Fall

Sorry for the absence, again. It’s hard to keep up with this, especially when the last thing I feel like doing at the end of the day is writing/typing my thoughts and sharing what I’ve done.

Here are some photos of my most recent endeavors. No recipes… I need to start writing them down again! Maybe with the rainy season upon us now, I’ll feel like staying inside and being more domestic 🙂

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home sweet home

Hello! We’ve been settling in for about a week now and trying to get back into a routine with work and such. I’ve been off in lala land all week, dreaming about how I want to decorate my home someday and looking for inspiration.

I’m also really missing Indiana right now, as is usually the case right after I return from a visit. Of course, I also miss Kauai 🙂 But Seattle is cool too. I’m looking forward to returning to the Midwest in the next few years, even though I’ll miss many things about this place.

Stay tuned for a post about my NEW KITCHENAID MIXER! She’s a beauty, and I am going to use her for the first time tomorrow. I’m super stoked. For now, some inspirational photos! Someday, I want my kitchen to look something like any of these below… I’m well on my way with the Fiestaware!

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gettin’ hitched

I apologize for the absence. I have been cooking and baking, and I have many photos as proof of these activities. I’m just too lazy to type it all up. Also I’ve been planning my wedding, with the help of my awesome mother. You see, it’s quite difficult to plan a wedding when you are 2000 miles away from the wedding location. You have to rely on others (my mom) to take care of many important details. This is all going down on Saturday, and then we’ll be relaxing on the beach in Kauai (!!!!!) and running/walking/jogging a half marathon. I had high hopes for this race, as I’ve been training for a while now. I really think I could have gone under 1:40. But alas, I have shin splints and haven’t run in 3 weeks. I don’t want to talk about it any more. Let’s just say I’ll bring along my camera just in case I end up walking. Might as well take some nice photos.

Anyway, I will post some more once we’re settled into married life. It won’t be much different from the current situation, but still… we’ll be married! I am excited to cook and bake with more purpose. I have a lot of Fiestaware to use now 🙂 I am also excited to be Mrs. Beightol, although it will be hard to ditch the Mynsberge. Both are quality surnames.

Well, it’s time for bed. I have to bake almost 100 cookies tomorrow. I love Indiana, but baking cookies when it’s in the 90s with 100% humidity won’t be fun, and will probably take me all day. I really do love this place though. I will always have a special place in my heart for the state I grew up in, no matter how far away I live, and I hope to make it back here for good sooner than later. Sorry Washington, you may be beautiful and your summer weather may be damn near perfect, but you don’t have breaded pork tenderloins, thunderstorms, and most of all, my family and best friends.

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Beef…

Safeway had beef on sale last week. I like eating chicken, but I hate preparing it. Beef, however, does not seem as gross for some reason. Maybe because it’s acceptable to eat raw or undercooked. Anyway, I was on a quest for comfort food, specifically this, another meal that reminds me of childhood. Huge fan, even while I was going through a phase where I despised mushrooms. I’m still not completely sure about them, but they are growing on me again. The smell of sauteed mushrooms permeated the house for several hours after I made dinner, and I have to admit, it was tasty.

The only thing I’ll change for next time is better quality beef. I guess you get what you pay for. We didn’t get sick or anything, but it was a little stringy and tough. Also, I didn’t have egg noodles so just used regular pasta. Definitely not the same, but still good! Any meal that gets Bryan to eat something he’s not used to is a win for me 🙂

 

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Rhu-bars???

I love rhubarb. Next to citrus and strawberries, it’s one of my favorite “fruits” to incorporate into desserts. I’m not sure what it is, really. It reminds me of celery, which I don’t care for, yet I generally see it used as a fruit. Regardless, rhubarb gives me a nostalgic feeling like no other food. I remember my mom making homemade rhubarb pie and I remember myself devouring it right out of the oven. Honestly, I can’t remember not liking rhubarb. It’s just one of those things that I’m pretty sure I fell in love with the first time I tried it. I’m also definitely a purist when it comes to rhubarb. While I certainly wouldn’t turn down a strawberry-rhubarb pie, I prefer my pie sans strawberry. I love strawberries, but I feel that they take away from the unique tart flavor of the rhubarb.

