Monday, September 15, 2014

GREETINGS

So, we’ve had a busy summer.

 But I do not intend to glorify the state of being “busy” – I find people tend to congratulate that lifestyle a bit too readily. Since when is constantly being stressed and tired a cool thing?

And we have not been THAT busy, I just have been super lazy about blogging. I am deliberately lazy in lots of things. Because I am allergic to stress.

Anyways, to sum up our summer, (SUM UP THE SUM) I offer a list of completely truthful bullet points:

- Pippa turned 3. Congratulations to her for…aging.

- I TOTALLY HAD PURPLE HAIR and if you didn't see it in person then I pity you.

- We watched every available season of “Parks and Recreation” and absolutely loved it

-We saw Shakespeare's "Love's Labour's Lost" at the park! It was jolly fun.

- I started “Running” around Greenlake on an occasional basis. It is always rewarding, but only after the fact

- My doctor prescribed Flonase (a nasal spray) for my allergies and it has been AMAZING

- I went camping a total of THREE TIMES. Once at the base of Mt. Rainier, then at Ensign Ranch (Girls camp), and then at Cascade Park in Granite Falls, WA. Both Ensign Ranch and Cascade Park are church-owned properties. This is the most times I have ever gone camping, all in one year no less. Bully for me.

- I participated in a “polar bear plunge” at Girls Camp. It was cold.

- We bought an inflatable KAYAK and paddled around several of many bodies of water

- Pippa played with her cousins Caleb and Hyrum, who visited us, and Jane and Abby and Beatrice, who we visited in Utah

- Micah applied for a job at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo for an inpatient Psychiatrist position

- Utah was extremely dry

- UVRMC offered Micah a job

- Micah accepted the job at UVRMC. However, we will not be moving there until next summer, when Micah finishes his residency.

- I only have 18 credits left to finish my BA in Visual Arts at BYU. The plan is to NOT take my remaining 2 Art History classes online.

- I went to the top of the Space Needle. It is very tall.

- Pippa calls it the “Space noodle”

- We made french macarons, homemade nutella, cream cheese, farmers cheese, yogurt, horchata, ginger beer…and need to post some of the recipes because they were all delicious

- We bought many bouquets of fresh flowers from Pike Place Market

- Pippa hated “Frozen” and absolutely adores “The Lego Movie”

- We saw “X-men Days of Future Past” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” – both excellent movies



Things we will be doing this Fall:

- Cooking lots of things

- Pippa will start her Ballet class

- I will be re-applying to BYU and possibly taking an online Psychology class

- Micah will continue his Chief Resident duties (which is basically sending a million e-mails every day)



Thanks for reading! Hopefully I can post pictures and recipes soon.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Red Iguana inspired Chiles Rellenos!!!

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Hi everyone!

Sorry it has been so long since I have blogged.  Life has been busy, but good!

I have been meaning to share my recipe for Chile rellenos for a looong time. So I just had to do it today.

It all started when I had my first experience with this dish, at the Red Iguana in Salt Lake. Holy moly, it was TO DIE FOR. I couldn’t believe I never tried it before. My life changed. I had to figure out how to make it for myself.

So here is what I did!

Get 4-5 poblano peppers. Crank up your oven to a broil. Wash them, and set them under the broiler until they are charred.Turn them every so often so they are charred on all sides. Now since we will be stuffing them, you want to make sure they are not roasted to oblivion, so that being said, keep an eye on them and watch carefully that they are not 100% blackened, but I’d say about 50-60%. Put them in an airtight container. Set aside.

Prepare the filling: Get 8 ounces of Pepper jack cheese and 10 ounces of Queso Fresco. Mix them together with one egg. You can omit the egg if you want.

Once the peppers are cool, peel off the charred skin, and make a slit to access the interior of the pepper (they are tender after roasting! So sometimes it tears naturally. This is fine. Just work carefully.) Take out as much seeds as you can (don’t worry about being too thorough) and start stuffing the pepper with cheese. Use toothpicks to help keep it together if you want, but I think it kinda gets in the way of frying. So use your judgment.

Dust the stuffed peppers with flour, and then dip them in an egg mixture (We like to separate the whites from the yolks of 3 eggs, whip the whites to soft peaks, and then fold them together again. This makes a frothy mixture that adheres better to the peppers.) Fry them in hot oil for a few minutes until golden. Let drain on paper towels.

Now for the sauce. Red Iguana used a nice red sauce that tasted like enchilada sauce, so we use America’s Test kitchen’s version of enchilada sauce that works amazingly well. So here is the recipe for that:

RED SAUCE!

