Friday, August 29, 2014

Food I Ate Friday - Thai Chicken Soup

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Soup

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons Red Curry Paste
2 12 Ounce Cans of Coconut Milk
2 Cups Chicken Stock
2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Peanut Butter
1 1/2 Pounds Chicken Breasts, Cut into 1 1/2 Inch Pieces (we shredded ours at the end while it was still in the soup - it just fell apart)
1 Red Bell Pepper, Seeded and Sliced into 1/4 Inch Slices
1 Onion, Thinly Sliced
1 Heaping Tablespoon Fresh Ginger, Minced
1 Cup Frozen Peas, Thawed
1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
Cilantro for Garnish
Cooked White Rice


Directions

1. Mix the curry paste, coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, brown sugar and peanut butter in a 4-1/2 to 6-quart slow-cooker bowl. 

2. Place the chicken breast, red bell pepper, onion and ginger in the slow cooker, cover and cook on high for 4 hours.

3. Add in the peas and cook for 1/2 hour longer. 

4. Stir in lime juice and serve with cilantro and white rice.


Recently I was missing Thailand a lot.  The colors and flavors and smells all make me feel so relaxed.   When an old friend linked this recipe through Instagram, the picture alone was enough to make me drool and I was thrilled to find out I only needed to buy a few ingredients to make this in my house that week.  As usual, the most appealing part was the crock pot, and boy did it deliver.  I loved every single drop of this, but more importantly, Bill told me he could eat this once a week.  He is by no means a picky eater, but I love finding things he really loves :)  So, this recipe will quickly become a staple in the Roger's household and I hope you like it too! 

As always, I want to make sure the photo credit and recipe credit go to the right place!  In this instance I pulled the recipe and photo from the blog FoodieCrush and would recommend you taking a look at the other recipes on there.  Lot's of goodness I intend to dive into.

Have a lovely weekend friends and eat well!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bacon and Barrels

I don't even know where to begin.  Have you ever even heard an event title that was more exciting/awesome sounding?  This weekend was one of my favorites from this summer.   Bill and I headed up to a town called Los Olivos, which is about 45 minutes outside of Santa Barbara with a couple of friends to spend a weekend staying in one of the most beautiful homes I have ever had the privilege of staying in and to attend a food and beverage festival to top all others. 


Let's start with the house.  No amount of pictures could do it justice, you guys it was just gorgeous.  The kitchen was a dream and all the couches were soft and cozy.  Speaking of cozy, there were three fireplaces and there were fresh cut sunflowers that I felt like were picked with me in mind.  The view from the backyard was just lovely and made me feel like all the traffic to get up there was completely worth it.  Sigh, just thinking about it makes me anxious for next year when we go back (oh yeah, we decided this needed to be a yearly trip!).  The house was just comfortable.  We played music and sipped wine and just soaked it up.


We had never met the other couple that met us up there, but our group of six quickly found a rhythm.  They made us laugh and he cooked incredible meals for us just because he loves to cook.  And let me tell you, this man knows what's up in the kitchen!  It was so fun to just sit and enjoy a meal together on our beautiful patio the first night followed by fire place and hot tub time.  We all looked up at the stars and were reminded of how blessed we are.

The festival was better than I anticipated.  Sure it was crowded, but the food and drinks were really to die for.  Fantastic beer, wine and cocktails were flowing and after having bacon themed pizza, ice cream sundaes, biscuits, coconut curry jambalaya, bahn mi steamed bun pork belly tacos, chocolates, and so much more I was not over it.  Trays of bacon were being passed around and I could not resist.  Everything was just delectable and a foodies dream.


When we left the next morning my eyes genuinely welled up with tears.  You know those weekends you never want to end?  Yeah, this was one of them.  I just loved those people, that house, the morning light and the ambiance of such a fantastic setting.  We already bought our tickets for next year, and I can't wait to do it over again.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

It's the Little Things - Summer Time Goodness


When August is about half way through, I have to admit I get giddy that fall will begin.  However, looking back on this summer I can't help but smile and realize that I have had a lot of wonderful times and memories this time around and before I am ready to move on into my favorite season; I want to take a moment to look back on all the fun.  Summer concerts, the fair, coffee dates with friends, weekend trips, the 4th of July, trying new food, long walks with my husband, facetime dates with my family and lots of pictures of my niece on my daily text messages from my sister in law.  Overall, I'd say this was a killer summer!

