Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pesto Recipe?

Does anybody make their own pesto sauce?

Last night I made chicken and pesto pasta, and it was too easy. I grilled chicken on our foreman while the pasta was cooking. Then I mixed bite sized pieces of chicken into the pasta and added fresh homegrown onion, garlic and a jar of pesto sauce.

Seasoned with a touch of salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese, it was definitely tasty. But I think I'm ready to make my own pesto, especially since I use it on Naan pizza all the time.

Anybody have a great recipe suggestion? Please share!

Friday, August 27, 2010

What do you do when there's too much to do?

Leave town!

The wedding is rapidly approaching. September 25 -- less than a month away! So with a million and one things to do at home (plus class started again this week), Fiance and I are instead traveling. You know, because we have so much time to spare.

Our friends got married in Napa on August 14, so we packed our bags and headed to California for five days.

The highlights:
  • The wedding, of course! It was more like a cocktail reception with dinner on a beautiful balcony at the Avia Hotel. It was unique and really fun.
  • Brunch at Ad Hoc. The chef is incredible.
  • A visit to the Full House house, as well as to the park where a scene from the theme song is filmed. There's a difference. See pictures below.
  • Alcatraz. I've done the tour before, but it was Fiance's first time. We both loved it.
  • Finace's 30th birthday! We had to celebrate night before at Will's Fargo, because we spent basically his entire birthday flying home from San Francisco. Does anybody else think it's kinda funny that he lost three hours of his 30th b-day to a time change?
At the Franciscan Winery

Picking and eating grapes. Yum!

It has a fresh coat of paint and a new door, but this is the actual Full House house.

This is from the theme song, but none of these belong to the Tanner family.

A cell at Alcatraz where an inmate tunneled through the vent to escape along with two other prisoners. They were ever seen again, nor were their bodies discovered.

Enjoying 17 mile drive. Foggy, overcast and quite chilly -- but still beautiful.

I climbed a rock mountain.

The Lone Cypress inspired the Pebble Beach Company logo.

This weekend we're off to Shenandoah for our annual hiking, apple picking and winery visiting trip. This will be the fourth year and each time we've stayed in a different spot. Fiance always spends a lot of time researching the perfect place and he never fails to amaze me with his selections. I'm especially excited about this year -- we're staying at a Vineyard Bed and Breakfast. Bed, Breakfast and Wine -- how perfect is that!?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cookie of the Month Club

Have you ever heard of a Cookie of the Month club? The gist is you purchase a membership online and cookies are sent to the lucky recipient every month.

I think it's a great gift idea. The problem is, they're a bit over priced in my opinion. So I decided to start my own cookie club.

The beneficiaries:
  • Baby Sister, who just started her senior year of college this year. It's almost impossible to believe.
  • Brother-in-law-to-be, who is just beginning his freshman year of college (and is one of the biggest cookie monsters I know).
  • Fiance, who -- like is brother -- loves cookies. I made him a few extras.
  • Friends. We went to a friend's house on Saturday night and another friend's on Sunday, so I brought along a couple dozen cookies to share.
The goods:
The baking part was fun for me. I'll use any excuse to get out the oh-so-beautiful-and-wonderfully-functional KitchenAid stand mixer. Plus I got to legitimately wear one of the fabulous new aprons I got at my shower earlier this month. Last night I wore one just for kicks while Fiance was cooking dinner.

Ten dozen cookies later, Cookie of the Month club also became a fabulous excuse to use my new Martha Stewart cookie/cupcake carrier.

Lastly, mailing was a piece of cake. I used the USPS flat rate shipping box. Two dozen cookies fit -- barely -- into the small box. So two shipments and less than $10 later, they were off to our little siblings.

Here's to hoping the college kids get more than a box-o-crumbs. Love you both!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Guest Post: From Ke's Kitchen

My friend, Ke, shared this recipe with me. It sounds quick, easy and tasty. Here's what she had to say about it:

C. [boyfriend] was a little cranky last night so I decided to make him dinner and it turned out GREAT! I thought you might be able to add this simple recipe to your blog!

4 salmon filets
salt and pepper to taste
1 c. teriyaki sauce
1 tsp. soy margarine
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 c. sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Sprinkle the salmon filets with salt and pepper and then marinate them in teriyaki sauce for 20 minutes (I put it in the fridge). After 20 minutes, roll the salmon in sesame seeds. Next, saute the salmon in the olive oil and soy margarine for five minutes (or until sides are golden brown). Then place the salmon in the oven for 5-7 minutes. Voila!

Words to define for domestically deficient: marinate & saute.

It's so easy and great! I served it on a bed of lettuce with a side of brown rice and steamed vegetables.

Thanks, Ke! I can't wait to try it!
Pic from when the Dining Diva and I went to visit Ke in New York last April.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

About that Pie

I mentioned the peach pie I made for our Fourth of July weekend festivities. It was only the second fruit pie I ever tackled and it was a big hit.

The first one, however, didn't go exactly according to plan. I accidentally purchased all white peaches instead of orange peaches. I didn't really know there was a difference and just picked up what looked like a peach to me. [Side note: I recently went to the store to purchase an orange for a muffin recipe and instead came home with a small, brightly colored grapefruit. I thought it could have happened to anyone. Fiance assured me it wouldn't.]

Back to the peaches. I got home and started pealing them before I realized my mistake. I forged on anyway, figuring if the pie bombed, it would just be another domestically deficient tale to tell. Turns out the white peaches actually were okay. My mom even said it was the best peach pie she'd ever had.

Last weekend, I made what I now refer to as my peach pie again, but this time I combined half orange peaches and half white. It was by far the best out of three. I highly recommend surprising your pie eating friends with a lovely peach blend.