Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dinner : Chili Crusted Salmon with Brussels and Avocado

Dinner last night was chili crusted salmon (the chili sauce includes achiote paste, lemon, olive oil, honey, salt, garlic), over a bed of brussels sprouts with side of avocado. We get our avocados at El Pescador, an awesome fish market down the street from our house. They have the most perfectly ripe avocados every day, and sometimes I even stop in there just for an avocado (no fish).

On a non-dinner note, we watched Stephen King's The Mist last night. We collectively give it 3.5 out of 4 stars. Dylan was excited about it because he read the book of short stories that the movie was adapted from many times as a kid.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sun Bath

The sun slivers through the west facing windows around 4:00pm these days, and by 4:30 there is usually a full-fledged pool of sunlight on the rug around the coffee table. On Tuesdays and Thursdays when I work from home, I love to watch Streak's reaction to this gift of nature. She rouses from her deep sleep, and casts her gaze on the sun patch, trotting over to inspect after a full-body cat stretch. She tries hard to figure out the source of this mysterious light and heat, checking the windows, walls and even the ceiling! I think she eventually decides that the source doesn't matter -- it is a delightful yet fleeting phenomenon and she'd better take advantage of it quickly. This results in her collapsing on the floor in a pool of light for about 20 minutes with a blissed-out look on her face.

Today she jumped up on the coffee table, where the sun was most concentrated, and did a few pacing circles. I think she was apprehensive about lying down on the glass (she hasn't quite figured out how to trust transparent surfaces yet). I covered the table with a throw blanket for her and she was able to enjoy her sun bath at last. She looks very beautiful to me with her fur aglow -- but then again, I AM her mom.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Dinner : Grilled Chicken Thighs and Kale

Dinner tonight was grilled chicken thighs with kale. The chicken was marinated all day in a balsamic/garlic/pepper mixture. Dylan did a masterful grilling job, as usual. Leftover challah was sliced and toasted before dinner. Also, the meal was accompanied by a glass of Beringer Founder's Estate Pinot Noir (2006).

Regal Streak

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Bread: Traditional Challah

We actually made two breads this weekend. On Friday / Saturday we make another batch of the Potato Rosemary Bread for some friends that were coming to dinner (with their daughter 'Rosemary' :) ). That came out great - we made one loaf and 10 dinner rolls, but no pictures.

Today we made a 'traditional' (i.e. white flour) challah (in contrast to the wheat challah from a couple of weeks ago). White flour is so much easier to work with - so much smoother. But I am going to continue with mostly the wheat breads. Anyways, here are the loafs proofing after Dana expertly braided them:

And here is one after coming out of the oven:

Very tasty!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Kilometer 8 of our 10K : A Picture of Pain

Well, at least I can say I finished the 10K. It wasn't pretty:

Dana, as usual, had no problem:

After the race we hit the beer garden for a couple - let's hear it for beers at 9am!

Dinner : Swordfish and Broccolini

Dinner tonight was swordfish (marinated in soy, mirin, sesame oil) and broccolini sauteed with garlic and sesame seeds. Yum!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Dinner : BBQ Shrimp and Brussels Sprouts

We get these great jumbo, shell-on shrimp at Trader Joes. A quick marinade and a few minutes on the grill is all it takes to make a tasty dinner out of them. Last night we put them on a bed of brussels sprouts (a favorite veggie in our house). This is one of those dinners that drives Streak absolutely bananas. If she's patient, she usually gets rewarded with a morsel or two.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Adventures in Milk

As part of our quest to attempt to only eat animals raised in a sustainable way, we have started to buy grass-fed meat, milk, and cheese whenever possible. This led us to buying milk from Straus Family Creamery, which in turn led us to something new for us city folk: A layer of cream at the top of our milk. After asking the internet if this is weird, we gave it a try - the results: yummy!

Dessert: Bacon Chocolate Bar

I know, it sounds kinda weird, but we've been seeing this "Mo's Bacon Bar" around and decided to try it. We had our first taste tonight. Frankly, it was good but I couldn't taste the bacon. I could definitely taste the sea salt, but that's about it.

