Saturday, March 20, 2010

Discovery Park

On Thursday, since me and Tim had the day off, we decided to go hike at Discovery Park out on Puget Sound. I've never been there so I thought it would be interesting. First of all, we had no plan, other than how to get there (and even that was foggy).

We parked all the way by the visitors center. We later found out there were two parking lots closer to the beach, but it was a good hike.

This was a stair way that we went up on our way to the beach. I thought it was gorgeous, with the cherry tree limbs gently leaning over to create a walkway filled with blossoms.

The first view as we went up over the hill. What pretty mountains, huh? My parents will be waking up to this everyday once they get their house built on their property. And the mountains are even bigger there since they are much closer!

A look back towards Elliot Bay. I love how the sun is shining off the water. Ahhh...

Mt. Rainier off in the hazy distance. It was much clearer in person.

Another shot as we were walking down to the beach.

View from the beach. No wonder so many people were there taking in the sights!

And of course we had to take the infamous self-portrait. Go Seahawks!

Overall, it was a great day of hiking. My feet were certainly killing me when I got home. But it was so worth it!

Have a great day, everyone!

Good Fun and Laughs

On Friday, I met up with a couple of girls that I went to high school and since we all go to different schools now, we hardly ever see each other. I've missed them terribly so it was very good to goof around Seattle with them.

We met up at the bronze pig at Pike Place Market. It was about lunch time so we went and grabbed some piroshky. It was heaven. I love Russian/Eastern European foods. Must be because I'm Czech :)

After that we perused the craft stalls and then sat at a park that over looked the Alaskan Viaduct and the waterfront with the Olympics out in the background. We gossiped and laughed, like we did back in high school.

When we were done with the piroshky (and the birds started flying over head a little too close) we headed inside the market to look at the pretty flowers and other shops.

After we had toured the whole market, we headed down to the waterfront and hung out by the aquarium for a little bit. It was pretty warm out so we dodged into the first Starbucks we saw and all grabbed iced tea of some sort (I got green tea, unsweetened).

We continued to walk along the waterfront until we came to a shop filled with random things. Trust me, they were very random.

After that experience, we walked back to the market and then said goodbye :(

I sure hope to see them again soon.

Muffins Galore!

So a while ago I bought a cookbook all about muffins called the Ultimate Muffin Book. I am in love with muffins. I don't know what it is about them, but they are truly delicious. I mean, I'm not a fan of the cake-like monster ones that you get at most stores (well, I will admit they are nice to eat every once in a while) but I love the ones that are smaller and are lighter and just plain yummier than the cakey ones. And that's the basis of this muffin book.

I've decided to try every single muffin recipe in this book, starting at the beginning. It's going to take me a really long time to make them all since there are over 600 different types!!!

But I've got the rest of my life to make muffins, right?

Yesterday morning, I made my first batch. They were just plain but delicious almond muffins. I am so used to using the standard recipe from Better Homes and Gardens cookbook that this one was a little weird. Well, not that weird. But I was in a hurry and I was caught off guard by the melted butter. Yes, they added melted butter. I've never heard of that in a muffin recipe, but they turned out delicious, so it didn't hurt. I just wonder if leaving out the butter would make any difference. But that's for another experiment.

There are seven variations for an almond muffin: almond apple poppy seed, almond blueberry, almond cranberry, almond date, almond joy (coconut and chocolate chips), almond nut crunch and almond streusel. I am really excited to try the almond joy one :)

Anyways, here's the recipe for you to try. These are pretty basic muffins, so you can add pretty much anything in that you like!

Almond Muffins
3/4 c. sliced almonds
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg, at room temp
3/4 c. milk
2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 c. almond oil
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 400F and line muffin tin with paper cups or spray with non-stick spray. If desired, lightly toast almonds in oven for 5 minutes, then cool. Pour 1/2 c. almonds into a mini food processor and pulse 5 or 6 times until finely ground, but not a paste. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in rest of dry ingredients. In another bowl, whisk next 5 ingredients together for about 1 minute, then whisk in the oil and butter. Stir together dry and wet ingredients until just moistened, not worrying about the lumps. Fill the tin 3/4 full and top with remaining almonds. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Set pan to cool for 10 minutes, then cool muffins individually on a cooling rack for 5 min. Enjoy!


