Whoa guys. Today is our 1 Year Anniversary!I could write a couple of really mushy paragraphs here (hey, it’s been done before) but instead I’ll just bombard you with a ton of makeout photos. Not our fault. I swear our photographer made us do it. I like these photos. Jordan is probably off in a corner somewhere being really embarrassed. Happy Anniversary you sexy beast!!!I have a lot of opinions I could share about marriage and wedding planning (oh wait, doesn’t everyone?) but instead I am going to enjoy our anniversary trip, which you will probably hear all about later! I Love You, Jordan Cash…makeout pics and all. Life isn’t always easy, but Thank God I have you by my side every step of the way. Until next year…All images by JKoe Photo.
We started off this July HOT – 99 degrees. This calls for my favorite summer wine (seriously, I could drink it all year) Rose!This was the Rose we served at our wedding. When I found it I instantly loved it (and the price point). It was perfect for our wedding. However, I *accidentally* bought too many bottles, so we had a few cases leftover after the wedding…Hence why I’m still drinking it almost a year later. It is seriously my fave, and it brings back great memories, even though I didn’t drink it on the actual big day (I was more worried about the bartenders making our Cherry Limeades correctly).
But hot days lead to warm nights…And then of course there is the 4th of July, which, sorry everyone…is my least favorite holiday. Of course I like BBQing and the festive and patriotic food, but nothing has ever trumped my memories of it as a kid. There have been too many years now where it lands on a Wednesday and you just have to go to work the next day. Or you don’t want to travel because it’s crazy out there during the 4th. The woes of being a full time adult, right? However…this year it was on a Friday and on the 5th we went on a little excursion…To the Alpine Slides on Mt. Hood! The amazing Erin was visiting us and we took her up for a little adventure. If you have never been, Alpine Slides are fun, fast, and DANGEROUS! Well, only if you get a clear shot all the way down. You can get stuck behind a line of people going slow. But sometimes that is for the best, considering the fact Jordan wiped out. The giant scabs are still all over his body to prove it…There is an entire Adventure Park up at Mt. Hood. With go karts, ziplining, mini golf and tons of other stuff to do besides Alpine Slide. We chose not to go in the giant blow up hamster balls on such a hot day…On our way back we had to drive through Hood River, for another epic stop at The Gorge White House. It’s kind of like a very small scale adult Disneyland – Wine, beer, AND cider tasting. A gourmet food truck on site, berry picking, flower picking, and a market all await you. Plus this tractor, and I love Erin:Usually when we are heading back home through Hood River we are too wiped out to stop at all of the wineries and breweries around that the town has to offer, so The Gorge White House is the perfect one-shop stop. However, we did make it to a packed Double Mountain Brewery:After this we almost gave up. But we decided we had to hit one more stop before going home, the East Wind Drive Inn in Cascade Locks. (Keep in my Jordan was extremely worried about his open and gaping wounds from the alpine slide).If you have read Wild you know exactly where this place is. They have giant ice cream cones that make many people happy everyday…Wait in line, you know you want these ice cream cones!
The rest of the month was pretty relaxing and your standard summer. This is good, because August and September are going to be madness! Below we have a farmer’s Market Bounty…Heck yeah.And OBVIOUSLY 7/11 Slurpee day! We didn’t go on July 11th because that shit was crazy, so instead we bought these cheesy “mason jar” slurpee cups and mustache straws…Because we are suckers for any gimmicky promotional item. These will come in handy later, trust me.
Clyde Common for Brunch. Let’s just say I can’t wait to go back here for dinner.
THE CUTEST! Otto loves swimming, but what he loves most is bobbing for those torpedos that you throw in the water. Shallow end only, of course. But watching him dunk his head into the water to get them is one of the greatest things on earth.
Other than that, I’m trying to savor the summer and be outdoors as much as I can. Running in early mornings before it gets too hot, and more than anything lap swimming at the local Outdoor Pool. An outdoor pool where I can work out but not have to worry about the drama of my next swim meet is truly a happy place for me.That’s about it for July. Let’s hope I get some more posts in before August rolls around…
I’m going to *try* to start doing a few more life-ish posts, because hey, it’s all about the self-documenting these days. However, I *hate* selfies, so there won’t be too many of those in these self-documenting posts.
Here are highlights from the month of June:
Sunset Picnic with my boys. Otto’s tongue is insanely amazing in this pic. The view aint bad either. I am thankful for the area we live in, even if it’s a little far into the boonies for me.
