Browsing Category "food"
12 Jul

Made it: Spicy tofu stir-fry with peanuts

spicy tofu stir-fry with peanutsOooh, my favorite dish to make with snow peas fresh from the garden. Plus, it takes about 15 minutes which is a bonus for busy summer nights.

I adapted this recipe from the spicy chicken stir-fry with peanuts recipe in Everyday Food (Mar 2009 issue). I enjoy the original recipe (with chicken breasts), but the tofu version just feels so much lighter and healthier. My carnivorous husband even prefers the tofu version!

Spicy tofu stir-fry with peanuts

  1. Rinse and cube a container of extra firm tofu. Heat 2 teaspoons peanut oil on medium-high heat. Saute tofu for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, thinly slice 2 garlic cloves and a jalapeno chile. Wash and trim 4 cups of snow peas.
  3. Add veggies and a 1/4 cup of water to skillet with tofu. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Turn off heat. Add salt and pepper, juice from 1/2 a lime, 3 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts and 1/2 cup torn basil leaves.

Later in the summer, this is an awesome recipe to make using almost everything from the garden — snow peas, jalapeno and basil. I plan to make this recipe when I do my “eat hyper local for a week” goal, which is #1 on my 30 before 30 list. If only I had a lime tree.

26 Jun

Made it: Orzo with Feta, Tomatoes and Dill

Orzo with Feta, Tomatoes and DillThis has been my hands-down favorite dish since the recipe came out in Gourmet magazine (July 2008). It’s super quick and makes perfect use of those summer cherry or grape tomatoes! And if it’s too early in the season for harvesting from your garden, you can always use store-bought tomatoes and dry dill instead of fresh chopped dill.

The recipe takes about 15 minutes (from tomato washing to plates on the table):

Mix olive oil, tomatoes, dill, lemon zest, salt and pepper in your serving bowl. Let mixture marinate for 10 minutes while you boil water and cook orzo for 8 minutes. Drain orzo and toss with tomato mixture. Add feta, toss again and serve.

I could easily eat it three times a week. It’s that good.

Orzo with Feta, Tomatoes and Dill

10 Things Loved in May

It’s time for another things loved list. Without further ado:

Issey Miyake1. Issey Miyake’s L’eau D’Issey
Nordstrom sent me an offer for a free atomizer with my choice of perfume. I chose the Issey Miyake scent and have absolutely fallen in love. Sephora says Miyake’s fragrances are fueled by “technology, minimalism, and nature.” OK, I’ll take the technology-fueled scent. …now to get a larger version for when my freebie runs out so I can be the woman your woman could smell like.

Springwater Trail2. The Springwater Trail
The Springwater Trail is part of a 40-mile paved loop in Portland. When I was marathon training, I did my longer runs on the trail, but biking has always been my favorite Springwater activity.

3. Hash Restaurant
Hash Restaurant happens to be just a block north of the Springwater Trail, and is a great destination for a weekend morning ride… good luck pedaling home. Hash is a classic Portland/NW style with many sustainable and local ingredients. I love their French toast with whipped creme fraiche. They also serve mini scones with their coffee, which is a nice touch.

photo by greenhem, because I'm too lazy to get out in the rain and take my own

4. Peonies
I have two different varieties of peonies in my yard – magenta in the front yard and pale pink in the back. The magenta ones always bloom first in mid May and the pale pink peonies usually bloom the last week of May (and often get rained out). I just love the choppy texture of peonies. Very scissor-hands!

5. Sexy Boot Jeans
As I have been hinting, we’ve had a ton of rain in Portland, which really made May feel like winter or fall. I took the opportunity to stock up on my favorite Sexy Boot jeans from the Gap and ordered dark wash, medium tint and distressed finish. I won’t need new jeans for at least a year!

