Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, July 25, 2011

Beach Blanket View

It's been quiet on the blog front for me the past week. I seem to have accidentally deleted some of my photos for my planned posts. Yikes!

Instead, here's what I've been up to the past two weekends:
Went to Bite of Seattle (crowded!!) and watched the Dock Dogs Competition (fun!!)
Saw Harry Potter
Walked around Green Lake twice.
Ate tacos at Aqua Verde but chose not to wait in the mile long line to rent kayaks.
Played Frisbee instead.
Had brunch at Emmer & Rye.

And had a fabulous day at the beach at Discovery Park, complete with picnic, beach blanket, and a book. Thankfully I didn't delete these photos!

Orzo with Olives and Artichokes, Curry Cous Cous with Currants, and Swedish Cheese.

The view from my blanket.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My Favorite Pasta Recipe

I have to admit that I learned this recipe almost ten years ago from Jamie Oliver when he was on...Oprah. He calls it Funky Spaghetti. I just call it my favorite go-to recipe for flavorful fresh pasta that is not your standard sauce and noodles. And it's the perfect way for me to use my new basil plant!

Here's what you need:
A package of linguine
11 to 14 ounces grape tomatoes, red and/or yellow
2 handfuls of fresh basil, leaves picked
6 to 8 glugs extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic (peeled and finely chopped)
Splash of red wine vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

First, boil the water and cook the pasta.
While the noodles are cooking, halve the tomatoes, put them in a large bowl and add the basil, olive oil, garlic and vinegar. Use your hands to "smoosh" all the ingredients together.

Drain pasta and add to the bowl in which you've just smashed up all the other ingredients.
Toss together and serve!

Always make enough for leftovers, because when you open up your lunch at work the next day all your coworkers will be jealous of the garlicky-basil goodness wafting from your direction. And they'll think you're a gourmet cook. They don't have to know how simple it was.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Last Weekend...

…my mother-in-law was visiting, so we were excited to show her around our new city.

…we stumbled upon the Ballard Seafood Festival.

…where we drank the Best Beverage on Earth. (It was good, but probably false advertising.)
that dude is tall!
Were we supposed to add ketchup to our drinks? Not sure what that's doing there...

this dude is tall too.

…we were mildly traumatized by this pig.

…we ventured to the Seattle Art Museum for the Beauty and Bounty exhibit (where we oddly enough all got in free thanks to my late father-in-law's illustrious military career ♥).

…we also saw some striking modern art.

…my favorite was Mann und Maus.

And now it's time to make plans for this weekend. Hopefully a little Bite of Seattle (of course!) and hopefully a little Harry Potter!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Apricot Galette

Bonjour! In honor of Bastille Day and Le Tour de France, I give you...the Apricot Galette! This rustic tart is among the easiest desserts possible and yet it is classy and delicious.

These are all the ingredients you need:
1/4 Cup of Slivered or Sliced Almonds
Half a Package of store bought Puff Pastry
3 Tablespoons Apricot Jam
1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
6-8 Apricots (or any other stone fruit or berry you'd like or have laying around)
1 Tablespoon Granulated Sugar (not pictured, and I skipped, but I think it would improve the recipe)

First: Set one sheet of the puff pastry out to thaw. Wrap the other one up and put it back in the freezer, so it's handy for the next time you want to make this delicious dessert. I set mine out on the baking sheet on a Silpat. If you don't have a Silpat, just lightly butter your pan. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Next: Slice up your fruit. I started with whole apricots.

Which I halved and pitted.

And then halved. And halved again.

Next: Measure your sugar and almonds into your food processor and chop up to make a fine powder.

By now your puff pastry should be thawed enough. Unfold it on your pan and roll it/stretch it to desired size (I just left it pretty much as is.) Important! Prick the puff pastry generously with a fork. Spread your powdered sugar and almond mixture over the center of the pastry, leaving about an inch border.