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Chicken and Shrimp and Beef, Oh My!

Well, I'm not exactly making beef anytime soon, but I did make some things with chicken and shrimp.

For dinner on Thursday, I made Asian Chicken Salad Sandwiches. If you are tired of the plain old, celery and mayo chicken salad sandwich, this is something you must try.

It's crunchy from the cucumbers yet tangy from the lime. And it's a cinch to make if you have leftover chicken, or if your like me, you can just buy a roasted chicken (whole or half, depending on the crowd of hungry mouths you have to feed) from your local store.

There is definitely enough for many sandwiches. I used roughly the same amounts as in the recipe, and I got enough for 4 sandwiches. This recipe adapted from Noodles by Beverly LeBlanc.

Asian Chicken Salad
2 tbsp yogurt
2 tbsp mayo
1 tsp grated ginger (more if you like ginger)
grated rind and juice of 1 lime 
1 cup or so shredded cooked chicken
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and sliced thinly into half circles
fresh cilantro, mint, parsley and basil, chopped (feel free to omit any, I only used parsley and basil)

Combine first 3 ingredients and lime rind. Add enough lime juice until it's tangy enough for you. Stir in the chicken, carrot and cucumber. Chill, if desired. Before serving, add in herbs. Serve as a salad or as a sandwich.

Then tonight, I made a really super easy dish that was super delicious. The recipe originally calls for Pernod and dill, but I don't have any Pernod and what am I going to do with a bunch of fresh dill after this? Right above the recipe, there is a small comment section which says you can substitute white wine for the Pernod and basil for the dill, which is what I did. And it turned out yummy. It's an easy pasta dish, so it literally will take you the time it takes to cook the pasta, so about 15 minutes. And for vegetables, I just steamed some peas in the microwave and then added them to the dish when serving. Asparagus would be delicious on the side also, but peas are more my style with pasta.

Penne with Shrimp and Pernod (or White Wine)
1 c. panna da cucina or heavy cream (I used heavy cream)
1 c. fish stock
3 c. dried penne
2-3 tablespoons Pernod (or White Wine)
1 c. shelled, cooked shrimp, thawed and thoroughly dried if frozen
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill (or basil)

Put cream and stock in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10-15 minutes, until reduced by half. Meanwhile cook the pasta in a large stock pot, and drain when done according to package instructions.

Add Pernod and shrimp to the sauce with salt and pepper. Heat shrimp very gently. Stir in dill. Add pasta to a bowl, then pour sauce over top. Garnish with more chopped dill. Enjoy!


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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Make every day important

Today is a very sad day for those who work with my mom at a middle school near Seattle. Last night, they lost a cherished member of their staff, Mr. Colton. I've never met him, but from what my mom said, he will be surely missed by both staff and students.

My mom wrote to me in an email:

Mr. Colton was the PE teacher and coached a lot of team sports, so the kids really loved him. He was like a huge teddy bear of a guy. Used to play (for a short time) for the Dallas Cowboys, he’s the life of the party here at school, so he will really be missed! Karilyn (one of my mom's co-workers and close friend) knew him for 20+ years. He was planning to retire soon. 

Sounds like a really great person who left God's green Earth a little too soon. But it was probably his time and he had completed his journey.

Please say a prayer for the Colton family tonight. I'm sure they would appreciate it. 

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit
Psalm 34:18

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Motivation, where are you?

Since my regular schedule is all out of whack because of finals, I've been having a hard time being motivated to do any thing other than read or play games or watch TV. I really need to do some spring cleaning, and I had it all planned out, but Sunday slipped away, and then there went Monday. So now it's Tuesday, and I still need to write a paper and make a note sheet for tomorrow. And yet this morning, motivation was no where to be seen.