6. Pacific City, Oregon
In May, we took a mini-break anniversary vacation to Pacific City and stayed at the Inn at Cape Kiwanda, which was very beachy and cozy. Haystack Rock and the Pelican Pub and Brewery are the highlights of this postcard-perfect town. (And it happened to be featured in the June issue of Sunset magazine, so we felt like we went at the perfect time before it is “rediscovered” for the season.)

She and Him7. She & Him
Genius collaboration project between Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward. I was able to see them at the Les Schwab Amphitheater in Bend over Memorial Day weekend. My absolute favorite song on Volume 2 is “Gonna Get Along Without You Now” which is a Skeeter Davis cover. During the concert “She” forgot the lyrics and asked to start over, which sounds annoying, but she was absolutely adorable.

aqua-blue-santorini-table-world-market8. Santorini Table
I finally scored my summer cafe table! I drooled over the Santorini table at World Market last year but wasn’t convinced on the red or green. This year it came out in a new color – aqua – and it is PERFECT. I used a $10 off coupon to get it for $90. Then I got home to find purple marks all over the tiles so by the time I went to exchange it, all the Santorini items were on clearance and I ended up getting it for $50!!! I’m picking up outdoor “wicker” chairs at Target to go with it.

9. Dreaming about a vacation to Greece and Turkey
Speaking of Santorini, visiting Greece and Turkey is #20 on my 30 before 30 list and there’s a good chance I’ll be crossing it off my list this fall. I’ve been researching trip ideas and airfare (ouch) and planning the ideal itinerary. Fingers crossed it works out with work schedules and budget.

10. Career Changes
I spent about half of May contemplating a big career move (which was the real #21 on my 30 before 30 list). I applied for two jobs, scored interviews for both, negotiated and accepted a great new position. Change is on the way and next week I’ll start a new job after seven years with the same company!

11 Jun
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Made it: Crispy Ginger-Lime Chicken Thighs

Crispy Ginger-Lime Chicken Thighs Martha Stewart Fresh Flavor FastAnother Fresh Flavor Fast recipe. (I’m really liking this book so far!) I’ll start by saying I’m not an experienced chicken baker/broiler/fryer/anything. I’m what you call a Monday-Wednesday-Friday vegetarian, so I usually shy away from cooking chicken at home. However, this recipe was delicious and simple.

The spice-and-ginger rub was really flavorful, even though it felt a bit creepy to be peeling the chicken skin back to rub the mixture “under the skin” … eeew! I also cooked the chicken thighs a little too long because I’m so worried about under-cooking meat.

I made the Crispy Ginger-Lime Chicken Thighs with the recommended Couscous with Carrots and Cilantro and they complemented each other well. I would definitely make it again, even though it took me about 40 minutes instead of 20 to finish. But I’m a total chicken novice, so I’m sure a real chicken-eater would be much more skilled at peeling back skin and rubbing on spices. πŸ˜‰

6 Jun

Made it: Steamed Eggplant and Mushrooms with Peanut Sauce

Steamed eggplant and mushrooms with peanut sauce Martha Stewart Fresh Food FastThis is a quick weeknight dinner from Martha Stewart’s Fresh Flavor Fast book. It was supposed to take 20 minutes but I’d say it took me 30-40 minutes from start to finish, including making a pan of jasmine rice to serve it over. The steamed eggplant and mushroom mixture reminded me of making green curry, yum!

I enjoyed the peanut ginger sauce – it really gave the dish an interesting and addictive flavor – “it tastes like ginger” (name that movie).*

Here’s a link to the recipe from Ms. Stewart herself. They say to use Japanese eggplants, but I couldn’t find any and didn’t want to visit another store so I found a pack of smallish regular eggplants at Costco and it didn’t seem to ruin the dish. πŸ™‚

*Wishful Thinking, a 90s movie. My only takeaway was the character who develops this new product of ginger-flavored toothpick floss thingies that talk to him “it tastes like ginger” and the like. πŸ™‚ I repeated that for years, and I guess I still do.