Birthday dinner

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!

A Little Life Lately

You know what you really want when you’re 8 months pregnant and getting the nesting urge? For a major appliance to break. On a weekend, of course, when no one is available to come out and take a look at it for four days…

Yep, our fridge broke recently. Woke up one morning to nothing really cold in the fridge and things in the freezer being “sort of” frozen…Luckily we have a second fridge/freezer in the garage that was used solely for giant jars of pickled jalapenos, beer and then frozen meat from Costco. It was Michael’s mom’s old fridge and we happily took it a few years ago. So I moved all the food into that fridge (which is small) in order to save it.

The upside? It was a good opportunity to clean out mysterious things in the freezer!

The repair guy came out. Michael and I had agreed that if it cost under $500 to fix, we’d fix it, if not we were buying a new fridge. Yeah…..$800+ to fix it?? Not happening! To be fair, our fridge was 20 years old. So fridge shopping it was!

While it’s been inconvenient and a pain in the butt, I’m glad it didn’t happen a month from now when I’m about to give birth. But still, not great timing Universe! We went out for dinner at a local Mexican restaurant:

mexicanfood

And then we went to Sears, because the repair guy gave us a coupon for a new fridge. I can’t say I’m happy with how it went at Sears. The guy helping us was kind of a tool and when I asked if there were any downsides to the fridge we were considering he went into a super long spiel about the Sears extended warranty stuff. I get it dude, you probably work on commission, but that’s not what I asked and stop trying to pressure sell us on your dumb warranty. Telling me fridges aren’t built to last more than 5-8 years these days so I should buy your dumb warranty that is 50% of what the fridge costs, is not making me want to buy your fridge. We NEVER had that obnoxious up-selling at Lowe’s when we bought our new dishwasher there. Plus he kept trying to convince us that the double door/french door style of fridge was best–which I repeatedly said I didn’t want. Why aren’t you listening to your customers??

It was 8:30 at night, I was tired after a really long day, having Braxton-Hicks contractions that were really uncomfortable and I was over the salesguy’s attitude. We kept saying no thanks, he wasn’t listening and kept trying to sell us this extended warranty and then trying to convince us to sign up for some Sears monthly payment plan or credit card to pay for the warranty. DUDE! Knock it off. I almost said, “we have the money to pay for the warranty, we just don’t WANT IT.” I finally said to Michael right in front of him, “If this is going to be an issue, let’s just go to Lowe’s.” Funny how the guy shut the eff up right then!

We bought the fridge and it was on a great sale, like $870 off regular price, plus the $100 off coupon. We’re both happy with the selection we made. It was the style we wanted, it was the right size for the space and layout of our kitchen and I think we made the right decision–even if Sears made me never want to buy something from them again…

Our new fridge:

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The fridge is really nice and there’s so much space inside! It’s about an inch taller, wider and deeper than our old fridge and that makes a slight difference even though it doesn’t sound like much. It’s good and it fits, but it feels slightly overpowering in the space. Or maybe it just takes some getting used to.

Moving on!

Life has been CRAZYYYYY lately. If you saw my schedule you’d probably cry a little bit. I’ve been feeling way over-scheduled and overwhelmed and stressed. Between full time work, trying to fit in the gym, trying to stay on top of chores and crap around the house, doctor appointments, trying to finish the nursery, weekly childbirth classes and now trying to fit in daycare tours (which is stressful enough on its own)…I have zero downtime. It’s my fault. I procrastinated on a lot of things (like the daycare tours, which now means we’re getting on waitlists). And then of course things have popped up that we didn’t plan for (like the fridge). [picture me screaming into a pillow right now!!!!]

But…I have been doing some FUN things, too. I’ve been trying to schedule things with friends because I know stuff like that will fall off the priority list once the little guy is here.

  • Michael and I had a lunch date at Ohana Hawaiian Cafe with our friends Sam and John. I got the teriyaki chicken platter, which was fabulous!
  • I met up with my friend Star who recently moved in with her boyfriend (which is fantastic!!). We hung out and drank tea and chatted for a few hours. It was nice to just sit back and catch up. It also came on a day when I was feeling particularly overwhelmed and needed that time.
  • I met my friend Robyn at Pho Van for lunch.

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And then last night we went to Michael’s mom’s house for my birthday dinner. She asked what I wanted and I said mashed potatoes. She makes perfect garlic mashed potatoes and I’ve been craving that. So she made a delicious pot roast to go with it. Dinner was fabulous.

roast

Dessert was peppermint ice cream (also my favorite). And I got some new running shoes!

shoes

Don’t those look fabulous? I cannot wait to get back into running. I’ve really, really missed it.

I apologize now that the next few posts will be kind of baby-centric. I have a post about the nursery coming up and I have my baby shower this weekend. 🙂

What’s going on in your life lately?