recipe

Weekend of Celebrating

The celebrating started Friday when I picked Logan up from daycare. He made me a Mother’s Day present at daycare! Footprint butterfly and a handprint on the bottom. 🙂

On Saturday we went to a friend’s house for a little surprise birthday dinner for another friend. My friend Star and her boyfriend Larry made a feast! They made marinated chicken and veggie kebobs and grilled them up. There was also rice (I skipped that to save my carbs for dessert!). I made a spinach, kale and chard salad topped with carrots, strawberries and feta cheese.

Yummy dinner!

Star made our friend Samantha a gorgeous Polish cake.

How beautiful is that cake? So pretty. It was really delicious, sort of like shortbread with custard and whipped cream. Logan ate some rice, chicken and strawberries and he LOVED the whipped cream. 😉

Here is the recipe:

Kremowka Papieska "Papal Cream Cake

From: http://www.europeancuisines.com/Poland-Polish-Kremowka-papieska-Papal-cream-cake-recipe

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces butter
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 egg yolks
  • A pinch of salt
  • Custard cream:
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 6 egg yolks

Instructions

  1. Grease well 2 8- or 9-inch baking pans / tins: coat with bread crumbs and set aside.
  2. Cake mixture:
  3. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender.
  4. Beat the egg yolks into the water: mix into the flour. Mix well.
  5. Divide in halves and spread/press each half to completely cover the bottom of one of the baking pans.
  6. Bake for approximately 30 minutes in a medium-low oven (325F / 160C): remove and let cool. Remove from pans when cooled.
  7. Cream:
  8. Scald the milk and vanilla. In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, flour, salt, and egg yolks. Stir until very well blended (ideally, whisk to make sure there are no lumps). Add milk gradually. Cook over low flame, stirring constantly, being careful to scrape bottom of pan.
  9. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 3 minutes, still stirring constantly. When finished cooking, remove from heat and pour cream into a bowl; allow to cool, stirring occasionally until cold.
  10. When the custard cream is cold:
  11. Whether you're using puff pastry or cake, spread the custard cream thickly over the bottom layer. (If the custard is at all runny, put one baked layer back into a baking pan of the appropriate size and then do the spreading.) Then top with the second baked layer.
  12. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Cut and serve (possibly with thick whipped cream on top, if you like). A note about cutting: This is where calling this dessert a "cake" comes slightly into question, as it doesn't handle like a cake at all: the thick pastry cream center makes that impossible. The kremówka will always squish down somewhat when you slice it. However, it tastes so good that no one's going to care...
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=52143

The cake wasn’t overly sweet. It looks like it would be really sweet and rich but it was light and summery.

It was such a nice night! We had a great time and it was so lovely spending some time with friends.

On Sunday we celebrated Mother’s Day by going out to breakfast. (But first Logan woke me up in the cutest way…I was still asleep and then all of a sudden Michael said “Wake up mommy! Happy Mother’s Day!” and I open my eyes and see a big goofy grin on Logan’s face and then he giggled and laughed and crawled all over me. It was probably the best moment of the day!)

We went to Genie’s Cafe. We got there early enough that we got a table immediately! That is unheard of in Portland!

I got a complimentary Mimosa for Mother’s Day and a delicious mug of coffee (much needed). It was a busy morning but we got our food pretty quickly. I’ve been craving French Toast for about a month and kept putting it off. I decided to save it for my cheat meal for Mother’s Day.

The French Toast was perfect and delicious and really satisfied my craving. The one downside to cutting out carbs is that when you finally do eat a bunch of them, they sit like a rock and make me really sleepy. I just don’t like the way I feel after eating heavy carbs now. 🙁

Michael got the caprese hash and said it was really good:

Logan had a bunch of my French Toast and he loved it. 🙂 First time having it and first time having maple syrup. He’s a fan. Logan got me a gift (a new heart rate monitor–will review it soon!) and a card, which was very sweet.

After breakfast, Logan took a nap and I went swimming. It felt wonderful. Then we all ran some errands and went for a walk in between the rain showers. For dinner Michael picked up Pad Thai to continue my carb cheat day. It really hit the spot. Pad Thai is something else I’ve been craving for a long time!