I didn't roll out of bed until 10:30 (which is really 9:30 in my mind..) and didn't eat breakfast until about 11:30. Then I watched two episodes of Psych with Tim so we could send the dvd back to Netflix, and finally I showered and changed from sweatpants to jeans.

And then motivation showed its pretty shiny cheery face on this grey and blustery day. (Ok that sounded a lot better in my mind than on paper.. er.. computer screen)

It was so weird. And then I realized that every time I just wear sweatpants or PJ's around the house, I have no desire to clean or do anything really. But when I put a pair of jeans on, I can't help but want to clean and be productive.

So while I have this motivational mind set, I'm going to go work on my paper. But one question first,

What gets you motivated?

Have a great day!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spanish Delight

I really don't understand the reason this dish is named Spanish Delight, because to me it's more like an Italian Delight. Or rather Italian-American Delight. But then that is just too long for a recipe title, isn't it?

Tonight's dinner was based off a recipe from a cookbook that my relative Betty put together. (For the whole story, click here) I wasn't so sure on the timing of the recipe (it called for an hour at 350F!) so I kinda fudged the recipe to my liking. It turned out pretty tasty. So here's the recipe:

Rachel's Spanish Delight *
1 lb. spaghetti noodles, broken into 3-in pieces
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 lb. ground beef
14 oz. can diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted)
14 oz. can tomato sauce
Cayenne pepper, ground
Chili powder
Cheese, grated (I used cheddar, but queso would be good too)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Cook spaghetti according to instructions on package. Heat tbsp oil in a skillet over med-high heat and cook onions, peppers and garlic until almost soft (still a little crunchy. they will cook further in the oven). Remove veggies from pan, then brown the beef. Drain the noodles and return to the stock pot. Add veggies to the pot with the noodles, along with the two cans of tomato products. When the beef is done, drain the fat, then add to the noodle mixture. Sprinkle some of the cayenne and chili powder over the top, then mix all together. Pour into a large baking dish, then put in the oven for about 15 minutes. Add cheese over the top to melt during the last 5 minutes. 

*Note that the picture is not what it will look like! It's close, but it's got sausage and chicken instead of ground beef.

Hope you enjoy it!


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Week Before Finals

So last week was the week before finals and I got all distracted from writing about the food I cooked. And I got all discouraged about my abilities as a chemist from my final I had for one of my classes. It's was an oral final, and the professor and the TA's were absolutely brutal. Good thing, though, was they were harsh to everyone, so it made me feel a little better. And it definitely confirmed the fact that I don't want to be a chemist for my whole life. I want to cook and clean and be a mom someday. That's what I want to do with my life. And plus being around hazardous chemicals everyday is not fun at all. Like the other intern in my lab said, "If we continue to work here, we're gonna have cancer by the time we're 30!" I definitely don't plan on getting cancer anytime soon.

Thanks toThe Frank Mills

Anyways, even though my week was busy and an emotional rollercoaster, I still cooked 3 out of the 4 meals I had planned for the week. So on Monday, I made the Chicken Dumplings in Miso Broth from Seasons. It was a little rainy and grey out so the hot soup felt so good in my tummy. And I love miso soup just on its own, but with the broccoli and chicken dumplings, it was delicious! Unfortunately, there was something in the soup that made it go bad the next day, so if you make it, try to eat it all or just throw it out. It is not good the second time around.

Thanks to

Chicken Dumplings in Miso Broth
1 lemongrass stalk, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves
2 scallions, chopped
zest of 1 lime
1/2 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 bunch watercress
salt and pepper

peanut oil
1 1/2 in. piece fresh ginger, grated
1 shallot, sliced into rings
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 scallions, cut into 1/2 in lengths
1 red chili pepper, sliced into rings, optional
4 c. miso soup stock*
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
6 oz shiitake mushrooms, stalks removed
large handful broccoli florets

For dumplings, put first three ingredients into food processor and process until finely chopped. Transfer to bowl and stir in lime zest. Put chicken breasts into food processor and process until coarsely chopped. Add to bowl. Finely chop small handful of watercress and stir into chicken mixture (I used my fingers to mix it all together). Season with salt and pepper, then form into small dumplings (about size of walnut). Cook in a steamer for 5-6 min, or until cooked through. (Mine took about 7 minutes)

To make the broth, heat oil in large sauce pan over low heat, and add next three ingredients and fry until soft. Add rest of broth ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes until veggies are just cooked. Stir in the remaining watercress and serve with dumplings.