1 medium onion, chopped fine

1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil

salt

3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed (about 1 tablespoon)

3 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons sugar

2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce

1 cup water

 

Combine the onion, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan. Cover and cook over medium low heat, stirring often, until the onion has softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin and sugar and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and water, bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
Strain the sauce through a medium mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing on the onions to extract as much liquid as possible. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

Now, you can throw away the leftover onions, or you can mix them with your rice and BAM you have mexican rice! This is what we did and what you see in the picture.

Serve with black beans, rice, and sour cream. Give it a try, you will not regret it!!!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The seasons, how swiftly they come and go

Well isn’t about time I post about our Halloween? Before Thanksgiving comes and I spiral down a slippery slope of procrastination?

I decided this year I would only visit a pumpkin farm if there were doughnuts provided. I asked friends for advice and they told us to go to Swan’s Trail in Snohomish. There were doughnuts. I was happy.

There were also chickens. Pippa was happy.

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Oh, and I guess there were pumpkins too!

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Our costumes were GNOMES.

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Specifically, David and Lisa the Gnome, from the TV show, “David the Gnome.”

Hardly anyone remembers this show, so we had a fun time at the Trunk-or-Treat telling people we just really like Shrooms.

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I meant to get a much better picture of Pippa’s cute little getup, but this was pretty much all I got. I made her apron with no pattern, the hour before our Residents-with-families party. Not bad.

Pippa was thrilled with the idea of Trick-or-Treating. She would eat candy all day if we let her. Too bad Micah enforces a strict tax on all earnings from Halloween.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Bacon Jam

(If the idea of Bacon Jam disgusts you, GO AWAY NOW. And never come back.)

Ok Guys.

I haven’t really posted in a while, probably because nothing to momentous has occurred of late.

UNTIL TODAY.

Today, I made Bacon Jam.

Bacon Jam.

Bacon. Jam.

What is Bacon Jam?

It’s Jam. Made of bacon.

Can you even FATHOM IT?

I couldn’t, when I saw the recipe on Pinterest. It freaked me out. I had to make it. But I hesitated, because what if it was a waste of 1 1/2 pounds of bacon!?

IT WAS NOT.

It started out looking like this.

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Then like this:

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Then THIS!

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And ended up tasting like this:

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What the heck. I’ll share the recipe. It came from Martha Stewart, because she is an evil crafting witch.

 

BACON JAM

  • 1 1/2 pounds sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced small
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup brewed coffee (We are non-coffee-drinkers so I used Pero)

~ Other things I added:

  • 3 Tablespoons chopped pickled jalapenos
  • 1 Tablespoon Molasses (I did this because I only had light brown sugar and fake maple syrup) Next time I might even add more…

 

HOW TO MAKE:

  1. STEP 1
    In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is lightly browned, about 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet (reserve for another use); add onions and garlic, and cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup, and coffee and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up browned bits from skillet with a wooden spoon, about 2 minutes. Add bacon and stir to combine.
  2. STEP 2

    Transfer mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker and cook on high, uncovered, until liquid is syrupy, 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Transfer to a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped (I just used my immersion blender) Let cool, then refrigerate in airtight containers, up to 4 weeks.

It was surprisingly easy to make! The jalapenos were great in it and I recommend them, but you don’t have to do it. I am obsessed with those things though. There is always a jar in my fridge. Always.

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This post is dedicated to Kathy Lee Gifford.

September is the best month by FAR

Seriously though, I dare you to disagree.

Summer in Seattle is AMAZING but,

Right at the beginning of Fall is TOO GOOD.

We started it off with a bang by getting passes to the Pacific Science Center. Micah had a week off and we partied like animals.

I mean, Dinosaurs.

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Pippa loved this car thing, out of everything else in the Museum.

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We then went down to Portland and the Oregon Coast. Even though it was raining while we were there, we were nice and warm in our Yurt. What is a Yurt, you ask? Um, go google it.

All I will tell you is that they are AWESOME and I want to sleep in one again!

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You know what else is awesome? THE OREGON COAST. Like, as in it deserves the word “awesome” awesome.

The biggest, most amazing beach I have ever been on. And I’ve been on a few beaches.

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Look how it goes out FOREVER. It’s like being in heaven.

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We got so wet but it didn’t matter.

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My sand sculpture.

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We stopped by Cannon Beach to check out Haystack Rock. This picture hardly captures the wonder of it.

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We then went down to Portland, where the food is plentiful and the weirdness abounds!

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Also, a Rose test garden.

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On our way back to Seattle we visited Mount St. Helens! If you see pictures of it before 1980, it is amazing to see it with half of it just blown off! Very very neat.

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