Friday, July 30, 2010
The second time I went camping was a few years later, and Alan broke the news that this was also not to be considered real camping. He called it car camping -- the kind of camping where you park your car and pitch your tent next to facilities where you can take hot showers, flush the toilet and buy granola bars from vending machines.
This weekend we are going camping with friends at Lake Amador. You might think that the third time's a charm, that this time I might get to experience "real" camping, but I read on the website that this campsite even has its own cafe. At this rate, I do expect that the next time I go camping, we will have a full-service butler and a driver to pick us up from our hikes. But until then, I am super excited for this trip to go swimming in the huge lake -- it's going to be in the 90s up there! I hope it will be as awesome as Jacinta's dip above -- she took this picture while swimming in Cinque Terre. Isn't it absolutely gorgeous?
Have a happy weekend!
(Photo by bawkbawkbawk)
Thursday, July 29, 2010
My favorite part of cooking the meal was the very end when I used the extra lemon to wash my hands with (a little trick I picked up from my mom). The smell of fresh lemons is so irresistible, I couldn't stop smelling my hands the entire night!
Garlic Roast Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon
(As adapted from Rachel Ray's recipe)
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks (I used chicken thighs still on the bone which made it harder to cut into chunks, but that's what we had in the fridge so I improvised)
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves stripped from stems
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced (I don't have a zester, but I do have one very sharp knife which I believe gets you a close enough result)
- 1 tablespoon grill seasoning blend (recommended: Montreal Seasoning) or, coarse salt and black pepper (I used salt and pepper and threw in some onion powder for some flair)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth (I used chicken broth)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sear chicken for color. Arrange chicken in a baking dish, 9 by 13-inch. Add garlic, rosemary, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon zest and salt and pepper to the dish. Toss and coat the chicken with all ingredients, then place in oven. Roast 20-30 minutes. Add chicken broth and lemon juice to the dish and combine with pan juices. Return to oven and turn oven off. Let stand 5 minutes longer then remove chicken from the oven. Place baking dish on trivet and serve, spooning pan juices over the chicken pieces.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
To celebrate, I'm planning a wee leettle re-launch party next Saturday. I love thoughtful event styling and want to be able to style and create my own special moment. So that's what I'm doing. Of course, I want to share it with all of you. First, I'd like to share some of the parties and details which have inspired me. :)
photo credits, from top to bottom:
photo from 18 Reason's Facebook page as seen on Oh Happy Day!
photo via frolic!
photo by BrancoPrata via Twig & Thistle
photo by Ashley Meaders via you are my fave
photo by i am baker via Sweet Designs and The Sweetest Occasion
(side note: I just learned how to properly credit images and sources and it's a bit time consuming isn't it?)
Monday, July 26, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
While some may think it's best to keep goodbye parties short and sweet, my friend Preethi decided small and sweet was the better way to go (and she was so right). She's moving to D.C. this month, and at her party, she served dangerously delicious, tiny, bite-size desserts.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
My most traveled friend Thai recently told me that he was going to be late meeting me for dinner because he was at the rose garden enjoying the sun. Then he told me that he would be just a minute, he being just down the street sunbathing in the rose garden. Well, I had never seen a rose garden in my neighborhood (although I now faintly remember hearing of people getting married here), so with scenes from The Secret Garden playing out in my head, this week Alan and I went and checked it out. The garden was in full bloom and luckily enough I was dressed quite appropriately.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
This week, I received two wedding invitations on the same day. Some people might let this get to their heads thinking about how very popular they are. (Okay, so maybe I am one of those people, but I promise I got over it much faster than most other respectable people would). I love how wedding invites can tell you so much about the person getting married.
The first wedding is my friend Jennifer's. She is the absolute cutest. Everybody says so. I mean, look at this wedding invitation. Isn't it just dripping of cuteness? I was really careful in opening the envelope so that I could savor all the details -- the font, the zig zag stitch, the colors, the way "Big Day" is highlighted. I just can't get enough. I also can't wait to see her dress -- I'm sure it's going to be absolutely stunning.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Also, can I just say that I have been so absorbed by the "cooking" section of her website, that I just discovered and started reading the "confessions" section yesterday? She makes me chuckle every other sentence and sorta makes me wish that I
So anyway, this weekend, Alan and I did a lot of dining in in my attempt to spare restaurant-goers from my constant nose blowing and sad, weary face. On Friday, one of us had the foresight to thaw some beef (leftover from a beef stew we had made a while back) which meant that we needed to get clever since neither of us cooks much with beef. I wanted to see what we could make with $10, and as it turns out, a whole lotta deliciousness.
Yields: 9 tacos
A can of pinto beans $1.09
Corn tortillas $2.79
1 onion $0.99
2 limes $0.58
Beef (leftover from another recipe) $0.00
Shredded cheese (from our never ending Costco supply) $0.00
I was really tickled with how great these turned out and how budget friendly they were. As a point of comparison, the going rate for super tacos at our favorite local taqueria is $3 a pop. If we had gone out for tacos, for $8.23, we could have had any combination of the following: 1 taco each and 1 Coke, 2 tacos for me and none for Alan, 1/2 a taco for me, 1/2 for Alan, and a game of Rochambeau for the second taco, or a large basket of chips with guacamole. While these could all make for decent meals, none are as satisfying as the six tacos we ate between the two of us for dinner that night.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
I spent most of this weekend in my pajamas cuddling with a box of Kleenex and clutching a bottle of DayQuil because of a really bad cold that started on Friday. Whenever I feel down in the dumps and have to resist the urge to show up to work in a pair of sweats, I like to keep things simple. An oversized white tee does the trick quite nicely.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Have a lovely weekend!
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tonight the cousins and I gathered to start planning out our trip to Asia in January of next year. But first we had to eat dinner, so I helped Justin make this mean risotto. If you like mushrooms, pancetta and wine, do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Make this mushroom risotto first and worry about the rest later. Trust me.