Dinner : Pork Chops, Collard Greens, Pinto Beans

Tonight's dinner was phenomenal, and it came together with ingredients that we hadn't intended to pair. The journey started this morning after Krav Maga, when we picked up a few pork chops at Whole Foods. Then later in the day, our friends, Darin & Melissa, invited us over to their garden to help ourselves to some collard greens - some of the prettiest collard greens I've ever seen! We came home and found bacon in the fridge, and suddenly the dinner plan was born. We diced a few strips of bacon, cooked them, and added the collard greens just until they were wilted. The pork chops were done on the grill, with nothing added to them. The pinto beans were part of a large batch that we made today for our lunches this week. They are dressed with horseradish mustard. What a wonderful flavor combination -- with fresh, perfect greens, and the best pork chops that either of us have ever tasted. See our next post for dessert...

Cat Grass

Streak has recently taken to eating the leaves of our bamboo plant that sits on the coffee table. Today we picked up a pot of cat grass so that she can get her chlorophyll fix without ruining our plants (or poisoning herself!). It's a hit!! Note the tongue in picture #2...

Dinner : Spicy Chicken Chorizo and Broccolini

The title says it all. An easy dinner - and very tasty!

Friday, March 14, 2008


Streak was born in 1989 in Massachusetts. Her favorite foods are salmon, turkey, cheddar, tuna juice (from the can - Starkist brand is preferable) and marshmallows. She has a very loud voice and is an obsessive groomer - it is hard work being so pretty!

Pre-race Dinner : Brussels Sprouts with Salmon

Tomorrow is the St. Patty's Day 10k race - so we needed to get our energy up tonight. Dinner was brussels sprouts topped with broiled salmon and a lemon garlic mustard sauce (olive oil, fresh lemon juice, dijon mustard, garlic, and a dash of balsamic).

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Dinner : Whole Wheat Pasta with Farm Sauce

Farm sauce is a specialty created by Dana that contains: 2 tomatoes, 1 yellow onion, 6 cloves of garlic, a bunch of Russian kale (a very pretty/frilly type of kale with bright purple stems!), red pepper flakes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and grass-fed beef. All the produce is organic and local, from the La Jolla Farmer's Market. Topped with shaved Parmesan...and washed down with a glass of TBD California Zin.

Dinner: Rapini, Strawberries, Grilled Chicken

Monday night dinner was rapini from the farmer's market, strawberries from the farmer's market, and grilled chicken (marinated overnight in olive oil, balsamic, garlic, herbs, and hot pepper flakes). And a glass of amber ale!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Dinner: Kale, Strawberries, Smoked Salmon + Wheat Bagels

Tonight we had kale and strawberries from the Farmers Market, and smoked salmon and cream cheese on the homemade wheat everything bagels we baked this afternoon.

As Promised, Wheat Bagels

So it seems that I only need to cook all my breads for about 50% of the time that is recommended in the recipe. I didn't take these out when I thought they might be ready so they're a little darker than they probably should be. But they're still really good!

We used garlic, poppy seeds, sesame seeds and salt as toppings:

Here's a pic of the bagels in progress:

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Streak's Donut

We've starting making a donut for Streak at night:

Pretty cute, huh? If you're really slow and careful you can share the couch with her:

She doesn't seem to mind:

Potato Rosemary Wheat

This week was Potato Rosemary Wheat bread, mainly because we cooked potatoes earlier in the week. For this bread you use the water the potatoes cooked in since it is more starchy I suppose.

I was able to use fresh rosemary from our neighbor's herb garden, which is always nice.

It also has a mashed up cooked potato, garlic (was supposed to be roasted but I didn't realize that until I was ready to put it in so it was raw :)), pepper and honey.

It was a very flavorful bread and we had no problem eating it all in 3-4 days. Definitely something I will make again.

Here is a detail shot of the crumb.

Today I'm starting wheat bagels, and also the starter for a sourdough bread. The sourdough start will take 7-14 days (!!!) so hopefully it will be ready next weekend.