*from paste or any other form. Mine was from a powder that I mixed with water. This amount does not produce a lot of broth in the soup so you can add more broth. I added 6 cups instead of 4. 

Also on Monday, I marinated the pork for Tuesday's meal, Roast Pork with Pineapple Glaze. I would really rather not talk about this one, since it didn't turn out right and I need to do some more tweaking on it. It was fairly good, but I think I have an idea how to make it better. And plus that night I was feeling kinda down after the terrible final, so it probably wasn't as bad as I think it is, but I will postpone the recipe until I try it again, in about 5 bazillion years. Or whenever I get over feeling crummy about that final.

 Thanks to Project Asilia

And then on Wednesday, I made Sirloin with a Mushroom Glaze, minus the mushrooms. And oh my goodness, it so made up for the meal from the night before. I don't think I have had steak sauce as good as in this recipe. And it's so simple really. (Ok I've probably had better steak sauce, but remember: emotional rollercoaster!) I served it with a salad and some herbed baguette slices and balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Mmmmm...

Sirloin with Mushroom Glaze
1 to 1 1/4 lb. boneless beef sirloin steaks, cut 1/2 in thick
herb pepper or other favorite seasoning blend (I used Jamaica Me Crazy)
1 tbsp. butter
3/4 c. beef broth
1 tbsp hoisin sauce, teriyaki sauce or Worcestershire sauce (I used Worcestershire)
2 c. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 onion, sliced into 1/4 in. slices

Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Add steak and cook for 8-10 minutes until desired doneness, turning once. (8 minutes for medium rare, 10 for medium). Transfer to a platter or plate and cover with foil to keep warm. 

For glaze, add beef broth and your choice of sauce to pan. Cook and stir to loosen any bits on bottom of skillet. Stir in mushrooms and onions. Cook over medium-high heat about 8 minutes until veggies are tender and there is about 1/4 c. liquid left. Slice steak thinly against the grain, then top with veggies on sauce when served. 

Ahh.. I cannot wait to make that dish again!

Unforunately, I did not get around to cooking on Thursday or Friday or Saturday. We had thai food on Thursday (curry, yum!) and we had dinner with Tim's parents on Friday and last night we just ordered a pizza from Papa John's. But tonight, I will make the Spanish Delight. I bought the ingredients for it, so I must make it. I am a little anxious to try it, but I think it will turn out ok.

This morning, I did make breakfast though. I made Ina Garten's Sunday Morning Oatmeal. I'm not an oatmeal fan, but I really liked it and am excited to have it again for breakfast tomorrow morning! It was so easy to make, it literally took ten minutes. You could totally make this on a weekday without worrying about it taking up too much time. And it's sweet, so kids will love it, and mom's will love it too because its filled with fruit.

 Thanks to Iowa Avenue

Sunday Morning Oatmeal
1 1/2 c. milk
1 1/2 c oatmeal (it says to not use instant, but I did and it was just fine!)
1 banana, sliced (cut this up at the end in order to prevent it from turning brown)
1/2 c. dried cherries
1/2 c. raisins
chopped nuts, optional
maple syrup or brown sugar, for serving

Heat the milk plus 2 c. water in a saucepan until it starts to simmer. Add the oatmeal, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Off the heat, stir in the fruit. Serve hot with maple syrup or brown sugar on top and with a splash of milk, if desired.

Well, I really should get writing my paper for my history class. It's based on this book:

The book was surprisingly good. I thought it would be just one of those dry, boring, fact-laden books, but the author kept leading me along and then at the end of each chapter, made me wonder what happened next. If you are interested in math or any science or just like to read about history, this book is a great read. Pick it up next time you are at the library and give it a try.

