Monday, January 31, 2011

Argentine Burgers

My husband lived in Argentina for two years while serving a mission for our church.  And if you know my husband, you probably know how much he loves hamburgers.  When my mom found this recipe (from Bobby Flay?), she decided it would be a great thing to make for him.  It was my first time having chimmichurri  sauce and I loved it and thought it tasted great on a burger.  The chimmichurri sauce can be made a ahead of time, just bring it to room temp before serving.  If you are looking for a way to jazz up a burger, this is a great way to do it!

  Argentine Burgers
Chimmichurri Sauce
  • 2 cups packed flat leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbs. fresh oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste 

    Make in a food processor. Combine parsley, oregano and garlic and pulse until coarsely chopped.  Add paprika, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Process until smooth.  Transfer to a bowl. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
  • 1½ lbs. 80% lean ground chuck
  • salt and pepper
  • 1½ Tbs. canola oil
  • 4 slices manchego cheese
  • 4 buns, toasted
  • ½ medium red onion, sliced in ¼ inch slices

Prepare burgers in the way you choose. Add cheese to the tops of the burgers during the last minute of cooking.  Serve on buns topped with large dollop of chimmichurri sauce and onions

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Revisting "Old" Music

Ever since I got married I have not been an active participant in the music scene.  I'm not very good at seeking out new music for myself but mostly rely on my brother to tell me about new great stuff I would like.  My brother did move over 2000 miles away from me about the time I got married, so maybe that has something to do with it, or maybe it's because I've been really busy with school, pregnancy, and being a mom.  Regardless, I still feel music just isn't that spectacular right now.  I'm happy to be wrong, though, so if you have amazing suggestions I would love to hear them.

With that said, I just wanted to share a favorite album of mine that I recently listened to and was reminded of how much I like it.  This band no longer exists and were not extremely well known or popular.  But I think they are great and I had a blast when I saw them in concert.

Introducing, Dog Problems, by The Format.

This is The Format's second album.  I recommend both of their albums highly, but I think I would have to pick this one as my favorite.  Some of my favorite songs are "Time Bomb," "Dog Problems," "She Doesn't Get it," and "Oceans."  Really, I like every song on here quite a bit.  If you have never heard of them, check them out.  You'll be glad you did.

*Neither Nate nor Sam paid me to blog about their old band. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Long-Distance Twins

I will try and get some new subjects in the future for my favorite photo of the week, but I'm pretty sure everyone enjoys seeing this cutie.  Abby was dressed in this outfit that her cousin also has.  We arranged for them to be long-distance twins, so I had to take Abby's picture.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sun-dried Tomato & Arugula Frittata

I love having breakfast for dinner- probably more than actually having breakfast for breakfast.  Frittatas are great because you can basically throw in whatever you have on hand.  I came up with this variation this afternoon simply by looking though my fridge for about 60 seconds.  Regardless of what the photo looks like, this meal was delicious.  Even with suspicious ingredients, my husband really liked it.  If you don't have arugula on hand, use spinach instead.  I also think mushrooms would be good in here, so throw some in if you'd like!  This is a quick meal, perfect for the end of the week.  Serve it with a piece of toast and some fruit and you'll have a meal your whole family will enjoy.

Sun-dried Tomato & Arugula Frittata
Recipe by me

Drizzle of olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups arugula or spinach
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
4 whole eggs and 3 egg whites
1/2 cup milk, cream, half-and-half, etc.
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
zest of 1 lemon
1/4-1/2 Pecorino Romano cheese (or parmesan), grated
salt and pepper
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  
Drizzle a 10-inch skillet (that is oven safe) with olive oil and heat over medium heat.  Add the onion and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until the onion is soft and translucent.  
In the meantime, whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and frothy.  Add the milk, lemon zest, feta cheese, and salt and pepper.
When the onions are done, add the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and arugula, and cook for one minute so that the arugula begins to wilt.  Add the egg mixture and gently stir to combine.  Let it cook on the stove for 3-4 minutes without stirring.  During this time, grate the Pecorino Romano  over the top of the frittata.
Place the skillet in the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes.  Then, turn the oven on broil for just a couple of minutes to get a nice golden crust on top.  Cut like a pie (I cut it into 8 slices and we each ate 2) and serve immediately... enjoy!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

#37. Eat at Boise Fry Company

Okay, so some of the items on my list aren't really a big challenge and are more for enjoyment.  I'm fine with that though.  Who wants to complete a huge laundry list of hard things? 

I'm a proud Boise-an.  I think it is a great place: not too big, not too small, more fun cultural activities than you might expect, great food, growing college football team, etc.  Did I mention the food?  I know you can find great food pretty much anywhere, but some of my very favorite places to eat are local restaurants in Boise.