Next arrange your fruit on the center of the pastry, leaving about an inch border. I arranged my apricots in straight lines this time. I think next time I'll try a more complicated pattern or design, but when I was making this my mother-in-law was visiting and I was playing it safe. I didn't want to take any chances with another disaster like the peach clafloutis egg shell fiasco/meltdown of 2010, the last time she visited us.

Once you're happy with the fruit arrangement. Fold over the edges of your pastry shell. Top with the granulated sugar and the apricot jam.

Bake for about 30 minutes. Until it looks golden brown and puffy.

I served mine with ice cream. Which probably isn't very French, but chacun son goût.

Bon appetit!

Friday, July 8, 2011

More Fourth Feasting

If there is one thing I do well, and only one thing, it's eat. And eat we did all weekend long. Here's a recap of the gourmet menu.

This corn.

Turned into Grilled Corn Pablano Salad with Chipotle Vinaigrette.

This steak.

And these onions.

Transformed into Grilled Carne Asada Tacos with Fresh Homemade Salsa.

These shish kabobs.

Created one of my favorite things to eat on the boat. Cous Cous, Yogurt and Cilantro, and grilled chicken shish kabobs.

And no Fourth of July would be complete without a real American picnic of hot dogs and coleslaw and corn on the cob.

And since boating is kind of like camping but better. We topped off the weekend with barbecued s'mores.

And now I'm off to do a thousand situps.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

More fun on the Fourth

In addition to eating well. We did lots of fun stuff over the long weekend.

We kayaked.


 We saw these people having a private party on a private island, only available at low tide.

We joined more than a thousand of our closest boating friends for a fireworks display in Poulsbo.

We watched the sunset.

We braved the holiday weekend traffic to return to reality.

And we attended a Fourth of July parade on Bainbridge Island.

 No wonder I'm still exhausted. And it's almost time for the weekend again!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fourth of July Feasting

I hope everyone had a great weekend and, if you're in the United States, a fabulous Fourth! I have lots of feasting and fun to share with you. We got out of town as fast as we could on Friday so we could start the weekend off right.

After cruising around for awhile in search of the perfect spot, we found ourselves in a quiet cove on Bainbridge Island. Guess we didn't have to go that far for peace and quiet, since we could still see downtown.

My extraordinary husband/chef spent all day prepping for two of our weekend feasts. The first night's menu? Mussels, Salmon, and an original recipe Potato Salad.

Mussels are good for you and good for the environment because they can be sustainably raised and help clean the sea floor. Eat up!

Then on to the Cedar-Planked Salmon. Tip: Make sure you soak the cedar plank for a looong time. Much longer than I soaked it, at least. (Soaking the plank was my one task in preparing this meal. Fail.) If not soaked long enough, you might emerge from the cabin to find your dad holding a flaming cedar plank in a pair of tongs over the edge of the boat. Crisis narrowly averted.

Sadly, I have no pictures of the flames because I was dashing for a fire extinguisher.


Fortunately, the fish made it through unscathed. The grill may never be the same.

And finally, on to the yummy potato salad for some essential carbs. Also featuring one of my favorite food groups: Bacon.

Fingerling Potato Salad with Asparagus, Blue Cheese, and Bacon
1-2 pounds fingerling potatoes
Small handful of asparagus
5-6 Strips of Bacon
Equal parts sour cream, blue cheese dressing, and mayonnaise, to taste
Chopped Green Onion
Minced Parsley
Generous Salt and Pepper to taste

Line a baking sheet with foil, evenly space bacon strips on sheet. Bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. The crispier the better for this recipe. When cool, chop or crumble into bite sized pieces.

Leave oven on (or cook at the same time as the potatoes). Place asparagus on foil lined cooking sheet. Mist very lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in 425 degree oven for 15 minutes. When done and cool, slice into 1-2 inch pieces.

Chop potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Boil in salted water for 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Mix cool ingredients in bowl and gently fold in dressing mixture and onions and parsley. Season generously to taste.

Enjoy! And stay tuned for more Fourth of July food and fun, coming soon!