We saw Michael Ian Black, and it was amazing, obviously. However, there is a side story about how I decided I wanted to sit down in an empty chair, and then maybe kind of fell asleep there at the end? It’s a never-ending problem in my life. My friends all know about this issue, however they don’t really understand why (including the husband). I don’t get it either. But I find myself wide awake in the wee hours of the morning.
One of our neighbors has BEAUTIFUL roses in their garden. And I have started taking pictures…They probably have seen me and think I’m weird. Sorry…
We went for it and purchased McMenamins Passports. They look like real passports, and you get a stamp for every McMenamins you visit throughout Washington and Oregon. Once you hit all of the locations in a region, you get a prize like a free appetizer, burger, growler, tshirt, etc…McMenamins also has beer flights, wine flights, and liquor flights, which come to your table all at once and make you feel like a total lush…
We went to Apizza Scholls. I have heard about this place many times over the years, and we finally got to go! It was amazing, some of the best pizza I have ever had, outside of Italy. Try to get there when they open at 5, or else you are in for a long wait.
Firepit Time! One of the best life decisions you can ever make it having a firepit in your yard, or knowing someone who does. The biggest cons are getting sick of smores (yes, it’s possible) and smelling like a smoky campfire all summer (things could be worse).
Firepit time also includes your friends and their adorable kids, and also tiny green spiders.
Seeing the I5 bridge go up between WA and OR. I really didn’t think traffic would be as bad in Portland as it was when we lived in Seattle. Dear Lord…I was wrong. Being caught between two states is weird. More weird than I ever remembered. There are the Pros…and the Cons. It’s hard to even get into it. I don’t know if I can quite make the leap over the river, if any Oregon residents want to start convincing me, go for it!
Girls Weekend | San Francisco
I ended June with a girls weekend in San Francisco for a joint Bachelorette party. We wine tasted in Napa, went out, walked around the city and had a great time.
Obligatory #pdxcarpet photo at the Portland Airport…
Tasting some bubbles at Domaine Chandon in Napa…
The crew on Lombard (aka Lumbard) street…
Wishing these donuts were real at Fisherman’s Wharf.
Just having the best time with the girls. All in all I would say a pretty good June!
This drink…is clearly a no-brainer. Pretty, summery, unique, a tad different than your standard margarita, uh…sold!
I must admit, Sunset Margaritas > Tequila Sunrises. Although I haven’t really had many Tequila Sunrises in my life. Because A.) I have never been awesome enough to want tequila with my sunrise 2.) There always seems to be a better drink on the menu, and D.) My parents generation drank a lot of these, no knock on that, but let’s just say GRENADINE, and lots of it.
Here, we use pomegranate juice instead of grenadine (we are so hipster and snotty these days, aren’t we?) and throw in some triple sec (Grand Marnier, if we are still keeping things really snooty) and there you have it, the tequila sunrise is now a more relaxed sunset.
Now, the only problem is I kind of want to have a tequila sunrise at 6AM…Mexico vacay, anyone?
adapted from Sunset
- 1/3 cup each tequila and triple sec
- 3-4 tablespoons orange juice
- 2-3 tablespoons lime juice
- 4 tablespoons pomegranate juice
- 2 twists fresh lime peel (optional)
- Pour in tequila, triple sec, orange juice, and lime juice in a pitcher. Stir well and divide between two cocktail glasses filled with ice. Using the back of a large spoon, carefully pour about 2 tbsp. pomegranate juice down the inner side of each glass. Feel free to garnish each with fresh lime peel, crushed slightly just before adding.
For our 5 year (half decade!) anniversary, Jordan and I had the privilege of going to Canlis in Seattle. If you watched Top Chef Seattle, or know anything about the Seattle dining scene, you know Canlis is the place to go.
When you step into Canlis, you are stepping into a piece of Seattle history that the Canlis brothers continue to build on everyday. The staff provides impeccable service and you truly feel special when you are there. Jordan and I were a little giddy and nerdy the whole time because we were so excited to be there, and the staff still handled all of our random questions without a blink!
We opted to go the route of “Classic Canlis,” ordering a few original menu items from the 1950’s. The Canlis salad was one of them, and it did not disappoint! (Recipe from the Canlis website at the end of this entry).
We ordered a few contemporary items as well, such as the Hamachi Sashimi above which was the best sashimi I have ever had.
We also tried a Wagyu Steak for the first time and were not disappointed.
Jordan and I have vowed to try the tasting menu next time we go to Canlis (I am already trying to find an excuse to return) since we got our “classic” experience in.
