Michael

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!

NYE

My New Year’s Eve started with the gym:

Per usual! Thankfully the gym wasn’t crowded! I did my body weight exercises, free weight routine, weight machines then finished up with the elliptical. I was feeling ok but a little on the run-down side. I don’t know about you, but I am SO ready for summer…!

After the gym Michael’s mom and stepdad came over to babysit Logan while we had a date! I had NO idea what our date was. Michael planned it all and it was a surprise. He just said we had to be ready to go at noon.

First stop: lunch! I had no idea where we were going and was pleasantly surprised when we went to Papa Haydn’s! One of my favorites. It was pretty busy but we got a table right away.

Michael got the Pale Ale on tap and I got this gorgeous looking Bloody Mary:

It was spicy! YUM! Lunch was slow, which was perfect! We had time to relax, didn’t feel rushed, could have ADULT CONVERSATION and enjoy each other’s company in a calm, quiet setting…can you tell we were ready for a date “night”? 😉

We both got the Croque Monsier except Michael got his with ham and I got the turkey. Instead of fries or a salad I asked for the seasonal vegetable because it turned out to be Brussels Sprouts and I love sprouts! They were really good, too. Of course, the fries at Papa Haydn’s are to die for, so really you can’t lose whatever you order. I’m super happy with my lunch.

We chatted about Vegas and planning a potential trip in 2017. We’ll see if it actually happens. We’ve been away from Logan overnight once and will be away from him overnight in January, but a whole weekend? I don’t know that I am ready for that quite yet. But it was fun to imagine a little vacation getaway. We both agreed that it would be nice to stay at The Venetian.

We hung out and finished our drinks and relaxed and then got dessert to go for later. As we left the restaurant it started to SNOW!!

The next stop was nearby in Sellwood, The Moreland Theater. We’ve never been to that theater and we’ve both been curious, so it was cool to finally check it out. It was built in 1926! It was really old and reminded me of that old fashioned theater we went to in LA. (I wish I could remember the name of it.)

We saw Rogue One. It was okay. I am not a Star Wars fan so it’s kind of lost on me. But I can see how fans would be excited about it. I told Michael that I just can’t get into movies or TV shows that have fake creatures and fake languages…and he countered with Game of Thrones, which I love. So, yeah, I really can’t explain why GOT is ok but Star Wars doesn’t do it for me.

After the movie we had one more surprise stop to make for our date.

A new phone!! A Christmas tradition we have is giving each other a card and in my card this year he said that I’d get the rest of my present on NYE. YAY! My phone (the iphone 5S) has been buggy for awhile and every other day a message pops up saying I am out of space on my phone–no matter how much I deleted off it! It is so nice to have an upgrade.

We went home and we had originally planned on making Cornish Game Hens for dinner but they weren’t defrosted! Even though we took them out of the freezer two days ago….sooo we put in a frozen lasagna. And opened a bottle of wine that was a gift from Michael’s sister:

Pretty fancy New Year’s, huh? 😉

Dessert was the Bourbon Ball we bought at Papa Haydn’s:

Happy New Year!

New Year’s Day

Our tradition for New Year’s Day has always been snowshoeing on Mount Hood. I even did it last year when I was like 30 weeks pregnant (and my snow pants didn’t fit)! But this year we skipped it. Logan is too small right now to take him up there in the snow. Hopefully next year!

I was a little bummed about not snowshoeing. But I went swimming and was pleasantly surprised that the gym and pool was pretty much empty. I guess everyone else was nursing a hangover.

Sunday night we had some friends over for dinner. Michael made his mac n’ cheese:

Turned out great as usual! Our friends brought a delicious salad: spinach, blueberries, pine nuts and a homemade basil vinaigrette.

Comfort food + wine + good friends! We played Cards Against Humanity and talked into the evening. It was so good to have some adult time and catch up with friends. Being sick so much lately we’ve kind of been holed-up in our house.

It was a good New Year’s!