Monday

Dinner 6/27

Tuscan Salmon with Orzo
(via epicurious.com)

When Bear and I were dating, he told me--on several occasions--that he didn't eat "anything that used to swim". But on our honeymoon, he tried (and liked!) several dishes, from red snapper to shrimp. I decided to try again, telling him salmon was one of our week's meals. He surprised me by asking for it tonight. (Maybe he was just trying to get it out of the way?)

Either way, I loved this dish. The onion and rosemary flavored the orzo well, leaving it a crisp contrast to the salmon and tomato topping. I added my favorite spinach to the plate as well, just to beef up the nutrients.

I sort of halved the recipe, using just two salmon fillets, but making a large amount of orzo to have leftovers. Several comments on the site mention using more herbs than the recipe called for. And I used dried herbs rather than fresh. Because you know, sometimes your imaginary herb garden just isn't producing like it should.


ingredients
6 oz orzo
2 t olive oil
1 1/2 cups onion, divided
1 T fresh chopped rosemary
4 salmon fillets, skin on
1/4 cup plus 1 t fresh basil
1/4 t salt
black pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 pint grape tomatoes 
(Note: I used regular garden tomatoes, freshly picked from our neighbor's garden)
1/4 c pitted kalamata olives, sliced
2 T fresh parsley


preparation
Cook orzo as directed until al dente.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook 1/2 c onion and rosemary until onion softens, about 9 minutes. Combine with drained orzo. 

Season salmon with 1 t basil, salt and pepper. Heat the same skillet over medium-high heat. Cook salmon until golden, 5-ish min per side, flesh side down first. 

Set aside. 

Add garlic and remaining onion to skillet. Cook until soft, about 2 min. 

Add tomatoes and olives, cook until tomatoes break up, about 3 min. Remove skillet from heat, stir in remaining basil and parsley. 

Realize you forgot the olives. Tell your husband, who states that he hates olives. Realize trying fish is a big step for him and don't press your luck. 
Sorry, olives.

While the onions/tomatoes did their thing, I whipped up my super easy spinach. I used to think I HATED spinach, but realized after trying this recipe that I just hate canned spinach. There is a big difference. I call this garlic braised spinach. That's probably not right, but it sounds good, huh?

Heat some olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, add 2 cloves of chopped garlic. 

Add several handfuls of spinach, piling up over the skillet. It will cook down. 

Stir, making sure all the spinach cooks evenly, until it's significantly wilted, about 5 minutes. 


Voila! A fish the Mr. will actually eat! 

Saturday

Blueberry Crumb Cake

I made this for breakfast this morning, to break in our new oven.

(Photo via Food Network)


The favors of the lemony cake coupled with blueberries and the slightly crunchy streusel was delicious. Ina Garten can do no wrong.

Friday

Friday Love

So, on Fridays, I like to list things I love. The number is completely arbitrary. This week, let's go with 8.

1. Netflix dates with the Husbear. We're getting pretty into "Pushing Daisies" and "24". I love Chuck and Olive!




2. Homemade ice cream. Bear's sister got us an ice cream maker as a wedding gift, and, ahem, I've been using it A LOT.

(Sidenote: I would die if I ever got this. Want one SO bad!)


3. Rustic headboards. We have NO bedroom furniture, save a mattress (and we're borrowing that!), so it's fun to think of starting from scratch. This is my dream headboard, but now I'm convinced that, using this tutorial, we can make one!




4. Finally having our dog, Topher, back with us. Because of moving around and not being settled, he's been living with relatives, but he's back! (Pics to come!)

5. Poached eggs. For snacks, breakfast...there's really no bad time to eat a poached egg.



6. Ombre. I know, I know. I'm late to this party. I just got ombre highlights a few weeks ago and LOVE them. I see a lot of opportunities for it in fashion, beauty and home design and am hoping to incorporate a few ideas!

( This is pretty much what our humble living room aspires to. And the curtains would be an easy DIY.)

(I, and my hair, look EXACTLY like this.)

7. Risotto. I think I could eat risotto all day. With poached eggs on top. :)

(Photo and recipe from "The Pioneer Woman")

8. Nail art. Not the tacky yuck stuff, but fun designs.


(via "Cupcakes and Cashmere")



(Wanna see more of what I love? Follow me on Pinterest!)

Thursday

Dinner 6/22

One month ago, Bear and I were in Jamaica on our honeymoon. I thought this Caribbean-inspired dinner would be a good way to celebrate one month of being married. (Yay!)
Banana Curry Chicken with Black Beans and Rice
Who needs a rice cooker? :)



Black Beans
1 (16 oz) can black beans
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic
Cardamon to taste (I used 1T)
Cayenne to taste (I used 1T)
Salt (about 1/4 t)
Handful of raw spinach
Juice of 1/2 lime

      Directions:

    1. Combine black beans (don't drain them), onion and garlic in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
    2. Reduce heat and add cardamon, cayenne and salt
    3. Simmer for 3 minutes, then add spinach & lime juice and stir 
    4. Continue simmering an additional 3 minutes and serve. 



Banana Curry Chicken
(recipe from Weight Watchers' "Everyone Loves Chicken")

    2 ripe bananas, cut up


    3/4 cup water
    1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
    1 T curry powder
    2 teaspoons canola oil
    1/2 t salt
    1/4 t pepper
    4 (1/2 lb.) bone-in chicken breast halves

        Directions:

      1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.
      2. Using a food processor or hand mixer, puree the bananas, water, yogurt, curry, oil, salt and pepper.
      3. Place the chicken in the baking dish. Pour the curry mixture over the chicken. Bake until a thermometer inserted in meat registers 170 degrees, or for about 30-35 minutes. 
      4. Serve the chicken, spooning the thick banana sauce over it. (It can be thinned with water, if you'd like.)



We just got opened our new dishes from West Elm. I'm kind of in love with them. 

The final result was some SPICY beans and a chicken that had a subtle spice and sweetness from the banana. Overall, a very Caribbean meal, and a great way for us to celebrate!


Wednesday

WEDnesday--We Got Married

We got married May 21, 2011. 

Best day of my life. 

These photos have been around for a bit, but I'm just now blogging them. I was so happy with our photographer!



The kids in our wedding are the cutest! Bear knows their family from a camp he worked at. Their family is seriously amazing and 100% a result of great, involved parents. 




We opted to do a first look. I would *highly* recommend this! We asked all the wedding party and family to clear the courtyard and only watch from inside, so in the midst of the day's craziness, we had a moment (or 20!) that were just OURS. 






















Bear made the boutonnieres, inspired by "UP", which we watched on one of our very first dates. Bear loves root beer. We always bring back local brews when we go on trips. 



A huge wedding party=one really blessed couple. 
We have amazing friends. 







I love this one. 











Bear's sister carried a memorial bouquet for their mother. When she got to the stage, she handed it to them and they laid it on a chair in remembrance. Later, during family prayer, Bear's dad brought the bouquet up with him. It was great to feel like she was there somehow. 


See? Cute cute cute. 


Somehow, in the course of wedding week, I lost my earrings and hair clip. And then it was so windy that going veil-less seemed like a better option. I think it worked out well. :)





Our minister used the verse "...love BEARS all things..." 
I laughed and pointed to Bear. Then he laughed at me. Then everyone laughed at us being nerds. 








Mr. & Mrs. 









First dance. 



Our little flower girl. 







One of our groomsmen gave us the gift of dance.