L-Pod Come Back!!

29 01 2008

Squeeeeeee! My blog namesake has been spotted in California. I guess they were fed up with the weather in Western Washington. The L pod (resident Puget Sound¬†killer whales) was spotted feeding in California this week. The real reason is likely due to our Washington feeding areas being low on salmon ūüė¶ I could direct them to the place just a couple of miles from here where we watched the salmon run, but somehow I don’t think that will be fresh or hearty enough for them.

I hope this is a freak shortage of salmon and not a sign of things to come for our beautiful Washington waters. What will I do if I can’t go see my guys next summer in the San Juan Islands?

A lovely picture from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

Five Things I Love

27 01 2008

1. Five consecutive sunny/frigid days in January.
2. Looking N-E-S-W and seeing mountains in every direction.
3. Seeing ice on Greenlake. Hoping to snap a pic of it tomorrow!
4. Being wrapped up in my down lap blanket watching movies.
5. Going on a date to see a movie with my hubby.

 Hope you guys had a great weekend! Happy Sunday night.

Should we have a virtual bake-off?

21 01 2008

Ok, I just made some reeeeeally tasty Chocolate Chip Cookies, but I know some of my friends and mothers have some killer ccc recipes. I know I’m out on a limb, but they might be some of the best I’ve tasted (the close compare would have to be Pam’s, which I haven’t tasted in so long, I just can’t remember).

Once again, Allrecipes.com really comes through with their…

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
“Crisp edges, chewy middles”

Cookies!more cookies!

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350¬įF

Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. Stir in flour, chocolate chips and nuts. Drop large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans.

Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.

I’m Speechless (is this a first?)

13 01 2008

Wow. Just wow. My older sister and her husband gave me one of the coolest gifts I might have ever received for Christmas. Seriously. I’m speechless at how amazing this little tool really is!

 Cuisinart Hand Blender

I made a batch of butternut squash soup tonight, usually this involves me transferring boiling soup from the pot to the food processor then to a different bowl and back to the pot in about 3-4 batches. This usually takes about 20 minutes and is VERY messy. Last time I did this I spilled the soup during the transfer and burned the crud outta my hand. Well, Shar, Jake, you have saved my hand and about 30-45 minutes! The entire blending process took less than 3 minutes. And cleanup? Oh, 45 seconds. YOU RULE!

You just drop it in your pot of boiling goodies, turn it on, and blend away (be careful, the motor is quite powerful). This model happens to come with a chopper and whisk attachment as well. All super compact and hardly takes up any space in my kitchen cabinets.

I tried a new variation of my soup tonight, it was better than my original!

Butternut Squash Soup

1 (3 1/2 – 4lb) Butternut Squash
Olive oil
3 Tbsp butter
1 Leek (white part only, chopped)
4 tsp fresh ginger, minced
4 cups chicken stock
3/4 of an 8oz block low fat cream cheese
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1/2 tsp ground marjoram
add sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
creme fraiche

Split and seed the squash. Lay split squash face down on an oiled cookie sheet. Cook in oven at 400 for about 45 minutes, or until flesh is tender with a fork.

Let the squash cool and scoop out the meat, throw out the skin.

In a soup pot, melt butter. Cook until tender, but not brown leeks and ginger. Add squash, chicken stock, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne, and marjoram. Bring to a simmer and let cook, stirring occasionally, breaking up squash for 20 minutes. Add cream cheese just prior to next step of blending.

Insert immersion blender (YAY!) or puree mixture in food processor or blender and add back to pot.

Top soup with roasted seeds, creme fraiche, cilantro or whatever your heart desires!

Notes: I also have used ground ginger for lack of remembering the actual fresh root at the store, I just cut the amount in half. I always love to rinse the seeds, coat them with olive oil, sprinkle them with sea salt and dry them out for an hour at 200F. They are delicious sprinkled on top of the soup!

Happy girl with my hand blender (and listening to kplu via my new under-cabinet radio while I cook):


Good Season Hawks!

12 01 2008

Well, we lost. Horribly. With our hopes at their highest two minutes into the game, we REALLY thought we might win yesterday’s game against the Green Bay Packers. I think nothing is going to stop Brett Favre this year – except maybe the perfect Patriots.

The first two minutes of the game, the Packers turned over the ball twice, leading to a 14-0 Seahawks lead. Well, after that our offense was a bit chilly in the 25 degree weather with snow.

Even Kristian’s hand-made from a drink coaster voodoo dolls could do nothing to prevent Grant (the offender of the first two fumbles) from scoring and running for over 200 yards. Sigh.

Seahawks FanKKRDolls

All in all, it was a really fun season and we can’t wait for the 2008 season – Go Seahawks. And now, we cheer for Favre to win that championship!!

In Shape in 2008

11 01 2008

I joined a new gym this year and have been very good about¬†my workouts so far! My favorite time of the day to go is during the Ellen show, it keeps¬†me laughing and makes me forget the pain I’m in.¬†As she was getting through her¬†favorite online videos today, I¬†realized I was not in nearly as much pain as possible. Good stuff comes from that show!

Nom Nom Nom

7 01 2008

In celebration of the BCS Championship game (go not LSU), I decided to make a homemade pizza tonight for dinner. What would go on the pizza? What better than buffalo chicken? I adapted a recipe found on Allrecipes (my favorite website). It turned out really well, I highly recommend – maybe for a Super Bowl Party? Oooh, or to watch Seahawks vs. Green Bay on Saturday afternoon (GO SEAHAWKS!)? Ehem, ok…the recipe:

Buffalo Style Chicken Pizza
(adapted from Allrecipes.com Buffalo Style Chicken Pizza)

2 skinless, boneless breasts
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 ounces of Franks Hot Wing Sauce (be sure to buy the hot wing sauce, not hot sauce)
4 ounces of low-fat cream cheese
1 18 inch frozen pizza dough (I used East Coast Dough Co.)
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare pan (I used a 15″ jelly roll pan as I don’t have a pizza stone) with a light coating of olive oil.

Slice and cook chicken breasts on grill pan or in large frying pan. In the meantime, roll out crust and place in pan, bake in oven to set, approximately 4 minutes. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, melted butter and hot sauce. Mix well. Spread cream cheese on prepared crust. Top with chicken mixture and shredded cheese.

Bake in preheated oven until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly, about 10-12 minutes. Let set a few minutes before slicing.

Notes: Next time, I’ll make my own dough, just because I want to try. East¬†Coast Dough¬†was bought in QFC stores (Kroger brand) and was really tasty though! I also will probably add a dash of dry ranch dressing mix to the cream cheese to give it some more kick.

¬†I took some pictures, but they would not make you want to eat the pizza, so…a pictureless post tonight! Enjoy your pizza.