birthday

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!

Playing Hooky & Celebrating

On Friday I took a vacation day at work and we played hooky! It was a planned hooky…It was our friend Shawna’s 40th Birthday and she planned a day of wine tasting to celebrate with friends and family. Her parents were visiting from California.

So I took Logan to daycare, went to the gym, and then Michael and I drove out to the Gorge to meet up with everyone!

The first stop was at AniChe Cellars in Underwood, WA, just across the bridge from Hood River. Ironically, it was about a mile away from the little house we rented last 4th of July and we had no idea there was a cute winery nearby!

I really liked this winery. Shawna was a member so we all got complimentary tastings. Yay! And we got a tasting plate that paired with each wine tasting. It was different kinds of dried fruits, cheese and chocolate.

My cousin Anna, her husband, her sister Carrie and their parents came, too, plus some friends.

I ended up buying a bottle of the “Lizzy” (Southern Rhône styled blend of 62% Marsanne and 38% Roussanne). From their website: This dry wine elicits a more complex palate of chamomile, dried herbs, honeysuckle, beeswax and green tea. Enjoy with fresh fig, salty proscuitto, and baked chicken with Provencal herbs.

I liked how crisp and slightly sweet it was.

I also bought a bottle of “Be Holden” (a blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and Merlot, from the Horse Heaven Hills and Rattlesnake Hills).  Bold quince and blackberry followed by rich vanilla, tobacco and spice. YUM!

I loved that they named all their wines references literary greats. After the tasting we ended up buying a bottle of red and white to share with everyone outside. It was a drizzly, cold day in the Gorge but the firepit area was covered and the firepit was warm. So we all hung out and snacked on the pimento cheese, crackers and the sheeps cheese Michael and I brought.

Then it was time to hit the next place. Michael and I made a pit stop at a random taco truck. He got a small burrito and I got a street taco. It was really good! We will definitely stop there again in the future.

The next stop was Syncline. We used to be members there but suspended it last fall. I hope to start up again in the future. It’s a great place for the summer. It definitely looked different in the winter! No hammocks, corn hole, bistro tables…but there was a great fire pit!

It was raining a bit. But somehow it wasn’t miserable. It was just fun hanging out by the fire, doing our tastings, chatting, celebrating Shawna.

There weren’t a lot of people there, either, so it was quiet and peaceful.

Shawna brought a bunch of cheese, bread, crackers, fruit and Anna brought an amazing pasta salad. I did half a tasting but we were short on time and had to leave to get back to Portland in time to pick up the munchkin from daycare. Hugs and well wishes and then we went home. The rest of the group was going to head to another place and then out to dinner.

It was an excellent day. PLUS, Michael and I were kinda celebrating, too, because….HE GOT A JOB!!! As you can guess, we are SUPER excited and relieved. I might tell you guys in the future where, because it’s pretty awesome. 😉

It’s a contract-to-hire type of thing. So hopefully like at his last place, it was a 30 Day contract and then they hired him permanently. We’re crossing our fingers for this time.

We picked Logan up from daycare and the other big news: we converted his crib to a “big boy” bed by taking one side off. He’s been successfully climbing out his crib for a few weeks now. It was definitely time!

So that was our exciting weekend! How was yours?