A new place in town is Boise Fry Company.  Their slogan is, "Burgers on the side."  That is my idea of a burger joint!  We went over Christmas break for the first time and thought it was fun.  They have several types of fries (russet, golden, sweet, yams, purple), cuts, sauces, and seasonings.  It is a little overwhelming for an indecisive person like me to choose what to get, so we basically tried everything we could.  The picture shows all of the sauces.  My favorite was the blueberry ketchup.  I was a little disappointed in a few of the sauces because they tasted a little too much like plain mayonnaise.  I think my overall favorite thing I tried were the yams with vanilla salt and blueberry ketchup.  I also had a buffalo burger for the first time and thought it was pretty good.

Overall, we had a fun time, the food was great, and I would like to go back again.  If you happen to be in Boise, try it out! 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Corny Pasta

The worst part about coming back from a 3-week Christmas vacation at my parents' house is realizing I have to plan and prepare meals again.  I enjoy cooking, it's the planning and shopping I don't care for as much.  I'm not sure how my mother (and women everywhere) has been planning and preparing meals for years and years.  Maybe it gets easier with experience?  I hope so.  Nevertheless, I feel so satisfied when I make a successful meal.  And this one was! I just changed a few minor things from Rachel Ray's Summer Corn Fettuccine, so I can't take credit for the idea.  I haven't tried many of her recipes but this one hit the spot.  If you like corn chowder, you will love this dish.  Here's the recipe.

Corny Pasta
Adapted from Rachel Ray

1 lb. fettuccine or other pasta
6 slices of bacon, chopped
2 cups of corn (fresh or frozen)
3 shallots, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup half-and-half or whole milk
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
a few shakes of cayenne pepper
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano 
1/4 cup basil leaves, cut in ribbons
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the bacon until rendered, golden, and crisp.  Remove the bacon and save for later.  Add the shallots, bell pepper, and 1.5 cups of corn to the bacon drippings.  Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes or until the veggies are tender.  
  3. Combine the remaining corn and half-and-half in a food processor and puree until smooth.
  4. Add the chicken broth to the veggies and let simmer for a minute or two to reduce.  Add the corn mixture and thyme.  Stir often and let the mixture thicken.  Add the cayenne pepper and stir.
  5. Add the drained pasta to a serving bowl and grate the Pecorino Romano on top.  Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss to coat.  Top the pasta with bacon and basil and serve. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Challenge

Landon issued me a challenge this week:

Take one photo each day.

I have only been doing it a couple of days but thought I could share my favorite from each week.  Here is this week's favorite.

I may be biased, but I think this girl is a beauty.

Friday, January 7, 2011

#1. Make a Quilt

I've mentioned this project before, but now that Christmas has passed, I can finally tell you that I completed it. Hallelujah! It was not an easy task, but still a lot of fun. I learned a lot and do not think it will be my last quilt.

All along, the quilt was intended for my newest niece, Lucy. She is my sister's fourth child and she arrived in November. My sister did a lot of sewing for my baby's nursery since I lacked the time and skills. So this project was the least I could do to say, "thanks."

I forgot to take photos of the finished product (doh!), but luckily my sister took a few for me. Here is Lucy showing it off.

Here it is!   
I got my inspiration from Cluck Cluck Sew.  I did three sizes of rectangles/squares and arranged them randomly.  For the quilting I just picked some rectangles that were equally spaced throughout the quilt  and stitched in the ditch around the perimeter of each rectangle.  The binding was probably the most frustrating part.  I just used the backing fabric and wanted to machine sew it down.  I thought it would be a breeze.  I was wrong.  The machine (or rather I) kept pulling it funny so it was just a mess.  I only got about half way down one side when I decided it wasn't worth it.  I ended up hand stitching it, which didn't take as long as I thought it might.  I'm glad I did it that way.  It looked just the way I wanted it to.  I'm not even sure if I would attempt to machine sew a binding in the future, but we'll see.  Hooray for finishing my first quilt that I did every cut and stitch on!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The New Year

Have you seen/heard all of those ads for gyms, lipo, exercise equipment, diet books, etc. this past week? Health goals and the new year go together like peas and carrots. The new year is a great time when most people feel motivated to change. I loved working at the new year because we were always busy with new clients. Unfortunately, this enthusiasm doesn't always last long. Gyms are typically much less crowded in February. I think this often happens because people make goals that are a little too hard to keep up with. With that in mind, I just wanted to remind you of SMART Goals. Here is a link to the posts I did a few months ago.

Here is another bit of advice I want to share. Weight loss is typically a common goal with the new year. Instead of obsessing over the number on the scale, expand your goal. Try keeping track of body measurements every month or so, or get a body composition test. If you live close to a university, it may have equipment to do a body composition test.