I have to say, the experience was so special and fun that I got a little emotional a few times. The first was when Jordan nonchalantly busted out a small Tiffany bag with a necklace, and the second when the staff brought out our desserts…
I can only imagine the other things that are done on a daily basis for special occasions at Canlis. If you have something special coming up, I couldn’t recommend a stop at Seattle’s most iconic restaurant.
2576 AURORA AVENUE NORTH
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON 98109
I saw this recipe for candied citrus peel last year in Sunset magazine and REALLY wanted to make it…but just never found the time. I guess it was one of “those” holiday seasons. This year, I find myself looking for work in a new city, cooking and baking a lot when I’ve become overloaded with job applications. Ok, it doesn’t take me that much to get overloaded with that…But I don’t have the cash for extravagant gifts this year, so instead I am going the homemade route…
Candied Citrus Peel! It’s super easy to make, a little labor intensive, and definitely a process that takes time. Kind of like homemade Limoncello, but you just have to wait a day or so for your peels to be ready instead of weeks! The result here is SUPER worth it, I must say. It’s like candy you don’t even feel guilty about eating, because A.) You made it B.) We are eating citrus peels, how weird and healthy and fibrous must that be? and C.) It’s totally natural, and tastes so pure and wonderful compared to those citrus gummies you get at the store.
And can we talk about how they are so great by themselves, but they have so many other uses? You can dip half of the peels in chocolate if you really want to go crazy, you can put them in cocktail (like your homemade limoncello), you end up with leftover simple syrup for pancakes or cocktails…And just you wait for the cocktail I am going to show you later using all of the leftover juice from the oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits…
Admittedly, I was a bit nervous that these weren’t going to be worth the time and labor, but holy crap I will make these year after year they are so good. They have been a huge hit with everyone who has tried them!
Candied Citrus Peel
adapted from Sunset Magazine
makes about 4 1/2 cups
- 3 grapefruits
- 3 limes
- 3 lemons
- 3 oranges (we actually used mandarins because it was what we had on hand)
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups sugar, plus extra for rolling/dusting
- Score grapefruit, oranges, lemons and limes through peel from top to bottom in sections (don’t cut into fruit.) Pull off strips of peel with your fingers. Slide a small, sharp knife along inside of peels to remove excess membrane so peels are about 1/4 in. thick. Cut peels lengthwise into strips about 1/2 in. wide in center and tapered on ends.
- Put peels in a pot and add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, then drain. Repeat twice more. Don’t skip this step, it helps remove the bitterness from your peels.
- Refill pan with 4 cups water and 4 cups sugar; bring to a boil, making sure that sugar dissolves. Add peels and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until peels turn translucent and syrup begins to form bigger bubbles, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Drain peels, saving syrup for other uses (such as topping for pancakes or simple syrup for cocktails) if you like. Spread peels on a nonreactive cooling rack set on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Let peels dry overnight.
- Put about 1 cup sugar in a bowl and toss peels in sugar by the handful, shaking off excess. Put peels on a clean baking sheet and let them dry 1 more day.
Make ahead: Up to 3 months, chilled airtight.
A classy punch recipe can be hard to find. I cringe just a little bit every time I see a punch recipe with a gallon of sherbet in it. Just…why would you do that? Luckily, the good people over at Bon Appétit know making a cocktail in bulk is awesome around the holidays, and this drink was a great addition to our Thanksgiving menu.
Although the drink was great with dark rum, I just had to try it with bourbon since that’s the universally preferred dark liquor of choice in our family…and it was even better! (According to us).
One of the greatest things about this drink is you can make the simple syrup way in advance, and mix the drink in a pitcher or punch bowl before everyone arrives. The recipe can easily be doubled for a larger crowd. It’s also great served warm. Leave out the club soda if you aren’t into getting fizzy with it. Geez, can we get any more versatile with this drink?!?
The New England Express
adapted from Bon Appétit
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup water
- 8 sprigs thyme
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1½ cups dark rum or bourbon
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon Angostura bitters
- Club soda
- 8 sprigs thyme
- 8 lime slices
Bring sugar and ⅓ cup water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat, add thyme sprigs, and cover. Let stand 10 minutes, then strain into a small jar. Let cool.
DO AHEAD: Syrup can be made 1 month ahead. Cover and chill.
Mix thyme syrup, cider, rum, lime juice, and bitters in a pitcher. Divide among rocks glasses filled with ice; top off with club soda. Garnish with thyme sprigs and lime slices.
