Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Last Frontier

Yay! I'm so excited because I'm about to take off to visit here:
My dad is a die-hard fisherman and I've been going to Alaska since I was this big:
Brad and his parents have never even been fishing, so I'm excited to share an Alaska fishing adventure with them, I hope they enjoy it! (most of my family is going up and several in-laws as well)
Brad just buzzed his hair into a mullet because he thinks that's what fishermen do, disgusting.

He also told me he was going to call me Grace during this trip because of my suitcase. (I always get cheapy monogrammed potterybarn things from Downeast Home. Brad thinks its weird, but I tell him it's not everyday you get a nice $80 towel for 3 bucks or a $120 suitcase for $15!)
Last night instead of packing I made this for dinner: (I had a pineapple I didn't want to waste and a 1/2 full can of coconut milk) It's weird, but I keep all of these ingredients on hand.  I'll have to post some of my seafood recipes after we get home with 200 lbs of salmon! haha... Anyone got a spare freezer we could borrow?
you can get my recipe here. Hands down to Brad for being such a king of the grill last night, the chicken was so moist and juicy.  I'll forgive him for giving himself a mullet...when he gets rid of it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

more beach please.

 Janica is an awesome photographer and she did a post about the Carmel trip so I have to share some of her fabulous pictures. She asked if she could take some pics as we walked on the beach etc, I'm such a dork that I was super excited. I guess I must like the limelight because I've kinda missed having someone take pictures of me ever since our wedding.
Look at how cute Janica and her little guy are:
She wanted to get a cool pic where you could see footprints. We tried so hard to press our feet into the sand,  but we weren't that good at it.
Wow, my fear of falling from small structures captured in all it's glory:
I loved playing with Warren, but you had to be careful... he's a grabber with a killer grip. :) That first pic is my favorite, I wish he was my child so that I could frame it.
So I saw these pics Janica took of the beach and was amazed because I think she made it look cooler than it actually was! haha... Seriously, how great would these pics look framed in a nautical themed room?

Enchilada Soup & Cornbread

I normally don't post recipes when I forget to take a picture, but I brought this to Heather's bachelorette party this week and the recipe was requested, so here it is! There are some copycat Chili's enchilada soup recipes floating around out there and this is my own take on creamy chicken enchilada soup. Honestly, I've never had Chili's soup because its not my favorite restaurant. If their soup is really this good I may have to reconsider. :)
2-3 Tbs olive oil
3 chicken breasts- (I marinated mine for a few hours in achiote paste blended with vinegar, garlic, white pepper and a little water)
1/2 onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 C chicken broth
1 C masa harina*
1 C Rosarita enchilada sauce
1/2 C sherry cooking wine (I just had this so I put it in, you could get creative w/ apple juice etc)
16 oz pkg velveeta cheese
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
chicken boullion- pollo seasoning, to taste
1/2 chipotle pepper, minced (i freeze mine then use a zester, you could finely dice it)
1/2 Tbs lime juice, to taste
sauteed mushrooms (optional)
garnish w/ desired toppings: tortilla strips/crumbled chips, dollop of sour cream, pico de gallo, avacado etc
Add oil to a pan and brown chicken on both sides until cooked through. slice into bite-size pieces and set aside. In a pot add olive oil and saute onions until transluscent. Add garlic then chicken broth. Whisk masa harina with 1 C water and add to the pot. Add enchilada sauce, cheese, spices, chipotle pepper, lime, and sherry.  Add additional liquid as needed, pollo boullion seasoning is good to add if you add a lot more water.  Add chicken and mushrooms, you could add black beans and corn too.  Simmer for a bit and serve, its easy to make the day before and makes good leftovers too!
*You can get masa harina from the latin section of most grocery stores, pollo seasoning too
If you make the achiote chicken the outside of it turns this amazing color: (and stays much prettier if you grill it)
I've really been enjoying a simple, authentic cornbread recipe for the past while. Whenever I try mexican cornbread recipes they aren't as good, so I changed up my favorite cornbread and I was happy with the results. 
1/2 C butter
2/3 C sugar
4 eggs
1 can creamed corn
1 small container buttermilk (almost a cup I think)
1/2 can chopped green chilis or 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and finely diced
2-3 Tbs grated red bell pepper
1/2 C pepperjack cheese (I just had sliced so I tore it into little squares)
3/4 C sharp cheddar cheese
1 C flour
1 C cornmeal
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
Heat oven to 350 and melt butter in a casserole dish in the oven. Whisk all other ingredients together in a bowl and pour in melted butter leaving about 1 Tbs in the bottom of the pan. Stir together and pour into the pan. Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Loosly cover with foil after the top browns slightly.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Oh how I love Carmel! I get so nostalgic for things that remind me of my childhood. We used to go to Carmel and Monterey as a family when I was younger because my uncle had a house there. I just loved family vacations- to this day listening to the Beatles, Queen, or Billey Joel reminds me of our trips and makes me so happy.
Carmel is the most romantic place, although I couldn't really appreciate that as a kid there with my parents and siblings. So I've always wanted to take a special someone there for a romantic little getaway someday. So this trip didn't really turn into the romantic getaway I'd dreamed of... It was pretty sports centered, we didn't get much "us" time, and we couldn't even stay in Carmel- everything was so stinking expensive because of the US Open!  It was however, completely fabulous to get away and take a break from school.  We also got to meet our new nephew Sam- he's a cute little guy. We spent some time w/ family and I hung out with Janica, who also lost her husband to sports madness. (Lucky for her, she is pretty into it too!)
Brad loved going to the US Open and I enjoyed eating a couple great meals, getting through about 1/4 of the outlets in Gilroy, and soaking in the beautiful scenery. 
Even on the non-US Open day we spent quite a while on the beach watching this:
It was fun for a while, we even made it on TV and that always makes you feel sooo cool.
Embrace the Open.
I got Brad to turn his eyes away from golf for a minute:

The Carmel Mission was closed, so we had to climb up on things to take pics. Some people climb mountains, but it is a great accomplishment for me to awkwardly climb small fences.

This is where we ate a yummy dinner. A bit overpriced, but it was still yummy. That cheesy face I'm making while looking so adoringly at the parmesan cheese is real.

While Brad was at the tournament Janica, Warren and I went to Point Lobos and saw otters and seals. We also watched a romantic sunset...
More of charming Carmel, I just love the trees and adorable fairytale cottage homes:

Brad found a Sofitel (amazing French hotel line) for a killer price. We stayed in one while in Morocco on our honeymoon. If you ever get the chance they are seriously immaculate. We got home so late each day and were so tired that it seemed cool to take lame pics like us brushing our teeth.
Ended the trip back in San Fran and made our flight just in time after a little father's day lunch on the other side of the bridge:
Such a nice little trip, I could use one of these every month.


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