Thursday, May 17, 2012

Asparagus and Leek Tart with Goat Cheese

Goat cheese lovers! 
[Love it when your house smells like] Bacon lovers!
Asparagus lovers!
Having your mind blown lovers!...
This recipe is INSANELY YUM for all the lovers in the world. 
I'm obsessed. And I know you will be, too!
You know those recipes you make that you can't stop "mmmm-ing" and "oh my gawding" and just "wowing"? This is one of those. I seriously can't wait to make it again. And again. 
It's so easy, it's so perfect for spring, and it's bound to impress.
This was the first time I've ever cooked with leeks! I'm in the big leagues now, folks.
It's happening. 
Since our schedules aren't meshing well, and Eric has been doing a ton of traveling, I haven't been in the kitchen much, but this tart was just what I needed to to get me excited again.

(Also, our new apartment does not receive good lighting AT ALL, which makes picture taking very difficult. I'm having to resort to taking photos solely with my iPhone. It's unfortunate.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Moving In - Chipotle Pork Loin with Black Bean Salad

Moving in to our new apartment has proven to be a lot more difficult than we anticipated.
I never would've considered the fact that our previous furniture and/or decor might not fit or work in another space. Not to mention how expensive these things are!
At least after two and half weeks we finally have internet and the kitchen and bathroom are shaping up nicely. Eric and I are having fun crafting our new apartment together.
Moving in and balancing new work schedules have made it difficult to get in the kitchen and start cooking, but I have managed to whip up a few good meals (as well as produce one EPIC failure. Literally inedible).
I (or mom and I) have made a nicoise salad, almond broccoli pesto, chipotle salmon tacos with cucumber apple salsa, homemade sticky buns (mind-blowing) and goat cheese pasta with fresh basil oil. All of these are share-worthy, but the recipe I would most like to share today is what I think is a lovely warm spring day meal. The pork takes on a real smoky and spicy flavor and balances perfectly with the fresh black bean salad.

Chipotle Pork Loin with Black Bean Salad 
(adapted from Real Simple Spring 2012)

1 tsp. ground chipotle chili pepper
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. ground coriander
4 tbsp. olive oil
kosher salt
1 1/2 lbs. boneless pork loin 

2 cans black beans, rinsed
1 avocado, cut into bite-sized pieces 
1/2 cup fresh cilantro 
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 jalapenos, chopped (and seeded for less heat)
1 cup sweet corn (grilled or frozen works)
2-4 tbsp. fresh lime juice
kosher salt, cumin and garlic powder to taste 
Heat oven to 375° F. In a small bowl, combine the chipotle pepper, paprika, cumin, coriander, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and 1 teaspoon salt.
Place the pork on a rimmed baking sheet and coat with the spice mixture. Roast until the internal temperature of the pork registers 155° F, 40 to 50 minutes. Let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss together the beans, avocado, cilantro, scallions, chili pepper, corn lime juice, the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil, salt, cumin and garlic powder. Let stand while the pork roasts.
Serve the pork with the bean salad and lime wedges. Add spanish rice and a glass of wine wine, and you're really doing things right.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Eric and I have been on the most incredible three month adventure; a journey that took us through the central highlands of Ecuador, down the coast and through the Andes of Peru, to the beaches of Southern California, and the mountains and arches of Utah. Now we are back, getting ourselves ready to move into our new apartment in Ballard and take on another year of working and enjoying everything that Seattle has to offer.

I am so excited to get back into my (much bigger) kitchen!
After this journey, I feel inspired to try to focus more on healthy and seasonal food and drink.
With spring and summer rapidly (I hope) approaching, I should definitely be able to come up with some beautiful and deliciously healthy meals.
Stay tuned!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ecuador So Far

Please excuse my lack of blog updates over that past week.
I´m slacking majorly.

The first (almost) week here has been pretty low key, with its ups and downs. Eric and I haven´t traveled for 2 years, so we were feeling pretty out of practice with the language and just feeling comfortable in another country in general. Things are getting so much better now though. I am finally feeling at ease and enjoying my time here and the Spanish is coming back to me.

To begin, the trip started off an extremely rough foot. On the way to the airport last Sunday night I noticed a headache coming on, and as the night progressed while we were waiting for our flight to Miami, it turned into a horrible migraine and for the first two hours of the plane ride I vomited non-stop in the bathroom and in those tiny paper bags in my seat. It was some of the most uncomfortable, painful hours I´ve ever experienced. I was finally able to keep some water down and also took an Excedrin and fell asleep on Eric´s shoulder for a few hours. A HUGE thanks goes out to that guy for helping me through those hours on the plane. He´s the best.
We found a sunny spot in the Miami airport, and while hugging our bags, we fell asleep on the floor for a good and much needed three hours.
That kind of sleep has been a pattern ever since. We are really struggling getting sleep here(especially me); hostel life is tough right now. Between loud people coming and going and staying up talking all hours of the night, roosters, barking dogs (last night a dog next door barked nonstop from 2am-3:30am) construction, and god knows what else, we can´t seem to catch up on sleep. Tonight will be no different - it´s a holiday and there will probably be fireworks going off all night.
On a positive note, we are in Baños, Ecuador right now and absolutely loving it. It´s a gorgeous little town, where everything is within walking distance and so many fun outdoor activites to offer. We have done a ton of walking, went on an awesome hike, rented a little go cart to tour the little city with, went rafting today, going repelling tomorrow, and who knows what else! The weather is sub-tropical here, it´s very warm and you never know when the rain will suddenly come pouring down.
We are so excited for our next adventure, too. For those of you who are interested in looking it up, it´s called the Quilotoa Loop. We will be spending about a week walking village to village and seeing a ton of amazing scenery.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Here and Alive!

Eric and I made it safely to Ecuador...we are currently in Baños, Ecuador and will write soon.

We just ate unidentifiable meat and soup with chicken guts in it. So yum.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Blue Cheese and Red Potato Tart

I made a blue cheese and red potato tart.
It was super perdy.
And so delicious.
We're going to be a eating a lot of potatoes in Ecuador and Peru, but probably not prepared like this!
After I had already mixed the ingredients for the crust, I realized my rolling pin was packed away in our storage unit 50 miles away, and I couldn't find another one in the house. Not wanting to give up on my tart, I rolled out the already impossible crust with a wine bottle.
For reals. That actually happened.
(and just for the record, I don't recommend it).

Saturday, January 7, 2012


All packed.
Feeling slightly anxious.
60 days on the road is now only one day away.
In our past week's boredom, Eric and I have watched countless episodes of Dexter, and have taken our Angry Birds and Words with Friends addiction to an entirely different level.
I can't help but reflect that soon pads of paper, books, and a deck of cards will replace all of this technology we've been consuming. I like the thought of that.
I accidentally dropped my cell phone in the toilet three days ago. I think it was a sign I wanted to be shut off sooner than I thought.

Seattle > Miami > Quito = 16ish hours of traveling.
God help us.
Here come delirious and bonkers Eric and Laura.
Might have to get out the video camera for this one.
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