Time to go write!

Hezk√Ĺ den! (Have a good day!)


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Monday, March 8, 2010

Weekly Meals

Here's what I've planned what I'm going to cook for this week. I told Tim that I was going to make Chicken Dumplings and he was all excited, except when I looked at the recipe it wasn't what he was thinking of. It's in a miso broth with lots of asian flavors in it. I think it will be yummy, but I think he will be a little dissapointed.

Well, here's the schedule:
Tonight: Chicken Dumpling in a Miso Broth from Seasons.

Tuesday: Roast Pork with Pineapple Glaze from Seasonal Kitchen, served with a side salad and some toast.

Wednesday: Steak with Mushroom Glaze from Menus in Minutes, minus the mushrooms, served with a side salad.

Thursday: Spanish Delight from Mt. Adams Cookbook. It's basically spaghetti with a tomato sauce and ground beef, baked in the oven with a dash of chili powder and cayenne.

 Thanks to US Forest Service. That's Mt. Adams over Ollalie Lake, which is near Trout Lake.

My great aunt Betty (I think that's how I'm related to her, really I have no clue) helped gather recipes from people who have lived in the little town of Trout Lake, WA, in the shadow of Mt. Adams. She put together this cookbook, and I figured I should at least try some of the recipes, but most definitely not the weird ones. Although the weird ones might be good. I always have to remind myself that some things go together well that you might think shouldn't, like my family's green jello. It's lime jello, cottage cheese, walnuts and horseradish. Yes, that's right. Horseradish. It's really good and my grandma makes it all the time. And like the cheesy dates too. Every Christmas, my grandma puts slices of cheddar cheese in dates. I always grew up thinking cheesy dates and horseradish in green jello were normal until I started bringing boyfriends over. No wonder they didn't stick around for too long... just kidding.

 Thanks to Ali at Home of the Lazy Dog

Anyways, I should get cleaning more. Tim is going to be calling me any minute to have me pick him up from school.

Have a great day everyone!

School, why can't we just get along?

The other night, I dreamt about this post I was going to write about how I have never really liked school and when I was younger I used to excel at school but now I am just shooting for average, but when I woke up I forgot it all. It was so witty and funny, and now I'm dissapointed. Maybe someday I will remember it. Until then, you will have to just listen to me talk about food.

I haven't posted lately because it's the end of the quarter and I'm slacking off with everything. My apartment is a mess (not so much anymore since I missed the bus this morning and had to drive Tim to school instead of going to class myself, so I spent some time picking things up and folding the laundry I did last week but never got around to folding). I finally went and got my bangs cut yesterday since they have been in my eyes for a few weeks now, and once I'm done with this post, I'm going to make my exercise calendar and then finish washing my juicer and then clean the kitchen. And then after all that is done, I'm going to finish my last official lab report of the quarter!!!! YAHOOO!!

Anyways, so now I will write about what I cooked last week. On Thursday, I made Chicken with a Tarragon Sauce from Mediterranean Cookbook. It was pretty good, although I'm not sure I liked the way they had you cook the chicken. First, it instructed you to brown the chicken in a pan and then transfer to a pan and finished in the oven. The chicken came out a little dry, which I have no clue why because usually my chicken is juicy. I think I just left it in there a little too long and didn't let it rest because I was hungry :( I served it with a rice pilaf and some steamed green beans.

