I left off my weekend extravaganza with the King Tut Exhibit and the adventures at the Seattle Science Center. After that, the whole family walked back to the fountain and relaxed in the shade until it was time to go to our dinner reservations.
My brother is a foodie and one of the best cooks I know. The stuff he creates is amazing and if he wasn’t such an Academic-Smarty-Pants he could probably run a restaurant. 🙂 He picked the restaurant in Seattle that we should go to: Pasta Bella. My brother and his wife had been there before and recommended it highly. I love Italian food but it’s rarely my go-to cuisine. I don’t know why. I usually crave Mexican food or sushi. But Italian is good comfort food. We drove to the Ballard location and settled in to absorb the massive menu.
They brought out crusty french bread with roasted garlic while we waited for dinner. It’s been ages since I had roasted garlic.
I had two choices: I could think about calories and worry about what to order (i.e. try to find something that didn’t come with pasta OR a creamy sauce) or I could just enjoy this treat. I chose to indulge. I rarely eat Italian food and Michael and I don’t often eat pasta or rice at home. I decided to go with the spinach ravioli stuffed with Gorgonzola and walnuts with sausage in an Alfredo AND a marinara sauce. It was absolute decadent and a completely absurd choice but I enjoyed every single delectable bite.
I ordered a glass of Pinot Noir and it went well with dinner, despite the fact that I had both a red sauce and a white sauce with my pasta. Michael got a penne dish with spicy sausage and pancetta. I had a bite and it was definitely spicy.
Michael also got a caprese salad as an appetizer but the photo didn’t turn out. It was large slices of fresh mozzarella and tomatoes on top of a bed of spinach and basil. I had a bite and it was fantastic. Everyone enjoyed their dinner and we rolled ourselves out of the restaurant and back to the car. Ooof!
Back at my parent’s house we sat outside on the deck in the cool evening and had the dessert my mom made and then we all watched the Olympics. I stayed up WAY too late but was happy to see Michael Phelps finish his career with a gold medal.
What I loved most about watching the Summer Olympics–specifically the swimming– was seeing just how similar my body shape is to these amazing athletes. Honestly, I’d often felt self-conscious about my big arms and shoulders. Most of the time I felt like they were an awesome badge of accomplishment: my big arms represented the hours spent in the pool trying to lose 100 pounds. But every once in awhile I would be embarrassed by them. Seeing the women swimmers winning gold medals made me proud of my big swimmer shoulders!
I wish the summer Olympics were just swimming because honestly I could watch that every day (and the women’s USA team that one the relay was super exciting too!) but I did enjoy the running too. Michael and I got back to Portland Sunday afternoon and I went for a swim and then made us dinner. I wanted to make something healthy after a weekend of indulging.
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup smooth Dijon mustard
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup honey
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 pounds chicken thighs (or legs)
- 2 sprigs rosemary (or a generous sprinkling of dried rosemary)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large bowl, mix mustard with the honey, and olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and taste. Add more salt and mustard until you get the flavor where you want it.
- Salt the chicken lightly and lay the pieces skin-side up in a shallow casserole dish. Spoon the honey mustard sauce over the chicken. Place the rosemary sprigs in between the pieces of chicken.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until the thighs read 175° on a meat thermometer, or the juices run clear when the meat is pierced with a knife. Remove the casserole pan from the oven, use a spoon to spoon off any excess chicken fat that has rendered during the cooking.
- Sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper over the chicken before you serve.
This recipe turned out great and I will definitely make it again. It was super easy–three ingredients and I used rosemary from the garden.
It was simple and delicious. I had one chicken thigh and some mustard bread my mom made (apparently it was a mustard themed dinner). I had a wonderful and exhausting weekend and honestly needed a vacation after my vacation! Fun is hard work.
QUESTION: What’s your go-to cuisine? What’s your favorite Olympic sport?