just a few pics from the weekend…







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Sunday cooking

One of my goals for this year is to cook more. I was so inspired by this video from The Kitchn and this article from the New York Times.

On Sunday, after a really lovely brunch, Ryan and I went to the store and spent the afternoon washing, chopping, roasting, and sautéing.









All set for the week!

We went on a nice walk too.

Lovely weekend.

It’s now Wednesday, and I have to say, this made it so easy to prepare lunches and dinners. Most excellent.  Now I think I’m getting sick, so I’m going to go chug this green smoothie.

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This is one of my all time favorite Thanksgiving recipes! People always love it, and it can be completely assembled a day before you want to serve it, which is awesome.

Start with a gigantic butternut squash. Actually, start by preheating the oven to 400. Then grab your huge squash.

This squash was a little ridiculous. You need 8 cups total – this one probably yielded 12.

Cut and peel the squash. I learned last year that you can peel a butternut squash with a regular vegetable peeler. You probably knew that already, but I was pretty excited.

Cube it up.

Like I said, you need about 8 cups of squash.

Drizzle the squash with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. I just mix it all up with my (clean) hands. Roast for about 35 minutes at 400 degrees, stirring occasionally.

Feed the squashey insides to the chickens, if they like that sort of thing.

While the squash is roasting, prep the leeks.

Leeks are amazing, but can be a little bit tricky to wash.

Cut off the bottoms and the green tops, and wash them in a bowl of cool water. Leeks grow in sandy soil, so you have to be careful not to end up with little sandy bits. By soaking them and then cleaning them in a bowl of water, it helps get the sand out.

I like 4 cups of leeks in this recipe but if you have more leftover, just use them. You can’t have too many leeks here.

Heat about 2 TB of butter in a pan on medium/medium high, throw in the leeks with some salt, pepper, and fresh chopped sage (you could use dried if you want, but use the fresh if you have it!). Cook this for about 15 minutes.

While the leeks are cooking, measure out 1/2 cup of hazelnuts (or Filberts if you are from Oregon). You could probably roast and peel the nuts if you have lots of time and aren’t a lazy cook (like me).

Now is the fun part! Once everything is all cooked, it’s time to assemble!  Grease a 9×11 baking pan, and add half of the leeks to the bottom.

Now add half of the roasted squash.

Now take a small log of goat cheese (or a largeish one if you really love goat cheese). Sprinkle the cheese on top of the squash.

Now repeat with the rest of the leeks, squash, and goat cheese.

Pour 1 cup of half and half (or heavy cream if you are wild!) over the top. Sprinkle with the chopped hazelnuts.

If you are making this dish the day before Thanksgiving, stop here. If not, bake for about 30 minutes at 375 degrees. If you are baking it cold (straight out of the fridge), add 10-15 minutes to your bake time. You want everything to be bubbling and starting to get golden.


Oh, my mom has been requesting actual recipes. So here you go:

Or you could check out the original, which I have slightly adapted.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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ad hoc

While we were in California, we finally got to eat at ad hoc, Thomas Keller’s more casual restaurant. Oh my goodness it as amazing.

My parents were so nice and drove us out to Yountville to meet up with Megan and John. On the way, we had to stop at Dean and Deluca. I can’t believe I’ve never been there before!

So many fancy sodas.

My mom is so wonderful. I miss her!

What a hottie!

We had some time before dinner, so we walked around the garden at the French Laundry. It was such a beautiful day!

 <3 <3

It was a pretty lovely place.

Chicken coop!

On to the food! ad hoc serves a 4 course meal that is different each day. It’s served family style, which was really fun.

Amazing salad with smoked trout, haricots verts, cherry tomatoes, and creamy dill dressing. So good!

Braised pork ribs, apples and mushrooms, and broccolini. This might have been the best pork I have ever had.

Polenta with caramelized shallots. omg.

Cana de oveja – this is a really amazing creamy sheep’s milk cheese. We had a lot of this in Spain.

Served with a cherry and pistachio compote.

And dessert! Delicious little fig financiers .

And amazing hazelnut ice cream.

Best and cutest dinner companions.

Ah I can’t wait to go again someday!

