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12 Jul
2010

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.

5 Jul
2010

Summer has arrived

summer orange dayliliesThe color of these daylilies is so yum… reminds me of orange sherbet, make that gelato. Welcome to Oregon, summer; we’re glad you stopped by.

2 Jul
2010

#26: Take a day or two off work just because – 30 before 30 list

This may have been the first time EVER that I’ve taken time off work without going on vacation or hanging out with Comma Mister. Time off. By myself. With nothing to do. I wasn’t prepared!

The first day I acted like my OCD self and cleaned the entire house, created photo books I’ve been procrastinating on, weeded the garden and cooked a big dinner. I was beginning to wonder what stay at home wives do (those without children, that is)! Then I started getting the hang of it… here are some things you can do if you’re not at work:  (I went ahead and tried them all.)

low cost by photolupi

I was tempted to try this during my time off, but the weather wasn't cooperating. (photo by photolupi)

  • Sleep in.
  • Catch up on reading your favorite blogs.
  • Take classes at the gym (no crowds during the day!)
  • Go on coffee dates with friends who don’t work 9 to 5.
  • Play with your new iPhone 4.
  • Have a lunch date with your sweetie.
  • Get a massage.
  • Lay in the backyard with a refreshing drink and a book.
  • Have a sleepover at friend’s house and stay up late!

Thanks to my 30 before 30 project, I learned that time off work (but not on vacation) is essential. Now I totally know what to do with “me time” …plus, I had such a fun time, I plan to incorporate this into my yearly “time off” plan. Call it work-life balance, a mental health day, personal day or whatever, it’s important and I’m there!

26 Jun
2010

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!