So last weekend was the first time I bought rhubarb this summer, and I’m already craving more 🙂 I wanted to do something a little different from the standard pie that I usually make with it, mostly because I didn’t feel like taking the time to make and roll out pie crust. I had made this recipe last summer, and thought it would be great with rhubarb in place of peaches. I was so right! It was amazing, and I’ll definitely be making it again. I think I’ll add more rhubarb next time (I used 6 or so larger stalks), because I like a lot of fruit in my fruity desserts. However, I need to satisfy my craving for rhubarb pie first 🙂

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One of my faves

I’m not sure where this recipe came from, but my mom started making it a few years ago and I’ve been in love ever since. The copy I have just has page numbers on it, so I apologize for using it without proper referencing 🙂 It’s really quick and easy, as long as I remember to thaw and marinate the chicken beforehand. However, I’ve made it without the marinade, and it tastes just a good, so it’s nice to have a relatively forgiving recipe that can be made in a pinch. Enjoy!

Lime Peanut Ginger Chicken

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp sliced ginger root
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon peel (i used lime)
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2-3 cups sliced mushrooms (i used crimini)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch diluted in 2 tbsp water (i actually have never used this and i feel like the sauce is thick enough, actually a little too thick sometimes)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup sliced green onions

Cut chicken into bite-size pieces and marinate in lime juice for at least 2 hours in refrigerator. Make dressing by chopping garlic, ginger, and peppercorns in food processor or blender until pepper is no longer whole. It will probably be impossible to break up all the peppercorns. Blend in basil, soy sauce, vinegar, honey, water, and grated lemon peel. Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil into the processor or blender and process until smooth. Set dressing aside.

Remove chicken from marinade and saute it in sesame oil and the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil until it turns white. I added the mushrooms once the chicken was cooked, but the recipe has you add them at the end. Add dressing and stir until the chicken is well coated and the sauce is warm. Mix in peanut butter. Add cornstarch mixture to thicken sauce, if desired. Sprinkle green onions on top and serve over rice.

Serves 10

Note the beer in the background. It’s good, you should try it.

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Memorial Day treats

What a lovely weekend here in the Pacific Northwest. I am so thankful and proud to be an American. Sure, our country is far from perfect, but we are free to achieve our dreams here because of the brave men and women who are willing to risk everything to give us that freedom. They deserve more than a day of recognition, and I am trying harder to not take them for granted. It’s easy to forget when you are a civilian, just going about your life, that there is someone fighting and dying for you overseas, and I am so grateful for their sacrifice.

Anyway, we enjoyed this weekend to the fullest, and we still have all day today to relax and play 🙂 Saturday, I made BBQ pulled pork for the first time. I wanted to use our new roasting pan, but after seeing how long it would take in the oven, I decided I needed to plan ahead more to do it that way. I ended up using this recipe on the stove. It was awesome! I made some slight modifications, only because I did not have everything the recipe called for. Instead of tomato paste, I used a can of diced tomatoes, and I used a fresh jalepeno because I forgot to buy pickled ones. Also, my pork butt was about 4.5 lbs, and it took about 3-4 hours. It was probably done after 3, but I didn’t want to take any chances with undercooked pork. I added some Sweet Baby Ray’s to the sauce as it was reducing, which gave it a great bbq flavor.

I served it on a potato bun with some tasty coleslaw, which I made using a bag of coleslaw mix and this homemade sauce:

  • ~1/3 c. mayo
  • ~5 tbsp spicy horseradish mustard (this made all the difference, it was awesome!)
  • apple cider vinegar, just enough to get it to the right consistency
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

These measurements are very arbitrary, I just added a bunch of stuff to a bowl and mixed and added more of some things until I got the taste I wanted. Again, I’m very bad at writing things down, but as long as I know what goes into it, I’ll be able to make it again 🙂

 

Yesterday, we went for a hike with two other couples. We decided to head to the other side of the Cascades, because it was going to be 75 and sunny. We stopped in Leavenworth, a pretty awesome Bavarian-style town, that made me feel like I was in the Alps, and asked around for some good hikes that weren’t covered in snow. Here are some photos

After the hike, we all had some beer and brats, and then got ice cream. Good times.

This morning, I made orange cinnamon rolls. I think this recipe from Annie’s Eats is my new fave. I added orange zest to the dough, and changed the filling a bit by using a combo of brown and white sugar, orange zest, and extra cinnamon, because I love cinnamon. I also made about twice as much filling, because it looked a little sparse when I used the amount in the recipe. I also made an orange cream cheese frosting for the top

Frosting:

  • 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 4 tbsp cream cheese
  • enough orange juice to get the consistency you want

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