Eating out

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!

Update

Where’ve I’ve been? Yep, I kind of dropped off the planet for a bit.

The good news: I lost 3 pounds! After our mini-vacation to the beach I came home and weighed in. I’ve been taking a break from the low carb diet since before Thanksgiving. Mostly because it stopped working, but also because it was just too much of a struggle for me. I realized that it’s just not the best diet plan for my lifestyle. It works for about 3 weeks, then the weight loss stops and I am just miserable. So anyways, the diet is on hold. I’m eating whatever I want but staying in my calorie range. I have no idea how I lost 3 pounds, but it was a nice surprise on the scale!

The bad news: Michael got laid off. It sucks. It’s hard. It’s terrible timing. Michael is feeling very optimistic. I’m trying to be optimistic. We’ve been through this before. He’s already gotten a lot of leads and referrals to other jobs, so that’s good. But not exactly how we wanted to go into the holidays…

The upside to unemployment, Michael will be finish all the house remodel projects! I am looking forward to having that stuff finally done. (Over Thanksgiving break we painted the kitchen and dining room after living with primer white paint for years! It looks so great!)

I’m feeling pretty Grinch-like this season. Part of it is the job stuff. But the big part is that it’s been a really rough year for us (and a lot of people) and I miss my cat a lot. It’s hard not having him around but I get through it. This time of year? Not so much. Yggdrasil LOVED Christmas. He loved sitting underneath the tree, sleeping and purring and just enjoying the lights. He loved it when I would wrap Christmas presents (and he’d try to help LOL). He absolutely loved bows and ribbons (and our presents could never have bows or ribbons because he’d steal them!). So everything is kind of a reminder and it’s sad and my heart hurts

We did get a tree. I’m glad we did. It’s cheering me up a little bit. And Logan helped decorate! You can see a little video on instagram. 🙂

We topped the tree with an angel that Logan made at daycare! 🙂 So far he’s doing really well with not touching the tree. Most of the ornaments are felt just in case, though.

For Christmas Michael and I decided to go out on a date night instead of getting each other gifts. We didn’t really need anything anyways.

We went to West Linn and walked around the cute little area and then went to Allium for happy hour. We got drinks and shared an order of duck fat fries. 🙂

Later we went to 1933, a pub with really good food and a huge tap list. We each got a Boneyard beer. Michael got the Prohibition Burger (he said it was outstanding) and I got the prosciutto flatbread.

It was really good! The flatbread was grilled with prosciutto, arugula, goat cheese and balsamic. Very delicious!

The bar was playing Christmas music, which was really nice. It was a quiet evening just the two of us. I guess a SantaCon pub crawl was making their way through the local bars and would be heading to 1933 but sadly, we missed it. We had to get home to relieve the babysitter.

It was a nice night, low-key but fun, and I think it will be a new tradition for our Christmas Date Night. 🙂