Thursday, October 16, 2014

Must Make: Chicken Breast with Couscous & Kale


This dish right here made its way alongside some of my favorite recipes, upon making it for the very first time. I knew it was a good one when the boyfriend mentioned it as a new favorite of his, too.

It's a one-pot meal, which is so perfect after a busy day. (And it's not even a crackpot meal!) I'd never made Couscous before, but after this, I surely will be integrating it more and more into my dinner recipes. It's a really pretty presentation, which only really matters when it tastes as good as it looks--and since it did, it's a total win/win.

Need:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2  large chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 pounds) 
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups very thinly sliced kale
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

Do:
Combine thyme, cumin and pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with half of the spice mixture.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet (I used a cast-iron), over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and onion to the pan; cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to soften, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in couscous and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until the couscous is lightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add kale and the remaining spice mixture; cook, stirring, until the kale begins to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes.

Pour in broth and any accumulated juice from the chicken, then nestle the chicken into the couscous. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the couscous is tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Houston, Texas II.


Well, I didn't manage to wake up as early as I mentioned in this post (I actually snoozed for an hour and 15 minutes- which I never do!); however, I did walk to and from the work convention instead of taking a shuttle. It was 10ish blocks from my hotel, which allowed for just a little peak of downtown Houston. I popped quickly into one building that had an art installation, and then took a stroll around Discovery Green Park on the walk back. The best part was probably the end of the night, where I went to a restaurant called Sambuca that had live music, and I tried escargot for the first time! I'm actually surprised I did. I got a lot of "ewwwwwws!" when I mentioned that to friends--but it was smothered in cheese and some kind of fluff, and to be honest it tasted like bacon. Can you ever go wrong with anything that tastes like bacon? 


And that concludes my little work jaunt to Houston. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Houston, Texas.

It's the beginning of what will be a whirlwind week, traveling to both Texas and Massachusetts. I'm spending a few days in Houston for a work convention, and while it's always fun to explore a new place, my daily work schedule doesn't really allow for much sight-seeing. I was able to take a little walk through downtown--and I really mean a little walk--but I'll take what I can get while I'm here. (Including the best gumbo ever last night for dinner.) I'm hoping I can wake up early tomorrow and get a few more sights in...but I'm also hoping I feel like waking up early to do so. There's a good coffee place in my hotel, and so many exhibiting booths at the conference I'm attending are serving coffee, so I'm sure I can combat the exhaustion should I wake up tired. Or at least mask the exhaustion for a while...

^^Lots of stars for the Lone Star State.^^
^^Ending my day with fries and tortilla soup.^^
(Told you it wasn't much of a walk.)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Twenty-eight, at a Pumpkin Patch.

            
I can't remember the last time I went to an actual pumpkin patch. I think for the last few years, I've grabbed a pumpkin at a grocery store, or wherever I happened upon one. But not this year! I had a maternity shoot for my friend Leah, and right before our gorgeous shoot location, I spotted a pumpkin patch. My inner child immediately took over, and I told Joe that when the shoot was done, we had to go and pick a pumpkin. (He accompanied me to this shoot because I knew he'd enjoy the location.) I felt a little out of place, since I didn't have a child in tow, but whatever. Sometimes you have to be the kid and have fun for yourself, right?

^^The winning pumpkin.^^
^^And a win, for Joe.^^

Friday, October 10, 2014

A European video attempt.

I never think to take videos while I'm away, and I'm kicking myself now thinking of all my lost opportunities. I had a dozen or so little clips from my trip to Europe last year--none of them are superb quality--and after stumbling upon them again, I figured I'd try to salvage the "OK" bits and pieces that I had, and make some sort of video montage.

Disclaimer: I have not one clue what I'm doing; I've never used any movie programs, and again, these clips weren't intended to really be much of anything when I took them. But hey, I have to start somewhere, right? Even if that somewhere is a jumbled mess of clips that aren't even really in the order that we traveled...but I learned something while I was messing around, so there's the silver lining! And oh, I hacked the video down maybe ten twenty times in order to make it fit the size capacity for my little blog...but I'm sure anyone watching won't mind a shorter video ;)



video








Wednesday, October 8, 2014

That face you make when ________


I'm having a stressful day. It will be funny when I'm home-but right now it's just stressful. And pretty annoying. But this photo of Ziggy helps a bit, and actually seems quite fitting, because it's surely the same face I've made like 20 times today. I need to figure out how to create a meme, because I can see this photo on Instagram or Twitter with all sorts of funny captions. My current ones are as follows:

"That face you make when your customers are asking the same questions you've answered 10 times already."

