Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Goode Got Married!

We headed back to Idaho this weekend for our friend’s beautiful wedding.  Here’s a quick recap.

Reunion of the roommates:



Some great toasts…


A little pre-cake cutting rug cutting. Is this a tradition I don’t know about???




Saturday, July 11, 2009

Spicy Vegan Potato Curry

I made another delicious meal tonight.  I think I’m on a roll this week!

This is the Spicy Vegan Potato Curry from Allrecipes.com, with some modifications, of course.  The recipe calls for garam masala and cayenne pepper.  I had neither, so I left the garam masala out completely, and substituted a sprinkle of chili powder for the cayenne pepper.  I added half each of a chopped zucchini, chopped summer squash, and chopped red pepper and I completely left out the can of peas the recipes calls for.  I served mine over wilted spinach and served Joel’s over brown rice. 


I thought it was delicious, but could use a little spice (maybe the garam masala would do the trick – if I knew what that was :-) ).  Joel thought it was good, but need an animal added….so maybe next time I’ll add chicken. 


bathroom projects

we FINALLY finished our big bathroom project….and started on our next bathroom project.  what a productive weekend.

here is the final (well – almost – we still need to add trim around the floor, but we are waiting until we finish the wood floors for that) project.  i wish i had before pictures – but i guess since joel basically built this bathroom from scratch, before pictures aren’t necessary. 

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and here is the before and a few “during” pictures of our second bathroom project (at one point the entire bathroom was yellow – so I guess it isn’t a true before picture, but oh well)


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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi

Another delicious recipe from one of my favorite magazines!


Cook 2 servings of angel hair pasta, once cooked mix in a handful (1/8 c?) chopped fresh cilantro.  Melt 1TB margarine or butter and saute shrimp (I used about 1.5 c of pre-cooked shrimp that were about 1.5 inches long).  Once shrimp are cooked through, put them in a separate bowl and add 2 (heaping) teaspoons to the butter.  Cook for about 1 minute and add 2.5 TB lemon juice and about 1/4 c ground pepper.  Add back shrimp and saute together for another minute or so.  Once combined, pour over pasta and mix together. 


(Recipe modified from the March 2009 Cooking Light Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi recipe)

I’m SOOO Old.

Yesterday was my birthday.  I turned 25. I am now officially old.

Joel made me a rum cake.  I might have micro-managed the process.  But the birthday girl can’t make her own cake, right?


We went out to dinner at Duke’s…and used my coupon for a free entre since I am a proud member of the Duke’s birthday club.  Joel and I split the entre – and each got their delicious clam chowder (although I still believe Salty’s clam chowder is better than Duke’s…but have you ever noticed that just about every place you eat chowder advertises it as award winning???).


We didn’t have birthday candles…so Joel lit the cake with normal candles. I got all but one out…I blame it on the glass holder.


It was a great birthday – although I’m still not excited to be old.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Mexico Recap (part 1 of ???)

Day 1:

We got an upgrade to FIRST CLASS….which means free drinks (but first thing in the morning doesn’t sound too great) and use of a DigEPlayer.  I watched Bride Wars (Joel is so glad I watched it on the plane so he didn’t have to watch with me) and Taken (a GREAT movie!)

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We checked in to the Hilton in Cancun and grabbed a quick dinner at the Italian restaurant on the resort (where we happened to be the only customers…a trend throughout our trip).  We then headed out to the pool where we happened to run into our flight crew.  They had had quite a bit to drink already – especially the first class flight attendant – and they kept giving poor Joel a hard time for only drinking apple juice on our flight down to Mexico.  They also informed us that Michael Jackson had passed away (announced around the time we landed in Cancun) and the first class flight attendant invited us to her Michael Jackson memorial party (they were a Seattle based crew).


Day 2:

We caught a bus to Walmart (sorry Christy!) to buy drinking water.  Joel carried our 4 gallon jug back to the hotel (via the bus).  (anyone headed to cancun – we caught the R-2 bus from the hotel zone for 7.5 pesos per person).  After spending some time in the ocean and at the pool that afternoon we headed to Casa Maguey for delicious (but pricey) Mexican food and had a mariachi band sing to us.  After our very pricey meal, we headed into the attached mall and grabbed dessert at Burger King (yes – Burger King. in Mexico…). 


Day 3:

Pictures to come later – there are A LOT!!

We picked up a rental car and drove to Chichen Itza for the day.  It was about a 2.5 hour drive there and was worth every minute of it.  It was AMAZING!  We paid an English speaking guide about $30 for about an hour and a half tour – which was also worth it.  I think we got so much more out of ruins since the guide was able to show us so much – and explain a lot of the history and details.  About 3 years ago they stopped allowing people to climb the Chichen Itza ruins – so we were hoping to stop at the Ek Balam ruins on our way back to Cancun, because you can climb on those towers, but the site was closed by the time we got through.  We did drive through the Mayan village by those ruins and the simplicity of the town is beyond words. 

Day 4:

Another pool/beach day.  For dinner we headed into Cancun and after getting off the bus we found ourselves in the middle of a political rally (elections in Mexico were July 4th and 5th).  We found our way to a row of restaurants – and people from each restaurant were trying to make deals with us (free drinks, free chips, etc).  We finally picked a restaurant – and again were the only customers there!

Day 5:

After packing we caught a bus to the bus station in Cancun to catch a different bus to Playa del Carmen (ADO bus terminal – bus from cancun to playa was 38 pesos each).

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Once in Playa we caught a ferry to Cozumel.  Joel hauled all of our luggage around from place to place.



Grabbed lunch at El Abuelo.


Found an internet cafe (1 hour of internet for 10 pesos!), and found a place to rent a car. 

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After checking into our resort, going for a quick snorkel, we made our way back into Cozumel for dinner (where again – we were given deals by all the restaurants and found ourselves as the only customers at the restaurant we picked)


More of the trip to come later!!

organizing. the spice drawer.

i finally got around to organizing my spice drawer.  this is a project i’ve wanted to take on for awhile – but even though it was really simple (15 minutes MAX!), it had previously seemed overwhelming to me.  i had all sorts of bags of spices and herbs – some labeled, some not….some commonly used, some never touched.  and for some reason in my mind – i wanted all my spices in matching jars.

I finally bit the bullet – I threw out my unlabeled (un-identifiable) spices, threw out some of the really old stuff, and came up with a new approach.  i’ve decided the best approach to take with spices is to only keep jars of spices/herbs that I use frequently.  when I come across a spice or an herb in a recipe that I don’t have – I’ll buy a small amount of that spice from a bulk bin (at winco or fred meyer) specifically for that meal.]

I wiped down all my spice jars with a water/white vinegar mix and added freshly printed labels to my glass jars, and lined them all up in the drawer.  there is still some space for some new jars (and I’d like to combine my 3 jars of sea salt into one bigger jar), but I think it looks pretty good for now! there is even space at the back for overflow of common spices and to stash my one time use spices.


does anyone have a good list of spices they recommend to keep on hand?

birthday breakfast!

joel made me a wonderful (square!) waffle for my birthday breakfast.  of course i had to get a picture!

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dinner. Delicious.

We’re BAAAAAAAACKKKKK!!! Okay – that sounded a little too excited because I’m pretty sad that our trip is over.  We had such a great time in Mexico – I’ll re-cap in a later post. 

For now – here is the great dinner I made tonight (a modified version of the “Stir-Fried Beef with Broccoli and Bell Peppers” from the July 2009 Cooking Light.)


Combine about 2 TB soy sauce, 1/2 TB garlic, and 1/2 tsp ground black pepper and marinated about 1/4 lb cubed steak in the mixture for approx. 1/2 hour.  Saute in olive oil until browned.  Transfer beef to a bowl.  Saute about 1 cup broccoli in olive oil about 3 minutes, add about 1/2 c red pepper (thinly sliced, each piece about 1 inch long) and saute for another minute.  Add meat back to skillet and mix thoroughly.  Serve on top of brown rice.