Chicken in Tarragon Sauce

4 chicken breasts, preferably skin on
2 tsbp. unsalted butter
1 tbsp sunflower oil
salt and pepper

2 tbsp. tarragon-flavored vinegar (I just used a white wine vinegar)
6 tbsp. (or roughly 1/3 cup) dry white wine
1 c. chicken broth
4 sprigs fresh tarragon, plus more chopped for garnish
1 1/4 c. creme fraiche or sour cream (I used sour cream)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Melt butter and oil in pan over med-high heat. Add chicken, skin side down, and brown for 3-5 minutes. Transfer to roasting pan  (don't wash the previous pan just yet!) and roast for 15-20 minutes, until juices run clean. Transfer to platter and cover with foil. Add juices and bits to pan on stove and heat over med-high heat again. Add vinegar, scraping bits from bottom of pan. Pour in wine, and boil to reduce in half. Stir in broth and tarragon sprigs and continue to boil until reduce in half again. Finally, stir in the sour cream let boil till reduced in half. Discard sprigs and stir in chopped tarragon. Slice each chicken breast on individual plates and spoon some sauce over. 

Then on Friday, I made a Lime and Ginger Pork Loin from the New American Plate. It was really tasty because you slice it, let sit in the marinade (which was really interesting because it contained lime juice, ginger, dijon mustard, garlic and honey), brown the pork (which didn't really happen for me because I didn't put enough oil in the pan) and at the end, cook the marinade with the pork so it adds even more flavor. I really enjoyed it, although I think I would have rather made it with just regular pork chops instead of a pork loin, since then the slices were kind of small. I served it with steamed potatoes and broccoli.

Lime and Ginger Pork Loin
1/3 c. lime juice
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp ground ginger
1 garlic clove
1 lb boneless pork loin, cut into 1/2 to 3/4 in slices

In shallow baking dish, mix together first 5 ingredients. Place the pork in the dish, mix with marinade, cover dish and put in refrigerator for 30 min. Heat pan on med-high heat, then lightly brown meat on both sides. Pour marinade over pork, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 5-6 minutes for 1/2 in slices or 8-9 minutes for 3/4 in. Remove meat from skillet and boil marinade for 30-40 seconds, then pour over meat. Enjoy!

And then on Saturday, I made burgers at home since Tim was hankerin for a burger and we've been going to Kidd Valley once a  week for several weeks now and I'm getting a little sick of it. So I bought some preshaped patties at the store and some roasted onion buns and tomatoes and onions and cheese and bacon and mixed greens and on the side we had some roasted potato wedges. It was so much food! But it was soo good. And Tim made a blood orange soda float, which was rather tasty. Thomas Kemper makes some real good soda. I like their ginger soda, but Tim doesn't because it tastes like ginger. He is very odd, he loves ginger ale, but hates ginger. What a weirdo.

On Sunday, we ran some errands (like get our hair cut) and then Tim needed some batting gloves so we trekked up to Big 5 to buy him some only to spend like 20 minutes looking for them when they were in a locked case in a corner of the store, but now he's happy because softball is starting up soon. And I'm happy because then I have an excuse to go down south and see my family and my pets. And of course to watch his softball team play and kick butt. Since we were on the Ave (a popular street for UW students, actually called University Way, but everyone calls it the Ave), we went to Chipotle. If you have not been to Chipotle, go right now. They are in pretty much every state, so there's no excuse. Basically, it's like mexican food, but they only serve burritos or fajitas or rice bowls (which is pretty much just a burrito without a wrapper). I realized yesterday, that I have never ordered anything other than the vegetarian rice bowl. Tim asked me why I don't ever get meat with it and I didn't know why. But I figure it out! With the vegetarian one, you get free peppers and onions and free guacamole! Mmmmm... Tim didn't think it was a good trade off because he hates all three of those things! But it's so delicious, I wish I could eat it every week. Pretty much everyone that I know that goes to UW eats at Chipotle at least once a month, some even once a week! Everything is very fresh and so amazingly tasty! Seriously, here's the website. Go find the nearest one!

Have a great day!


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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Geoduck Piccatta

Whew, last week went by in a blur! And I really needed for it to go by slowly with all the work I had to do. But this week is a bit lighter, so hopefully I can enjoy it a little more.

Spring really has sprung around here. Almost all the daffodils are up and shining. The hyacinths that are right outside my door are a gorgeous purple, perfectly matching the yellow daffodils in their UW spirit.