"That face you make when you're asked the same question a 12th time."

"That face you make when you realize you need to go grocery shopping after a late and exhausting work day."

Anyone up for adding on?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

For the boring folks, like myself...


Here is the (huge) turkey taco salad that I made myself last night. I prefaced this blog with "boring" not because I think so; but rather everyone who likes flavor in their food may think so.

I don't like tomatoes. I know, it's weird, and that means I'm not a pizza or pasta lover which is even more weird, but it is what it is. So when I cook, I usually make two versions of things: non-boring for the boyfriend, and boring for myself. This taco salad is really easy to customize, so to throw in some tomatoes, avocado and salsa for the bf is pretty easy. I just keep it simple with the lettuce base, and throw the turkey (sauteed with onion), beans and cheese on top. (And I did make my own tortilla chips, to jazz it up just a bit. Ha.)

Here's a fun fact: I never liked cheese or beans, so it's even weird that I'm eating that, when I think of it. I used to go to Taco Bell with my dad, and I would order crunchy tacos with only lettuce. And one time, they gave me my tacos with literally only lettuce--no meat--and my dad had to go in and tell them a taco would not be a taco without meat. So, at least I'm not as bad as I used to be.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Ziggy & Joe.


Every now and then, Joe will ask "have you blogged?" I'm usually on edge when he asks that, and give him a cockeyed "why are you asking?" kind of look. I'm not sure where the insecurity comes from; he means well by asking, serving more as a gentle reminder that I probably should blog. Because I like doing it. So, to serve a dual-purpose, here is a blog about the boyfriend--and the dog. (Well, one of them.) This may become it's own series (a la Theo and Beau?), because they are simply best friends, and it's worth it's own little segment.

Side note: Ziggy doesn't act like this with me. He loves me, sure, but I'm not sure if it's the size difference between me and Joe (a solid 15 inches), or if it's a man-to-man kind of thing, but it's as though Ziggy is an infant always cuddling up to his dad, Joe. And it's not a dog-to-human relationship either, but rather a legitimate human-to-human relationship, because Ziggy doesn't get that he is a dog...when he is with Joe.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Rachel & Matias Get Married!


I was so excited when I was asked to be a bridesmaid for my friend Rachel's wedding. She and her fiance had been together for years, and I knew when she told me he had planned a sweet Sunday picnic, that a proposal was on the horizon. Thankfully, I was right!  

Since I was in the wedding, I wasn't able to grab as many shots as I wanted--and I did not want to overstep on the hired photographer's toes--but here are a few, below, from the bridal party getting ready, and a few post-ceremony.



I loved this shot! Except...I wasn't in it. Ha. (I was behind the camera, as usual.)
So, I had the videographer take a photo for me, and hopped right on in!
I don't know what it is about a bride getting ready on her wedding day, but I just love how the shots come out. This is one of my favorites.
And a quick detail shot! (I did manage to sneak this in, along with a couple others.)

The groomsmen and their gifted socks!
And a requisite shot of me and my man :)

I'm really looking forward to seeing the photos from Rachel's photographer. I actually shot my very first wedding last weekend, which was a tag-team effort with my photographer/friend Myisa--and I didn't realize how much work it would be. Well, I figured it was going to be a lot of work; however, I didn't realize how sore I would be at the end of the night from all of the running around and squatting and maneuvering to get the best angles, for the best shots. Lesson learned, and more props to all of the wedding photographers out there!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Rehearsal Dinner at Apple Farm


One of my nearest and dearest of friends got married last month, and we celebrated the happy couple for an entire weekend! I flew back East for the wedding (and squeezed in these pregnancy announcements), and attended their beautiful rehearsal dinner at Apple Farm. Doesn't the location look so peaceful? I had to steal the future bride and groom for some shots outside, because I simply can't resist. Ever. (Joe will ask me to not bring the camera when we go out sometimes. So we can "eat in peace." Ha.)


The sun was setting, and the sunlight poured into these trees from behind, making for such lovely shots. I actually told all couples and family to come outside if they wanted photos, because it was such a pretty setting. I had a little line of people waiting!


And I couldn't not take one for myself, so I set up the shot and someone take a couple snaps for me, too :)   Don't you love Joe's bow tie, by the way? I made him buy it, because I love bow ties, and maybe because I wanted us to (subtly) match.

I'll be sharing more of the wedding soon!

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