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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. 😉

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. 🙂

*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. 🙂 I repeated that for years, and I guess I still do.

26 May

Made it: Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna from Everyday Food magazine

Here's the simple, yet beautiful masterpiece produced by Martha's minions

While I’d love to be posting fresh summer dishes, it has been RAINING non-stop in Portland this week so hardy winter fare is sounding a bit more comforting. 🙂

Here’s a really great vegetarian lasagna from Everyday Foods (Dec 2009 issue). The lasagna features a homemade sauce and layers of roasted squash, wilted spinach and a mixture of ricotta, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Start to finish it takes about 2 hours so it’s best for a weekend meal!

For me the best part was the squash, spinach and sauce so you could probably turn this into a super-healthy vegan recipe by replacing the cheese mixture with tofu and substituting the regular noodles for whole wheat lasagna noodles.

First you toss the tomatoes with olive oil, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. Then you roast them for 40 minutes. (Notice how sad and pale these tomatoes look. I can’t wait to make this again with fresh garden tomatoes.)

Roast the tomatoesThen you toss the butternut squash slices with oil, salt and pepper and roast them for 20 minutes.

Roasting the squashAfter sauteing the garlic, you add the spinach and cook until it is wilted… about 4 minutes… and then chop it up a bit.

Wilting the spinachHere are the roasted tomatoes before they are pureed into sauce.Roasted tomatoes

And the finished sauce. …let the layers commence.

Fresh tomato sauceTa-da — thank you Martha Stewart. Here’s my sloppy and slightly out of focus (but just as tasty!) finished product. I would definitely make this again and if I was short on time I’d use sauce from a jar, which would really cut down on the prep time.

Comma Happy's Lasagna

19 May
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Made it: Potato and Zucchini Hash

Potato and Zucchini Hash - Martha Stewart Everyday FoodBreakfast for dinner! The May issue of Everyday Food is great. I usually get just one or two “keepers” from an issue but this one has a ton of really good dinners.* The time spent to deliciousness ratio is just right.

The Potato and Zucchini Hash recipe didn’t scream new and exciting but the zucchini adds a fresh flavor and it was fun learning how to make the perfect sunny side up egg.

*I just looked at the cover and it promises “40 dishes in 30 minutes or less” … ah ha! I knew there was a reason I was liking it!

10 Things Loved in April

Here’s my ode to Domino magazine’s “10 things that make me happy” lists (and the many other bloggers who have created “things loved” lists). Maybe it’s just spring, but for some reason half the things on my list this month have something to do with flowers.

liberty of london for target sixty watering canAnn Taylor Loft Beaded Flower Appliqué Tee

1. Carnations
They get no respect, but I love their simplicity and persistent nature! I’d say they’re totally making a comeback. No more filler flower stereotypes.

2. Liberty of London for Target
As a bit of pre-gardening inspiration, I purchased almost everything in the Sixty print. Seriously.

3. Art-inspired Collectible Tees
I’ve been eyeing these shirts from Ann Taylor Loft for the past couple of months and finally scooped up three during a 40% off sale. I love dressy t-shirts, and the fact that they’re all a little bit different (neck lines, fabrics and applique, trim, beading details) means you can get more than one.

wii fit plusGingher Scissors Roberta 5 inchHaagen Dazs Five Ice Cream - Passion Fruit

4. Wii Fit Plus
I’m a little late to the game with the Wii Fit and balance board, but I love the fun games and it doesn’t hurt to have a little yoga and strength training for a gym workout supplement. If only it would stop telling me I’m 37!

5. Powell’s Books Home & Garden Store
Our favorite place to hang out on Hawthorne before movies at the Bagdad. Awesome gifts and outdoor/gardening ideas.

6. Gingher Designer Scissors in Roberta Print
Any quilter would call me out as an impostor and I don’t sew enough to be worthy of these adorable scissors. However, the cuteness will make my occasional sewing/craft project uber-special.

7. Häagen-Dazs Five Ice Cream – Passion Fruit
OMG! Light and sweet with just the right amount of tartness, this tastes more like gelato than ice cream… it’s a close runner-up to the passion fruit gelato at Ono Gelato in Hawaii.

Cabins at Stub Stewart State ParkTaqueria Los GorditosCole Haan Petra Boot

8. A mountain cabin getaway
The cabins at L.L. Stub Stewart State Park are a must-do spring activity. It’s still too cold to tent camp (in my opinion), but perfect for a cozy weekend getaway… crisp mountain air, a sprinkling of rain, s’mores, a cozy cabin… plus a 10+ mile bike ride on the Banks Vernonia trail (a rails to trails project complete with some killer trestles you can pedal across).

9. Soyrizo Burrito from Taqueria Los Gorditos
My favorite thing at this taco cart is the veggie (not vegan – I need sour cream) soyrizo burrito. Thankfully all the fame and attention hasn’t gone to their head. It’s also a fun place to people watch while you wait…and there’s a fair share of the “I’m so cool, I stopped showering/shaving/changing my clothes months ago” variety.

10. Cole Haan “Petra” Boot
I’ve been searching for the perfect flat boot in brown leather for a few years. Yes, years. And I finally found it. This one has Nike Air to boot (haha, get it?). And for $100 at Nordstrom Rack, they were a total steal.

Maybe it’s spring but for some reason half the things on my loved list have something to do with flowers. 🙂