Megan and John drove us to San Francisco, and we checked into the Phoenix Hotel.

We took a huge walk all around Union Square. San Francisco is a really beautiful city. We also walked over to where we had our first kiss (like 8 years ago!).

We stopped into the swanky hotel bar for a drink and a midnight snack before bedtime.

Bourbon and soda. Best.

Absurdly delicious mascarpone truffle dip with house chips.


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today’s eats

Grad school has been over for a few weeks now and I have spent sufficient time catching up on magazines and bad tv, sleeping in, lounging around, and making millions of smoothies in my new Vita-Mix (YAY!).

Being home all day has been nice because I’ve been able to fix meals for us. Here’s what I ate today.

Breakfast was whole wheat toast, fat free ricotta, and the first farmer’s market tomatoes of the season

With a side of blueberries. And coffee.

Lunch: Roasted veggie tacos with avocado, broccoli slaw, and red onions. With a side of baby carrots and black bean dip.

One little ginger candy.

Lots of iced tea today. It was hot!

Afternoon snack: dill pickles and a lite string cheese

Geordi wanted a dilly afternoon snack too. This is his favorite.

Blueberry smoothie with fat free milk, frozen pineapple, and a banana (shared with Ryan)

I whipped up a batch of Mama Pea’s Mmm Sauce for dinner. It was amazing!

We also harvested a bunch of sugar snap peas from the garden. They are so sweet and delicious!

Dinner: Big salad with broccoli slaw, carrots, sugar snap peas, onions, bell pepper, and garbanzo beans

Served with grilled tofu, brown rice, and Mmm Sauce. So good! After dinner we took a nice long walk around the neighborhood. I can’t believe how warm it is outside!

Summery strawberries, angel food cake, and frozen yogurt for dessert.

Perfect summer day.

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the best bean soup

I was digging around in a drawer in the kitchen today and found this:

I got it at Trader Joe’s a long time ago. It was kind of rainy and cool today, so I decided to make soup for dinner! I started soaking the beans around 7 this morning, and then let them soak until 6 this evening. Soaking the beans helps them cook a lot more quickly!

I made pickled carrots today, and didn’t want to waste the peels left over. I also didn’t have any broth, so I simmered these carrot peels with water for a few hours to make a vegetable stock. After 3 hours or so, I added some onion tops and a few cloves of garlic, and then simmered it all until I was ready to use it.

I chopped up a few carrots and two yellow onions.

And about 4 cloves of garlic.

The spices were simple – Italian seasoning, red chili peppers, salt, pepper.

When I was ready to cook, I drained and rinsed the beans. Then I strained the stock (about 3 cups) and added it to the pot with about 4 cups of water.

I also added a pint of canned tomatoes that I put up last summer.

I cooked the onions, carrots, garlic, and spices in about 2 TB of olive oil. Once everything was soft, I added the veggies to the pot, brought to a boil, and then reduced to a simmer for about an hour.

I chopped up some bacon and cooked it until super crispy for a garnish.

Along with parmesan cheese.

Dinner is served.

I think this is the best soup I have ever made.

Good thing there are plenty of leftovers.

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squash soup

Our friend Amanda gave us some serious summer squash last night.

They were each about the size of my arm.

Geordi was very interested in these. (Can you tell that we still need to finish our little kitchen renovation???)

I decided to make a quick soup using two of these mega-squash and freeze it for eating later this fall. Once school starts, I will have a lot less time for cooking, and it will be really nice to have meals in the freezer that taste like summer.

When squash and zucchini get humongous, as they tend to to, they can get a little spongey in the middle. I cut these up, and scooped out the seedy insides.

Into the pot goes olive oil, crushed red pepper flakes, about one and a half red onions, and a few cloves of garlic, chopped.

One huge summer squash (probably about 4 cups).

One huge zucchini

All together now!

I chopped up 4 of Ryan’s turkey burgers from the other night and added it to the mix!

I also added what was left of the pesto I made awhile ago. About 2 TB I think.

Time for a tiny taste. Yum!

Now the soup is cooling by the window. Once it’s completely cool, I’ll ladle it into ziploc freezer bags and freeze it for later! Yay!

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