Bill and I had lots of weekend trips: San Diego, Las Vegas, Visalia, Los Olivos and Baltimore.  Every trip was met with much anticipation, and every trip delivered.  I wouldn't trade one memory, and I am so thankful for all the opportunities I was given and for the deepened bonds of friendship and family :) It was in the small moments of reading in the morning light, soaking in some sunshine, walking with my mom when she came to visit, seeing my husband smile while his favorite band played on a perfect summer evening and stumbling around Vegas with our best friends that I found the most joy.  It's the little things friends...  Each of these pictures represents a sweet memory of a small thing that made me smile.

Having just a few more weeks of summer left makes me want to soak up BBQ weather and beautiful summer evenings.  

Cheers to finishing the summer strong!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Food I Ate Fridays - Green Goddess Dressing

You guys… this dressing is awesome.  I have to admit, I am most excited to use it on fish tacos this weekend, but it has been a lovely dressing for salads during the week :)  I am a sucker for a good salad dressing, and this one definitely has delivered.   

Bill and I have stopped buying dressing and have been making them instead.  It keeps the guessing out of it and you actually know what you are consuming.  It seemed intimidating at first, but it has been really fun to come up with new flavor combinations.  I found this particular recipe through Pinterest, and I have included a link to the originator at the bottom of this post.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I have :)

Have a lovely weekend dear friends!

Healthy Green Goddess Dressing | A Couple Cooks

Ingredients

2 scallions
½ green jalapeƱo pepper
⅔ cup Greek yogurt
½ cup lightly packed cilantro
Juice from 1 lime (2 tablespoons)
⅓ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey

Directions

Chop the scallions. 

Seed and dice the jalapeno pepper.

In the bowl of a blender or immersion blender cup, add ⅔ cup Greek yogurt,
½ cup lightly packed cilantro, juice from 1 lime (2 tablespoons), ⅓ cup olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon honey. 

Blend to combine.

Transfer to a sealable container; stores in the refrigerator for 1 week.

Credit where credit is due! Image and Recipe came from Here :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Lovely Afternoon Bridal Shower


When my mom was in town a few weeks ago, we had a lovely afternoon bridal shower for my little sister Faith.  The idea was based around a British tea (as she is going to London for her honeymoon) so it was lots of finger "sandwiches" and treats that would go with hot tea.  Bridal showers are so wonderful as the bride because you are surrounded by your favorite people.  Watching my sister get spoiled with friendship, hugs and gifts was wonderful.  




 What a fun right of passage!  This is the 10th wedding I have been in (I know it is crazy), and every shower feels so fun and loving and personal.  The ladies that helped me throw this shower were really incredible and really love my sister, and I feel like it showed so well.  They each had really sweet, personal touches that made it overall relaxing and enjoyable and made it feel so very genuine.  I loved the "real" plates, homemade food and drinks, sparkly touches and overall feel of this afternoon tea.



 A wedding is such a fantastic thing to celebrate.  I am really looking forward to my sister marrying the man of her prayers and I just love that as women we get to celebrate in such unique and creative ways :)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Food I Ate Fridays - BLT Pasta Salad

BLT Pasta Recipe


Ingredients

8 ounces uncooked mezze penne pasta
6 center-cut bacon slices 
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved 
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 (6-ounce) package baby spinach 
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ounce fresh Romano cheese, finely grated (about 1/4 cup)


Directions

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon; cook 6 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Add tomatoes and salt to drippings in pan; cook 3 minutes or until tomatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Add spinach and pasta to pan; cook 1 minute or just until spinach begins to wilt, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle pasta with bacon, pepper, and cheese.


This Cooking Light Recipe (and photo) was so simple and if you use the portions above it should yield 3-4 servings.  I really loved how quick it was for a weeknight meal, and any time I have bacon I feel indulgent.  I actually used arugula instead of spinach and loved the result.

Eat well my friends and have a lovely weekend!