Mexican food

Inspiration

One of the things that I liked about doing Sunbasket for a few weeks, besides getting to try new things we wouldn’t normally try, is it inspired us to try some recipes on our own–like we used to do. When we first started dating, we’d get together on the weekends and try new recipes (our favorite cookbook was one of Martha Stewart’s) and we’d try new recipes each week. We’d open a bottle of wine and spend several hours in the kitchen cooking, talking, having fun.

That has obviously changed. Sadly, the leisurely cooking evenings kind of disappeared, especially when we had Logan. Quick dinners were a must. We definitely got into a rut with the same five or six meals and it got boring. So Sunbasket was a nice change.

In the spirit of that, we tried some fun recipes that were really good.

The first was one of the Sunbasket recipes in one of the books we got in our deliveries. It was slightly hard to follow the recipe because there weren’t measurements, but we were able to “wing it” and kind of guess on the amounts of stuff. And it was SO DELICIOUS! It might be one of my favorite meals we’ve had in a long time,

Salmon with Dijon sauce, quinoa, and green beans

The above is the recipe we worked off. Michael cooked the salmon and green beans and I made the dijon sauce (it was so so good!!). I subbed out wild rice instead of the quinoa because it was quick and easy.

Topped everything with the sauce, capers and chopped parsley.ย  Everything was so delicious. I am still thinking about that meal and the sauce was amazing. Like, want-to-lick-the-plate amazing. We will most definitely be making a variation of this recipe again soon!

The next recipe was kind of a “throw everything in the pot” kind of meal, but it turned out great. We had leftover chicken from when Michael smoked it, plus I had to use up the chicken broth and coconut milk from the previous recipe. So…coconut chicken curry soup!

I didn’t follow a recipe so I’ll just give a rough idea of what I did. What’s nice about this soup is that can add whatever veggies or meat you have on hand. Tofu would be great. Broccoli, spinach or kale would be good, too.

Saute in toasted sesame oil:

Diced onion

Diced Shallots

Cubed Sweet Potatoes

Chopped Carrots

Green Beans

Minced Garlic

Add 3 cups of chicken broth, 1 cup water and bring to a boil then reduce heat

Add a can of coconut milk (I used light coconut milk)

Add turmeric, curry powder, pepper and powdered ginger

Add 1 spoonful of Ground fresh chili paste

Dash of fish sauce

Let simmer for as long as you want

When you’re ready to eat the soup, squeeze some fresh lime juice in it and top with cilantro.ย 

The soup turned out great. I was really happy with it. It was savory, sweet and spicy–all my favorite things! And, I had the soup for lunch the next day and it was EVEN BETTER!

Finally, the last new recipe we tried was this one from The Kitchn:

Skillet Chipotle Chilaquiles with Eggs

The flavors in this dish were really tasty. We both loved the smokiness of the chipotle peppers and sauce.

We will most definitely make this dish again! The only flaw was our fault, the eggs were overdone so they weren’t runny and that kind of makes the dish.

 

Topped with cojita cheese, avocado chunks, diced red and white onions, cilantro and a little bit of lime juice. So so good! Another winner!

Playing Hooky

For an anniversary gift, Michael surprised me with suggesting we book a couple’s massage. I looked around for something in Portland and found a stellar place! But first, a lunch date!

We played hooky and took off half the day from work and went out to lunch. We went to Stella Tacoย on SE Division. There are a ton of cool new restaurants on SE Division that we’ve been wanting to check out but never have the opportunity.

Stella Taco was a cute, hip place with “street” tacos on the menu. It was a casual joint, with the order-at-the-bar and bus your own table model (which I’m not usually a huge fan of, but…it was ok). It was cheap, so that’s nice.

I got one of of the fish street tacos and one carnitas. There were small, like three or four bites worth.

Michael got the carnitas, beef and chorizo street tacos. Everything was really fresh. I liked my tacos a lot but they weren’t spicy. The carnitas was pretty flavorful but I wished that the fish taco had a little more flavor, it was a tad bland. But I think with some spice they could have been great!

Michael said the chorizo tacos were spicy. We had lunch and then went to a dive bar nearby for beers. We had about an hour and a half to kill after lunch before our massages. Boneyard RPM! Our favorite beer on tap! It was nice to just chill in the quiet bar, not rushed or anything.

Then we walked around SE Hawthorne for a bit. We had no destination, just wandering. We stopped in Red Light (a funky, hip consignment store) that had a ton of retro clothes and halloween costumes and we hung out a bit. I was super excited about the cheesy 70’s pantsuits! Sadly, I didn’t find anything that really spoke to me enough to buy for Halloween. ๐Ÿ˜‰ There were some real gems, though!

On a whim we stopped in at Blue Star Donuts and Michael bought a blueberry bourbon basil donut–apparently Blue Star is something pretty amazing. I wasn’t all that impressed after a few bites.

Then it was time for our appointments. I had looked around and found a place called Laurelhurst Massage by Laurelhurst Park. It was SO great! We both agreed they were some of the best massages we’ve had. It was a really relaxing and wonderful experience.

Rick and Greg have a massage studio in a space behind their house. It’s a cute space among nice, old Portland craftsman houses. The studio downstairs had a bathroom and a decent sized spa that we got to use before our massages.

The sauna was so nice! We’ve been talking about wanting our own sauna at home someday…Anyways, the sauna was great and so relaxing. The door to the sauna had a really pretty glass etching, too, of Multnomah Falls. Very cool.

After about 10 or 15 minutes in the sauna, we used the double spa shower that had like 6 shower heads, dried off and then had our couple’s massage upstairs in the massage room. (They had big fluffy bathrobes and nice towels for us.)

They were fabulous massages! So good and relaxing. I fell asleep halfway through my massage. Michael got a pretty deep sports massage and was pretty happy with his. We had a great time and will most definitely go back to use them again. If you are in the Portland area and looking a luxurious afternoon spa getaway, I recommend it!

After our massages we melted outside to the car ๐Ÿ˜‰ and then went to pick up our little dude from daycare and head home.

It was a good change from the routine!