Monday, June 11, 2012

Instagram Love and Greek Orzo Salad

I'm completely obsessed with Instagram.  There's never a bad moment to check out exactly what's going on in other people's lives rightthissecond.  Or let people know what you are doing (or eating) right this second.  :)

Most of this food is what I ate this weekend, but here's something I'm loving today- Greek Orzo Salad. This salad is fresh, easy, healthy, and perfectly delicious.  We're on our third batch, and still going strong!

Greek Orzo Salad 

Adapted from Taste of Home

 serves 8

1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
6 tsp olive oil, divided
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup minced fresh kale
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/8 pepper
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
generous 1/2 crumbled feta cheese

Cook orzo according to package directions and drain.  In a serving bowl, toss orzo with 2 tsp oil.   In another bowl, combine the onion, kale, red wine vinegar, oregano, salt, sugar, pepper, and remaining oil; pour over orzo and toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate 2-24 hours.  Just before serving, stir in tomatoes, cucumber, and cheese.

 Have a great start to your week!


Friday, June 8, 2012

TGIF- Shortbread

Both times I made this shortbread, it was for giving away.  First it was for the people at our insurance office, and then it was for a cake walk fundraiser.  And as much as it killed me to give most of it away, my jeans are thanking me big time.  This is serious shortbread- a little goes a long way, but of course it's hard to stop at just a little because it is just that good.  There are only four ingredients, and two steps if you count transferring from the bowl to the pan, but the results are beyond perfect.  And since this is such a basic recipe, you can use the shortbread for anything you want- dipping in ganache, serving under ice cream and berries, or just eating it plain like I did.  But a word to the wise- make sure you make it to share! ;)


1 lb butter, softened to room temperature (this is really important- it has to be completely softened)
4 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.  Transfer to a 9x13 baking pan and prick all over with a fork.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Enjoy your weekend!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I know it's been a while...but things have been busy.  The most exciting piece of news is that I got the job at Silver Cup!  My training will start next week, and I couldn't be more excited.

The shortbread recipe is coming very soon- I promise! Until then, have a great rest of your week. :)


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

When a pound of butter goes into a 9x13 pan, you know the results will be incredible.  I just never imagined they could be this incredible.  Recipe coming soon!

Buying new kitchen stuff, even if it's stuff you need, is exciting!

"Doc Martin" has to be one of the best shows I've watched in a while.  As much as I love food reality shows, this has a little more substance.

A meal you've have a hundred times can still be exactly what you want.

Putting yourself out there can be a good thing- I have an interview for a job tomorrow at my favorite coffee shop, Silver Cup!

I'm really hoping it goes well.  Fingers crossed!


Monday, May 28, 2012

weekends are for...Strawberry Shortcake

Weekends are for eating fun breakfasts.  My dad is the waffle guy here, and he treated us to some awesome waffles this weekend.

Weekends are for riding your bike.

We spent Saturday and Sunday at the house on Samish Island, and that means at least one trip to the coffee shop.  It's an easy trip down and back, just over 24 miles, and we always use my grandpa's never-ending credit at the coffee shop to refuel.  Since we did the ride once each day, I got two coffees out of it- an iced sugar-free hazelnut latte and a regular old latte.  Sometimes I think the best part of the order is the chocolate-covered coffee bean.

Weekends are for reading a good book.  I finally discovered Jodi Picoult, and I am so hooked.  So far I've read Salem Falls and Nineteen Minutes, and right now I'm in Handle with Care.

Weekends are for eating lots of good food.  I made potato salad and strawberry shortcake, since they seemed like good Memorial Day weekend dishes.

Normally for me, if it's not chocolate then it's not dessert.  But this is an outstanding exception to the rule, many thanks to Katie Lee.  Like the recipe says, the cake is more of a sweet biscuit and goes perfectly with sweet strawberries and whipped cream (and vanilla ice cream, who are we kidding).  And I especially love this because it's beautiful and low-maintenance, and so classic and summery.  My grandma used to love strawberry shortcake, and we thought of her while we ate this.  For us, I think it will always be "Didi's dessert".

Strawberry Shortcake

slightly adapted from The Comfort Table 

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 stick butter, chilled and cut into cubes
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Grease an 8-inch round cake pan.  

In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients.  Cut in the butter until it makes a fine meal.  Make a well in the center, and stir in the milk and buttermilk until blended.  Spoon into the cake pan.  Bake until golden brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool slightly.  While the cake is still warm, split it in half horizontally to make two layers.  

Slice however many strawberries you want in half, and stir with a few tablespoons of sugar in a bowl.  Let sit for a while.

Remove the top layer and place some strawberries on the bottom layer.  Replace the top layer, top with whipped cream and remaining strawberries, and serve with additional whipped cream and vanilla ice cream.

And huge thanks to all the men and women who have died serving our country.  It may be cliche, but the honest truth is that freedom is not free.  


Friday, May 25, 2012


Sometimes it's fun to plan elaborate meals, spend massive amounts of time searching the grocery aisles for the perfect ingredients, and work in the kitchen all afternoon and evening to prepare a special, fancy dinner.  Sometimes, it's not so fun.  Thankfully, there are ways to use what's in the fridge and still have a great dinner!  This is a great quick meal that can still be special.  I made it for my parents' 30th anniversary on Wednesday, and they loved it. 

Heat up the oven and heat some pre-cooked chicken sausage.  Heat some olive oil and garlic in a skillet or grill pan.

Chop some bell peppers and onions

and throw them in the pan.

Saute until tender, and add the hot sausage.

Slice a baguette and brush with olive oil.  Sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese and garlic powder, and grind some black pepper on top.  Broil until the cheese it melted (not until the edges are as dark as mine, haha).


And to use up the rest of that baguette...cut it into cubes, toss with olive oil and plenty of garlic powder, and bake.  There are no set temps or times, but just keep an eye on them and you'll get some killer homemade croutons. :)

I started my weekend by getting my second ear piercings and eating a cupcake.  Happy Friday. :)

Enjoy the long weekend!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sunny California- Part 2

I love my brother to death and the first purpose of the trip was to celebrate his four years of hard work, but let's be honest- food can be one of the best parts of a trip.  Here are some (more) of the tasty bites of LA:

My first cannoli! I wasn't sure at first what I thought, but man, am I ever glad to be part of the cannoli world.

Cappuccino muffins for breakfast at my aunt and uncle's one morning.

We stayed at their house every night, and they fed us well!

We had dinner at Bucca di Beppo one night, and I couldn't resist the wild raspberry Italian cream soda. I always forget how good these are- and how easy would they be to make at home?

After the graduation on Sunday we went out to lunch with my brother and his girlfriend and her mom.  It was the first time I'd eaten at a Thai restaurant and not done family style, but that was totally fine.  It meant I got to eat every bite of my veggie curry with tofu myself. :)

So it was a great trip.  It's been raining steadily since we got back to Seattle, which is no surprise...and I'm not complaining since it gives me an excuse to try the $17 hot chocolate I had to buy at Sur la Table. :)

Life has pretty much returned to normal.  I eased back into the school routine by going to Silver Cup for lunch yesterday.  Latte and a cappuccino chip muffin.

Then it was the tennis banquet, which was fun.  And there were a few nice surprises there- I won the Best Sportsmanship and Most Inspirational awards!

It was also my parent's 30th anniversary yesterday!!  I made dinner, something easy and totally fast and delicious.  Coming soon. :)

Hope your week is going well!