DO AHEAD: Thyme syrup, cider, rum, lime juice, and bitters can be mixed 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.
There are so many stuffed mushroom recipes out there it was hard to pick one for our Thanksgiving appetizers! I thought this recipe from Ina Garten was the closest to the other stuffed mushroom recipes I have tried that I enjoyed so much. Getting a good picture of your food on Thanksgiving Day, well, that’s a different story…
Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
adapted from Ina Garten
makes 25 mushrooms
25 extra-large white mushrooms
5 tablespoons good olive oil, divided
2 1/2 tablespoons Marsala wine, medium sherry, or white wine
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
6 scallions, white and green parts, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup panko or bread crumbs
5 – 6 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Remove the stems from the mushrooms and chop them finely. Set aside. Place the mushroom caps in a shallow bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and Marsala (or sherry or wine). Set aside.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage, crumbling it with the back of a wooden spoon. Cook the sausage for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until it’s completely browned. Add the chopped mushroom stems and cook for 3 more minutes. Stir in the scallions and garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the panko crumbs, stirring to combine evenly with all the other ingredients. Finally, swirl in the mascarpone and continue cooking until the mascarpone has melted and made the sausage mixture creamy. Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan, parsley, and season with salt and pepper, to taste, Cool slightly.
Fill each mushroom generously with the sausage mixture. If you are finding not very much stuffing is fitting into your mushroom, you may want to take a melon baller or similar kitchen tool to hollow out the mushrooms more. Arrange the mushrooms in a baking dish large enough to hold all the mushrooms in a snug single layer. Add another dusting of parmesan cheese on top, if you wish. Bake for about 50 minutes, until the stuffing is browned and crusty.
NOTE: You may have some leftover stuffing, I know I did! You can save the stuffing and make an instantly delicious egg scramble the next morning. Bonus!
This is a much belated post – I have finally recovered some photos from my Bridal Shower! My two aunts and cousin in-law threw me the most incredible Bridal Shower on Saturday, May 18th. Everything was beautiful, delicious, and perfect. I am so thankful and will never forget what a fun and whirlwind day it was.A huge Thank-you as well to my mom who made these incredible wedding sugar cookies, and to Annica, my Maid of Honor, who made her mom’s famous Chicken Salad recipe (I’m hoping to share the recipe up here soon)! Continue reading
Here’s a #throwbackthursday for you: Homemade Limoncello! We made Limoncello as a favor for our guests at our Italian-Inspired Rehearsal Dinner in August. All photos above are from the wonderful and talented Jesse Amorratanasuchad, who did our Wedding Videography and Rehearsal Dinner Photography. You can find his website over here.
Below are a few shots I took from the Limoncello making process. Making Limoncello is not for the impatient!
I never really saw myself making any sort of homemade booze. Ever. Drinking it, YES! Making it, waiting for it to be ready, taking care of it…No.
At this point, I have no memory of whose idea it was to make homemade Limoncello for our rehearsal dinner favors. I mean, are you even supposed to have favors at your rehearsal dinner?!? I guess it was different, perhaps we got a little too into the whole “We both studied abroad in Italy, our rehearsal dinner MUST BE AUTHENTIC ITALIAN” theme…But hey, homemade Limoncello is an experience. The excessive amount of lemons, small bottles, and love that went into the production of these boozy little gifts was something to be proud of.
Notes: We bought our bottles from Wholesale Glass Bottles and Jordan designed the little print-at-home stickers that went on the bottles. We still have a few bottles left…and the Limoncello is still good to go even though we made it many months ago. If you are looking for a fun and boozy project, Limoncello is a great gift for people around the holidays!
I think we tripled the recipe below, but we had about 75 people at our rehearsal dinner! (lots of out of town family…) At some point, the math got lost on me and I made Jordan figure out all conversions…So either stick with the recipe below, or I will hope you are good at math!
adapted from the Cooking Channel
Makes about 1.75 liters or 2 quarts
- 7 ripe lemons, thoroughly washed and dried
- 4 1/4 cups 100 PROOF Vodka (high proof vodka is a must, if you are brave, use everclear)
- 4 1/4 cups water
- 1 pound sugar
Boil the water. Remove from heat and add the sugar. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved, and let cool.
Drain the 12-day old alcohol and discard the lemon rinds. Add the alcohol to the sugared water. Set aside for an additional 10 days in a sterilized sealed glass bottle.
After 10 days, the limoncello is ready. These are the ways we suggested to serve it to our guests: