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!

Sunny Sunny Spring

It’s GORGEOUS in Portland! For the last week or so it’s been sunny and warm and yesterday it was 80 degrees. Thank goddess! I am so over icky gray rain.

Over the weekend we worked in the garden a bunch. It was nice just being out in the sunshine. Every day after work we’ve eaten dinner on the deck. Logan immediately wants to go outside and play when we get home from daycare. It’s just so nice! I want to soak it up. The downside? My allergies are TERRIBLE!

Wednesday I went for a nice run in the sun during my lunch break. I’ve been running the waterfront loop downtown about once or twice a week depending on the weather. Pre-run I had my apple and string cheese for a snack, slathered on the sunscreen and headed outside.

It was perfect outside and not crowded yet!

This time I went across the Steel Bridge first then ran down to the Hawthorne Bridge. I like to switch it up periodically so it doesn’t get boring. I’m thinking that if I get a little faster I might be able to extend it to the new pedestrian bridge and make my run a little longer but I’m not there yet.

The waterfront wasn’t busy when I went out, which was nice. Unfortunately, I had to take a lot of walking breaks. I have no idea why. My legs just felt like lead. The first mile was great. I felt good, had energy, but then I started to slow down.

After my run I walked the last block to cool off then went to the gym in my building to stretch and foam roll.

Lunch was shredded Thai chicken I made in the pressure cooker with kimchi. My afternoon snack was plain Greek yogurt, fresh strawberries, walnuts and some low sugar granola. I’ve been REALLY really hungry lately and the normal stuff hasn’t been satisfying my hunger, so I added the walnuts and granola in hopes that it would tide me over better.

Dinner was Trader Joe’s carrot “noodles” with spaghetti sauce, meatballs, fresh parmesan and garlic bread. I like the carrot noodles better than the zucchini noodles. I felt like the zucchini ones cooked down to nothing. But the carrots kind of hold their shape and are a little al dente. They feel more like you’re eating pasta.

Very delicious, satisfying and filling dinner. We watched an episode of Anthony Bourdain (Southern Italy) and then crashed in bed early. On days I run the waterfront I am CRUSHED by bedtime! I was hoping to get in an epsom salt bath but I had no time. Oh well. Next week!

QUESTION: What is your favorite way (besides salads) to get more veggies into your meals?