On another topic, I was really tempted this week in my cooking adventures to try geoduck piccata (recipe courtesy of Kathy Casey). However, I have no clue as where to get my hands on some geoduck. (For those who have no clue what a geoduck is, click on the link above. Basically, they are large clams that live under the sand on the NW coast and they squirt at you when you stomp on them!)

 Thanks to Fisheries and Oceans Canada

If anyone knows of a place that sells geoduck (I know, I should just make the trip out to the ocean to get one myself, but I'm lazy!), please let me know. I will seriously travel anywhere in Western Washington or Oregon or even BC to get one. I tried conch when I was in the Caribbean and I assume they can't be much different? (If I'm totally wrong on this one, please let me know too!)

 But since I don't have any geoduck on hand, I decided to try Kathy Casey's Curry and Yogurt Snapper. I sure do like me some curry, but I was a little hesitant about it with snapper. I was very deliciously surprised! It had the curry flavor, but it was not very spicy. I was all worried that once the yogurt came in contact with the pan it would just slide off, but instead it soaked in to the snapper! I was truly amazed!

Kathy suggests to serve it with rice (which I did) and wilted spinach (which I did not. Wilted spinach has a weird taste to me. I like other wilted greens, but not spinach. Yuck!). The only downside to the recipe was that there wasn't a sauce to accompany the dish and so the rice was really bland. I think next time, I'm going to split the yogurt mixture and the spice mixture in half and use only half of each to marinate the snapper and the other half combine to make a sauce. I think that would be really delicious!

Kathy Casey's Coriander, Curry and Yogurt-Crusted Snapper

3/4 c. plain yogurt
1 tsp fresh minced garlic
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp coriander seed, crushed
2 tsp mild curry powder
black pepper
olive oil
4 snapper fillets (preferably Pacific rockfish)
Fresh mint

Stir together first three ingredients in a small bowl. In another bowl, combine next four ingredients. Dip fish lightly into yogurt mixture, then sprinkle curry mixture on all sides. Place the fish in a hot pan with olive oil and cook until opaque or flaky, about 2.5 minutes each side. Eat!

Serves 4.

And then last night, I made Martin Yan's Seafood and Garlic Chive Lo Mein. Tim is not a big fan of squid (too bad, right?) so I left that out, which basically made it a Shrimp and Garlic Chive Lo Mein. The dish as a whole was excellent (I added in some chopped up bok choy to add some veggies), but the flavor in the noodles was not as strong as we would like it. I think if you doubled the sauce, it would have been perfect! I also did not add in the mushrooms since, well, Tim does not like mushrooms and refuses to eat anything that includes them.

Martin Yan's Seafood and Garlic Chive Lo Mein

1 pkg Chinese egg noodles
2 tsp sesame oil
6 squid, cleaned
3/4 lb medium raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 tbsp cornstarch
4 dried black mushrooms
Cooking oil
1 tbsp minced ginger (I just grated it instead)
1/4 lb. yellow garlic chives, cut into 2-in lengths (I used green chives)
4 green onions, cut into 2-in lengths
 Rachel's addition: 1 head bok choy, washed and cut into 1-in pieces

Sauce:  (Double for more flavor!)
2/3 c. chicken broth
1 tbsp soy sauce 
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil

Boil noodles according to directions on package (mine took about 5-7 minutes, in case yours has no direction, like mine!). Drain and rinse with cold water. Cut off squid tentacles and cut bodies in half lengthwise. Score inside diagonally several times to make cross-hatch pattern. Set aside. Combine sauce in another bowl. Soak dried mushroom in warm water until softened, about 20 minutes. Discard stems and thinly slice caps. Heat wok over medium-high heat, then add oil, swirling to coat. Add mushrooms, ginger, garlic chives and green onions. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.Add shrimp and squid, stir fry for 2 additional minutes. Stir cornstarch into sauce, then add to pan, stirring until it boils. Add noodles and bok choy and mix well. Serves 4.

Anyways, I really should get working on my homework, but I think I'll watch a movie first. Or maybe do homework while watching the movie, eh?


Dobrou noc! (Good night in Czech)


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