Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Spicy Cedar Plank Salmon

Joel surprised me tonight and brought home a whole coho salmon. What can I say – he knows what I like. (a quick side-note - a couple times a year when salmon is in season and the grocery stores have good prices on fresh wild salmon we’ll buy a whole fish to filet out into individual meal sizes, vacuum seal, and freeze for a later date.)

Living in Seattle we have the opportunity (privilege?) of eating delicious fresh seafood all year long. Even with all the seafood we eat, we have pretty simple tastes and normally make things the same way every time.  Steamed clams, steamed crab, shrimp with lemon and garlic, salmon on a cedar plank…while I love to cook, we aren’t about to take risks with our precious seafood. 

Tonight I decided to take a small risk with our salmon and tried a new recipe (of course I wasn’t stepping too far out of the box, because we still grilled it on a cedar plank and one of the main ingredients was brown sugar). It was definitely a risk worth taking – I would highly recommend trying Real Simple’s Cedar Plank Salmon.  Sweet, with a surprise spicy bite – Joel and I agree this recipe is a keeper!  Easy ingredients – thyme, cayenne, brown-sugar and of course salmon, and while the recipe said to grill it for 40 minutes, since we didn’t grill up a full 2 pounds of salmon – we just grilled up 2 portions worth – it only took about 10 minutes of grill time.

I forgot to take my own picture – but here is the Real Simple picture – DELICIOUS!

Cedar-Plank Salmon

Friday, September 16, 2011

Playing Dress-Up

We’ve done a substantial amount of work to the inside of our house, but unfortunately over the past (almost) 5 years that we’ve been in this house we’ve neglected the poor outside.  We did upgrade the paint job, but other than that we’ve let nature take its course..literally…blackberries completely overtook the backyard, in fact, if you only saw the backyard you would have thought that the house had been vacant for twenty years…This summer we’ve been putting a lot of work into the outside of the house. More posts will come, but we rebuilt the backyard fence, pulled out all of the blackberry bushes, created a little patio off the side of the driveway (okay, really more of a parking spot for the bbq), and laid down some bark. 

The outside is definitely coming together, and is leaps and bounds better looking than it was 4 months again, but really still needs some help. 

Here it is now…well almost now – a couple weekends ago we replaced the window on the left, but I’ll post about that later.


I’ve been playing a little photoshop dress-up tonight.

Cedar shingles on the upper front triangle of the house


Re-roofing (our current roof is nearing the end of its life) in a darker shade


and now for the chimney…stucco


or maybe some faux river rock…ooo…pretty….


I’m not sure we’re digging the cedar shingles, but I do think the front face of the house needs something to add a little personality…any ideas?



Tuesday, August 30, 2011

San Diego Zoo

We’re getting ready to head down to San Diego for a fun weekend getaway this fall…I just stumbled across this picture from the San Diego zoo and now I just can’t wait!


Thank you TripAdvisor for the awesome pictures!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer Reading

I’m managed to do a lot of reading so far this spring/summer (thank you rainy Seattle summer!)

Here are some books that have make it onto my nook…a big thank you to the Seattle Public Library – I haven’t had to buy a single book!

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Google Image Result for If I Stay (9780142415436): Gayle Forman: Books Juno's Daughters: A Novel (9780452296732): Lise Saffran: Books

Monday, July 25, 2011

finishing off the fireplace

You may remember that our fireplace originally looked like this:fireplace before

and then for awhile it looked like this…


We decided we wanted to have a simple mantel, something that was modern, finished looking, and pulled the place together.  simple – nothing fancy.  I’m not sure why it took us so long to put it together, because it really was a simple project…although it did take 2 tries to get it right.

take 1: we attached the trim first, then primed and painted, then put caulking on it to smooth out some of the dents and knots, and then tried sanding it back down to paint again.  needless to say, this wasn’t the best approach – and luckily our supplies were cheap because into our scrap pile they went.  our caulk was old and never dried, sanding after priming was a major fail, and trying to do anything on the uneven surface from attaching the trim first was just hopeless.




take 2:  no pictures this time – I just wanted to get the thing finished.  this time we did it in the right order. 

  • step 1: sand
  • step 2: prime
  • step 3: paint
  • step 4: attach the trim
  • step 5: paint the trim
  • step 6: attach directly to the brick using liquid nails!

and it is FINISHED!


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Our Home: Now (July 2011)

So I finally got around to taking some “after” shots of the house so you can see the progress we’ve made since moving in. The word “after” should be taken lightly because clearly there is still some work to be done (like finishing the mantle…a project I’m working on right now and will hopefully share the finished product soon). Okay – I admit it – the house was only clean enough to take pictures of because we had people over last night.  I think we should have people over more often just so we are forced to keep the house clean!

Living Room: View from the front door before…

livingroom2 10-6-06

and AFTER!


view from the hallway into the living room before:

livingroom 10-6-06



another after (without the mantle) of the living room – this poor picture doesn’t have a matching before, but it will survive.  oh..and yes, it is July, and yes, we have a Christmas tree.  that’s how we roll.


view from the living room into the dining room before:


and now!


view from the kitchen into the dining room before:


and now:


master bedroom then:

masterbedroom 10-6-06

masterbedroom2 10-6-06

and now:


and I don’t have a before picture of the master bathroom, but here it is now:


Guest Bedroom then:

guestbedroom 10-6-06



and the office:

office 10-6-06



bathroom 1:





Clearly decorating (and adding some COLOR!!!) needs to be a priority, but I think it is so much better than before!!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Seattle Rock’n’Roll

Today I completed my first half marathon!  Besides a little charley horse in my calf right after the 2nd mile, everything went well.  I was really nervous because I wasn’t very good about getting in my training runs (eek!) but I FINISHED and I did it averaging 12 minute miles – which, all things considered, I’m very pleased with it!

Here’s the starting line at 5:45 am…nothing like being early  Smile


My corral right around starting time…can’t even really see the starting line!


and we’re getting close!


and closer! let’s get this show started!




Yeah!!! I’m a finisher!