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.

Chicken Breast with Couscous and Kale

Ingredients:

  • 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

Instructions:

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.)

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, 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!


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.


The sun was setting and the sunlight poured into these trees from behind, making for such gorgeous shots. I actually told everyone to come outside if they wanted photos, because it was such a pretty setting - and I people quickly lined up on the porch.

I'll be sharing more of the wedding soon!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

And then there were 3...


I am thrilled to announce that one of my best friends, Kelly (from this post), is pregnant! The timing for her announcement photos was pretty perfect, since I was already flying back to Massachusetts to be in a wedding. Kelly would be 14 weeks pregnant by that time, so she needed to wait an extra two weeks to announce, but it was totally worth it. We wound up using my mother's backyard for the shoot, and Kelly brought ultrasound photos and some fun props. (Thank you Kelly, and Pinterest, for these ideas!)


^^I'm not sure that you can see it clearly, but little baby A is sucking his/her thumb!^^



^^Gosh, I really love candids.^^

Kelly and Bobby, I am so happy for you, and can not wait to be an honorary aunt to this little Greek baby! :)

Monday, June 9, 2014

To blog, or not to blog...

It's been four(ish) months since my last post. And it's been a long four(ish) months--both good and bad.

I'm not one of those people that can force things, and therefore am not one that can force blog posts. If I am feeling completely uninspired, or feeling completely blah, I just can't write. I don't even feel inclined to take photos, which is weird. And then I think well, I'm not even sure if people are reading this (besides my mother), so it's all good if I want to take a four-plus month hiatus...

But that probably isn't the best attitude to have. I blog because I love to write, take photographs, and share my experiences. When I take a photo that I absolutely adore, or have a great day with a good friend, or when I read other people's blogs, I get that I want to blog! itch. So here I am. With a quick four(ish) month re-cap:

  • A "bucket list" item checked off: I went platinum blonde for a couple of months, which was fun, but holy maintenance (and money). It was cool while it lasted.
  


  • I had a really cool photo gig for the new Dodger's Stadium restaurants (and I got to sample pretty much everything I photographed). It was actually my first time at the stadium, too!


  • Since we are on the food topic, I have had a recent obsession with pancakes. No clue where it is coming from (and no, I'm not pregnant). I found the "only pancake recipe you'll ever need," via Huffington Post.


  • My good friend in LA had her second baby (most of my friends with children are back East), and I was able to grab some newborn shots! I really love newborn photography, and I wish more of my friends out this way would pop out some babies. Just sayin'.
 ^^I'm not sure what it is about baby feet...^^
^^Or two sets of little feet...^^


  • I took a weekend trip to Seattle with the boy.

^^Can you believe this is an iPhone shot?^^




 ^^This is probably my favorite cityscape shot that I've ever taken.^^
^^And this is a close runner-up.^^

  • My little guy, Ziggy, has epilepsy, which fortunately has been under control for the last 2 months now. His (twice daily) medicine has been so helpful, and I pray it will stay that way. It's been a pretty rough time, to be honest.

  • My godson, Julian, turned one! Where on Earth does the time go.

  • And my sister, Maggie, graduated high school this past weekend! I can't deal. I will forever see her as my little baby sister, with curly red hair, big blue eyes and glasses, following me around wherever I went.  I am just so proud of her.

Finally, I reupholstered my couch, and I can't wait to keep on decorating my space to make it more "me." I love interior design, and really want to focus more on it. More photos--and maybe blogs--to come on this topic ;)

(Feels good to be back!)