Dinner out

4th Wedding Anniversary

Hey, wow! Where did the time go? It feels like just yesterday Michael and I were saying “I do.”

It really is hard to believe it’s already been four years married. I swear, having a baby/toddler just sucks the brain cells out of your head. 😉 It must be from that first year of sleep deprivation! It feels like a blur right now and it’s probably a good thing we make an effort to get away for our anniversary!

Wedding Anniversary – 1, at Crater Lake

Wedding Anniversary – 2 , at Feast eating Franklin’s BBQ!

Wedding Anniversary – 3, at Edgefield 

This year we wanted to go to Vegas for the weekend but the planning didn’t quite work out and so we looked for something different to do in Oregon. We found a loft to rent out past Hillsboro on the way to the beach. It was all we needed: a cute space in the country with a hot tub!

Life is pretty busy these days and there’s been a lot of stress and changes in our lives this year. When we talked about our plans for our weekend getaway, Michael said the sweetest thing: “If you want to just hole up in the loft and stay in bed watching netflix and eating Haagen Daz all weekend we can.” LOL! I have to admit, that did sound pretty good….

So Friday my parents drove down to babysit Logan for the weekend and we took off for our weekend getaway. The loft was cute, up on Bald Peak, with amazing views.

We were surrounded by farms, fields, vineyards and huge houses. We saw one house that was humongous and had an indoor pool and gym overlooking the above view. Amazing!

For dinner we went to Ridgewalker Brewing in Forest Grove. Neither of us have ever been to Forest Grove. It had a cute little downtown area. Ridgewalker seemed to be the place to be on a Friday night.

They had my Boneyard RPM on tap so we got one of those and shared the hushpuppies before dinner. They were fantastic! Perfectly crunchy and had good flavor. I ordered the BLT with a side of brussels sprouts instead of fries. The BLT was nothing amazing but the sprouts were great.

Michael got a corndog. 😉 He said it was great. The fries were really good (I might have had a few of Michael’s). After dinner we headed back to the loft. Lots of winding roads and cool old barns like this one:

We spent some time in the hot tub, which felt amazing and so relaxing. The owners had fairy lights nearby and there was a nice view from the hot tub. And we both had the most amazing night of sleep and SLEPT IN UNTIL 9AM!!!! Holy moly!

On Saturday we had a quickie breakfast and then drove out to the Tillamook Forest to go for a hike. The hike we did was at the Summit Trailhead.

We did the Gales Creek Trail because of all the hikes I found, it was the closest to where we were staying (and it was still about a 45 minute drive). It was a nice, quiet hike without a lot of people. It started with a fairly steep downhill hike.

There were parts of the trail that were a bit muddy and I slipped but then it leveled out a little bit and was kind of flat.

It was a really pretty trail and once you got further down, you couldn’t hear the highway at all, just the sound of the recent raindrops falling from the trees.

We saw a bunch of cute little lizards on the trail, too! No doubt they were heading back to the creek.

Because we got such a late start to the day and because the trail was so steep going down, we decided not to venture too far on the hike since it was going to be all uphill on the way back.

Stay tuned for part 2!

Hoppy Birthday

On Saturday night we had Michael’s mom and stepdad over for her birthday dinner. I opened a bottle of the Stoller Chardonnay and I prepped a little bit of the veggies while Michael prepped the chicken.

I found this recipe.

Garlicky Greek Chicken

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 lb. chicken thighs
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lb. asparagus, ends removed
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into half moons
  • 1 lemon, sliced

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and oregano. Whisk until combined then add chicken thighs and toss to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  2. When you’re ready to cook the chicken, preheat oven to 425°. In a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining tablespoon olive oil. Season both sides of marinated chicken with salt and pepper, then add chicken skin-side down and pour in the remaining marinade.
  3. Sear until the skin becomes golden and crispy, about 10 minutes. Flip chicken and add asparagus, zucchini and lemons to the skillet.
  4. Transfer pan to oven and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=54632

The recipe needed a little tweaking, which we figured out after the fact. But I think it’s a good idea. The execution was just a little off.

What attracted me to the recipe was that it sounded refreshing and good for a spring dinner. The asparagus was great and I loved the zucchini in it, too.

Michael marinated the chicken thighs in the lemon juice/garlic/herb mix. Then he cooked the thighs in the skillet, then put everything in the Dutch Oven and baked it. I still don’t understand how this recipe was “Greek”??

The flavors were all great. But like I said at the start, the recipe needs to be changed. First, we’d cook the chicken entirely in the skillet (like usually do). Doing it in the skillet then the oven made the skin not crispy–which is the best part. The veggies were good in the oven, but the cook time in the recipe for the oven portion was not correct, either. We had to bake it longer. So next time, all skillet!

Dessert was Baskin Robbins ice cream! Yum.

On Sunday I went swimming and took care of some stuff around the house and then Michael and I got to have a little afternoon date. A friend had offered to babysit for us and we finally were able to take her up on it!

We got pedicures first. It was nice to just relax back in the massage chair and be pampered. Michael commented that he didn’t understand why more men didn’t do this because it’s a luxurious, relaxing experience. I laughed and said I know. It’s not really about getting your nails done! 😉

Then we went to happy hour for dinner at Hop Jacks in Happy Valley.

We’d never been before but I’ve seen it a million times on our way home from Mount Hood and was curious. They bragged about the coldest beer in town. Michael got a Long Island Iced Tea (what?!?) because he hadn’t had one in years. (I think it’s been at least 15 years for me.) and I got a Boneyard RPM and yes–it was very cold!

We got some nachos and queso for dinner. It was pretty good! The place felt kinda like a Red Robin I guess? We got there about 4:30 and it wasn’t very crowded but by the time we left an hour later it was packed with a line out the door. They have happy hour every day from 4-6.

It was a nice way to unwind after a busy weekend!