It was a really lovely Mother’s Day and I was glad I got to spend the weekend with some of my favorite people!

As for the diet: I am going to reign it in today and tomorrow and try and really cut the carbs and weigh in Wednesday. Although I’m not looking forward to it!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

Yard Makeover and a Recipe

I wanted to share some photos of our recent yard makeover! I am ridiculously excited about it. Our yard is very big. It’s a great space for a dog to run around. The problem is that the upkeep is very hard. Every year we end up spending the entire summer working on battling the blackberry bushes and weeds and we barely make a dent in it. That’s no fun AND it means we have to make a decision every weekend–do we do responsible adult stuff or go for a hike and enjoy the summer?

So this year we decided it was time to bring in a professional. I got a name from a friend and Oscar came out and gave us a good quote. We hired him on the spot. Him and his crew came out and in one day they transformed our entire backyard!

I wanted to share the photos because I’m so excited about it! (And if you live in Portland and want Oscar’s info, message me!)

Before:

After:

They managed to get rid of all the ivy and blackberry bushes that were clogging up the fence and bushes (and edged the lawn).

And in the other corner of the yard, the blackberry bushes had completely taken over.

Before:

After:

NO BLACKBERRY BUSHES! Not a weed in sight! They trimmed the trees and bushes and it looks amazing! We were so happy with Oscar’s work. There is no way we could have even come close to making the yard look like they did.

The next weekend we had Johnson’s Bark come out and put down bark. We went with the dark Hemlock. About 5 years ago Michael had done it all himself and it was a back-breaking, multiple day effort on his part. This time? They used a giant hose to spray the bark around the yard.

After the bark dust:

How amazing does it look now? We LOVE it!! Our yard makeover in addition to have the deck rebuilt last year means we are going to spend a LOT of time outside in the yard this summer. I’d really like to get a firepit and spend as much time out there as possible.

The next thing to do: plant our veggie garden and some other plants in the yard. (I also still need to plant our living Christmas tree, ooops!) Then we are going to build a little rock path through the yard. We’re also talking about building a fire pit.

Well the weather has been kind of nice lately. Last night we sat outside on our new deck to eat dinner and enjoy our yard! Here’s the amazing recipe we used:

My Sister's Phenomenal Grilled Green Chicken

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Calories per serving: Between 450-600 depending on chicken size

From: http://nomnompaleo.com/post/7486821187/my-sisters-phenomenal-grilled-green-chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sweet onion, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup packed cilantro leaves and stems
  • 1¼ cups packed basil leaves
  • ¼ cup packed mint leaves
  • ¼ cup Red Boat fish sauce
  • 3 peeled garlic cloves
  • zest from 1 lime
  • plenty ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice (or 1 teaspoon maple syrup if you’re not on a Whole30)
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 pounds chicken drumsticks or thighs

Instructions

  1. Make the marinade by blitzing the onion, cilantro, basil, mint, fish sauce, garlic, lime zest, black pepper, Aleppo pepper, and apple juice in a high powered blender until smooth.
  2. Taste for seasoning and add salt to taste. The marinade can be pretty salty, saltier than if the marinade is used as a sauce.
  3. Place the chicken in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and pour the marinade over it.
  4. Store the chicken in the fridge and marinate for at least an hour and up to a day.
  5. When you're ready to cook the chicken, take it out of the fridge an hour before you're going to grill it. (If you are baking the chicken, roast on a wire rack for ~35-45 minutes at 400 F. Start with skin-side down, and flip skin-side up at the 20 minute mark.)
  6. Set the gas grill on high and after the chicken is placed on the grates, decrease the temperature immediately to low.
  7. Grill the chicken for approximately 25 minutes (or until the internal temperature reaches 165 F), turning every 5-7 minutes. But be patient: Don’t go and flip the bird (legs, that is) before they naturally release from the grill surface – otherwise, you’ll leave a lot of tasty, crispy, marinated skin stuck on the grates!
  8. Serve the drumsticks with lime wedges.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=52086

It was so nice sitting outside on the deck in the warm, sunny evening.

I had a salad and a glass of wine. Logan was refusing to go to sleep (we really need to get some black-out curtains).

The chicken was really, really delicious! This recipe is a winner. Definitely recommend. 🙂