Skinny Taste recipe

A Valentine’s Date and a Recipe

Logan has had a cold this week, which means he’s not sleeping well, which means we aren’t sleeping well….! I’ve been exhausted all week. So I was super surprised on Saturday morning when I went to the gym and hadย energy for days! It was a great workout! I did 30 minutes of strength training–body weights, free weighs and kettlebells, and then 30 minutes on the elliptical.

I could have kept going, too, but I had things to do! I went to the store to get groceries and then home to make this dinner:

I’ve made several Skinny Taste recipes before and they were always really delicious.

Our friends had a baby last month (their third!!) and we signed up for their meal train dinner. It was so amazing when we had Logan and friends and family made us meals. It was so so so helpful and generous and we ate some really great food.

Originally we were going to do Michael’s mac n’ cheese but our friends are dairy-free at the moment so I decided to make them chili. I’ve been craving chili for awhile now.

I browned the ground turkey and onions. (I added a teeny bit of spicy ground pork for some flavor.)

The recipe called for three different beans — one being chickpeas! So odd. But I went with it and it turned out to be a really good addition. I did black beans, red kidney beans and garbanzo beans.

I mixed it all and it cooked in the crockpot all day. It smelled really good.

After lunch Logan took a nap and I decided to take a nap, too, and ended up sleeping for over 2 hours!! Catching up on sleep after four days of no sleep, was awesome.

When it was done cooking I packed everything up and we went to our friend’s house to take them dinner and meet the new baby! NEW BABY SMELL!! Oh my gosh the baby isย sooo teeny tiny and adorable. I cannot believe that Logan was ever that tiny. It’s crazy. (Especially considering Logan decided to walk this week.)

So for the meal train I took our friends the pot of chili, a loaf of French bread and all the toppings: cilantro, chopped red onion, green onion, shredded cheese, avocado and sour cream (for the kiddos who aren’t dairy-free). Also in the bag was a bottle of wine and some homemade gluten-free brownies (from Bob’s Red Mill). ๐Ÿ˜€

We spent a little bit of time catching up and snuggling with new baby and then went home to get Logan to bed and open a bottle of wine for us:

There was just enough chili left over for Michael and I to have dinner, too. My one complaint about the recipe was that it said there were 10 servings in there but really, it was more like 5 or 6 generous servings. I guess she made the servings small to keep the calories low.

Ok I kind of loved this chili. It was so good! Lots of flavor and texture. I enjoyed the chickpeas, too. At first I thought they were weird to add to chili but the texture was great. The beans weren’t mushy.

This recipe is a winner! I would make it again for sure.

On Sunday I went swimming and then Michael and I got to go out for a Valentine’s Date Day. Michael’s sister babysat this guy:

I planned our date for this month. Our date started with lunch. We went to Ten Barrel Brewery. I’ve never been and it was a cool place with a fun vibe. We both got the Pearl IPA.

It was a pretty decent beer.

Michael got the personal sized pizza and the salad lunch combo:

The crust wasn’t anything special but the flavor of the sauce and the spicy pepperoni were really tasty. I got the Seoul Sandwich which had Korean steak with sauce, pickled carrots and shredded cabbage on it. It was really, really tasty! The meat had a fabulous flavor to it. I would have liked it a little spicier but it was a really delicious meal otherwise.

Next up was the highlight of our date day: A mini spa day! We went to Sole 2 Sole Reflexology in North Portland. I didn’t know what to expect because I’ve never tried reflexology before.

It was such a good experience! We both LOVED it! We were in a semi-private back room with two chairs. We sat down in our side-by-side chairs and then we soaked our feet in barrels of hot water while the therapists massaged our arms and hands. They also put some hot neck wrap things on us. Those were nice.

Then they dried our feet and started the foot and leg massage and reflexology. It was SO GOOD! I get massages once a month (thank you insurance)ย but they rarely spend that much time on my legs or feet, which is a bummer. So this was a really nice treat because it was a full hour on your feet and legs!

The reflexology part was really interesting. Hard to describe, but nice. It was a lot of pressure-point massage and the massage therapist did some massage around my knees, which was really nice.

Michael fell asleep. ๐Ÿ™‚ I dozed in and out of very deep relaxation. It was so nice. The place was great and I would totally go back again. Michael enjoyed his surprise Valentine’s date and he said had he’d known what I had planned he would have run extra miles on Saturday to really get the full benefit of the massage. ๐Ÿ˜‰

It was a great date and we went home to be with the baby and just hang out for the rest of Sunday. Kinda lazy, which was nice.

Open Sesame

This post is about music, memories and a mighty tasty dinner.


Sunday afternoon we made our way over to Reed College to see the Portland Baroque Orchestra perform Haydn’s Three Symphonies (Symphony No. 6. Le matin,ย Symphony No. 7. Le midi,ย Symphony No. 8. Le soir.). It’s been awhile since I’ve been to the orchestra and I’m so glad I got us tickets! It was a fun performance and the auditorium at Reed College was pretty intimate.



During the intermission we walked around the campus a little bit. It was a gorgeous hot day and students were laying in the grass hanging out, listening to music and studying with friends. It made me wish I’d gone away to college right after highschool and experienced that adventure. Instead, I went to college part time while working full time throughout my 20’s. I don’t necessarily regret that because I got the experience of living on my own for almost a decade. That kind ofย independenceย is important, I think.


But still, I wistfully watched the students and part of me wished I’d gone to one of the schools I’d been interested in. Of course as a 17 year old student I was looking at colleges AS FAR FROM HOME as humanly possible. ๐Ÿ™‚ There was one in Vermont and one in Boston I was in love with, as well as Reed, Evergreen and Grinnell.


Isn’t Reed a gorgeous campus? It’s especially beautiful in the springtime.


We went back to the auditorium for the final performance. The director was a vibrant, enthusiastic performer and the rest of the orchestra sounded flawless. It was such a nice, uplifting performance. I was particularly interested in watching the violinists. When I was in elementary school I really wanted to learn how to play the violin or cello. Unfortunately it was the piano for me–since that’s what my parents had. Oh well! Maybe someday I’ll try to learn it.

There wasn’t time to linger at Reed, even though it was a perfect day to do so, because dinner was cooking in the crockpot at home. This recipe is from Skinny Taste. I’ve tried a few of her recipes in the past and usually they are pretty good. I figured you can’t go wrong with chicken and soy sauce.


I might have added a little more of theย sriracha sauce than the recipe called for…but that’s typical of me! I like SPICE! The recipe was super quick to throw together. I halved the recipe to make 4 servings instead of the 8. That way there would be enough for dinner and maybe a lunch or two this week.

This is not a good recipe for a week night. It only takes 4 hours to make and that would be hard to do during the week, but it’s perfect for a weekend when you are in and out of the house all day.


I made brown rice to go with the chicken, which was a good combo. Theย chickenย wasย probablyย a lot spicier than the originally recipe was supposed to be but I liked it spicy! I wish there was more of a sesame flavor to it, but the spice and the tomato paste and the soy were the dominant flavors in this dish. I think a little more nutty sesame flavor would be a nice finishing flavor.


The chicken was a tad on the dry side–maybe because I used boneless, skinless chicken cutlets instead of breasts? Or maybe it needed to be cooked for 3.5 hours instead of 4. Whatever it was, it wasn’t a big deal. The dinner was still delicious and I would make it again!

QUESTION: Are you a fan of classical music? Where did you go to college?